You should be able to set your speakers up without using a laser and get results that are just as good. For certain speakers, like Vandersteen, a laser makes more sense because you have to set the back tilt. But its still not necessary. Its more of a convenience factor.
If you're still looking to buy a laser level, Lowes carries Bosch. It should be more than adequate for setting up speakers. Possibly even overkill. Also check MSC and see what they have to offer.
Bosch DLR130K. You can get it on Amazon around $80. Might sound a little pricey but it turned out to be the most important tool I've ever used in my listening room. Once you own it you will wonder how you ever managed properly without it. Precise measurements to 1/16th inch. It's NOT overkill...every speaker set up will be dramatically easier and sound dramatically better than if you didn't use it. Don't hesitate. It is exactly what you are looking for. You will thank me, I guarantee it.
"NOT overkill...every speaker set up will be dramatically easier and sound dramatically better than if you didn't use it."
I meant for accuracy, not convenience. You can still do just as good a job without it. It will just take you longer.
I understand where you're coming from as far as ultimately getting it right but for the eighty bucs you save so much time; not only initially but also with subsequent " tweaking adjustments". You can fine tune every experimental position to 1/16th accuracy each time and therefore give each one its just deserve ( as compared to "ballparking it" each time for 'general feel'). A lot depends on how easy/ or not your speakers are to move. I have never met a speaker that doesn't sound best after serious precision placement and the Bosch lets you do it as quickly and accurately as possible.Remember: accurate speaker positioning using measuring tape/yardsticks/ strings/ or whatever is inherently tedious. Are you measuring to the walls or the molding...How precise is your toe-in angle? Distances from front walls, side walls, inside edges of speakers to each other... even rake angle... All precisely matched...Are you using spikes after initial placement...? Are you shifting 100+ pound speakers on a single corner point? The bigger, the heavier, the more PITA the speaker is, the more the Bosch becomes a lifesaver.
Do yourself a favor and don't go out to a decent dinner one weekend and put the $$ into the Bosch. Trust me: A NO Brainer. Have fun.
I have a nephew who's in construction and he gave me a small laser level device that looks like this
and works like a charm.
Once you've set your distance from the front wall it's so easy, once you've determined where you sit, to aim your speakers where you want with it.
All the best,
"Do yourself a favor and don't go out to a decent dinner one weekend and put the $$ into the Bosch. Trust me: A NO Brainer. Have fun."
As luck would have it, I can eat tonight. I already have a laser level and a laser ruler. If you look at my first post, you'll see I gave the OP some suggestions as to where he can buy his own. That said, I can get the same results either way. An inch is an inch.It doesn't matter how expensive the ruler is. I have many digital measuring tools, and they all need to be calibrated from time to time. The calibrations are all analog. Weights, bars, levels, etc.. They're just tools. The user is what makes the difference.
Thanks for the advice! It will help in getting things dialed in quickly and possibly more accurately. Typically, I take four measurements out from the front wall and lay painters tape across those four points about 10' in length as a starting point.
Off to Home Depot to pick up one and to study how to use it before I add Stillpoints Ultra SS under my speakers...
Wig, I have the Bosch and it works well and is accurate. Less time consuming than a tape measure.
Just ordered one any tips on using it?
Boys and Girls...this is not the way to use a laser to set up the speaker. You don't want to point the laser at the listening position. Here's how to do it:
First use a level and level your speakers. Turn your laser on and put it on top of one of the speakers. Get a postit (those yellow stickums) and place one of these at the back wall of your listening room, centered between the speakers. Slowly rotate the laser (the red dot will move on your back wall - behind your listening position. Make sure you keep the laser flat against the top of your speaker. Put a dot where the laser strikes the postit. You may have to raise or lower the postit to accomodate the laser dot. Put the laser on the other speaker and again swing the dot left/right, until it aligns with the black dot on the postit. If it doesn't align, you have to raise or lower the angle of one of the speakers. You will be amazed at the solid image your speakers are now able to provide. Enjoy.
Just ordered one any tips on using it?"
I don't know if this matters to you or not, but the Bosh I have only does feet. No inches. If you need to measure in inches, you have to manually convert. Metric doesn't have this problem. Also, I don't know Bosh does it this way with all their models, or just mine. I'm pretty sure Makita's do inches, but I think they cost a little more.
Follow Stringreens advise
Start also by downloading the very excellent golden ratio instructions for Vandersteen 5 a setup.
Ignore the stuff about filters and bass eq.
Too much toe in and point at ears is not a good idea.
To much rake also bad..you will have to experiment..
Your ears are better than the best laser..
I use a technique similar to Stringreen. I center the laser in the middle of the speaker cabinet and shoot a beam behind the center of the listening chair. My particular speakers recommends a position 2 meters behind the listening positon as the center point. I have a music stand that I set up with a piece of paper on it and a target on it for the center. You can adjust the speakers toe in and height for each one to hit that mark. I also use the laser to measure side wall and rear wall distances.
Best to check in with Jim Smith's 'Getting Better Sound'. Jim does it all.
Thanks for the tips and I'll check how accurate they are know when the meter arrives.
Got my Bosch meter in one of my spkrs was off 1/16", which is not bad with all of the kids I have running around :o)
You must have 20/20 vision. I'm far-sighted, have astigmatism, and have a lazy eye (corrected surgically so as to not frighten children) and when I used my laser, it was a lot more off than you were!
All the best,