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Monitors positioning: off the desk puts them too far apart?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Monitors positioning: off the desk puts them too far apart?

Long story short, I'm trying to decide what's better:

1) Monitors on floor stands, but farther apart than I'd like (about 5')

Or

2) Achieve more of an equilateral triangle, but have them on the desk (on IsoAcoustic stands).

I've got a 63" wide desk in my studio (which is about 9.5' x 12' or so depending). Currently I have Focal Alpha 65s as my main pair of monitors on floor stands on either side of the desk. This means they are about 5' away from each other. I only sit about 3' or 4' away, so they are angled in to aim the tweeters at my ears.

I also have a pair of cheap Yorkville YSM-1s sitting on the desk as a second reference, on IsoAcoustic stands. They've got more of the ideal listening position, but have to be on the desk to achieve that.


Options:

1) Leave it as is. It doesn't sound bad to my ears, but I'm always curious.

2) Switch the pairs of monitors so the Focals are on the IsoAcoustic stands on the desk and in a more standard equilateral triangle.

3) Get a smaller desk (and ditch one of the two computer monitors I currently have, to accommodate moving the speakers in).

What do you think?


Old 1 week ago
  #2
Have a mod move this thread to the acoustics forum. Measure both choices and post the Room EQ Wizard file for people there to disect.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Have a mod move this thread to the acoustics forum. Measure both choices and post the Room EQ Wizard file for people there to disect.
Thanks. Not sure how to have a mod move it, but fine with me if they want to.

I swapped the speakers for fun this morning (and got rid of one of the computer monitors, as it wasn't working well anymore anyway).

I've been experimenting with the ARC 2.5 software and it's been interesting. No matter which pair are in the floor stands it seems to measure a huge loss at 100hz, then bumps them up, which ends up being too much. I need to play with the height of the stands a bit too, I think.

Last edited by p_wats; 1 week ago at 03:49 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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(Thanks to the mods for moving this to the appropriate forum.)

I spent some more time adjusting, measuring and reading up on SBIR, etc.

I also installed REW, though I only have the ARC MEMS mic to use it with. So far it corroborates the results from ARC:
  • 100hz dip for whatever monitors are on the floor stands

I've tried adjusting the distance from the wall they are on (anywhere from 1" to 8" or so) and it didn't really help much.

Moving the mic from side to side in the room doesn't change much either. Moving it much further back (about 3 feet) did change it, so I assume it's SBIR I'm dealing with.

In terms of existing treatment. I've got the following:
  • 2'x4'x3" panels straddling the two corners beside the desk (with an air gap behind them)
  • Another 2'x4'x3" panel straddling the joint between the ceiling and the wall above the desk
  • A large, old, thick theatre curtain about 10' back to divide the room a bit (the fron of the room has glass doors and other items)
  • The room is generally full of instruments (wall mounted keyboards, guitars hanging, cables on hooks, etc.)

This 100hz dip does not exist for whatever monitors are on the desk (on the isoAcoustic stands), though that position has peaks elsewhere.

The bass resonance felt through the desk is also about the same regardless of if I'm playing the monitors on the stands or the desk.

So far I'm inclined to put the main set (Focals) on the desk then and put the secondary set (Yorkvilles) on the stands, as they are more for general music listening and a second reference with a deeper listening position---standing back, etc.

I can post some screenshots from ARC and REW if anyone would find that helpful.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
I'd first try to find out what's causing the dip. Measure the monitors away from the front wall, up and and down and left and right and the frequency should change one way.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
I'd first try to find out what's causing the dip. Measure the monitors away from the front wall, up and and down and left and right and the frequency should change one way.
Thanks. Good idea. So far I've moved the floor stands forward and back (a range of about 1" to 8" from the wall) and I've also lowered them by about 4" to make the tweeters line up better with my ears. All these positions still exhibit the 100hz dip.

As I mentioned above, I also measured further back with the mic and that seemed to help, but I won't actually be able to sit that far back in the room (and put me further away than Focal's documentation suggests).

I have no real treatment on the ceiling, so I'm curious if a cloud panel at the first reflection point up there would help somewhat too.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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After more measurements, the dip seems somewhat consistent, but gets wider depending on where the floor stands are placed/how close or far the listening position is.

Interestingly though, this is now only with the Focals, as changing the height of the stand seems to have helped the dip when the YSM-1s are there instead.

For now I've adjusted the Focals for optimal position on the desk, raised to height with the IsoAcoustic stands and left the YSM-1s on the floor stands.

I'm hoping to build some more panels soon and will re-measure. I should generally clean the place up a bit and de-clutter (there are racks and keyboard stands, etc. all along the walls).
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by p_wats View Post
I'm hoping to build some more panels soon and will re-measure.
Unless you're doing a professional build, that's the process: Change, measure, interpret etc. I would recommend to try out a few different changes in one go and look at the data only after measuring.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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I would either;

1. Keep the Focals where they are and move the desk out from the wall so that your listening position comes out into the room and is equidistant from them, and push the dual displays towards the back of the desk

2. Move the Focals to the 'inside' so that they make more of an equilateral triangle with your current listening position (the stereo image will be too wide how you have them now)

In fact in either case I would push the displays further back so you get less direct early reflections off them.

The secondary monitors can still be used but they will always compromise the accuracy of what you get from the main monitors.

Good luck!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Unless you're doing a professional build, that's the process: Change, measure, interpret etc. I would recommend to try out a few different changes in one go and look at the data only after measuring.
Interesting. Thanks. I would have thought it best to change 1 thing, then measure, so I'm not working with too many variables.

I think I'll spend some more time getting familiar with REW and ARC before committing to any setup too, as right now they aren't necessarily agreeing with each other in terms of measurements (though ARC doesn't give you much by way of detail).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I would either;

1. Keep the Focals where they are and move the desk out from the wall so that your listening position comes out into the room and is equidistant from them, and push the dual displays towards the back of the desk

2. Move the Focals to the 'inside' so that they make more of an equilateral triangle with your current listening position (the stereo image will be too wide how you have them now)

In fact in either case I would push the displays further back so you get less direct early reflections off them.

The secondary monitors can still be used but they will always compromise the accuracy of what you get from the main monitors.

Good luck!
Thanks!

For now I've gone with option 2. It gives me a much better listening position and seems to remove the dip somewhat without too much tradeoff.

Apparently my Quicklok floor stands aren't great either, as I've noticed one of them has a slight tilt and looseness that I can't get rid of. The weight of the Focal vs the YSM makes this more difficult to work with (one of the Focals ends up slightly tilted--not a lot, but enough to annoy me).
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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I tried removing the second set of monitors, to see if they were affecting the Focals. Measurements didn't show a perceptible change.

I also have another semi-built trap that I temporarily positioned in various spots, but it didn't help either (could only do so much until it's finished and ready to mount/hang somewhere).

So far I'm back to Focals on the IsoAcoustic stands on the desk. There's some resonance I'd like to fix now and still a pretty strong bump at around 150hz (which has always been present regardless of the stands, but the 100hz dip is gone).

I think the next step is generally reconfiguring the room a bit, adjusting the speaker position and some more treatment. There's only so much I can do with this space, as it is multi use, but I can certainly make it better and understand the limitations when I'm mixing.

Thanks for any help so far!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Objects placed between the speakers will always affect the stereo image in a negative way but might not show up easily on a measurement. Best to use your ears, they are extremely sensitive to localisation info and you should notice sources more defined in their space.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Objects placed between the speakers will always affect the stereo image in a negative way but might not show up easily on a measurement. Best to use your ears, they are extremely sensitive to localisation info and you should notice sources more defined in their space.
Thanks! Yeah I've ditched one of the computer monitors and moved the existing one back as far as the stand will allow. The stereo image sounds good to my ears, but there are a few oddities I'm trying to tame now.
Old 2 days ago
  #14
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For what it's worth, Robo, I believe you were right about the stereo image being too wide in my seating position with the floor stands, as the YSM-1s are on those stands now and the spread is off compared to the Focals that are now on the inside.

Also, I started a new thread specific to bass traps in this room, as I have some particular challenges and included more room details there. Thanks for the help!
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