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Poll: speakers parallel or inclined to the listener?


How are your speakers positioned?  

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I pretty much always kept my speakers (cf. signature) totally parallel. Most high studios I've been to do the same. Just a small number of them tend to slightly point the speakers at you, not 45 degrees obviously, but maybe 10-20% from fully parallel.

 

I'm now experimenting for the first time with this. I had my speakers always strictly parallel. With the inclined position, everything seems to be a bit more direct, however, stereo image is not very deep. Still need to do some more listening, but was interested in people's opinion about this.

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In general if speakers are pointed at you , you loose imaging or staging . Keeping the parallel is best but not for all speakers. For my infinities its a must to keep,them straight and they give the best imaging and staging for me. Speaker placement is something of an art but moving things around is must to achieve the best of any given speakers . The walls , ceiling and floor is also very important in this. An example is my infinity setups must have live walls behind them . And mostly live walls all around them . But behind my seats needs to be dead . There is also dispersion type wall treatments

al

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I have mine with the very slightest of toe-ins and I mean slight.....just a few degrees of toe-in and 3 meters apart. At first glance they look straight. It took me months to get it to this point after trying most toe-in scenarios and numerous positional changes relative to walls.

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Many setup "gurus" suggest starting with the speakers pointed at a "ghost point" about 5 feet behind the listening position and adjust from there. YMMV. It is mine are very close to that. The real key in setting up your system and your room is to get the frequency response as flat as possible. Everything else will fall into place from that. Just don't leave a hole in the sound stage right where you are sitting!

 

This link (only one I found quickly) is for multi-channel HT, but it echoes the "5 feet behind listening position" statement.

 

Mark your floor with different locations that you try so you can always "go back".

 

Happy Listening!

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It would appear as if incline (pitch) is being confused for yaw (toe in), and the OP may wish to clarify.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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dj, are the Y-Gs tall enough that you need to point them down to get an even frequency response?

 

Yep. I sit 9'6" ear to tweeter. They sound best with the rake pointed directly down to ear. I think the Stereophile vertical axis measurements support this as well although I haven't done any detailed measurements off axis of the tweeter.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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I bet they sound sweet! Maybe you could go back to vertical and then sitting on a throne would bring your ears to the correct height. LOL Definitely nice setup you have there!

 

Your picture in the boat reminds me of a story that Yoav told me about the anat studio speakers. He told me he once bolted them to the floor inside a huge yacht. I don't know how he did it though.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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@Musicophile:

 

I think it depends very much on speakers and room. With my current ML SL3s and a small room, they work best with a slight toe-in. My prior Spica Angelus (and a larger room) sounded best aimed directly at the listening position. My bedroom speakers are fine in a parallel setup. Patient experimentation seems to be the key to optimizing this parameter.

 

Regards,

 

Guido F.

For my system details, please see my profile. Thank you.

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@Musicophile:

 

I think it depends very much on speakers and room. With my current ML SL3s and a small room, they work best with a slight toe-in. My prior Spica Angelus (and a larger room) sounded best aimed directly at the listening position. My bedroom speakers are fine in a parallel setup. Patient experimentation seems to be the key to optimizing this parameter.

 

Regards,

 

Guido F.

 

Tried the toe in, didn't like it. Back to parallel now.

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I'm with Guido. Every setup (and set of ears!) is different. Most speakers are measured and tuned using an anechoic chamber. That's a far cry from my listening space! Yes, most speakers do roll off when measured off axis. But your room does funny things to to sound. Tune your speaker position, toe-in and listening position to your ears. I have used an Omni-mic measurement system to double check what I found to be the most balanced (frequency flatness and sound stage) by ear. It's not far off from dead flat with a little (+2 dB) mid-bass hump.

 

That's the whole thing you read about SQ in our little world, everybody's ears, room, cable, electrical power, etc. are different and we get to debate about it! I have a hard enough time thinking my audio setups sound the same day to day! Do what works for you.

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Shouldn't the tweeters be aimed directly at the listening position, to avoid off-axis treble roll-off?

 

I really think it depends on the speaker. I found that off-axis sounded best for me in my setup with the Diamond tweeters. This was before I looked at the B&W specs - dispersion over 60 degree arc within -2db of reference.

 

So if I am getting some sort of roll-off, then so be it. It sounds pretty damn good :)

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Its basic geometry. A planar speaker in the near field produces a planer wave so is best when parallel. Cone speakers

with their smaller drivers are closer to a point source so changing the direction of the center of the point source arc does not change phase relationships

if both speakers are in the same plane for point source origination. It will distort R-L balance if you aren't in center position

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Shouldn't the tweeters be aimed directly at the listening position, to avoid off-axis treble roll-off?

 

Not always. Some tweeters beam excessively, and are a bit more "smooth" off axis. Some speakers, like Martin Logan curved electrostatic panels, actually have a bit more HF off axis due to geometric cancellation effects.

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Every speaker is different. Some are better pointed more at the listener and some aren't. Good thing it's free to try it both ways. Mine are better pointed down and toed in a couple of inches.

 

+1

 

To optimize speaker placement you have to experiment to see if or how much toe-in produces the best sound. My speakers sound best when toed-in so that I can see just a small portion of the inside surfaces from the listening position.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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One may want to kook into Duke Lejune (sp) of Audio Kinesis in Audio Circle. There are different methods depending the speaker type. He does a lot in this area.

Tried the toe in, didn't like it. Back to parallel now.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Toe in depends on the polar response of the speaker. The polar response describes the horizontal loudness variation at different frequencies of different speakers but it is difficult to find complete measurements but frequency response curves at 0º, 15º and 30º should give a reasonable indication of the speakers horizontal response.

A lot of speakers have a narrow high frequency response so require toe in to the listening position but many tweeter have a rise above 10kHz and less toe in often helps. So toe in is also a matter of taste (bright - dull). But lateral response also determines 1st reflections on the room sides and therefore toe in influences room acoustics. My speakers have a wide frequency lateral response but I use some toe in to reduce reflections from the side walls.

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