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 Post subject: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 361
Location: Toronto
I think most CAM members level their stereo speakers individually but how many level the pair together ensuring they are at the same height?

I bring this up because I have a slightly sloped basement floor where I could never get an exact stereo image after a recent purchase of new speakers. After putting a straightedge across the tops, I found I was off by about 15mm. The spikes weren't long enough to allow me to bring them to level so I removed them and shimmed them with boards to get them almost level and the image was greatly improved. Have some threaded risers on order from Herbie's as they come in different bolt lengths but am curious if anyone else has had this problem and how they resolved it. Do most homes have level floors?


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:26 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Woodbridge, ON, CA
Most basements will have a slight slope towards the floor drain located near a water heater.
The position and height of your speakers will vary based on distance between speakers.
Slope to floor can vary with size, shape of basement and drain location In basement.
Good idea to check if your TT is level.


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:02 pm 
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Location: Surrey , BC, CA
yes, this is the tool...https://www.rona.ca/en/cubixtm-cross-li ... r-03056127


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 666
Location: toronto, ON, CA
viiu wrote:
I think most CAM members level their stereo speakers individually but how many level the pair together ensuring they are at the same height?

I bring this up because I have a slightly sloped basement floor where I could never get an exact stereo image after a recent purchase of new speakers. After putting a straightedge across the tops, I found I was off by about 15mm. The spikes weren't long enough to allow me to bring them to level so I removed them and shimmed them with boards to get them almost level and the image was greatly improved. Have some threaded risers on order from Herbie's as they come in different bolt lengths but am curious if anyone else has had this problem and how they resolved it. Do most homes have level floors?


What you are describing is technically called "elevation" and your speakers are on different elevation in relation to each other .By using the straight edge you established out that the difference was 15mm between the two. The precise instrument for measuring elevation among other things is called <optical site level> or else known as <dumpy level> it is mounted on a tripod and calibrated on a specific location by the aid of a plumb bob. It is mainly used for surveying operations in building.I personally use on occasion a dumpy level as part of my work.
This is the evolution of the design that origins in ancient Greece .
Now at days most commonly they use lasers but outdoors (wind - light conditions - e.t.c) still the optical technology is best and more accurate.
Your ears must be very sensitive to be able to pick up 15mm of difference in height between speakers but very possible I guess.
Basement concrete floors by design are having a slope towards the drain ,wherever that drain might be .The slope is not standard although it should be but it differs from house to house by a small degree.
When the basement is a finished living space ,for example mine is, the subfloor has been installed leveled . In my case my floor in the basement is marble tiles installed on top of the concrete floor and they are installed straight and level as expected so I personally do not have variations in height . Other people's basement might have different floor material installed ,I have seen all kind of different floor choices but as a rule the floors are level unless the installation of the floor is done wrong or the floor is an original concrete with the slope towards the drain. Is yours an original concrete floor in the basement?

Regards
George


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 361
Location: Toronto
Quote:
What you are describing is technically called "elevation" and your speakers are on different elevation in relation to each other .By using the straight edge you established out that the difference was 15mm between the two. The precise instrument for measuring elevation among other things is called <optical site level> or else known as <dumpy level> it is mounted on a tripod and calibrated on a specific location by the aid of a plumb bob. It is mainly used for surveying operations in building.I personally use on occasion a dumpy level as part of my work.
This is the evolution of the design that origins in ancient Greece .
Now at days most commonly they use lasers but outdoors (wind - light conditions - e.t.c) still the optical technology is best and more accurate.
Your ears must be very sensitive to be able to pick up 15mm of difference in height between speakers but very possible I guess.
Basement concrete floors by design are having a slope towards the drain ,wherever that drain might be .The slope is not standard although it should be but it differs from house to house by a small degree.
When the basement is a finished living space ,for example mine is, the subfloor has been installed leveled . In my case my floor in the basement is marble tiles installed on top of the concrete floor and they are installed straight and level as expected so I personally do not have variations in height . Other people's basement might have different floor material installed ,I have seen all kind of different floor choices but as a rule the floors are level unless the installation of the floor is done wrong or the floor is an original concrete with the slope towards the drain. Is yours an original concrete floor in the basement?


I do have an original basement with the floor sloping towards the drain. I have considered putting wood planking over a sub floor but with a 7 foot ceiling height, I'm not sure the benefit would outweigh the loss of height.


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:41 am
Posts: 322
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I own a pair of Tannoy Ardens. These are very large floor speakers. They weight a lot. I don t see how leveling these would make a difference in sound when the previous owner said his speakers were out like 1-2 cm in height. Are smaller speaker that critical to room conditions. Your talking about a little bit of height difference not like 6 or 12 ins . Whats the story here.


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Markham, ON, CA
Sound dispersion varies from speaker to speaker. Some speakers have a wider dispersion area than others. Distance from the source will also affect this sensitivity. In my main floor system, my speakers are about 8 feet apart and about 7 feet from the couch. Not ideal. But I raised the fronts of the speakers and "aimed" the tweeters at my ear level. The difference was palpable. Height is good, "aiming" the speaker is better.

I would be very surprised that a few cms of height difference would have a drastic effect. If so, your speakers are not for me!! :( Think about it; if a few cms makes a big difference, how can you have good sound at the listening point? Most people have more than a few cms between their ears! Does this mean that only one side of your head is in the "sweet spot"?


Last edited by brownslane on Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:26 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Woodbridge, ON, CA
Yes, I suspect 15mm could be a issue for headphones, but not sure if it is with floor standers.


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 666
Location: toronto, ON, CA
viiu wrote:
Quote:
What you are describing is technically called "elevation" and your speakers are on different elevation in relation to each other .By using the straight edge you established out that the difference was 15mm between the two. The precise instrument for measuring elevation among other things is called <optical site level> or else known as <dumpy level> it is mounted on a tripod and calibrated on a specific location by the aid of a plumb bob. It is mainly used for surveying operations in building.I personally use on occasion a dumpy level as part of my work.
This is the evolution of the design that origins in ancient Greece .
Now at days most commonly they use lasers but outdoors (wind - light conditions - e.t.c) still the optical technology is best and more accurate.
Your ears must be very sensitive to be able to pick up 15mm of difference in height between speakers but very possible I guess.
Basement concrete floors by design are having a slope towards the drain ,wherever that drain might be .The slope is not standard although it should be but it differs from house to house by a small degree.
When the basement is a finished living space ,for example mine is, the subfloor has been installed leveled . In my case my floor in the basement is marble tiles installed on top of the concrete floor and they are installed straight and level as expected so I personally do not have variations in height . Other people's basement might have different floor material installed ,I have seen all kind of different floor choices but as a rule the floors are level unless the installation of the floor is done wrong or the floor is an original concrete with the slope towards the drain. Is yours an original concrete floor in the basement?


I do have an original basement with the floor sloping towards the drain. I have considered putting wood planking over a sub floor but with a 7 foot ceiling height, I'm not sure the benefit would outweigh the loss of height.


If you got 7 foot ceiling height now on bare floor ,you are golden in my opinion. When I renovated my basement a few years back ,I had to remove (sledgehammer work) the original concrete floor because it was cracked in some spots and questionable ,I am glad I removed it,why ? because I discovered that it was a thin slab (1-1/2 to 2 inches thick only) then I removed some soil in order to gain height and poured brand new concrete on top .The new concrete slab I created is about 6 inches thick ( industry standard is between 5 to6 inches), then I installed marble tile on top (underlayment was installed between soil and concrete as well as between concrete and tiles) Everything is straight - level and solid BUT I stand at 6-1 inches tall and my finished floor to ceiling is a just tiny bit over 6-8 inches .Under the beam thought it is only a tiny bit over 6-1 so I almost touch it with my head when I walk under it. If you got 7 feet now,you definitely got more headroom to work with than I had to work with.
Consider yourself lucky.
Regards
George


Last edited by Yiorgos on Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:44 pm
Posts: 672
Location: Crystal Beach, ON, CA
Interesting that such a small difference could be noticed.

However, I'm not surprised due to a recent (similar) experience I had regarding my speakers.

I own a large pair of Martin Logans. When I set them up, I went to pains (tape measures etc) to make sure they were identical (left to right, front to back, same toe in) to the listening position. I have read this brand is somewhat difficult to position. However, after my setup, I was very happy with the results and have rarely changed them for the last year or so. Thus, thought they were easy to place.

A couple weeks ago, I needed to test out a pair of JBL floor standers and a separate pair of mono amps. So, I put them in the room and had to muck about with the connections and such to get them running properly. After I was satisfied they were functioning normally, I took them away and re-hooked up my regular system. BUT - my imaging had gone. I mean, there was NO center vocalist. She was everywhere, not in the center. I thought the speaker cables were out of phase as this can remove the imaging, but, no.

For the next hour, I was checking and rechecking settings, connections... everything. I couldn't believe something had gone awry. Pulling my hair out... :?

Then I remembered. To make one speaker connection, I had to move one Martin Logan a few (3-4?) inches towards the wall and slightly off the toe in I had set. Noticeable by the distance from a tape marker I keep on the floor. So, I carefully shuffled the speaker (They're 6 feet tall....) back into place.

Cued up the same track and - BANG! All back to normal. Happy listener again!

Such a small change and yet a huge difference....


I guess they were right. They are touchy on placement. :)


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:44 pm
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Location: Toronto
I don't want to leave the impression that the system didn't sound good before I elevated the lower speaker to the height of the other. It just sounds better now.
I aim for a sound that fills the room rather than one that is optimized for the sweet spot.


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:49 am 
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Location: Crystal Beach, ON, CA
That's funny. I'm of a different school of thought. ☺

Image for the sweet spot is primary. Selfish, I guess. The rest of the room can fend for themselves. :D


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:03 am 
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Location: Surrey , BC, CA
haha guys....see my post about the "3D" or the "stage" in the other thread about imaging on stand mount bookshelves....Anyway, with my new speakers (Brodmann VC7) if something is off by even 1cm the whole sound image collapses and especially if you do not have the height right, you loose all the detail. These are the most demanding speakers I ever had!


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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:45 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
alboettcher wrote:
I own a pair of Tannoy Ardens. These are very large floor speakers. They weight a lot. I don t see how leveling these would make a difference in sound when the previous owner said his speakers were out like 1-2 cm in height. Are smaller speaker that critical to room conditions. Your talking about a little bit of height difference not like 6 or 12 ins . Whats the story here.


Agreed. If your speakers are affected by being un-level by millimetres, I would look at getting new speakers. This would also mean that you could not even move your head a few millimetres when listening, that would be very uncomfortable after a while!

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 Post subject: Re: speaker leveling
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:54 am 
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Location: Surrey , BC, CA
Quote:
.This would also mean that you could not even move your head a few millimetres when listening, that would be very uncomfortable after a while!


sorry do not want to bug you, but your logic is not good for this hobby...once you have the speakers set up..the stage will be there..no matter how you move. If you move left..you will be listening to it from the left side...as in concert hall. It costs lots of money, but that is the price to pay for real good system....


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