I have had equipment in-between the speakers for years. I have had the stuff away from the speakers along a wall with stuff keeping a direct path from speakers to equipment. Then back to between, then to the immediate right of right speaker, now currently 15 ft back.
So I have found that i did enjoy the system better with the stuff far away from the speakers.
I cannot say exactly what it is that is better, except the sound makes me happier and I listen more.
So I find the added cost of long cables ($800. for Kimber Hero 7 meters) (my amp is still between the speakers, but i could move it away...)
The added cost of long cables is well worth the bother of distancing the electronics from the speakers.
Distance is even more important for a turntable.
I have had the best sound with my equipment on the side wall. While using mono amplifiers behing the speakers with short (1 meter) speaker cables and 25' interconnects.
I agree with Elizabeth, it just sounds better. The music is more involving with an across the board improvement.
This is especially true with turntables which I have found to sound their best 2/3 to 3/4of the way down the side wall from the speakers.
I agree with keeping the equipment from being positioned between the speakers. I have used the side wall in the past and in my new apartment I have the sources and preamp in another room and drilled a hole in the wall to run the interconnects to the amp in the listening room.
I have found the best position to be with the equipment behind me. This also allows for similar sound treatment on both side walls.
RL&C as well as dielectric absorbance constants are what govern our selection of connection wire (wifi is a whole new paradigm). These parameters are listed and measured per distance. The lowest total numbers are what we seek which demands the shortest lengths. The shortest distance is a straight line between two speakers with electronics' connectors on that line. Good for the electronics, bad for the illution of imaging and sound staging in the accoustic domain. Imaging and soundstaging are a byproduct of low level resolution BOTH electrical and accoustic. Having electronic componants between speaker drivers is destructive because they upset the propagated sound and thus upset and contaminate low level accoustic display. It is simply a case of componants' accoustic reflections. It becomes obvious that componants with big and flat faceplates perpendicular to the listening position are to be avoided. My solution to this dilema is a simple one indeed. All that is needed is a way to minimise or eliminate reflections from componant front panels. Accoustic foam or just a terrycloth bath towel over face plates is all that is needed to reduce this accoustic harmonic distortion. I use black to remove VISUAL contamination, but that's another topic.
May powdered sugar fall gently upon your ears this evening.
I have noticed a worthwhile improvement when the rack is between the speakers, but five or six feet closer to the wall. Obviously not always an option. I also leave the rack door open 45 degrees to reduce reflections. My mono blocks are also almost adjacent to the speakers, but set back three feet and angled inward somewhat to avoid perpendicular. You might try turning your rack 45 degrees to see if that does anything for you.
It would interesting (but expensive) to try moving everything to the back wall.
What do you think of the book.so far? I already know everything worth knowing about high-end system setup, but I'm tempted to check out this book anyway;)
Definitely away from any magnetic fields created by drivers or other EM fields possibly created by other common household devices. These considertationscan often be more significant than location relative to speakers alone, so do not focus in that exclusively. However, also in a location where sonic vibrations from speakers are minimal if possible. Where that is case by case can vary. Often it will be away from the rear wall used to re-inforce bass levels and also not directly in front of directional speaker designs.
I have similar omnidirectional speakers both in the same room as my gear and in a separate adjacent room connected via in-wall wires. I have a Niles speaker switch to select which speakers play. In my case, I cannot attribute any sonic difference based on location relative to source gear. Both rooms are in the basement and sit on the thinly carpeted concrete foundation, which provides a very vibration free environment for both overall. Isolation from EM fields and sonic vibrations together overall is the key. Speaker location relative to gear alone does not tell the whole story.
Thank you to all for the quick and insightful responses! I've got a full size couch facing the speakers and a love seat on the lefthand wall. And the righthand wall has storage shelves and a toy chest. It's a bit congested. : ) So I am very tempted to try sidewall positioning, but that probably means just getting rid of something else all together. Another thought I had was simply removing the rack - BTW my components sit on top of it, not inside of it. Anyway, would it make sense to simply place my gear on the floor to reduce reflections and electronic interference w/ the drivers? May still not be ideal, but perhaps an improvement? And suggestions for a surface for gear? My floor is carpeted. Thanks again for shared wisdom!
This surprises me because there's less sound behind the speakers - Assuming no Bipoles or Dipoles, and assuming the speakers are in front of the rack and away from it by a couple of feet.
Putting the rack where the music is directed just seems backwards to me.
I'm gonna try it tonight.
I gave up running AQ Sky XLRs from the Pre to the Power amp just to be able to move the rack and sources our from between the speakers. It took a day to disconnect, move, position, and reconnect the system. Routing the cables and moving the cable lifters was another hour or so. At the end of the switch, all I can say is why the hell didn't I do this YEARS ago? I will go on step further than Jim Smith and say that not only does getting the rack out of the middle of the speakers outweigh the "longer" wire issue, it actually outweighs a substantial downgrade in IC quality. I went from AQ Sky XLRs in the the entire chain to SKY from the sources to the pre and an ancient AQ+ 16 foot run of XLR cable that is not even labeled. It looks a whole lot like mic cable in fact!
More of everything that I like and less of everything I don't was the result in my system.
Well, at this point I'm persuaded to experiment myself and see if a side wall placement of components really does make a difference. To Sebrof, please let me know how it worked out in your case please!
And one other request to you all.... can anyone recommend an affordable biwire cable? My Vandy's require biwiring, and I figure I'll need at least 15 feet of cable (which is longer than my current set). I would like to spend under $200 just in case this experiment is less than a success.
Thanks again for your thoughts!
I recently moved my rack to a side wall keeping my power amp in the same location between the speakers.Wasnt sure if the downgrade of the IC to the amp and a 10 foot run would effect it.Everything is much better even with the cheaper and longer run of cable
It sounds like the opinions are pretty strong in favor of moving gear out from between your speakers. A potential negative of course, is going to a real long RCA cable to do this. I don't want to sidetrack the thread w/ this, as we have all either had experience or read about the variables.
They say under 3-4 meters is Ok, but it also depends on the preamp's ability to drive the longer cable....
Many people seem to just simply position their gear lower, which is IMO,less practical if you are running a turntable.
There is also the option of longer speaker cables. Again,
there are variables involved here too. I would think 12-15
feet would be necessary to make this work, and still look
good. The SC length needed certainly depends on if you run a stereo amp or monos. This setup would allow all gear, including the amps, to be placed on a different wall.
I have heard that Auditorium 23 speaker cables sound does not degrade in long runs. I am not suggesting that this does not hold true w/ other SC manufacturers.
I have my gear including turntable along the left hand wall towards rear of the 12X12 room and use 18' Audioquest cv6 speaker wires.
This setup works great and is the cat's meow!
OK, I did it (I said I would a couple of days ago).
Actually, it's bad timing for me to do this since I just got new speakers a couple of weeks ago, and I got GIK products yesterday. But I did listen for 3 or 4 hours yesterday with the same setup to get a baseline, then moved the rack today.
My rack is an open rack, and also pretty low (3').
I moved the rack to a side wall towards the back of the room.
I believe it helped. It seems that there is a more cohesive soundstage, music sounds a little smoother. It wasn't earth shattering, but I'm glad I did it. It's hard to move things back and listen and compare (I'm not going to do that), so take my experience for what it's worth. I will say that if you have a rack with sides and/or your rack is high, then you should move it.
I'm a very experienced Audiophile and I learned several new tricks fro Jim Smith's book. Getting the rack out of the middle, is a great idea and it really can improve your sound. For excellent inexpensive interconnects try Signal Cable Silver Resolution.
I have been following this thread. The dominant view here seems to be to remove the components from between the speakers. My experience is much different here.
For many years I had the rack on the back wall with only the mono amps (CAT JL3) next to the speakers (Sound Lab A1). The problem was the expensive 10m Purist Dominus IC along the side wall to the amps. And from my experimentation with ICs, the most critical link is from the line stage to the amp(s), not source to the line stage, which is all too often reported here. There is just no way I am going to destroy the 3D in the system by putting a crappy IC here, 1m or 10m. Again my experience is much different here.
As an experiment, I then moved the rack to the side wall. The speakers radiate a lot of energy that made me feel this was not a good idea. If the 13' wide room was wider, I might not have this concern as the speakers would be further from the side walls and thus not beaming toward to the rack.
After repeated suggestions by Arthur Salvatore in emails, I I tried the components between the speakers. This turned out to be the best sound I have had. I bought a pair of 2-shelf stands, 18 inches tall. I placed these between the speakers. With components installed, the height was about two feet tall. I would never put a 5 or 6 foot rack between the speakers but this worked beautifully. As I sit near field, there is much depth behind the speakers which are 6 feet into the room from the front wall. The images of the instruments and musicians are crystal clear.
With this implementation, I can use short ICs that are either not available or affordable in longer lengths. It works for me very well.
Hi all! Again thanks for the great discussion. Jafox, my own intuition, couple with practical limitations in my listening room (possible furniture position variables, WAF, and cost of super long SCs or ICs) has quelled my initial curiosity to change my components' position somewhat. I will definitely try reducing direct and perpendicular reflections as much as possible, and may try placing my amp and CDP on a smaller and lower stand. And Lester, I will try the terry cloth towel trick too. I liked the simplicity of your solution and it's cheap too.
Positioning behind my listening position or on a side wall is something I would still like to try at some point, and I value and respect the feedback from those of you who have had success with that type of solution, And FYI, I would still recommend Jim Smith's book. Philosophically and technically, he offers many great insights into the crazy world of "audiophilia." Cheers!