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  1. #1
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    Soundstage - Depth?

    Is (a lack of) soundstage depth a factor of typical things? I get great width, reasonable height, and good instrument placement, but depth seems to be about at the wall behind the speakers.

    Room is about 30x20, vaulted ceilings from about 8/9 to about 15. Speakers are approx 9' apart. Listening position is around 9' from front plane of speakers.

    Any recommendations on what to try?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Pictures of your room?


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  3. #3
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    It would be interesting to know what creates the depth. I get some depth now but not great. I've had certain solid state gear that provided pretty much none and the best was from tube gear.

    My friend's system has very good depth, he has tube DAC but solid state electronics. His speakers are pretty far from the back wall though.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    it is a bit of everything. room, speaker, amp.
    preamp has a part of it. vibration control as well.
    btw most systems lack depth.

  5. #5
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    I am interested in learning about this as well.

    When I started going into the audio shows a while back, there was a speaker in a very large room that created a depth like none. Female vocal was probably about 30 ft deep and I kept thinking to myself that there must be some speaker hidden somewhere in the back. I sat in the center and tried to wiggle my head left and right to figure out how its possible but the soundstage was rock solid. Till date and irrespective of the price, I have heard no other speaker/electronics create depth like that. Later I bought the same speaker but it didn't even do anything remotely close of what I heard in the show.

  6. #6
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    Is (a lack of) soundstage depth a factor of typical things? I get great width, reasonable height, and good instrument placement, but depth seems to be about at the wall behind the speakers.

    Room is about 30x20, vaulted ceilings from about 8/9 to about 15. Speakers are approx 9' apart. Listening position is around 9' from front plane of speakers.

    Any recommendations on what to try?
    depth, height and width of stage (of dynamic cone speakers) is related to speaker toe in and listening distance primarily; as well as floor, side wall, ceiling, and back wall treatment. not sure how easy it is to move your speakers around, or move your listening position, but as Mike asks, with pictures or more info we might have suggestions.

    and don't be afraid of near field listening. if you are 9' back of the speaker plane then you are in the far field which is not 'depth' friendly. especially once you treat your wall reflections (which maybe you have already done). near field listening does require 'taming' the room first or the speaker can be too in your face from reflective distortion. don't dismiss that without some investigation.

    as these things are dynamic, it might require a good deal of experimentation (took me 10 years of learning, and then 9 months of work once i 'got it' in my new 'perfect' room). my room is nearly identical to yours in size; 29' x 21' x 11'.....but it's shape is oval and it has lots of built in dispersion. but i needed to add lots of wall treatment to tame it. i do sit in the near field.

    the front surface of my passive towers are 9 feet from the wall behind; so close to the rule of thirds for my 29 foot long room. how far are your speakers into the room?

    also ask your speaker manufacturer or dealer what they recommend for these issues. driver dispersion varies from speaker to speaker.

  7. #7
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Devg View Post
    I am interested in learning about this as well.

    When I started going into the audio shows a while back, there was a speaker in a very large room that created a depth like none. Female vocal was probably about 30 ft deep and I kept thinking to myself that there must be some speaker hidden somewhere in the back. I sat in the center and tried to wiggle my head left and right to figure out how its possible but the soundstage was rock solid. Till date and irrespective of the price, I have heard no other speaker/electronics create depth like that. Later I bought the same speaker but it didn't even do anything remotely close of what I heard in the show.
    I added emphasis to your post. Many exhibits at audio shows do not represent real life space constraints most of us face. I have heard very good sounding systems in standard hotel rooms but the outstanding systems were almost always in very large rooms.
    Contributor to stereotimes.com

  8. #8
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzie View Post
    I added emphasis to your post. Many exhibits at audio shows do not represent real life space constraints most of us face. I have heard very good sounding systems in standard hotel rooms but the outstanding systems were almost always in very large rooms.
    Agree the room contributes majorly. But is the converse true ? By this I mean, does "a very large rooms" necessarily contribute to 100% of the soundstage depth ? Take for example the Von Schweikert room in the audio shows - they are usually in "more than a very large room". If I have to rate (1-10) the two systems in terms of soundstage depth - if the setup in my previous post is 10, the Von Schweikert room is probably 3.

  9. #9
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Pictures of your room?
    @Mike Here are a couple. It's a bit of a hard room to get useful pics of, particularly if I want to avoid showing the world the messier parts

    20220517-room2-Edit.jpg

    20220517-room1-Edit.jpg
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  10. #10
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Well, "depth" is a created construct of stereophonic frequency/phase recording techniques. To maintain it audio-visually via transduction, several factors help...and hurt. First and foremost, your speakers are fairly close to the front (behind speakers) wall. Visually you minds eye sees that wall not very far behind the front faces of speakers. Then you have very wide dispersion/narrow speakers that puts you at the listening seat in a high indirect to direct ratio soundfield (pardon the pun). It means you are hearing more of your room, less of recording (sometimes manufactured) "space".
    Already know you don't want to pull speakers out for aesthetic reasons, but...for experimental only reasons, pull them out a foot, toe them inward where the forward axis crosses slightly in front of your nose...and listen for "depth". It should improve.
    Then put them back in the aesthetic positions, sit back and watch all the recommendations for iso-ward "treatments" of the room.
    Btw, new place looks great. You still in Tampa?

    cheers,

    AJ

  11. #11

    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Well, "depth" is a created construct of stereophonic frequency/phase recording techniques. To maintain it audio-visually via transduction, several factors help...and hurt. First and foremost, your speakers are fairly close to the front (behind speakers) wall. Visually you minds eye sees that wall not very far behind the front faces of speakers. Then you have very wide dispersion/narrow speakers that puts you at the listening seat in a high indirect to direct ratio soundfield (pardon the pun). It means you are hearing more of your room, less of recording (sometimes manufactured) "space".
    Already know you don't want to pull speakers out for aesthetic reasons, but...for experimental only reasons, pull them out a foot, toe them inward where the forward axis crosses slightly in front of your nose...and listen for "depth". It should improve.
    Then put them back in the aesthetic positions, sit back and watch all the recommendations for iso-ward "treatments" of the room.
    Btw, new place looks great. You still in Tampa?

    cheers,

    AJ
    My thoughts as well. In my experience soundstage depth and width beyond the speakers require diffusion of primary reflections. Pull your speakers out when critically listening and get diffusers behind and between them. Alternatively or additionally absorption behind the speakers should help. Or live with things the way they are—life is about compromise.

  12. #12
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    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    Thanks, this is very helpful, and I appreciate the more scientific side of the explanation. Main reason I don't pull the speakers further out is less aesthetics and more "large dog/light speakers". I'll give that a shot this weekend though.

    AJ, thanks about the new digs, and ya still in Tampa. Moved up to Seminole Heights. Just needed a change.
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  13. #13

    Re: Soundstage - Depth?

    I agree with all above. IME the three primary factors to achieve depth are a) significant distance between the speakers and the front wall b) a large room with c) the appropriate amount of diffusion. The further away you are from the front wall (you and the speakers) the longer the secondary sound takes to create the illusion of depth (even more so than the recording intended).

    Without these three requirements your ability to achieve significant depth will be greatly minimized.
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