Vandersteen 5A room placment options

I have had my 5A's in my 23 X 12 dedicated bowling alley for nearly three years now. I have settled down with the VAC Phi 300.1 stereo amp, which is IMO and in my room, the best I have heard them. OK! I have been shifting my rack around and reconfiguring things, so my rack w/ Turntable
has it's new home against the back wall rear of the left speaker. The rack will not be between speakers, as you can only see a foot or so of the RIX RAX's wide top shelf peaking out to the inside of the left speaker. The speakers are 93" out, or 1/3, of the 279" length of the room. Is it a bit far fetched to think I could move the speakers to the long wall, which I have never tried. I can't really conceive this working with the front plane of the speaker 3 feet out, and only having 8.5 or 9 feet remaining. Especially with the 5A's time aligned design, I can't see them working on the long wall, in a near field setup.
You might be right about the near field experience with Vandys. Stick with what worked in the past.

If it isn't broken - do not fix it.

Mrjstark, That's my thought exactly. I think I may be just looking for feedback, so I can put the idea to rest. Nice looking room, looks as if you are getting the most out of it. What are the dimensions, and what type of room treatments are you using. It is't broken for sure, so nothing to fix. Just trying to get the most out of my system. I do remember two previous speakers with smaller footprints that seemed to open up a bit more in my room. Hey, perhaps the Quattro would have been a better choice in a 12 + foot wide room. Thanks.
The room is in the "L" shape.
The Quatros are in the smaller "cove" which is a bit more then just 9' wide. It opens up to the rest of the room , which is 15' wide. The length of the room is about 19'.
Not the easiest room to work with but I am not complaining.

Room treatments are the combination of diffusers , absorbers and bass traps. (picture panels, Echo Basters bass phase4 traps X 2, Skyline diffusers X 4, and last but not least the cork wall tiles (natural finish - not a gloss finish. Important) on front sub-wall and back wall (100%).

* not all are visible. This is the room from few months back. I must update the system gallery. To lazy I guess.:)

I hope it helps


I have just finished building a dedicated room which is somewhat similar to yours and have spent the last couple of weeks measuring room acoustics and experimenting with locations for my Vandy 5As. I chose to configure the room to the Fibonacci ratios (8H, 13W, 21L) since my research convinced me they are a very good approach to minimizing room modes. Assuming your ceiling is around 8H, you are within a foot or so of these ratios as well.

I found the best speaker location for both imaging and bass response to 5ft from the listener front wall and 3 ft from the side walls. Incidently, it turns out this also completes the Fibonacci ratio of 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. I have the listening chair 38% of the distance out from the listener rear wall. This puts the speakers 7 ft apart and about 9 ft from the listening chair. I have the speakers towed in to aim at the center of the listener rear wall. The good news is it has worked for me with great imaging and acoustic measures showing a very smooth bass response of +/- 5 db from 30hz to 200 hz.

If you feel like experimenting, and you don't have other room limitations not yet revealed, you might consider trying this approach. I would suggest you try 2.5 ft off the side walls as well to give as much separation between the speakers as possible (I have found the 5As seem to work best at around 8 ft in general, but couldn't quite get there in this current room. I also tried the 1/3rd, 1/5th and 1/7th placement method recommended by Richard V., but found the locations above to be noticably better for my room. Getting the speakers closer to the front wall also gave me more space behind my chair for media storage, a record cleaner, and some cabinets.
Thanks for all the helpful info. I did a bit of measuring, and these are the #'s. Room: L: 23'4" W: 12'4" H: 8 feet standard.
Speakers 36" or 3.0 feet from side walls (center driver). Speakers are spread apart 76" or 6' 4". Closer than I would like, but I found them to sound more open further from the sidewalls. However, I have never toed them in very much. Essentially, there is only a 2" difference from the front outer cabinet and the rear outer cabinet to the side wall . Obviously, the back of the cabinet is closer. I have them 95" or 34% out in to the room. I am seated a bit over 11 feet from the front plane, leaving just over 3 feet in back of my ears to the wall behind me. I have my records... in back of me, but on the long wall. Maybe I will play with a bit more toe in, or move a bit closer to the speakers. Zargon, just curious where your gear is situated.
The amp, pre and CD are centered, halfway between the speakers and the listener front wall. The phono pre and TT are to my right mid long wall. Media is on shelves across the rear wall.
I am also using some toe in - 3" from front to back of the speaker, which also aims the speakers at the center of the back wall. I am not a fan of toe in for the 5A, however, in a relatively narrow room, it helps reduce the first reflections. I am using diffusion on first reflections, but also interested in experimenting with diffusion.
Sorry, I meant:

"I am using absorption on first reflections, but am interested in experimenting with diffusion."
Just skimmed the preceding, and didn't see one mention of "ear height".

The 5A's are terribly sensitive to ear height and it is of equal importance to equidistance of each ear from the speakers.

The exact height is unknown to me, but Richard could tell you. In a mechancially stagered phase coherant system, an inch too high or low can make some difference

According to the user manual, the acoustic center of the 3 - 5A drivers is 36" high, and there is a table which specifies how much to tilt the speaker for other distances. For example,, the nominal condition is if you are seated 8ft from the speaker, your ear should be at 36" as well. It also says there is a 6" range of acceptable listening height.

I have found that in addition to proper listening height, you must ensure each speaker is dead vertical right to left and has the same tilt front to back. If not, the image is not as precise, and this is not emphasized in the user manual. I can detect this by moving my head forward and backward a few inches. If the image changes noticably, it may be due to this misalignment (other factors might be comb filtering or a non-symetrical room).

So, my experience is that the 5A image is more sensitive to the speakers being vertical and having equal tilt than having the ear exactly in line with the acoustic center. I use a level to ensure vertical and a laser to ensure tilt. Just set the laser on the speaker casting and mark the spot on the rear wall. Then, set the laser on the other speaker casting and match that same spot height.