Mount your center speaker on the cheap

For Christmas this year Santa delivered me a Polk CS2 center speaker for my home theater setup. The orignial center that came bundled with my Onyko HT-R340 had clearly been overpowered when I upgraded the front channels to Polk R50s earlier in the year. This led to movie nights where I had to guard the remote, turning up the volume during speaking parts and frantically scrambling to turn it back down during loud scenes when there was a surprise explosion or some gunfire. The upgrade presented a new problem however, where to place the speaker.

One thing that always seemed to be mentioned in reviews for the CS2 was that it was enormous. This thing means business, when opening the box I was in shock from it's sheer size. It's specs have it listed at 21.5" w, 8" tall and 11" deep, which is nearly four times as large as the speaker it is replacing, but that didn't truly set in until I had it out and could compare the two. The size of the speaker made finding a location to place it a problem as well.

My old speaker was small enough to sit in front of the television unobtrusively, while this one covers the IR port and about 2" of picture for the entire length of the speaker. On my set, this made the ESPN news ticker about 6" long, or about 2 or 3 words at a time. None of the shelves in my console are wide enough to accommodate it and to further complicate matters, I rent an small 1920's era house with plaster and brick walls This ruled out attaching a big enough shelf or mounting the set on the wall. I searched for stands that the TV could sit on so I could place the speaker underneath, but there was always some glaring issue that would make me pass, such as cost, not being sturdy enough for the weight of the TV, or not wide enough to accommodate the speaker.

The fix

Finally, right as I was making plans to build a custom shelf myself, I came across this post where an ingenious user had attached a shelf directly to the television. He mounted (2) 12x10" L-brackets directly to his set using the built in wall mounting holes used to bolt the TV to the wall mount. EUREKA!

Since my speaker looked to be slightly larger than his and I was concerned about the weight on the set, I decided to tweak his idea a tad. Instead of using the L-brackets, I decided to go with rails used for custom shelving systems. It was slightly more expensive then the brackets, but I felt more comfortable since it would spread the load across both sets of bolts along the back of the set.

What you'll need

I have a 54" TC-P54V10 and these are the parts I used. Of course, adjust the parts based on the size you require for your set.

  • (2) 12" Shelving brackets
  • (2) 30" Shelving rails
  • (4) 8mm x 40mm bolts, please note the size of the bolt depends on your set, so please consult your owners manual for the size of the mounting bolt.
  • (4) 8mm washers
  • (1) wood plank or shelf
  • Tools: ratchet, drill and bit large enough to drill another hole for the second mounting bolt (if needed).

Instructions

I attached a shelf bracket to one of the rails and lined up where the shelf would lie with the top of the set, luckily, the top pre-drilled hole on the rail lined up nearly perfectly with the top mounting hole on the set. Since I would have to drill the second hole for the lower mounting location, I employed a trick to line up the two bolt holes on the rail. I got a piece of wax paper and placed it over the back of the set. I was then able to use it like tracing paper and marked where the mounting holes were. Laying the wax paper on the rail I lined up the top hole with the marked dot on the paper, and drilled the second according to the other mark. Viola! Perfectly aligned holes

Once both rails are completed all that is needed is to attach the rails to the rear of the TV using the mounting bolts. I ratcheted the bolts down to semi-hand tight and added the brackets and the shelf. Here are my finished results:
Front view Rear view, attached to set Side view