What do you think? Speaker placement advice

I recently got some free advice from a well-known speaker placement / system tweaking consultant.

My room as seen from my seating position:

The advice I got is that given that the room is open on either side of the couch I sit on (wide openings to the next room; not a doorway, much wider), I cannot “load” the room and thus this limits the ability to ‘get the most’ out of the system.

His advice was to use a ratio of .8 : 1 for distance between tweeters : distance from tweeters to my ears. That’s what you see in that photo. And I’ve followed Magico’s advice to start at 20 inches from the rear wall. (These are sealed box design speakers.) At 20 inches from the rear wall, this lets me have this configuration which is reasonable given the fireplace and Fraim location.

His other advice was to buy some sound absorbing fabric covered panels and for critical listening sessions put them on the back of the couch behind my head. When not in use they can be stored under/behind the couch.

Comments? I’ve also read that an equilateral triangle is a good setup, but he is adamant that .8:1 is right in this setup. Obviously I can move stuff around and listen for myself :slight_smile:

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How does it sound now? Are the speakers disappearing? If not I would move them closer to the rear wall than 20 inches, say, 10 inches and see what happens.

I say that because I imagine Magico tested their speakers in ‘normal rooms’.

Just a view. I hope it turns out.

That just sounds weird to me. Faffing around balancing sound absorbers on the sofa behind your head, because this time it’s a ‘serious’ listening session lacks spontaneity, and I would be concerned that it would put me in a frame of mind where I was listening to, and analysing the sound instead of just enjoying music.
Have you considered using REW to analyse your room acoustics, and treating it accordingly if necessary?


Good point about the psychological aspects of it Chris.

I do need to give REW a shot, and see where things are. Can then decide whether there is WAF to support adding something(s) to the room.

I think I could cope with acoustic panels if they had some aesthetic appeal, but if they had to be hidden under the sofa, they would be staying there!

The fabrics they offer are fine and not an issue. We just don’t want them up on the wall 24/7!

Bart, your original post has led me to get the tape measure out, and it turns out that the ratio here is 0.83:1. With the doors closed (we have solid and hugely weighty fire doors to help keep the sound in) it’s possible to really drive the room.

Like others I find the idea of getting out panels for critical listening rather ridiculous. What is critical? Isn’t listening supposed to be simply enjoyable? You wouldn’t go to a concert and put panels behind your ears. You mustn’t become a slave to the system, it’s simply there to help you enjoy the music you love. Maybe a bit of artwork is the answer. Bookshelves on the back wall also work well.


To be honest “critical listening” was my language. But I do think that its a bit much. As you note, it engenders a “feeling” that one must do fussy things to listen to music, when frankly the idea should be, “just turn it on and enjoy.” But there are all degrees of fussiness in this hobby. I know one chap who has tonearm height settings for individual LP’s!! Screw that.

OTOH, those panels are rather inexpensive; could just see if we discern something. Under $200.00 total.

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I put up a sound absorbing panel for listening.

If it enhances the experience,a few seconds is worth it imho.

Better than sitting there in frustration listening to a lesser music due to room

About .85 for me :blush:

It’s a problem if you listen to music on and off throughout the day. Who’d want that black thing on the wall in their sitting room all the time? It’s ok if you have a dedicated listening room but really isn’t acceptable in the sitting room.

ATS will /can put use a photo you provide on their absorbers. If the colored fabric is not for you and your wife maybe something like that could work. Family photo or vacation pic. They also have other designs and photos you can choose from. I like the looks of Vicoustics but they are a bit pricey fir what they are. GIK has a nice alternative to those. That said your room is lot more sophisticated looking than mine.

GIK is what this chap recommends. They have some decent fabrics.

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I have some ATS Acoustic panels. They were a bit cheaper than GIK at the time. The people I know that use GIK all speak highly of them. I believe they have a factory in ATL.

This advice that your room isn’t loading the A3s. Is this something that you agree with ?

Would someone be good enough to give me (and perhaps others) an explanation of what ‘loading the room’ actually means? Not a term I’ve come across before.

I’m guessing the Cardas rule.

Which everyone knows results in room nodes and other anomalies that require treatment.

You can also get panels printed with any artwork of your choice, not just have in a choice of fabric colours (and they told me that that can be done with any of their panels, not just the ones specifically marketed for that - photo, great master copy, mural, colour splashes, or simply coloured to precisely match the wall they are on: whatever suits your taste and decor.

The room is one fundamental part of the system that so many people ignore despite the money they might spend on other components, yet getting it sorted it can make far more difference than many other components. And as for looks, that should be weighed against tge appearance of, sometimes, ranked racks of black boxes and glowing lights, plus a speakers occupying a prominent position…

GIK offer a free service assessing your room - and they can accept and interpret REW files, and indeed guide what/where to measure.

Thanks - very helpful! I may send GIK a REW file :slight_smile: I just need to sit down and do the analysis!

Maybe the idea starts to make sense if you can cover the panel with a nice bit of artwork and make it permanent. Good luck with REW!