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Let us again understand that the A2+ speakers are a mini monitor loudspeaker and not computer desktop speakers. Of course they are marketed as a computer speakers because that allows them to enter a big field which is popular and growing. And they do sound so much better than the typical computer speakers. But to sound their best they need room to breath. They could sound boxy and boomy on a desk, particularly if they are near a wall or placed on directly on a desk surface without proper damping. The speakers must be removed from walls and corners if they are to have low coloration and proper stereo imaging. Placed on stands and moved more into the listening room, the A2+’s will open up a window into the performance space of the recording, if the recording is done properly. (High resolution formants will not rescue a bad recording.)

You will want to adjust the speaker stands to that the tweeters of the A2+’s are just above ear level when you are seated. This will provide the best frequency response balance because the tweeters dispersion characteristics. In addition, the speaker stands should be angled inwardly. Why is this? We must understand that the tweeter dispersion of monitor speakers are limited, that is to say they are controlled. After all, they were designed to monitor the recording space and not the listening space. The less interaction with room acoustics the better.

However, the downside to this design is that the sweet spot for listening to the best balanced sound has been narrowed. One may easily counteract this narrowing by firing the tweeters inside the listeners ears. The tweeters should not be aimed at the listeners ears but aimed slightly inside them. When this is done the sweet spot is greatly extended. How so? Well when one moves off-center and closer to one of the speakers, the high frequency sound from that speaker is decreased while the highs from the outer speaker is increased. This will work for any monitor style of speaker.

When the speakers are moved away from walls and elevated above any horizontal surface the bass response will be diminished. This response is actually phony bass which muddies the sound. The A2+’s were designed to be flat away from such boundaries believe it or not. However, many listeners will miss the added bass. The best answer is to add quality bass only where it is needed. This means a good subwoofer is a small monitors best friend. It not only extends the bass but also lowers any potential distortion of the midrange speakers. The subwoofer produces the low bass which frees the midrange drivers from longer cone excursions. The result will a cleaner midrange frequency response. Furthermore, dynamic-range and power handing will be greatly increased. One may play the A2+’s louder without undue distortion.

The object is not really to play them louder, but play them cleaner and more dynamic. To be honest, the A2+’s are not room shaking rock speakers and never will be. But they will play the dynamics of Jazz and orchestral music with ease in a modest room, especially with the addition of a subwoofer.

We will want to explore setting a subwoofer with the A2+’s. The ideal is to not know that the subwoofer is in the system at all. We will hear it only when it is needed. It will extend the lower range of the system but it will not interfere with the midrange sound or the stereo imaging in any way. But this is a project for another day. Good listening.

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