Fine Tunes #4 Letters
Editor: I consider Jonathan Scull's "Fine Tunes" a great addition to Stereophile. While the speaker-placement grids (October '98, p.65) don't exactly work in my listening area "out of the box," they were a good starting point, and have resulted in better sound over time.
I wonder, though, how long this column can last without starting to repeat material. Here's a suggestion: select a few readers' systems and send someone out to tune them, reporting on what you found, what you did, and the results.
How about my system, which suffers from having to work in a square living room?—Mark Langner, Indianapolis, IN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to comment on how helpful Jonathan Scull's "Fine Tunes" column has been in setting up a system, especially to an audiophile as relatively "new" as myself. My question to Mr. Scull is this: Will all of these speaker-placement hints work for bipolar speakers as well? I own a set of Definitive Technology BP-10Bs, which I can't say enough about. They sound absolutely fabulous in my living room.—Jerry Flesher, Baltimore, MD, email@example.com
Thanks very much for your remarks, Mr. Flesher and Mr. Langner. It's always good to know when our efforts pay off. But a square room, Mr. Langer? [sucks though teeth, plumber-style] And offhand, I just don't know if the speaker-placement hints work for bipolar speakers, never having played with bipolars. So far, my only experience has been with bipolar personalities. But you knew that. If the Definitives sound absolutely fabulous in your living room, that is all that counts.—J-10
Editor: In the February Stereophile (p.11), reader Jerry Fleisher asked if the methodology outlined in Immedia's "Principles and Techniques of Speaker Placement" white paper ("Fine Tunes," October 1998) works for bipolar speakers as well. Although J-10 had no experience with bipolar speakers and could not comment, I can affirm that I've had excellent results using Immedia's approach for dipolar speakers.
My Alon Circe and Alon V Mk.II speakers have dipolar dispersion patterns in the midrange and high frequencies, and, although I had been getting good results via trial and error and by following the speaker designer's recommendations, I achieved an even more natural and extended bass response by rigorously following Perkins' horizontal and vertical grid approach. The methodology minimizes trial and error time and aids in dialing in the optimum speaker placement much faster.
Hats off to Allen Perkins of Immedia for making available to the public a methodology that can improve the sound of competing speaker designs!—Robert J. Reina, New York, NY