Getting the Best from Your Loudspeakers Further Reading

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ratfink454's picture

I love this article and will be using the principles and the CD to set up my speakers but I have a dumb question I need answered before I get started.  For the purpose of calculating the Golden ratio, by "woofer" I assume you mean the largest driver in the cabinet.  Some companies call the speaker just larger than the tweeter a woofer, especially if it is over 6" in diameter.  So am I correct in assuming the "woofer is the largest driver.

Also, I have a floor-standing speaker that has a vertical array of 3 of these largest drivers towards the bottom of the cabinet.  WHere do I measure from - the center of the middle one?

Thanks for any help you can give.  Since starting to read Stereophile, the little adjustments made so far have opened up a whole new world of music.  I hear a broad and deep sound stage with seperate instruments and voices coming from well in front of and behind the speakers and they extend well beyond the width of the speakers as well.

 

Steve

John Atkinson's picture

ratfink454 wrote:
am I correct in assuming the "woofer is the largest driver.

Yes, the largest driver is the woofer and you measure distances from the center of its dust cap.

ratfink454 wrote:
I have a floor-standing speaker that has a vertical array of 3 of these largest drivers towards the bottom of the cabinet.  WHere do I measure from - the center of the middle one?

If your speakers have more than one woofer, it gets complicated, as each of the woofers will be a different height from the floor. Start by measuring from the dustcap of the midpoint of the woofer array but be prepared to experiment more than usual with positioning to get the smoothest response through the upper bass and lower midrange.

If you have a large tower speaker with widely spaced woofers, one at the top and one at the  bottom, like the old Dunlavys - see, for example, http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/162/index.html - then it is possible that you will not be able to find a position that is optimal for both of the woofers

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

allanb's picture

 

Interesting article: it leaves me with a couple of questions. 

I have speakers which I think are quite good (KEF Concerto Two) but my room is large and rather irregular; for example, on one side there is not really a side wall, rather an open space with a staircase going up from it.  In addition, the floor is tiled and the walls are also hard (stone and plaster).  I have been suffering from some form of mild echo or resonance, apparently provoked by bass notes.  Speaker placement may be the only significant thing that I can change.

I have tried to make use of one of the "rules" you suggest, concerning the ratio of about 1.6 between the woofer and various surfaces.   The distance from the floor to the midpoint of the woofer (actually, the half-way point between two identical units) is 68 cm.  In accordance with your example, it would be good to have a distance of about 110 cm between that point and the rear wall (which isn't practicable), but it seems to me from your article that in theory it would work just as well to make that distance about 42 cm, i.e. reversing the ratio.  Question one: does this make sense?

Anyway, I tried it and couldn't detect any improvement.  However, if I then change the angle of the speakers so that their centre lines are at about 45º from the wall, the resonance (if that's what it is) appears to go away.  

Of course, if it works, I should be happy, and so I am.  But it would be interesting to know whether there is any theoretical basis for the result, hence question two: can the angle of the speaker affect echo or resonance from the rear wall?  

Incidentally, the speaker centre lines now intersect well forward of the listening position, but I'm not aware of losing anything as a result.

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