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Author Topic: Speaker mounted upside down  (Read 16183 times)

Tim McCain

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Speaker mounted upside down
« on: May 02, 2013, 04:40:45 pm »

Just a quick question that maybe you guys can help me figure out.  We have a 3 speaker cluster mounted in the center just in front of and above the podium.  The company that installed the system mounted the center speaker upside down in relation to the other two speakers.  Does this have any impact on the sound and/or trajectory of the highs in the room.  We are using Peavey Sanctuary Series SSE 1594 speakers.
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Jeff Foster

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 04:58:24 pm »

Just a quick question that maybe you guys can help me figure out.  We have a 3 speaker cluster mounted in the center just in front of and above the podium.  The company that installed the system mounted the center speaker upside down in relation to the other two speakers.  Does this have any impact on the sound and/or trajectory of the highs in the room.  We are using Peavey Sanctuary Series SSE 1594 speakers.

Yes, and no.  It really depends on the angles of the speakers in relation to each other.  Can you take a pic and post it?

For all practical purposes, mounting a speaker upside down won't have any negative effect on sound coverage.  Normally, the HF driver is at the top since High frequencies are more directional, so we put them at the top to try to get the high frequencies above people's heads.  Everyone is just so used to seeing speakers that way that even when they are suspended well above people's heads, most of the time the speakers are still oriented the same way.

I have hung speakers "upside down" before.  When I did it, it was because of low hanging light fixtures so I wanted the HF driver to try to project the high frequencies in a way that would not be blocked by the light fixtures.

In your case, as with any array, we just want to make sure the coverage of the HF drivers don't overlap.  As long as they don't overlap, then there is no problem with one of the speakers being "upside down".
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Jeff Foster
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Tim McCain

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 05:36:32 pm »

Yes, and no.  It really depends on the angles of the speakers in relation to each other.  Can you take a pic and post it?

For all practical purposes, mounting a speaker upside down won't have any negative effect on sound coverage.  Normally, the HF driver is at the top since High frequencies are more directional, so we put them at the top to try to get the high frequencies above people's heads.  Everyone is just so used to seeing speakers that way that even when they are suspended well above people's heads, most of the time the speakers are still oriented the same way.

I have hung speakers "upside down" before.  When I did it, it was because of low hanging light fixtures so I wanted the HF driver to try to project the high frequencies in a way that would not be blocked by the light fixtures.

In your case, as with any array, we just want to make sure the coverage of the HF drivers don't overlap.  As long as they don't overlap, then there is no problem with one of the speakers being "upside down".

Here are a few photos of the cluster and a few others to show their relation to the sanctuary.





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Jeff Foster

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 06:27:05 pm »

Here are a few photos of the cluster and a few others to show their relation to the sanctuary.

From those pics I wouldn't expect that you would have any problems with the coverage.  It looks like they did a good job with the rigging, so I would assume that they probably know what they are/were doing as far as overlapping coverage.   I looked up the speakers and it looks like they came with either a 90x40 horn or a 60x40 horn.  If they installed the 60x40 model, then the splay angles of the speakers look like they are far enough apart to avoid HF overlap.   If they are the 90x40 horn, then there would be some overlap, though it probably wouldn't be enough of an issue to worry about.
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Jeff Foster
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Tim McCain

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 06:32:14 pm »

From those pics I wouldn't expect that you would have any problems with the coverage.  It looks like they did a good job with the rigging, so I would assume that they probably know what they are/were doing as far as overlapping coverage.   I looked up the speakers and it looks like they came with either a 90x40 horn or a 60x40 horn.  If they installed the 60x40 model, then the splay angles of the speakers look like they are far enough apart to avoid HF overlap.   If they are the 90x40 horn, then there would be some overlap, though it probably wouldn't be enough of an issue to worry about.

What about depth as it relates to coverage in the room.  When I walk the room I can get what appears to be a drop off in coverage from the horn front to back.  Would rotating the horn (a feature of these speakers) help with that, or would it make it a problem from the left to right.  BTW, I believe we have the 90x40.

Oh, and to assume that the people who installed it knew what they were doing, would not be accurate :).  The former pastor chose a local guitar shop to put in the sound system.  They gave us some pretty good quality stuff, but this was the first system for a building of our size.  All of his other installs were very small venues.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 06:36:00 pm by Tim McCain »
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 07:39:34 pm »

Oh, and to assume that the people who installed it knew what they were doing, would not be accurate :).  The former pastor chose a local guitar shop to put in the sound system.

Do your ushers hand out hard hats along with the program as they greet people at the door?  :D
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 08:12:50 pm »

Do your ushers hand out hard hats along with the program as they greet people at the door?  :D

The install can be inspected for clues.  Forged hardware, no open hooks welded link chain, ETC.  Doesn't mean it is done right but it is a good sign.  BTW I note that there are no safety cables on the lights.  I don't know if it is required, but I like to do it and it is easy.  right now if one casting or bolt fails a light drops. 

http://www.stagelightingstore.com/Stage-Lighting-Store/Black-Safety-Cables/Black-Safety-Cable-30-inches
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 09:29:37 pm »

Just a quick question that maybe you guys can help me figure out.  We have a 3 speaker cluster mounted in the center just in front of and above the podium.  The company that installed the system mounted the center speaker upside down in relation to the other two speakers.  Does this have any impact on the sound and/or trajectory of the highs in the room.  We are using Peavey Sanctuary Series SSE 1594 speakers.
There is a real reason for mounting speakers upside down.

Since the woofer and horn are physically separated-there will typically be a lobe facing in a downward direction (if the horn is on top-as it typical) around the crossover point.

So when you tip it down-that puts the lobe back on the stage-where it can result is less gain before feedback.

So by mounting the speaker upside down-that lobe is actually going away from the stage (up in the air or straight forward-depending on the angle)-so possibly more gain before feedback.  I say "possibly" because there are a lot of factors we don't know about.

Now why the outside speakers were not mounted that way I don't know.  But they "may" have been thinking "we will have less comb filtering that way".  Yes in one place-but it would be worse in others.
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Ivan Beaver
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Tim McCain

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 10:08:25 pm »

Do your ushers hand out hard hats along with the program as they greet people at the door?  :D

This cracks me up!  Also, as to the safety cables on the lights.  We have them, and we need to get them installed. 
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Brad Weber

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Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 07:41:01 am »

It is not unusual for three box arrays to have the center box inverted, it really all depends on the specifics of the speaker pattern, how the boxes array together and the desired pattern.  However, I don't know whether it is something Peavey generally recommends or if the Contractor actually went into that level of detail in their design.

Oh, and to assume that the people who installed it knew what they were doing, would not be accurate :) .  The former pastor chose a local guitar shop to put in the sound system.  They gave us some pretty good quality stuff, but this was the first system for a building of our size.  All of his other installs were very small venues.
Which means they probably did not look at the array in detail.  Based on the nominal 90x40 pattern I also agree with Jeff's comments and am not surprised at your observations, however Peavey's polars for that speaker show that horizontal pattern is actually less than 90 degrees through the critical speech frequencies while the vertical pattern is all over the place including getting quite narrow with substantial lobing right through the most critical frequencies for speech intelligibility, a result of that being where crossover occurs.  I have no idea how Peavey got the 1.25kHz vertical pattern shown on the beamwidth chart from the 1.25kHz vertical polar also shown.

On the other end of the spectrum, because of the intended market the Sanctuary Series speakers are available in black and white, I'm rather surprised someone apparently chose black speakers and black rigging in that application.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Speaker mounted upside down
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 07:41:01 am »


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