The listening room

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karatestu
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The listening room

Unread post by karatestu »

I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread specifically about the rooms we listen in, what problems we have had (if any) and the methods used to overcome these problems.

I don't want this to be just about NVA semi omni speakers and how they work with the room not against it etc etc. Whilst the semi omni approach is very valid we should encourage the discussion of rooms and all speaker types. My interest has recently been piqued by Simon Hickie's experience with semi omni and my own experience with playing amplified loud music in various venues of varying size, shape and suitability.

I use semi omni speakers in my main sound system at home and so my observations are mainly related to them but i have not always used them and i have traditional "point & squirt" in other systems and obviously the various bands i play in. I am far from an expert on these matters but do have many experiences to share, questions to ask and things to learn.

As we hear sound directly from the drivers, via first reflections and from reverberations then plonking our system in a room with lots of reflective surfaces is asking for trouble. Sparsely furnished rooms with wood floors, lots of glass and uniform walls imo is going to be a sonic nightmare. Luckily most of us old duffers are less likely to live in ultra modern minimalist lifestyle accommodation.

I have been lucky that i have always lived in old houses with surfaces out of square and old fashioned solid design and build. Flooring is always carpet for me and the listening room has to be lived in as well so lots of things to absorb or diffuse reflections such as heavy curtains, furniture, sofa's, book shelves full of books, cd,s, lp's or just general tat.

One thing i had forgotten to consider is the ceiling. Obviously it is plasterboard with a plaster coating. Not ideal and likely to reverberate. But it is artex (yes i know very 1970's and dated) but i like it. But what if this artex has ignored advantages due to it's highly textured finish ? And does it work against me seeing as though i have semi omni speakers ?

lets have your thoughts and experiences on all things room related :epopc:
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Latteman
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by Latteman »

My listening room I a conservatory- wooden door and roof frames.
The right side is the ‘open’ area with the windows and door all along its 5/6 meter length with a width of 4m max.
The left is another glass- French door style-
Both ends are solid brick uncovered walls
No curtains just a sofa and a rug
The roof is slopped down left to right

I’ve never bothered too much with room acoustics
Speaker height for firing distances has always plagued me but with the semi omni type speakers this is more of a room filler.
I have insulation sheets on the windows to reduce any vibration but the roof is my main concern- will be playing with a false ceiling above the equipment area to gain a flat interface
Apart from the rain I like the ‘airiness’
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montechristo358
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by montechristo358 »

well I can't comment onArtex, but there was a massive difference when I replaced our leather sofas with fabric
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by CN211276 »

montechristo358 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:08 am
well I can't comment onArtex, but there was a massive difference when I replaced our leather sofas with fabric
What was the difference? We have two leather sofas, one is on its last legs and we are thinking of replacing it with fabric. Very interested in your comments. Thanks.
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by montechristo358 »

well to give some background my lounge is a very hard environment.

Wooden shutters rather than curtains
oak floor
painted walls

was pretty good for light Jazz, vocal e.t.c but rather lost its way with anything rock, or to much complexity just becoming a noisy mess,
very harsh and tiring

New sofas are more less the same size.shape and in the same places however i found evrything became more cohesive, less harsh, less tiring and just generally nicer to listen to
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by CN211276 »

My listening room is a lot different, but I suspect a fabric sofa will soften the sound. If the effect is too much I can always change a filter setting on the DAC. Dont think DFS will allow me a 30 day return period if I am not satisfied with the effect on the sound. :lol:
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montechristo358
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by montechristo358 »

throw a duvet or blankets over the existing sofa first would be my advice, see if it changes much before spending money
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by CN211276 »

montechristo358 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:43 am
throw a duvet or blankets over the existing sofa first would be my advice, see if it changes much before spending money
I might do that.

The listening room takes up most of the downstairs of the house with the dedicated listening area at the front. On one side are the windows and on the other a leather sofa. The leather sofa which needs replacing faces the speakers and tv. Because of the small size of the dedicated listening area the speakers need to be close to the back wall. The Cube 1s work fine like this. The ceiling is average height and I believe this is a plus point. Because the speakers are semi omnidirectional ther is a good sound at the other end of the room where the games table and computer are.

Insufficient attention is given to the effect the room has in marketing bumph and a computer tested flat frequency response counts for very little in the real world. Speaker demonstrations at a dealers are of little use. I have found that sound stage and imaging is affected by volume and put this down to reflections and absortion. I live in a detached house and like to crank it up when alone, but there is a trade off in these areas. I am wondering if a fabric sofa will improve things. The floor is wooden and when a thin rug was replaced by a thicker larger one the sound improved a lot.
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karatestu
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by karatestu »

I like the sound in my rehearsal room where i have my Sony CDPS1 connected up to the PA. The whole thing is carpeted (even the ceiling) and i mean every square inch. No windows and the only door is carpet lined too. It's obviously a very dead room for high frequencies but the funny thing is i don't find it too dead at all. Nice and relaxing.
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Simon Hickie
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Re: The listening room

Unread post by Simon Hickie »

My room is 14L x 12W x 9H and is dedicated to my stuff - camera gear, books and HiFi. Speakers fire down the long side towards my two seater settee. The semi-omnis are against the wall, either side of a 4 foot wide 60's/70s hifi unit (not a rack). There is a door in each side walls down at the speaker end. My OB speakers when built will be to the listener side of those doors and about 4 feet from the front wall, giving a speaker to listener distance of about 9 feet, with about 7 feet between the speaker centres. The floor is carpeted. With the semi-omnis, sound levels near the speakers at head height are much, much louder than from the seating position - more so than with point and squirt. This also means that adjacent rooms and those above are disproportionately affected with sound leakage.

The classic figure of 8 dipole radiation pattern from the planned OBs will make an interesting alternative. One thing is fairly clear: I have no plans to go back to skinny baffled bass reflex speakers with small drivers that are too compromised for large scale orchestral music.

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