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Thread: L220 positioning

  1. #1
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    L220 positioning

    Got my L220, they replaced my old 4311b and I love the sound, so very different, you can tell they move much more air...

    My listening room is very small, they are tied to a push pull of KT88 (50ish Watts, I know they are not much and that JBL prefers solid state but that's what I have and, as of now, I have to make the best of what I have) and an AR SP9 preamp, sources are mainly, not to say exclusively, digital through a Beresford Caiman SEG DAC which decodes lossless music off a MacMini, there also is a Sony CD-X505ES CD player and a Michell Gyrodec MKI but they see little to no use.

    The distance between speakers is little less than 5' and they are a mere foot off the back wall with 2-3 feet off the side walls, my listening position is by the apex of a triangle whose height is about 7'.

    I plan to start and update the crossovers with new caps because I imagine that after about 40 years or such they are not working by the expected specs but in the meanwhile I'd like to understand how should they be arranged to broaden the scene, in first instance, when I took them home and after replacing the suspensions off the passive radiators I had them further off the rear wall and closer to the listening point to almost form a perfect equilateral triangle and I can tell that voices were coming from behind the speakers (depending on the kind of music and quality of the recording), does anybody have direct experience with these speakers placement?

    Grazie

    Giovanni

  2. #2
    Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giovanni View Post
    Got my L220, they replaced my old 4311b and I love the sound, so very different, you can tell they move much more air...

    My listening room is very small, they are tied to a push pull of KT88 (50ish Watts, I know they are not much and that JBL prefers solid state but that's what I have and, as of now, I have to make the best of what I have) and an AR SP9 preamp, sources are mainly, not to say exclusively, digital through a Beresford Caiman SEG DAC which decodes lossless music off a MacMini, there also is a Sony CD-X505ES CD player and a Michell Gyrodec MKI but they see little to no use.

    The distance between speakers is little less than 5' and they are a mere foot off the back wall with 2-3 feet off the side walls, my listening position is by the apex of a triangle whose height is about 7'.

    I plan to start and update the crossovers with new caps because I imagine that after about 40 years or such they are not working by the expected specs but in the meanwhile I'd like to understand how should they be arranged to broaden the scene, in first instance, when I took them home and after replacing the suspensions off the passive radiators I had them further off the rear wall and closer to the listening point to almost form a perfect equilateral triangle and I can tell that voices were coming from behind the speakers (depending on the kind of music and quality of the recording), does anybody have direct experience with these speakers placement?

    Grazie

    Giovanni
    Only five feet between them, eh? I have not listened to L220's but I imagine they are like the L150 or L150A's big brother. The L220's were my goal speaker and with what I've got invested in my L150A's, I could have had them.. Oh well, I digress. 50 Watts is indeed not enough for those, I recommend 300 watts minimum. I originally had my L150A's powered by the 100watts a Marantz 4300 could muster. That amp sounded OK at lower to medium listening levels but the sound just kind of peetered off at higher levels. I then switched to a 115 watt Yamaha I had on the shelf to see if the old vs modern thing had any merit. Yamaha was worse for sound quality, big time. So awful and hollow sounding no matter what I tried with it or checked, so I never even tried driving the combo hard. I originally thought 100 watts should have been fine but did some digging around here and elsewhere and the conclusion pretty much was that you want an amp rated right around the maximum power a given set of speakers are rated for, minimum. So after that discovery, I made a significant donation into the "audio bux" coffers and plunked down on a Marantz 510M amp and Marantz 3600 preamp. Had them looked over and then integrated that stuff into my system. Sound stage came alive in a big way throughout the entire spectrum. Most notable though was the improvement in bass response and midrange clarity over both the Marantz 4300 and of course the poopy Yamaha. The unfortunate thing about both the L150 and L220 series is they aren't very efficient speakers at all.. So even while I'm satisfied with the tonal quality of the speakers now I'd still like to be able to jam them a few dB higher than what I can get when the 510M starts running out of steam. However, that is still significantly louder than the 4300 was able to attain not to mention sound quality doesn't roll off. Makes me wonder what things would be like if I had 600watts at my disposal..

    Anyway, beyond the amplifier upgrade I recommend being able to space your speaks eight feet apart or more. I've got the far corners of each of my L150A's out seven inches from the wall, inside corners are five inches away from the wall. The left speaker is about 2.5 feet away from the side wall and the right speaker is about four feet away from the side wall, as there is a "pocket" for the front door and closet there I can't do anything about.

    I have not changed my crossover networks at all. I initially thought I'd leave them alone but I've discovered I have to attenuate the mid & tweeter on the left side down to what displays as ~-6dB in order to match the level coming from the right side when those controls are at 0dB. I am very pleased with the sound though, I'm definitely a fan of passive radiators, the bass from these is unlike what I've experienced with any other speaker. Hard to explain but there is like a texture to it..

    On that note, I recommend playing around with the weight rings on the passive radiators as well. Not sure how many the L220's came with from the factory per side but I found four each on my radiators. I took one off from each side and noticed a punchier experience, tightened up the bass to where I now feel the kick drum in my chest. However, I lost a little on the low end of the spectrum and further listening has revealed some bloat in the midbass regions of 100-300hz. I'm still playing around with it. Each of those fiber discs weighs about 10 grams each, I'm trying to find a sweet spot between 30-35g that will allow me to have that tight punch but no bloat and minimal loss in the low end. I might end up having to use the subwoofer that is on standby after all..

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