No a rack in between speakers will not be a problem.
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I find that the room position effects are much more important than the cable effects. As for which position is best, I prefer to sit facing a short wall, with the speakers well out from that wall. So, my advice is keep your system as it is. Whatever improvement you will get from shorter ICs will be outweighed by the harm from the new speaker position. Some damping at the points of first reflection on the side walls, and floor and ceiling, can help too.
I have a similar setup; my room is 21 feet by 13 feet and I have the speakers on the short wall about 6 feet out into the room. I also run long interconnects from the preamp, which sits near my listening chair, to the power amp, which sits in between the speakers. This has been working quite well for me.
My room is the same size. Ceiling slopes slightly from one and to the other (8' to 10').
Using 25' single ended IC's is fine (and actually the preferred way to do it IMO), but they should be a good shotgun design like MIT, Straightwire, etc. And always, always point all IC arrows to the preamp, not in the direction of current flow. Lift all grounds on your AC plugs except the preamp, and you shouldn't have any moise problems at all.
As for room setup, you're doing what most folks do (getting back as far as possible from the speakers) but which you shouldn't/can't in a room that narrow. You didn't say what kind of speakers you have, but pull them at least 4 ft off the rear wall and +/_ 3 ft from the side wall with almost no toe-in (yes, I know -- they'll be close together.) Then place your listening chair (your ears actually) about 8 - 10 feet from the speakers.
This is called "nearfield listening" and is the only setup possible in a room like ours, if you expect to get a life-like soundstage.
If I had a room like FJN04's, you could not machine gun the smile off of my face. My tiny dedicated listening room is 10x14 (with a 10 foot high cathedral ceiling). My room blows. Speakers go on the long wall, about 6.5 to 7 feet apart. They are pulled out from the rear wall about 2 feet. This puts my ears just a few inches shy of 8 feet from the fronts of my drivers....and that is with my back against the wall. Short of mini-monitors easily doing their thing in there, it has been a long road getting a variety of somewhat larger speakers to sound good in such a small room. Giving the speakers 3 to 4 feet on either side has always yielded better results...for me.
I have tried putting speakers on the short wall, but without exception, I find that speakers need more breathing room on the sidewalls than they do from the rear wall. Sure, sitting further away gives more time for the drivers to more wholly integrate (nearfield listening tends to slightly accentuate the higher frequencies, depending on the speaker's design) but flubby bass echo/boom from close sidewalls is the worst thing that can ever happen to your hi-fi experience.
I would take sidewall breathing room (and nearfield listening) any day of the week over the bass boom that has plagued my setup whenever speakers were placed on the 10 foot shortwall.
FJN04, what exactly is stopping you from at least experimenting with a new layout? Instead of moving every last front-end component and the big Hoodoo, why dont you just throw your linestage down there between your monoblocks (with a shorter interconnect), hook up a CD player to it (also on the floor), and see what happens. I gurantee that with the Hoodoo and a turntable on top of it, you will hear a diminished soundstage between the speakers, so dont go to all the trouble of moving those things just yet. Start by simply moving the pre-amp and the CD player over there first. At the very least, you'll get to hear what a front end component sounds like without a 25 foot long interconnect running between the amps and pre-amp, and you'll also get to hear your speakers from a completely different perspective.
Hopefully, you'll hear no difference, and just keep your present setup. As described, it sounds very convenient.
My room is slightly shorter than yours, 20' but the exact same width. I have a flat 8.5ft ceiling. My equipment is set-up in the manner you're considering. I keep my equipment on two low racks between the speakers. But for the distance from the side walls and rear walls mentioned by Nsgarch, I agree with everything else he said about speaker placement, seating position and long narrow rooms. On the distance from the side and rear walls I think you need to experiment. It depends on your room and speakers. I have my speakers about two feet from the side walls (measured to the center of the drivers) and 39" off the back wall (measured to the front of the drivers) with very little toe-in. My seating position is 9' from the front of the speakers. All very close to what Nsgarch suggests. I have found this room set up gives the best soundstage and frequency response. I also agree with Nsgarch that the way you have your room set up now is probably the best. If you were running balanced IC's for that length into balanced equipment, I'm not sure you would lose more than you would gain from the change you are considering. Depending on how much noise if any your 25' RCA IC is picking up or if your preamp is having trouble driving that length of cable, it might be worth at least trying it. As I said, that is where my equipment is and I have very good results. But if my room would permit it, I would be inclined to set it up like yours is now, but my system is fully balanced so the long cable run is not a problem.
I agree with Nsgarch. He described my setup pretty closely, and my room dimensions are similar to yours. I've tried many other arangements but this one results in the best imaging and soundstage (deep, wide, precise). I have my rack on the long wall and run 3M IC's to the monoblocks (3M is a little of a stretch - 4M would probably be better if I was inclined to get new ones) which sit near the speakers. This allows short speaker cables (4-6ft).
I've found this arangement to be pretty much optimal with all of the speaker's I've tried - including Totems, GMA Europas, Von Schweikerts, and others. Some like to be closer together than others, but their all 4-5 ft out from the wall.
I have a very similar room size to you and I've been back and forth on long wall/short wall placement for years. After all the experimentation I've determined short wall placement is best. There are two problems I have with long wall placement, the first is that I'm too close to speakers for the drivers to properly integrate. Second, there is way too much energy going into the long wall opposite the speakers, these reflections destroy the sound. Treating this wall with absorption drains the life out of the music. On the other hand, long wall placement gives a wonderfully wide soundstage.
I, like Cuwill keep my equipment low to the ground on two equipment racks in order to not negatively affect soundstage, this also enables keeping cables short.
I also manage to keep the widest possible soundstage by placing my speakers even closer to side walls (about 18" to center of drivers) and pointed straight ahead. This is closer than most suggest, but in my case dipole speakers (very little sound energy to sides) and mucho room treatments make this work very nicely.
I will never mess with long wall placement again, nothing beats firing those speakers down that long open space, natural diffusion is key!
I would just add to what Sns said. Theoretically, long wall placement is desireable for soundsatge creation because with the speakers still reasonably close together (not over 8 ft c to c) you eliminate those nasty image-killing second arrival reflections off the side walls.
However there is a minimum room size for this to be practical, when you take into account the fact that you need some space behind the speakers (the most for dipoles) and you don't generally want your chair or couch hard up against the wall behind. After a lot of analysis and experiment, I think this minumum size is 16 x 24 (or larger.)
The world seems to be full of 12x 14, 18, and 24 foot rooms, and it's that limiting shorter dimension that ultimately forces a lengthwise arrangement with a nearfield listening position.
Thanks for all of your inputs. I have the Vandersteen 5a exactly 1/3 out from the back wall (93") and that is measured to the center of the speaker cabinet. I have them 31" (center driver) out from the side wall, and the back of the speaker sits one 1" closer to side wall which is the amount of my toe in. I have an 8 foot flat ceiling. I then sit 9 feet away from the Vandys with my rix rax on my right and an 8 foot opening to my non- dedicated dining room on my left. In back of my relax the back listening chair(just buy one) is an Ikea record cubby hole rack not quite full enough with vinyl. I just moved my AA capitole mk.2 in between my amps and used my 1 meter Kubala emotion IC run direct to my amps . My early impression is positive, next step is to run that same AA Capt. direct going through my long emotion cable and listen for any degradation... I unanimously have preferred using my linestage over my cd player direct, so it would be better to seek out another KS emotion or comparable quality IC so I may move the linestage down between my amps as well. If I did not also have a phono setup , I would consider the 2 small rack option, but I am spoiled by the Turntable 40" high and so close to my listening position.
Fjn04, it sounds like you're getting there pretty fast! One thing I would recommend after reading your room description is:
To symmetricalize (is that a word?) the acoustics of your room by creating an absorbtive area on the right wall pretty much equal in size and exactly opposite the opening to your dining room on the left. There are so many ways to do it, I'll leave that up to you.
I have a room which is 8.7 feet wide (yes, it's NARROW), 16.9 feet long, and 9.8 feet high.
I wonder if I would get any benefits from moving my stereo/theater equipment to this room. It's really narrow. I have goldenear triton two cinema setup in the living room which is rather open and full of concrete on all walls (no drapes or carpets), it's also causing one speaker to be in a corner while the second is wide open on all sides. The wall behind the listener is also half way, opening to a dining room. Pretty bad setup I guess.
On the other hand, the second room is quite narrow. I wonder if the cardas Golden setup would make sense in such a narrow room. I worry about losing the sound stage. The triton twos are also quite large, and are probably meant for bigger rooms than that. I am using an ONkyo 818 + Rega RP3 + emotiva XSP-1+XPA-3 to power the thing.
Your thoughts are welcomed.