MBL 101E placement in room

I've decided on buying a set of MBL 101e's for my home, but I'm now having a bit of trouble placing them in the space that I have. I know that since these are omnidirectional, I have to be more carefull about wall-coupling effects.

I've read that the MBL instructions dictate a minimum 2.6ft distance to the back wall and 1.5x that to the sidewalls, but I've also read on this board somewhere that the optimal distance is around 6ft from the back wall. (that means I need 9 ft from the sidewalls?) For my room this sort of setup is almost impossible, so I'm wondering how you all place your MBL's in your rooms? In most pictures I've seen of MBL's in real live settings it seems like the distance is pretty close to the back wall, maybe 3ft at most. I guess what I'm asking is: Does the quality of sound really degrade that much if I place the speakers at the minimum 2.6ft from the back wall? For WAF considerations, I'd like to be able to place them at that minimum distance if possible.
My entire space is 6 meters wide by 12 meters long, with the living room and dining room each taking up half the space.

Here's a random idea, can I place the speakers in the middle of the space, between my living room and dining room? But I think lower frequencies might suffer because there is no backwall to resonate?

Also, would it be horrible to place amplifiers and the preamp in a cabinet that's built into the wall (there will be proper ventilation - cooling and mesh vents) or is it better to put them on the floor like I usually see the big mono amps? I'd really like to avoid this as I have kids and I don't want them touching the hot amps or tripping over wires... what if I have a bench on top of the amps?

Thanks everyone for any help on the matter! =)
Click, first congrats on your speaker purchase. Are these speakers broken-in?

What is the construction of your space, walls, floors, ceiling height etc.

Is the space an open concept, if you wish you can send me some pics showing this privately.

You are going to have fun but be patient and try different positions yourself to see, well to actually hear the differences.

Don't forget that your speakers sound can be modified by changing the pin locations on the back, what are they set up at presently. There are so many variables, you should at some time have a good read to learn and at the same time experiment to actually hear the differences. You will find that you will be able to customize the sound to your own likings and for example if someone is over for a listen and prefers more midrange, different bass, tweeter you will be able to accommodate very easily but all that's for down the road as it will just be too much for right now.

What speakers did you have prior to these and where did you find the optimal location to be and why, what did you learn about that specific space with your past speakers.

You don't have to have these 9ft from the side walls but if you could say 3ft to tweeter should work fine, this just assists in eliminations of those side reflections. Back wall I would not recommend 2.6 ft, what you could do is place them there. Listen for a week and then when your wife plans to go out move them out further to experiment, you will notice a difference in the stage depth etc. but in the end it's your call in what you prefer. What is the MAX you could get away with from the back wall and still be WAF, same goes with the side walls.

I was fortunate enough to just put them in the same foot print as other box speakers I have had in my room in the past, the sound was marvelous from the get go, that being said I did still move them arround to hear the differences but in the end preferred that original foot print. That original foot print I had learned allot from prior speakers so it greatly assisted.

Regarding putting them in the middle of the two rooms, humm I guess you could try but will be shocked if it works out sounding proper.

Your electronic position, no issue where you plan on putting them, I personally just prefer shorter speaker cables and feel the end result is superior. These speakers are bi-wired so you are going to have allot of wire especially if it is a long run.

A friend has a pair which I assisted in setting up and his living space is 12ft by 18ft and speakers are on the short wall, recently made some changes in location after he heard mine again.

Placement now 4ft from tweeter to back wall, 2ft 8inches tweeter from side wall which leaves 6ft 8inches between tweeter to tweeter toed in so the MBL logo just below the tweeter is facing just off the shoulder. His sitting arrangements vary as he just moves the chair.

You have allot of space, 19ft 5inches aprox. wide by 39ft deep aprox.
Does the quality of sound really degrade that much if I place the speakers at the minimum 2.6ft from the back wall?


Here's a random idea, can I place the speakers in the middle of the space, between my living room and dining room?

Yes that is an excellent idea - just avoid the exact center of the room - so 3 feet from center or so would be awesome.

But I think lower frequencies might suffer because there is no backwall to resonate?

Get a subwoofer if you don't have enough bass. Backwall resonance is not all good anyway - some of it causes quarter wave cancellation - just like a comb filter in your bass response - certain notes diappear across the entire room when you place freestsanding speakers anything less than 8 feet from a back wall.
I have had a pair of the 101e's for about seven months. Room is about 4.5M wide by 7.5M long, with typical living room furniture. The speakers are powered by two Spectral DM-80's - run in mono.
You can see that the setup is not what the more neurotic and obsessed would mandate as necessary, let alone ideal. ;-)

"can I place the speakers in the middle of the space, between my living room and dining room?"
Absolutely. That is exactly my set up. Adjacent to the above-described room is an almost identical room, connected through a virtually wide-open "wall."

"But I think lower frequencies might suffer because there is no backwall to resonate?"
1) the speakers have plenty of bass. One of the benefits/needs in getting them away from the walls is to lessen the tendency of the bass to predominate.
2) you can easily fine-tune the bass by rotating the speakers, to direct the port output in such a way to increase/decrease the bass.

Bottom line - would it be possible to get even better results in a different room, with more power, etc.? Absolutely. Does that make the speaker unusable? Absolutely not - not even close.

Given minimally-good surroundings - both equipment and room - the 101e's will deliver a continually satisfying, sometimes surprising, rarely-matched, and always enjoyable result. Easily the most addictive speakers I have owned or heard in over three decades, and even the most audio-challenged that have heard them have agreed.
Hlmiii, very interesting regarding the position of the speakers. Learn something new every day, how far off the side walls are yours. What are the pros and cons in doing this.

Regarding the amps you use these a great amps if you read any of my thoughts regarding power for the 101E speakers you will see I fully agree that you do not have to have crazy power, I sold my Cat JL3 mono's and well still undecided what I will go with to replace them I'm making use of some 60 watt mono blocks and absolutely stunned with the sound I'm getting along with anyone who has happened to come over for a listen, not my ideal amps that I would have chosen by far but my MBL's are still singing away with providing the emotion allowing me to enjoy endless music listening.
Hi, Dev -

"What are the pros and cons in doing this."
Pros are user-friendliness - ability to live with two large speakers without making the room unusable for anything else. :)
Cons are giving up a last few percent in audio perfection. You lose a bit in soundstage expansiveness and, possibly, the ultimate in smooth frequency reproduction. But not much. And the 101e's still set out a spooky "you are there" experience.
Mine are away from the side walls about two feet on one side and about two and one-half feet on the other (!).

Interesting that you, too, are well able to live happily with some relatively low power. The DMA-80's are indeed great amps. And in mono configuration they put out a good amount of very clean, smooth power. But ideally the 101e's could use more to really come alive ... and play as loud as I sometimes want. So I have another pair of the 80's which I will use - one unit on mid+tweeter and the other unit on the bass, one each side. That should give me close to 300W per side and allow me to do some real damage ...

BTW - I REALLY like these speakers. :D
Depending on the particular quirks of your room, the "free space room center" you've described might prove to be the best location you can use. The 101s are stunning sounding, but IMHO, they are voiced for very large spaces and often overpower "normal" rooms with their bass output. The mid-room placement you suggest might actually provide a more natural tonal balance than a more traditional set-up. I would certainly give it a shot.