Speaker positioning games. Where can I go from here?


Last Thursday night I was messing with my speaker positioning. I’m nwver happy with the bass but I am barely into building my endgame system so I think some of that will worked out.

anyway, I moved my speakers (Focal 907v on stands) from 13” (back of cab to front wall) out to 22”. Bass is lessened but it’s most noticeable in bass attack. But there’s a fullness I didn’t expect.

I then toed them in which really made the vocals pop into that center position and all around imaging is much improved. The left speaker is 40” from a wall of windows and the right has nothing next to it for 13’. For the toe in I left the outside corner of the cabinet at 22” from the wall but rotated so the inside rear corner is now 21.5” from front wall. I think this improved imaging by lessening reflection on the left side.

I sit on a couch with a table between it and the back wall. My ear is ~18” from the back wall (drywall). The drivers are 91” apart and 98” to my ear. I think lessening early reflections and some combing has made things sound better.

My system build is glacially slow. So far I have the power amp I want and that’s it. All other pieces will be swapped out and sold as I replace them. My plan for this calendar year is to replace the Project DC with 2M Blue with a SL1200GR with possibly a Nag MP200. Next year, maybe around March replace the current line stage (Schiit Sys-temporary) with an Odyssey Candela (tubed line stage) and Buchardt S400 speakers in the summer. My feeling is that these first 2 pieces alone will really bolster my bass I response.

But in the meantime. What other positioning tweaks can I try? My room is basically a horizontal rectangle with the living room/listening spot on the left half with the rig on the long wall.


Since I seem to be moving the listening position into the pressurized space between the speakers, I wanted to ask.

Does that high pressure area expand when I increase the volume? Does toe in affect that area as well?
Some years ago, including on this forum, there was a discussion about the Sumiko Masterset speaker setup procedure (http://www.hifi.ir/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/master-set.pdf) I’ve found it very useful for starting speaker setup with two different speakers in three different rooms though it’s not so useful for boundary designs.
There are several systematic methods of tuning by listening that work, more or less, to get the set up close enough for purposes of experimenting with optimal placement.  The Sumiko method optimizes placement for best bass reproduction and balance.  The other useful method is the Wilson method, which places emphasis on midrange clarity and naturalness.  Regardless of the method employed, there will be room for tweaking.  You mentioned experimenting with toe-in, that is good because proper toe-in is crucial.  You should also experiment with rake angle (how much the speaker tilts back).

Room treatments can be useful, and if one cannot do this for aesthetic reasons, the treatments can be nothing more than a few tapestries or other decorative items on the wall.  Book cases and other objects along the wall also tend to add reflections that improve the sound.  Big expanses of empty walls is usually not ideal.  I would certainly try something on the wall behind the listening position.  Carpets or rugs are very helpful for breaking up the back and forth reflection between the ceiling and the floor.  If you don't have a carpet, put a rug down between the speakers and your listening position.  The table between your speakers and your listening position can also be a source of undesirable reflections; you can check that out by temporarily moving it.  If it is a problem, but must stay, you can ameliorate problems it causes by putting things on the table to break up the reflection (books, etc.).  

Most of the rooms I've helped with setups were improved by having large plants in them, either real or artificial.  At big shows, like CES, many exhibitors buy large potted plants to put into their rooms (to help the sound, more than for improving the looks); after the show, they trash them.
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