Small room issues vs large room w/ issues - my dilemma

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
Hello there, first post. Here's my first world problem of the day :p

So with a lot research into soundproofing and understand resonance and modes and referencing especially this post here here's where I've arrived and now need some advice from people with experience.

This is my first hi-system. Actually compared to broken car audio, cheap ear buds, cellphone speakers, and google homes I'd say this was a colossal upgrade to where I'm at now. But now I'm into it I can see how the "hobby/lifestyle/awakening" really can make you rebuild rooms and drain bank accounts :).

So my Cambridge AXA35 and ELAC Debut 2.0 6.2 sitting on Atacama Moseco 7's with 25' of 12 gauge wire and Sewell deadbolts going under the room, under the floor and between the joists and acoustic ceiling tiles in the basement from the audiorack/vinyl storage rack. (note: Turntable not seen in the pictures but it's my next (last for now) piece of gear I need to complete my system. Then it will be focusing on acoustic treatment I'd imagine... I digress. The room it's in right now is a 17 1/2 foot by 12 foot room with 8 ceilings. (8 1/2? whatever). Popcorn ceiling, electric fireplace with faux chimney chase above it (uninsulated). I rebuilt the room (sans new flooring o_O)12-13 months ago before I had an inkling of an idea I wanted to get into hifi audio.

My other living room has been under construction for coming up on 3 years now as it needed a gut back to the studs to solve a draft issue and rotting wall, etc. It is 23 1/2 foot by 11 3/4 foot with 10 foot ceilings. Again no considerations to make it into a listening room prior to constructing it (such as the tray ceiling).

Both rooms have big issues here's what I know

Smaller (current room):
- orientation of the room and how my wife wants it laid out do not permit me to have the stereo pointed down the long axis of the room
- 8 foot ceiling
- 2 big windows in corner of the room to the side of the and the side and back of the left speaker
- corner closer to the righter speaker than the left, or rather - asymmetrical
- electric fireplace/chimney chase right between speakers
- opening to the hallway of the right speaker, including mirror'd hallway closet

Bigger (potential room):
- tray ceiling - these are going to stay... I 've heard barrel vaulted ceilings can be a pain but would the trays have much negative impact? Regardless if the stereo is going in there or not I will be shoving insulation in the hollow of the tray to reduce eternal echo in them lol
- a wood-burning fireplace is going to be going at the end of the room (with the 2 skinny windows)
- only 11 3/4 wide for being so much longer
- patio door on the other side
- giant opening to the kitchen

In any case it seems both these rooms were not intended for hi-fi audio. That being said the bigger room I COULD throw a second layer with green glue of 5/8 drywall (there is current the one layer of 1/2") on the 2 long walls. I was going to say I can't throw it on the short walls because of the windows/doors only being wide enough for a 2x4 wall.. but then just now thought, I could get thicker trim or like laminate some trim and and have a carpenter plane/glue them so the trim is thinner on the drywall and thicker by the door... that would work too I guess! I love when those "eureka!" moments come.

So... okay yeah I could double up on the drywall which would reduce mode resonance right?

I give zero hoots about soundproofing. I live in a small village with little ambient noise other than aggressive wind and some birds maybe. No noisy diesel trucks, no trains, no jake brakes (RARELY), no industry... basically no economy working HAHA. I also don't care if you can hear my stereo from outside the house (which isn't as loud of my drums or guitar amps anyways) or from anywhere within the house, I was thinking of redoing my wife's small "Hide from the kids/craft room" and soundproofing it super good. That way she has a place to go hide in and not be so disturbed from the stereo and my awful choice of music.

So that bigger room use to be a motorcycle garage on, it doesn't share a subfloor with the house and has a concrete-floor crawlspace underneath it. 5/8 ply for subfloor. My original plan was to put 3/4" nailed hardwood down on it. Fireplace DOES has to go in. I have no other back-up heat source and we love the ambience of a real wood fireplace.

So some compromises too I guess. HOW the heck do I orientate the stereo in that room if I were to choose to put it in that room? it's not even 12 full feet wide... I love the 10 foot ceilings and I love its so long.

Of course I'm already looking at speaker upgrades. The KLH Model 5 stand out to me. My wife won't have a cow at me for putting a bunch of acoustic treatment in that room, she'd be livid if I put bass traps and diffusers/absorption panels in "her" living room. But she understands that I told her I might still do it if the idea with the other living room doesn't pan out. I might have to put her a cruise or something as a thank you.

Anyways here's some pics. I don't know what to do with the entrance the room... what about a draw-across curtain system thing... does Macrame do anything to diffuse sound? That'd look super hippy and my wife would love it (or some other draw-across hippy looking alternative to "temporarily" drawing something across that opening. It's mostly behind where I'd be sitting.

Could I do something similar in front of the patio door as well as sound absorption panels and some diffuser along the wall - or at least the side of the speakers. Do I need to worry about anything behind the sitting position? Thats another advantage of going this route with the bigger room is the sitting position wouldn't be against a wall. I wouldnt have to do such near-field listening. Which can be good and bad?

Would adding more drywall on walls/ceiling with green glue be good for reducing resonance (lowering it?) I don't care about soundproofing it. But I do want to stiffen it up right?

Hardwood with rugs good right? Nail down, I don't even know what floating is... I'm not doing laminated hardwood.

Anyways from writing this I think I've convinced myself the other room is better than the current room except for the 11 3/4" wide problem. One last advantage is I can more fun lighting, as I haven't installed lighting in the room yet and can do some fun things there. Also my audiorack can be a lot closer to my speakers and I don't have to run 25 foot wires.

Thanks for any tips/advice you can give me.

Here's a video .. the pictures make it seem like the room is skinnier than it is. Even in the video it looks less skinny but still skinner than in-person. Video cut out. Guess I need to clean out my memory haha.


Oh and I guess other question - how far should I put the speakers in from the wall, no issue bringing them about 4 feet from the patio door wall. But how far away from the walls to the sides? Can I just acoustically treat the walls beside seeing I cant bring them 4 feet from the side of the walls. That'd be ridiculous and they'd be less than 4 from each other if I did that :p

p.s. no turntable yet, 2 more months and I can order it - I'm going the Pro-Ject Debut Pro route. This whole hifi mess im in started with my suggesting to my coworker (unbeknownst to me was an audio salesman like 30-50 years ago) that my wife and I wanted to get of those little cheapo walmart suitcase turntables with the speakers built in. He was appalled I'd even consider that and said, "Sure if you don't give about destroying you records"... and lo and behold here we are today :) Thanks.

p.s. only an x-ray tech in Canada, putting a dedicated audio room expansion onto my house or accessory building isn't an option. However once I get the room all sorted out, I'm gonna do things like running dedicated power to the relevant outlets, new speakers, maybe a PrimaLuna Evo 300 or 400.... that'd be nice. BUT gotta get the room thing figured out first.
 

Attachments

  • 20220105_152811.jpg
    20220105_152811.jpg
    538.7 KB · Views: 29
  • 20220105_153612.jpg
    20220105_153612.jpg
    597 KB · Views: 30
  • 20220105_152744.jpg
    20220105_152744.jpg
    502.2 KB · Views: 29
  • 20220105_152804.jpg
    20220105_152804.jpg
    452.6 KB · Views: 29
  • 20220105_160117.jpg
    20220105_160117.jpg
    624 KB · Views: 27
  • 20220105_160121.jpg
    20220105_160121.jpg
    487 KB · Views: 26
  • 20220105_160133.jpg
    20220105_160133.jpg
    598.8 KB · Views: 28
  • 20220105_160137.jpg
    20220105_160137.jpg
    557.1 KB · Views: 28
Last edited:

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
566
821
168
As a first pass I would use the room with the large opening to the kitchen, setting up speakers to fire across the room, into the kitchen area. You can get the speakers optimally separated with no close proximity walls and nothing behind the listener. Your seating position would be near field but because of the width between speakers and no serious wall reflections in any direction you should get excellent imaging and soundstage depth, so sonically it won’t sound ‘small’. In fact it should sound as big as whatever ‘space illusion’ is inherent with the recording. The only downside is that you’ll block off some of the access into the room from the kitchen, with listening chairs right up against the step to the kitchen. With a wide, toed-in speaker position, reflections are going to bounce from a number of surfaces before reaching your ears and the kitchen will tend to add diffusion so by the time any room reflections reach your ears they‘ll be diffuse and thanks to the distance will have much lower amplitude so should not interfere with your listening experience.
Given that you are remodelling the room, I’d take the opportunity to install dedicated mains circuits with decent wiring and sockets. With the floor, I‘d be very tempted to research some simple seismic bearing arrangement, with advice from the manufacturer of whatever rack you chose. You basically have the choice to ’ground’ or ‘suspend’ the rack, so I would look into the optimum arrangement because it‘ll be a relatively cheap and easy piece of engineering that will bring major sonic benefits and its easy to do during the remodelling phase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scott Naylor

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
As a first pass I would use the room with the large opening to the kitchen, setting up speakers to fire across the room, into the kitchen area. You can get the speakers optimally separated with no close proximity walls and nothing behind the listener. Your seating position would be near field but because of the width between speakers and no serious wall reflections in any direction you should get excellent imaging and soundstage depth, so sonically it won’t sound ‘small’. In fact it should sound as big as whatever ‘space illusion’ is inherent with the recording. The only downside is that you’ll block off some of the access into the room from the kitchen, with listening chairs right up against the step to the kitchen. With a wide, toed-in speaker position, reflections are going to bounce from a number of surfaces before reaching your ears and the kitchen will tend to add diffusion so by the time any room reflections reach your ears they‘ll be diffuse and thanks to the distance will have much lower amplitude so should not interfere with your listening experience.
Given that you are remodelling the room, I’d take the opportunity to install dedicated mains circuits with decent wiring and sockets. With the floor, I‘d be very tempted to research some simple seismic bearing arrangement, with advice from the manufacturer of whatever rack you chose. You basically have the choice to ’ground’ or ‘suspend’ the rack, so I would look into the optimum arrangement because it‘ll be a relatively cheap and easy piece of engineering that will bring major sonic benefits and its easy to do during the remodelling phase.
Would doubling up on the drywall have any merit for resonance (as I'm not concerned with soundproofing)? One issue I've been reading about (and believe I've been experiencing) is the low-mid resonance hump, with the ultimate goal seems to be to get that resonance to sub 40 hz. Lower the better. Makes sense. When you say simple seismic bearing arrangement are you referring to isolating the rack and speakers from the floor or are you referring to isolating my floor from the rest of the house/room?

I've read that speakers like the Dutch & Dutch 8C can "bypass" a lot of room issues but they are active. If one were to want to use a tube integrated amp (or pre/power) in the future, you'd only want to put a tube pre into these speakers... I feel like you're not getting the goodness of a tube amp by not using its power amp section. So would an active subwoofer with that good DSP stuff like the 8C and crossover so I'm not using the analog non-dsp for the below... whatever 80z out of my main speakers so help avoid resonance. I didn't realize consider using a subwoofer as I like the balance I feel I get out of 2 speakers without a sub, BUT if the sub with a DSP to help mitigate resonance issues could help (with a crossover so my main speakers arent pumping out the lower bass)... BLAH BLAH. You get what I'm saying I'm sure.

Thanks
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
566
821
168
Here’s a stream of consciousness. In terms of walls, what you want is for the wall to be reasonably stiff, so that it doesn’t resonate easily at certain frequencies. Sound waves hitting the wall have quite an ‘impedance’ to overcome as the 2 mediums, air and plaster board, are quite different so soundwaves have a much easier route in bouncing off the wall.
So if I would choose between the two rooms I‘d definitely pick the ‘kitchen room” for several reasons
1. When you include the kitchen its quite a spacious room with very good distances from speakers to walls
2. I can adjust the floor and the mains without major disruption to life in the house
3. The room plus kitchen has far more acoustic upsides than downsides
4. I honestly think that with the right set-up and planning you could get beyond excellent sound in that space.
5 I can listen to great music while i‘m in the kitchen

Then where would I start….well first i‘d pick a really good rack and buy two.…one for the gear and the other for the turntable. Then I would speak to the rack designer about the rack’s foundation….describing your floor arrangement and how it could be altered by building simple brick or wood columns from concrete fundament to wooden floor level
For clarity Im talking about isolating the gear and its racks from the wooden floor. Its not actually seismic bearings…its really just seismic grounding….gear grounded to concrete, room floor floating above.

Next I would plan how to get a high quality network feed into the room It should be as high a quality network as possible, wired or optical if possible as microwaves play havoc with wi-fi. You need to bring in a well isolated network feed dedicated to your audio system, with ‘rest-of-network’ traffic excluded. I’d bring the network into a high quality switch with good LPS, positioned very close to the hi-fi electronics and on their own vibration optimised platform. Your floor is going to be moving quite a bit at low frequencies, so you need to isolate. If you want to do effective vibration control, buy yourself a stethoscope, which is very useful for checking racks and setting up shelves with zero movement.

I’d then contact an electrician and spec up a dedicated hi-fi feed with a few good sockets placed around where I would like to position the hi-fi. The hi-fi mains feed should be branched off the incoming phase and neutral before the household consumer unit (fuse box) and the feed should be kept as low impedance as possible, which means using appropriately sized, good quality wire.

Next thing I’d do is to carpet and arrange the room to get it heading in the right RT direction….ultimately I’d want the room to have an RT between 1.5 and 2,5

At this point you could test the room acoustically and iron out any anomalies. Humps in the bass may be room artefacts but I got rid of bass humps by improving speaker/floor grounding and improving the mains and network, because that‘s where the bass emphasis I was hearing were coming from, so be careful you don’t try to fix a room that doesn’t have a problem. The other big acoustic bugaboo are flutter echoes, where high frequencies bounce back and forth in room corners, especially wall/ceiling junctions. If there are flutter echoes, some nice curved coving is the answer along with triangle traps for the 3 way corners.

Next I would go about finding the optimum near field listening position for the speakers. Because of the room arrangement you should be able to find both optimum distance from front wall and best width between speakers without limitation or hinderance. This is the real attraction of this room so it’s important that the optimum position is found for the speakers for your chosen listening position. Remember to position your speakers for your chosen listening position, then you are only dealing with a single variable. The listening position will be at the foot of the step from the kitchen as you want to give the speakers the maximum space possible, then position them optimally within that space. You need to use a logical way to position the speakers. Moving them forward and backward by a fixed increment, find the best position (Ref1) then moving them backwards and forwards from R1 in half increments until you find R2, then moving them in half increments until you find R3…..you keep going until the increments you’re using are a cm or two. Then mark the spot carefully for all 4 spikes
From there, you repeat the same exercise for width, always fing the best position, then moving L&R in half increments to find the next best and so on. Once you’ve found the optimum ’from wall’ and ‘separation’ distance, mark the new reference spot carefully. All the adjustments should be carefully measured to ensure you are maintaining symmetry between the 2 speakers and toe in should always be done to align the tweeter with the listener’s ears. You need to keep toe in properly adjusted so it doesn’t become another variable.
Once Ive empirically found the best speaker position I would then try small, symmetrical adjustments to toe-in to get the best spacial resolution, balance and detail.

Finally I would organise a really nice listening chair or sofa. The prime listening position is going to be dead centre between the speakers so that needs to be considered in chair/sofa choice.
I would sit down with a nice glass of mineral water (everyone else should use beer) and enjoy some beautiful music, followed by weeks of waiting for it all to run in perfectly.
 
Last edited:

ecwl

Member
Mar 20, 2021
44
36
18
Congrats on joining the forum. I can sense a lot of excitement about the different possibilities for upgrades/treatments that you've read online or heard. But part of the problem is that it's like telling people that I want to drive a better car as I don't feel that my current car drives well and if you go online, you're going to get lots of differing opinions that are all correct and genuine but may not apply to what you're really looking for. Because nobody has your room and your windows and doors and your furniture.

Based on what I have read, it sounds like your wife is going to:
1) slightly limit where you can sit in the room
2) slightly limit what kinds of treatment you're allowed to put in the room

In reality, I think speaker sound is primarily determined by:
1) Room resonances (as in your room dimensions)
2) Where you sit (because by moving your seat, you can sit somewhere where the resonances are not exacerbated, it's just physics)
3) Speaker placement/toe in (which usually doesn't affect the bass resonances much but can alter the midrange and treble balance a lot)

This is why it doesn't matter whether you add more drywall or not. The drywall would change the room dimensions and change the room resonances to different frequencies, but your room would still have resonances.

So my first question is, would your wife allow you to move your listening position?

Second, I think the best room acoustics book for most people is Jim Smith's Get Better Sound. Except most of us don't have Jim Smith's ears so I think most people should get the book AND get a cheap calibrated USB microphone to plug into their laptop to run REW or a cheap calibrated microphone to plug into their phone and run an RTA phone software, e.g. AudioTools.

Before starting any treatment, or even deciding whether the speakers should go in the big or small room, you should actually use the microphone to measure the sound you're getting from the current speakers at the listening position, paying specific attention to how smooth your bass is from 20-300Hz by playing pink noise on your speakers. If your wife doesn't allow you to move the seating position, you should just pick the room where the seating position has the smoothest bass and be done with it.

If your wife allows you to move the seating position a bit, you should move the seat (or microphone) forwards and backwards and see if you can find a new seating position where you can get smoother bass. The seating position where you get the smoothest bass is where you should sit and then you can move your speakers closer or farther apart and toe the speakers in and out until you get the sound that you want in the midrange and treble.

I would say after you've done all that, should you start thinking about room treatment.

If you're very limited in where you can sit, and the bass is always fairly uneven, you should then seriously consider getting a system where you have digital room correction, e.g. NAD DAC+amp with Dirac Live or Lyngdorf DAC+amp with Roomperfect because ultimately, the fundamental physics of bass sound interacting with your room at your seating position is what will determine what you're hearing and no amount of treatment (even if your wife is not going to set any limits) would significantly correct that. Hence, you might as well use digital signal processing (DSP) to improve your system instead.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ACHiPo

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 31, 2015
765
370
385
69
Washington, DC
Would doubling up on the drywall have any merit for resonance (as I'm not concerned with soundproofing)? One issue I've been reading about (and believe I've been experiencing) is the low-mid resonance hump, with the ultimate goal seems to be to get that resonance to sub 40 hz. Lower the better. Makes sense. When you say simple seismic bearing arrangement are you referring to isolating the rack and speakers from the floor or are you referring to isolating my floor from the rest of the house/room?

I've read that speakers like the Dutch & Dutch 8C can "bypass" a lot of room issues but they are active. If one were to want to use a tube integrated amp (or pre/power) in the future, you'd only want to put a tube pre into these speakers... I feel like you're not getting the goodness of a tube amp by not using its power amp section. So would an active subwoofer with that good DSP stuff like the 8C and crossover so I'm not using the analog non-dsp for the below... whatever 80z out of my main speakers so help avoid resonance. I didn't realize consider using a subwoofer as I like the balance I feel I get out of 2 speakers without a sub, BUT if the sub with a DSP to help mitigate resonance issues could help (with a crossover so my main speakers arent pumping out the lower bass)... BLAH BLAH. You get what I'm saying I'm sure.

Thanks
FYI - I used "acoustical drywall" when I had my dedicated listening room built:

 

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 31, 2015
765
370
385
69
Washington, DC
Hello there, first post. Here's my first world problem of the day :p

So with a lot research into soundproofing and understand resonance and modes and referencing especially this post here here's where I've arrived and now need some advice from people with experience.

This is my first hi-system. Actually compared to broken car audio, cheap ear buds, cellphone speakers, and google homes I'd say this was a colossal upgrade to where I'm at now. But now I'm into it I can see how the "hobby/lifestyle/awakening" really can make you rebuild rooms and drain bank accounts :).

So my Cambridge AXA35 and ELAC Debut 2.0 6.2 sitting on Atacama Moseco 7's with 25' of 12 gauge wire and Sewell deadbolts going under the room, under the floor and between the joists and acoustic ceiling tiles in the basement from the audiorack/vinyl storage rack. (note: Turntable not seen in the pictures but it's my next (last for now) piece of gear I need to complete my system. Then it will be focusing on acoustic treatment I'd imagine... I digress. The room it's in right now is a 17 1/2 foot by 12 foot room with 8 ceilings. (8 1/2? whatever). Popcorn ceiling, electric fireplace with faux chimney chase above it (uninsulated). I rebuilt the room (sans new flooring o_O)12-13 months ago before I had an inkling of an idea I wanted to get into hifi audio.

My other living room has been under construction for coming up on 3 years now as it needed a gut back to the studs to solve a draft issue and rotting wall, etc. It is 23 1/2 foot by 11 3/4 foot with 10 foot ceilings. Again no considerations to make it into a listening room prior to constructing it (such as the tray ceiling).

Both rooms have big issues here's what I know

Smaller (current room):
- orientation of the room and how my wife wants it laid out do not permit me to have the stereo pointed down the long axis of the room
- 8 foot ceiling
- 2 big windows in corner of the room to the side of the and the side and back of the left speaker
- corner closer to the righter speaker than the left, or rather - asymmetrical
- electric fireplace/chimney chase right between speakers
- opening to the hallway of the right speaker, including mirror'd hallway closet

Bigger (potential room):
- tray ceiling - these are going to stay... I 've heard barrel vaulted ceilings can be a pain but would the trays have much negative impact? Regardless if the stereo is going in there or not I will be shoving insulation in the hollow of the tray to reduce eternal echo in them lol
- a wood-burning fireplace is going to be going at the end of the room (with the 2 skinny windows)
- only 11 3/4 wide for being so much longer
- patio door on the other side
- giant opening to the kitchen

In any case it seems both these rooms were not intended for hi-fi audio. That being said the bigger room I COULD throw a second layer with green glue of 5/8 drywall (there is current the one layer of 1/2") on the 2 long walls. I was going to say I can't throw it on the short walls because of the windows/doors only being wide enough for a 2x4 wall.. but then just now thought, I could get thicker trim or like laminate some trim and and have a carpenter plane/glue them so the trim is thinner on the drywall and thicker by the door... that would work too I guess! I love when those "eureka!" moments come.

So... okay yeah I could double up on the drywall which would reduce mode resonance right?

I give zero hoots about soundproofing. I live in a small village with little ambient noise other than aggressive wind and some birds maybe. No noisy diesel trucks, no trains, no jake brakes (RARELY), no industry... basically no economy working HAHA. I also don't care if you can hear my stereo from outside the house (which isn't as loud of my drums or guitar amps anyways) or from anywhere within the house, I was thinking of redoing my wife's small "Hide from the kids/craft room" and soundproofing it super good. That way she has a place to go hide in and not be so disturbed from the stereo and my awful choice of music.

So that bigger room use to be a motorcycle garage on, it doesn't share a subfloor with the house and has a concrete-floor crawlspace underneath it. 5/8 ply for subfloor. My original plan was to put 3/4" nailed hardwood down on it. Fireplace DOES has to go in. I have no other back-up heat source and we love the ambience of a real wood fireplace.

So some compromises too I guess. HOW the heck do I orientate the stereo in that room if I were to choose to put it in that room? it's not even 12 full feet wide... I love the 10 foot ceilings and I love its so long.

Of course I'm already looking at speaker upgrades. The KLH Model 5 stand out to me. My wife won't have a cow at me for putting a bunch of acoustic treatment in that room, she'd be livid if I put bass traps and diffusers/absorption panels in "her" living room. But she understands that I told her I might still do it if the idea with the other living room doesn't pan out. I might have to put her a cruise or something as a thank you.

Anyways here's some pics. I don't know what to do with the entrance the room... what about a draw-across curtain system thing... does Macrame do anything to diffuse sound? That'd look super hippy and my wife would love it (or some other draw-across hippy looking alternative to "temporarily" drawing something across that opening. It's mostly behind where I'd be sitting.

Could I do something similar in front of the patio door as well as sound absorption panels and some diffuser along the wall - or at least the side of the speakers. Do I need to worry about anything behind the sitting position? Thats another advantage of going this route with the bigger room is the sitting position wouldn't be against a wall. I wouldnt have to do such near-field listening. Which can be good and bad?

Would adding more drywall on walls/ceiling with green glue be good for reducing resonance (lowering it?) I don't care about soundproofing it. But I do want to stiffen it up right?

Hardwood with rugs good right? Nail down, I don't even know what floating is... I'm not doing laminated hardwood.

Anyways from writing this I think I've convinced myself the other room is better than the current room except for the 11 3/4" wide problem. One last advantage is I can more fun lighting, as I haven't installed lighting in the room yet and can do some fun things there. Also my audiorack can be a lot closer to my speakers and I don't have to run 25 foot wires.

Thanks for any tips/advice you can give me.

Here's a video .. the pictures make it seem like the room is skinnier than it is. Even in the video it looks less skinny but still skinner than in-person. Video cut out. Guess I need to clean out my memory haha.


Oh and I guess other question - how far should I put the speakers in from the wall, no issue bringing them about 4 feet from the patio door wall. But how far away from the walls to the sides? Can I just acoustically treat the walls beside seeing I cant bring them 4 feet from the side of the walls. That'd be ridiculous and they'd be less than 4 from each other if I did that :p

p.s. no turntable yet, 2 more months and I can order it - I'm going the Pro-Ject Debut Pro route. This whole hifi mess im in started with my suggesting to my coworker (unbeknownst to me was an audio salesman like 30-50 years ago) that my wife and I wanted to get of those little cheapo walmart suitcase turntables with the speakers built in. He was appalled I'd even consider that and said, "Sure if you don't give about destroying you records"... and lo and behold here we are today :) Thanks.

p.s. only an x-ray tech in Canada, putting a dedicated audio room expansion onto my house or accessory building isn't an option. However once I get the room all sorted out, I'm gonna do things like running dedicated power to the relevant outlets, new speakers, maybe a PrimaLuna Evo 300 or 400.... that'd be nice. BUT gotta get the room thing figured out first.
Note that there are alternatives to the conventional acoustical treatment/speaker placement approaches being discussed here, like the DHDI Zero Reflection panels that I described my experiences with on this forum. They are a little pricey, but would give you the option of putting your speakers right up against the wall without negative consequences - see: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/trying-the-zr-acoustics-panels.31846/
 

Blackmorec

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
566
821
168
One thing to bear in mind when you are considering rooms for stereo listening is the following:

In stereo listening the whole spacial thing is an illusion created by the brain. Essentially the brain is set up to process natural sounds, which always have a single source. In stereo we substitute 2 sources in order to manipulate the relative amplitude and timing (phase) of sounds reaching each ear. To get 2 sources, we split the single source signal between the 2 stereo channels, so a trumpet sound for example would be produced as 2 separate signals….with a certain amplitude and phase in each channel that ‘replicates’ the sound of a single source trumpet reaching each ear. Our hearing detects the differences in the 2 signals reaching each ear and uses the differential between the 2 ears to assign the trumpet’s position….thus stereo can assign different positions to instruments and voices within the mi…..so called imaging and sound staging.
So human hearing assigns position based on the differences between the same signal reaching each ear. As you can imagine, those differences are based on the distance and angular differences between our 2 ears, so those differences in the timing (phase) and amplitude are very small. Obviously the accuracy of both signals relative to one another, in other words the accuracy of the differential signal is key to good stereo reproduction. If your room is asymmetrical, or has different acoustic properties between L and R channels, that’s going to have a significant effect on the very small differences between the 2 channels, so setting up a stereo system in a symmetrical room is far easier than trying to balance or cancel the effects of asymmetry. Trying to correct an asymmetrical room physically is extremely difficult and these days, doing any correction in the digital domain has a far higher chance of success, given that frequency, amplitude and phase can all be adjusted/corrected by calibrated, finely controlled amounts.
 

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
AND get a cheap calibrated USB microphone to plug into their laptop to run REW or a cheap calibrated microphone to plug into their phone and run an RTA phone software, e.g. AudioTools.
I am going to get one pretty soon. I had a good session last night (good to me) listening to some Chieftains with my kids and I got to experiment with speaker positioning. I pulled the mattress out of my daughters room and moved it behind the couch up top to see if it made a difference. I think the reality is I don't have the ear of a seasoned audiophile. I can hear a low-mid hump but as long as I dont turn the volume up too high it doesnt break the experience. However I can see how moving my seating position away from the wall would be good. For now I am content with the whole thing, but I love that there are infinite things to upgrade and explore with.


Thank you for all the comments, I have more replies. Im at work ill try to get them all in :p

I moved the speakers back further from the position they were in, in that picture, and it feels more open and lively, in a good way and toed them so they're more or less brushing past my ears rather than directly to the center of my face. I was pleased with the results. I moved the couch forward a couple feet, but with these ELACs I really like the way it sounds with that 8-9 foot listening distance when they're toed in a little bit. I listen to a lot of doom and stoner metal too and when its closer than 8 feet its "too much" for me unless I turn it RIGHT down but I lose the detail of what I love about the fuzziness to that kind of music. Detail of fuzziness haha. Is that an oxymoron?
 
Last edited:

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
Note that there are alternatives to the conventional acoustical treatment/speaker placement approaches being discussed here, like the DHDI Zero Reflection panels that I described my experiences with on this forum. They are a little pricey, but would give you the option of putting your speakers right up against the wall without negative consequences - see: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/trying-the-zr-acoustics-panels.31846/
I see the Model 5's are "tuned" for ~2 feet from the wall (just what im looking at for my next speakers, which imo probably a big upgrade from my Debut 6.2's - not that I don't think my Debuts are anything but amazing from where I'm coming from :)) I'm happy with bringing them out to that distance, I just don't know how to work around the fireplace... maybe have some moveable panels I can put off to the sides behind the speakers I can make flush with the face of the fireplace? Regardless it's not a perfectly flat surface. This is something I have to think on.
 

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
Trying to correct an asymmetrical room physically is extremely difficult and these days, doing any correction in the digital domain has a far higher chance of success, given that frequency, amplitude and phase can all be adjusted/corrected by calibrated, finely controlled amounts.
There was a comment for something to do this with, im thinking I'm ~4 feet from the one side wall and about ~7 feet from the other.... NAD DAC+amp with Dirac Live or Lyngdorf DAC+amp with Roomperfect.

So is there a digital option from going turntable - tubeamp amp (integrated vs power/monoblocks and pre etc.). I know hifi purists wouldnt dare touch an EQ but I thought a stereo multiband EQ(something as transparent as possible) could help after aLL IS SAID AND done and I put the mic on the room and figure out where the final problems are. Use the EQ to just slightly tune to the room where needed? That's something that can be done. But I'm intrigued about some sort of digital solution that can compensate for any sort of lock of room symmetry..
 

ecwl

Member
Mar 20, 2021
44
36
18
There was a comment for something to do this with, im thinking I'm ~4 feet from the one side wall and about ~7 feet from the other.... NAD DAC+amp with Dirac Live or Lyngdorf DAC+amp with Roomperfect.

So is there a digital option from going turntable - tubeamp amp (integrated vs power/monoblocks and pre etc.). I know hifi purists wouldnt dare touch an EQ but I thought a stereo multiband EQ(something as transparent as possible) could help after aLL IS SAID AND done and I put the mic on the room and figure out where the final problems are. Use the EQ to just slightly tune to the room where needed? That's something that can be done. But I'm intrigued about some sort of digital solution that can compensate for any sort of lock of room symmetry..
All DSP solutions for room correction are imperfect and about compromises. That's why ideally, you want to get the room acoustics as good as you can. For example, you can go from building your own convolution filter with Acourate (like I did) to accommodate for asymmetric setups or use Dirac Live/RoomPerfect or simpler parametric EQ solutions but none of these solutions would be as optimal as having a symmetric setup in the first place.

However, I have not seen (or heard) a room that has no acoustic issues. And it's funny how if you read through most online forums about room acoustics and treatments, nobody posts their bass frequency response with 1/12 octave smoothing. Probably because they have never measured and don't realize how bad their room acoustics are. That's why I secretly suspect everybody would benefit from DSP (at least based on most audiophile homes I've visited). Just look at most of the Stereophile in-room review measurements, it's kind of hilarious how they can review components with such a poor room bass response.

That said, DSP is about trade-offs as you pointed out that the digital signal processing of turntable sound can potentially cause of a loss of transparency. Unfortunately, analog EQ solutions are generally not sufficiently precise and almost always would make things sound worse. But then in some systems, the question is, does your 50Hz +20dB bass peak ruin the music more from the turntable? or does the DSP used to eliminate that peak cause a loss of transparency in the turntable sound more to ruin the music?

Regardless of what direction you want to go, my opinion as stated earlier is that you have to know what the problem is in the first place and without a calibrated microphone to measure, we are working blind.

As a total aside, if pulling the sofa forward creates a smoother bass, sure, you can put a mattress behind to block first reflection point sound bouncing off the back wall. But if the bass is actually smoother with the sofa against the back wall, you can just put some small throw pillows behind your left and right ear to reduce the reflection from the back wall. Moreover, if a mattress works but the wife disapproves, you can probably find a mounted canvas painting/photo that hangs low enough behind your ears to reduce the reflection from the back wall. This is of course specifically for midrange and high frequencies and not for bass.
 

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
you can just put some small throw pillows behind your left and right ear to reduce the reflection from the back wall.
Haha ecwl I DO THIS more often then not! :D It does make a difference.(the mattress was just an experiement)
 
Last edited:

xvonline

New Member
Jan 5, 2022
9
0
1
35
That said, DSP is about trade-offs as you pointed out that the digital signal processing of turntable sound can potentially cause of a loss of transparency. Unfortunately, analog EQ solutions are generally not sufficiently precise and almost always would make things sound worse.
yeah. I agree its better to have as good as you can get first. Shouldn't be using the "tech" as a bandaid. TBH I haven't never been in a hifi room before, I don't even know where to start with that, the shop in Calgary, AB where I'll be buying from turntable from probably has some rooms set up there I could reference in just to have an idea of what other rooms/gear sound like. I only know what I have. I don't know anyone who is an audiophile except for my coworker who sold it back in the day, but he's been out of that a long time (selling and as a hobby). I don't know know how you could back to crappy audio but whatever.

This is a fun and education journey I'm on... when I listened to the FLAC of Star Trek: TNG theme song on my stereo (even just through my phone) (the first thing I put through the stereo) even with what I've got and where I'm listening to it. I cried (not bawled). Like a freaking sissy girl. My wife was laughing her head off at me... I had never experienced audio like that before.. and I know what I've got is like, the tip of the iceberg. :p
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing