No, lack of soundsatge is to to your gear. 90% of set ups have rack between speakers. Look for a week link in your system. Speakers cd.
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I would have to agree with others as I have an audio rack (3.1/2' tall), a TV and TV stand and couple of plants between my speakers. It will likely be a weak link in your system or speaker placement. Have you tried repostioning your speakers? I played with my speaker placement for days (if not weeks) before I got it right. Now I have good depth & hieght with reasonable width. Your room is going to play a big part in soundstaging as well, I know mine does.
The best rule-of-thumb is to ensure your rack's highest component is lower than the midrange driver of your speakers.
Adhering to this general rule should not affect soundstaging. Even if your rack is a bit higher, my hunch is you will still hear no difference.
For starters, trying bringing the speakers further out into the room so that there is at least 5 or 6 ft between the front face of the speaker cabinet and the wall behind the speakers.
I have a HUGE, Guargantuan, massive, behemoth, wooden "entertainment center" between my speakers. It was present one day when I got home from work years ago and to this day I don't remember agreeing to its purchase.... Anyway, "it" was a big reason that my interest in audiophilia waned for several years, thinking that it would be useless to try to get speakers to image the way that I wanted (I heard some old, three box Audio Physic Calderas, and those imaged better than anything I'd heard up to that point). My interest soemhow got piqued by Audiogon listings of some Paradigms (I had Paradigm 9 SE's at the time), and I ended up with Paradigm Studio 100 V3's, purchased at a dealer, who was meticulous in setting them up. They actually managed to image fairly well.
Then I heard the Intuitive Design Summits, had to have them, got them, and the soundstage that they throw is phenomenal, so much so that I posted an Audiogon review about them where I basically went ga-ga over them. (The speakers and the "entertainment center" are pictured in that review.)
So....it's possible to get central imaging even with a huge monstrosity between the speakers. My suspicion is that the imaging would improve still further if the "thing" weren't there between the speakers, however.
I have a large bigscreen TV between my speakers and it makes no difference whatsoever. I rolled it down the other end of the room and A/B'd the difference. None that I and my "golden eared" buddies could hear.
It's a big bugger too, 65" Mitsu. Picture in my system link. I always thought I'd be better off with nothing between the speakers...........goes to show that is not always the case.
I think 3ft is shoft enough not to present problems in most rooms. I believe how high the rack is positioned in relation to he height of the speaker drivers and of course the distance of the rack away from the speakers play an important role as well.
Removing the rptv in the middle has been one of the best sonic upgrade for me personally.
As this thread might indicate as it has progressed, the larger the better. If you have the room I'd recommend putting a small tugboat in between your speakers. If space is an issue, perhaps a piece of farm machinery like a thresher or a combine. Either one will make you think you were wearing some of those carboard red and blue 3-d movie glasses on your ears! Whoohaaa, now we're talking "sound stage"!!
PS....If you go for the tug or farm machinery solution, don't try running the engine in either one while you are listening to music. It'll ruin the 3-d effect.
A slight twist...not sure if it's different, but as long as the topic is up...
I've been thinking about a new arrangement for my system that would have the speakers a foot (no more) off the long wall(15 feet). The speakers are designed to have their backs close to the wall, 6-12 inches. In between the speakers would be a six-panel oriental screen that's around 6.5 tp 7 feet wide when set up in the normal mild zig-zag. The screen would be as close to the wall as possible, sort of like this -->
....|spker|...../ \ / \ / \.....|spker|....
The screen panels are 15 inches wide, anyone that seen a series of these panels can imagine what they might look like when setup in a shallow zig-zag(shallower than the characters above). I know there's nothing like the real thing and testing it, but the topic is up so...
It's really not that easy to answer and depends on if the rack is between, but behind the speakers, or between and foreward of the speakers. The horizontal dispersion of most moving coil speakers is frequency dependent and the interaction of the stand and the unique dispersion pattern of your speakers may be giving you some problems at certain frequencies. Try moving the stand back, or even foreward, a small amount, the interaction may change more than you think.
Thanks everyone for the response.
Unfortunately, since I have been banished from my study (the wife turned it into a playroom for my kids) I do not have a lot of flexibility in terms of speaker placement. I cannot move the speakers that far from the front the audio rack. I think the best I can do is to have the front of the speakers about 1 ft in front of the audio rack. I will try this tonight and see what happens.
audtiotomb: I actually just bought some Acoustic Zen interconnects today (Silver and Matrix Ref) after auditioning them. You are right, they do seem to improve my imaging especially with regards to female vocals. I get a better holographic image now.
Tboooe, from my experience trying different interconnects will greatly enhance a good system, increasing transparency etc but will not transform an inferior one. I try to select gear that is known to offer a large three dimensional soundstage. Unfortunately I have had gear in the distant past that only offered a 2D sound in the same room. The culprit can be just the preamp, power amp, or both. Replacing this undesireable gear was a revelation for me. By no means am I suggesting your gear is inferior but you would have to come to your own conclusions maybe after trying everything else including some of the above suggestions.