Minimum Sound Bar Height

My wife and I just moved into a summer home and I want to set up a 5.1 system for watching movies.  A top-quality system is out of the question for this place; reasonably high-quality consumer-grade level (preferably, used) will have to do.  I plan to hang the TV over the fireplace using a MantelMount, which also hangs the center channel speaker.  Since the bottom of the speaker must clear the top of the mantle, I need its dimensions before I can mount the TV on the wall.

A low profile speaker would have some advantages but I question whether small drivers can produce even reasonably good quality.  I'd love to hear opinions re how tall a sound bar needs to be to produce decent sound, or if this line of reasoning is completely wrong.  (The mains will be a pair of old Magneplanar MG-I after I re-cement the tweeter voice coils, which occasionally rattle a bit.)  Does anyone have a specific suggestion for a center channel speaker that I might find used?
Bob Simon


I do not find mine bright.

The Klipsch Center Speaker is VERY efficient. Unless you tell your AVR to cut it’s volume relative to the front speakers, it will be dominant, call too much attention to itself.

I would say people are translating ’Prominent’ to ’Bright’.

And, the front speakers may not be toed in enough, thus the highs (narrowest dispersion) of the front speakers may be diminished.

I bought these DBX-Soundfield 100’s new WAY back when from 6th Ave Electronics original store

They are specifically designed to produce wide imaging, (left/center/right of a sofa for instance) and contain 3 tweeters to compensate for high’s narrow dispersion.

Left speaker is angled more to right position, but left person is closest to the left speaker. Thus direct dispersion from right mixed with closer proximity of left gives darn good imaging, Opposite side opposite.

Main music System: I use this alternate toe-in when I have a friend over, both of us off-center. Left aimed at right person, right aimed at left person.

Very decent imaging is produced for both positions. Many of my friends systems, if off center, lousy or no imaging.


I think this center is very well designed and a great value, and they offer a 45-day, risk-free trial including shipping both ways.  What I like about this is it’s got a dedicated midrange placed below the tweeter that not only improves performance but has better dispersion characteristics compared to simpler MTM designs.  And at $399 it won’t break the bank even new.

Best of luck.

I solved the problem of what center channel to buy by getting an R41MB and four R34CBs. Plus I bought a Yamaha RXV385B which I understand will do room correction. I’m familiar with Anthem ARC and was told my new receiver has a similar system. I’d love to hear suggestions on where to cross the sub with the mains, center, and surround?  What about LFE?


did you mean 1 R34CB (center) and 4 R41MB?

My Sub, it has two methods of level adjustment

1. get it basically sounding good, not too strong, using it's volume control

2. next, via the AVR menu, adjust all speaker's levels.

3. Crossover: Using those Klipsch R41MB, I would cross over at the highest frequency setting, get the levels balanced, then a week later mess about to see if you hear any benefit from a lower frequency crossover

Elliott, Of course, you are right about my mixing up the models. Thanks for suggesting a methodology to integrate my new 5.1 system.