Speaker position for great sound. This story is about a beautiful system, I set up in Vilnius, Lithuania. The loudspeakers are the “WOLFVONLANGA” open baffle design. This article will show you how I got the best sound by speaker repositioning.!
The article will describe some of the faults that were found in the original set up. And, also the corrective steps are taken. The initial sound had a score of 5/10 but, after the adjustment, we finished with the score of 10/10. And, job well done I was told by my good friend and customer!
The system had been running and burning in for a few months. And, I was invited over to my friends to listen and tell him what I though of the sound from the system.
I took this picture as I entered the listening room. To be used, as reference for making any adjustment that was necessary.
I had no idea at all just what to expect. The Open Baffel loudspeakers were very large and looked very impressive. With the design and the way they were put together, I really was expecting to be blown away!.
The first impression
I sat down and the first CD was inserted. The music came from the Open baffle but was nothing like I expected. My friend told me he had done tests with his computer sound set up the system. And, wanted to know how my thoughts compared to his.
The sound I heard, was completely wrong in so many ways. And, after a few minutes, I said everything, was just so far out of balance. The bass was boomy and loose and also too much. The vocal was appearing from two-thirds of the way up the wall and there was nothing happening in the middle.
The details were coming from the far walls and there was no feeling in the music. The sound was lifeless and flat without expression. Another thing I felt, was all the notes seemed to be cut off as soon as they played. Exactly my feelings and the computers, my friend told me – you are spot on!
My friend then put a Rod Steward LP on the turntable, just to let me hear how vinyl sounded in the setup. When I heard the sound I said: “Rod what has happened to you?” Why did Rod sound so thin and was halfway up the wall? I said OK, let’s get to work!
The first thing we did was to move the speakers about 25 cms nearer to the wall. And, at the same time move them together about the same amount. As you can see from the picture, this was the initial position of the speaker when I arrived.
Much too far from the centre and much to close the wall. This was causing the reflections, the hole in the middle of the sound stage, The loose boomy bass and also the vocalist to appear from two-thirds of the way up the wall. Luckily the units are on wheels so it was quite easy to move them around but we started by what I thought would be the best place to start and the dimensions that I chose turned out to be very good.
Now, you can see from this picture the move is quite large compared with the room size and listening position. Sometimes, it is only necessary to move a loudspeaker a few centimetres. And, then fine tune by just a centimetre or even a half centimetre. And, one of the things I found to be necessary, was the very small adjustments needed. The Open Baffel has a critical adjustment to sound direction.
By moving the units a very small amount, it was possible to have the vocals exactly where they should be which was centre stage.
The units had to have a very small toe in which was about one centimetre off centre which was enough to give the best sound dispersion. The Units ended up exactly the same measurement from centre to centre and centrestage to centre listening position. In this way, we were able to obtain a sound triangle. Which is what we must always aim for when setting up the audio system to sound the best.
I had finished initial adjustments and we took it in turns to sit in the listening position to hear what had been done. A few more very small adjustments were made and the system started to sound great. Tight bass, vocals centre stage with detail and depth. The soundstage was excellent and everything in position. The system was now up to 9/10.
But something was still not quite right. If you remember earlier I said the notes seem to be somehow cut off. And, there was a certain lack of life to the music. At this point my friend said, let us try your cables. I replied, yes of course. And, with that, my friend took a set of my interconnects and loudspeaker cables from his other system and connected them.
Now, I am even impressed with my own cables because that was it. Yes, that was all that was needed to bring this system to life! The music was now alive with feeling and presence. My friend put Rod on again. But, this time, Rod was real, as if in the room with us. And, the sound now, was now a full 10/10!
Everything sounded so good I even found my self singing along with Rod as the harmonies came in. Which, was something, I have never done before. They say ‘there is a first time for everything’ and I think the sound from the Open baffle was a first for me. The sound really got to me excited and it all comes down to the correct Speaker position!
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