Country of Origin


Los Laterales

You know what they say about men with small hands. Today's brief 'review' is just as silly. You know what they say about widely spaced speakers: big soundstage.

Duh. It's so obvious as to hurt. The only proviso? As one keeps stretching the soundstage sideways, eventually also center focus goes sideways. Stereo turns to more ambiguous dual mono with a hole in the middle. Depth is similar. In/on-wall speakers can't stage as deep as free-standing speakers 1-2 meters from the front wall. Generating such coordinates is less about what's recorded and more about physical setup. If a mastering engineer decided to clump three performers in the middle, they obviously remain stacked like a fresh deck of cards regardless. But if the recording goes lateral with discrete far left, half left, center, half right, far right images, those coordinates will move apart with our speaker positioning just as they will bunch up on headphones.

It's no surprise then that the above setup staged wider than the below. Off desk beat on for the IMAX effect. Also true, imaging wasn't as specific and sharp so more bloomy and soft. To my mind that was due to different speaker designs and drivers. But to be sure—and because I'd really dug the above walkabout expanse—I soon ordered sufficiently tall stands to have my Super Cubes flee the nest, hop off the desk and instead perch outside it like those Ancient Audio Vintage Horten 2-ways on tripods.

Would anything other than stage width change? I doubted it. For sure speakers set up wide also stage really wide. It's as basic as it comes.

To clear the right lamp, this shot from below makes my stand adjustment seem unusually tall. Once seated, I actually see the speaker tops when I sit ramrod and craned neck. On-axis alignment is really spot on. As expected, my soundstage increased in width. It also raised up just above my big screen's centerline and even subjective depth rolled out. Also, complete elimination of structure-born feedback. Unexpected in hindsight only was a small clearing up of the bass. I'd eliminated the desktop's immediate boundary and its reflections. Their absence probably flowed into the superior depth as well. In short, a multi-kulti benefit. Los laterales weren't Latino federales in a Western movie after all; just speakers far apart. Distance makes the heart grow fonder? If you dig widescreen soundstages, apartheid is key. If you want zero hands-on resonances without elaborate vibration control, get your speakers off the desk. That's it for today. Sometimes it's really that stupid – er, simple!