Speaker Placement Info Needed

I think the best tweak for any system may begin with better speaker placement. Can anyone help me with input on what I should try? I have B&W 803 Matrix Series IIs that are 20" from the back wall and 4 feet from the side walls and 6-7 feet apart. I recently pointed them in towards my listening position approx. 8-10 feet away and heard the difference in centered instruments, vocals and imaging. What other positions do you recommend that I try and what books or articles should I read? Also, should I get the sound anchor speaker stands, or maybe upgrade to different spikes from the standard B&W spikes, etc. All comments are very much appreciated.

I'm afraid I might sound like a commercial but go get a copy of Robert Harleys "Complete Guide to High-end Audio." There is some good specific advice about speaker placement.
Speaker placement is a two man job but I will try to relate to you the system I heard about and have used.
First, get a CD will lots of good acoustic bass. Second, while playing this CD (or LP) turn the balance to the left speaker. Third, have your friend(?) move the speaker forward or towards you at 1/2" intervals. You will find places where the sound is much better than others. Mark these areas on the floor. Fourth, move the speaker back and forth between these marked areas and determine which of them you like best. Fifth, locate the second/right speaker to match the left. I hope this makes sense to you
I could be wrong about this but it sounds like your speakers are too far apart. I would suggest moving them closer together and see what happens to your soundstage.
I have heard this tecnique work very well in the past. Good luck and have fun!
Well since you are a "Bigkid" you can handle what I'm about to tell you. The Matrix II Series of B&W 80X all sucked. They had slow bass, gluey midrange, and terrible sounding aluminum tweeters. My best recommendation is to upgrade to B&W Nautilus 802's.
But, if you absolutely love them and can't part with them, then try this. Contact George Short at North Creek Music Systems ( http://www.northcreekmusic.com ) and ask him if he can put together all the parts for an upgraded crossover...new 8 ga. or 10 ga. coils, new Zen or Crescendo cascaded capacitor ladders and upgraded wire to go from the box that holds the new outboard crossover to the drivers. Also, order his book "North Creek Cabinet Handbook" $5.00. Replace all the crappy foam inside with Deflex or spray on "Road Kill". Fill the bottom couple inches with sand and glue mixture and remove the binding posts on the back of the speaker; it will go into the crossover box. Cover up the hole.

If you do all this, they should be 100% better everything but looks...they will still be ugly. But at least they'll sound good.
The proper speaker placement is whatever sounds best to your ears. It's simple in principle, but perhaps difficult in implementation. Patience will get you there.
On every speaker I've tried, they sound best way out from the wall behind them. At least 4 to 5 feet, but 6 to 7 feet is even better. This gets rid of boominess and provides a lot of soundstage depth. I like my speakers 8 to 10 feet apart and at least 3 feet from the side walls. I sit 11 feet away. This setup produces a fairly convincing soundstage but does require a decent sized room. Big rooms almost always sound better than small rooms. Get F. Alton Everest's "The Master Handbook of Acoustics" if you would like to understand and avoid the problems of room resonance modes.
the CARDAS system is a good starting point for positioning speakers and listening position. look at FAQ's on audio asylum for details. off hand it sounds like your speakers could be further away from your back wall but this would depend a lot on the distance your listening position is from the rear wall and the size of your room. works best if the two distances are the same (for me at least). also experiment with pointing the speakers over a 90 degree angle, from straight ahead to crossed well in front of the listener position and listen to the differences in the sound stage. be patient and have fun.
With your speakers only 20" from the back wall you're probably getting a lot of room reinforcement, which is not necessarily a bad thing depending on your room, equipment, and tastes. I'd first try moving them out about 4' from the wall just to see what happens, but you're likely to find that the sound separates more from the room and the speakers, and the soundstage should open up considerably(as the speakers are closer to you, you might not want as much toe-in as those B&W tweeters can get a little bright close up). One thing to watch with this is if the midrange still blends seamlessly with the treble, as with B&Ws I've found them not to be as coherent as others in a nearfield setup. After trying 4' out from the wall you can scootch them back and forth depending on what sounds better(at some points it will sound more boomy than others as you move in and out of room nodes), but at least this way you'll know what your speakers can sound like without as much influence from the room. Best of luck.

I tend to start with the 1/3 rule or as close as you can as possible. Bring you speakers out 1/3 of the way out into the room. Keep you listening position the same distance (1/3). The distance behind you also about the same dimensions (1/3) as the other two distances. Keep your speakers spread apart the same distance as your distance between you and your speakers.If your sitting 8ft away from your speakers try speading your speakers 8ft apart etc....this should be a good starting point and adjust from there. Hope that makes sense? It worked for me! Good luck!