Speaker placement

I've read a lot regarding speaker placement but I do have a question. If someone states place the speakers 3ft from the wall where do you measure it? From the rear of the cabinet or the from the driver position?

Typically, it is from the front driver position. The key to speaker placement is to adjust, listen, adjust, listen and adjust and listen. It takes time, therefore, be patient.
" It takes time, therefore, be patient."

Definitely good advice.

It also often pays to think out of the box in regards to placement, especially in rooms where more traditional placement options for best performance are not viable.

For example, in smaller rooms in particular placement that leverages a room corner somewhere in the middle can be a boon for soundstage and imaging when other more traditional placement options away from walls are not viable. One of my 4 rooms that I have set up for good sound currently is set up this way typically and results are outstanding.
Brf and Mapman tell it like it is.
Like everything in Audio its trial and error, which makes this hobby both fun and a PITA .
Somewhat like women.
Thanks for the responses. Placement has a lot to do with the speakers too. My Dyn C1's were easy to set up and moving them a little didn't make too much of a difference. With my Raidho D1's a small move makes a much bigger difference in sound.
Thanks They are also very different considering I had Dyn C1 and C1 Sig's (which are fantastic speakers) for almost 5 yrs. The D1's do things like have a blacker background which is something I thought was more of a ac power - amp - power cord thing. I also hear things I never heard before - very detailed with fantastic imaging and sound stage. They don't go as low as the Dyns but do everything else better IMO. Still trying to dial in the sub.
Thanks again
I have a feeling most folks probably assume that the distance between speakers should be around 6-8 feet and never get around to experimenting with shorter distances. In fact, however, the correct distance for most speakers in most rooms is more like 4 to 6 feet. IIRC the issue of the distance between speakers is discussed on the XLO test CD.
Geoffkait, How do you come up with what the 'correcty distance' might/should be without reference to room dimensions and the distance of the listening position from the plane of the speakers?

Personally I think many folks don't properly give the set up position of the listening chair credit for its substantial contribution to the sound you hear, both soundstaging effects and effecting a linear frequency response by minimizing the effects of room and set up induced nulls and nodes.
Newbee, the answer to your question is the XLO Test CD. The speaker placement track allows you to find the very best speaker locations in any room, independent of room dimensions, room acoustic treatments, if any, and type of speaker. Attempting to find the absolute best locations by ear is a pig in a poke because you can never really be sure you have actually found the best locations.
Right, Newbee... it's about room dimensions and listener's position.

Xti16; speaker placement with regard to side walls is very important.
A guide to speaker placement in different room scenarios...
Geoffkait - I had my Dyns approx 5ft (with no toe in) apart sitting approx 8ft back so I do mostly agree. Mostly because Raidho recommends 9ft apart. Right mow I can only get them 7ft apart (with about a 30 degree toe in). Tried closer together but it kills the sound. The Dyns have a very wide dispersion while the D1's is fairly narrow. Both give a nice wide sound stage from the sweet spot - with the Dyns having a wider sweet spot. Like I said 2 very different speakers.
My speakers are like gypsies, they are never in the same place for very long.

Everytime I THINK I have found the sweet spot(Acoustat monitor X)I think I can do better and so I move them,a bit more forward, a bit further apart, a bit closer to the side walls, a bit more toe-in.

Then I move the chair back and forth,closer then further away from the speakers.

Nothing is really bad, and it's just one trade off for another.
You win in some areas and lose in others.

And did I say, it varies from recording to recording?

I do have some room tuning devices,which have helped,but when it comes to stats, the book is still out on a reflective or absortive wall behind the speakers.

So far spreading the room treatment out around the room seems to work,but that stuff is also in a gypsy state of mind.LEDE, been there done that, moved on.

Rules of thirds, Cardas measurements, tuning by ear, using test records,everything sounds decent, but still no definitive speaker placement.

My hat's off to anyone who feels that they have accomplished what I think is an almost impossible feat, at least with my speakers.
Boy does that ring a bell! I started with Acoustats then I moved on to Quad 63's (for better resolution) and did most every thing you mentioned including changing electronics, wires, etc. I spent over three years of my life(!) trying to tune them in. I'm a slow learner I think, but I finally gave up. I went back to boxes and the sun shone brightly again. A walk in the park in comparison! And I got to apply successfully all that I had learned. There is a Santa Claus. :-)
I guess I should clarify that I don't find the speaker placement issue a bad thing.

I've always appproached this hobby as a work in progress.
Here's one thing that I've done that's given me some help in arriving at where my speakers are now-more radically towed in.

I listen to headphones-AKG K702-Burson headphone amp-and then because they are almost like headphones, I place the Acoustats in my room to try and replicate that sound.

So far this has worked for me.
Interesting. I didn't try that with my Acoustats or Quads but I did angle them so that their backwave hit the sidewall behind the speaker as opposed to the backwall. Sort of diffused the backwave as it lengthened the on axis signal path. This created substantial toe in but the axis would have crossed behind my head. Now with boxes, I toe them in so that the axis crosses in front of me so I avoid a lot of sidewall issues which were not so much a problem with the Stats or Quads. So much to consider....:-)
Do yourself a favor - put away your tape measure and listen with your heart. Check out my description of the Master Set process on myspeakersetup.com
Hifibouncer, I set up my speakers starting with the L and R spkrs near the side walls, moving each toward the middle. (from some online advice). I did not know this was the Sumiko Setup; but it worked well for me.
I just used your method of setting the rake angle and WOW, it has an incredible effect. Thanks for sharing.

ps.. I wonder why dealers never talk about using rake angle with speakers.
I have owned some multy driver cone speakers that need to be set back so that the drivers are more time aligned,like my last cone speakers the Ref 3 Grand Veena.

I tried to rake them by increasing the height of the back spikes and I liked it,but you had to sit closer to the speakers, more in a near field way.

My present speakers which were made in the 1970's are designed with a built in slant,but I prefer the sound when the speakers are raised at the back so that the top of the panels are flat using a level.Maggies are always seen with a back slant,yet my Maggie front and rear onwalls in the HT have no slant and the sound is very good.

I think there maybe some merit to the slanted back of the drivers to avoid floor bounce, but I really believe it's just a trade off as you increase ceiling bounce, which I think is worse,and not many of us want to add damping or diffusors to the ceiling, but next year I plan to do this as I devote more time effort and money into getting the room right.

Floor bounce is more easily controlled with a thick underpad and carpet,so I will side with the folks who like to rake their speakers opposite to the standard accepted practises, even when the designer intends for the drivers to be time aligned-sloped back at the treble area.I am a rebel at heart myself.

I like the more direct and to my ears ,sound of the drivers /panels firing straigh out into the room.

Experimenting with speaker and chair positions is fun, educational and doesn't cost a thing to do.

The best tweaks in life are free.
Glad things went well adjusting rake - kinda fun! I'm convinced that neither dealers nor manufacturers really focus too much on imaging, they're more concerned about tone. I went to a local Avalon dealer to hear the "Time" model, and the center vocalist sounded like he was sitting on the ground and 4 feet left of center. And the salespeople had never noticed the problem!