Distance between speakers


#1

Just looked at the new video of the new PSAudio Music Room. Just curious; isn’t the room a bit on the narrow side - I mean the IRS system is relatively cropped up to each other. I guess it sounds well; but it makes me wonder is the choice to do so because of the available space or the preferred positioning of the speakers? In my situation at home I have my speakers relatively far apart perhaps 4-5 mtrs. After adding my latest acquirement the BHK 250 I have a room filled with music with almost no “soundgap” inbetween the speakers. Some records/cd’s however do have a bit poorer sound image which could do with the speakers a bit more 'toe-in" and/or placement nearer to each other.
I think my listening position is about 3 mtrs in front of the speakers. Somewhere on the net I read that one should sit close to the speakers to get an optimum stereo sound. So perhaps there is an optimum maximum distance inbetween advisable/to check out? Current home positioning has a high WAF factor - But no WAF in the PSAudioroom…?


#2

If you have a gap in the soundstage your speakers are too far apart. How far away you should sit depends on the speakers and the room.
Read your manual or if bought used try to find one online. Another option for a manual would be to contact the manufacturer.
My speakers have 6 drivers on the front, and 10ft is the recommended minimum.
There are lots of tutorials on speaker setup online. I think Audio Physics is one manufacturer who uses a wide setup on long wall.
Even with their setup, 4-5 meters is too far apart. Depending on type of speakers 8-10 feet would be the maximum.


#3

Pick up a copy of “Get Better Sound” by Jim Smith. A good reference book IMO/IME. Should prove useful to you… Regards.


#4

@jeffstarr, @ Scotte1:
Thank you for your suggestions - I was just curious. At this moment I am a bit forced to position the speakers as it is now, approx 4.5 mtrs apart. I had them located in various positions and locations. The best position soundwise with a good soundstage blocked the exit to our garden. The speakers were at that point about 3.5 mtrs apart. I used my previous poweramp: Aragon 8008. In a moment of ‘weakness’, I went along with the wife to move all furniture around; and ended as told in my first post. In this new location, the BHK250 is really awesome with a fantastic sound, but some cd’s have a bit of a gap/and less 3D/a bit flat. The potential of this amp however shines through, and I am now contemplating what’s best. The hauling with the speakers and gear takes a lot of planning beforehand ;-). I note also on this forum - and referring to the PSAudio room, that even 3.5 mtr apart is not common, I saw pictures also with even extremely expensive speakers which all are positioned relatively close to each other. I guess I will have to move them more together to at least 3.5mtr apart to get the full potential of my gear, may need some discussion with the wife ;-).


#5

I understand that there have to be compromises. Maybe if you can demonstrate to the wife the differences, she might come up with a different arrangement, that works for both.
When my now ex girlfriend moved in, I told her she could rearrange any room but the listening/living room. About a year in, she wanted me to move the system to the side wall.I told her no, it wouldn’t sound as good. She wasn’t happy about it, but I had told her, and in my case, I was paying the bills.It was my house, your situation is different.
It would help to know what speakers you are using. If you were blocking a door, that is a problem. I have a doorway, but I have bass traps in it. You have to go through the kitchen, utility room, and another room to get to the bathroom and bedrooms. For us it is no big deal. I still have rooms, now most new homes have the big open floor plan, which I don’t like.
There is one setup I have seen is to put the speakers on the diagonal. Pick a corner that won’t block the door. Just don’t stick your components in the corner, as the bass builds up there. I cringe every time I see a photo with a turntable in a corner. If that would work, maybe you could just move a chair in to the sweet spot for listening.
Usually the recommended setup is an equal sided triangle, but that does depend on the type of speakers you are using. There are some general rules like different distances from the side and back walls.
If room treatments are needed, they can be disguised as paintings, or with a corner trap, a big artificial or real plant.
The recommendation of Jim Smith’s book is a good idea. Although I don’t know if he gets in to compromised setups. Either way reading it will teach you about room acoustics.
3.5 meters is too far apart in my experience and opinion.I think 10 ft is about the maximum distance. The only speakers I have seen that looked too close were Paul’s IRS-Vs, and you have to remember that the drivers are in the center of those big wings. I know that some manufacturers recommend 6 ft, I personally like 8-10 ft as a starting point.
The ideal distance will depend on both your speakers and your room.


#6

Jim Smith’s Get Better Sound Home Page

FYI,

Scott


#7

@scotte1, @jeffstarr,

Thank you all - Some reading to do!!

I will certainly reposition the speakers; whenever my wife is listening to her favourite records: I’ll mention this ;).

I don’t think it will be hard after all - the result with the BHK250 compared with the Aragon is already night and day -even with the location of the speakers along the long wall of our living room.
I may have found the ultimate max. distance between the speakers (Vienna Acoustics/The Kiss).
The manual from the manufacturer did say that one should experiment and that these speakers would perform well with a more than ‘standard’ distance. This all boils down to the room one lives in of course.


#8

Most manufacturers include a set-up guide. Mine is online here:
https://www.harbeth.co.uk/speakers/userguide.php
Or four options presented here:
http://www.audionote.co.uk/products/speakers/speaker_placement.shtml

As a use of thumb, in a ‘normal’ room with ‘normal’ speakers, I’d go for 8 feet apart and a listening position no nearer than an equilateral triangle and no more than 1.5 times from the centre line than the distance between the speakers.
Grimm have a preferred 45% toe-in, 30% minimum, Quad 5-20% and B&W firing straight in front. Grimm have software setting dependent on the toe-in.
So these issues should really have been addressed before actually buying the speakers, as speakers are so room dependent.


#9

@stevensegal

In a perfect world your advise is true.
I had almost all equipment before a wife and a house :wink:
But thanks for your reaction.


#10

Yes, different speakers and speaker types have different placement needs. Follow manufacturer as much as possible. So frustrating when audiophiles spend significant money and then have to compromise on room/setup. After 35 years at this finally got a chance to build an ‘ideal’ room (in Fibonacci ratios) for myself.


#11

@Jlm: Hmm, building a separate audio/guitar room - I’ll keep on dreaming…