Speaker placement Quandary

Where to begin here? My question is that in my experience with speaker placement I "think" that it is best to have your speakers well out into the room to achieve the best in soundstage width and especially depth? For example my Legacy Focus XD's are 6.5 feet into the room from front baffle to front wall. I messed with them quite a bit but never went closer to the front wall than that in fear of losing that well spaced out soundstage or emphasizing bass.. Imagery seems rather good as well. The "sound" comes from deep into the front wall not near the speaker plane. I see many listening rooms (in forum members setups, you tube, etc) that seem to follow this thinking and I also see some rather sophisticated expensive high end systems (in dedicated rooms so no WAF effect) that have their speakers just 1-2 feet off the front wall between the rear of the speaker. Is this an element of a different preference in listening? Wouldn't the soundstage become flatter? Is there some tonal advantages to this? I realize some speakers are designed to be closer such as some Wilsons and it seems many the the B&W's end up like this.  I understand that locating speakers is room dependant and a huge variable too. 


My speakers weigh 140 pounds each and I have them sitting on Via Blue decouplers so I cannot move them by myself and replace them on the footers, so I have not tried to move them closer to the front wall. Additionally they are rear ported and as I understand it's best to keep them away from the wall. 


As many of you have probably experimented with speaker placements, what have you found that gives you that nice expansive soundstage and imagery  in your rooms? 

Also is it more an issue with room modes too?


My room is 14w X 18L x 7H  My speakers are 6.5" out, 39" off side walls and 8 feet apart measured from center of front baffle.. My listening position is 9.5 feet (Of the side triangle measurements) from the front baffles and I sit about 4 feet off the rear wall. I have side wall treatments, rear wall diffusion, front wall diffusion and bass absorption. 


I am not really looking for placement suggestions unless you see a real flaw here. I just wonder how so many different configurations work so well regarding less distance between speakers and the front wall? Thoughts?


Another set or other sets of ears can assist in dialing in speaker placement. I have a friend with "self beholden golden" ears. 

I have the worst shaped house possible. I listen to over 60% mono and any setup with speakers to tight to the back lost depth - and with mono - that is your soundstage. The difference is more noticeable in mono. My compromise was a room dedicated to mono and a different room for stereo. 


Actually, it is not best to have your speakers well out into the room as long as the first reflection points on the front wall are damped. The position of the listening chair is way more important. What happens is bass being omnidirectional changes it's nodal pattern as you change the distance to the front wall. Usually you will notice a change in the quality of the midbass. Paul Klipsch always recommended that you put his speakers right up against the wall or in a corner, Cornwall. I think most of the tower speakers I have heard do well 2 to 3 feet away from the front wall again as long as the wall is treated correctly. My own speakers are planar dipoles. Since they are towed in the distance to the front wall is from 2 to 3 feet. The wall behind the speakers is covered with acoustic tile. I also have total EQ control over the systems frequency response and I measure the system's performance. 

Vision and hearing have a very complex relationship. What you see will affect what you hear. Close your eyes when you listen and imaging will become for distinct. 

The soundstage should always be as wide as the speakers unless some slick phasing is done as in Roger Water's Amused to Death album. If it is wider you are listening to reflections off the side wall which is bad because it ruins image specificity, distinctness. What most people interpret as depth is really echo added to the recording or venue the recording was recorded in. Echo makes you think you are in a larger room. Most systems do 2 dimensions fairly well. The third dimension is not the echo. It is the sense that the individual or instrument is a three dimensional object standing in space very much like a visual hologram. This is an effect that very few systems can manage. It also requires a good live recording. Studio recordings are usually all over the place.

There is lots of good advice here.  Corners can make the low end bloom.  Go to the corner when you are playing something that has some bass to it.  You'll hear it if it's there.  Also, try moving your happy seat forward and back a little at a time to optimize imaging and soundstaging.

The way I position my speakers is I put on one the left side and the other on the right side. Works every time.