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Thread: Speaker positioning for bass

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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator RBFC's Avatar
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    Speaker positioning for bass

    We've generally come to agree on the forum that the main speakers, when positioned for optimal imaging, are not always in the spot that produces the best bass performance. Additional subwoofers are often used to supplement/smooth bass response in this case.

    Has anyone experienced the opposite, where the speakers are positioned for optimal bass response and the system/room tweaked for best imaging? I believe it was in reading about the Wisdom Audio in-wall speakers that there was a claim that imaging did not need to rely on speaker position out into the room.

    I'm currently of the camp that believes in positioning for imaging, then "fixing" the bass.

    Thoughts?

    Lee
    Lee Aldridge

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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator JackD201's Avatar
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    I take the opposite route. I fix bass first since it requires more physical movement of the speakers then imaging later which takes smaller adjustments. Generally I find that when I get good midbass focus the upper registers are not to far off from very good. It is then that I adjust my active subwoofers to just flesh out the foundation.

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    Addicted to Best! tony ky ma's Avatar
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    my system only have two sub woofers, they are JBL 15" driver in a modified Empire box, face down to get 360 degree in direction but a breath hole 3.6" with pipe and fully stuff with drinking straws that is face to the back wall cross over 80HZ 12db/oct, place behind the mid-low and mid-high horn in same axle, cross over for this two horns is 600 and 1K in two way setting sub is in add on style and super high 15Khz also add on in 12db/oct, 4 passive filters drive by a 300B to 4 power amps direct to speakers . in this set up I didn't make any change of positioning from the first time, I got a very good sound stage and image already, I always check my system by turning pre-amp's volume control up to see the sound stage is coming closer to me beside the sound getting louder and turn down will make sound stage go further away, that will tell me everything is still OK
    tony ma
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    Addicted to Best! Mark (Basspig) Weiss's Avatar
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    Position for optimal imaging is almost never optimal for bass. Speakers are in toward the middle of the room in this case, whereas for bass reinforcement, woofers prefer to be in the corners.
    I compensated for this by adding more woofers. I never could get the transient response of percussion to have 'immediacy' with subs facing the corners. Clustering them all together enables them to behave as a unified sound source, alleviating the many phase cancellations that plagued me when I had woofers spread out to the corners and in the middle. Also, due to mutual coupling, I picked up 6dB of additional sensitivity and the LF response did not suffer that much after all.

    Tony, are those JBL 2403s with diffusers mounted in front?
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    Addicted to Best! tony ky ma's Avatar
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    Hi Mark
    those are LE85 (275) and horn 2307 and lens
    tony ma
    Last edited by tony ky ma; 11-07-2010 at 08:10 AM.

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    Member Sponsor flez007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackD201 View Post
    I take the opposite route. I fix bass first since it requires more physical movement of the speakers then imaging later which takes smaller adjustments. Generally I find that when I get good midbass focus the upper registers are not to far off from very good. It is then that I adjust my active subwoofers to just flesh out the foundation.
    Same here, since my Guarneri's favour imaging I work from there to get the best midbass (body) response and then ask my Velodyne sub to work from there.

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    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator RBFC's Avatar
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    Although I appreciate all the responses, nobody has addressed the actual question directly. Has anyone set up main speakers alone in the position that provides good bass performance, and then worked on the room acoustics, etc. to optimize the imaging?

    Lee
    Lee Aldridge

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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBFC View Post
    Although I appreciate all the responses, nobody has addressed the actual question directly. Has anyone set up main speakers alone in the position that provides good bass performance, and then worked on the room acoustics, etc. to optimize the imaging?

    Lee
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    Addicted to Best! naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBFC View Post
    Although I appreciate all the responses, nobody has addressed the actual question directly. Has anyone set up main speakers alone in the position that provides good bass performance, and then worked on the room acoustics, etc. to optimize the imaging?

    Lee
    I guess that I am basically doing that. I do not have enough space to move things around with the size of the main speakers (but each of the main speakers have 2 15" woofers), subwoofers, and the number and size of all of components. I have tried to place the main speakers for their best optimized overall sound, timber, imaging, and bass all at once. At this point the big subwoofers are in the rear of the room in the corners facing the seating, but they are at least at this point only used for the multichannel and home theater usage (they could be set up for the two channel usage as well). We will be incorporating Acoustic room treatments hopefully in the near future to optimize imaging, overall sound and bass for the room. But, we have to start to prepare the treatments which will be incorporated into the room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBFC View Post
    Has anyone experienced the opposite, where the speakers are positioned for optimal bass response and the system/room tweaked for best imaging?
    To my way of thinking that's the most sensible approach. Imaging and mid/high frequency issues are easy to solve with relatively thin absorption at key places. Versus bass response which is much more difficult to get right, and changes drastically with small changes in placement. So my approach is to position the loudspeakers for the best bass response, symmetrically of course, and then deal with the reflection points.

    --Ethan

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