Audio Physic - finicky positioning

I have acquired the wonderful Audio Physic Tempo IVs a few months ago.
And what a process of kinetic tweaking and learning this has been!

Audio Physic’s own guide suggests positioning them even 0.5m from the side walls. Can’t do it, at least until I order some longer cabling. (DNM Resolution, any say on how this’d go with the APs?)
Anyway, the front baffles are 1.5m from the front wall. 1.3m away from side walls. Maybe about 7° toe in?
The front wall is 7m.

Okay, they sound just great. But I feel something is lacking. Not cables or gear.
Feels like there’s way more holography to be extracted simply from placement…

AP owners, do give experienced advice on the setup of these rather divaesque speakers. Thank you.

If they’re not completely disappearing then you haven’t gotten the set up correct.

You really need to get them out from walls and relatively far apart. I typically find them better with no to minimal toe in.

They are demanding of upstream components as they will give you “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. Underpowered amps (low current mostly) will sound lethargic and unengaging. Bright cables will make it sound less than ideal.

Tube amps or warmer solid state (Luxman for example) sounds great. Cardas Clear marries well with the AP’s.

You have to consider that Audio Physic is one of the camp, having completely different positioning and especially toe-in philosophy than usually propagated here. So forget the stories about hardly toe’ing in if at all and having speakers quite close together.

Usually that and the speaker itself enables quite holographic imaging and disappearance.

Well, I have gone with AP’s positioning philosophy as best as I can.
I guess 1.5m from front wall to baffle is plenty breathing space? They are 4 meters apart. Very very slight toe-in - the center image is better but not in absolute focus…
They sit on spikes on concrete slabs. Not sure of the benefit but can’t do harm?

There is a degree of sibilance but I trust my ears are just over-sensitive. I do have silver-plated cabling that might be a bit too much for the signature of the APs. Considering the DNM Resolution solid-cores because they are well regarded as smooth and revealing.

How far do you sit away?

3 to 4 meters, varying. I get different sonic benefits between this interval, depends on the type of music.

I’d say I’ve got rather ideal solid-state amplification in this regard - Electrocompaniet ECI-1. VERY high current dual-mono. I don’t have enough personal reference to determine its warmth character but people do generally say EC makes warmish amps. Well, I love it.

Then (although different distances), we have roughly the same relation of speaker distance to listener distance. But…my speakers are as far from the front wall as the speaker distance, that makes the imaging/soundstaging experience different.

I rarely saw Audio Physic setups with such placement relations only little toe’d in. I rather saw them like that.

As I said, this is contrary to the placement recommendations here, but usually clearly more focused, holographic and deep than if you hardly use toe in. I think you even loose center with your current minimum toe in.

Simply try to experiment with that and try to be exact and symmetrical in all this.

I don’t know your gear, so I can’t say, if this might be limiting.

I have certainly tried them in a multitude of angles, ranging from no toe-in to crossing before the listening position. Well, my experience was similar to Fremer’s - there was excess treble with them pointing quite towards my head. And a lack of aurality, but certainly a defined center image.

I might have more luck with angling when I get longer cables to position them much closer to side walls.

Yes the old dilemma of having to toe in speakers for tonality instead of soundstaging reasons when no other treble adjustment is possible. Difficult to help without knowing all circumstances or being niste unfortunately.

When I have the money, I’ll probably go for pure gold RCAs for a treble control. They’re actually fairly priced!

It’s not the way I’d recommend, but it’s a way :wink:

Do tell me if you have a concise recommendation ready to be typed out!

I just didn’t write it because it’s simple but probably not helpful.

Assumed the room acoustics are not terribly bad:

Choose speakers by trying at home and then do the fine tuning with the choice of electronics.

In case you have speakers which should be made to work, I’d still try different amplification and evaluate it for best results and room acoustic treatment.

Cables should be chosen for best sound quality, not tonality, but if you have several well performing cables, you can chose the best match. The treble effect of gold cable isn’t enough to serve as tone control, it’s minimal. You should only avoid bright sounding silver cable (most silver cable sounds fine).

Speaker placement should be chosen for best imaging and bass performance, toeing in for best imaging, not treble tonality. Ideally the best toe in fits both because the speakers were constructed that way.

Maybe try a very different speaker placement, too if you can (different orientation in the room).

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Ah, yes. I’m sure it’s just so.
Gold’s described mellow and non-fatiguing properties are, of course, much more complex than a “tone control”… I wouldn’t want to use a cable as an equalizer, as in, actually changing the frequency response. I’m just looking for a calmer presentation of that treble, given my speakers angled. Not subdued.

Up until 5 years ago, I owned a pair of Audio Physic Virgo III’s. In addition to the Virgo’s, the system consisted of an Audio Note M2 line stage preamp, AN CD2.1x CD player, AN Quest Silver 9 watt RMS monoblocks. Cables consisted of Analysis Plus Oval 9 speaker and power cables. IC’s were Audio Note AN-Vx twisted silver. The Virgo’s essential sat about 3 feet from the rear wall and about 6 feet apart. Distance from side walls had to be at least 4 feet. Ceiling height went from 10 feet at the end of the room where the speakers were located to 22 feet at the other end.

Hard to explain but I essentially positioned the speakers by sitting in the listening position and then aiming each speaker to just outside of each ear’s hearing range. Very little toe-in even though each speaker was aimed at my head. End result was the sound was quite holographic and the speakers essentially disappeared. Driven by those monoblocks, the sound was to die for.

Wish I had still had the Virgo’s. I haven’t been able to duplicate the sound those speakers created.
Those were really nice speakers but at 66 lbs each, a bit awkward to handle and one of my cats decided to use one speaker as a spring board, essentially knocking the speaker over.

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What a dream loom of Audio Note.
Probably made it relatively easier for the speakers to disappear. Any speakers.

Going to try your technique of angling. So axis of tweeter goes past the ear marginally? Maybe an inch? Or more? How much of the inner speaker wall visible?

Actually I’m happy even right now but there’s this nagging feeling that there might be a precise position that’d reveal the APs in a whole another dimension. I’m not lacking aurality, but might not even have an idea of REAL aurality…

Also in the future gonna switch to tube gear. Peter Qvortrup is right that the transistor is a far worse valve than a good tube.

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The room’s acoustics I’m sure had something to do with the sound I was able to achieve. Not the ideal room to position speakers (staircase on one side, fireplace on the back wall behind speakers, large windows on the opposite side wall - but man did it sound good. Alas, I’m no longer in that home.

Yes, just past the ear. I really positioned them by ear (pun intended). If memory serves, I could see the inner wall of both speakers (listening position was in the center of both speakers). And I agree, those speakers seemed to love those 9 watt 300B monoblocks.

First time I heard Audio Note electronics, I was sold. Couldn’t believe how good SET could sound.
Helps to have efficient speakers too!

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Check this 30 kilodollar single-ended incandescent lightbulb!

I can just imagine the heat those puppies put out. Probably similar to 211 or 845 in terms of heat. I think the AN Ongaku is about three times the price, pulls 200W from the wall and outputs 20W and just as heavy. My Meishu Tonmeister is 66 lbs. I can’t imagine having to move an Ongaku.

Western Electric’s 97A mono’s using (8) 300B’s per side are over $124K. Pulls 400W from the wall, 80W output and weigh-in at 165 lbs per side. No way, Jose.

There is a pair of NAT Audio Magma New for sale here if anyone is interested: NAT Audio Magma New. A True "do everything" pair of monos | Tube | Smyrna, Georgia 30080 | Audiogon