Position of a 32" X 19" X 19" equipment rack.

Clearly defined height, width and depth of the soundstage is very important to me. Seems I have read in a previous discussion that placing the equipment rack between the speakers interferes with the depth of the soundstage.  If the speakers are positioned forward of the rack, is this still true? Will moving the rack to the side of the room enhance the depth perception? 

Showing 2 responses by millercarbon

There's another one who read my advice about "everything matters" and went to a lot of trouble to move his whole system around. The reason I know, he PM'd me saying thanks it was a lot of work but huge improvement! Every case is different, it is very easy for a guy like me with experience to walk in a room and see in an instant, yet almost impossible to say without being there. So I tend to err on the side of not having people waste money. 

But if you got it, flaunt it! My system at one point was very small with almost nothing in the room. When added an amp, just one little box, right in the middle I could "hear" its presence. I leaned a very small piece of OC703 acoustic panel against it and sure enough just that one little amp was enough to interfere with imaging. Not much, but you could hear it. That is why my gear is laid out the way it is. Best compromise I have been able to come up with so far.
It is true, but it also is a trade-off. The rack that is or is not between the speakers is only one factor in imaging. We live in the real world not the fantasy world audiophiles make believe they are in. In the fantasy world you can move your rack off to the side and everything magically is the same only better. In the real world moving the rack off to the side means either you pay a LOT more for a VERY LONG set of wires, or you cheap out and buy long cheap wires. 

This wouldn't matter very much if it weren't for the fact that the quality of those wires also plays a very big part in the imaging and soundstage you get. So you get on the one hand while taking away on the other. No two ways around it. 

The off to the side approach hits you with another whammy, you wind up with really long wires. The used market for really long wires is slim to none. So figure whatever you buy if you go to upgrade will be a total loss. Another reason why people who do this tend to cheap out on those long wires. In the process winding up with nowhere near as good results as they imagined because- contrary to the prevailing views around here- we do not after all live in the fantasy world where all other things are equal. All other things are never equal. 

A much better approach, if you can manage it, is to have everything as low profile and different locations as possible. The last thing you want is a big flat rack with everything lined up perfect so it acts like one big flat wall. If everything is staggered it becomes less a wall and more a diffuser. Not really but sort of. Like I said, trade-offs.