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Speakers turned on side?

spid

Standard Member
I am the proud owner of a modest pair of Eltax Monitor 3 speakers. For my needs I am delighted with them.

My wife, in her infinite wisdom decided we sohuld have a range of Ikea units in our dining room. These are fine but the only way I can accomodate the speakers with all my other gadgets is to lay them on their side.

Will this have any detriment to sound?

Would I be best sitting them on isolating cones / spikes ?

Any comments appreciated.
 

ben.bayliss

Active Member
Turning them on their side will affect the sound, but cones will not cure the problem.

When a speaker is vertical, wherever you are sat in front of the speaker, the tweeter and woofer signals will arrive at (very nearly) the same time, as they occupy the same plane. Only standing up/sitting down would change the timing relationship and the resulting sound.

If the speaker is rotated horizontally, then if you are sat anywhere other than dead-centre, more significant time differences between the woofer/tweeter will occur, resulting in comb filtering effects which will be audible, particularly when moving around.

So it's best avoided.

As for the cabinets affecting the sound, that will depend on the speakers - are they ported at the rear? If so then the sound will be hugely affected by recessing them into a cabinet with little room for them to 'breathe'. If they're closed or front ported, then not so much. The vibration from the speaker will also be amplified throughout the entire cabinet, so in this case some sort of isolating dampening might help the sound. The orientation of the speakers is irrelevant in this case, however.

HTH.
 

Spiderkid

Well-known Member
I was wondering the very same thing just recently! Thanks for the reply. I was going to ask how this effects centre speakers, which are nearly always on their side, but then I realised that the idea of a centre speaker is that you sit directly in front of it! :rolleyes:
 
I

iSix

Guest
I was wondering the very same thing just recently! Thanks for the reply. I was going to ask how this effects centre speakers, which are nearly always on their side, but then I realised that the idea of a centre speaker is that you sit directly in front of it! :rolleyes:

Center speakers are designed to be on their side, most of the time the tweeter will be in the center of the speaker.
 

ben.bayliss

Active Member
Center speakers are designed to be on their side, most of the time the tweeter will be in the center of the speaker.
Indeed. The effects are also minimised by having the tweeter in the centre, and twin woofers either side. Ever wondered why centres usually have a second woofer, compared to a regular satellite / bookshelf?
 

majorwedgy

Well-known Member
in your particular case mounting them on their side will have a very large impact upon the sound of the speaker as they are downward ported speakers ie they are designed to 'bounce' the sound off the surface they are located on, most notably basee response will be affected - unless you rest them with their feet against a wall :D
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Technically Ben.Bayliss is correct, but whether he is functionally correct depends on several factors.

If the distance between the woofer and the tweeter is small, and it seems to be with the Eltax Monitor 3, then I don't think it is going to matter for the average casual listener. While I don't have cabinet dimension, the speaker seems to have 5" woofer and 1" tweeter, that means very small cabinets. Again, I'm not finding detailed cabinet information.

http://www.richersounds.com/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=ELTA-MONITOR3BCH

So, I don't see any real practical functional problems.

Wait, I did find the dimensions - 300x195x230mm (11.8"x7.7"x9").


Now, to illustrate Ben's point, look at these speakers -

http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/1822

Laying on their side, these speakers are going to be a phase nightmare. The distance between the top tweeter and the bottom woofer is very substantial.

Steve/bluewizard
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Indeed. The effects are also minimised by having the tweeter in the centre, and twin woofers either side. Ever wondered why centres usually have a second woofer, compared to a regular satellite / bookshelf?
That's what they tell us, unfortunately it is far from the truth. It's as about as true as the 'buy the center from the same range for tonal matching' myth. Can you honestly say your pink noise test tones sound the same across all three speakers? Mine doesn't. Unfortunately it's what we're stuck with and there isn't currently a better, domestically acceptable way of doing it.

Sitting off axis results in lobbing affects in the frequency response as you sit further off axis as the emmited wavelengths start to come closer to the distance between the mid/bass drivers. Unfortunately these wavelegths can fall right in the middle of the human speech band and the crossover region. Only W-T/M-W designs with a vertical arrangement of a tweeter and dedicated midrange driver seem to solve the issue.

In practice a single midbass+tweeter arrangement at least avoids the lobbing artifacts of twin mid/bass drivers, but the twin drivers will remain popular because a) they can offer similar driver area in a slimmer unit, b) they can offer more driver area which is good for handling the power of the dominant centre channel and c) they look cool.:)

There's a decent article about it here and if I find the one I was really looking for, I'll add it.

In practice, the best match for your main speakers would be another main speaker orientated and placed at exactly the same height as the front L&R. Which coincidentally is something I'm investigating as we speak. Hint. We seem to managing without a TV (the projector is plenty bright for non critical viewing with the lights on) and so I have a horizontal centre that is now pointlessly so.

Before anyone points out the obvious - M&K were/are one of the few that offer(ed) exactly the same speakers across the front three at least and this may in part be part of the reason for their success with the movie rather than music crowd. Of course, when laid on their sides as most people do (S-150 excepted) then the off axis response......
 

ben.bayliss

Active Member
That's what they tell us, unfortunately it is far from the truth. It's as about as true as the 'buy the center from the same range for tonal matching' myth. Can you honestly say your pink noise test tones sound the same across all three speakers? Mine doesn't. Unfortunately it's what we're stuck with and there isn't currently a better, domestically acceptable way of doing it.

Indeed, and even as I was typing it I wasn't even convinced in my own answer! :oops:

Those articles you link to are very well written, a good read for everyone here, and based on real science!

FWIW - anything Dynaudio is great, but have you looked at / listened to the PMC TB2S+? They're very good passive monitors that I was very pleasantly surprised by..
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
I'm quite familiar with the PMC sound and as you can see in my signature, I already have a TB2M-C centre speaker. I'm also quite familiar with other 'monitor' type domestic derivatives, having messed with Dynaudio and ATC along the way.

The big difference to the PMCs is that the Dynaudios are true active designs at £500.00ea, obviously plus stands and new cabling. The 'Activated' TB2S-A is nothing of the sort as it simply has a mono power amp bolted to the back and costs A LOT of money - £800.00ea. It's getting a bit O.T., but, once you've heard true actives, you'll always hanker after them and the pro versions have the ability to tailor the frequency response to suit the environment which is potentially very handy.

@spid. Turn them on their side, it'll make very little difference for exactly the reasons Steve states above.

Russell
 

spid

Standard Member
Thanks a lot for all your comments fellas.

It's all got a bit technical and frazzled my brain a little but I will give them a try just as soon as I've fitted the units.

Cheers,

Spid
 

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