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PLACEMENT: is this room totally hopeless or what?

 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 810
Registered: Mar-05
Sorry the diagram is fuzzy, had to resize it or it wouldn't upload.

The front mains and sub are toed in towards the center of the futon, BTW.

I know the sub belongs in the left corner but I haven't figured out how to run the cable under the carpet yet so that's why it's floating in the middle of the room. It's front-firing so I was hoping the toeing in would help a little.

Have already found the reflection points on the side walls but since they're on the French doors, no dice for any tapestries and heavy drapes are out for WAF reasons. Hopefully because the doors are so far from the listening position (10 & 15 feet) maybe I shouldn't worry too much about it?

With my recent purchase of NAD separates my Ascend 340s are now filling up the room with sound very nicely, happy to say. Still not getting a whole lot of bass from my sub, but that may be in large part due to the fact that it's a pretty lousy one to begin with (JBL e150)!

So, if the sub stays where it is is this definitely a case for the Hsu STF-3 over the STF-2?

Can't use any other wall for the A/V stuff, wife won't hear of it...
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 811
Registered: Mar-05
Upload
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 812
Registered: Mar-05
dammit that's blurry as hell! Anybody knows a better way to do this, clue me in. I drew the diagram in Powerpoint, distilled it into PDF, then converted it into JPEG, resized it in MS Photo Editor.

here, maybe this will help:

31' x 21' x 17' cathedral ceiling

Kitchen area opens to breakfast area, kitchen walls are only 8 feet high so last 9 feet are open.

Glass doors and glass French doors.

bookcase, futon, low bookcase, marble fireplace

coffee table, 2 large plants

open stairwell leading downstairs

door at end of hallway to Office
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 269
Registered: May-05
Hallo there

Edster922

Go length ways the bass will be much stronger plus you can put a few more surround loudspeakers down the side walls and the centre back surround will be on the money.

Place the setting in the middle and the sound will work towards you with the best advantages I Kidd you not.

Go for it Ed.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 814
Registered: Mar-05
"length ways?"
"Place the setting in the middle"

I'm lost. Can you give a more detailed description?
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 272
Registered: May-05
Hallo there

Edster922

Yes place the loudspeakers alone the shortest wall length in other words the width and go with using the length of the room as a home cinema goes pucker man, spot on and there will be so more many options open.

But one step at a time baby steps, baby steps, once you have it all in place will take the next step in affordable home cinema techniques.
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 273
Registered: May-05
Hallo there

Edster922

Yes place the loudspeakers alone the shortest wall length in other words the width and go with using the length of the room as a home cinema goes pucker man, spot on and there will be so more many options open.

But one step at a time baby steps, baby steps, once you have it all in place will take the next step in affordable home cinema techniques.

And looking at it near the widows, first brick up one side of the widows, as a mans home cinema is a mans home cinema, or place some plaster board and clover up the window, with some pink panther behind it as well, this will only cut down a few frequencies.

Then if the room from what, I'm looking at looks like it pretty much open?

Build a stud-wall and place a cheep door in place so the room will be isolated and independent as well.

Though it will not stop low frequency bass sub bass or the LFE track from going though the stud-wall.

Though I'm just adding on a few more extras so that you can think about the variables, to see where your home cinema stands, the cost of doing it will be under $100.00 I said under, look around for the best timber and plaster board prices.

It can be done and would look dame nice to.

Also lighting that lighting they place on there cars the boy racers, there is this LED lighting multi-colours 12Volt run and if you where to design it so it goes around the room placed near the coving and place a lip around it so the light won't be in your face and with the LED light controller and sound activated too, there will be a colour for every mood?
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1139
Registered: Jan-05
The best way to improve your HT would be to buy a TV and include that with your theater setup and locate it either above or below your center channel speaker.

If there is any other way I can be of assistance, please let me know.

Besides not having a TV, I recommend adding surround speakers too.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 816
Registered: Mar-05
Thanks for the offer, Paul. Can you get me a 52" DLP at wholesale? LOL

I actually do have a TV already which is serving as my center speaker stand: a crusty old 20" Panasonic CURVED tube. I'm actually OK with it except for when watching widescreen DVDs; never watch TV except for the occasional news and weather, don't have cable nor want it.

Wife doesn't want the bulk of a massive projection TV and I don't want to fork out $3-4000 for a big plasma, would rather get a DLP projector for 1/4 of that and enjoy a 10' screen. Either way I only spend maybe 6-8 hours a week watching my Netflix DVDs so it's not a big deal, spend a lot more time listening to music.

As for surrounds, I do have some already, just don't bother to plug them up except for that once in a blue moon when I watch something that REALLY needs them like LOTR---my Sundance type movies are fine in 3.1, and like moving my subwoofer to the left corner this'll have to wait until I figure out how to run cables and speaker wire under the darn carpet.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 817
Registered: Mar-05
Andy,

I can see that you must be a real popular fella around divorce attorneys...
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4015
Registered: May-04


OK, eddie, here's my advice. Turn the room around on itself so the futon is on the short wall abutting the kitchen area. This puts the speakers on a long wall with two (more or less) actual corners and some sense of balance. The speakers and subwoofer will all have a wall to use as reinforcement while the futon will be in a location that begins to minimize the reflections from the surfaces surrounding it.

This also puts the futon in a position where you can build a cozy little fire and listen to music while gazing into the flames of the fireplace and the eyes of your spouse. Use that to sell the idea to her, eddie.

If she refuses to move the AV stuff, then there is no need to progress with this plan and we'll proceed to plan B. If she agrees to move the components, then I'll give you more advice if you want it. Let me know. You are fighting against yourself if the speakers don't see essentially the same space. Your listening position is much more flexible. In either case, the best sound is going to be with the futon pulled out from the wall as much as possible. Can that be accomplished?




 

Silver Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 121
Registered: Dec-04
Eddie,
I'm probably not going to advise on placement. But please send me the Powerpoint diagram and I'll try to get a less blurry version! lol :-)

diablo@iabbott.plus.com

Regards
 

Silver Member
Username: Thx_3417

Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

Post Number: 274
Registered: May-05
Eddie
Presented in blurervision?

Man you should have gone to specsavers?
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 822
Registered: Mar-05
Jan,

thanks for your input, unfortunately I don't think flipping the arrangment is going to work...the wife is already in a restive mood with the recent arrival of more ugly metal boxes a.k.a. the NAD separates.

The fireplace is mainly ornamental, since I live in basically a subtropical climate so not much traction there.

I already asked her about pulling the futon about 1-2 feet away from the long wall a few weeks ago after emailing Dr. Hsu who recommended placing the sub behind the futon---immediately shot down in flames! I'll make another attempt in a few weeks...

Anyways I'd love to hear your plan B, everybody else has only come up with the flip-option.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 823
Registered: Mar-05
OK Diablo, it's done...good luck!
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 709
Registered: Feb-05
Eddie if you're gettin' the sub in the near future you may want to store up some marital equity by not screwin' around with the arrangement yet after all it will likely all change with a new sub anyway.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 827
Registered: Mar-05
darn good point, Art. I hadn't thought of that.

My, you sound like a seasoned veteran...how many years if you don't mind my asking?

Just bought some Fish Tape at Home Depot tonight, will try it out and relocate the sub in the corner next to the bookcase.
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 713
Registered: Feb-05
Check my profile Edster, I've been up to this for over 30 yrs. Tell ya what though, the money I have spent in the last 6 weeks has my wife seeing red. She's in Seattle for her daughter's graduation from UW with her MSW, before she left she made me promise that there wouldn't be Rega P3 sittin' in the living room when she got home. And Eddie she knows me pretty damn well because that is exactly what I had planned to do. I have however regained my senses nad my friend Steve at Northwest Audio Labs talked me out of a turntable, at least for this year.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 831
Registered: Mar-05
THIRTY YEARS...yikes! you have six times the battlefield experience I have, hats off to ya!

Well a turntable is one thing my wife won't have to worry about me ever buying, I pawned off all my LPs about 15 years ago.
 

Silver Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 123
Registered: Dec-04
Edster living room
I'm not going to get involved in any personal discussions.
Must think more about this room though! :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 715
Registered: Feb-05
I have one record but do you think I care, oh hell no! Records are ritual. You must buy ALL of the gear including the Nitty Griity record cleaner (and believe me it works). Then for every record you play you have to clean it, place it, lower the tonearm, wait 20 minutes and raise the tonearm and the repeat this (with the occasional interruption due to a skip) every 20 minutes. OH MY GOD! I've talked myself out of it! What a pain it's like having a tube amp and listening carefully everyday to see if there is any tube degradation....geez I'm not sure this sounds quite as good as it did yesterday..hmm, wonder if the tubes have had it or...nooooooooo!
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1152
Registered: Jan-05
OMG.........eddie has a 20" tv??

You should be banned from this site for that reason only.

Please.......
at least tell me it's in color???

Geez, based on your room layout, there is no reason you couldnt get a large 'inexpensive' CRT. Be a man, put the pants on, and tell the wife what she needs. She needs a bigg'un......and they dont cost that much. Heck, you can get a 65" like my Mitsubishi for barely over 2k.....get with the HT program sparky!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 717
Registered: Feb-05
Hey, there is nothing wrong 20" tv's. I have several of them, one in each room except the living room.

Yes Paul I like Mitsubishi's. I had some space constraints. So I had to place my tv on a stand. That is why I bought the 50" Sony HD lcd rptv. Weighs 85lbs and with my Denon DVD2910's HDMI upconversion of my DVD's to at least 720p the picture is mighty good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 833
Registered: Mar-05
diablo,

thanks, you are a mensch! I shall await your email detailing how you did that...
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 834
Registered: Mar-05
yes Paul it is color, heh heh.

Hey if I were single I'd have at least a 32" flat tube in a heartbeat, if not a cheap 52" or 65" projection TV. She won't even hear of a 32" CRT due to the bulk (the Sony one does weight about 160lbs so I don't protest too much since it'd be me lugging it up the stairs).

Nope gotta wait on a projector or a DLP early next year. My sub comes first!
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 835
Registered: Mar-05
OK so here's the sad update: went to Home Depot and bought some Fish Tape, ran a coax under my carpet and along the left wall so I could finally put the sub in the corner next to the bookcase. What a huge pain in the butt, took me half an hour just to get the damn wire through the carpet...and left a big hump in the middle of the walkway, probably the Fish Tape and/or cable pushed up some carpet pad!

And I'll be damned but whaddaya know, I finally connect the sub in the new location...and got whacked with MASSIVE ground loop interference! The hum reduced the output on my mains to maybe 10%---for a few terrifying moments I was thinking I had somehow shorted out the amp or it had died on me mysteriously at some point during the day when I was out or maybe my wife had sabotaged the amp in revenge...lol! Finally disconnected the subwoofer cable from the pre-amp and voila it was back to normal.

I may have to take this as a firm message from the gods that the damn sub ain't goin' nowhere! And have no idea how to get rid of that blasted hump in the carpet...ARRRGH!!!

Looks like I'll just have to get some massive sub like the STF-3 then, sigh.

Or plot on how to convince my wife to let me flip the furniture.

In any case I have sworn never to run wiring under the carpet again, so help me bejesus.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1153
Registered: Jan-05
geez, with a 20", you might as well concede, and forget watching movies, or anything for that matter.

C'mon......take charge and tell the woman what you need!!!!

She can decorate, but you need to pick the TV!! She can decorate around it......

Hell, my TV weights 350lbs, but isnt as if I were going to have my wife lift it, so it isnt her problem.

PLus...it's none of her business...she gets to enjoy the views, so whats the problem??
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4021
Registered: May-04


"Hey if I were single I'd have at least a 32" flat tube in a heartbeat, if not a cheap 52" or 65" projection TV"

Well, here's a spot for a flip flop. If you had a 32" flat tube or 52" or 65", you'd be single in a heartbeat.

To the carpet - how adventurous are you at this point? You solve this problem by going back to HD and buying some carpet tape and a razor knife. At the tallest point of the lump you separate the pile until you can see the grain of the backing material. Slice the padding along the grain and using something on the order of your fish tape poke around to smooth the lump. After this is accomplished you repair the cut with the carpet tape. This requires the application of heat to melt the glue on the tape. HD should have the device carpet layers use to melt the glue in their rental department. The alternative would be to pull up the toenail boards at the base of the wall and release the carpeting from the nailstrip. This requires a carpet stretcher to get the carpet back to the point where it isn't loose. HD has these for rent also. Probably the best option is to let HD's carpet people do the job for you.

The subwoofer can be placed in the corner if you extend the electrical circuit that is on the system. This means running a cable from the outlet to the location of the sub along with the interconnect. If this crosses a walkway it should be enclosed in a rubber strip to protect it from footsteps. This means more carpet tricks and a bit of a lump no matter what you do.

The problem could then arise that the subwoofer placed in the opposite corner is now out of phase with your main speakers. Unless you have a phase selection switch on your sub or know how to solder up an out of phase interconnect, you could get poor sound after all your work. This position should be tried with cables running over the top of the carpet before a decision is made on placement.

Your problem with the sub is you are trying to fill the entire space with a small sub. The dimensions of the wavelengths you are producing from the sub are longer than the short 8' wall and therefore wrapping around and over the wall to fill a very large space. To produce bass you have to energize the entire volume of air in that space. That's difficult to do when you have the sub sitting essentially in the middle of the room (the one location any placement guide will tell you to avoid) with little to nothing in the way of boundary reinforcement.

If the furntiure must stay in its present location here's how I would proceed.


The first step would be to place the sub in the middle of the system wall. This gives the sub more boundary effect reinforcement than where it now sits.

Alternately, moving the sub to the other side of the system would at least appear to give the sub a bit more boundary effect than its present location. That should put it closer to the wall with the French doors. (BTW, toeing in a sub does nothing really since the effects of toeing in a speaker are heard in the more directional high frequencies. There are some exceptions to this but they do not apply to your situation.) A sturdy bookcase placed at a 90 degree angle to the system wall at the edge of the walkway will give some amount of boundary effect by creating a false corner of sorts. If you are into construction, a false corner can be made that would serve the same purpose. The bookshelf will probably do as much as the wall since, once again, the frequency wavelengths are longer than the structure. The bookshelf should be about 4' wide and as tall as possible. Fill it with books and make it heavy to avoid resonance.

If you look at the drawing you have made, you will see a corner much closer than across the room. It is on the other side of the system wall in what is the kitchen area. Since the walls are short enough for the wavelengths to wrap over, this could be a location that still works. If that corner is free, I would try an experimental run to find out if this corner works for the sub. Placement on top of cabinets shouldn't be a problem if they are secure and solid. You should experiment with X-over points in this location.

If the futon cannot be pulled away from the wall, you should attempt to minimize the reflections from the rear wall that are arriving at your ears a split second after the intial signal. This will help with any smearing of sound that occurs from this reflection point. Soft, open cell surfaces with irregular surface patterns (i.e., soft folds) work well to this end. A blanket or tapestry is the usual choice but unless done properly will have little effect. First, a flat surface doesn't diffract or diffuse the signal but simply bounces it back somewhat diminished in strength. Ading the folds to give more surface area and a diverse reflection pattern is more desirable. Secondly, any material that is not transparent to sound (like a grill cloth) will be uneven in its ability to absorb and diffuse signals and will reflect certain frequencies back into the listening space. Again the deeper the folds in the fabric, the better the diffusion effect and if the material is pulled away from the wall even a few inches, the effect is heightened as the signal passes through the material and is damped in one direction and then reflected off the wall and damped on the return path. Ideally a more serious damping material such as Sonex panels should be placed behind the material and camoflagued by the wall hanging. ACS Tube Traps make a semi-circular trap that serves this purpose very well if your decor allows the look of four cloth covered 8" semi-circles about 2' in length hanging on the wall as decoration. None the less, imaging and soundstaging will improve when the rear wall reflection is damped. Hardness in the high frequencies will also be minimized.

Place the bookshelf on the futon wall at an angle across the rear corner. If you can't place tube traps in the room, this will be the next best solution as it forms an irregular corner that minimizes the reflections that build up in room intersections. Make the surface the signal sees somewhat irregular in pattern by alternating the filling material. If you want to experiment to find out what benefits can be had from room damping, use some cardboard boxes stuffed loosely with newspaper. Shove stacks of these temporary traps into corners and behind the speakers to find the amount and locations that give the best results. Proceed from there with decor issues.

Regarding room reflections; the point of damping these reflections is to minimize their effect at your listening position. If the decor does not allow the refelction to be damped at the reflection point, you should look to damping the signal either before or after that point. As long as it is damped before it reaches your ear, you will have made an improvement. To this end I would first suggest merely opening the French doors slightly while doing any serious listening to alter the reflection pattern. Otherwise using the large plants you have shown in the diagram, place them to interfere with the signal path either before (best choice) or after the first reflection point. Plants are typically too open to do much in this respect, but they can generally be negotiated into the decor more easily than Tube Traps and fiberglass baffles. I've had clients with fairly open floor plans similar to yours who used quite a few large plants to help the acoustics of their rooms. The idea is to get diffusion into the listening area, so large leafed plants do better than multiples of small leaves. A combination of the two is often a good mix both sonically and domestically.



That should cover the things that can be done without major disruption to the present layout of the room. Beyond this point we have to address the placement of the speakers within the room. Since you have a fairly shallow space between the listening position and the location of the speakers I need to know some things before I can proceed.

Give me some information on your speakers, a web site address or link would be helpful.

Do I need to go into setup concerning the basics of spikes and stands and so forth? If you are using stands, what type and are they filled with any material? Could a different stand be beneficial in your opinion?

Speakers are generally classified as near field or far field in regard to the preferred listening position. Do you know what your speakers do when you listen at a semi-near field position of approximately 7' away? Do the drivers meld together or do you begin to hear the discontinuity of the drivers and X-over?

Are the speakers tied down to a position very close to the wall behind them? Can they be pulled into a position for listening and then put back in place for other times?

If you are able to set the speakers up for a more desirable location while listening, what are your goals? What is important to you in terms of the sound you will finally achieve? Is a deep soundstage more important than a wide soundstage? Is a soundstage even important to the type of music you prefer? Are you more interested in the bass boost the wall provides or in the ability of the speakers to disappear and provide an image and soundstage? With the speakers in their present location, what are you hearing? What would you like to improve?




 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4022
Registered: May-04


Paul - Do you have a large streak of silver hair running down the middle of your back?
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1162
Registered: Jan-05
That settles it.......

If you're living in a relationship where your 'boss/spouse' wont even allow you to own a decent television, I'm afraid you're going to have to let her go. Since you're so timid and scared of your spouse, you can tell her that "Paul says so", if it will make it any easier for you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 840
Registered: Mar-05
thanks Jan,

wow, I know to expect massive technical expertise from you on all matters audio, but CARPET-fixing technique??? Whoa, a Rennaissance Man! : )

I'll probably get the Home Depot people to fix it at some point, the hump isn't so big as to be a tripping hazard...

> The subwoofer can be placed in the corner if you extend the electrical circuit that is on the system. This means running a cable from the outlet to the location of the sub along with the interconnect.

So you're saying run an electrical extension cord from the outlet where my system is, to the corner where the sub would be? That would end the devastating ground loop hum/interference? Interesting! I have zero knowledge of electrical behavior so this seems very strange to me.

> The problem could then arise that the subwoofer placed in the opposite corner is now out of phase with your main speakers.

There is a phase selection switch on the sub, never seemed to make much difference before though.

> Your problem with the sub is you are trying to fill the entire space with a small sub.

Not just a small one, but also a very bad one. I hope to get a Hsu STF-3 in the coming months.

> The first step would be to place the sub in the middle of the system wall. This gives the sub more boundary effect reinforcement than where it now sits.

That would result in the whole AV system coming out another foot or two from the wall, she'd have a fit. BTW, since it's a side-firing sub should I point the woofer at the listening position or at the wall behind the AV?

> If you look at the drawing you have made, you will see a corner much closer than across the room. It is on the other side of the system wall in what is the kitchen area.

No dice, that's where the fridge sits, with some cabinets above it extending to where the wall ends at 8ft from the ground.

> Place the bookshelf on the futon wall at an angle across the rear corner.

You mean basically blocking the corner with the bookshelf so it would kind of mirror the fireplace I have in the opposite corner?

> To this end I would first suggest merely opening the French doors slightly while doing any serious listening to alter the reflection pattern.

That makes sense, though I'm sure my neighbors will not be overjoyed, lol.

> Give me some information on your speakers, a web site address or link would be helpful.

http://international.jbl.com/home/products/product_detail.asp?ProdId=E150P/230&S erId=NRE&language=ENGLISH&Status=EC

The stands I'm very happy with, they are 30" high and filled with sand and am using carpet spikes. (The other thing about the room is, the floor slopes towards the right, so much so that the speakers from my listening position appear to be at slightly different heights and leaning maybe 2-5 degrees off axis.)

http://www.wood-tech.com/product.php?cat=ss&series=mu

The speakers are about 2 feet from the wall, something I did recently and the wife didn't really mind. It brought out the mids and opened them up a little more, with a corresponding loss of bass---will probably keep them at that distance from the wall.

Overall I'm very happy with the speakers and the soundstage I'm getting, particularly after adding the NAD separates which made a spectacular difference.

There were only two things that I wanted to improve: bass from the sub, and excessive treble during near-reference level listening especially on bad recordings.

Right now I'm thinking that maybe just upgrading to a better sub like the STF-3 and adding an EQ might do the trick. The NAD pre-amp's treble controls don't seem to have much effect at all.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 841
Registered: Mar-05
geez Paul, your local divorce lawyers need to give you a generous percentage every month! lol
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4028
Registered: May-04


"So you're saying run an electrical extension cord from the outlet where my system is, to the corner where the sub would be? That would end the devastating ground loop hum/interference?"

More than likely. Most ground loops as you describe are a matter of the two electrical circuits on two different wall plugs not having the same ground potential. If the sub has a three pin AC plug you can try a three to two pin ground lift which is available at any hardware store. Otherwise an extension cord with both the system and the sub plugged into the same outlet should be tried with an extension cord running over the carpet before you do anything else. This should place both the pre amp and the sub at the same AC ground potential.

Once again due to the wavelengths you're dealing with in a sub it really shouldn't matter what direction the driver is pointed. If one position appears to give more reinforcement, then I would use that unless it also adds boominess.

Your speakers use Audax (Aerogel)woofers and more than likely an Audax soft dome tweeter. They are very good drivers; not overly expensive but they have a very nice sound. They are used in my Spicas.

http://members.cox.net/okapi/audaxspeakers.htm
http://www.madisound.com/audax.html
http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage.cfm?&DID=7&WebPage_ID=162

Your stands have adjustable spikes, use them to adjust for the tilt and height differences. The more symmetrical you get your speakers, the better the sound quality. When I used to set up speakers for clients I would normally get to about 1/8" tolerance on most dimensions. This certainly applies to the distance from the listening position, the toe-in and the tilt of the speakers. All of these dimensions directly affect the soundstaging and imaging of the system.

With the price of laser pointers it is easy to get very precise set up. A laser pointer and digital measuring tape can give excellent results.

I'm not sure what you want to accomplish with the EQ. Most graphic equalizers don't do the right things often enough for me to be a big fan of including them in a system. That's your choice.

A sub that can move more air will be an improvement in a room your size. Placement of this sub can help until the new sub arrives.

I'll give you a few links to good set up techniques. There is no one correct way to set up speakrs. It varies with the room, the speakers and the listening tastes. Try a few things out and determine whether there are still improvements to be had. In my current set up my small LS3/5a's are 7' out from the rear wall and provide what I consider to be excellent bass quality and all the extension that a 4 1/2" woofer can provide. Bass drums have good weight and impact in this set up. Bass lines are easy to follow. 7' from the front wall amounts to a 1/3 position in my room's length. Dividing the room into 1/3's is the best place to begin when trying to get the best overall balance of bass and soundstaging. When using the 1/3 rule, stick to the measurements. A foot forward or behind that 1/3 position will often make a very obvious difference. For clients who wanted to have the type of sound that into the room positioning will provide, I suggested using a small loop of thread in the carpet to mark the spot where the speaker/stand spikes (two corners marked per stand) will always sit. This makes it easy to return the speakers to the optimum spot whenever you desire. It first depends on whether you prefer the sound of an into the room position, and whether you want to go through the hassles of moving speakers. Most of my clients found the sound to be much more open and felt the move was worth the improvement.

When setting up speakers with toe in, you should begin with the speakers aimed at your listening position. This is visually identified by the point when you no longer see either side of either speaker from your listening spot; only the front baffle should be visible. That places the drivers on axis to your ears. From that toe in you can adjust in or out to find whether you prefer the speakers to cross slightly in front or slightly behind your ears. This toe in affects several things, most importantly the high frequency content and then the solidity of the imaging. (Always keep both speakers at the same degree of toe in and tilt to assure the signal arrives at your ear at precisely the same moment.) Moving the speakers off axis will slightly reduce the amount of high frequencies you hear and put more or less energy into the room. You should hear a corresponding shift in the soundstage. If the speakers are firing directly at you, you will hear everything the tweeter has to give - good and bad. As you shift the speaker's axis away from your position, you will reduce the high frequencies and most often increase slightly the amount of harmonic distortion that results from listening more to the side of the driver. Speaker tilt will accomplish much the same thing and should be used in conjunction with toe in to achieve the sound you want.

I can't speak to the "excessive treble during near-reference level listening especially on bad recordings." There are too many possible causes to discuss at this point. I would think your room is very reflective even with the speakers away from the side walls. A simple way to see if this reflection problem can be minimzed is to cup your hands behind your ears and listen with a baffle around your ears. You'll notice as you bring your hands forward to block more and more reflections that the individual sounds become more easily distinguished and the overall system sound has a different character. If the difference is large when your hands are behind your ears you should work on room reflections. (There was an accessory that was sold in the 90's which amounted to two leather ear cups that attached around your ears and formed this forward leaning balance.) Sometimes it is nothing more than a bad recording and not much can be done. If the problem is persistent with most recordings, then I would look for a solution.







 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4029
Registered: May-04


Cardas is the most often used set up guide and more often than others will give good results:

http://www.mhsoft.nl/SpeakerPlacing.asp

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/index.html

http://sound.westhost.com/subcon.htm

http://www.goodwinshighend.com/roomdesi.htm

http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/a1.htm

http://www.soundstage.com/audiohell/audiohell200111.htm

http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/waspe.html

http://www.silcom.com/~aludwig/contents.htm




That should keep you busy for a while.




 

Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 730
Registered: Feb-05
Jan you are the MAN!. A fella emailed me today for some setup info and I sent him some links but these are even better! I don't give out praise lightly but I am glad you post here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4032
Registered: May-04


http://www.nsmaudio.com/brochures/basicstsetup.html

http://www.nsmaudio.com/brochures/stereosetup.html

http://www.nsmaudio.com/brochures/htsetup.html

http://www.nsmaudio.com/brochures/htsetup2.html

http://www.nsmaudio.com/brochures/center-channel-placement.html


http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=subwoofer%20placement




 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4033
Registered: May-04


A note on spiking your speakers to the floor and tweaking the sound.

When you have leveled and set your spikes on a speaker or speaker stand, the system should litterally feel as if it is bolted to the floor. When you push on the speaker from any direction it should not move at all. Even the slightest bit of wobble to the system means the spikes are not doing their job and need to be reset.

The MTM, or d'Appolito configuration minimizes the vertical dispersion of the tweeter. This makes the speaker much easier to place in a conventional room. In many instances I have found small bookshelf speakers sound their best when placed on their sides on the stands. This often changes the vertical dispersion of the system and minimizes the lobing that occurs with almost any X-over design.

http://www.audiovideo101.com/dictionary/dappolito.asp

An alternative to this technique of minimizing reflections is to take at least one strip of 1/2" thick felt which you can find at a fabric store (find felt that has the highest wool content) and attaching this strip with double stick tape or spray adhesive between the woofer/mid and tweeter. The strip should extend the width of the baffle and still allow the grill to be mounted if you use the grills. Taking the technique a step further use four strips to surround the tweeter. Make certain the strips do not interfere with the motion of the drivers.


Small bookshelf speakers often do their best when the stand is totally eliminated. Use the location you have determined to work best in your room and place the speakers on the floor. Use a dense piece of wood to support the speaker (a cutting board works to experiment) and place a TipToe under the front edge of the board to angle the tweeter toward your ears at your listening position and listening height. This technique relies on a pressure zone which eliminates the reflections from the drivers when mounted on stands to the floor. By placing the drivers very close to the floor surface the reflections that occur are in phase with the signal from the driver. Boundary effects give a solid bass response and the soundstage will more often than not be enlarged and images tightened.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/141424.html




 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4034
Registered: May-04


I think this should cover everything that you need to get going on speaker placement. This is a post I sent to Kegger a while back on this topic.



In one sense, the most important component to imaging will amount to the capability of the system. Some systems just do a better job at the various aspects of imaging and sounstaging than other systems. Some have more depth, some more width and some more exacting placement of performers within a smaller stage. As you begin to get interested in the imaging capability of your system, you begin to get more concrete ideas on what you're looking for as you choose components. In the end, it amounts to the synergy of your system. If you have a source player that is somewhat forward and an amplifier that is more laid back, the basic components are going to be fighting each other. The idea I promoted with my clients was to get more focused on how each piece works with the other pieces in your system to reinforce the results you want to achieve. After a while it becomes either easier or more frustrating to get the perfect match that does everything you wish for in imaging, soundstaging, tonality, dynamics, transparency, etc.

Read the links on speaker placement, they'll get you started. Of course, one suggests placing your speakers on the long wall while another suggests the short wall. You have to decide what your room and your speakers will prefer. With the Spicas, I sit slightly away from the speakers to let the drivers meld together. With the LS3/5a's, I sit closer since they were meant to be a near field monitor.

As you point out, some speakers prefer to have a bit of toe-in, while others do not. That usually amounts to how a speaker works into the room. A wide dispersion speaker will often have too much energy in early reflections to have good imaging. Placing it straight ahead puts the first reflection closer to the speaker itself and farther away from the listener. A speaker with narrow dispersion may require toe-in to give a tight sweet spot. There are too many possibilities and combinations to make sweeping statements about speaker placement in this post. In general, I find it easier to look at a given combination of speaker and room and work from there. After awhile, you begin to get an idea of what will work better in a given situation. But, the best results are simply in trying a few locations and set ups.

Here's the basic instructions I gave my clients to try before I came in to do the final tweaking. More than short wall/long wall decisions, I suggested the most important concern was symmetry. Place the speakers in the location where they will see the most similar dimensions and surroundings in a room. For the best overall response, the speakers will want two intersecting walls of equal length not interrupted by a door, window, archway or large piece of furniture on one side only. The more space you can give behind the speakers, in general, the better. The normal suggestion is to start with the speakers placed 1/3 out into the room. I have my Spicas set up with a double pocket door behind them. They see two equal (damped) corners with a large open space behind and between the speakers. This generally results in a deeper soundstage. In this set up the Spicas can place a drum set about 6-10' behind the plane of the speakers appearing in what is actually the next room behind the speakers. Big symphonic stages and electronic effects can reach even further back. Set up like this the Spicas can reach farther back than the LS3/5a's (which are in a different room), but they don't push the side walls out of the way. The lateral staging on the Spicas is (generally) no more than a few feet beyond the outer edge of the speakers.

The farther away from side walls the better for the width of the stage. The 3/5a's are set up with lots of room on the sides and they can place back up vocals 4-6' outside the edge of the speaker and 4-8' or more behind the speaker. In general they make a wider, but slightly more shallow sweep across the rear of the stage than the Spicas.

When discussing symmetry, it is important to remember all dimensions relating to the speaker to side wall and the speaker to back wall dimensions should not be similar. If the speakers are 4' from the back wall, they should not be 4' from the side wall. Either 3' or 5' is a better option for the side wall dimension. Also your listening position normally should not have a similar dimension to either of those two dimensions. If the speakers are 4' into the room, your chair probably should not be 4' into the room. Your listening position should be given the same consideration as the speaker position. Place your chair away from side and back walls and maintain as much symmetry as possible.

After you've decided where you can place the speakers in the room, start with an equilateral triangle between the two speakers and your listening position. Normally begin adjusting the speakers for tonal balance. This is the toward the wall for more bass and away from the wall for more transparency type movement. Move your chair around also. You can begin to find the best location for the chair by simply moving around the room with someone else speaking from a position between your speakers or using an FM announcer's voice to get the most natural balance. If you think the speakers can give you the tonal balance you desire from this set up, you can proceed to set the speakers up for imaging and staging.

Leave your chair in the best spot but move the speakers to about 4' apart. Use a stereo FM station with a single announcer's voice to judge the center fill. If the speakers will benefit from a slight tilt forward or back, this is the time to begin experimenting with how much will be required. As you adjust tilt you are doing much the same as with toe-in. By placing the on axis response of the tweeter higher or lower than your ears, you are changing percieved frequency response slightly and you are often changing the distortion components you will hear. How much change you hear depends on the driver in the cabinet. Play a few musical selections to determine the tilt of the speakers.

When you are satisfied with the results, you can move the speakers out about a foot at a time as you listen to the changes with the FM station. Place the speakers facing flat out with no toe-in. If you have someone else who can stand between the speakers, listen to their voice in the room and try to get the same response. It's not always possible since most stations and recordings will process the voices to some extent. Mostly the smaller the apparent source of a speaking voice, the better the imaging. If you have room problems with a speaking voice, make note of them to address later.

Eventually you will hear the center image start to fall apart as you move the speakers away from each other. Start moving the speakers back toward the center until you find that ideal spot where the vocal image is tight and fixed in space. Try some toe-in to tighten the center image. When you cannot see either side of either speaker cabinet from your chair, the speaker is aimed with you (essentially) on axis to the tweeter. As you work with toe-in, use the sides of the speaker's cabinet to keep the changes symmetrical. The amount of the speaker's inner cabinet face you see on the right speaker should be the same as what you see on the left speaker.

After the client had the speakers to that point, I would come in with a tape measure, a small flashlight (and a laser pointer if possible), a roll of mylar, a roll of masking tape and some damping materials for the room.

The first step was to get the speakers set exactly the same side to side. The dimensions from the walls were set and then the dimensions from the chair. Preference was given to symmetry from the speaker to the listening position. Each corner of the speaker was measured so the outer rear corner was the same dimension from the rear and side wall and then the inner rear corner was measured. The chair was measured from the center front of the speaker to the chair. Depending on the speaker, system and client's taste this would typically get down to 1/8" tolerances. (Rooms are not always equal dimensions even when they appear to be similar. The exactness of your measurements will be the determinig factor in the end results.)

Double check with FM and music to set the position for imaging and staging. If satisfied this is where you want the speakers, move on to tweaking the position. Mark the speaker's corners with masking tape and begin moving the speaker slightly within the general area. The flashlight sits on top of the speaker and the client sits in the chair. Tilt is adjusted until the client sees the brightest light from the flashlight. Wedges or spikes are set and then adjusted for the best response from there. Each change is measured for symmetry. Measure each front corner to the listening chair. A laser pointer on top of the speaker can be used to set a spot on the rear wall which is marked with a strip of masking tape. Adjust the speakers up and back until the sound is what you want. Work on toe-in the same way. Once tilt is set, place a strip of tape on the back wall and use the light of the pointer to set toe-in while marking each change on the tape and then listening. Some speakers and listeners will prefer a speaker that crosses slightly in front of the chair, some exactly at their ears and some slightly behind the chair. Some speakers will work best with no toe-in. You are balancing center image against stage width and depth. Tonal balance will be affected also.

Mark the position with tape. Move the speakers in to the center slightly and out to the sides slightly to check for best position. Use the laser pointer or tape measure to keep consistent dimensions. Run a piece of tape on the back wall or between the speakers that is marked in one inch increments. Always maintain symmetry.

If the speakers have not moved enough to affect tonal balance this should set the speakers final position. Use the tape measure to tweak any final changes keeping dimensions to the smallest tolerance you desire.

With the client in the listening chair, place the flashlight on the top of the speaker and pointing toward the center axis of the tweeter. Run a strip of reflective mylar along the side wall at the height of the tweeter/listener's ears. Where the listener sees the reflection of the flashlight is the first reflection from the tweeter. This is often the best place to begin damping room reflections. Mark the spot with tape and swing the flashlight to point at this spot. With mylar on the other side wall you will see the second reflection point. Mark that with tape. Place the mylar on the back wall and swing the flashlight back to point at the tweeter's axis. Stand behind the speaker and you will see the reflection point at the back wall. Mark it with tape. If you used a laser pointer to set up the speakers, this spot has already been determined. The mylar can be used to determine reflections from the floor and ceiling if needed. Damp these reflections as needed to tame room sound.

If the wall behind the speakers is solid, a few damping traps placed behind and between the speakers will usually help staging. Traps behind the chair will increase articulation. Corners are the most likely place to begin with room damping for bass response. Floor to wall junction traps are typical, ceiling to wall junctions are often overlooked. One or two traps on either side of each speaker and close to the cabinet edge will often benefit staging, imaging and articulation. Absorbent baffles that fit snugly around the speaker at the front edge of the cabinet will have the same benefit as an infinite baffle above the midrange frequencies. A baffle about 3' wider than the speaker in all dimensions will usually make the speakers more transparent and can benefit imaging. A trap placed between the speaker when used with these baffles will benefit image tightness. Full traps are used in these locations along with full traps for the corners. Depending on the speakers, half round traps placed along the ceiling between the speakers and chair will tame room reflections that are often overlooked. Half round traps can be used along the walls. Diffusion or dispersion panels can be used instead of absorbent panels.

These same reflections are coming from the floor. How much you add to a room in damping material is a matter of choice and speakers. Horns typically have very limited vertical dispersion; yet many ribbons have limited horizontal dispersion.

The suggestions are for a conventional box speaker and panels and dipole/bipole speakers may work better with other options. There are too many variables to get more specific. The most important factor is maintaining the similarity of space and dimensions.




 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1169
Registered: Jan-05
Can you explain that again please, but with more detail. Im afraid your previous post was far to vague to have any value.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 4047
Registered: May-04


In your case, Paul, it doesn't matter. Just plop the CV's down anywhere; they'll sound the same no matter what.

Hey, Paul, try this; go up to your speakers and just say the word "image". I bet they just sit there confused.




.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1181
Registered: Jan-05
Yes Jan,
Im quite sure that your favorite 60 year old mono-movie soundtracks are truly brought to life with a quality set of bookshelf speakers. Im sure that the padded walls made all the difference.
 

Zorro
Unregistered guest
Paul,
You are so F..ing ignorant! Come on Man do yourself a favor and do not post anymore, anytime you do you look like an a$$, besides, you have a piece of S**t system, opposite to what you may think.
 

Gold Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 1185
Registered: Jan-05
Unlike the many unregistered fools, my system is listed plainly for all to see. In fact, I even have pictures over in the HT-bragging area.

More than I can say for you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 851
Registered: Mar-05
Jan,

thanks very much for all the detailed advice, I will set aside a day in this coming week to read all the links and try to digest it all, have already copied and pasted it into a Wordpad doc for future perusal. The past couple of days have been really crazy, hence my disappearance from posting here. Oh well when you're self-employed it's always better to be too busy than not busy enough, as they say.

Not sure if I really have the ears to appreciate the differences gained from all the subtle tweaks, adjustments and modifications that you've suggested, but I'll give them a try when I find the time.

BTW, ever thought of putting together your own audio encyclopedia? You certainly have no shortage of knowledge or enthusiasm for this subject matter!
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