Speaker distance and tow in?????/

My room is big / 18x30. But due to arrangement I can only bring out my speakers 2 ft from back wall..... side walls not an issue. My 2 main L-R are 8 1/2" apart ( center to center of speakers ) . How far back should my seating be? I "think" there is some "basic" math to work from for far field seating. In my "near fields" it is all equal.... as a rule of thumb. Tow in is another adjustment. I am just looking for some "basic" good info and hope I don't start something... You guys have spent a lot of time on these issues..... and I am glad to have your suggestions!
Kef says sit at least as far back as the speakers are apart. Proac suggests no toe at all; you should be unable to see the sides of the cabinets from the listening position. I did that for a few years but now have mine pointed straight ahead and like both the sound & image and the look. No rules, just right.
Rockvirgo mentioned the most common rule for speaker to chair ratio. I have used this with good success. It's too bad you can't get the speakers farther out into the room. This would make a difference, at least, and probably an improvement.
Toe in is really speaker dependent. Some respond better no toe in while others sound best aimed directly at the listener. Fortunately toe in is generally easy to adjust.
Most common loudspeaker/toe-in orientation I've seen involves speakers toed-in to apex of equalateral triangle & some kind of ratio formula. See: http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=insights&content_id=26&pagestring=Room+Setup

I've also see other room set-up recommendations. See: http://www.audiophysic.de/info/aufstellung/beispiel_e.html

I use the Real Traps method. See: http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm

As you can see, there is no generally accepted formula.

Good luck!
Second paragraph should say; See http://www.audiophysic.de/info/aufstellung/beispiel_e.html

Third paragraph should say; See http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.html

Sorry about confusion.
Thats what I was looking for. The 1.2 times speaker dist. I am also going to try and figure out how to pull the speakers out and not get my wife in a tizzy....LOL! While I know it is try it and listen..... I do like to have a "basic" starting point. Thanks Beavis......

PS.... next house I get will have a "room / for audio" so to speak. I envy you guys who have "the room" for great sound.
Some speakers are designed to be up against or very near the front wall. As such, one should not assume that their speakers will benefit from doing this as it can drastically alter the tonal balance, etc... Then again, i'm assuming that you knew what you were getting when you purchased these speakers and that they are designed to be pulled out in the room somewhat.

An old trick that works very well is to place the speakers using a mono signal rather than a stereo signal. I've discussed the specifics somewhere in the archives, but in which threads, i have no idea. Sean
Rives, Nice article.

I've a question regarding the positioning of speakers near a side wall as it relates to 1st reflections, soundstaging, and sweetspot. Its based on something I have done "successfully" on quite a few occasions when I was using dynamic speakers with a wide and smooth radiation pattern (which usually means hot on axis highs).

Is there a down side, acoustically, to positioning the speakers close to the side walls and toeing them in so the the axis crosses in front of your listening position on the same corresponding angle as they would if they were toed in to have the axis point straight ahead or behind the listening position?

When I have done this it seems to have minimized the need for treatments to the side walls, maximized the sound stage width, and as an extra benefit for those in need, widened the sweet spot substantially, that is a person sitting in front of either speaker would still get usable stereo imaging with good (not great) center focusing. Unlike when pointed straight ahead the image doesn't just collapse into the closest speaker.

Anyone else ever played with this?
In my experiments, it seems that pulling the speakers off the wall really increases the depth of your soundstage.
On one of these august sites I read advice on toe-in that I've found works for my KEF 104/2s: Aim the speakers at half the distance between the prime listening location and the rear wall.

My room is about 14' by 19', and the front of LR speakers are about 4' from the wall behind and 3' from wall to the side. The listening positions are about 3/5 of the room length and centered laterally.

The best rule of thumb I know of is the speakers and seating should both be at i/3 the room depth. If that is not possible 1/5, 1/3 works. The next would be 1/7….
In you 18x30 room I assume your speakers are on the short wall, thus you have a little under five feet to each side wall? If this is true the 1/3 dimension is 10’. Meaning the best would be to start 10‘ to the speakers and 10 more to the chair. As you said, this is not practical. The next best is the speakers at 6 feet from the back wall to the tweeter face. This would still provide adequate soundstage depth. If this is not possible, the 1/7th dimension is 4.2 feet. If you need to go even closer keep trying the odd factor of dimension.
As per toe in, start straight out and test it. Keep toeing in until the center image becomes clear and defined. Small amounts from that point will allow you to tune it closer, making a solo vocalist’s mouth appear the correct size.
No... my room is for math..... 18x24 with my speakers on the 24" wall. My room is all angles and wraps around to the kitchen and on the 24" side is dining room. I have a semi cath sealing and a tre ceiling in the dining area. I don" think I have a side wall problem or the "box" type room that gives that kind of problems either. I have what I guess is called a kinda great room. Like I said..... my speakers are at 8.5 feet apart..... I am going to have to live with that. I guess it's just a matter of "WORK" to get it to sound the best I can.
can you place your seating area (ear) 12' from the speaker wall? That's where I would start, giving you a greater distance from the speakers that they are apart. the ceiling and angualar shape will help in many regards, but the 1/3 rule will still give you the best starting point.
If pulling them further out into the room is a problem, I would consider a different brand of speakers. A friend of mine has NHTs and they like it close to the wall.
It's either that or....how long have you been married?
Anyone else toe their speakers *out*? Because I sit (much) farther back from my speakers than the distance between my speakers, I toe them out just a bit.
If you are toeing your speakers OUT, you are not really getting the on-axis frequency response that the speakers were designed for. i.e., if your speakers are 8 feet apart and you are 16 feet away, the speakers are already at a 14 degree angle if they are facing straight ahead. Even if you were 24 feet away, the speakers would still be at a 9.5 degree angle. This means that you could still toe them IN ever so slightly. The more you toe them OUT, the more reflected sound from the side walls you will hear. (which smears your soundstage!)
I'm thinking you may be on a secondary node if the system sounds best with the speakers toed out. It reminds me of an old system I had years ago where I needed to tip the speakers up, they sounded best there, I have now come to believe this is because they sounded badly because they were not good quality, and thus the secondary node, as created through the room was less treble, thus a better sound. I figure that is not the issue with your speakers, so I'd try a number of possitions to see if there is a second place that sounds good, start with the speakers at 90 degrees.
Also the XLO burn in disk, or some of Sereophiles early disks, had tracks of white and pink noise to help determain node locations. When I first set up my system "by the book" the listening position had a node, it was 15-20 db lower than everywhere else, that's when I started to learn about the room and it's interaction with the system.
It can take a long time, but eventually you will find magic!

You're right on. My real issue is that my room sucks - it's basically a cube - and my placement options are very limited. I've (literally) taken my entire system to a friend's house and it sounds *soooo* much different / better in his listening space. Amazing (mindblowing) soundstage in his room. Good soundstage in mine. Therefore I'll try the unconventional for grins.

Also, by looking at my speakers, you probably wouldn't even notice they are toed out - it's that minor.

The next major upgrade will be a new house. Great equipment can't compensate for a bad room. You can try, and you can "fix" some things, but it won't completely mitigate it.
Nrenter, I just looked at your system and it doesn't appear the equipment is the issue at this point. As you say, the room... How big is the room? I assume there is no other location than the corner of your room to set up? It appears the speaker location is locked with the firaplace hearth, thus you are unable to pull them out from the wall a bit? I wish I could bring my XLO disk over and play with the pink noise and speakers, maybe just an inch or so.
Sean, can you elaborate on that 'old trick'.. do you mean you can find a better placement by using mono and once that is achieved then going back to stereo? (maybe a condensed answer if you've already posted this) I couldn't find it. Also, thank you Rives for your link.

My room is about 18' x 18' with 14' ceilings. My positioning issues are 2 fold: 1) I share this space with my wife and 3 year old son, and 2) I've got this Mitsubishi 48" RP TV that limits my placement (damn TV - it took buying a big screen TV to learn that I'm not a big screen TV type of guy). I've changed things around so that the TV is no longer between my speakers, but it's still taking up space in my room. If the TV was gone, I'd put a speaker on either side of the fireplace and be able to pull them out from the walls.

However, my comprimise is allowing me to use a 2 pair of 4 1/2' twisted CAT-5 DIY speaker cables (bi-wired) instead of the the 15' Audioquest GR-8 cables. Nice improvement in detail and clairity.
Nrenter, yea I figured setting up on each side of the fireplace was out of the question. Tough room, almost a cube. I'll look at a couple of my accoustics books to see if there are other thoughts. I'll let you know in a day or so.

Not necessary. I've accepted the fact that this is something I have to live with for the time being. However, it was a great lesson to learn - placement and room setup is more important (IMHO) than the hardware.

Maybe what the ladies tell us is actaully true - it's not what you have, it's what you do with it.

I'm sure there are audiophiles out there (none that visit the Audiogon forums, however) that constantly upgrade their hardware to no satisfaction, not realizing their room (or physical setup) is to blame.

An investment in a couple of hours one afternoon boxing up all my stuff and taking it over to a different room saved me unnecessary "upgrades". Sure there are things I'd like to do to my system (re-tube, new CD player, power cords, etc), but I consider those tweaks to my existing setup rather than looking to replace my core components.