Structural beam in middle of listening room

Room is 13'X20' with a steel structural beam(covered with wood strips)11' from the short wall behind the speakers, Wilson Sophia 2 with Pass XA30.8 amp.
I am down to twp positions.
Either the speaker woofers 4' from the rear wall behind and 6' apart with the listening chair just in front of the column and 7' from the woofers, or the speakers 6' from the rear wall(per Cardas rec) and the listening chair 2' behind the column so I'm looking at the column. Aesthetics aside, would you expect any adverse sonic effects from the column in front of the listening position?

I am no sound specialist, but I suggest trying any combination that is possible.
I, too, have an unusual listening situation and found my speaker placement to be 'unconventional', but it works.
The structural beam may be a problem, but I would start by listening. You can always add sound dampening/reflecting material later.
FWIW, the second position seems like it might work better. But, you should try it both ways.
You never know until you try...
BTW, I wish I had your speakers ;), the amp ain't bad either...
jferr0- Not trying to be a fuss-budget, but is it a beam (horizontal) or a column (vertical).  Obviously, two very different situations.
It is a 4inch diameter vertical column and it can be either right behind my head or about 2 feet in front of my face.
This system is about 2 months new for me after 25 years in this hobby. Started in college with a DIY Dynaco st70 clone and Spica TC 50s, had a 15 year affair with Maggies and most recently had Odyssey Stratos with Loreleis which are phenomenal sound for the dollar.
The Pass/Wilsons are my dream system.
 Before my second child 8 years ago,  I had season tickets to the the NY Phiharmonic 2nd row center. The nearer field setup is remarkably close to that while the further out field is more mid-orchestra. I just wonder if the column could have adverse acoustic effects.

If it were me, the column right in front of my face would be a psychological non-starter. I'm no acoustician, but diffraction effects would seem to me to be more significant on direct sound rather than reflected from the rear wall.  OTOH, if you prefer mid-orchestra I'd go that way; if you prefer 2nd row, I'd go that way.  IOW, there is no right answer. 
I basically have the same type of room in my basement-14' x 25'.
the support column is right behind my head, and this gives me 12' from the front wall.  I could sit further away and have more "breathing room" for the speakers if I went further back, but then the column would be in front of me -  I don't think acoustically the sound would suffer much, but psychologically-  "looking" at the column would screw me up (unless I deemed the lights really low) hey there's an idea - listen in the dark 😁
I am with swampwalker. The beam in front would be a big issue, especially since the symmetry of the sound waves would be compromised. The beam behind your head is alright and you can manage with treating it with some sort of acoustic treatment.
You can check the pictures in my main system. I have a beam just behind and to the left of my listening position. That was the best I could do without compromising too much on sound.
Jferro, have you tried any of the positions yet?
As far as the beam being distracting, I usually listen to music at night, preferrably with the lights off. That's when I can really 'see' the soundstage.
I have a pair of columns delineating the LR and DR and have my speakers placed just behind them between wall and column. Many would call it wrong, but they sound pretty good. Yes, I tried the placement suggestions for Cardas, and others, but this position not only fits the living space, but creates a pleasant sound stage.
I'm  getting some help from GIK and should get some of their products in a week or so.
In the mean time, I favor the position with the speakers about 6 feet from the wall behind and the listening position about 5 feet behind the column.
Both positions sound very good but I get a deeper soundstage with them further out in the room. I cannot discern any detrimental effect from the column.
I also agree that listening with the lights out is probably the best tweek,  so the look of the column is no problem.
Thanks for all the insights.

I am glad the column isn't a problem.
Do you have subs? If so, you could probably move the speakers forward even more. Who is GIK?

I have a slim column two feet or so to the right of my listening chair. I dont like it. But I have not bothered to dampen it. Maybe I should. It seems to have a small impact, especially, when I move my listener position forwards, so it is a bit behind me.

o_holter.   Nice room/system.

I sent my room layout to an acoustic engineer who thought the pillar woundn't affect the sound.  I wouldn't dampen it. I rationalize it by thinking it adds diffusion.

Simply get a contractor to chop that beam down....get it out of the way...

Chop may not be the right is metal....

 Chop it down?? It’s a structural beam that’s why it’s there. 

you can depending on the situation do an lvl and get rid of the beam but not knowing your situation no idea. Get an engineer to assess that and put his name on it. That’s what I did with my beam problem. 


In my case $1200 and beam was gone with most of the drywall work for the lvl done. 

Simply get a contractor to chop that beam down....get it out of the way...

@jferro ,  Do not do such a thing!! 

I spoke with a contractor. It is a structural beam and they symbiosis bees a steel cross beam with two new support beams for over $30k .

One column near the middle of the room is right near your chair and causing you problems.  It would be easy, and stronger, to replace the 1 column in the middle with 2 columns each at approximately 1/3 of the span   So you would have a column between your speakers but not near your face and one well behind you.  I would think this would be better.

Of course the more expensive solution is the have a civil engineer design a beam that does not need a column.



Interesting suggestion. In my room I could maybe do away with the single column (too close to my listening position) by an expensive beam that does not need a column - but also, with a circa three thirds arrangement, two columns. Easier and less expensive to install. However the need for a new column makes me hesitate.

Use caution with the 2 column instead of 1 idea. Often the (horizontal) wood girder beam is jointed over the (vertical) support column, meaning the column must be where it is. 

@o_holter Just a suggestion.  I can assure you that the 2 column arrangement is stronger than the one column as your span become shorter (1/3 vs 1/2). 

Not sure what kind of columns you have.  You could do it yourself with one or 2 of these $150 columns (or similar):

Download Room Eq Wizard freeware to your home computer. Generate some pink noise and take some measurements. Use built in computer mike for rough idea to start. That will give you an idea of what issues your room may or may not have as a start. You can then try to correct or maybe just improve  them as needed, measure again, and determine effectiveness.


Watching the house literally around you in the pursuit of sonic perfection and reconfiguring the structure for no audible gain in this situation  is not a good idea, IMO. 

The slim column is a simple pipe column and the beam is most likely a few joists nailed together to make the beam. I would suggest just painting the column to make it visually disappear.  I agree with the acoustician, that its impacts sonically are negligible if not zero. 

You would be better served treating the ceiling and using the Room Eq Wizard to dial in your listening position. I have an odd-shaped room with no hopes of doing real acoustical treatments. So I used Audyssey to "tune" as well as I could to the space that I have. It helped. But for late-night listening, I'm on headphones with my eyes closed and a short bourbon in one hand.