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I currently have my rack in a ventilated closet just outside the listening room. After battling mechanical and airborne vibration for years, I have finally won.
The closet is just behind the wall with the speakers, so I have a 15 foot speaker cable run - longer than average, both nothing too extreme. I am very happy with this arrangement, though of course it may not be possible for most folks.
If I had to choose again between placing the equipment between the speakers or placing it on the sidewall, I would choose the sidewall, for the reasons mentioned in Jim Smith's book.
Let me ask you, Tim, when you moved your rack to the side, ala Jim Smith's book, did the sound improve in any way? I've been thinking of doing that also, ubt it would require putting dedicated 20 amp outlets there like I have between the speakers now. If I did that, I'd also build one of those Rives half round diffractors at the middle of the wall behind the speakers. Please tell me your experiences with the side wall placement vs. between, but behind the speakers. My speakers sit about 3 st. in flornt of the equipment rack currently. My system sounds excellent in every way but Jim says that the rack between the speakers is the number one boo-boo in system setup. Thanks, Bob
Let me ask you, Tim, when you moved your rack to the side, ala Jim Smith's book, did the sound improve in any way? I've been thinking of doing that also, but it would require putting dedicated 20 amp outlets there like I have between the speakers now. If I did that, I'd also build one of those Rives half round diffractors at the middle of the wall behind the speakers. Please tell me your experiences with the side wall placement vs. between, but behind the speakers. My speakers sit about 3 st. in flornt of the equipment rack currently. My system sounds excellent in every way but Jim says that the rack between the speakers is the number one boo-boo in system setup. Thanks, Bob
The reason for not placing your rack between the speakers has much more to do with sound than convenience. I get the impression your long interconnects are not as good as your other interconnects. It might be time to upgrade your long interconnect for proper evaluation of your rack placement. I noticed from your system photos you are set up in front of your fireplace. A quick and easy improvement is to close off the openings to your fireplace. Those openings create an echo that will severely mess with your sound.
A few things:
Dorkwad (great alias): it did improve, but my room had so many problems when I made the move that I have now addressed that I'm not entirely sure of the impact. My only real beef is the loss of flexibility and the requirement for a number of long cables (either speaker or interconnect) that can be expensive. I recently renovated this room after a lot of damage which has made the single biggest impact yet. I'll post pictures.
Rrog: I think you are right--it might be time to look at replacing the longer interconnects. At 4m+ they get expensive fast. I do have an absorption panel that I put in front of the fireplace when I'm listening for longer periods of time. It has a huge impact.
Have a look at my system on 'Done for now'.
I spent a long time moving everything around to optimise the sound. Without a doubt, moving the rack to a side wall makes a tremendous improvement to soundstage, imaging and resolution. I had a 50" plasma and AV rack between my speakers at one time and was amazed at the improvement once I seperated the hi fi and AV systems and moved the AV to another room.
My interconnects are 3m long and the speaker cables are 3.6m.
It looks like we are dealing with a lot of the same dynamics. I just posted a picture of my renovated room, but yours have given me some ideas (I'm not sure why I still want the amps between the two speakers--seems like I could have my amps anywhere). I have been slowly adding (bulky) room treatments. I like the look of your treatments.
I think I'll keep my rack where it is. Focus on other things.
Attached to Mrs Bless..............lol.
I have heard (can't confirm the truth in that) that having only the stereo in a room will yield the best results for ones hi-fi sound, even a telephone/tv affects the sound in a detrimental way, apparently.
For me, my system sounded the best in a room on its own, speakers either side of a bay window with solid brick wall, thick carpet, heavy velvety curtains, and its own dedicated power circuit.
My equipment is on a side wall. My interconnects are low capacitance, 30 footers, but I run balanced from the preamp, so interconnect length is not an issue.
I would say running long interconnects in a single ended system is not an ideal scenario. It opens you up to increased possibility of RFI/EMI, and it can result in rolled-off highs and reduced definition unless you use very low capacitance wire.
Linn of Scotland used to claim that any other speakers in your listening room, other than the ones directly connected to your main audio system will detrimentally affect the sound of that system. It was their contention that the smaller the speakers the more it would affect the sound of your big rig. By this they meant the tiny speakers that are in wristwatches, smoke detectors, alarm clocks, and television sets. I once had my local Linn dealer demonstrate this in my own room, and I have to admit that the affect of other transducers in the room did seem to have a negative effect on the sound. I forget what Linn named this phenomenon, Sympathetic something or other.
As far as having your equipment rack between your speakers, how far back would you have to have the rack behind the plain of the speakers for it to no longer negatively impact the imaging of your system? If you have bi-polar or some form of dipole radiation type speakers does this change? I have upon a recommendation from a dealer removed my large coffee table, which sits several feet out in front of my main speakers, but have to say that experimenting with it in position and removed I have not been able to detect any difference in sound.
Even telephones, according to Linn. They are probably right but I admit to having some other speakers in the room occasionally. I have my racks between and behind my speakers, probably not the best place but my room configuration makes it the most practical. If someone wants to send me a pair of Cardas GRs longer than the 2.5M ones I have I will try the side wall and report back.
The tv speakers could contribute. I have been looking for a good cover for the tv but usually just use a thick towel. Window coverings will get handled in the next fee weeks.
Tvad and stanwall-you guys hit the nail on the head for me. Those longer rca runs are (maybe by far) the weakest link in my system. Long runs of good cables get expensive fast. And the cables have to run behind a radiator. I know Jim smith says sidewall still. Just getting a few other takes. Maybe better cables plus a decent conduit are the answer.
I have decided to move mine to the sidewall; not a minor operation. Besides the unloading, moving, rebalancing etc., I have to have some more dedicated lines put in, no big job because I have a junction box within a few feet on the back of the wall I am moving them to. I was able to get a good long IC on here that should do a good job within my budget. I will let you know how it comes out. Anyone demanding a blind comparison of the two locations will be dealt with severely.