Surround Sound Speaker Systems

JBL LS 80 Floor-Standing Speakers, LS Center, LS 40 Rear Surround Speakers, and LS 120P Subwoofer

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

I set up the JBL speaker system so that the three front speakers were spaced along a circular arc which had a radius of about 12'. The prime sitting position was at the center of this circular arc. Each of the front speakers was spaced horizontally about 6' center-to-center laterally across the front. I tried to bring the LS 80's out into the room as much as possible while the LS Center was placed in an open-backed cabinet just below the screen. The LS 80's were toed-in to face directly at the prime position.

The LS 40's were placed about 6' off the ground and with about 60^ of separation between them. All this was my attempt to recreate what is generally considered ideal speaker placement for a 5.1 surround sound speaker system. (OK, so the surrounds shouldn't be that high off the ground, but my theater is a real-world space that is used by other people besides myself.)

The JBL LS 80 's come with two kinds of feet: flat rubber or metal cones with metal disks. I used the cones and seated them into the carpet as well as I possibly could.

The sub was placed at the spot along the front of my theater where I typically get the smoothest response possible. This location does not provide much boundary reinforcement, but I don't get peaky response there with the exception of a natural resonance in the room of about 20Hz.

For home theater, I used two different receivers: the Integra DTR 50.1 and the Harman/Kardon AVR 3600. For multi channel movies and music, I chose to run the system sans equalization. I crossed over all the satellites at 60Hz. For 2-channel and 2,1-channel listening, I used the Fatman i452 45 watt per channel integrated amp. I set the LS120P's low pass filter to 50Hz and ran the LS 80's full-range when evaluating the system as a 2.1 configuration.