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speaker recommandations for a living room

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#1
hello,
I have a living room, 5mx8mx2.5m, where I have limited options to position speakers in. They need to be near the width wall, and the sofa is near the opposite width wall.
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| - ......................... x |
| | ..............................|
| - ......................... x |
-- --------- -----
x is the speaker position, and the crude ascii is the sofa, the holes on the bottom wall are the doors. The top wall on the drawing looks outside (four windows)
There is about 6m distance to be covered.
This is a living room, so there is a big compas table across the room, with eames wire chairs, near the speakers.

I have a dual ncore nc400 amp with a dac source (pi+allo).
What kind of characteristics should I look into my future set of speakers to cover this space?
I only listen to music, but adding an active subwoofer is possible.

Budget around 1500 euros.

Thanks!
Luc
 

Eetu

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#2
Hi, I have to be honest, not a great placement to start with. If I understood correctly you have a 6m listening distance and room width of 5m? That means the ratio of direct - reflected sound is going to be poor. Perhaps you could embrace that by using omnidirectional speakers, I have no personal experience with those, unfortunately. On top of that, the left wall is covered in windows, creating asymmetry between L & R speaker.

I recommend rethinking the placement, is there any alternative setups you can try? Any way to bring the sofa closer?

EDIT: A good starting point for speaker placement is the equilateral triangle, for example if speakers are 3m apart, the listening position should be 3m from the speakers.
 
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Thread Starter #3
yes, that's correct. I can't bring the sofa closer and there is a door that prevents me from bringing the speaker closer, unless I have a big speaker wire accross the door!

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| - ...............X......... |
| | ..............................|
| - ...............X.......... |
-- ----------- ---
 

Eetu

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#4
yes, that's correct. I can't bring the sofa closer and there is a door that prevents me from bringing the speaker closer, unless I have a big speaker wire accross the door!

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| - ...............X......... |
| | ..............................|
| - ...............X.......... |
-- ----------- ---
Looking better, how far are we talking now? And do you have flexibility regarding how close/far apart the speakers are placed (see my edited 1st post on equilateral triangle)?

Also the fact that your sofa is placed near the wall is detrimental to sound as you get a strong reflection from the back wall. If you have the option to add some absorption there, that would be great.
 
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Thread Starter #5
The wall on the left is covered by a custom bookshelf top to bottom, left to right, so I guess it's a bit of absorption? There are books inside ;)
I note the equilateral triangle suggestion, I can probably adjust a bit.
 

Eetu

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#6
The wall on the left is covered by a custom bookshelf top to bottom, left to right, so I guess it's a bit of absorption? There are books inside ;)
I note the equilateral triangle suggestion, I can probably adjust a bit.
Great, yes definitely better than bare wall.

As far as speakers go, the space itself is quite large so I think floorstanders would be best. Unfortunately Amir hasn't reviewed a lot of floorstanders, but a couple of suggestions: Wharfedale EVO 4 line, Wharfedale Linton Heritage, Elac DFR52, Focal Chora 826.

And, especially if you like electronic or other bass heavy music, I would go for a subwoofer or two as well. The SVS SB1000 Pro for example. Depends also how loud you like to listen and what listening distance you end up with. If ~3m or less you might get away with small standmounts and one or two subwoofers.

If you end up placing the speakers away from the front wall you will lose some boundary gain (no wall close behind speakers) so more bass output capability won't hurt.

And last but not least: digital room correction + an UMIK-1. It's the only way to see exactly how bad your room is messing up the sound :)
 
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Thread Starter #7
Thanks. Umik is on the way!
I have also decided to upgrade the budget to 3k, since yearly bonus has crept up.
Considering R7 at the moment, though I am a bit puzzled as they are exactly the same price everywhere in France...
 

Eetu

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Thanks. Umik is on the way!
I have also decided to upgrade the budget to 3k, since yearly bonus has crept up.
Considering R7 at the moment, though I am a bit puzzled as they are exactly the same price everywhere in France...
Nice! The R7 should be great. You can find some measurements here.
 
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#9
People often buy speakers that look impressive, so getting towers has a well known appeal.

Just consider that something like a high quality (usually 100+ Watts per speaker) powered studio monitors can be extremely effective, as would KEF R3 or beefy Revel book-shelfs if you have good amplifier.
I use 5" Neumann KH120 monitors in a room of similar size and in the middle of the room they get Plenty loud. With the help of the room modes they extend down to 40Hz in my main listening position. So for most music content multi-subs would only smooth out the bass across the room, but in the sweet-spot I would probably not notice a difference with or without Subs.

So small does not mean weak or distorted. You just need to pick high quality small speakers & add subwoofers if you need to go even louder.
 

oursmagenta

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Thanks. Umik is on the way!
I have also decided to upgrade the budget to 3k, since yearly bonus has crept up.
Considering R7 at the moment, though I am a bit puzzled as they are exactly the same price everywhere in France...
Good luck trying to get a pair of R7 in France...

I bought them at one point in time almost two months ago, then Kef had trouble finding one pair in their warehouse (or had trouble producing them actually), it was the same message I got from multiple dealers. I finally canceled the order, got my money back.

And you know what? I've been seduced by a Kef/dealer conspiracy convincing me that they had a pair of R11 that they could ship to me in 10 days. I said OK :facepalm:.

N.B: I hope that I will be able to share my experience soon (Kef R11 + sb-3000 + Dirac live + room treatment), with measurements and all.
 
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Thread Starter #11
People often buy speakers that look impressive, so getting towers has a well known appeal.
....
So small does not mean weak or distorted. You just need to pick high quality small speakers & add subwoofers if you need to go even louder.
Thank you sdx-lv for your insight.
I considered R3 as my first choice, and after discussion with my partner, decided for floor standing for practical and aestethical reasons.
The room is quite bare, I don’t have anything to put bookshelf on like a tv bench (I don't own a TV), and to me, speaker stands don't look good and I don't trust my kids to be sensible around them either.
In a room dedicated to listening with pre-wiring I would have probably considered active smaller speakers all around the place. My aim here is to find the best balance between aestehetics and physical constraints.
regards
Luc
 

Eetu

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#13
Is there math or a calculator out there to calculate this ratio?
You can try this: http://www.mcsquared.com/critical.htm
Obviously I didn't have all the info needed when replying to OP but if the listening distance is many times longer than the distance to side walls/ceiling/floor it's quite safe to assume that reverberant sound dominates.
 

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