The space between the speakers

I would like to invest in a high end stereo system. Something like the Wilson Audio Sophias driven by Audio Research electronics. I need to share the space though with our home theater which means that there will be a cabinet that holds the 52 inch tv with a pop up lift in back and electronics in front between the speakers. The cabinet is 5.5 ft wide by 3 ft deep by 45 inchs tall. I can position the front of the speakers a little in front of the cabinet (6 to 12 inches). My question is: Is it likely that I will be able to get good enough sound out of the speakers in this situation to warrant the investment or is the cabinet a deal breaker?
No it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. I've had to do the same thing before and though its not ideal it can work just fine.

The imaging is compromised with such a setup. There really should be nothing between the speakers except the power amp (shortest cables to the speakers) on the floor.
Can you pull the speakers out into the room a bit when in use ?

Good luck .
There will always be compromises! In an all out setup, where you could ideally maneuver the speakers around in the room for best sound (from many different acoustical aspects), then you will likely improve things. (of course, you might get lucky, "as-is"). Still, you will enjoy the system (granted you can balance the sound (I suggest with such a purchase of such price speakers, that you invest in a Rives PARC, to balance out the bass), sure.
Just because your setup may or may not be ideal, doesn't mean that I would necessarily throw the idea out.
It's all good ...some's just better than others. That's all.
However, I like to put smaller speakers in smaller rooms, as I think it makes a better balance.
Good luck
I agree with stringreen. As little as possible between the speakers is the optimal way to do things. Yes, people put big ole honking entertainment centers and big screen tvs there because they have no choice. And yes it will sound pretty good. But just realize you aren't getting all the system has to offer when it's set up like that.


I would think it would be more the soundstaging than imaging that would be compromised. I myself have a similar size cabinet between my two speakers and have pulled my speakers out to where the fronts are approximately 12" in front of the cabinet. Imaging is quite good from side to side and extends beyond the sides of the speakers. Soundstaging is not bad either, as I get good height but I will say the "stage" itself is not as deep (front to back) as I would like it to be. Of course, if the cabinet wasn't in the way, I would get another three foot of "stage" depth. As it is, the stage seems to extend from the front of cabinet to about five or six foot out into my living from. Of course, my system is set up in a "real world" enviroment, as are most peoples, and I've had to accept some necessary compromises because of that. Nevertheless, I'm satified sonically with what I was able to achieve
With most speakers, the distance from the wall behind will make more of a difference, especially in tonal balance. The cabinet's impact is usually reduction in image specificity and soundstaging. It depends on what matters to you. Good room acoustic treatment will help somewhat to counter the problem.
Check out, and's acousticsforum to educate yourself on the topic. corner bass traps and absorptive panels at 1st reflection points will help greatly in most situations. Cheers,
All great comments above. Compromises are a fact of life.

If you can get the speakers at least 12 inches forward and a couple of feet between the edge of the TV and the side of the speaker then it will be negligible and if you throw a thick blanket over the TV likely close to inaudible.

Alternatively you can build speakers into a custom wall so everything is as flush as practically possible - like this. Worth it IMHO if you are serious about "high-end" and want the most out of it. (However this will give you more bass response - extremely useful because reasonable bass SPL is ultra-expensive to generate with less than 1% audiophile distortion levels - but will give you stronger room modal issues and may require EQ on the speaker and some rear wall behind listener treatments)

If you are unwilling to position the speakers a small distance away from the TV (at least two feet) or build a custom in-wall setup (talk to Rives or others) then I think your proposed investment in "high-end" will be disproportionate to your needs. However, this is no different to most audiophiles ...many people enjoy owning a SOTA sports car with no place to drive it at 180 MPH, likewise many have amazing systems with speakers stuffed into a cluttered corner in an inappropriate room. The pride of ownership rather than than ride is a often the biggest part of a hobby.
A friend with this set up uses a echobusters panel hung horizontally from the corner of the TV when listening to two channel. Reflections are greatly attentuated.
Here is a good example of what to do: Eric's System In this case the speakers are slightly in front of the edges of the screen - this means there is no edge diffraction from a sharp edge, as the TV vertical edges are in the acoustic shadow of the speaker.
Essentially, all the comments above are accurate. Ideally you want nothing between the speakers but real life means most of us don't have room for a dedicated audio shrine. As suggested above, if at all possible, ensure that the speakers are at least several inches in front of the TV; this should minimize most issues if you use a blanket over the TV. Essentially, with a setup like that the only thing that you will be compromising on is depth of the center of the soundstage (it will still be deep but it won't be as deep as it will be to the sides).

I think your setup overall will be fine although you may have to treat the room but that is often the case for any setup.
I have the exact same setup as you have and I have achieved a great sound. Go for it and work with it...too often we expect to plop great gear in a room (any room) and get great results. With care and system matching you should be able to achieve more than satisfying sound.
don't waste your money if this is what your setup must be....I'd go monitor speakers on stands with a dedicated sub....but still you have to get the driver faces beyond that large cabinet as much as possible.
Larryken, a wood cabinet between speakers is far better than hard reflective glass french doors behind speakers perhaps? As long as the speakers are in front of the cabinet at least a foot and well spaced apart, the problems will be minimal. Irregular surfaces and soft sound absorptive materials will help as well...plants, furniture, artwork can all be part of the plan and break up reflection points and standing waves.
it will help if you make sure the front of your speakers are in front of your tv cabinet
Thanks for all the good advice and comments. You have confinced me to give it a go. The TV is on a lift so it is stowed in the cabinet when not in use. I will read up on sound treatment at as suggested and figure out a way to make the best of what I have to work with. I just didn't want to invest a lot of money and then be very disappointed with the results. I look forward to getting into the hi end stuff and having experiences to share. thanks again for your help.
I may have to negotiate how far out I can go with my wife but I think I should be able to get them out about a foot. (we all not only have to live with sometimes less than ideal rooms but also have to live in a world where design of the space often includes other opinions and preferences:)

Thanks for the advice