My endless speaker dilemma

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AndrewA

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #20 on: 18 Jul 2017, 04:40 pm »
A very large majority of speakers need room to breathe, and sound best when well away from wall surfaces.

Only a very few are designed specifically to function optimally when pushed as close as you want.  Wilson Duettes come to mind; Neat Iota Alpha might work too.  Some others are designed to be placed close to corners, but if you have seven walls, you don't have conventional corners with intersecting walls.  A lot of people are listening to speakers in suboptimal positions because of non-audio related reasons, often "domestic" in nature...

Archguy

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #21 on: 20 Jul 2017, 12:40 am »


Thanks to everyone who offered helpful and relevant replies to my dilemma :)


   99% of speakers are designed to function best away from walls, so move the speakers out at least 3 feet from walls 

How do you guys get the women in your lives to 1) get rid of their favorite furniture and 2) permit speakers to be situated out in the middle of the room?  Sure you can do this in your 'man caves' but don't you want decent sound in your other rooms too? 

So I should probably cut the rear-port speakers off my list, huh.   I've seen recommendations that speakers should be located five feet from the wall behind.  Whose living room can accommodate that??  How far is it then to the listening spot?

https://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=speakers&m=355798
 
 
I'm sorry if I misstated the Zu models...most are over your stated budget new, but check out them out on hifishark.  There's not much of a selection used for sale at this moment, but if you look at the sold/expired listings you'll see several models have been listed or sold under $2,000.

Two things I like about Zu, to me they're very good looking and I really like the owners attitude. He just seems to have fun and doesn't mind bucking tradition. I can't speak to their sound as I haven't heard them.
Not at all--Zu do offer a 'Dirty Weekend' model well within my price range.  Very interesting stuff and I agree about the owner's attitude.
 http://www.zuaudio.com/loudspeakers/omen-dirty-weekend-2
Sounds like it's something I should audition before buying.   Suddenly I hear screams of "You should audition any speaker before buying!!!" but I'm a big believer in hearing the speakers in your space with your music, and not everyone facilitates that.  Notwithstanding, I've got three tower pairs here or on their way and may wait a bit before buying another set or two.  I can always use the rejects somewhere, or sell them, or in some cases return them.   Zu says "60-day 100% satisfaction guarantee and we pay return shipping."  Not bad.


If you can find these.
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/stratamini/stratamini.html

And these.
http://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/onix-reference-3-speakers-11-2004.html

Thanks

A very large majority of speakers need room to breathe, and sound best when well away from wall surfaces.

Only a very few are designed specifically to function optimally when pushed as close as you want.  Wilson Duettes come to mind; Neat Iota Alpha might work too.  Some others are designed to be placed close to corners, but if you have seven walls, you don't have conventional corners with intersecting walls.  A lot of people are listening to speakers in suboptimal positions because of non-audio related reasons, often "domestic" in nature...

Exactly.  If I can find speakers that aren't 15-20" deep it'll be easier to bring them away from the walls.  But no way am I going to be able to do three or more feet.   The Duette is fascinating, what with the user-configurable tweeter resistor and such.   I didn't know that mfr before though I recognize a couple of their wilder designs.  I'll add them to my long list of speakers under consideration for my next purchase.

Meanwhile, about speaker aesthetics....if the right Salk towers come up on the resale market (or Salk Certified) I may be done.

Thanks again for all the advice.

goskers

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #22 on: 20 Jul 2017, 02:17 am »
My recommendation would be to learn how to interpret measurements.  A few manufacturers produce complete sets of polar data.  This data has the capability to give you an great idea as to how a speaker will sound in most environments.  Without good measurements you are going to be selecting based on reviews, marketing based hyperbole, fancy cabinets and designers thoughts. 

The faster you can get into what actually makes a speaker consistently sound good the more money and time you will save.  If you truly want to 'end' your speaker circle then I would highly recommend you do some healthy reading on the science behind things. Some starting recommendations would be from Toole, Olive and Harman International.
My humble .02

Letitroll98

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #23 on: 20 Jul 2017, 09:37 am »

How do you guys get the women in your lives to 1) get rid of their favorite furniture and 2) permit speakers to be situated out in the middle of the room?  Sure you can do this in your 'man caves' but don't you want decent sound in your other rooms too?
 
 Not at all--Zu do offer a 'Dirty Weekend' model well within my price range.  Very interesting stuff and I agree about the owner's attitude.
 http://www.zuaudio.com/loudspeakers/omen-dirty-weekend-2
Sounds like it's something I should audition before buying.

#1, get rid of the wife, makes speaker placement so much easier.  I don't listen to music in the living room so anything that works for movies is fine and placement is relatively unimportant.  In my dedicated listening room (the den) speakers are well away from the front wall and measured to within 1/16".  In your case compromises must be made so, for myself, I wouldn't invest much in speakers that can't be placed optimally.

Sean Casey of Zu is a great guy with an interesting history.  I couldn't recommend him more highly, so it's with regret that I never got his speakers.  I get it that he's looking for a very dynamic, lifelike sound, but it just never suited my taste.  But people that buy his speakers love them and they will play fairly close to a wall, so it could be a solution for you.

JLM

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #24 on: 20 Jul 2017, 12:38 pm »
Most audiophiles are "gear-heads" who overbuy gear for the given room.  The listening environment cannot be ignored if you want good sound.  As an architect you know the ancient Greeks developed their "Golden Greek Rectangle" (5 x 8 ratio) that was deemed visually pleasing, but more importantly minimized echo.  You are in the minority, prioritizing aesthetics, don't seem to have any direction on what you want sonically, and have serious domestic approval challenges, so I recommend not buying a in-room audio system. 

If you're  serious about listening use headphones.  For less than 1% of the cost for an in-room system you can keep your sense of proper aesthetics and domestic tranquility for sound that would surpass what you could ever do with your aesthetic/room concerns.  A friend is currently between listening rooms so is back to headphones use that, minus soundstage and bass feel, matches his $6000 system for $20 based on using his iPhone 6.

For background listening, just pick up a Bluesound or Sonus wireless/powered speaker.  Either will sound as good as pushing speakers against the wall, and blocking with plants/furniture. 

rollo

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #25 on: 20 Jul 2017, 02:29 pm »
  Sorry but your room setup is just not proper for any speaker IMHO. So your dilemma is not speaker choice it is reality, the room location is just not helping. If anything as JLM stated headphones just may be your nirvana.
  The wife factor or decorating factor is a real life issue for most. Could you transform your HT setup to play two channel as well ? Anyway good luck.


charles

AJinFLA

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #26 on: 20 Jul 2017, 02:50 pm »
#1, get rid of the wife, makes speaker placement so much easier.
You might be an audiophile if....
 :lol:

macrojack

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #27 on: 20 Jul 2017, 04:14 pm »
Several of the people who have responded are vastly more in tune than I am to what's on the market now so that may mean I have an inappropriate offering here.
Nonetheless, I shall proceed with my plan. You have indicated that you listen nearly exclusively to digital streaming.Wouldn't that put you in a very good compromise position? Consider a pair of KEF LS 50W. They are very attractive, have notoriously good sound, require no additional electronics or speaker wire, and provide a sub output.
The only potential objection I can imagine is the color of the KEF driver might be a bit vivid for wifey. If so, I should think you could fashion a small, acoustically transparent cover.
The compromise notion comes from the KEFs being wireless and relatively compact. You still need wired AC, of course, but otherwise these are definitely minimal size. BTW, there are settings on the back that allow for varying placements, including against the wall.

Dadbeh

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #28 on: 20 Jul 2017, 04:30 pm »
That is all true if you trust reviews on digital audio review, part time audiophile and the like which you shouldnt. I'm not saying it is not a good product I'm saying the above mentioned are not to be blindly trusted,  ever.

twitch54

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #29 on: 20 Jul 2017, 06:22 pm »
#1, get rid of the wife, makes speaker placement so much easier.  I don't listen to music in the living room so anything that works for movies is fine and placement is relatively unimportant.  In my dedicated listening room (the den) speakers are well away from the front wall and measured to within 1/16".  In your case compromises must be made so, for myself, I wouldn't invest much in speakers that can't be placed optimally.

Sean Casey of Zu is a great guy with an interesting history.  I couldn't recommend him more highly, so it's with regret that I never got his speakers.  I get it that he's looking for a very dynamic, lifelike sound, but it just never suited my taste.  But people that buy his speakers love them and they will play fairly close to a wall, so it could be a solution for you.

Yep, and that glass bookcase in between is a disaster (acoustically speaking) as well ......

bummrush

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #30 on: 20 Jul 2017, 06:34 pm »
From above,speakers need room to breathe I was plenty happy with near field small stereo roo. But for many many years i wanted my Clements in the living room.Had been looking for amp on and off. Got a QED integrated right here for $50. Jumped on it. Its old i had never heard of company.  I still have amp,pre amp   cd player in small room. I dont go in themuch cause the qed just rocks the speakers  and im using a car cd player.  Coundnt be happier. Those Clements still blow me away. Plenty happy with finally getting them into a much much bigger .placed horizontal on long wall Plus dont get in small room just because im using thos little pioneers. As expected no comparison in sound,pioneers are good,but obviously you cant compare the two.
 I'll add pics sometime if i can figure it out.

AndrewA

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #31 on: 20 Jul 2017, 06:44 pm »
As I and others have stated, most speakers need room to breathe.  I just measured, and the closest point of my angled-back cabinets to the wall behind is 36".  This is one reason (among many) people have "man caves".  Set up a secondary system in the living room for background listening, and take over a spare bedroom, basement or whatever where you can have a proper set-up without people tripping over them.  Secondary system also allows you to cycle out last year's primary system. :roll:

Archguy

Cartoon from Steve Hoffman forum today
« Reply #32 on: 21 Jul 2017, 05:30 am »
You might be an audiophile if....
 :lol:



I'm writing that AudioWood guy a note tonight.  See how busy he is.  Though, I wonder, would it be wiser to order from Selah or Salk where there's more specific audio expertise on board?   I'm also ordering HTD L3 Towers just so I have something to listen to while I take (much) more time to buy a serious pair.  They're not particularly attractive but their macassar ebony veneers are to die for.   Further, I really am taking everything everyone said about speaker placement to heart.  Working my way through the speaker placement thread here which I hadn't even seen before.  And will visit the room-acoustics forum too. 

Now can someone tell me why bookshelf speakers would have rear-facing ports?  I guess those aren't supposed to be placed in bookshelves?  Just bought some for my bedroom bookcases and yeah, you guessed it. 

Russell Dawkins

Re: Cartoon from Steve Hoffman forum today
« Reply #33 on: 21 Jul 2017, 06:47 am »

Now can someone tell me why bookshelf speakers would have rear-facing ports?  I guess those aren't supposed to be placed in bookshelves?  Just bought some for my bedroom bookcases and yeah, you guessed it.

"Bookshelf" has come simply to mean "small", not designed for or actually intended to be used on bookshelves! They have been voiced to sound right when at seated ear height and 2-3 feet from front and side walls. Some that were voiced to sound as intended when on bookshelves (and come to mind) were the old AR 4X, one of the small Missions, Yamaha NS-10s and, believe it or not, the NS-1000. Obviously the NS-1000 was not intended to be placed on a bookshelf, but it was voiced to sound balanced when very near the front wall, firing straight ahead and elevated only about 10 inches from the floor. When placed in the contemporary fashion, higher and out into the room, the bass is thinner than the designer intended because it lacks 'room gain'.

Small sealed boxes (acoustic suspension) are most likely to sound good backed up to a wall (but not two walls and certainly not two walls and a ceiling!).

You might also consider the Magnepan MC1 which is intended to be wall mounted (and can be folded flat against the wall to disappear when not in use) and the DWM bass panel which can be disguised in a number of ways, some shown here: http://www.magnepan.com/DWM_and_DW_1_Woofers
« Last Edit: 21 Jul 2017, 02:43 pm by Russell Dawkins »

AJinFLA

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Re: Cartoon from Steve Hoffman forum today
« Reply #34 on: 21 Jul 2017, 12:31 pm »
Now can someone tell me why bookshelf speakers would have rear-facing ports?  I guess those aren't supposed to be placed in bookshelves?  Just bought some for my bedroom bookcases and yeah, you guessed it.

As Russell explained, the name doesn't always match with function. Indeed you can find many "bookshelf" speakers with rear ports.
IMHO, a speaker that must be placed close to a wall which is going to reflect nearly everything, should be highly forward directional, with suppressed rear radiation. Pretty much the polar opposite of what has been recommended (no pun intended). :wink:
The name for such a speaker is a cardioid. An example of this type shown here http://www.audioxpress.com/article/fulcrum-acoustic-unveils-new-ccx-subcardioid-coaxial-loudspeaker

(0 is front, 180 is rear, looking from above at pattern)

I'm also ordering HTD L3 Towers just so I have something to listen to
Though no measurements, that speaker does appear to have some forward directivity control via the horn tweeter and slightly horn loaded mid.
You may have made a wise choice, IMO.

cheers,

AJ

Johnny2Bad

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #35 on: 22 Jul 2017, 01:27 am »
Buy speakers that your wife is likely to pronounce "cute" and you probably can get them approved even in rooms who do not have "cute" anywhere else.

Or approach mounting from a different perspective; round globes in paintable or factory colours/finishes such as KEF, Gallo, and others come to mind. Hang them from the ceiling if you want; ideal room placement with a compromise in ideal height placement works quite well.

You have a creative problem (as in the self-annoited creative one needs to be pursueded, and that person is not you) so you need a creative solution. If you stubbornly live in a "boxes in the living room" world, you are not going anywhere.

md92468

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #36 on: 22 Jul 2017, 01:36 am »
Not sure what your budget is, but Larsen speakers are actually designed to be placed against the wall. They come at three price points and in four finishes:

http://www.larsenhifi.com/en/larsen6.htm

GT Audio Works

Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #37 on: 22 Jul 2017, 01:54 am »
Not sure what your budget is, but Larsen speakers are actually designed to be placed against the wall. They come at three price points and in four finishes:

http://www.larsenhifi.com/en/larsen6.htm
I remember seeing them at Capital Audiofest last year.
 https://youtu.be/mOkCiw2015U

poseidonsvoice

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Re: My endless speaker dilemma
« Reply #38 on: 22 Jul 2017, 02:16 am »
Not sure what your budget is, but Larsen speakers are actually designed to be placed against the wall. They come at three price points and in four finishes:

http://www.larsenhifi.com/en/larsen6.htm

https://www.stereophile.com/content/larsen-hifi-8-loudspeaker-measurements

Best,
Anand.