HELP Speakers sound brighter and 3D stage is lost

Audiophile Gurus,

I just have moved from a bigger place to this place where my music room is 12x16 fts.

Since the room is small I have placed the speakers about 6 inches away from the walls and about 8+ft apart. Now they don’t sound nearly as good as they did in my old place where there were about 9+ft apart and 4ft away from either of the walls, I use to get a 3D stage and the overall effect was incredible. Since they are new they sounded a bit harsh in my old place as well.

My setup:
Speakers: B&W 802N (only about 30Hrs on them)
Amp: McIntosh 352Mc
CD player: Levinson 39 (I am not using a separate Pre Amp)
Cables: MIT 750 Shotgun speaker cables.
Medium impedance MIT shotgun interconnects.

Is there any thing I can do:

1. to reduce the brightness besides waiting for them to break-in.
2. What can I do to get the 3D image back?
3. Is preamp a must for this configuration?
4. Will a subwoofer like REL help by pressurizing the room?
5. Any other pointers :)

The 802's are large speakers and definitely deserve more than 6". Give them at least a couple of feet. This will make a world of difference in imaging and soundstage. I listened to the 802's this weekend and they were fully broken in and I still find them unbearably bright. For some reason those Nautilus Titaniums don't agree with me :)
See the website for more info on speaker break- in tips. Quick sum up: Put the speakers facing each other and reverse polarity of one of the speakers. put something over the gap to absorb some of the noice and crank them when you're not listening.

Good luck:)
You obviously need to play around with speaker placement quite a bit. You'll also have to start reading / learning about room acoustics. Your going to have pretty massive side wall reflection problem with the speakers set up like that. Keep in mind that, even with room treatments, you'll never be able to get the same width or depth of soundstage due to room constraints. Sean
You don't mention whether the speakers are on the short or long wall. My room is about 14x15 and I place my N802's about three feet out measured to the frt baffle from the shorter wall and about 7 feet apart center to center. Toe in is critical. If they are pointed directly at you the sound will be way too bright. I use a laser pen to aim so the center position lands about 10 inches to the outside edge of where my ear would be, resulting in a very slight total toe-in. My switch from solid state to vacuum tube amplification was also a major improvement.
My listening room is a small space too (about 13x14). I have Thiels.

I have repositioned my speakers and furniture many times. To get the big 3D image, you will need to give speakers about four feet of *clear* space behind, and clear as much from between as possible. You'll get a wider, deeper, taller soundstage; also tighter and more realistic bass; *everything* improves in a big way that throwing money at more components and tweaks cannot get. Your speakers will get more living space than you, but I have not found another solution.

On the subwoofer, I do not think that it will be very meaningful if you don't pull those speakers out first. It's like improving a sportscar that you never take out on the highway.
The above responses pretty much sum up what I have to add. My room is about the same size as yours, but my speakers are not nearly as big. CDM 1NT's. If it were me, the first thing I would try is to pull the speakers at least one foot away from the wall, and anymore if it is possible. I'm making an assumption that the speakers are placed on the short wall? If they are not, I would try that.
Your post doesn't make sense: you have your speakers 6 inches from sidewall and 8 feet in between, but the shortest dimension of the room is 12 foot? My math says 3 feet is unaccounted for. 8' feet apart and 4' from sidewalls is about perfect, as far as time delay and width for stereo are concerned. At a minimum, fight for 2' from the sidewalls to get a crude 4ms delay (is that right guys: two ms out and two ms back). A little toe in wouldn't hurt and if they have to be close to the sidewalls, a 2foot by 2 foot of acoustic foam at the first reflection points will clean up the high beaming/harshness a bit.
Try the RPG profoam level 1 from for a quick and dirty easy route.
also good places.
Ezmeralda, i thought the same thing. The measurements are probable from the insides of each speaker in terms of spacing, then you have the width of each speaker cabinet ( which might be appr a foot and a half x 2 ) and then the distance from their outer edges to the wall. Make sense ? Sean

Follow these directions from Audio Physic to get your soundstage back ...

A subwoofer might help ... I use a Rel strata in a room which is only 10x12.

But first I'd play with positioning and listen in the nearfield.

The above suggestions are all excellent, but (and I hate to bring this up) I wonder whether those speakers are just plain too large for your new room, both physically and in the bass they produce. A smaller, stand-mounted speaker (for example, B&W 805Ns) might be able to give you much of your imaging and soundstaging back, as they would enhance the possibility of nearfield listening, and a good sub, if necessary, could add any bass you felt was missing (in a small room, you really may not miss the additional bass the 802s produce). If your speakers are new, any way your dealer can make this happen without a loss to you? Otherwise, I'd suggest setting them up on the long wall and adopt a nearfield listening spot to get back your soundstage, although I think you may have some bass problems depending on how close to the back wall you have to sit. Can't help you on the brightness, I agree with Buckingham, I find B&W's bright, but that's a personal bias and maybe breakin will ameliorate the problem. Good luck!
I think he means six inches from the back wall, not the side walls???
Thank you all for the great response.

The speakers are on the short wall. I tried placing them along the long wall and they sounded brighter.

The distances were approximate; the 8 ft is from the inside of the speakers.

I will move the speakers as you folks have mentioned and will post the results.

Move them out from the walls and dont toe them in also let the thing break in for a couple of hundred hours.
Natalie is right about toe-in. That would put Sukhi directly on axis with the tweeters, making them appear to be even brighter than what he is dealing with now. This would also reduce soundstage width and tend to focus imaging to a smaller, but possibly more pin-point, area.

Like i said, Sukhi has a LOT of experimenting to do with speaker placement and learning about room acoustics. Sean