Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
Sign in to follow this  
ACV92

Main Speaker Positioning Trials and Tribulations.....

Recommended Posts

So, over the past couple of weeks I've been messing around with my 5.5's position.  Forward, back, in, out, standing on my head, etc., etc.  I know, I know not the best Klipsch has to offer.  But, my point is this.  It seems like with near every song that I play I can tweak the toe-in/toe-out, overall positioning, to fit the song.  Every time I think I have it right the next song plays.  Reverb and depth are definitely affected by it.  So, with soooo many different recordings is there ever a perfect position with your mains?  Someone smarter than I needs to come up with software that can interpret spatial application ahead of playback.  

 

No, I'm not talking about Audyssey setting on a one time position.  Something more dynamic.  Shifts on the fly.  Probably just me and my lower fare wares.  But damn.  I can adjust endlessly.  Depends on the recording for sure, but someone has to have the ability to give me what I want.  I may just need a bigger budget.  Anyone else experienced this or am I flying solo on this one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general I think people like having the tweeters pointed directly at ear level because it gives you a more live! sound, very articulate.  Others may not like that exact thing because it is too intense, sometimes too harsh or fatiguing.

 

I suggest you place your speakers where it sounds best on your favorite recording.  Let the other songs be less perfect sounding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, wvu80 said:

In general I think people like having the tweeters pointed directly at ear level because it gives you a more live! sound, very articulate.  Others may not like that exact thing because it is too intense, sometimes too harsh or fatiguing.

 

I suggest you place your speakers where it sounds best on your favorite recording.  Let the other songs be less perfect sounding.

Yeah, I've done that.  I do keep reverting back to toe-in where the center axis is firing just beside my ears.  My mains are in the corners, as suggested by Chris A.  But, as I said, the next song that I like plays.  Not quite to my liking.  I get up, tweak the positioning slightly, and there it is.  I don't want to do this continually.  Grasping at straws I'm sure.  I can't help to think that even with the best systems that this affect could hamper the sound.  Ugghh, the search continues, willfully.  :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Build some servo-controlled platforms with remote control.  With several "memory" positions for one-touch recall.  Ought'nt be terribly difficult.

 

Though certainly more work/expense than arriving at one suitable average arrangement...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest that you haven't arrived at the best position yet. When you do, it all falls into place. Play five of your best recordings and use those as your reference. But don't beat yourself up when something doesn't sound as good. You have to take the excellent and the good along with the not so good and leave things alone.

 

Shakey

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much, it's a compromise...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ACV92 said:

...But, my point is this.  It seems like with near every song that I play I can tweak the toe-in/toe-out, overall positioning, to fit the song.  Every time I think I have it right the next song plays.  Reverb and depth are definitely affected by it.  So, with soooo many different recordings is there ever a perfect position with your mains?  Someone smarter than I needs to come up with software that can interpret spatial application ahead of playback.  

I believe that you're getting a lot more out of your setup than a lot of people by doing what you've described. This is also very good ear training, and you should think of it as a key ingredient in improving listening skill.  It sharpens your sense of tonal balance (slightly changing bass levels and treble highs), nearfield reflections, soundstage width and depth, apparent sound width (ASW), and even listener envelopment (LEV) later from reflections from the back of the room.  If you add some absorption or good diffusion on the closest wall surfaces (side walls, front wall near the loudspeakers and in between them at midrange horn height), you can affect soundstage and detail strongly. 

 

If everyone did this little experiment over time, they, too would hear things that they might presently be oblivious to.  Little changes can also be strongly affected by the overall EQ of your loudspeakers, and many attribute this effect to different amplifiers, but in reality, what they're listening to is perhaps 90-95% changes in the EQ, not something that's "magic".  Really listening to the room's effect on the sound is the first step in finding out what works and what doesn't, why certain recordings sound so good and others--so terrible. 

 

As far as your loudspeakers and their sound reproduction capabilities: I don't believe that you have anything to apologize for.  KG 5.5s have something to offer that direct radiating loudspeakers don't really have: directivity above about 1.6 kHz, and this is important for the most sensitive portion of your hearing ability to pick out direct arrivals vs. first reflections, as well as stereo imaging.

da8499c5ad313d672145bf1ec29f7607_6350421

 

5 hours ago, ACV92 said:

No, I'm not talking about Audyssey setting on a one time position.  Something more dynamic.  Shifts on the fly...I can adjust endlessly.  Depends on the recording for sure, but someone has to have the ability to give me what I want.

As you have found, the consistency of recordings varies from track to track (and I'm now talking about non-classical/jazz recordings).  First, the EQ used on each track changes over what the microphones picked up in the recording venue.  This is quite apparent just by looking at each music track using Audacity. and its associated "plot spectrum" view.  Additionally, since about 1965-1975, most of that same type of music (i.e., multitrack recordings, as opposed to largely non-multitrack recordings) has been recorded on separate tape tracks, then mixed together at a console, then later the stereo downmix tracks EQed during mastering, one by one, for greatest "commercial viability".  So there is no consistency in the music tracks--track to track--which is something that you have found.  While there may be VST plugins available (usable within Audacity) to help with the EQ portion of the problem, i.e., automatic track EQ profiling and re-EQing to some standard profile, there is no plugin that I'm aware of that simultaneously fixes soundstage, reverb, EQ, stereo separation, etc.  In fact there are vast arrays of plugins that are available (such as these) to adjust many parts of the music presentation. 

 

What you are doing is perhaps the most important part--adjusting the loudspeakers/room interactions.  Even the mixing and mastering folks often fail to make use of that dimension of audio monitoring.

 

Chris

 

P.S., by the way your KG 5.5s are probably better sound reproducers than most mastering monitors in use--with the possible exception of their frequency response flatness (which you can fix by using a measurement microphone and some form of parametric EQ upstream).  If you bi-amp them and adjust their impulse response, you can easily go toe-to-toe with the likes of Yamaha NS-10M type monitors.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions all.  I do have dampening next to the mouths of the horns, Roxul 60, with 3 1/2" wood frames, gives an air gap to 'trap' the quelled tones, 4' x 2', and the same behind the mains.  The side pieces are set horizontally versus vertical and they have made a big difference.  Definitely reduces the harshness of the upper region.  So, played with positioning once again, more than likely always will, and I played this.

 

Andy Williams - Anniversary Song

 

Sounded like he was right in front of me.  Hard to discern between left and right channels.  Not the greatest song of all time but works for an intended purpose.  I guess I want the holy grail but don't have the time, money, and expertise to incorporate it.  I do have a Umik and REW but limited EQ settings except for sub.  Although, every time I've used the suggested filters from REW I revert back to flat.  Except for a 20 hz high pass shelf to the subs, +2.5 db.

 

Anyway, the quest continues.  Thanks again. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ACV92 said:

Anyway, the quest continues.  Thanks again. 

 

 

 

If you're still questing, why not get a turntable and a stack of LPs?  That way, you can experiment with the vertical tracking angle (the VTA).  Naturally, you'll want to adjust it for different thicknesses of the various records (140 gm, 180 gm, etc), so you can tweak to your heart's content.  You probably won't need to adjust it between songs, but as usual, your mileage may vary...

 

Or you can get a tube amp and experiment with how various tubes sound.

 

Now I'm wondering if the cable skeptics think all amps sound alike?  After all, they're made of wire and all wires sound the same, right?

 

Sorry, I may have spent too much time on a certain other thread.  

 

Could it be that you're trying to compensate for different recordings, so that no matter when or where they were recorded, or by whom, they will sound similar?  That can be done, but in a way, it's like trying to season your food so that it all tastes similar.  Different studios, producers, and eras all have different "flavours", as well as the performers, so why not try to enjoy and appreciate the differences?  It's not always good-better-best; sometimes it's more like chocolate-vanilla-strawberry.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot of interest in having "automatic fixes" for music recordings--to fix problems coming from a wide range of sources. 

 

If there was an automatic fix for everything that can go wrong in recordings, there would be little need for mastering--as I've come to find out independently via demastering where mistakes made during the music performance, recording and mixing become audible again.  A lot of what the mastering people do for a living is to find ways to cover up these mistakes (and there are a lot of ways it goes wrong). 

 

Unfortunately, I've found that most of the mastering fixes put on the recordings to cover them up...and...ostensibly to "protect" cheap playback systems from audible distortion, i.e., they typically can't play back bass frequencies accurately and without distortion, so bass is attenuated.  Cheap loudspeakers/amplifiers also typically exhibit a lack of clarity at mid-high frequencies (i.e., 1-10 kHz) due to their direct radiating designs, so these frequencies are typically boosted--to the displeasure of my ears and that of everyone else in my household (including and especially the dogs and cat).  For some genres of music, these frequencies are boosted--a lot: 12-24 dB in some cases.  To maintain some semblance of high fidelity, I've found that these interventions should really be limited to ~1-3 dB boosts/cuts (not 10x-20x that level). 

 

Additionally, it has always been an unspoken rule that music tracks should be made "as loud as possible" in these genres, and that has ushered in compression and "limiting" (clipping)--in very large doses nowadays (7-25 dB). All that's left of the dynamics in acoustically recorded music tracks is the "microdynamics" that reside inside the average waveforms of the music tracks.

 

Additionally, over time, I believe that these "Mr. Fixit" interventions into the stereo downmixes progressed to "fixing music tracks as a matter of course" regardless if the music tracks need it or not.  Again, this is ostensibly to increase the money-making potential of the tracks.

 

With all that in focus, it isn't difficult to see the issues that stand out:

 

  1. There are harshness and bass-shyness issues due to the mastering EQ that's applied to "translate" the music tracks to much poorer music recording systems (...the standard by which all popular music tracks are mastered today). This is the source of the majority of the issues that are reported about music sounding harsh and not "hi-fi".

    Heavy Spectrum vs EC 268-1 from Chapman.PNG
     
  2. There are systematic reductions in the dynamic range of the music that largely nullifies the advantages of using horn-loaded loudspeakers to faithfully reproduce those dynamics.  The music begins to sound like undifferentiated pink noise as these mastering practices continue to reduce the dynamic range, and if the clipping is bad enough, will produce a harsh sound due to the odd-order harmonics produced from the clipped peaks of the music tracks.

    coltrane-ls-part-iii-3-versions.png
     
  3. There are other issues associated with performance and recording issues, as well as mixing issues: some voices and instruments are way too "hot", while others are too dull sounding.
  4. There are issues of balance and soundstage (i.e., size of the apparent image), and stereo left/right separation that are mixing errors--that contribute to stereo imaging and micro-detail defects heard in-room.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2019 at 2:51 PM, ACV92 said:

I know, I know not the best Klipsch has to offer. 

 

They can be with some easy upgrades...

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm selling my 5.5's.  I've got a really nice pair of black RF-7 II's in their place.  Like a 5.5 on steroids.  Love the height of the drivers with them.  5.5's will always be a favorite as they were the first Klipsch speakers I ever owned/used.  Listened to them for over 20 years.  When they do go, I just may shed a tear........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the RF-7's will be wonderful.

 

I'd really love to get my measuring gear on the a pair to quantify the actual differences between the double 10" woofer Klipsch models. I just wish they'd set them up as 2.5way for the performance benefits of this!

 

They must be a winning combo for klipsch or they wouldn't have been in their line for so long. :emotion-22:

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...