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How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

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davlee's picture
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I have just taken delivery of Focal Electra 1028Be speakers which are driven by my Musical Fidelity A5 amp and CD player.
The better my equipment gets, the more I find that much better sound is heard by sitting in a very small optimum area at the right height.

When my wife joins me in the listening experience it isn't possible for either of us to be exactly in the optimum listening position. Is there anything that can be done to improve things for both listeners please?

Thanks,
Dave from down under in Oz.

MikeToll's picture
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

Try experimenting with the amount of the speakers toe in.

Gyp
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

Buy a wider sofa?

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

Hi, in my experience there are two ways to do this....without moving the speakers you could toe out the speakers a bit, this will result in a wider sweet spot. The other way is to move the speakers further apart and toe them in so that the tweeter cross in front of your and your wife's sitting position. As always these are general guidelines and a bit of patience and experimentation are requirement for your room.

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

davlee wrote:
I have just taken delivery of Focal Electra 1028Be speakers which are driven by my Musical Fidelity A5 amp and CD player. The better my equipment gets, the more I find that much better sound is heard by sitting in a very small optimum area at the right height. When my wife joins me in the listening experience it isn't possible for either of us to be exactly in the optimum listening position. Is there anything that can be done to improve things for both listeners please? Thanks, Dave from down under in Oz.

 

As you move up the ranges, improved focus, more delicacy etc is the result as was clearly demonstrated when using rega electronics. Unfortunately that doesn't always translate into more 'musical' but thats subjective.

Dual concentrics and the likes often have a wider 'sweet spot' than more conventional speakers and if joint listening pleasure is important then that is probably something I'd explore or you can simply explore the afromentioned shuffling around of speakers. Otherwise buy a couple of pairs of good headphones!

regards

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chebby's picture
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

MikeToll wrote:

Try experimenting with the amount of the speakers toe in.

Yep. If room allows, try 'toeing in' the speakers a lot. (So that imaginary straight lines through the centre axis of each speaker cross at a point a foot or two in front of your head.

This is best if you sit at least 8 - 9 feet way.

Then try with those lines 'crossing' about a foot or two behind you.

 

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

Drummerman's comment about dual concentric speakers is very true - I find the Tannoys throw out a very wide soundstage, and are very flexible with it, as in you can toe them in for a more focused sound or leave them a little wider out.  Works well for movies soundtracks that are more varied and sounds appear from where you don't normally expect with a stereo setup!

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

the record spot wrote:

Drummerman's comment about dual concentric speakers is very true - I find the Tannoys throw out a very wide soundstage, and are very flexible with it, as in you can toe them in for a more focused sound or leave them a little wider out.  Works well for movies soundtracks that are more varied and sounds appear from where you don't normally expect with a stereo setup!

I also agree, as an owner of Kef (Uni-Q).....so the design of the speaker will certainly effect this, as some are more "beamy" than others.

As others have said, it's always worth experimenting within the limits of your room (seat height / distance from speakers; .speaker width / toe in / distance from walls & corners).

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davlee's picture
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

Thanks to everyone for their great ideas. I can see this forum will be one of my favourites. I hadn't thought that further toe in could make such a difference. I have a lot of experimenting to do and already notice the huge difference this can make. If not doing a dedicated sit down listen, I have even noticed that toe out can make a difference to background listening from another room.
My speakers can only be a maximum of 7ft apart. Does this inhibit what I can acheive.

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

What you are hearing is a mis-match of the dispersion between the tweeter and mid-bass, KEF Uni-Q and Tannoy Dual Concentrics, like a lot of coaxially arranged speakers have great off axis performace (even roll-off) as the tweeter and mid-bass have very similar dispersion characteristics, much the same for speakers using a large waveguide on the tweeter, like the Acousitc Energy DXT Lens (Seas/Vifa) tweeter.

The only way to improve it using the same speaker is to play around with the toe in as others have mentioned, I currently have my speakers placed very far apart and the image crosses about a foot infront of the listening position.

You could also try some room correction, I have just started playing around with some, and even some corner bass traps noticably improve the soundstage definition.

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

davlee wrote:
Thanks to everyone for their great ideas. I can see this forum will be one of my favourites. I hadn't thought that further toe in could make such a difference. I have a lot of experimenting to do and already notice the huge difference this can make. If not doing a dedicated sit down listen, I have even noticed that toe out can make a difference to background listening from another room. My speakers can only be a maximum of 7ft apart. Does this inhibit what I can acheive.

 

7 ft apart is fine. Some recommend you sit 1.5 x that distance away which is about 10 foot for you.  Some speakers are more directional than others so it plays to play around with positioning, its not only the sweet spot but soundstaging as well.

GMK
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

hoopsontoast wrote:

I currently have my speakers placed very far apart and the image crosses about a foot infront of the listening position.

 

I've never thought to try having the speakers crossing in front of me. Interesting

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

GMK wrote:

hoopsontoast wrote:

I currently have my speakers placed very far apart and the image crosses about a foot infront of the listening position.

 

I've never thought to try having the speakers crossing in front of me. Interesting

 

Best of all, its a free tweak excellent!

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GMK
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

I've tweaked til I can tweak no more, so why the hell not excellent!

 

(liking the lighthearted username btw)

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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

GMK wrote:

I've tweaked til I can tweak no more, so why the hell not excellent!

 

(liking the lighthearted username btw)

Cheers, came about 6 odd years back when I was a student! rolling on the floor laughing

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GMK
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RE: How do I expand the sweet spot seating position

A student buying branded spaghetti?! Rich kid eh rolling on the floor laughing