Friday, March 4, 2011

Tests with speaker toed away from listener

[Message sent to audio friend on Thursday]

Very good (not quite WOW yet, needs more fine tuning)!  

I tried angling out speakers last night.  Didn't try to do it perfectly, just for a quick test (around 2am).

Test didn't end up being quite so quick.

I angled speakers away from listening position by about 5-10 degrees (I can't estimate these things well), no measurements, just by eye.

Big difference in sound.  Much smoother, less crinkling plastic wrap highs, much more like real music.

Then I noticed that instead of having the image collapse as I moved closer (as usually happens) the image got even better.  So I moved chair even further up, far as I could without the image collapsing.

That seems to be some kind of new optimum.  I think it's like you said long ago (last year?) the electrostats seem to do best JUST before the highs go away totally.  If you go for max highs at axis, they sound awful.  I'm guessing that some high frequency like 10Khz is now 6dB down or thereabouts.  Which it needed to be.

Center image is solid on pop music, on classical there are slight problems now (imbalance) that needs correcting (minute readjustments).

Now I'm about 60" from speakers, and the speakers are about 72" wide.  I've never even done equalateral before, I've been using long triangles,  so this is a big jump.

If I move and lean 6" forward in chair, highs just disappear.  OK, so don't lean forward.  But if I lean back into recliner, surprise, sound remains pretty good.  The increasing highs as you approach axial compensate for the cave-like effect of the chair.  (I want to have chair back cut down, but that's another story.)  I can even recline back and it still sounds pretty good. Amazing!

This is obviously the way to go and surprising it took so long for me to get to it.

Until you get to this angle away from listening position, the sound seems rough, then all of a sudden it gets nice, then the highs go away if you go too far.  It's very non-linear.  You might think being right on speaker axis is better than being not far enough away from it, until the speakers are angled far enough away.

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