Location of source relative to speakers

Hi All,

Probably a silly question, but I often wonder about where the optimum location of electronics would be in a room, relative to the speakers ie. to lessen the effect of vibration, if this is indeed something to avoid as much as possible. We put our gear on all these fraims and have floaty suspension boards but I see photo’s of Naim stacks right next to a speaker, or close, between them against a back wall etc. Anyone fiddled in this regard?

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My system is in a different room to the speakers. This gives me more space in a small listening room.


I have my Fraim stacks on the rear wall, just to the left and just behind where I usually sit. Naim’s short i/c, long speaker cable philosophy makes this kind of arrangement possible, and it does mean that the kit is not positioned between the speakers - an important consideration with speakers like SL2s which are designed to be positioned very close to the wall rather than out in the room.

Of course, domestic arrangements often mean that the ideal can rarely if ever be achieved, so compromise is usually the order of the day. Even at hifi shows you’ll usually find kit positioned quite close to speakers - one reason why is that it focuses all on display to a single location. That’s also good for show photos - you can get it all in just one picture.

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The room corners are probably the worst place because that’s where sound pressure is greatest. Otherwise in general the further from the speakers the better. It is also possible to house a rack in a cabinet, reducing sound levels within (also having the benefit of hiding massed ranks of boxes, though a problem if you have an infrared remote for anything).

The louder you play the more of an issue it might be…

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When I moved the system to a different room, I had little choice but to put the system next to the sofa. This gave me little choice but to run the speaker cables under the floorboards, which is nice, as it’s one less thing to clutter up the room. The top shelf of the rack serves as a convenient coffee table, and I can reach the volume controls etc. easily, making that overly sensitive pot much easier to control than it is through the remote or system automation.
I was a little concerned about how the system would sound in the new room, with suspended floor, but the gamble paid off, as it sounds better there than it did in the old room with its solid floor.

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Me too!

But are the electronics more affected by pressure (maximum in the corners) or by air movements (maximum well away from the walls)?

Good question - and will depend on various factors. I suspect, however, that well away from walls is rarely an option.

:small_blue_diamond:@Django84,…It’s not a stupid question,.however,the hardest to answer to.

Just look in the System Pics-thread,.and you’ll see that you’re not alone in lacking knowledge on this subject.

:small_blue_diamond:Django84,…This that Richard.Dane writes is important,.and applies to all speakers.

No furniture or hifi-rack between the speakers,.possibly a floor standing flower,small statue…but nothing more.
And,up with the TV on the wall,.if you shall have it between the speakers.

Everything depends on the room,.but in most cases when I have installed a music-system,.then the speakers have played best on the short wall.
Then it works best to have the electronics on the long wall.

:small_blue_diamond:Django84,…Besides what Innocent_Bystander writes above.
So is the second worst place to have its electronics…between the speakers.

•But back to the long wall,.here is it try and test that applies.
Try placing your hifi-rack,.your electronics in different locations after the long wall.
It can distinguish as little as 5-10 centimeters between…"Plays boring " and “Plays fantastically”.

And your Spike’s on your hifi-rack,.or the legs of your hifi-furniture.
They should be placed in the middle of a floor board.
Not close,.or standing on,between two floorboards

:small_orange_diamond:And,.the front and rear legs of your hifi-rack,should stand on the same longitudinal floor board

This above,.and what placement you find after the long-wall for your hifi-rack,is very important for your soundquality.

There’s a lot more to consider,.but this is something you can start with.

•Note,.this takes a very long time to perform,but it is worthwhile if you find the right place.
The reward you get,is better soundquality. Depending on what your room looks like,.so it can be incredibly much better soundquality.


I have no choice given how small my living room is. My LP12 is only 20cm from a loudspeaker. I must say that it still sounds superb which is a tribute to how effective it’s isolation must be.

:small_blue_diamond:@stuart.ashen,…I agree with you…

BUT,.at the same time,it is scary to see how sensitive LP12 is.
You have to hear and experience it,.to understand it.
Read what I write in my previous post about “floorboards”,.and what to consider when placing your hifi-rack on the floor.

It has in many cases,when I have installed a music-system,.played a decisive role if a LP12 is the source.!
Absolutely crucial.!

:small_orange_diamond:Ps:Yes,.of course also for other electronics.


Yes Peder, it is obviously a sensitive bit of kit. I am lucky in having a solid concrete floor. I also mostly listen at moderate volumes which must help. Only when it is played really loud (10 plus on the volume pot) does the sound become a little harsh.


:small_blue_diamond:@stuart.ashen,…When we in Sweden write concrete floors,.then we mean a visible polished concrete floor.

But when you from the UK write…“a solid concrete floor”.
Do you then mean a concrete floor with a carpeted on top.?


Exactly Peder. Carpet on top. Stands are spiked and levelled as you would expect.

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Carpet good: reduces reflections especially near reflections.


In the UK, a concrete floor almost invariably means a ‘direct to earth’ concrete slab. Upper floors are generally timber boards laid onto timber joists. In modern houses especially, these are the floors that can cause problems as they are often quite flimsy.

As I prepare to move my system from living room with suspended oak floors to a fresh basement room, where sources could be sequestered in an adjacent space dedicated to mechanicals (sealed off, optionally), I wonder if Fraim matters there, and if soundproofing to a sensible degree is worth doing. I like Fraim anyway for its modularity; but maybe it is overkill in an isolated room. ?

While I am at it, I wonder if permanently laying level granite tiles around the perimeter, especially in speaker positions, over concrete base floor is desirable, or too much mass for some speakers.


:small_blue_diamond:@ChrisSU,…Thanks for the clear explanation :smiley:.
However,.is it such timber floors on the upper floors also in apartment buildings.?


Apartments (flats) will have pre-stressed concrete on every floor. Fire regulations in the UK wouldn’t allow wooden floors in a 12 storey building.

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However in the UK the majority of people live in houses not apartments, and although there are high end apartments, the majority of apartments occupied by the lower earning sectors. We tend to use the term ‘flat’ instead of ‘apartment’, especially at the lower end.

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