View Full Version : Imaging
08-29-2002, 02:06 AM
Question to all who have logged alot of 2-ch listening time (many people here)
Just how realistic is the soundstage between your main speakers? The reason I ask, is because I get very good one dimensional imaging. Meaning, there are many sounds placed in between my stereo pair. But that's just it, all the sounds are at the level of the tweeters, and none are in front or behind others. It's like all the instruments fall on a straight line in between my two towers. I get a nice stong center image with most vocals, but I am wondering: is it possible to hear sounds above or below this line? Is it possible to hear sounds in front or behind this line?
For reference, I have my RTi70s 7.5 feet apart and I am sitting 8.5 feet behing them. The are toed in quite a bit, but not quite pointing straight at me.
08-29-2002, 02:25 AM
See my LSi9 review. And yes, it is possible to hear sounds above, behind, in front of and outside the outer edges of the speakers.
08-29-2002, 02:38 AM
Ok, here's one of the great things about SDA speakers, they create a wide and deep soundstage with specific placement of instruments. The vocals are usually in the center, but back up singers will be behind the main singer, maybe to the left or right and usually alittle higher. Maybe the guitar is mainly right and the bass mainly left with the piano right-center on a different level. Maybe the sax is left-center and on a different level, but close (in level) to the piano. You get the idea. It comes very close to what one would hear in a live performance. The real kicker is the sound that comes from outside the speakers, again similar to a live performance. This will vary depending on the recording, sometimes it's slight, sometimes it 6' outside the speaker.
That's my 2 cents.
08-29-2002, 04:27 AM
08-29-2002, 12:11 PM
Okay, To be honest, I knew it was possible, I was more or less wondering if it is possible with MY speakers.
Are there any suggestions on how to tweek my system to do this? Or am I expecting too much out of $800/pair speakers?
08-29-2002, 01:42 PM
What kind of amplification, source, and cables do you have?
08-29-2002, 07:51 PM
Aplification: Onkyo 898 (110x7)
Source: Onkyo DVS555 (Single disc DVD)
Interconnect: datalink 100 (dig coax)
Speaker wire: Um, Monster whatever you call it that is fatter than xp with the clear jacket
Um also, I don't really have any spare money, so please don't suggest any large upgrades. Thanks.
08-29-2002, 11:37 PM
Have you played around with speaker/sitting placements? Try elevating the front of each speaker by 1/2". Also, move them closer or further in distance to the back walls. Try them at 6' apart.
08-30-2002, 08:44 AM
please don't suggest any large upgrades.
Doh! Stop taking my fun away! Given that you don't want to spend a lot of money, I'd take F1's suggestions first. Once you've gotten the most out of them with placement, I'd look into your interconnects and speaker wire (since you dont' want to spend a ton of money). It might also be worth your while to compare the analog output of the DVD player to the digital output for CD playback. If the analog is better then I would invest in some good interconnects. For the speaker wire you definitely want to bi-wire. If you still aren't there after doing this, then I would invest in a good CD player. Lastly you'd want to move to separates. So, that's the order I would address things considering your budget.
08-30-2002, 02:46 PM
Thanks ya'll, over the next few days, I'll give those a try- primarily playing around with speaker placement. But if there's anymore ideas please shoot them out to me.
PS, Aaron, I threw that comment in just because I knew someone was going to suggest separates. ;)
Quite honestly, I have found imaging outside of the "Sweet" spot to be a rather large problem for the Polk RT series. Once you hit that sweet spot its great, but every time I stand up and change position, there is an incredible contrast.
I later confirmed this when I hooked up these little Klipsch Quintets in place of the Polks, and their soundstage was fluid and the imaging was much broader and consistant......compared to the Polks.
So quite honestly, the problem may very well be your speakers.
09-07-2002, 03:53 AM
GuitarheadCA, I don't think the RT series are capable of imaging outside the outer edges of the speakers. I own the RT800i's(replaced by your RTi70) and these speakers can image like mad at near-field listening. Make sure they complete a perfect triangle with your head. I hear a lot of stuff in the center as well as between the center and left or right speakers. I get height as well but not a very deep soundstage. Once in a while I'm able to tell the singer is in front of certeain instrumens. All my frieds who heard my system swore the center speaker was running while listening to music until they walked rihgt up to the speakers. So to answer your question, yes, the RT line of speakers are capable of producing great imaging when properly set up but they just can't reach the outer edges of the speakers. This is something I've noticed after I heard the RT5, RT35i, RT600i, and my RT800i. How far away are you from the speakers? Mine are 8ft apart with each speaker 8ft away from my head with enough toe-in so that from the sweet spot I can't see the side walls of the speakers. You should try differet set ups and play around with toeing in the speakers.
09-07-2002, 04:28 AM
i find that my 800i's are to focused too. the sweet spot is great.. but one foot either direction.. and i can tell which is the left and right speaker. i have mine bi-wired.. and that made a difference in the openness to them. i guess it's only focused on music now that i think about it.. on DVD's or DVD-A it's rather airy.
my speakers are 6ft apart and i'm about 11 - 12 feet from them. they are slightly toed in
09-07-2002, 09:01 AM
Good post on what you guys are experiencing...nice!!
Image ... yes just about every single pair of Polk speakers new to old all seem to Image better then most of there respected price classes.Thats one of the things I like about Polk speakers.Some other speaker companies I have found,have trouble Imaging,the PUT YOUR HEAD IN A VISE thing seems to apply alot.
But having spend alot of time with the rt line, and now the Lsi's,there is a big difference between the 2 here.The rt1000p's do image really good,but it stops cold at the edge of the speaker.It seems like it can't open up no matter what I do.This isn't a bad thing when not comparing them to the Lsi's.
The Lsi's Image same but different..compared to the rt's.They still have pin point dead center voice,but they go deeper into the soundstage meaning there seems to be different levels of sound coming from all given sounds in ones music.And they seem to create a physical distance from front to back.There has been times when I'm listening,that I hear the high hats real deep inside the music..clear and seem to be the only thing playing if you focus on that sound.They also play outside the box....meaning they go way past the edges of the speakers...they seem to be limited only by the side walls of your room.I never owned speakers ever that had so much realism.
To get a good image on well just about any pair of speakers,the equal triangle is such a good place to start.Now I have found that different types of speakers play outside the rule of the triangle.Some like to be slightly further apart then you sit from them,and others the opposite.
The distance from walls also effect tone levels and can ruin a soundstage or Imaging.Placement is cridical.Giving the speaker a chance to breathe if you will,seems to make all the difference in the world.If your as anal about your sound as I keep becoming,you'll play with different placements/angles/heights/etc.
Toe in or angles is something I didn't consider to make that much difference untill I started playing with the Idea.Now today I can't stop moving the damn things.It's funny how some recording like more toe in then others.It's a endless game.Is it ever right?Got me by my bag.
The other thing I really like to play around with and of which is my personal favorite is height.Getting the correct height for the listening area is fun.Man what a difference a 1/8 inch makes.
If your scratching your head and wondering what this fool is taking about I can explain........what I mean by height is the offset level from front to back of the speaker.I use a bubble level when I setup a pair of speakers.I level the speaker from side to side,then front to back,listen for awhile, then start raising up if needed the front of the speaker without sacrificing side to side level.I'm not real sure if leveling the speaker perfect from side to side has a large impack on sound, but it sure looks nice!!But the back to front offset seems to change everything.
Alot of time a speaker is just to low for the soundstage to open up.Image is there my one dimensional.No space from front to back at all.Now if you start to increase the height just slightly,this all changes.Now your still limited by the abilities of a given speaker.I almost got a 2 to 3 demsional Image out of my rt1000p's by doing this,but they just couldn't do what I wanted them to do.I did improve the sound anyway,and I was happy with it then.
The Lsi's go crazy when you give them some height...WOW and a chuckle as I sit and listen......man the Lsi 15's can really open up.
Alright if anyone else has anything to add I'd liketo read more about what you guys are finding out.These are some of the things I have learned over time......still I would like to learn more.
O before I forget..the older rt series had awesome carpet spikes with the thumbwheels, for some awefull reason they removed them from there current lines including the Lsi's...I'm not cool with that at all.But I did Install the rt1000p's carpet spikes on the Lsi 15's,they don't have the cutout for the wheel but it's still better then the M@th&r ^&%$#@,Peice of &*@# I want to beat with a hammer nut carpet spikes........there.......... I'm done.:supermad:
09-07-2002, 09:14 AM
and yes wire/amps/pre/source/music will all change things.....
09-07-2002, 09:38 AM
the polk rt-7 do emage outside edge of the speakers from the sweet spot and haves a deep sound stage to, i dont know about the rest of the rt-line though.
the rt-7 haves a narrow sweet spot, you got to be right in to it to get the width & deep sound stage.
a lot of the deep and wide sound stage comes from the softwere, the better the softwere the better the 3 dementional sound stage.
09-07-2002, 10:04 AM
set up, will make a better sound stage to, i got a small condo so i got to have the speakers close to ea. other my tweeters on the rt-7 are at 6 ft. apart and my ears are 7.5 ft from tweeters im close to the speaters, and i got all mirrors on the back wall, the whole back wall is mirrored. the face of the rt-7 are 28 ins. from the mirrored wall. its not bad as you think, it dose sound good though.
09-08-2002, 02:34 AM
mantis, you're no fool man. I also use those bubble things to level my 800i's. I'm a short guy(5'5") and I have my speakers angled down just a tiny bit. I noticed this produces better pin-point imaging, but I do love the sound when they're tilted back a bit. Everything seems bigger but I lose some of that sparkle of the tri-lams. Congrats on the LSi, I hope you have them bi-wired. I've been playing around with bi-wiring my speaers for the past year and noticed a difference every time. OK, let me think of another way to get good imaging.......Oh yeah, good interconnect. I recently upgraded my $40 AMX to a pair of $200CDN XLO/Pro100 and it improved the overall sound and imaging. The biggest difference was in the bass and air between instruments. How come all the talk here is Monster? XLO is amazing, blows away AMX and Ultralink I previously used.
09-08-2002, 03:15 AM
Not all the talk is Monster. Aaron and I like to talk about MIT cables......."How sweet it is!"
09-08-2002, 04:09 AM
Holy sh#t, I just tilted my 800i's back a bit and I'm getting almost a totally different sound. I recently moved my set up and this is a much bigger improvement than in their previous location. I'm on my Dreamcast typing away while listening to my music right now. I'm hearing much better depth, height is much more realistic(singers don't sound shorter than they should be like before), I'm also getting a more laid back sound which I'm really enjoying right now. DAMN, an overall better sound!! When the speakers were tilted down a bit the high was harsh and "in your face" compared to what I'm getting now! All you guys reading this should try it, you'll love the "more refined sound". Thanx mantis for reminding me about this. The last time I tried it was at least six months ago.
09-08-2002, 08:05 AM
glad I could help/remind you of some really good setup technics.
As far as wire is concerned,I use Transparent Musiclink Interconnects,and for now Monstercable M1.4s bi wires.After my new Theater is built,I will be using all Transparent speaker wire.
09-08-2002, 08:13 AM
here's a pic of my Transparent musiclink interconnects mixed with Transparent s-video,Straight Chorus and Monstercable M950i's.
09-08-2002, 08:15 AM
and another pic
09-08-2002, 08:30 AM
You can tell my this pic the slight tilt back I use to open up my soundstage,no loss to Image at all,if anything it improved.
09-08-2002, 08:46 AM
The equipment rack to the left has the following........
from the top
Phillips Direct/Tivo.............................................. ............ dsr6000
Mitsubishi S-VHS............................................... ............. Hsu746
Pioneer Elite 301 CD................................................ ...... PDF-19
Pioneer Elite Progressive,SACD/DVD audio.................... DV47a
Pioneer Elite Laserdisk......................................... ......... CLD-59
Rotel stereo preamp............................................ .......... RC-971
Denon surround receiver.......................................... ..... AVR3801
Rotel dual mono 60 watt stereo amp............................ RB960BX
Monstercable power center........................................... HTS5000
If you look threw the window aside the gear, you can see the Mid alantic racks,they are in debate if I'm gonna use them inwall in my theater,the taller 72" would be for the theater gear and the smaller 50" would house the whole house multiroom system's gear.I'm still in design stage for that so I don't know what exactly I want to do with the gear.
09-08-2002, 09:26 AM
This is a good forum, lots of information, and ideas. Club Polk at it's best. Polk speakers are successful because they listen to what
we say, and use the information to improve the products. To date
the best imaging I've ever experienced was from a pair of SDA's
I use to own. I did near-field listening, in a small room, and I swear I would hear things behind me. I noticed the new RTi150
doesn't have a powered sub. I'm sure our input had some influence on that. Iv'e noticed new Polk subs too. Keep it up guys! They hear us.
09-09-2002, 08:27 AM
thank god for the missing powercord on the new rti150's.....funny how Polk desided to make 1 last powered tower in that series,the rti100.that neeeds to go away as well.
09-09-2002, 05:17 PM
Damn! Your gear is making me drool. I don't know anyone who owns as much components as you. I see that you got rotel powering your speakers. How are they? When I do upgrade to seperates in a few years I'm thinking of going with a rotel receiver and a 2 channel amp or mono blocks to hook up to the pre outs.
I almost got a pair of the Monster M1.4 back in March but decided to upgrade the interconnect first. What is it about the monster that you're not completely satisfied with? Is transparent really that good? I saw a catalog 4 years ago with transparent cables and I must say they're the best looking cables, IMO. Well, since I got my interconnects, it's time to upgrade the speaker cables. Do you recommend sticking with XLO since my interconnect is XLO? I'm looking for pre-terminated bi-wires in the $200CDN price range. Or do you think I sould get a sub interconnect? Currently using 4m Ultralink "Intensifier" to the LFE input. I heard some great things about using a sub cables. Oh yeah, I own a PSW650. Again, very nice system you got there. You're hardcore man!
09-09-2002, 05:28 PM
Oh yeah, regarding your racks. Will you have the music and HT system in seperate rooms? My friend's dad who owns a B&W HT in a dedicated room has his rack in the back wall. He owns a SonyES DVD player, Pioneer LD player, Lexicon pre and an Adcom 5channel amp. It looks very nice. I watched a few movies there and it's a much better experience when you can't see the lights from all the gears. I think if you can get the racks in the wall, it looks should look a lot neater. Good luck on your renovations. Remember to post pics when you're finished.
I want your preamp! If you *ever* get rid of that thing I've got dibbs.
09-09-2002, 11:32 PM
it's your after the new Rotel gear is hear....the only reason I bought the Rotel was I needed to know if it matched well with the Lsi 15's or not.I had alot on my plate and needed answers before I desided on new Home Theater gear.B&K was high on my list untill I got the Rotel.....Rotel is some great sounding stuff.The questions stoped there for me.
The Monstercable M1.4s are good cables..at 300.00 bucks there real nice sounding..but punchy.They aren't real smooth sounding.....when compared to Transparent...YES Transparent is that damn good.They are the most musicial cables I have ever heard.
Monstercable is better then Straightwire,I felt Straightwire had an edgy sound that was tingy.I didn't like there wire.
It's real hard to answer a question like yours about wire.Yes I would keep the wire series the same down to the speakers.
After Transparent came into my life.......all other cables I have liked over the years have now taken a backseat..like Kimber Kable.I always wanted a pair of Bi wires made my them,I felt then they sounded real nice and warm..now I think they are a bit bright and alive.I think with some time you'll find what your looking for in sound........it took me along time
As far as the racks yes there going in the wall with custom trim plates.......but I'm debating weather or not to do this......I got alot of Ideas.There will be a gear room inbetween the theater and my office.This is where the gear in the wall back panels will be easy to get 2.not to mention software storage.All my house wires will be in this room,networking,audio all over the house and such.....but more planning is still on my plate.
I will take pics of the entire build in the basement from start to finish.
09-10-2002, 10:58 AM
After reading this post I spent alot of time in 2 channel even while watching movies. It is amazing how well the RT800i's image. I don't have the SPL without the center but dialogue seems to be right where it should be. I did notice that while watching a program in Mono, " The old Twilight Zones ", that it also imaged but would bounce around abit.
Pretty neat sheeit IMO.
09-10-2002, 11:34 AM
agree with the H-Bomb.....I think the 800's image very well as do all the Polks I've heard.
09-11-2002, 12:06 AM
What music are do you listen to. Most stuff recorded in studios won't do up/down and front/back imaging. A good test would be live acoustic jazz or a quality classical recording.
Mantis: Nice rig. Man I've gotta do installs!
09-21-2002, 11:05 AM
What a great thread!
I have a, approx., 12 x 20 living room which my set-up is in. With french doors at one end and three windows at the other, long ways, I don't have the "choice" of set-up besides going across the 12' line. I tried tilting the speakers in to where I usually sit on the couch while watching movies and listening to music but noticed that the sound was more centered and the instruments didn't tend to go anywhere else besides inside the plane of the speakers. I used to always place speakers tilted in so figured this was kind of funny. After placing them back to where they were, pointing straight out, the openness came back, the bass was a tad better and I heard things outside the speaker plane again. Boy was I suprised! Years of thought had changed! For the older Polks I have, RTA-8t's, I was really impressed!
Someday I'm going to have to check into better cables, probably when I retire! :lol:
09-21-2002, 02:28 PM
My 8t's are the BOMB! I'll never give them up....
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