Depth of sound stage--I need help

I have a 14x18 listening room with Audio Physic Tempo EXs on the short wall set up per Cardas speaker placement guidelines. I am running Quicksilver Silver 60 mono amps(older version) with a VTL 2.5 preamp, and a Sony SACD 333ES changer. I have Silver Audio interconnects an DH-Labs Q-10 speaker cable. On the power end I am using a Monster Cable HTS1000 surge protector and Synergystic Research AC Master couplers on the amps and preamp. I have a very wide sound stage and for the most part the system (albiet modest) sounds pretty good. What I am missing is that 3D sense of the artist being right there with you. It is not nearly as "lifelike" as some of the systems I have heard (Most notably SET Cary gear). Where do I look for improvement--My room, the source, amp, preamp, cables? Or is the bottom line that I have just fallen for what people call the Cary "majik"? Please advise.


Hi Greg,

Is the equipment rack located on the wall behind the speakers? If so, you'll need to move the speakers farther into the room than the guidelines indicate. The presence of those large reflective surfaces behind/between the speakers will seriously foreshorten the soundstage. Once this is done, you may need to move the speakers a bit closer together so that your listening position is not on the short dimension of the triangle.

Best of luck,
Well It is a combination of all things within your system. I own a krell amp which is better than front row seats but the Levinson I sold was like being in the 15th row. Its all based on where you want to perceive the images. That will dictate to you what equipment you buy. I would try treating your room and moving your speakers closer together and closer to you by towing them in you will acheive a more pin point image. Good Luck
3d is hard to get, regardless of your equipment. i believe it is obtained only using equipment which is transparent and properly set up in an acoustically ideal room, something few of us have. i have found that with point source speakers it is volume related as you need the volume to get the heighth associated with 3d. with line sources or panels you can get it at lower levels. cardas is a good place to start as it helps on the bass end but its not the only way so play with it. for example, in my room which is similar to yours i crossed the axis of my speakers in front of me and moved them closer to the side walls. the walls reinforce the bass to compliment the resonances in my room and the angle of the axis eliminates sidewall reflections. my listening position is about equally forward of the walls behind the chair and speaker. this works fine for speakers which the mfg recommends that they be listend to off axis, i.e. pointed straight ahead. i dont think cary has the corner on equipment which will give you 3d. its all about synergy and i would focus on your room first. don't over look live end-dead end theories or acoustically deadening walls which are reflective. good luck.
My room is 14X22. My speakers/equipment cause the stereo image ans soundstage to form well behind the speakers. This is known as a "laidback" system and I like it.

I also have my speakers on a short wall and 54" from the wall behind them. Well, this gives me a very wide but shallow soundstage. If I move the speakers further out into the room, I get greater depth but having the speakers 7-8 feet from the back wall is too much for practical reasons. So, I'm content with my wide shallow soundstage. If your system is laid back too much that may well be the cause of your shallow soundstage.

How far out from the back wall are your speakers? And where does the stereo image form? Good Luck, Craig.
Are you primarily concerned with the depth of the sound stage or pinpoint imaging? They are very different concerns.
I own a large Krell setup driving the biggest B&W's. My imaging is "to die for", yet my soundstage is often not particularly deep. That tends to be the way Krell reproduces the soundstage.
I go frequently to the symphony, sit in the 10th row center, and I can tell you that most of the time the soundstage is NOT deep. ... And that is in real life! Some equipment overdo the depth "thing", which although impressive, is not necessarily reality.
I hope you find what you are looking for.
To the above I can add that J. Gerhard (Mr. A-P) likes near-field listening. Immedia has a presentation on speaker placement that U may want to consult. Regarding A-P I have found that the more the horsepower provided the bigger the "8" imaging and the further back it reaches -- hence, enhancing 3dimensionality. After playing with placement, I suggest you borrow another pre, and note the differences. Then, try a different cdp with yr pre and with the other one -- and note the differences. You may be able to identify the piece of equip that needs to be changed for yr tastes. If nothing works, you're left with the amps... which would surprise me.

Excuse the vagueness, I just can't combine yr equipment sonically in my mind at the moment -- esp. the 2.5 with the Quicksilvers -- to come up with something specific.

Good luck!
It has to be proportion to the preceive width of the soundstage. If the width is about 15ft. Then the depth should be about approv. 1/3 of the width and it all depend on the recording.
I've been thinking bout this soundstage thing for a while now and depending on what is being listened to the depth part of it can be one big illusion. As indicated above the illusion can be helped by speaker placement but i think that walk around the dude feeling is very recording dependant even with a killer rig. If you are listening to classical or a small jazz band with the whole stage miked by a few overhead condenser mikes the depth thing is the real deal reflecting the time required for the sound to reach the mike from different parts of the stage. Likewise if you are listening to a recording where everyone played live and there was bleed through into the vocal mike up front or maybe, but not likely, into adjacent instrument mikes there may be some real depth. The truth is that for a lot of recordings a SM-57 or equivalent gets shoved in front of the amplifier or drum in a close mike arangement where every instrument is isolated in it's own channel. Ain't no depth to be found there. That being said as Drrdiamond pointed out for classical there isn't all that much depth i can back that up for almost any amplified instrument show i've ever attended.
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buy some sound labs,and sit nearfield and watch the soundstage drop back.
I own the 333es which is a good enough unit but really does lack the resolution to presnt the ambient cues to give you a 3D soundstage. When compared with a bel canto dac I had it most notably lacked depth. I have since sold my bel canto and had Dan Wright of ModWright modify 333es for $350. It was an amazing transformation and on redbook beats the bel canto or PT combo and is unbelievable on sacd. I can recommend this as the most cost effective solution to your problem. You are suffering forom a lack of resolution, the AP speakers can throw an amazing soundstage( I have the Virgos) and the quicksilver tube gear should be great.
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I have found that MIT cables create a very deep and wide soundstage with great imaging.
I agree with Chelillingworth, your 333es can definately be improved. I have repeatedly stated for some time now about how Sony (and virtually all other Japanese cd players) use very meager sounding output devices. We are talking about cheap op amps here! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS KIND OF OVERSIGHT IN A HIGH END AUDIO APPLICATION! Everyone that has a Japanese player should have this oversight fixed first, BEFORE they spend needless thousands of dollars on those high priced cables and isolation systems. Shouldn't we correct those big design oversights first which seriously limit the overall sonic performance, and then tweak our systems? How can you extract great sound with those expensive tweaky items if there is a serious sonic limitation at the source? Another modder to consider other than Dan Wright is Stan Warren. Both have received high acclaim at Audiogon forums.
Your intuition is correct - there is no substitute for properly executed SE's in an appropriate system in terms of spatiality. What people tend to forget, however, is that space is not perceived simply in terms of proportion (width and depth), but in terms of its nature. What does this mean? Space is not separate from the soundwaves that move through it and a stereo should lend the perception of this nature. With SE triodes - properly matched to a system and invariably NOS-tubed - the movement of the sound through the space is more "real" to our perceptions (that perceive such existential cues at a very deep level of listening). What you desire, but find it hard to articulate because you have perceived these spatial qualities at a deep level when you weren't thinking, is not only volume created by the parameters of width and depth, but also a spatial correctness. If you want this now, then you must consider moving beyond EL34/6550 push-pulls. Incidentally, get the Modwright mod; not because of depth considerations, but because it will improve imaging.