Try small speakers, spaced ~55-65 degrees b/ween them, 2-3ft from their back wall and listen nearfield. You should be able to get a good image.
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Can you layout your room to where you can place your speakers across the 18' dimension?
If you could place your speakers 4.5' away from each wall, that would give you 9' of spacing between the spkrs. Place your sitting area on the back, or very close to, the rear 18' wall. You'll have to play with the spkr distance off of the now "front" 18' wall. Avoid placing them at the 4.5' location , because that would have them (the front/center of the drivers) equal distant from both the front & side walls, which can not be so good. Try starting about 3' out. Ideal should be at the 5.5' mark. That will give you a "nearfield" setup and pretty much remove the first side-wall reflections.
If you can work with that arrangement, you'll be suprised at the soundstage and imaging. You'll have to make several adjustments to the toe-in, depending on your speakers. Having a $19 laser level from Home Depot helps tremendously in getting both spkrs set evenly.
If you try this, get back with your listening report?
Good luck and happy listening!
Try That setup
You should get a pair of near field speakers since they're less sensitive to the wall behind them. I'm currently using ATC SCM10 passive monitor speakers. If you have no other furniture in the room then you can consider larger coaxial or horn speakers. However, the placement will be harder than the near field monitors.
Yes, check out the web link below for Cardas method of speaker placement.
Select "Room Setup" on the right side bar. I 'm using this method in my smallish dedicated room 15.6 x 10.5 x 8(LxWxH) with very good results ie: with quite a wide and deep "perceived" soundstage. Speakers are Platinum Solos and they are toed in slightly towards the listening seat.
The short answer to your question is yes, you can get a good soundstage in a small room. To accomplish this you need to pay close attention to room treatment. Most dynamic speakers can work well close to the side wall if the first reflection points are well damped. Damp the wall behind the speakers as well, and maybe the ceiling at the first reflection point. Carpet the floor. Add some diffusion behind the listening position using furniture and plants. Once that's taken care of, careful speaker placement will give you rest of it.
My sound room isn't much larger than yours - it's 12x19. I use a pair of really big speakers - Coincident Total Victories - set up on the short wall. The speakers are about 1.5 feet from the side walls, and the front face of the speakers is about 4.5 feet from the front wall. the speakers are toed in so there is about 7 feet betweeen the center of the tweeters. I listen about 7 feet from the speakers.
Given this setup I get a measured flat response (+/- 2db) all the way down, and the soundstage is one of the best I've heard.
Your room is pretty close to the golden ratio with 18/12= 1.64 (golden ratio is 1.618). It might not be quite a Golden Cuboid listening room, since I don't know the room height, but take a look at
I would go for the near field listening stup shown in diagram C, which is a combination of diagrams A and B. This should be a good starting point. Your room is about the same size as mine. I have my room setup this way with some small Mission 751 monitors. I get an excellent sound stage. It might look a lttle funny at first with the speakers that far out and that close to you, but once you put on some music you're hooked. Also for good sound you want to sit not that close to a back wall (just as shown in diagram C)
Your room is not that small and you should be able to achieve very good results with the right equipment and set-up. My "office" at home is only about 15 x 13 and i get an amazing amount of soundstaging with that system. Then again, i'm running omni's for speakers, so that helps a lot in terms of "spaciousness" of sound. Sean
Thanks for all response. While some have suggested I place the speakers along the short wall, the way I have things set up, I can only place the speakers along the long wall (18ft long) otherwise I would have blocked either the entrance to the bedroom or the main entrance to the living room.
Rene: thanks for the website info. It looks like diagram F is the closest to my situation for placing speakers along the long wall.
I will probably need some room treatment on the front wall behind the speakers to absorb the initial bass energy and the side wall to prevent the first reflection point with respect to the listening position.