How far away from your speakers are you?

I thought it would be interesting to know how people position their speakers... do you have the freedom to put them where you want or do practicalities dictate?.. How far away are they from the listening position?.. How big's the room and how far away are they from boundary walls? My main speakers (Seas A26) are 1' from back wall, 3' from sides in a 14' by 20' room and my listening position is  about 16' from the speakers. Just wondering how much floor space we're willing to give up to get the optimum placement.
My listening room is the garage simply because I spend a lot time outside. I have a nice private space here for me, my system and my CBR 600 which is parked between (nice visual) the speakers The first pair of speakers are 7' apart second pair are next to them and 11' from the futon I relax on.I greatly enjoy the sound and the solitude .....and some of the neighbor's must enjoy it as I have on many occasion been asked to "turn it up I like that song!".

How are you guys measuring?

From ear to front baffle of speaker?

From general seating distance to front baffle of speaker?

From either of those to the plane of the speakers?

7-8 ft. from your ear to the drivers is VERY close. Not many speakers are coherent enough to pull that off. I think most of you are farther away than you think.


I measure from my ear to the front of the speaker using a laser measure (actually my bass driver, probably, as my laser goes through the Vandy 'sock').

I thought at 8’-9’ was close as well, but am surprised how many others listen from that distance, or closer.

I don’t have much flexibility, and attempt to sit as far away as possible, while also pulling them out to achieve the best sound.

I’ve always wanted to explore Maggies, but just don’t think I have the room unfortunatley.
I would Google master setting speakers.  Not sure where you live, but find a dealer who specializes in this.  Soundings here in Denver is one of the best in the country.

I have copied and pasted an article to help you.  Soundings demonstrated this in their listening room and it is amazing.  After the master set you can sit in any part of your room and not detect left and right front speaker.  

This is a very tedious process and it can take hours.  Little movements 1/8" movements takes a long time. 

I literally took a tape measure and measure the distances to my ears and then set that distance in my ARCAM AVR 550 receiver.  I then calibrated my pair REL S2 SHO subwoofers until they were seemless.  You will be amazed by the difference in sound staging.  This helps to balance the bass so it is not boomy. 

The Needed Tools:
The only items needed to perform Master Set are your ears, a setup recording, a tape .measure, and a small level. Master Set can be performed by one or two persons.

The Set Up Recording:
Ballad of a Runaway Horse by Jennifer Warnes:
You can find this song on Jennifer Warnes – Famous Blue Raincoat, 20th Anniversary Edition, or Rob Wasserman – Duets, or Trios
This song works because of its simplicity and the steadiness of the voice line and the bass line, especially the bass line.
Other recordings could be used provided that they have a simple steady bass line that is easy to hear. I’ve found the above song to work best.

Initial Set Up
Remove any bass traps and other room treatments that you may have in the room and turn off the subwoofer, if you have one.
Set the speakers against the rear wall, and perpendicular to it. Speakers should be as far apart as reasonable. Important considerations are to keep speakers 2 to 3 feet away from side walls, and for the listener to be at the point of an equilateral triangle with the speakers. You can measure the dimensions with a tape measure or just make them approximate.
NOTE: Master Set works best if done along the long wall of the listening room, as that best mitigates room reflections, however it can be done along the short wall if necessary. For the first DIY attempt, try and use the long wall.
Because the speakers will be physically moved, it is best to remove any speaker spikes at this time so as to facilitate moving the speaker or stand.
I have found it helpful to use a tape measure laid out perpendicular from the wall when making the speaker movements. The movements need to be kept small and the best way to do this is with the tape measure as a reference otherwise the movements tend to be too large.

Be Patient. Master Set will likely take you from 1 to 3 hours. The movements are small, and at first go it may be a bit hard to hear the differences that I have described. But just keep at it. You can email me if you have questions or difficulty in the procedures.

Step 1: Setting the “anchor” speaker
This step sets one of the speakers as an “anchor” in the room. Either speaker will do. This step also has the goal of finding the smoothest bass response in the room.
First, just listen to the song, and notice the strong steady bass line in the first 2 verses. There are 19 notes in each verse, though the 2nd verse does have some extra 8th notes added. Listen carefully and notice that some of the bass notes have a “plonky” and/or exaggerated sound character. In this step you will be searching for the spot that will smooth out this “plonky” character of the note as it resonates in the room.

With both speakers playing, move the speaker out from wall about 6 inches and toe in the speaker directly to the listening position. Notice as the sound moves from being centered to this side. Continue to move the speaker out in small increments, ½” or so, until the sound is totally from this one speaker. Mark, or make note, of this spot.

Now, continue to move this speaker out from the wall in very small increments, 1/8th” or 2-3mm., and listen to the first 2 verses of the song. You are listening for any difference in the bass response of the 19 notes. Continue these small movements until you find a slight lessening in the bass resonance character. There may be more than one spot where this can occur. However, for keeping this simple, just find the first spot that smoothes out the bass. You may wish to make another very very small movement or two from this spot to find the very best spot.

Note: if you are having trouble discerning any difference in the bass with both speakers playing, you may wish to disconnect the speaker set against the wall temporarily, in order to better hear any bass differences. However it’s best to keep both speakers playing.
If you move the one speaker out too far into the room the sound will reconnect with the speaker against the wall, and move back to the center. You do not want this to occur.
It is important to find the best bass in the zone where all sound comes from just the one speaker. That will keep this setting independent from the other speaker when you move the other speaker out into the matching position!

Once the smoothest bass response has been found you can set this speaker into a “final” position and level it. This speaker is now “anchored”, and will not be moved again during the procedure.

Step 2: Setting the other speaker.
This step will move the other speaker into place and be adjusted to match the sound pressure of the “anchor” speaker. Move the speaker out from the wall about 6 inches, toeing the speaker directly in to the listening position. Now begin moving the speaker out at very small increments, no more than 1/8th in. or 2-3 mm. at a time, and only listen to the bass line. Continue to move the speaker out at these small increments until you hear a lessening of the bass resonances. Once you find a lessening in the bass make a small movement or two of 1/16th in, or 1-2 mm. and listen for the best response. You will also tend to notice that all of the music tends to smooth out and become much more clean and clear sounding as the two speakers equalize.
NOTE: You may be able to feel the bass resonance in your feet. This makes finding the best bass spot quite easy as the resonance will disappear in your feet.

You have now found the placement spot where the speakers are equally pressurizing the room. This is what you are looking for, and essentially you are done with Master Set.

Step 3: You can tweak the midrange setting at this point by varying the toe in of the speaker by toeing out in 1/16th increments. My own experience is that I have never found any real difference in midrange sound from this procedure.
Also, you can raise the front of the speaker a couple of degrees. This is known as adjusting the rake angle, and I have found this to be a good effect. Set the speaker permanently and level it.

Now, move to several positions in the room and listen. Notice if the sound stays the same in any location. If there is some movement of the sound as you move around the room, you will have to reposition the second speaker slightly.
If you’ve done Master Set correctly, the sound will be the same from any listening position in the room as long as you are out a couple feet from a wall. The music will only change in perspective, such as if you move around in a concert venue.
In my current listening room my favored seat is on a perpendicular axis with the right speaker, yet the music is perfectly centered between the two speakers.

Final Comments
The sound you obtain with Master Set should have a perfect left-right stereo image with very clean clear instrumental and vocal sounds.
Listen first to your most favorite songs and recordings and notice how they now sound.
If you have any room treatments or bass traps, you may return them to the room at this time, and note any if there is any change.
Turn the subwoofer back on. You may have to turn it down slightly or reposition it as you will likely hear some bass resonance from the sub. I just turned mine down a bit.

If you are pleased with the sound, then you have found something new.
If not, you can always return to your previous setup, having only spent some time and nothing else.

Room and WAF dominant factors.  Cat plays a roll too.  Room 17x12x9.  Speakers ~ 14.5 ft from ears, 2 ft from side walls, 1.5 ft from front wall, 7 ft apart.  Room is  partially open on side walls, eliminating much of 1st reflection point to the side.  Nothing I can do about ceiling and floor reflections, as the cat pisses on any rug placed in the room.  Shockingly, it sounds pretty good.  Voices dead solid in the center, stage width wider than speakers.

When the shock of last few purchases stops reverberating on the WAF, and I can again spend to influence the sound, some white GIK panels will go on ceiling at FRP.  And some GIK art - Euro vacation pic - will go behind me on back wall, so I don't always have to use the couch to limit those reflections.  That will get my ears back up toward tweeter level, which is unfortunately immobile.

Not that I dislike lounging on the couch with a sound-enhancing bit of Kentucky's finest.  Also, don't mind bending to the WAF - she's more stunning than any stereo image could ever be, and brings my refreshments to the couch.  For a few years I used Bose cubes to make her happy - man hath no greater love, almost!