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blakey72

Placing speakers as close to the front wall as possible?

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I always thought you should place your speakers about 8 to inches from the front wall. This  article says that is not the correct placement. It says for small rooms (mine is, 4m x 4m) you should place as close to the front wall as possible. And in large rooms at least 2m from the front wall. What about speakers with rear baffles? Wouldn't placing them close to the wall wreck to bass response? What do you think?

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the article is interesting, from experience i feel the back baffle needs room to breath, my floor standers have front and back baffles, i have them against curtains, this tames the bass nicely, my standmounts have a front baffle and are much closer to the wall, i had to move them out a bit to reduce boominess, room 4 x 4.5 m

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All rooms are different and we all have different gear.  Experiment and find the SweetSpots, don’t let what you read dictate speaker placement...

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It says recording studio's have their mains flush against the wall. Even with rear baffles, strange.

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depends on the speakers really I think. some are perhaps boundary reenforcement designs... eg a pair of missions i had... recomendation 200mm from front wall.... worked a treat  that ways :)

 

I believe in the rule of thirds ... ie upto 1/3rd into the room. but thats not hard and fast.... its a balance I believe of imaging.... and also bass response.... not too close to wall to cause booming bass also consider depth of image behind.

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Posted (edited)

I've tried it. It has improved upper response but not sure what it's done to the mids and bass. Still trying to work it out. I have to sit against the back wall which definitely doesn't help. 

Edited by blakey72

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I too started with rule of thirds, i placed my seating position on the first third but measured from the rear. 

 

I spent quite some time with different distances and also different toe in and now mine are from closest inside corner of the speaker to the back wall exactly 41.5cm with just over half toe in (19deg using the speaker app).  When sitting in my chair I can see the inside of the speaker cabinet just. 

I think the position from the wall plays as much part as the seating position and also the speaker angle (toe or no toe)

 

It took me quite some time to reach my happy spot and someone else may walk in and not like the sound reproduction at all but for my listening purposes, my ears and my music it was the most enjoyable sound and balance of soundstage depth, width and height.

 

All rooms are different as is the furniture and by and large music being played.  In my room Beethoven may not sound as it should, but Megadeth probably does.

Also, one thing I have come to learn is that YOUR preferred version of sound reproduction may be different to mine, what sounds potentially muddy to you may sound solid to me and what sounds clear to you may sound thin to me.  Choose tracks you know extremely well when doing this I guess is the key.

 

Mark out with some tape the positions you are leaving behind and take some notes.  When the speakers are in the right spot it just all comes together nicely.

I also found it very useful (though my wife thought it hilarious) to use a camera tripod or similar and create an isoceles triangle and sit about 50cm inside the longest point.  Angle the speakers to ensure the two long sides are equal and toe until the soundstage locks in to place with a good balance of width height and depth - I guess that illusive holgraphic sound we all chase.  Of course not all speakers require toe in but its worth experimenting. Mine did not require full toe in but I found with no toe in I lost the surround sound feeling.

 

I then simply moved the speakers in small increments back and forth until the bass, mids and highs hit their sweetest spot without losing too much other dynamics.  There was some comprimise to be fair, in that you may sacrifice some mid for low end for example, but again, I think that comes down to personal preferences.

Once you've found that sweet spot for your preferences, re check your speaker toe in angle to put you back in that 50cm inside the long point as it will probably have moved based on the speakers moving back and forth

 

I am by no means an expert on this and nor is my room perfect but after tonnes of reading etc this process worked well for me.  I learnt after reading and then exercising the reading that a lot of it came down to what I wanted things to sound like BUT certainly there were points of position and seating along the experiement that I could clearly hear did not work at all.

 

 

Once i found the righ balance though, i wrote it all down and now i simply sit and enjoy the music....

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31 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

It says recording studio's have their mains flush against the wall. Even with rear baffles, strange.

Yeah and I bet they use monitors designed to be placed as such.

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I don't think I'll really hit the sweet spot with positioning my speakers while I'm sitting against the back wall. I'm not allowed to move the couch forward, not enough room she says. Yeah but we spent all this money on stereo gear and it's wrecked by sitting against the back wall. Can't understand women haha.

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Not as close as possible but mine are closer than they 'should' be. My room is too lively and to even out the highs that bounce around from everywhere to the mids and lows that only seem to come from the speakers direct, I had to pump up the volume on those mids and lows. So they're too close to the wall so I get a bit of extra oomph and they're pointed straight at me rather than toed in a little bit so there's less chance of those highs reflecting. 

 

It's  not pretty but it's much more enjoyable than trying to do everything 'the right way'. Lesson learned; work with the room rather than follow the 'rules' 

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