hi maxflinn,room accoustics are a great topic for his forum indeed,the advice you have been given is all relevant,the room you use for your hifi and music reproduction ABSOLUTELY HAS THE BIGGEST AFFECT ON YOUR SOUND,more so than any piece of hifi equipment,unfortunately i believe most people are perhaps not aware of this,(appologies to all that are - you will more than likely have better sound than most),your hifi is in a lively environment maxflinn,regarding rugs try to get wool,it is a great natural sound absorber,speaker positioning can also have a dramatic effect in this type of room also,there is a book if your interested,check it at getbettersound.com,which is very useful for you.
Am in total agreement, tuning the room accoustics
is essential for getting a balanced sound.
So many people nowadays have wood flooring, blinds and a minimum ammout of furnishings.
Not conducive to a good sound as the room is too reflective with hard surfaces. Going to the other extreme leads to the room sounding dead or dull as it absorbs the sound waves.
Takes experimentation to get it right, also finding the sweet spots for speaker position along with equipment placement.
One trick if you find the treble a bit harsh in the room is to turn the speakers (standmounts) upside down so the tweeter is near the floor.
Get the room right is my advice before you start thinking about changing / upgrading equipment / cables etc.
Then upgrade the mains supply by installing a 40A wire radial spur.
Yes - I've heard of the trick of inverting your speakers (doesn't really apply to me though - don't think my floorstanding MAs would appreciate it!) - never actually experienced the impact.
As for installing a radial spur: Yep - I'm potentially looking at doing this, as at the moment my alternative is 2x6-way extension cords, which is all very messy and not conducive to a clean power supply. I do wonder if there's merit in having a separate spur for your amp, due to the large current draw (mine's 1000W!) and then another spur for all the lower current devices...
Scene, I have everything running off the one spur (30A draw). More than enough to handle current peaks.
My Amp and Sub add up to 1900 watts.
The spur feed runs into a extension then onto 2 BT MTU's. Makes a huge difference to both sound and picture quality.
I try to keep wiring and connections as simple as can be using quality fittings. I don't see any advantage in running two radials, the important thing is to have ample headroom for the draw.
Further mains conditioning off the spur will ensure each appliance gets its clean draw. Remember to put the high current draw items at the top of the tree.
Going back to the room accoustics I would sort out the mains as the 1st thing to do before tuning the room. You will likely find the addition of sound absorbing materials and drastic room alterations is less if your equipment is working at its best.
Tell me about it. I'm having an absolute nightmare trying to sort out my sound since I got the NAD 326 amp, due to excessive bass swamping everything else. I don't believe it is purely a problem with the amp, as the sound is fine when you listen from another room - but I'm not going to move my favourite armchair into the kitchen in order to enjoy my music! All was fine with the less bassy Cambridge A5 I had before, so I think my set-up (including the room) is just NAD-unfriendly. Another illustration of the folly of not home demo-ing before a purchase, methinks...
This is an excellent guide!
I thought I had a reasonable understanding of speaker placement, but this has definitely added to my knowledge. Had a play about last night and the results are a cleaner sound, wider sound-stage and better separation between instruments. Brilliant!
Out of curiosity, how does your Spendor / Sub sound compared to similar floor standers (say Spendor A5's)
I've not had a chance to make a fair comparison so I'm not really sure. I have my sub turned down very low and I'm still not happy with it's timing. Since getting the SA stands I'm finding the improved bass makes the sub almost redundant. It's handy for films and TV but generally doesn't do much now. I was tempted to home demo the A5s but I love the presentation of these too much to bother now!
Good point. If your happy why change
I suppose the speakers are in a different league to the Sub. Not that the sub is bad, it's just that they are very good speakers...Glad your enjoying them!
...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...
That,s quite strange igglebert, i was always told to put a larger speaker whenever possible in the room as it gives more scale at lower listening levels, each to their own i suppose.
This disagreement probably highlights one of the most important aspects of room acoustics: it is highly subjective.
Suggested reading: Floyd E. Toole's excellent: "Sound Reproduction: Loudspeakers and Rooms". This is pretty much the definitive work (IMHO) on surround sound acoustics and is used by a number of speaker manufacturers. Then again, if you read this, you'll be wanting to have a 5.4 or 7.4 system to achieve perfect base reproduction...
EDIT: This book is available on Amazon for £19.56:
This is an excellent guide! I thought I had a reasonable understanding of speaker placement, but this has definitely added to my knowledge. Had a play about last night and the results are a cleaner sound, wider sound-stage and better separation between instruments. Brilliant!
I agree. Great guide! Most room acoustics arcticles or guides I've read are way too complicated to make good use of. That Audio Physics guide is very readable. I'd already spent lots of time playing with room acoustics and speaker position, but that guide made me try moving my listening position a bit more with some excellent results. Thanks Igglebert!
Music Server -> Devialet 200 -> PMC Fact 8 -> Chord Cables
Great article igglebert, optimising room accoustics and speaker positioning can give far better results many an expensive upgrade.
Everyone should have a butchers at this article.
You're welcome, only passing on what someone showed me!
Yeah, I've heard that approach used often. Thing is, like anything, it's easy to go overboard with a technical solution, i.e. speaker system, for the given requirements, i.e. room size, listening level, etc. Obviously the real answer lies in room acoustics and detailed analysis but the simple approach that works well for me is to not overdo it. I've heard far too many big speakers in rooms that just didn't justify it.
I'm by no means stating any form of fact other than my own experiences.