Play across or along a long sitting room?

My sitting/listening room is 11x22ft. The HiFi is currently set up across the width of the room. Should I set it up at one end and play the sound along the room - then I can move the sofa further away or closer to change the listening distance? And is it always best to aim for an equilateral triangle between the 2 speakers and the person, or does it just depend on the room and personal preference? Has anyone ever achieved great SQ far from equilaleral proportions?

Original Post

11ft is not likely to be enough to accomodate your speakers and somewhere for you to sit of reasonable distance from the speakers.  You're going to have very close boundaries are both ends.
I'd fire the speakers down the room and sit a bit further away from the speakers that they are apart.  Toe in as required.

If you sit too close you end up listening to two separate speakers, too far and the soundstage shrinks as well as losing detail. Toe in can help assuming the speakers are designed to be toed.

Thanks Guinnless - from memory, I think the manual recommends not toeing the Arivas in - although I do toe them in a few degrees!

But at the moment the centre of the speakers are 7 feet apart and the listener's head is 9 feet from the speakers - so the listener is a bit further away from the speakers than they are apart (as you recommend).

And actually the system sounds good as it is.

Perhaps I will try it down the room, though, when I finally get hold of the rack I've been waiting for, which arrives this weekend.

The problem with firing down the room is that the speakers will then be say 1 foot from the side walls, and there's a chance that the sound waves will bounce off the side walls and interfere with each other - or can that not happen?

Yes, Naim don't generally recommened toe in with their speakers.  I moved my Credos from firing across the room, wth the speakers hard against the wall;  to firing down the room with space behind the speakers.  The sound was so much more cohesive and added depth to the soundstage for the first time.  There was no going back.....

I've since changed to Spendor A7s which allow toe in and sound just great in the same configuration.  Yes the speaker are close to sidewalls but still with Spendor's defined limits. The toe in reduces immediate reflections and solidifies the soundstage.

You may find it worth trying both and see which you prefer.  Unless you live in a huge home there are always going to be compromises, choose the one suits you best. And then don't worry about the ones you can't fix.

I have a similar sized room to you and my NBLs fire down the room and work superbly well with the slightest of toe in. The only advise is to try it for yourself as every room and set up is different. You should be able to decide which works best for you after listening to a few tracks.    This is a very personal thing, I prefer to sit back from the speakers, others prefer the near field experience, only you can decide. I sit about 15 feet back from the speakers. Let us know how you get on.

My room is 10.5 ft x 40 ft and my speakers are firing across the length of the room. I'd say it will depend on the room, speakers and personal preferences. Personally I do not like listening in near field configuration. I sit at about 11 to 13 feet away from the speakers and find this distance to be optimal for my preferences and perhaps type of speakers. The furniture and/or paintings that you have on the side walls between the speakers and the chair that you sit on will affect the sound too (if your speakers are firing down the room). 

JimDog posted:

Thanks Guinnless - from memory, I think the manual recommends not toeing the Arivas in - although I do toe them in a few degrees!

But at the moment the centre of the speakers are 7 feet apart and the listener's head is 9 feet from the speakers - so the listener is a bit further away from the speakers than they are apart (as you recommend).

And actually the system sounds good as it is.

Perhaps I will try it down the room, though, when I finally get hold of the rack I've been waiting for, which arrives this weekend.

The problem with firing down the room is that the speakers will then be say 1 foot from the side walls, and there's a chance that the sound waves will bounce off the side walls and interfere with each other - or can that not happen?

If it's firing down the room, the speakers need more space from the side walls. I'm not sure about the Arivas but with close placement to the side walls, the speakers usually need to have some toe-in to reduce the reflection from the walls. 

Interesting topic for me this one. I use Proac  Tablette 10 speakers  firing across the width of a room something like 20ft. by 10ft. After much experimenting/messing around I currently have them just over 5ft. apart with a fair bit of toe in. I have tried them much further apart than this, with varying degrees of toe in and so far what I have currently sounds okay. As I am only some 7ft away from them when listening when they were further apart it was sometimes like listening to two "separate speakers" with little depth or soundstage. Now they seem better in this respect but I will see how they seem over the next few months.

Before any one asks though, it is not practical for various reasons to have them working up the length of the room.

Thanks all - these comments have helped me think thru what to do.

Moving the hifi to fire down the length of the room is just too diffcult for me too - I'd have to deal with side wall and toe-in issues, and the fact that there are glass French windows one end and a recessed bay window the other end, which suggests only listening with both sets of curtains shut (plus moving the Freesat input).

So I'm going to make a concerted effort to throughly test speaker position - then spike them in and see if my 60mm spikes are ok thru that 29mm thick carpet and underlay...

For what it’s worth, my SL2s are 190cm apart, centre to centre, playing across a 3.6m (12ft) wide room. They are 9cm from the back wall and toed in just a couple of degrees. Set up like this they disappear into the soundstage so that they effectively disappear. It never sounds like the music is coming just from two separate speakers, if that makes sense. 

My room is 7.5 x 4m.  Speakers fire across the short length & located aprx half way down the room length.   I have them 2.15cm apart (centre to centre) & 12cm from rear of the speaker to back wall.   Plus I have them toe'd in to 'cross' in line with the centre of the listening position line.  I find this broadens the listening position to share between two chairs 

So we have these isosceles triangles (approx, assuming that Nigel and Mike using most of the width of their rooms) with 'Sonic Triangulation Ratios' or STRs©:

160 x 215   > STR 1.3    (Charles)

215 x 270   > STR 1.3    (Jim)

190 x 300  > STR 1.6     (Nigel)

215 x 360  > STR 1.7     (Mike)

The greater figures for Nigel and Mike probably mainly reflect the fact that they have wider rooms.

But it's interesting how close the speakers all are together. And that none of the triangles are very near to equilateral (i.e. an STR of 1).

And I love Nigel's description of the speakers disappearing - I'm definitely going to try for that. Speakers vanish in the sweet spot...

(If Nigel and Mike's chairs are way forward of the back wall, then the above guesses are wrong).

Also, it's interesting that most of us on this thread are playing across, not along. (Reminds me of that old Bauhaus video of a wind tunnel.)

Yup you guessed it wrong.  My chair is a rotary recliner,  needing more space than most to the rear wall,  but even so its too close to fully recline against the rear wall.   I'm around STR 1.3 upright & 1.5 reclined.     Whatever, interesting as it all is,  I prefer to just get the best sound with what I have to (want to) live with - but with a few of the fundamental basics.  

Bloody hell - I just moved my speakers 5 times (they slide on roof tiles over the carpet).

Ended up with each speaker about 3 inches closer to the other one (more like Nigel).

And about 3 inches further back (to get me a bit further from the 'near field'.)

And toed-in by a lot more (to aim directly at my head, like Mike does).

This sounds maybe 20% better, just doing that! And the speakers started to merge much more into one sound. No bullshit.

I tried this with Miles Davis Agartha track 3 'Maiysha', and a band I'd never heard of (Last Days of Lorca) and a pop song ('Into You' by Tamia & Fabolous). With my eyes closed (withdrawl of the senses), which really helps me listen...

I guess the STR went up to perhaps 1.4 - a longer triangle?

Maybe there is a mathematical sweet spot around 1.4 or 1.5....???

If I had a wider room, I'd try this more systematically.

But this has been a great discovery for me anyway. Thanks all.

Got some more listening to do.

JimDog posted:

 

..........    And toed-in by a lot more (to aim directly at my head, like Mike does).   This sounds maybe 20% better, just doing that! And the speakers started to merge much more into one sound. No bullshit.

100%  .....  personally I don't like it,  I'm a tidy freak & to my fuddled brain the angle doesn't look right.  Whatever it works, it sounds right, sound stage is so much more natural, speakers disappear,  top end is clear & detailed & a 5 string bass guitar grunts on an open B string.  WAF is all cool with it,  so I'll live with it.   

My room is 11'x 17' and I listen down the long way. My speakers are 7' apart (center to center) and listening position is 8'6" back from the line across the baffles. The speakers are toed in and tuned that way for best soundstage. I listen to a lot of orchestral music so the image and soundstage needs to be just right. I have it sounding pretty good. Next week it will get better when my Fraim arrives.

that looks like a very cold glass of Pimms and a very comfortable chair

your triangle looks a bit shorter - maybe 1.3?

and your speakers provide a good height range compared to the listeners' ears and do not seem to be as toed-in as Mike's 'direct splice'

I am definitely going to rediscover Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Gloria Coates, Bartok, et al over the coming weeks

tonight's discussion of speaker angles reminded me of when I left school in 1980 aged 16 and bought my first hifi and my father came into my bedroom and I was playing Led Zep on volume 7 with the speakers lying on their sides on the floor about 2 feet from my ears, like a huge pair of headphones....

I can't stomach Pimms, sorry. That's just a nice glass of sun-brewed white-pomegranate tea. The chair is very comforatble no matter what's in my glass (a nice Zin or an IPA on the weekends, usually).

I think the photo makes the triangle look longer than it is. The measuements I gave (7' across, 8'6" long) are correct. If I meaure the listening position to each baffle (instead to the center of the line across the baffles) it is 9', so yeah I guess that's just about 1:1.3. In any case, it sounds great.

It wouldn't do for me to orient the speakers the other way. They need to be at least a half-meter off the walls and with the door to the room that just wouldn't work.

I've thought about relocating everything to the 13' x 22' living room (trading the HiFi for the TV/HT system), but I'm afraid my speakers might insist I bring a 300DR to the party.

My rooms 17 x 13ft, my speakers (PMC 20 24) are about 8 or 9ft apart on the long wall 10" from rear wall, toed in, away from corners, side walls etc. My listening sofa (high back leather to help reduce reflection) is against the opposite wall. I would guess that it depends on individual perceptions of music and also on the chosen speakers. My wife and I can easily slip into the music and enjoy it, and that, after all is what it's all about. Don't be afraid to experiment because what's right for one person is not necessarily correct for someone else. Rich 

kiba posted:

What is the formula for 'Sonic Triangulation Ratios' or STRs©?

Depends of the speakers and perhaps the output capabilities of the amp, but 1.13 to 1.23 figures about right.

My room of 16 x 32ft (as a guestimate) layout of system is largely from having french windows in the middle of one width and having a  dining table and storage area at the other. Having speakers firing either across or down is not an option.

Lucky that the room is just large enough to shoehorn the speakers and rack into the top right lengths corner and firing to a hot seat just a little to the right back lengths wall - while still getting that 1.13 ratio and a little space from side and back wall to speakers.

Limited in any choice of speakers, they can't be too wide or deep, but what I have now seems just right.

Toby - is the 1.13 ratio a known thing or something you just invented/guessed at?

This ratio is supported by this quote from a site: 'This listening position—equidistant from the speakers and slightly farther from each speaker than the speakers are from each other—is called the “sweet spot.”'

I just found this thread and started looking at it: https://forums.naimaudio.com/t...ly=40987866011474025

I was wondering the other night whether I could put it in a corner and play diagonally across the room - but then two corners of my room are ruined by glass French windows and the other two by a nearly full width deeply recessed bay window. Both these features would create uneven reflections and sonics.

The speakers point directly at a large velvet sofa covered in cushions - that and the thick carpet absorb/disperse a lot of the sound. The ceiling has a nasty 1980's 'crazed drip' pattern on it that probably scatters some sound wave reflections too. Plus large pictures both sides of the room.

Kiba: STR = long side/short side of isoceles triangle

Brian von Bork from Cardas Audio just told me:

"There is no rule for toe in as it is speaker and room dependent. Trial and error is required. In a perfect world the distance between the speakers should be the same as the distance to the listening chair. This creates an equilateral triangle."

Then: "It's possible that 1.2 could sound better but it's such a small difference it's probably not audible. One of the main reasons for the closer listening position is to minimize early reflections. Like a recording studio with near field speaker placement..."

By 1.2 he means what I call an STR...

JimDog posted:

Brian von Bork from Cardas Audio just told me:

"There is no rule for toe in as it is speaker and room dependent. Trial and error is required. In a perfect world the distance between the speakers should be the same as the distance to the listening chair. This creates an equilateral triangle."

...

That always seemed obvious to me. I always start with speakers firing straight on to start with, and work from there until I have the desired affect for system, speakers and room.

RaceTripper posted:
JimDog posted:

Brian von Bork from Cardas Audio just told me:

"There is no rule for toe in as it is speaker and room dependent. Trial and error is required. In a perfect world the distance between the speakers should be the same as the distance to the listening chair. This creates an equilateral triangle."

...

That always seemed obvious to me. I always start with speakers firing straight on to start with, and work from there until I have the desired affect for system, speakers and room.

I do the same and give myself a few days, then adjust further if required.

Guinnless posted:
RaceTripper posted:
JimDog posted:

Brian von Bork from Cardas Audio just told me:

"There is no rule for toe in as it is speaker and room dependent. Trial and error is required. In a perfect world the distance between the speakers should be the same as the distance to the listening chair. This creates an equilateral triangle."

...

That always seemed obvious to me. I always start with speakers firing straight on to start with, and work from there until I have the desired affect for system, speakers and room.

I do the same and give myself a few days, then adjust further if required.

For new speakers it take me much longer than that. It changes as the speakers break in. I'm into my new speakers for just over a month now and still making tweaks as they change from running in. Dynaudio's Esotar2 tweeter is notorious for long break in times.

Guinnless posted:

My Spendor A7s are just two months old.  Once fully run in I tweaked the toe in over a week. 

My motorbike laser chain alignment tool came in handy for getting the positions correct.  ☺

I have a laser sharp tool for aligning my speakers too. My ears. 

Yes, experimenting with speaker position is an art form in itself.

What I've realized from this thread is:

i) speakers should disappear/merge when they are just right

ii) speakers can be closer together than seems 'normal' (e.g. Nigel's 1.9m)

iii) the proportions between the 3 sides of the speakers/head horizontal triangle are closer to equilateral than I thought (but in the end totally individual)

iv) there is also a vertical triangle to hone (as per Racetipper's subwoofer on the floor and tweeters up above his head)

iv) there is not even consensus on whether it's best to aim along or across the room

v) sidewalls and ceilings matter more than I realized

and most of all -

vi) despite what it says in the manual, it sounds fantastic when you aim them right at your head

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