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HOW TO: Set up speakers properly - Page 2

post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjoey1500 View Post
good guide! thx.
one question, why not 100% volume? just too close to blowing out the speakers or what?
Since equipment isn't 100% efficient usually anything over 75 percent volume is distortion. Distortion kills equipment. Speakers actually receive an AC signal, and what it does is pushes too many volts and/or not a clean wave, you get heat, you get magic smoke.
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post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePope View Post
I have my Center Speaker behind me. Is there an issue with that? Because there is no room for it on my desk in front of me... My setup still sounds good though...

Any who,

+ for the sweet guide!
Other than your imaging being off (which makes a huge difference). Instead of something being in front of you, it'll be behind you, and if it goes left or right in a game/movie/cheeseburger (yes i said cheeseburger) you'll hear it behind and in front - just doesn't sound right.
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post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate911 View Post
Might be a stupid question, but what is the ideal woofer position for a 2.1 system? I currently have it near my feet (only about 1-2 feet away since I don't have room to push my desk out any more). Is there anything better?

Since subwoofers and woofers are omni-directional, anywhere on the ground is fine. For best sound for your left and right, follow the guide just for the left and right.
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post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post
Depends on the sound you're going for. For a cheap but more powerful bass effect you point the port-hole (if you have one) toward the wall. However you get a better quality bass by point the port-hole in a direction perpedicular to the way you're facing (aka, right or left). If you want powerful and high quality, you need a better subwoofer. Better subwoofer is somewhat subjective, but usually more power handling is a start. A larger speaker will give you a larger displacement of air which is what creates a large SPL, larger SPL usually means a stronger bass effect. Additionally, the larger the subwoofer is (8" = small, 12" = large), the lower the frequency it will likely output. Lower frequencies will be harder to "hear", which is a good thing, as you don't want to hear your bass, you want to FEEL it. A good subwoofer will let have a crossover built into the box that lets you adjust the frequency to find what is best.

Too much info? Maybe.

Here is another random tip. Copper corrodes when in contact with air, over time. This means your standard copper speaker wire ends will corrode over time and will lose efficiency in transferring electricity to your speakers. If you put a gold-plated air-tight connector on them you can stop this from happing. Radio Shack sells them, regular or Monster-Cable brand. You unscrew the connector, fit in the copper wire, screw the connector back together, which seals the copper wire in, and leaves you with a gold plated wire end, which is built onto the connector. Gold connectors also transfer electricity better, but unless you have a high-end system and a great set of ears you may not notice this.
I agree with just about everything except the very top part. You're definitely intelligent when it comes to this, but I just want to clear a few things up for you.

A good subwoofer is going to have the port and the woofer on the same plane - they're going to be both facing the same direction. Usually with them going in different directions you get cancellation and I'll get into that in a few.

With facing your sub towards a wall, it's going to be reflecting off of the wall. If it's too close, you're going to get waves bouncing off the wall right back onto more waves trying to get out. Six inches is usually a good number away from the wall if the top and sides are unobstructed. My Altec Lansing 2100 2.1's have subs facing forward, port back. I have it on a shelf under my desk, port about 6 inches from the wall, subs aiming towards me. My home theater's woofer has port aiming towards the adjacent wall (it's like 20 feet away) and woofer towards the front of the room)


Same applies with car audio. If you want to face your sub box forward, you need to seal the trunk from the sub box. If you don't want to go thru all that work, you face the sub box back at the trunk. Waves have a certain length, and by the time it bounces off the trunk, forward to the winshield/dash and then back again, the wave is dissipated. If you face it forward and don't seal it, those waves will find every nook and cranny inside the trunk and you'll have cancellation. My car has 4 12 inch subwoofers. The current box I have has port back, subs up. I get a lot of cancellation. Solution? Windows down. Now when I build my half wall, it'll be louder with the windows up, and I'll have less area to pressurize.
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post #15 of 47
Another thing to add is the proper distance the front L & R speakers should be placed apart from the viewing source. I read in a few home theater "books" that the speakers should be placed 1.5 x the screen size away from the viewing source.

Example: 24" monitor X 1.5 = 36".
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by theartist View Post
Another thing to add is the proper distance the front L & R speakers should be placed apart from the viewing source. I read in a few home theater "books" that the speakers should be placed 1.5 x the screen size away from the viewing source.

Example: 24" monitor X 1.5 = 36".
I have always heard that the listener and the front left and right speakers should form an equilateral triangle. I have never in my life heard of this screen size formula.
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post #17 of 47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecdm View Post
I have always heard that the listener and the front left and right speakers should form an equilateral triangle. I have never in my life heard of this screen size formula.
The way I explained it, it does make the triangle. Since you want the same distance front to back, and left and right, it puts you dead center of the audio. The screen thing is rubbish. If the speakers are further apart, you have to turn the volume up more, that's all
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanman31337 View Post
I agree with just about everything except the very top part. You're definitely intelligent when it comes to this, but I just want to clear a few things up for you.

A good subwoofer is going to have the port and the woofer on the same plane - they're going to be both facing the same direction. Usually with them going in different directions you get cancellation and I'll get into that in a few.

With facing your sub towards a wall, it's going to be reflecting off of the wall. If it's too close, you're going to get waves bouncing off the wall right back onto more waves trying to get out. Six inches is usually a good number away from the wall if the top and sides are unobstructed. My Altec Lansing 2100 2.1's have subs facing forward, port back. I have it on a shelf under my desk, port about 6 inches from the wall, subs aiming towards me. My home theater's woofer has port aiming towards the adjacent wall (it's like 20 feet away) and woofer towards the front of the room)


Same applies with car audio. If you want to face your sub box forward, you need to seal the trunk from the sub box. If you don't want to go thru all that work, you face the sub box back at the trunk. Waves have a certain length, and by the time it bounces off the trunk, forward to the winshield/dash and then back again, the wave is dissipated. If you face it forward and don't seal it, those waves will find every nook and cranny inside the trunk and you'll have cancellation. My car has 4 12 inch subwoofers. The current box I have has port back, subs up. I get a lot of cancellation. Solution? Windows down. Now when I build my half wall, it'll be louder with the windows up, and I'll have less area to pressurize.
I should note that not all subwoofer enclosures require portholes. I had a competition car-stereo system. 2 15" 1000-watt RMS subs, in a single box, no walls, no portholes. I had the subs facing up because it was a hatchback so the pressure reflected off the back window, which was angled, so the pressure was then reflected forward. Car audio setups can be much more complex due to the shape of cars, their windows, whether or not they have a trunk, and does the trunk have a solid metal firewall, or just fold down seats? It has been a few years, but I believe my SPL was around 158.

Many home-audio subwoofers will have the subwoofer facing the floor. This allows for a truly omni-directional sound. These type you usually want the woofer facing any way but toward you, and like was mentioned, at least 6-inches away from the wall.

Also, going WAY back to the first page, I forgot to mention that if you have tweeters, subwoofers, and mid-ranges, it is best to have them all on a crossover system. This will keep the wrong frequencies from getting to the wrong speakers. A good crossover setup will make sure tweeters, for example, only recieve the high frequency range that they respond to. This gives for a cleaner sound at higher volumes.
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post #19 of 47
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Again, fantastic info. Ported boxes, when built properly, can yield higher spl and sound just as good as a sealed box. Hatchback cars get nice spl numbers because of their design. Honda CRX is a perfect example. People build their box with subs up, port back, and get really good numbers. 158 is awfully high for a single sub and that little power. I'd guess around 138. I'm hitting 146 with 4 12 inch subs and 3600 watts rms (7200 watts peak) just for the subs.

The reasoning for home audio having the sub at the ground is their subs are tuned low. You want to FEEL the machine gun, or the explosion, not just hear it. Makes it more realistic. Usually they'll do port and sub down.

Crossovers separate frequency ranges and distribute them. You don't want lows going to your tweets, or highs going to your subs.
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post #20 of 47
You have not discussed phase, which has a great impact on imaging and low frequency sound. I often wonder about phasing with all the various combinations of sound card/amp/wiring possibilities. I would assume that a lot of people have poor imaging and poor low frequency efficiency and are unaware that they can make zero cost improvements.

I use the D-cell battery to the speaker terminals (to determine cone movement) trick.
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