Diagonal setup of system...

The other day I had to move my system to clean around the area. I carefully marked where everything was before so that I could put it back the way it was. In order to get to some places on the floor, I had to move the entire system over to a corner. I decided to hook it up to listen to music while I cleaned the area. To my surprise, my system sounded better than it did with a conventional setup, side to side. The system was setup diagonally, sub in the middle, in the corner and mains on each wall. Any reason for this? I am thinking of keeping it this way.
In some rooms (problem rooms) diagonal setup is best, gets rid of a good part of the problem. In a small square room, this could be the best setup. The reason it sounds better in these rooms is because it will reduce standing waves and alter (un-clutter),for lack of a better word right now the sound waves.
Standing waves, which are a function of room dimensions more than speaker placement, are probably not the main factor here. What you've really done is changed the inflection points (where the sound bounces off the walls) and the arrival times of reflected sound.

Why do you think some of us keep saying that speaker-room interaction is more important than any other component of a system?
Bomarc, standing wave are caused by reflected waves that interfere with incident waves, diagonal placement can reduce destructive interference by change of reflection time of reflected waves in a diagonal setup. That said, I don't know if he had any room problems with standing waves, he didn't say, he just said he thought it might sound a little better on the diagonal. Any reduction of harmonics to second order will smooth out his sound.
I am brutally stupid when it comes to things like standing waves and the like. I just hook it up, do this and that and hope it works. However, I have been doing some research on diagonal setups and I don't seem to find nearly as much info as I can with regular setups. I have lots of questions. Where can I find more information on this?
I am going for a diagonal room setup in the room I'm going to place my audio system/home office. Robert of Ridge Street Audio suggested I should go for such a setup in order to keep my speaker cables short and acoustics sounding right given my quasi nomadic lifestile.

Here's a technical paper on diagonal room setup:

How to set up a room with no treatment

There's also a place where you can buy cheap room acoustic treatments; I've seen them advertised here in Audiogon:


I suggest you buy a little laser pen and two small mirrors.
You may want to search through the Stereophile archives. One reviewer (can't remember who) swore by this setup.
I have a laser pen and after a first initial setup, it seems that things that were a pain to handle before, like open doors, windows, and the like, are not going to be used to my advantage. This could be a good thing.
in the decware setup they state that you won't need room treatments. in a larger room that may be true, but in a smaller room (mine's 11*12*8), treatements are still mandatory and a worthwhile addition.

Rhyno, good post, but what kind of treatments and where? Do the say rules used in a conventional setup apply to a diagonal setup? Bass traps always go in the corners, right? How about diffusers? Where? Dead wall, live wall?

Rhyno, what kind of treatments are you using?
yes, you still need to tend to 1st and 2nd reflection points (bass panels ala jon risch worked fine), tube traps in the corners to absorb standing waves, and i've also found that diffusion works behind the listener---i made a home-made RPG diffusor that made a nice difference when mounted behind my seat.

also, for small rooms, make sure your seat is far enough away from any walls / corners so that coloration is not present (you can hear it. just slowly walk forward from the wall while listening and you'll hear when the coloration stops. that ppoint is the closest your seat can go to the wall. ---incidentally, this technique is part of the WASP setup that wilson uses to great effect, its just that they do the listening test to mark the closest the speaker can go to the wall).

My plan is to attack primary and secondary reflections w/ foam panels, build Decware's bass traps and place foam along the walls to the left and right of listening position ear level). The room is very small (11' x 11'6" x 8').
psychicanimal, you'll likely find (as i did) that the foam (aka absorption) @ listening position ear level will take life out of the performance. refract it with an RPG and you'll likely do better (or build your own, as they cost @ $40 in parts).

I tried it once just for kicks. The system sounded fine in that configuration but I could not overcome the visual stigma of staring into a corner, just too weird.
Rhyno, I currently have six RPG ProFoam Level 1 panels. Three of those are mounted in foam board and placed behind and above my sofa. Like you, my experience of having diffusion behind me is good. I've used the panel in three diferent apartments (I'm a nomad) but now with this diagonal setup things will change. I could setup two foamboard panels but I'm wondering whether other alternatives might be just as effective (and cheaper). I live within driving distance from the Carlo Foam Factory and their prices are good. I've been looking at these two types of panels:

Wall tiles

Pyramid foam

I know these are not as good as the upper ended RPG products but I can't forget I live in a rental townhome. I am aware that the diffusors I am using are two dimensional and thus not as effective. The RPG Skylines are way out of my budget. I wonder which of the two should I use and if both have practical uses, where goes which.

Where's Rives? We finally have a good and interesting discussion of room acoustics. We've not been wanting in the power delivery/noise control lately...

Regarding someone here who could not get used to the empty space, I thought about it. I have purchased quite a number of Kentia palms to be placed between the speakers. Hmmm, maybe my room will be shown in Audio/Video Interiors!
i haven't tried the two products you mentioned so i cannot say whether they'd be worthwhile or not. but the prices are attractive...

quick cheap RPG diffusor recipe:
hot glue gun
2' by 4' by 1/8-1/4" perfboard (at home depot / lowes)
2* 2'by4'by2" styrofoam (available at any arts supply store--buy the biggest sheet you can buy)
straight edge razors
spray can of rubber undercoating for cars (available at autozone).

1) with the razor, cut the styrofoam into pieces 2" by 2" by various heights - 1", 2", 4".
2) glue pieces to perfboard in random pattern but with little uncovered space
3) spray with rubber undercoating.

--there, you just made an RPG diffusor for $40 that would've retailed for $600.

You mean like the Skylines (TM)? That's pretty cool! I think some of the guys in Audiocircle have done something like that. Do you have pictures?
no pics, sorry.

DIY room treatments are w/o question the biggest bang for the $ in audio. as Nike says, just do it.