Distance from kit to speaker

Is there a general consensus on how far a speaker should be from naim kit?

Speakers have large drivers and I would have thought big magnetic fields. I wonder how far an NDX2 should be to there’s no interference.

Not sure you can put a figure on this, as there must be many variables. Frequency range and volume level of the speakers, how they are coupled to the floor, construction of floor and walls, what sort of rack the system sits on, etc. In general, the further away the better, I guess.

It depends on your listening room, if you have floor standers with a larger bass output and how you decouple them from the floor. Less problems with standmounts.
Either way, keeping sensitive sources as far as possible from loudspeakers is always the best way to go. The often classic kit with pictures between two speakers is not ideal.
Speakers at one end of the room and kit at the other end is better. Longer speaker cable runs if not too long are OK.
All about restricting vibrations.

Turntables are most susceptible to vibration as Ivor discovered and created the LP12 :slight_smile:

My system is in a different room so is fairly well isolated.

As I understand it, there is a constant magnetic field around the speaker drivers, it doesn’t change significantly with speaker volume & frequency. As always best kept away from equipment as much as possible, but I believe the acoustic pressure waves have far greater effect.


Active speakers have amp packs attached to or even inside the speakers cabinets. They’re mostly power amps, which I guess are less likely to be susceptible to EM interference, but some include source level components as well eg. Meridian.

Mechanical vibration induced by sound waves is a different matter. Turntables are most likely to be affected, but even components with no moving parts might be affected by microphony in which case the design will matter. FWIW I moved my Auralic which sits on sprung feet from opposite end of the room to one side of and just behind the left speaker and couldn’t hear a change in SQ.


Interestingly I found a novel way of ‘miking up’ speaker cabinets (as was once typical for feeding from stage guitar ‘stacks’ to PA), that didn’t risk feedback issues: Instead of a microphone in front of the cabinet, a coil (like an unpowered electromagnet) positioned in front of one of the speaker drivers. I mounted it in the head section of a dead microphone with a plastic cap where the mesh would normally be, enabling either dangling by its cable from the top of the cab, or use of a mic stand, as were common approaches.

It is clear therefore that the varying magnetic field could affect anything (electro)magnetically sensitive placed sufficiently close - though how close I have no idea, and would depend on the sensitivity. I would expect a polar response decreasing towards the sides due to the axial nature of the speaker construction, possibly figure-of-eight so projecting behind as well, depending on how much the magnet structure behind the cone might reduce its strength, but probably much weaker to the sides.

The other thing with magnets is their ability to distort images in nearby cathode ray tubes, even magnetising part of the CRT case components causing permanent distortion (distortion can be enough to be geometrically visible, or if less may be incorrect colours due to electron beam hitting the wrong phosphor dot). However, I suspect there are few CRT TVs still in use in today, while to the best of my awareness stray static magnetic fields of the strength that might be experienced from a speaker magnet penetrating inside even adjacent electronic items such as amplifiers. For a while at least, speakers intended or anticipated likely to be used in close proximity to TVs commonly were fitted with ‘shielded’ magnets (actually a second magnet to approximately cancel the magnetic field external to the driver), but that was not common with hifi speakers. Whether the static magnetic field from an unshielded could affect, say, the cartridge an adjacent TT I don’t know - I suspect it is possible.

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One of my Naim Arivas caused a large blob of distorted pixels to occur in the corner/side of my Sony Vega CRT tv.

(Probably helped the tv to die after 15 years of use.)

The blob moved if you moved the speaker nearer.

The Naim manual warns of this issue.

The biggest issue In terms of placement proximity is usually vibration, and good practice is to put anything susceptible to vibration as far from the speakers as possible, though the corners of the room may not be best as bass is greater there - i.e. where the music is quietest. Mechanical transducers - most commonly TTs, potentially followed by the electronics dealing with the lowest level signals, and the interconnects carrying those lowest level signals, are the items most at risk from vibration - though what they are mounted on plays a part. If it is difficult to find a suitable spot, one option might be to enclose the rack in a cupboard (not touching the cupboard, fixing vibration deadening pads fixed to the inside surfaces.

I thought about mentioning CRT issues but decided not to as who has one of those these days. Yes they cause distortion if too close, but its the static mag field rather than any variables caused by the active driver, which is the OP’s question I believe.

I was thinking about the magnets and drivers.

you could measure field with a Hall effect probe but without knowing what level would cause interference the results would not be much use

I’d not be concerned about magnetic fields from speakers. Your NDX2 is likely to be situated with other mains powered kit. These will produce a magnetic field (albeit low) hence the usual advice not to stack items and keep sensitive items that are dealing with very low level signals such as phono stages and preamps away from power supplies

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