How do I perfect my new speakers?
November 22, 2007 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Got great new speakers for my stereo. Now comes the hard part: I need to find a particular kind of stand, and my satellite radio sounds funny. Suggestions?

I went looking recently for an unobtrusive satellite/subwoofer system for the stereo in my smallish living room. I wound up with a set of Paradigm Atom speakers instead.

Having sacrified the original plan (read: my wife wanted little ceiling-mounted Bose satellites), I now need to find somewhere to put the speakers. They're bookshelf-sized, but I don't have a bookshelf in the area they're being placed, and they're too bulky to ceiling-mount per our original plan. Three-foot-tall floor stands are too imposing for our room. I'd like to find floor mounts that will support the speakers low to the ground and angle them into the listening space. I know they exist, but I can't find them. Pointers? Alternates?

In addition, now that I have speakers with a robust dynamic range, my XM Radio sounds dull. CDs and even MP3s sound good, but the XM lacks depth, like a movie in a theater with the surround sound turned off. What can I do to improve the satellite audio? Would a newer receiver--mine is from 2003--have better performance? Installing an equalizer just for this is a bit heavy-handed of a solution.

For the record, I'm excited to have the Atoms. They sound terrific across a wide variety of music; the dynamic range is far more robust than any sat/sub combo I tested. The Atoms are also more affordable than anything with similar performance. I considered many $600-900 speakers (Kef, Totem, Dynaudio and others) and the Paradigms are equal or better and just $249/pair list. Highly recommended.
posted by werty to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite tall stands would be okay, then? It's a little tough to suss out what you're asking for in between all the backstory.
posted by rhizome at 11:23 PM on November 22, 2007

Something like this?
posted by caddis at 11:27 PM on November 22, 2007

Parts Express has a huge amount of speaker stuff, and I know they have quite a bit of mounting hardware. I didn't look through it since even the home delivered catalog mezmerizes me for hours.

If your XM sounds dull, what are you listening to, and how is it hooked up? I know they used to compress the hell out of their talk radio bandwidth, but loosened it up recently. If you're listening through a headphone jack, try to find RCAs.
posted by sanka at 11:45 PM on November 22, 2007

Response by poster: Details!

* Mounts: one foot tall, maybe; less, yes. Right now the speakers are sitting on the floor and have been deemed sufficiently unobtrusive. But the sound field is at my ankles and the bass is overemphasized. Those Mapleshade mounts are exactly what I remebered, caddis, thank you! But they cost more than my speakers, so I need a more affordable option.

* Sound: the config is an oldish Delphi SkyFi kit running RCA cables into a Denon 1803 receiver. The quality of my speakers is showcasing the compressed dynamic range instead of the liveliness of the selection. An iTunes .aac file over my wifi Airport Express sounds better than the XM. I can't be the only one who hears this--what else can I do?
posted by werty at 4:45 AM on November 23, 2007

from the "in for a penny in for a pound" dept: a lot of new receivers contain direct digital hookups for XM (requiring a new $40 XM receiver, but claim to have improved sound over the analog RCA. Actually, you could technically buy a bookshelf system that has this and plug it in to your existing receiver.
posted by softlord at 7:48 AM on November 23, 2007

I know that you don't want to have "big" speaker stands but they really do the job. A stand that lifts the tweeter up to the level of your ear at listening hight is a really good thing for the over all sound.

A stand can actually make a speaker look much nicer look at has tons.

The bass bloat is from the speaker coupling with the floor and possibly the back wall. The Atoms have a rear port and could be adding to the problem as well.

Unfortunately you get to listen to the acoustics of your room and speakers interacting sometimes it's good sometimes its bad.
posted by jade east at 12:18 PM on November 23, 2007

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