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General Discussion of Speaker Placement

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by LarryB, May 26, 2007.

  1. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Getting speakers aways from boundaries (walls and a center TV) can be very benefical, and of course a very large room allows that to a greater extent than most. Although you described the effect this has on soundstage, it is worth bearing in mind that speaker placement can also have very pronounced effects on tonal balance. While maximal distance between speakers leads to the largest soundstage (which may or may be equated wth the "best" soundstage - - a topic for another day), it does not always lead to the best tonal balance. Optimal set-up is actually a balance between soundstage and tonal balance. Right now I am using a pair of speakers which sound best when pulled way out into my room. However, they sound best (to my ear) whe I position them about 2 feet closer to the front wall, rather than exactly at he half-way point. And keep in mind, that this is different for every room, and for every pair of speakers.

    Take your time and experiment, as even small changes in placement can sometimes have large effects on he sound. Enjoy!!!

    Larry
     
  2. Michael P

    Michael P New Member

    If you've got speakers with wide dispersion and complete baffle step compensation, then is a placement way out into the room (for good soundstaging) also the optimum for tone?
     
  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Its all about striking a balance. Moving your speakers rarely changes only ONE thing. So you have to pick your compromise. There are things Mike's system could probably do better if he moved the speakers but it might screw up the imaging/soundstage which is important to him. Its all a balancing act.
     
  4. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    You guys that can actually move your speakers around the room really piss me off...

    :D
     
  5. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Michael:

    A question that must be considered is, what constitutes the "best" soundstage? The bottom line is that there is no absolute answer, as this is purely subjective. It is often tacitly accepted that "bigger is better," a POV I personally do not share.

    And as CJ and I both mentioned, when one alters the soundstage, one usually also alters the tonal balance. As with everything in audio, it's all about prioriites and acheiving the best balance.

    Larry
     
  6. Michael P

    Michael P New Member

    Larry,

    Oh, my priorities are messed up enough that I'm not touching that subject! My personal experience has been that I place the speakers in the practical location where they have the best tone, and then deal with whatever soundstage comes out of them. :) (After a lot of experimentation in my small rooms, both ended up with long-wall placement.)

    I made that post because I was wondering if you think room reflections are "needed" for the right tone. (I'm sure they contribute to a natural soundstage, but don't worry about that.) What if the speakers had anechoically flat response?

    To answer your question though, I would imagine that a characteristic of good soundstage is I've had the feeling of "cloudiness" from reflections that makes it hard for my ear to "physically" separate subtle faraway sounds from the rest of the music. I am not sure how I factor size in; I'm happy with speakers that contain the soundstage between them, except when you start bringing the volume up and it starts to leap out at you.
     
  7. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Michael:
    A man after my own heart!! :)

    Many speakers are abosolutely designed for room gain, not only in the bass but in the higher frequencies as well. The DeVore Fidelity Silverback is one such example with which I am familiar. Without the benefit or some room reflections, many speakers sound dull. Needless to say, room reflections can also be detrimental.

    Nice description.

    Larry
     
  8. Ed P

    Ed P Member

    CJ Paul - your statement
    "Its all about striking a balance. Moving your speakers rarely changes only ONE thing. So you have to pick your compromise. There are things Mike's system could probably do better if he moved the speakers but it might screw up the imaging/soundstage which is important to him. Its all a balancing act."

    I'm impressed. Solid observation. Shows growth/experience way above average. Took me many more years than it has for you.
     
  9. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Thank you, I'm honored. I mean when Larry makes observations about my progression in the hobby, well, its Larry, but coming from you that means a lot to me. (no seriously, except for the slam at Larry).
     
  10. Chris White

    Chris White New Member

    That statement does show good insight CJ. Where did you hear it?

    ;)
     
  11. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

  12. Michael P

    Michael P New Member

    David,

    Where was that suggested?
     
  13. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Sound stage and tonal balance really have nothing to do with each other.
     
  14. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I don't think anyone has said that in this thread. Larry said the placement with the best soundstage will NOT always yield the best tonal balance. I said you have to strike a balance. Larry reiterates that when you change position to optimize one thing you are often also impacting another thing. Then a few comments follow about people's personal experience etc. No where in there is anyone saying that soundstage will lead to poor tone. Now in your last post you say that a larger soundstage CAN lead to a poor tonal balance. I think this is certainly true. If you take a small mini monitor in a large room, its going to have the largest soundstage far from the room boundaries but it is likely going to sound thinner than if it were closer to the walls. Its all about what CAN happen, no one is saying what WILL.
     
  15. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I've made some edits to some posts here and removed the end few posts all together when it became a back and forth about who said what. If you want to discuss speaker placement, do so here, but keep it general. If you want to discuss Eric's visit with Mike, do so in the other thread.
     
  16. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    I made some edits too, since my initial comment was made because of the initial thread being ABOUT Mike's system.

    Unless you listen to headphones or to speakers in an acoustic suspension alignment and only in the near field, you cannot attribute what you hear to the speakers alone as you are listening to the overall effects of the system in the environment. Loudspeaker position, along with every other item and surface in the room, and the room's geometry, will effect what gets to your ears. This is a basic acoustics fact.
     
  17. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Apple-solutely. Virtually every aspect of the room - - its size, shape, construction, etc. - - have a profound effect on many (nearly all?) aspects of the sound we hear. Finding the correct balance between the various sonic attributes is not wasy, though it can be very informative.
     
  18. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I have no clue what wasy is, but I bet setting up speakers is not wasy.
     
  19. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    LOL. "Easy."

    BTW, isn't this something you came to a fuller appreciation of during Carl's recent visit to your home?
     
  20. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Yes, having someone moving your speakers WIHLE you're listening from the sweet spot was a jaw dropping experience.
     

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