It would be best if you can put the amp between the speakers and use long interconnects between the amp & preamp, balanced if possible. Of course assuming you have those separates.
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there is no one right answer. and it is somewhat related to the seriousness of your system and asset allocation.
if you have optimized everything else first to a reasonable degree, then having long interconnects and removing your rack from between your speakers might be the next step.
--it might depend on what is on the wall behind the speakers. it could be that your rack is acting like a diffuser and helping if you have a flat bare wall or a big window. those things will not be improved by moving your rack.
--and how much a long interconnect or long speaker cables might cost. you might improve another part of your system with the same budget as the longer cables and get a better net performance gain.
the moral of the story is that other things need to be at a point where this change will help, or it's not worth it.
mikelavigne and millercarbon: I just looked at photos of both of your listening rooms and equipment and they blew me away! Here I was agonizing over which small subs to buy, and your equipment and rooms look like you are preparing for a space launch! I will never have anything like that and can only imagine what your systems are capable of. Thanks for the photos that gave me a window on that world. I salute you sirs!
I concur with Mike. Plus, my experiences suggest that n the priority of issues to be concerned, this is probably at the bottom of that list...
Yeah I would have to look. The big ones are Cable Elevators which turn out to be standard ceramic insulators with a sticker. The smaller ones are various bought off eBay once I compared and realized they are just as good and a lot cheaper.
You should see it now. Tweaks galore. But a lot is developmental and I am under orders not to divulge. So no pics. No reviews. Which is killing me. Well not really. The sound is to die for. I just can't describe it. Literally.
Suffice to say I believe now more than ever what mahgister says about tweaking the "embeddings" (acoustic, vibration, electric) being more effective and important than upgrading components.
So your ears were happy BEFORE you were made aware? Those weirdo audio friends of yours are inducing audio neurosis.
If your system is in a living space-normal furniture, family,pets etc...maximizing the working area you can position the speakers may be the way to go. Then, relax and enjoy music.
Other than a dedicated space to get the speakers out in the room is a compromise. The rack in the center, isn't so much of a deal with speakers out in the room. Even the coffee table in front of your sofa is a deal killer.
Trust your ears.
Right. Everything flat reflects sound like a mirror. From the beginning when I had nothing, no rack no turntable just speakers, a little Kenwood integrated sitting between them, even then I started noticing. Anything at all in the center reflects and makes the image less solid. Even one record album, I found out by accident when someone came over and noticed. Did not know why, just noticed the change in sound. I heard it too. Only after he left I figured out it was one record left out, my weak attempt at decorating an otherwise empty room. So I put this record out like art. Ruined the sound stage. One record.
Another time I got a great big tube trap in trade. Which is how I know these are not what they're cracked up to be. But whatever. To each his own. One thing I tried, dead center right in front of the components. Sounded like Sinatra was somehow singing from inside the tube trap. That probably sounds bad. I don't mean muffled like actually inside. I mean like no tube trap but instead Sinatra where the tube trap is. So it was good. Not for what everyone thinks trapping bass. It was good for this. Except for the part about it being the ugliest most inconvenient thing ever, it might be there today. Instead of hanging in the shop over my table saw. Works absolutely great over the table saw!
A few inches applies to frequency response. Even a few inches relative to a large flat surface like a wall makes a very noticeable effect in response. So there's that. But the rack thing, here its something different. Here its arrival times. What you're trying to do is avoid sounds arriving too close in time to the main L/R signal. You also don't want sounds arriving too close in location to the sound stage, at least not unless they are delayed a lot in time.
We're talking 3 to 5 milliseconds. I'm going by memory, it could be 5 to 7 ms, but its something like that. Duke is the man on this. Anyway sound travels roughly 1 foot per millisecond. That's not precise, that's back of the envelope, which is good enough. First reflections within that time frame crush the image illusion effect. That's why everyone says put speakers at least 3 feet out from a wall. Makes the sound travel an extra 5 feet or so, pushes the reflection outside the 3 to 5 ms delay, sound stage is great.