Disappearing speakers

gsrai

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I've read a few threads in various placesrecently and phrases like "the speakers have disappeared" and "the sound is not coming from the speakers" have been coined.

What does this actually mean (apart from the literal sense) as I hadn't really given this "phenomenon" any consideration but am interested to understand when I know I can "hear the speakers" and when the speakers have "disappeared".

Are there any tell tale signs/nuances or is this disappearing trick only something you get with expensive speakers.

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supercapman

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Correctly positioned speakers and (I presume) half decent kit can give the illusion the sound/certain instrumentsis coming from a source wider than the position of the speakers, not just pin point imagery between them. I suspect a lot of this could also be down to reflections from room boundaries.

 

Sir_Franc

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Warm your hi-fi up, close your eyes then try pointing to where you beleave the sounds are coming from before opening your eyes once more. Hopefully you'll hardly ever find yourself pointing directly to the speaker.

 

Vic Mackey

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As mentioned Speaker position is important as is the distance you are from speakers. But this is just the basic. In order to get great holographic imaging you will have to take care of the room andmost importantlythe first reflection points and the wall behind your speakers. Those reflections will smear the sound and prevent you from getting that 3D illusion, which lets your speakers vanish.

Once you have that ,the speakers will just melt away and the sound is laid open for you. Some speakers throw a deeper, some a wider and some a taller soundstage.

Vic
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Boxer

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Yeah, what SCM & Sir Franc said!

If your speakers are properly positioned, even without eyes shut you shouldn't be able to identify sounds as actually attached to them, unless something is positioned over the speaker; with eyes shut if you can reliably point to the speakers, they probably aren't positioned correctly.

Boxer

 

JamPal

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gsrai wrote:

I've read a few threads in various placesrecently and phrases like "the speakers have disappeared" and "the sound is not coming from the speakers" have been coined.What does this actually mean (apart from the literal sense) as I hadn't really given this "phenomenon" any consideration but am interested to understand when I know I can "hear the speakers" and when the speakers have "disappeared".

Are there any tell tale signs/nuances or is this disappearing trick only something you get with expensive speakers.

smile.png
Buy some Neat Mystique II's and find out fore yourself:p:D

 

Sir_Franc

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Another thought..... room size / speaker size.

I made the classic mistake of speakers that were too big for the room they where used in. The problem was I couldn't sit far enough away from them. This led to a soundstage that appeared to be twice as wide as the speakers were apart, but had no depth at all. Shame really as I loved the presence they produced, however,they simply didn't breath. A friend once commented he felt he needed to be sat further back, perhaps the otherside of the bathroom (I live in a flat)!!!

After that I bite the bullet and purchased some smaller speakers which interact far better with the room and now produce a very holographic image.

 

Boxer

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gsrai wrote:

Are there any tell tale signs/nuances or is this disappearing trick only something you get with expensive speakers.

smile.png
You should be able to achieve this with your PMCs, altho` it can often be more of a small standmounter characteristic.

Boxer

 

Sastusbulbas

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This is exactly what I love about the Kef Reference Ranges with the head assemblies.

Though the AVI pro 9 are also quite adept at this.

The smaller the initial front baffle the better, and I have also found a slightly reflective room around the speakers but furnished at the listening end also produced some good results, particulary with behind the head and in your ear imaging.

The treble can be quite difficult I think, and this is where slightly more expensive equipment helps, any rough edgy treble usualy draws attention to the drive unit (though RA felt focus rings are quite helpfull), but I dont think only having expensive kit puts you in the exclusive disapearing club (unless the wife finds out what something cost and you disapear down the pub).

As mentioned carefull speaker placement and consideration of reflective surfaces help, as does toeing in of some speakers.

Though if there is a problem, I have found RA focus rings can help, as can thick felt on baffles, softer decoupling etc etc.

 

Sastusbulbas

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Sir_Franc wrote:

Another thought..... room size / speaker size. I made the classic mistake of speakers that were too big for the room they where used in. The problem was I couldn't sit far enough away from them. This led to a soundstage that appeared to be twice as wide as the speakers were apart, but had no depth at all. Shame really as I loved the presence they produced, however,they simply didn't breath. A friend once commented he felt he needed to be sat further back, perhaps the otherside of the bathroom (I live in a flat)!!!

After that I bite the bullet and purchased some smaller speakers which interact far better with the room and now produce a very holographic image.
I believe the bigger the better room coupling, your above situation is what would advocate heavy toe in of the speakers if possible, but yes I can see your point, my own speakers are a little large for the present location, the old location was a lot larger, and I did have to do some changes in equipment to get some of the magic back, but there are compromises.

My own speakers disappear quite well though , and even at ridiculous set up extremes , I once tried the Audio Physic speakers in the middle of the room option and was quite startled by how difficult the speakers were to locate even though they were practicaly on my lap.

Thats the problem with audio though, so many variations, heck even changing a power amp can advocate a change in speaker position.

Steve.

 

PAG

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you can get speakers to disappear, even if they are huge.

The ones with very slim baffles/drivers to the edges have less area for the sound to be diffracted, hence why a lot of mini standmounts disappear well.

Everything has an effect though, the amp/source and especially the room in my experience.

Audio physics tend to be superb in this respect, and you would be hard pushed to locate the speakers at all, at any time. Thats why i bought `em, and they arn`t small! (105x39x16cm)

Positioning has a great effect too, even down to the last cm, some are designed to be brought out into the room, some against the wall. The out in the room designs tend to be better at the soundstaging bit though in my experience.

Depends what presentation you like too, whether you want the whole performance behind the speakers (i.e lots of depth) or quite forward.

I personally prefer a deep and wide soundstage, its more relaxing imo, less "in yer face"

My old royds used to throw a great soundstage, but nothing compared to the Paduas, So you don`t need an expensive speaker to disappear, just a well designed one.

One last thing though, as soon as i added a valve amp, the soundstage/imaging/disappearing act was far greater than using my old linns, and i think this contributes to the overall effect, but imo, speakers/amps/room have the greatest single effect on the sound quality/presentation you want. Get a mismatch here and no end of esoteric kit will make it sound good.

whatever is accurate though, depends on what one wants form their hifi. This is what makes it so subjective. One mans meat is anothers nightmare.

 

gsrai

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Sir_Franc wrote:

Warm your hi-fi up, close your eyes then try pointing to where you beleave the sounds are coming from before opening your eyes once more. Hopefully you'll hardly ever find yourself pointing directly to the speaker.
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A very simple but elegant idea - I like it, will try that tonight

The soundstage I have is very wide,tall and deep but not in front which sounds about right I think :Not Sure:

Buy some Neat Mystique II's and find out fore yourself:p:D
I would but they all seem to be in cherry
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I'm tempted by the "laid back" neat motives though
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Papa Lazarou

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I've always felt my Arcs image very well and through a soundstage that is far wider than the speakers. My missus hopes they'll disappear....along with the rest of my kit :Not Sure:

 
G

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Is this the speakers or the recording. :Not Sure:Listening to some David Sylvian and his voice seems to take up all the space between the speakers.Listening to some Stones and Jaggers voice is extremely small.Again at the start of Dire Straits "Dire Straits the guitar comes from the corner of the room well outside the speakers. So is it the recording that gives soundstage or the speakers. I think depth of soundstage is something you control but the width i expect comes from the recording. Of course i could just be talking dingly danglies:p

 

Emma Royd

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Duvet wrote:

Is this the speakers or the recording. :Not Sure:Listening to some David Sylvian and his voice seems to take up all the space between the speakers.Listening to some Stones and Jaggers voice is extremely small.Again at the start of Dire Straits "Dire Straits the guitar comes from the corner of the room well outside the speakers. So is it the recording that gives soundstage or the speakers. I think depth of soundstage is something you control but the width i expect comes from the recording. Of course i could just be talking dingly danglies:p
Different recordings do make a difference Danny,bloody annoying.What I've found with half decent kit is when playing a mono recording its sounds half stereo,if that makes sense.

 
E

Effem

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I think it was me that has started Gobind on this query
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It stems from when I told him I had added a bit of kit to my system that had a profound effect on it and said that I reckoned the sound has now left the speakers.

From what I have read so far in this thread my take of the way of defining it varies considerably than others so I really ought to explain what I meant when I confused poor Gobind with this remark.

I have an awful listening room and it's been a constant source of pain ever since I moved into this house last year, so whatever kit changes I've made, no matter how far forward/backwards/sidewards/toe in/toe out the speakers have shunted around it has never sounded "right" beyond pleasant and listenable.

The system now comprises of a CEC transport running into a modifiedAnodyne Vertex valveDAC, into a Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 integrated amp, finished off with Triangle Antal 202 speakers. Been doing little inexpensive tweaky bits lately which have all totalled up to an opening up in soundhere and some tightening up there which in the great scheme of things have all been worthwhile and more importantly cheap. I then acquired a little APC mains unit that I plugged in and then *BLAM* what adifference.

Same room, same front end, same amp and speakers all untouched(cabling too) yet this little device managed to throw the imaging so far forward, sidewardsand rearwards it was untrue. The sweet spot disappeared as well, so where previously a move of the head an inch either way lost it, you can now almost stand anywhere in the roomandhear all around the soundstage. Bass in particularhangs in a point in space where the recording determines where it shouldbe rather than emnating left, right or centre in a flat vertical planefrom thedrivers themselves andthe instruments and vocals now have real front and rear projection which is amazing. Hasn't managed to eradicate the awful room resonancenodes but it is one giant leap forward for me.

This is my definition of the sound leaving the speakers and it has very little to do with the amount of toe in or forming the equilateral triangle ideal of speaker positioning.

 

Biscuit

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fine-tuning positioning is difficult with 70kg 'speakers!!!Luckily the Tannoys seem to stagevery nicely where I've plonked them - tall and wide (if not very deep, probablydue to the large toe-in I'm using)

I'd hope my visual memory is good enough that I could close my eyes and still point in the right direction though.

 

gsrai

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Effem wrote:

I think it was me that has started Gobind on this query
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It stems from when I told him I had added a bit of kit to my system that had a profound effect on it and said that I reckoned the sound has now left the speakers.

From what I have read so far in this thread my take of the way of defining it varies considerably than others so I really ought to explain what I meant when I confused poor Gobind with this remark.
Thanks Frank
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Your comments to me came just after I had put the Van Damme Speaker cable in and the soundstage had just widened out amazingly (this really surprised me as I thought the XT400 was the proverbial dos whatsits). I then got thinking about whether I was listening to the "speakers" or "the music" and your description came to mind.

There's been a lot of inteesting descriptions though and that in itself is worth its weight...

 

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