Speaker Solutions for lively room: B&W, Revel, Martin Logan or ?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-07-2009, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in an apartment with hardwood floors and have the urge to upgrade. I currently have Monitor Audio Silver 3i's up front, ERA D3's for surround and Monitor ASW100 sub.

I find the Monitor's are perfect for HT but not as enjoyable for music i.e. too "bright" (in this room - fully carpeted they sounded fine) for my tastes.

Source is an HK 7300 which I will not be replacing for some time (years).

I lived in a similar environment years ago and found that B&W's sounded good to me but I have a hard time with their price points. Specifically I really like the CM5's but they are outside my budget (would like to be under $1700 for front three - will use ERA's for rears).

I'm very interested in Revel speakers (F12's or M20/22's) but in Seattle can't seem to find a dealer that is convenient or answers the phone so going to be tough to audition.

Anyone have any experience with similar surroundings & speaker recommendations? I have no bias towards either monitor's or floorstanders as long as they look good..

Thanks!

Ron
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 09:09 AM
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Fix the room.

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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Kal!

No doubt that is the best advice - fixing the room is of course correct. Unfortunately my eyes & ears have vastly different taste.

Forgot to mention floor to ceiling windows all along south side wall and I can't/won't be able to hang curtains.

I have a big fabric sectional couch and an area rug but beyond that haven't seen any solutions - I am open to low cost (I am renting) low visual impact ideas???

From my experience though room treatments are either ugly or expensive - and too often both.

I guess I would go down the room treatment path with more enthusiasm if I didn't know that the B&W's worked to my satisfaction in this type of environment. Was hoping there might be others that did for less.

Thanks!

Ron
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 12:56 PM
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Area rugs and acoustic panels...

Not all acoustic panels are ugly, http://www.auralex.com/sonicprint/
There are many companies out there that are offering those type of artistic printed acoustic panels that are much cheaper now BTW, search the net... Clicky !!!

I'm actually getting some of these soon... http://www.audimutesoundproofing.com...treatment.aspx
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Warpdrv,

It looks like I should have posted my question before spending two paychecks at art.com!

If only I could find this image in an acoustical panel:

http://images.computeraudiophile.com...blown-away.jpg

Is there a way I can bastardize a canvas print into an acoustic treatment?

Buying new speakers would be more fun....

Thanks!

Ron
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Fix the room.

/thread.

You can certainly do some acoustical panels, most of which are attractive in a modern, minimalist way. They can be ordered in matching or complimentary colors, or even with a pattern or "art." It may take four or six of them to pull down most of the reverberation, and they can fit unobtrusively into the room. I am speculating based upon my experience, but $400 worth of panels in that room will make a $1,000 pair of speakers sound better than a $10,000 pair of speakers in the same untreated room.

On the other hand, if you don't care about the sound very much at all, in deference to the decor, there's no sense in choosing one speaker over the other. They will all sound equally bad in that room. Digital EQ will do nothing. Limited dispersion will do nothing. The farther away you sit, the worse the problem will be. You've listed some excellent speaker brands, indicating that you may actually want the sound to be very good. For that, you have to address the room.

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all!

I am convinced that room treatment is the thing to do. Yawn ;-)

Still very curious how Revel's sound but will fix the room first.

Ron
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 05:45 PM
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As have been said already, fix the room. I prefer LEDE, that is live end (the end where you sit) and dead end (where the speakers are).
In that case I would absorb behind the speaker and at the side just leaving about one feet non-absorb just in the middle behind the speakers (this is for compensate the built-in problems with the "stereosystem"). Some good fabric is also nice to have over some of the absorb parts.
Then I would use normal stuff as diffursors around where you sitting, like paintings, books, shelfs, etc. Behind you it is a good thing to have someting like bookshelves of DVD's/CD's/blurays, and preferly just a little bit out of order, so they don't become just like a "massive wall". Then ad a thick carbet on the entire floor and your done.

Good luck.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post

Thanks all!

I am convinced that room treatment is the thing to do. Yawn ;-)

Still very curious how Revel's sound but will fix the room first.

Ron

They won't. Please see my signature, as Paul's quote is completely apropos here.

Craig

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Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-08-2009, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

They won't. Please see my signature, as Paul's quote is completely apropos here.

Craig

Hi Craig,

I understand and as said will get a thicker rug and there are some liveable acoustical treatments out there that I will order.

By wondering how Revel's sound I mean in general - I've heard all the others. There is no normal dealer in Seattle & the custom install shops Revel's web site says sell them don't answer there phone.

Ron
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-09-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs View Post

Hi Craig,

I understand and as said will get a thicker rug and there are some liveable acoustical treatments out there that I will order.

By wondering how Revel's sound I mean in general - I've heard all the others. There is no normal dealer in Seattle & the custom install shops Revel's web site says sell them don't answer there phone.

Ron

I agree that fixing the room is the best idea from an acoustical standpoint, if not necessarily from a visual standpoint. However to do a really good job requires a lot of square feet of deep treatment if the room is really very live. Rule of thumb is that the area of 90% absorptive treatment should be at least equal to the floor area. If the treatment is less efficient, more square feet are required for the same amount of benefit. More is better..

My suggestion as a professional acoustical consultant is to treat as much of the room as feasible but if it remains too live, consider using highly directional speakers such as Magnepans, large electrostatics, etc. Since the major problem in a highly reverberant environment is likely to be a low direct to reverberant ratio, highly directive speakers can help almost as much as absorptive surface treatments. I once designed a system for a client that wanted it in a very hard atrium in his architect designed house. We used large Magnepans and the sound was truly magnificent despite the lack of treatment.

If the room is really live, no low directivity speaker, including most B&W's and Revels, are likely to sound very good. This from a critical listener with all B&W 800 series speakers (in a highly treated room).

BTW, a thicker carpet is unlikely to make much difference - it is still too thin. If you go that route, and there is at least some benefit to it, make sure the backing is not sealed and can breathe, and put it on a thick horsehair underlayment. But again, the carpet absorption is probably less than 20%, even if fairly thick, so it does not do much.
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-09-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tucker!

An area rug (bigger and thicker than my current one) and some strategically placed acoustial panels plus my giant fabric couch is going to be my "solution." I do want my stereo to sound good but this is my living area in a 1 BR apartment so am not going to go too nuts.

For the record, it doesn't sound BAD currently, I just know it can sound better and I appreciate everyones advice.

It looks like you've given me an excuse to save up for those Martin Logan's I've been craving...

Ron
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