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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Sorry for the novel below. I wanted to cover as much ground as possible.

 

I live in a brownstone (row house, long and skinny) with my system set up facing across the short side, next to the bay windows at the front of the house. I have a 42” lcd on a 60” long wooden media stand/buffet that’s I think 19” high (chosen for design reasons, sigh), with my current bookshelf Revel M106s on stands to either side, toed in a bit. The rear port of the left speakers is pointed basically right into the corner, maybe 2’ to the back wall and 1’ to an angled part of the wall that connects to the windows. The right speaker is about 2’ in front of a flat wall that extends probably 15’ into the open room. I have Focal little birds on the back wall to either side of the couch, which is against the wall, and a Revel B112 sub to the left of the couch. The wall behind the couch is painted concrete, the front wall is thick drywall and the floor is hardwood. There’s about 6’ from the front of the couch to the plane of the front speakers and 8’ from each speaker to the center of the front of the couch.

 

I’d say the system use is 75% tv/movies and 25% music, with my musical tastes leaning toward rock/metal.

 

Between the corner placement, windows, reflective walls, wood flooring, giant media cabinet, couch placement and the tv, I have basically the worst possible acoustic situation. I proposed moving the couch and/or the system and was given “The Look” and “The Foot Tap” so that’s out. HGTV convinced my better half that we needed a redecorator, who suggested I either get Sonos speakers or at the very least push my speakers back against the wall so they’re actually behind the tv (“it just looks so much cleaner!”). Seriously? I snuffed that idea but this is what I’m dealing with.

 

The corner placement of the left speaker creates a significantly boosted response around 80hz, and Audyssey pings echo off the walls. The sub response varies significantly depending on listening location. What sounds balanced when sitting on the couch sounds pretty bad when standing across the room.

 

Should I even bother trying to get good sound? I feel like perhaps it’s not meant to be until we move to a friendlier space.

 

I’ve experimented with the port plugs and using them mostly fixes the corner bass issue but leaves the speakers sounding thin and flat. From what I can tell a decent amount of sound is projected backwards from the ports and think both left and right are suffering from having those waves blocked by the media cabinet and the tv. I’m thinking a front-ported bookshelf like the B&W PM1 might be the play here, not to mention their high wife/designer appeal. Most of our listening is at low volume and I feel that would complement the PM1.

 

In my fantasy world I have giant floorstanders but in reality I think Dynaudio X34s are the largest that might work for my situation. I briefly had Spendor S8es but they dominated the room visually and the bass from that left corner was out of control. Years ago I had PSB Bronze floorstanders and absolutely loved the coherent full-range sound, and bookshelfs just can't provide that experience. Given my space and placement limitations, is getting even a small floorstander a terrible idea?

 

I’ve been looking around and to my surprise can get the X34 (new) for $100 more than the PM1 (demo), both significantly less than retail.

 

Quite the wall of text here so thank you if you’ve made it this far. Electronics is a whole nother can of worms but for simplicity lets assume ideal amplification for whatever speakers I end up with.

 

What would you do? I'm open to just about anything besides internet-only brands.
 

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Can you post a picture of the room? It is hard to imagine the space from your description.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·



 

This is the general idea. Left side is bay windows, room is open to the right. Couch at bottom, media center at top. I'll try to post a real picture after work tonight.
 

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I would first consider some room treatments, but phrase it as redecorating. A nice area rug would help with the wood floors, and if you don't already have drapes on the bay window, that would also help. You probably won't get away with proper room treatments from a company like Gik Acoustics, but you never know. Entertain those ideas and see how it changes things.


A front port would probably be more ideal, you may want to also look for something with a ribbon tweeter as it will have a smaller vertical dispersion compared to a dome tweeter.
 
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