creating an excellent soundstage

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Daryl_hawk, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Daryl_hawk

    Daryl_hawk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hope this is the right forum. I was hoping you guys could help me understand "soundstage" a little more. The way I interpret it now is the ability of a system to "fill" the room with sound and to accurately place the sound in various parts of the room to give the effect that (for example) a car drove down the side wall of the room rather than start at the front speaker and then appear at the back speaker.....or hear bullets fly over your head.

    First of all, am I on the right track?? And second of all, what is the biggest factor affecting the soundstage and the ability to accurately place these sounds. Is it the processor???

    thanks,
    Daryl.
     
  2. Jon W.

    Jon W. Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would say you are on the right track and the biggest effect on the soundstage is the speakers design, their placement, their environment and little to do with the processor. Some of the more knowledge-ables here might care to elaborate.
     
  3. JimMIT

    JimMIT Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Real Name:
    Jim
    My understanding of soundstage is that it is associated more with music than movies. I believe it is the ability of the speakers to create a sonic image of the singer(s) and instruments so that the listener can mentally place them. In other words, the sounds are such that you sense that the bass guitar is at the right of the stage, the rhythm guitar is at the left of the stage, the drums are toward the back of the stage and the singer is in the middle. The better that the speakers can create this "image," the better they are at soundstaging. With respect to most speakers, the soundstage is created best at the "sweet spot." With respect to better speakers, you can move away from the sweet spot and still get the soundstaging effect.

    The sound effects of cars and bullets are not related to the speakers ability to soundstage; any properly set up home theater system should be able to create those effects. However not all speakers can soundstage well.

    That is my understanding. Anyone more knowledgeable is welcome to elaborate, better explain it or correct it.
     
  4. Daryl_hawk

    Daryl_hawk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hmmmm, interesting. Well, I know that the reciever (or whatever the equipment used) does affect the soundstage at least somewhat because when I recently took my denon in to a shop and compared it to two other receivers, the placement of sounds (we only listened to music) definitely was superior with the other two. So I was just wondering what is it with the equipment that makes that difference.....although it sounds like speakers also play a big factor.
     
  5. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    One other factor in creating a seamless transition from one speaker to the next is that they are timbre matched. Using speakers that are all of the same brand and model series is one way to do this.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Timbre matching alone will not give you more depth of soundstage, though it is related. Speakers that are timbre matched, but do not reproduce depth well, will still sound that way even with better electronics.

    Basically, every piece of your gear in the path of the sound you are hearing determines soundstage. In a typical setup, it is the DACs, in either the player or the receiver - whichever one is doing the decoding - that plays a large role in soundstage.

    Your speakers play a VERY large role in soundstage, and positioning within the room is absolutely critical.
     
  7. Daryl_hawk

    Daryl_hawk Agent

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So what exactly does the processor (the 24bit or 32 bit DSP) do then?? Is that what decodes the sound from one signal to all 6 (or 7 or 8) channels. Does that actually affect sound quality?
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmmm for music soundstage testing, I would always go to 2 channel stereo. I'd be shocked if a Denon didn't equal just about anything in that area on a fair test. Overly bright speakers or a particularly bright AVR, could give a better soundstage perception as well in all honesty.

    A difficult subjective thing to accurately test for sure.
     
  9. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    After many years of searching I came across KEF speakers which I like a lot.
    I picked the Q75 model as my main pair and tried out various brands and different KEF models as a center without much luck.Even the recommended center speakers.
    My wife couldn't understand what was wrong and why I kept playing with them.
    My best explanation is on movies you notice were the sound is coming from....Dialog- center ....Big Boom- left speaker etc etc.
    I next found another Q75 and placed it below my monitor and BINGO!!!
    My wife even said it sounded great since it was so noticable.
    I ended up buying 2 more for the rears which did the trick.

    That's my 2 cents worth.

    I think you will know it when you hear it.
     
  10. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As mentioned, everything in the signal chain has an effect, but the biggest contributors are the room and speakers. You can move your speakers even a few inches and effect your soundstage.

    I've been in the same room for four years now and I still experiment with speaker placement. It's not about the destination, but the journey.

    DJ
     

Share This Page