You may be able to put small dynamic speakers against the side walls if you toe them in enuf or against the back wall if you can place them on the long wall with your chair against the opposite wall. Electrostats can be placed fairly close to the side wall as well if you can toe them in some and be sure the wall area behind them is treated. Most panel speakers don't put out that much energy to the sides.
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I don't know about MLs working, but if you put enough clutter on the side walls (bookshelfs, or better yet studio style absorption pads, or heavy drapes) and if you get monitors and setup for nearfield type listening then I think 8 feet could work. Monitors 5 feet apart, 18 inches from each side wall, toed in, with absorption on the walls at the primary reflection points, and a listening position 5-6 feet from the plane of the speakers. Add a subwoofer if you like deep bass. A narrow floorstander like the AP virgo might also work.
You'll have to tame side-wall reflections to maintain the imaging, but IMHO it can be done, maybe not with the MLs.
Although we've never met I think I know your twin brother, Juan and you know what they say: "If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal. Sorry. Bad pun. But seriously, I wouldn't worry about this set up until you try it. I agree with Newbee about panel speakers. My Acoustats are very close to the side walls with no problems at all. No sense losing sleep over a move that's a year away.
I think there's an excellent chance your Martin Logans will work at least as well as anything else; I'd say give 'em a fair chance before succumbing to "new speaker fever". Put 'em right up against the side walls, treat the area along the sidewall just in front of the panels (which is where your first reflections will happen), and treat the back wall where the backwave bounces off of it. I use diffusion instead of absorption, but that choice depends on your room's acoustic signature. Don't overdo absorption or you'll suck the life out of the sound.
Note that horn/dynamic hybrids usually don't integrate well at close range; some distance between you and the speakers is required. Now a single-driver speaker (like Cain & Cain Abbeys or something from the Omega line) doesn't have this problem, and will work well with SET's, but won't give you much in the bottom octave and a half or so. I'd say give the Martins a chance first.
Elgordo, Boa2 and Celtic66 : You guys are funny. Good sense of humour... Cheers.
Newbee and Audiokinesis, I tried a similar 'up against the side wall' set-up, not so long ago as a basic experiment before posting this thread, and the MLs sounded terrible. After about two weeks of labour I gave up. While I didn't have access to designer room treatments, I used several fabric wall hangings on the sidewalls (where the primary reflection takes place). This experiment scared me, as it was a sign of things to come, when I move next year.
I do agree with most of you that I have to wait and see and should not loose sleep over it. But I live in a country where representation of respected Hifi brands are rare and buying a brand that is not locally represented is a lengthy procedure. Besides, listening to such brands involves finding a dealer in a country I travel to often and fixing appointments etc., which again is time consuming. Thus the urge to expedite the process (and the newly earned reputation :)
Let' hear more about this unconventional way of placing the speakers along the long wall and setting up for near field listening. Sounds interesting...
Here's something inexpensive to try: I have a single Argent Room Lens between my speakers, about 18" from the rear wall. This widens and deepens my soundstage by a great deal. The best news is that if you are capable of fixing a bent fly swatter, you can make your own. Wherever in the world you live, you have access to 2" PVC tubing in 10' lengths (maybe 50MM X 3 metres). Complete building info is on Audio Asylum. Also check out Argent's web site for more info. These things really work.
Amal,you might want to consider Allison Acoustics Model 3,
these speakers are made to work in corners and give flat response and a good stereo image.See link below
A few options. First, since Martin Logans have such a narrow horizonotal dispersion, you can probably get pretty close to side walls if you are toeing in. Maybe not right up against it, but maybe a foot off. With a 16' room length, you can keep them well out from the rear wall. Might work out well.
Second, you can try setting up along the long wall. Might work.
Amal, seven years ago my Wife and I bought a really nice home and she banished my 'screening room' to the smallest bedroom. Since it needed my stereo system, that went too.
Now, all of the guests---especially the kids---all run up to 'my room' and, small as it is, it is the true center of the house and the place to be.
This bugs the s*it out of my wife as it is too cramped and she hates sitting up there but even more hates being left out.
We will soon be putting an addition and she has suggested a hole in the wall coming from the to-be-added library leading into the living room through which my High Definition Projector can deliver the full picture onto the pull-down screen located....in the living room where those really neat speakers I just bought can be placed.......
Be clever, and remember: if you make your room 'the best' it will be moved to the space she is most comfortable in.
Oh my gosh,,,, a room 8x16 by 8ft ceiling ht is a perfect diaster... you can't get any worst.. Those room demensions are about as disasterious as it can possibly get... I wouldn't be planning on spending too much money on a system for that room... Look at all the common denominators that go into each demension.. Yes in deed,,, that is a nighmare.. Don't use that room... find a better room or think about buying a different house... You better take a crash course on "ROOM ACOUSTICS" before thinking about setting up your stereo in a room that measures 8x16x8.... you just can't get any more worst than that for AUDIO SOUND... THAT ROOM IS AS BAD AS IT GETS... I HAVEN'T BEEN UP HERE ON THESE BOARDS IN A LONG TIME... ARE THESE THE TYPES OF POST THE DISCUSSION AREA GETS NOW???? POOR POOR QUALITY AUDIO MUST BE DIEING JUST LIKE QUALITY MUSIC HAS... ITS A NEW DAWN... DOESN'T ANYONE DO ANY RESEARCH ON THEIR OWN ANYMORE? PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHY A 8FT X 16FT X 8FT ROOM IS DISASTERIOUS FOR A GOOD LEVEL FREQ RESPONSE,,, WHY THE BASS WILL BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET RIGHT.. WHY NO EXPERIENCED KNOWLEDGABLE AUDIOPHILE WOULD NOT EVEN CONCIDER USING THAT ROOM FOR A QUALITY SOUND.. DIPS AND BUMPS AND SUCK OUTS AND CANCELLATIONS, MISSING OCTAVES ETC,,, JUST DISASTERIOUS... PLAN ON USING A GOOD EQ IN THAT ROOM... THAT ROOM IS NO GOOD FOR PLANNING A SOUND SYSTEM
well. here is my opinion.... the room dimensions are bad...but not really that bad. really bad would be a perfect cube
you should be able to amke it work. your martin logans are dipoles so you can place them fairly close to the sidewalls. the back and forth distance is used to reinforce /cancel the backwave. so your front back is going to critical in the setup as well as your listening position.
in regards to the audio physic... humm... i would try to make the ml's work first. i have ap libra's and yes you can sit close to them, they are designed for near field listening HOWEVER, they are very sensitive to side wall placement due to side firing woofers.
i i would research a "lede" live end/dead end room acoustic design and go from there.
Sorry to rain on a parade, but I have Aerius i's as well and the manual clearly states that the best side wall for these speakers is no side wall at all! This has been proven to me many times over. My RF has no side wall but the LF does. I have stopped a movie several times to investigate a noise at my back door (on the right 35 feet away) which was actually a sound effect from the sound track.
ML's need to breathe but you already know that....
You might want to try setting up the speakers on the diagonal as discussed in this paper:
It worked wonders for me in my "Borg-ish" room (10'x11'x9'4" - approximately)...
My adventures are noted in AA... you can check here for a start: