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Ways to make speakers go anywhere.



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 9th 19, 11:21 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Howard Stone
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Posts: 45
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

The speakers I have are really annoying because, to get them sounding as good as they should, they need to be positioned in places I don't want them to be. 1m from walls etc.

I want my speakers low down and unobtrusive, or high up on bookshelves. I want them hiding away in corners and right up against walls. And I want speakers which are flexible, which can be moved anywhere.

Are there any solutions to this problem? Solutions I can implement myself without taking a degree in acoustics?

Here's an idea. Can I use DSPs to compensate for all the bass boom I get out of classic speakers if I put them where I want them to be rather than where they want to be? And can I do it simply and affordably?

This is the biggest weakness of classic speakers IMO, and why Quad, Rogers, Spendor etc really don't give people what they want. I'm hoping that 21st century technology will come to the rescue.
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  #2  
Old May 10th 19, 01:23 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
jmee
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Posts: 1
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On 5/9/2019 15:21, Howard Stone wrote:
> The speakers I have are really annoying because, to get them sounding as good as they should, they need to be positioned in places I don't want them to be. 1m from walls etc.
>
> I want my speakers low down and unobtrusive, or high up on bookshelves. I want them hiding away in corners and right up against walls. And I want speakers which are flexible, which can be moved anywhere.
>
> Are there any solutions to this problem? Solutions I can implement myself without taking a degree in acoustics?
>
> Here's an idea. Can I use DSPs to compensate for all the bass boom I get out of classic speakers if I put them where I want them to be rather than where they want to be? And can I do it simply and affordably?
>
> This is the biggest weakness of classic speakers IMO, and why Quad, Rogers, Spendor etc really don't give people what they want. I'm hoping that 21st century technology will come to the rescue.


I don't know about the "low", but Audio Note AN-K, AN-X would fit the
"small" and do well in the corner.

The low part is difficult because (generally) the tweeter ought to be
about ear height. While not optimal, this can be ameliorated somewhat by
putting them in a bookshelf.

The AN-E series are much nicer but bigger and more expensive and not
suited to being on bookshelves, but are really designed for corner
placement.

  #3  
Old May 13th 19, 02:41 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
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Posts: 104
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:21:40 PM UTC-4, Howard Stone wrote:
> The speakers I have are really annoying because, to get them sounding as =

good as they should, they need to be positioned in places I don't want them=
to be. 1m from walls etc.
>=20
> I want my speakers low down and unobtrusive, or high up on bookshelves. I=

want them hiding away in corners and right up against walls. And I want sp=
eakers which are flexible, which can be moved anywhere.

As it happens, and apart from (very) exceptional room acoustics, your dilem=
ma was addressed quite specifically by no less than Acoustic Research and E=
dgar Villchur back in the dim and distant 1960s. And, much of the ARs desig=
ns historically were based on solving placement issues.=20

All of the above based on minimum 8"/200 mm woofers and against the wall in=
"conventional" box-type front-firing speakers. Smaller woofers are hopele=
ss in delivering clean bass unless in many multiples - which brings on more=
problems than it solves.=20

As follows:

Starting on the LONG wall of the listening room:

a) Place speaker A at the 1/4 point from one corner. Makes no difference wh=
ich. The woofer should be at least one (1) woofer diameter off the floor - =
making the center-line at 1.5 diameters. The tweets should be IN or UP.=20
b) Place speaker B at the 1/3 point from the opposite corner.
c) While playing a full-range, well-recorded, familiar signal at normal/sli=
ghtly lower volume, tweak Speaker B to achieve the best sound-stage. 95% of=
the time, B will move closer to A. Starting out, your sound-stage will be =
~2/3 as wide as the distance between the speakers and about as deep as half=
the distance between them.=20
d) Once you have achieved a comfortable sound-stage, tweak either/both spea=
ker heights to achieve the best possible signal balance. If you have wide-d=
ispersion (as in dome) tweets (and, ideally mid-ranges) *YOUR* ear level wi=
ll not be critical.=20

And, this should do it - excepting very strange rooms or strangely shaped r=
ooms.=20

Notes:

1. At no time should the speakers be symmetrical on a given wall _UNLESS_ t=
here is something between them (such as a fireplace) that renders their rel=
ationship asymmetrical within the room. Symmetrical placement invites stand=
ing waves, cancellation waves and other forms of interference. For the same=
reason, no speaker should be placed at a mind-point between two walls.=20
2. Exactly the same exercise obtains on the short wall, except that bass wi=
ll be enhanced, sometimes too much.=20
3. Exactly the same exercise obtains from the ceiling rather than the floor=
- but the speakers should be bass-up if vertical in that exercise. No chan=
ge if on their sides - tweets in. =20
4. With good speakers (clean response curve) final placement will very much=
depend on the listener and his/her preferences. And, therefore why the exe=
rcise should be with all settings "FLAT" and with familiar and full-range s=
ignal. Changes from a good start will not require changes in speaker locati=
on(s).=20
5> And to repeat: NOT SYMMETRICAL!=20

Once you have found a configuration that pleases you - give it a week. Mark=
the locations in some way, then start over but with a different signal. If=
you wind up at the same points, you are done. And, of course, inches do ma=
ke a difference - and why you should give it time until you are very happy =
with the result.=20

Side note: AR added a center-channel to its flagship receiver as back when =
stereo was "new", recording engineers often exaggerated separation as an "O=
h, WOW!" factor. And David Hafler designed the Hafler Circuit to address th=
at issue, which evolved into the Poor Man's Quadraphonic system. Be careful=
that the signal you use is well engineered *and* well recorded.=20

Best of luck - you don't need any "stinking DSP" for good sound!=20

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #4  
Old May 13th 19, 07:37 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Ed Presson[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 32
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

Peter,

Thanks for the post on the AR recommendations. Somehow, I never saw their
results this complete, although I'm old enough.

Do you have any ideas about how these recommendations apply to dipole
speakers?

Ed Presson

"Peter Wieck" wrote in message ...

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:21:40 PM UTC-4, Howard Stone wrote:
> The speakers I have are really annoying because, to get them sounding as
> good as they should, they need to be positioned in places I don't want
> them to be. 1m from walls etc.
>
> I want my speakers low down and unobtrusive, or high up on bookshelves. I
> want them hiding away in corners and right up against walls. And I want
> speakers which are flexible, which can be moved anywhere.


As it happens, and apart from (very) exceptional room acoustics, your
dilemma was addressed quite specifically by no less than Acoustic Research
and Edgar Villchur back in the dim and distant 1960s. And, much of the ARs
designs historically were based on solving placement issues.

All of the above based on minimum 8"/200 mm woofers and against the wall in
"conventional" box-type front-firing speakers. Smaller woofers are hopeless
in delivering clean bass unless in many multiples - which brings on more
problems than it solves.

As follows:

Starting on the LONG wall of the listening room:

a) Place speaker A at the 1/4 point from one corner. Makes no difference
which. The woofer should be at least one (1) woofer diameter off the floor -
making the center-line at 1.5 diameters. The tweets should be IN or UP.
b) Place speaker B at the 1/3 point from the opposite corner.
c) While playing a full-range, well-recorded, familiar signal at
normal/slightly lower volume, tweak Speaker B to achieve the best
sound-stage. 95% of the time, B will move closer to A. Starting out, your
sound-stage will be ~2/3 as wide as the distance between the speakers and
about as deep as half the distance between them.
d) Once you have achieved a comfortable sound-stage, tweak either/both
speaker heights to achieve the best possible signal balance. If you have
wide-dispersion (as in dome) tweets (and, ideally mid-ranges) *YOUR* ear
level will not be critical.

And, this should do it - excepting very strange rooms or strangely shaped
rooms.

Notes:

1. At no time should the speakers be symmetrical on a given wall _UNLESS_
there is something between them (such as a fireplace) that renders their
relationship asymmetrical within the room. Symmetrical placement invites
standing waves, cancellation waves and other forms of interference. For the
same reason, no speaker should be placed at a mind-point between two walls.
2. Exactly the same exercise obtains on the short wall, except that bass
will be enhanced, sometimes too much.
3. Exactly the same exercise obtains from the ceiling rather than the
floor - but the speakers should be bass-up if vertical in that exercise. No
change if on their sides - tweets in.
4. With good speakers (clean response curve) final placement will very much
depend on the listener and his/her preferences. And, therefore why the
exercise should be with all settings "FLAT" and with familiar and full-range
signal. Changes from a good start will not require changes in speaker
location(s).
5> And to repeat: NOT SYMMETRICAL!

Once you have found a configuration that pleases you - give it a week. Mark
the locations in some way, then start over but with a different signal. If
you wind up at the same points, you are done. And, of course, inches do make
a difference - and why you should give it time until you are very happy with
the result.

Side note: AR added a center-channel to its flagship receiver as back when
stereo was "new", recording engineers often exaggerated separation as an
"Oh, WOW!" factor. And David Hafler designed the Hafler Circuit to address
that issue, which evolved into the Poor Man's Quadraphonic system. Be
careful that the signal you use is well engineered *and* well recorded.

Best of luck - you don't need any "stinking DSP" for good sound!

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA


  #5  
Old May 13th 19, 07:53 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 104
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On Monday, May 13, 2019 at 2:37:58 PM UTC-4, Ed Presson wrote:

> Do you have any ideas about how these recommendations apply to dipole
> speakers?


As it happens, I keep Maggies (MGIIIa) on the main system. By default, and after much finagling, they wound up in the corners, 45 degrees splayed and with the back-foot about 18" from the wall on the short wall of a 17' x 27' x 10' room. They need all the bass reinforcement they can get, and the treble is so well dispersed that the backs firing into a corner give a very nice depth-of-field. That they are fed by a brute-force power-amp helps a great deal as well.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #6  
Old May 13th 19, 08:11 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 332
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:21:40 PM UTC-4, Howard Stone wrote:
> The speakers I have are really annoying because, to get them
> sounding as good as they should, they need to be positioned in
> places I don't want them to be. 1m from walls etc.
>
> I want my speakers low down and unobtrusive, or high up on
> bookshelves. I want them hiding away in corners and right up
> against walls. And I want speakers which are flexible, which
> can be moved anywhere.
>
> Are there any solutions to this problem? Solutions I can
> implement myself without taking a degree in acoustics?


You only infer, somewhat, below, what you find "really annoying"
about the results. In fact, you use the phrase:

"The speakers I have are really annoying"

What do you find annoying about THEM? Ignoring the inconvenience
of placement, for them moment, do they sound similarly annoying
placed where they're "supposed" to be placed?

> Here's an idea. Can I use DSPs to compensate for all the bass
> boom I get out of classic speakers if I put them where I want them
> to be rather than where they want to be? And can I do it simply
> and affordably?


Well, maybe. If the problem is simply dues to the low-frequency
interaction with the proximal wall surfaces, maybe. But, if it's
the kind of problem you might get, say, when trying to put the
speakers in a resonant situation like in bookshelf cavities, no,
you'll always have that problem and DSP will turn a relatively
simple acoustical problem into a complex electronic/acoustical
problem.

But, having worked a lot on speakers, I do not have a clear picture
on what the "really annoying problem" you're hearing is.

> This is the biggest weakness of classic speakers IMO, and why
> Quad, Rogers, Spendor etc really don't give people what they
> want.


Well, Quad, Rogers, Spendor, and KEF and B&W actually have given a
fairly large number of people what they want: that's why some of
them are selling their wares in conmparatively high numbers.

Further, the room problems due to placement of things like Quads (the
electrostats) is VERY different than the problems presented by
the other examples you give.

> I'm hoping that 21st century technology will come to the rescue.


Well, as I told several clients, there may not be a technological
solution to your kind of problem. But, you have to define your problem
a bit better, though.
  #7  
Old May 14th 19, 10:46 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Howard Stone
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 45
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

Thanks for all these interesting , stimulating.

The «*really annoying*» thing is just that the speakers can’t be hidden away in corners or low down or flat against a wall in some unintrusive position without effecting the sound negatively,

I’ve just had a brief opportunity to think about the AR ideas, but placing the speaker one woofer diameter from the floor leaves them pretty low. Won’t there be a lot of boom from the floor?
  #8  
Old May 14th 19, 01:12 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 104
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:46:10 AM UTC-4, Howard Stone wrote:
> Thanks for all these interesting , stimulating.
>
> The «*really annoying*» thing is just that the speakers can’t be hidden away in corners or low down or flat against a wall in some unintrusive position without effecting the sound negatively,
>
> I’ve just had a brief opportunity to think about the AR ideas, but placing the speaker one woofer diameter from the floor leaves them pretty low. Won’t there be a lot of boom from the floor?


Howard:

The initial placement is the minimum point of departure, not the final resting place. And, it is a function of woofer size, room size & shape and a number of other factors such that the final result is unlikely to be the first-look.

Example: I keep a pair of AR3a speakers in the "wife friendly" system. They are in a room with plaster walls, hardwood floors, two French doors and a bow window, that is 17 x 14 x 10. They wound up 6.5 feet apart, 18" above the floor, ~7' from one wall and ~4 feet from the the opposite wall. Horizontal distances are ~Center-Line, vertical are to the base of the speaker. I used Kiri Te Kanawa Exultate Jubilate for the horizontal placement, and Jeremiah Clarke Trumpet Voluntary (Kettle Drums) for the vertical placement. They are being driven by a fully rebuilt vintage AR receiver making a measured 80 watts into the 4-ohm load.

Note also that room furnishings make a difference. There is a Turkish carpet in this room and Afghans in the other. But they are not under the speakers and therefore have no immediate effect. They do serve to dampen the room overall, but that is a good thing given all the hard finishes.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #9  
Old May 14th 19, 03:49 PM posted to rec.audio.high-end
Peter Wieck[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 104
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

I dunno - It was pretty clear to me:

Premise: Conventional speakers are awkward boxes that are hard to "disappear" as decorative items.

Request: Are there means-and-methods to reduce this awkwardness?

Secondary: Would a DSP be a proper (first) place to start?

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #10  
Old May 15th 19, 01:26 AM posted to rec.audio.high-end
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 332
Default Ways to make speakers go anywhere.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:46:10 AM UTC-4, Howard Stone wrote:
> Thanks for all these interesting , stimulating.=20
>=20
> The =C2=AB=C2=A0really annoying=C2=A0=C2=BB thing is just that the speake=

rs can=E2=80=99t be
> hidden away in corners or low down or flat against a wall in some
> unintrusive position without effecting the sound negatively, =20


Okay, let me try one more time: to YOU, how do you find the sound
effected negatively?=20
 




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