I'm a newbie here, but I guess I'll give it a shot. I'm having trouble deciding between treating my listening space or going for a new LCR setup. I'm currently using Klipsch RB-81's as my mains, no center and Cambridge Soundworks satellites as surrounds. The room is 12x11x8, so not hard to work with by any means. If I were going to replace the mains, I was thinking about Arx A1b's for now, and eventually getting the A5's and using the A1b's as surrounds.
The room dimensions are OK but how is it constructed and how is it furnished? Even better would be some measurements to see how good (or bad) it is.
First, what is the problem. Are the speakers not loud enough, harsh, poor imaging, lack bass, ect? The room treatment thing can be overblow and should be at the end of the audio chain IMHO, Room selection, good gear, proper setup are all before EQ and room treatments.
Actually, room design/treatment should be first since it is difficult to assess any of the rest in a poor environment.
Most rooms are going to be +/- 20dB or greater if not treated correctly. By far the first and most important area to address, and something an EQ can not fix.
Some common things to start with is a equilateral triangle for the LP and speakers, tweeter at ear level. I own Klipsch and brightness is usually a problem with setup and tweaking the system. I have a carpeted highly dampen room and a reflective room that both sound great with proper setup and the use of MCACC. Also, if the harness is coming at higher volumes, he may not have enough power.
I'm only sitting about 6 feet from the speakers, and they're just under 6 feet apart. One speaker is closer to the side wall than the other, but this is due to bass response. Without the listening position being in the spot that it's in, there's a 15dB null in the midbass. I''m using Audyssey MultEQ, which does improve the bass by a lot, but makes the speakers very harsh and forward. The problem is that without Audyssey, the mids sound muddy and unintelligible. The room isn't horrible with echo, but could use some sort of treatment. I wasn't sure whether it would be better to get a less forward speaker to get around the brightness problem or to treat the room and hope for the best.
In this case, room treatment would come first. Imaging and soundstaging depends on speaker placement and a dampened room. Brightness of speakers would also be cured by proper room treatment as well. Just dampen the room, it sounds like its too live. Tube amps would also tame the brightness of speakers.
The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.