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Jan. 2018
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C7ES3 : Min. rear wall distance (and other placement constraints)

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  • C7ES3 : Min. rear wall distance (and other placement constraints)

    Hi Folks

    As i'm now owner of a brand new pair of C7se3 (replacing a pair of Proac D28 that was to big for my new room), i would really appreciate some advice regarding speakers placement.

    Due to WAF Iím quite limited in term of arrangement, but as would not like to lose the best from my new purchase I will do my best to cope with a realistic/compromise value.

    So my two question are :
    1) What is the min distance between speakers and rear wall to avoid bass issue or soundstage limitation?
    2) Should I toe in those (today parallel to the read wall) ?

    I like soft highs, large soundstage and 3d image.

    My current speaker setting is :
    - Space between speakers: 2 m (less will improve the WAF by a lot ;-) )
    - Space between speakers and rear wall: 0.5 m (max would be 0.65....less will improve WAF too)
    - Space between left speakers and left wall: 1.3m (not WAF limitation)
    - Space between right speakers and right wall: 1.3m (Not WAF Limitation)
    - Listening position: circa 3 m (No WAV issue)

    Tks in advance for your help.


  • #2
    Don't worry too much ...

    You shouldn't worry too much about the set up. You have the speakers, so play around until you get the optimum sound with the least domestic impact.

    If you can get 30 cm from the walls, that is fine and any more is a bonus. Toe in the speakers directs the HF towards your ears and makes the sound slightly brighter and the imagery, more specific. Toe them out or direct ahead and the sound is slightly warmer and the imagery slightly more diffuse. The Harbeth speakers have good dispersion, so angling them makes very little difference, just fine tuning. IMO.


    • #3
      Toe-in and high frequencies ...

      Hey, Phil.

      Sadly for your wife, I'd say you're currently at your minimum distance from the rear wall. As for toe-in, I'd keep them as you have them (no toe in), as this will satisfy your desire for softer highs. I have my C7 ES 2's set up this way for the same reason. You might be able to get away with putting them a little closer together, but not much.

      Hopefully your wife enjoys the music these things make enough to live with your set up-maybe even get them out from the wall a bit more as well!

      Good listening!


      • #4
        I would say if you can extend it to 0.65m, it will be better. I am saying this not from my experience owning the c7es3 but I bought the P3esr recently and realised they sound better as far away from the rear walll as possible - within limits of your desired listening distance of course.

        If you have damping on the rear of the speakers, you will be able to reduce this distance somewhat.

        The objective being you do not want your ear to hear the reflected sound from the rear and that of the tweeter at the same time. That is why imaging almost always improve as you move the speakers away from the rear wall.


        • #5
          Damping behind speakers?

          Repeat post: pls delete.


          • #6
            Update of my set-up

            First tks for this tips.

            My setup is now

            Distance between speakers : 1.7 m (yes, soundstage a but narrow but a lot better WAF ;-) )
            Distance from rear Wall : 0.65 m (sound improvement identified)

            Listening position : Circa 2.5 m
            No toe in

            Overall :
            WAF is better
            Good sound (yes 2.0m between speaker are usually my "basic rule" but......)

            Any Comment ?


            • #7
              C7s are room tolerant

              I can only repeat earlier advice in other words! The C7s are very tolerant of where they are placed in the room. Ideally, they should be as far out in the room as possible. Now that's not a possibility in the real world. My approach would be to use the WAF to moderate the ideal position - which means come as close to the ideal as the WAF permits. If that is just a foot out, so be it. If that is a lot more, good for you. At one time, I had my C7s on mobile stands, pushed all the way to the side walls, and a couple of feet out of the corner. I was shocked by how good they sounded even from as "bad" a place as that.

              Having done the placement, enjoy the music with the W by your side:-))
              PS: At this time, I have mine about 45 cms from the side and 30 cms from the rear walls, slightly toed in.


              • #8
                Distance between speaker?

                Dear Kumar

                Tks for your feedback, what is your current distance between speakers ? ( that is for me, based on some previous experience with other speakers, the bad point on my current setup...soundstage a bit reduced, very focus but missing some "air" et "space" in front of me. I have the feeling that the room is a small one.

                Any idea to improve this ?




                • #9
                  Easy set-up with C7

                  Originally posted by Hififan View Post
                  Dear Kumar

                  Tks for your feedback, what is your current distance between speakers ? ( that is for me, based on some previous experience with other speakers, the bad point on my current setup...soundstage a bit reduced, very focus but missing some "air" et "space" in front of me. I have the feeling that the room is a small one.

                  Any idea to improve this ?


                  Phil, I don't think that a small room is any part of the problem - the C7s do well in these too, and if the only bad point in your set up is soundstage, that should be fixable by toeing them in a little more. Experiment and see what works. Also, you may want to sit as close to the speakers as they are away from each other, if you can, for critical listening.

                  My speakers are 3 metres away from each other in a large room. Most listening is done from the other end of the room, some 6 metres away. Good soundstage from that distance obviously, but not the best place to "hear" music from. But I also have a bench placed half the length of the room, and listening from there, about 2.5 metres from the speakers, I get a good soundstage with vocals floating out from the center of the room and other music placed around the voices.

                  In experimenting with soundstage which is critical for a 2 channel home theater application, where one needs a combination of the ghost center channel and the right/left effects, in a small home theater room, I have found that the toe in required is such that the lines from the speakers meet in front of the listening position - a high degree of toe in. I am not suggesting that this is what you need, just pointing out that there is large latitude in setting the toe in, but a fairly precise position when the image suddenly locks into place by just a small change from where it seems to be all left speaker/right speaker.

                  That said, I haven't found the need for much adjustment in the C7 set up, when listening from the middle of the room, from the aforesaid bench.

                  I don't think that the absolute size of the room matters as much as the relative distance between the speakers and the distance to the listening position, toe in, and the room acoustics. I assume that your speakers are placed on stands to achieve the correct height with respect to your ears when you are sitting in the listening chair.

                  Good luck!


                  • #10
                    I moved speakers 2.5m apart

                    Tks Kumar for your comment, really appreciate your advice ;-)

                    Yesterday evening i moved my listening position to be closer to the speakers, now 2.5 m. with a sound a bit larger than before.

                    Next steps , will try toe in, as not done on my current setup.

                    Take care



                    • #11
                      Toe-in experiments

                      Oki Kumar

                      Made several test with toe in and no toe at all.

                      Without give large sound with beautiful mid..some time a bit too much
                      Good focus
                      High are still audible but not really detailed.

                      With toe in the sound is less impressive. (deeper yes, but look like if i was in a tub)
                      The focus is a lot more precise (nice on voice)
                      High are really detailed and could be sometime a bit aggressive

                      Any other tips ;-)



                      • #12
                        The C7s will dissapear

                        I'm an ex-ProAC Response 2.5 user! I know about harshness!

                        You should try some acoustic treatments in your room. Your muddled sound will hopefully be rectified. Early reflection points are your first best bet to improve your in-room sound. Don't forget to treat the ceiling if possible as well.

                        Once you hit the nail on the head, the C7s will disappear and you should have an expansive sound stage, great focus (not pin point focus like the ProAcs - gave me a headache as any deviation from central position - the focus would collapse or just sounds weird), highly detailed and great bass.

                        WAF??? Goodluck!


                        • #13
                          Rediscovering my old records again (from before loudness war)

                          Originally posted by do_Ob View Post
                          Dear do_Ob, the WAF is the Woman Acceptance Factor (one of the most important variable of every setup....mainly applicable of you have a wife of course ;-) )

                          Tks for your advice, nevertheless, as my WAF will not allow me do acoustic treatment in our living room ;-) i decided, yesterday, to go to another direction to reduce the "boomy" effect i had with the C7 when no toe (means parallel to the rear wall).

                          Boomy effect is for me : lot and slow bass. sure sounds nice on some record (classic,piano) but on other i have the feeling that the mid/bass is a bit to much

                          My setup is now :
                          - 1.93 cm between speakers.
                          - Toe in (axe or on my face 2 meter behind listening position)
                          58.5 (int) and 62 (ext) cm from the rear wall (diff because toe in)
                          - Listening position 274 cm
                          - Ratio speakers distant/Listening position : 1.42

                          The sound :
                          - Bass a lot better (mode detailed and not as heavy as before)
                          - Mid still very nice with more air
                          - High more detailed too , could create a more realistic sound by adding detail.
                          Overall : More dynamic , large soundstage (Width) and a lot more deeper, more precise in the instrument position. As you said not pin point as my D28 was but i'm not looking for that, i want to be immerse in the sound.

                          My comment :
                          The big diff with the D28 is that the Harbeth sound is not projected, not "on my face", so have sometime the feeling that the band (mainly singer) is/are moved backwards perhaps more inline with the original record (C7 are so beautiful on 70-80 recording (before loudness war))

                          So, as i'm discovering my old record again and again will leave with this setup a bit longer ;-)




                          • #14
                            Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF)

                            Hi Philippe,

                            I do understand WAF, hence my move towards a dedicated music room setup. It is kind of like my own bat cave and everyone in my family seems to be ok with it. (sshhh- I think they think I'm crazy!)

                            I also made the assumption that acoustic treatment may not pass with your Mrs! Therefore, I wished you all the luck in the world to try to convince your Mrs to hopefully allow you to play with some panels.

                            All in all, what sounds great to you is all that matters! Fine tuning can also be a fun exercise. I hope you'll find the zone where your C7s will give you years of happy listening.


                            • #15
                              Settle down nand enjoy!

                              Originally posted by Hififan View Post
                              Any other tips ;-)

                              Yes, that beyond a point, it doesn't matter so much to C7s, the positioning. I would suggest that leave things the way they work best, and settle down to enjoy the music!