odd question about stand-mount speakers

Is there any reason you shouldn't turn stand-mount speakers upside down and listen to them that way, as long as you use some kind of vibration control/decoupler between the speakers and the surface they're placed on? The reason I ask is because, at least in a near-field setup, I would think having the mid/woofer ABOVE the tweeter would enhance image height/size -- assuming the tweeter is kept at ear level. (A couple of asides: I don't currently have bookshelf speakers, otherwise I would experiment. Will likely be buying some in the near future though. Also, I know that there are some stand-mount speakers that place the mid/woofer above the tweeter, but the vast majority do not -- most of the ones I'm interested in do not.)

One of my favorite speakers , PSB M2 Platinum had that array, woofer on top , tweeter below.    If I could find a mint pair in Cherry, I would buy them again  

One of my biggest regrets, selling those. 

Interesting. Looks like PSB's entire flagship line of speakers have a mid or woofer above the tweeter. They clearly know what they're doing. :) noromance, that's sound advice (pardon the pun). I guess I'm really asking whether there are any reasons unrelated to sound quality that they shouldn't be placed upside down -- like would it put pressure/stress on internal parts in a way they weren't designed for and thus lead to parts failure?

I think you answered your own question when you brought up the position of the tweeter, If the tweeter is at ear height, then demising that position with upending the speaker would not be beneficial, but if an improvement can be had with upending, then why not?

I would think the heavier end of the speaker (woofer) being closer to the base of the stand would help reduce potential speaker vibration

don't forget d'appolito design

 midwoofer-tweeter-midwoofer loudspeaker configuration (called MTM, for short)



my office, real bookshelf speakers (fit on 11-1/2" deep shelf, no rear or side ports)

vertical tweeter at seated ear height. horizontal, tradition says tweeters to the inside due to narrower dispersion of tweeters. 

Both prior Wharfedale's and current restored AR-2ax (horizontal) sound better with the tweeters to the outside. Every space is different.

Yes, a d'appolito design would accomplish the same thing. Plus I wouldn't have to upend the speakers, and the mids/lows would be spread out over two drivers instead of one (per channel), potentially enhancing the sound quality. The only drawback is there are a lot more MT design stand-mounts to choose from than there are d'appolito designs.

I’d focus on monitors that are designed that way unless you can arrange an in-home trial of one where the tweeter was designed to operate above the midwoof.  FWIW.

It depends on how the crossover was designed and it's affect on vertical dispersion and interaction between the 2 drivers. The dispersion won't be the same upside down and a good speaker was designed to be used the way the designer tells you.

Dynamic is correct. You can end up with a giant suckout or a boosted area in the frequency response where the 2 drivers interact due to their design and the crossover design. 

Oh, ok. Bummer. But that makes sense. I guess as I get closer to making an actual purchase, I could alway contact the manufacturer and see if their specific speaker would be a poor candidate for my experiment. Thanks for the replies.

I have a pair of Buchardt Audio S400 MK II speakers, that are designed with the woofer top/tweeter below. With my speaker stands the tweeter is at ear level. I did try the upside down with the tweeters at ear level, and the soundstage was off…..didn’t try messing around much more, moved them back pretty quickly.

I do use “drum dampener silicone pads” that Mads Buchardt suggested in an email, that do make a very noticeable improvement

Sounds like the old JBL 4311 studio monitors that when they stood upright the woofers were on top. The only problem with flipping speakers upside down is that you’d interfere with the tweeters output and dispersion which may not give you a good soundstage for one thing..interesting though. For near field listening it may be fine though. Worth a try. 

As long as the tweets are at ear level, it probably shouldn’t matter much.

I like Elrod's response, and would like to include that component placement is done in a certain way to achieve certain results. I don' tthink you will be going to jail if you turn your speakers upside down. You likely also cut the labels off of your mattress and no one has knocked at your door yet. On the other hand you just might lose out on what the designer intended and you Paid Megabucks for to begin with. Why not just buy a speaker that was designed that way to begin with. At least they have taken design factors to mind when they created their design and it might just prevent you from throwing your cash out the rear window!
 It is like the person that purchases a Lamborghini and then wants to put a Volkswagen engine in it. or at lest driving your brand new Lambo around in reverse all day long.

"As long as the tweets are at ear level, it probably shouldn’t matter much" -- that's what I was kind of thinking. If tweeter is at ear level whether right side up or upside down, then either way the same output should reach your ear from each driver at the same time, with the only difference being the direction from which the mid/woofer sound wave arrives at your ear. But sonics aside, I was also wondering if there is any non-sonics-related reason I shouldn't try this -- for example, would it be bad for internal parts to have gravity pulling on them in the opposite way. (Thanks for the replies, everyone.)

 a good speaker was designed to be used the way the designer tells you.

This is a pretty strong point. If a speaker is well designed, it is run through many paces. Many things are considered in positioning tweeter and woofer. Of course, that makes assumptions about your listening position, but they factor that in.

The effects of upending a speaker are variable, because of the factors mentioned above and which speaker you're upending.

Listening is surely a good thing to try. Do you like it better? Damn the torpedos!

Using an analyzer such as Room EQ Wizard is another path toward understanding what is happening when they're upside down or even on their side.

Sounds like an intersting experiment.  If the speakers are ported, you might want to be careful.  You won't want the music to fall out.

One of the speakers I'm interested in is the Graham Audio LS8/1 ($10k), designed by Derek Hughes, the son of the engineer who designed some famous BBC speakers. The LS8/1 got a very positive review in TAS (if anyone's interested, the review has a lot of fascinating info in it:  https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/graham-ls8-1-loudspeaker/). So I emailed Graham Audio and got the following reply directly from Derek:

There is no reason why the speaker could not be used upside down, it will not harm it. Interestingly, the BBC often used to used their BC1 speakers inverted when they were used near field, so yes that should be fine.

You can safely try the speaker in the inverted setup to see if it sounds good that way.  If the speaker was designed to be used with the woofer below, even if you maintain the same tweeter height and axis, the sound will be different because the distance between the woofer to the floor (at to the ceiling) has changed.  That change in distance will affect the frequency at which the woofer's sound bouncing off the floor will interact with the direct signal from the woofer (the floor bounce path is longer, so the interaction means the two paths are partially out of phase).  Some designers account for floor bounce in the design of the crossover, or various things are done to voice the speaker correctly which at least partially takes into account floor bounce.  

Just do it and don’t worry. You most likely will have no issues. Time alignment (if it was even considered in the design) on wee speakers will not be greatly affected and floor bounce off a stand mount is not factored in and doesn't give a boundary reinforcement thus is a non-issue.


I agree with you; most likely it would not adversely affect the sound.  I was merely raising a theoretical consequence of locating the woofer differently.

Tekton Lores are floor standers with the tweeters above the woofers. 

Sound great to me.