n00b: best front speaker distance?

akewt

Novice Member
can someone tell me whether its best to seperaste the front left/right speakers as far apart as possible or have them a certain distance from the center? is ther an optimal distance?

chars
 

cribeiro

Novice Member
The separation depends rather on your seating position. The two speakers and your seating position should be on the vertices of an equilateral triangle. You can play a bit (further apart, closer) to find out how it sounds better to you.
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Cribeiro is correct. Ideally you should sit the same distance away as the speakers are apart.
My understanding from stereo basics of 30 odd years ago is that the fronts should be 4M apart ideally.
But I often see speakers immediately either side of a telly.
I quite often comment on this, but never seem to be corrected when I mention the 4M thing.
I'm still not convinced either way, perhaps speakers are designed to sit closer these days?

Whatever, if you can experiment, eg by sitting the speakers on chairs, that's what I would do.

You're looking for better imageing (left to right difference) and a broader soundstage.
Don't forget about pointing the speakers in at different angles too ;)
 

akewt

Novice Member
as much as that pdf is good its a bit overkill for lil ol me. my room is 4.4mx3.6m with a chimney breast where the TV will be mounted. also theres an awkward angle chopped off one corner for the door.

heres a diagram of what i was thinking:



can you please give me some feedback on this setup?

chars
 

cribeiro

Novice Member
Looks good, although it has compromises.
I'd move the fronts away from the corners (at least 0.5m from sides and wall).

And I'd also move the sofa a bit into the room, centering it also (once you avoid the chopped piece of the room because you moved the sofa in). Move it so that you make an equilateral triangle as commented before.
Look for a soundstage as wide as possible, but not so wide that the sound from right and left tear apart from each other. Voices mixed to sound in the middle are also a good reference. They must appear solid in the middle. Toe in and look for depth. More toe in makes more depth of soundstage, so that you get more layers of sound, each of them further apart. But if you go too far, the sound will collapse quite a lot in the middle, and instead of these layers panning from side to side, you'll have all centered sounds very deep, and sounds on the left or on the right located directly at the speaker position.

Then the rear into the other corner of the chopped piece of the room, and the other rear symmetrically. I guess you'd get a better soundfield then. I'll make a drawing if I have some time.

You can also do it and just test how it sounds (leave it at least for a couple of weeks!). Then, go back to "normal" and see if you are missing something.

If you leave it as it is now, check how it sounds when you block the rear ports (if present) with socks. Rear ports will resonate if too close to the wall, and stuffing them should alleviate this (although it also sacrifices some bass extension, which won't matter if you have a subwoofer).

BTW, the pdf is a nice and interesting read.

Badger, I don't see any physical/acoustical reason why the speakers should be exactly 4m apart. But I am "only" 29, after all :rolleyes: Maybe I am missing something (I doubt it :lesson:. Just joking ;)).
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Badger, I don't see any physical/acoustical reason why the speakers should be exactly 4m apart. But I am "only" 29, after all Maybe I am missing something (I doubt it . Just joking ).

No offence taken mate :)

I can't see it either, but definitely remember that it was very strongly recommended that they should be at least 13ft (4M) apart, if poss. This was the same period when quadrophonic sound was being pushed hard. Maybe that is why I like to listen in 5 channel stereo?

Whatever, it works for me :)

I do know that B&W speakers image very well at close distance, hence my asking if speaker design has changed somewhat over the last 30 years :confused:

Actually, it was nearer 35 years ago :) :(
 

cribeiro

Novice Member
:)
Well, I understand that you need a minimum distance. You have several drivers and if you are too close, you can identify the two different sound sources, which should work as one. Then, the irradiation characteristic makes some pattern which make only be ok one it is far enough from the driver, so that's also ok with me. But if you then make 4m or 5m it shouldn't play a role (apart from the fact that the further you place them, the further you sit and thus the louder you have to play them for the same SPL at the seating position, which could be a limitation depending on the speaker). See? I have given it some thought while writing other stuff... But now it is time to sleep. Good night! :boring:
 

akewt

Novice Member
Looks good, although it has compromises.
I'd move the fronts away from the corners (at least 0.5m from sides and wall).
i intend to wall mount them so this will be a problem

And I'd also move the sofa a bit into the room, centering it also (once you avoid the chopped piece of the room because you moved the sofa in). Move it so that you make an equilateral triangle as commented before.
the room isnt big enough. its not a cinema room its a lounge with a coffe table!!

Then the rear into the other corner of the chopped piece of the room, and the other rear symmetrically. I guess you'd get a better soundfield then.
do this even though im not moving the sofa? surely the rears should be as far behind the sofa up to an optimal length?

i have a subwooer. im buying the Mordaunt Short alumni set.

as you may have realised i dont have much room to play with and am restricted by the room being a lounge first and foremost.
 

GW43

Member
Interesting link, I might give that a whirl :smashin:

Like many people I put my speakers where I could, based on the constraints of my room being one that is used for more than just listening to music.

My room is about 12' wide, and the speakers fire down the long axis, and there is a cabinet in one corner so the speakers have to be far enough away from the side wall to allow the doors to open.

I always thought that to maintain some degree of symmetry in the room, my speakers were a little close together.

However, when looked at this diagram and took some measurements, I found my speakers to be within a couple of inches of their optimum position from the side walls.:thumbsup: They should be about 4' further out from the front wall, but I can't see SWMBO buying that!
 

akewt

Novice Member
should i bring the fronts further forward from the centre?
 

GW43

Member
should i bring the fronts further forward from the centre?
I think if you could get your front speakers more into the centre of each alcove, and as far into the room as space will allow, then you should hear some improvements.

Generally, corners are very bad places for speakers, and for rear ported speakers, walls immediately behind should also be avoided. Side walls can cause problems with early reflections, muddying the sound. Most speakers work best with some space around them.
 

akewt

Novice Member
i meant bringing them forward from the center speaker not the room. i tihnk your missing the point mate. i'm mounting all the satelites on the wall i dont have room to have floor standing ones.

i think i'll just go with what i've got.
 

cribeiro

Novice Member
akewt,

if you have to live with those compromises, I suggest that you try to put the rears a bit forward (right rear on the other corner, left rear forward accordingly) and point them backwards, so that the sound will be reflected and scattered by the rear wall. Try it an see if it sounds better than your present setup.

As it is now, I am afraid the rears can sound too direct, drawing attention from the fronts. With the above solution, it may disperse the sound a bit like if the speakers were further away behind you.

If the speakers are rear ported, block the ports and see if the sound improves.

In any case, the symmetry is quite good, many people must live with worse situations than that :thumbsup:
 

akewt

Novice Member
akewt,

if you have to live with those compromises, I suggest that you try to put the rears a bit forward (right rear on the other corner, left rear forward accordingly) and point them backwards, so that the sound will be reflected and scattered by the rear wall. Try it an see if it sounds better than your present setup.

As it is now, I am afraid the rears can sound too direct, drawing attention from the fronts. With the above solution, it may disperse the sound a bit like if the speakers were further away behind you.

If the speakers are rear ported, block the ports and see if the sound improves.

In any case, the symmetry is quite good, many people must live with worse situations than that :thumbsup:
great advice, thanks cribeiro.

there will be a certian amount of compromise with my setup. i think the best way is to suck it and see. get the speakers in the general area and then play around with positions.

cheers
 

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic HX800 TV + Sony HT-G700 Soundbar reviews, movie and TV show news and reviews

Trending threads

Top Bottom