The argument for/against room treatment

stehno

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Hey, Tim. Excellent. As I recall you have a pretty good ear.

To clarify, I've no doubt that there are differences between a before and after. I don't think that's the point. Or at least not my point.

My point is more toward taking an otherwise inferior playback presentation (not very tolerable) and turning it into a truly musical playback presentation via acoustic treatments, bass traps, custom rooms, etc. This is what I'm suspecting is impossible.

Not just hearing differences. Does that clarify things a bit?
 

cal3713

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I don't get it.
Hey, Tim. Excellent. As I recall you have a pretty good ear.

To clarify, I've no doubt that there are differences between a before and after. I don't think that's the point. Or at least not my point.

My point is more toward taking an otherwise inferior playback presentation (not very tolerable) and turning it into a truly musical playback presentation via acoustic treatments, bass traps, custom rooms, etc. This is what I'm suspecting is impossible.

Not just hearing differences. Does that clarify things a bit?
I don't get it. You agree that room treatments matter. You also believe that system quality matters. What's there to argue about?
 

Cellcbern

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I don't get it.

I don't get it. You agree that room treatments matter. You also believe that system quality matters. What's there to argue about?
I don't get it either - the posts make no sense to me. That's why I haven't responded. However well you select and set up equipment, if your listening room has walls there is reflected sound that interferes with the direct sound and you can increase clarity and fidelity with acoustical treatments done well. As always you can make the room/system sound worse with acoustical treatments done poorly.
 
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stehno

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I don't get it.

I don't get it. You agree that room treatments matter. You also believe that system quality matters. What's there to argue about?
As I and others have said, every listening room has some sort of treatment even if it's just an empty room with a chair.

Let's be reasonable here. Surely nobody entered this thread with the thought others were setting up a playback system in an empty gymnasium or empty 2-car garage or that the OP was talking about carpeting. I'm a firm believer in having a reasonable-enough listening room which implies a few minimal items like carpeting/pad and minimal furnishings like a chair, and maybe a painting or three on various walls. Are those treatments? Of course. But that's reasonable enough for me. Well, that and it would be nice if the room was somewhat symmetrical (though not a requirement) and the speakers had enough room to breath/disperse. This was and is what I consider a reasonable enough room and I consider these BASICS as somewhat of a requirement. But that's it. And to be honest I don't give 2 hoots about first-reflections either.

My argument is against those who claim that the room is the most important component of a truly musical playback system. When I hear those claims I assuming aftermarket acoustic treatments, bass traps, hiring consultants / acousticians, and/or designing custom rooms, etc. and I'm saying there's no real proof of such claims other than those items making a playback presentation a bit more tolerable or perhaps having some influence. That's it. Because they can do nothing to address the cause.

I'm saying none of those aftermarket items need be on anybody's radar because those things can only serve as band-aids because they can only address the effects and not the cause.

I'm saying none of those aftermarket items can substititute or correct for our neglecting the playback system's very serious deficiencies at the playback system nor can those items substitute our neglecting to sufficiently acoustically couple our speakers/subs to their associated rooms.

I'm saying all of those aftermarket items are potentially chasing windmills because going this route does nothing to remedy or address the cause but instead can only address the effects of the cause.

timlink mentioned putting something together about hearing differences. I'm not interested in hearing differences. I'm interested in hearing truly superior musical playback presentations. And it seems clear to me with all the claims of the room being the most important component that this level of superior musicality can be achieved by "the room" and I'm saying hogwash.

Everything potentially introduces differences. If I install a deep freezer or a kindsize bed in my listening room, I'm likely to hear a negative or positive difference. What does any of that have to do with real levels of musicality? I'm not interested in differences. I could wake up Monday morning and listen to music and hear differences from Sunday morning. Big deal.

More specifically, what I'm really trying to say is that our playback system's noise floors are so high that much of the music info read and processed will remain inaudible at the speaker and no amount of acoustic treatments, bass traps, consulting, or custom room can correct, replace, and/or otherwise compensate for that missing music info. It's impossible as the technology doesn't exist.

More specifically, what I'm really trying to say is there's an acoustic noise floor of sorts that is the result of insufficient speaker / sub placement and/or tuning within a given room. Neglect here also will also render music inaudible. And again, no amount of acoustic treatments, bass traps, consultiing, and/or custom rooms can correct, replace, and/or otherwise compensate for that missing music info. It's impossible as the technology doesn't exist.

More specifically, what I'm trying to say is we have plenty of people over the past 30+ years parroting acoustic treatments, bass traps, consutlants, and/or custom rooms are the most important component of any system worth its weight musically. And I'm saying no they are not, as those things can only deal with the effects of the cause and I'm saying such claims are basically folkore passed down over the past 30 years.

Hopefully, we're talking about systems delivering significant and superior levels of musicality. And what I'm talking about is if one were to devote SUFFICIENT time and attention to the causes of an inferior / sub-par playback systems (which we all have), we wouldn't have to do a bloomin' thing to change an already reasonable-enough room because their listening perspective is already somewhere / anywhere in the recording hall. And the listening room with all its acoustic anomalies are gone.

It's late and I've typed too much.
 
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Tim Link

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As I and others have said, every listening room has some sort of treatment even if it's just an empty room with a chair.

Let's be reasonable here. Surely nobody entered this thread with the thought others were setting up a playback system in an empty gymnasium or empty 2-car garage or that the OP was talking about carpeting. I'm a firm believer in having a reasonable-enough listening room which implies a few minimal items like carpeting/pad and minimal furnishings like a chair, and maybe a painting or three on various walls. Are those treatments? Of course. But that's reasonable enough for me. Well, that and it would be nice if the room was somewhat symmetrical (though not a requirement) and the speakers had enough room to breath/disperse. This was and is what I consider a reasonable enough room and I consider these BASICS as somewhat of a requirement. But that's it. And to be honest I don't give 2 hoots about first-reflections either.

My argument is against those who claim that the room is the most important component of a truly musical playback system. When I hear those claims I assuming aftermarket acoustic treatments, bass traps, hiring consultants / acousticians, and/or designing custom rooms, etc. and I'm saying there's no real proof of such claims other than those items making a playback presentation a bit more tolerable or perhaps having some influence. That's it. Because they can do nothing to address the cause.

I'm saying none of those aftermarket items need be on anybody's radar because those things can only serve as band-aids because they can only address the effects and not the cause.

I'm saying none of those aftermarket items can substititute or correct for our neglecting the playback system's very serious deficiencies at the playback system nor can those items substitute our neglecting to sufficiently acoustically couple our speakers/subs to their associated rooms.

I'm saying all of those aftermarket items are potentially chasing windmills because going this route does nothing to remedy or address the cause but instead can only address the effects of the cause.

timlink mentioned putting something together about hearing differences. I'm not interested in hearing differences. I'm interested in hearing truly superior musical playback presentations. And it seems clear to me with all the claims of the room being the most important component that this level of superior musicality can be achieved by "the room" and I'm saying hogwash.

Everything potentially introduces differences. If I install a deep freezer or a kindsize bed in my listening room, I'm likely to hear a negative or positive difference. What does any of that have to do with real levels of musicality? I'm not interested in differences. I could wake up Monday morning and listen to music and hear differences from Sunday morning. Big deal.

More specifically, what I'm really trying to say is that our playback system's noise floors are so high that much of the music info read and processed will remain inaudible at the speaker and no amount of acoustic treatments, bass traps, consulting, or custom room can correct, replace, and/or otherwise compensate for that missing music info. It's impossible as the technology doesn't exist.

More specifically, what I'm really trying to say is there's an acoustic noise floor of sorts that is the result of insufficient speaker / sub placement and/or tuning within a given room. Neglect here also will also render music inaudible. And again, no amount of acoustic treatments, bass traps, consultiing, and/or custom rooms can correct, replace, and/or otherwise compensate for that missing music info. It's impossible as the technology doesn't exist.

More specifically, what I'm trying to say is we have plenty of people over the past 30+ years parroting acoustic treatments, bass traps, consutlants, and/or custom rooms are the most important component of any system worth its weight musically. And I'm saying no they are not, as those things can only deal with the effects of the cause and I'm saying such claims are basically folkore passed down over the past 30 years.

Hopefully, we're talking about systems delivering significant and superior levels of musicality. And what I'm talking about is if one were to devote SUFFICIENT time and attention to the causes of an inferior / sub-par playback systems (which we all have), we wouldn't have to do a bloomin' thing to change an already reasonable-enough room because their listening perspective is already somewhere / anywhere in the recording hall. And the listening room with all its acoustic anomalies are gone.

It's late and I've typed too much.
This seems to come down to subjective opinion about what is needed to enjoy the music. It's plainly evident that you'll never get an untreated room to sound the same as a room with a full complement of bass traps in the corners and diffusion on the walls. The question is whether or not that sonic difference is desirable to whoever owns that room. If it is desirable, the next question is if it is worth the cost and effort and visual impact on the room.
 

hemiutut

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Hello:
I have been following this forum for quite some time but until yesterday I had not registered.
In my opinion, where there is a well-tuned room with acoustic treatment + powerful customizable manual equalization,
there is nothing and if we add to that one more listening in the near vs far field,things get good.
I see some fans commenting on recordings.
I leave you a link where is the theme Liberty by Anette Askvik, a theme widely used in demos of Hifi equipment.

I personally like the room as neutral as possible

Audio recorded freehand with Tascam DR05-V2

I recommend listening with headphones
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gX279ThlFqe6VD_yVtsAfJc1pZtRFKeN/view?usp=sharing


Listen to the rooms and see which audio is more like the official video.
With a simple audio, even if it is not recorded with the same recorder, do you notice that the audio is more similar to the official video?

Do you dare to record this song in your rooms, even with a mobile phone?

Written with translator.

Greetings
 
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stehno

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Jul 5, 2014
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Hello:
I have been following this forum for quite some time but until yesterday I had not registered.
In my opinion, where there is a well-tuned room with acoustic treatment + powerful customizable manual equalization,
there is nothing and if we add to that one more listening in the near vs far field,things get good.
I see some fans commenting on recordings.
I leave you a link where is the theme Liberty by Anette Askvik, a theme widely used in demos of Hifi equipment.

I personally like the room as neutral as possible

Audio recorded freehand with Tascam DR05-V2

I recommend listening with headphones
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gX279ThlFqe6VD_yVtsAfJc1pZtRFKeN/view?usp=sharing


Listen to the rooms and see which audio is more like the official video.
With a simple audio, even if it is not recorded with the same recorder, do you notice that the audio is more similar to the official video?

Do you dare to record this song in your rooms, even with a mobile phone?

Written with translator.

Greetings

Very nice recording. Near impossible to find the cd but at $53 I’ll pass. But bear in mind there are many recordings just as well engineered as this and better.

But your 3 videos bring to the surface a number very good points which actually cause me to apologize for my dogmatism and my being somewhat closed-mindedness. In any/all of my comments on this subject I never once gave consideration to rooms larger than my somewhat smaller listening room and I apologize for that.

Your 2nd video at the audio show quickly reminded me of that oversight. Larger rooms need to be tamed. Whether by the typical home-style furnishings or aftermarket/custom room acoustic treatments though I still think the remedy for taming is optional, it obviously needs to be tamed to some degree.

BTW, speaking of room sizes / volumes, I have to imagine at some point a room becomes unreasonably too small or too large to deal with. I’d much prefer the problems of a larger room because at least with that I have more options. I would love to have a room maybe 25ft wide x say 40ft deep x 16ft ceilings but I have to guess at some point it just becomes too daunting or too unreasonable to tame. But I suppose with a sufficient war chest anything is possible.

As for your daring us to recording this track with a smartphone, well, there are many fine recordings to select from. But how well-engineered a recording is really doesn’t matter except that it makes listening more enjoyable. What really matters is how close our in-room recordings can come to sounding like a direct stream from youtube. But it seems with people’s listening skills seemingly all over the map, all bets are off even for that to be of any real benefit.

Like the one I provided a few posts above and again below.



In this comparison, clearly the original track direct streamed is a bit more intimate and warm with superior timbre accuracy, etc. It could any number of reasons why my recording’s a bit inferior. It could be my component’s limitations, it could possibly be my speakers are not superiorly coupled to the subflooring, a still a somewhat raised noise floor or perhaps a combination of any of the above. It’s a journey, right?

Besides potential room treatments and room sizes, other potential differences include but are not limited to:
  • An original video (your 1st video) is a direct stream to the headphones by-passes the playback system and listening room influences altogether while an in-room recording of a direct stream there will be room space between speakers and the microphone at the smartphone thus allowing some-to-much of the speaker’s output to disperse / interact with the listening room’s acoustics before captured at the in-room microphone.
  • The mere space between the listening room speakers and in-room recording mic would seemingly allow some accuracy be lost as sonic details are diminished or embellished prior to being captured at the in-room recording mic.
  • There’s also potential hardware differences between smartphone (recorder) and in-room microphone. I’m using an iPhone 12 pro and a Shure MV88 microphone built for the iPhone.
  • There’s also potential software differences with smartphone (recorder) and in-room microphone.
  • The microphone app settings at the smartphone.
  • The volume / gain setting of the in-room microphone.
  • Playback system noise floor levels.
  • Acoustically coupling a speaker/sub to the room.
  • An inferior pair of cables.
  • The list goes on…
Even with all these potential differences, with a direct youtube recording like the one you provided, at least we have a benchmark / reference as to whether or not our journeys are heading in the right or wrong direction.

Could that be why so many refuse to give in-room recordings any credence? Speaking of which. I’m still amazed how many are unable to see the potential educational benefits with youtube / in-room recordings.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
 
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stehno

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This seems to come down to subjective opinion about what is needed to enjoy the music.
Well, I can't think of a more subjective hobby than this one. :)

It's plainly evident that you'll never get an untreated room to sound the same as a room with a full complement of bass traps in the corners and diffusion on the walls.
Not sure how you derived at this conclusion. In fact, just in my latest/most recenet post above, I think I'm rather close without room acoustic treatments. How close do you think you can get with additional treatments?

The question is whether or not that sonic difference is desirable to whoever owns that room.
Presumably the desirable reference is the original recording on youtube direct streamed to your headphones, right? If so, that eliminates a lot of potential subjectivism and confusion right there. But certainly not all.

If it is desirable, the next question is if it is worth the cost and effort and visual impact on the room.
I still say at least for smaller rooms, why is the question even brought up - if it's unnecessary?

I apologized in my previous post for some of my dogmatism. Just not all of my dogmatism. :)
 
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Carlos269

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What most people don’t realize when reviewing in-room response measurements is that microphones do not respond to sound like ears. The human auditory system is a much more complex system, with sound identification, sound localization and sound discrimination processing that in-room measurement responses do not account for or represent. In other words, there is a disconnect between what room measurements indicate and what one actually hears in any particular room.

Most audiophiles don’t know, realize or understand the transfer function associated with the acoustic shadow created by the head and torso diffractions and the resultant interaural level differences, combined with the middle-ear’s acoustic-immittance transmission and perception. Compare to a microphone transducer, the human ear is an incredibly complex system; and that is why room response measurements and associated corrective room treatments do not directly correlate with auditory perception.

Listen in a near-field arrangement and let the auditory system’s complex discriminating processing take care of diminishing the room’s affects.

How many here realize that human hearing’s most sensitive region is from 500 Hz to 4 KHz? How many understand the auditory system’s frequency processing and discriminating processing related to sound masking? Masking being the presence of two or more sound waveforms at the same time. When you understand all these things, then the room, first reflections and room boundaries become less concerning.

Room boundary related acoustics is a very complex subject but thanks to our maker he provides us with an auditory system that is even more complex, capable and resolving.

Before you shell out for the bespoke “acoustically treated” room, please do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the principles of psychoacoustics. Simple and complex sound waveforms have 3 basic physical attributes; and those are frequency, amplitude and phase and their room interaction and auditory perception have been modeled with multi-physics finite element methods and the correlation between room response measurements and the auditory system’s response is not a simple one to allow for easy and exacting corrective room treatments. Like everything else in high-end audio……it ends up being an iterative trial and error exercise.
 
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stehno

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What most people don’t realize when reviewing in-room response measurements is that microphones do not respond to sound like ears. The human auditory system is a much more complex system, with sound identification, sound localization and sound discrimination processing that in-room measurement responses do not account for or represent. In other words, there is a disconnect between what room measurements indicate and what one actually hears in any particular room.

Most audiophiles don’t know, realize or understand the transfer function associated with the acoustic shadow created by the head and torso diffractions and the resultant interaural level differences, combined with the middle-ear’s acoustic-immittance transmission and perception. Compare to a microphone transducer the human ear is an incredibly complex system; and that is why room response measurements and associated corrective room treatments do not directly correlate with auditory perception.

Listen in a near-field arrangement and let the auditory system’s complex discriminating processing take care of diminishing the room’s affects.

How many here realize that human hearing’s most sensitive region is from 500 Hz to 4 KHz? How many understand the auditory system’s frequency processing and discriminating processing related to sound masking? Masking being the presence of two or more sound waveforms at the same time. When you understand all these things, then the room, first reflections and room boundaries become less concerning.

Room boundary related acoustics is a very complex subject but thanks to our maker he provides us with an auditory system that is even more complex, capable and resolving.

Before you shell out for the bespoke “acoustically treated” room, please do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the principles of psychoacoustics. Simple and complex sound waveforms have 3 basic physical attributes; and those are frequency, amplitude and phase and their room interaction and auditory perception have been modeled with multi-physics finite element methods and the correlation between room response measurements and the auditory system’s response is not a simple one to allow for easy and exacting corrective room treatments. Like everything else in high-end audio……it ends up being an iterative trial and error exercise.

Well, this rabbit hole is certainly another means of dealing with the effects and not dealing with the cause.
 

Tim Link

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What most people don’t realize when reviewing in-room response measurements is that microphones do not respond to sound like ears. The human auditory system is a much more complex system, with sound identification, sound localization and sound discrimination processing that in-room measurement responses do not account for or represent. In other words, there is a disconnect between what room measurements indicate and what one actually hears in any particular room.

Most audiophiles don’t know, realize or understand the transfer function associated with the acoustic shadow created by the head and torso diffractions and the resultant interaural level differences, combined with the middle-ear’s acoustic-immittance transmission and perception. Compare to a microphone transducer the human ear is an incredibly complex system; and that is why room response measurements and associated corrective room treatments do not directly correlate with auditory perception.

Listen in a near-field arrangement and let the auditory system’s complex discriminating processing take care of diminishing the room’s affects.

How many here realize that human hearing’s most sensitive region is from 500 Hz to 4 KHz? How many understand the auditory system’s frequency processing and discriminating processing related to sound masking? Masking being the presence of two or more sound waveforms at the same time. When you understand all these things, then the room, first reflections and room boundaries become less concerning.

Room boundary related acoustics is a very complex subject but thanks to our maker he provides us with an auditory system that is even more complex, capable and resolving.

Before you shell out for the bespoke “acoustically treated” room, please do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the principles of psychoacoustics. Simple and complex sound waveforms have 3 basic physical attributes; and those are frequency, amplitude and phase and their room interaction and auditory perception have been modeled with multi-physics finite element methods and the correlation between room response measurements and the auditory system’s response is not a simple one to allow for easy and exacting corrective room treatments. Like everything else in high-end audio……it ends up being an iterative trial and error exercise.
Similar arguments could be used to explain why we don't need any sort of fancy stereo system at all. Just any old boom box is quite good if you let you psycho acoustic capabilities fill in and correct what's missing. I immensely enjoyed listening to classical music on an am/fm shortwave single driver radio I had as a kid. Back then it never occurred to me to question it's playback fidelity. I could hear and identify the instruments and the notes they were playing, and even hear the hall reverb. My mind combined that information with what I already knew about those instruments and provided a very compelling experience. When I went to see a real orchestra, or play in one as I did, I didn't take note of the improved sound quality of the real experience because I wasn't trying to.
Now here I am as an adult and I've learned to geek out and teach myself to hear differences and delight in improving playback fidelity. There are many options because there is a lot that is inherently "wrong" with 2 channel playback in a small residential room. If you eliminate crosstalk between your left and right ears I find that to be a very compelling experience. It's amazing the cross talk doesn't sound worse than it does. You explained why that is already. Our brain largely corrects for it. But when it's gone, wow that's a nice improvement. Unfortunately the apparatus required for that is too difficult to live with for me so I have abandoned that idea although still find it an intriguing example of further possibilities. Treating first reflections changes the sound. It can be a very nice effect depending on how you do it. You may decide it's not that important and let your brain do the correction work. But it can be nicer if your brain doesn't have to. Room effects are filtered by our psycho acoustic system, but imperfectly. You can notice the difference in a different room very quickly if you are inclined to listen for and enjoy such differences.
 
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Tim Link

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Well, I can't think of a more subjective hobby than this one. :)


Not sure how you derived at this conclusion. In fact, just in my latest/most recenet post above, I think I'm rather close without room acoustic treatments. How close do you think you can get with additional treatments?


Presumably the desirable reference is the original recording on youtube direct streamed to your headphones, right? If so, that eliminates a lot of potential subjectivism and confusion right there. But certainly not all.


I still say at least for smaller rooms, why is the question even brought up - if it's unnecessary?

I apologized in my previous post for some of my dogmatism. Just not all of my dogmatism. :)
I've never heard anyone say they couldn't hear the difference created by putting a set of bass traps in a room, especially a small room. Most prefer it but perhaps not everybody. It's easy to measure the change, and well within the range that normal, untrained, non-golden eared human hearing can perceive. Now it's possible that with enough of the right furnishings you could get pretty close. Adding furniture or carpets and carpet pads to a room makes an obvious difference, unless the room is already near anechoic. There is a point of diminishing returns. In the deep bass, there could be an argument to be made that most rooms are leaky enough that the reverb time is well low enough for the room to sound fast down there. Some research I've seen suggests that up to 2 second RT60 times are unnoticed down below 50 Hz or so if overall sound power is adjusted with equalization to compensate. But in the range from 100Hz to 1000Hz rooms almost always have RT60 times that exceed what we can detect, and it sounds muddy. There's not much you can do about it by moving the speakers or isolating them physically or lowering the electronic noise floor in your system, or using equalization. Sitting very close to the speakers and as far away from the walls as possible is about all you can do. It's a reverberation problem and it can be solved by absorption. The cause is playing a tone in that frequency range anywhere in a room with those dimensions. The effect is blurry sound. The solution is to adjust the room with targeted absorption of some kind to reduce the reverb time in the problem range. Or sit close to the speakers. Or just live with it and decide it sounds fine. Let your psycho acoustic system adjust for it.
 
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Carlos269

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This same set of arguments could be used to explain why we don't need any sort of fancy stereo system at all. Just any old boom box is quite good if you let you psycho acoustic capabilities fill in and correct what's missing. I immensely enjoyed listening to classical music on an am/fm shortwave single driver radio I had as a kid. Back then it never occurred to me to question it's playback fidelity. I could hear and identify the instruments and the notes they were playing, and even hear the hall reverb. My mind combined that information with what I already knew about those instruments and provided a very compelling experience. When I went to see a real orchestra, or play in one as I did, I didn't take note of the improved sound quality of the real experience because I wasn't trying to.
Now here I am as an adult and I've learned to geek out and teach myself to hear differences and delight in improving playback fidelity. There are many options because there is a lot that is inherently "wrong" with 2 channel playback in a small residential room. If you eliminate crosstalk between your left and right ears I find that to be a very compelling experience. It's amazing the cross talk doesn't sound worse than it does. You explained why that is already. Our brain largely corrects for it. But when it's gone, wow that's a nice improvement. Unfortunately the apparatus required for that is too difficult to live with for me so I have abandoned that idea although still find it an intriguing example of further possibilities. Treating first reflections changes the sound. It can be a very nice effect depending on how you do it. You may decide it's not that important and let your brain do the correction work. But it can be nicer if your brain doesn't have to. Room effects are filtered by our psycho acoustic system, but imperfectly. You can notice the difference in a different room very quickly if you are inclined to listen for and enjoy such differences.

Not trying to take money out of your pocket here, but please explain how you go about correcting for those first reflections without accounting for the source? Each acoustic excitation source will produce a different first reflection location depending on the frequency and polar wave propagation pattern of the source. The only way to apply first reflection room treatments accurately is with a system that is already installed in the room, which will not change. This static environment is what you have in studios but the antithesis of the home audiophile environment, where the speakers, amplification equipment and tone control devices are constantly changing. Show me one of the high dollar bespoke acoustically treated rooms that have been designed with “a“ system that has remained in place and was measured before the room’s design, build and construction to asses the required correction? You will not, most of those rooms are designed as ”one size fits all”, and this couldn’t be further from accuracy as it relates to room acoustics. Line array speakers have very little interaction with the floor and ceilings, where MBL, Walsh and other omnidirectional speakers greatly interact with all room boundaries. Show me a room that has been designed for room treatment for all different types of acoustic transducers? How do the design of these rooms account for loudspeaker repositioning? Changes of amplification equipment? Changes in room furnishing and outfitting? There are many uninformed with deep pockets, but not all of us.
 
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Tim Link

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Not trying to take money out of your pocket here, but please explain how you go about correcting for those first reflections without accounting for the source? Each acoustic excitation source will produce a different first reflection location depending on the frequency and polar wave propagation pattern of the source. The only way to apply first reflection room treatments accurately is with a system that is already installed in the room, which will not change. This static environment is what you have in studios but the antithesis of the home audiophile environment, where the speakers, amplification equipment and tone control devices are constantly changing. Show me one of the high dollar bespoke acoustically treated rooms that have been designed with “a“ system that has remained in place and was measured before the room’s design, build and construction to asses the required correction? You will not, most of those rooms are designed as ”one size fits all”, and this couldn’t be further from accuracy as it relates to room acoustics. Line array speakers have very little interaction with the floor and ceilings, where MBL, Walsh and other omnidirectional speakers greatly interact with all room boundaries. Show me a room that has been designed for room treatment for all different types of acoustic transducers? How do the design of these rooms account for loudspeaker repositioning? Changes of amplification equipment? Changes in room furnishing and outfitting? There are many uninformed with deep pockets, but not all of us.
I totally agree that one treatment setup is not going to be ideal for every type of speaker. You can move or remove the acoustic treatments as necessary as you change your system. Some are attached to the walls, others are floor standing and very easy to move and adjust. We don't do permanent treatment installations for a specific system, or at least not very often.
 

stehno

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I've never heard anyone say they couldn't hear the difference created by putting a set of bass traps in a room, especially a small room. Most prefer it but perhaps not everybody. It's easy to measure the change, and well within the range that normal, untrained, non-golden eared human hearing can perceive. Now it's possible that with enough of the right furnishings you could get pretty close. Adding furniture or carpets and carpet pads to a room makes an obvious difference, unless the room is already near anechoic. There is a point of diminishing returns. In the deep bass, there could be an argument to be made that most rooms are leaky enough that the reverb time is well low enough for the room to sound fast down there. Some research I've seen suggests that up to 2 second RT60 times are unnoticed down below 50 Hz or so if overall sound power is adjusted with equalization to compensate. But in the range from 100Hz to 1000Hz rooms almost always have RT60 times that exceed what we can detect, and it sounds muddy. There's not much you can do about it by moving the speakers or isolating them physically or lowering the electronic noise floor in your system, or using equalization. Sitting very close to the speakers and as far away from the walls as possible is about all you can do. It's a reverberation problem and it can be solved by absorption. The cause is playing a tone in that frequency range anywhere in a room with those dimensions. The effect is blurry sound. The solution is to adjust the room with targeted absorption of some kind to reduce the reverb time in the problem range. Or sit close to the speakers. Or just live with it and decide it sounds fine. Let your psycho acoustic system adjust for it.
Tim, I'm losing faith in you. Months ago when the topic of bass came up, you said you'd produce an in-room video demo'ing a superior / musical bass but I don't ever recall seeing that. I think it was this same thread. A few posts ago you said you'd produce a video but its delivery would have to be delayed. And now here you seem to be going down an all too convenient rabbit hole / abyss.

Moreover, you also seem to be creating 1 or more straw man arguments here. Please point me to the post where I said I couldn't hear a difference when installing a set of bass traps in a room. I've never played with bass traps so it would be rather nonsensical for me to make such a statement. Not to mention it would also be nonsensical for me to play with bass traps if I've convinced myself I've no need for bass traps. Do you think I need bass traps?

How about that in-room video you said you'd provide about 7 months ago? Otherwise, are we not just word dancin' as usual and getting nowhere as usual?
 
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Tim Link

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Tim, I'm losing faith in you. Months ago when the topic of bass came up, you said you'd produce an in-room video demo'ing a superior / musical bass but I don't ever recall seeing that. I think it was this same thread. A few posts ago you said you'd produce a video but its delivery would have to be delayed. And now here you seem to be going down an all too convenient rabbit hole / abyss.

Moreover, you also seem to be creating 1 or more straw man arguments here. Please point me to the post where I said I couldn't hear a difference when installing a set of bass traps in a room. I've never played with bass traps so it would be rather nonsensical for me to make such a statement. Not to mention it would also be nonsensical for me to play with bass traps if I've convinced myself I've no need for bass traps. Do you think I need bass traps?

How about that in-room video you said you'd provide about 7 months ago? Otherwise, are we not just word dancin' as usual and getting nowhere as usual?


I didn't mean to suggest that you said you couldn't hear a difference. You asked me how I arrived at a conclusion that a treated and untreated room will always sound different. My experience is that they always do. Logic suggests they will have to because the bass reverberation is audible and there's no way that I know of to stop it short of absorption. I should have made exceptions. You might in some ideal situation get a small room with the right array of furnishings to sound indistinguishable from a room that instead used dedicated treatments. You could also sit very close to the speakers and far away from the walls. That might get things to be virtually indistinguishable at the listening position. A distributed bass array can also do wonders I'm told. If you can get the right frequency response in the lower bass it seems we're pretty immune to hearing all but the most severe reverberance issues. Above 100Hz we are more sensitive to it. Fortunately that's an easier range to absorb.

Again I apologize for the delay with the recording. I'm excited about it and really want to hear it myself. I've already shared the recording of the MATT test with and without treatments. That was easy to hear but lead to a lot of questions about exactly what the setup was, and unfortunately I don't know. We should start discussing what the setup should be. I suspect you'll want to hear a properly furnished reasonable room that has already been optimized to sound great before we put any acoustic treatments in. Am I right on that?

What rabbit hole / abyss am I going down?
 
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gtaphile

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Every room needs acoustic treatment combinations (absorption/diffusion) and specific sizes and locations to improve the listening experience at the seated position(s) period. One can buy some low cost 2 by 2 panels and play around with locations of the early reflections and clearly hear the difference. Past thinking was to absorb much of the reflected energy. Current thinking is to sustain that energy and redirect it to maintain dynamics of the recorded music.
 
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hemiutut

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Very nice recording. Near impossible to find the cd but at $53 I’ll pass. But bear in mind there are many recordings just as well engineered as this and better.

But your 3 videos bring to the surface a number very good points which actually cause me to apologize for my dogmatism and my being somewhat closed-mindedness. In any/all of my comments on this subject I never once gave consideration to rooms larger than my somewhat smaller listening room and I apologize for that.

Your 2nd video at the audio show quickly reminded me of that oversight. Larger rooms need to be tamed. Whether by the typical home-style furnishings or aftermarket/custom room acoustic treatments though I still think the remedy for taming is optional, it obviously needs to be tamed to some degree.

BTW, speaking of room sizes / volumes, I have to imagine at some point a room becomes unreasonably too small or too large to deal with. I’d much prefer the problems of a larger room because at least with that I have more options. I would love to have a room maybe 25ft wide x say 40ft deep x 16ft ceilings but I have to guess at some point it just becomes too daunting or too unreasonable to tame. But I suppose with a sufficient war chest anything is possible.

As for your daring us to recording this track with a smartphone, well, there are many fine recordings to select from. But how well-engineered a recording is really doesn’t matter except that it makes listening more enjoyable. What really matters is how close our in-room recordings can come to sounding like a direct stream from youtube. But it seems with people’s listening skills seemingly all over the map, all bets are off even for that to be of any real benefit.

Like the one I provided a few posts above and again below.



In this comparison, clearly the original track direct streamed is a bit more intimate and warm with superior timbre accuracy, etc. It could any number of reasons why my recording’s a bit inferior. It could be my component’s limitations, it could possibly be my speakers are not superiorly coupled to the subflooring, a still a somewhat raised noise floor or perhaps a combination of any of the above. It’s a journey, right?

Besides potential room treatments and room sizes, other potential differences include but are not limited to:
  • An original video (your 1st video) is a direct stream to the headphones by-passes the playback system and listening room influences altogether while an in-room recording of a direct stream there will be room space between speakers and the microphone at the smartphone thus allowing some-to-much of the speaker’s output to disperse / interact with the listening room’s acoustics before captured at the in-room microphone.
  • The mere space between the listening room speakers and in-room recording mic would seemingly allow some accuracy be lost as sonic details are diminished or embellished prior to being captured at the in-room recording mic.
  • There’s also potential hardware differences between smartphone (recorder) and in-room microphone. I’m using an iPhone 12 pro and a Shure MV88 microphone built for the iPhone.
  • There’s also potential software differences with smartphone (recorder) and in-room microphone.
  • The microphone app settings at the smartphone.
  • The volume / gain setting of the in-room microphone.
  • Playback system noise floor levels.
  • Acoustically coupling a speaker/sub to the room.
  • An inferior pair of cables.
  • The list goes on…
Even with all these potential differences, with a direct youtube recording like the one you provided, at least we have a benchmark / reference as to whether or not our journeys are heading in the right or wrong direction.

Could that be why so many refuse to give in-room recordings any credence? Speaking of which. I’m still amazed how many are unable to see the potential educational benefits with youtube / in-room recordings.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the deference in commenting and by the way I leave the same topic recorded with my Tascam DR05-V2.
And yes, I think that a simple recording with a mobile phone or recorder gives a lot of information about the acoustics of our rooms and can help a lot.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_9QF-RtktV1pD3aMsskmmP_No4KnANMD/view?usp=sharing

I have to say that in this recorded audio there is no subwoofer, since it is damaged, hence that lack of the 1 octave will be noticed vs the video that I had previously put.


Greetings
 
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stehno

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Jul 5, 2014
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Thanks for the deference in commenting and by the way I leave the same topic recorded with my Tascam DR05-V2.
The pleasure is all mine and I appreciate your engaging with an open mind.

And yes, I think that a simple recording with a mobile phone or recorder gives a lot of information about the acoustics of our rooms and can help a lot.
Now wait just a dog gone minute. :) I wouldn't even be in this thread except that I could see the thread was just a 1-way street loaded with a preconceived narrative and somebody needed to step up with a solid argument against (aftermarket) acoustic treatments - well, at least for mid-sized-to-smaller rooms.

In all seriousness, I've never alluded that an in-room recording gives a lot of information about the acoustics of our rooms - though it certainy can as illustrated by your #2 video above.

Rather, I'm a staunch advocate that in-room recordings provide far more information about how much effort we've put into our playback systems' deficiencies as well as how much effort we've put into acoustically coupling our speakers/subs to their associated room. Not to mention these videos providing us much information on the video owner's listening skills, how serious they take this hobby, their ability/inability to assemble a musical playback system, as well as providing much information on even those who comment on such videos and even those who refuse to comment on such videos. Shoot, we're provided info even on those who try to propagate the message that in-room recordings deserve no credence whatsoever.

Much of the info gathered by these in-room videos ain't pretty but it certainly is informative and educational.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_9QF-RtktV1pD3aMsskmmP_No4KnANMD/view?usp=sharing

I have to say that in this recorded audio there is no subwoofer, since it is damaged, hence that lack of the 1 octave will be noticed vs the video that I had previously put.

Greetings
Well done. But understandably a bit light in the bass region.

Thanks again for your sound input.
 
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hemiutut

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The pleasure is all mine and I appreciate your engaging with an open mind.


Now wait just a dog gone minute. :) I wouldn't even be in this thread except that I could see the thread was just a 1-way street loaded with a preconceived narrative and somebody needed to step up with a solid argument against (aftermarket) acoustic treatments - well, at least for mid-sized-to-smaller rooms.

In all seriousness, I've never alluded that an in-room recording gives a lot of information about the acoustics of our rooms - though it certainy can as illustrated by your #2 video above.

Rather, I'm a staunch advocate that in-room recordings provide far more information about how much effort we've put into our playback systems' deficiencies as well as how much effort we've put into acoustically coupling our speakers/subs to their associated room. Not to mention these videos providing us much information on the video owner's listening skills, how serious they take this hobby, their ability/inability to assemble a musical playback system, as well as providing much information on even those who comment on such videos and even those who refuse to comment on such videos. Shoot, we're provided info even on those who try to propagate the message that in-room recordings deserve no credence whatsoever.

Much of the info gathered by these in-room videos ain't pretty but it certainly is informative and educational.


Well done. But understandably a bit light in the bass region.

Thanks again for your sound input.
You are absolutely right, it shows that the subwoofer is not there, but my intention with the videos is to look at the acoustics of the room and the truth is that apart from entertaining me it helps me.
All my friends who like this hobby, we all started in a more orthodox way, now we have followed the totally opposite path.
I am the least advanced but I do have my treatment done by my + customizable powerful manual equalization.
We have very thick absorbent panels and we use Knauf and Dacron wool (wadding in Spain).
Personally, my absorbent panels are filled with Dacron and are between 30 and 45 cm thick, making the most of the maximum speed to locate the panels.

I leave 2 simulations where you can see a panel of 20 and 40 cm thick with Knauf and Dacron wool where there are 4 simulations depending on the resistivity to the passage of the air flow.

http://www.acousticmodelling.com/multi.php




Greetings
 
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