Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to improve sound of speakers you already have

I'd like to share with everyone how I set up my speakers for improved sound-stage, imaging and overall spaciousness of sound. Firstly and very importantly, speakers must be equalized to flat or slightly downward frequency response. Most commercially available speakers have very bright sound (too much treble ) It is easily remedied by turning down treble control on your amplifier. But, if you use a receiver which does not support treble adjustment (sometimes there are presets without individual controls), you can attach pieces of foam in front of your speakers. One way to do it would be by increasing length of grill's legs.

Now, when speakers don't have that annoying boosted treble, we need to place them for a best possible sound reproduction. Usually people adjust their speakers for their listening position "sweet spot". But then they can't share their music enjoyment with anyone else. Person sitting next to a person in a "sweet spot" won't have the same listening experience.
The solution for this narrow "sweet spot" problem is to physically separate both speakers.Another problem is how to make it aesthetically acceptable. I think, placing big piece of thick glass between speakers is a good idea, if one can afford such a large piece of glass. Another solution would be a piece of big furniture between speakers.
For computer speakers best placement would be on sides of the table, provided that table has enclosed sides. I personally used this setup for a long time, it creates very three dimensional sound on some recordings.
If you have fancy designer's table with open sides, speakers can be left on a table, separated by a piece of board.
That's it. Key to a great spacious sound is normalization of treble and physical separation of stereo channels. Of course, speakers themselves also matter. 2in computer multimedia speakers probably won't sound good no matter what you do. Something with larger radiating surface is needed.
And you will need multiple sub-woofers. It's very difficult to achieve good bass with only one subwoofer.
I know that many people will object to my proposed layout. But, I have tried it and it works for me an it costs almost nothing, except if you decide to use that fancy piece of glass.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the sub woofer idea you have. Most computer sub woofer setups are a mix of all channels bridged into one channel, then x'ed down to 300 hertz and lower. The mono bass really sucks the stereo sound down, simply because it is mono. True stereo output should have 2 or more woofers to accommodate the 2 or more full range channels.
    I also agree with the "size maters" idea you stated.
    I used to have a plain 2.1 pc speaker setup by altec lansing, two 3" full range and a 6" mid woofer all tallying up to 50 watt maximum output power. Now, I'm running quite an odd setup. I have a car stereo I bought at Walmart running directly off of my PC power supply, and a 2 channel amplifier from a car bridged into a single sub woofer.
    The full range speakers are a pair of 4" car speakers in separate half cube enclosures. The sub woofer is a 8" ribbed paper side firing setup, tuned to 40 hertz. Total power output is 300 watts, and it is really nice.