What a Difference a Room Makes

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Raylinds, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I recently moved into a new home and got my system set up in a dedicated finished room. The room is probably about 15 or 16 feet wide by about 30 or so feet long. I was able to put the Audio Note AN-Es in the corner where they work best and put the sofa in the middle of the room at the same distance from the speakers as the distance between the speakers. The ceiling is acoustic tiled. The only possible negative about the room is the walls are painted over wood paneling.

    In the apartment I moved from I had no choice but to sit too close to the speakers and only one speaker was in the corner, there was a wall right behind the couch and there was a large TV screen and entertainment center between the speakers. Now there is only a small rack with a few audio components between the speakers.

    The sound quality is noticeably improved- even my non-audiophile friends have noticed. This has me excited about looking into additional acoustic treatment. Any suggestions would be welcome. I plan on posting some pictures this weekend.
    mds, timind, Leigh and 1 other person like this.
  2. Hipper

    Hipper Forum Resident

    Herts., England
    Congratulations. Sounds like a good sized room.

    1. Experiment with speaker and listening chair positioning. Here's one idea:

    Setting up your monitoring environment

    2. Do some measurements using music and ears (very rough), test tones and SPL meter (a bit more accurate), or Room EQ Wizard and microphone (very accurate but complicated to learn). To find out what bass issues you may get, try this room mode calculator:

    amroc - the room mode calculator

    3. Armed with measurement results, look at room treatment. Consult GIK or Realtraps.
    G E, jupiterboy and Raylinds like this.
  3. VinylRob

    VinylRob Forum Resident

    The room is everything. It is the context. Kits are merely the content.

    Congrats. Happy Listening!
    Manimal, Raylinds and timind like this.
  4. molinari

    molinari Forum Resident

    new york city
    Congrats on the new home - I really started realizing how the room affects the sound, since I’ve been getting into headphones. I work in post production and have been using headphones more and more for work. I edit in one particular room that has a good pair of Genelecs, but the room isn’t treated at all. When I went from monitoring on headphones, with no room coloration to the Genelecs, I was very distracted by the sound of the room. Of course when I get into a recording studio for a final mix, I’ll often find the same monitors, but in a treated environment - which makes mixing decisions possible. But unfortunately a lot of editing suites don’t have their rooms treated - not unlike most listener's homes...
  5. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    Congrats! The usual advice on acoustic treatments is first to kill any slap echo, then treat first reflection points, then consider bass traps, which besides smoothing bass can improve articulation across the band.
    Raylinds likes this.
  6. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Indeed! This why I have yet to buy really good speakers. My room is terrible. Most close listening I do on headphones.
  7. Dave Mac

    Dave Mac Well-Known Member

    My Cornwalls are 40 years old this year and in all that time I've never had them optimally placed in an appropriate room. Right now my listening area is way too small -- speakers are on a raised brick hearth flanking a fireplace (tweeters at ear level,) in corners about 5 feet apart slightly toed in and about 8 feet to to the couch on the back wall. By necessity I've EQ'd the system to the room and with the tone controls (!) achieved a surprisingly well balanced sound at my listening sweet spot. Full, well defined bass notes (not a sea of mud,) clear mids, and crisp clean highs.

    I'm retired and currently caregiver for my elderly Mom and at the risk of sounding cold and crass when the house becomes mine the whole system will get some much needed breathing room (speakers wider apart and 20 feet to the opposite wall) and I'm sure the sound quality will improve dramatically. Depending on what my own aging ears can appreciate, maybe simple repositioning, maybe room treatments. Maybe I won't need the EQ anymore. Until then things sound really good in my current man-cave.
  8. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    We moved back to my wife's hometown and the listening room I've set up in the rental house is aweful. We're out of here in six months, have to find a better listening room:)
  9. mrz80

    mrz80 Forum Resident

    Gainesville, FL
    Heheh, you sound like any number of model railroaders I've known over the years; they invariably talk about "buying a basement", usually with a 3br/2bath rain cover on top to protect the layout. :p
    Manimal, Agitater and showtaper like this.
  10. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Supper's ready

    Congrats Ray, where did you end up?
  11. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    Mans gotta have hope:) dang railroaders probably got all the good rooms.
  12. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I bought a place on Candlewood Lake in Danbury CT.
  13. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Coincidentally, I have a Lionel Train set that I love to set up in the living room around the tree at Christmas, but have not had room in my NYC apartment. Now I do!
    Manimal likes this.
  14. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Supper's ready

    Funny thing is my grandparents owned a house on the very same lake. I remember visiting when I was a child. Best of luck with it!

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