space between stereo speakers

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milford moore
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space between stereo speakers

Post by milford moore » 12 Mar 2019 17:14

Hello, All
Due to limited space in my living room there is a small sofa in between my two speakers. This has always bugged me. Am I correct in thinking that, ideally, there should be NOTHING between the speakers in terms of obtaining optimum sound performance, separation, etc? Or does it make no difference at all?

Cheers!
milford moore

Alec124c41
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by Alec124c41 » 12 Mar 2019 17:36

Having them, or at least the tweeters and mids, above the level of the arms would probably be best. It's more important to have nothing between the speakers and your ears.

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zlartibartfast
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by zlartibartfast » 12 Mar 2019 18:11

Yes you didn't specify whether the speakers are on the floor or on stands....or table?

As Alec124c41 has said, keep clear space between the tweeters and your ears whenever possible. The tweeters convey most of the "stereo" information in the music. The woofers, not so much

audiopile
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by audiopile » 12 Mar 2019 18:59

The trouble is that woofers are often woofer/midranges -in 2 ways these can be running up to 2kHz or even twice that . Take a look at studio set ups (especially mixing facilities) -you'll see speakers at approx. ear level (in most cases) -5'-6'-? 'apart -the engineer/producer's chair right down the centerline between the two speakers at a distance at least equal to the distance between the speakers ( or in a bigger place/physically larger mixing desk -2 to 3 times the distance between the mix to speakers). One of the reasons certain (often British) mini-monitors have the fanatic following they do -is simply the fact that they can be placed properly in the average "domestic" setting to mimic the studio arrangement -not a surprise this works so well.

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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by ChrisfromRI » 12 Mar 2019 19:18

There is an area within the study of sound imaging called Ambiophonics.

http://www.ambiophonics.org/index.html

In order to reduce crosstalk between the left and right speakers mechanically, a large object is placed between the left and right speakers. An object used in this site looks like a mattress set on its edge and it does not block the path from the left speaker to the left ear, nor the right speaker to the right ear, but it somewhat reduces the amount of left speaker signal reaching the right ear and so forth (reduces crosstalk). This can also be accomplished electronically.

I heard a demo of the electronic approach and it was pretty impressive.

I have also listened to several Iso-Mike recordings where something similar in the way of a baffle/absorber is placed between a pair of microphones out in front of the stage to reduce crosstalk, and and those recordings present an excellent stereo image on typical well set up stereo systems (without ambiophonics techniques).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7e-WRojZDM

FWIW, maybe you're onto something by placing an object between your speakers!

I believe the key is that from your listening position there should be nothing between your ears and your speakers. Nuances include reflective surfaces that are not directly in the path but close enough to allow strong reflections, such as a glass coffee table in front of you - which typically hurts the stereo image. In our last house we had one of those coffee tables, and for listening I used to throw a Floka wooly rug over it and that made a pretty big improvement...

lenjack
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by lenjack » 13 Mar 2019 00:32

Your question initially puzzled me. I thought you were referring to the horizontal spacing between the speakers for stereo separation. Now I get it. #-o :oops:

audiopile
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by audiopile » 13 Mar 2019 01:16

Matt Polk mentioned the mattress divider trick - I had listened to this once and have to admit (while also giving it the all time worst WAF rating ever) -that this was strikingly effective. Part of what Polks SDS speakers were trying to do was accomplish this effect minus the mattress. In the real retail world -customers would buy SDS speakers -but not run them in the orientation they were designed for = no spatial effect.

zlartibartfast
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by zlartibartfast » 14 Mar 2019 18:38

Yes I remember those Polk speakers. And I remember Bose 901's. Now, there's a set of speakers that must never have ANY thing in between them. Pain in the arse....

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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by Sunwire » 14 Mar 2019 19:03

A sofa between the speakers probably helps the sound by absorbing sound waves that might reflect off the wall behind the speakers before heading to your ears.
The Carver C-9 manual has good instructions about speaker placement and reducing reflected sound waves in the listening room.
The only thing that would change for a "normal" setup (not using the C-9 Sonic Holography Generator) is that the speakers should be farther apart than Carver recommends.
Precise speaker location (measured to less than an inch) can make a big difference in reproduction of an accurate stereo image.
https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_libra ... /c-9.shtml

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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by JDJX » 14 Mar 2019 19:18

FWIW........

Keep in mind that a large part of what w hear from speakers is reflected sound .

Having said that... the ideal situation would be when the speakers are pointed directly at the listener and form about a 45 degree angle with the listener .

Of course this is not always possible or piratical.
My experience has always been that the overall sound is much more important than an apparent (sometimes artificial) stereo separation . :)

Sunwire
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by Sunwire » 14 Mar 2019 19:46

A large part of what we hear in many installations is reflected sound, but that's not a good thing if you want accuracy.
Bose turned this on its head and maximized the amount of reflected sound.
I think the result was a big vague smearing of the sound. It's a sound effect some people like and can be enjoyable, but if you want to hear what's on the recording, rather than listening to a sound effect, reducing reflections is the way to go.

zlartibartfast
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by zlartibartfast » 14 Mar 2019 19:56

precisely that's why the control room of a recording studio has all that anechoic wall & ceiling treatment.

Same for the tracking room(s)

Kill my Reverberations!

seems like a sofa between the speakers could help with that.

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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by JDJX » 14 Mar 2019 20:04

Of course, too much of anything is not good.
Keep in mind that none of us live and listen in an anechoic chamber.

Even recording studios are not anechoic chambers.
Th most they may have are some sound diffusing/ absorbing things to get just the right amount of reflected sound.
No (commercial) music is mixed to play in an anechoic chamber. :)

Sunwire
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by Sunwire » 15 Mar 2019 00:58

Recording studio rooms are not anechoic, but studio control rooms where the mix engineers sit are usually fairly "dead", I think. The control rooms I've visited have usually been quite "dead".
Do an image search on the web for "recording studio control room" and look at the photos. Most have a lot of sound absorption built into the walls and ceiling.
I want to hear what the microphones picked up. I don't want to hear what my room adds to it.
I want to be transported to the recording studio or to the live music venue where the recording was made.
But that's just me.
Some people love Bose speakers, too. Not me.

hobie1dog
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Re: space between stereo speakers

Post by hobie1dog » 15 Mar 2019 01:18

Most people have rooms that are functional and not dedicated listening rooms so most of the time there is only one place for the furniture and the speakers, so you just have to live with it.

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