Using CLS’s in small rooms

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enilsen

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When it comes to room size I have tried larger rooms with great success, but if the room is too large then the sound feels empty. Especially if there are no side walls.

When I first tried a small room I expected the worst as the speakers are quite close and positioning would be a problem, but they are sort of like large headphones (only better). The full range design of the CLS open air membrane creates no resonance like you have with a dynamic speakers in boxes. Hence you get a 3 dimensional (holographic) experience, which creates an image of sound in the room. This might not be an ideal situation for this type of speaker, but I do think they sound great even when room size is compromised.

This particular room was only 8’ x 15’ (260x450) with the speakers on the short wall. Who says you need a large room for CLS speakers?
 

kach22i

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That sounds like near field listening to the extreem. The headphone affect or similar to being on stage with the band affect must be unusual but I'll take your word that it's okay.

I still remember back 25 years ago going into a high end stereo shop for the first time and the guy cranking up the corner loaded horn Klipsch loudspeakers. The way they filled the room (which was way too small for them) was surreal.
 

DTB300

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enilsen said:
This particular room was only 8’ x 15’ (260x450) with the speakers on the short wall. Who says you need a large room for CLS speakers?
My room, in partial basement (concrete floors covered by thick rug) is 12' wide at one end, 16' wide at the other end, and 18' Long with 6.5' (dropped acoustic tile) ceilings. Speakers on located at the narrow end of room.

I sit about 11 ft from my speakers and I am very happy with the sound I am getting. So I would agree that CLS does sound good in a small room, and in general, I think, and I believe Roberto agrees too, the CLS sound better in smaller than in larger rooms.

Dan
 

zaphod

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DTB300 said:
My room, in partial basement (concrete floors covered by thick rug) is 12' wide at one end, 16' wide at the other end, and 18' Long with 6.5' (dropped acoustic tile) ceilings. Speakers on located at the narrow end of room.

my first room for my CLS was 16 X 11 with only half height walls at the two ends - the ceiling was angled at either end for the slope of the roof. i sat about 10 feet from the speakers

the second room was 11X13 - a bedroom with wall to wall - i sat about 9 feet from the speakers.

the current room is 12 X 18 - i originally sat about 14 feet from the speakers. after the redesign of the room and the addition of surround i now sit about 7 feet from the speakers.

my current set up gives me the best i have had with these speakers for soundstage and the quality or "realism" of the sound. instruments sound like instruments. voices sound spooky because the body just isn't there.

but i have also heard CLS in a 17 x 35 x 10 room driven by spectral electronics and been amazed at the soundfield produced.

the CLS is a truly marvelous speaker.
 

Jeff Zaret

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My room is about 14 x 22 feet, sit 8 feet from each speaker and is mostly open at the "back-end". I do have that holographic sound and it does seem like I am wearing headphones when listening to by CLSiiZ's. I can only imagine what the sound would be in a larger room. :D

Jeff
 

DTB300

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zaphod said:
the CLS is a truly marvelous speaker.
No argument there.

Now I am going to try out some of those wall treatments 'yall suggested behind and between the speakers to see what type of sound change (better/worse) that I get.

Dan
 

Kaliar

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Jeff Zaret said:
I do have that holographic sound and it does seem like I am wearing headphones when listening to by CLSiiZ's
Same here ! For a year, I had my CLS IIa on the narrow section of my listening room (11'5"W x 20'10"L x 8'H area in an unfinished basement) and the sound was fabulous !


The speakers were 3' from the front wall (11'5"W) and 2' from the side walls, toed-in. My listening position was at about 8' from the speakers.

Because of the limited SPL of the CLS, I am convinced small rooms are a very good match for those speakers.

Life is good with ML !!
 
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zaphod

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Kaliar said:
As quoted by Jeff:
Same here ! For a year, I had my CLS IIa on the narrow section of my listening room (11'5"W x 20'10"L x 8'H area in an unfinished basement) and the sound was fabulous !
that picture is frightening.

i had pretty much the same set up - right down the the grey curtains for the dead-end of my LEDE room.

only a lot less clutterend than my room was :)

you might want to try experimenting with the curtains removed - my room really lightened up with i took down mine - but i lost a bit of the soundstaging.

putting soft stuff in the center helped a lot. a heck of a lot.

a quick test might be to bunch the curtains together into a lump between the speakers about 1 to 2 feet wide.

it might work, it's free. sometimes you get more than what you paid for :)
 

kach22i

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zaphod said:
a quick test might be to bunch the curtains together into a lump between the speakers about 1 to 2 feet wide.
Good idea, no time involved (almost none), no money involved (unless it works). :)

It will work, put something fluffy in the middle.
 

Kaliar

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zaphod said:
that picture is frightening.

i had pretty much the same set up - right down the the grey curtains for the dead-end of my LEDE room.

only a lot less clutterend than my room was :)
I'm such a bad photographer: the curtains are blue ! ;)

zaphod said:
you might want to try experimenting with the curtains removed - my room really lightened up with i took down mine - but i lost a bit of the soundstaging.

putting soft stuff in the center helped a lot. a heck of a lot.

a quick test might be to bunch the curtains together into a lump between the speakers about 1 to 2 feet wide.

it might work, it's free. sometimes you get more than what you paid for :)
Thanks for the suggestion, which I appreciate ! Right now, the CLS IIa have been replaced in that area by a pair of Odysseys, and the sound is pretty much to my liking. I have tried with and without the curtains, and I prefer with: the soundstage is pretty good and the sound is not muffled.

Also taken in consideration, the curtains mask a window on the left side of the back wall. Visually speaking, I much prefer to have the curtains present. ;) Most importantly, they contribute to alleviate a certain brightness that was experienced when not in place.
 

roberto

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try to rise your CLSs at least 8" to 12"...

Kaliar said:
I'm such a bad photographer: the curtains are blue ! ;)

Thanks for the suggestion, which I appreciate ! Right now, the CLS IIa have been replaced in that area by a pair of Odysseys, and the sound is pretty much to my liking. I have tried with and without the curtains, and I prefer with: the soundstage is pretty good and the sound is not muffled.

Also taken in consideration, the curtains mask a window on the left side of the back wall. Visually speaking, I much prefer to have the curtains present. ;) Most importantly, they contribute to alleviate a certain brightness that was experienced when not in place.
Hola Kaliar...try to rise your CLSs in a small bench in such way that they are at least 8" to 12" from the floor and a little tilted more at their's back. Why? Because their high frequency dispertion. You can "tune" them for the right image and scenario. Listen the change of the bass notes and how natural all the instruments are played. For me, the CLSs are one of the most fun speakers, because if you move them only one inch, you have a total different scenario. You can choose very easy where would you like to be seated at the theater...and listen such wonderfull musicians playing for you.
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 

Kaliar

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roberto said:
Hola Kaliar...try to rise your CLSs in a small bench in such way that they are at least 8" to 12" from the floor and a little tilted more at their's back. Why? Because their high frequency dispertion. You can "tune" them for the right image and scenario. Listen the change of the bass notes and how natural all the instruments are played. For me, the CLSs are one of the most fun speakers, because if you move them only one inch, you have a total different scenario. You can choose very easy where would you like to be seated at the theater...and listen such wonderfull musicians playing for you.
Happy listening,
Roberto.
Hi Roberto,

The picture shown has been taken last summer. For almost three months now, a set of Odysseys has taken the place of the CLS in my main system. ;)

I have relocated the CLS IIa in another area of the listening room, where placing is far from optimum because I can set them only in a 10' opening and I'm sitting 5' away. :(

Even then, I can listen to them all day long, when working at the computer. But for serious listening, I will either use the Odysseys or Stax earspeakers !

Still, I thank you for your suggestions and will try to lift the CLS. Would bricks be OK for that ? One thing I will do for sure is tilt them backwards (ETC spikes make tilting pretty easy).

Thanks again, Roberto !
 

roberto

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Kaliar said:
Hi Roberto,

The picture shown has been taken last summer. For almost three months now, a set of Odysseys has taken the place of the CLS in my main system. ;)

I have relocated the CLS IIa in another area of the listening room, where placing is far from optimum because I can set them only in a 10' opening and I'm sitting 5' away. :(

Even then, I can listen to them all day long, when working at the computer. But for serious listening, I will either use the Odysseys or Stax earspeakers !

Still, I thank you for your suggestions and will try to lift the CLS. Would bricks be OK for that ? One thing I will do for sure is tilt them backwards (ETC spikes make tilting pretty easy).

Thanks again, Roberto !
Hola Kaliar...yes, as long as you lift them from the floor at least 8" and do what Dan recommends...the back of them must lowered than its front. You can use bricks with no problem...also for the bass, remember at least one meter away from the back wall...it does not matter how close you will be from them...the stage always will open and the size of the instruments will be there...regards from Costa Rica and happy listening!!
Roberto.
 

Kaliar

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roberto said:
Hola Kaliar...yes, as long as you lift them from the floor at least 8" and do what Dan recommends...the back of them must lowered than its front. You can use bricks with no problem...also for the bass, remember at least one meter away from the back wall...it does not matter how close you will be from them...the stage always will open and the size of the instruments will be there...regards from Costa Rica and happy listening!!
Roberto.
Hi Roberto,

Cool ! Since bricks are OK, I will lift and tilt the CLS as you recommend !

Thanks again for your help and warm regards from Québec !
 

roberto

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Kaliar said:
Hi Roberto,

Cool ! Since bricks are OK, I will lift and tilt the CLS as you recommend !

Thanks again for your help and warm regards from Québec !
You are very welcome Kaliar. By the way...regarding the CLS, you can choose your seat at the theater with them easy. Use toe-in or toe-out to achieve the seat that you want...what I like most is the center 10th rod for jazz, classic and vocals...(butaca=seat in the stalls). Happy listening,
Warm regards from Costa Rica too.
Roberto.
 

Kaliar

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roberto said:
You are very welcome Kaliar. By the way...regarding the CLS, you can choose your seat at the theater with them easy. Use toe-in or toe-out to achieve the seat that you want...what I like most is the center 10th rod for jazz, classic and vocals...(butaca=seat in the stalls). Happy listening,
Warm regards from Costa Rica too.
Roberto.
Hi Roberto,

Yes, I have tried different angles of toe-in and found one which is a good compromise in my actual CLS setting. I can listen to different types of music and enjoy all, even if am at a short distance from the speakers. Acoustic and vocal music are particularly rewarding ! :)

Happy listening to you too !
 
Y

yawg

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CLZ IIz vs. Odyssey

Hi all,

Kaliar said:
Even then, I can listen to them all day long, when working at the computer. But for serious listening, I will either use the Odysseys or Stax earspeakers !
This is amazing! I've been auditioning the Odysseys in a "near perfect" environment at a dealer's with my own electronics and cables I use with my CLS at home and found them wanting for the holographic image I get from my CLS. I use the CLS with a big fast active sub and found them far superior to the almost new Odysseys. My amps are vintage Stax: CA-X Pro preamp and DA-100M monos, 100 W/ch. pure class A. I found that the Staxes put out more clean power and sounded much more natural than my former AVM 3S which are even faster (they amplify up to 700 kHz) and have the double rated output up to 700 W into 1 Ohm!

It must be that your amps didn't do right with the CLS as the Odyssey is much easier to drive. The dealer had the Odysseys rigged with a small Triode tube amp when I came. I suggest you experiment with other amps for your CLS, there might still be a lot of potential in them that's still undetected ...

Then of course YMMV.

BTW, when I want to listen to loud music like big orchestra, I also prefer my Stax Lambda earspeaker.

Jörg.
 

Kaliar

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Hi Jörg,

yawg said:
I use the CLS with a big fast active sub and found them far superior to the almost new Odysseys.
No argument here! I'm convinced that the CLS with a quality sub are superior to the Odysseys, mostly so when driven by amplifiers of Stax caliber! Oh, you don't know how I envy you to have DA-100Ms !! :p

I also do believe that a set of Odysseys is better than a set of "nude" CLS (i.e. without a very good sub) on certain types of music! That's why I have two ML systems! ;)

This morning, I listened to Bach's Cello Suites on my CLS IIa. Pure bliss! Same thing with the Satie's piano music that followed.

But I preferred my Odysseys when I put Jongen's Symphonie Concertante (San Francisco Symphony directed by Edo de Waart, with Michael Murray at the organ). Same thing if I want to listen to Orff's Carmina Burana, or electronic music, or rock !

With two sets of speakers, I feel like I have the best of both worlds ! So, I love my CLS and I love my Odysseys! ;)

Cheers,

BTW, it's cool to see another ML owner appreciating Stax earspeakers ! :cool:
 
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yawg

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CLS IIz vs. Odyssey

Hi Kaliar,

I just saw your systems. You even have the same Ikea listening chairs as I have, very comfortable and dirt cheap ;)

Your room is about the same size as mine, only I've positioned my CLS closer to the side walls, no problem, I get a truly holographic image. The distance to the front wall is @3.5 feet. I put some older photos on this Dutch site:

http://my.hifi.nl/index.php?user=163

Did you ever try some toe-in with the Odysseys?

I just sold a Strathclyde turntable (father of the Linn LP12 and probably even better than the Linn - don't flame me, I said "probably") with the carbon variety of a Stax UA-7 arm to a German audiophile who is very happy with that arm on his Scheu TT. This guy has spent loads of money on his system but only achieved comparably mediocre sound, guess what, he doesn't use MLs :D

I've never encountered a Stax product so far which wasn't excellent. Even the "cheaper" Earspeakers beat the competition hands down.

But I better be quiet about Stax vintage products, they are scarce already (never were abundant in the first place) and should be strictly for connaisseurs only ...

I've also been a HiFi freak since I first put on a Pioneer headphone (big heavy cans with little pots on the side) at my friends back in 1968.

Since I heard an old pair of the first CLS with almost dead panels - the sound came only out of the lowest third of the speakers and they needed a strong amp cranked to the max to achieve only low volume - I was totally hooked. The stuff I heard was not only "stereo" but a real image, I used to listen in my room with the lights off and almost could "see" what was going on on the soundstage. Really spooky with enhanced recordings like "Amused to Death" by Roger Waters, where sounds originated far away from the actual speakers!

Then came an endless quest for the best equipment for my newly acquired divas, the CLS IIz, I could hear instanly every little change in equipment I made, and after a lot of trial and error I'm almost broke - even though I always got used stuff mostly via the net - but also very happy soundwise, the speakers truly sing and disappear when listening to music in the dark :D

It would be fantastic for us if ML put out an updated version of their CLS produced with all their new technology, with the range of good active subs available now that speaker would be a veritable "world beater". But they won't because the whole ML product line would instantly become obsolete.

Like the Americans say: If it's good they stop making it!

And isn't it true? A good lasting product only sells once to a customer because he's satisfied and won't buy another. And with the good quality of the panels now ML couldn't even sell replacements any more ;)

Jörg.
 
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