We all know the rule book on good audio practice. High on the list of commandments is to put your speakers on stands. However, what the book says and what your ears tell you can be two different things. A couple of days ago we had to replace our TV and we got a nice looking LCD set and a new base for the set. With this new arrangement the home theatre speakers on stands seemed out of place - visually they dominated the new TV set (the old massive CRT set made them look slimline and inconspicuous). Anyway, my wife asked what would happen if we took them off the stands. Going into typical aggrieved male mode, I thought I'd demonstrate to her the inadvisability of taking speakers off their stands. So off they came, and to guarantee disaster, I did the following: (i) front L and R pushed close either side of the set. (ii) centre speaker put behind the TV. (iii) rear speakers join the sub-woofer behind the sofa. Admittedly the new set-up looked far better (practically nothing to see) but it should have been a recipe for audio disaster. So to prove my point I tried a couple of DVDs and was utterly amazed at the improvement in sound quality. Clearer treble, midrange unaltered, bass all there but more controlled than before, better imaging and spatial positioning. I'm pleased, and wife delighted because the room now practically devoid of wires and 'obvious' bits of hi-fi. The reason for mentioning this is not to say that everyone should jetison your speaker stands, etc (I think there are acoustic oddities about the room which make the new system work better) but don't slavishly follow the rule book. What works in an acoustic perfect room won't necessarily be right for you.