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Hi,

I'm moving into a new home soon and I'd like to configure music listening for a sitting area with a couch and two chairs. This ~150 square foot sitting area surrounds a fireplace, has one wall of windows to the left of the fireplace, but is open for about 25-30' to the right of the fireplace. My wife would like the speakers, turntable, and amplification to sit along a ~4 foot wide wall directly across from the fireplace, surrounded by open corridors.

Leaving aside a negotiation of this equipment position, I'm hoping for advice on how to provide clear, full, music to this area. In particular, since there is no real sweet spot in this configuration, I'm wondering if I should:
1) use only one speaker, pointed directly at the fireplace, wired as mono
2) use two speakers, tweeters ~3' apart, pointed directly at the fireplace, wired as mono
3) use two speakers, tweeters ~3' apart, pointed directly at the fireplace, wired as stereo
4) use two speakers, tweeters ~3' apart, toed slightly out, wired as mono
5) use two speakers, tweeters ~3' apart, toed slightly out, wired as stereo

From what I've read, two speakers may slightly reduce the affect of the room's shape, but might not offer as much sound in the lower frequencies, and the small separation between the two would effectively eliminate any soundstage. At the same time, I'm concerned that positioning them so close together might cause some sort of muddiness that wouldn't exist if I used just a single speaker.

I'd appreciate any correction of my assumptions, and advice on which choices will best provide a comfortable, even sound for those listening.

I've attached a picture of the floor plan, with the seating positions colored blue, and the equipment position colored red.


Thank you.
 

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I can't believe I'm going to say this, but perhaps you might be better off with in-ceiling speakers. Take a look at the Golden Ear 7000 series speakers, said to be the best at making the sound seem to not come from the ceiling. A pair of those, about 6-8 feet apart, aimed at the center of the seating area, should provide a nice wide soundstage and excellent area coverage. The key with those speakers is to get the distance right (a function of ceiling height and coverage area) as they have a narrow vertical dispersion.

If that is not feasible, I don't think you will have any issues with two stereo speakers so close together, other than the obvious. I would think toeing them in a touch would allow fairly even coverage of the area. That said, the best way to know for sure is to test the theory. Get some speakers/receiver from your local BB (or borrow something from a friend) and see if there are any issues.

What kind of speakers did you have in mind? Narrow towers, bookshelfs on stands or on a shelf, narrow on-walls, satellites? What's the budget?
 

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Generally when trying to entertain a room or venue where people are scattered about and facing in different directions is to use monophonic sound, not stereo, eminating from many, many speakers. The more speakers you use the less power you will need to provide each one and the less "hot spots" you will have, i.e. better volume uniformity no matter where you listen from.
 
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