Your current speaker position?

I’ve seen quite a few questions about how-to position and the bevy of answers… but, what is your speaker positioning like? Can you answer by completing this template:

  1. Speakers
  2. Room size, orientation (long or short wall) and disposition (dedicated? shared?)
  3. L distance from left wall, R distance from right wall
  4. Distance from front (facing) wall to speaker cone
  5. MLP seated distance from speaker cone and back wall
  6. Toe-in from zero toe-in
  7. Subwoofer(s) relative position to speakers (if any)
  8. Any other characteristics? Treatments?
  9. Why does this work for you?

My latest foray into trying different configurations has me at this:

  1. Tekton Design Ulfberht
  2. 15ft x 12ft x 8ft (10ft center vault); oriented along long wall; dedicated space
  3. 4ft from left wall, 4ft from right wall
  4. 4.3ft from front wall
  5. 5.8ft from cone, 1ft from back wall
  6. 30 degrees (speaker face near flat from MLP)
  7. Diagonally behind outside edge of speakers. Cones are ~2.5ft away.
  8. The room has bass trapping on two left corners and across vaulted ceiling center; floor standing bass traps on front wall and printed art bass traps on back wall. Two fake palm trees sit at the primary reflection points. The right side is an open closet (sliding doors removed) with cabinets and turntable equipment; the right side subwoofer sits into this space.
  9. I previously had toe-in at about 10 degrees, but am experimenting with the speakers toed into a more “head on” orientation, after reading Tom Mallin’s piece on near-field listening. I thought this would collapse my sound stage, but it seems to have pushed the center image further back in space while retaining width, which is something I was looking for. I noticed with several sets of speakers that pulling the speakers out from the wall not only manages the sub-bass output, but also removes coloration from the lower frequencies of mid-range sounds like vocals and instruments and having them closer causes those registers to bloom more than I like. Given this need to have the speakers that far into the room (1/3 into the 12ft depth), I found Tom’s near-field listening suggestions interesting. My next step will be see if I like it with the speakers separated by 90 degrees as Tom suggests – I’m probably about 75 degrees right now.

I started out with the Cardis method ( and modified it by ear due to my rooms asymmetric artifacts (glass window and door locations, partial brick and dry wall behind my listening location, partial dropdown ceiling location, temporary furniture, book shelf and record storage racks). After I fix it up properly, I’m sure it will change. But for now:

Focal Sopra 2s
Semi-dedicated 19’ x 23’ x 8’ short wall
L=5’8", R=5"4"
Speaker cone to wall behind: L=7’9", R=7’7"
Seating 5"8" behind my head and 9"6" to speakers.
Toe-in about 10-15 degrees.
GIK tri-corner traps in all 4 corners, plus other base traps around the room. 8’ x 10" rugs (2) with 3/8 inch felt mats (floor is poured concrete with a floating floor). Still need diffusion treatment.
Great soundstage, good holographics. I still need to hook up my subs (just relocated 7 months ago, but what’s the hurry).

I’ve tried the 3 x 5 and 5 x 3 method but always liked the sound with the speakers out for the front wall. Again, room peculiarities will always have an impact. HTHs.

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i am currently trying to figure out rew software to assist in that

Speaker positioning seems to be very much a feature of the speaker design and then unique to every room. Some speakers are specifically designed to sit in corners close to walls (Audio Note), other need lots of free space (Quad ESL), my Harbeth need more space at that side but only about 1 foot behind, pointing at me. Some like B&W should point forward, Grimm at precisely 45 degrees. Then the room features, walls, floors etc.

So other than the basic recommendations of the speaker manufacturer or the dealer, what anyone else does is unlikely to be of much help. Most dealers in the UK will deliver and set up the speakers, including checking with measurements. My dealer even delivered a single subwoofer and set it up for me.

Most speakers have leaflet in the box or instructions in the website as to what is best. To be honest, if you are thinking about this after buying the speakers, you are too late.

I do however use REW with a UMIK microphone and things are pretty OK.

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Thanks for your concern, though that wasn’t the point of my query. I thought having a database of system setup and behaviors can be helpful to others.

This thread was to encourage members to share their empirical setups and impressions if they’re in the process or have arrived at a satisfactory place (or not).

It sounds like you’re happy with the way your dealer has set up your speakers or the manual prescribed.

Do you mind taking a moment to describe it using the template?

I use REW when I feel the bass has problems. I’ve noticed REW is most helpful in informing speaker placement for managing sub-200hz bass nodes.

However, my ears are more keen to soundstage and timbre, which aren’t easy to see in REW charts. Things like toe-in, speaker height and speaker distances from various interaction points help frame the soundstage and phantom center image.

Before pulling up my REW rig, I find it helpful to run a low frequency sweep, say 10hz-200hz, to listen for peaks and nulls. I put that on loop and move myself around in 3D space to hear how small distance changes impact the nodes and then correct for the obvious deltas (places where nulls fill in or peaks come down) by moving my seating or speakers. Then I run a REW sweep to measure the outcome.

What are you looking for REW to help you solve?

REW really is only for peaks and troughs in the range you suggest, no higher than 250Hz.

Then fix the room, if possible, of use parametric EQ.

I use Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary, about 8ft apart and about 12ft away. 18 inch from wall, pointing at me. 9ft ceilings, walnut floor, about 5ft free space to the side of the speakers, 6ft free space behind me, Luxaflex blinds to the left glass doors to the right with internal blinds that I can drop if bothered, Roche Bobois sofa, other furnishings and a rug, artwork by Kadishman and Bridget Riley (x2).

The result is a pretty good response with a bit of a hole at 80-100Hz that I live with. I don’t suppose this helps anyone, it’s pretty standard orientation for Harbeth, where the trick is to just be able to see the inside panels of the speakers from the seating position.

I had a guy around this morning to discuss replacing the front windows. He was explaining that you can now get acoustic glass from Pilkington that is not flat and breaks up reflections.

There are so many things you could consider, the idea of a template serves little purpose. Do you want to know the materials making up the floor and walls?

I was ordering acoustic products for my office this morning. It is an irregular shape, so three different things for the rear wall (recycled paper), right wall reflections (fibreglass) and ceiling (foam). The rear wall panelling probably not much use in the USA as it comes from Sweden. Most of the damping is done with books and files on Vitsœ 606 shelving system.


everything you described is where i want to get to with rew

I position my speakers in my irregularly shaped listening space by ear. I only really worry about position relative to the closest walls for subwoofer placement because that is where the wavelength becomes comparable to typical room dimensions leading to standing wave modes. Irregular placement (particularly with two subs) breaks that up. The simple REL method for dialing in the subs works very well indeed. I should point out I’ve used REW based methods in the past. What I’ve found subjectively is I’m never satisfied with the result and wind up again doing speaker placement by ear to suit my taste.

So you know, as a systems engineer for a minimum of 40 hours a week when I see ‘complete this template’ anywhere on a site I surf for pleasure in my copious non-free time my eyes glaze over. I must spend 50% of my time on the clock arguing with my colleagues about templates, coversheets etc. Reminds me of ‘Office Space’. Not your fault, friend! I just don’t do templates for fun. Call me a party pooper.

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1: Focal 948
2: 20ft by 15ft Speakers are on the long wall
3: Left speaker 8ft from left wall, Right 4ft from right wall
4: 41in
5: 8ft from speaker 11ft 5in from wall
6: Rt speaker about 1.5in toed in, Left about 1in. Guess is that’s 12 deg and 8 deg but no protractor handy
7: Subs are inside speakers with cones about 5in behind mains. No toe in on subs. Subs are JBL Pro 12" with 300w amps
8: Lots of bookcases and 8ft couch behind listening chair. Thick rug on floor from speaker to speaker forward to couch. Large thick tapestry covering 70" TV on wall behind speakers when audio is used.
9: After much moving and adjusting this is where the sound is best. Really feeling like it’s dialed in right now.

Hope this is of some value to you and anyone who might be trying to set up their rigs but it’s so unique to this particular room and equipment.

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This is an interesting poll.

  1. Spatial Audio X5
  2. 23’ wide, 16’ deep, 11’ ceiling. Speakers on long wall near the right side of the room.
  3. Left speaker 10’-0" from right wall. Right speaker 4’-4" from right wall
  4. 3’-4" front wall to front baffle
  5. 8’-0" MLP to front baffle. MLP 4’-8" from back wall
  6. Toe in runs from none to roughly 10 degrees per side. The inside face of the speakers is just out of sight at this particular moment.
  7. Subs are between speakers but not connected yet. Waiting on a pair of transformers from Jensen
  8. No treatments to speak of. All windows now have drapes which helped. Room has a couple of rugs and misc furniture. Opens up to the kitchen and dining room on the left side. Opens up to a hall behind the MLP.
  9. This is the only place in this room available to put the gear. It works surprisingly well considering it is also a living room with dining room and kitchen open on the left side.

Fair enough – as a fellow engineer, I sympathize with filling out technical reports. Though I have to say that reading a structured report others produce sure beats consuming a random one off email or message that more often than not omits useful details.

Having more information is really helpful for us DIYers. I can’t count on two hands and feet the number of hours I’ve spent reading all the material online on speaker placement only to find myself wanting to have real life observations I can use to compare to my situation.

With respect to setup using your ears, what are you looking for in the sound when placing speakers? Do you have a process?

I was watching a dealer setup a speaker today by ear and I found it quite interesting that he was asking his assistant to dial in positioning and toe in by half inches to get something right.

When I sat down to listen, it was pretty good! I couldn’t do this myself–at least not yet since I haven’t listened to nearly enough setups to have a reference for what is right. In lieu of that experience, I would look for comparative information like that posted by others in this thread to help set my expectations.

There is also a book/DVD out called “Get Better Sound” by Jim Smith. Worth reading.

I bought that book and DVD on another members’ recommendation – and I have to say – it is a very long read. Good info, though.

Just curious, are you still using your Alec speakers, or have you permanently returned to the Tektons?

For 2-channel:

    1. ATC SCM-20ASL Pro MkII w/ 4x Seaton Submersive HP Subwoofers crossed at 80Hz
    1. 20.5’L x 14’W x 11’H , speakers on the short wall of a dedicated, purpose built dual purpose 2ch & M-ch room.
    1. L & R stereo mains are 36" from the sidewalls to front baffle driver center-line. Each subwoofer acoustic center is 42" on from the sidewalls placed in pairs along the front & rear walls.
    1. L & R stereo mains are 60" from the front wall to front baffle driver center-line. All four subwoofers are 4" off their respective walls to allow clearance for power and signal cable connections and cooling of the amplifiers.
    1. MLP is 9.5’ from speaker front baffle center-line.
    1. Toe-in is approx 20 degrees
    1. Front wall subwoofer pair acoustical centers are 3’9" behind the plane of L & R Stereo mains. Rear wall subwoofer pair is 14’8" from L & R mains.
    1. DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 applies 7ms delay to rear subs to bring them into time alignment with front subs and performs modal EQ only on subs. Sonicly transparent analog JL Audio CR-1 crossover looks after 80Hz x-over, phase alignment, damping at x-over, and relative levels.
    1. Extensive room treatment comprised of four corner floor-to-ceiling ASC Tube Traps, DIY 5" deep broadband absorption panels at sidewall, frontwall and ceiling primary reflection points, DIY poly-cylindrical diffusors on all walls, and (soon to arrive courtesy of 7Audio in Poland) a 9.5’ wide five period 1D fractal QRD diffusor across the rear wall.

This arrangement works very well from both SQ and sound-staging perspectives despite the current speaker & MLP being a modest compromise. Back when the room was dedicated strictly to two channel, the L & R loudspeakers were about 7’ from the front wall, 3.5’ from the sidewalls, and 8’ from the MLP. The current arrangement was the best a local acoustician and I came up with through computer simulation and then iterative cut and try with REQW measurements. It was made necessary by the minimum comfortable viewing distance for the 105" motorized acoustically transparent projection screen and also the minimum projection distance for my current JVC projector.

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