Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 1370 times.

AvsFan

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 861
Hello all.

I am close to pulling the trigger on a pair of Spatial M3's and want some more advice and opinions. Especially from other Spatial owners with small rooms.
I have had some people tell me that my room is too small for Spatials, they need room to breathe, so on and so on. I am going to bet they have never heard the Spatial M3 Sapphire in a small room.
My room is 12x10 with 8' ceilings. the speakers are on the 10' wall, They will be a maximum of 8" off the side walls and a maximum of 36" off the rear wall. And that would be the front baffle. Probably will be more like 30" off the back wall. I don't want speakers out in the middle of my room. That's one reason I sold off my Maggie's. Loved them but they really had to be out in the middle of the room to sound good. And I don't want the suggestion of, "Just pull them out further when you want to listen then put them back." That's not what I want to do. I want to sit them in their place and play them and not worry. Am I asking too much? Or will the M3's be just fine in my small and intimate space?

Thanks.

genjamon

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #1 on: 13 Mar 2021, 11:52 pm »
I really hope you've talked about all this with Clayton.  He will know.  And from what I know of OB, you're going to need to have them off the front wall by several feet.  I believe 3ft is pretty much the minimum, but think that applies to the front baffle.  Anyway, the reason for the distance is simple physics - speed of sound in air.  You need that much distance in order for the reflected sound off the back wall to arrive at your ear long enough after the direct sound projected forward arrives at your ear that the two sounds are interpreted by your brain as separate and distinct.  That requires an amount of time that sound traverses over about six feet or so in normal air pressure.  If it's closer to the wall than that, the distance will be shorter, and thus the time difference shorter, and your brain will interpret the two sounds as one sound.  The net result will be a lack of resolution and refinement, a blurring/muddying of sounds - in other words it will not sound good.  These are the basic needs of OB sound.

IMO, the fact that Maggies didn't work for you in that room tells you everything you need to know.  Maggies have are also dipolar, which creates the same acoustic issue as cone-based dipole (OB) sound.  This means the M3's will also likely not work in your room, nor any other OB/dipolar speaker. 

But please confirm this with Clayton before making any decisions.

I would strongly recommend you reconsider giving the little Ohm speakers a try.  They work a charm in my friend's small room.  The reason?  Their omni design has the tweeter firing upward - where the distance between direct and reflected sound (from the bounce off the ceiling) is long enough to satisfy the timing requirements above and makes the room boundaries disappear just like an OB setup would in a larger space.  Same concept goes for the James Romeyn Late Ceiling Splash speaker designs, which you could also try pairing with a more conventional speaker in that space to create a more expansive sound field.

geerock

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #2 on: 14 Mar 2021, 12:21 am »
I know you said not to....but I'm gonna chime in.  I don't have a small room but I do like tucking my speakers out of the way.  Herbies Audio Labs sells isolation and decoupling pads you use as feet for the speakers that double as sliders.  I mark the floor with inconspicuous dots that tells me where to put them when I have a listening session.  Very little effort moving them.  Works for me.  But if you are absolutely against this approach perhaps you may consider getting off of the idea for dipoles.  Controlling that rear deflection is very important.

Tyson

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #3 on: 14 Mar 2021, 12:32 am »
3 feet off the rear wall and 8 inches off the side wall - you'll be fine.  Go for it.

Audiosaurusrex

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #4 on: 14 Mar 2021, 12:58 am »
I have learned with my M3’s that almost all of it is THE ROOM. Size yes but more importantly absorption and diffusion. I went with 7 absorption panels and 4 diffusion panels. It’s getting there not perfect. My ambient room noise is like 24dbs. 16x18 room dimensions and the speakers do take up some space. Keep in mind they are quite large but you will definitely need to treat the room. Call Clayton to be sure, you might be okay with the M5’s as well.

Fr8dog

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #5 on: 14 Mar 2021, 02:06 am »
Do it. I had the M4's in a 12X11X9 room. They were 30" from the front and 20" from the side. My chair was a few inches from the back wall.
I used absorption panels in the room. Bass traps in the corners and 2" panels on the front wall, first reflection (not sure they were needed) and behind me.
They sounded great. At least to my ears.
I had MMG's before that. The M4's did everything better.
I have a larger room now. They still sound great. Looking at upgrading to X5's. Maybe.

AvsFan

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 861
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #6 on: 14 Mar 2021, 03:30 am »
Seems like some split decisions here.
Just made my choice even harder.
And of course I called and spoke with Clayton. Great guy and really spent a lot of time with me. But the point of this forum is Spatial speaker discussion amongst everyone else here and I wanted actual opinions of people in my similar situation. I love a lot of the advice I get on this forum. Some is spot on, some not so much but still enjoy the conversations and point of others.

genjamon

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #7 on: 14 Mar 2021, 03:54 am »
Let me clarify my concerns a bit.  I had the Spatial M1's sounding really good in an 11' x 20' x 7-8' (sloping ceiling) space.  They were pretty close to the sidewalls - 8" doesn't sound too far off.  But I had plenty of space to pull them 4-5' off the front wall.  I probably did try them at 3', but definitely had them further out once I had dialed them in.  3' would still sound good, I think, just not as good as more space would sound.  So as long as you can live with the 36" rather than the 30" you mentioned above, it could work.  But note that the distance from the side walls impacted the amount of bass presence, so tweaking the sidewall distance was important to dialing in the sound.  With your room dimensions and placement constraints, you just won't have much flexibility at all to tweak distance to sidewalls or to front wall to optimize to the sound you prefer.  You could easily find that you need to bring them further out into the room than you want in order to sound satisfying.  Or need to pull them further from the side walls than you say you have space for.  Not that they wouldn't make music without this tweaking, but I'm betting you would end up trying some different placements, and there's a decent chance you won't be satisfied within your stated criteria for distances. 

But another concern with your situation is the room depth behind you and general volume.  I had way more space behind me (roughly 8 feet) than you're going to have.  If you're sitting close to the rear wall, you'll get a lot of room boundary reinforcement in the bass.  And with those double 15's, I wonder if it will overload your room on the bass front.  Sure, the OB bass should deal as effectively at minimizing room modes as any system out there could, but the overall volume of bass might still be off if they're designed to fill a larger volume room.  With the X series you'd have the ability to tweak bass settings, but with the M series I think it's just a set passive crossover, isn't it?  So I agree the choice of M3 vs M5 should be carefully considered. 


ric

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 224
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #8 on: 14 Mar 2021, 01:41 pm »
 I don't know, in a perfect world you would put your speakers out in to the room, let's say three feet from both side and back walls, then listen, adjust etc. What you are saying is that there are fixed positions that must be adhered to--it sounds kind of like a crap shoot, you may be lucky and it will sound very good, but if the bass is too boomy, then what?
   And yeah, with two large speakers per side and a small room, just hope it's not like blowing on an empty bottle. If you can, perhaps try getting some other speakers in there first and crank up the bass and see how it sounds. Good luck!

undertowogt1

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #9 on: 14 Mar 2021, 02:41 pm »
I run my M3TS in a 12 by 16 room, so a little bigger than your space. The speakers sit about 4.5 feet off the wall and 2 feet off the side wall. no issues. I use sound treatment as well.

Tyson

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #10 on: 14 Mar 2021, 05:38 pm »
The whole point of OB speakers is they don't have boomy bass in difficult rooms.  The Spatials will be a better fit in that room than any box speaker, even a bookshelf type box speaker will be boomy compared to a full OB speaker.

mick wolfe

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 923
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #11 on: 14 Mar 2021, 07:29 pm »
Seems like some split decisions here.
Just made my choice even harder.
And of course I called and spoke with Clayton. Great guy and really spent a lot of time with me. But the point of this forum is Spatial speaker discussion amongst everyone else here and I wanted actual opinions of people in my similar situation. I love a lot of the advice I get on this forum. Some is spot on, some not so much but still enjoy the conversations and point of others.

I had the older M2 Turbo's in a similar sized room ( 10x11) several years ago. Definitely a front row presentation because of the forced near field set up. Fun and interesting for sure, but way more fun when I moved them out into my bigger listening room. Now I could truly hear the qualities open baffle designs possess.  A far more open presentation in addition to a more convincing disappearing act. They simply need breathing room to sound their best. As far as what has worked best in my 10x11 room.... nothing has ever sounded better than the Ohm 1000's mentioned by genjamon above.

Mr. Big

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 66
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #12 on: 14 Mar 2021, 11:42 pm »
I have my M3's 29" from the front wall, 8" from the sidewall, and toed-in. They sound fabulous. I had them 36" from the front wall and I lost bass impact, read the manual and Clayton says if that is the case then move them out or back 6" and listen, I did and this is how they wound up where they are at. I plan to write my final thoughts on the M3's after now having them in my system 6 months or so, and finding the right cables for them, my whole system was set up for getting the best out of my Quad speakers, so I really had to start over with the M3's they being so different.

AvsFan

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 861
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #13 on: 15 Mar 2021, 02:34 pm »
The whole point of OB speakers is they don't have boomy bass in difficult rooms.  The Spatials will be a better fit in that room than any box speaker, even a bookshelf type box speaker will be boomy compared to a full OB speaker.

That is EXACTLY what Clayton told me. One of the major advantages of OB speakers and bass.

loki7177

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #14 on: 15 Mar 2021, 03:11 pm »
I have a 14' x 14' x 8' room so it is a little bigger.  My speakers are about 3' from the front wall and 3' from the side walls.  I sit less than a foot form the back wall but I have a GIK absorber directly behind me.  The OB design is what will make them work better than any box speaker in a small room.  In my room I had a 15 dB room mode at 50 Hz with my Totem Wind Designs.  With the M3S there is a minimal bump at that frequency now.  In your room I would add some bass traps in the corners and some absorbers at the first reflection point on the side walls as a starting point and you should be good to go.  I also had Maggies before I switched to the Spatials.

AvsFan

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 861
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #15 on: 15 Mar 2021, 03:38 pm »
I have a 14' x 14' x 8' room so it is a little bigger.  My speakers are about 3' from the front wall and 3' from the side walls.  I sit less than a foot form the back wall but I have a GIK absorber directly behind me.  The OB design is what will make them work better than any box speaker in a small room.  In my room I had a 15 dB room mode at 50 Hz with my Totem Wind Designs.  With the M3S there is a minimal bump at that frequency now.  In your room I would add some bass traps in the corners and some absorbers at the first reflection point on the side walls as a starting point and you should be good to go.  I also had Maggies before I switched to the Spatials.

Thank you.

I am starting to feel a little more at ease about some Spatials in here. 3' off the wall is doable but 8" is the max off the side walls. Unless I want no image between the speakers. No way to put any kind of room treatment behind me. Door to room and closet doors are right behind me, but I could put some treatment on side walls and right behind speakers. Here is what it looks like now.



 



AvsFan

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 861
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #16 on: 15 Mar 2021, 03:42 pm »
With the Maggie's.
How do you like the Spatials in comparison to the Maggie's?
I absolutely loved my LRS's!




genjamon

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #17 on: 15 Mar 2021, 03:53 pm »
I wasn’t talking about bass boom. More like an overly thick sound that can’t be addressed through other component swapping, and potential of muddy bass too. But the only way to know for sure is to hear them in your room. That’s why Spatial offers a generous return policy.

harley.guy07

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 71
Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #18 on: 16 Mar 2021, 12:46 am »
I just moved states for my wifes job and went from a 25 x 17 x 8' room to am 12 x 14 x 8' room. They will work in smaller room as long as you give them some room behind them and from my experience doing some first reflection point room treatments and diffusers behind them help a ton. I built my own treatment panels so it was not really expensive to do and helped tame them greatly. While they do sound awesome in a large room with room treatments like mentioned above I have had really good results.

sockpit

Re: Spatial owners with small listening rooms, please stand up.
« Reply #19 on: 16 Mar 2021, 02:22 am »
I have had M5s in an 11 by 14 by 8 room for about 15 months now.  Took lots of fine tuning, but the results are very good.  They are on the 11 ft wall with a desk between them, four feet from the front wall and about 16 inches from side walls. I’m near field (5 ft) with 4-5 feet behind me yet.

Worked with GIK to tame the room.  Four monster traps in corners, one freestander at each first reflection point, and then six 244 panels (3 with diffusers) on the ceiling.  That was quite a weekend!

So it’s doable. The imaging, clarity, and sound stage is amazing on good to excellent recordings, and/but I found the treatments a game changer and worth the outlay, however my system develops from here.

I can also say: so many recordings just suck.