Originally Posted by J_P_A
BTW, I'd love to see your HT reading list! You've been bringing the heavy acoustic theory here lately. I'd like to catch up
Here's a long-overdue response to J_P_A.
First, thanks for the compliment. Though as you and I have discussed, often what passes for informed internet conversation is just wild speculation by someone only partially informed - at least that is how I often feel about my own posts.
I wish I had a specific list of great resources. I only have a few, and there not necessarily great or unique - my general approach has been to read everything that comes up. I spend a lot of time chasing weird stuff. Generally, if I'm interested in theory and best practices, there are two websites that come to mind - the what's best forum
, and gearslutz
. The what's best forum is great as a resource because you hear directly from industry professionals, and often there are meaningful exchanges among trustworthy sources, so you can really get a feel for what the strengths and weaknesses of a particular idea or technology are. I actually haven't been following ongoing threads there, but I get the feeling that as a community forum, it's a little slow, and may not be long-lived. On the other hand, gearslutz is populated by DIYers, so the conversation are generally more practical (less theoretical) and generally well-documented. The caveats with gearslutz include the sometimes novice posters (both a blessing and curse, as you may have to wade through meaningless misunderstanding, but you may see our own misunderstanding corrected) and the stated bias toward mixing facilities instead of casual listening or home theater.
Of course, the print resources are nice as well. I haven't read more than what are probably recognized as the two most oft-cited around here. Floyd Toole's Sound Reproduction
, and Cox and D'Antonio's Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusers
. I borrowed these two books, one at a time, from local university libraries - thankfully, I have a close friend who is a university librarian and able to work out the inter-library loans for me. I read both of them cover to cover, except for the math that was not comprehensible to me and seemed irrelevant anyway, in many cases. Toole's book is very readable. It's the best starting point for a novice, IMO. It's complete in its approach, very practical, and well documented. If I had time and easy access to original research, the footnotes would lead to years of great reading. Cox and D'Antonio's book is thorough and important, but less practical. The text is described as practical, in that it refers to real applications and not just mathematical theory, but it has very little direct implications for small room acoustics. If you can wade through the calculus (there is a lot - and I still can't tell you what a wave number is!), you can develop a working understanding of the principles and a good feeling for when and how they might be applied to small spaces - though I usually go to gearslutz to see what a successful implementation looks like.
Other resources include a few blogs and webforums, like (in no particular order) redspadeaudio
, the articles Earl Geddes has written and published to his website
, and the forums at diysoundgroup.com
(see especially Bill Waslo's article about setting up controlled directivity speakers in the articles section). Of course there is also the white paper
that Nyal Mellor and Jeff Hedback wrote recently - it is thoughtful and provides a lot of reading and opportunities for more searching. I've been reading more and more about loudspeaker design in the last few weeks. I'm coming around to the idea that thorough understanding of the way speakers make sound will let me see more clearly the way that sound will interact with me and my room. I'll be able to make better decisions about placement and selection once I've read more. Along those lines, I think I'm going to try to get a friend of mine to build me some speakers instead of buying them commercially - probably a SEOS design from diysoundgroup.
I expect that most of this is stuff you have seen already, which is one reason I didn't respond to this earlier, but maybe I'm wrong and this is new and useful to you. Hopefully it's useful to others as well.