How do you find a monitor's "Sweet" Spot ?

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by Axeman32, Apr 9, 2003.

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  1. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    How do you go about finding your monitors sweet spot?
  2. John Stalberg

    John Stalberg Active Member

    Mar 17, 2001
    A start is to adjust distances so the triangle formed by the listener and the speakers get 46 degrees at the listener point. In other words, each speaker should be about 23 degrees out from the line going from the listener to a point between the speakers. My speakerstands are made to place the speakers almost in level with the ears but not over. A little bit lower can be alright but not above earlevel. The cabinets are toed-in so they are shooting cross fire just in front of my nose. If there are more listeners sitting side by side I increase the toe-in a little bit more.

    This setup is based more on psycoacoustics rather than finding something special about my pair of speakers. But this setup shall be adjusted by the listener and fine-tuned for most realistic reproduction of sound. This is just the positioning of speakers and listener. Most of the job is already done before putting the speakers in place. Acoustical treatment to the control room is a necessity if you want descent sound quality. Absortion, diffusion and such is well worth the effort.

    There are probably a lot of ideas about how to setup a monitorsystem. I present one of them.

  3. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    I agree with the part about acoustical treatment of the room, but wasn't it that the speakers and the listener should be placed at the angles of an equilateral triangle? if so the speakers should be angled at about 60°, so that the phase would allineate at the third vertex of the immaginary triangle where the listener's head is. I remember that a 45 ° is more used in televisison and broadcast environments.
    That said I think it's a rule of thumb, and depends (as correctly posted above) by the environment you're putting the speakers in; I have mine set up in the 60° fashion, a little higer than my head when seated, and a little tilted down so that they point right at my face.

    A good way (yet a little geeky) to aim your monitors is to use a little laser light (like those used for conferences or those in a lot of keyholders) and tape it in between the two speakers (woofer and tweeter on a 2 way nearfield) then point it to the forehead of somebody (with eyes closed to protect against accidentally eye damage :D :p ) sitting in your engineer's position, than do the same with the other speaker aiming the laser to the same point.

    Whichever way you put your speakers in beware of board or adjacent surface reflections, as they can plague your monitoring with comb filtering effects and throw the stereo image off.

    Cheers :c:

  4. Axeman32

    Axeman32 Guest

    Thank you. . . What about the volume. Is there a way to find the volume where the amp and the speakers really work well together?
  5. mfilter

    mfilter Guest

    IMHO finding the "sweet spot" will be much more dependant on your room acoustics than monitor placement. You are trying to avoid the influence of reflections and resonances. In some control rooms the sweet spot may be very wide, others at a particular point (some with none :( )

    I remember seeing a study in the AES journal years ago about how tilting speakers actually degrades stereo imaging.

    Experiment, and learn to trust your ears.

  6. John Stalberg

    John Stalberg Active Member

    Mar 17, 2001
    First of all. There isn´t any standard about speakersetup for the stereosystem. You can not say one setup is more correct than the other, but one can certainly look into wich kind of setup would be best if there were a standard.

    This 60º setup was one of the first setups described in stereos history. It is not a standard and took form out of the very simplicity of such a triangle and nothing else. It wasn´t based upon any particular benefits regarding reproducing sound. After this there have been more or less research about how to setup the triangle for best result regarding soundreproduction and several suggestions have been made. 46º happens to be a mean value of these but are taken from a psykoacoustic research were monitorsystems are needed and therefore is studied and not from forming a mean value of other researches.

    At 23º the carachteristics of the ear happen to be very unlinear and the difference is big between sound incoming from 23º the outside(wich is the direction of the speaker) and sound that comes from 23º from the inside or going over the nose tip to rech the ear(wich is approximately from the direction of the other speaker to the very same ear or one could say crosstalk from the other speaker). This difference makes it easy for us to hear direction and that helps us to get a distinct left to right perspective. The sum of the ears two 23º angles frequensyresponses wich as I said is far from neutral and very different from each other happens to be rather neutral. This means if sound is mainly coming in from these two directions it will be the sum of the frequensyresponses from the two that will be registrated. This means it will be tonaly neutral wich is needed for making an illusion as correct as possible of the recorded signal.

    The room need to be treatened to give the spekaers a chance to perform well. It should be treatened in a way that make it easy for speaker setup. But even with a rather naked room I find this 46º setup to be close to were it ends up anyway. If there is reflecting sidewalls near the speakers one can narrow the distance between the speakers a little bit wich makes the 46º become a little less. The reflections in the walls gives energy from a wider angle and therefore the need for something less than 46º.

  7. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    I've licked both of mine all over and came to the conclusion that mine do not have a sweet spot but they sound damn good :)
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