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Thread: The importance of the room

  1. #1
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    The importance of the room

    I recently plugged my B&W's into my bedroom system and was instantly reminded why I purchased them 13 years ago: Terrific speed, accuracy, tunefully tight bass, excellent slam, good body and of course, the mid range B&W's are famous for. Many of these qualities, particularly from the mid band down, had gone awol when I moved my main rig into a 25'Wx30'Lx30x'H space. The room simply swallowed them whole. Now that they are in a normal 15'Wx19'Lx11'H sized room, the sound has bloomed once again and all is right with the world.

    The point is, while we love talking about speakers, amps, preamps, tt's, cables, etc., I wonder if we are paying enough attention to the room? It could be argued that the room has the biggest affect on sound, yet I know of only one person that has built a dedicated sound room. There are myriad reasons for this, first and foremost being cost. Assuming the rest of us have finite budgets, instead we are forced to work with whatever room our homes (and significant others) allow.

    So what are some of the things you've noticed about your listening space and what did you do to improve the sound? What worked? What didn't? What was the most cost effective?

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    You are right on the money. First try to buy the right size speaker for the room.

    At Axpona one year someone set up two identical systems in identical rooms, but treated only one. That was a real education.

    I like the 50/50 approach where if you treat one wall leave the other. I don't care of an overly treated, or damped room either.

    It was very effective when I hung a tapestry on one wall close to first reflection spot. It's interesting how a room treatment can effect the entrie frequency range. I posted a while back how I put a blanket over the TV screen when just listening to music. At some point I will get a different TV and probably have it on the wall. I'd like to get a curtain of something that can be pulled in front of it but it depends on funds and if it can be done to look alright.

    There's a lot of good info on the net about treating a room as well as a myriad of products. MBL uses these really effective diffusers at the audio show, I wish I remembered the brand, what's cool, is they diffuse, not deaden. That's why a bookcase with random books pulled out some can be very effective in a listening room.

    Synergistic has some wild products out, I'd like to try them to hear if they work. They have these little gismos that you place on the wall.
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    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    It was very effective when I hung a tapestry on one wall close to first reflection spot. It's interesting how a room treatment can effect the entrie frequency range. I posted a while back how I put a blanket over the TV screen when just listening to music. At some point I will get a different TV and probably have it on the wall. I'd like to get a curtain of something that can be pulled in front of it but it depends on funds and if it can be done to look alright.

    There's a lot of good info on the net about treating a room as well as a myriad of products. MBL uses these really effective diffusers at the audio show, I wish I remembered the brand, what's cool, is they diffuse, not deaden. That's why a bookcase with random books pulled out some can be very effective in a listening room.
    Is your tv on the same plane as your speakers? I have to admit, I've never even considered the effect of the area between the speakers. We just finished changing our fireplace mantle from smooth slate tile to multi-layered flagstone and when I finally put my speakers back in place flanking the new mantle, I noticed the imaging had tightened up quite a bit. Honestly, I just thought this was either because I had increased the toe-in from before or it was just the euphoria of getting back to my music after a couple of weeks of construction. I wonder if the new mantle, which should be considerably more diffusive, had anything to do with it?

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    I would say the new more diffuse surface had a lot to do with it. Yeah, unfortunately, my TV is on the same plain pretty much right at the back of the cabinets. It will be really interesting to get a TV on the wall and free up space between the speakers to hear the effect. I would imagine imaging to be better.
    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
    Pass Labs XP-10 preamp
    Clearaudio Performance DC & Maestro v2 E, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    JBL 4367's & SAM3ha
    Revel S30's & SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet & Surgex SA15&20

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