Realizing the room could be the weak link....... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-29-2013, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
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in my years of installing audio and building my own systems, one of the biggest eye openers was the realizaion that the room was the biggest obsticle. once acoustic treatments were employed and measurement gear was used, and the rooms problems were no longer an obsticle i could then hear the difference between equipment upgrades...

the room could possibly be holding back your systems potential, and robbing you of the benefits of upgrading. Nothing worse than seeing pics of fantastic equipment in untreated rooms.

its mostly absorbers and diffusers and some DSP........ The room could be the weak.......
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-29-2013, 11:08 AM
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Testify brother. The room is always the weakest link! Loudspeakers are never perfectly flat, but an untreated room has dozens of peaks and nulls spanning 30 dB or even more. Further, reflections from the walls, floor, and ceiling arrive a few milliseconds after the direct sound from the speakers, further clouding the sound. It amazes me when I see people spend many thousands of dollars on "gear" while ignoring the effects of their room.
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once acoustic treatments were employed ... i could then hear the difference between equipment upgrades.

It works just as well the other way too. Once the room is no longer clouding the sound, you can more easily tell when an "upgrade" has made no difference at all. biggrin.gif

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-29-2013, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

Nothing worse than seeing pics of fantastic equipment in untreated rooms...

I would say there is one thing worse that I see quite often... fantastic speakers badly placed in a room!

I have lost count of the amount of times someone posts a pic of some nice quality speakers and one of them is jammed in the corner and the other one is in free space virtually in the middle of the wall length. No acoustic symmetry whatsoever. They may of well brought two different speakers instead of buying a pair of speakers. They aren't going to sound the same.

Acoustic treatments and room correction DSPs aren't going to undo all of the damage from bad room placement. You have just created a huge compromise for those other steps to fix.

I believe someone should first optimise room placement as best they can for a start.

Then think about acoustic treatments.

Then maybe use room correction DSP as the final step. If the two first steps have been done well then very little or no room correction DSP would be needed. The trouble is quite often a lot of people say "my wife won't let me move the speakers or put up acoustic treatments" so they rely heavily on room correction DSP instead.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-30-2013, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I would say there is one thing worse that I see quite often... fantastic speakers badly placed in a room!

I have lost count of the amount of times someone posts a pic of some nice quality speakers and one of them is jammed in the corner and the other one is in free space virtually in the middle of the wall length. No acoustic symmetry whatsoever. They may of well brought two different speakers instead of buying a pair of speakers. They aren't going to sound the same.

Acoustic treatments and room correction DSPs aren't going to undo all of the damage from bad room placement. You have just created a huge compromise for those other steps to fix.

I believe someone should first optimise room placement as best they can for a start.

Then think about acoustic treatments.

Then maybe use room correction DSP as the final step. If the two first steps have been done well then very little or no room correction DSP would be needed. The trouble is quite often a lot of people say "my wife won't let me move the speakers or put up acoustic treatments" so they rely heavily on room correction DSP instead.

I have this problem (the wife factor). Fortunately at the moment, the shape of the room my system is placed in allows me to place the speakers evenly across the back wall. I measured and each speaker is the same distance from its respective wall/corner and form an equidistant triangle between themselves and the central listening position on my couch. Very lucky indeed. This has never been the case before and when we move, I don't know if I'll be able to swing this again.

This is why I'm seriously considering building a dedicated listening room when I purchase a home in the next 2-3 years. Otherwise the legendary battles my wife and I are likely to have will shake the foundations.

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-30-2013, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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It works just as well the other way too. Once the room is no longer clouding the sound, you can more easily tell when an "upgrade" has made no difference at all.

Pure genious, no difference at all !!!!!!
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

I measured and each speaker is the same distance from its respective wall/corner and form an equidistant triangle between themselves and the central listening position on my couch. Very lucky indeed. This has never been the case before and when we move, I don't know if I'll be able to swing this again.

And would you say it has made a big difference acoustically by achieving more symmetry. Do you like your system a lot more now for it?
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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It will be interesting setting up a new room someday. With all i have learned over the years it should be interesting....

I have a friend with a vaulted ceiling in the living room. There is a spot where your voice sounds like its attached to a 70's Fuzzbox MXR effects box... The reverberated sound is unreal. I could quell it with some nice OC703 board and some diffusers... Its such a cool room once the reverb gets tamed.....

Kg
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite View Post

This is why I'm seriously considering building a dedicated listening room when I purchase a home in the next 2-3 years. Otherwise the legendary battles my wife and I are likely to have will shake the foundations.

DO IT! And plan for an infinite baffle sub in the process you'll never regret it!
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

in my years of installing audio and building my own systems, one of the biggest eye openers was the realizaion that the room was the biggest obsticle. once acoustic treatments were employed and measurement gear was used, and the rooms problems were no longer an obsticle i could then hear the difference between equipment upgrades...

the room could possibly be holding back your systems potential, and robbing you of the benefits of upgrading. Nothing worse than seeing pics of fantastic equipment in untreated rooms.

its mostly absorbers and diffusers and some DSP........ The room could be the weak.......

Welcome to the club.

More than anything, I am convinced that folks with high end gear and no room treatment are simply those that have no idea what a well treated room sounds like.

My Room
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Rega - Apollo, Rega - DAC, Goldpoint Passive, (2) Classe CA-100 bridged power amps (350w)
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jim19611961 View Post

Welcome to the club.

More than anything, I am convinced that folks with high end gear and no room treatment are simply those that have no idea what a well treated room sounds like.

Its amazing how linear most gear really is, and most of what they hear is skewed by the balance of the room
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kgveteran View Post

Its amazing how linear most gear really is, and most of what they hear is skewed by the balance of the room

The other thing missing conspicuously from most audiophile environments is measuring gear. Without such, what exactly is skewed is not readily apparent in many cases.

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post #12 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 10:32 AM
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I agree that the room is the number one problem. That is why I have been doing as much research as I can about both open baffle speakers and econowave/horned speakers that try to minimize the influence of the room on the speakers.

Seeing as how I am married to a woman who has a degree in design and does interior decorating, I dont think I will ever be able to get away with a much room treatments as I do not have, nor do I intend to have, a dedicated room.

Would it give me better results, undoubtedly it would...however, I am lazy and dont want to give myself another room to clean, haha.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #13 of 14 Old 04-02-2013, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jim19611961 View Post

The other thing missing conspicuously from most audiophile environments is measuring gear. Without such, what exactly is skewed is not readily apparent in many cases.

Yup, nothing is better than tweaking a system with a laptop, DSP, calibrated Mic !!!!!!!
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-20-2013, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

And would you say it has made a big difference acoustically by achieving more symmetry. Do you like your system a lot more now for it?

Yes, absolutely. The current room is leaps and bounds better than the two previous rooms that my system has been set up in. Now, I know not all of this is to do with the pleasing geometry of the setup...some of it has to do with room acoustics etc, but I feel the multi-channel separation and soundstage is a lot more pronounce in this room compared to the others and I believe this is due to the proper placement of the speakers.

Unfortunately, my surrounds are not placed exactly where I want them....I'm using a 5.1 configuration and the surrounds are about 2 feet too far forward of the listening position. I still get nice surround effects from them, but I think it would be better if they were placed right at the sides of my listening position. Unfortunately, a sliding glass door and a stairwell prevent this. I might get stands and unmount the surrounds from the wall in order to place them where I want. Then I could move them whenever someone needed to use the sliding glass door...smile.gif

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