Expert (4)

Sweet Spot

Written by Wednesday, 21 November 2012 19:36

The term "sweet spot" in audio refers to the area in which the listener can move their head without experiencing large changes in the character of the sound. 

Generally, the larger the sweet spot the better but for some loudspeakers, like large planars (electrostatics and ribbon panels), the sweet spot can be extremely small, often referred to as "head-in-a-vice" listening. This is because one small movement from the ideal listening position (and all rooms and loudspeaker setups have an ideal spot) yields a dramatically different sound. This is disconcerting and it also limits the high quality listening area to one person. 

Newform's wide dispersion Ribbon speakers produce a large sweet spot that typically can accommodate 3 listeners on a couch. This is one of the reasons very few of our customers feel the need to use a center channel speaker for either home theater or music. 

With our new Coaxial Ribbon LineSource speaker technology (patent applied for) the sweetspot has grown even larger. No loudspeaker technology offers the room coverage of this breakthrough innovation. The room reflections and modes are minimized so there is far less soundwave interference to generate uneven response and the coverage becomes very even over a large area. Very few rooms will require more than 4 loudspeakers for home theater i.e. 4.1 is the no-compromise solution. (The .1 is the subwoofer.) 

Bottom line - easier audio system setup with or without room correction, fewer speakers, more relaxed listening, higher fidelity, more musical experience.

sweet spot





There will always be only one best spot, but a large sweet spot allows the listener(s) to move around the listening area with very small changes in timbre and soundstage stablility

Room Setups

Written by Wednesday, 21 November 2012 19:36


Assembly consists of taking the mid-bass enclosures out of the cartons, attaching the bases and setting them up. For the smaller speakers, no assembly is required as the Ribbons are attached to the bass enclosures. For the systems using the R30 and R45 Ribbons, the Ribbons are packaged separately and must be bolted onto the brackets on the top of the mid-bass enclosures. This is done by first inserting the two smaller bolts bottom rear of the Ribbon structure and sliding their heads into the keyhole slots in the bracket. These smaller bolts do not have to be tight as they are there for alignment and stability. The larger bolt should then be inserted and tightened finger tight. A light twist with the Allen key (included) will complete the mechanical installation. Connect the Nordost interconnects from the binding posts on the top of the enclosure to those on the back of the Ribbon and installation is complete. Warning, the Ribbons are heavy and smooth so handle with care to avoid dropping them or putting pressure on the screen. Do Not Move the Speakers with heavy R45 or R30 Ribbons attached as they may Topple Over.


After the loudspeakers themselves, proper placement in the listening room is the most important factor in your listening pleasure. Due to their exceptionally wide and consistent horizontal dispersion, Newform Ribbons are capable of presenting both unsurpassed soundstage depth and focus. The best room setup sacrifices the least of their potential.


Under ideal circumstances, the bass response will be tight and deep and the soundstage will exist in three dimensions with precise 3D location of all of the music sources. The soundstage will extend to the sides of the loudspeakers themselves and the speakers will "disappear".


Bass response will vary with the distance between the speakers and the back and side walls. Bass depth and output will be reinforced by backing the speakers into corners or up against the back wall. Such locations typically produce too much bass and sacrifice depth of image. Corner placement may also degrade the horizontal image.

Soundstage has three variable components; breadth, depth and focus of image. There should be an even distribution of sound across the soundstage with no holes in the centre (i.e. where sound can be distinctly heard to be coming from the individual left and right speakers). Depth of image is usually the hardest to achieve but when it is achieved, musical sources extend back into space behind the speakers. The curtain goes up! The precision of the location of the instruments within the soundstage should develop as the horizontal and depth properties are improved. Generally speaking, the further out from the front wall, the greater the soundstage depth. Consider moving them out for critical listening sessions when it is not possible to have them out in the room all the time. The depth effect is highly variable from room to room. As always, experiment.

Newform Ribbon Series Loudspeakers were originally designed for the seated listener. However, given the length of some of our Ribbons, sound quality will not change significantly from the seated to the standing position as long as the listener's head is kept in the strata of the Ribbon.  When the listener’s head is significantly above or below the plane of the Ribbon drivers, high frequencies will be reduced. If you like to walk around when listening, then the R645v3 or stacked Coaxial Ribbon LineSources should be considered.

Strong wall reflections can degrade the soundstage but fortunately the solutions are simple. A strategically placed plant, bookcase, tapestry etc., will reduce sidewall reflections. Make sure both sides of the room are as balanced as possible. With all Newforms, the best results are usually obtained with the speakers facing directly forward. Toeing in the speakers results in less information being reflected off the side walls which can be beneficial in some rooms. Toe in may also be necessary if the listening position is close to the speakers. The advice above holds true for most loudspeakers. Newforms are actually easier to setup than most due to the lack of ceiling bounce and rear wave.

Do you think you have a soft (acoustically absorbent) room because of the carpets and couches? The Ribbon sees the walls above the 2 foot level. Walk around the room clapping your hands to judge the echo. If you get lots of it, you will have to take greater care in the room setup.


Placing subs in close proximity to the listening seat often reduces room modes.

Corner placement and using both a front and rear subs may also reduce strong modes.  4 subs is the ideal.

Allow 3 weeks for the Ribbons to break in but you should notice a significant difference in 3 days.

Avoid strong rear reflections.

Don’t over damp the room. Keep it simple.

Make sure the ribbons cover the seated listener’s ear.

Working with one subwoofer?  Put the sub in the listening seat and then walk around the room to find where the bass is the best. Try sub there.

Ideally the surrounds should be behind the plane of the listener so they aren’t pointing in from the sides.



Our goal is to deliver a true high fidelity experience in your room quickly and easily. This will avoid frustration and unnecessary furniture movement. Virtually any room can produce good sound with the right setup. The following diagrams will assist you in achieving optimal sound performance. 


Strong reflections foul the soundstage and upset tonal balance and must be avoided whether from the front, side or rear wall. This can be accomplished by moving the speakers away from the walls and/or putting something on the walls, bookshelf, tapestry, plant etc. to break up the reflecting wave. Toe-in can also be used. Once the reflected waves are in balance the soundstage will become very well defined with excellent depth and focus. Bass becomes stronger and usually less well defined as the speakers are moved toward the walls and corners. As they are moved toward the listening position, these tendencies are reversed. Changes of as little as several inches can produce dramatically different results. Your room is unique. The key to success is experimentation and simplicity.


1. This large rectangular room with no obstructions allows the speakers to be moved well away from the front and side walls and the listening seat is well forward of the rear wall. The reflections are weak and well delayed relative to the direct wave. 

2a. Typical apartment setups can be done like this or as per 2b. The speakers have plenty of air and the right side wall is treated in some fashion. 

2b. This setup quite a bit of air but requires a large amount of sound absorbent material behind the listeners head to damp the reflected rear wave. 

3. Going diagonally across a room breaks up the reflections and gives an excellent soundstage in what otherwise would be a very compromised installation. No wall treatment was used but the speakers were toed in. 

4. Placed on either side of a large opening into another room, depth of soundstage is excellent due to a weak front reflection and room re-arrangement is minimal. Side walls need some treatment (plant and bookcase, etc.). 

5. If you are set up well for stereo, you can be just as well set up for home theater if you can locate the rear speakers behind and off to the side of the seating position. The object here is to create an enveloping soundfield as opposed to being blasted with noise from the four corners of the room. Helpful, expert advice is only as far away as your telephone, fax or computer keyboard. You know your room and we know our loudspeakers. Let’s talk!


For a world-class home theatre system depending on the room, one of the following configurations should be ideal:



1. 4 x R630 (add a first-class sub-woofer)

2. 2 x R645 up front

    2 x R630 in the rear

    (add a first-class sub-woofer for the bottom half octave)

3.  2 x Stacked Coaxial Ribbon LineSource modules

4.  2 x Ribbon Pyramid



1. 2 x R630 and sub-woofer

    2 x LineSource Modules

2. 4 x LineSource Modules and sub-woofer


Direct support from the designer is available. Make use of our expertise. 


Why settle for a poor seat in your own theatre? Next to the loudspeakers themselves, proper room setup is the most important factor in the listening experience. Tell us a little something about your room and we will help you achieve the best results. 

You will need to print the room planner and complete the Room Planner and then either fax (705-835-0081) or better yet, email your completed sketch pdf.

You will need: A measuring tape and 15 minutes. The spacing of the grid lines is meant to be one square = 1 foot. Draw in the outline of your room to the nearest foot. Sketch in doors, windows, major furniture, large plants etc. Indicate what each side wall is made of. Feel free to add your own comments and make your own specific answers. 


First, print this page.

Then, you will need: A measuring tape and 15 minutes. The spacing of the grid lines is meant to be one square = 1 foot. Draw in the outline of your room to the nearest foot. Sketch in doors, windows, major furniture, large plants etc. Indicate what each side wall is made of. 

Next, fill in the questionnaire that follows, feel free to add your own comments and make your own specific answers.

Once you are done fax the page to 705-835-0081 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hi-Fi Buying Advice

Written by Friday, 16 November 2012 21:25

Most people are on the Newform site because they are looking for superb musical results at a reasonable cost. The worlds of audio and home theatre are changing rapidly but there are several trends apparent.


Both the music and video chains have gone digital. This is important because the price/performance ratios have begun to change dramatically just like computers.

As the amplifiers go digital, they become vastly smaller and given the DSP advantages of the digital chain, the face of audio has changed dramatically.  Room correction and digital crossovers offer great advances with no cost in transparency.

Spend what you are comfortable with but don't go overboard and don't buy "futures".


Video projectors have in the past suffered several problems when considered for home theatre systems. The first is cost and the second is performance. That is changing.  Very high performance projectors can now be had for $1500, where $20,000 was the price of admission 5 years ago.

Newform Research is very happy to see video projectors and flat screens displace traditional big box TVs because getting rid of 2 to 3 cubic metres of reflective glass and resonant plastic panels between the speakers can only improve the audio performance of any system. Certainly, this is a view held by every high end loudspeaker manufacturer.



General Audio

Written by Friday, 16 November 2012 21:25

Expert advice is great if the expert understands their subject and if you can understand the expert. We have a great deal of experience in making our loudspeakers perform extremely well in all kinds of audio/home theater systems in all kinds of homes.  Add to this board rooms, public assembly rooms and open areas as well as small theaters and arts centres.

In addition, the characteristics of Newform loudspeakers which allow them to perform so well in the home also allow them to perform extremely well in small to medium sized public venues.  Instead of audiophile terms like "transparency" and "detail", Newform LineSources used in public areas deliver very high levels of intelligibility and smooth, even sound in the room both side to side and front to back.

The Newform site is designed to clarify the issues involved in achieving great sound for the buyer in his own room. Understand the factors which affect the performance of an audio system and what you are expecting from it and the choices are a great deal easier to make. We are here to offer the best tools and advice to help you quickly sort out the room acoustics and loudspeaker system interactions.