You are here

Log in or register to post comments
papaned
papaned's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:21am
speaker placement

I found that speaker positioning was the most single significant factor in room sound. Once proper location was established from the walls, TOE-IN had a huge effect on soundstage and clarity. For many years, I listened to my system with inadequate toe-in. Sam Tellig's recent speaker review clued me in, and once I aimed the speakers at me-WOW !!

snickelfritz
snickelfritz's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 2 2005 - 12:07pm
Re: speaker placement

I've found that setting up the system to fire along a diagonal relative to room boundaries reduces room-based lower midrange coloration and allows listener positions at better locations relative to room standing waves. (smoother bass)
In my living room the difference is striking.

papaned
papaned's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:21am
Re: speaker placement

Sounds like toe-in to me. Don't be afraid to experiment by aiming the speakers from slightly behind your head [at the sweet spot]to about 6" in front.

300Binary
300Binary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 10:47am
Re: speaker placement

I like moving speakers around. I don't measure room response, I just listen. If it pleases you to think one position in the room is the best, fine. It pleases me to hear the differences, when I notice any, if I notice any, while I notice any. Back to the Music

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: speaker placement

I got new speakers a month ago and just set them up in same space as last ones. In free space and away from all walls, becuase the mid bass was a little boomy with my old speakers which had front firing ports. My new ones have rear firing ports. But I was dissatisfied with my new speakers, until I clicked and put them 12 inches from a rear wall instead of free standing to enhance midbass and make use of the wall to reflect rear port output.. . They lacked midbass, and sound stage and imaging, all of which magically appeared with a move of speaker location.

As they say in Real Estate, Location, Location, Location, can make a HUGE difference to speaker sound too.

bluesman
bluesman's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 21 2005 - 12:53pm
Re: speaker placement

As I'm dealing mostly with large rooms, coloration is not really an issue as much as coverage. I'm a fan of a distributed approach, directing the mid and high-frequencies at the audience/congregation members in less than idea seating areas. This takes advantage of the considerable absorption provided by the people.

At home I aimed the speakers at a diagonal, directed at the couch. That way the couch sucks up a good deal of sound, but it still has a chance to interact a bit with the beveled cielings and other architectural features.

Most music sounds really good in there because there is liveness but no real reverb. The stereo image is great, and by using a diagonal placement aimed at absorptive furniture (where I sit and listen) the effects of the room acoustics are minimized.

Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: speaker placement

With so many new small speakers entering the market designed for use with a subwoofer and mostly intended for AV applications, I've become increasingly aware of correct height in positioning speakers. I assume it is because of wide spread use of speakers in surround applications.

A really good example is the Polk R-15's that I purchased for my mom. I already had a Polk sub that I wasn't using and my mom is not as anal about audio as I am so I figured they would do the job. I quickly became impressed with the little Polks and sub combination, but I was startled at the peculiarity of needing to mount these speakers about 5 feet high to get the full benefit of its tweeter axis and dispersion characteristics.

papaned
papaned's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:21am
Re: speaker placement

Your comments raise anouther issue that I wrestled with for several years-how to squueze out low bass from my 2-channel free standing full-range speakers. Using my meter and Rives CD,I found that I lost soundstage when I tried to enhance low bass through speaker positioning. The two seemed to be mutually exclusive in my 12X18 dedicated room.
It wasn't until I came across some excellent technical articles by Dr.Toole of Harmon International that I realized my quest was futile.I sold my Van Schweikert VR-4's, which were capable of pridigous bass, and replaced them with 3-way Aerial 6's,positioned for soundstage, and an REL sub placed in one corner. I finally got what I was looking for-20 hz.to about 60hz. flat within a few db. blending with the Aerials that don't compete with the sub. I never got such good overall sound with any two freestanding speakers.

millenium
millenium's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 10 2005 - 7:53am
Re: speaker placement

i use of form of this with a radio shack digital sound meter. the article i read and i do not know or remember where i read it but it goes something like this. set the radio shack meter at c weighted and response at fast.playing whitenoise turn your volume up until the meter reads 80db from where you want to sit and listen. the 80 db is what the article mentioned and i believe is to make sure there is enough volume to detect the spl changes easier. what you are trying to do is get the spl. the same for each speaker. the farther you move the meter to each side of the room without any changes is what you are looking for. what you will find is that one speaker will be better than the other because of the room characteristics not being equal. once you patiently get the spl even put in some pinknoise and measure the spl again. what you are looking for again is the same spl from speaker to speaker. my speakers moving the meter has only a 1 db change playing pinknoise. now play some music. what you should get is a wall of equal sound pressure that will when listening to music have no music coming from the speakers. when adjusting the speakers dont be worried that they are not equal from the wall behind the speakers or the side wall. also in final adjusting you will most likely find that one speaker is not toed in the same as the other. no problem as you are trying to achieve equal spl levels. when achieved the sound should really show you how good 2 channel can sound. i hope this helps in setting up your speakers. if it does please post with your results.

bill

papaned
papaned's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:21am
Re: speaker placement

I'm all done positioning my speakers.You can't use pink noise to measure frequency response which is the sole purpose of this exercise. . I used a RS meter and Rives CD at the sweet spot only, so speaker placement symmetry is essential, when the speakers are properly matched. What you describe sounds chaotic.

millenium
millenium's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 10 2005 - 7:53am
Re: speaker placement

i use the whitenoise for speaker adjusting from my listening chair. again what i am trying to achieve is as close to equal spl readings from my listening chair as well as how far to the left and right it stays the same. i only use the pinknoise after to see how much difference the spl changes from the left and right speaker are. these readings are equal in changes for example 76db 77 76 77 76 for each speaker it shows me there is not large spikes in spl changes from where i sit. this gives me the best sound as far as speaker set up goes. as far as the speakers being unequal it makes sense to me as i never have been in any room that has the same frequency characteristics yet. you can look at the audiogon site under millenium system. this is under virtual systems and is under DONE FOR NOW. you will see that looking at the system that i does not look that different.the readings from side wall and from the front to the wall behind them. left speaker 53 3/4 inch from middle of speaker to side wall and 44 1/2 from front of speaker to the wall behind them. right speaker 53 1/4 from side wall and 44 inches from wall behind them. the toe in is slightly more on the left speaker then the right. the disc that i use is a audio test alignment cd tracklist/kja consulting-www.rainfall.com/cdroms. it was given to me by the company that upgraded my gear. if your done moving your speakers around and are happy fine but others may not be. they may find that this set up may yield far better results than using just your ear. i know it has for me.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: speaker placement

Ned,

> You can't use pink noise to measure frequency response ... I used a RS meter and Rives CD <

Test CDs with tones spaced at only 1/3 octave intervals are useless at the low frequencies where speaker placement matters. In order to see the true response at low frequencies you need much finer resolution. The ETF software I use resolves to 0.7 Hz. Anything else hides the true response. The graph below shows the response in a typical 16 by 10 by 8 foot room, measured at 1 Hz resolution. Note the peak/dip pair at 110 and 121 Hz where the response varies a staggering 32 dB across a range smaller than one musical whole step. This response is completely hidden when viewed at only 1/3 octave.

--Ethan

millenium
millenium's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 10 2005 - 7:53am
Re: speaker placement

i agree you cannot use pinknoise to set up speakers. i am not measuring frequency response with the whitenoise either. i just want to get the spl as even as i can from where i sit. i just run the pinknoise to see how much spl changes there is going across the room. when the whitenoise is a close as i can possibly get,i notice the pinknoise measured from the spl meter has less fluxuations. when not right, it can vary by 8-10 db on one side and not match anywhere near the other speaker. finalizing these changes to be as close to equal can be a movement of only 1/8 inch either way. now when i listen and rotate my head i do not hear a drop in sound pressure or a shift in sound from one speaker to the other. this is what always frustrated me setting up speakers by ear. one would be more open the other would seem closed down. i decided that if i could match spl levels this may eliminate this. it did and the way the music is reproduced in the room now has a level of consistant energy coming at me . i believe you are finding the spots in the room that are pressurizing it more equal. what else would it be that the spl readings are the same when running whitnoise. i am far from an expert but i know after 30 yrs in this "hobby" when your ears tell you, you are on to something. it just sounds a whole lot better. more energy and dynamics might be a better way to put it. i believe the owner of YBA EQUIPMENT in france beleives that all these adjectives, stage depth, imaging are not on recordings at all. yeah i go to concerts and all the people talk about is listen to that depth and imaging????? getting a equal spl gives you a different perspective of how the recording sounds. this way to me sounds right. i have lisened to them both and this setup seems more realistic to a cetain degree as its still a reproduction of the real thing. better, but far from real.

papaned
papaned's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:21am
Re: speaker placement

Hopefully, these wild swings are hidden from my ears as well.As a practical matter, they're probably uncorrectable, so I'll just ignore them and enjoy the music.

ethanwiner
ethanwiner's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 2:26pm
Re: speaker placement

Folks,

Just a coupla points:

> i agree you cannot use pinknoise to set up speakers <

Actually, pink noise works fine. But you have to analyze it to much finer than the typical 1/3 or 1/6 octave. There's no inherent reason pink noise won't work to 1/100th octave or whatever. Just that no test CDs do that.

> As a practical matter, they're probably uncorrectable <

That response can be improved enormously with bass traps.

--Ethan

millenium
millenium's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 10 2005 - 7:53am
Re: speaker placement

if put in the words visual ear software and hit search there is a section if you scroll down that talks about how to use a radio shack meter to set up speakers. it goes into depth with using pink noise and using a stereophile test cd2 and 3 i believe. using whitenoise to measure spl levels first shows less spl drops. the pink noise shows the spl changes faster with greater changes as you move towards each side wall. the amount of time you want to spend reducing these spl changes depends on how fussy you want to be. how far to the left and the right that it matters i do not know. from my listening chair with this setup gives me a solid energy of sound that doesnt cause shifts in frequency's as i rotate myhead. there is also on the home page of stereo times that talks about the subject ambiophonics 2nd addition. it talks about the issues with stereo and in one of the chapters talks about this phenominum of sound shifting that creates a change in the sound when moving your head to the left and right.the setup that i mentioned is the only way that i can reduce it. i could never get the speakers set up by ear that gives me the sound that i have now. i have used this method for years and it seems to work from different rooms and systems that i have had.

stereojoe
stereojoe's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Oct 9 2005 - 7:45pm
Re: speaker placement

since the topic is speaker placement just thought i would throw in my 2 cents. i was testing some B&W 802D's running off of Classe M400's and a SSP 600. we noticed that in the accousticlly treated room even the slightest change in position was drastic in the mids(this was with the 802's aimed to center of the room). so we moved the 802's so they were aiming not at a dead 90 degree but probably 75 degrees. once we did this we noticed that the mids were much smoother thru out the room. but then the highs seemed to be very directional and not even thru out the room. anyways i guess the possibilities are endless and i could spend the next 20 years trying but until i build a sphere and put the gear in there ill have to deal with it.

nunhgrader
nunhgrader's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 9:25pm
Re: speaker placement


Quote:
Some years ago, Stereophile had a sidebar to a review article which provided, in my opinion, the best and most practical blue print for speaker placement in a room. It utilized a sound meter at the listening position and suggested, if I recall correctly, some basic starting points. I don't have that article, but I memorized it at the time, and have used it successfully over the years to experiment with my speakers at different locations.
Can anyone identify this article and its author ?

I'd like to 2nd this request!

Windzilla
Windzilla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Oct 19 2005 - 10:10pm
Re: speaker placement


Quote:

Quote:

Can anyone identify this article and its author ?

I'd like to 2nd this request!

I 2nd the 2nd

Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: speaker placement

Here is a nice little piece on speaker positioning that also has a link at the bottom to explore.

gkc
gkc's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: speaker placement

Yo, Monty. Thanks for posting an easy access to the Cardas speaker placement instructions. I didn't proceed past the first page (the general ratios he lists): too much detail stresses out my tiny brain. But, in my 26' X 13.5' X 8' living room, it turns out that my Triangle Volante pair are almost exactly Cardas' recommended distances from the rear wall, as you face the system ... about 6'. This, after much grunting and schlepping around. Would have been simpler if I had just seen Cardas first. I DO have the speakers about 9" closer to each side wall than he recommends, and they create a wider sound stage where I have them, with no loss of center fill. This MAY be due to my use of the Acoustic Lens devices and their promise to eliminate "slap" echo. I think their use allows me to set the speakers closer to the side walls with no penalty in smearing or screech. Cheers, Clifton.

imispgh
imispgh's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 7 hours ago
Joined: May 23 2006 - 10:37am
Re: speaker placement

I have what might be an easier way - and it's tailored to your ears. Get Roger Water's Amused to Death - which is recorded in Q sound. If the speakers are placed right (and the room isn't in bad shape) you will hear the sounds coming from far left/right - very far from your speakers. if something is off - by even a little - you will hear these sounds collapse back to the speakers.

mikeymad
mikeymad's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 31 2006 - 4:06pm
Re: speaker placement

the killer sound of the Q....

I used Roger's album many times when setting up a system. And it does require very precise setup. It is a much higher standard for setting up for a stereo listening field than any type of measure and place system. I used to move my speakers in very small quarter inch and less increments, and adjust the angle to the listening position by the degree, until it would snap in to place and you literally step into the soundscape on that album. I know the first three tracks on that album very very very well.

There is also a Sting and a Madonna album out there as well. But nothing to match the Roger album.

Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: speaker placement

Is it true that the album and CD have different mixes of the tunes?

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: speaker placement

Hi Monty

Yes,it is true.Although i've only played the lp once,i do know the songs pretty well and at least one song(don't remember which one) was different.Like a studio vs live performance.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: speaker placement

Yes,that is true.I have 3 versions of "amused to death".
One is the lp version and the other 2,the USA cd and the "normal" Japaneese one.The JP one is superior in sound but both have a unique feature.I call it "surround mode" lol
Believe-it-or-not,i must have listened to this cd over 100 times and yet everytime i listen to it,i get a bit scared.
I can hear sounds coming from behind me.It is as if you listen through a home-theater setup.There are sounds coming from behind you,especially at the end and beginning of songs.This is something i have only experienced with VERY FEW cds.Probably 3 or 4.

imispgh
imispgh's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 7 hours ago
Joined: May 23 2006 - 10:37am
Q-Sound set up

Een though I suggested this CD be used for set up I have never been abl to get the sounds to come from behind. I get them almost directly left and right from where I sit but that is it. Then again - due to my room - I can only get the speakers 2 ft from the walls (however I do treat all first order reflections even the celing). I wonder if my speakers just won't permit it? On which tracks do you hear this?

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Q-Sound set up

Hi there

My room isn't too large.Around 18.5x23.5 feet on plans.If we take bookshelves etc out of the equation,i suppose that leaves us around 16x20 feet and i have my speakers placed along the width,ir their backs on the 20 feet wall.Had them on the other wall but was forced to remove them due to some sound "suck-outs" and i am talking something in the region of 9 db at 80 hz.
Anyway,i can't remember exactly which songs produce this effect,but two that comes to mind are the "too much rope" and "what god wants pt2".The transition between them especially,is very profound of this effect.

mikeymad
mikeymad's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 31 2006 - 4:06pm
Re: Q-Sound set up


Quote:
Een though I suggested this CD be used for set up I have never been abl to get the sounds to come from behind. I get them almost directly left and right from where I sit but that is it. Then again - due to my room - I can only get the speakers 2 ft from the walls (however I do treat all first order reflections even the celing). I wonder if my speakers just won't permit it? On which tracks do you hear this?

...Anyway,i can't remember exactly which songs produce this effect,but two that comes to mind are the "too much rope" and "what god wants pt2".The transition between them especially,is very profound of this effect.

The opening track has stuff ping-ponging around, also the transition into 'Perfect Sense Pt 1'. The full 'surround' effect is an elusive one to get. I think that it is partially encoded that way, and the rest is a pseudo-acoustic effect (i.e. if something is directly in front of you or directly behind you, sometimes you can't identify where it comes from). This is were the setup on this is so tight. If it is off my a couple of degrees or by a half inch or so, it will fall apart. The audio clues have to be very close to perfect. Also I think that in some ways you have to let the sounds go behind you as well. There were times that the sound would travel behind me and times when the sound would just go very deep into the soundstage between the speakers. In my old setup, when I could really hear these effects, I also treated the first reflections as well (side walls only).

The crazy Q stuff. I would like to have a lot more of it. It looks like it is used in a lot of video games. Oh well...

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Q-Sound set up

Can't we find out which other cd records were/are recorded using Q-Sound ?

mikeymad
mikeymad's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 31 2006 - 4:06pm
Re: Q-Sound set up


Quote:
Can't we find out which other cd records were/are recorded using Q-Sound ?

Well, Wikipedia gives this:
Pink Floyd's live album from their 1994 tour P*U*L*S*E and ex-band member Roger Waters' third solo album Amused to Death were mixed in QSound, as were Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages and Madonna's first greatest hits album, The Immaculate Collection. The soundtrack to Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves was mixed in QSound.

qsound web site talks about a plug in product:

ultra Q

Hmmmm, and it is on sale. Anybody want to spend $30 on some snake oil and let us know how it works out?

Anyway, I did find a source off of their site. You may not like the list, but here it is...

Q-Sound Albums

There might be a handfull to add to the collection of fun stuff to listen to.

Sorry to all that we stole the thread....
cheers

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Q-Sound set up

Thanks Mikeymad

I checked the web site you mentioned.Now i understand.When first got out,i purchased that live roger water's sacd,don't remember the title right now but i remember i was very excited about the way this particular sacd sounded.
It is recorded with q-sound.Plus,it has awsome bass.
Now,a word of caution to those who would like to experiment with q-sound cd.Eventually,you will begin to hear sounds and effects all around the room.Don't be tempted to turn your head.The effect will be lost.Also,the effect is MUCH more pronounced if you have your speakers pointing at you and your sitting position in an equilatteral triangle.Not sure if the typo is correct but you know what i mean

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading