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room accoustics....
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just wondering what peoples views may be as to how much room accoustics impact on the sound one hears ?

my lounge is 4.4 metres by 4.1 ..

my front speakers are about 800mm from the front wall which includes a window , and no nearer than the same to the closest side wall..

opposite them is a largish leather couch positioned in front of the rear wall , and a smaller one to one side , the whole room is tiled over a solid concrete floor  , no curtains , rugs , or much else really , just a small coffee table in front of the couch ..

any views on whether that layout is ideal or not , for music ?? cheers ...

 

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Re: room accoustics....

The simple answer is that room acoustics have a massive impact - as much as the equipment you choose IMO - and it is the reason why I advocate home demonstrations so strongly. Listening to something in a dealer's dem room tells you nothing about how it will sound once you get it home.

Your room will be 'live'. It sounds like there are quite a lot of reflective surfaces and with no curtains and no rugs over that concrete floor, the room will be exacerbating the hardness that you have occasionally been experiencing.

Before spending more money on upgrading your amplifier I would be inclined to experiment with ways of softening your room. Hanging some sort of tapestry on the wall opposite the speakers, placing a nice big soft rug on the floor between your sofa and the speakers.... This could be all that is needed to get things sorted. A better amplifier will then show its true worth even more.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rega Apollo R - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

cheers mathew , i must admit ive done a bit of googling on the subject this morning , and what you have said ties in perfectly with others views too Yes

my room is quite bare , i think its no coincidence that the only harshness ive found was at high volume , if im understanding things correctly , the sound is reverberating of the walls , floor and ceiling  , thus distorting at high frequencies ?

ill get a few cushions and stick em in the corners , and a rug too (arent mums great) , see if that makes a difference , ill also see if i can find anything that i can put up on the wall behind me , im guessing pictures, prints etc will still reflect sound , so yea maybe a tapestry of some sort ..

looks like ive possibly been selling my little nad short  Geeked

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Re: room accoustics....

At present you are not far off playing your hi-fi in a room that is almost like a big bathroom so yes, the higher the volume the more the sound will be reflecting off the hard surfaces and distorting. This will also affect the overall timing - sort out the room and I think you'll find the whole thing sounds tighter and more rhythmic.

Rega RP3/Elys 2 - Graham Slee Gram Amp 1 - Rega Apollo R - Exposure 1010 amp - Dynaudio DM2/6 - Chord Co. Chameleon VEE3/Rumour 2 - Musical Fidelity V90-HPA - Sennheiser HD595

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Re: room accoustics....

yes , ill do that mathew , it makes total sense , thanks again Smile

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Re: room accoustics....

This should be the most discussed topic on all hifi forums as it has the biggest influence of all, not "will this cable make the treble brighter?" questions we usually get.

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

I utterley agree that not enough weight and importance is given to room acoustics.I wish I'd known how important before I brought my latest kit and before I let wife make me change thick carpet to wooden floors. in my insect lifespan knowledge i think its more important than the actual kit you buy if you dont have good acoustics and how do you know. cant speakers have a hard floor rating ( wooden or concrete )

Room acoustics and Wooden/concrete floors deserve there own support group-maybe there own charity.

Thick soft rugs are better than cheap thin ones-I tried several. framed fabrics on back wall-like wot they have at recording studio's-get some nice fabric-make a box frame-makes a nice picture and helps loads with acoustics, thick heavy curtains made a big diff.

any other advise I'd also appreciatte

cheers

pedro

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

This guide by Audio Physic might interest you.

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....
igglebert:This guide by Audio Physic might interest you.

 

had a read of that iggie , moved a few things around a bit , well as much as i can anyway , some interesting results , ill have to give this whole accoustic / positioning thing some more thought .... Geeked

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Re: room accoustics....

as the others have said, max.  your system will sound so much better if you can damp the room.  a loud clap in the centre of the room, will give an idea of just how reverberant it is.  if you have any bass issues as well, some large, empty boxes (like what your speakers came in) in corners can let you know if it might be worth putting something there.  i have rugs, bookcases and beanbags dotted about my room - it's definitely helped.

there's plenty of stuff on the 'net about diy room treatment, or i've found gik acoustics to be reasonably priced.  you can get stuff that looks very nice, almost like artwork, but it tends to be expensive.  play around, you might be suprised at the changes you can make to improve the sound.

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

yes ill certainly experiment with a few things craig , as i said , just from moving the speakers around earlier , i could hear a different sound , like idc said , im surprised there arent more posts / questions regarding accoustics ,it quite clearly plays a big part in hifi sound quality ...

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Re: room accoustics....

if whf ran an article about how much you could improve the sound in your room through the use of acoustic treatment, there would be a lot more threads about it as people became more aware.  either that, or no-one would buy the mag 'cos it was full of foam panels!

most folks i guess just want to stick a system in their room, and live with the sound.  my room is set up around where the speakers sound best. Geeked Embarrassed

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

thanks for that guide, very useful.

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Re: room accoustics....

Yes, that was a great article, that gave a pretty clear statement of the basic issues regarding acoustics and stereo sound - usually such articles either get way too technical or slightly trite.

I agree with idc, room acoustics are probably have the biggest impact on how our systems sound. (Unless, like idc you're a major headphone fan - in which case room acoustics go out of the window!)  It doesn't matter how much you spend on you're uber-hi-fi set up if you plonk it in your concrete and stripped wood floor minimalist loft apartment.  It's more as likely to sound like the station announcements at Waterloo station.  Yes, I have carpet in my lounge - no it's not "trendy", but my speakers sound great.  The large, heavy curtains covering the window across most of one end of my room (opposite the speakers) give a great opportunity to tweak the acoustics.  Yes - there should be more on acoustics on these forums and I don't mean stapling egg-boxes to the walls.  Speaker positioning is an art and can make mediocre speakers sing or great speakers sound dull and inncoherent.

Maybe we as posters can point people in the right direction - when they ask "would my system sound better with different speaker cables or interconnects", we should ask: "what is it you don't like about your existing sound?" and, having got an answer - if it seems that it could be a positioning / acoustics issue, we could ask "have you tried moving your speakers", send a photo of your room from the listening position to the speakers and vice versa and look at the results than can be got, rather than arguing the relative merits of Chord Crimsons vs. Merlin Mozarts or QED Silver Anniversary vs. Chord Carnival Silverscreen.  We've all done it.

Maybe WHFS&V could run a few articles where they go to a reader's house with issues with their set up and see what can be done without changing the set-up - i.e. get the best out of the existing kit, maybe just by tweaking positioning or doing some simple room treatments...

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....

totally agree scene , great post Yes

Anonymous
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Re: room accoustics....
scene:Speaker positioning is an art and can make mediocre speakers sing or great speakers sound dull and inncoherent.



...this is a very good point and should never be underestimated. Further, the stands you place a speaker on will have their impact too, surprisingly so.

In all my years of owning and tweaking hifi, the best advice I ever received was to pick a speaker that many would consider too small for the room. This can provide far more flexibility to place it well, bringing huge gains in all areas.

These days my worst nightmare is a pair of floorstanders in a small, square room with wooden floorboards and an amp that can't grip the drive units! Well, that and slow sub-woofers...

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