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Bookshelf speakers on the floor sound so terrible.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Chrisk-K, May 20, 2011.

  1. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Now that I'm into classical music again, I recently fired up my stereo system consisting of a Danon CD player, a Danon power amp and a pair of Celestion 100 bookshelf speakers. The speakers are on the wooden floor of my living room.

    The system sounds awful with no clarity. Every CD I've tested sounds dull. Is it because of the speaker placement? I used to place the speakers on speaker stands but don't have them anymore.
  2. Yes, but they might sound good if you were laying on the floor too.
  3. Exactly. The sound was down around your ankles.
  4. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Duh... they're designed to throw the sound out pretty straight. The tweeters are about five feet below your ears so the highs ain't gettin' there.

  5. Search the Interwebs for information about how to place speakers. It is not that complicated...but somewhere, it probably says "bookshelf speakers on the floow sound like crap."

    However, most bookshelf speakers are somewhat limited on bass, so unless you're running a sub I recommend placing them in a corner if possible. Hard flat surfaces reflect bass and the result will sound better.
  6. Hi.

    A few things come to mind.

    #1 As said before, bookshelf speakers rarely work on the floor, think of them as crappy near field monitors.

    #2 Those Celestions are not suitable for classical music at all IIRC.

    #3 Wouldn't be the first time that someone connected an un-EQ'd source to the Phono input.

  7. Hawkbone


    Mar 23, 2009
    I had B&W 301's on my desk for a couple of years and always found them too 'boomy'. Finally mounted them on wall supports and they came alive. Lesson learned!
  8. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    Danon or Denon???
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    The basic elementary step is to put the speakers at ear level when seated in your listening position.
  10. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    A speaker sitting on the floor is what acousticians & audio engineers refer to as a "2pi" placement...low frequencies, which tend to radiate omnidirectionally, reflect back off the floor and combine in phase with the direct sound, resulting in a disproportionate reinforcement at those frequencies.

    So in addition to what everyone said about the tweeters (which are directional) firing at your knees which means you're not hearing as much treble as you should, you're hearing too much bass because of this 2pi orientation.

    Not Enough Treble + Too Much Bass = Mud.
  11. And the sweet spot is about twice as far as the distance between the speakers.


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