Originally Posted by eljr
Every speaker, to me, sounds better in a room full of windows rather than an acoustically perfect dedicated listening space in a basement.
I agree, though I tried for both
For me aesthetics are important to..well...aesthetic experiences, listening to music being one of them. I'm frankly put off by the look of a great many audiophile set ups, where it seems they want to make sure they are looking at every inch of technology they paid for, so every speaker driver is bare, every cable, amp, power conditioner etc is on display around the speakers, and often enough in a bunker-like room. I personally find it a distraction and a turn off. And though some of those rooms can feature equipment that has been neatly dressed, a lot of audiophile set ups look like rooms only a young bachelor could get away with - aesthetics be damned.
For me, my high end audio listening was always most pleasurable in my front living room, which is bright with nice bay windows and a nice view on to our street. When I had to re-design the room to also accommodate a projector and screen, I had to switch the room seating arrangement 180 degrees, which meant the listening/viewing sofa was moved near the bay windows, but and the speakers in front of the long wall in the room.
To my chagrin, what had been a room that sounded great with every speaker large or small, now sounded fairly awful. It was just about enough to make me think I'd have to abandon the joy of 2 channel listening.
But then I did a careful renovation, enlisting the aid of an acoustician, with room treatment incorporated and hidden, and including curtains that can alter and control room reflectivity, and have ended up with a beautiful room both aesthetically and sonically. Music has never sounded better. I have a bunch of controlled room lighting schemes, including colored lights on the projection screen between the 2 channel speakers which do subtle color combinations, which really set a cool mood for listening.
The downside is that it took some money to do, but I did end up with exactly what I wanted: a room on the main floor with nice big windows (not bunkered in a basement), easily accessible and used all the time, along with streamlined aesthetics (no source gear, almost no cables in view), super comfortable, with great acoustics! It's been a total joy to use the room for the last 7 years since it was renoed.