Stereo image distance distance... too close to the speaker front plane?

Kutusov

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I've just noticed that my new Lintons have a pretty nice stereo image compared to what I thought they could do. I'm still adjusting their position etc and I never had heard them playing so well. The thing is, each speaker is a little over 2m apart, with a slight toe in (maybe 5º), and the image locks at 1m away from that. I had a similar problem with my previous QAcoustics 3050is which also imaged too close to the front plane of the speakers.

I do realize that the equilateral triangle thing of placement is just a theoretical reference but isn't just 1 meter too shallow? What's the "rules" on this subject, should I just toe them out? What could cause such a thing?

BTW, they are on top of the original stands with Gaia III feet and carpet disks. That shouldn't have improved things as the speakers aren't bolted to the stands but they did. It was after replacing the original spikes that I noticed the solid stereo image. Not saying it was the Isoacoustics, it could have been a coincidence due to small positioning chances I did while I was with my butt up installing the damn things :sweat:.
 

James105

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I've just noticed that my new Lintons have a pretty nice stereo image compared to what I thought they could do. I'm still adjusting their position etc and I never had heard them playing so well. The thing is, each speaker is a little over 2m apart, with a slight toe in (maybe 5º), and the image locks at 1m away from that. I had a similar problem with my previous QAcoustics 3050is which also imaged too close to the front plane of the speakers.

I do realize that the equilateral triangle thing of placement is just a theoretical reference but isn't just 1 meter too shallow? What's the "rules" on this subject, should I just toe them out? What could cause such a thing?

BTW, they are on top of the original stands with Gaia III feet and carpet disks. That shouldn't have improved things as the speakers aren't bolted to the stands but they did. It was after replacing the original spikes that I noticed the solid stereo image. Not saying it was the Isoacoustics, it could have been a coincidence due to small positioning chances I did while I was with my butt up installing the damn things :sweat:.
Toe varies a lot between different speakers, Dali say none I think Mission used to say so they cross just in front of you. I'd start with no toe in then rotate them in in small steps until you find the sweet spot.
 
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Kutusov

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Toe varies a lot between different speakers, Dali say none I think Mission used to say so they cross just in front of you. I'd start with no toe in then rotate them in in small steps until you find the sweet spot.
Thanks! But what listening distance would you consider achievable? Because it's the second set of speakers behaving like this, I'm even more paranoid now regarding my room. I could never achieve more than this with the Q Acoustics and they were all over my room, with all sorts of toe in and out and even tilt.
 

Aasbakk

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I guess your room will decide some of the imaging.
How close to the front wall are the speakers, and how close is listening position to back wall.

There could be other reasons. as you had same problem with your previous speakers.
I just did a review of two DACs, and one noticeable difference was the soundstage depth. The cheaper DAC made the music appear closer to the front wall, and not close to me. https://forums.whathifi.com/threads/dac-comparison-cheap-vs-expensive-14-test-tracks.131326/ You could use some of the tracks for testing and comparing to my description.
You can easily tell if you have different music sources Preferably analog and digital. Maybe you already did this, but thought it worth mentioning.
But as James105 says, different to-in degrees could do the trick. I would also start there
Could you post a list of your hifi components?
 
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Kutusov

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I guess your room will decide some of the imaging.
How close to the front wall are the speakers, and how close is listening position to back wall.

There could be other reasons. as you had same problem with your previous speakers.
I just did a review of two DACs, and one noticeable difference was the soundstage depth. The cheaper DAC made the music appear closer to the front wall, and not close to me. https://forums.whathifi.com/threads/dac-comparison-cheap-vs-expensive-14-test-tracks.131326/
You can easily tell if you have different music sources Preferably analog and digital. Maybe you already did this, but thought it worth mentioning.
But as James105 says, different to-in degrees could do the trick. I would also start there
Could you post a list of your hifi components?
Sure! My source is a PC with ripped flac files straight into a Denafrips Ares II dac, to an Advance Paris A12, to the speakers. Cabling is from Supra, except the speaker cables which are Inakustik LS-1004. They are bit harsh and emphasize the highs in not a very pleasant way, if that tells you anything.
 

James105

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Thanks! But what listening distance would you consider achievable? Because it's the second set of speakers behaving like this, I'm even more paranoid now regarding my room. I could never achieve more than this with the Q Acoustics and they were all over my room, with all sorts of toe in and out and even tilt.
If your speakers are 2m apart then I'd say you should be 2-2.5m away, tweeters should be at about ear height or just below but always lower than higher if not level. The sound stage will not be immersive like headphones or home cinema but on a stage just in front of the speakers as wide as the speakers and with a sense of depth to reflect the imagery placement of the instruments. As well as toe it you can vary the position of the speaker from the rear and side wall and the distance of your seat from the wall behind you.
 
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Kutusov

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and the distance of your seat from the wall behind you.
That could be it, there's no wall behind me. It's a long, narrow weird room and I have the speakers on the smaller wall, a couch some 3 meters in front of them and there's maybe another 3 meters of nothingness behind me.
 

Aasbakk

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Sure! My source is a PC with ripped flac files straight into a Denafrips Ares II dac, to an Advance Paris A12, to the speakers. Cabling is from Supra, except the speaker cables which are Inakustik LS-1004. They are bit harsh and emphasize the highs in not a very pleasant way, if that tells you anything.
Your electronics should not be an issue, as they seem to be good quality, yet I’m not familiar with the brands. Some say interconnects can affect soundstage, but speaker placement does more without a doubt. A friend told me that speaker distance to back wall should never be the same distance as to side wall. I don’t know if this affects soundstage though. I would be pushing on with the toe-in, and maybe if possible speaker distances from back wall.
Also if your speakers are lower than ear-height you could try to tilt them back a little bit. Could be worth a try even if they are at ear-height
 

Aasbakk

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That could be it, there's no wall behind me. It's a long, narrow weird room and I have the speakers on the smaller wall, a couch some 3 meters in front of them and there's maybe another 3 meters of nothingness behind me.
That’s almost like my room then 😊 my speaker are very different from yours, but I do have a very nice and deep soundstage. I doubt my speaker placements could be beneficial to you, but I´ll upload a jpeg of the placement. I used REW software Room sim first, and after that I adjusted toe-in. I also tilted the speaker a little. Btw the last part in pic shows only room height
Room sim REW.jpg
 
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Kutusov

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I'll try to post a not up to date drawing of my room
IMG_0678.jpg

That listening chair is no longer there and the couch went 90º and in front of the speakers. The rug was replaced with a much bigger shaggy 3x2 meters one and the speakers sit on top of it. And the speakers there were the Q Acoustic towers. Ceiling is short of 3 meters tall.

It's a pretty tough room to work with because of the asymmetries. That door on the left and the bookshelf on the right make it impossible to have a symmetrical positioning of the speakers. On the opposite wall I have a big sliding glass wall to a balcony, so that one is not usable.

The better option would have been to use the long wall on the left. That's certainly something I've been thinking about. That and replacing the fake leather pealing 3 seat couch with a fabric 2 seater lower to the ground. But I'll probably have to move by the end of this year, so I don't want to spend too much money on a rented flat trying to improve things.
 

Stuart83

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Oh 😳 it's almost the same shape as my back bedroom come primary listening room.
I have the q acoustics 3050i in there which sound very good but all be it in a very different configuration.
 
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Aasbakk

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Hm. That’s a room with limitations, yes. But if you don’t mind refurnishing, you could try moving the stereo setup to the opposite wall. You will get a little less space, and perhaps achieve some more intimacy in your music. Not sure about this, but you could by that also eliminate most of the asymmetries. Especially that corner where the door is. But before you do that, you could also try moving your speakers closer to each other, and adjusting the toe in accordingly. Just to see if it makes any difference.
Working with the room and placement is the hardest part, but absolutely pays of when you get it right.
Also I would bring the speakers further away from the front wall. Too close can kill a lot of soundstage. Try them at 60cm, and decrease the distance between them a bit also. The room acoustics will have less impact on smaller triangle.
 
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Kutusov

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Yeah, I'll have to play around with things in that room. It's the sound, comfort, there's a lot of things wrong in there. I'm away for a couple of weeks so plenty of time to think about. Thanks for the help so far, guys!
 

Kutusov

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So I'm back home and I've been playing around with the speakers position, things sound way better now. Turns out that, apart from anything else, they need to be closer to each other rather than far apart. They are just 1.65m apart but stereo image comes much forward. I suspect it's because they are much further away from sidewalls.
 

My2Cents

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You gotta move stuff around and use wall coverings / bass traps / ceiling panels.
Keep furnishings even on each side of the room.
Glass is horrible and best covered with a heavy curtain. If there's glass to one side and drywall on the other it screws up the standing waves and ruins the image (along with all the other reflections from the facing wall and ceiling).
Big (ish) speakers need room to breath and a high (angled) ceiling helps.
In smaller rooms the best stereo imaging will occur with small speakers sitting close. I have some studio monitors in a square room (that is somewhat treated) and sitting equidistant between them (with well recorded music) the depth of the sound stage is quite amazing at times, even at low volume.
My 3050i's are 6 feet apart, 1 foot from the wall and I sit 8 feet away. I get a pretty good depth of field.
 

Fandango Andy

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So I'm back home and I've been playing around with the speakers position, things sound way better now. Turns out that, apart from anything else, they need to be closer to each other rather than far apart. They are just 1.65m apart but stereo image comes much forward. I suspect it's because they are much further away from sidewalls.
Did you move them away from the rear wall to. If not play with that. Have you also experimented with how much toe-in you have them?

You will see lots of diagrams of optimal positions, in truth it differs from speaker to speaker and room to room.

In the absence of fancy room treatments, remember, heavy curtains, rugs, and paperback books are your friend. Hard surfaces especially glass are the enemy.
 
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My2Cents

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I take it you measure from the rear of the speaker. They are deep speakers, a foot from the front baffle and they the rears would be next door! 😉
Indeed, I refer the measurement from the rear of the speaker to the wall (which tunes the bass port). Why measure from the front baffle? That's just baffling!
The problem for me is a somewhat uneven and very thickly carpeted floor. If moved, it takes ages to get the speakers straight and totally steady again. Adjusting the spikes and making sure they are locked is a pain.

I need to get one of these...
 

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Kutusov

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My 3050i's are 6 feet apart, 1 foot from the wall and I sit 8 feet away. I get a pretty good depth of field.

Those were my previous speakers (can't recall if I mentioned that) and they were also closer than the minimum 2m (6.5ft).
Did you move them away from the rear wall to. If not play with that. Have you also experimented with how much toe-in you have them?
I'm still in the process of dealing with the rear wall distance. They are now 40cm from the wall (a little bit less than 16 inches) but the stands are also on Gaia feet. That changes the sound a bit and they are sounding a bit... ethereal. I'm changing one of them to the original spikes to compare and then adjust because as it is, I think I need to get them maybe closer.
I need to get one of these...
I have something like this, works fine... :sweatsmile:
1606482950_a0d7bf48f00a0d329158fc90092dd999.jpg
 
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Fandango Andy

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Indeed, I refer the measurement from the rear of the speaker to the wall (which tunes the bass port). Why measure from the front baffle? That's just baffling!
The problem for me is a somewhat uneven and very thickly carpeted floor. If moved, it takes ages to get the speakers straight and totally steady again. Adjusting the spikes and making sure they are locked is a pain.

I need to get one of these...
I was half joking because of the dimensions of those speakers. They seem to make narrow but deep speakers. I have (smaller) ones in my AV setup.

On the other hand it seems to be convention to measure from the front. Kind of makes sense as that's where the sound originates. Even if they have a port at the rear.

KEF seem to measure from the rear, but then they call the wall behind the speakers the rear wall and most others call it the front wall???

I got mine keyed in by trial and error and ended up at 90cm from baffle to wall.
 

My2Cents

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Every article and user manual I have ever read on speaker placement refers to the adjusting the distance from the back of the speaker to the wall behind it! If the speaker is front ported it's less of an issue anyway.
Incidentally, drywall (plasterboard) is a horrible type of wall to have behind the speakers and glass even worse.
Although everything is backwards in the UK, so perhaps that's it. LOL
 

My2Cents

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Incidentally, what kind of music are you listening to that has so much depth of filed?
Disregarding classical recordings, most music up until fairly recently has been mixed with a relatively flat depth. After all, they only really got the hang of recording in stereo in the late 70's.
Now, with recent advances in technology things are going crazy. Dolby Atmos for the home? Seriously?
Some mixes are now done in 5.1 and then converted back to stereo. This technique actually allows one to more accurately push things away and bring things forward, even though it's still only a stereo mix at the end.
Moving things back and forth using stereo only usually involves level, eq and reverb as well as panning to create the depth and placement.
Headphones like the Sony MDR MV1 allow us to do this at home without even using a 5.1 speaker system (using the 5.1 output in the DAW).

Multi track recording is so absolutely artificial and unrealistic that if most folks listened to something recorded naturally (in a acoustically perfect hall with a Decca mic tree or a Dummy Head microphone pair) they would consider it odd and weird sounding.
 
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Every article and user manual I have ever read on speaker placement refers to the adjusting the distance from the back of the speaker to the wall behind it! If the speaker is front ported it's less of an issue anyway.
Incidentally, drywall (plasterboard) is a horrible type of wall to have behind the speakers and glass even worse.
Although everything is backwards in the UK, so perhaps that's it. LOL
It has nothing to do with UK.
All measurements are normally taken from the rear of the speakers.
 

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