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gianfri



Joined: 13/01/07
Posts: 26
Monitor speakers upside-down? new
      #476803 - 23/06/07 10:17 AM
It just occurred to me that the most effective way to get my monitor speaker's (Event Precision 8) tweeters roughly aligned with my ears in my current setup would be to position them upside down.

In a recent SOS article (from Hugh, I think), it is stated that this is generally possible, so I was going to go for it. However, I also stumbled across another article (again from Hugh, I seem to recall) from a SOS a few years ago, in which the opposite is stated instead.

Hopefully I'm not confusing issues or mis-quoting here, and if so, I apologise in advance to Hugh. Unfortunately I can't check back the articles now and I'm not very good at searching ther SOS site. What is the real deal on this?

Cheers,
Gianfranco


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Barry Pearce
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476836 - 23/06/07 11:30 AM
Wasnt there a Q+A in the April 2007 issue about exactly this!?

Hang on...

yep. thought so...

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr07/articles/qa0407_2.htm


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476846 - 23/06/07 11:50 AM
The problems with rules of thumb and generalisations is that there are always exceptions!

When ever you integrate a tweeter and a woofer in the same box, you have to decide which frequencies each driver will handle. You can't make the switch over occur at only one frequency, so there is a region where both drivers carry the same signal frquencies. This is the crossover region.

If both drivers are emitting the same signal, but are physically displaced from one another, you will end up with an interference pattern of sound in front of the two drivers. In practical terms with most speakers, this produces a couple of distinct lobes and nulls.

Depending on the design of the crossover, these nulls and lobes can be steered in the vertical axis to provide the best spectral balance of sound for the listener.

the potential problem, then, is that if you turn the speaker upside down, you will also invert the intended listening axis. In most cases this isn't an issue at all, but I know of a few designed where it was quite a significant effect.

What you really can't do is turn the speakers on their sides, because this same effect will completely destroy the stereo imaging.

The other thing to think about when inverting monitors is the cooling arrangements if they are powered designs. Heat rises, so think about the airflow around the heatsink (if present) and other rear panel components. Again, in most cases it won't be a problem, but it is worth checking.

Finally, speaker cabinets aren't empty boxes. Some designers fit components on the assumption that gravity will pull in a specific direction. If you turn a speaker upside down, you obviously reverse that direction and then bolts that maybe only had to stop sideways movement suddenly now have to carry the entire weight of a component.

In general, if it is easier to get the tweeters at the right height by inverting a speaker, there won't be a problem and it makes sesne to do that. But you should consider the potential implications of doing that first, just in case.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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...................
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476865 - 23/06/07 12:33 PM
I've had my Event SP8A's upside down for a few months now, for the same reason, without any issues apart from they sound better now I don't have to stretch upward to hear the detail



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p.dakin
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476867 - 23/06/07 12:43 PM
Hmm.. I have been thinking of doing this with my 824's but, for bass rather than tweeter positioning.

I have little acoustic treatment at the moment due to renting, finical and time issues, but I get by.. Anyways, I find to judge the bass a little more accurately I have to move chair back and stick my head where my chest would be in the mix position. I thought inverting speakers would place that bass 'sweet spot' right where my head would be..

But I haven't done this, as the 824's have a heat dispersion grill at the top and cable inputs at the bottom, inverting them wouldn't be a great idea in my eyes..

Just have to battle on until I can afford some time and money to make some traps as I’m pretty sure its more a room acoustic issue rather that speaker/seat height...


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Matt P
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476874 - 23/06/07 12:56 PM
E-Meist, I'm no acoustician, but it strikes me that one further option open to you would be to acoustically treat your seating (i.e.cut the legs off've your chair) until you reach the optimum listening position.

If the mountain won't come to Muhammed etc.

Just a thought, like...


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gianfri



Joined: 13/01/07
Posts: 26
Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #476904 - 23/06/07 02:15 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

The problems with rules of thumb and generalisations is that there are always exceptions!




Whenever has life been easy! Thanks for the explanation, Hugh. I went back to the ASP8's user guide and, to add a further degree of uncertainty, this says that it's equally fine to use them upright or on their side, the only effect of the latter is to slightly reduce the width of the sweet spot, but not big deal. So I guess it's down to design after all.

No mention of upside-down though and, your considerations about gravity-related issues are slightly worrying, in absence of manufacturer details. I guess sideways will be the safest bet for the time being then...

cheers,
Gianfranco


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gianfri



Joined: 13/01/07
Posts: 26
Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: ...................]
      #476908 - 23/06/07 02:19 PM
Quote Herewego:

I've had my Event SP8A's upside down for a few months now, for the same reason, without any issues apart from they sound better now I don't have to stretch upward to hear the detail




Oh dear! This changes everything! This studio setup looks very similar to mine. I guess I'll try out both sideways and upside-down arrangements and will then decide based on what I ear.

Thanks everyone for the inputs!

Cheers,
Gianfranco


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p.dakin
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: Matt P]
      #476910 - 23/06/07 02:21 PM
Quote Matt P:

E-Meist, I'm no acoustician, but it strikes me that one further option open to you would be to acoustically treat your seating (i.e.cut the legs off've your chair) until you reach the optimum listening position.

If the mountain won't come to Muhammed etc.

Just a thought, like...




Haha.. I did something similar the other day. There was a annoying booming bass note that was really noticeable on bass heavy hi-fi systems and 'the car test', but not on monitors and headphones.

I ended up kneeling on the floor (where it was audible) fiddling with eq to fix it. It worked though my knees where a little sore afterwards.. Should have a yoga style 'mix cushion'!!!!


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Steve Hill
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476914 - 23/06/07 02:31 PM
Variable-height mixing seats....



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Michael B
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476917 - 23/06/07 02:36 PM
Well, if you're in the audience at a concert, the guitarists facing you, you'll see the ticker bass strings are on top and the thin, tweeter ones are at the bottom, that's a general rule of course. I supoose if you felt so inclined you could hold 'em over your head too!


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Michael B
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: gianfri]
      #476918 - 23/06/07 02:41 PM
I have to say I admire that studiio setup in the pic, so neat, how do they get it like that? mine looks more like an explosion at the Belkin factory with wires and plug boards all over the place! I cast my glance sideways and sigh - looks quaint in it's own way I suppose.

Anyway, how come all us musos aren't at lastonbury ligging wioth the pros!


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? new [Re: p.dakin]
      #477075 - 24/06/07 01:38 AM
Quote E-Meist:

I have to move chair back and stick my head where my chest would be in the mix position. I thought inverting speakers would place that bass 'sweet spot' right where my head would be.




Worth a try, but this is a problem related to room modes rather than being specifically in front of the woofer. Turning the speaker upside down will move the woofer in relation to the rooms modal patterns, and may change the energy distribution in a useful way.... but equally, it may not. Try it by all means, but I don't hold out too much hope I'm afraid.

Hugh

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: Monitor speakers upside-down? [Re: gianfri]
      #477077 - 24/06/07 01:42 AM
Quote gianfri:

....it's equally fine to use them upright or on their side, the only effect of the latter is to slightly reduce the width of the sweet spot.




It is all about design -- specifically the realtionship between the tweeter, the woofer/midrange, the width of the baffle and the nature of the inherent edge diffractions. The better the speaker design, the more obvious the downgraded imaging will be if you turn it on its side. If the imaging is poor to start with, turning it on its side won't make much of a subjective difference. I'll say no more!

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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