Hi.I'm in the painful quest (for me at least) of getting a good imaging in my stereo system. (Basically a NAD pre, Golden Theater amp and Triangle Antal ESW speakers). The thing is that I have experienced how wonderful, glorious and revealing music can be when you have your speakers well placed. I need a reference: does the voice (in most of the songs and styles from pop to rock from jazz to easy listening) always should come from the center? I am talking in a two speakers stereo system. It is because most of the times if not always, the voice always seems to come from the right side (not completely) but almost. I tried with the Stereophile Sampler CD, the channel phasing and the bass guitar seems to come not completely from the right but towards the right rather than in the complete center. Any other cd you recommend to get the perfect image. Sometimes I even get depressed for doing this as I just want to listen to music! I have tried the triangle setting, and well, the music sounds very nice but I have this question about the voice. Every insight will be very appreciated. Thank you much and please excuse my english as it is not my native language. Thanks again!
I tried with the Stereophile Sampler CD, the channel phasing and the bass guitar seems to come not completely from the right but towards the right rather than in the complete center.
If that is the case, then there something not quite right within your system.
Sometimes, it can even be caused by the placement of your speakers.
Do you have more than one source component? Do you experience the same problem with CD's, your tuner, your turn table, etc? If the problem occurs with every source, then the amp or pre-amp is the the most likely suspect. Is the output of each channel on your amp adjustable? Do you have an SPL (sound pressure level) meter to measure the volume of your system? If not, you can pick one up at Radio Shack for <$50 (get the analog unit). Everybody who is the slightest bit serious about the performance of their system should have one of these, IMHO. Give us some more info, and the other guys here will be able help, I'm sure.
Not every recording has a perfectly centered vocal but most will. I often recommend using a FM stereo channel as a source when starting speaker placement. Find such a channel which is broadcasting a single speaking voice. This is almost certain to be a dead center mixdown. Alternately, detune the channel and switch out the FM muting circuit. This should give you FM interstation noise that will be equal in amount on both channels. This noise, when reproduced properly, should appear dead center in a very tightly focused location. When hearing the speaking voice, it too should have that same quality of existing in a very tightly contained space while filling the adjacent space with ambient signal. If you have any doubts about how this should sound, ask someone to stand between your speakers and just say a few words. That focus is what you are aiming for in speaker and system set up. Keep in mind most recordings are "enhanced" to give false reverb and texture to the voice and will not always emulate that focus.
Begin by employing the Wilson W.A.S.P. speaker set up. This placement technique relies on the sound of your own voice in your own room and will greatly aid in accurate reproduction of vocals using your speakers in your room.
While it is typical to have fairly symmetrical placement of your speakers, room conditions might suggest otherwise. First, make certain you can bring the voice to the center of the soundstage. Use the balance control on your pre amp to center the voice. If this cannot be done, then you might have other problems in the system. Do not be afraid to use the balance control to center the voice in day to day use since most volume controls do not track equally on both channels and some imbalance is almost sure to happen as you advance and lower the master volume control. You give no information regarding your system's overall performance but it's quite possible the channels are not at all balanced equally and some attention or even repairs might need to be given to your components.
I would begin by placing the speakers in the center of the room about three feet apart. With this speaker position and you dead center in front of the speakers, you should certainly have a center image. If not, check your speakers for proper operation. It's possible you've damaged a speaker component that will affect overall quality. Move the speakers further apart by about one foot each move until you loose the focused center image. Bring the speakers back toward each other and proceed with the W.A.S.P. placement. If this doesn't give the desired results, let us know because there are probably larger issues that need attention. If you consistently hear bass shifted toward one side of the soundstage, there are very likely problems with the room that need to be addressed since most modern pop/rock recordings will place the bass instruments center stage to make life easier on the components and speakers.
I will simply add, in my experience with the Triangle Celius ESw, they don't begin to image and soundstage properly until they are at least 3 feet out from back wall, and continue to improve all the way out to 6 feet.
Thank you for all your answers. I think I got the name wrong, it's not the Celius ESW but the Antal ESW speakers. As other posted suggested it might be a problem with my pre-amp. My pre is a NAD C320BEE but in pre function, amped with a Golden Theater amplifier that has been experiencing a problem: it shuts up at will as if it was overheated, tough it isn't. I am thinking in replacing my stereo system and as I do love NAD and in my country there aren't that many options, I was looking forward to buy the NAD C162/C272 combo (pre and amp) or just a minor upgrade and get the NAD C325BEE. What I am afraid of is that I really LOVE the sound of my NADC320BEE and I am afraid that even tough they are supposed to sound better (the NAD C162/C272) they won't sound as good and maybe buy the NADC325BEE! Any insights about those NAD equipment? Thank you!
Thank you for all your answers. I think I got the name wrong, it's not the Celius ESW but the Antal ESW speakers.
I understood that, but they are almost identical speakers and I would suspect would require almost identical setup/placement procedures.
But hey...feel free to trash all the great responses and change the subject anytime.
upps sorry! But it wasn't completely out of topic as one member suggested it might be a problem with the pre/amp.
I'm in the painful quest (for me at least) of getting a good imaging in my stereo system.
The first step is to have absorption at the first reflection points on the side walls, ceiling, and floor. If you have a carpet that's good enough for the floor. Otherwise get some thick throw rugs and put one about halfway between you and each loudspeaker. Unless your room is very wide, like 20 feet or more, it's impossible to have good imaging without absorption at those reflection points.
I believe the original poster, onillaf (whose English is actually quite good by the way) stated that he knows he has some 'issues'.
My pre is a NAD C320BEE but in pre function, amped with a Golden Theater amplifier that has been experiencing a problem: it shuts up at will as if it was overheated, tough it isn't.
Until he has this problem remedied, pinpointing his exact cause of the off-center imaging will be fruitless.
Still, I believe everybody can benefit from Ethan's advise.
Over the past 2 years, my system has gone through a veritable whirlwind of changes one component at a time.
I started 14 yo with Signet 2-way monitor speakers, a Rotel RM980-BX amp, a SoundCraftsman pre-amp/tuner (heh heh, try and find info on that old relic) and then added a JVC universal CD/DVD/SACD player (universal....as in Everything sounded universally mediocre at best). Currently my system has evolved to a combined HT/2-ch rig with the emphasis on 2-ch.
For 2-ch use, a Cambridge Audio 640 v1 is fed to a Carver C-19 hybrid tube pre amp (run in full by-pass mode) feeding a recently factory refurbish Rotel RM990-BX amp, which is powering my self-made 68 litre, Baltic Birch ply solid poplar baffle, 75 lb. MTM (Mid-Tweeter-Mid) ported floor standing speakers (these have been compared with B&W 603 S2's in the same room and found to be their equal, if just the slightest bit shy on the low end).
Through all these individual so called
I can still on occasion find certain
The first thing to try is to swap the left and right speakers. If the previously right-shifted center image then moves to the left, it means that speaker has slightly more output than the other at certain frequencies. If not, then you know the speakers are properly matched and the problem lies elsewhere. You could then try playing a "centered" track of pink noise (or switch the pre-amp to mono, if you have that option) and measure the voltage across the terminals of both speakers. If the right speaker is receiving more voltage at any given volume setting, the problem is the amp. If not, time to work on the room.