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geoffkait
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Speaker Placement, some comments

Speaker set-up

PROPOSITION: It's important to get the speakers in the ideal locations for best sound. Unfortunately, the precise locations say within a 1/8" or 1/4" for each speaker or whatever is not really achievable by ear. Something like the speaker set up track on the XLO Test CD is required, I.e., a methodological way to find the precise locations for ANY speakers in ANY room. The problem with trying to do this by listening a little and moving a little is that you will never find the REAL ABSOLUTE BEST LOCATIONS, only the LOCAL MAXIMUM locations. You might find GOOD locations, even VERY GOOD locations, by ear but you won't find the ABSOLUTE BEST ones. It's like trying to solve two simultaneous equations in three unknowns. You will never find the REAL ABSOLUTE BEST LOCATIONS, only the LOCAL MAXIMUM locations. At least the odds are stacked against it. You might find GOOD locations, even VERY GOOD locations by ear, but you won't find the ABSOLUTE BEST ones. It's like trying to solve two simultaneous equations in three unknowns. The other problem with speaker set up is that many folks believe that speakers need to be wide apart for best sound. That's actually an old wives tale. Always start determining proper speaker placement with speakers relatively close together, say 4 feet. In many cases the speakers are much to far apart to obtain proper staging and center fill and toeing them in only compounds the problem.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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learn your room

Got busy all of a sudden but I'll get back to this one.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
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Were waiting...
michael green wrote:

Got busy all of a sudden but I'll get back to this one.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

I'm waiting with bated breath.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dyn-o-mite

pablolie
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the accepted rule by several

the accepted rule by several industry standards is the 60 degree triangle, strictly depending on your listening position relative to the speakers (you obviously sit at the tip of the triangle). but we all know it takes some optimization from that.

which doesn't mean there's a standard to setting up microphones and stuff in a recording studio, or that the whimsical mix of different musicians recording in different studios being mixed in will sound as if they're in a stage...

i have had big listening rooms in two previous homes, and yet always kept my speakers no more than 7-8 feet apart (6 feet now in a smaller room). and i have heard great setups with 5 feet. and seldom heard good directionality and resolution with over 8 feet, no matter what the room is like (havent listened to BW Nautilus in a soccer stadium yet).... i like speakers that aren't waaaaay too directional, so if i feel a speaker requires extreme toe in, naw, not the speaker for me. i like more music being projected evenly across the room, and it can be done.

i *do* however believe the standard rule of a 60 degree triangle is a must, and one simply has to play with slight tow in and inches of movement from there. for your reference, favorite recordings. it will always be a compromise, but to hell with moving my speakers because the recording engineer for some album placed the mikes and mixed stuff differently.

60 degree triangle rule covers most recording cases. toe in by slight degrees recommended. and the slight degrees are the tough part.

michael green
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big question

I thought more would have responded, and maybe they will.

There are so many types of rooms, and speakers and personal tastes that go into what the listeners likes or doesn't like that it's impossible to say "do this and you'll like it". It really comes down to how far someone wants to go and if they have the equipment that will get them there.

Far-field listeners setup things differently than mid-field, near-field and extreme nearfield listeners. Than there's thirds listeners and rear wall listeners two different fields again.

Here's another bigger, where the person is and the conditions they are listening in. If you have plaster or marble or concrete walls they are going to respond differently than wood or dry-wall walls. All floors sound different as well and have huge affects on the speaker placement.

I like tuning the center pressure zone so I set my speakers as wide as they can possibly go then tune in that center with floorstander acoustical treatments. People who don't use acoustical tuning usually set their speakers closer together, but not all. Some rooms have good sounding side walls and some are horrible.

There are so many tricks out there to tune a recording, I recommend getting to know your room and use it as an extention of the loudspeaker. When I setup rooms I try to get to know the listener first and then setup a series of things they can play with. Like most people will say I pick a basic setup to start with for them and go one direction and by what they say will start to guide them based on their own hearing and likes.

as well

There are some tools coming out in the future that are going to help listeners a ton with setups. When I read about them I had to try them out and I have to say was pretty impressed. As I find more info on them I'll share it, but I think it's going to help out audiophiles a bunch. There were lots of companies displaying wearables at the CES that monitor your bodies reaction to things that we do, like the way we respond to sounds we don't like, and what makes us feel the most comfortable while listening. When I tried it, I thought this would be a fantastic tool for listeners and I was shocked at how accurate these monitors are. I watched several people do different types of testing on things they normally do during the day and you can tell if something is right or to your liking by the way the monitors read you.

pretty cool stuff

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

pablolie
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hi michael -

hi michael -

excellent points indeed. while pretty much every speaker manufacturer promotes this perfect scenario
http://www.focal.com/en/content/437-position-of-hifi-stereo-speakers

the fact is most listening rooms in the real world are quite compromised, hence adjustments (something very drastic) need to be made. i have always been quite lucky in my room choices, because i simply have always been able to not compromise on speaker placement and pick a room (and wall) as soon as i move into a place, and set up stuff in that room around the optimal position of the speakers. but perhaps that explains why i have been divorced twice. :-D

but with many rooms a *lot* of experimentation needs to take place, up to optimal use of a mid-sized cat as a bass trap. :-)

geoffkait
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It doesn't have to be so, uh, difficult
pablolie wrote:

hi michael -

excellent points indeed. while pretty much every speaker manufacturer promotes this perfect scenario
http://www.focal.com/en/content/437-position-of-hifi-stereo-speakers

the fact is most listening rooms in the real world are quite compromised, hence adjustments (something very drastic) need to be made. i have always been quite lucky in my room choices, because i simply have always been able to not compromise on speaker placement and pick a room (and wall) as soon as i move into a place, and set up stuff in that room around the optimal position of the speakers. but perhaps that explains why i have been divorced twice. :-D

but with many rooms a *lot* of experimentation needs to take place, up to optimal use of a mid-sized cat as a bass trap. :-)

The reason I started this thread in the first place was to indicate that experimentation for finding speaker placement is not only unnecessarily long and tedious but actually quite unnecessary. That's where the speaker placement track on the XLO Test CD comes in. As you continually improve the acoustics in the room it's a good idea to pull out the XLO Test CD from time to time and, you guessed it, find the new ideal locations! As I indicated tryng to find the absolute best locations by trial and error is like trying to solve two equations in three unknowns. We've all been there, right? Lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

Reed
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I use the method outlined at Cardas

http://www.cardas.com/room_setup_main.php

I start with this setup method and then Tweek a bit from there.

michael green
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those cats!

"hi michael -

excellent points indeed. while pretty much every speaker manufacturer promotes this perfect scenario
http://www.focal.com/en/content/437-position-of-hifi-stereo-speakers

the fact is most listening rooms in the real world are quite compromised, hence adjustments (something very drastic) need to be made. i have always been quite lucky in my room choices, because i simply have always been able to not compromise on speaker placement and pick a room (and wall) as soon as i move into a place, and set up stuff in that room around the optimal position of the speakers. but perhaps that explains why i have been divorced twice. :-D

but with many rooms a *lot* of experimentation needs to take place, up to optimal use of a mid-sized cat as a bass trap. :-)"

Those cats will get it right every time :)

I've personally never found rooms to be anything but a huge plus for the hobby! They're the listeners best friend once we learn them. And like you've said hunting around the house for the best listening room is a blast. I have a system in every room (not including my bathrooms). As you can see on http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ we get pretty extreme with our listening madness.

For myself I enjoy shaping the sound till it gets close to the original, or any particular flavor I'm in the mood for.

LOL, my brother is on his 5th wife

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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