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Room Treatment or New Speakers?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

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. 

post #2 of 12

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.

post #3 of 12
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.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

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.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

To me, the image lacks focus and the speakers are quite a bit too bright. There's also a dip in the bass response around 50-60hz. I should be able to get measurements up in the morning.

post #6 of 12
Any decent speaker is going to measure +/- 3dB across most its frequency range.

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.
post #7 of 12
It sounds like the OP is not designing and building a dedicated HT room. It would be good to know what distance the LP is from the speakers, is it a reverberant/reflective room, does he have Auddysee, MCACC or something similar, distance the speakers are from the wall and the height of the speakers. He has not given enough info to answer the question new speakers or room treatments. Many rooms can sound good without absorbers and diffuser with the right furnishings and room corrections.

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.
Edited by derrickdj1 - 10/22/13 at 9:22pm
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

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. 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

This is what the frequency response looks like.

post #10 of 12
It sounds like you have a nearfield setup.Angle the speakers slightly out of the equilateral triangle. This will prevent the horns directivity straight to your ears. Also, a system that close to you will sound better at lower volumes, and should provide great clarity. If you do not have a parametric EQ, focus on the setup. Lowering the HF above 2 kHz may decrease the brightness/harshness. Also, if you avr allows you to change the time domain that Auddysee is using to calculate your seting may help. This one sounds funny but, I have heard some people have place a light cloth over the horn. If you are sitting on a back wall, move out 2-3 ft since sitting on a wall may make the bass heavier and less defined.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by notaghost47 View Post

To me, the image lacks focus and the speakers are quite a bit too bright. There's also a dip in the bass response around 50-60hz. I should be able to get measurements up in the morning.

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.

Goodluck,
Edited by NAIM101 - 10/22/13 at 11:47pm
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by notaghost47 View Post



This is what the frequency response looks like.
Do that again, smoothed to 1/6 octave, which represents what you can actually hear, otherwise you'll go bonkers trying to figure out what corrections are actually required.
Quote:
Without the listening position being in the spot that it's in, there's a 15dB null in the midbass.
Nulls are caused by the distance relationships between the speakers, the walls, floor and ceiling, and the LP. They can be reduced with room treatment, depending on the frequency where they occur, but correct placement of both the speakers and the LP is the first requirement for a good result.
Quote:
Tube amps would also tame the brightness of speakers.
Only in the minds of those who think that they will, not in reality.
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