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Describe your 2 channel soundstage (1 Viewer)

Ricky T

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 1999
Messages
921
I'm curious to hear people describe their 2 channel soundstage and sound. Please remember to give us details on your room. Hardware description optional. I'll start.
MY ROOM
15x18x8.5. My front speakers are 7 feet apart on the 15 foot wall, with a big 56inch 16x9 RPTV between them (about 12inches of breathing room between TV and each speaker). I sit in the middle of the room, about 10 feet from the speakers. There is a narrow walkway and stairway behind me. Probably an average room acoustically.
THE GEAR
NHT 3.3 mains
Rogue Magnum 66 tube preamp
Parasound 2200II amp, cdc1500 cd changer, and DAC1600
THE SOUNDSTAGE & SOUND
Soundstage is nice and big. Wider than the speakers, seems like the sound is coming from behind both my ears :) I sometimes can hear/feel/see the layers in the bass on the floor between me and speakers. Bass can feel like bass shakers under my couch. Nice blend of warm and detail. I can crank without any listening fatigue. Female vocals are over 6 feet high....maybe they're coming from the ceiling :D
 

Justin Doring

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 9, 1999
Messages
1,467
I'll play! :)
My audio/video system has two channels. My room is about 19'x19'x9' and it has a huge bay window at one end and a closable door at the other. My speakers and listening chair are along the two walls that have no door or window. The room has carpeting over wood floors, wood paneling over sheetrock walls, wood shutters on the bay windows, and heavy furnishings. I would say it is more "dead" than "alive," but not terribly so.
Measured from the tweeters, my NHT 3.3 speakers are about 8' apart, 4' out from the wall, and I sit about 12' away in the middle of the room in a large, low back, heavy fabric armchair with an ottoman. Between the speakers sits a Toshiba 40" 16:9 RPTV that sticks out 21" from the wall. There is 27" of space between the side of the television and the inside side of the speaker. The front of the television ends about where the rear baffle of the speakers begin. In front of the television and between the speakers sits my Classe' CA-200 stereo amp, my Classe' CP-50 stereo preamp, my Sony SCD-1 SACD/CD player, and my Sony DVP-9000ES DVD/SACD/CD player. All rest on single shelf 10" high Lovan Sovereign stands. Synergistic Research A/C Master Coupler power cords are on all components except for the television. All components, save the amp which is plugged directly into the wall, are plugged into a PS Audio Juice Bar, which also has an A/C Master Coupler power cord. Speaker cables are Nordost Red Dawns, XLR interconnects (SACD to preamp, preamp to amp) are also Nordost Red Dawns, RCA interconnects (DVD to preamp) are Tara Labs Prism 11s, and component video cables are Tributaries SCVCs.
The sound my system produces is totally recording dependent, but what is consistent is that the speakers completely disappear. Generally, the soundstage only extends about a foot or so from the sides of the speakers, but on some recordings I get wall to wall sound. Imaging is nearly always pinpoint, and on certain recordings I get imaging behind me. Depth is totally dependent upon the recording. Sometimes the performers are several feet in front of the speaker baffles, as with many pop and rock recordings, while other recordings sound as if the performers are dozens or even hundreds of feet behind the speakers, as with classical and film score recordings. Good recordings figuratively transport me to the venue, and I have no problem hearing the venue boundaries or the layers of instruments. With good recordings, I can pick out individual performers in an orchestra or chorus, instead of just being able to define sections. Bass is deep, tight, powerful, and the overall tonal balance of my system is very neutral. Some brightness comes with some recordings, while others are exceedingly warm. Transient response is lightning fast, compression is nonexistent, and I'm never fatigued after marathon listening sessions.
I've only heard a handful of systems that sound better than mine, the cheapest of which was over three times the price of mine.
 

BeatCrazy

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
129
Real Name
Sam
Well, let's see.
I do 2channel with NHT 2.9's (not for too much longer, they're on eBay) and use the all-analog Sony TAP9000ES pre-amp with Sony's SCDC555ES SACD changer. My speakers are only about 6 1/2 feet apart and I guess I sit about 9 feet back. My room is a rectangle that opens to the kitchen on the right side. My couch is against the back wall, and my speakers are about 15" from the front wall.
Here's the crazy part: I use the Outlaw ICBM and its "recombine" feature to help extract out a sub channel while leaving the mains to run full range. This sub channel (
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
Justin:
You're welcome. It's nice for two members to agree without a third member suggesting that a double blind test is required. :)
Larry
 

BeatCrazy

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
129
Real Name
Sam
Justin,
As soon as the NHT's sell on eBay, I've decided to go with B&W Nautilus 802's in Red Cherry and the HTM1 Center channel.
See the pic here.
These are probably the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. Nice and rich, with a mid-range to die for.
edit: sorry the B&W link is acting a little funny. It should work, but the text might be messing up :)
 

Chas_T

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
Messages
758
Sam.. What is the suggested retail on these speakers? They look really, really cool. Bet they sound even better.

Charles
 

Justin Doring

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 9, 1999
Messages
1,467
Sam, that should be a nice sounding HT system, although I'd personally take my NHT 3.3 over the B&W N801 or N802. :) Your McIntosh amp will be a great match with the N802s!
 

BeatCrazy

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
129
Real Name
Sam
Charles,

Nautilus 802's retail for $8,000/pair. Yep, they're definitely a cool looking pair of speakers. They are built rock-solid, too.

Justin, I've heard my exact amp with the speakers, and they make a great match. I still love NHTs, the 3.3s sound much better than my 2.9s, but the N802's just have a different sound to them that makes me want to listen to them all day long.
 

BeatCrazy

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
129
Real Name
Sam
....and to get back on Ricky's topic:

My 2 channel soundstage is very accurate in pitch, tone and bass slam, it just doesn't have that 3-D, actual music-in-the-room effect as much as I'd like. Sounds like Ricky and Justin can get this effect, who else can?
 

Ricky T

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 1999
Messages
921
Sam,

Your N802s should be a very nice upgrade and change. Your soundstage should get much bigger. My 3.3s are source dependent like Justin's...most of the time, the soundstage extends about 1-2 feet past the speakers, not wall to wall like others.
 

Sihan Goi

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Messages
442
With my PSB Stratus Goldi's and TagMcLaren AV32R/Rotel RMB-1095 combo, my soundstage barely extends just slightly wider than my toed in speakers. I don't have the exact dimensions with me right now, but while I'm happy with it(at least for the price I paid), I've definitely heard better...my gear is of course no match for the NHT 3.3's...I've heard so many good things about them...
 

John Tompkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
658
I have nht 2.9s and parasound amplification. My speakers are 8 1/2 feet apart and I sit 13 feet back. My room is 16 by about 23 feet. With the lexicon dc-2 I get a large soundstage which extends to the sides of my room(sounds like I have side speakers, sometimes I have to check and make sure there not on.) Imaging is high (vertically) but would like a little more instument sepereation(depends on recording, mostly)...Now I must tell you I much prefer the SOUND using a bottlehead tube pre, much more pleasing to my ears(sweet, juicy;) )but will admit that I lose some sounstaging and imaging using it but will easliy give this small bit up to get back some tube magic.
 

Frank_S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 1999
Messages
565
My 2 channel analog system consists of:
Rega P3 TT with Koetsu Black MC Cart.
EAR 864 Tube preamp with tube phono stage.(Balanced conn.)
Aragon 8008BB amp(Balanced conn.)
Nautilus 804 speakers with Rel Storm III sub taking on the very low frequencies(crossed at 22hz with my mains and connected to the Aragon amp via neutrik speakon connector)
Echobuster panels on first order reflections and Bassbusters in corners.
Playing LP's on the Rega through the EAR864 is wonderful. Even poor source material sounds good, albeit a little less dynamic. The N804's are very slightly toed-in, 7 ft. apart and my listening position is 8ft. away. The soundstage is source dependent, good source produces very wide and deep soundstage, the speakers really disappear. I am satisfied with my current setup, having tried different toe-in, speaker distance adjustments.
Until I buy another CD player(sold my Cary last year)I listen to CD's using my Classe pre/pro DAC's. A Toshiba SD-5109 is the transport and I have a Camelot jitter filter connected between the Toshiba and pre/pro. CD's sound very nice through the Classe, some sound pretty lifeless but good source produces a very nice soundstage although not quite as wide and deep as my analog setup.
I really want a dedicated room for my 2 channel setup, that's the next big upgrade on the horizon.:)
 

chung_sotheby

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
857
I now this may seem a bit obnoxious, given how good your system is, but shouldnt you think about upgrading your TT to match the quality of your other components. The EAR is one of the finest, if not the finest, phono pre I have ever heard, and possibly the Rega is not doing it justice.
 

Frank_S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 28, 1999
Messages
565
I now this may seem a bit obnoxious
Chuck, obvious would be more appropriate. I realize the Rega is the weakest link. I decided after trying out other cart's that I would buy the Koetsu since I will be upgrading the Rega soon. There are so many TT's available now so I want to take my time in auditioning them. Believe it or not, the P3 is a fine TT and performs well with the Koetsu. Obviously a better TT will bring more of the Koetsu character out but for now I enjoy what I have. :)
 

Keir H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 4, 2001
Messages
462
I am one of the many Def Tech owners out there (BP 30's. While I think I have a good soundstage, I have heard better as well. I am a little confused on this soundstage thing. Ok, what's a "proper" s/s? SHould I look for certain things when evaluating my s/s when playing back stereo sources? Is it more in the recording or the electronics. The best I have heard, within my scope of limited knowledge, is Wilson WATT/Puppies powered by BAT amps, Accoustic Reasearch preamp/cd player. The sound was seemingl coming from the ceiling! I remember "looking up at the sound". :) Also extended to my left and right, waaay out there too with great separation. I just knew upon hearing that I had work to do to get something like that at home. I think I have improved things but still may need help...I have a EAD Encore, HK PA5800 with AQ cables and Tributaries. My transport is a JVC 723 DVD-A player. While again, it souds "good" I want it to sounds "great". What could I improve that would give be the best benefit with the least cost. Thanks!
 

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