What could be instead of side walls?

i've got a living room where the walls are not facing each other equally. there is no place where it's possible to find equally placed side walls. the system is standing right now in the middle and speakers only moved off the rear wall but placed in very large distance from the side walls.
should i use some immitation of side walls arround the system or it's even better not to have any side walls arround?
currently i experience that the stage is out of focus and floating chaotically during reproduction.
My understanding is the non-parallel walls helps with eliminating standing waves, which is a good thing.
You didn't give enough other info though to completely address your problem.
Have you tried listening to them in a "nearfield" configuration?
Good luck!
Ensure that speaker cables are connected in-phase. + to + and - to -.

I accidently connected incorrectly and my soundstage was all over the ceiling and inside my right ear.

And to top it off, I was playing Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon!!
If I understand you correct, it's not a parrallel issue, but rather one where the walls or different distance from the speakers. You are probably getting an imbalance that is frequency dependent from one wall to the other. This is a difficult situation to rectify and requires that you measure the response of each speaker independently at the listening position and then closer to the adjacent wall. This difference shows the wall effect to a degree. What you will typically notice is a band range that is accentuated. I would guess that the bands on either side are different. As music changes emphasis on different frequency ranges the music sounds like it's dancing around the room. Now how to correct the problem can be very difficult indeed--situations like this are one of the reasons we offer consulting services. But in general you need to attenuate the accentuated bands on either side of the room to get a good balance back. The really difficult part is determining how much attenuation and what material is the most effective for that band width. The most effective solution is likely a combination of absorption and diffusion, but it's hard to say without room layouts and actual measurements.
Although it's hard for me to understand your situation from your description without some clarification, I'm not sure I read it the same way as Rives. It reads to me as if both your speakers are actually quite far away, in your estimation, from both of the side walls. I'm getting that if you moved each speaker closer to the sides, they would become too far apart from each other in the middle, and if you moved the whole system closer toward one corner, you would have an asymmetrical left/right proximity imbalance regarding the side walls. You seem to ask if this is a good thing, or whether you should introduce closer side boundaries somehow. There also seems to be some possibility as to whether maybe your side walls are of unequal lengths or heights, or maybe aren't parallel.

In general, with the vast majority of typical direct-radiating box-type speakers, having a large distance from the speakers to the side walls would be a desirable set-up situation (as would equal distancing from the sides). If the distances are large (over 5-6 feet), then I doubt any asymmetricality would cause any problems (and non-parallel could actually help). If that describes your layout, then I would focus first on speaker separation and aiming, listening chair positioning, and any possibly interfering room furnishings between the speakers and the chair. Also, the floor should not be a bare acoustically reflective surface in front of the speakers, but covered with a rug or carpet, if it is not already. Your description does seem to indicate that your speakers are not too close to the front wall.

You should let us know what model the speakers are in this case, the size and shape of the room, what the treatments and furnishings near the speakers are, exactly how the speakers are positioned and aimed, relative to the room, the listener, and each other, and also the listener position relative to both the room and any large furnishings. Specific measurements and dimensions would be nice. Also, a more detailed description of the symptoms you are hearing would be helpful to us.
Thanks everyone.
I believe that it's everything almost to the point.
My speakers havn't changed and my system is available to look up through the link.
The listening distance is very short which is 5' maximum.
The speakers are placed 9...10' apart from each other.
The side walls are 11' away from left speaker and 10' away from the right speaker. There is a computer work-station attached to the right side wall and made of wood-composit. The distance between the work-station table and the right speaker is approximately 4' The floor is hardwood and it's flexible like a mud.
All else equal, I'd move the speakers closer together so they are only about 5-6' apart if your listening position is only 5' from the speaker plane. It's good to start from an equalateral triangle and then tweak from there. Also start with the speakers tilted towards you. Again, experiment from that initial position.

As a next step, you may want to check the overall reverb characteristics. How far is the listening position from the rear wall? How far are the speakers from the front wall? Depending on that, you might be able to do some relatively inexpensive experimentation with side panels (reflecting vs. diffusing or absorbing) to see if that tightens things up a bit. A lumber yard (plywood sheets) and a couple of friends could do a lot here for purposes of seeing if that helps without spending much money. Lots of ways to go, but I'd move the speakers closer together first. Good luck. Let us know your progress.
Can't agree with Oz's suggestion about introducing side panels, but he's absolutely right about your speaker separation. A chaotic, out-of-focus stage as you described would definitely result from listening at only 5' away while having a separation of twice that much. Try to move your listening position at least a couple of feet farther away if you can without positioning your head closer than two feet from the rear wall, but in either case, do what Oz says and try moving the speakers so they form an approximate equalateral triangle with the listener, then tweak the separation from there. You also don't tell us about the speaker aiming, but straight-ahead firing will create a more diffuse soundstage, while toeing them in to point more at your ears will increase focus. In addition, in a floor covering of some kind is very desirable to use on top of your wooden floor to provide some acoustic absorption, and should be placed underneath the speakers as well to break up the energy transfer from the cabinets to the springy floor (do not use speaker spikes in this situation, but mass-loading the cabinet bottoms with sandbags, if applicable, could help). If you can't get a rug to go beneath the speakers as well as in front of them, then maybe try out Vibrapods underneath, but as it is now, your floor is probably storing and releasing delayed energy, both acoustically, and vibrationally back into the speaker cabinets. The heavier weight of rug you get, the more it will help this. Good luck, and let us know what you do and what happens.
thanks for a great conversation,
as you might know that totem forest speakers have ball bearings. despite that i still use the vibrapods under these ball bearings.
my speakers are directed towards the focus about 6 degrees from normal.
to place them closer to each other i face different problem where i have a 2ch home theater with modest 27" Sony Wega TV. manufacturers say that these speakers are shielded but moving them too close to the TV screen does create screen distortions.
Zaikesman, I was stretching a bit on that second point. Depending on the back wall and front wall distances, the side panels might make a positive difference (would have to work out all the ratios), but I'm with you and would do that as a last resort. Marakanetz, move the speakers as close together as you can w/o messing up your TV -- every little bit helps. By the way, I'm assuming you don't have the TV or anything else in between the speakers -- that would, as I'm sure you know, also mess up the soundstage. Good luck.
Good points made here. Of less importance, but I would also add that vibrapods are not a stable mounting base for speakers and will allow them to wobble and vibrate more.
My speakers seemed to get better once a fixed a short spike and the speaker sat firmly on all 4 spikes.
Mapleshade Records recommends 2" diameter brass cones to transmit vibration out of the speaker. You could use granite, etc. blocks for the brass cones to sit on.
You are perfectly correct as far as that goes, Cdc - and that's just the problem, when it comes to springy suspended wooden floors. Many speaker manufactures will specify in their owner's manuals that the spikes should be omitted in cases like this. Rigid coupling of the speaker to a non-resonant substrate, such as a poured concrete foundation underlying a carpeted first-level floor, is of course the ideal situation. But when it comes to a flexible, resonant floor like the one Marakanetz seems to be cursed with, attempting to break the mechanical coupling is about all one can try to do, as it will sound better this way even if it means the speakers are then not quite as rigidly positionally fixed in space while the music plays (which they wouldn't entirely be anyway, if the floor they were fixed to was flexing along). You do not want this type of floor acting like the soundboard of an acoustic stringed instrument, with the speaker's drivers as the strings, and the cabinet spikes as the bridge. You've got to attempt to "float" the speaker in this case, at least with near-full range floorstanders . (In my old apartment [and it was literally old], I used to fantasize about rigging up some kind of hanging cable harness to suspend my floorstanding speakers from the ceiling! Lucky me, now that I have the system set up in my new digs on a foundational substrate - when I finally decide on my speakers' ultimate positioning, I'll even be able to actually use my spikes!)
Cdc's, Rive's & Zaike's points are well taken. I faced a similar situation at a friend's house, trying to place Avanti 3's. Our fortunate difference was the floor, where the wood lay directly on concrete. I.e. we had no real suspension, but instability, as the floor wasn't level -- let alone the side walls that are outward looking to the listening position.
To make a very long story short, we came up with a compromise:
1) Speaker support: factory supplied bronze (I think) spikes for speakers on THIN granite, granite on 4 Nordost Pulsar points, Pulsars directly on wooden floor (it was hell getting these level!). BTW, Jadem has been experimenting with equip support for years now, and knows his stuff. Can you alert him?
2) Placement: far apart (!) and toe-in at around 75 degrees. Alternatively, we tried them parallel and closer (@6 ft) -- but that meant going back further for an image, into the corridor (no cigar).
This ain't perfect, but it's reasonably acceptable in a grand orchestra with voices (Mahler 8 -- around 900 people orchestrating).
Don't know if this helps.
Question: can we all come up with an idea for placing Mara's speakers in free space? Then, some of us can suggest the right speaker support. Cheers!
i have a sin to place a tv between the speakers but that's where i have my whole point viewing ld-music video collection that i have. also viewing vcd and dvd music videos as well. so tv should stay between.
the equipment stand is also standing next to tv between the speakers. so the only thing i can arrange right now is to remove the equipment stand from the inner space and run longer ics to amps thus "clearing" the objects standing between the speakers.
did anyone try to get a granite slabs from the monument shop?:^)
Before I finished my Basement( which included a dedicated audio room) I was using the Argent Room Lens.
Placing one on each side of the speaker and one in the middle.
It created sort of a boundry that allowed me to tolerate the sound.
I place my speakers along the long axis of the room by preference. My speakers are very far from the side walls and have terrific focus and imaging.

In some of the better articles on speaker placement they suggest that you should separate your speakers as far apart as possible to get the largest soundstage, HOWEVER, when the image begins to break up you have gone too far. Since you can't get further away from your speakers (i.e. a distance equal to the speaker separation), this might suggest that the speakers should be moved closer together.
sorry for misleading.
recently i've updated my measurements and it figures that the listening distance is between 9 and 10 feet depending on how i want to sit in my couch.
the distance between the speakers is also 9...10 feet.
all i did so far, i moved them closer so the speaker drivers is closer than tv and not on the same level with tv and the audio stand and move them a-bit closer so the listening distance is now between 8...9 feet with the same distance between the speakers.
the stage is stabilizing but on several recordings is still chaotic.

If you would like to have an idea about what the situation is without the TV in between or for serious 2 ch listening, you just can place a blanket over the TV and its furniture (if any) and compare. The only this requires is to leave the bed neat and tidy again..... or if you prefer do it late at night and keep it secret!!!
Marakanetz .. I'd try sitting a little closer to the speakers, and moving them a little closer together. I have a very small listening room, and as a result I sit only 5 feet from the plane of the speakers (roughly 6feet from the cones). The speakers are placed about 6 feet apart. The room is 10X12 with the speakers about 3 feet from the rear (short) wall and with about 2.5 feet on each side of the speakers. The imaging is wonderful, and the two drivers seem to blend just fine, even at my marginal listening distance.
My speakers are heavily toed in, facing me as I sit. I have done this to minimize side wall reflections, which I believe are the source of all imaging problems.