Speaker placement for stage width, how wide?

Aaron_Morris

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Jul 1, 2002
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Yep... How wide should my fronts be placed apart for a good flow from left to right? Should they be a couple of feet away from the TV of should they be right next to the TV?
 

JimmyK

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Jun 21, 2002
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Jim
I've heard it said that the distance between the L&R speakers should be the same as from the listening position to the L&R speakers, forming an equalateral triangle.

My speakers are close to this suggestion and sound great. If you have the space to experiment, you might start with this, then try them closer/farther apart to see what you prefer.

JimmyK
 

Rich Malloy

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Apr 9, 2000
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What Jimmy said. This is referred to as "near field" placement.

Of course, other factors come into play, and so everything is a slight compromise unless you have an ideal room devoted to music/home theater.

For example, you wouldn't want to cram your speakers against the side walls, even if that means they're not quite as far apart as you are away from them (in other words, move your seating position closer instead). I don't think you'd want them any closer than 2 ft, and not that close if side reflections seem to be a problem.

I'd start by finding the correct distance out from the "Front Wall" to place your speakers (the wall behind your speakers). IMO, 3 to 3-1/2 ft is usually ideal to get good imaging. Bass response will increase the closer to the front wall you push them, but at the expense of a muddier, less defined soundstage. Find the balance that suits you.

Is your listening position fixed? If so, spread the speakers so that they're of equal distance from one another as they are in relation to the prime listening position. I've noticed that many home theater enthusiasts have their speakers pushed closer to the sides of their TVs than is usually recommended for music listening. I've tried it that way, and don't much care for it. A narrow and (inexplicably) shallow soundstage is the result in my room.

Now, you've got a starting point, and from here you'll simply have to listen. Small changes can make a big difference. Bringing the speakers out further from the front wall can open up the soundstage, pushing them closer can increase bass response, and sliding them towards the side walls might give you a richer midrange response. You'll almost certainly want to toe them in, but how much is dependant on your tastes. Too much may narrow the soundstage. Too little may leave an unfocused center image (not the "rock solid" center imaging that you'll want).

This can be a long process. I just pulled my main speakers another 4" off the frontwall last weekend (nearly 4 ft in total distance). I find I'm preferring it...
 

JimmyK

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Jun 21, 2002
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Jim
I'd start by finding the correct distance out from the "Front Wall" to place your speakers (the wall behind your speakers). IMO, 3 to 3-1/2 ft is usually ideal to get good imaging. Bass response will increase the closer to the front wall you push them, but at the expense of a muddier, less defined soundstage. Find the balance that suits you.
That bring up a question I've been meaning to ask......

Do you measure distance from the wall to the back of the speaker cabinet? Or is it from the wall to the drivers?

I ask because my ADSL1290's have a fairly deep cabinet (sealed eclosure) and I'm never sure how the suggestions such as yours apply.

Thanks!

PS - Aaron,
Really do some experimenting as suggested. Sometimes small changes in position make a big difference in sound.
 

Rich Malloy

Senior HTF Member
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Apr 9, 2000
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I always measure from the wall to the face of the speaker (not the back of the cabinet). And when measuring from the side-wall, I measure to the center of the speaker (you know, the "transducer" or whatever, but again not the cabinet).
 

Aaron_Morris

Stunt Coordinator
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Jul 1, 2002
Messages
106
Thanks for the help guys. I am thinking of moving to a new apartment. Sadly enough, I am looking at where I can place my moderate HT habit, before I even move in.
The living room it is going into is 12X17 long. I was thinking of placing the mains nearly touching the side walls and having the couch about 8' from the TV. As of now, it is in a similar arrangement, however the room is a differant shape. Hoping that the elohngation of the room and addition of sidewalls next to the speakers would help in the imaging.
 

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