Dear Diego Estan,
I read your review of the Stenheim Alumine Two loudspeakers and the follow-up review on positioning the speakers with much interest. I recognize how much effort you put into experimenting to find the right positions for the speakers. I have a lot of experience with a similarly sized speaker: the Linn Majik 109. The Linns need to be close to the wall, and the manufacturer advises a minimum distance of 23cm (9″), measured from the wall to the back of the speaker.
The best position I found for the right timbre and bass was 24cm (9.5″), or 48cm (19″) from the wall to the front of the speakers, with minimal toe-in.
In your review I noticed that you experimented mainly with placing the Stenheims wider apart and closer to the corners of your room. My suggestion is generally to try placing small speakers closer together. In my case, after much trial and error, I settled on 175.5cm (5′ 9″) apart. This position gives me a satisfying full midrange and surprisingly low bass, which is especially noticeable with acoustic bass.
I agree that Stenheim should provide suggestions for the best positioning of their speakers. Small speakers are often as difficult to position as larger ones.
I enjoy reading your reviews and those of others on the SoundStage! Network. They are very helpful in making an assessment of the reviewed audio equipment.
Thanks for reading my initial and follow-up reviews of the Alumine Twos, and sending me your comments.
Since my room is relatively small, I rarely have issues with bass boost from two-way standmounts. Most speakers yield +4 to +8dB of boost (50Hz relative to 2kHz) in my reference position. The Stenheims were an exception.
Since I only found that corner loading yielded acceptable bass results from the Alumine Twos in my room, I was stuck with too wide a distance between the speakers—because I use the long wall for speaker placement. The best solution for the Alumines in my room would have been to rotate my system 90 degrees, using the short wall for the speakers, and leveraging the bass boost by corner loading once again. But, I had to draw the line somewhere—I wasn’t going to rearrange the entire room for the sake of this experiment.
I’m a big proponent of bass-managed 2.2 systems for two-channel audio. Given the price tag of the Alumine Twos, I’d still urge anyone not listening in a very small room to consider quality subs. If you’re spending this much money for state-of-the-art standmount speakers, what’s another two to three thousand more to get full-range sound!