Widening my soundstage

I can't seem to get my Spendor S-100s to soundstage any wider than the speakers themselves. They're off all walls. Been toed in, toed out, placed on axis, moved, tilted, turned, twisted... Powered by Jolida int. tube amp. Arcam CD. Cardis interconnects. Speaker cables = weakest link = heavy gauge Monster cable copper. Could that be it? Suggested repacements????
Your equipment is fine, no need to replace anything. The key to obtaining a proper soundstage is to sit in the near field (no further away than the distance between the speakers) and to acoustically treat the floor and wall reflections. With a friend use a mirror to visually see where the first reflection points are and then experiment with different acoustic treatments. A word of caution, I owned a pair of S100 for about 18 months. Overall, I thought they were very good to excellent speakers, but the thing they didn't do very well was soundstage. I suspect the wide speaker baffle may be the culprit. Also, most music does not have the beyond the speaker effect, so make sure what you're using as a reference truly has this property. Good luck!
Agree your speaker cable is in need of replacement. Have no ideas for you, other than to suggest MIT which is just "what I like" but that's in my rig (which stages huge!). Dunno about those Cardas i/c's either, which didn't work well at my house, although others do like them. The other part of my huge staging is due to Synergistic Research Resolution Reference i/c's; used with the Active Shielding power supply the stage is immense. Maybe more $ than you prefer to spend though.
Go to Immediasound.com and read the Audio Physic speaker placement guide. It's a different approach than most others. Also, try the Cardas.com speaker placement, which is opposite of Immedia's approach. If you get the same results, it's your speakers or music your listening to. I used to use Cardas i/c's. They are fine. You should try their speaker cable, you'll be amazed at the step up. Might be best to keep the same brand of ic's and speaker cables, they tend to complitment one another.
Check "phase" (positive to positive & negative to negative) of all interconnects & speaker cables. I've found with own system going back to basics is where problem sometimes lies. Equipment sounds to be better than mine. No problem there. Although you may want to upgrade to "better" speaker cables. Follow manufacturer recommendations and/or plug "speaker placement" into favorite search engine. My favorite is http://members.ams.chello.nl/rabru/speaker.html
What are the demensions of you room, where are your speakers placed, and where do you sit?
First thing I'd do is replace the Monster speaker cable with something of Cardas Golden Cross which is a bit on the pricey side but it'd be well worth it then listen again. I'd bet you're glad you did!
Listen, don't do anything yet! If you really want to get down to it start by ruling out the obvious and least expensive stuff first. Answer the above earlier post. Also give info. on the type of room you have, i.e., sheet rock, plaster, ect., location of windows, location of furnishings and any room treatments you have applied. Then wait for feedback. Unless you have these first principle correct, that is properly placed speakers, listening chair and room treatment, the rest of the suggestions are putting the horse in front of the cart. Get this correct first then look at your other variables. $2,000,000 worth of cabling or equipment switching is less effective then proper set up!
Listen to Ramstl. Also, not all recordings have out of phase signal information, so those will not image beyond the width of the speakers (this is not even considering the height and depth planes; instrument image sizes/prespectives, etc.). A good test CD is called for here. Listen to correlated and uncorrelated pink noise, and voice tracks in and out of phase. My two favorites are the Sheffield A2TB "My Disc", and also the XLO/RR CD..........................The point of good imaging, is to have the entire listening room disappear, so that you are transported to the recording venue. If that venue was not "continuous" to begin with, you cannot expect "realism" thru your system, that didn't actually get recorded in the first place. To assume otherwise is folly, but that doesn't stop lots of people from assuming it anyway.................They also love OH SOOO much, to assume that room acoustic treatment isn't necessary, as long as they can hear some form of phantom center image. That is utter foolishness also. Anybody can listen in an untreated room, but please do not deceive yourself into thinking you are "really hearing something good", because you aren't...........I heard the top of the line Spendors at a dealer's house, in a huge room treated only with plants(his "reference"). He was big on deceiving himself, like so many are....the slap echo was about like that of an airport terminal, or a raquetball court. The silly things people do, and with so much money to boot! It's a travesty!!!
karl: you are wrong, wrong, wrong, yet again. it doesn't take "out-of-phase" recordings (e.g., "amused to death," roger waters; "music," madonna) to get a sound stage width that goes waaay beyond the outer edges of your speakers. what it takes is a really good system (obviously, not yours). i could list a considerable number of cd's and lp's that image well beyond the outer boundaries of my speakers. i don't use mit or krell. i do use accuphase, rowland, avalon, cardas and fim, among others. the silly things you do, karl. it's a travesty!!! like i've said, karl, you need to get out there to listen to something other than the lower edge of mid-fi. ---your favorite "angry drunk" cornfedboy
Well, it may be that out of phase gives you sound outside your speakers, but what it really does is give you sound centered at each speaker, unfocused, with a hole in the center. So while you can argue it is "wide" let's not pretend it is correct. Carl is right-on with his comments on room treatment. A lot of things can be considered "the best money I spent in my system" ... for me, tube traps et all are certainly on that short list. When I now listen to rooms that are not treated, I hear so much of the room and the reflections and the sound is "muddy" and inarticulate in comparison IMHO.
I have different speakers of course, but I have found the most profound effect on soundstage is to set up the speakers according to the manufacturers recommendation. You should follow the manufacturers setup guide to a T, using a measuring tape and a level.
Other items, see the immedia setup guide mentioned above. Also, try to get stuff like extra furniture out of the room. Make sure you don't have anything (like a tv) in between them and try to minimize reflective surfaces such as coffee tables, and walls. For corners, I put some big plants in the rear corners of my room and that helped. I also have some curtains that cover the glass wall behind my speakers. Closing these does improve the soundstage.
If you want to buy something, I would try replacing the monster cables. I'm flag waving my own equipment yet again, but nordosts are known for as soundstaging champs. I'm hearing very good things about the Analyis plus cables. Tube equipment tends to increase the size of the soundstage as well.
Must disagree regarding all the talk about exacting speaker placements & specific room treatments.
My rig stages huge, & I've paid only precursory attention to that. My only room treatments are pretty basic: floor & wall rugs, drapes, stuffed furniture (which IS strategically placed) & I've sprayed the whole ceiling with 1" cellulose coating to kill reflections. With good program source material, the walls virtually disappear. Homebrew you really need to dump that Monster wire... Make some good extension cords out of it.
Korn, I wish you all the best with your problems.