Super 20 nightmare

hello all, I am a newbie,2nd post . I have a pair of kudos super 20s, had them for 6 years and for the life of me I can’t get them to image centrally,has anybody had a similar problem

Sorry to hear that. Are you able to post a pic or two showing your room layout?

Have you checked that they are in phase? I.e. and with apologies if stating the obvious, red from amp output connected to red speaker connectors, both channels?

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thanks for reply,yes they are in phase

Even with the balance control?

hi Christopher,sorry can’t do at the room is about 12’x12’ with central fire place speakers are eitherside of fireplace 6’ apart firing straight down the room 12" out from the back wall

Thanks. I think I would see what happens if the speakers are, say, 5’ 6" apart.

hi yeti,i am trying to get them to have a even balance by placement then intend to use the balance control to fine tune them as the balance control on 32.5 is only +/- a few dB

In my 4.1m by ~3.8m living room I found the Sumiko Masterset technique useful when I was setting up the Thiel CS 1.6s I used before the NBLs. I had several goes at it and found a couple of nodes where they loaded the room so the image was stable even when listening off axis. The nodes varied in the amount of wall reinforcement, they needed a bit to fill out the upper bass/lower mids. One thing I noticed was that the lateral positioning transferred to the NBLs (which sit tight against the back wall) though the off axis range isn’t as wide. The Thiels are now in a lager room In our place in the south of France (I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see it again) where they pull the same trick, at it turned out the same distance from the back wall, they are a lot further from the sides but a similar distance apart, the lateral placement took a bit of finding in both rooms.

I have read many times that it can be common to have speakers that haven’t been assembled and wired up correctly at the factory. With drivers wired up out of phase in both the tweeters and main drivers.
If possible it could be worth carefully having a look inside to check.

What exactly do you mean by ‘image centrally’? Is there a hole in the middle of the soundstage?

The easy way to set the speakers up is to start with them pointing straight ahead. Then toe them in just enough to give a stable central image on vocals. That’s it really. The sound should be free of the speakers so that the music inhabits the room and it doesn’t appear to come from two separate boxes.

You shouldn’t need to use a balance control unless the room is asymmetrical - say open at one end - or one of your ears works better than the other.

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hi yeti, just had a look at sumiko tech,wow that’s very involved,but not fare away from what I have been doing in general.i have been using a spirit level ,tape measure ,laser pointer and a kralk laser set up. I will give sumiko tech a good read through later.thank you for your post

hi hh, yes i get what your saying, I am so close to that but it always ends up with a central voice sounding like they are turned away from me instead of at me, hope this helps you to understand .trying to talk about sound is not easy. thanks for your post

I’m not sure I really get what you mean. So much depends on how pieces are recorded.

You may need to pull them out into the room a bit, you are in fact collapsing the voice. Try to get yourself a triangle with the speakers the same distance part as the distance of your listening position being the same to each speaker, fire them straight ahead as HH suggests. If they are too close to back wall, bass can be boomy or muddled, and voicing can be, well, absorbed into it and very thin.

Start with the kudos recommendations of minimum distance to back wall. Get your seating position where it must be, and form your triangle. Use a voice album line Suzanne Vega, Norah Jones, Lana delray, or other and get the voice where you want it. Then play your favorite tracks and fine tune.

My left and right speakers are NOT The same distance from back wall, or same to a side wall. But in my listening position the voicing is central, Bass, mids and image are all very well balanced.


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This is really interesting to me. I’ve not seen anyone else articulate it like that but the whole turned away voice thing is familiar to me. Although I certainly didn’t articulate it that way it’s exactly how I felt before spotting that a cable within the system was directionally incorrect. Reversed it based on advice here and voila!

Did we assertion if they have always (ie the last six years) sounded like this?

thanks to everyone for your posts, I have been trying to up load some photos but I am not very tech savvy when it comes to computers etc. I will try to give you all an overview of my set up. linn lp 12 ittock xx2mrk2,keel,tramp,circus,radikal. naim 32.5/nap 160,hi capdr,nat01.isoblue,flashback interconnects,cord odyssey install speaker cable. when I got the kudos 20s dealer said angle them in by about 20 degrees, then I upgraded to the keel and he said fire the 20s straight down the room because of the improvements the keel would bring, since then I have had the balance control replaced by class a and replaced all the inter connects just in case it was a lead problem the only lead not replaced is the nap 160 power lead due to the old style round plug in the back of the 160. do any off you think it could be a lack of power from the 160? anyway I will try moving the speakers a bit closer tomorrow and check the speaker cable orientation. thanks again.

the 32.5 had the balance control replaced at class a last month and Darren gave it a once over, both 32.5 &160 serviced at class a in 2013

kudos don’t give a recommended distance to the back wall just a minimum distance apart.