Try to use stands that get the tweeters at about the same height as your ears. High-frequency sound is directional, and you'll notice better sound if you do this. If you need a custom stand height, Sound Anchor makes excellent ones.
Speakers' beam isnt the same as speaker hight. I too set relitively low and made some 18" stands with about twelve degrees of tilt back. The low height has the driver closer to the floor boundry thus richer tone. I avoid on beam listening by having the driver go over my head instead of toe in behind me as that would create more side wall reflection. This enables a stage height just above my head and creates a 'you are there' instead of a 'they are here'
"and may powdered sugar fall upon your ears tonight"
The heigth depends on the speakers. Some speakers sound better with the area between the tweeter/woofer amed at your ear level. You can also tilt the speakers forward to achieve this. A good way to get equal angles on both speakers is to use a laser pointer.
PSB Speakers with the tweeter under the midrange/woofer are designed in combination with their crossovers to beam the sound slightly upwards, so there is not a big difference in sound when you are standing or sitting. That is just one of Paul Barton's design quirks. So, maybe try listening to them upside down to beam the sound a little lower.
Here's another idea which is unconventional but you might love the sound of it; turn them on their side, like a center speaker. You might be shocked at how the sound changes when they are turned, let's say, on their side with tweeters inward. That change in elevation of the tweeter of several inches may do the trick, and the placement of the bass outward and tweeters inward is more like a panel speaker. Give it a shot and see what you think. Costs nothing and you may like the sound a lot. Also try them with the tweeters to the outside and you will likely sense the soundstage has widened a bit. Of course, then you can also work with their placement, distance from each other as well.
You can also take a couple rubber washers or similar - or better yet some stick on rubber feet or blue tak, and set the back of the speaker up ever so slightly, moving the directionality of the speaker downward. Between these two ideas you likely could find a solution without having to buy new stands.
Manitunc's suggestion of turning them upside down is also a good one. Once or twice I have taken modular speakers costing tens of thousands and turned the upper module containing an inverted driver array upside down to see what the speaker sounds like when the drivers are lined up more traditionally (smallest to largest from the top), a very enlightening experiment.
There's plenty of things you can try. Sometimes it's fun, even when you have your optimal positioning, to turn them on their side just for kicks/variety. :)
Get someone to actually measure the hightower of your ears when seated. Get stands that put tweeters at that level. You could also spring for the Hightower adjustable Sound Anchor stands but they are a bit pricey.
24 inches seems to be the standard height.
So since the PSB's are designed to beam the sound upwards, then I could probabaly get away with 18"-22" stands and not use any kind of tilt but also get the benefits of having the drivers closer to the floor.
I had a few more questions regarding metal vs mdf stands. My factory PSB stands are mdf and was wondering is my PSB's were designed to be used with this type of stand, or was it simply a cost thing that prevented them to be sold with metal stands. Also, if the height and filling are the same, what are the major differences between wood and metal stands?
Lewhite, your idea of beaming the speakers upwards to avoid side reflections is very interesting and would like to know more about how this is done. My stereo is in a very small bedroom, and im certain that side wall reflections are a factor.
Do you aim the speakers more towards the center of the lisening position, or keep the toe in the same and simply tilt the speaker?
Thanks for the help guys
Yeah Dave your having fun now, arent ya? I dont have any opin on multi driver arrays or odd pole crossovers, gave that stuff up long ago. I set er sit with my but about eight inches off the floor and my nose about 42 to 45" from the driver cone. What this does is put any un attenuated side wall reflection outside the time smear window. (that statement makes me seem smarter than I am). The highs go over my head and hit the diffused back wall just like a far cushion bank shot. Some 'state
of the art' speakers do nearly the same qith a rear facing
Sorry the new AgN just wadded my post . Just sayin rear facing tweeters add a slight delay to the highs instead of drilling you between the eyes. My single drivers dont have too much up high, and the tilt gets the stage up to where you would expect it to be. You know they do sell 16" concrete blocks, turn em so you see the holes.
Wood stands that you put together are cheaper to pack and ship than welded metal stands that take up a lot of room on the truck. Plus, welded stands are more labor intensive and usually heavier, so there is additional cost there. So, the likely reason PSB uses mdf stands is cost.
As for sound differences, I dont know that you can attribute sound differences to the stand material, all other things being equal, which they never are.
Does anyone know if its ok to fill stands with BB's, or will they rattle. I checked out leadshot at my local gun store and they wanted $50.00 for a 25lb bag, which is pretty expensive. Copper BB's from walmart would cost much less and the weight is about the same.
Clay kitty litter.. the cheap Walmart stuff, non deodorant, non clumping kind..
A twenty five pound bag of lead shot weigh pretty close to a twenty five pound bag of copper coated steel BBs but the BBs are a lot more volumnous. Then add floor leveling powder from home center. Now thing will weigh 55lb. ugg
Is leveling powder heavier than kitty litter? I filled up my stands about 1/3 with 18,000 steel bb's in each stand, and then used kitty litter for the rest. This still doesnt seem heavy enough for me and was thinking of switching out the litter for something else.
Kitty litter is a kind of open absorbant clay for obvious reasons. The floor leveling that I'm thinking of is pretty dense. Kinda reminds me of finely divided flint rock.
Why don't you ask PSB how they are ment to be leveled, if you feel uncertain?
PMC for example, says tweeter should be over ear level and mid in ear level. Barefoot says tweeter should be in level with ear. My former MA PL 300 sounded pretty different if i changed level at them. Point speakers towards ceiling, well, you get reflections from ceiling to. Damping a ceiling often tend to make a calmer more mild frequency response.
I would go for the copper sand. Entreq build many devices for vibration control and they often use "copper sand".
You must know where the acoustic center of your speaker is. It may be the tweeter in the 2 way, or the midrange in a three way. This should be the ear height level.
Then the distance between speakers should be the distance to your ears-an equilateral triangle. A nice long metal tape measure work great for this.
Mass is your friend in stands; hollow metal or wood can ring a lot, adding its own a resonant frequency to the speaker output. Knock on the stand with your knuckle and hear if it rings. If yes, dump it. Try concrete blocks if you don't have anything else and hear the difference.
I have heard that it is ok if the tweeter is above your ear level ,but not below. Is this true?
Isn't it important to optimize speaker height for bass response? If you get floor bass reinforcement and bass cancellation right, you can then, if needed, tilt the speaker so the tweeter is on your listening axis (assuming that's the correct orientation for the individual speaker).
Sit in your comfy listening position, have someone measure the distance from the floor to your center ear. That is the height of your focal point of your speaker. Average is around 38 inches. Your PSB's are designed so the focal point should be the center between the top of the woofer cone and the bottom of the tweeter cone, That spot is the focal point of your woofer. In the example of 38 inches, that spot between your woofer and tweeter would need to be 38 inches off the ground.
Use a laser pointer, adjusted on the inside of the cabinet level with the focal point, turn your speakers in full tow making the laser point at your ears. Imaging should be excellent. If you have a brightness, start turning your tow outward exactly the same on left and right channels until sound is smooth. It is possible that at some point you may start losing center image, or dips in frequency, so stay keenly aware of image and frequency responce.
Todd, tweeters dispersion patterns are typically the same above or below ear level, but in a two or three way, The problem is that that farther your other drivers are off, the more their dispersion patterns and frequency response is off also, so if the tweeter is designed to be on top and is below, your frequency curves change even more on the drivers below. For that reason, most recommend to keep the tweeter at or slightly above, but overall it is a rule of thumb rather that a law, based on the speaker that you are using. If I recall, the Stratus mini, the tweeter is on bottom, so that theory wouldn't work. Don't forget, sometimes a little tilt either way makes a world of difference.
Having trouble locating unscented clay kitty litter. Anyone able to point me to a cheap source for it?
Primium Ever Clear, you can order from Pet Direct online
So if I'm only 5foot 3 and my ear height is about 35inches from the floor, would I order the standard 24 inch stands lower by a couple of inches?
Only if you plan on keeping the same chair. Don't forget to add an inch for the bottom spikes or any platform you may use to support the speaker stands or speakers on the stands. You want the acoustic center of your speaker to be at ear level when completely set-up.
There are a lot of questions here in this thread that should be settled easily by listening. Most of these problems or issues are so room related, unique to each room, or speakers related, there is not size fits all answer.
Speakers have a designed dispersion pattern in the horizontal plane and vertical plane. The higher the frequency the more narrow the dispersion gets (in ALL speakers). Knowing that, using pink noise can help a great deal in hearing the differences in speaker dispersion as you move about. Pink noise makes it easy to notice changes in angle and position of the speakers relative to your position.
Get a pink noise disc and try it!