Speaker Placement

I have never understood why some people advocate listening from about a 60 degree angle relative to the L & R spkrs. True stereo dynamics can only be realised by positioning at about 160 degrees or even 170. 180 might be a little much as our ears are tilted inward slightly.
Please site your sources.
Its the room which determines how the speakers with sound/react.
Everyone perceives sound differently. What's not to understand?
So by 160-170 degrees relative to the listening position you mean firing almost directly away from the listener? There are some speakers with ambiance drivers that are aimed backwards and Bose speakers certainly adhere to that philosophy but it would not be good for sound stage reproduction. I admit that I haven't tried it and it would certainly be affected by your room (reflections) but I can't believe that it would be good for more than background music.
It seems to me that 180 deg. would have you sitting between the speakers. and 160 deg. would be *extreme near-field. Maybe you need to check your math...

I think what he is trying to say is that because our ears are 180 degrees from each other the speakers should be too.A little less than 180 because our ears kind of point forward. what he forgets is that we are not trying to listen to two sounds. We are trying to localize one sound, which is what our two ears do using timing and amplitude, including the delay caused by the distance to each ear, and blocking of the sound by our head. the two speakers try to recreate location similarly, through a blend of the two sounds. If the speakers were on either side, we would hear two separate sounds.
Of course, its much more complicated than that, and volumes have been written on the subject.
Reminds me of when I was young listening on the floor to Grand Funk Railroad "Closer to Home" with my head between my parents console speakers.
In order to realise full stereo dynamics, it is necessary to position your speakers as if they were headphones--- one on the left & one on the right. Sitting at one tip of an equilateral triangle does not work.

Onhwy61---- the source is moi

Tpreaves-- I am not sure if I agree. All of our ears are designed alike.

Djohnson54-- I don't think u understand what I am getting at. I am not saying that one has to sit behind the speakers.

Rlwainwright-- I am referring to the angle of the spkrs--- not the distance.

Manitunc-- The nature of stereo IS two separate sounds. If u want to 'localise' them then listen to mono.
All of our ears are not designed alike. That's like saying all speakers are designed alike.
01-08-13: Roscoe50
In order to realise full stereo dynamics, it is necessary to position your speakers as if they were headphones--- one on the left & one on the right. Sitting at one tip of an equilateral triangle does not work.
That's just plain wrong. Sitting at the tip of the triangle absolutely works.
Stereo is uspposed to form a integrated, panoramic field.
Having one speaker for each ear is not doing that at all.
Suggest OP stick to headphones to be fully happy.
I have my speakers at about 65-50-65 degree triangle
Roscoe, the mechanics of hearing are the same, it's the perception of sound that is different.
This is ridiculous. Music wasn't recorded to listen like that. The sound would reach each ear at two different moments in time from both directions. Can you understand how bad that would sound? The sound from the right channel would reach your right ear and then pass to your left ear and the same thing would happen from the opposite direction. It would be as if listening in a tunnel. That doesn't happen with headphones. The idea sounds great on single malt scotch but it doesn't take an audiologist to figure out that it doesn't make sense.
Stereo is very different than two mono channels. You should read up on stereo microphone techniques.

While the OP is wrong in his conclusions, there is some truth in his thinking. If you position your speakers as he suggest you would minimize any crosstalk cancellation between the loudspeakers. This is something that Phase Linear/Carver did with their autocorrelator and Polk with their SDA loudspeakers.

If you want to experiment with the concept all you need to do is place absorptive material midway between your speakers and extend the material to the listening position. Your listening space is effectively bisected. Ideally the only sound that reaches your right ear is coming from the right loudspeaker with the same for the left ear/loudspeaker. I listened to a demo of this approach back in the early 90s and it did create a very convincing stereo image without the headphone like hole in the middle.

And even though I disagree with the OP what he suggests cost nothing to try. I further applaud the fact that he didn't label his idea the "Quantum Speaker Placement Theory".
Speaker placement is dictated by the room, not ones ears
When a recording engineer produces a stereo mix from the various tracks, he is attempting to simulate a performance coming from a stage. The sound reaching the ears of a listener in the audience does not come from the side, so the studio monitors are placed out in front of the engineer while he blends the tracks between the channels to simulate the way the sounds reach the ears at different times. In order to reproduce the sound the way it was mixed, it is necessary to set the speakers out in front like the studio monitors.

Placing speakers this way is second nature to us audiophiles, so it always shocks me when I see someone's speakers set up differently, for example, aimed at each other from opposite corners of the room.
I'm sorry if I misunderstood you Roscoe50 but when your reference is 60 degrees off-axis (i.e, an equilateral triangle), 160-170 degrees IS sitting almost directly behind the speakers.

In regards your response to what Manitunc is saying, the nature of stereo may be two point sources, but the nature of hearing is not. What we all (supposedly) are trying to achieve is a reasonable facsimile of the original performance using those two point sources. In my experience headphones do not do that. Although I do occasionally listen to headphones, there is no way I'm giving up my speakers (arranged in a slightly isosceles triangle) for them.
When a recording engineer produces a stereo mix, he is trying to produce a stereo mix. If he wants to simulate what a live audience hears then he would make a mono mix.

To be directly on axis, 160 to 170d is ideal as it is the approx angle of your ear.
The 'nature of hearing' is indeed two point as we have 2 separate ears. Listening is stereo is an attempt to make the most of this.

I prefer headphone like stereo dynamic w/o the headphones.

Abucktwoeighty-- For all practical purposes, all of our ears are indeed designed alike. Have u read up on S-Logic technology by Ultrasone hphones? They caution not to reverse( some like to hear Beatles 2 track records in reverse channels) the earpieces.
The sound live audiences hear is subject to almost infinite variables such as their seating relative to the speakers and performance source, the subsequent sound mix, ambient (reflected) sound, direct sound from the stage, and the hat size of the person in front of them.
the hat size of the person in front of them.

Folks will get a chuckle out of this but it's true.
I'll state again that our ears are not designed alike. My ears do not protrude from my head as far as some others, like Alfred E. Neuman, and others, which makes me hear a little less. As far as "practical purposes", yeah, I guess we all use them to listen with. We just don't hear the same. When I hear yellow, you may be hearing amber.
When you listen to live music the musicians are generally in front. Yes? Isn't that what the recording engineer is trying to replicate? The sound coming from in front of you?
Nothing gets by this crowd.
If they can find the way out of their dark living rooms.:-)
You can forget about all the theories of toe in, toe out, blah blah blah...get a hold of Track 3 - Out of Phase (speaker set-up) of the XLO Test CD. Track 3 allows you to find the absolute best locations for both speakers. No more guessing by moving a little, listen a little. Hint: most speakers are set much too far apart.
My 2 channel system is not trying to duplicate a pair of headphones sitting on my head, it is trying to duplicate an orchestra/band/choir performing in front of me.
We all hear the same just as we all see or smell the same things. If Ham is grilling for breakfast it is going to smell like ham to all of us etc

I am not a fan of live music & one reason is because it IS NOT in stereo. It is basically as boring as mono music or listening in a car. MO is that these things are pretty much a waste of time.

If an engineer is trying to create the image of a live audience, it would seem to me as a waste of time as well to even bother making a stereo mix.
We don't all hear the same. Some can not hear very well at all. Others can't hear the upper registers or lowers. Some hear more in one ear than the other. Some only hear with one ear. If you mean we all can detect sounds, yes, most everyone can do that, but we don't hear the same.

That's like trying to say we all see alike. A friend of mine lost an eye in an accident which had me covering one of mine to see just what it's like to see the world with one eye. Try driving like that. It takes some getting used to, but it's not the same.
01-11-13: Roscoe50
We all hear the same just as we all see or smell the same things. If Ham is grilling for breakfast it is going to smell like ham to all of us etc

Wrong on all accounts. The mechanics of hearing,seeing and smelling are the same for humans but the perception of those senses are different for everyone.
The XLO Test CD is excellent to find the best position in any room.
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I try to sit with ham grilling for breakfast at least 8 feet away.