AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Farmer McGregor's Garden
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I thought I should chime in...
I bought a level 2 Rives design package, and for the money it was worth it. Am I 100% happy? No, but a level 2 is meant as band aid over a previous room footprint, not a start from scratch or complete renovation solution. I added a lot of significant costs to my room by forcing the level 2 design to have that kind of scope.
The room sounds significantly better than it did originally. It did however require additional electronic band aids (DSP), but my understanding, based on speaking with other people in the acoustics field, is that this is often unavoidable in the areas where I am experiencing issues (modal reinforcements and nulls in the lower frequencies...). I did expect the issues in my room to be slightly less than they are though.
Considering that I paid $2100 dollars for the schematics at the time, I think the room sounds great. I do think I went overboard on the room construction or that I went under-board with the level of the design I chose. Perhaps I should have chosen a design level 3 considering what I ended up doing in the room construction-wise...
I would never general contract work like this again for myself (well unless I designed the room myself - in which case that might make some sense). I would opt for a turn-key solution or hire a general contractor who is competent to do the integrating and worrying for me. Though, the world seems to lack contractors that follow acoustic schematics from what I have heard.
In my next room, what I am most concerned with is finding someone who will do their best to iron out as many problems in the modal responses with acoustics first, and then only use DSP for the last yard. I am very tempted by one turnkey solution being offered, but I need to examine further whether or not the kind of acoustical tweaking I mentioned above is a part of the process, or if the room is just built and DSP added without trying to iron out fundamental irregularities first. My worry is, the more erratic the response is below 500 Hz, the more higher frequency response issues may develop that are uncorrectable without potentially noticeable higher frequency signal processing noise.