I’m trying to set-up my speakers in my listening room, and while I have the bass response generally set (using Masterset) I’m having a difficult time finding the best spot for ideal soundstaging and imaging.
One of the tracks I’m using as a reference is Bach Trios (Yo Yo Ma - Cello, Chris Thile - Mandolin, and Edgar Meyer - Double Bass).
I’ve attached a very simple drawing to reference where the artists appear to be playing from. As it stands on my system currently Chris Thile (mandolin) is coming from position “5,” Edgar Meyer is coming centered from positions 9 & 11 (double bass), and Yo Yo Ma is coming from position 15. Of course, when I move the speakers closer to the wall or out in the room this illusion changes, but I’m still not quite sure which is best. Should the mandolin and cello be narrower or wider in the soundstage? Is it accurate as it stands?
In some of my speaker set-ups the mandolin borders on coming from position 3 (right behind the speaker but not necessarily from the speaker), while the double bass appears to come from position 17 (same, from behind the right speaker)…while the cello stays centered between 9 and 11. To watch what I believe was the actual recording of this soundtrack on youtube check this out - VERY HELPFUL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=770rJqDwRXo
Below I’ve drawn a basic speaker set with numbers to reference where sounds appear to be coming from in the soundstage for those who are interested to reference and hear where each of these instruments are playing from on your system. I would love to hear different perspectives and a general consensus on where each instrument should be so I can set-up my speakers accordingly.
If anyone is interested in adding further tracks to reference and experiment with I’d love to hear your input and play around with those as well! Other tracks I’ve used include:
- “Hey Now” by London Grammar (If You Wait) Voice, electrical guitar, piano, unique sound effects first around 12/13 seconds.
- “Tin Pan Alley” by Stevie Ray Vaughn (The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughn). Electric Guitar, Bass, Drums…
- “Aventine” by Agnes Obel (Aventine). Piano, voice, cello, violin, viola, harp.
Paul, I’d love to hear your feedback and input as well if you’d be interested in playing any of these tracks on the IRS’s - - if you have the time and/or are interested. I heard you playing “Hey Now” at RMAF this year when I was in the room with you, so you may already know where these sounds should be coming from like they were from Arnie Nudell’s speakers.
Finally, I of course know some of these factors are system, room, and gear-dependent, but I think this would be helpful - not only to me - but to others who are interested in finding the best spot for their speakers for ideal imaging and soundstage. If anyone has any recommendations on reworking the picture for additional soundstaging/imaging factors let me know. This drawing is very basic, but it should at least serve as a guide for where music/instruments/voices should appear to be coming from in specific areas of the soundstage.