Speaker setup and geometry

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Cspirou, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I feel like this deserves its own thread.

    While obviously not a consideration for headphones, speaker placement is very important to how speakers sound. This is also the cheapest thing you can do with arguably the most effect on the sound. Here are couple different ways of placing speakers

    Golden rule - Speakers are placed in relation to the golden ratio, which occurs frequently in nature

    Rule of thirds - speakers are placed a third of room length from front wall and listening position is a third from rear wall

    Of course there are limitations due to living in spaces not designed for audio. It's telling that most of the articles I find on placement are for pro studios where you have control over everything. But within limits I feel like there is still a lot you can do.

    What works for you?
     
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  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So one question I had is that I tend to see studio monitors setup sideways whereas home speakers are vertical. I assumed that there was issues with comb filtering with horizontally aligned drivers, but I also think pros tend to know what they are doing.

    Are the pros wrong?
     
  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I believe it's because pro studio monitors in most cases are specially designed to be used horizontally, nearfield, in-studio and I believe they compensate for the comb filtering and horizontal dispersion aspects. At least that's what I recall reading...probably fairly easy to Google.
     
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  4. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Coincidentally I started messing around with speaker placement this weekend. I watched a video with Paul McGowan of PS Audio taking about how he sets up speakers according to the rule of thirds I believe. He mentioned about pulling your speakers further out into the room to add more depth and to better help your speakers "dissapear" in the room. I use some larger standmounts (ATC SCM19s) and a Rel sub, which took me quite a while to integrate to my liking.

    I pulled the ATCs out about 4-5 inches further into the room from the 2 front corners. Holy cow what a difference in the warmth - basically completely gone. The sound is now airy and large with better stage depth, but definite lack of balance on the bottom end from what I'm used to. Mid- bass reinforcment from the corners is gone. I'm now trying to compensate by adjusting the sub to move up the frequency range a bit to see if I can bring some warmth back without creating a bass hump where it overlaps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  5. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    Well, I cant speak about speakers on their sides, but I spent some time moving my speakers around today and went from this:
    [​IMG]

    to this:
    [​IMG]

    And here's what it was like before I put them on stands and took them off my desk:
    [​IMG]

    In short, they went from on desk (picture 3) -> on stands placed at the front edge of the desk (picture 1) -> on stands placed as close to the wall and upside down (picture 2).
    The placement itself is far from ideal (the desk is a problem but I cant get rid of it, and I dont have other options at the moment), I'm sure an impulse response or waterfall plot would show huge flaws, but its a step in the right direction in my opinion - atleast now I can use my vinyl rig again!

    I'm going to mess around with things more, and then post pictures. Hopefully that might help someone here and maybe even give me more ideas to test!
     
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  6. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    Physics don't work by the same rules as aesthetics. Speaker placement in rectangular rooms can be accurately modeled by free to use software like REW, so there aren't really any set "rules" to go by. Toe in your speakers if you want to listen to on-axis, or not if you prefer treble roll-off. Just remember that for some speakers off-axis suffers.

    A useful guide for placing near-fields in tight places has been written by Genelec - https://www.genelec.com/sites/defau...itors/Catalogues/monitor_setup_guide_2017.pdf
     
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  7. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Lets not forget the WAF. My wife definitely would not want the absolute optimum positioning of two tower speakers in our living room. She’s nice enough to let them be in the living room at all!
     
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  8. GTABeancounter

    GTABeancounter Friend

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    I agree 100%... I've seen several advice threads elsewhere on the web where the OP is seeking placement advice for his/her recently purchased $3000 towers. WAF (HAF, PAF, SAF lol) should be considered BEFORE buying.

    You don't want to come home with your rear ported towers and find out that they have to be placed right up against the wall... if that is your only option you may as well buy monoprice in-wall speakers and spend the remaining funds on your HP set-up.
     
  9. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Well I just call them 'rules' because that's how I see it called, but I think of them more as guidelines. Simulation software is great but you need to know what you are doing. These are a good starting point and then you can go further from there.

    There is a well known 'rule' for listening position called the '38% rule' by Wes Lachot which claims the theoretical optimal listening position for the flattest bass response is 38% the length of room from the front wall. If you divide the room up by the golden ratio you get 61.8% and 38.2%, and 38.2% is pretty close to 38%. Since these guidelines are pretty fuzzy I don't think you lead people astray by saying it's in relation to the golden ratio.

    True, but I still think there's room to be better no matter what your situation. I have seen the following setup way too many times:

    [​IMG]

    Nevermind placing speakers on the same surface as a turntable, the speakers themselves are way too damn close together. Might as well get a boombox in that case. I don't think spacing the speakers to the edge of cabinet (or better yet, on stands) would lead to major household disagreements.

    I'd probably end up building this if I had to do that:

    http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/8008-CORNER.htm
     
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