Question about sound stage

In every recording, the soundstage sounds skewed to the right in my room.  I can hear musical instruments to the left, but the singer is ALWAYS on the right.  Is that normal or is there something likely going on with my speaker placement or room setup?  FYI, I am audio newbie.  My setup is as follows: Franco Serblin Accordo Essence speakers; Luxman 590axii integrated amp; Antipodes K40 music server; Weiss DAC 502.  Silversmith ribbon cables.  

My audio environment is less than ideal to say the least.  My speakers face my rather large office desk and only one speaker is optimally spaced from the wall.  There is no other way to arrange my office, so it is what it is.  I can always include a picture of those who are curious or think it would be helpful.  Also, I haven't gotten around to learning how to use the Weiss's DSP room correction function yet, so perhaps that would help.




Try using the balance control on the Luxman and see if that helps. That’s what it's there for!

When you say on the right does that mean hard over to the right or just slightly more prominent? The reason I say this is because I always had a slight leaning to the right on all the systems I've owned (until I went deaf in that ear). Work on moving your setup around and try to get rid of it as much as possible. I have almost never had a balance knob and don't feel like I couldn't get the sound centered. 

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Well, it could be an issue with the equipement (amp or pre), but most likely it is due to position and room conditions.

I had a system that exhibited the same issue you mentioned. In my case, it was due to a lot of glass to one side and a large open space on the other side.

A quick and cheap temporary fix would be to try to hang heavy blankets or rugs behind the side that is louder or put up some hard panels on the side that is quieter.

However, the easiest is to adjust the balance from the preamp.


Thanks, everyone. I'm going to apart with the balance first and see where that leads. 



Earwax in one of my ears skewed things for me once, believe it or not. I think it’s worth looking into your hearing as well as all the rest. That’s my two cents.


I second investigating hearing issues.  Motorcycles decreased the aquity of my right ear.  This was easialy addressed by adjusting speaker gain and distance in the DSP settings found in Roon.

Turn off ALL room correction and set your tone controls flat and center the balance.

Take your phone and check the SPL of the speakers first. Be as accurate as you can. IF the SPL is correct with tone burst, not music, turn around and see if the same thing happens. If it swaps sides it's your ears, if it stays on the same side it's usually an acoustic anomaly of the room. Don't put it past an actual gear/cabling or speaker issue. I would just make sure it wasn't me or the gear/cabling. 

Gear swap cables.
Ears, that one is up to you.
Acoustic goofs.. Good Luck!! 50% of the actual sound quality IS room acoustics, start there first.


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It is not normal. Most singers are center stage. Sit in the central listening position and play a complex piece like a symphony orchestra or a NIN tune. Close your eyes. There should be an equal amount of energy coming from both sides. If one side is always heavy handed then you do have a balance issue. It can and most likely is a room issue especially if it does so with all sources. Use your balance control to center the energy. If your problem is frequency related such, as an example your high frequencies are skewered to one side then you need a room control preamp or an expert at room treatment which will require measuring the room. Other things can go wrong. A bad speaker or cartridge can do this.

Having said all this, recordings can vary and I find the very best systems in well designed rooms require a little tweaking from one to another. We are talking around 0.5 dB. Most systems in the rooms they are in do not have this kind of resolution. There is too much noise coming from reflections.

Thanks for the great suggestion everyone.  I really appreciate it. 



I had a similar problem until an otolaryngologist cleaned the wax from my ears.

Although this sounds too simple...chose a recording that you know well that is a particular offender. Turn the balance knob completely to the left (or disconnect the right speaker) give it a good listen. Then do the opposite. Results?



Maybe the tweeter is out in the left speaker. I agree with the cable swap or even an interconnect swap. Maybe your hearing in one ear is going out. Or try toeing in the left speaker more towards you. It could be something with your speaker crossover, but the speaker cable or maybe just swap the two speakers first. Try only one thing at a time and then put it back and try the next variable. This includes the balance control on the Luxman. Also, Do you have another pair of speakers you can try even if they are different model. 

It's kind of unnecessary to add anything here, but I will anyway. For one thing, hearing loss in one ear doesn't much affect perception of stereo balance, since so much of the sound is mixed with reflections by the time it arrives at your head. Try closing off one ear and listening to speakers; then disconnect one channel of a set of headphones and see what happens! Needless to say, two functioning ears for stereo listening, like two functioning eyes for stereoscopic vision, is necessary for the illusion of soundstage, depth, and so on, but it's not as if your left ear hears the left speaker and your right ear hears the right speaker—as is the case, of course, with headphones. 

Second, IMO a balance control is an essential thing; in fact, a powered balance control you can adjust from the sweet spot on the fly is highly desirable. Getting the balance just right at the sweet spot is crucial for a realistic soundstage, and must be fine-tuned with each recording. This is because listening to the illusion of 3D produced by two stereo speakers is not the same as sitting in a concert hall; being off-center in a concert hall is no where near as destructive of that illusion as being off-center to speakers. This is a matter of physics; as Jim Smith puts it (tip #83, re: the impossibility of a wide sweet spot): "this is an incontrovertible law of physics that is part of the good—and the bad—of stereophany. It has no bearing whatsoever upon sitting off-center in the concert hall, because the sound is not being reproduced from a pair of widely spaced loudspeakers which are subject to severe comb filtering due to varying time arrivals at your head."

I like your system. Must sound very good. I have the Silversmith ribbons too. Excellent! 
And I have the exact same problem. Also on the right.

Now that I think of it relative to your right leaning issue, I think I have the answer.

About 20-30% of my LPs the soundstage leans to the right and also seems to be right focused on everything. My left speaker is in a corner and the right speaker is open to the room. I too have no choice in my room.

All I can say is that I have learned to live with it. I have tried to turn down the gain on the right but that was problematic. Believe you have a balance control. Try it but you may have the same problems with the imbalance of volume,

I have a cocktail table between me and the speakers. The hard surface was playing he'll with the vocal image.(skewered to the left) I moved the table a little to the right and was surprised that the image changed for the better. Wearing glasses also screws with the imaging.

I have the same issue. Is your right speaker the one that’s closest to the wall? That could be your issue right there as the walls will serve to amplify the sound more in that speaker. If that’s the case you can try toeing the speakers in more that might mitigate it somewhat. I’ve also found a half-round sound absorption device placed on the wall between the speakers can disperse sound that eliminated the issue. Many people here like GHK if the toeing in the speakers doesn’t fix the problem. And yeah, there’s always the earwax problem you might wanna explore if none of this works. Best of luck.

Yes,  The right speaker is about 10" off the wall.  The left speaker is well away from the wall.  I can probably move the right speaker another 12" - 18" away from its current spot.  I can also move the left speaker the same distance away.  Perhaps that will help?



OK.  So I made a few changes.  I brought my speaker in about 2.5 feet from the wall.  I toed them in more.  But the biggest change was actually turning my balance adjustment to CENTER!!!  🕵️‍♂️  Oh my God!  I'm an idiot.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.  I'm noticing that there is still a bit of a right side bias, but I think that might be based on certain recordings.  And it is NO WAY near as right side biased as it was before.  For example, certain Pavarati tracks, he's more centered with a slight right side bias.  In others, he's more right side.  With the Beatles "Golden Slumber", the voice is completely right side while the drums are on the left side of the stage.  When I listen to Bolero, the tapping of the drum is center stage at all times, while more orchestral instruments in the beginning tend to be on the right side.  I don't know if this is still a problem, but I'm going to continue to explore and experiment with some of the ideas you guys gave me.  Thanks for the help guys.  As you can tell, I'm a complete noob.  



@wtb Hilarious, I made the same mistake some years ago with my Coincident pre, has dual volume knobs and very faint impressions on knob. One segment lower on one channel, drove me nuts for several listening sessions!

Thanks, SNS.  It's definitely a classic gaffe.  But the ideas that came out are really good.   Definitely stuff to think about.  


BTW, if you get some of those older Beatles recordings that were intended for mono but were turned into stereo, the vocals ARE mostly all on one side! 

But in the case of golden slumber from the Abbey Road album , I'm pretty sure it's recorded in stereo and they played around with stereo effects alot on that album 🙂

I'm not sure which version of Abbey Road you're listening to but the 2019 remix the voice on Golden Slumbers is dead center.

Just to close the loop on this thread... I was able to move my speakers close to each separate wall, which made a MASSIVE difference in the sound stage.  Much, much, much better now.  Most vocalists are centered in the middle.  I also found the optimal place to sit in my office when I just want to listen and relax.  Lots of speaker shifting tweaks but well worth it in the end.  Thanks for all of the suggestions.  Now it's on to room acoustics.