Cardas Speaker placement..


Once again I'm playing around with speaker placement.After reading some from the cardas site I fiqure I would try this method.After putting my dimension's in the calculator it says 4' from the sitde walls.I went with this but the final set up looks rediculous".The speakers look smashed together.does this seem right in a 14.5' room or did I do something wrong..?My room is 14.5' x 22' x7'.The reason for the change in placement is the bass is never right to me..I tried other speakers in this room with the same results..Thanks
spaz
4ft from the middle of the woofer to the side wall and 6.48 from the center of the woofer face to the rear wall is what I get on their website.

I read a link years ago where people posted their set up measurements and I was surprised at the time to find how close together their speakers were and how close they were sitting...

Give it a try I really liked the Cardas method for my Maggies (when I had them).
The Cardas method puts your speakers very close together. Try the Vandersteen method, which in your room would put the speakers 2.9 feet from the side walls (1/5th of 14.5, measured to the center of the woofers) and 7.3, 4.4, or 3.14 feet from the back wall (1/3, 1/5, and 1/7th of 22). This would have your speakers 8.7 feet apart--pretty workable--with whichever distance from the back wall gives the most even bass response. Then stick your listening position 1/3, 1/5, or 1/7 into the room, whichever brings you closest to an equilateral triangle between you and the speakers.

Measure your room accurately in inches and divide by odd integers if you want to be really accurate. From your system pics it looks like you have a lot of flexibility with placement, so one of these combos should work. Good luck.
I like the Wilson method of voicing the room. Start with you back to the side wall and speak as you walk step by step away from the wall. You will hear you voice change as it changes it's interaction with the wall. So the same with the back wall. Place your speaker there. Then make adjustments based on what you hear from your listeninhg position.
parallelAll systems are starting points only. I have used the Cardas and then moved the speakers closer to the side walls. My GamuTs come with a formula that is complex enough for an advanced math class; I can't get them as far apart an they want in my room anyway. My room is 13'x35'x7' so I understand your problem; I would move them in at least 2' from the sidewall and possibly place sound treatment at first reflection point. Actually, I would treat the room no matter where I put the speakers.
Thanks for the response everyone.I guess it's a give and take with this whole thing.I move them out and the imaging and soundstage is great but the bass goes away..But even when I put the speakers close to the back wall the bass is just not right.I tried every possible listening position as well.The only spot the bass is right to me is if I stand behind the speaker plane.
are those some type of bass traps in the corner?

if not you may want to try some.

You probably already know this but fwiw...
I agree with Phil; I use 6" corner traps and 2 4' x2' x4" panels lying against the wall and the increase is bass very noticeable. See my system which is listed under my threads.
Every room is different and you just have to experiment. The calculator says my speakers should be 7 feet apart and 6 feet into the room. That would never work in my room. I recommend using your ears instead of a generic formula.
Agree with Stanwal. Placement is very important, but acoustic treatments can go a long way to tighten things up. I, too, find that the Cardas formula doesn't give me enough separations and sidewall reinforcement. My room is narrow, 12', so optimal placement is only 3" closer to the sidewall than Cardas formula and that makes a very significant difference. But without bass traps, that placement sounds a bit boomy and muddy. With bass traps, just right.
It's not the amount of bass it's the lack of..I don't know if I over did it with treatments.In the corners I use the LENRD bass traps In the corners on the walls i'm using some DIY panels I made from 3" 705 rigid fiber glass framed in wood.The tops of the panels are covered with uralex metro foam..the system sounds very lean or thin in bass.No matter where I put the speakers ,no matter where I put my chair it sounds lean .Once again I tried other speakers with the same result..Only when I walk behind the speaker plane does the bass comes to life.
Stanwal, It's a delicate balance. Did you get an increase in bass or a decrease in higher frequencies?
Without treatment the reflections reinforce some of the higher frequencies and cancels others. Makes the sound seem "louder" but when you listen carefully there are things that just aren't there that you hear with treatment. I occasionally take everything but the corner ones out just to check; I leave them in as they are screwed in, the others just hanging. With the treatment music sounds "softer" but there is actually more treble if anything; just a lot more even in character. There is definitely more bass with the panels; get a lot of cancelation without them. In a smaller room reflections are a much bigger problem than in a larger one.
speakers out of phase?

again I am grasping at straws here...
Interesting to run into this post. I'm in the same boat. Just moved into a new room and am trying to figure out where to place my speakers. I too tried the Cardas Placement calculation and actually liked the result only after adding diffusion at the first reflection point. Since our rooms are similar in size (14' W x 21' L x 8' H) the Cardas method put my speakers 4' from the side walls like yours.

I could not get the bass that I was looking for and the speakers actually seemed to almost be out of phase. I kept rechecking my cables and would swear that the speakers were out of phase. Talking to another audio buddy of mine he explained that the sound was arriving to my ears a bit too quickly thus canceling out some of the sound and giving me the phase sound. I added a 2 x 4 absorption panel and the bass began to appear. The sound was actually pretty good but I couldn't get over having the speakers so close together plus it seemed like I was sitting right up against the speakers.

Wanted to try the 1/3 placement calculation to see if there might be an improvement. This would put my speakers 27" from the side wall. This sounded a bit better to me but I felt the speakers were a bit too far apart now. I kept inching them closer together and now I'm about 36" from the side wall and I'm getting good imaging and the bass is sounding pretty decent. I can't say that this is the final resting spot but I have the Cardas placement taped off so I can return the speakers to that spot if I choose to.

Go to the Evolution Acoustic Website and see what they suggest.

I'll keep you posted on any improvements or new developments on speaker placement.

I decided to try another
Interesting to run into this post. I'm in the same boat. Just moved into a new room and am trying to figure out where to place my speakers. I too tried the Cardas Placement calculation and actually liked the result only after adding diffusion at the first reflection point. Since our rooms are similar in size (14' W x 21' L x 8' H) the Cardas method put my speakers 4' from the side walls like yours.

I could not get the bass that I was looking for and the speakers actually seemed to almost be out of phase. I kept rechecking my cables and would swear that the speakers were out of phase. Talking to another audio buddy of mine he explained that the sound was arriving to my ears a bit too quickly thus canceling out some of the sound and giving me the phase sound. I added a 2 x 4 absorption panel and the bass began to appear. The sound was actually pretty good but I couldn't get over having the speakers so close together plus it seemed like I was sitting right up against the speakers.

Wanted to try the 1/3 placement calculation to see if there might be an improvement. This would put my speakers 27" from the side wall. This sounded a bit better to me but I felt the speakers were a bit too far apart now. I kept inching them closer together and now I'm about 36" from the side wall and I'm getting good imaging and the bass is sounding pretty decent. I can't say that this is the final resting spot but I have the Cardas placement taped off so I can return the speakers to that spot if I choose to.

Go to the Evolution Acoustic Website and see what they suggest.

I'll keep you posted on any improvements or new developments on speaker placement.
Sorry for the double post..... pulled the trigger a bit too fast on my first response.
I'm also going through speaker placement right now. My room is 13.5'x18.5'. Set up on the short wall, this will put my speakers 6' apart and 3.7' from the side walls. Thiels require you to be at least 8' from them for the driver to integrate, so I don't think this placement will work. If I sat 8' from the speakers, I would not be close to being in an equilateral triangle with them.

I then found out about the Vandersteen placement method, so I'm playing with that now. I found instructions in the Model 3A Signature manual. Now, the reason for my post.

Ablang said-
Then stick your listening position 1/3, 1/5, or 1/7 into the room, whichever brings you closest to an equilateral triangle between you and the speakers.
I don't see anything about the listening position location at all in the 3A Signature manual. Did you find that in a different manual, or did you discover this on your own?

Thanks,
Philjolet,you were saying about "out of phase"All hook ups are correct but it doesn't mean the guy before me didn't do something goofy to the speakers.How can I tell if everything's correct internally..?The bass modules are separate from the satellites so the connections on the bass modules could be reversed.
.
a battery can be hooked up to the speaker positive to positive and the woofer goes out.

I have not done this myself but heard about it years ago,

please do not try it until someone else verifies it

and good luck
Not sure but whould this make a system sound lean?
Ketchup--I just looked at my manual again, and you're right, it doesn't say anything about listening position. Thinking about it, I guess I figured bass nodes matter as much for the listening position as they do for the speakers. In my experience, at least, placing my listening position at one of the odd distances has gotten the most even bass response.

Right now my speakers are a third of the way into the room and my chair is a fifth of the way toward them from the wall behind me (measured to my ears). This gives better soundstage depth than when I had the speakers a fifth in and me a third of the way into the room, with virtually identical bass response. In either set of positions, moving my chair forward or backward by a foot or so boosts low bass while creating a suckout in the "power region" above it.

This is with a long-wall setup in a 13x18 room, and that movement of my chair by a foot or so just happens to place it an even (rather than odd) distance into the room. I should note that I've used this method for non-Vandersteen speakers, too. Good luck.
I tried every possible placement with my speakers as well with always the same result.Great imaging but no bass.
Spaz, if out of phase the one woofer goes out while the other woofer goes in, cancelling each other out, because both are supposed to go out at the same time (which increases sound pressure instead of equalizing it)
According to Jim Smith, the listening position, rather, than a speakers placement, has more profound effect on the bass perception.
I can concur his findings in my room.
My listening position is a little greater from the speakers then the speakers are apart .This seems to be the over all best position..but the bass is not there..
I found Jim Smith's book "Get Better Sound" the best source for the info on system set up.
I used to have the same "problem" with "no bass", until I followed his system.
The bass is always there, you just have "to find it"
Personally, I have never found the Cardas Golden Cuboid method to work well in any room I've tried it in; I actually prefer the Vandersteen placement method in most instances and it still falls woefully short in most cases. Each room is unique based on size and construction, and to properly understand what needs to be addressed, measurement is essential. I would recommend some recent Floyd E. Toole publications: the book 'Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms' is excellent, and dispels many myths about loudspeaker performance in rooms. For help with bass integration, I would recommend visiting the Harmon website, and looking for the whitepapers under the Technological Leadership section. There you will find an excellent three-part paper by Dr. Toole, discussing acoustical modes and their associated nulls and peaks. In my room, this paper was invaluable at optimizing the position of both myself and the speakers in my relatively new room. Be sure to download and use the room mode calculator as well. Good luck.

Hi Spaz,

After reading this thread I have looked at you system. It look glorious!

We just moved to a new home and in the last 3-4 months I too was looking for the bass in my new music/study room.

Firstly, since also other speakers exhibited the same behavior in your room, i.e. lack of bass, it is very likely that there is nothing wrong with your speakers. Your room "excels" at bass cancelation. Secondly, since you say that behind the speaker plane you get good bass there should be possible to find a position for the speakers that will give you good bass at the listening position. (This is also the proof that your speakers can produce good bass.)

I would suggest you the following:

1) Since your room is wide enough try placing the speakers along the long wall (so they fire perpendicular to the direction of the long wall). It is my experience that this always yields better results (not just with bass but also with imaging and soundstage) than placing the speakers along the short wall.

2) Buy a good subwoofer (or two). I recommend the top of the line RELs, e.g. Stentor or Studio. However, others have reported here very positive experiences also with other brands, e.g. Velodyne, and/or lesser RELs. There are two main advantage of adding a subwoofer: A) as you know very well by now, the speaker position in a room that yields the best midrange spectral balance and stereo image almost always is different than the positions that give the best bass, B) a subwoofer will give you full range sound also at very low listen levels.
It is an old and incorrect believe that a subwoofer is detrimental to a stereo system.

3) If step 1) fails or is impractical for whatever reason, you may want to hire a specialist (e.g. acoustic engineer) to help you get things right. Like with the addition of a subwoofer, hiring a specialist will cost a fraction of the price of your system and has the potential to elevate the performance of your system to a whole new level.

4) Be patient and no not despair! When I first placed the system in my new room , I had no bass what so ever even though I've cracked the volume of my REL half way in a room of only 4.7 x 3.7 x 2.4 meters!!!.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Paul
If you are willing to put some time into this try the Sumiko Master Set method for speaker placement. Another option is the Audio Physics method that is best used with the long wall placement suggested by Nvp. Your room appears both wide and deep enough to try this method. Of course other logistics and room configuration may prevent this, but it is well worth trying if you can.

I have used both these systems, individually and in combination with great results.
When I first moved into the house I did try it along the long wall .the results where not that good, bass was the same with a lot less soundstage depth..Though I settled in on the short wall.
Spaz, forgive my laziness I haven't read all of the posts. FWIW you are going thru something that I had to do some years ago in a slightly smaller room with similar dimensions/shape.

Have you tried moving your speakers AND your listening chair back and forth at the same time. I have a 6db null at 40 to 50hz which I could never eliminate but I was able to boost a flat 60 to 80hz frequency by 3db and that filled in the bass quite well. Perhaps it helps that my speakers were producing a strong 28/32 hz signal. I ended up with my speakers about 5ft from the wall behind them BUT with their sides closer to the side walls than usually recommended and toed in very substantially to reduce lst reflections off the side wall. The speakers are about 10ft apart and the listening seat is 4 ft from the wall behind it and 11 feet from the plane of the two speakers. FWIW
Spaz, be also aware that the two parallel walls of a rectangular room are often not equivalent. That is, placing the speakers close to the right wall or the left wall will often give you very different results. Thus, you might also want to rotate everything with 180 degrees. Regarding your comments about placing the speakers along the long wall I am a bit surprised to hear your findings about the stereo image but ... everything is possible. Nonetheless, it is definitively worth while to read the "Audio Physics" set-up procedure (at least about mapping of your room) has suggested by Clio. Google for it.

Clio, from what I read on other forums when applying the "Sumiko procedure" one goals is to match as close as possible the response of the two speakers in ones room. This is exactly what my Accuphase DG-38 digital voicing equalizer is doing. (Unfortunately, the DG-38 does not find the ideal place for the speakers). Is this procedure described anywhere on the Sumiko site? Thanks!
Hi Spaz,
My room is essentially the same dimensions (14'*21'7') as yours so I will share my experience.

1) Belfore doing anything, get yourself an acoustical measurement tool so that you can measure the room in its current layout which will form your baseline for comparison purposes.
2) Using the Harmon mode calculator you will see that your listening chair should be about 38% of the room's length (8.36') out from the back wall so that you aren't sitting in bass modal peaks or nulls but somewhere in between their nulls and peaks. Try placing your speakers about 33% of the room length out from the front wall. Take measurements for each different speaker position. I'd focus on "Freq VS SPL" for now.
3) I found that the best imaging and mid/high freq response was not the best bass response so I bought 2 subwoofers (Rythmik F15) to tailor the low end to my liking. Again, the measurement tool is invaluable in helping me assess 99 candidate sub locations in 2 hours! I have an upwards tilted bass freq curve and freq decreases to align with the equal loudness curve of our ears.
4) try rotating your system 180 degrees to see if that works better as your room isn't perfectly symetrical I would guess.
5) try placing your speakers straddling a front wall corner, in essance rotating your system 45%.

Toole's book is excellent. good luck.
For those interested in the Master Set procedure:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=64321.0
This one is a bit more detailed:

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=speakers&n=215930&highlight=Master+Set&r=
Placement must stay at the current location as all my dedicated lines are at that end..The other side of the room is asymmetrical so that's why I originally chose to set up the system on this side of the room..
another question on the matter.My ceiling above my speakers is not sealed.What I mean is the drop ceiling is made from wood frames covered with black cloth.If the drop ceiling wasn't there you whould see the floor joist and the insulation.My question is if the ceiling was sealed with drywall traping in the sound whould this give me better bass?
Are most of your ceilings drop or drywalled?
My ceiling has Roxul fiberglass in between the 2by6's and then another sound barrier and then 5/8ths inch drywall. I would have used the resilient channel for better sound proofing but didn't want to loose more of the limited 7' height.

I've also seen baffles angled downwards to 'catch' the ceiling reflections on the ceiling.
Do you think by containing the sound it gives for better bass response?Maybe by containing it your able to move more air with the bass..
Spaz - if you want a subwoofer to help add more low end, check out this 712lb monster:

http://www.lycanaudio.com/The_Ulric.html
Clio, thank you very much for the two links. I've found the first link myself but did not find the explanations very clear. The second link you sent me gives a better description of the procedure (IMO). I will study the procedure closely and give it a try next week.

Spaz, it is unfortunate that you are unable to move the speakers against a different wall. If the speakers are indeed position against the "wrong" wall you may never be able to get decent bass in your room. Even if you would add a subwoofer (2 might solve the problem but one can never be sure)! As mentioned in my first post, the bass was almost inexistent in my room even though the volume of my REL was half way up (this was for the arrangement depicted in the plan shown on my system page). I have place the speakers against all 4 walls and the amount and quality of the bass varied very significantly from one configuration to another, i.e. from inexistent to too much (when the speakers where placed against the short wall), and from decent to very good (when the speakers were against the long wall).

Regarding your question about the ceiling, fake walls never count. Consequently, your room is larger. It is hard to say whether or not this is causing the lack of bass you currently experience. However, I would say that your speaker are large enough to not get lost in in your room (they should be able to move enough air).

Finally, do you get more bass if you play the music at larger volumes?
when I play at higher levels the bass is just about the same..
From what you told me so far I am quite sure the lack of bass you experience in your room is due to destructive interference. Before building a new ceiling (which will not guaranty better bass) I would place the speakers against each of the 4 walls. Just use some normal extension chords. (I would also talk with a acoustic specialist before doing any work on the ceiling).

Good luck!
At the opposite end of the room the ceiling is lower but the room is not as symmetric as the current spot.The Rommel is somewhat "L" shape.If I would put the speakers at this end and have them out a little bit,there would be a cutout from the side wall on the left side.
Spaz, I understood you would prefer to keep the speakers in the current position. I was merely suggesting to probe the room bass response before rebuilding the ceiling. It is very difficult to predict how the low frequencies will interact in a room. This is because bass waves have absolutely no problems to pass through walls and often standing waves are formed between the walls of different rooms. Consequently, it is best to experiment, i.e. just move the speakers against each wall.

Another alternative, that, in fact, will allow you to verify weather or not you can get good bass in the current configuration is to loan a good subwoofer and place it at your listening position (I recommend a REL Stentor or Studio). You can find more details about this set up procedure in my fist post in the thread "Are the JL Fathom subs really that good...." here on audiogon (see link below).

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1219437689&openusid&zzNvp&4&5#Nvp