Min. clearance for rear ported speakers?!?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Veroukis, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Greetings!

    I've been looking for a set of bookshelves to act as my mains in my room. The thing is, these bookshelves will be on bookshelves, right up against the wall (well, with perhaps 2 inches clearance). The speakers I've been looking at are the Paradigm Studo40's. The sound blows me away and I really love it, however, it's rear ported! This has me worried as I'm afraid it may sound bad with the rear ports so close to the wall. The salesman tells me a few inches is all I need. Is this true? I suppose it also depends on how much I want to crank it, which probably isn't much, but still, I'd hate to get such a high-end speaker and have the walls ruin it for me. Any advice?

    - Mike
     
  2. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    I don't know what the minimum clearance will be.

    What I can suggest is that you can stuff the rear port and this will likely help a good deal. Foam material might work best, but I've known people to do it with socks. Also, depending on the cosmetics/layout, you could try pacing sound absorbant material behind the speaker as well. This helped a good deal with one of my mains which had to be placed too close to a wall/corner. In my case, the area in question was largely hidden from view, so it was not unsightly.

    Good Luck,

    --Steve
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Play some bass heavy music, and put your hand behind the port, and move it away until you don't feel much air hitting your hand, that should be enough clearance from the wall to not imprede the airflow from the port. Rule of thumb, probably 3"-4" of clearance should be good enough.

    Remember, the slug of air coming out of the port represent a form of resistance for the speaker system, and impeding the port's airflow will cause it to act more like a sealed box, which will roll off the bottom end response more gradually and not extend the bottom end, which is the function of the port.
     
  4. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

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    The speakers will sound better give more room to breathe, but I think that the difference is not so much that yo won't be able to appreciate the quality of the Paradigms. Putting a sock into the port will also, I believe, lower the efficiency slightly.

    Cheers,

    Mike
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Mike,

    I recommend getting a pair of speakers that are suitable for their required placement. In the end you will be much happier with a set that can perform where you will be putting them rather than trying to squeeze the Paradigms into a far from ideal situation. The salesman will tell you anything that will get you to buy something from him. Either try to pick a pair of Paradigms that aren't rear ported or go with another brand. Mission might be a good alternative.
     
  6. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I recommend not putting them on bookshelves... and getting a set of B-tech wall mounts. That will keep them far enough off the wall for the rear port, as well as let you angle the speakers as you need to.
     
  7. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    I am in the same boat as you. I have a custom wall cabinet and my mains are bookshelves. When looking for speakers I auditioned PSB, B&W, Paradigm and NHT. My dealer actually let me take his demo pair of 40's home and another dealer let me take home some PSB Image 2B's. Now the PSB's are really not in them same league as the Paradigms but they were front ported. I can tell you that the PSB's blew away the Paradigms because of this situation in my room. The bass response was much better and tighter. I even had a serious phasing problem with my left speaker (Paradigm) and my sub that I did not have with the PSBs. I saved some money and bought the PSBs. This was a no brainer for me. It really showed me that more money was not the answer for my situation. Since then I have moved on to NHT 1.5's which are sealed and have even better response/phasing from where I have them placed. If there is anyway you can try them in your room you should. The Paradigms are awesome speakers and will sound great if you can get them integrated. Oh by the way, I also tried some $2000 esoteric speakers with a rear port (name withheld for flame purposes) and the PSBs sounded better as well. If you do not have good bass integration the speaker will not be satisfying no matter how good (or expensive) it is.
     
  8. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Thanks for the replies!
    Interestingly, I emailed paradigm about this and I have yet to hear a reply. I'm sure they have their engineers working hard on this one. [​IMG]
    @JohnRice:
     
  9. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Hey!
    Okay, well, I emailed Paradigm about this. I decided to post my original email and their reply here. No surprises really but thought some of you might be interested in what they had to say. Here goes (my email first)
    - Mike
    -------
    To Paradigm:
    > Hello!
    >
    > I noticed that the Studio40s are rear ported. Considering that these are
    > bookshelves, I was wondering how close to the wall I can place these speakers?
    > I'll most likely toe them in a little which will create some space at an angle
    > between the speaker and wall. However, the most I'd be able to space them
    > from
    > the wall might only be a couple of inches as they will literally be on a
    > bookshelf. I understand that these should really be on a stand, but I do not
    > have that luxury. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    >
    > - Mike
    -----
    From Paradigm:
    Hi Mike
    Generally, I would suggest six to eight inches as the minimum distance from
    the wall.
    Placing the Studio/40v.2 close too close to a wall can create unwanted
    reinforcement of low frequencies/distorted bass.
    This effect can be minimized by installing port plugs (available through
    your Authorized Paradigm dealer) but doing so will result in some loss of
    the speakers' low frequency capabilities.
    Thanks for your interest in Paradigm speakers.
    Sincerely,
    Gary Takeda
    Paradigm Technical Support
    on 3/5/2002 4:16 PM, Yogi Bear at [email protected] wrote:
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I agree. Like I said, I think it is better to get speakers that function well where you are going to put them rather than trying to shoehorn the Paradigms into a bad spot. If speakers are poorly placed for their design, it doesn't matter how "good" they are, they will sound bad.
     
  11. Eric A

    Eric A Second Unit

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    Yes, my speakers were totally enclosed so that may have some effect. I have about 8 inches from the back of the speaker to the wall of the cabinet but they are enclosed. I agree with John, the Paradigms are definitely fine speakers but I would not try to make them work. Look at some B&W's. They are front ported.
     

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