When I installed my Shearwaters I was advised by a more knowledgeable pal. He made a point of saying that levelling was important, and he suggested I use the Benz Micro round level that came with my cartridge.
I actually thought he was a little round the bend but I resolved to humour him once I got the speakers placed in the room. I was glad I did. Before that, I really only got the full imaging power of the speaker when I was standing up, just like you.
The next step was to add some acoustic treatment... I haven't finished that yet, but it's pretty clear that these speakers have an awful lot to give and room setup will let them do it.
Nice system!, I noted your left speaker in your picture was half on a rug and half off...no good, glad you got it leveled out!
Tobias' sytem is VERY musical, I'd follow his advice. We're overdue for a listening session eh Toby?
It's all about the music, Jeff
I've been weighing my options on room treatment and hope to get to work on it shortly. Currently I'm in the middle of expanding my patio deck. Right after the deck is finished unless my wife comes up with another project.
Just an FYI, a couple of hundred bucks on the Eighth Nerve room pack goes a long, long way. Worked wonders in my room, and highly recommended. I was stunned by how much the overall sound was improved. Good luck on your journey.
Hi Jeff ! Nice new moniker. Thanks for the good words.
I like these public invitations. With any luck there'll be a few dozen over at your place swallowing your excellent beer and grooving.
Oh... unless you meant at MY place?
We're rebuilding after a fire (!), but when the new ballroom is ready we'll put it on the city tour guide :o) I need you to consult first; any time after the end of June is good.
All welcome... !
Timrhu, your system looks very well-thought-out. It looks as though you have gotten the max out of every buck. I'd love to hear it. The Roksan amps are very well esteemed and I know both your cable choices to be excellent value.
Tim, greetings, been a while since we conversed...
We all need projects, eh?
Regarding room tuning, I'm now endeavoring to create my own sound panels. Just picked up 10 Owens Corning 2'x4' panels of 700 series insulation. They're firm 1 to 4" thick fiberglass sheets. Perfect for diy sound panels. Cover 'em with fabric, and wala - sound panel!
I think I'm going to build frames for them to make them look real pretty...
Eventually I'll have pictures on my virtual system.
Re: tilt of speakers. I wondered about the Shearwaters with their backward slant. Seems to me it puts you off axis intentionally, as if that's advantageous. I don't get it. I'd even give them a bit forward lean and see what happens.
I too have wondered about the backward slant. If I get the idea properly, it is a feature not a bug. It is meant to help with pulse or step response, by offering a useful time delay so that the tweeter wave arrives at the ear in sync with the mid-woofer's. I read this on the Meadowlark web site.
I would say that three conditions need to be fulfilled for this to work at its best. First, the speakers have to be properly leveled. Second, the ear needs to be at a minimum distance from the front baffle in order to benefit from an integrated sound wave; Meadowlark say at least seven feet IIRC and I certainly concur. Third, the ear cannot be too close to the floor--better if your couch or other perch is on the high side.
Other than these, no matter what your speaker it is fun when you deal with first reflections, by absorption or diffusion or both. Those fiberglass panels sound keen, Douglas, and I'm itching to try some (not literally--I hate it when that happens with fiberglass).
Got the Owens Corning fiberglass panels for $5.50 per! Found rich looking acoustically transparent fabric today at $2/yard. So far, panel cost is $7.50/panel! Now THAT's a deal! With decent but not too expensive wood trim, I should be able to build each one for under $20 as opposed to $100 each from some company. And they'll look worlds better!
Tim had the Vandersteens too in which the drivers were time aligned, but not angled backward. Seems to me Tim's comment about when he stood up the "image focus and clarity was much better" validates my point that the backward angle doesn't improve the sound of the speakers. My guess is that if Tim could somehow simulate the drivers being more directly facing him (i.e. leaning forward significantly- I'll let him do this test at his own risk) he would enjoy their sound significantly more. Straight up, it seems to me it's a design that more favors aesthetics over performance.
Of course, this could all be avoided if Tim determines to get rid of his listening chair! But maybe he won't stand for that (sorry, couldn't resist pun).
Tim, easy solution to all this: sell the Shearwaters and get yourself a pair of Eminent Technology LFT-8A's! (You are invited to come and audition mine).
Nice to hear from you again. As for acoustic panels, check systems belonging to Boa2 and Kehut. They have pics of acoustic panels on dispal. Boa2's panels are inline with what I intend to build as soon as my deck is finished.
As for the sloped baffles, they are designed to provide time alignment of the speakers. The tweeter is placed at the same distance from the listener as the center of the woofer to ensure the sound from both drivers is coincidental.
I did try tilting them forward slightly but brought them back to the upright position. By the way, Vandersteen uses the same principal. I agree with Tobias when he says keeping the listening position well off the ground is an advantage.
Yes, I'll definitely look at those other systems for their sound treatments...
Yes, I get the time alignment thing, but Vandersteen doesn't tilt the axis of the driver like Shearwaters.
If you did tilt the speakers forward but brought them back to upright position because you didn't hear any distinct advantage, then possibly the reason you're liking what you hear when you stand up is due to the reflected sound coming off the ceiling. Possibly that effect is stronger closer to the ceiling and makes the speaker sound "fuller". Effects like that can be very subtle but pleasing. Just a guess.
Doug, you could be right about the reflection from the ceiling although the sound is cleaner with better image clarity, not what would be expected if reflections are the cause.
As for the Vandersteens, take a look at their web page. The 1C in particular has the drivers configured on a slope. Not a baffle as Meadowlark but they are tiled on a slope. Same principle.
Tim, yes, looked at the Vandersteen pics and it shows the midrange on the slant. Looks like the tweeter is more upright.
It would be interesting to hear from someone who can explain why this is supposed to be preferable to facing the driver straight ahead.