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What's your listening preference -Nearfield or Farfield?

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  • What's your listening preference -Nearfield or Farfield?

    In recent weeks, I visited Mike L and Gary K and heard their wonderful systems. They are both great but significantly different in fundamental style of listening to me.

    It got me to think that what Mike has set up is a grand scaled nearfield listening similar to how a studio would have nearfield monitors setup on top of the mixing board and listening from the chair positioned relatively close the speakers. The sound I heard was very similar to music heard through a good pair of headphones with the room impacting very little in the listening equation or getting out of the way of the music coming to me. Bruce B's studio is similar in listening environment as I recall.

    The common theme in these rooms is that the speakers disappear -as they say- and the music floats in between two speakers. This is my preference as well.

    OTOH, Gary's setup is closer to "wall of sound" that one would hear from a live concert where there's no 3D imaging to speak of and in most cases mono material played through various PA speakers (other than live un-mic'ed performances), I would guess. Gary's listening chair is far away from the speakers and certainly doesn't follow the equilateral triangle setup with no toe-in for the speakers at all - I would call it farfield listening.

    In both cases, having full range of high fidelity is common requirement especially no boomy bass.

    So what's your preference?

  • #2
    With my current speaker I'm near field, come to think of it I was mostly near field even with large planar's I've owned in different homes I've lived in. I've been blessed with a dedicated room of some sort all my audiophile life and use the rule of thirds to divide up my space with the speakers way out into the room. My seating positing is a function of many things but invariably i'm closer to the speakers than the other way around. If I owned horns I'd most likely be far field.
    Simon Yorke S10 | My Sonic Lab Eminent GL | AcousticPlan PhonoMaster | Wadia X32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

    "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Myles, remember the Chair? nearfield? Speakers were maybe 2.5 to 3 feet away. I want to duplicate that setup (but with my own chair and gear) someday,Click image for larger version

Name:	Photo 18 - The Hi Fi Company Chair with me.jpg
Views:	151
Size:	70.0 KB
ID:	10838
      Steve Lefkowicz
      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
      -
      Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
      Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
      Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
      Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
      Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
      Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
      Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
      Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
      Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post
        Hey Myles, remember the Chair? nearfield? Speakers were maybe 2.5 to 3 feet away. I want to duplicate that setup (but with my own chair and gear) someday,[ATTACH=CONFIG]n10838[/ATTACH]
        How can I forget? I was trying to leave the room and you roped me into listening!
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

          How can I forget? I was trying to leave the room and you roped me into listening!
          And with the little PSB speakers at the chair I tried it sounded really nice. These are those $100 a pair Pioneers. Click image for larger version

Name:	Photo 19 - The Hi Fi Company Chair with Myles Astor.jpg
Views:	168
Size:	96.7 KB
ID:	10853
          Steve Lefkowicz
          Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
          -
          Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
          Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
          Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
          Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
          Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
          Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
          Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
          Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
          Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM

          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ki Choi View Post
            In recent weeks, I visited Mike L and Gary K and heard their wonderful systems. They are both great but significantly different in fundamental style of listening to me.

            It got me to think that what Mike has set up is a grand scaled nearfield listening similar to how a studio would have nearfield monitors setup on top of the mixing board and listening from the chair positioned relatively close the speakers. The sound I heard was very similar to music heard through a good pair of headphones with the room impacting very little in the listening equation or getting out of the way of the music coming to me. Bruce B's studio is similar in listening environment as I recall.

            The common theme in these rooms is that the speakers disappear -as they say- and the music floats in between two speakers. This is my preference as well.

            OTOH, Gary's setup is closer to "wall of sound" that one would hear from a live concert where there's no 3D imaging to speak of and in most cases mono material played through various PA speakers (other than live un-mic'ed performances), I would guess. Gary's listening chair is far away from the speakers and certainly doesn't follow the equilateral triangle setup with no toe-in for the speakers at all - I would call it farfield listening.

            In both cases, having full range of high fidelity is common requirement especially no boomy bass.

            So what's your preference?
            Nothing could be more nearfield aka studio monitors than when HP had the IRS Vs in Room 3. Again, speakers will have a lot to do with it as Jack pointed out in my room. The ML and Magicos work well but he had doubts if the Von Schweikerts would have the same success.

            Often preference has nothing to do with it: it's dealing with the hand you are dealt. I'm not though sure that there's always a tradeoff between the two positions. I've heard for instance, SF Fenices have a huge stage and pinpoint imaging in a big room a couple of times. When that happens, it's like you died and went to heaven.

            In the end, it's the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. If you have that huge soundstage, you want the imaging and vice versa. But personally, I am a soundstaging and imaging junkie. I love the feeling when you listen to tape of the musicians being in the room with me!
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Steve Lefkowicz View Post

              And with the little PSB speakers at the chair I tried it sounded really nice. These are those $100 a pair Pioneers. [ATTACH=CONFIG]n10853[/ATTACH]
              That look was the feeling of being off my feet and not lugging that heavy bag filled with record for the first time in what seemed hours.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #8
                Is near or far field more a function of speaker/room interaction than preference? I actually don't think I have a preference per se, I just place my speakers/listening position where I get the most even bass response. Right now that makes them about 10.5' from the listener.
                Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                Comment


                • Rob
                  Rob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  you have a large dedicated room. IIRC your Magicos are far out into the room, no?

                • allenh
                  allenh commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yup. Plane of the tweeter is about 9.5' from the front wall. Still need to finalize SP, but figure +/- a foot, if that much.

              • #9
                far field never had a near field set up

                Comment


                • #10
                  Too many hours behind an editing desk and monitors. For leisure and pleasure, it's far field for me. My current listening distance is 12 ft.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I sit about 10 feet back from the speakers which are about 9 feet apart, which keeps them a few feet from the sidewalls. Given the size of the speakers, this is closer to nearfield than farfield. Bass is slightly unbalanced because there is an open entryway near the left speaker. I'd prefer a little bit different setup, but it's the room I have.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I prefer a midfield or farfield setup in my audio room, but not because I don't like the sound of nearfield. It's more a situation of feeling like I'm crowded into a small space with the speakers on top of me......I don't like that feeling...I find it uncomfortable and forced. Although I haven't properly measured everything, I would say I'm setup for between a midfield to farfield seating position.
                      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        some speakers don't work well nearfield, while working fine farfield. So I would say it depends on the speaker system.
                        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          My speakers are spread 8' apart and I sit back 10' with only 3' behind my head till I hit the sound trap panels on the wall behind me. I consider this somewhat nearfield. It's the only option I have in my current room.
                          Christian
                          System Gear

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