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NAD 3045D + B&W 606 - placement and jitter


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Hi, these are total beginner questions so if it's been well answered before please point me in the right direction.

 

OK so I just came from listening on cheap headphones and portable bluetooth speakers to a NAD 3045D + B&W 606's (on stands).

 

I am listening either to my library ripped over the years from CD's using JRiver, or Deezer HiFi streaming or Tidal HiFi/MQA streaming (trialling because Deezer has some bad problems).  Have tried both USB and optical connections from computer to NAD 3045D, and also optical connection to Chromecast Audio.  It looks like USB lets me enjoy higher quality options (although I'm not sure I can hear it) and is generally more reliable, so I'm going to use that by preference.

 

Questions:

 

Jitter - is it worth spending a few hundred dollars on the various devices that are available for USB connection?  My system sounds so much better than anything I had before that I don't recognise any problem at all.  Since it was not a super expensive system I don't want to waste money just to find out.  On the other hand I don't mind spending that sort of amount to make it even better.

 

Speaker placement - how can I learn a little more without having to keep moving speakers and furniture around?  Especially these questions - does it really matter whether the speakers are at normal listening height, or do they just need to be angled so they are aimed at the listener? what if there is no normal listening position, because of the way the room is used?  When I have the volume up it feels more like listening to the room than listening to the speakers, and it doesn't matter where I am in the room.  Am I imagining that?

 

Thanks for helping me start this journey.

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Hi, the tweeter should be roughly at the same height as your ears when sitting in the sweet spot. Speakers 0.3-1m of the back wall. 

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Hi, I would not spend anymore money until you have optimised your speaker placement, furniture positioning and room treatment (within reason). The biggest single mistake that people make in my experience is not bringing speakers out into the room enough so if you have the space then bring them out 3ft from the wall as a starting point and ensure that your listening positon/chair is positioned between them and at a distance back to form a triangle (i.e. equal to the distance between your speakers). Also ear height when seated should be inline to tweeter height. 

 

Another thing to be aware of (amongst many other things..) is the distance of side room walls to speaker sides. In a perfect world you should try to ensure that this distance is approx 50% / 60% greater than that of the distance of the speakers from their position to the wall behind them. Also simple room treaments such as using heavy curtains to treat windows can really help.

 

There is really no simple answer however as room sizes, wall constrution material, windows, furniture and equipment being used all combine to give different results. So experiment and enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

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Thanks for those tips.  So if I want to make the listening spot as much of the room as possible I should start by making the triangle as big as possible and then try moving things?

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Hi,

The listening spot where you will experience correct speaker imaging will only occue from a correctly positioned listening position as mentioned above. This of course does not mean that the rest of the room will not fill with music it's just that in that position you will get to enjoy the production of recordings (i.e. individual placement of voice / instruments, depth and height of sound etc.) in all of their glory.

 

I would imagine that B&W would state around 1.5 to 4 mts apart as a guildline however I would recommend a starting point around 2.5 mts (between the speakers) if you want more solid imaging at your listening spot (this is however only a guideline as if your room is only 3 mts wide then positioning would be comprised by the side walls). If you do want a larger space between them then you can also experiment with toeing in the speakers towards the listening spot. This can help in pinpointing the stereo image however be aware that a thing called mid bass coupling (this is a good thing!) can be lost when speakers are too far apart from each another. 

 

As mentioned so many things can effect the end result and unless you have a dedicated listening room then there is always going to be some compromise regarding sound and livability.

 

I hope I haven't added to the confusion! Happy tweaking!!! 

 

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