Old 04-25-2019, 03:25 AM   #1
Fingers mcginty
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Default Nearfield Monitors placement too close to wall?

Hi, Could you please have a look at the attached photo of my meagre setup. It's setup in a spare room so space is very tight. I'm just wondering if it's ok to have the monitors so close to the wall? They are a perfect height and are sitting on wooden shelves. Is there anything i could do to improve the setup? Moving the desk away from the wall is not an option unfortunately.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:06 AM   #2
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It is not ok. There should be room behind the monitors. But for small monitors like these maybe it is even good. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
As I understand, low frequencies are boosted more than normal if monitors are close to the wall. Good monitors usually have some switches to calibrate and compensate for the wall distance.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:09 AM   #3
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OK maybe if i mounted the monitors on stands such as these

https://www.thomann.de/ie/millenium_..._stand_dm2.htm

I'd be able to get some space behind them?
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:03 AM   #4
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Unless there's a back bass-reflex port, I see no reason why the speakers couldn't be with their backs to the wall.

It will boost low-end a bit, but that might just be what you want. It might also create some reflections, especially like they are now, with some toe-in.

Personally, I'd try them flat to the wall first. That gives the least reflections from the back wall and if the speakers are a little bit omnidirectional, as they should be, it won't hurt the frequency spectrum. Unfortunately, some "near-field" speakers, pretending to be monitors, are rather directional.

Slide them around and listen. Stands won't do much, if anything.

In real studio's, monitors are often in the wall...
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:11 AM   #5
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Comb filtering cannot be EQed out. Be careful about putting them next to the wall.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
Unless there's a back bass-reflex port, I see no reason why the speakers couldn't be with their backs to the wall.
The closer it is to the wall, the higher the frequencies that are affected when sound bounces off the wall and then interacts with the sound coming from the front of the speaker.

Quote:
In real studio's, monitors are often in the wall...
Because this completely removes the issue of sound bouncing off the wall. Speakers being right against the wall very much do not.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:27 AM   #7
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I keep my small monitors as close to the wall as I can for the reasons described above; the boost in bass makes the overall response better. The rule seems to be that if you can't mount them in the wall, and can't get them far from the walls, then you want them close to the wall. (The middle distances seem to be the main issue.) Check this link out: http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/speak...-interference/

You could keep them up against the wall and stick some absorption behind them to tame the (not very strong) higher frequencies heading backwards.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:44 AM   #8
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OK thanks for the replies
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:56 AM   #9
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In the end, it's all about dimensions. Dimensions of the speakers and the room.

That's why I said to move the speakers around until you find the right spot.

It's also why some speaker cabinets have rounded edges. Even if that only has a very small effect. And where "bookshelf speakers" get their name from.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:01 AM   #10
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Small box speakers like this are monopole designs. These monopole loudspeakers are omnidirectional in the low frequencies and increasingly forward radiating with higher frequencies. The narrower the baffle (front of the loudspeaker -holding the drivers) the higher in the frequency range this transition from omnidirectional behaviour to forward radiating (AKA beaming) begins to happen.

If you want to understand what is happening in the bass with box loudspeakers read up about baffle step and baffle step compensation, and read Linkwitz labs for a much deeper understanding.

Anyway many small passive speakers tend to sound at their best in the bass frequencies up against a back wall (but not side walls or corners where you will get boomy bass).
The significant trade off to rear wall placement is worse stereo soundstage depth, less sense of space around the instruments. Even the best in wall studio monitor loudspeakers (such as in wall infinite baffle ATCs) won't give you the pleasing stereo soundstage depth which we enjoy from small speakers away from the wall - though you still can get fine stereo imaging.

Also we have to consider the peaks and nulls in the room. The position of the listener and the room acoustics have a very significant effect on what we hear.

In active equalized designs small loudspeakers can be designed with a substantial boost in the low frequencies and therefore can be used away from walls to get the best of both worlds. The trade off here is limited absolute loudness.

If the loudspeakers are active you sometimes get shelving controls designs to roll off the boosted low bass. Otherwise you can compensate with equalization in the DAW using the monitoring FX chain.:
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:39 PM   #11
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One thing I would take into account are phase problems with high frequencies resulting from the famous 60° angle that everyone recommends.

Put the speakers straight in front of you like 90° to the wall. That way high frequencies are less probable to interfere from one speaker to the other. You will actually have a "broader" sweet spot like that and definitely less phase issues with the two tweeters.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:38 AM   #12
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Exactly how does that affect phase issues, assuming the speakers are just rotated and not moved?
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:49 AM   #13
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High frequencies tend to interact much less from one speaker to the other, because they are more directional than low frequencies. You can make a test yourself running a pink noise and changing the angle of your speakers from 60° to 90°.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:02 AM   #14
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That would also mean that less of the high content is hitting your ears.

You're honestly the first person I've ever seen suggesting that 60 degrees is not ideal - the companies who build the monitors recommend it, the people who specialize in room acoustics recommend it, and the fact that our ears are only six inches apart would seem to recommend it.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:33 AM   #15
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I know. I went through the same doubts. But honestly, there is no "perfect" way. Do the test and find out for yourself which one you prefer. Yes, your ears will receive a little less of the very high frequencies but in the end it makes up for a flatter frequency response without too much phasing issues when you move your head slightly.

Obviously, we are talking about imperfect bedroom studio conditions here and how the positioning can actually help you to counteract them.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
That would also mean that less of the high content is hitting your ears.

You're honestly the first person I've ever seen suggesting that 60 degrees is not ideal - the companies who build the monitors recommend it, the people who specialize in room acoustics recommend it, and the fact that our ears are only six inches apart would seem to recommend it.
I've been trying to explain to a lot of people that the equilateral triangle setup for near-field monitors isn't necessarily the ideal one for a long time.

First, it results in a very narrow sweet spot. Second, there's not a lot of speakers (near-field or orher) that don't bundle a lot of highs, resulting in a frequency curve that's dominated by highs.

The fact that I'm overly sensitive to 7-8 kHz (a result from hyperacusis) has long kept me from pushing other people to consider breaking the equilateral triangle rule. When I discussed it with some acousticians, it came up that the guy who invented the rule, never meant it to be a rule. It was just a remark in a book, describing a position to start from...
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:24 PM   #17
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Sound radiates from the speaker cone. If you rotate the speaker without moving it, the center of your left speaker hasn't changed with respect to the center of the right speaker. There should be absolutely no change with regard to phase.

The amount of high content pointing at your ears? Absolutely.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:11 PM   #18
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It's not about the phase of ONE speaker, but the phase cancellation that can occur between the TWO tweeters.

Wider angle = less interaction

The same principle is applied to PA speakers of the "conventional" type like Funktion One. The speaker boxes themselves are designed so that in combination you will always respect the proper angle of dispersion.



Here we are obviously talking about a point source, so multiple speakers for the exact same source. With stereo monitors this is slightly different, but the same principle applies since they are quite close to each other and their dispersion might overlap.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:18 AM   #19
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On the tweeter toe in issue I suggest suck it and see.
Most loudspeaker designs are regular box speakers. The off axis frequency response isn't all that great because the dispersion varies greatly with frequency, changing between the wide bass/mid drive unit near as high as the drive unit can go (starting to beam at the listener) to the narrow tweeters with broader dispersion.

Ideally you want even power response so that the reflected signal is similar to the direct sound. You don't really get this with most boxes.

With most speakers the safest bet for the flattest frequency response is to aim the tweeters directly at the listeners ears. OTOH you may prefer the speakers barely toed in or even crossed in front of the listener.

As I say, suck it and see!
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
Sound radiates from the speaker cone. If you rotate the speaker without moving it, the center of your left speaker hasn't changed with respect to the center of the right speaker. There should be absolutely no change with regard to phase.

The amount of high content pointing at your ears? Absolutely.
I think you're right about the phase issues. It's intermodulation distortion mostly, I guess. And that guess is only true in a perfect world, with a perfectly radiating speaker...
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothys_monster View Post
It's not about the phase of ONE speaker, but the phase cancellation that can occur between the TWO tweeters.

Wider angle = less interaction
No. Wider angle = less high content at the listening position, but the speakers will still be interacting in the same way because the two sources haven't moved with respect to each other.

Whatever cancellation you had at 60 degrees will still be there at 90 degrees, just with less overall highs.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
No. Wider angle = less high content at the listening position, but the speakers will still be interacting in the same way because the two sources haven't moved with respect to each other.

Whatever cancellation you had at 60 degrees will still be there at 90 degrees, just with less overall highs.
I am only talking about high frequencies which are more directional than mid frequencies. Their diffusion overlaps more the more you angle the speaker toward each others. Since we are talking about small distances the phase issues also affect more high frequencies with smaller wavelengths, that's why we should pay more attention to them.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothys_monster View Post
I am only talking about high frequencies which are more directional than mid frequencies. Their diffusion overlaps more the more you angle the speaker toward each others. Since we are talking about small distances the phase issues also affect more high frequencies with smaller wavelengths, that's why we should pay more attention to them.
If the speakers aren't moving as you rotate them, their phase relationship can't be changing either.

90 degrees reduces the balance of highs vs. lows because of directionality, yes - no disagreement there.
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