You don't mention what speakers you are trying to set up in the new configuration. I did the same thing years ago, with the opposite result. You may have to move your speakers away from the wall behind them more to get the benefit of their new location.
If you can locate them one-third of the way into the room, and say, 3' from the sidewalls, and your listening position equidistant between them, that may work for you. Keep moving them around until you get them placed where they work best. It's all about location, location, location.
The most effective way I know to treat a room is the four triangular corners where the ceiling meets the walls first, followed by the vertical corners where the walls come together.
The treatment is standard acoustically transparent fabric (like speaker cover) over Owens Corning 703. Cut four triangles about 12" on a side for the upper corners, four rectangles about 8" to 12" wide for the vertical.
Not specific to your situation but as far as I know its worked in every room its been tried in. It works because as the walls vibrate, which they do, the corners act like a kind of horn that amplifies any sound coming from the corners. So a small amount of acoustic material placed in the corners stops that before it can happen, and has a big impact without using a lot of material that can make the room sound over damped.
Where you were sitting before this was less important because you were a lot further away from those corners than you are now. So while generic advice it would seem to apply to your situation.
Sorry to hear you are having this very frustrating experience. We have the same speakers (Daedalus Ulysses), as you may recall. My room is 13 x 22 x 8. I have the speakers set up on the short wall, about 4 feet out from the front wall (which is mostly a large picture window, with wood blinds in front of it), as measured to the front of the speakers. The speakers are about 7 feet apart, center-to-center. My listening distance is about 12 feet. The central third of the rear wall opens to another room, and the part of the side wall that is near the left channel speaker opens to another area. The walls are wood paneled.
I have no particular suggestions to offer at this point regarding speaker positioning or acoustic treatments. However the sonics you have described are so vastly different than anything I have ever heard from my Ulysses, as well as being vastly different from what you had with the previous setup, that I’m wondering if some misfortune unrelated to speaker positioning and room acoustics might have been inflicted on the system during the move. For example, perhaps a tube-based component was jarred and the performance of one of its tubes was affected by the physical shock. Perhaps something is amiss with a connection somewhere, perhaps internal to a component if not externally.
Those kinds of possibilities are about all I can think of at this point. As I said, it’s hard for me to envision Daedalus speakers sounding as you’ve described, with a seemingly reasonable setup in a reasonably sized room.
Best of luck as you proceed,
Can you try at some kind of an angle? I.e. not square to either the long or the short wall. It's one of the things that Johnny Rutan recommends trying.
you can either build a new room or you can accept that you will never get perfect sound in a bad room.
OK, on the long wall you had delayed primary reflections on the side walls and they occurred at lower volumes because they were farther away, a situation that would probably favor that speaker which has one design flaw, it has two tweeters which are too far apart to reproduce the highest frequencies in balance with the rest of the speaker. They will have a tendency to be too bright and harsh. The farther away you are from them the brighter they will get. Sit in your listening chair and have someone move a mirror along the side wall and mark the point you can see the speaker from your listening position in the mirror. The mirror should stay flat against the wall. Stick acoustic foam tile, I would say a 2 X 4 foot area centered on that point for both side walls. Do the same for the front wall. This will diminish reflections from 250 Hz up and smooth things out. The bass performance is going to change based on the speakers distance from the front wall so if you are unhappy with it you have to move the speakers back and forth until you get the balance you like. Do this before you find the spots on the side walls to dampen. Frequently the bass will sound its best with the speaker right up against the wall which unfortunately will not give you the best upper frequency performance. Life is full of compromises.
Thanks for the suggestions and I will work on extremes on the speaker position
i have gik products for the first refections,
I do have the opportunity to offset the speakers to the room slightly and the center of the tweeters are only separated by 4".
Daedalus are known for their accurate tonality and non fatiguing sound.
i didn't see a way to attach my long and short wall diagrams
i am also using REW measurements
I will set up a pair of paridygns as well
... that speaker which has one design flaw, it has two tweeters which are too far apart to reproduce the highest frequencies in balance with the rest of the speaker.
Mijostyn, as I mentioned in my previous post I have the same speakers as the OP. I also have a DEQX HDP-5 in my system. When I acquired the DEQX about three years ago, as part of the calibration and correction processes it performs I used it to measure the frequency response of the speakers, with room reflections minimized. I accomplished that by moving each speaker to the center of the room, placing large sound absorbent panels along the nearest walls, and a pillow on the floor directly in front of the speaker being measured. The measurement microphone was placed on a stand, directly in front of and pointed at the tweeters, at distances of 30 and 36 inches (those distances having been chosen per DEQX recommendations, to minimize room reflections that are picked up by the mic, and to delay them as much as possible relative to the sound reaching the mic directly). The HDP-5 puts a lengthy series of brief frequency sweeps through the system, and computes the frequency response and other speaker characteristics by analyzing what the mic picks up.
Those measurements revealed that the greatest response in any part of the audible spectrum occurred at about 18 kHz, and the average response in the top octave (10 to 20 kHz) was slightly greater than the average in the rest of the spectrum.
Also, from a subjective standpoint, in addition to the characteristics the OP mentioned in his post just above Daedalus speakers are widely recognized as being "fast" and dynamic. That would seem to be consistent with my measurements.
Before you do a lot of radical stuff, try something simple. Here it is. Position your right or left speaker, depending on orientation of the room near a corner as you normally would, preferably elevated. If the first speaker for example is the right, move left in the room from there and skip the corner you come to entirely. Keep moving in that direction until the next corner and place the left speaker there as you would if both speakers were associated with that shared wall. Place your listening position between them approximately on the diagonal of the room. Hope this helps. You may be surprised.
Skywachr - I am not following your test procedure.
Place your right speaker near the wall and play only it - then progressively move it inward toward the left speaker?
I spent over six hours at Tom’s house a couple of nights ago listening to the system. No doubt about it, he has boomy bass and grainy highs that definitely are not part of his former setup. I did not have the benefit of hearing his system’s sound after he installed his new ZYX cart before he moved it from the long wall to its current position. The one conclusion I reached after all this time and that I shared with him is that the anomalies he is experiencing were jumping right off of the skins of the drivers (so to speak) and not the result of room interactions. This very much coincides with your thoughts. I think, when the smoke clears, the culprit will be found lying elsewhere but I certainly could be wrong. Although a pain in the ass to do so, the next step should be to move everything back to the long wall location and see if order is restored. I rather expect it will not be. I have thought long and hard trying to come up with a happenstance that would result in this outcome and have come up dry, especially in light of the fact that it is source nonspecific and Tom informs me his preamp is dual mono and, of course, he’s running monoblocs. Tis a poser, indeed.
Thanks again Alan for stopping out for a listening session to address the issues.
I just posted my long and short wall room layouts in my system page
to better visualize things
I may just place the speakers along the front wall, leave the rack where it is and sit right up next to it for a quick assessment.
I also am going to bring some Salks and Paradigns in to test
as far as the off center arrangement
I could angle the speakers from the front left towards the back right position (will need to move the rack back to the front wall)
Skywachr - with the diagonal setup are you suggesting keeping one speaker in a corner pointing toward the couch then moving the other speaker inward but pointing it down the longest diagonal of the room? Sorry I just am not following. Having both at the same location. Do you have a reference or feel free to PM me.
Thanks for the additional info, Tom & Alan.
Tom, I see that you have two preamps and two pairs of tube-based monoblock amps in the system, with a custom made high quality switchbox to select which amp outputs are used to drive the speakers. Two questions:
1) Have you tried both sets of preamps and amps with the new positioning, and if so do the problems manifest themselves with both?
2) Does the switchbox apply load resistors to the outputs of the amps that are not selected?
If not, by any chance have you ever had the unselected amps powered up while a signal has been applied to them, especially in the recent past? As you most likely realize, given that these amps have output transformers doing so would be a no no if load resistors are not applied to the unselected amps by the switchbox, as it could conceivably cause damage to their output transformers and/or output tubes as a result of what is called "inductive kickback."
One thing that prompts this question is the reference in the listing of the switchbox in your system description thread to switching "on the fly."
1) I have tried both sets of pre/amp combinations
very similar sounding (The Uesugi slightly more laid back) and both have the same artifacts
the analog section uses the Doshi photo stage for both (line in to the Uesugi.
The CD is much worse sounding than the vinyl.
2) I could ask Richard on the switch box - it is an industrial strength design and I do not hear degradation with it. I was very skeptical at first.
Both systems worked flawlessly on the switchbox in the long wall and I could switch back and forth although I usually just chose one.
I have played the speakers on the short wall with some longer speaker wire going directly to the speaker and bypassing the switch box. The box was helpful to "stretch" out the length for the longer runs with the short wall setup.
I could ask Richard on the switch box
Alternatively, if you have a multimeter, with the switchbox disconnected from the speakers and the amps you could measure the resistance between each + input terminal of the switchbox and the corresponding - input terminal, while the input being measured is deselected by the switch. If the measurements are infinite or very high, say several dozen ohms or higher, regardless of whether there is any relation to the sonic problems I would henceforth avoid having the deselected amps powered up while a signal is being applied to them.
Re room acoustic's - my room is 13.5x19.5x9. I have Silverline Boleros. I'm not familiar with your speakers but I've certainly encountered your issues in setting up my speakers. I did something based on what many professionals do when setting up (smaller)demo room's. I set up my speakers 6ft out into the room, 2ft from side walls, and crossed the axis of the speakers well in front of my listening chair (I have and equilateral triangle set up). This minimized the effect of sidewall reflections (without panels) and changed the ceiling reflections. I lost a bit of room induced soundstage width, but on balance I got a far better (more integrated) sound. I adjusted my set up over a long period of time, mostly reducing toe in, but the end result is excellent. I did find taming the (upper) bass was mostly in finding the best distance from the side wall. Try it. Only takes a few minutes and its free.
the switchbox has no resistors
those amps are not sensitive to no load condition
nearly all my room positioning listening was done with only one amp on.
I have also used less refined long speaker cable directly from the amps
the switchbox has no resistors
those amps are not sensitive to no load condition
Wow, that was quick!
Given that the amps have output transformers I’m not sure how or why they would not be sensitive to the no load condition (when processing a signal), but I’m sure Richard wouldn’t have said that without good reason.
In any event, since both amp/preamp combinations manifest essentially the same sonic issues in the new arrangement it appears that we can rule them out as suspects.
@audiotomb If you can pull off just moving the speakers only back to the long wall I think you'll find the story is told, one way or another, without having to resort to inserting other brands of speakers into the mix. I'm a little dubious as to how much stock you can put into whatever the results of those speaker substitutions might yield considering you don't really have a baseline for what they would sound like normally paired with your associated gear. And, at least with the Salks and their lowish sensitivity, I doubt they'll mate well with your Uesugi EL34 monos, which we did all of our listening through the other night. Just curious...would putting the Daedali back on the long wall entail any changes in cabling from source on through to the speaker cables?
Almarge, by your description it seems that the speakers are already "bright' in the near field. As you move away from the speaker this disparity is like likely to increase. primary reflections close to the speaker will make this worse. You can absolutely correct the frequency response with room control in the vicinity of the listening position and you can be clever with position and acoustic treatments. This is a problem with all dynamic point source speakers in one way or another depending on the speaker's design and the room they are placed in. With basic acoustic treatments an room control (speaker control) you can fix almost anything.
... by your description it seems that the speakers are already "bright’ in the near field.
No, I didn’t intend to indicate that. I think of the brightness region as being in the area of roughly 4 to 8 kHz or thereabouts. According to my measurements that region is if anything very slightly under-emphasized relative to most of the rest of the spectrum. In the 3 to 4 kHz area, though, there is a narrow peak, although that peak is not quite as high as the one I referred to at about 18 kHz.
BTW, I should add to what I said previously that the measurement microphone was omnidirectional. So the fact that it was positioned directly in front of the tweeters at a close distance (30 and 36 inches for the measurements I did) would not have under-emphasized what it was picking up from the woofers or the midrange drivers, even though those drivers (especially the woofers) were somewhat off axis. Specifically, the mic was an Earthworks M23. And to assure accurate results DEQX supplied a calibration file for the specific serial number of the specific mic,the file having been supplied to them by Earthworks and converted by them to the format that is necessary for use with the DEQX software.
In any event, as Tom indicated Daedalus speakers are known for their accurate tonality and non-fatiguing sonic character. "Natural sounding" would be another way to put it, IMO. They are not excessively bright by any means.
So sorry to have confused you in my description. Best way to describe is to label on paper each corner of the room moving clock wise as A and B for the first corner. Moving clockwise again label the next corner of room as C and D and so on clockwise with each corner as E/F and G/H. Let's say right speaker is placed at position E. In that configuration the left speaker would be placed at position B. These assume normal poisoning of the speaker in each case. Once you mark those 2 locations on paper the gist of what I am suggesting should be clearer. Thanks for your patience. I will pm you as well
almarge, The peak at 18K is what I am talking about. This is the problem when you use two tweeters like this. The domes look like they are about 6 inches apart which corresponds to a wavelength in the 2000 Hz region or so. Below 2000 Hz the tweeters will act as one above that they will act as two separate drivers with the corresponding phase interactions. A loudspeaker should speak with one voice. Above approximately 2000 Hz this one speaks with two voices. You can put midrange drivers and woofers farther apart because they operate at lower frequencies/longer wave lengths.
Well - I switched the speakers back to the long wall - but on the same wall as the equipment racks - so opposite what I had before. not an ideal area adjacent to and behind the speakers with the racks and room cutout on the left. ceiling panels in the opposite orientation. The speakers were set up in the triangular method 9ft offset. I was 1.5 ft off the wall.
The bass immediately returned to an articulate well balanced sound with distinct notes, the midrange was warm and present and the highs not strident.
Back to a pleasing sound - not as resolving as before when optimized with the system on the opposite wall.
One album Alan and I listened to was The Who's Quadrophenia side 4. (Dr JImmy/The Rock/Love Reign O'er Me). This is a first pressing UK Track record which is absolutely vibrant and engaging. On the short wall the highs were incredibly shrill and strident with the explosive cymbals overriding everything, tonally etched and completely dominating. The midrange was gone. The bass overpowering. Going back to the long wall with no tweaking and the large record cabinet offset on the left side removed (I did put some of the room absorption panels I am using there) - things were close to what I had before. Very encouraging.
Cds were better but not as well resolved as the vinyl.
thanks skywachr I understand your comments on arrangement of the speakers but do you put the chair in parallel to the diagonal - then determine the best seating by sliding along that diagonal access? Then drop the other speaker in at that similar distance on the front wall?
Mijostyn - the tweeter drivers are 4" apart - center to center of each tweeter. They also project very slightly towards each other to a central point creating a single wide dispersion high frequency. The response on my long wall setup was pinpoint details, tonality and presence and very distinct separation of instruments.
How many speakers has one seen with an array of tweeters separated by significant distances. Those tall tower things with 10+ drivers come to mind. Texton arrays with 12 hydra tweeter heads.
the Ulysses are a very natural sounding speaker, They are not bright in the high frequencies.
Mijostyn you mentioned
"You can absolutely correct the frequency response with room control in the vicinity of the listening position and you can be clever with position and acoustic treatments. This is a problem with all dynamic point source speakers in one way or another depending on the speaker's design and the room they are placed in. With basic acoustic treatments an room control (speaker control) you can fix almost anything."
Anything in particularly you suggest?
I do not want to touch any DSP compensation, I've looked into a lot of sound treatments. 1st reflection, ceiling, corner dispersion/absorption. Still proceeding. My long wall setup room treatments do not work in this setup. I have went from Real Traps to GIK which has more frequency and absorption/dispersion related specific products. I haven't found a speaker position since removing my record cabinet that has had tamed bass. It's in progress. Tape measures, lasers and ears oh my. Jim Smith's Get Better Sound has been helpful for grid speaker placement arrays. I am considering GIK soffit bass traps (floor to ceiling in the front corners) with range limiters which work predominantly in the 50-250 hz range. Most companies want to treat your room to the point of taking out the ambience.
I have a friend who was ready to throw his hands up and take down his whole system and worked in minutia for months to finally get it right. He has a short wall setup like what I am trying to accomplish. He will be working with me on the next steps.
I took a number of things out of the room so my guess is that may be a big factor with the atrocious short wall sound.
I encourage your insight.
I have updated my system listing to include the old long wall and new short wall layouts. I also added a pic of the opposite long wall speaker and rack position. This temporary setup sounds much better than the short wall position and is not as optimized as the original long wall location. Note the less than ideal wall (left corner) and rack positioning around the speakers in this test location.
No chance I suppose of angling the couch and putting the two speakers where Rack 2 and Record bookcase currently sit?
I feel your pain. When I moved from New Jersey where I had excellent sound to Arizona, my system sounded like it was broken. I've been working on it with position, adjustments, new cables, speaker went back to the manufacturer for checkup, electronics went back to the manufacturer for checkup, tried power conditioning (worse), rugs/no rugs, move furniture out and in.... and after 10 years of futzing around, I'm much closer, but still looking for the right stuff. Don't give up
I have only had this happen one other time.
I put two too many absorption treatments in my system and it suffocated things. A huge blanket over it all and a very shrill top end.
All the best in resolving your issues and thanks for the encouragement. Check out Jim Smith’s Get Better Sound book and video and in house Room Play services (not cheap). He also consults via email. His grid setup has been very useful to me in the past. That's why I am so stumped now - as I can't find something that converges without major trade offs.
The one assurance is that I can put things back to where they were and I just found out that a less than optimal long wall setup works.
I was looking to upgrade my speakers to the Apollo series and they would require a farther offset distance and utilize the length and width of the room more effectively.
thank you for your insight (also 3 posts into the thread). It was on my list to try but I wanted to see if speaker position and ideally placed treatments would work. This allows a wider and longer room.
The great thing is that this idea only costs one’s time and patience.
The easy solution to going diagonal without moving the main rack is to move rack 2 on the same wall to the left of the main rack on the front side of the room and bring the speakers more into the corner.
There is an open doorway behind the couch. The back wall would not be parallel and have a strong corner but having the couch far enough away from it the wall would help.
The first reflection treatments would be quite different and probably out in the room and need to be in front of equipment. These reflections could be less problematic as apposed to a 12' offset short wall. Placing panels on stand up footers in front of the first reflection add door each time I do a listening session could work.
It might make sense to move the racks to the opposite long wall and possibly add the other record cabinet back on the front wall.
I haven’t given up and I really appreciate everyone’s comments
this looks interesting
Bob Robbins of MySpeakerSetUp.com
use the long wall - effectively no boundaries
able to get imaging well beyond the speakers
this was dialed in at my house
off the wall and toe in - work speakers in tandem
set positioning to the sound in the room not the tape measure
rake - raise to the minimum amount where the musicians rise up and the sound opens up/ equal via laser
I did get much better sound that way - just didn't like dealing with only 14.5 room depth
will try a few more short wall experiments
haven't really utilized rake before.
Audiotomb so instead of acting as two voices above 2000 Hz they are acting as two voices above 3000 Hz. 20,000 Hz is about 1/2 inch. There in lies the problem with using multiple drivers for tweeter arrays. This is why tweeters like the Magnepan ribbon and any ESL produce better treble. All of the best dynamic speaker manufacturers like Magico, YG, Wilson and Sonus Faber use one high capacity tweeter. I can't but help believe they are doing this for a reason. One voice. Now these are very expensive speakers beyond the reach of most of us. In less expensive speakers you have to make compromises. Some work reasonable well others do not. But it is your system and you have to be happy with the sound. My speakers are in no way perfect but I can live with the compromises for the time being.
I would seriously consider setting up your system across a corner. I was forced into an asymmetrical setup in my basement listening room (20×30×10), and tried short and long wall setups. After seeing the genius Rodger Sanders' setup at AXPONA., I went cross corner. Simply amazing. No diffusion or absorption at first reflection points, as the reflections occur at an oblique angle. Bass tends to smooth out because the long and short wall modes average better. You might consider corner damping (next step for me) to eliminate any horn effects. Although I haven't noticed any issues.
I have measured the room in all the setups I've tried. The corner setup is BY FAR the best measuring yet. Try it, you might like it.
That was one of my next steps
(but I won't be moving any racks initially)
My room is narrower at 12' at the shortest end
14.5 in the middle and 27ft long
There would be a doorway right behind the couch
I'm guessing, but I think the closet you removed effectively functioned as a bass trap which mirrored the kitchen entrance on the other side of the room. Whether by design or not the combination worked. I don't know how you would now fix it.
Alternatively, just give the short wall more time to break-in.
I do have a partition or cabinet I can put in that area where the closet was. It did have a bass trap in the corner on the backside of the closet. I now have the treated but a more direct path to the doorway to the next room. With the closet and the front wall in place that width was only 9.5 ft wide. not ideal.
The sound is much more opened up now.
I don’t want to say this...
But is it possible that removing the closet eliminated a natural bass trap in the room that is now causing standing waves and making the mids and highs to go funky?
I did almost the exact opposite a year back: speakers were on the short wall, but the front room corners were 90 degree angles that were very close to the speakers, which were set as close together as possible. Had tons of boom, resulting in mid and high degradation. Treatments did little.
Against all “best practices,” I moved the system to the long wall where they were far from the corners, which - in this situation - has 45 degree angles to them, backed by concrete block, built in to the design of the house. I believe these natural traps were the reason for the “cure” I experienced. Which is to say - the best sound I’ve had in any room with mostly the same equipment. Ever...
Just a thought...
Just saw yours and Onhey61’s response. Sorry for the redundancy.
Friends came over and we swapped out his speakers and on the short wall they sounded excellent! We then placed the same speakers on the long wall and they sounded horrible. The exact opposite of my experience.
i have moved the equipment rack into that short wall area. With the speakers in the old position and nothing between them things are coming together nicely. Not there yet but stereo mage way off axis and I am hearing differences with minute speaker placement.
thanks for your comments