Very good speaker in very bad places

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisJJ, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. ChrisJJ

    ChrisJJ Agent

    Jun 4, 2002
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    I just saw a house where the owner had B&W Nautilus 802s placed directly in the 2 corners of a room (within 6" of either wall), and with a grand piano sitting directly in front, blocking one of the speakers.

    So a few questions came to mind and I thought the HTF might have fun debating them:

    Do $8,000 speakers in REALLY bad locations sound better than $1,000 speakers in the same location?

    Is there a rule of golden ratio (8 to 1) of expensive speakers with bad placement vs. cheaper speakers with optimal placement?

    This is the second time I have come across such an audio atrocity. The first time, a guy I knew had a Krell amp and CD player attached to Mistral Shearwater HotRods, but the speakers were placed about 20' apart facing a wall about 12' away. One of the speakers was locked in a corner, against a wall, and tucked behind the edge of a large entertainment center. The other was on the other side of the entertainment center, but was completely open on the far side of the speaker. The guy was very upset that they didn't sound as good as in the showroom, but wouldn't make any room changes to get reasonable sound from the system. With that kind of money in a system, it seemed like such a crime.

  2. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    May 7, 2001
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    lol. Dream world audio components vs real world applications... with the WAF factor being the referee. I would never buy speakers that expensive till I could ensure my wife and room would cooperate. I think great speakers in a rotten room are a waste. But that's me.
    I suspect putting a definative ratio on the point of deminishing marginal returns is personal and largely a function of the size of one's wallet. If the disposable income was not a factor and I was single, I might have the Nautilus speakers sitting in my livingroom just for bragging rights. But I'd do it realizing that I was not getting the most out of them.
    My $0.02
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Feb 1, 2002
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    I think it's really personal preference and depends on what type of sound people are looking for and the different definitions of "better". (So there is no general rule of thumb)
    Sometimes I like to listen to music that's playing upstairs while I'm downstairs. I know that none of the sound I'm hearing is direct and that I get no soundstage or image, but I still enjoy it even though the placement is "bad".
    If the only way to get full enjoyment from a speaker is sitting in a sweet spot listening to the uninterrupted full potential -- then are the people with speakers in the corner wasting their money? It's like a master audiophile saying that none of the people on this forum are using their speakers to their full potential because they don't have full acoustic treatments, climate control, an acoustic suit, and had ear plug attenuators on the whole day. [​IMG]
    It is the different perspectives such as in the owners mind, where they may not be aware of perfect imaging, yet are still enjoying the speakers.
    Sure placement makes a big difference, but I can't really think of a straight ratio because the placement can "appear" bad yet still sound good.
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Jun 29, 2001
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    well it would seem that the owner of the house you saw was more concerned with with other matters instead of sound. most of us have limitations and constraints including those of the WAF and I guess the thing is to understand what those are and in the case of speakers to choose appropriately. What good is it falling in love with say electrostatics if there's no reasonable place to put them?
  5. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

    May 15, 2002
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    I GAVE UP MY ELECTROSTATS when I lost the room with non-parallel walls, the tape on the floors and the KInG SEAT
    What I always ask customers is information about the room and what is within (and on) the walls, ceilings and floors.
    Where are the speakers going to be placed?
    What(or who) is controlling the decor?
    More often than not you look for speakers that can deliver within the confines of the application.........

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