Why don't more recordings have soundstage outside of speakers


I always enjoy it when the recording has mixing that the instruments are well outside of the speakers.  I think it's really cool and what justifying spending extra dollars for the sound.  I just wish more recordings would do that.  Most of them would just have the sound from in between the speakers.

What are some of your favorite recordings that have an enveloping soundstage well outside of the speakers?
andy2
This has a lot to do with speaker and system setup not all about the recording. Speaker placement and room treatment have more to do with this. At least that’s been my experience. However recordings can be made to exaggerate this. Like Q sound on roger water Amused to Death recording. 
Try Amused to Death by Roger Waters. Every song on that recording is in Q sound. If you system is setup right you’ll hear thing to you far right and left and behind you. 
Same recording...different speakers, even from the same manufacturer will yield a different soundstage in the room. Much has to do with how the crossover is voiced, the size and shape of the enclosure, and the size and type of the drivers being employed.

Case in point. JBL display at CES a couple years ago had 4367 (15" two way with horn/waveguide) $15,000/pair, next to the newly introduced L100 Classic(12" threeway, 5" mid, 1" tweeter)$4,000/pair. Both being driven by Mark Levinson amp, they simply switched cables between speakers.

The recording was Eric Clapton, don't remember the album, but it did have "Tears from Heaven". The L100 Classic presented an image that was in front of the speakers...in the room, if you will. Very nicely balanced from top to bottom. When switched to the 4367, the music retreated into the box with virtually no dimensionality whatsoever. Very disappointing for $15,000...though the bass response stomped all over the L100. Not enough to make me ever want them.
I am not a recording engineer so I don't know the different classification of sound mixing.  For example, at the beginning of Pink Floy Welcome to the Machine, there is some type of sound affect coming way from the right side and if you're speakers are good, it sounds as if its from to the right of the listening spot.  But this is a bit of extreme.  I don't think I am looking for something like this.

I also have recordings which the sound would bounce from the left to the right wall but that is not natural.  But anyway, I mean I go to a lot of audio show listening to some mega buck systems, but rarely do I hear recordings that are clearly outside of the speakers.

I understand you could voice your speakers to accentuate this affect, I found that if a speaker that can do soundstage well such as exaggerating the wide of a soundstage, the sound balance may be off from neutral.  I would much rather have the affects come from the recordings.


My speakers are relatively good but average good speakers....They sold around 1000 bucks 20 years ago....my system actual value is 500 bucks....😊



Mission Cyrus 781...On my desk with amplifier Sansui AU 7700 and a low cost french design Nos Dac ...This is good gear but nothing miraculous here which will explain my S.Q. by itself...


Then i eliminated the speaker exceptional design factor..... It is easy to buy speakers on par or better than mine....I already own for 40 years Tannoy Gold which were better high quality speakers but never sound better than my Mission because i was knowing nothing about audio at these times save plug and play....






Most of my recording has a soundstage variation and a depth imaging variation for sure.... BUT NOW the majority of my classical and jazz albums own a DETPH IMAGING out of the speakers front-back or /and sounsdstage outside of the speakers to a varying degree.... Very few have a sound between the speakers only....( i own around or a bit less than 10,000 albums)

And this fact is true for my 2 listening positions....Nearfield (3 feet) or regular position (8feet) my room is 13 feet square with a very bad position for the speakers with one in the corner of a wall a few inches of it....Then positioning is not ideal....😁


Then WHY this is so about my S.Q.?

3 reasons :

Controls of vibrations, control of electrical noise floor,
And the main one is material passive appropriate treatment (homemade) and ESPECIALLY the main reason is acoustic active control of all the room with an Helmholtz resonators grid, i called that a mechanical equalizer (homemade)....

Then in a word, with relatively any good speakers if you use ACOUSTIC basic science you will have almost all the time like me a depth imaging and most of the times an orchestra filling the room in varying degree according to the genius of the recording engineeer....

But the files i own with sound only between speakers 2-d are around 10 %....In classical and jazz....Then it is not your audio system nor speakers the problem probably, save if one of the piece of gear is a very bad design.....It is lack of acoustic control...

And acoustic control is NOT material passive treatment by the way...Passive material treatment with a right balance between diffusive absorbing and reflecting surface is necessary but it is only the HALF of the acoustic story....

Acoustic control of room is the most underestimated factor in all audio...

Why?

Because it takes a dedicated room, The Helmholtz resonators grid must be SPECIFICALLY fine tuned and tailor made for each specifics Speakers/room....Then no sellers of acoustic panels had any interest, after or before selling you costly panels, to prevent and inform you that their panels is not enough....

And anyway people boast about their costly miraculous design gear not about acoustic....

And many attribute to their electronic design the reason which is not false but only HALF truth.... The missing part of this truth is the more important one : ACOUSTIC.....

Especially for low cost system acoustic is the main lever to upgrade astonishingly your system.....Those who own costly system live anyeway with the impression that their system already so good dont need acoustic control.... This is false but how can you convince someone with 6 figures speakers than it will be better with acoustic control ?

A costly system without acoustic control is like formula one car on ordinary tire..... Go on the internet and listen some costly system, some are way better than others and acoustic is always the secret passed a certain price point....


Andy2-  the Pink Floyd record you are referring to just like the Roger Waters Amused to death is recorded with some of the microphones used out of phase. This is what the refer to as Q sound recording. This gives a surround sound effect with two channel. If you Google “Q sound” there is a lot on this and there are lists of albums recorded like this. 
Other than this I’d say back to system and room setup.  A very good recording helps. 
Audio shows don’t usually take or have the time to perfect their setups. 
..get a better system....   
amusiced to death has sounds coming from behind, above, the next street to the right and left.
Also has to do with microphone placement at the recording session. Many variables here. 
actually I have a new MacBook that has sound coming from the next room from the left and the next room to the right. Magic, but there it is.  no bass, or highs, but very effective mid
Stringreen that is so true a crazy spooky recording. 
I don’t think a better system will change this that much it’s the setup of any system that will optimize the sound stage and imaging.   A mediocre system in the right room and setup right can do amazing things. 
Remove the room and listen with headphones.
@mahgister

You should have an internet site where we could send you , pictures and dimentions of our rooms .
And received advice from you about :
Controls of vibrations, control of electrical noise floor and acoustic control.
For my and others’  benefit

@mahgister

You should have an internet site where we could send you , pictures and dimentions of our rooms .
And received advice from you about :
Controls of vibrations, control of electrical noise floor and acoustic control.
For my and others benefit


I am just an average audio lover...

But without money....

I have been in the obligation to think about my system limitations...

My thread explain or describe my journey....

"Miracles in audio.... "

It takes time tough for me and many years of listening experiments, but if someone know where to begin it is more simpler....

In my thread they are ideas that cost peanuts only....

The geatest deception in audio is not so much "snake oil" products....

It is their high price....

Then i decided to replicate some or creating mine....

Read my journey....

My basic advice is dont upgrade if not necessary, embed all your piece of gear rightfuly, and remember that we can change the S.Q of a room completely by a single straw.... Like changin a piece of gear...

Anybody can control all the acoustical factor with a dedicated room....
A dedicated room is the only necessary costly factor in audio....

I never bought any products costing more than a few bucks to do the job...

It is not worthy to have the best system in the world not worthy at all.... It is way more satisfying to have one of the best system in relation to the ratio S.Q./Price.... 

Be creative, dont listen those who want you to purchase costly upgrading illusions to chase the moon , dont buy costly cables, and create fun little listening experiments one at a time...


You will have fun et you will create your bliss by yourself....

My best to you....
It's setup AND components as much or more than the recording with a few tricked out exceptions.
I put the speakers on springs and the doundstage widened out and jumped back.
A DAC upgrade even more so.
in my experience it doesn't require hotrod recordings or esoteric speakers. using a pair of magnapans in the midfield [6-7 feet from plane of speakers]  i routinely heard a hemispheric stereo sound field ["ear to ear"] like a distant pair of headphones but with solid center fill, using equilateral positioning, on a wide variety of stereo recordings including a 1958 recording [on CD] of organist korla pandit [born john roland redd], his greatest hits [still in print IIRC], got the same result playing this CD through a pair of mirage omnipolar speakers listened to in the near field [3-4 feet, again equilateral positioning but positioned in the dead center of the room both horizontally and vertically] plus the latter speakers were far more holographic in their stereo presentation with gobs and GOBS of depth, the sound went behind my ears [beyond ear to ear] even. the mirage [aptly named jewel of a speaker] did this trick with just about any standard stereo recording. they were somewhat hot in the trebles, however. 
in my experience it doesn’t require hotrod recordings or esoteric speakers. using a pair of magnapans in the midfield [6-7 feet from plane of speakers] i routinely heard a hemispheric stereo sound field ["ear to ear"] like a distant pair of headphones but with solid center fill, using equilateral positioning, on a wide variety of stereo recordings including a 1958 recording [on CD] of organist korla pandit [born john roland redd], his greatest hits [still in print IIRC], got the same result playing this CD through a pair of mirage omnipolar speakers listened to in the near field [3-4 feet, again equilateral positioning but positioned in the dead center of the room both horizontally and vertically] plus the latter speakers were far more holographic in their stereo presentation with gobs and GOBS of depth, the sound went behind my ears [beyond ear to ear] even. the mirage [aptly named jewel of a speaker] did this trick with just about any standard stereo recording. they were somewhat hot in the trebles, however.
It is possible to do that with box 2 way speakers like mine but with acoustic control of the room, if not, my speakers will not deliver it...

But i lived exactly what you describe in my 2 listening position....nearfield and regular....Without"being hot in the treble" tough... 😊

This hemispheric soundstage and imaging with depth is easier to win with other types of speakers than mine, like omnidirectional one, but it is possible with any good speakers if you control the room response to the speakers with mechanical equalization modulo Helmholtz resonators....( it is not the samething that the speakers response to the room with electronical equalization) It is necessary also to control reverberation time and timing thresholds of the side and back reflected waves coming from EACH speaker for EACH ear....


by the way this Korla Pandit is well recorded even coming from youtube....Even from youtube i get this hemispheric soundfield... I get it with too many other recordings also to mention...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh4edPUBfg4

And for example this POP piece will do the same:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8yix8PZKlw



But this opera of Kurt Weill is a better test for listening voices all around you and half of the time from your back also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR33bL5aNTk&list=PLnQJF3Qi_4_CvjtOvZypmfmC4ygxSxOgm&index=52&t=392s


I used a pair of Spica TC-50s on stands for years and thought they imaged well. Replaced them with a pair of Magneplanar MG-1.5QRs and the imaging is other worldly - perhaps too much at times but quite entertaining (and revealing) .
IMO almost everything done by Pink Floyd was engineered with soundstage that is the benchmark. The Wall is a great example of the best drum sound production. They are followed up by the Doors on vinyl they not only achieved side to side sound but forward to back depth. There are times you can hear the guitar like he stepped closer to you for the solo. Another album that is top notch engineering is Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick. I have used this for years to calibrate the bass in my system. It is punchy, force full and tight, I hate the muddy bass that much new production give you. Getting bass right takes time and in the studio time is money. They cut corners and try to push out as fast as they can.

I sent this thread to someone who has a sound stage we dream about

and asked for his take.  'Do these guys have a clue'?


"Sadly no. However, the reference to Roger Water Amused to Death is relevant. The soundstage effects are in the recording, as they normally are. You do have to set up your speakers so you get the full effect, and the room plays a part, but overall it’s how the recording is engineered the makes it happen". 

 

All the best,

 

Anthony

 


I sent this thread to someone who has a sound stage we dream about

and asked for his take. ’Do these guys have a clue’?


"Sadly no. However, the reference to Roger Water Amused to Death is relevant. The soundstage effects are in the recording, as they normally are. You do have to set up your speakers so you get the full effect, and the room plays a part, but overall it’s how the recording is engineered the makes it happen".

All the best,

Anthony

I send your post to a friend of mine , an acoustician, and ask him: is this posters have a clue?

He laugh and said

"EVERYBODY KNOWS that all acoustical cues necessary to recreate soundstage, detph imaging, timbre, listener envelopmemt, source width etc MUST BE CAPTURED FIRST by the sound recording engineer...It is common sense...

And they are plenty of good recordings with all acoustic qualities but if we suppose you already own a relatively good gear able to work correctly together, you will not enjoy great S.Q. in a BAD ROOM, in a room totally uncontrolled acoustically....Then the room play the greatest part because it is not difficult to look for good recording in great numbers...But what could you do with these numerous good recording in a bad room? By the way positioning the speakers is only one variable in this complex acoustic equation including many more other variables like timing reflections, reverberation time, correlating the frontwave for each ear etc and importantly correlating mechanically with Helmholtz resonators the large bandwidth of the tweeters and bass drivers to the room response by ears...

All the best,

Your acoustician friend...."
Darn Mahgister. Sometimes you do make sense. The fun is in making the best sounding system you can without spending an arm and a leg. But, like anything there are limits to price cutting and you have to have certain capabilities to be able to maximize the performance of your system. Those capabilities are not cheap but neither are they horrendously expensive like the Dayton OmniMic. Very wealthy people buy audio systems like they buy watches. They have no idea what they are getting but it looks nice. These systems are usually thrown into position wired up and used maybe once a month if that. There are of course serious audiophiles that are wealthy and they can afford very expensive equipment but this does not necessarily get them very far. They do not generally know much more than anyone here and their approach to the problems of music reproduction is not any different. 
The best systems I have heard have been no where near the most expensive, which is not to say expensive systems could not be made to sound better. 

As for imaging beyond the speakers, unless the engineer is juggling phasing and delays the instruments and voices should always be limited to the width of the main speakers. The acoustic environment of the venue or that created by the engineer using echo should seem to spread beyond the speakers hopefully placing you within that environment or it is like listening through a door. A good example of imaging beyond the speakers is Roger Waters'  Amused to Death. Fun record. Sound effects like a dog barking and a table radio come from right next to you. The dog seems to be outside! Very cool. 

Of the systems I have heard, painfully few of them were operating at near the level of their maximum capability. The people were generally happy with what they had and did not feel like spending any more money or messing around with tweaks. Judging from this I think many people could make very significant improvements in sound quality without changing most of their equipment. 
Of the systems I have heard, painfully few of them were operating at near the level of their maximum capability. The people were generally happy with what they had and did not feel like spending any more money or messing around with tweaks. Judging from this I think many people could make very significant improvements in sound quality without changing most of their equipment.
Thanks for your kind word to me first...

I will only add to your post that i never pretend that a low cost system like mine will beat costly one...I just claim that any system can gain way more upgrading power by simple basic method to controls their working embeddings dimensions: mechanical,electrical and especially acoustical....


What make sense in audio is ONLY the ratio s.q. /price after the system has been put under controls...Not the price in itself....

And my other point is a "relatively good system" dont cost a fortune and will surprize any owner of a very costly one if it is rightfully embed....Not because the low cost system will be better than the costly one, but because the difference between the 2 will be always there BUT way less than imagined....

Why did i never dream about upgrade now after 8 years of dreaming about Hi-Fi reviews?

Why did i place all my 7 headphones in a drawer definitively?

Because a minimally good S.Q. is possible and when you own it you listen music and no more sound , you are in bliss and not in frustration...

Some boast about their brand new upgrade electronic piece of gear, i vouch instead by acoustic control, mechanical control, and electrical grid noise floor control....

And i never bought some costly "tweaks" for that....i prefer to promote creativity than consumerism....


My best to you....






All the top engineers are accustomed to working with phase in a recording. I think the most interesting story I’ve run across was from Alan Parsons who explained how he got imaging on Dark Side of he Moon on a tiny little console and rudimentary gear.
Brad
By the way, how far are you guys sitting from your speakers?  I think the closer you are, the wider the soundstage?
Just a little further than the distance the speakers are apart. Just outside the triangle. 
If you get a very wide soundstage with some recordings, you know your system can do it. We are all at the mercy of the recording engineers. Most recordings are just so-so. 
Happy Listening!
From what i have heard only the bet recording have sound that extends way beyond the speakers but what i have noticed the most is that they are always mixed by the same engineers or on the same labels even mono albums can have an enveloping sound when well done. Try some command records or some 1988 to 2000 rock records mixed by bob ludwig or masterdisc.
Mahgister, I am all for creativity. My greatest improvements in sound quality have come from thinking about it and making adjustments. The only caveat is that these adjustments are not made entirely on what I hear but on accurate measurements. 
mijostyn i have anything against measurement....In electronic design they are the ground on which some standards can be built upon, and the are indications for the designer...
In acoustic i dont need them at all ....

My acoustic settings are perfect for my ears.... It takes a lot of time almost 3 months but it has been only fun.... Each few days i improved.... Now i had some music test file i know very well, each one of them with an instrument, orchestra, or voices i know well....

When all sound natural the puzzles is in placed solved....

Is your puzzle solved at all audible level for all timbre of any instrument with holographic 3-D in classical and well recorded jazz albums ? When the recording make it possible with voice or instrument coming on the side or the back?

Is your speakers better than 7 headphones on all count?

The mechanical equalizer is so poweerful that my "not ideal" position for the speakers is compensated for so well that this does not disturb me....

A 13 feet square room is not ideal one with one of the speaker in a corner..... Try to equalize that....

I use pressure distrubution zones and marked out pressure zones coming from tweeter and bass driver to pilot the direct waves with the reflections for each ear....

You cannot do that.....modification of the speakers response cannot be mechanical modifications of the room response....I modify the room for the speakers NOT the speakers for the room only .... And i modify also the speakers for the room but i dont use a narrow frequency response but a relatively large one.....

 My solution is not esthetical and not for a living room anyway...

 Certainly someone very crafty can design this to be a modern scupture grid but i am not crafty just imaginative...



Anyway i apologize for my rant and i wish you the best....
I'll play Devil's advocate.

Recent quote from another audiophile website:

"There is no home speaker on earth that is 'worth' $5,000 for sonic properties. Sure you can gold plate and shine everything but it won't change the sound. If companies had to be honest about engineering and manufacturing costs, the high-end industry would collapse on itself. It's all about marketing to people that have more money (and/or gullibility) than the average consumer. Just look at "high end" cables & wires to see the phenomenon in full effect."
I have spent a lot of time optimizing my room acoustics.
It is true that many people don't think about the room or become very creative in dealing with it.
But the emphasis on room acoustics can go overboard just as the emphasis on equipment can go overboard. Not saying that's happening on this thread, only I'm reminded that it can happen. 

You can't make a good meal without good ingredients, no matter how nice the table setting. If you serve a Big Mac on fine china, with candles, good wine, and soft music, it will no doubt be better. But it will still be a Big Mac. 
 If you serve a Big Mac on fine china, with candles, good wine, and soft music, it will no doubt be better. But it will still be a Big Mac.
You are right for sure...

 Acoustic control Will never change the basic sonic quality of any piece of gear at all .... Never....

 You must search for basic quality component you can afford FIRST...

 But when you have then, thinking to change them, so called upgrade, BEFORE  controlling the mechanical, electrical and especially acoustical  embeddings of these gear is most of the times a waste of money....

When you can control these 3 working dimensions with the relatively good piece of gear you can afford, SOMETIMES there exist even no more the urge to upgrade....

 Why?
 Because music is there no more only sounds....

 For example my Sansui AU 7700 i paid 100 bucks was one of the better ampplifier in his category in 1978 in the world... it is not a " big mac "without being the best there is now for sure....

 He does not beat a FIRST WATT amplifier today for sure...

But he is a very good amplifier , it is easy to read the hundred of reviews about it...

 Same for my speakers and dac.... It takes me much studies to buy them without ever listening to them before....

 No acoustic control can change a harsh and bad dac in a cinderella...Nor change bad speakers ....Never...

My point is buy good gear AFTER that forget upgrade, think embeddings controls...

 If your system was well chosen in the first place you will be flabbergasted by the transformation on another level.... But most people  dont know what to do save spending money.... They upgrade before even trying to control their system for his optimal working peak.... They will never know how good their system can sound.... I had no idea myself 7 years ago with this Sansui and other pieces of gear i had bought...

And anyway how many people are in ectasy with their actual system?

 The dream to upgrade if it is a forceful one is the exact mirror of your insatisfaction... Save if you are easily bored and rich....

 This is my experience with me....It is the same for others....

 I speak about average people here not about people with unlimited budget.... We dont need to think if we can buy anything we want  generally....

My best to you....




 
Too many possible reason and variables to list.
Try less or zero toe in too for wider soundstage. 
I find a lot of electronic music goes well outside the speakers
Mahgister, I can get to the tonal balance I want to hear by ear. But I can not get the system to image at its best by ear. The problem is you have to make the frequency response of both speakers exactly equal at all frequencies within 1 dB. In order to do this you have to able to measure exactly what each speaker is doing and have the ability to make 1/2 octave adjustments with variable Q. Doing this takes hours of listening to short sine sweeps, making changes and remeasuring. Sometime you can speed things up by doing the adjustments on the fly but it still takes hours. Why go through all the trouble? Because you go from the usual imaging that everyone is use to to something that is truly uncanny in a very good way. Characteristics of the image that you never knew were there become unmasked and you will hear details that were previously hidden. It is like getting a blurry image into focus. Two identical speakers will never have exactly the same frequency response, Then they occupy different locations in a room and  their response goes more astray. People are lucky if their speakers are within 5 dB of each other between 100 Hz and 10 kHz where it is critical. Location depends almost entirely on volume. If a speaker is louder at one point and softer at another then location cues of the instrument become broken up and the image blurs. Subtle characteristics become lost in the haze. It is something you have to experience. It is pretty special. 
But, in the end it is only important that you enjoy music on your own system. Rock and Roll!
Thanks mijostyn ,your explanation is very clear and very useful....

It make me realize why it is way simpler with my mechanical way....

Because i adressed the way the room response to the speakers, with a large bandwith instead of a narrow frequency, it is way more easier to correct the room responding to each specific volume of each speaker and correct this asymmetry of speaker by changing the room treatment but mainly the distribution of some pressure zone by modification of Helmotlz resonators, to reequilibrate and compensate for this difference in volume by each speaker....Each Helmoltz resonator is modified to enhance some frequencies and damping others...The location is important also....My speakers stay the same but the room adapt itself specifically for  each one for my ears...

Like you tough, it takes me 10 to 12 weeks of experiments but it was never frustrating , only fun, because it was almost always some relative improvement  each day and anyway easy to correct it when unsatisfied.... It is easy to correct the timbre of some instrument by feedback which is immediate in the instant of the listening experiment... The imaging i have is very good and i cannot attribute that to my average speakers even if they are good speakers ....i never have this imaging before acoustic control...especially the coupling of the imaging and of the soundstage...

You are right about the fact that imaging is related to volume but imaging is related in a no less important way to the precise timing thresholds linked to early and late reflections, and to the relation of the direct sound of the speakers and back reflection timing.... Not only volume....It is the timing and the way the resonators marked out the waving flow from each speakers for each separate ear that also play a major role.... Each resonator is a different possible pressure zone which is a buoy also for the brain hearing processing the 2 first wavefront for each ear... Anyway it is my experience and i am not acoustician but i read research papers about imaging that inspire my idea to use resonators....

Your explanation made me more fond and happy to have used my method which is very more efficient in my case than anything i could have done....


I am pretty sure that i would not have been able to do it by narrow frequency response and a comparative listening like you tried...

But like i said my method is not for most people with a system in a living room.... Our wife will divorce....mine sure....

Thanks for your very interesting post ....

My best to you....
If you serve a Big Mac on fine china, with candles, good wine, and soft music, it will no doubt be better. But it will still be a Big Mac.

Right. That's why I upgrade the flimsy patties to flame broiled 1/4 lb grass fed beef. The processed cheese food is upgraded with Tillamook medium cheddar. The shredded green stuff comes out, garden fresh tomato and lettuce goes in. Thus tweaked and modified it tastes so good it can be served on a paper plate and you will drool over it. I call it the Big MC.
"....But it will still be a Big Mac."

True, but a least one can get at least a little distracted by the ambiance...

(Add a touch of horseradish, spice up your dine time....The MC Hammer).

4 Walsh, surrounded, with distributed subs.  Twiddle the levels, you will have Soundstage.

*G* Steer ones' way to Nirvana. ;)
"2Legit2Quit!"....Yup.;)
MC, exactly. I am understanding that "everything matters" more and more. But everything must be apportioned, too. (I’m not telling you anything new, just recounting my learning process.)

For me, this started with components, moved to cables and power, and finally to the room. (Vibration control is coming, but not there yet.)

I have understood that for many, the room element is too boring (because, no shiny things to buy) or too complex (time consuming experiments, the challenges of multi-factor acoustics!) or it bumps up against immovable limits (the spouse, the house, the lifestyle, etc.).

I’m at the point now where I see that while the room is too often neglected, those who get into that side of things have their own quicksand. They fail to realize that while the room is crucial and oft- neglected, it remains part of "everything" and is not 90% of that everything.

If Scylla is "component" and Charybdis is "room" then Ithaca is everything-in-proportion. Hello, Penelope! Nice to see ya!
Hilde45, it is not difficult at all! You just have to spend your money in the right place. You get one if these, https://www.amazon.com/miniDSP-2x4-HD/dp/B01I4NWRNM/ref=sr_1_9?crid=2FFPLBUR1NKCV&dchild=1&k...
and one of theses, https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-OmniMic-V2-Acoustic-Measurement-System-390-792
You not only have a wonderful subwoofer crossover but a full equalizer with adjustable Q. The entire package costs $550.00 and boy will you have a great time. You will learn more about room acoustics and speaker performance in one hour than most people learn in a lifetime. Your system's performance will improve by leaps and bounds even if you are analog only!
For sure all piece of gear matter, and everything someone could use to control all working dimensions of the system matter...

One even can go to upgrade all electronic parts there is in speakers or amplifiers...For sure, why not?

All this is common place fact...

But for all of us there is limit in the money, time, and abilities we can use in this process...

And for me music come one day and i did not care too much now with an improvement in sound, EVEN if my system value is 500 bucks...Any costly upgrade is useless for me.... My goal was music and S.Q. /price ratio not the best system in audiogon.... Anyway i am not so infinitely far behind most good system...

We must keep in mind that the only thing that must be proportionate in audio is not so much the % of time and money allocated to any piece of gear, but more the S.Q./price ratio in itself.... After that if the system you own is already relatively good and well chosen, acoustic is the greatest investment in time for an optimal S.Q. improvement.... Saying that all matter in audio is a common place fact, an evidence that do not contradict this essential fact in audio about the primacy of acoustic...




What is NO MORE a common place fact is the way acoustic control is hugely impactful and could cost very low amount of money...

This is the reason why i wrote about it and was insisting about that.... If we dont lived through it, it is unimaginable because we are conditioned by the electronical design market publicity..

These things being said, there is NO solution that fills all people needs for sure,including my own solution...For me audio take a dedicated room which is not a solution for most people anyway...

But huge transformation at no cost in audio is not a so common fact, then, i could not stay silent about it....Even if all my solutions cannot be useful to all...Even if some would oppose my view...




I will end this post with my last month discovery...

Before i was controlling the room in a complete rightful way, the nearfield position was the better listening position....No discussion here...

Then i discovered that each step taken to improve the room were impactful on the near field listening position and not only to the regular position, and very surprizingly, the improvement were at the same level for the 2 positions with each improvement....

But passed a certain point, the improvement begins to be more impactful for the regular position....And now the regular position is better, more natural, livelier, than the nearfield position....The integration of the detph imaging and soundstage is more natural and the timbre more natural and lifelike also....The only thing that seems better and on par is the details of sound, but this is an "illusion" caused by more direct wave than reflected one....In reality i miss nothing in regular position and the way the details are integrated in the whole is better , this is the reason why instrument timbre and voices are more real like....
Imagine you listen music like with headphones but with a way more natural sound and more life like than headphones....I will never use any of my 7 headphones ever...




Then my conclusion is when a SMALL room is under control, the regular position is BETTER on ALL counts than the nearfield position... Not only even better than headphones...


This is how you know that you have succeed in room control....

Is it not surprizing? i dont remember that someone has ever speak about this fact here.... Perhaps i am wrong.... Correct me if someone know about this surprizing acoustical fact...

My best to all....


With all the supposed audiophile brain trust on this site, where are all those experts chiming in?

I will give you a hint. What do you think happens when the sound from the right speaker gets to your left ear? How about what happens when the sound from the left speaker gets to your right ear? I will give ya another hint. The time for the sound to get from one side of your head to the other is probably related to the angular width of your speakers.
Some recordings some delayed left channel added the right or vice versa and that can make the width seem wider, but you better be in the sweet spot.
There can be additional information in the volume, but as one of the more astute audiophiles noted, you better have your system tuned to get the most of it. I see the posts on here. Most of y'all aren't even playing baseball let alone in the ballpark.

Ya all worrying about cables and fuses when ya can't even get the basics right. You need some tough audio love.
@mijostyn Oh, man -- I’m all over that mic sh*t. I dream in waterfall graphs, dude. Love that stuff!

@snr Glad you could bring your expertise in for all us lunkheads. Thank you for your wise thoughts.

"The room" is really just another part of the system. For a long time we thought the way to treat the room is like the way we were treating components. So we put huge tube traps and panels everywhere. Now we have a much more sophisticated view of vibration control. Lots of things now we want to suspend on springs so they can move independent of the room. Because we can hear this reduces ringing and greatly improves detail resolution. A good example, I put my crossover back inside the speaker but on Townshend Pods, with a huge instant improvement. A lot of the improvement comes directly from the control (precision damping) of resonant behavior. This same general principle is at work in their Podiums, speaker cables, and interconnects. That explains why after upgrading to a lot of this I noticed a huge reduction in bass bloat or tubbiness that I was until this point sure was a room problem.

Clearly then it was not. Imagine if I had gone to the trouble of "fixing" it the conventional way. I would now be looking at how to get rid of the great big tube traps sucking bass out of my room. Instead I use a mix of a small amount of cleverly placed panels combined with more next-generation treatments, Synergistic HFT. These are I guess room treatments, they definitely improve clarity, imaging, etc, but in a quite different way than conventional panels. Way more effective than old school panels. And I know, because I tried the panels!

So the room is no different than any other component, equally important, and like any other component a huge part of it is vibration control. With the room even more so. Also like all components it benefits from a more sophisticated view of vibration control. 
As others have said there is a sound engineering 'trick' in which you pan an instrument or sound hard to one side and then mix in the same track panned hard to the other side but 180˚ out of phase. At the mixing desk it pops the track right outside of the speakers and leaves lots of space in the centre of the mix... which is very handy in a lot of cases. The effect only really works on a stereo loudspeakers, it doesn't work on headphones and in mono the instrument or sound will be greatly attenuated as the out of phase signal is summed with the original. In most cases an engineer doesn't know how a track will be listened to (with the exception of vinyl) so effects like these are used pretty sparingly.
Many systems are able to render a soundstage wider than the speakers even when there are no 'tricks' like this in play... I enjoy a number of recordings made with a single stereo pair of microphones that have a huge soundstage. In my experience it's usually down to the recording and the loudspeakers. An average room is capable of a wide soundstage as long as there is enough distance between the loudspeaker and the side walls to avoid flutter echos. You can put absorbers at the first reflection points (imagine the wall is a mirror and you're looking at the reflection of your loudspeaker from your listening position) to tame the worst of these.
An average room is capable of a wide soundstage as long as there is enough distance between the loudspeaker and the side walls to avoid flutter echos. You can put absorbers at the first reflection points (imagine the wall is a mirror and you’re looking at the reflection of your loudspeaker from your listening position) to tame the worst of these
There is no average room because even if some rooms have the same dimension and the same geometry, they dont avec the same materials acoustical content and the same topology...-average room- exist only for acoustic panels sellers...And average speakers are like average room, a non existent species... Each type and format of speakers will ask for his own tuning relation with the room...

And this rule : "you can put absorber at the first reflections points" is only that , a general rule which dont apply half the time if we look for optimal results..

Why ?

Because controlling the reverberation time, and the waves timing flow for each ear specifically ask sometimes for the use of reflective surface not absorbing one at these points...

It is an experimental fact in acoustic that some reflection ratio between front and back waves and lateral one create a better detph imaging....Then a so called " average room" with an optimal speakers placement is only a first step in acoustic control.... There remain a long way to go...