A new SMT level 3 reference room

flyer

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Dec 16, 2012
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#1
Hi all,

I thought I'd share with you my new dedicated listening room which I completely refurbished to become an SMT demo and reference room.

Luister-Studio_06_25 september 2015.jpg

My old room had in the beginning a number of Schroeder panels in the front and then some absorbers on the sides. As time got by, the number of absorbers was increasing steadily until I realized I was in a never ending spiral of damping...

This was until I started to take classes in acoustics and in parallel to that I started looking for a fresh approach to treat my listening room. This way I got in touch with Matts Odemalm from SMT and after a couple of visits to reference rooms of his customers, I got sufficiently convinced of the effects of his philosophy to high-end acoustic treatment and we both started in a venture to get my listening room to become what it is today :)
In my new room I have to turn down the volume by about 8dB to hear even more dynamics, spaciousness and timbral accuracy than ever before.

I am now also starting as an agent for his products thereby giving acoustic advice to audiophiles looking at improving their musical enjoyment and dramatically increase the return on their equipment investment...

That is not all of it, because I am now also an auditioning centre for Tenor Audio whose product I proudly own.

So, I don't want this to become too much of a sales pitch but I did want to point out from the beginning that yes I do have financial interests in promoting this room but on the other hand I did accumulate (too) many years of trial and error and am happy to share why I ended up taking a wholly different route.
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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#2
Very nice! I think you should include your room size and the retail cost of a level 3 room for better context.

david
 

flyer

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#3
Very nice! I think you should include your room size and the retail cost of a level 3 room for better context.

david
My room is in the basement and has therefore a limited height of 2m45 (which is lowered by the diamond ceiling panels by 10 cms)

Surface is 22 m²: 4m20 wide and 5m40 long, that is without the treatment. The wings on the side are 18 cms and the flower wings are 25 cms deep so these visually reduce the room's surface but not acoustically since the wings allow the sound to go all the way to the wall backing up the wings ... and back.

On the front wall corners there are a number of Varitunes (V6 and V4) which are helmholtz resonators.

So this room is on the small side and therefore very difficult to treat to get it to the level of music reproduction as it is now. I will not say it is perfect but close...
 

flyer

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#4
Regarding the pricing information, this is very dependent on the acoustic parameters of the room but obviously, for such full treatment, we are talking about the cost of +30k .
This is of course a reference room so there are plenty of other intermediate solutions available since each module you see on this picture can be applied in a more modest setting.
SMT also supplies standalone wings of which any system benefits largely. Hereby such wing in a transparent acryl version: (beware, the wing on the picture was illuminated in a special way so its curves become visible)

View attachment 22416
20150925-Luister-Studio_10_25 september 2015 (4).jpg
 
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ddk

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May 19, 2013
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#5
Thanks for the info flyer.

david
 
Aug 26, 2012
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#6
Flyer , the room looks just oh so perfect . Is that an actual picture , or a coputerized 3D rendering ?

I too recently treated my room with products from SMT . The Bubble diffusers for the ceiling, Wing 95 for the side walls and a trio of Acrylic V Wing for the front wall . Extremely happy with the results , sonically and aesthetically . Bravo Matts !
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
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#8
Looks nice. Acoustics is a fascinating subject, and acoustic analysis and design is my favorite kind of work.

I'd be very interested in more about the SMT approach, what its pros and cons are, and pre and post measurements.

One question is how effective phase based (as opposed to amplitude based) diffusers are at small listener to diffuser distances.

Also the Helmholtz thing is something you don't see much of because I don't know if anyone except SMT have figured out a way to make adjustable devices.

I'd also like to see some more photos of the room if you have any.
 

Marcus

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Oct 5, 2012
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#9
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audioguy

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Apr 21, 2010
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#10
Can't say I've ever heard a room that was so heavily treated with diffussion and so lightly treated with absorption and bass trapping.

Given the relatively small room size and attendant bass problems in small rooms, I'm fascinated that bass can be appropriately controlled in such an environment. I would love to see some FR and decay plots below 150HZ.

It does look cool!
 

flyer

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Dec 16, 2012
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#11
Looks nice. Acoustics is a fascinating subject, and acoustic analysis and design is my favorite kind of work.

I'd be very interested in more about the SMT approach, what its pros and cons are, and pre and post measurements.

One question is how effective phase based (as opposed to amplitude based) diffusers are at small listener to diffuser distances.

Also the Helmholtz thing is something you don't see much of because I don't know if anyone except SMT have figured out a way to make adjustable devices.

I'd also like to see some more photos of the room if you have any.

Hi Nyal, I would love to be able to give you all the answers but I am not the inventor nor the technician/engineer behind these panels. I am afraid I therefore cannot give all of the answers you are looking for. You might find some of them through SMT’s website (www.diffusor.com) or on gearslutz (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11270180-post165.html) where a truckload of technical details are mentioned.

When looking for different options I based myself on my hearing during, as described, a kind of fact finding mission that brought me to Göteborg and Stockholm.
I know plenty what absorption and Schroeder panels can do (see a picture with a part of my old room hereunder) and tested endlessly with them, not days nor weeks or even months but years.:p
wk5k46.jpg

The only way for me to surmount the limitations of those panels that one can find in all different brands with different fabric and different types of absorption was to discover SMT’s philosophy. Matts explained me with technical books on acoustics wherein basics of his concept is explained but, though I did follow classes in the subject, I quickly got to the limit of my newly acquired knowledge.

The Helmholtz resonators work really well and, as you indicate, can effectively be tuned within a frequency range. For example the biggest varitune, called the V12, can easily be tuned down to 20 Hz. I am afraid I cannot show you how Matts construct those but Matts ‘published’ a youtube film on the tuning process of a V-4 (a smaller varitune aimed at mid-bass frequencies): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjdACNPLzzg

The HH sure helped to tame my huge longitudinal axial mode of 30 Hz where I had a peak of more than 15 dB. That peak is now very considerably lower, but of course you need a serious amount of volume to generate sufficient phase shifting to counter the peak wave, there are no miracles.
I haven’t finished fine-tuning (the numerous HH resonators that are built in the wall corners) the room yet so I am not yet able to publish the frequency response but hope to do so shortly but I was anxious to share the looks of my room and my listening impressions already at first hand :rolleyes:.
 
Aug 5, 2013
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Stockholm Sweden
#12
Wow, congratulation to a really nice looking room!I really like the frontwall with the flower-wings, all together. Then I noticed that you have the Tenor amplifiers, My favourite amplifiers. Are you going for the Tenor preamp too? I have heard it and its a killer! Really nice and I hope you are satisfied soundwise too. Take care, wingregards

Krelle
 

flyer

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#13
Hi Krelle, thanks for the nice words.

The Tenor Audio amps are effectively the finest I have ever heard. Are they the finest in the market? Well, I didn't test them all and even if I did, my ears and expectations are not necessarily the same as my neighbour's but like with my acoustics, I did the extra lengths to get, what is to me, the very best sound. They bested my Lamm 1.2 reference and Octave MRE220 easily in all respects.

I used to have a Zanden preamp but that didn't add anything to going from DAC direct but with my new room and equipment, it could be worthwhile to test that assumption again because the Tenor preamp is supposed to be a stellar product with a high WAF as a bonus ;)

Finally, being an audition centre for Tenor, you or anyone else is more than welcome to come and listen to them!
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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#15
I like the new look. I bet it sounds great too. I think I will build my next room with SMT stuff from scratch. Right now I only have the S-wings on the 1st reflection points - thay do work great.
 
Aug 26, 2012
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#16
I like the new look. I bet it sounds great too. I think I will build my next room with SMT stuff from scratch. Right now I only have the S-wings on the 1st reflection points - thay do work great.
From the pics you posted ... I think you have the Acrylic V-Wings and not the S . I could be mistaken ....
 

Elberoth

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#17
From the pics you posted ... I think you have the Acrylic V-Wings and not the S . I could be mistaken ....
You may be right. The V-wing may be the correct name.
 

flyer

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#20
Hi audioguy,

Sorry for taking so long to reply. Just overlooked your post, no other excuse, sorry! Anyway, the diffusion treatment with the wings is of course the novelty approach. You could say it overhauls the beliefs for the big majority (probably close to 100%) of audiophiles in absorption in all sizes and formats and finishes. But these absorbants all result in one thing: attenuating certain frequencies, causing the need to increase the volume a tiny bit to compensate for the loss in dynamics, next step is to attenuate the other frequencies that start to ennoy having stepped up the volume, and this wheel of logic may take many spins... When I overhauled my room, I had to reduce the volume by about 8 dB and got a very coherent frequency range on top!

It is of course not new, suffice to look at all the concert halls across the world that have heavy diffusion on the ceiling, the walls, the scene and often huge helmholtz resonators built into the plan but that the eye can't see.

Will gladly share the FR and decay when all is set and tuned.