Unsolicited Audio Advice – Soundstaging At All Costs

More Unsolicited Audio Advice

The first thing I noticed about this system is that the Hallographs are in the wrong place, or at least they are in the wrong place if you are only using one pair. The first pair should be to the outside and just behind the speakers.

What this system screams out to those of us who have heard a lot of stereos (in my case after almost fifty years in audio) is “Soundstage Freak.”

The speakers are too far apart to create a proper center image.

The sound will be exceptionally spacious this way, but it is also very likely to be diffuse, washed out and inaccurate. If you listen exclusively to orchestral music, and you like to sit toward the back of the hall when you go to live performances, then yes, you can almost justify having the speakers this far apart. For most other music this is not a good approach.

A good vocal recording is all that would be needed to show up the shortcomings of speakers this wide apart.

Stardust would be a good choice. Most of Julie London‘s records would work. Some of the more intimate Ella records would be ideal of course, but we rarely have much stock.

Other Obvious Faults

Notice the wires on the floor, not a good idea.

I have never liked the sound of absorptive materials directly behind the speakers. They tend to deaden the ambience and the space of the stage that we as audiophiles should be trying to recreate in the recordings we play, especially live recordings or those made with fewer mics.


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Robert Brook has been experimenting with different aspects of audio lately. His Broken Record blog has lots to say about these issues. I agree with much of what he has written. The Analog Set Up section on his blog is probably a good place to start to see what he has learned by ignoring conventional wisdom and testing every aspect of audio with an open mind.