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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been over 6 months of hard work transforming my room into a Rives design. Sorry, no pics yet - my profile contains pics of my previous room only. I've attached the concept design in case you're interested.


Why did I make the change?

-Room was too dead

-Soundstage not large enough/believable

-Getting a different response from the L &R mains - slightly irregular room shape

-Ceiling interference - poor impulse response

-Bottom line: I just wasn't getting the full musical experience I was longing for


Did the changes work?

In a word, yes! I'm very happy with the result so far and there is still a bit of tweaking to be done with Rives help. On every level this room performs above the previous one. I now feel much closer to the performance, it is now much more musical. I now enjoy 2 channel like I've been enjoying DVD concerts. In fact, on good recordings, I'd swear the rear channels are on. This kind of immersion is exactly what I was hoping for.


More specifically, the soundstage is MUCH larger and more convincing. The highs are all there but it's not bright. There is so much more air and ambiance now that was missing previously. It's as though I raised my ceiling by several feet. The low end is extremely tight and powerful. Imaging is much more precise. Overall, the experience of listening to 2 channel is far more musical and enjoyable.


On this board, we've talked a lot about the importance of getting quality advice and measuring. First of all, Rives is top notch, they really know what they are doing. Second, I've taken some before and after measurements that I would like to share. Of note though, I do expect even better measurements in the coming days/weeks with Richard's further input and some more trial and error work. I will attach the measurements in posts below.


Last note: I've always believed that the room is the most important component in your high end 2 channel system and based upon this experience, my belief has only grown stronger.


As a side note, I recently moved my center speaker from below the screen to above the screen and it really made a positive difference. For those that have not tried this, I would encourage you to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have compartives for a few of the measurements using the full response through ETF. I don't have one comparing the low frequency response specifically. New room is the top result.


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Once again, new room appears on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles
is your gallery the after-shots?
No, the gallery are the before shots. I will try and get some shots up of the new room very soon. I have some quick shots with a cheap camera - attached some of these


FYI, some noted differences between the two rooms:


-turned bay window shaped space in the rear quarter of the room into a closet so that the room is perfectly rectangular


-bulk head running through the center of the room has been angled at 15 degrees towards the back of the room - so first reflections are directed above listener head to the rear of the room


-Removed drywall from the ceiling at the front of the room to expose joists. Put vertical slats in between all joists and some 1 inch absorption inside each cavity - see pic


-put 8 sklines at the back of the room.


-front wall now has 4' curved wall in the center and 4' of RPG QRD diffusion to the right and left of it - see pic


-rear wall has 10 feet of RPG QRD difussion


-Wall to wall carpet replaced with an area rug over slate


-RPG ARC BAD panels added to the side walls


-Projector no longer on the ceiling, its built into the rear wall
 

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Hi Thunder, I'm glad your room is turning out good for you. I have a couple of questions about it. What are your room dimensions? And are the brown rectangles towards the front of the drawing the slats inbetween your ceiling joists?
 

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Thunder: The diferences you are hearing in your room are identical to what happend in my room after the "Rives treatment" (which also took 6 months). I am using four of the 2 x 4 QRD's. Yours look differenct like they are 1 x 4 and offset from one another. Is that correct?
 

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Thunder:

I have also considered Rives for my room...but I think I can do better on my own and save a lot of money. I would not be happy with the frequency response you got post treatment. Did Rives ever 'guarantee' a minimum standard of preformance for frequency response? And if you do not mind, could you also share with us how much they charged you for the project?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by adyc
Looking at the frequency response, there seems a large peak around 90Hz. Can you hear it?
It is something that I want to work on with Rives. I don't seem to notice it much though, just a bit with certain music but it's not really objectionable because reverberation times at that frequency are reasonable. I will strive to flatten the response as much as possible without compromising imaging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutgar
Hi Thunder, I'm glad your room is turning out good for you. I have a couple of questions about it. What are your room dimensions? And are the brown rectangles towards the front of the drawing the slats inbetween your ceiling joists?
Hi Rutgar, room dimensions are 88" high x 16' wide x 21.5' long. The brown rectangles were not implemented - they are pieces of wood hung from the ceiling on an angle with absorption on the back side of them. I put the slats in between the joists instead because it effectively raised my ceiling about 6" and according to Rives, would be effective difussion down to 250hz (versus about 500hz with the other method).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy
Thunder: The diferences you are hearing in your room are identical to what happend in my room after the "Rives treatment" (which also took 6 months). I am using four of the 2 x 4 QRD's. Yours look differenct like they are 1 x 4 and offset from one another. Is that correct?
So I'm not hearing things then :)


The QRD's are 2' wide by 7' tall and are 9 inches deep. You are correct about the offset. Each of the unit's on the outside are offset about 7" from the two next to the 4' curved wall in the center of the room. This offset served two purposes:


1. Allowed me to cover a pipe on one side

2. I like the look of it better - more interesting to my eye


Glad you alos had success with your Rives room. Did you do the work yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by shumi_9
Thunder:

I have also considered Rives for my room...but I think I can do better on my own and save a lot of money. I would not be happy with the frequency response you got post treatment. Did Rives ever 'guarantee' a minimum standard of preformance for frequency response? And if you do not mind, could you also share with us how much they charged you for the project?
A few things to keep in mind about the measurements.

- they are helpful but never tell the full story - the differences in the measurements don't reflect what I'm hearing. The room is at an entirely different level now

- I haven't reviewed any of the measurement results with Richard from Rives because he's away on vacation until Monday. I'm sure with his input, I'll find ways of getting an even better frequency response

-room dimmensions and construction play an important role in the final outcome. Rives did not have any input into the room dimensions or construction materials of my room. So they are working an existing room as opposed to working on one from scratch. If you give them a clean slate like Mike L did, they can work magic for you


Is it worth the investment? Absolutely! It's the best money I have spent on my set up. They have 3 differnt pricing levels depending on how involved you want them. I would suggest you review their web site and 6 moons interview to get a sense for what value they bring. Also give them a call and discuss your situation - it's free to do so.
 

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I'm just starting a Level 2 with Rives. I currently have a dedicated theater room which I also listen to 2 channel in. Richard is going to design something where i can enjoy both. I cant wait to get this done.
 

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FYI:


There is an interview with Richard "Rives" Bird in this month's Sterophile magazine (August 2005).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shumi_9
Thunder:

I would not be happy with the frequency response you got post treatment. Did Rives ever 'guarantee' a minimum standard of preformance for frequency response?


Frequency response is critical but since I used digital room correction before the changes (my room was plus or minus 1db down to 17Hz), that wasn't the change I was looking for. My room was just way too dead and the differences I now hear have zip to do with frequency response. There is an aliveness and naturalness to the music that just did not exist before and the soundstage is MUCH bigger now (and it was huge before). None of these has anything to do with FR.


As it turns out, my room (without using digital room correction ) is much flatter now that before the changes.


And while I have no doubt that you can make some improvements without help, Rives brings his considerable analytical and mathematical abilities to the table and his partner's 30 years of experience as well. I think their base Level II plan is about $2000 and it is the best $2000 I ever spent on my audio system (not counting the 75 bazillions dollars it cost to implement !! :rolleyes: )
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy
And while I have no doubt that you can make some improvements without help, Rives brings his considerable analytical and mathematical abilities to the table and his partner's 30 years of experience as well. I think their base Level II plan is about $2000 and it is the best $2000 I ever spent on my audio system (not counting the 75 bazillions dollars it cost to implement !! :rolleyes: )
Yes, Rive's cost is a "drop in the ocean" compared to the cost of commercial acoustical treatments. So it's really a good idea to know exactly which treatments you need, before you buy. Otherwise you could spend a small fortune buying these things, and going totally in the wrong direction.


Audioguy, when you were doing your measuring, do you disable all of your room correction, so that you're measuring the actual response in the room? I'm thinking that any room correction or parametric eq would skew the results of measurments for acoustical treatment purposes by hiding room anomolies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy
Frequency response is critical but since I used digital room correction before the changes (my room was plus or minus 1db down to 17Hz), that wasn't the change I was looking for. My room was just way too dead and the differences I now hear have zip to do with frequency response. There is an aliveness and naturalness to the music that just did not exist before and the soundstage is MUCH bigger now (and it was huge before). None of these has anything to do with FR.


As it turns out, my room (without using digital room correction ) is much flatter now that before the changes.


And while I have no doubt that you can make some improvements without help, Rives brings his considerable analytical and mathematical abilities to the table and his partner's 30 years of experience as well. I think their base Level II plan is about $2000 and it is the best $2000 I ever spent on my audio system (not counting the 75 bazillions dollars it cost to implement !! :rolleyes: )
Well said, agree completely.
 

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Rutgar said:
Audioguy, when you were doing your measuring, do you disable all of your room correction, so that you're measuring the actual response in the room? /QUOTE]


Yes. In fact when I posted my comments about my new room a month or so ago, I posted graphs of the room response before and after Rives (impulse response measured with a 50 millisecond window) and the room correction was not in place (but I did use the room correction software to measure the room)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon P
I'm just starting a Level 2 with Rives. I currently have a dedicated theater room which I also listen to 2 channel in. Richard is going to design something where i can enjoy both. I cant wait to get this done.
Excellent. In my case, I told Rives to place the highest priority on 2 channel but that the room must also work very well for movies/DVD concerts. When I probed the question of trade off between the two purposes, he said that there is not huge differences. Smaller differences trace to reverberation times and distribution of both diffusion and absorption - HT has to be more uniform and shorter RT. This does not mean an HT room needs to be overly dead, just slightly more controlled than a pure music room.


All the best with your project.
 
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