How wide should be the soundstage?

Just watched last @Paul’s video

Curious to know members opinions about their own rooms and preferences.

My room is less than 4 meters (13 ft) wide, it implies that musicians on the stage are audible from left to right side of the front wall. I’m talking about a studio performance or jazz live band in a small club.

The cymbals may be heard beyond the left speaker, doublebass from beyond the right one. I like that soundstage size, in a so small room I think it reproduces exactly the proportion of the stage as it is in a real venue. Isn’t it our main goal?

If I only heard the musicians between the speakers (2 meters - 6 ft) it would be quite strange and certainly less realistic, in my opinion.

The only instrument that often sounds harder in my room is the piano, sometimes its sound comes from too wide a position, from high to low notes.

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I think a lot of that info is in the recording itself (especially when BACCH is applied) and can range from just outside the speakers to outside the boundaries of the room. Think about the size of an orchestra for example, or a large on stage band.
Closing your eyes while listening will usually give a better representation of what the recording engineer had in mind IMO.

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I always try to keep my eyes closed but this damn forum distracts me ,-)

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It’s also hard to keep your wallet closed when hanging around here.

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With Bacch it seems limitless, depending only on the recording. I can prove it if you come over.

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This conjured up another question : How long should a man’s leg be? Long enough to reach the ground. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

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A man found a genie’s lamp and rubbed it. The genie granted him one wish. The guy said he wanted his third leg to reach the ground. The genie said it would be done. Guy woke up with no legs.

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I just knew it was a matter of time before we would go there.

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For serious listening session, the iPhone, iPad and laptop are set aside, glasses removed and a simple dram of scotch may be poured. Lights out naturally. Soundstage can be nice, once everything else is in balance.

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Agree, recently the Market Place has been a bit of a distraction.

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I tried, really tried listening music without reading and posting. It’s not easy but last night I was able listening five albums without distraction.

I don’t remember when was the last time I did that🤔

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I have resisted falling much further down the rabbit hole in 2024, but am at risk of a full jump into the hole at any time

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Need to admit that mood (or electrical line) matter a lot to reach the audio Nirvana. Not and everyday state of mind but when occurs… oh the magic comes!

Having said that the aim of the thread was: what’s the size of the soundstage do you like more? Assuming a studio recording or a small venue.
My answer is: the closer to the real one, when all the 3/4 musicians appears within 4/5 meters in width. That is the my room widht,

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As wide as it is on the original recording.

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Agreed, Ron, but so tricky. Unless we know how or if the mic spacing, recording choices, and mastering even allowed for something approximating a resemblance to the actual recording venue (and assuming it was a capture of the musical event, and not pieced together from independent captures), it remains somewhat ambiguous. In principle though I agree with you, if the recording details are known.

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I have a friend who is tormented when the soundstage does not extend beyond his speakers laterally. He thinks that a stereo sound stage that doesn’t ALWAYS spread in all directions reveals flaws in his system. I gave up trying to convince him otherwise.

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In my early years of audiophile journey, I used to chase after the widest soundstage I could possibly get. Speaker placement, room interaction, S/N and the quality of recording all played parts in the soundstage. These days, I much prefer to have depth and height. As long as the width gives me a sense of space and separation, what really draws me into music is the sense of depth and height that translate into scale. I’ve also experienced that the equipment that widens the soundstage often does it at the expense of depth.

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Correct proportions are mandatory to my likings.

Sometimes I find retailers who just want to impress customers during their store demos by projecting large images, I don’t know why and I get very disappointed when it happens to me., I remember one who was so proud to show me his latest pair of speakers , oh boy I was really disgusted: the singer appeared in front of me like a giant, 3 meters tall! How is this possible, I wondered! After all, he is an expert, he has been selling equipment for decades… I immediately ran out of that room, angry and disconcerted.

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I’d gladly trade some width for depth.

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This discussion is rather timely. This Sunday two of our area clubs are getting together at a member’s house to experiment with various speaker types and how they affect the soundstage of various known recordings. We expect it will be interesting. He’s got a gigantic, beautifully proportioned sound room that should be quite nice for the experimentation.

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