Your hunchs are spot on. Get your speakers away from walls, try to keep area between and behind speakers clear, ie. low equipment racks, no big screen tvs. Treat first reflection points on side walls with absorption, I use diffusion at first reflection point on ceiling. Your equipment should do depth.
XLO/Reference Recordings Test Disc has some good tracks for image analysis, some of the Stereophile Test Discs also have tracks for this.
I hoped to see some pictures of your room set up - with your stuff you certainly have the foundation for some decent imaging. Some questions 1) How far are your speakers from the wall behind them - too close to the wall is a major killer of quality depth of image. 2)How close are the speakers to the side walls. Too close and the reflections off the wall will mingle with direct sounds a muddy up the imaging and occasionally emphasize highs. 3) Are the speakers set up in a (close to) equlateral triangle? What is the distance betwwen speakers. What is the distance from speaker to listening seat. Too far away and you will loose a lot of depth of image. 4) How much toe in? Finding the best toe in will optimize radiation pattern inherrent with the tweeter output you hear on or off axis and side wall reflections as well. 5) Rugs on floors? 6)Reflective wall surfaces on back wall, and/or side wall and wall behind speakers? 7)Shape and heigth of ceiling?
Suggestions in the 'dark' would be to begin set up with the speakers on the short wall about 4 to 5 ft out into the room, spread the same distance apart as they are your your listening chair at the apex of the triangle. Many programs will recommend a starting point for your speakers of about 1/3 of the length of the room from the wall behind them and your listening chair about the same distance from the wall behind it. BUT this applies to rooms with a regular shoe box configuration. If 1/3d doesn't work, another good starting point is with try 25%. Also try toeing in the speakers until the axis of each speaker crosses behind your head. Make sure that walls have randomly placed absorbent and/or diffusive materiels to break up any reflective patterns which can detract from the speakers direct signal. That will get you started.............
Regarding a recording to use in set up, one of the most useful in my experience is put out now by Opus 3. These recordings came out on LP but have now been reduced to a couple in a set which includes "Depth of Image" and "Timbre". The are recordings of music which has been very simply recorded in an excellent acoustic by a bunch of Swed's. There is classical, jazz, vocal, orchestral music and music of solo instruments. Each cut comes with a concise description of what a well set up system will produce, depth of image wise, and in an optomized system this discription is accurate. Not necessarily easy to obtain but its there. You can only blame your set up if you can get it. But, even if you can't get all that it suggests it will certainly help you to get much more from your system. I used it for years and its far better IMHO than any of the others that I've heard and owned since, including Chesky's.
Hope that helps a bit, at least to get the ball rolling.
Thanks guys. I will get a picture up of my system set up on my page.
Yall are gonna laugh... It has to double as an ht set up so I may be out of luck.
Thanks for looking. Will have picture up soon.
Speaker placement. Without question.
Away from the back wall and side walls. Try them closer than you have them presently. Experiment with toe-in.
There are many resources for suggestions. Google "speaker placement guide" and you will get a list of links to useful alternatives.
Sorry for any confusion caused, but I accidentially posted supplemental comments on your system thread with the photos.
add tube? tube is known to improve soundstage depth
Hi, nice setup, and yes you should have depth "if" it's on the recording. What kind of music are you listening to?
One more thing I'd try is a big quilt over the TV to see if it's contributing or not. (in addition to all your other good comments above) Speaker placement first though.
Cardas has a nice guide posted, might be useful: http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=insights&content_id=26&pagestring=Room+Setup
Final though, is everything new? might need some breakin time...
When your speaker is close to the wall behind it, the depth perception is minimized. Pull any speaker (and I mean ANY) forward and you'll hear (see) more depth. Personally, I could not give a rat's ass about soundstage. I NEVER think about that when I'm at a live show-why should I care with my hifi?
Easy - now you have posted photos - the speakers are too far apart. If you want
depth then get them closer together - the way you have them is too much like
headphones (think headphones put the depth flat - sounds in your head). Each
ear must be able to hear BOTH speakers directly (and the funny flab of skin
around your ear plays a big role here and performs best with sounds from in
front rather than to the side)
even though recordings play the biggest role, you might try playing with speaker placement. you have a nice system.
That is EXACTLY what they sound like! Big headphones. I set the triangle up with each side being the same length. But I will try less distance between the speakers. Or I could move my chair back. Should that accomplish the same thing?
The equilateral triangle is most useful for mixing or mastering. If you want a more 'realistic' presentation then I prefer speakers facing forward (not toed in) and about 2 feet apart for 3 foot listening, 4 feet apart for 6 foot back listening, and 8 feet apart for 12 foot back listening. The further back the more natural and less like headphones it will sound - however you need correspondingly bigger space as you need at least 6 feet open space behind the listener and if you place speakers 8 feet apart then you need a room that is at least 16 feet wide.
Whatever you do DO NOT sit with your head or couch up against a wall - this is the single worst thing you can do in any listening room - if you cannot hear the damage done to audio from sitting at a wall then you probably need not waste money on audio gear. I see that you have a seat closer to the middle of he room than your couch - I assume you hear the degradation from sitting at the couch and use this seat for critical listening?
Yes. That is what the rocking chair is for. Came to the same conclusion on that issue.$15 garage sale rocking chair has been biggest improvement so far. At some point I might get a more comfortable low back chair that is spouse approved but this works for now.
I will play with your ratios and see what happens.
changed to the configuration that you outlined. It does get rid of the headphone effect. I still feel like the presentation is 2 dimensional but at least it is not right up in my face. I think that I will try pulling the speakers way out in to the room temporarily in a completely non wife approced manner and see if that dosent create more space.
I may not be able to get what I want with these speakers. I heard some maggies at a dealer a few weeks back and even though they were a foot and a half or so off of the back wall and there was stuff in between them, they produced a soundstage that seemed to extend a few feet behind the back wall. It was quite a trick. I just dont want them in my living room.
A dipole type radiation pattern will increase your sensation of depth due to midrange energy being reflected off the back wall.
You could also play with rake if you haven't yet. Raise the front of the speaker half an inch to start and move it up or down according to what you hear.
I haven't listened to a box speaker yet that didn't need some kind of rake adjustment to get the sound right.
Rake made a difference too.
Thanks folks. Gotta go about finding the most stable way to set the rake. I have target stands that have carpet spikes that are adjustable in height. But I don't think I want something that heavy leaning. So I am thinking that I will find something to put under the front of the monitor boxes. Any ideas?