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Thread: Can a nearfield listening position ever be too realistic?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

    Default Can a nearfield listening position ever be too realistic?

    Out of necessity I sit just 8 ft from my speakers (near field) in a room with plenty of acoustic treatments.

    Over the years the system has been improved out of all recognition leading to a much more realistic presentation. This has the effect of bringing the performance into the room and with it a mixed blessing. Effectively it means that I am sitting 8ft from a female opera singer or rock band and most would agree this is not what we experience in reality.

    In summary my speakers are verging on studio monitors and its very few people that get enjoyment over several hours with such a presentation. This is not about digital nasties or graininess but more the ability to relax in front of such a 'monitor' system.

    Any tips or observations?

    Thanks Chris
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
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    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

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    I'm Grant.

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    i wouldnt say 8ft to be nearfield. At that distance tho a lively tweeter can be offputting so you could turn speaker slightly off axis to you or up or down etc
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    i wouldnt say 8ft to be nearfield. At that distance tho a lively tweeter can be offputting so you could turn speaker slightly off axis to you or up or down etc
    Thanks Grant that's a good tip but not one I have tried since updating my midrange/tweeter to the Cube Audio FC8 concentrics.

    Regarding near field. My speakers stand nearly 5ft tall and 20" wide and it certainly feels nearfield
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
    SW1X USB II
    SW1X DAC III Special
    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Surrey

    Posts: 6,849
    I'm Rob.

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    I sit about 6ft from my speakers and my room has acoustic treatment and I love how it sounds. I have never had any doubts about the distance or what I hear or why I hear it. If I like it then the job is done. If you find it fatiguing then perhaps something has to change.
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 34,306
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    8 feet is more mid-field, near field is if you are sitting at a mixing desk with the speakers just a couple of feet from your ears.

    have to say I have also found a 'monitor' presentation to be a bit too much for long term listening, although depends what I am playing, rock music can get a bit too much after a couple of albums. Not because it is too bright, or harsh or anything but it's just so full on and explicit.

    Recently I've been using my old Philips pre-amp in place of the Nelson Pass pre and that sort of 'softens' everything just a little and I can listen all day to anything with that in the system. But on the minus side I don't get that open window into the studio like with the Nelson Pass, and I do like having that.

    It's a trade-off, I don't think there is any perfect solution.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* Soncoz SGD-1 * Nelson Pass DCB1 * Krell KSA50s * JM Lab Electra 926 *

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
    I sit about 6ft from my speakers and my room has acoustic treatment and I love how it sounds. I have never had any doubts about the distance or what I hear or why I hear it. If I like it then the job is done. If you find it fatiguing then perhaps something has to change.
    Thanks Rob. its just a question of what??

    Sometimes when you concentrate on the big picture its easy to miss the obvious.

    Incidentally here is a picture of my set up. You can see its all a bit 'in your face'

    P1100197.jpg
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
    SW1X USB II
    SW1X DAC III Special
    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,305
    I'm James.

    Default

    I was watching this video yesterday and it maybe of interest? Discusses listening positions in relation to speakers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtPOesEzlzg
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    8 feet is more mid-field, near field is if you are sitting at a mixing desk with the speakers just a couple of feet from your ears.

    have to say I have also found a 'monitor' presentation to be a bit too much for long term listening, although depends what I am playing, rock music can get a bit too much after a couple of albums. Not because it is too bright, or harsh or anything but it's just so full on and explicit.

    Recently I've been using my old Philips pre-amp in place of the Nelson Pass pre and that sort of 'softens' everything just a little and I can listen all day to anything with that in the system. But on the minus side I don't get that open window into the studio like with the Nelson Pass, and I do like having that.

    It's a trade-off, I don't think there is any perfect solution.
    I'm, sitting here nodding with agreement I can downgrade the components of my system and listen for hours, but I have worked hard for decades to get to this point and its a bit disheartening.
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
    SW1X USB II
    SW1X DAC III Special
    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    8 feet is more mid-field, near field is if you are sitting at a mixing desk with the speakers just a couple of feet from your ears.
    I would agree if you are talking small monitor speakers like the Yamaha NS10s, but with 5ft tall speakers I'm not so sure those definitions apply. If you sat a couple of feet away, the bass drivers would be aimed at your ankles.
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
    SW1X USB II
    SW1X DAC III Special
    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,174
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I was watching this video yesterday and it maybe of interest? Discusses listening positions in relation to speakers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtPOesEzlzg
    Thanks James. I watched that right through and he agreed that when listening to big panels or dipoles you can get too close. The big downside to moving the listening chair further away, which he ignored, is that you approach close to the wall behind your head with all its own reflections. But I plan to give this a go and perhaps to drape the rear wall with acoustic treatment. (tapestry or rug).
    Source
    SW1X Universal Music Server UMS I Signature with Power Supply Unit PSU I Signature
    SW1X USB II
    SW1X DAC III Special
    Audiolab 6000 CDT transport
    Amps
    Pre amps -- Hi fi Collective twin mono ladder stepped attenuator, with Charcroft Z-foil and silver wired. And First Watt B1 active no gain buffer.
    Power amps -- Welborne 45 SET monoblocks 1.8W / Decware Taboo 6W / Elekit 300B TU-8600SVK plus further improved components 9W / ICE Power 1000W
    Speakers
    Highly modified Endorphin P17 open baffle speakers containing both vintage and modern alnico drivers and paper cones. All silver wired - 8" Cube Audio FC8 full range drivers and vintage 15" Altec VOTT 416 bass drivers. All sat on Townsend Audio Podium seismic isolation platforms.
    BK Electronics XLS400FF Sub.
    Cabling
    Silver mains cables, interconnects and speaker cables by SW1X
    Headphones
    HRT HeadStreamer and SennHeiser HD650 headphones

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