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Controversial speaker placement (or not?)


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20 minutes ago, muon* said:

That's what I ended up with, the view plane of the outside face is about 1cm.

Yep!...that's about right, same here Ian.  The amount of depth I get with this configuration is insane. Never heard large speakers such as mine creating such an effect.

 

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Greetings to all.   For some years now, I've had my large Thiel CS6 s facing straight down the room and, every now and then, I experimented with a slight 'toe in' of only a few degrees.

I believe Ken Ishiwata used to use this extreme toe-in setup at shows. There's a few write ups about it. It supposedly allows for many more people to experience a more sweetspot-like presentation at t

Ken Ishiwata (a Marantz "ambassador" and engineer) used to recommend this crossed axis set-up and used it at demonstrations and shows. He said it reduced the effects of the room and gave a larger swee

16 hours ago, RankStranger said:

My first audio sherpa (Ken Bennet, now of Steve Bennet Hifi in Geelong) referred to this method as "wearing ‘em like headphones" :) 

 

Now there's a blast from the past!

Got kicked out of Steve's shop once.

Even Ken would be getting on now.

But I digress....

There could be a connection to recording studio monitors being setup at these angles to almost emulate headphones. 

...........just sayin'.  (don't want to start arguments here now)

I also prefer to have speakers severely toed in, (although some don't respond well to this exercise.)

I found that HF dispersion qualities played a significant role when I did those experiments way back when.

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I think I have read an interview with Dunlavy where he suggests aiming just in front of the listener can be a good solution. as well. The benefits with aiming like this   are that the response will be closer to that the designer intended and the imaging more precise and deeper, the sweet spot will be wider with all the aforementioned attributes and side 1st reflection  will be a little later. In the end its an easy thing to try and well worth it. The other important part is that the listening position is near to that of an equilateral triangle. I am usually a little back from that  for best imaging.  As soon as you go back further the room can  start to swamp the image and it gets much weaker.

 

Agreed it can look a bit odd though.

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When I had my ML-1's the previous way i was always adjusting my position to get that narrow sweet spot and it was sweet!

But now I'm more relaxed as I don't need to do that as being a little to the left or right doesn't change things as much, more relaxed means I find it more enjoyable.

Things seem a little cleaner too, maybe because there is less room interaction as some suggest.

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Hi Arthur,
The laser pointer is a key factor giving symmetry. Make sure the distances from back and side walls are also equal.

The 45 deg angle may cause a 'hole in the middle' effect as you are seated at the 90 deg point.

Try 60 + 60 +60 deg.

Also try moving your seating position backwards and forwards to find a sweet spot.

Height is also important, you may need a higher chair.
True stereo creates a phantom 'image' typically between - and often in front of - the speaker. It's also possible to have sounds that seem to be outside the speakers. Focusing becomes more critical as frequency increases.

Many systems are arranged to be aesthetically pleasing, what they actually have is dual mono.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, masterpaul said:

Hi Arthur,
The laser pointer is a key factor giving symmetry. Make sure the distances from back and side walls are also equal.

The 45 deg angle may cause a 'hole in the middle' effect as you are seated at the 90 deg point.

Try 60 + 60 +60 deg.

Also try moving your seating position backwards and forwards to find a sweet spot.

Height is also important, you may need a higher chair.
True stereo creates a phantom 'image' typically between - and often in front of - the speaker. It's also possible to have sounds that seem to be outside the speakers. Focusing becomes more critical as frequency increases.

Many systems are arranged to be aesthetically pleasing, what they actually have is dual mono.

 

Thanks Paul!  Yes, this calls for more experimenting with the angles and also seatting adjustment.

So you're suggesting an equilateral triangle with this 60 + 60 + 60 deg configuration. This will see me sitting at one point of the 60 deg triangle, so the tweeters will not fire 'in front of my head' but exactly where I am sitting. Is that right?

Or, having the 60 deg arrangement in place, then I should move the 'hot seat' a bit back so, the 'crossing over' beams will be slightly in front of me?

Any case, it's fascinating and I certainly will do a bit more experimenting. 

I had the Thiels for a few years now but, given their weight, I was a bit reluctant to keep moving them constantly, ....until now!   

Edited by Arthur K
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1 hour ago, Arthur K said:

 

Thanks Paul!  Yes, this calls for more experimenting with the angles and also seatting adjustment.

So you're suggesting an equilateral triangle with this 60 + 60 + 60 deg configuration. This will see me sitting at one point of the 60 deg triangle, so the tweeters will not fire 'in front of my head' but exactly where I am sitting. Is that right?

Or, having the 60 deg arrangement in place, then I should move the 'hot seat' a bit back so, the 'crossing over' beams will be slightly in front of me?

Any case, it's fascinating and I certainly will do a bit more experimenting. 

I had the Thiels for a few years now but, given their weight, I was a bit reluctant to keep moving them constantly, ....until now!   

What Masterpaul says is relative to Focus in a perfect situation. Room variability can upset this and having the speakers fire in front of you can help. Hence Ishiwata's comments. I would not have the speakers firing straight at your head. Direct intensity. Remember that moving the seated position backwards and forwards moves you from far field to near field which is fun to play with when you have the room. Keep your ear position away from the  wall. Ideally, space is a big key.

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18 minutes ago, Wimbo said:

What Masterpaul says is relative to Focus in a perfect situation. Room variability can upset this and having the speakers fire in front of you can help. Hence Ishiwata's comments. I would not have the speakers firing straight at your head. Direct intensity. Remember that moving the seated position backwards and forwards moves you from far field to near field which is fun to play with when you have the room. Keep your ear position away from the  wall. Ideally, space is a big key.

 

Τhanks for the input Wimbo!

What you say about 'direct intensity' I 've just experienced it in the last hour.

I sat on an Office chair (with castors) and moved back and forth from the 'tip' of the 60deg of the triangle.  I noticed a significant change in sound as follows:

* When sitting one mtr further from the point the two tweeters cross, I get a wide soundstage and an equally deep front to back projection of sound. 

* When I moved right on the 'tip' of the 'triangle' the soundstage remains the same but the depth changes and the musicians appear to be much more forward, almost between the speakers.

It's a very interesting effect and I found, recordings that have a lot of natural ambiance, intensify the depth effect in the first position more than the second.

 

Anyway, I am enjoying this experimenting and my living room has been totally taken over by the speakers.  Just as well I don't have an 'inspector general' here to call me back to order!? 

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Thanks Arthur,

 

I have a pair of floorstanding Paradigm Studio 100s that I have traditionally had toed in towards the prime listening position. Excellent clarity and bass but not the last word in soundstage. 
 

Having read your post and this thread I experimented with the more extreme toe in (put a tea towel under the Gaias to allow easy and fine movement). I was surprised by the definite results.  The appearance of a much better soundstage and for possibly the first time the speakers almost disappear. The cost however has been a muddying of the bass.
 

I will keep experimenting. 
 

I agree with @muon* that it looks a bit strange, and takes some getting used to. 

image.jpg

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8 hours ago, KRSDarwin said:

Thanks Arthur,

 

I have a pair of floorstanding Paradigm Studio 100s that I have traditionally had toed in towards the prime listening position. Excellent clarity and bass but not the last word in soundstage. 
 

Having read your post and this thread I experimented with the more extreme toe in (put a tea towel under the Gaias to allow easy and fine movement). I was surprised by the definite results.  The appearance of a much better soundstage and for possibly the first time the speakers almost disappear. The cost however has been a muddying of the bass.
 

I will keep experimenting. 
 

I agree with @muon* that it looks a bit strange, and takes some getting used to. 

image.jpg

 

Hi Kevin and thanks for the input.

 

From what I see in the photo you've included, the location of the speakers may be the cause of the less than perfect low frequencies.

In my experience, bass frequencies are the most difficult to deal with and correct anomalies.

In my case the speakers are in free space into the room, well away from the front and side walls.  To find the optimum location for best bass extension I had to experiment for days and eventually, with the help of another member here, take some measurements and install a graphic equalizer to come to a very good result.

Without causing any domestic problems, one day - just for the heck of it - try pulling these beautiful speakers a bit out into the room, maintaining the 45 deg. toe in, just to see if the bass improves at all.

I know, one has to be realistic and not allow the sound equipment 'take over' the living room so, this would only be an experiment, before you return them to their original positions.

I suspect you will like what you'll hear.. 

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I'm quite happy to have the gear take over the living room, at least while I'm listening. I figure I could move the speakers out of the way if needed for other uses. That's why I'm thinking of trying some 'sliders' under my spikes.

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13 hours ago, GregWormald said:

I'm quite happy to have the gear take over the living room, at least while I'm listening. I figure I could move the speakers out of the way if needed for other uses. That's why I'm thinking of trying some 'sliders' under my spikes.

Well said!  BUT!..

...in doing so, you may get called back to 'order' by the "one who must be obeyed"...  ?

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3 hours ago, Arthur K said:

Well said!  BUT!..

...in doing so, you may get called back to 'order' by the "one who must be obeyed"...  ?

HA! Not a chance.:D

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50 minutes ago, GregWormald said:

HA! Not a chance.:D

Good Man!!.. "vive la Liberte"

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intrigued, i tried this on my hybrid dipole/tl speakers. initially i thought it might have been an improvement in the depth of field, but the more i listened, the more confused it sounded. on my stereo, it also blunted the immediacy that high efficiency speakers like mine give. interesting idea though. as always ymmv.

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27 minutes ago, r3x said:

intrigued, i tried this on my hybrid dipole/tl speakers. initially i thought it might have been an improvement in the depth of field, but the more i listened, the more confused it sounded. on my stereo, it also blunted the immediacy that high efficiency speakers like mine give. interesting idea though. as always ymmv.

 

If your speakers have a constant directivity.... then it can/will work very well.

 

If OTOH, their response on an angle is not flat .... then it can be really bad.

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1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

If your speakers have a constant directivity.... then it can/will work very well.

 

If OTOH, their response on an angle is not flat .... then it can be really bad.

being a dipole from about 300Hz up, the response off axis isn't going to be that weird and i wasn't listening to them any more off axis than i usually do, just the other side of the horizontal axis.

 

They are pulled out a lot from the front wall, i was hoping that the off axis null might help with the front wall reflection somewhat, but it wasn't to be.

I'll have to leave my uber ugly lumps of foam in place.

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On 02/04/2021 at 1:06 PM, Arthur K said:

LOL!  Well!..  This put the cat among the pigeons Dave!

 

Among audiophilia, Bose enjoys a reputation of being "controversial", to say the least.

So, after all, toeing the traditional Thiels by 45 deg. enters the controversy territory.  But if luminaries like Ken Ishiwata has done this, I think it's safe to experiment and evaluate the results.

 

Two of their 'developments' (Direct/Reflecting and the teeny tiny box speakers) mostly. I'd swear that their professional gear, especially amps, can hold their place alongside more expensive gear (and if they didn't have fan-cooling, I'd still have them!)

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23 hours ago, r3x said:

being a dipole from about 300Hz up, the response off axis isn't going to be that weird

 

I dont' think that's a very good generalisation.   They might be, they might not be.

 

A dipole is a good way to achieve constant directivity to low frequencies....  but not all dipoles do it.

 

Yours might be/not (shrug) .... I'm just talking general.

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23 hours ago, r3x said:

They are pulled out a lot from the front wall, i was hoping that the off axis null might help with the front wall reflection somewhat, but it wasn't to be.

 

In theory it does... and  the sidewalls.   But it all depends on the geometry of the room and where you are sitting  (and as mentioned, the frequency content of the relfected and direct sounds)

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So then, to surmise, it appears the success of such configuration depends on the particular type of speakers used.

It doesn't work equally well with all designs, but when it does it's a real treat for the listener.

So far, I haven't felt the need yet to return to the 'traditional' placement of my speakers.

Many thanks to all that contributed to this thread. 

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I've reverted to a more traditional position for my ML-1's, while the extreme toe in helped in some ways there were trade offs where sound staging is concerned.

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48 minutes ago, muon* said:

I've reverted to a more traditional position for my ML-1's, while the extreme toe in helped in some ways there were trade offs where sound staging is concerned.

Just curious, what kind of "trade offs" / differences did you notice Ian?

In my case, the 45 deg. toe in resulted in a very deep and accurate soundstage, with various instruments easily identified in their correct locations ( i.e. brass right at the back, mass violins on the right etc etc).

With the speakers firing almost  straight down the room ( and with a very slight toe in), the soundstage becomes almost 'flat' - like a wall of sound - much more forward than before. Depth is minimal.

Interested to hear what the effect was with your ML - 1s.

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1 hour ago, Arthur K said:

Just curious, what kind of "trade offs" / differences did you notice Ian?

In my case, the 45 deg. toe in resulted in a very deep and accurate soundstage, with various instruments easily identified in their correct locations ( i.e. brass right at the back, mass violins on the right etc etc).

With the speakers firing almost  straight down the room ( and with a very slight toe in), the soundstage becomes almost 'flat' - like a wall of sound - much more forward than before. Depth is minimal.

Interested to hear what the effect was with your ML - 1s.

The stage with the extreme toe in was very narrow, but conventionally it is much wider with more space for things to have....well more space.

 

Really does depend on speakers and room.

 

In a conventional way as now I see the 1cm view of the inner side faces of the speakers instead of the extreme toe in where I see 1cm of the faces of the outside of the speakers, definitely don't like them firing straight forward.

 

Depth is fine with the conventional toe in and better actually as with extreme toe in with the ML-1's it was more forward sounding but squashed the stage in so much it lost depth with space.

Edited by muon*
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This then confirms what another member said previously. It really depends on the room and the radiation pattern of the speakers.

Like so many other things in audio, nothing is absolute..  Experimenting is the name of the game Ian. ?

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