Placement of speakers.

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  • 04-07-2009, 09:58 AM
    manlystanley
    Placement of speakers.
    I was wondering how everyone places there speakers? I'm new at this, but I own B&W 684's and have placed them in various ways, such as:

    --> 12 inches from the wall (not toed in): too much bass.

    --> 14 inches from the wall, (toed in 1/2 inch): Sounded about right, but imaging was a bit lacking.

    --> 14 inches from the wall, (not toed in): better imaging, but sounds a bit dull.

    So as a question how do you all place your speakers? The B&W's are in a room that is: 18 x 20 feet with a 7.5 foot ceiling.


    Thanks,
    Stan
  • 04-07-2009, 10:16 AM
    GMichael
    Hello, welcome to AR. My speakers are about 12 inches away from the right wall and 16 inches from the left. Toed in so that they cross just in front of where I sit.
    From what I understand, you shouldn't have them the same distance away from the left & right wall due to some sound canceling properties.

    Notice how I didn't say that they should always be 12 feet apart? (inside joke)
  • 04-07-2009, 01:20 PM
    Auricauricle
    Take the room and divide it into a grid of 100 possible locations.

    In each location, assess the placement of the speakers 1-10 (1 just awful, 10 being too much of a good thing). x

    Average the scores from each x/n (n=100)

    Place your speakers upon the spot the average falls on.

    Oh, and do this in an empty room. Once figured out, leave the room unfurnished and without anything but you and the speakers.

    If you put anything else in the room, you must start over and make sure that object (probably a beer can) remains in the room when you "set up".
  • 04-07-2009, 07:15 PM
    02audionoob
    Mine also cross just in front of where I sit. They're 6 feet apart, 18 inches in front of a wall 12 feet long, toed in something like 18 to 20 degrees.
  • 04-07-2009, 10:04 PM
    RoadRunner6
    Your second placement sounds good (pun intended) except I would try them farther from the wall if that is practical in your room. I recommend you try 18-36" from the wall for better imaging.
  • 04-07-2009, 10:06 PM
    RoadRunner6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    Take the room and divide it into a grid of 100 possible locations.

    In each location, assess the placement of the speakers 1-10 (1 just awful, 10 being too much of a good thing). x

    Average the scores from each x/n (n=100)

    Place your speakers upon the spot the average falls on.

    Oh, and do this in an empty room. Once figured out, leave the room unfurnished and without anything but you and the speakers.

    If you put anything else in the room, you must start over and make sure that object (probably a beer can) remains in the room when you "set up".

    Excuse me nurse, have you been stealing the sike drugs again?

    RR6 :hand:
  • 04-08-2009, 04:53 AM
    manlystanley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Excuse me nurse, have you been stealing the sike drugs again?

    RR6 :hand:

    Thanks for your post, I really didn't know if he was for real. Anyways, I enjoy a good joke, so I need to remember this.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 04-08-2009, 05:35 AM
    Auricauricle
    (Grumble! Try so hard to crack a joke around here...!)
  • 04-08-2009, 05:51 AM
    manlystanley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    (Grumble! Try so hard to crack a joke around here...!)


    No need to grumble.....It was a good joke. I definitively had a good laugh.

    In the Navy we had a special hat stenciled with "Mail Buoy Watch". Then we'd give the new guy this hat and a long pole (with a hook at the end). He would stand on the focsle (bow of the ship) and be ready to gaff any mail buoys that he saw. We told him that's how us sailors got mail. Lots and fun to watch some guy out there for several hours.... Some caught on real fast others took a while.


    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 04-08-2009, 06:19 AM
    manlystanley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Your second placement sounds good (pun intended) except I would try them farther from the wall if that is practical in your room. I recommend you try 18-36" from the wall for better imaging.


    Hello RoadRunner,
    I tried pointing the speakers at a point a little in back of me (5 inches) and what a difference it made! The speakers (since they were angled) were: 11 to 14 inches from the back wall.

    I take it that I should try moving them 7 more inches out so that they are 18 and 21 inches from the back wall? I'll try that tonight.

    Thanks for the pointer.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 04-08-2009, 07:06 AM
    OzzieAudiophile
    A recommended rule that was given to me by a CEDIA member, arrange your seat (where
    you will be sitting to listen), and your left/right front speakers in a perfect triangle.

    I.e. if your left and right fronts are 12 feet apart, then your seat should also be 12 feet
    from your left, and 12 feet from your right speakers.

    I tried that rule, and could not believe what a vast improvement it was.

    To remove extra bass, with my floor speakers I put a book underneath them, so my floor doesn't boom as much.

    Your ears in the sitting on the chair/couch position, should ideally be the same height
    as your speaker tweeters.

    You could adjust your bass setting on your amp/receiver or turn off your extra bass
    function if it has one.

    You could also check if your receiver has a DSP setting, it is best to turn it off for
    2-channel to retain the authenticity of the signal coming from your source.

    Although may not be a problem, but if you check and find out this setting is wrong, you'll
    be kicking yourself. Some amps/receivers have a OHMS setting, 4 or 8 etc. Confirm
    the setting on the amp/receiver matches your speakers.

    Another thing you need to check, make sure your left and right speaker cable lengths
    are exactly the same. 99.9% of the time that will be the case, but if one is a couple of
    feet longer than the other ? ... better sort that out.

    Perhaps your hifi dealer and/or the B&W sources/site have recommended placement
    settings for your model of speakers. Worth taking a look. However trial and error sounds
    like a good option.

    You could be placing your speakers in the wrong corners or position of the room
    completely. May be worthwhile to see if the speakers were positioned elsewhere you
    may find a worthwhile improvement. Some speaker types may not be ideal to specific
    room sizes/shapes. Carpet can be a cost effective form of insulation. Other objects
    which may be between you and at least one of your speakers can hinder the overall
    listening experience.

    Good luck with your findings.
  • 04-08-2009, 09:03 AM
    Auricauricle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by manlystanley
    In the Navy we had a special hat stenciled with "Mail Buoy Watch". Then we'd give the new guy this hat and a long pole (with a hook at the end). He would stand on the focsle (bow of the ship) and be ready to gaff any mail buoys that he saw. We told him that's how us sailors got mail. Lots and fun to watch some guy out there for several hours.... Some caught on real fast others took a while.

    Recall my Navy days too....Buoys and gulls everywhere having the time o' their lives!
  • 04-08-2009, 09:28 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by OzzieAudiophile
    A recommended rule that was given to me by a CEDIA member, arrange your seat (where
    you will be sitting to listen), and your left/right front speakers in a perfect triangle.

    I.e. if your left and right fronts are 12 feet apart, then your seat should also be 12 feet
    from your left, and 12 feet from your right speakers.

    I tried that rule, and could not believe what a vast improvement it was.

    To remove extra bass, with my floor speakers I put a book underneath them, so my floor doesn't boom as much.

    Your ears in the sitting on the chair/couch position, should ideally be the same height
    as your speaker tweeters.

    You could adjust your bass setting on your amp/receiver or turn off your extra bass
    function if it has one.

    You could also check if your receiver has a DSP setting, it is best to turn it off for
    2-channel to retain the authenticity of the signal coming from your source.

    Although may not be a problem, but if you check and find out this setting is wrong, you'll
    be kicking yourself. Some amps/receivers have a OHMS setting, 4 or 8 etc. Confirm
    the setting on the amp/receiver matches your speakers.

    Another thing you need to check, make sure your left and right speaker cable lengths
    are exactly the same. 99.9% of the time that will be the case, but if one is a couple of
    feet longer than the other ? ... better sort that out.

    Perhaps your hifi dealer and/or the B&W sources/site have recommended placement
    settings for your model of speakers. Worth taking a look. However trial and error sounds
    like a good option.

    You could be placing your speakers in the wrong corners or position of the room
    completely. May be worthwhile to see if the speakers were positioned elsewhere you
    may find a worthwhile improvement. Some speaker types may not be ideal to specific
    room sizes/shapes. Carpet can be a cost effective form of insulation. Other objects
    which may be between you and at least one of your speakers can hinder the overall
    listening experience.

    Good luck with your findings.

    The equilateral triangle method. Good approach.
  • 04-09-2009, 06:43 PM
    manlystanley
    Hello Everyone,
    Thanks so much for your help! I finally got a chance to work on the speakers to night. I did everything you said and the sound turned out to be 'incredibly dull'. So, I started experimenting. The problem turned out to be the B&W web site gives the same 'recommended distance from the wall for 683's and 684's '. In reality it should be different distances for each speaker type.

    I went and got a CD of male vocals. Then I started moving the speakers around until I got to a point that a certain very hard to hear track was as clear as I could make it. Wow! what a difference! The speakers just came alive with such detail and tight bass for all the music I've played.

    So, I'm using all your sugestions (minus using the B&W recommened disance from the wall). I am shocked at how good they sound!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to give me your pointers.

    I was fascinated to see that when the speaker was too far from the wall it was 'boring'. But when too close it was muddy.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 04-09-2009, 09:33 PM
    RoadRunner6
    Stan, I'm curious. Exactly how far from the wall did you end up placing them and what about toeing in?
  • 04-10-2009, 05:43 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Stan, I'm curious. Exactly how far from the wall did you end up placing them and what about toeing in?

    Ditto4me.

    We'd love to know what you ended up with. Glad you found the sound that sounds best 4U Stan.
  • 04-11-2009, 05:49 AM
    manlystanley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Ditto4me.

    We'd love to know what you ended up with. Glad you found the sound that sounds best 4U Stan.


    I'm glad to return some of the help that you all have given me!

    -- The speakers are 106 inches apart (measured from the back part of the speakers)

    -- Putting the tape measure flat (flush) on the side of the speaker and extending the tape measure to the wall. The tape measure then is flush to the side of the speaker and touches the wall at a non-90 degree angle) (I need to do this because the speakers are not parallel to the wall.)

    -- On the toed in side, they are 13 1/4 inches from the wall.
    -- On flared out side, they are 17 inches.


    - The recording that I used to get the position the speakers was:

    -- Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The first 30 seconds or so is male singers who I can here, but cannot understand. They are singing in a very low mumble. The first phrase that I can make out is "Oh Lord hear our lowly prayer". That is what I used as the positioning guide. I kept on moving the speakers around until I could hear this phrase that very clearly. Then all the other music seems to really be alive and clear as well.


    -- Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 04-11-2009, 08:41 AM
    manlystanley
    So, I'm still playing. I think I like 13 /1/4 and 16 1/4 the best. It gives the same sound with a much wider sound stage...
  • 05-05-2009, 04:26 AM
    manlystanley
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by manlystanley
    So, I'm still tweaking the speakers. I think I like 13 /1/4 and 16 1/4 the best. It gives the same sound with a much wider sound stage...

    This placement of speakers is really fun. I've read that the B&W 684's are more placement sensitive (as compared to the B&W 685 and 683's) and now I can see what they are saying. Because the 684's have a rear port, the sound characteristics really change as they are shifted to/from the front wall.

    I find that a 1/4 inch speaker positioning change really has a huge difference on the sound. Also, I can't believe how much better the speakers sound as I gradually find the sweet spot. What I've got now is a toed in: 12 1/2 inches and 15 inches. The sound stage is huge and sound is fantastic.

    Also, I've retired my old JAMO center. The sound from the 684's is so clear and focused that the center actually makes movies sound worse.

    I can now hear 3 dimensional imaging. It was almost shocking that I could tell that with some of the pieces: the cello is played low; piano higher and then the flute was the highest (because the flute musician was standing). Really cool.

    This stuff is lots of fun. I read my Bible every morning and I put on Christian music while I do it. It is so beautiful and it really gets me out of bed. Thanks so much for all your help!! I could spend all my day down stairs in my listening room. But, I've got broken cars to fix.....

    Best Regards,
    Stan
  • 05-05-2009, 05:03 AM
    GMichael
    Sounds like you have having fun with those speakers. Glad you are enjoying the journey.
  • 05-12-2009, 03:04 PM
    pacnw
    speaker placement idea
    First, full disclosure: I’m a newbie. However, here’s an interesting exercise to learn how my speakers dispersed sound. Learning this helped me a great deal when placing my speakers. If nothing else, it was fun to watch the reactions of my wife and kids as I walked in circles around the room. Daughter: “Mom, I think dad has lost his mind.”

    Exercise: Turn the balance control all the way toward one speaker and set the preamp to mono mode. Place the speaker in the middle of a wall, 12-16 inches from the wall. Play a test tone of about 100-200 Hz for a minute or two. While the tone plays, walk around the perimeter of the room. If this test goes as planned, you should notice distinct areas of the room where little or no sound is heard, areas that are louder, and areas that sound well balance and neutral. Take note of the well balanced, neutral areas. These are areas (directions) where your speakers emit good sound. Of course, the room has significant affect so you’ll need to experiment.

    Based on this information, you can get a better idea of how the speaker directs sound. Find the point at which the sound is best and aim that at your listening chair. Oh, and I forgot to mention, consume at least three beers during the test. The speakers will sound even better because you won’t be stressed about all the money you spent on them.
  • 05-13-2009, 06:53 PM
    JoeE SP9
    That technique works well for sub positioning. Place the sub in your sweet spot and walk around the room and listen for the best bass. That spot or spots are where your sub will sound best. You will be able to use less power for a given bass level and overall volume. The speaker itself will get a lot less stress because it will be helped by the room.

    "Danger Will Robinson"
    There may/will be spots that have too much bass or unnatural peaks. So experiment until you've got it right.

    This tweak is the cheapest of all!
  • 05-14-2009, 08:47 AM
    Auricauricle
    Do you walk clockwise or counterclockwise? Does staggering count?
  • 05-14-2009, 03:07 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    Do you walk clockwise or counterclockwise? Does staggering count?

    Only if you don't spill the beer!
  • 05-14-2009, 03:16 PM
    Auricauricle
    Den, I'll be sid-sid-sidding daown, th
    e
    n....
    !