Speakers or room treatments? What is more important for good/audiophille sound? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all.

As a few threads here are being discussed about room treatments vs. Speakers lately on other threads, I thought I'd ask the knowledgeable senior members here what they thought were more important. The speakers or rooom treatments? In other words, should you be spending more on your room treatments than the speakers you have? Or vice versa?

In my personal experience, spending on room treatment gave me more satisfaction to sound. It seems like no matter how capable the speakers are of putting out good sound, if the speakers are not set-up properly and the room is not treated, it really just sounded like sh!t.

Simply put, what do you consider more important to sound? Good/better performing speakers or proper room treatment?
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 07:43 PM
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define audiophille sound.

room treatments are pretty much the best thing one can do if they are interested in achieving the best sound possible in a given space. adding good eq on top of treatments is the icing on the cake.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 07:48 PM
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Yeah, I'm game. A bad space can make any speaker sound awful - but on the other hand, the perfect room does not turn a BOSE into a Watt Puppy.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems like both of your saying they are both equally important. But if you had to pick one, what would you spend more of money on?

If you had $2,000, would you spend it on buying new speakers or getting room treatment?

From my personal experience, when the placement of speakers and the room are not properly set-up, all soundstaging/imaging/bass suffer.Even brightness/harshness can be controlled by proper set-up of room.biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post

It seems like both of your saying they are both equally important. But if you had to pick one, what would you spend more of money on?

If you had $2,000, would you spend it on buying new speakers or getting room treatment?

From my personal experience, when the placement of speakers and the room are not properly set-up, all soundstaging/imaging/bass suffer.Even brightness/harshness can be controlled by proper set-up of room.biggrin.gif

I guess some of this would depend on what kind of speakers your starting with. Why couldn't one split the budget as well. 50/50
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-22-2013, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post

It seems like both of your saying they are both equally important. But if you had to pick one, what would you spend more of money on?

If you had $2,000, would you spend it on buying new speakers or getting room treatment?
Whichever was worse.

If I currently had a $1000 set of speakers in a tile bathroom: room treatments.
If I was currently running Logitec computer speakers in my family room: treatments.

That said: You can get a room "pretty darn good" for a fraction of $2k. Curtains, rugs, couches, careful placement, bass traps and defractors at first-reflection go a long, long way.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-23-2013, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Yeah, I'm game. A bad space can make any speaker sound awful - but on the other hand, the perfect room does not turn a BOSE into a Watt Puppy.

But a bad room can turn a Watt Puppy into something that sounds worse than one of the better Bose. ;-)

Most rooms seem to be pretty bad and can therefore benefit strongly from good deployment of room treatments.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-23-2013, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post

It seems like both of your saying they are both equally important. But if you had to pick one, what would you spend more of money on?

If you had $2,000, would you spend it on buying new speakers or getting room treatment?

Bad question because it depends on the room.

If the room is seriously suboptimal then fixing the room is obviously the way to go. The room probably needs help.
Quote:
From my personal experience, when the placement of speakers and the room are not properly set-up, all soundstaging/imaging/bass suffer.Even brightness/harshness can be controlled by proper set-up of room.biggrin.gif

None of that should be news to anybody but a newbie.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-23-2013, 06:07 AM
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Upgrade the speakers first, then room treatments. You can build DIY absorbing panels for very cheap that are just as effective, if not more so, then buying pre-made panels. I can not understand why so many people buy those expensive absorbing panels. Go with a double layer of 2" OC703 for a total of 4" thickness, spaces 4" off the wall. Those are the best!
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-24-2013, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Upgrade the speakers first, then room treatments. You can build DIY absorbing panels for very cheap that are just as effective, if not more so, then buying pre-made panels. I can not understand why so many people buy those expensive absorbing panels. Go with a double layer of 2" OC703 for a total of 4" thickness, spaces 4" off the wall. Those are the best!

Agreed. I would spend my budget on speakers and then go to a hardware store and spend a couple of hundred dollars on acoustic insulation batts and some chicken wire and some fabric and make my own.

Plus putting the speakers and LP in the right places in the room doesn't cost anything either.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-24-2013, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Bad question because it depends on the room.
+1. Any speaker will sound no better than the room that it's used in.
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Quote:
If the room is seriously suboptimal then fixing the room is obviously the way to go. The room probably needs help.
None of that should be news to anybody but a newbie.
+1.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-25-2013, 10:29 AM
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Optimizing the speaker and listener positions is free. Although the spouse typically gets a vote. This is important since speakers truly disappear into the sound stage only when they are pulled out from the front wall.
My Course and Fine speaker/listener setup tips ...

Another free experiment for room treatment: Pull your L/R speakers forward so that their baffles are at least four feet off the front wall. Notice the deeper sound stage? Next take a big thick comforter and throw it over the flat screen. Listen with and without the comforter. Notice the better defined and focused sound between the speakers when it is there?

The drawback is this experiment really degrades the video quality. (trombone: womp womp)

This will make you a believer in room treatment, and that it can be done with a modest budget. You can treat the sidewall first reflections next. Four 2'W x 4'H panels will do nicely.

My point is that some simple positioning and room treatment will make any speaker sound better. In fact, it will become a prerequisite for judging speakers from that moment on. For example, until you can tame the front wall reflections, don't try to judge a speaker's resolution. Until you have overall room treatment in place, don't be so quick to conclude the treble is too hot. And so forth.

Bamberg Audio | Speakers for LifeT M
www.BambergAudio.com

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