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Mike Rubin
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Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room placement?

I've posted this on other forums and, while I have gotten some interesting responses, I have not gotten the information I hope to get from asking my questions. If you've read this elsewhere before, I apologize for the duplication.

I have a horrible listening room. There is no wall space, but there is lots of furniture in the middle of the room. The speakers have to go on the side of the room that has a bay window, flanking a table, with my equipment cabinet off to one side on the left facing wall and a built-in bookcase on the other side on the right facing wall. There actually is a sofa between the speakers and the sweet spot. As I said, it's just horrible and no speaker can do its best in that environment.

Until recently, I had powered Infinity Intermezzo 2.6's and a matching sub. All things considered, they did well, since the speakers were mounted on stands high enough for them to play "over" the couch. Unfortunately, though, they did not mate so well with the sub (which was between the right speaker and the built-in bookshelf), nor my old-fashioned electrical system, which frequently blew out their internal electrical components every time my wife ran the microwave while her mother ironed, even though the speakers all were plugged into a power conditioner. I have moved them to a second home where they won't be subject to such peaks and power failures.

Because of the subwoofer mating issues, I now am looking for floorstanding speakers that don't care so much about where they are located. Ideally, they would not have internal amplification, would have their tweeters at a height (say 40 inches) that would give them a fighting chance over the furniture, and would not be wider than about fourteen inches (the width of the Infinities on stands).

Here are products sold in San Francisco (where I reside) in which I have been interested and that might fit into the space physically. If anyone has experience with these particular products, it would be great to know if you found them very sensitive to room placement, not so much to sound their best, but, rather, to sound at least adequate without a lot of fussing:

Revel F32 and F12
Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1
Definitive Technology ST (although powered)
Totem (several models in my price range)
Triangle (several models in my price range)
Dali (several models in my price range)
NHT Classic Fours
Silverline Preludes

Amplification is a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated. Sources are vinyl and digital. Budget is around three or four grand a pair. Thanks for your help.

Elk
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

This is an interesting question and a tough challenge. Hopefully you won't get any of unproductive demeaning responses such as "move the furniture", "don't get anything worthwhile as your room sucks", etc.

All of the speakers you list are nice quality transducers. I don't know what would work best.

I am sure that you have heard this already, but stay away from planer, dipole and anything with a broad dispersion pattern.

One idea: is there a way to mount the speakers from the ceiling and angle them toward the listening spot? If they could be hung so that the tweeter is 50" off of the ground for example the sound might "clear" the coach better.

Good luck!

smejias
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Hi Mike.
I spent a good amount of time listening to the Totem Arros, matched up with a Musical Fidelity A3.5 integrated, in a small living room, and loved the sound. Perhaps most important for your situation, I found the Arros very flexible; placement wasn't a very big deal. Plus, they're slim and light, which makes them easy to move around. I imagine the Silverline Preludes are similar, in that respect.

Mike Rubin
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Thanks, gents. I appreciate Stephen's Totem suggestion. I like the line, generally, but am not fond of the local dealer, so would not ordinarily put them at the top of the list for that reason alone. However, it is good to know you've had positive experiences with the particular speakers. Elk, my previous postings led to some sort of "funny" responses to the effect that I am pu$$ywhipped and ought to show my wife who's boss when it comes to living room decor and that I ought to save my money and just get any old POS because no speaker could sound good in the environment I describe. I appreciate your positive messaging (but, for whatever it is worth, ceiling mounts would not be my choice due to obtrusiveness into the window area and the difficulty of running wire through lath and plaster walls). I hope that other posters have experience with some of the other speakers I am considering.

RGibran
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

My personal experience with the Triangle Celius esw is they require a minimum of 3 feet from the back wall and preferably 5 to 6 feet.

I recall Kal Rubinson, in his Stereophile review of the Revel stating they performed very well against the wall as well as out into the room. You should be able to find the review here at the website.

RG

Mike Rubin
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Thanks, RG. Shame about the Celius needing that much space from the wall. The Antal esw actually was towards the top of my list and I'd have stretched to have gotten the Celius if it made more sense in my application than the Antal. Do you know if the same requirements extend to the Antal esw?

Yiangos
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Mike,i am not 100% sure what you meen by "room placement".
Are you trying to avoid room "modes" or you want a pair of loudspeakers that will sound good any place you position them? Based on personal experience,the only loudspeakers that can play anywhere you place them and defeat most room modes too,is transmission line loudspeakers with the port prefferably at the front..Have a look at I.M.fried,if the company is still around
Not sure if they have a floorstander within your price range
but it is worth a look.

59mga
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Mike,

RG is correct regarding placement of the Revel's. I had given them a listen back in the fall and they sounded very nice, even being close to the wall. Maybe it doesn't have a back firing port?! (Check out the review.)

As for the Triangles...I had also listened to them (both the Celius & Antal). Didn't give it a thought at the time but, as RG pointed out, they were a few feet from the wall.
When I went back for a second listen the dealer no longer carried that brand. Makes me wonder why.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Mike Rubin
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla


Quote:
Mike,i am not 100% sure what you meen by "room placement".
Are you trying to avoid room "modes" or you want a pair of loudspeakers that will sound good any place you position them? Based on personal experience,the only loudspeakers that can play anywhere you place them and defeat most room modes too,is transmission line loudspeakers with the port prefferably at the front..Have a look at I.M.fried,if the company is still around
Not sure if they have a floorstander within your price range
but it is worth a look.

Thanks for the inquiry. I am not trying to avoid room modes at all. I am more interested in having the speakers image properly and not sound congested or boomy if I have to have them located close to a wall, near a window, and without strict line-of-sight-to-the-sweet-spot. It sounds as though the Revels might be worthy contenders from the comments here and that the Triangles might be less so. I appreciate the information!

smejias
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

Oh! I just remembered the Sjofn Guru loudspeakers, which are designed with room considerations in mind, and sounded really great at the Home Entertainment Show. If you can find a dealer, you might want to consider them.

stuartk
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla


Quote:
modes too,is transmission line loudspeakers with the port prefferably at the front..Have a look at I.M.fried,if the company is still around
Not sure if they have a floorstander within your price range
but it is worth a look.

The company is Fried Products and they have a web site where you can see their current models.

RGibran
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla


Quote:
Do you know if the same requirements extend to the Antal esw?

Sorry Mike, I do not and I hesitate to speculate particularly when it comes to speakers.

RG

Mike Rubin
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla


Quote:
Oh! I just remembered the Sjofn Guru loudspeakers, which are designed with room considerations in mind, and sounded really great at the Home Entertainment Show. If you can find a dealer, you might want to consider them.

Thank you, Stephen. I've looked into these and they might work (although they are kind of f-ugly, if you ask me). I've started correspondence with the company at zendada@w-link.net and have learned a bit about the products and their distribution. Unfortunately, they are in short supply, so it might be a bit of a wait until I can hear the Guru. Nonetheless, I appreciate your pointing me in this direction.

DannyE
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Re: Are any of these speakers particularly forgiving of room pla

In a general sense, is it safe to say that a front-ported speaker will sound better if it is placed closer to the back wall, than a rear-ported one, due to space limitations?

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