Setting up and getting the most out of your Sigberg Audio active speakers
This guide is for the Sigberg Audio SBS.1 and Manta active speakers. However, you may find advice here that is useful for other similar speakers as well. The goal of the guide is to help you get the best possible sound from your system.
Distance from the wall, you and each other
First things first, let's start with where and how to place the speakers in your living or listening room. We designed Both the SBS.1 and Manta so you may place them close to the wall (the back of the speakers 10-15cm / 4-6 inches from the wall). That said, further from the wall may work too. You can experiment with having them up to 1 meter from the wall (measured from the baffle or front of the speakers).
Set the speakers as far apart as possible in your room. They should be at least as far apart as the distance to the listening position.
You may not have a choice with regards to listening distance, but if you do: I enjoy the immersive experience of sitting close to the speakers (2.5-3m). That said, all our speakers are powerful enough to work well in fairly large rooms. A listening distance of anywhere between 2-5 meters should be fine.
Toe-in / speaker angle
We recommend setting up our speakers with zero (0 degree) toe-in. This means the speakers are parallell to the wall. Due to the point source nature of our speakers, this gives the best of both worlds. A precise imaging combined with a wide soundstage.
You can experiment with 0-15 degrees toe-in to see how that affects soundstage and high frequency energy. Use what suits you and your listening space best.
Position your speakers so that the tweeter is roughly at or slightly above ear level. With the SBS.1 you would normally achieve this with a speaker stand that is about 60cm / ~23 inches. With the Manta we recommend using the included stand for best results.
Integrating with the subwoofer(s)
If you have a Sigberg Audio subwoofer, select preset 2 on the subwoofer. Then use the gain control on the subwoofer, or external subwoofer volume control if present on your preamp or processor, to adjust the bass level to your liking. A common suggestion is to play a well known track with some distinct bass. Turn the volume of the sub up until the bass is clearly heard, then decrease the volume until the bass falls back naturally into the mix. You may need to experiment with many tracks to get a good average level.
We recommend using the built-in EQ feature of our subwoofers to equalize the bass response. If you don't have the competence (or patience) to do that manually, an external room calibration device is a good alternative. This will make the exercise of setting the correct volume level much easier. The result will be better and more consistent bass across different songs and genres.
If you have a subwoofer from a different brand, experiment with a crossover of 80-120hz. 100hz is the recommended starting point. What works best may vary depending on the subwoofer and how the internal crossover is designed.
Also note that the bass level is fundamental (pun intended) to how the entire frequency band sounds. The wrong level on your subwoofer may not be noticed as too much or little bass, but rather as problems in different parts of the spectrum. For instance, if you think the top end or midrange sounds thin, it may actually be that your bass level is too low. And if the midrange sounds muddy, the bass level may be too high.
Finally, how good a speaker will sound is always limited by the acoustics of the room you place it in. Modern living rooms are decorated with no curtains, rugs or other soft materials. This may look good, but it's not ideal if you want great sound. Anything with a soft surface as well as randomly scattered furniture work well as natural acoustic treatments. Think back to how living rooms looked back in the 80s (or google it if you weren't born yet), and you get the idea. If you are unable or unwilling to add natural acoustical measures, you may need to think about acoustic panels, possibly camouflaged as pictures or located in the ceiling. If you could get a large rug in front of the speakers / your listening position, that would be great as well. Consider consulting a professional. You may also contact us for advice on how to improve the acoustics of your specific room.
Stuck with a sparsely decorated room with many hard surfaces? Use preset 3 on your speakers, which will soften the high frequencies. This may help even out the energy distribution in your room.
This should get you off to a good start, and allow you to enjoy the full potential of your new Sigberg Audio speakers. If you have questions about any of this, feel free to reach out to us and we will assist in any way we can!