From the center of the driver in some cases; this is the way the Cardas site does it. From the edge of the speaker in others. In other words, there is no way to tell unless the reviewer states which he is using.
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"If you have a question about a particular speaker from a particular review why not e-mail the reviewer and ask him how the measurements were taken?"
Why try to duplicate what a reviewer has done in his room? Your room will most likely have totally different characteristics. Many things come into play such as room dimensions, ceiling height, furnishings, windows, which wall the speakers are on, sonic signature of electronics, etc. There is also the issue of personal taste. Reviewers have a tendency towards hiper detailed sound (sins-of-addition) to further their ability to review other equipment which they will insert into their system. Do you want to listen to music or do you want your system to be a reviewing tool? Set your system up to your taste not somebody else's.
Regarding speaker placement...you never can tell what is best for your room without trying it. Put the speakers on teflon sliders which you can get at Home Depot or Lowes....put the components in the center of the room, and slide those speakers all around the room. It is VERY obvious when you have found the best position...the sound just seems effortless and rich. It is worth doing...for me however, my wife wanted them where they are now and thats the way it is.
When we selected our new house [ in the process of moving] we made sure it had a basement room, as our present house does, that my wife was willing to cede to me to do as I will with. The living room is her territory; in fact the whole main floor is. I suggest this approach to anyone who is able to implement it. I ended up using the Cardas positioning after endless expermentation but as Stringreen says there is no way to know in advance.
I went to the Cardas site and found the page on speaker placement. Plugging in my room width, the Cardas site suggests placing my speakers a touch closer to each other but noticably further into the room. It's a nice placement at the expense of bass response. Funny how having the speakers now closer to me and closer to each other has widened the soundstage. But what this little experiment taught me is that there is not necessarily only one right place to locate a speaker within a room.
Interesting timing... I just finished my speaker placement and I have to say that the Cardas Golden Progression method was what I used as a starting point....
My final placement was just a few inches closer to the side wall but the distance to the back wall was right on the money based on their multipliers.
My soundstage is wide and I have layering of depth. Imaging is good too! But... the best thing that I was able to gain from this setup is a very robust bottom end. I had problems with suckouts and this has gotten by room pretty flat across the frequency spectrum. I ran some sweeps with my trusty XTZ Pro setup and I am pretty happy with the result.
Of course YMMV.