Speaker Positioning Advice needed


As a new member to Audiogon and a learning audiophile, I am trying to gain as much understanding about designing a good set-up as possible.


A. How is the optimal distance beween speakers determined? Is it governed by room size, or where the listener is sitting? Currently, my speakers are 60" apart.

What distance do you have your speakers apart?

B. What is the recommended distance in inches to place the speaker from the back wall. I understand this effects the bass / lower frequency response. My speakers have down-firing woofers.

C. Is is recommended that speakers be placed specifically in the corners of the room?


Cardas cable has a mathmatical formula used to identify exact speaker placement. I've used this method and experienced awesome results. Go to their web site and check it out.

"If you think you can you can"
Cardas speaker placement method provides a good basic idea on setting-up the speakers but does not necessarily yield optimum results in most cases. It all comes down to experimenting yourself in your own room with your own ears/listening preferences to which you feel the best sound you are able to obtain given your preferred choice of speaker placement.

Speaker placement is always governed by room size. 60'' is about 5' apart. Since you asked, if following Cardas method, the recommended distance between my speakers is roughly 5' and this goes the same with the distance of speakers from the back wall. To have the widest soundstage, I have my speakers about 8' apart which are almost touching the side walls, and 3' from the back wall. Room treatments made it possible for close placement to wall boundaries. It is preferable to have the speakers as far apart to have the widest soundstage possible.

The key to achieving optimum speaker placement is in trial and error, and this may be an arduous task for some especially if your speakers are huge and heavy.
>Is is recommended that speakers be placed specifically in the corners of the room?<

It is recommended that they NOT be placed thusly.

A. In an ideal environment speaker spacing is set by listener distance. You're trying to achieve a wide sound stage without opening up a hole in the middle. An equalateral triangle is a nice starting put for most speakers (when the speakers are 8' apart, you'd be sitting 8' from each which puts you 7' from a line drawn through the tweeters). You might space them closer together if you need to get them away from the side walls.

B. The greater of 4' or half the distance to the listener is a nice starting point. More is better, but changes in distance will interact with room modes differently.

C. Speakers are engineered for a specific placement and will have a surplus of bass and lower midrange when placed near more room boundaries than they were designed for. Placing speakers designed for use away from walls near one wall will give your singers chest colds and make the bass boomy and near two walls (a corner) the effect will be much worse.
In the days of monaural sound, when imaging was not an issue, corner loaded horns were designed to be placed in corners, the aim being LF extension as the adjoining walls became part of the horn. This was true of KlipshHorns, ElectroVoice Patricians, and number of JBL speakers, and others. IIRC, stereo and the AR air supsension speaker killed these giants off. My introduction to what became known as HiFi was a medium size JBL folded corner loaded horn in 1952.