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Speaker Placement - HiFi not Hime Cinema

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Tony8377, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Tony8377

    Tony8377
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    I did a search on speaker placement but the first seven pages of results only seemed to talk about home cinema not hifi speakers so I though I'd start a new thread.

    I've recently moved home and ever since setting up my system in my new place there has been absolutely no bass. The bass has just completely dropped out of my speakers - not just the very low end but everything. Initially the only way I was able to partly solve this was to use my SVS to produce the bass (only turned to the first notch, signal via the high level inputs). Stereo Imagery is also weak in comparison to my previous small room (9 feet by 10 versus 14.5 feet by 18). All in all I'm gutted as I was expecting the sound to get better not worse with the larger room.

    The speakers are Proac Response 1.5's, so fairly large speakers normally very capable of producing copious amounts of base. The speakers are placed about 50cm from the rear wall, 2 meters apart and about 1 metre from the side walls. The room is about 4.5 by 5.5 metres wide.

    Now my understanding of speaker placement was as follows;

    1. Speakers should be between 1.5 metres to 2.5 metres apart.
    2. You should avoid placing them in corners.
    3. The bass on floorstanders doesn't need reinforcement so should be kept away from the rear wall (unlike bookshelf speakers). This is especially the case with these as they are rear and not down ported.
    4. Should be toed in towards the main listening positioning (my old Mission manual always said the imaginary line should cross just in front of the main listening position although that always seems excessive if they are far apart).
    5. Speakers should be kept away from the side walls if possible.
    6. Distance between speakers should always be less than the distance between the listener and the speakers otherwise a gap in the image is created.

    Now am I right on all the above or have I just made some of this up :( ?

    Either way I would love some help on improving the base. Do I move them closer to the rear wall? I'm tempted to move them a lot closer to the side walls (say within 20 cm of the side walls) but then wont this create a gap in the sound stage (4m apart versus 3.5 to listening position) and cause any base to boom?

    Now I appreciate each room is different and I need to experiment but these things are heavy and I would welcome some hints so I can at least get close initially. Now I'm sure my neighbours below me appreciate the lack of base but I would certainly appreciate a little more.
     
  2. GW43

    GW43
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    First thing to check is the phase of the speakers. Are all the +ve and -ve outputs from the amp correctly connected to the +ve and -ve terminals on the speakers?

    I know it sounds basic, but it's easy to overlook! Out of phase speakers will always suffer in the bass department more than mid and treble.
     
  3. chedmaster

    chedmaster
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    also try moving around the room and seeing if the bass is un even, you may find moving around completely is the only option :(. I have my floorstanders about 15cm from the wall and they are rear ported dont sound boomy at all, just try it out (although i assume you had them away from the wall previously so still strange).
     
  4. Astaroth

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    It will also make a difference depending on what the walls they are closest are made of. In general terms external walls reflect sound 'better' as they are a solid brick construction which will reinforce the base where as thin internal walls wont and so will result in a thinner base sound (esp for rear ported speakers)

    I would have a look at the likes of What HiFi for reviews of your speakers as they frequently give a placement guide about distance from rear wall and wether they should be toed in or not. Not always perfect but a potential starting place.
     
  5. Tony8377

    Tony8377
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    I did check the speaker connections last night as I also tried swapping my blue heaven speaker cable for some Silver Anniversary but made no difference to the base.

    The base is slightly (but not enough) more prominant in other areas of the room but you obviously lose the stereo image. In my old room I always had exactly the opposite problem whereby the base was always slightly overwhelming - to the point where I almost sold my SVS sub as it was overpowered by the Proacs (because they were booming). I always put the booming problem down to my room being too small and the speakers being too close the the walls (couldn't be helped) which was why I was looking forward to hearing them in a larger room.

    The rear and one side wall are structural walls whilst the other is your basic plasterboard wall.

    As for reviews, HiFi choice commented "In-room measurements show a very enthusiastic port output which indicates that this speaker should be kept well clear of walls" which is what I attempted to do when first setting up but I'm beginning to think this is rubbish and they need a certain amount of wall reinforcement to enhance and deepen the base.

    Have been doing a few searches on the web and found this on positioning of Neat speakers

    "A: There is no absolute answer to this question. Because each room has its own peculiarities, results will vary from one room to another. In most situations, a starting point of 12 inches (30cm) from the rear wall and 24" (60cm) from side walls will give clues. Moving the speakers back or further apart will increase bass quantity. At a certain point, bass may become overwhelming and cause congestion in the midrange.

    Moving the speakers forward (and/or closer together) from the starting point will lighten the bass and, at the same time, provide a more focused image. Toeing the speaker inward (20 degrees to start) will affect these aspects of the sound too. Experimentation is essential"

    Not sure why moving the speakers together will reduce base, I think it's more that by moving the speakers together you are moving them further from the wall. However, I will use this as a starting guide tonight and see what happens. Thanks for all your comments and I would welcome anymore
     

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