Weird, then worried, then relieved.

Having bought an Atom and Neat Iotas a few months ago I have been really very happy with the sound.

 

However, I have noticed that a lot of the music I am streaming from Tidal seems to have a left-side bias, particularly female vocals - and in some cases the singer is standing right over on the left of the stage.  I started by just ignoring it convincing myself that Diana Krall was sitting at her piano, on the left, obviously, or putting it down to bad recordings - why would they do that?!

 

But it was really starting to annoy me and I was sure something was wrong.  So this afternoon I unplugged the cables in the back of the Atom and switched them around.  My God - still on the left!!  Jesus - was it my brain (tumour?), ears, the acoustics of the room, or was it simply that the speakers were duff?  The latter feeling like the best option.

 

I put the wires back and switched the speakers over.  Bang down the middle - Diana Krall's piano had been wheeled over to the right.  And not only that but the whole sound was better...  much better.  Was my mind playing tricks (or was it the tumour?)...

 

Then the penny dropped, by switching the speakers over the tweeters are now on the inside!  I am sure that tweeters outside work in some rooms, with different dimensions and acoustics, but in mine it's the inside.

 

I have played around with the placement, toeing in etc., and it is now sounding really amazing, just completely together and coherent - I can seem to hear lyrics better and things seem to be bouncing along a lore more.  I can't believe it, nor can I believe how long it took me to do this.

 

There may be a lesson here, not entirely sure what it is.  Maybe, don't take things for granted, tinker around.

 

Tony

Original Post

I beleive that the higher frequencies are more directional and that tweeters have a relative narrow angle of dispersion . Also the tweeters should be at ear height.

The opposite applies with base notes that is why sub woofers can generally be placed anywhere. I hope that helps

I agree it is odd, but now with the tweeter on the inside it sounds rock solid and so much better.  My study is a long and quite narrow room; I have 15ft of book cases on one side and mainly pictures on the wall on the other side - so it is an unusual environment for stereo speakers - but at present it sounds much, much better so I am content.

 

I am moving home in a year or so, when my last daughter gets her own place, and I will have a dedicated listening room in mind when we buy - then we upgrade - but for now I am so grateful to Naim for making this level of sound quality available for two grand, really it is too cheap!

Atom/Iota/Kan Stands posted:

My study is a long and quite narrow room; I have 15ft of book cases on one side and mainly pictures on the wall on the other side

This may explain much of the bias you heard. The bookcase side of the room might play relatively diffusive and/or absorptive while the pictures on the wall side is primarily reflective. The tweeter on the inside helps to minimize the differences in the side wall characteristics, keeping the high frequencies more centrally located to your ears. Plus, unlike typical asymmetric column speakers where swapping speakers is a matter of changing the tweeter placement by a few inches, swapping the flat box Iotas moves the tweeters as much as a foot or two. I wonder what effect you'd get by rotating the Iotas 90-degrees and playing them with tweeters on top, then tweeters on bottom? The Iotas certainly have an unusual design to experiment with in this regard.

Atom/Iota/Kan Stands posted:j

Having bought an Atom and Neat Iotas a few months ago I have been really very happy with the sound.

 

However, I have noticed that a lot of the music I am streaming from Tidal seems to have a left-side bias, particularly female vocals - and in some cases the singer is standing right over on the left of the stage.  I started by just ignoring it convincing myself that Diana Krall was sitting at her piano, on the left, obviously, or putting it down to bad recordings - why would they do that?!

 

But it was really starting to annoy me and I was sure something was wrong.  So this afternoon I unplugged the cables in the back of the Atom and switched them around.  My God - still on the left!!  Jesus - was it my brain (tumour?), ears, the acoustics of the room, or was it simply that the speakers were duff?  The latter feeling like the best option.

 

I put the wires back and switched the speakers over.  Bang down the middle - Diana Krall's piano had been wheeled over to the right.  And not only that but the whole sound was better...  much better.  Was my mind playing tricks (or was it the tumour?)...

 

Then the penny dropped, by switching the speakers over the tweeters are now on the inside!  I am sure that tweeters outside work in some rooms, with different dimensions and acoustics, but in mine it's the inside.

 

I have played around with the placement, toeing in etc., and it is now sounding really amazing, just completely together and coherent - I can seem to hear lyrics better and things seem to be bouncing along a lore more.  I can't believe it, nor can I believe how long it took me to do this.

 

There may be a lesson here, not entirely sure what it is.  Maybe, don't take things out for granted, tinker around.

 

Tony

This is NOT correct. If your speakers and system are properly balanced it will make no difference, her vocals should be centre dead with tweeters either in 11 0’clock position or 1 0’clock. Something is amiss.

Either your speakers are faulty or the atom.

Hi,

prompted by your post, I have just reread the Iota Explorer review in the current issue of Hifi & Records, a German audio magazine. According to the measurements, unless they are toed in, the Explorers have a flatter amplitude response with the tweeters on the inside. If the two models are similar in this regard, this would fit nicely with Joerands suggestion.

Apart from the voice on that particular piece, is anything else skewed to the same side (swapping speakersj?  If yes, move the speakers to face each other rather than forward, and stand between - how about now? It sounds to me more like a faulty speaker, whether crossover or drive unit, and this would confirm.

A thought - being aware that it's nothing like music, but is something like the Nordost set up CD available on any of the streaming sites? You may then be able to make a judgement about about tweeter in or tweeter out?

Otherwise, I tend to support the room reflection suggestion, I have a flat screen TV in the first reflection point and live with it because there is no other (acceptable) choice. On the few albums where there there is a clear effect, a towel or my non-patented cardboard box diffuser get used.

Is there a particular Diana Krall track you are thinking of? California Dreamin’ on Wallflower is an interesting one... there is some interesting mastering production work at play I think on her vocals.. there is compression and reverb which is almost a given with recorded vocals, but I also think some sort of stereo expander, possibly keyed on frequency... it gives a very full and diffuse sound to her vocal.. certainly if there are room reflections at play I could see this unduly affecting the diffuse sound to make it appear it is pulling in from one side..

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