7 mistakes to avoid with your stereo speakers

Combat

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Feb 4, 2022
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(Accusation of payola deleted by moderation.)
 
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joe23

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Jun 4, 2009
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A lot of this article is just plain incorrect and I wonder where this information comes from, because it's not sound engineers..

1. Keeping your speakers too far apart. True that positioning is important in a room taking into account the dimensions of the room and reflections and standing waves but to say that you can place your speakers too far apart makes no sense. Think about it. If that were true, that would mean that headphones could not work to create a stereo image.
2. Not using spikes. Actually, for many rooms, spikes are a bad idea. Do you want to couple, or decouple your speakers from your room? If you have floorboards, the chances are you want to decouple rather than use the space below your floor as a great big resonant box. Try some absorbent rubber feet under your stands instead of spikes and hear your bass tighten up. The rubber discs you can get for placing under washing machines are very effective.
3. Some speakers are voiced for the grilles to be left in place. The latest Whatfedales are an example. Check the manufacturers specs, but even so, the cloth used for speaker grilles is acoustically transparent. We're not talking night and day differences here.
The one thing I will agree with is that cables are important, but not necessarily expensive. If you're capable with a soldering iron, you can make your own excellent cables for next to nothing which will rival commercial cables costing hundreds if not thousands. The fact is that cables should be thought of as an electronic component as much as anything inside your amplifier. They have inductance, capacitance and resistance. Of course they will make a difference to how your system sounds and the better the system is, the more significant this becomes. TNT audio is a great resource for DIY cables.
 
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Combat

Active member
Feb 4, 2022
10
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25
A lot of this article is just plain incorrect and I wonder where this information comes from, because it's not sound engineers..

1. Keeping your speakers too far apart. True that positioning is important in a room taking into account the dimensions of the room and reflections and standing waves but to say that you can place your speakers too far apart makes no sense. Think about it. If that were true, that would mean that headphones could not work to create a stereo image.
2. Not using spikes. Actually, for many rooms, spikes are a bad idea. Do you want to couple, or decouple your speakers from your room? If you have floorboards, the chances are you want to decouple rather than use the space below your floor as a great big resonant box. Try some absorbent rubber feet under your stands instead of spikes and hear your bass tighten up. The rubber discs you can get for placing under washing machines are very effective.
3. Some speakers are voiced for the grilles to be left in place. The latest Whatfedales are an example. Check the manufacturers specs, but even so, the cloth used for speaker grilles is acoustically transparent. We're not talking night and day differences here.
The one thing I will agree with is that cables are important, but not necessarily expensive. If you're capable with a soldering iron, you can make your own excellent cables for next to nothing which will rival commercial cables costing hundreds if not thousands. The fact is that cables should be thought of as an electronic component as much as anything inside your amplifier. They have inductance, capacitance and resistance. Of course they will make a difference to how your system sounds and the better the system is, the more significant this becomes. TNT audio is a great resource for DIY cables.
Brilliant comments. It's a shame you didn't write the article and this comment is consigned to a place where almost no one will see it.
 

alan ellis

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Aug 24, 2022
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I felt drawn to this discussion as an 81 year old hi-fi NUT. i would like to bring into the discussion another AT turntable the AT-LP3BK,of which I have two, one for my garage system using a pair of TANNOY speakers, and my front room system with ROGERS MONITORS. The cable for these I made many years ago using HEAVY DUTY loudspeaker cables soldered to plugs.
The essential thing in this discussion is to keep the resistance as low as possible to keep a long forgotten spec. as HIGH as possible i.e. DAMPING FACTOR to about 20 or above. Since we're only talking about very low impedance speakers 4-8ohms, there is no need to worry about the capacitance or inductance values .
Now returning to the AT-LP3BK, this turntable has in my opinion to be the best value for money of its type, I have 6 red head shells, with 2 MC cartridges AT12S, and SONY XLMC2 & 3, then 4 MM cartridges SHURE V15Mk3-LM, SHURE M97ED, ,AT-VMS95ED+ML stylus, then an AT95E [in garage], these are all excellent cartridges with very subtle differences, heard on my ROGERS MONITORS. The M97ED has the typical 80's SHURE sound in the bass and lower mid range but on most so called hi-fi speakers of today would not be noticeable.
I know there are some hi-fi speakers out there today but none give a figure or range for frequency response, and certainly don't give a graphical response curve of the complete audio range 5Hz-30kc/s.
With regard to distance between L&R speakers, I assumed original writer was referring to average size rooms and many years ago was asked my opinion on a sound system with speakers not even along same wall, if you take my assumption, he wasn't far out with his comments, I have even seen speakers set side by side.
 
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Sliced Bread

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Jul 28, 2010
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I felt drawn to this discussion as an 81 year old hi-fi NUT. i would like to bring into the discussion another AT turntable the AT-LP3BK,of which I have two, one for my garage system using a pair of TANNOY speakers, and my front room system with ROGERS MONITORS. The cable for these I made many years ago using HEAVY DUTY loudspeaker cables soldered to plugs.
The essential thing in this discussion is to keep the resistance as low as possible to keep a long forgotten spec. as HIGH as possible i.e. DAMPING FACTOR to about 20 or above. Since we're only talking about very low impedance speakers 4-8ohms, there is no need to worry about the capacitance or inductance values .
Now returning to the AT-LP3BK, this turntable has in my opinion to be the best value for money of its type, I have 6 red head shells, with 2 MC cartridges AT12S, and SONY XLMC2 & 3, then 4 MM cartridges SHURE V15Mk3-LM, SHURE M97ED, ,AT-VMS95ED+ML stylus, then an AT95E [in garage], these are all excellent cartridges with very subtle differences, heard on my ROGERS MONITORS. The M97ED has the typical 80's SHURE sound in the bass and lower mid range but on most so called hi-fi speakers of today would not be noticeable.
I know there are some hi-fi speakers out there today but none give a figure or range for frequency response, and certainly don't give a graphical response curve of the complete audio range 5Hz-30kc/s.
With regard to distance between L&R speakers, I assumed original writer was referring to average size rooms and many years ago was asked my opinion on a sound system with speakers not even along same wall, if you take my assumption, he wasn't far out with his comments, I have even seen speakers set side by side.
Interesting point on the resistance
 

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