• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Speaker recommendations

Staki

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
42
Likes
34
Location
Belgium
Hi folks,

My current system is MiniDSP SHD + boxem NC252 power amp + Canton Vento 830.2 speakers + SVS SB2000 sub. Sources are Roon or turntable or TV.

Layout of the room is roughly like this (distances are in meters). It is not a dedicated room and there are no acoustic treatments, but it is a reasonably "dead" room with hardwood floors, carpets, lots of furniture, books etc. SPL is very moderate, this is an appartment in an old, very poorly isolated building and I doubt I would be going above 90dB very often.


1647188337539.png



As you can see the LP is not really centered between the speakers. This is unfortunate, but it is a non-negotiable part of the overall design. MiniDSP + Dirac helped a lot here to improve the stereo image.

I am very happy with how everything sounds, but am wondering if much better speakers would be able to make a difference. Budget for this is fairly liberal, but not excessive. I would definitely want to stay under 10K. What I am looking for is the type of speakers I should be looking into. Some of the speakers that come highly recommended in recent reviews both by Amir and by Erin are:

1) cardiod speakers, such as D&D8c. Even though they increased their prices, I would be able to stay under 10K by getting the studio version. I would also be able to ditch the amp and maybe even the sub for some addl discount. My doubt about this type of speakers is that they seem to be designed to "work" with the wall behind them to reinforce the bass, and I wonder if that would work very well in the situation such as the one above.
2) speakers with narrower, but smooth directivity and very low distortion. Examples would be March Audio Sointuva or Perlisten S4b, there are other speakers in this category I'm sure.

I would really welcome any feedback, opinions etc. One last thing to keep in mind -- speakers should be available in Europe.

Thanks in advance,
-- Stanislav
 

LTig

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
4,255
Likes
6,861
Location
Europe
I would try speakers with a very wide dispersion, because with the situation as it is I think it is not possible to get a decent stereo image. Rather than trying to improve stereo image from a very low level you may prefer a less stable but much wider "enveloping" soundstage.
 

MarkS

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
372
Likes
480
I would change the LP to the leftmost seat on the coach against the wall so as to be more equidistant.

Expensive speakers are not going to fix basic issues with asymmetric layout. Dirac is probably the best you can do here.
 

bkdc

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 28, 2022
Messages
118
Likes
109
I'd treat the walls first before changing speakers if you are trying to improve sound quality and imaging. Well designed speakers will give diminishing returns especially with Dirac. Treat the first reflections behind the speakers and definitely the wall abutting the sofa.
 
OP
S

Staki

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
42
Likes
34
Location
Belgium
Thanks for all the feedback. Changing the LP as suggested would actually result in a pretty much the same situation, except that the right speaker would be closer than the left. My drawing is just inaccurate and led to the wrong impression. Also, behind that other sofa is not a wall, but a window. At least behind the current LP there is lots of empty space, discounting the walls abutting the sofa.

Any recommendations for speakers with wide dispersion? BMR Philharmonic seems to be getting universal acclaim, but they are very difficult to find in Europe. Focal speakers in general also seem to have that property. Any other pointers?
 

Hipper

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
705
Likes
567
Location
Herts., England
How much of your set up is negotiable? Can you move the sub? Can you move your speakers a little bit - further apart, closer together, further out? Can you place them for listening and then store them in a more practical position? Even small amounts of speaker (and LP) movement can make quite a difference.

An alternative would be to consider a less 'neat' positioning of the speakers so that they sound more even at your LP. This is really about trial and error.

Other factors that may affect the sound in your current set up:

1. Sofa. Leather sofas can reflect more then fabric ones. If leather, you can cover it with a blanket say to hear the impact.
2. The coffee table will also reflect. Move it out of the way to hear any difference.

Symmetry is very important to getting the sound as intended by a stereo set up. You can balance in part with Dirac but it won't be as good as proper symmetry.

As for speakers, I can only suggest that you find a dealer that has a reasonable range of speakers, talk to him at length and most importantly, trial the speakers in your home. A good dealer will be patient and he will be able to source speakers that might be harder for you to buy directly.

If you can't do that then the next best thing would be to arrange to buy speakers on a trial basis and if they don't work for you, get a refund.

Normally if you buy speakers, you will need an amp that matches them.

Another possible solution is to use a multi channel set up instead of a conventional stereo one. It's an area I know little about but some on here do. There are processors or software that convert from stereo sources and enhance the sound.
 

Spkrdctr

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
1,350
Likes
1,716
Looking at it there is A LOT of speaker moving, toeing out and trial and error to be done. About a months worth! Buying new speakers will have very little effect on your room. It is not ideal at all and you need to tune in what you have by experimentation. Then once you are close try Dirac. Very, Very expensive ultra high end speakers will sound terrible in a crappy room. I hate to see you waste money when your current speakers need to be tweaked to get it as good as can be. You will never get awesome sound in that room and listening position, you can get good sound though. It is time to get crazy and experiment a lot for example:
I would take the left speaker and try pointing it at the left end of the couch and the right speaker pointing at the right end of the couch. then keep trying different positions until you get it where you say, "Well, that sounds pretty good"! Unless you have very cheap or speakers that do not test well with Amir, I would not buy speakers until a dead last resort. Good Luck!

Also multi-channel sounds very, very good for rooms that have problems. A good 5.1.2 system will make a huge difference in your sound. But it does require buying a 5.1.2 receiver and adding more speakers. Although the speakers do NOT have to be expensive at all. The difference is pretty amazing.
 
Top Bottom