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  1. #1
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    Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Greetings, new member here.

    I live in a mid-century modern house with a sloped roof. In our family room, I have two speakers on pedestals in opposite corners of the room. Because of the slope of the ceiling, there is a lot more space above one of the speakers than the other.

    I get a lot more bass out of the speaker on the low-roof side than the speaker on the high-roof side.

    I am trying to trouble shoot and determine if this has to do with space, or if there is something else going on with the speakers or amp. I don't think it is an amp issue, as I've reversed channels, and the bass is still on the same side of the room. I could switch speakers, but that will be a little involved because space/wiring issues.

    Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Hello and welcome.

    Pretty sure you have the answer, the low side is creating a secondary box around the speakers creating more bass. I am sure others can explain it more eloquently than I can.

    I have a pair of bass shy JM Labs bookshelves when on stands in the room, but when I place them into the corner cabinets built next to my fireplace, it is like placing the speaker in a larger box. It creates way more bass then when they are not in the corner cabs.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowfax View Post
    Hello and welcome.

    Pretty sure you have the answer, the low side is creating a secondary box around the speakers creating more bass. I am sure others can explain it more eloquently than I can.

    I have a pair of bass shy JM Labs bookshelves when on stands in the room, but when I place them into the corner cabinets built next to my fireplace, it is like placing the speaker in a larger box. It creates way more bass then when they are not in the corner cabs.
    Thank you for the prompt reply! I will have to figure out a workaround, possibly an EQ unit with separate settings for left and right.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Do you need the speakers to be in the actual corners of the room? If you can move them inward away from the corners that could help quite a bit. Or moving the speakers to a more symmetric arrangement in the room.

    Another option that would probably work better than EQ is bass traps. However that may be cosmetically unacceptable, since they would need to be thick and therefore take up a noticeable amount of space in the corners behind your speakers, possibly extending farther out across the ceiling too if it is really that low.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoAudio View Post
    Do you need the speakers to be in the actual corners of the room? If you can move them inward away from the corners that could help quite a bit. Or moving the speakers to a more symmetric arrangement in the room.

    Another option that would probably work better than EQ is bass traps. However that may be cosmetically unacceptable, since they would need to be thick and therefore take up a noticeable amount of space in the corners behind your speakers, possibly extending farther out across the ceiling too if it is really that low.
    Thanks. The speakers really need to be where they are, based on both the configuration of the room, and how they are wired. (The wires go into the wall and connect to an amp in the adjacent room.)

    I don't think the bass trap option will work for aesthetic reasons.

    Given the above, I think EQ will be the way to go.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    You can try but EQ isn't going to correct an imbalanced placemen in the room.

    The placement is wrong and wiring should not have been ran that way. You can do your best and live with the result or correct the situation by symmetrical placement. Depending on how low the low side is the shape could be a benefit if correct placement.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    You can try but EQ isn't going to correct an imbalanced placemen in the room.

    The placement is wrong and wiring should not have been ran that way. You can do your best and live with the result or correct the situation by symmetrical placement. Depending on how low the low side is the shape could be a benefit if correct placement.
    Understood, but in fairness, the room has multiple uses and was not designed strictly for listening. Given things such as window and door placements, a fireplace, and a large-screen TV, there were not many other choices. As with most things in life, there are compromises. Even if the EQ can help me out a little bit, it is better than nothing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    As I look at the room, there is one more option that I could try using the existing holes for the wiring. I could place both speakers in front of an adjacent wall. This wall is plaster, and there are windows, but the bottoms of the windows are about six inches above the tops of the speakers. The ceiling height is the same all the way across.

    We had considered a wood facade on this wall, to reflect an outside motif of the house. This may sound better than the plaster. No idea when we would get around to doing this, but it is an option.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    I have a similar room with a sloped ceiling. I started out by hooking up VERY long cheap speaker cables and started moving the speakers all over the room. Listening and learning as I went. I eventually ended up (looking at the speakers) with the right speaker on the low side of the room and the left on the high side. However they are pulled out into the room. (55"to the back of the speaker from the front wall and they are front ported speakers).
    I used a live end - dead end approach with acoustics and have the front wall behind the speakers well treated with various diffusion panels and the wall behind me with absorption panels along with bass traps in the corners. This worked well tonally, however with the one speaker on the low side if played havoc with imaging. Diffusion panels on the lower right side wall/ceiling juncture allowed things to come into balance. Things just float and dance in air.
    A room is the most important "component" in an audio system IMHO and deserves the proper care to get it right. You will be well rewarded.
    Your room and journey may well be different from mine, but try every option. Good luck.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by jadedavid View Post
    I have a similar room with a sloped ceiling. I started out by hooking up VERY long cheap speaker cables and started moving the speakers all over the room. Listening and learning as I went. I eventually ended up (looking at the speakers) with the right speaker on the low side of the room and the left on the high side. However they are pulled out into the room. (55"to the back of the speaker from the front wall and they are front ported speakers).
    I used a live end - dead end approach with acoustics and have the front wall behind the speakers well treated with various diffusion panels and the wall behind me with absorption panels along with bass traps in the corners. This worked well tonally, however with the one speaker on the low side if played havoc with imaging. Diffusion panels on the lower right side wall/ceiling juncture allowed things to come into balance. Things just float and dance in air.
    A room is the most important "component" in an audio system IMHO and deserves the proper care to get it right. You will be well rewarded.
    Your room and journey may well be different from mine, but try every option. Good luck.
    Thanks for sharing! Last night I did some experimenting in which I kept the speakers in generally the same locations, but played around with the angles and also the distances from the walls. I was able to get the bass much more centered than it had been. Granted, it is a large and live room, and the speakers are further apart than ideal, so the concept of "center" is a little fluid. Still, the bass now sounds much better than it did previously.

  11. #11
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    thumbsup Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound


  12. #12
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo Beater View Post
    As I look at the room, there is one more option that I could try using the existing holes for the wiring. I could place both speakers in front of an adjacent wall. This wall is plaster, and there are windows, but the bottoms of the windows are about six inches above the tops of the speakers. The ceiling height is the same all the way across.

    We had considered a wood facade on this wall, to reflect an outside motif of the house. This may sound better than the plaster. No idea when we would get around to doing this, but it is an option.
    Best bet IMO , get both on the same sloping side ..


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    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  13. #13
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    Re: Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

    Quote Originally Posted by HumbleHiFi View Post
    Bongo Beater, You need to "think outside the box" - the speaker box that is. I don't think you ever said what your speaker model was? But I know from your description it is a cone driver. Your solution is not uncommon, This is a room interfacing with your speakers unevenly problem. I had the exact same issue with a sloped ceiling and unequal distance from each speaker to the ceiling. The BEST solution for your room is, Buy different speakers-sorry. Your speakers are exciting the room modes unevenly because of the ceiling slope/distance. The fix is to buy speakers that by design don't excite boundary room modes as much. In my case I bought Magnepan 3.7i. and its is so much better, the planar speakers will still excite the room some, but not to the same degree as a cone speaker. Its much better, and listenable in my opinion. it worked wonders for me. Maybe a dealer will let you borrow a pair for a few days to try before you buy?
    Thanks, but I already solved the problem!

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Ceiling Height and Speaker Sound

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