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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:14 am 
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I consider what I have to do at home to be n-f listening. That is, 8 feet from me to speakers, 7 feet between speakers.
I enjoy this 1) because I want to listen & have no choice space-wise, and 2) my amps are all low-powered anyway.

But, I am anticipating a larger room one day soon. I wonder sometimes if I will be disappointed? Knowing, for instance, that room & ceiling shape has a lot to do with the resulting sound.

That brings me to the connected subject. In Stereophile magazine, several of the reviewing contributors have small rooms or sit near to their speakers - eg. One crowds Alexia and 2 large Pass amps plus a single-width rack into the 12 feet of his front wall; another has a room 26 feet long(!) and yet has his seat 9 feet from the chosen loudspeakers.

Is it likely that these reviews are limited in their 'usefulness'? Because alot of people reading will certainly have, in USA at least, way more space for the hi-fi set-up. Plus, I'm sure some of the gear being reviewed needs space to breathe (and has not go it).

Come on experts, fill this qu. with wise answers please.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:42 am 
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This video provides a simple breakdown between the two.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1x3GqHZoEA

Treating your future room will help. Nowhere near an expert here but no far field setup should be without first reflection point treatments if using direct radiating speakers. In my own experience placement from the front wall has been speaker specific and not always based on size. Moving to a larger room can be disappointing with low frequency response.

Interesting video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI2xi2szCiA


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:11 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
My room is 24' long by 16' wide. I've played extensively with speaker placement, sitting up to 16' from speakers with speakers 12' apart. The sound "locked in" with speakers 6' from the front wall, 7 feet apart, while sitting 8.5' from speakers.
IMHO, this cuts down on room interaction, especially with my ML electrostats. Amp is low-power, a First Watt 25wpc Class A, and has PLENTY of power for maximum enjoyment. All my audio buddies question the ML/low-power combo, until they have a listen.

I suggest that, even in a bigger room, your present speaker to speaker and speaker to you distance may be ideal. I really don't think more power is a benefit - I sold my previous amp (120wpc Bryston) for more than my present amp cost me, and realized a not-insignificant increase in sound quality


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:10 pm 
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...experiment with your set-up...treatments, placements, distances etc. etc....it is "ideal" when you can do no better...by your estimation...and by yours alone...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm 
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Hi,

Generally, and this has to be taken with some salt, there is a difference in the goals when you want to a) fill a room with sound, versus b) listen critically within the precise sound field of the 'stereo effect'.

In the case of a) this is mostly achieved within the provenance of 'pro-audio' by which I mean using sound reinforcement tools and speakers and amplifiers and eq devices designed to fill a cavity, be it a large living room, a club, a bar, a hockey rink, a stadium or even outdoors. Under these circumstances the main goal is usually not fidelity or accuracy or even the illusion of stereo, but rather the chief goal is to push sound of some intensity into the corners of the cavity.

In the case of b), well most all of you know what that is already. A problem can arise though when an audiophile mixes or confuses the two different goals. This is precisely the issue that dear old Harry Pearson faced when he started 'The Absolute Sound' where he chose to assiduously pursue both huge room filling scale and a musical stereo soundscape. The results of this mixing of possibly incompatible goals has been, I would have to say, 'quite mixed' (IMHO). Whether you can really have both is thus a topic of endless dispute.

Sound systems are always very room dependent and the larger the system the more dependent it becomes, so when you hear those Golden Ear Tritons or those Focal Sopra 3s in a huge dedicated showroom with miles of space between them and the walls and the ceiling, maybe you better measure your living room carefully before you pull the trigger. What is happening right there in that huge showroom is the same thing that happens when a dedicated audiophile is listening to a stand-mount pair set six feet apart and seven feet from his/her listening chair. In both cases directly radiated sound is being given priority over reflected sound.

And this is also why the OP has sagely noted that many equipment reviewers have set their rooms up so they are listening within a reduced 'hypothetical cavity', rather than within the larger whole room. I personally prefer to optimize image and stereo effect and scale is always a distant second. But I have also heard, although only rarely, large outdoor reinforcement systems where huge scale was achieved and that were also astonishingly accurate and detailed. In these instances a simulacra of near-field listening had been achieved outdoors and for listeners 250' from the speaker line array.

Cheers,
David Neice

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Last edited by buybye88 on Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:33 pm 
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...good post David...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:45 pm 
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I thank you all for this intriguing insight. It's clearer now to me.

Might Mr Pass have achieved the difficult mix, as detailed, here?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:24 pm 
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:lol: :idea: :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:56 pm 
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I've played A LOT with my speaker placement in my room, which is 12' wide by 27' long (although my living room proper is about 12' in length and opens up into the dining/kitchen area). I have found with my Celestion SL6S that I much prefer the speakers to be 65" apart center to center, and 65" from my listening position (speaker baffle center to ears), so essentially a perfect triangle. This, by far, gives me the best sound stage, and also minimizes room boundary reflections. Speakers are toed in about 20 degrees. I've tried many times to move them back with a wider separation to varying degrees, but I always default to this position. Pretty close!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:30 pm 
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Near-field is like an audio microscope removing the room out of the equation.You're sorta listening to the room it was recorded in on a small scale.
Mid to far-field is trying to bring that recording into your room full size.Big horns do this well.

Gary


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Is a small speaker necessarily a near field speaker?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:18 pm 
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lzp1 wrote:
Is a small speaker necessarily a near field speaker?


In my opinion...yes...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Define small!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:53 pm 
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I would say Near-Field listening has an immersive quality. Sort of like surround sound at a movie theater but it can be achieved with 2 channel stereo depending on the room. I sit real close to the speakers 12' apart because my room is narrow and long. I would describe the soundstage like being center front row seats at a concert.

Far-Field listening sounds like you're sitting at the back of a concert hall, and lacks the immersive effect.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:09 pm 
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I would say that for critical listening, i prefer a nearfield esque position....despite my room being moderately large. I can still fill the room with sound if i am moving about....but this reduces the requirement for absolute fidelity.

The nearfield experience is more satisfying for me.....takes the room out of the equation, provides 3 dimensionality, as well as soundstage and imaging information. But nearfield can be with the speakers 3 feet apart sitting at a computer....or in my case 9 feet apart with me sitting close to that distance from the speakers. Similar effect.


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