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MalJ
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Corner bass traps blocked by speakers

I use directional speakers that I put close to the corners, facing 45 degrees into the room. They are wide (50cm) floorstanders that reach to half of the room height.

I can fit corner traps behind them but the back of the speakers will be very close to the front of the traps, and the back side corners of the speakers are close to the side walls.

Can a corner trap function well enough under these conditions? Must I give the traps a certain 'access area' beside/past the speakers, and must the traps have a certain amount of frontal 'breathing space'.
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
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Must I give the traps a certain 'access area' beside/past the speakers, and must the traps have a certain amount of frontal 'breathing space'.
No.
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Corners

Maij, very few speakers are directional at LF. Gethain are the only one I know of.
Are your speakers directional at LF?
For normal speakers, i.e. pretty much omni at LF, corner placement greatly increases the LF response. Bass waves are enormous, so close to the corner is pretty much the same thing as in the corner. That is why you never see speakers in corners, unless of course they are tiny and you want the free LF.
DD
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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No, the midwoofers are 15" drivers so no, pretty much omni below 500Hz or so. This placement gets me a good listening triangle in my case.

I am currently concerned with room modes (bad below 400Hz), and reflection based cancellations in the upper bass. My theory is that if I can tame the room then I won't have a problem. I am interested in 'driving' the modes but first I want to tame them.

These traps (floor to ceiling) behind the speakers will be the only ones, hence I want them to work well. I may be persuaded to do the wall to ceiling above them if required.
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
That is why you never see speakers in corners, unless of course they are tiny and you want the free LF.
Just a comment on 'corner placement' itself...

really???

Boundary placement of any speaker can be problematic if the designer used a free field response model as the template for the design speaker response, as is too often the case! But this is a design flaw, Not a problem with corner placement.

Corner placement can be an EXCELLENT application for controlled Q, increased efficiency due to spatial loading and the minimization of boundary reflections if the speaker is designed with the loading taken into consideration.

And to take this one step further, corner placement of well designed horns is hard to beat.

And the benefits of controlled Q/dispersion are also what the 135 degree walls of the RFZ room attempt in large measure to accomplish in terms of the Q and minimization of the reflections off adjacent boundaries - albeit with the use of a shelving filter to adjust for the increased efficiency in the LF spatial loading. {And actual gain compensation for the pi/2 steradian (Q=8) spatial loading is no more 'complex' than the shelving used to compensate for a 2pi steradian (Q=2) soffit mount spatial loading. Such compensation is performed 'at the speaker', not in the mix levels! This has nothing to do with translation.}

In other words, such placement is a potential problem only if the speaker designer failed to design a speaker taking into consideration the placement of the loudspeaker relative to one or more boundaries and the potential impact upon the sensitivities and controlled Q of the various driver stages and how they perform relative to each other - something that , unfortunately, far too many do!

In other words, its a design problem as corner placement itself is an excellent choice for properly designed speakers.
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAC View Post
Just a comment on 'corner placement' itself...

really???

Boundary placement of any speaker can be problematic if the designer used a free field response model as the template for the design speaker response, as is too often the case! But this is a design flaw, Not a problem with corner placement.

Corner placement can be an EXCELLENT application for controlled Q, increased efficiency due to spatial loading and the minimization of boundary reflections if the speaker is designed with the loading taken into consideration.

And to take this one step further, corner placement of well designed horns is hard to beat.

And the benefits of controlled Q/dispersion are also what the 135 degree walls of the RFZ room attempt in large measure to accomplish in terms of the Q and minimization of the reflections off adjacent boundaries - albeit with the use of a shelving filter to adjust for the increased efficiency in the LF spatial loading.

In other words, such placement is a potential problem only if the speaker designer failed to design a speaker taking into consideration the placement of the loudspeaker relative to one or more boundaries and the potential impact upon the sensitivities and controlled Q of the various driver stages and how they perform relative to each other - something that , unfortunately, far too many do!

In other words, its a design problem as corner placement itself is an excellent choice for properly designed speakers.
Agreed:

Little Studio layout ideas and suggestions

/Jens
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Soffit

A corner placement is neither a proper soffit mounting, nor is is a flush mounting, nor is it the 'pseudo-soffit' which Ethan and I (and Jens in the link) frequently recommend.
What are SAC and Jens suggesting here, that the OP change his speakers for ones optimised for corner placement? Is there such a speaker on the market? Is this a realistic suggestion, or merely argumentative rhetoric for it's own sake? Are these posts helpful to the OP or what is their purpose?

MalJ, I have a troublesome enough room too. Concrete, narrow. I have 34inch wide SuperChunks in the front two corners, floor to ceiling. Like you, I thought, hmm, how about going right in there, take on the modal beast, drive them all well. The cancellation nulls caused by proximity to the side wall were horrendous. I could probably find the measurements or do them again quickly if you need the assurance. Or try Thomas Barefoots Wall Bounce Calculator 2D for a virtual look at it.

DD
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
A corner placement is neither a proper soffit mounting, nor is is a flush mounting, nor is it the 'pseudo-soffit' which Ethan and I (and Jens in the link) frequently recommend.
What are SAC and Jens suggesting here, that the OP change his speakers for ones optimised for corner placement? Is there such a speaker on the market? Is this a realistic suggestion, or merely argumentative rhetoric for it's own sake? Are these posts helpful to the OP or what is their purpose?


DD
Simply saying that corners/walls are not necessarily a bad thing regardless what model the speaker. It always depend on many other factors. I am a bit "allergic" to guidelines like "avoid corners/walls". Usually (especially if smaller rooms) it's better to place the speakers against the wall to avoid SBIR in the lows.

/Jens
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Bioth my and Jens responses were in direct response to the plainly incorrect overly broad statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
That is why you never see speakers in corners, unless of course they are tiny and you want the free LF.
Never, huh?

If you want to make absolute statements, then you are responsible for them.
It seems the real sin we have committed is to dare to disagree with a point that is plainly incorrect.

Corner placement can be used to very good effect. And the placement of the speakers precisely to minimize the incidence of reflections with adjacent boundaries by D'Antonnio in his design of the RFZ configuration was precisely an attempt to minimize early reflections in conjunction with the use of speakers precisely selected for their controlled Q.

Additionally, there is another fundamental reason for employing splayed surfaces beyond what is normally considered, and that is frequency resolution. And this is directly related to the same non-reflective nature of the adjacent boundaries used in conjunction with controlled polar devices. To cite an example from the design of Master Sound Astoria:

f = c/l 1130ft/s / 200* = 5.65 Hz (*100 feet to surface and 100 feet back)

The point is not, as is so elegantly misstated, to suggest that everyone indiscriminately corner or soffit mount or splay surfaces! To even interpret what was said in this manner is simply to amplify one's total misunderstanding of what was stated!

It is to illustrate that casual absolute statements such as was made above are incorrect, and that there are indeed occasions - even in very prominent acoustical models - where such techniques, IF PROPERLY DESIGNED AND IMPLEMENTED, are indeed not only appropriate, but in some cases optimal.

And one might note that the comments were qualified and directed specifically at the statements regarding "corner placement".

So, before you go making unfounded absolute statements, you might want to do a bit more research. Otherwise, you might want to define the extent of your comments to the situation where such a statement retains a semblance of validity.

After all, such lax use of terms and definitions already has TOO many believing that an "RFZ" zone has no reflections entering the space, when the exact OPPOSITE is true! As fundamental to the "RFZ" design by D'Antonnio is the present of laterally arriving diffuse ISD/RFZ terminating energy arriving a MAXIMUM of 10-12 dB below the direct signal! With the exception of perhaps one room, when was th last time you saw such an acoustic response generated here based upon the recommendations of what some consider an "RFZ" model to be? Instead we have far too many erroneously using the term as slang with little to no regard to the proper acoustic definition of the term.

We don't need that idea circulating about corner placement of controlled Q devices as well! And , IF properly implemented, corner placement can work very well, especially in narrow constrained spaces.

So it would be nice to make at least a casual attempt to avoid making statements that far overstep any potentially valid scope in which they may have credence.

But as usual, instead of addressing the acoustical aspects of what was stated, we are again entreated to the usual "if you dare to disagree, you are attacking me" knee-jerk response of the owner of the knee.
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Pseudo soffit

Jens, I totally agree. Ethan and I have discussed this and we call it pseudo soffit. But, close to the wall, not two walls. i.e. close to the front wall, not the corner. I have also had good success with flush mounting at both sides of a fireplace. Again not a corner. We have all tried these things, let's not confuse the OP. He has 15 inch woofers, I doubt that his walls are splayed. Is anyone actually saying his suggested corner placement may be OK or good?

DD
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Is anyone actually saying his suggested corner placement may be OK or good?
No dd, instead of starting that in a particular context that a particular configuration may not be ideal and perhaps elaborating as to why such may not be the case, we are treated to a ridiculous categorical statement that corner placement of speakers is "NEVER" appropriate "unless of course they are tiny and you want the free LF."
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAC View Post
....if the speaker is designed with the loading taken into consideration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Is there such a speaker on the market?
It's my own design and it will be altered as required to fit the room.

Quote:
And to take this one step further, corner placement of well designed horns is hard to beat.
Agreed.
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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I wouldn't be worried about your bass traps - I'd be worried about the corner loading of your speakers screwing up your frequency response. Generally placing speakers in corners is ill-advised in a monitoring situation as it causes an acoustic boost to the low end. Speakers should be mounted out of corners and away from walls unless they are specifically designed for corner placement (like the Klipsch Corner Horn), in which case you would not have a bass trap in the corner anyway, as the corner would be functioning as part of the speaker enclosure. If you mix with your monitors placed in the corners of your room your mixes will not translate properly to other systems - your mixes will be deficient in low end.

Get those speakers out of the corners.
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16th September 2010
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This site has some great reading.

John, I use these for listening, not monitoring, and I appreciate there's a difference there, but there's also not, if you know what I mean.

I have incorporated baffle step compensation in to my crossovers. Not just as per formulas but also considering measurements, in this case pink noise in-situ in the far field.

The problem for me that keeps rearing its ugly head, is the rooms effect on my measurements. I recently removed a fish tank I had between my speakers, as innocuous as I suspected that to be, and my soundstage has opened right up, higher, further back and spread out with recording room reverb cues and all.

I realise I'm going to have to treat my room like a studio if I'm to get it to work for me, and here's my wishlist. I want to eliminate early reflections and diffractions whilst keeping a reverb... but my biggest issue is a muddy bass with several nulls.

I plan to treat first front and first same side reflections as well as first floor and ceiling reflections.

For the bass, I'm going to try running multiple bass units in order to find and drive the modes, but only in conjuntion with some bass absorption.
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16th September 2010
Old 16th September 2010
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Am I getting this right.....most folks agree that it doesn't matter how much room treatment those speakers are not going to translate unless you compensate for the bass which will use the corners like a cab and hype the bass....

BP
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchP View Post
Am I getting this right.....most folks agree that it doesn't matter how much room treatment those speakers are not going to translate unless you compensate for the bass which will use the corners like a cab and hype the bass....

BP

Actual gain compensation for the pi/2 steradian (Q=8) corner mount spatial loading is no more 'complex' than the compensation used to compensate for a 2pi steradian (Q=2) soffit mount spatial loading.

Such compensation is performed 'at the speaker', not in the mix levels! This has nothing to do with translation.

One thing that a properly designed speaker with controlled polars in either corner or soffit spatial loading configurations offer, is an absence of early boundary reflections minimizing the resultant polar lobing that appears as comb filtering in a frequency response (meaning polar lobing is the physical manifestation - as there is no such 'thing' as comb filtering in the phenomenal world - cf is simply how 3D spatial polar lobing appears in the frequency measurement).

But a speaker need not necessarily be corner or soffit mounted any more than it must be mounted suspended in a free field. They each have their considerations. A good comparison of the effects is summarized here.
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16th September 2010
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but my biggest issue is a muddy bass with several nulls.
Ahem....
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Ahem....
When a person has no control over the design of the speaker then they may have a hard time getting it right in the corner. Many speakers are designed to be put out into the room where the early reflections will be weaker and you choose a modal distribution via location.

But the modes are accessed wherever you go with placement...and you can't beat them so you may as well join them. The corners are a great place for doing this.

Corner placement without room treatment is problematic, and most listeners won't treat their room. Therefore, this is primarily a professionals and enthusiasts domain, as I see it.
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16th September 2010
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Not a corner

MalJ, Your suggested placement is not in reality a Corner Mounting. It is in front of your existing trap. Thus it will be equally quite distant from two boundaries, maybe even three (floor). The resultant peaks and nulls due to SBIR alone, will be close in frequency to each other. Thus they will make this location unworkable, even with corrective filters, which will make the null even deeper.
If you chose to pursue corner experiments, I recommend that you take a look over at Johnlsayers. There are many Soffit designs there, including half soffit half absorbent corners.

DD
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16th September 2010
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Half and half...that's a great idea. I'll check it out.
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
MalJ, Your suggested placement is not in reality a Corner Mounting. It is in front of your existing trap. Thus it will be equally quite distant from two boundaries, maybe even three (floor). The resultant peaks and nulls due to SBIR alone, will be at least doubled possibly tripled. Thus they will make this location unworkable, even with corrective filters, which will make the null even deeper.
?

This assumes that the receiver (listener) is located equidistant from the walls/boundaries as well.
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
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I can fit corner traps behind them but the back of the speakers will be very close to the front of the traps, and the back side corners of the speakers are close to the side walls.
Can a corner trap function well enough under these conditions? Must I give the traps a certain 'access area' beside/past the speakers, and must the traps have a certain amount of frontal 'breathing space'.
Hi MalJ,

Here's a way to think of your situation. Imagine the speaker were the full height of the ceiling and the rear corners were in full contact with the walls. In this case you will have created a separate room behind the speakers. Are bass traps going to be effective if they in another room? Of course they aren't. So the access area to the bass trap certainly does matter. How much area do you need? That's hard to say. It could depend on many complex factors, even nonlinear effects such as absorption efficiency verses air velocity. But I think a reasonable rule of thumb would be this. When the access area to the bass trap begins to get similar in area to, or smaller than, the surface area of the trap itself you risk reducing the absorption efficiency.

Hope this helps!
Thomas
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAC View Post
Just a comment on 'corner placement' itself...

really???

Boundary placement of any speaker can be problematic if the designer used a free field response model as the template for the design speaker response, as is too often the case! But this is a design flaw, Not a problem with corner placement.

Corner placement can be an EXCELLENT application for controlled Q, increased efficiency due to spatial loading and the minimization of boundary reflections if the speaker is designed with the loading taken into consideration.

.....snip.....

In other words, its a design problem as corner placement itself is an excellent choice for properly designed speakers.
Hi SAC,

I'm not sure I understand the necessity for the mild hostility in some of your posts here? Seems to be an otherwise polite conversation. Maybe I'm missing some back story. But anyway....

I agree that there are no hard-fast rules in all of this and excellent results can be achieved in many ways. However, there are significant drawbacks to corner placement that, perhaps, you are overlooking. The major downside from my perspective is the on-axis versus power response characteristics of the system. Freestanding speakers with flat on-axis response naturally have a stepped power response due to the loading effect of the front baffle. One can argue the merits of this. However, this freestanding response is overwhelmingly the most common amongst end listeners. Even car audio designers, not particularly concerned with on-axis response, generally shoot for a power response similar freestanding speakers.

So a monitoring system that deviates significantly from the freestanding paradigm risks a major handicap with regard to translation to the real world. I imagine one could simulate the flat on-axis/stepped power response in a corner loaded speaker by narrowly horn loading the hi frequency driver(s). Although, horn loading has its own list of compromises and it's a separate can of worms I won't open here.

Another significant compromise, of course, is that corner loading very strongly couples the speakers to the room modes. This places far greater demands on low frequency room treatment, a difficult task under the best of circumstances.

Like I said, I think we agree that there are many valid ways to skin the cat. I just personally feel that any advantages of corner placement are far outweighed by the disadvantages.

All the best,
Thomas
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16th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Jens-
MalJ-

Yes Jens, equidistant, why the question mark? I have grown tired of this use of a little education as a weapon.

DD
So; do we know that the listening position is located equidistant from all the involved surfaces? Perhaps I have missed this piece of information.

/Jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
Hi SAC,

I'm not sure I understand the necessity for the mild hostility in some of your posts here? Seems to be an otherwise polite conversation. But anyway....

I agree that there are no hard-fast rules in all of this and excellent results can be achieved in many ways. However, there are significant drawbacks to corner placement that, perhaps, you are overlooking. The major downside from my perspective is the on-axis versus power response characteristics of the system. Freestanding speakers with flat on-axis response naturally have a stepped power response due to the loading effect of the front baffle. One can argue the merits of this. However, this freestanding response is overwhelmingly the most common amongst end listeners. Even car audio designers, not particularly concerned with on-axis response, generally shoot for a power response similar freestanding speakers.

So a monitoring system that deviates significantly from the freestanding paradigm risks a major handicap with regard to translation to the real world. I imagine one could simulate the flat on-axis/stepped power response in a corner loaded speaker by narrowly horn loading the hi frequency driver(s). Although, horn loading has its own list of compromises and it's another can of worms I won't open here.

Another significant compromise, of course, is that corner loading very strongly couples the speakers to the room modes. This places far greater demands on low frequency room treatment, a difficult task under the best of circumstances.

Like I said, I think we agree that there are many valid ways to skin the cat. I just personally feel that any advantages of corner placement are far outweighed by the disadvantages.

All the best,
Thomas
But one needs of consider the alternative to "close to boundary" placement. Just moving out 0,5-1 meter will probably not improve matters since you’ll have big SBIR related problems.

Sincerely Jens Eklund
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16th September 2010
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Get it

Jens, MalJ said that his suggested 'corner' placement, (although it was actually the depth of a trap outside the corner), 'gives me a good listening triangle'.
This places the two boundaries and the two reflections equidistant to the ear to the best of my limited geometry.
Even if this 'good listening triangle' is not absolutely and perfectly equilateral, the difference in path lengths between the front wall reflection and the side wall reflection will be pretty small IMHO.
This type of nuance is surely of little consequence compared to 2 or even 3 combined SBIR effects. i.e. Woofer equidistant from two corner walls, and possibly the floor. Even if these are not perfectly equidistant they do add up.

DD
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Welcome

Hi Thomas, nice to see you here, although by midnight I will be gone.
'Mildly aggressive' it ain't. Try a search of posts by foxfyr, or SAC.
Or this one I'm looking at these graphs, is my room pretty bad?.
It beggars belief that he is still allowed here, thus my (and several others) departure by the way.

DD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Jens, MalJ said that his suggested 'corner' placement, (although it was actually the depth of a trap outside the corner), 'gives me a good listening triangle'.
This places the two boundaries and the two reflections equidistant to the ear to the best of my limited geometry.
Corner bass traps blocked by speakers-not-equidistant.gif

Sincerely Jens Eklund
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Sincerely?

Jens, As you well know there is no reflection possible from the places you have illustrated. I will be totally gone from here within hours for another reason, but I do thing you are out of line here. Just in case I am wrong and you 'sincerely' don't understand what I am talking about here's another picture. Thanks to Lupo's drawing, plus a little imagination i.e. place that speaker directly in front of a corner trap, we can clearly see the combining SBIR's I have spoken of.
Name:  Various SBIR's.png
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DD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Jens, As you well know there is no reflection possible from the places you have illustrated. I will be totally gone from here within hours for another reason, but I do thing you are out of line here. Just in case I am wrong and you 'sincerely' don't understand what I am talking about here's another picture. Thanks to Lupo's drawing, plus a little imagination i.e. place that speaker directly in front of a corner trap, we can clearly see the combining SBIR's I have spoken of.
Attachment 192967

DD


The arrows simply illustrate that the walls are not necessarily equidistant from the listening position and therefore cancellation frequencies due to SBIR will NOT be the same as you suggested in you post.

I’m a bit surprised that my illustration could be so misinterpreted. Do you really think, based on my post history, that I tried to illustrate reflections by the arrows in my illustration?


/Jens
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