Merlins VSM placement question

Hi all,
I currently own a pair of VSM-MXe for a year now - Very happy with them after trying different front-end and preamp/amp
Despite swapping gear in/out, I notice that the soundstage is always somewhat narrow, too focus at middle (same plan with speaker).
My room is 23ft long x 16ft wide x 10ft high
Speakers are 7ft apart and 5ft from front wall (16ftwide wall). Listening seat is 7.5ft from speakers plan
The whole set up is 1.5ft off to the right of center axis of the room (due to door access)

I followed exact Bobby's instruction including toe-in angle using included tool

My question is did you're Merlins' owners followed exact set up instruction from Bobby, regardless of your room's dimension ? What's your placement dimension?

I want wider and deeper sound stage, not too forward
I have a feeling if I move apart extra 1ft between speakers, or set up the toe-in 3ft behind the seat, I would change the sound stage as I wanted

I have Jim Smith's Get Better Sound with me, but I'm kinda lazy unless I can see if it's worth the sweat

PS: I have tried Cary all-the-way (SLP05+CAD120S+306/200) with CGRs, and Sony 5400ES + ARS Sonum - with same stage sound
Please advice
Why don't you just try moving them and see what happens?
I will second that first response as well.
Put a piece of tape on the floor to mark the current location of the speakers. Now move them around to your hearts content. When finished go back to original position to compare and see if you have improved the sound to your liking.
I would second the above comments as to first to try out,good luck,Bob
Hey Thuan,

Sounds like your on the right track. With your set up I would check two things. First, I would make sure that both speakers are the same distance from the back wall. I know I have set mine up before and then rechecked the distance to the front wall and one would be off. Sometimes I get in a hurry and read my tape measure wrong. The second thing would be to get at least 9 feet back from the front plane of the speakers. I've found this to have quite an effect on soundstage and imaging.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for all responses :-)
I know that I have to try it myself
These super sharp spikes are already made several long marks on my wood floor already from the last time I moved them around. Need to go to WMart to find some round felt to help slide these speaker around.
PS: My last speakers (Aerial 10T) were 8 ft apart and they create a good stereo image
Will report back
Thanks all
Make some 1/4" or 3/8" thick mdf skids that are slightly larger than your speaker bases (2" on each side). Cut the skids in half from front to back, put furniture pads (the carpet with adhesive on one side kind) on bottom at least four to each half. This will let you tilt speakers to one side and slide a skid under half the speaker then repeat on the other half. This will let you slide the speakers all around without help or ruining the floor then just reverse the process to set speakers.
That's what I have in mind - Thanks for the tip
Another approach is to buy a couple of sets of "speaker coasters," or "floor discs." They're essentially stainless steel or brass discs with a dimple in the top to fit the speaker spike tip
into. You can buy fancy ones that are more expensive, or there's a guy on eBay who sells a set of 8 for something like 20 dollars. They protect
my wood floors and make it much easier to move my speakers and stands
t, i would try them a bit farther apart maybe a foot or so. you may be getting some reflecxtion in the room. can you describe the room please? firing the speakers from a draped wall?
did you not do some tube rolling in the fila?
i would put the original tubes back in and see if that sounds better.
Are you able to sit with your head 9ft from the speakers? Well, if anyone is going to figure it out, it is going to be Bobby. I use Acoustimac absorbtion panels on the side walls (and bass traps in the rear) to deal with reflections - they are cheap and effective (becuase they are made for studios not audiphiles)and the will undoubtedly helpo if you have any side reflection issues. My sound stage, using B's placement recommendations, is wide of the speakers and a deep soundstage behind the plane of the speaker.
I second the idea of purchasing the brass disc floor protectors, and I'll add the suggestion of applying adhesive backed felt discs to the bottom of the brass discs to facilitate sliding the speakers on your wood floor without scratching it.

Once you've found the proper placement, the felt can be removed.

The felt discs can be found in most hardware stores.
The AUDIO POINTS - APCD-2 BRASS COUPLING DISC are execeptional and they couple the speaker to the surface below them. I think decoupling can be a problem with certain discs. These things work very well with my VSMs on my hard wood floor and they are relatively cheap.
06-10-10: Pubul57
I think decoupling can be a problem with certain discs.
Why would there be a difference in coupling capabilities/performance between different brands of brass discs?

I've owned a couple of different brands of brass coupling discs, including Audio Points, and I've never heard any difference among them. I'll admit I haven't spent hours A/B'ing. I don't have the patience.
all these discs are not made of brass and not all brass has the same lead content.
right you are paul.
best, b
all these discs are not made of brass and not all brass has the same lead content.
right you are paul.
best, b
Bobbyapalkovic (Answers | This Thread)
I specifically mentioned brass discs.

I am aware that Audio Points brass is softer than other brass that I have used in my system. If the softness is due to the lead content, then I'm familiar with the concept.
tvad, paul was talking about some disks that are not brass and the resulting decoupling.
and the amount of lead in brass will have a lot to do with how these sound under your speakers because of their q and their specific needs.
nothing implied. interesting discussion though.
best, b
amount of lead in brass will have a lot to do with how these sound under your speakers because of their q and their specific needs.

Bobbyapalkovic (Answers | This Thread)
When I used Audio Points discs and no-name brass discs in combination with *non* Audio Points spikes I didn’t hear a difference between Audio Points brass discs and no-name brand discs, so for me in that situation it wasn't worth paying triple or quadruple for the Audio Points discs. I really believe the difference is so small, that spending significantly more money on the AP discs may lead to wishful thinking about their performance boost.

On the other hand, when AP products like brass cone footers are used together with AP brass discs, the results can yield bigger benefits. IMO, the footers play a more significant role in the results than do the small brass discs. Whether the sound difference is significant enough to warrant the higher cost of the AP brass products is up to each listener.
I never A/B'd different footers, so I can't say what if any differences I would here. I went with the APs because they specifically say that they couple the speaker to the surface beneath them, rather than decoupling them (some of these brass cups claim to decouple. I don't understand any of this other than to say Bobby mentioned I should not decouple the speaker from the wood floor, I tried the APs and think the speakers sound wonderful. Whether other brass cups would sound any different, I have no idea - I only know they work very well in my setup and keep those viscious, sharp spikes off my floors.
Hi all,
I'm still using the brass discs that came with the Merlins.
What I need is temporarely disc to move speakers around for best placement (inch by inch).
Reason I'm not using orig disc is this one is too small. If not carefully move, the sharp spike will slip off easyly (happen to me:-)
Best is cut some scrap laminate wood floor 2"x2" and apply disc felt under. The spike will couple with it nicely.
Thanks all
Remove the spikes and place them on a heavy towel. Move them around for a while and take notes. Put the spikes back on again when you find the "best" location. Fine tune.

The spikes might add 5% but really having the freedom to move them without limitation could add 40%.
thuan, no brass disks came with the speakers unless the original owner sent you his. for your type of moving i use a pennies prior to 1980 low zinc variety so the point digs into the penny, then you can move the speakers at will. but be careful still.
let me know how it turns out.
i think you need to call me for set up advice.
best, b
All I can say is, "Location, location, location."

I've had MerlinVSM-MMe's for three years now. I've tried a few placements in my 12' x 18' room. SPeakers are firing down the long wall. I've pretty much followed the Cardas model and had good success. Then last night I had a strong intuition that if I move each speaker back around 2" and closer to the side wall by about 1", it would lock them in better than where I had them. All I can say is that I have some darn good intuition, if I do say so myself. Everything changed for the better especially bass tone and volume. The soundstage opened up considerably. I was so thrilled that I went though several hours of listening to confirm and enjoy the dramatic improvement. I'm not exaggerating. Sounds like I got a new component.

I suspect lots of folks don't have their speakers placed optimally. What a shame because until speakers are really locked in, they're not going to sing to their full potential. Seems like the Merlins are particularly rewarding of careful consideration of placement.
The skids with the spikes still on the speakers are the easiest way to adjust the speakers then finish by replacing skids with discs!!! You won't screw up your floor this way and if you want to try a large repositioning you won't hesitate because the spikes might jump out of the discs.
What are you placement measurement in your 12x18? Same size as my room.
Pabul57: Front of tweeter dome is 67 1/2" from front wall and 39" from side walls. How about yours? (And actually, the width of my room is more like 11' 10".)
I will measure tonight, but very close to Cardas "formula".