Monitor speaker distances from the front wall & seating distance from speakers

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maverhick

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Hello guys, A newbie here :)

Been wanting to get a good stereo setup that I can later upgrade to a HT system.  Stereo (80%), HT (20%). I wanted some help on the setup and wanted to check what I could do to setup a system that works well for me.

The listening area is a part of a much larger room, but due to design constraints the listening area is 7ft by 25 ft.  The second constraint is that I would have to keep the speakers close to the front walls. The maximum I can do is 1 - 1.5ft from the walls.

Knowledgeable dealers do not recommend any floor standers because they feel the FS need atleast 2 ft from the walls and 2+ ft on the sides. 

Questions:

1) I am considering good quality monitors/bookshelf speakers (budget upto 4000$/pair) for the fronts. But the catch is the distance between the speakers will be around 6ft and the seating distance from the speakers is 18 - 20ft.  Having read that most of the setups need to be like an equilateral triangle, I am lost of what the possibilities are for this setup.

2) Any bookshelfs/monitors that you guys would recommend to start researching at the above price point & distance restrictions?

Thanks!

srb

With that amount of speaker separation and listening distance you would likely have to sacrifice some soundstage and imaging effect, compared to a more optimal geometry, although having speakers with very wide dispersion and little toe-in may help.
 
As far as floorstanders vs. monitors, some floorstanders are designed for very close wall placement, such as the Von Schweikert VR-33.
 
Steve

bpape

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Being very close to a boundary is an issue for a monitor just like a floorstander unless they're specifically designed for it.  An open baffle type of design minimizes side wall boundary issues.

Letitroll98

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What I'm getting from your explanation is that you are not in a 7'x25' room, but that is just the area available for speaker placement.  If this is correct, could you give the dimensions of the larger space?  i.e. how far from the side walls will the speakers be?  We already have the front wall spacing at 1-1.5' if I read you right?

maverhick

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Yes it is rather close to one of the side boundary walls.  One of the speakers will be just a few inches off the side boundary wall, but the other one will have a few ft available.

Letitroll98, you are right. The total room dimension is 20' x 25', of which the speaker placement and listening area both fall into 7' x 25'. From the front wall, I can do a max of 1 - 1.5' as you mention. The lower the better but 1' is def possible.

Duke

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"Knowledgeable dealers do not recommend any floor standers because they feel the FS need at least 2 ft from the walls and 2+ ft on the sides."

Yours truly disagrees with said knowledgable dealers.  It depends on the speaker. 

The two main issues arising from proximity to nearby walls are excess boundary reinforcement in the bass region, and increased early reflections in the midrange and treble regions.  The former can actually work in your favor, if the speaker is designed with the expectation of boundary reinforcement.  The latter is generally undesirable, but early reflections can be reduced (and the detrimental effects of those that remain minimized) by choosing speakers that have good radiation pattern control.

Soundstaging may be compromised with the geometry described, but timbre can still be very good, and to many people that's a lot more important.

Imo, ime, ymmv, etc.

Duke
dealer/manufacturer

neyloj2

I also have a narrow space, though not as bad as yours. Acoustic treatments at first reflection and every two feet there after help the walls disappear. My VR33's are 36" from rear and 7ft apart and have a huge sound stage with sound from all over the front of the room.

maverhick

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Yours truly disagrees with said knowledgable dealers.  It depends on the speaker. 

I don't dispute that, neither did the folks I spoke to. It was a generalization and the speakers that worked within those constraints weren't available to them or I would have named them here as well.

I am based out of India, so the choice of speakers are rather limited as well. A lot of speakers that get recommended on AC aren't available here. But if you know of speakers that sound well given those constraints, do let me know - would love to check if they are available here and then audition them.

maverhick

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36" from the rear is not a possibility at all - would have considered the EPs if I had em :D

I also have a narrow space, though not as bad as yours. Acoustic treatments at first reflection and every two feet there after help the walls disappear. My VR33's are 36" from rear and 7ft apart and have a huge sound stage with sound from all over the front of the room.

Letitroll98

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The latter is generally undesirable, but early reflections can be reduced (and the detrimental effects of those that remain minimized) by choosing speakers that have good radiation pattern control.

Note that the Gedlee brand of speakers meet the design problems to a T.  They are designed for controlled directivity ("choosing speakers that have good radiation pattern control"), have limited bass response so won't be affected as much by boundary re-enforcement, the Abbey model (the most popular model) costs exactly the $4,000 mentioned as the budget, and I'm pretty sure Earl will ship to India.  The rub may be finding a pair to audition there, and of course the long wait for Earl to custom build you set of speakers.  There is a thread on this circle devoted to the speaker brand, I have not heard the speaker myself so cannot comment on sound quality, but the posters on that thread sure love 'em. 

charmerci

The Salk transmission line speakers can be place close to the walls. Since they're made to order,  you can even have the openings made in the front. There's a Salk thread here on AC.

http://www.salksound.com/veracity%20ht1-tl%20-%20home.htm

They're beautiful speakers that are constantly praised not only for the sound but their value.


maverhick

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A lot of the brands will ship to India, but the catch is customs + potential damage during transit. Customs duty could be anywhere from 20 - 40% on the value + shipping charges and if by any chance the speakers get damaged, boy am I in a soup.

Note that the Gedlee brand of speakers meet the design problems to a T.  They are designed for controlled directivity ("choosing speakers that have good radiation pattern control"), have limited bass response so won't be affected as much by boundary re-enforcement, the Abbey model (the most popular model) costs exactly the $4,000 mentioned as the budget, and I'm pretty sure Earl will ship to India.  The rub may be finding a pair to audition there, and of course the long wait for Earl to custom build you set of speakers.  There is a thread on this circle devoted to the speaker brand, I have not heard the speaker myself so cannot comment on sound quality, but the posters on that thread sure love 'em.


Any there any good mainstream brands that do a good job like the Gedlees?

maverhick

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The same concern as I've posted above. ie. customs + potential damages during shipping.

The Salk transmission line speakers can be place close to the walls. Since they're made to order,  you can even have the openings made in the front. There's a Salk thread here on AC.

http://www.salksound.com/veracity%20ht1-tl%20-%20home.htm

They're beautiful speakers that are constantly praised not only for the sound but their value.

davidrs

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Maverhick,

It might be easier for us to make recommendations, with higher value to you, if you provide a list of speakers that are distributed in India, so you do not have to be concerned of the customs and shipping issues.

Regards,

David.

maverhick

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In my experience, almost everything that is not internet only sold in the US/Europe is available in India. MLs, B&Ws, Gallos, Definitive Techs, Emerald Physics, PSBs, Xavian, Quad, Mordaunt Short, Dali, Thiels, AAD, Revel, Jamo, JM Focal, KEF, Sonus Faber, Morel, Monitor Audio, Ushers, Paradigms and many more I can't recollect.

This list is not exhaustive, if there is any audio speaker website with a 'dealer' section, they tend to have a dealer in India as well.


Duke

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Letitroll98, I agree with your assessment of Gedlees as being strong candidates.  Much if not most of what I do in my own designs, I learned from Earl. 

Maverhick, of the speakers on your list, Emerald Physics looks to me like the best bet.  The radiation pattern control is very good, and the bass response is highly adjustable.  I was a dealer for Emerald Physics back when they had a traditional dealer network.

Another possibility is PiSpeakers, perhaps even the magnificent 7Pi cornerhorns.  If you have access to a good woodworker in India, he could build the cabinets and you would only have import duties on the drivers and crossovers.  My first great teacher was Wayne Parham, designer of PiSpeakers. 

maverhick

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The EPs do require a bit of breathing space, atleast 3ft from the rear walls and also need to be spaced a bit more than I can. I spoke to Walter at underwoodhifi and also to their local dealer, both of whom told me the EPs won't be a good fit due to the space issues.

I do have access to quite a few good woodworkers here. I have never considered getting my own speakers built, but are there other recommendations that come in the form of kits?

Duke

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The Emerald Physics speakers can go right smack against the side walls.  Put a lot of absorptive material behind 'em (like a big thick slab of foam) and they can go two feet from the back wall as well.  No this isn't ideal, but imho will still give you better performance in your situation than most conventional speakers would.

The PiSpeakers I mentioned do not have any audible "horn signature" coloration.  They are very relaxing long-term.

The Gedlees are offered as kits as well, with pre-cut boards included.  Imho you'd still need small subs, but the subs can serve as speaker stands and that would also give you the ability to tailor the bass to your room.


maverhick

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Putting 2 EPs in a 7ft room would be too much as each of them are almost 20". Can't do that in this specific room.  Any recommendations on smaller monitor speakers? I can use a sub woofer to do the bass duties

davidrs

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Maverhick,

Ideally, you would want to look for a sealed design or front and/or bottom porting speakers, if you stay with a traditional box design.

As I had mentioned in a pm to you, my Charios did very well in a very similar setup to yours and were about 1.5 feet to 2 out feet from the facing wall.

Additional performance could be sqeezed out of them with 'ideal' placement, since they port to the rear, but what they did, in a somewhat compromised placement/position, was still very very good.

If Sonus Faber is available in India, as you mention, I would imagine Chario is as well.

I can understand your preference to deal locally as well as have an opportunity to audition, prior to purchase. And it does take away any concerns of having a unit damaged in shipping.

- David.