I have been having a lot of trouble getting my soundstage to sound the way I like it. Almost all of the systems I have heard generates a soundstage that is 1-5ft above the speaker itself. I really like this as it helps to make the speakers disappear. Sound seems to come from behind and to the sides of the speakers. Everytime I hear my friend's setup, I go home frustrated. In my setup, the soundstage is right at the tweeter level. To me, too much music is coming directly from the speakers. I do not hear anything behind or to the sides of speakers. In other words, my soundstage is narrow and shallow! I have tried a lot of different speaker/sitting positions to no avail. Nothhing I do raises the soundstage. I am pretty sure its my room.
So out of curiosity, I would like to know how high is your soundstage? Is it at tweeter height or above? If above, how much above?
I'm betting you're right. On your System page, it looks quite small for those speakers. If you're up for it, move the system into a bigger room just for testing purposes, and see what happens to the stage.
Boa2, we are adding a loft soon which I hope will help. the loft will be quite large (15' x 20') with floating floors. I will be able to put my speakers as far from the front wall as I would like. The room they are in right now is actually pretty big (15' x 24') but the little nook that the speakers are in is only about 12' wide. The back of the room opens up to the rest of the house and the upstairs.
given the system I think you have enough distance. do you have a pair of minimonitors you can borrow and try on chairs or better yet stands. They should completely disapear. if they do the speakers are probably a mismatch for the room. the narrower the baffle the nore they will disapear. a pair of audiophysics should give you the height of the stage as well as fill the room boundaries with music. These are usually listened to in the nearfield.
I agree with Boa2 and your own feelings about the room. I hated my system in very room of my house except my ugly basement room with no drywall. Your room is probably too small....and those (awesome) amps make it look even smaller :) My soundstage as of tonights tweek is at tweeter level and well balanced. Cymbals and loud passages get up. On track 13 of Stereophile test CD 2, the singer is about five feet to the left of the left speaker. Not something I experience on a regular basis, but interesting that sound can be that far outside the speakers.
No doubt, that nook is causing the "soundstaging" problem. You might want to try placing your speakers outside of the nook and see what happens. Had a friend who used to play in a band, and in one of the places they used to play, the stage was built into a nook (which he described as playing inside a box). Consequently when they played there and put the PA on the sides of the stage they would have problems with the sound being distributed throughout the room. They somewhat solved the problem by placing the PA offstage and to the front and the far sides of the nook, thus minimizing the effect that the nook was causing to the sound.
How much have you experimented with placement? Generally, the more you tip the speaker backwards so that the drivers are aimed upward, the higher the apparent soundstage. The amount of toe-in can also affect the height of the stage as well as the sense of the sound being bound in the speaker vs. floating free. The further one can get the speaker from all surfaces (side and back walls particularly, big hard pieces of furniture, tv set, etc.) the better the imaging.
Do some experimenting. I would start with tilting the speaker back a bit.
Thanks to everyone for all of your great responses. I will see what I can do about moving the speakers out of the nook so that they have the full width of the room to breathe. I will also try some heavy blankets behind and to the sides of the speakers. Wish me luck!
Im guessing you have already done this when setting up your speakers but maybe not. Have you tried playing with the rake? In my new smaller room(not pictured on my system)with the speakers raked to the front i gained about 6"-10" of height. Now vocals are around 5'-0" to 5'-6" from the floor. Just a thought.
I agree that its the speaker/room integration. Aside from playing with speaker placement, and on that point try the cardas.com method of placement, it helps to nullify problem nodes etc. Also, go to a home improvement store and buy a couple of those 4ft tall "bags" filled with sheets of unfaced pink insulation. About 14" diameter or whatever. They are about $40 bucks or so, but their return policies are pretty sweet. Just make sure there are no holes in the bags, or the insulation can get everywhere. Tape up the tops, and you're good to go.
One in each corner behind the spks should give you a good idea of how "bass traps" WILL improve things. I bet the spks are overloading your room and all those built up soundwaves are ruining your soundstaging potential, and just about every other aspect.
JonRisch over at audioasylum.com has alot of inexpensive advice on building your own bass traps/panel absorbers etc....Speaker room interaction is the most important variable. I built four bass traps, floor to ceiling, pretty much identical to those offered by asc, and built panel absorbers for the reflection points. Without them, my stereo sounds broken in comparison.
soundstage height should not be 5' above speaker. one of the most disappointing demo I heard was Wilson X-1 that made any singers 8' tall. if the singer appears to be 5' tall from the floor, your stage height should be fine. you can tilt the speakers up further to create a taller stage height as well.
adding tube amp to the chain will also create that holographic sound you are looking for, that's why I have lots of tubes in my system because most SS sounds flat to me.
Semi-I too was disappointed with a demo of Wilsons i had heard. It was the Alexandria X-2s that didnt portray correct height for me. The salesman put on Tools "Undertow" that I had with me. Maynard sounded as if he was singing down to me, which is very incorrect being as he is a very short guy. This was the first time i had heard a speaker of that size and being used to smaller setups it is possible that maybe that is how it was meant to be recorded, but i have my doubts. Maybe someone else has experienced this with this recording.
I agree with people's assertion that the soundstage should not be too high. I am curious how high people's soundstage is relative to the speaker. My soundstage is slightly above my tweeter, which to me is too low. I would like, and have heard other people's system where the soundstage is about 1-3' above the tweeter which sounds right to, like a band on a stage.
Chesky Records put out a test CD that included a very interesting set of test signals that sound like short bursts of static. If the system is set up properly, and if walls or furniture, etc., do not interfere too much with the direct sound from the speaker, the signal appears to start in the speaker then climbs to almost directly overhead before it arches over and then descends into the other channel's speaker. Quite amazing.
This Chesky test Cd is one of the best of its kind around.
Strange, a speaker of that caliber should not have any problem with soundstage. I have a much smaller room and yet my speakers ($5.5k /pr) disappears like nobody else. My soundstage is between 1.5ft to 3ft high above the tweeter. The sound appears to come from everywhere except the speakers. It really has to do with speaker placement and room treatment.
Check out the layout of my room here: http://www.audiocircle.com/gallery/albums/userpics/49166/Room_Layout.jpg
I think more bass trap / acoustic panels will help.