Is This The Worst Speaker Placement Possible? Please Help Diagnose My Setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JustinP, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    About 4 months ago I sold my Bose AM6 setup and upgraded to a pair of Paradigm Studio 60's and a Denon 3802 (thanks 6ave). I've been extremely impressed with the improvement in sound I've enjoyed thus far, but I'm not sure if my system is performing at the levels it's capable of. I've taken the time to take a couple of snapshots of my room and included some mesasurement information. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions on how I could go about improving performance.
    System Profile:
    Monitor: Sony KV27FS12
    Mains: Paradigm Studio 60's v.2
    Receiver: Denon 3802
    DVD/CD: Panasonic DVD-A105
    Speaker Cable: Monster Z1
    Interconnects: Monster Coax (DVD - Receiver)
    Monster S-Video (DVD - TV)
    Monster 200 (TV - Receiver)
    Power: TV, DVD connected to Monster PowerProtect AV600
    Denon 3802 connected directly to wall
    The whole setup is located in my bedroom, which is approximately 13.5' by 11', but it only occupies roughly half as the included pictures will show. I've always had concerns about placing the speakers in this room, as the speakers can't really be placed away from corners of the room, most of the walls are very reflective (mirrored closet doors), and my listening position is directly against the rear wall and at times entirely off center.
    Pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Again, any advice, suggestions, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated, as I've spent a lot of money relative to my income (college student) and want to get the most from my investment. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tim Morton

    Tim Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing you could do is play around with sound absorbtion to see if it makes a difference...maybe hang a large heavy blanket over the sliding doors..and anything else you think might help...the proof is in the pudding.
     
  3. Adarsh Daswani

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    About two years ago, I upgraded my system to a Yamaha DSP-A1 with Paradigm Studio/60 v2 mains. I was in med school at the time, in student housing. This is also known as cheap hardwood floors with flimsy baseboards and hollow walls. Talk about an awful acoustic situation!
    My partial solution was to purchase some relatively inexpensive acoustic foam from www.audioadvisor.com. It definitely toned things down and expanded the soundstage.
    If you can throw a nice wallcovering behind the TV and/or behind your listening position, it should help as well.
    -A.
     
  4. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    A few more questions. Is plugging the receiver directly into the wall a better solution than running it through the power strip? Also, is the fact that the speakers are so close to the wall and basically in corners going to have a detrimental effect on sound? Are the speakers too close together to provide a good soundstage? Am I sitting to close to the speakers? Is this paranoia?

    Any answers would be appreciated.
     
  5. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Justin, that is quite honestly, the *worst* speaker placement I have ever seen. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Just kidding. It looks okay. It looks like you're pretty limited as far as placement goes by what else is in the room. Can you switch the equipment for the seating? That's the only change I think you could really make. That glass door may be adding more first order reflections than a regular old wall, but I wouldn't sweat it too much.
    You could do things like room treatment and bass traps, but if you're in college, you probably won't have this particular arrangement for too long, so I would just enjoy it like it is.
     
  6. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I don't see that much wrong with how you have it set up. It is not the best, but it looks like you have already taken positive steps by pulling the speakers away from the wall. A glass closet door isn't going to be much worse than a wall. Between the bed, couch, and carpet you have quite a bit of absorbat material. Some thick drapes on the window might help. As far as the soundstage, 4 feet isn't bad. I would be more worried about discoloration on the TV than the sound.


    You are not that bad. I think you are worrying too much. I think you are getting most of the speakers now. There are always things that can be done to tweak the sound a little, but you can get crazy with it (and look like you live in a mental institution)

    Sit back and enjoy the 60s and the Denon. That is an excellent setup, especially for college. I have been out of college for a few years and am only up to a 3803 and Paradigm Monitors. I am a long way from Studios.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    open the closet, and let the clothing absorb that first reflection.

    I agree with the others, it looks like you've done what you can, given the room constraints.
     
  8. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    I would suggest trying them a bit further apart from each other.
    Experiment with a bit of toe in to see what that might do. By sitting that close means you are more off axis than usual so a bit of toe in might make for smoother treble.
     
  9. JustinP

    JustinP Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone think calibrating with an SPL meter and Avia would give me a noticable improvement with this setup? This is the last question, I swear. [​IMG]
     
  10. RobertV

    RobertV Extra

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    Justin,
    I realize that your pressed for space, but try your best to come close to the setup posted here . It is the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) recommended setup for DVD-A. Many sound engineers are now using this "universal" setup for movie mastering as well.
    This should dramatically improve the imaging capabilities of your system.
    With this placement you may not need to balance the main channel levels with an SPL meter, but it never hurts to compare what your hearing to a useful measurement.
    Hope this helps!
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    It's ok to be a little paranoid. But cmon... seriously, you just came from Bose to Paradigm monitor 11s!!!! You're living it good man, those speakers are amazing. [​IMG] Now, it seems that you did the right thing pulling them away from the wall, and the room is quite small, which makes things difficult. I wouldn't worry about the room TOO much, but a little draperies or frilly fabrics (lol) might help the high end. Especially with the Paradigms which have strong highs, if the room aggravates that it can be annoying, so you could toy with that. Secondly, can you move your tv setup left? I can't really see what is to the left of it, but it seems (via the reflection in the mirors) that you could move a few feet over if you moved stuff out of the way. Leave the right speaker where it is, and move the left speaker left, along with the TV. This will give you a better, wider sound stage. You might also want to play with toe-in, which can help imaging. I have mini-monitors, and anything too much wider than an equilateral triangle, and the center voices tend to lose "grip" on the center, so you don't want to spread them out TOO wide, but it shouldn't really be a problem.
    Thirdly, if you have a large carpeted living room or something, set them up there for a few days, and play around with their placement where you have more space and see how they sound best. Most likely you will be able to get pretty close to that sound by tweaking things back in your tv room there.
    And, I wholeheartdely recommned Avia for video and audio calibration. However, you are only using two speakers it seems, in which case, it really wouldnt do a darn thing except get them calibrated to reference level, which IMHO, is not really a big deal. It's more important to get all the channels in a surround setup at equal volumes, and to calibrate the sub equally too. I still recommend it for your video, in fact you SHOULD calibrate your video, it'll be much improved. But for audio in your case, not a big deal, because there isn't anything to calibrate.
    When you do get a bigger room, or whatnot, and get a surround setup (which seems like the logical step since you got a surround reciever), then Avia really will be important for the audio.
     

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