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Placement Suggestion for Cube Speakers

by August 25, 2004

I can't tell you how many times I have been to department stores and walked by their electronics section to find salesmen luring customers into buying cubed speakers. I can recall a specific time when I heard a few customers stating " this is really amazing, I can't believe the sound these little things have. "

My experience is quite different whenever I have the unfortunate opportunity of listening. I always say to myself " this is really amazing, a company managed to produce a set of junky speakers made of cheap paper, low build quality and parts, for about 1/10 the retail cost. They change the series number every few years to advertise it as new and improved product, and through clever marketing, manage to convince the general public that they are the best thing since sliced bread ."

Since consumers continue to desire these speakers, because of their "amazing sound" and "small footprint", I have devised an optimal placement scheme (see Fig. 1 below) to help maximize performance and minimize space consumption.

cubed_speakers_th.gif
Figure 1. Optimal Placement for "Cubed" Speakers

 

Logic Behind Placement Scheme

Some may wonder why I am recommending the placement scheme as in Fig.1. Here is why:

  • The so called subwoofer, is a poorly designed bandpass enclosure with 5 1/4" paper woofers. It hardly has the excursion abilities to produce bass frequencies lower than 60Hz, yet the 3dB point is beyond 200Hz. The frequency response of this subwoofer is well within the voice band, while the "cubes" do not have the frequency extension to play the lower vocal frequencies. Therefore, in order to reproduce as much of the voiceband as possible without any major gaps, or nulls, I recommend placing the subwoofer on top of the TV with the center channel "cube". This will optimize center channel performance.
  • The "cube" speakers have such limited imaging and stereo separation that it really doesn't matter if you place them far apart or close by. Therefore, in order to maximize space efficiency, I recommend placing them on top of the TV at each end. This also saves the consumer considerable money on stands or wall brackets making the system a better value per dollar.
  • Since the rear "cubed" speakers suffer the same fate as the front ones, the same reasoning applies for their placement as in the 2nd bullet above. Why spend extra money on long speaker wire and stands when you can put these little jems at the bottom of the TV?
  • Placing optional "recoil springs" on the bottom of the TV will help inertially dampen the system to minimize resonance during bass transients.

I hope this placement guide helps those of you who are on the market to buy "cubed" speakers. If you have any further questions regarding these placement tips, feel free to contact your nearest "cubed" dealer or visit them online.

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PS. Yes, this article is a joke. Normally, we'd give you the benefit of the doubt as to intuitively inferring this, but some excitable fellows at AVSForum (you know who you are) prompted us to include this helpful note.

 

About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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