Can you get good quality sound on the short wall axis of a room??

We know or have read that in most living room, speakers should be placed on the long axis of a room.  However, I am forced to change the set-up my living room.  The room is approximately 14 X12 and opens into a similar sized dining/kitchen area  . My speakers are currently placed on the long axis separated by about 6 ft and my components are racked in the middle.  I sit approx. 9ft from the tweeters of each speaker.

I would like to use the short axis for many reasons, mainly to provide more walking space in the room so family members don't trip on speaker cables and cable risers.  On the short axis, I can move speakers out at about  30 inches from the  back wall,  and still have at least 8ft from the front of the speaker plane to my ears sitting straight up. I would like to move the component  rack to the same wall, and prefer using a solid table or small entertainment center so as  get better access to the components for cleaning. If that does not work, I will have to go back to an integrated amp and sell my separates.  Bookcases can be repositioned and one is going to the trash room. 

What screws up the long axis wall is a door that opens to the balcony and takes away 33-36 inches of wall space.  BTW, the speakers are Golden Ear Technology 7's  which I am going to eventually sell, so as to upgrade to a better speaker.  

All comments and advice welcomed

Thank you,



If my dedicated listening room is anything to go by then you can get outstanding sound in a rectangular room with the speakers across the shortest wall. In fact my room is the exact same dimensions as the "A" list room at Definitive Audio, Bellevue, where they claim to have paid a big audio design firm to come up with those dimensions and configuration back when they were building the store.

There's a lot more than pure sonics to be considered, as you already hinted at with your mention of people walking tripping over cables. But my point is that even when none of those considerations matter and with complete freedom to address acoustics alone its still perfectly valid to go with speakers along the short wall.
My speakers are on the short wall. There is no other alternative. They are about 7 feet apart and I am about 12 feet away. With a lot of testing and moving a half foot here and a half foot there I've got them sounding pretty good. 

They do sound a little better if I move my chair about 2 feet further in. This blocks ingress to the room but it is easy enough to move back and forth as needed. But I rarely feel the need to move up.

I think I benefit from two things. First, the wall behind my listening chair is almost entirely windows which is not good except that there are heavy drapes in front of them. Second, after much testing (and having this confirmed by other owners) I have found that my speakers sound better when they are closer to side and back walls than is typically recommended.
Many folks use (and prefer) settting up their speakers on the short wall. The only real down side to doing this is having to deal with early reflections from the side walls (unless your room is wide enough to make this irrelevant). Works best if you can set up your speakers and listening position in a near equilateral configuration.  
I had my system set up on the long wall for many years and finally tried setting it up on the short wall. Even though the speakers are now closer to the side walls (41" from wall to center of speaker,) the setup is now symmetrical as opposed to previously having a large opening to other rooms on one side. The system is much, much better sounding now, I can't believe how long it took me to try the alternative. In both setups, speakers and listener were in a near equilateral configuration, 8'-9' between speakers and listening position. 

Thank you to all who have responded.  I want to add that  there is no side  wall   for the left speaker because the room opens into the dining/kitchen area with a least 14 feet to boundary wall of the apartment.   I can place any box or tower speakers at least 30 inches from the back wall if I move the current location of area carpet. However, I mentioned before I would still maintain the 8ft distance from the speaker plane to my ears. I am considering the Magneplanar .7 speakers ($1400) possibly the 1.7i's ($2200 ?)  But this might not work because of the Maggies  finicky placement problems.  

More to follow  about the right side of the short wall which terminates at  the back wall corner of the long axis.   


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It depends.   The Maggies and ribbon speakers (Newform Research is the one I remember) prefer a very wide room in my experience, the short-axis wall placement that you mentioned.

Traditional box speakers, ribbon-tweeter only speakers (Coincident Victory, Legacy, Red Rose Music M1, vintage Infinity, for example) and horns sound better to me with typical concert hall (shoe box) placement.

I do not know about eletro-static much since (an Quad that DOA on me, and an pair of Martin Logan low end HT speakers that was so HT ... that's all I owned), ... would be nice to hear someone sharing their experience.

If you have a choice to do either placement strategy, consider yourself very blessed.