Possible Flooring problems



I have recently completed my speaker setup by purchasing a pair of Ruark Prelude R floorstanders as mains. The Epilogues have moved to the rear so now everything is in the right place. I had the Epilogues as mains on stands for a while and loved them. They were articulate, punchy and had awesome clarity. I did however feel like I was missing some bass as I don't yet have a sub. I thought this would be cured by the Preludes but I'm dissapointed with the overall effect. The Preludes are better in terms of detail and I do get that 'Hi-fi' warmth that I was lacking. The bass is all there but often, especially on Rock tracks, the sound becomes muddled and I miss the punch of the Epilogues.

I have them standing directly on the floor which is laminate over suspended chipboard with a 2' gap underneath. Is this causing my problem as the Epilogues were isolated through their stands. I don't have spikes for the Preludes and think it would ruin the look anyway. Should I consider mass loading? Also, is there any kind of isolation mat that you can sit speakers on. I can feel the music through my feet in the floor when it's cranked! This is obviously bad.

Any ideas? I will soon be moving to a place with solid stone floors so it's only temporary anyway. I know the Preludes are better, I can hear it in there but there appears to be a muddle in the way.


Ian J

I have taken the liberty of changing the thread title to one that is more likely to attract the attention of a couple of people who you would like to hear from. :)


Talk about taking liberties! Just don't change the text so that it contains the word 'Panny' or you'll be hearing from my lawyer (if I had one).


uncle eric

Many home theatre designers actually prefer a small gap under a solid hardwood floor. This enhances low end "feel" in a given room.
Many people use gaps such as these to install transducer devices such as Clarkssynthesis which lets you "feel" the low end. http://www.clarksynthesis.com/home-products.html
Having said that, a quality subwoofer can achieve similar results. Ask any visitor thats been to the Batcave.

I think your problem lies in positioning therfore poor resonances. Even though you might be dissapointed in the low level output the Preludes are giving, they still go lower than your standmounts. The extra bass is simply exposing acoustic flaws in the position that the floor standers did not. This was not noticed before because the air around the floor standers wasn't "excited" at the lower frequency range that the floor standers are now achieving. This has now exposed the position as being poor with lower frequencies.

Sadly, this is a classic textbook flaw of using floorstanders. Stand mount speakers which hover in the mid and upper frequncies are less problematic in their placement because they don't go down far enough into the "problem zone".
Floorstanders (dependent on the make/model etc) often enter this zone. When they do the first thing one thinks about is repositioning. This in itself is bad news. How much leeway is there to reposition the main left and right front speaker. Not much at all. Strictly speaking they must be triangulated to the left and right of the main seeting position, so not much choice at all.

This is where the sub/sat system pays off. You place the sats where they should be. You then have a choice (within reason of course) of the best place for the sub. Easy peasy.


Thanks Eric, most useful. The Preludes are front ported which does allow closer placement to the wall. Personally I feel that my living room can't actually handle low frequencies well. The floor bounces when you jump on it and the whole building is cheap and flimsy (as are most houses built in the last 30 years). There is very little flexibility for movement in my case so they will stay where they are.

I have just done a small experiment where I cut some acoustic foam, bought for my PC. It's about 1" thick, green and very dense. The first difference of placing this under the speakers was that I could no longer feel the music through my feet! The second was a quite enormous improvement in sound quality. The boominess all but dissapeared and detail that had gone, came back. There is a percussion 'click' in the intro to 'Line em up' by James Taylor that I had lost altogether which has now come back in full voice. I listened to some Pink Floyd and could hear voices I had not heard before, even with the stand mounters.

I knew the Preludes were better than the Epilogues but now I can hear it. I never thought a bit of foam could make such a difference. Next job is to cut some pieces the right shape, spray it matt black and maybe try mass loading.

I reckon you are right about sub/sat systems though. Has to be the best answer if you can afford good kit.



An interesting thread this, as I use Ruark Preludes as my 2-channel hi fi speakers and, similar to paiger, use them on solid wooden floors in my living room, which is actually on the middle floor of my house.

Although certain areas of my floorboards have already been ruined by me positioning and re-positioning the spiked speakers, I invested in some heavy stone blocks to place the Preludes on. This also helped raise the tweeters around 1.5 inches, to almost perfect ear height when I'm sitting down.

I've always found the Preludes hugely entertaining, they deliver loads of detail and never sound brash or too bright. I personally have always found the bass extension more than enough for my liking.

This could well all come down to room acoustics. I'm lucky in that although my floor is wooden and suspended, the house and floor boards are about 125 years old, also meaning that the wall to the rear of the Preludes and to the rear of my listening position are about 15" of thick, heavy stone. Maybe this is helping the sound. I do also think that the Ruarks are designed to be used with their accompanying spikes... it may be worth trying to track some down? Ruark themselves have always been excellent with me with after sales care, I wouldn't mind betting you could get some from them for nada (with a nicely worded email or phone call).

Anyway, I'm glad you're pleased with the Preludes now paiger... I really think they're an overlooked speaker, or maybe their price point it just that little too much to make them contenders?

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