My Personal Experience With Detailed Speaker Setup - I'm Finally There

sbnx

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1/16th of an inch? You can put your head in the exact same position and not move it
When you listen? Within a 1/16th of an inch that is
The speakers are aligned to the room and each other. You do not have to control your head to within a 1/16 of an inch. The listener is free to move in the seat like a normal person would while seated and listening to music etc. It actually sounds great everywhere in the room but is only really "stereo" in the center seat.
 
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Analog Scott

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The speakers are aligned to the room and each other. You do not have to control your head to within a 1/16 of an inch. The listener is free to move in the seat like a normal person would while seated and listening to music etc. It actually sounds great everywhere in the room but is only really "stereo" in the center seat.
How are they aligned to each other and to the room and how is the position of your ears independent of this? What is the nature of this alignment?

How does moving one speaker 1/16th of an inch profoundly affect the sound yet moving your head doesn’t?
 

sbnx

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How are they aligned to each other and to the room ...?
Can you clarify this question? What do you mean by "how"?

Conflict in the sound is being removed by adjusting the speakers. This conflict is heard no matter where a person is in the room. Once it is removed by precise alignment the sound is good everywhere. Moving your head around doesn't drastically alter how good it sounds.

For example, my wife wanted to listen to the system last night. I was sitting to the left of her by quite a bit (next sofa cushion over). While I did not enjoy the stereo perspective (precise imaging etc) the sound was still fantastic and I could look over between the speakers and hear generally what was going on with the band. And I have horns which are very directional. With normal "box" speakers where they have wider dispersion the effect is even better for people who are off axis.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Note in @divertiti posts he mentions that even his father commented that he could easily hear the improvements in SQ from downstairs as small changes were made to the speaker position.

I want to also clarify that to me 1/16 of an inch is an absolutely massive movement. When starting out finding the proper spot in the room where the speaker will sit the speaker may move in the range of inches but very quickly drops to 1/4" to 1/8" to 1/16" but after that the real magic happens in tenths of a mm or less.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Note in @divertiti posts he mentions that even his father commented that he could easily hear the improvements in SQ from downstairs as small changes were made to the speaker position.

Respectfully, to divertiti, to divertiti's father, and to Todd, does this report pass even the straight face test?
 

Ron Resnick

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I want to also clarify that to me 1/16 of an inch is an absolutely massive movement. When starting out finding the proper spot in the room where the speaker will sit the speaker may move in the range of inches but very quickly drops to 1/4" to 1/8" to 1/16" but after that the real magic happens in tenths of a mm or less.

To Analog Scott:

I, too, am skeptical about reports like this. But that doesn't necessarily mean sbnx is not 100% correct on both the sonic importance of tiny speaker position movements and on his ability to hear differences due to tiny speaker position movements.

If you and I are skeptical it means we have to face the very real possibility that our hearing simply isn't as good as is sbnx's hearing on these particular sonic dimensions.* Our hearing simply may not be good enough to discern the particular differences due to tiny speaker position changes sbnx is reporting.

* Obviously, different people are different, and different people have different hearing sensitivities and different hearing strengths and weaknesses. I think I'm better than average at being able to discern channel imbalance and overall tonal balance and a sense of transparency on vocals. I think I am worse than average at being able to discern ambient soundstaging cues and proper integration of drivers.
 
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Rumpole

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I think it is plausible that if the speakers are not positioned and aligned correctly, you might get interference patterns in the sound waves, and that you *might* be able to hear this in other rooms. I'm not certain that this is true, but it seems like it could be. I'm not convinced that sub-mm adjustments (or that as someone else suggested, "tapping" the speaker to adjust its position) would have a dramatic effect. But it's a zero cost tweak, and even if it is a placebo effect --- placebos can be effective. :)
 
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bonzo75

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To Analog Scott:


If you and I are skeptical it means we have to face the very real possibility that our hearing simply isn't as good as is sbnx's hearing on these particular sonic dimensions.* Our hearing simply may not be good enough to discern the particular differences due to tiny speaker position changes sbnx is reporting.

I completely disagree someone's hearing is that much better, unless maybe one has lots of hearing decline in old age or has some hearing issues.

What differs is listening experience - what points to use for audition and what to listen for - and what to give importance to - what are merely differences as compared to sonic improvements.

Also, this has to be tried in the same system complex. My friend's Avalon's are very sensitive to minor changes in toe or position changes, while with certain speakers i have a much wider room to listen in. Stirling Trayle raked and positioned well the Stenheim Ultime 2 system I mentioned, for tweeters to align at listener's hearing position otherwise they lose coherence in a very small room.

So you might not get it in System A but you might get in Todd's, whether you give the importance Todd does to it or not will differ.
 
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Ron Resnick

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What differs is listening experience - what points to use for audition and what to listen for - and what to give importance to - what are merely differences as compared to sonic improvements.

I think this, too, is a reasonable theory.


So you might not get it in System A but you might get in Todd's, whether you give the importance Todd does to it or not will differ.

This makes sense to me.
 

sbnx

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Ron, I do not believe that I have "super hearing". But I have trained my ear to hear things. I believe you could also hear what I hear as could nearly anyone as long as the person doesn't have a serious physiological hearing problem.

I realize it sounds completely ridiculous that someone could simply tap a 200 pound speaker and that it would make an observable sonic difference. But, as you say, that doesn't mean it is not true. I have no reason to make this up and am not trying to pull some kind of audiophile hoax on people. I am sincerely trying to convey to people just how sensitive our equipment and ears really are. Most people are not even close to pushing the equipment they have to the edge of what is possible. Most seem to be on the spend more get more path. While that is true to some extent it is also no guarantee without proper optimization. Take the system you have to the edge and it will become obvious what needs to be fixed.

With the above said, getting the speaker to the place where a single tap matters is a process. One can not roughly set the speakers in place and then walk over an expect to hear a difference from bumping a speaker with their hand.

This is also not placebo. For example, there is a piece of music I listen to a 1000 times while setting up speakers. There is a oboe and pizzicato double bass. The oboe should really stand proud with the bass as a backup in a sort of duet. If one listens very intently then we can perceive if the bass and oboe land at the exact same time on the notes. (Before anyone asks, yes it is in the score this way) Once you get the timing exact the music takes on a flow that is very beautiful to listen to. Without the exact timing the music is confused. How does someone achieve this exact timing? Very small bumps to the speaker until they align.
 

Analog Scott

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To Analog Scott:

I, too, am skeptical about reports like this. But that doesn't necessarily mean sbnx is not 100% correct on both the sonic importance of tiny speaker position movements and on his ability to hear differences due to tiny speaker position movements.

If you and I are skeptical it means we have to face the very real possibility that our hearing simply isn't as good as is sbnx's hearing on these particular sonic dimensions.* Our hearing simply may not be good enough to discern the particular differences due to tiny speaker position changes sbnx is reporting.

* Obviously, different people are different, and different people have different hearing sensitivities and different hearing strengths and weaknesses. I think I'm better than average at being able to discern channel imbalance and overall tonal balance and a sense of transparency on vocals. I think I am worse than average at being able to discern ambient soundstaging cues and proper integration of drivers.
I am not going to make any claims of superior hearing acuity but my skepticism comes from a modest understanding of speaker/room acoustics.
1/16 of an inch represents a wave length that is a couple orders of magnitude above the Shroeder crossover frequency range of any real world room. For there to be any room mode issues that are affected by a shift of 1/16th of an inch the space would have to be only a few cubic inches. Literally.

So there is a universal reality that anything happening with a shift of 1/16th of an inch will be strictly related to rules of vector waves. Which means any sensitivity to a shift of 1/16th of an inch of the speakers would pretty much mean the same sensitivity for head head location. The directionality and dispersion of the speakers would have to be barely wider than a human head.

The assertion that such a small shift in speaker position can be heard down the stairs from any particular position in the down stairs room is not really a matter of yours or my hearing acuity.

It’s comparable to splashing around on the beach in Malibu and someone claiming they can see those ripples in the water on the shores of Hawaii. Any of the shores of Hawaii.

That wouldn’t be a matter of someone having sharp enough vision.

So yes, I am skeptical. But I wasn’t going to push it.
 

tony22

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This is also not placebo. For example, there is a piece of music I listen to a 1000 times while setting up speakers. There is a oboe and pizzicato double bass. The oboe should really stand proud with the bass as a backup in a sort of duet. If one listens very intently then we can perceive if the bass and oboe land at the exact same time on the notes. (Before anyone asks, yes it is in the score this way) Once you get the timing exact the music takes on a flow that is very beautiful to listen to. Without the exact timing the music is confused. How does someone achieve this exact timing? Very small bumps to the speaker until they align.
I’d like to know the name if this tune, if you don’t mind. :)
 

sbnx

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I am not going to make any claims of superior hearing acuity but my skepticism comes from a modest understanding of speaker/room acoustics.
1/16 of an inch represents a wave length that is a couple orders of magnitude above the Shroeder crossover frequency range of any real world room. For there to be any room mode issues that are affected by a shift of 1/16th of an inch the space would have to be only a few cubic inches. Literally.

So there is a universal reality that anything happening with a shift of 1/16th of an inch will be strictly related to rules of vector waves. Which means any sensitivity to a shift of 1/16th of an inch of the speakers would pretty much mean the same sensitivity for head head location. The directionality and dispersion of the speakers would have to be barely wider than a human head.

The assertion that such a small shift in speaker position can be heard down the stairs from any particular position in the down stairs room is not really a matter of yours or my hearing acuity.

It’s comparable to splashing around on the beach in Malibu and someone claiming they can see those ripples in the water on the shores of Hawaii. Any of the shores of Hawaii.

That wouldn’t be a matter of someone having sharp enough vision.

So yes, I am skeptical. But I wasn’t going to push it.
I completely understand as I used to think like this. But just a couple things to think about. One is that the same arguments are made by those who think cables don't matter. The other, more relevant thing, it to consider the effects of comb filtering.

Maybe someday I will have the opportunity to demonstrate this for you.
 

sbnx

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I’d like to know the name if this tune, if you don’t mind. :)
The song is L'Italiana in Algeri by Rossini. But not just any recording. The one to get is by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. It is available on Qobuz. The polarity is inverted.
 

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Analog Scott

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I completely understand as I used to think like this. But just a couple things to think about. One is that the same arguments are made by those who think cables don't matter.
I don’t think they matter either
The other, more relevant thing, it to consider the effects of comb filtering.

Maybe someday I will have the opportunity to demonstrate this for you.
Comb filtering is mostly smoothed out by our brain’s ability to filter the deviations caused by filtering.

But far more significant is that most of what you do hear from comb filtering is the result of moving your head. Change positions change the comb filtering pattern.
 
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Robh3606

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1/16 is aprox.062 mils wavelength of 20K is .672 aprox. 11/16

Forget about room modes or timing differences over such short distances.

How does this work??? Careful set-up is important that just seems extreme WRT speaker placement.

Rob :)
 
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sbnx

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1/16 is aprox.062 mils wavelength of 20K is .672 aprox. 11/16

Forget about room modes or timing differences over such short distances.

How does this work??? Careful set-up is important that just seems extreme WRT speaker placement.

Rob :)
I agree. It seems totally absurd and ridiculous. I don't know what the actual mechanism is other than precise timing. All I know is that it works.

I am not alone in this thinking. What are your thoughts on the adjustments on the Wilson modules. The WAMM Master Chronosonic and the XVX both offer adjustable drivers. Each turn on the XVX micrometer is 2 microseconds of timing adjustment. These are very audible.
 

PeterA

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1/16th of an inch? You can put your head in the exact same position and not move it
When you listen? Within a 1/16th of an inch that is

Depending on the radiation pattern, a 1/16th of an inch AT THE SPEAKER CAN affect a much larger area at the listening seat. Once a speaker is properly set up in a specific room, again depending on the speaker, the listening space in which it sounds convincing can be quite large. No one is talking about head in a vice, but at the speaker, tiny differences can indeed be quite audible elsewhere in the room.
 

Analog Scott

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If it w
I agree. It seems totally absurd and ridiculous. I don't know what the actual mechanism is other than precise timing. All I know is that it works.

I am not alone in this thinking. What are your thoughts on the adjustments on the Wilson modules. The WAMM Master Chronosonic and the XVX both offer adjustable drivers. Each turn on the XVX micrometer is 2 microseconds of timing adjustment. These are very audible.
If it were precise timing then you wouldn’t be able to move your head. Whatever timing you get from a 1/16th of an inch in the speaker positioning is lost when your head moves as much or more. That’s just straightforward math.
 

adyc

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If it were precise timing then you wouldn’t be able to move your head. Whatever timing you get from a 1/16th of an inch in the speaker positioning is lost when your head moves as much or more. That’s just straightforward math.
I think the logic of ultra high speaker positioning is not for one sweet listening position. It is for all listening positions in the room.
 

Analog Scott

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I think the logic of ultra high speaker positioning is not for one sweet listening position. It is for all listening positions in the room.
All listening positions in a room with a two channel speaker based playback system except for one area we call the sweet spot are going to be extremely compromised. So the value of such precise speaker positioning seems even less likely.

What does moving a speaker 1/16th of an inch do to dramatically improve the highly compromised sound quality outside of the sweet spot?
 

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