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post #731 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 10:13 AM
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phreak wrote: View Post
Does this geometry work well for box speakers? Is it dependant on where listeners and speakers are relative to walls? Is this toe in guide specific to ESL with a specific panel curvature?
Yes the flashlight trick works because the speakers have a 30 degree curve.

That golden ratio for speaker placement is fairly universal but some are better with an equilateral triangle, and your room will ultimately determine proper placement.
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post #732 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 12:25 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Yes the flashlight trick works because the speakers have a 30 degree curve.

That golden ratio for speaker placement is fairly universal but some are better with an equilateral triangle, and your room will ultimately determine proper placement.
It must, because when we were setting up the Cat 8s for two channel, Mark was using his pocket pen light to determine how he wanted them toe'd in...
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post #733 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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The trick with any di-pole speaker, really any speaker at all, is placement. You'll get the best sound if the speakers are properly toed in and are at least 2' away from walls. There's a "flashlight" trick to get the speakers set up in the ideal location. Listener is about 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from each other. IE. speakers are 10' apart and listener is 15' back. A flashlight is used to toe in the speakers. When you shine a light at the ESL panel it will reflect as a stripe running top to bottom in the grill. You simply toe in the speaker till the reflection is about 1/3 of the way out from the inside edge of the grill.
I was using the flashlight trick until I got a laser, now I am spoiled, as I can get it dead on... and even a few degrees different toe can make a slight difference between each speakers response. I start with the flashlight trick to get them fairly close, but then I place the laser on the side of the speaker and aim it back at the listening position and at the back wall just above the listening position, with all things being symmetrical, I can get them deal equal on toe-in.

As for the 2' from the wall... 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from the listener... say 7' between speakers and 10.5' to listener... TERRIBLE! Ascent i's, Ascents, Spires, Prodigy's... and I am sure soon to be Montis... DO NOT like this ratio. The imaging is less defined... soundstage too narrow and no depth acuity at all (okay... maybe a smidgen). I can get them to do fairly well (although not what I like) with an equilateral triangle, but they have to be out from the wall at least 4-5'. In all cases I am getting much better imaging, a nice wide soundstage and excellent depth when the speakers are a little wider apart than they are to the listener... the depth improves tremendously. I can move them back to the wall and keep that same ratio and the image and soundstage sounds pretty good, but I start to lose depth. And we have found this to be the case with every speaker we have evaluated. Maybe it is my room... or my primary listening position being fixed, although it is 13.5' from the front wall to my ears and 10' from the wall behind me.

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post #734 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 01:19 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I hate to take this thread even further away from its original intent, but this is a great discussion of 2ch speaker positioning. It was mentioned earlier in the thread that ideal 2ch is difficult to incorporate in most HTs, but how about the reverse? If I set the speakers in the best location for 2ch listening, set the Center between them on arc to maintain distance to MLP, and drop an AT screen in front. This could leave space to walk around the sides of the screen and have a mostly hidden area for media storage, sound treatments that would not need visual appeal, and in my case wide open access to the home electrical panel which would otherwise be awkward in the front right corner. Any thoughts?
The only issue I see with what you've suggested is if the "hidden area" behind the screen gets so filled up with media storage, etc, that you have negated the benefit of the original spacing from the front wall. It would really depend on how far apart the main speakers were situated, and how much of the space between/beyond them that you filled with the other stuff. I think as long as it was not too dense it would maintain the original benefits of spacing.

Just a couple thoughts...I dunno, and I can't try it - my HT room is too crowded with stuff to have speakers any useful distance into the room. Fortunately (?) my ancient mains are not ported, so they perform OK in the corners.

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post #735 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 03:02 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Did you guys notice these differences regarding top end detail and clarity in your listening - not the small dips or peaks, but something like the SVS being flat whereas the Dyns and Emeralds just completely roll off? Seems strange because the reviews I've read of the SVS tend to describe them as more laid back, warm even. The Dyns and Emeralds would be well beyond laid back....more like vegetative.
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I can confirm that the SVS speakers in my room were anything but laid back. As a matter of fact, when I got them in (they were the first ones here the first week of October... couple of weeks early) and set them up for break-in, I was nervous because I could not get the brightness out of them, regardless of position or toe. I was using the Rogue Cronus Magnum, then switched to the Denon 4520 to see if it made a difference, and it did not. I did not hear this with these when I was at CAF. Then when I got to RMAF, again I did not notice them being bright, although not laid back either. I did not say anything to anyone at SVS at that time, as I wanted to get back and do some more listening after they were broke-in.

When I got back, I had more speakers here, the Anthem amp was here... and before I knew it, I had it hooked up, the Rogue packed up and several more speakers in the room playing. I just never thought much more about the SVS being bright... until we brought them into the room. Then I got worried again. Low and behold... they were not bright... at least nothing like they were when I first connected them. I can only assume the break-in toned them down a bit... and/or the Anthem helped soften them up a bit (?)... I am not really sure. Strangely enough, they were farther away from the listener and had more toe-in than any other speaker, minus the Maggies. I seriously cannot contribute the change in what I was hearing to any one thing. To me, they were NOT bright, but NOT laid back by any means. I can not answer for the other guys, they might have thought they were bright or laid back... we did not compare notes and I do not remember anyone saying anything about them being either or.

As far as the Dynaudio's... they sounded great to me... just right, but perhaps maybe a little more laid back than the SVS. Definitely not vegetative. The drop off with them doesn't really take any major hit until you get above 10kHz, and I am not sure how much information we are really missing up there.

I also do not remember it effecting the EP's or causing them to sound too soft, although you would think it would because it really starts falling off above 6kHz with those.
Depending on which RT60 curve you select with which speaker's data, there are indications that the room might be a little more live above 5 or 6 kHz than at mid frequencies. This would help explain why the high end for the Dynaudio's - down a couple of dB from average at 10 kHz - sounded just right to all the evaluators (if I remember correctly, not putting words in anyone's mouth). Nothing vegetative about them. The rolloff above 10k is enough to be noticeable if you look for it, but we did not look for it because we did not see any such tendency in our initial plots with them close to the wall. We look there primarily for matching and proper functionality and I try not to analyze the early curves closely so I do not build up pre-conceived notions about the sound. The rolloff above 10 kHz is gentle enough not to stand out. Not saying it would never be missed - none of us have abused our ears horribly - I still have plenty of active sensors up to 14 kHz on both sides - just that it does not jump at you.

I just did an experiment with a couple of tracks and a low-pass filter at 15 kHz with different Q values, a good approximation of what we saw with the Dynaudios. You can definitely hear the difference, but if you activate the rolloff and leave it on for awhile so you are not hearing the contrast it is subtle and would not jump out at you in a situation where you are not looking for it. (Now that I am thinking about it, it is bugging me like crazy - the power of expectation - exactly why we listen before analyzing curves in detail.)

The SVS Towers at RMAF - for all their great qualities - had kind of an iron fist thing going on in the highs. Not at all in Sonnie's room, but bordering on bright, as were the Paradigm's, with the Dyns hitting us just right, me anyway. Room liveness above 5 Khz is the only factor that seems to explain it.

Quote:
chashint wrote: View Post
If I recall correctly there was some chat about trying different amp/AVRs ???
Did y'all have time to try this?
Just seems like it's improbable for a solid state amplifier to tone down a speaker when every electrical parameter of any commercial amplifier is orders of magnitude better than any speakers electrical parameters.
It certainly would be interesting to see what your group has to say about an amp/AVR listening session.
One of these days. It will take some serious experimentation to be sure we are not absolutely fooling ourselves before we will be ready to do so and post results. The ears are SO impressionable with subtleties. [[[[[not a word, Sonnie!]]]]]

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Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
In compiling the placement data from our listening events, it appears that the distance ratio is the thing to shoot for rather than the absolute distance from the wall. Meaning the ratio of LP-from-the-wall over speaker-from-the-wall, the average ideal from our experience being about 1.8:1. S
That is a great tip. Is there a similar rule of thumb for width?
Yes, I will post my first pass at this in the 2-channel area shortly. It is rough and will develop over time, but is almost ready for viewing.

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I was using the flashlight trick until I got a laser, now I am spoiled, as I can get it dead on... and even a few degrees different toe can make a slight difference between each speakers response. I start with the flashlight trick to get them fairly close, but then I place the laser on the side of the speaker and aim it back at the listening position and at the back wall just above the listening position, with all things being symmetrical, I can get them deal equal on toe-in.

As for the 2' from the wall... 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from the listener... say 7' between speakers and 10.5' to listener... TERRIBLE! Ascent i's, Ascents, Spires, Prodigy's... and I am sure soon to be Montis... DO NOT like this ratio. The imaging is less defined... soundstage too narrow and no depth acuity at all (okay... maybe a smidgen). I can get them to do fairly well (although not what I like) with an equilateral triangle, but they have to be out from the wall at least 4-5'. In all cases I am getting much better imaging, a nice wide soundstage and excellent depth when the speakers are a little wider apart than they are to the listener... the depth improves tremendously. I can move them back to the wall and keep that same ratio and the image and soundstage sounds pretty good, but I start to lose depth. And we have found this to be the case with every speaker we have evaluated. Maybe it is my room... or my primary listening position being fixed, although it is 13.5' from the front wall to my ears and 10' from the wall behind me.
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post #736 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

I have told you that you are crazy, right?

And I know I am a RAT!

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post #737 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 03:27 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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I have told you that you are crazy, right?

And I know I am a RAT!
Sonnie, do you drive a rat rod too?

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post #738 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 03:55 PM
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I was using the flashlight trick until I got a laser, now I am spoiled, as I can get it dead on... and even a few degrees different toe can make a slight difference between each speakers response. I start with the flashlight trick to get them fairly close, but then I place the laser on the side of the speaker and aim it back at the listening position and at the back wall just above the listening position, with all things being symmetrical, I can get them deal equal on toe-in. As for the 2' from the wall... 1.5x back from the speakers as they are apart from the listener... say 7' between speakers and 10.5' to listener... TERRIBLE! Ascent i's, Ascents, Spires, Prodigy's... and I am sure soon to be Montis... DO NOT like this ratio. The imaging is less defined... soundstage too narrow and no depth acuity at all (okay... maybe a smidgen). I can get them to do fairly well (although not what I like) with an equilateral triangle, but they have to be out from the wall at least 4-5'. In all cases I am getting much better imaging, a nice wide soundstage and excellent depth when the speakers are a little wider apart than they are to the listener... the depth improves tremendously. I can move them back to the wall and keep that same ratio and the image and soundstage sounds pretty good, but I start to lose depth. And we have found this to be the case with every speaker we have evaluated. Maybe it is my room... or my primary listening position being fixed, although it is 13.5' from the front wall to my ears and 10' from the wall behind me.
Could you tell us more about how you used the laser? Which side of the speaker etc? A diagram would be useful.

Thanks!
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post #739 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 04:20 PM
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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The Martin Logan ESL's have a bottom port. Intriguing, should allow for plenty of placement flexibility.


Your input is well appreciated. And U571 is on order - sounds like a fun evaluation disk to have around and compare with your experience.

Thank You, I cannot give it all away and we have different systems and rooms, so it will be fun to see your findings. I had initial issues in my mind with the port, especially since I have carpet and a thick pad underneath but using the incorporated spikes seems to keep the port up a bit and it works. I did place some flat wood under the speakers to see if that would help and i do not think it did, spike them to the floor works,.

I did accidentally (Yeah Right) make a teeny tiny mistake last nigh in the HT. Man of Steel came in and my wife and I just had to watch it and not quietly either. I set the volume on the processor to be able to replicate the whispers and low level dialogue heard early on and waited for the rest to happen. Happen it did as the SPL Meter kept popping into triple digits I was having a good old time basking in the movies intense soundtrack. The lights in the room were off and I did not even think about the Martin Logans until the movie was done. Then I shrieked before I realized I did not kill them, they took it all and laughed in my face, I may have to take back my thoughts and words that they are not home theater material. I have had them for over year have babied them to some extent thinking they were more delicate than they were. I guess one should put on their favorite disc, movie or music and let er fly.

Good Listening

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post #740 of 1075 Old 11-14-13, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Official $2,500 Speaker Evaluation / Home Audition Event

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Could you tell us more about how you used the laser? Which side of the speaker etc? A diagram would be useful.

Thanks!
I place it on whichever side makes it easier to point at something that I can get it lined up with as a point source for both speakers. In some cases, like the Magnepan speakers, it is necessary to place it flat on top of the speaker with the edge of the laser parallel with the edge of the speaker, since it does not have a flat enough side to rest the laser. On my Prodigy's I use the bass cabinet and lie it flat on the side.


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