Rack placement suggestions

I am planning on building adding a room to my house to serve as a listening room and am wondering where I should place my system (in relation to the speakers).

The historical advice from Naim has been not to place your system between the speakers. This seems logical when the speakers are placed against the wall. Is it also valid advice not to place a system between, but behind the speakers? In other words, placing the system against the front wall and the speakers a meter or more out from the wall (I am also auditioning new speakers, most of which are designed to be free standing).

My system is now placed on a side wall, fairly close to the speakers. Is this really better? It would seem that the speaker output would have a bigger influence on the system in this case (especially turntables).

Any advice and experience appreciated.

Best regards


The sidewall placement thing is both about increasing distance from system to speakers and removing obstacles that mess up the soundstage/response of the speakers themselves. System behind is slightly better than in between for this, but it’s still worse than on the sidewall.

That said, most of us cannot really have an empty wall between speakers (either because there isn’t enough of space for everything else or because it looks silly). As such, trying to keep it to a minimum and behind the front plane of the speakers is a good thing. I think with them out 1m from the wall the system itself would still be more than halfway covering that “air volume” if you will, but would probably be alright sound-wise.

However, I doubt that you can really know in advance how far your speakers will end up to give their optimum performance, and you may change to something else in the future, so I’d look into other options before.

Thanks for your thoughts.
In my case sidewall placement means that my turntables are about a meter from the front of the left speaker. The speakers are placed 4 meter apart so placing the system in the middle would mean that it is 2 meters from the speakers. As the speakers are firing forward there should be much less energy in this position. I understand there are other considerations.


Would it actually be right in front or off to the side of the speaker? To me the main issue with right in front would be messing up the balance, in addition to bombarding the system with waves.

That said, it would be 1m from one of the speakers but more than 4 from the other, whereas in the middle it would be at about 2m from each. The right way to measure it (if you are so inclined) would be with an accelerometer on the rack surface, but what I would suggest as a stopgap is to go and measure the sound level with an app, or even just stand in between them and see how much sound there actually is there. You may be surprised.

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