Stereo speaker placement for optimum sound

arj

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Cardas is one method which goes by the golden ratio. there are 2 others as well
- The Wilson audio WASP method which is another approach like then

With Cardas method you get a mathematical and measured way to place the speakers but you do tweek the position the final point by careful hearing. While for me its the vocal tonality and bass, it does vary from person to person. The WASP method starts with guidelines and ends with by ear tuning.

The Audio Physic approach is interesting as it helps to some extent in finetuning

There was a nice discussion on the forum around this .. https://www.hifivision.com/threads/mind-the-gap.83312/
 

Analogous

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I am also struggling a bit with placement and trying to figure out the best position. Even with a dedicated room, it’s proving to be a challenge. Hence my research on the subject. @arj has shared two other useful and informative guides (though one of the seems to be for white-Anglo Saxon Protestants !!!)
 

ssf

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I have 5 inches space from my right speaker to my wall in my flat. I am currently trying to convince my neighbor to allow me to shift my wall two feet into her apartment. She will loose a bit of leg space in her bathroom but as we all know, audio is more important than wriggling room in bathrooms.
 

sathtom

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It is the "Speaker to Rear wall" distance, practically not possible for people who doesn't have a dedicated room for Stereo...:(
 

Analogous

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It is the "Speaker to Rear wall" distance, practically not possible for people who doesn't have a dedicated room for Stereo...:(

Very few of us get ideal rooms as discussed in most guides.
What we don’t have are guidance for small rooms and listening spaces that open up to Dining rooms, stairs etc
Best to get a good understanding of general principles of room acoustics, dispersion, absorption techniques etc and try applying these. And, one day, someday the perfectly proportioned and acoustically treated music room ….
 

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Yelamanchili manohar

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This is a informative article, must read.
View attachment 66932

I have this kind of room and exactly placed this way. I love the way it sounds and others who listen liked it too.
This is Exactly what I did.

The first step is to read the many possible setups mentioned in the article. And then decide if you want to follow one recommendation or combine many recommendations together.

In my case, I had transformative results by combining three of the above ( long wall placement) + golden ratio placement ( only from rear wall, not side wall ) + near field setup.

For the long wall placement, I took the measurements, made the markings on the floor, then pasted a run of insulation tape on the floor. I could now move my speakers into the room, getting closer to each other, or move them back, getting closer to the rear wall, and away from each other. All the while, the centre of the bass driver has to be on this line.

Next I pasted a tape at 0.447 x width from rear wall . Where the previous long wall placement tape, intersected this 0.447 x width tape. I moved the speakers to have the center of the bass driver on this exact position.

Now since my speakers were fixed in the room. To implement the near field setup, I now moved my listening chair, along the center line of both speakers . Till it was exactly 8.5 ft from both speakers. And both speakers, measured tweeter to tweeter are also 8.5 ft from each other.

From this 8,5ft listening position, I only fine tuned my listening position by ear, and ended up sitting 8 feet from each speaker.

I previously had the speakers 12 ft apart, with a heavy toe-in. However, the reflections off the untreated front wall, made the imaging very wooly.

So in my present position, I have the speakers firing straight ahead, absolutely no toe-in. And the improvement in sound stage and imaging is in the order of a speaker upgrade.

I would have loved to leave my speakers in their present position, but sadly can't. As my entrance to the dressing area and washroom is completely obstructed by the left speaker :(

So now I plan on treating the front wall of the room, so that I can move the speakers wider apart and then toe them in.
 

SiR

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Since this thread is about the speaker placement, what about the speakers which are front ported ?

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 / Fluance Signature Series HiFi are front ported and hence can it be placed near the wall ( 1 to 2 ft )

Also, Placing speaker on the speaker stand is widely used and prescribed.

What if its not possible to use a Speaker Stand and instead placed on the TV cabinet ?

As seen in the attachment, using a small stand or a Acoustic Foam

Will this have an impact on the output ?

Thinking to have a FS for 2.0 stereo and BS on such stands over my TV Cabinet (85 inch width) for HT [TV is wall mounted ]

[Came across that stand in one of the Youtube review channel]


 

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Yelamanchili manohar

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Since this thread is about the speaker placement, what about the speakers which are front ported ?

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 / Fluance Signature Series HiFi are front ported and hence can it be placed near the wall ( 1 to 2 ft )

Also, Placing speaker on the speaker stand is widely used and prescribed.

What if its not possible to use a Speaker Stand and instead placed on the TV cabinet ?

As seen in the attachment, using a small stand or a Acoustic Foam

Will this have an impact on the output ?

Thinking to have a FS for 2.0 stereo and BS on such stands over my TV Cabinet (85 inch width) for HT [TV is wall mounted ]

[Came across that stand in one of the Youtube review channel]


Hi

1. Not much of a difference between placing a port on the front or back. As a port is a port and will output bass energy at its port tuning frequency. A front ported speaker can be placed closer to a back wall, beacuse the room gain added by the front port ( being farther away from back wall ), will be lesser than the room gain added by a rear port which is closer to the back wall. Thus, necessitating a rear ported speaker to be placed farther away from a rear wall.

2. Secondly, it is a real PITA to get the positioning of a rear ported speaker correct, since we now have two sources of bass, the driver in the front and the port at the back. So on most music we think we've got the placement right. Then on one track, the bass goes low enough to reach the port tuning frequency. And then the port let's rip, leading to a sudden boom. So it is easier to place a front ported speaker, since the bass driver as well as the port are on the same plane. And both will be equidistant from the rear and side walls.

3. If you want to go deeper with more complication, please Google "SBIR" :D
It is difficult enough to understand the same with a single bass driver, but try imagining it now with 2 sources of bass at each end of the speaker :D

4. Coming to speaker stands now. Every speaker is a vibrator. And there are sonic gains to be had by eliminating these vibrations. Making a cabinet that doesn't vibrate, needs a ton of money. So it is easier to address the vibration by one of the 2 below methods :

1. Coupling with spikes : floor standers couple to the floor and the room through spikes, there by increasing the vibrating mass, to dampen the vibration . With bookshelves placed on a stand, with speaker firmly attached to the stand, and stand coupled to the floor via spikes, we are doing something very similar.

Try placing bookshelves directly on the cabinet with spikes, this will couple the speaker to the cabinet. And will drain its vibrations into the cabinet. And if the speaker plays a frequency equalling the resonating frequency of the cabinet with sufficient output, then the entire cabinet will sympathetically vibrate. If the cabinet is heavy with lot of mass, then it might be beyond the speaker to make it vibrate, in which case you are fine. Just make sure to place the speakers with the front baffle either flush with front of the cabinet or slightly ahead, to avoid early reflections bouncing off the top of the cabinet.

2. If the cabinet is not heavy and inert enough, then the next solution is isolation. The small speaker stands like isoacoustics aperta etc, are designed to absorb vibrations upto their rated weight and not let them pass into the surface underneath. At the same time, they are draining the vibrations of the speakers into their tensioned springs.

There are folks who either like one or the other of the above implementations. Though absorbing the speakers vibrations with different materials like springs or absorbing pads seems to be more effective at nullifying the speaker vibrations.

Above is with a lot of generalisations, to make it simple to understand. Only way to find out is by giving it a try. I personally use isolation/ absorption method under all my speakers, and find the results to be to my liking. I would personally recommend trying the isoacoustics gaia footers, rated for your speakers weight under them. All the best :)
 

SiR

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Hi

1. Not much of a difference between placing a port on the front or back. As a port is a port and will output bass energy at its port tuning frequency. A front ported speaker can be placed closer to a back wall, beacuse the room gain added by the front port ( being farther away from back wall ), will be lesser than the room gain added by a rear port which is closer to the back wall. Thus, necessitating a rear ported speaker to be placed farther away from a rear wall.

2. Secondly, it is a real PITA to get the positioning of a rear ported speaker correct, since we now have two sources of bass, the driver in the front and the port at the back. So on most music we think we've got the placement right. Then on one track, the bass goes low enough to reach the port tuning frequency. And then the port let's rip, leading to a sudden boom. So it is easier to place a front ported speaker, since the bass driver as well as the port are on the same plane. And both will be equidistant from the rear and side walls.

3. If you want to go deeper with more complication, please Google "SBIR" :D
It is difficult enough to understand the same with a single bass driver, but try imagining it now with 2 sources of bass at each end of the speaker :D

4. Coming to speaker stands now. Every speaker is a vibrator. And there are sonic gains to be had by eliminating these vibrations. Making a cabinet that doesn't vibrate, needs a ton of money. So it is easier to address the vibration by one of the 2 below methods :

1. Coupling with spikes : floor standers couple to the floor and the room through spikes, there by increasing the vibrating mass, to dampen the vibration . With bookshelves placed on a stand, with speaker firmly attached to the stand, and stand coupled to the floor via spikes, we are doing something very similar.

Try placing bookshelves directly on the cabinet with spikes, this will couple the speaker to the cabinet. And will drain its vibrations into the cabinet. And if the speaker plays a frequency equalling the resonating frequency of the cabinet with sufficient output, then the entire cabinet will sympathetically vibrate. If the cabinet is heavy with lot of mass, then it might be beyond the speaker to make it vibrate, in which case you are fine. Just make sure to place the speakers with the front baffle either flush with front of the cabinet or slightly ahead, to avoid early reflections bouncing off the top of the cabinet.

2. If the cabinet is not heavy and inert enough, then the next solution is isolation. The small speaker stands like isoacoustics aperta etc, are designed to absorb vibrations upto their rated weight and not let them pass into the surface underneath. At the same time, they are draining the vibrations of the speakers into their tensioned springs.

There are folks who either like one or the other of the above implementations. Though absorbing the speakers vibrations with different materials like springs or absorbing pads seems to be more effective at nullifying the speaker vibrations.

Above is with a lot of generalisations, to make it simple to understand. Only way to find out is by giving it a try. I personally use isolation/ absorption method under all my speakers, and find the results to be to my liking. I would personally recommend trying the isoacoustics gaia footers, rated for your speakers weight under them. All the best :)
Thanks a lot for the good explanation and time taken to do it .

Hope will help others too.


I'm concerned about placing the speaker on the Cabinet, as of now my thought is to have a FS for 2.0 Stereo in a dedicated stereo setup and use a BS as LR in HT setup

Since the FS will take the space on either side of the TV Cabinet, to use the BS, only option is to place it on the TV Cabinet/console

Moreover, as BS speakers are to be used for HT, I can manage the LFE with the AVR settings, there by minimize the bass on those.

Also my TV Cabinet/Console is made of quality Plywood, which is heavy and believe it would not allow to vibrate.

Still pondering on all aspects, before I go for the actual purchase of Components
 

ssf

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Placing on cabinets sometimes introduce unwanted resonance, even if they are stable.
Been there and experienced it, not nice. Keep this in mind.

Cheers,
Raghu
@SiR wants to place it on absorption pads, isolation pads on the cabinets. I think that should work. What are your thoughts ?
 

raghupb

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@SiR wants to place it on absorption pads, isolation pads on the cabinets. I think that should work. What are your thoughts ?
Isolation pads may work, no experience with them though.
No idea what absorption pads are.

In my experience, issue were multiple, resonance, room-boom due to lack of space from wall, etc.
But if BS are only for HT, then the EQ software may mitigate some of these effects.

@SiR's quest is quite complicated as of now. It is now 2 systems instead of 1 (dual purpose)

Cheers,
Raghu
 

ssf

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No idea what absorption pads are.
I meant these:

https://www.amazon.in/Acoustic-Isolation-Monitor-Speakers-Suitable/dp/B07RXJLZQW

I have used them under my speakers and I have found them quite effective.

@SiR

From your posts, I can see that you are doing a lot of research for your system. However, can you tell us why you don't want to use your floorstanders for HT too instead of going for separate bookshelf speakers when you are going to be placing them side by side. Floorstanders in a HT setup will not create many issues as they will be crossed over to the sub. Moreover, rarely will there be enough material in the low frequencies for the front left and right channels in HT. The subwoofer is the one that will require the maximum attention.

Edit: It will also be easier to integrate the stereo amp and the receiver when only one pair of speakers are involved.
 
Last edited:

SiR

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Isolation pads may work, no experience with them though.
No idea what absorption pads are.

In my experience, issue were multiple, resonance, room-boom due to lack of space from wall, etc.
But if BS are only for HT, then the EQ software may mitigate some of these effects.

@SiR's quest is quite complicated as of now. It is now 2 systems instead of 1 (dual purpose)

Cheers,
Raghu

lack of space from wall
For instance, if I choose Elac debut 2.0 b6.2, which is 10.55" of Depth and place on the TV Console, there will be more that 1 feet from the back wall and as per the Elac speaker position guideline, [ attached here ] it is indicated approximately one to two feet

resonance, room-boom

Regarding the Vibration, placement against the wall, they have highlighted the cabinet quality [ as indicated in the attached Elac Debut Features ]

But if BS are only for HT, then the EQ software may mitigate some of these effects.

Yes, I consider BS only for HT for that reason

Thanks for your response Raghu
 

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SiR

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I meant these:

https://www.amazon.in/Acoustic-Isolation-Monitor-Speakers-Suitable/dp/B07RXJLZQW

I have used them under my speakers and I have found them quite effective.

@SiR

From your posts, I can see that you are doing a lot of research for your system. However, can you tell us why you don't want to use your floorstanders for HT too instead of going for separate bookshelf speakers when you are going to be placing them side by side. Floorstanders in a HT setup will not create many issues as they will be crossed over to the sub. Moreover, rarely will there be enough material in the low frequencies for the front left and right channels in HT. The subwoofer is the one that will require the maximum attention.

Edit: It will also be easier to integrate the stereo amp and the receiver when only one pair of speakers are involved.
You are right ssf,
I'm eager to know as much as possible before I settle on a proper setup for my Stereo and HT setup [ I know it is a rabbit hole ;) ]

My preference - 70% Music 30 % Movies

So, I don't want to compromise on Stereo setup but can for HT setup

The reason I go for FS to Stereo is. it will not create the above mentioned issues most probably, also I may not be forced to go for Sub and even I need, may go later as FS can handle LF. By this I may have almost a neat stereo setup, which I prefer,

Moreover, rarely will there be enough material in the low frequencies for the front left and right channels in HT. The subwoofer is the one that will require the maximum attention.

As you mentioned, if I use BS for HT, LFE will be managed by Sub through AVR setup [ Though not an audiophile, this is what I understood so far ]

Edit: It will also be easier to integrate the stereo amp and the receiver when only one pair of speakers are involved.

Yes, I also have the HT bypass in my mind but that will be after considering all the other existing possibilities.



I know I'm greedy, but I can't help myself
 
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