Weird Speaker Placement Configurations

My latest listening room has presented me with many challenges, because it is not only a listening room, but also a "music room", study and spare living room.

So fitting everything, including a piano, a big desk and two sofas, working around a glass pocket door and fireplace, while accomodating Magneplanar Tympanis has been no small feat.

In the end, my solution has me sitting with my back in the corner of the room behind the desk most of the time.

This has me wondering: could it be possible to successfully fire speakers diagonally across a room?

Obviously there has been lots of discussion of short vs long walls, distance from walls etc. but is it possible to create the classic triangle where the speakers vary in their distances from their respective boundaries in the room?

Or would this create obvious problems?

Of course I can also experiment, but experimentation can be a full day's work with Tympanis.

Has anyone stumbled into success with an unusual or unexpected placement of their speakers?

Thank you,
You could try some of the computer programs that are now available; the main thing to remember is that bipolar radiators HAVE to be away from the wall. They also have a completely different and more complex radiation pattern than cone drivers. An extreme solution would be to use something to absorb the backwave to allow the speakers to be placed close to the wall, some electrostatic speakers have done this in the past and the new JanZen is doing something like this. Good luck. Stan
I have 2 rooms set up with a diagonal placement and it's worked out fantastic. If you check my system page you can see one of my rooms with speakers set on about a 20% plane to the back wall. I recently set up a small room system (in my son's former bedroom) with the speakers firing diagonally across the 12x12 room with my chair in near-field position approx 6 ft from the speakers.

I like the results of both setups and tried many, many more "standard" configurations before settling on these.
This might help:

I've tried a couple of diagonal set-ups with both Spendor and Audiokinesis speakers. In most cases, you can get really good sound from this type of set-up.
A diagram of your room would help the Audiogon members who would like to help. Or at least room specs. How big is the piano?, etc.
My office setup isn't the best for listening... nor are it's dimensions... 9 x 12.

My desk is in one corner. One long wall is dedicated to gear resting on two racks. A closet and entry door are either side of the desk with racks of DVDs and visual aids and file cabinent to either side.

so my 'free standing' ear phones sit on opposing corners. Now and then I'll roll right a bit and lean back into the sweet spot... which is why I am seriously considering powered two ways to mount onto the walls to each side of the corner desk.

All my speakers though, are cones. Good luck with that.
Very exciting news and thank you everyone.

I am overdue to update the photos on my system link. I will try to do this which might be an easier first step than describing the complexity of the room and everything in it.


This thread also came to mind given the idea that a sloped (or irregular (?)) ceiling seemed to contribute to a good room.

So I suddenly wondered why I was so obsessed with perfect symmetry for all of my previous speaker installations.

Thanks again.
Indeed the type of speaker positioning configuration your are proposing is, in almost all circumstances, more desirable and will achieve superior results to a symmetrical set-up. I am happy to see that there are some fellow 'goner's here who are familiar with this concept as you will rarely see this type of positioning,not just in peoples homes where it is understandable, considering the aesthetic concerns this type of speaker placement brings to a room, but even in high-end dealer showrooms where these types of considerations should have less bearing. In fact any type of pure symmetrical set-up placement where the speakers are equidistant from all room boundries will almost surely produce acoustical problems such as standing waves. There is an excellent Canadian high-end publication titled UHF that has touted this type of placement scheme with loudspeakers for years. So if you have an accommodating spouse or live on your own I urge all audiophiles to experiment with this type of placement configuration where the loudspeakers form a triangle with the corner of your listening room, I think you will be surprised by the improvement, in the overall performance of your audio system, that can be obtained by this method if performed properly.
I am forced into a diagonal placement and am pleased with the result. For a while I fretted over all the talk of reflections, standing waves etc but as I became more educated on the topic realized I had none of these issues - or at least they were minor. My only issue is a lack of a very wide and deep soundstage, which may be caused in part by an armoir in the middle of the corner diagonal against the wall (TV & components are within the armoir). Jim Smith's book talks a little about this placement in a positive manner. I found that using his grid system with a centerline helped with bass response.
I too have my setup on the diagonal . It is exactly on a diagonal in relation to the corners , the speakers and listening chair . I also have the same problem as Mcondo ie. all of my soundstage is between and behind the speakers and at the same height . But no anomolies as to sound quality !

This is in a square room where I have tried three different amps , two different pairs of speakers and two different CDP's all giving the same results . I assume that it is the setup and not the equipment . I have tried a futon cushion and then a piece of plywood in the corner behind the speakers and could not discern any changes .
I have noticed that Bdgregory's diagonal setup is off axis . That is , to one side of the corner . I wonder if that might make a difference with the soundstage ?

Any comments ?
Saki70; Yes having the placement off axis even when oriented diagonally in the listening room is just as important as with a more traditional placement. Even with the diagonal set up asymmetrical placement of the loudspeakers is still undesirable for all of the same reasons.
Rcrerar ;
So if you move the speakers off to one side do you then move your listening position to compliment it ?
In other words , if you shift the speakers to the right of diagonaly true would you then move your listeing position to the left an equal amount so as to stay directly in front of the speakers or square to them ?

And this will improve the soundstage ?

Thank you .
I hope I am not confusing any previous questions...but to the advocates of "diagonal" placement:

I assume the usual triangle still applies? Where the speakers still fire on axis to a listening "sweet spot"? And each speaker is still equidistant to the listener?

But diagonal placement would create UNequal distances behind and in front of the speakers as well as to their sides and thus, first reflection points?
Yes in most cases you will get unequal distances. This is pointed out in the Decware white paper. The only scenario I can think of where this might not happen is in a square room.

However, the white paper also shows you the effects of the reflections in such a set-up and how they are more beneficial than some standard symmetrical set-ups. You may also want to refer to the Decware laser/mirror test that allows you to identify you own reflection points in a diagonal set-up so you can optimize placement.