Optimum speaker height for bookshelf speakers on stands? (need stand advice)

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
4,868 34 17
#21
Tweeter at ear level is most often not correct. In a standard arrangement' between the midrange and tweeter is optimal and perhaps even a little higher..
It is generally advised by speaker manufacturers to have the listener's ear be level with the tweeter, but that is not an absolute rule. The truth is there usually won't be much difference if you listen at midrange height, as that doesn't normally constitute even a 5-degree angle change at an average listening distance. The sound on the vertical axis is not going to change much around the tweeter at such a small angle change.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
914 7 27
#22
How ya doin' Verdi!
(Been meaning to ask... which is your favorite work?) :)
Cheers!
You figured that I was a Verdi nut? Yes, I am! :) I love a most of his operas, but my preference goes for Don Carlo(s) depending on the sung language and Traviata.
I also like operas from other Italian and some French composers. As for Germanic composers, my preference goes for Wagner, Weber, Johann Strauss' operettas and Richard Strauss' Salome.

I guess that you like opera too. Which are your favorite works? :)

Cheers!
 
HTfreak2004

HTfreak2004

Audioholic
Ratings
31 1 3
#23
You can also angle the speakers slightly down by say 5 degrees. That should allow the tweeter to firer at ear level better without over thinking the stands. My mains have the tweet 42” off the floor. I angled them down 5 degrees and with a noticeable difference so they remain tilted


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,554 3
#24
You figured that I was a Verdi nut? Yes, I am! :) I love a most of his operas, but my preference goes for Don Carlo(s) depending on the sung language and Traviata.
I also like operas from other Italian and some French composers. As for Germanic composers, my preference goes for Wagner, Weber, Johann Strauss' operettas and Richard Strauss' Salome.

I guess that you like opera too. Which are your favorite works? :)

Cheers!
Its funny, Opera was one of those things I had the hardest time getting in to, even when I was in music school. Something about the Art-trained voice (classically trained) that always made me shudder. ;) I'm a saxophonist. Lot's of legit background, but then found my way in with some Jazz instructors, and really honed my skills doing that and in some rock bands.
Anyway, while back in college, I had one theory course where we tore apart the Verdi Requiem, amazing work. Then a grad level musicology class (I was the only non grad student our professor let in) where we did a comparative analysis of the works of Wagner and Verdi. Wagner was my gateway. His compositional techniques still amaze me (through-compsed 3-4 hour long works!).
Though I haven't indulged in many operas, still, I would say one of my most special moments was seeing Parsifal performed at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House back in early 2000's.
Of course its an absolute shame that Wagner was just such an absolute hole of a human being. A friend once said: "There are lots of horrible people out there: people that beat their wives, commit adultery, are anti-Semites and bigots... but only one wrote Parsifal."
Regardless, when it comes to sheer spectacle and grandeur, you can't really beat those two.
One other piece that helped break through my dislike of vocal art musc was Berlioz Requiem. James Levine conducting the Berlin Philharmonic with Luciano Pavoratti (DG 429 724-2). Pavoratti singing the Sanctus is transcendent.

Cheers!
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
914 7 27
#25
Its funny, Opera was one of those things I had the hardest time getting in to, even when I was in music school. Something about the Art-trained voice (classically trained) that always made me shudder. ;) I'm a saxophonist. Lot's of legit background, but then found my way in with some Jazz instructors, and really honed my skills doing that and in some rock bands.
Anyway, while back in college, I had one theory course where we tore apart the Verdi Requiem, amazing work. Then a grad level musicology class (I was the only non grad student our professor let in) where we did a comparative analysis of the works of Wagner and Verdi. Wagner was my gateway. His compositional techniques still amaze me (through-compsed 3-4 hour long works!).
Though I haven't indulged in many operas, still, I would say one of my most special moments was seeing Parsifal performed at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House back in early 2000's.
Of course its an absolute shame that Wagner was just such an absolute hole of a human being. A friend once said: "There are lots of horrible people out there: people that beat their wives, commit adultery, are anti-Semites and bigots... but only one wrote Parsifal."
Regardless, when it comes to sheer spectacle and grandeur, you can't really beat those two.
One other piece that helped break through my dislike of vocal art musc was Berlioz Requiem. James Levine conducting the Berlin Philharmonic with Luciano Pavoratti (DG 429 724-2). Pavoratti singing the Sanctus is transcendent.

Cheers!
I love both Berlioz and Verdi Requiems. I have five CD versions the Berlioz as well as one on DVD and a copy from a Mezzo TV Channel broadcast of a performance in Toulouse in 2015. As for the Verdi Requiem, I have eight versions on CD, one on DVD with Pavarotti and Leontyne Price (Karajan/ La Scala) and a Blu-ray disc also recorded at La Scala. This last one is an amazing 2012 recording with a wide audio dynamic range featuring one of the best of todays' tenors, Jonas Kaufmann, Elina Garanca, Anja Harteros and René Pape (Barenboim directing). I strongly recommend this disc. If you ever get it, let me know your impressions.

I have been collecting requiems from other composers as well. In my opinion, there is an impressive inspiration in their composition.

You studied saxophone playing. I studied piano accordion at ages of 7 and 8 but quit for lack of interest. Shortly after, I realized that I had a decent voice and sang solos in a church boys' choir at 12. Later, I had classical voice training lessons with professional opera singers and became a lyric tenor performing operatic repertoire and songs. I had the opportunity to sing as a soloist with choirs and in restaurants. This activity became a second passion after that of getting seriously involved in seeking and periodically improving on high fidelity/AV home reproduction equipment.
 
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HTfreak2004

HTfreak2004

Audioholic
Ratings
31 1 3
#26
You guys that’s awesome . My son is playing drums since he was 7. Not as intense as you two but he’s part of his music school junior band as well as performs for grading. His music program is accredited with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Maybe he will rock it hard when he’s older
 
O

OTLJosh

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#27
Hi Guys.

I have my sights set on building a Polk LSiM 5.1 or 7.1 system. I bought the 703s (book shelves),and I am impressed with them so far. My plan is to eventually move them to surround duty, and purchase 707s as mains. However, right now the 703s are my mains.

My question is... what is the optimum height to set the 703s at? I need to buy some speaker stands pretty quickly.

When I measured my ears at my regular listening position, they are between 36" and 38" off the floor, depending on my posture.

After taking some measurements, I computed how far the 703 tweeter would sit off the floor. Here's a handy chart I made for the 703s:
  • Stand height 24" = Tweeter height 34.5"
  • Stand height 26" = Tweeter height 36.5"
  • Stand height 28" = Tweeter height 38.5"
  • Stand height 30" = Tweeter height 40.5"
  • Stand height 32" = Tweeter height 42.5"

Most commonly, I see people using 24" stands for main bookshelf speakers... but that doesn't quite make sense to me, as that would put the 703's tweeter way below ear level. Also, for what it is worth, it would cause the 703 to sit substantially lower than the Polk 707 towers, which use basically the same tweeter and mid-range driver.

I assume that Polk engineers put some consideration into tweeter height when they were designing the 707 towers, and that tweeter sits 43" off the floor. I would hope they would have engineered it to be optimal... Or at least, not set it so high to cause problems.

Here are my conflicted thoughts:
  1. The official 703 Polk manual states that we should buy a 30-36" stand for the 703s... but anything over about 30" or 32" seems a tad high?
  2. The same manual then goes on to say that the tweeter should be close to ear level.... however, setting the 703s on a 32" stand would mean that the tweeter would sit 42.5" off the floor, which is above most people's ear level.
  3. Conversely, a 32" stand would make it sit the same height as the LSiM 707 towers.
  4. The flagship of the Polk series, the LSiM 707 has tweeters sitting at 43" off the floor.
  5. The other tower, the Polk 705, has tweeters that sit 39" off the floor.


One last consideration, is that whatever stand I buy now for mains, I will hopefully be able to be used later when i move these 703s to surround duty.

I was thinking 32", to match the height of the LSiM 707. Is this a good idea, or the wrong line of thinking?

What is the current state-of-the-art thinking when it comes to the height of main speakers, and surround speakers for DTS:X and Dolby atmos?


Any kind advice would be appreciated.
Keep in mind every speaker has different vertical dispersion patterns which also affect speaker placement for example ribbon tweeters versus concentric (LS50) versus horns. So the ear level is more a starting point but still requires you to experiment to fine tune what you like. Sometimes if you beam the tweeters to accurately, you’ll hate it because now the highs are overdone!
 
HTfreak2004

HTfreak2004

Audioholic
Ratings
31 1 3
#28
Use 28.0 inch stands. That will put the tweet slightly above your ears and get the mids level.

Your main speakers have the tweets above you ears to get the mids at ear level.

Mids are usually the weakest link for most speakers with several bass drivers and with ported that is another issue altogether.

Many serious music listens prefer to remove the grills both for aesthetics and for freeing up the tweeter and mid from grill interference.

Whether that makes a massive difference is debatable but let your ears be your guide in any case.

Al:D
 

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