Proper Speaker Placement

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
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Whitneyville
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Post by Whitneyville » 18 Jan 2011 07:59

I was in the "mixing rooms" at RCA Nashville circa 1975. The sound was abysmal. Fast forward 15 years to Benson Sound OKC. Still an analog studio (his last) and a pair a of 110 watt Mackie near-field monitors in a room as dead as could be. Excellent sound, although at a high sound pressure level. Benson Sound Nashville today. All digital, Mackie near field digital speakers. Not a "dead" room anymore, MUCH lower sound pressure levels as today's engineers would like to work past their 40's. Few here may know of Larry Benson, but he's been the mover and shaker in the Southern Gospel music business since the demise of Cannan Records (a division of Columbia). Southern Gospel means groups like the Happy Goodman Family, The Inspirations, The Cathedrals, and of course Bill Gaither. I've known Larry and his son since about '72 when my Dad started shooting the artist's album covers for him. In '72 or so, he had a "studio" in a warehouse that was totally "dead" and he added the acoustics in post, listening to a pair of Electro-Voice "Voice of the Theater" 24" woofer three-ways powered by 6 50 WPC tube Altec amps. He could (and did) make "sangers" sound like humans in post. I can still name names. His thumb on the rim of a 10 1/2" reel was the "pitch box" for vocalists, which he "tracked" after playing piano on most recordings. Bill and Gloria Gaither laid down their first tracks at Benson Sound in OKC, before going "big" with Cannan. I wasn't there, but I helped my Dad photograph them at Philbrook Museum here in Tulsa. I don't like "booth" sound, usually. It's anylitical rather than musical. BTW: I read at some time, that speaker placement should be based on an Archimedes Spiral since it, like sound is logarithmic. I don't have the options for speaker placement. There's room "here and here" for the speakers and that's about it. Small old house with medium small rooms. To quote "Buddy" Holley-Ya' does whut ya' kin.

Klaus R.
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Post by Klaus R. » 01 Feb 2011 10:45

LicoricePizza wrote:I'm a bit surprised that correct phasing hasn't been emphasised enough, though.
For the uninitiated, incorrect phasing can have a tremendous effect on the overall listening experience.
What do you mean by "phasing" ?

My speaker allow to directly compare ideal step-response (red curve) to non-ideal response (green, blue curves), which results in more or less group delay:

http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein-hu ... ay_250.gif

and the difference is very subtle, the bass is somewhat more controlled and tighter, nothing really to worry about.

Klaus
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andyr
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Post by andyr » 25 Feb 2011 22:24

Whitneyville wrote:
BTW: I read at some time, that speaker placement should be based on an Archimedes Spiral since it, like sound is logarithmic.
Can you explain more about this concept? It suggests the use of the "Golden Ratio" (1.618) but what distance should be 1.618 times what other distance?

Thanks,

Andy

Jonti
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Post by Jonti » 24 May 2011 08:12

Just moved into a new house and I now have a small but decently-shaped listening room. This is how it looks at present:

http://s2.postimage.org/8hvjofnnv/room.jpg

I'm guessing my speakers (http://audio-heritage.jp/Sony-ESPRIT/speaker/ss-g7.html) are too big for the room really, but they sound great to me even in a confined space.

Anyway, with these dimensions is there anything I should be doing differently to achieve better results? Thanks for any advice!

MonkeyBoy
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Post by MonkeyBoy » 18 Jun 2011 22:48

Jonti can you try to post pictures of your set up again?

charlieblue
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Post by charlieblue » 02 Jul 2011 05:58

Very interesting topic you have here. I guess each speaker placement method has its strong points and weakneses, soundwise.

But, what if there was a method we could use that does result in better bass (both in extension and definition), better imaging (as in distintion/focus and palpability of recorded sound sources) better soundstage (both width and depth), better, well, everything actually? And what if this method demanded next to nothing, on behalf of the listener, with respect to expenses and time devoted?

The guys over at ambiophonics seem to have a decent answer to the problem defined as "OK, I got the best speakers my money could buy, now where do I place them?" Separating the two chanels is key, they say. Let each ear have access to its respective speaker only. When crosstalk distortion is removed, the listening experience goes up to a whole new level.

The method, in short: put your speakers close together, raise a barier between them, and then simply sit down to have a listen.

This principle, although rather simplified, is very easy to implement, unless your speakers weigh a ton - then you'll need help to move them. And, its cost-free to try - everybody has a matress he can do without for a couple of hours, right? :D

Obviously, all other aspects of quality audio reproduction remain unchanged: big listening room is good (check out the huge space with the electrostatics, in their website's main page), speakers out in the room and away from walls also, reverberation control is welcome, diffusion too. Also, ambio folks say directional speakers are better suited for the job. But, the good thing is, YOU can try this at home, for nothing except for the time to set up the system in Ambio mode. Maybe at the expence of a sore back :lol:

Forum member Bebé Tonto allready tried this, with reportedly great results. See:
https://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/view ... hp?t=33006

If you do try the Ambio way but you do not go "WOA this sounds GOOOOOD", then I'm bying drinks next time you visit Greece. If you DO like it, then, why not have a wee dram for Mr.Glasgal and the lads at ambiophonics.org 8) .

I can tell you, I did try it and this change in my system I will not undo. And, again no, the barier does not kill the soundstage...

Best,

Charlie

PS. Mr Ando is popular both with the ambio guys and with revered member Claus R., posting in this trhead. Reading does pay, it seems!

PS2. I bet the house mistress would be thriled if you decided to forgo the 10-foot-or more Equi-triangle set up and the wires that get in the way of the pooch snooping around... :P

...then again, better provide for a removable barrier, or else... :roll:

SoundHarmonyMKII
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by SoundHarmonyMKII » 06 Oct 2011 17:42

This is a lot of great information to process. :?

I realise that technology has come a long way but I can't keep from asking,
What happened to the days where you just stuck your speakers in the corner, or where ever else they would fit, and used an EQ to handle the rest?

Speaking of which, What ever happened to EQ's?

JoeE SP9
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by JoeE SP9 » 06 Oct 2011 23:26

SoundHarmonyMKII wrote:This is a lot of great information to process. :?

I realise that technology has come a long way but I can't keep from asking,
What happened to the days where you just stuck your speakers in the corner, or where ever else they would fit, and used an EQ to handle the rest?

Speaking of which, What ever happened to EQ's?
AFAIK those days of random speaker placement never existed for those who care about good sound. Many of us who post here have tried equalizers. Most of them have been dissatisfied with the results. Back in the 70's I used an LP with test tones and a microphone and attempted to equalize my system for flat response. The noise and phasing issues a standard graphic equalizer created made me give up on that. I found that speaker placement and room treatments were far more effective for smoothing a rooms response irregularities.
I do admit to using a Behringer DSP1124P to equalize my subs from 85Hz down.

SoundHarmonyMKII
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by SoundHarmonyMKII » 07 Oct 2011 00:33

Woah! Sorry, that was mostly meant to be a joke.

However, since you responded, elaborate...

I understand the importance of speaker placement, even more so after reading through this thread but...

What if I have no options in the matter? In this instince, could I benefit from the use of an EQ?

and this is a serious question, not another joke. My stereo is currently set up in a small bedroom. Don't ask why... unfortunately it is my ONLY option right now.

Alec124c41
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by Alec124c41 » 07 Oct 2011 06:30

Flattening the room acoustics was the original intent of an equalizer. Ya does what ya has kin.

Cheers,
Alec

JoeE SP9
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by JoeE SP9 » 07 Oct 2011 22:36

SoundHarmonyMKII wrote:Woah! Sorry, that was mostly meant to be a joke.

However, since you responded, elaborate...

I understand the importance of speaker placement, even more so after reading through this thread but...

What if I have no options in the matter? In this instince, could I benefit from the use of an EQ?

and this is a serious question, not another joke. My stereo is currently set up in a small bedroom. Don't ask why... unfortunately it is my ONLY option right now.
How about giving a better more detailed description of your gear and exactly how it's set up. Usually people want to equalize their speakers because they are not producing what they want. If it's extended bass you're looking for be advised, small speakers in a small room almost always leads to "small" bass.

Klaus R.
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by Klaus R. » 15 Oct 2011 09:09

SoundHarmonyMKII wrote:What happened to the days where you just stuck your speakers in the corner, or where ever else they would fit, and used an EQ to handle the rest?

Speaking of which, What ever happened to EQ's?
All of my speakers have in-built EQ, and yes, I do use that feature to compensate for adjacent-boundary effects: the bass driver of my main speakers is about 30 cm from the floor, so I have floor bass boost. The speakers connected to the PC are wall mounted, so I have wall bass boost. EQ means that you have much more flexibility when it comes to placing the speakers in the living room. Clearly consumer audio manufacturers in general don't care, that's why my speakers are from the pro department (Klein+Hummel, Genelec).

Klaus

duficity
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by duficity » 01 Nov 2011 18:08

Jonti,

You dont show the depth of the room, but it seems your speakers are too close to the back wall, and too close to the side walls. If your room is 8.5 feet wide that doesnt give you much room to make the speakers bloom.

MonkeyBoy
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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by MonkeyBoy » 21 Nov 2011 21:54

Jonti, also you might want to bring the sofa away from the back wall a bit. If you put it up against the back wall it often tends to make the bass a bit boomy. I realise you have limited space, but if there is jnothing else in the listening room you at least have a little room to play with.

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Re: Proper Speaker Placement

Post by bergenwhite » 29 Nov 2011 02:02

I am setting up my system in my bedroom. While I realize that a square small room is not ideal, but going with the "Ya Does What You Kin" theme, I was considering ceiling mounting my speakers (so as to put some distance between the speakers and the wall). The diagrams are useful, but what happens when you deviate from the assumed height positioning (have the speakers at the listener's ear level?)?

Is ceiling mounting bookshelf speakers a bad idea? Are there alternatives for a small square room? Feel free to ignore this if my question is too plebeian, but any help would be appreciated.

bw

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