HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #21 of 124 Old 01-13-14, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

Glad you think so. Thanks for the feedback.
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post #22 of 124 Old 06-13-14, 03:21 PM
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

Hello AudiocRaver!
First off, Kudos for your innovative approach and eloquent write-up!

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Is that proper forum etiquette? Why does everyone else refer to you as "Wayne" I guess I should start off by asking forgiveness for such transgressions . Please understand I'm fairly inexperienced with forums (hey, you can't expect all that much from an old geezer who got his first cell phone only a year ago) !!!

Aside from addressing you properly, I also mean to quote part of your message, and think I've followed the instructions, but I don't see it while writing my "Quick Reply." Have you guessed yet I'm from the "self-esteem" generation?

When I hear from the forum-police I'll know I went too far

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Frame of reference for the questions that follow:
My Revel Ultima Salon's (original model) have curved front baffles interrupted by artsy grill assemblies, sloped and rounded tops, as well as slanted backs.

Now for my questions (which relate to laser alignment in case the intended quote doesn't appear):
  1. I believe your intentions are to align speaker toe-in regardless of actual driver position or angle, correct? Results should be the same for odd-shape designs as for typical box enclosures, provided identical measurement criteria are afforded to both the left and right channels.

Soooooooo......
  1. Given your emphasis on the importance of measurement accuracy, it seems crucial to have a reliable and repeatable method for laser mounting, especially in the case of polygonal and curved cabinet enclosures. Now my next question may not be realistic given the variety of available laser devices, but can you offer any guidelines for effective mounting techniques in those cases? Please don't say "duct tape" I'm guessing a laser with bubble level to indicate relationship between speaker mounting surface and horizontal plane parallel to floor?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Louie

Last edited by Lumen; 06-13-14 at 03:22 PM. Reason: replace mooooer with geezer
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post #23 of 124 Old 06-15-14, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

Quote:
BlueRockinLou wrote: View Post
Why does everyone else refer to you as "Wayne"
I use my regular name on the reviews I post on HTS, so I get referred to by that sometimes.

Quote:
Frame of reference for the questions that follow:
My Revel Ultima Salon's (original model) have curved front baffles interrupted by artsy grill assemblies, sloped and rounded tops, as well as slanted backs.

Now for my questions (which relate to laser alignment in case the intended quote doesn't appear):
  1. I believe your intentions are to align speaker toe-in regardless of actual driver position or angle, correct? Results should be the same for odd-shape designs as for typical box enclosures, provided identical measurement criteria are afforded to both the left and right channels.
The assumption is that a speaker pair has left/right symmetry and they are being aligned to that symmetry.

Quote:
Soooooooo......
  1. Given your emphasis on the importance of measurement accuracy, it seems crucial to have a reliable and repeatable method for laser mounting, especially in the case of polygonal and curved cabinet enclosures. Now my next question may not be realistic given the variety of available laser devices, but can you offer any guidelines for effective mounting techniques in those cases? Please don't say "duct tape" I'm guessing a laser with bubble level to indicate relationship between speaker mounting surface and horizontal plane parallel to floor?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Louie
Most of what is accomplished with lasers amounts to repeatability (the speaker is aimed the same as it was last time) and symmetry (left and right toe-in angles the same).

A laser pointer can do this pretty well. I like one that has a beefier body diameter so it is easy to grasp and handle, and a metal push-button switch (they last longer). You have to watch alignment of the laser in the body, many are not precisely aligned. You can check it by rolling it slowly on a counter top while holding the button on, and noting the range of up/down motion on a far wall. At the center of that range, the "reference" surface of the body of the pointer is touching the counter top. Mark it somehow and always orient it the same way when using it.

But it does need a flat side to rest on, and speaker designers generally do not think of our practical setup needs, or they might build lasers into their speakers to help us out.

Speakers that have all curved surfaces are good for sound and hard to align. We have worked with a few like that. The laser distance meter - like the Bosch DLR130K Digital Distance Measurer Kit - sometimes works better. The laser is well-aligned relative to all surfaces including the rear end. It can sit across a tweeter cone or, with a very flat piece of wood taped to the back, across a midrange or woofer driver cone for alignment purposes. Sometimes a speaker cone is the only flat reference point available.

Strictly as a repeatability reference for each individual speaker, a laser sight, like the UTG Combat Quality Tactical Laser Sight with Adjustable Windage and Elevation can be attached with thick double-sided tape. This one has a pressure switch on a short cable so it can be activated without touching the laser itself. A target point on a wall allows for quick reference checks to ensure a speaker has not been moved or nudged.

Hope that helps.
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post #24 of 124 Old 07-04-14, 07:50 AM
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

Wayne, I decided to try something which violates a couple of 'rules' which I took to be inviolable. All I can say is that it works brilliantly for Magnepan 3-series speakers (a number of us have recently adopted the arrangement and our results are uniformly excellent). It's specific to dipole designs that aren't of the single element variety. It's referred to as the HK/Limage setup, which places the speakers (tweeters to the inside of the room) quite close to the side walls with no toe-in at all - absolutely perpendicular to the side walls. The recipe calls for a placement which is approximately 40% into the room, but it seems to really only require somewhere between 8 and 9 feet off the front wall (I can get 8'7" with my cables).

I scoffed (inwardly) at the suggestion when I first read about it. After all, the manufacturer is pretty clear about not setting their speakers up in such a fashion. Well, I must now feast on crow, because this has resulted in the most impressive soundstage I have EVER experienced from a stereo system. I think one of the requirements is that the listening room should resemble a bowling alley as mine does - quite long and comparatively narrow.

The amazing thing is the variability of the scale, which always seems appropriate to the music being played. If I'm listening to a jazz ensemble or a string quartet, the sound is intimate, with accurately scaled instruments. If, on the other hand, I'm listening to something 'big', it can explode my room into a massively open space with sound apparently emanating from points in space which completely engulf me. In all cases, these large speakers completely disappear, as do the confines of my room. I think the most impressive thing is that this amazing soundstage doesn't come at a price in any other area (I expected frequency response aberrations, but I don't perceive any - haven't done any measurements yet).

It's positively magical.

Last edited by kevin360; 07-04-14 at 08:29 AM.
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post #25 of 124 Old 07-04-14, 10:33 AM
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

Quote:
kevin360 wrote: View Post
Wayne, I decided to try something which violates a couple of 'rules' which I took to be inviolable. All I can say is that it works brilliantly for Magnepan 3-series speakers (a number of us have recently adopted the arrangement and our results are uniformly excellent). It's specific to dipole designs that aren't of the single element variety. It's referred to as the HK/Limage setup, which places the speakers (tweeters to the inside of the room) quite close to the side walls with no toe-in at all - absolutely perpendicular to the side walls. The recipe calls for a placement which is approximately 40% into the room, but it seems to really only require somewhere between 8 and 9 feet off the front wall (I can get 8'7" with my cables).

I scoffed (inwardly) at the suggestion when I first read about it. After all, the manufacturer is pretty clear about not setting their speakers up in such a fashion. Well, I must now feast on crow, because this has resulted in the most impressive soundstage I have EVER experienced from a stereo system. I think one of the requirements is that the listening room should resemble a bowling alley as mine does - quite long and comparatively narrow.

The amazing thing is the variability of the scale, which always seems appropriate to the music being played. If I'm listening to a jazz ensemble or a string quartet, the sound is intimate, with accurately scaled instruments. If, on the other hand, I'm listening to something 'big', it can explode my room into a massively open space with sound apparently emanating from points in space which completely engulf me. In all cases, these large speakers completely disappear, as do the confines of my room. I think the most impressive thing is that this amazing soundstage doesn't come at a price in any other area (I expected frequency response aberrations, but I don't perceive any - haven't done any measurements yet).

It's positively magical.
That's awesome! I would expect that with a good set of Maggies, an open-opportunity floor plan, and gobs of time and patience one could achieve something very special. With Wayne pushing the envelope of experimentation I figured it was a matter of time before someone reported back with reports of audio nirvana. Kudos and enjoy!

Seth

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post #26 of 124 Old 07-04-14, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Kevin360:

My wife is going to hate you. The only way I can try what you are suggesting is to totally empty out my living room. Hopefully some flowers and a few Amazon book orders will make things right on the homefront.

Actually it sounds like it might be similar in principle to what I stumbled on with the Martin Logan ESLs, with the rear reflected wave playing a much bigger role in the development of the soundstage. And there is a rear wave path which reflects off the sidewalls and then front wall, providing a little extra delay, which gives the soundstage a.very dense presence with incredible depth acuity.

You did not mention listener position relative to the other dimensions. Is it roughly twice as far from the front wall as the speakers are?

Interesting that you are not noticing high frequency rolloff from being off-axis as far as you are. The Maggie's are so directional. The rear wave is definitely making a difference in the perception of high frequencies and you are less off-axis in the reception of that rear wave off the front wall. And the tweeter to the inside of course is helping as well.

I appreciate the post. It sounds like you have experienced the kind of huge, deep, densely detailed soundstage that is almost mind altering and completely addictive. Our little speaker setup guide is due for an update, your information will certainly be included as a possible approach with dipole speakers. Thanks again.
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post #27 of 124 Old 07-04-14, 12:03 PM
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

My listening position is fixed at 250 off the front wall, so it's a bit more than twice the distance from the front wall as the speakers. More importantly, that's 155 off the rear wall (~38% - a good distance for modal considerations). The plane of the speakers is 103 off the front wall, and the subs are positioned another 55 out (~38%). The outer edges of the speakers are 15 off the side walls, which is as close as I can get them due to ceiling shape. It's close enough to get a fair amount of side wall reinforcement of the bass.

I'd be surprised if this worked well with the MLs. The true ribbon tweeters are anything but directional, having nearly perfect 360 degree dispersion (well past 20KHz) the benefit of being so narrow. Actually, one of the things that I feared was that the ribbons would become intolerably dominant, but that didn't happen. With a single element dipole, the off axis response is going to be a problem. At least, that's what I'd expect, but these Maggies keep violating my expectations (I've tried some weird things that worked), so what do I know?

I know one thing. This setup works exceedingly well with the 3-series Maggies (3.7s, in my case). Indeed, this (huge, deep, densely detailed soundstage) is intoxicating. For some time, I've coveted MBL's Radialstrahlers, but this arrangement images better than anything else I've ever heard at least, in a long rectangular room.
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post #28 of 124 Old 07-04-14, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Of course, I was forgetting the ribbon tweeters! That is obviously (now that you have reminded me!) why the HF response does not suffer.

As far as working with the MartinLogan design, my approach with them is to get the desired soundstage, then use a single HF shelf filter (in foobar2000) to lift the high end back up to almost flat. As far as reflection paths are concerned, it would seem they would create the soundstage pretty much the same.

Alas, my project backlog prevents me from barging into a new setup experiment right now. The approach, while not intuitively obvious, is certainly "sound," and confirms in a fashion that my own findings are valid and not total insanity! Thank you for the additional detail. I am certain you will enjoy the fruits of your experiment immensely!
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post #29 of 124 Old 09-12-14, 09:54 AM
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Re: HTS Two-Channel Speaker Setup Guide for a Deep Soundstage

I followed your guide and I ended up losing a lot of low frequecies at the listening position. I ended up adding two large bookshelve speakers and an amp to my LFE channel and ran a 80hz cross over.

Are you guys really getting sub 60hz bass in your room with your speakers 6 feet off the front wall?

My setup is different now but this was my failed setup.

Note: 2 speakers on the floor (Left and right) close to the wall.
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post #30 of 124 Old 09-12-14, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Blacklightning wrote: View Post
I followed your guide and I ended up losing a lot of low frequecies at the listening position. I ended up adding two large bookshelve speakers and an amp to my LFE channel and ran a 80hz cross over.

Are you guys really getting sub 60hz bass in your room with your speakers 6 feet off the front wall?

My setup is different now but this was my failed setup.

Note: 2 speakers on the floor (Left and right) close to the wall.
Did your soundstage change/improve? I have subs in all 4 corners. This allows me to place my mains for optimum soundstage while leaving the sub system to handle <80hz.

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