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Covering TV for 2-channel listening


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I’ve often heard that putting a TV between two high end loudspeaker is one of the worst things you can do to a pair of high end loudspeakers….

 

So it got me to thinking…what if I cover up the TV with something that doesn’t reflect sound when not watching TV…so I came up with this…

 

Honestly though I can’t figure out if it sounds better, worse or if I’m just an idiot….

 

Sometimes (with blanket on) I feel like center imaging is better and that some sounds have the edge taken off, less shouty. 
 

But then sometimes with blanket off I feel like the sound could be more livelier? 
 

What do you all think? 

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A worthy and age old question.  Does having furniture or large reflective surfaces in between ones speakers diminish sound quality?  Something I've pondered as well from time to time.   One thing I can say is, that a single layer of a synthetic blanket will not fully diminish the tv as a reflective surface.  It needs to be thicker or purpose built.             

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3 hours ago, Shiva said:

A worthy and age old question.  Does having furniture or large reflective surfaces in between ones speakers diminish sound quality?  Something I've pondered as well from time to time.   One thing I can say is, that a single layer of a synthetic blanket will not fully diminish the tv as a reflective surface.  It needs to be thicker or purpose built.             

yes 100% ----the placement of the speakers matters a lot ,  take a  movie theater  or a  sound venue , all speakers are unobstructed , you could have several thousand people taking up 95 % of the floor space , 0 impact   , but take the same speakers and put them on the ground with obstructions , the sound quality diminishes drastically 

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1 hour ago, CoryGillmore said:

Honestly though I can’t figure out if it sounds better, worse or if I’m just an idiot...Sometimes (with blanket on) I feel like center imaging is better and that some sounds have the edge taken off, less shouty.  But then sometimes with blanket off I feel like the sound could be more livelier?  What do you all think? 

Well, it depends.  Lets take the loudspeakers first. 

 

In my listening room, using K-402s on top of KPT-KHJ-LF bass bins, and noting that my flat screen is above the mantle between the Jubilees, when I place Auralex Sonofiber absorption tiles across the screen, the center image subjectively moves downward to be more in-line with the K-402 axes--by at least 6 inches. 

 

When I place absorption material across the center K-402-MEH (a K-402 horn that's a full range loudspeaker) which is directly in-line with the left-right K-402s, I get a more defined phantom center image, but then I note that the issue with the "2 kHz fundamental flaw of stereo" subjective dip in response seems to increase (i.e., there are less reflections filling in the perceptual hole at 2 kHz that correspond to the interaural distance between eardrums, explained in the following figure:

 

Fundamental Flaw of Stereo.JPG

 

So...in your case, I'd also put a cover over the center electronics cabinet and gear--probably two blankets thickness, as well as covering the flat screen as you have above, then listen using something like your best female vocalist recording at medium SPL (about 75-83 dB at the listening position).  You should hear a stronger phantom center image, but the room will sound a little bit smaller, and the sound quality might tend to be a little "thinner".  You can now toe-in your Cornwalls toward the listening position.

 

Secondly, I don't know if you've looked at the front of a Cornwall with the grill off.  There is a lot of flat area there--something that companies like B&W and the older Acoustic Research (AR) used to cover with acoustic absorption material.  I'd at least try putting absorption across the top of the Cornwalls, but that might not be enough--and you might hear even more difference if you cover the areas on either side of the tweeter and midrange horn with some absorption material (YMMV). Try it--it doesn't take much.  You can let two ends of a quilt or blanket cover the top of the Cornwall and hang down on either side of the tweeter and midrange horn mouths.  Adjust the amount to taste.

 

You can also experiment with adding throw rugs in front of the Cornwalls to decrease the level of floor bounce from the current case using the thin carpet you now use.

 

Add and subtract absorption--and use your best, highest quality acoustic-only recordings.  I think it will become pretty obvious what differences there are (if any) that you like.

 

JMTC...

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, Chris A said:

Well, it depends.  Lets take the loudspeakers first. 

 

In my listening room, using K-402s on top of KPT-KHJ-LF bass bins, and noting that my flat screen is above the mantle between the Jubilees, when I place Auralex Sonofiber absorption tiles across the screen, the center image subjectively moves downward to be more in-line with the K-402 axes--by at least 6 inches. 

 

When I place absorption material across the center K-402-MEH (a K-402 horn that's a full range loudspeaker) which is directly in-line with the left-right K-402s, I get a more defined phantom center image, but then I note that the issue with the "2 kHz fundamental flaw of stereo" subjective dip in response seems to increase (i.e., there are less reflections filling in the perceptual hole at 2 kHz that correspond to the interaural distance between eardrums, explained in the following figure:

 

Fundamental Flaw of Stereo.JPG

 

So...in your case, I'd also put a cover over the center electronics cabinet and gear--probably two blankets thickness, as well as covering the flat screen as you have above, then listen using something like your best female vocalist recording at medium SPL (about 75-83 dB at the listening position).  You should hear a stronger phantom center image, but the room will sound a little bit smaller, and the sound quality might tend to be a little "thinner".  You can now toe-in your Cornwalls toward the listening position.

 

Secondly, I don't know if you've looked at the front of a Cornwall with the grill off.  There is a lot of flat area there--something that companies like B&W and the older Acoustic Research (AR) used to cover with acoustic absorption material.  I'd at least try putting absorption across the top of the Cornwalls, but that might not be enough--and you might hear even more difference if you cover the areas on either side of the tweeter and midrange horn with some absorption material (YMMV). Try it--it doesn't take much.  You can let two ends of a quilt or blanket cover the top of the Cornwall and hang down on either side of the tweeter and midrange horn mouths.  Adjust the amount to taste.

 

You can also experiment with adding throw rugs in front of the Cornwalls to decrease the level of floor bounce from the current case using the thin carpet you now use.

 

Add and subtract absorption--and use your best, highest quality acoustic-only recordings.  I think it will become pretty obvious what differences there are (if any) that you like.

 

JMTC...

 

Chris

It’s funny you say that because at first I was using a giant bed comforter that covered the TV and TV stand completely. It’s just so massive and I don’t have a handy place to store it in this room when I don’t want the TV covered. 

55794DCC-74A4-48A5-9585-8BD4540CA254.jpeg

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23 minutes ago, CoryGillmore said:

It’s funny you say that because at first I was using a giant bed comforter that covered the TV and TV stand completely. It’s just so massive and I don’t have a handy place to store it in this room when I don’t want the TV covered. 

55794DCC-74A4-48A5-9585-8BD4540CA254.jpeg

hanging the TV on the wall , behind the speakers could solve the issue  , by drilling holes into the wood paneling  to attach  wall bracket , another way would be to screw a  plywood section into the sheetrock , then screwing the bracket into the plywood to avoid drilling holes , the difference in the sound will be noticeable

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11 hours ago, RandyH said:

hanging the TV on the wall

How about hanging the TV on the wall, and have some heavy curtains in front of it, that can be pulled to the sides. i.e. inbetween the Cornwalls and the TV, when not in use? Then you have automatic storage! 😉

 

Have you thought about experimenting with absorption on the sidewalls of your listening-room? It seems your Cornwalls are standing right up a sidewall? Just a thought.

 

Steffen

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My solution for an effective, easily moved panel in front of the tv is a Vocal Booth from acoustimac. This one is custom sized to cover the entire tv but stock sizes are available as well as a variety of cover materials.  Sorry for the upside down pics!

 

 

 

 

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This is one of the reasons I don’t mix my video with my audio. Separate rooms. I did the high end home theater thing back in the 90s and don’t care for it now. A sound bar and a small sub upstairs is plenty for me.

 

The other reason is that there will always be a compromise when you combine the two. You just have to decide which one you want to optimize and let the chips fall where they may for the other one.

 

Shakey

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5 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

This is one of the reasons I don’t mix my video with my audio. Separate rooms. I did the high end home theater thing back in the 90s and don’t care for it now. A sound bar and a small sub upstairs is plenty for me.

 

The other reason is that there will always be a compromise when you combine the two. You just have to decide which one you want to optimize and let the chips fall where they may for the other one.

 

Shakey

My room is for the main 2 channel system. I don’t have the space to separate the stereo and that tv viewing area which we only infrequently use as a viewing area. 

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1 hour ago, veloceleste said:

My room is for the main 2 channel system. I don’t have the space to separate the stereo and that tv viewing area which we only infrequently use as a viewing area. 


Understood. It is a luxury to have a dedicated room and I am thankful for that.

 

Im sure you have set up your speakers so that they are positioned more for listening to music than reproducing soundtracks? Because those two positions aren’t the same. And it’s a whole other ball of wax when we consider A/V processors vs quality two channel amps and preamps. One gets the job done and the other sounds like music.

 

Shakey

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41 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Because those two positions aren’t the same. And it’s a whole other ball of wax when we consider A/V processors vs quality two channel amps and preamps. One gets the job done and the other sounds like music.

This hasn't been my experience.  It's been my experience, however, that the sources of information of how to set up a proper acoustically balanced home theater are not good for loudspeakers have such good directivity control as Klipsch Heritage/Jubilees, etc.  I found there is a great deal of difference between direct radiating loudspeakers and fully horn loaded, and the acoustic treatments follow suit.

 

2 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:

I did the high end home theater thing back in the 90s and don’t care for it now.

Can you describe what this was (brands, models, room dimensions, treatments, etc.)?  The 1990s was before the current era of home cinema--things have changed quite a bit since then.

 

15 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

It’s just so massive and I don’t have a handy place to store it in this room when I don’t want the TV covered. 

It may be too large for the room, i.e., too much absorption, unless you can fold it up a bit to adjust the total absorption surface area.  Also, the comment about toeing in the speakers and putting something on the side walls is probably 2x to 10x more effective than just covering the center screen and gear.  Covering the electronics cabinet will probably permit you to toe in the loudspeakers (as I mentioned above) that you probably find that you can't toe-in now because of those early reflections from all the stuff between the loudspeakers.

 

That's not a large listening room horizontally and vertically, so acoustic treatments can only do so much in my experience.  In general, you'll find that the room is going to sound a bit dead if the acoustics are optimized for that room, due to its volume and the limitations of the shorter reflection times from side walls, ceiling and rear wall.  Directivity can only do so much before the those side wall and rear wall reflections become dominant, and the only alternative is using a great deal of good diffusion panels, but that tends to cost a lot more than absorption.

 

Chris

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Guys I wouldn't exactly say I have a problem with the way my system sounds now, me covering my TV is really just experimenting.

 

I do feel that with certain songs the CWIVs can come off a bit harsh or shouty. But I have quite a few things with my system that can be causing that. For one, my ceilings are a good foot lower than Klipsch recommends (7ft), secondly there's the giant reflective TV and TV stand between my speakers, thirdly I'm powering these speakers with an Onkyo TXNR757 A/V receiver being fed by a Schiit Modius. Introducing the Modius into the chain and bypassing the internal DAC of the Onkyo was a HUGE upgrade. I'm thinking upgrading my amp and bypassing the Onkyo completely would possibly give me the same results lol. 

I've considered going many different routes in regards to upgrading my electronics. I've considered a Cambridge Audio CXA81, I've considered the big boy Yamaha integrated with the VU meters, I've considered going with a monoblock setup from Schiit, either the Vidar or Aegir....One thing I haven't put much thought into is tubes...

With the CWIVs being so efficient, I've seen reviews say that they don't scale very much with improved amplification....

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Good luck.  It appears that you've actually got room dimension issues, and not so much electronics problems.  The amplifiers in the Onkyo may produce a bit lifeless sound (it having class D amplifiers).  Using the pre-outs of the Onkyo to perhaps class AB or even better, class A amplifiers, might change the harsh sound a bit, but probably not the to degree that you're expecting/wanting. 

 

Other than that, I've found the room is about 50-70% of the equation, and the loudspeakers themselves are most of the balance.  Electronics are much less of a factor than most would like to believe in my experience once you get to the best-performing horn loaded loudspeakers.

 

You can work on the Cornwalls a bit to time align the tweeter to midrange a bit better, i.e., no one has posted a spectrogram, step response, phase or group delay response on the Cornwall IVs yet--at least not that I've seen--so the amount of improvement available in time alignment isn't really known, but I'd guess that it would match or beat any improvements in the absorption of early reflections in-room.  But since the loudspeakers are brand new, most try to ignore those type of suggestions.

 

The efficiency of the Cornwalls means (according to Klipsch's law) that the modulation distortion is quite a bit lower than other direct radiating loudspeakers, and a lot of what you hear with the Cornwall IV sound is due to that, and directivity from ~800-1700 Hz. You might have a little better luck if you try La Scala IIs in that room, but if you're listening to pop/rock only, then you'd give up about an octave of deep bass response in-room with the La Scala IIs, which a subwoofer would make up.

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, Shakeydeal said:


Understood. It is a luxury to have a dedicated room and I am thankful for that.

 

Im sure you have set up your speakers so that they are positioned more for listening to music than reproducing soundtracks? Because those two positions aren’t the same. And it’s a whole other ball of wax when we consider A/V processors vs quality two channel amps and preamps. One gets the job done and the other sounds like music.

 

Shakey

Yes, speaker placement is dialed in and sounds wonderful. It is a two channel system. 

 

1 hour ago, CoryGillmore said:

Guys I wouldn't exactly say I have a problem with the way my system sounds now, me covering my TV is really just experimenting.

 

I do feel that with certain songs the CWIVs can come off a bit harsh or shouty. But I have quite a few things with my system that can be causing that. For one, my ceilings are a good foot lower than Klipsch recommends (7ft), secondly there's the giant reflective TV and TV stand between my speakers, thirdly I'm powering these speakers with an Onkyo TXNR757 A/V receiver being fed by a Schiit Modius. Introducing the Modius into the chain and bypassing the internal DAC of the Onkyo was a HUGE upgrade. I'm thinking upgrading my amp and bypassing the Onkyo completely would possibly give me the same results lol. 

I've considered going many different routes in regards to upgrading my electronics. I've considered a Cambridge Audio CXA81, I've considered the big boy Yamaha integrated with the VU meters, I've considered going with a monoblock setup from Schiit, either the Vidar or Aegir....One thing I haven't put much thought into is tubes...

With the CWIVs being so efficient, I've seen reviews say that they don't scale very much with improved amplification....

The benefit I gain by covering the tv with the panel is reduced glare (sonically, no pun intended), better imaging and focus. The difference is more than subtle but less than dramatic.

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4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:
4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

Guys I wouldn't exactly say I have a problem with the way my system sounds now, me covering my TV is really just experimenting.

Good

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

 

I do feel that with certain songs the CWIVs can come off a bit harsh or shouty.

Could be a lot of things inc the recording, lots of bad stuff out there

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

 

But I have quite a few things with my system that can be causing that. For one, my ceilings are a good foot lower than Klipsch recommends (7ft),

Bad may not be correctable

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

 

secondly there's the giant reflective TV and TV stand between my speakers,

minor issue, if at all

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

 

thirdly I'm powering these speakers with an Onkyo TXNR757 A/V receiver being fed by a Schiit Modius. Introducing the Modius into the chain and bypassing the internal DAC of the Onkyo was a HUGE upgrade. I'm thinking upgrading my amp and bypassing the Onkyo completely would possibly give me the same results lol.

If you have the green, Class A or AB is likely to sound better

Would be easy to do a comparison

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:

I've considered going many different routes in regards to upgrading my electronics. I've considered a Cambridge Audio CXA81, I've considered the big boy Yamaha integrated with the VU meters, I've considered going with a monoblock setup from Schiit, either the Vidar or Aegir....One thing I haven't put much thought into is tubes...

Schiit does well in bench tests and not a lot for sale used

Yamaha has been top shelf product for a very long time

 

4 hours ago, CoryGillmore said:



With the CWIVs being so efficient, I've seen reviews say that they don't scale very much with improved amplification....

It's the first 1/4 to 1/2 watt for most listening

2 watts is unbearable with LaScalas

 

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22 hours ago, Bubo said:

 

Thanks for the informative reply! I've actually been strongly considering a Schiit complete system. Two Aegir in mono mode and a Freya+ pre-amp. I already own a Schiit Modius DAC. 80W of class A power is quite the draw. But I worry about them heating up my room LOL. I would also need to put each monoblock amp on top of a Cornwall IV, as I have no where else to put them where they can get the air they need. I would also possibly need to put the Freya+ on top of a Cornwall. That kinda worries me with it having a tube gain stage, but I don't believe the Cornwall IV vibrates enough for it to be a problem for it. 

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18 minutes ago, CoryGillmore said:

Thanks for the informative reply! I've actually been strongly considering a Schiit complete system. Two Aegir in mono mode and a Freya+ pre-amp. I already own a Schiit Modius DAC. 80W of class A power is quite the draw. But I worry about them heating up my room LOL. I would also need to put each monoblock amp on top of a Cornwall IV, as I have no where else to put them where they can get the air they need. I would also possibly need to put the Freya+ on top of a Cornwall. That kinda worries me with it having a tube gain stage, but I don't believe the Cornwall IV vibrates enough for it to be a problem for it. 

Put something a little squishy under the feet to absorb or damp vibration

Jello shots ?

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Used this to keep from wall penetration. Was able to raise to desired height. Creates space underneath set. Was very stable with 100 pounds of plasma Panasonic 50 inch.

Was able to place close to wall abit behind speakers.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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