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  1. #1
    3db
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    I've noticed a trend in Audio Asylum

    but here and in Audioholics as well. I found alot of cases where people are way to quick to blame their current speakers for poor sound rather than look at the room acoustics, and the psotioning of the speakers within the room. Maybe its an excuse to upgrade and laying out a strategy to ambush the significant other with. However, I do notice that many jump on the bandwagon recommending this speaker and that speaker without addressing the room.
    To me thats just a poor attempt at treating the symptom instead of what's actually causing it.

    My HT room is an acoustic nightmare in the mid and high frequencies. Everytime I turn up the volume past 85db in 12x16' HT room, the sound is gettign shrill. I know my receiver is part of the blame as I got the same result in a different room with different speakers. But I also know that my room will echo a clap of my hands and I know this is a bad thing. This will be my project over my Christmas break, to build acoustic treatments for my room. Comments?

  2. #2
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    but here and in Audioholics as well. I found alot of cases where people are way to quick to blame their current speakers for poor sound rather than look at the room acoustics, and the psotioning of the speakers within the room. Maybe its an excuse to upgrade and laying out a strategy to ambush the significant other with. However, I do notice that many jump on the bandwagon recommending this speaker and that speaker without addressing the room.
    To me thats just a poor attempt at treating the symptom instead of what's actually causing it.

    My HT room is an acoustic nightmare in the mid and high frequencies. Everytime I turn up the volume past 85db in 12x16' HT room, the sound is gettign shrill. I know my receiver is part of the blame as I got the same result in a different room with different speakers. But I also know that my room will echo a clap of my hands and I know this is a bad thing. This will be my project over my Christmas break, to build acoustic treatments for my room. Comments?
    Havent noticed that at all. Most say something about room acoustics,furniture,carpets,ect.
    Look & Listen

  3. #3
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    A agree partly. Many people do seem to blame their speakers, or amps/receivers instead of setting things up correctly. But most responses here focus on calibration before replacing.

    Still, as much fun as tweaking is, there's nothing like the thrill of something new. Until you get it home and it doesn't change anything for the better.

    They say that anticipation is the best part. So I have started a long wish list. I don't buy anything, I just wish. It's better this way.

    And for peeks sake, move those speakers around!
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  4. #4
    3db
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    Talking Heck that's funny

    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    A agree partly. Many people do seem to blame their speakers, or amps/receivers instead of setting things up correctly. But most responses here focus on calibration before replacing.

    Still, as much fun as tweaking is, there's nothing like the thrill of something new. Until you get it home and it doesn't change anything for the better.

    They say that anticipation is the best part. So I have started a long wish list. I don't buy anything, I just wish. It's better this way.

    And for peeks sake, move those speakers around!
    Yup I'm on an upgrade path for a new turntable. It will take me a couple of years to scrape the funds together and therein lies a part of the fun I think?

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    This is nothing new, it's just how the audio industry has been going over the years. Room acoustics fixes are not easy to understand conceptually, they differ from room to room, they require patience and have a learning curve, and they're not something that stores can make a quick sale from.

    It's a lot easier to sell consumers on high priced cabling or higher wattage amps than telling them that the issues with their audio system have to do with their rooms. But, the proper fix for room induced problems will be different from room to room, and that doing it properly requires technical measurements and an understanding of how different approaches affect the sound. The retailers are set up around making a quick sale. It doesn't take much time (or a lot of convincing) to tell a consumer that they need "more watts" or that cheap cables are like clogged pipes -- bigger cables means more signal can pass through.

    Speaker upgrades are a viable recommendation because more than any other component, the speakers define how the system will sound. But, the room acoustics are always lurking in the background, and if you don't take care of room-induced problems, then they will affect every component that you buy.

    Also, because everybody's room is different, it's not quite as comparable to discuss room acoustics. Everybody can go to their local dealer to listen to a highly recommended speaker for themselves, but no one can know for sure what your room does to the sound unless they actually visit your room. Of course, that does not diminish the importance of addressing the room acoustics for most rooms. The boundary effects alone are important to discuss because most listeners have their setup in small to medium sized rooms.

    Actually, on this board, a good cross-section of the regulars go along with the recommendation of optimizing the equipment that you already own before you go about upgrading anything. To me, it's just common sense. Why not try no cost or low cost approaches to improving your sound quality before pursuing high cost approaches?

  6. #6
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    I'm on board with that. There is nothing quite as humbling as a Rives Audio CD, Radio Shack SPL meter, and a sheet of graph paper. Can anyone say "moguls"? Until I got them I thought my system sounded great, and I still do. But, I have spent the last two months chasing down this damn 150-200hz 6 db peak. Nothing I do, other than an EQ, gets rid of it. But, the hunt has been fun.

  7. #7
    3db
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    Just curious

    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    I'm on board with that. There is nothing quite as humbling as a Rives Audio CD, Radio Shack SPL meter, and a sheet of graph paper. Can anyone say "moguls"? Until I got them I thought my system sounded great, and I still do. But, I have spent the last two months chasing down this damn 150-200hz 6 db peak. Nothing I do, other than an EQ, gets rid of it. But, the hunt has been fun.

    Do you have towers?

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I have to agree...Room acoustics play a very big role in the sound. As important as it is though, my own observations have led me to believe it's more of a tweaking thing in the end. That is, in my experience, a better speaker will almost always sound better than an inferior speaker, and the room's contributions are experienced by both. Of course bass response is the exception here, transfer function will put limits on that without treatment. I have yet to hear that I liked more in one room and less in a different room when compared to the same speaker though.

    After proper speaker placement (which in itself can take days) the first things I look for are nailing the reflection points on the walls and floor...My ceiling ain't gonna happen, but it's got some weird 1980's spackle stuff on it anyway which probably helps some. It's amazing how much you can clean up the sound with just a few well placed absorptive panels, furniture, etc.

    For the first few hundred bucks, a speaker upgrade makes great sense. But very quickly it becomes more cost-effective to take care of your room.

    Besides, what's the point of dumping a pile of cash into speakers if you know you aren't getting the most out of them anyway?

  9. #9
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I guess it is easier, and more wife excepting to just suggest that you need new small speakers, or a new amp, pre-amp, wire that you can hide away out of sight, or any thing else, than to suggest that you need to move the furniture(your listening seat) put up some sort of treatment(can be un-attractive to most women), or put a sub in a place that the significant other has to see it.

    Small room acoustics are an incredibly complex issue, that takes very long arms to grasp it. Most studies and white papers on acoustics are only applicable if you have a room that is rectangular and closed off(no open architecture thanks). Once you began to stray away from the rectangle, all bets are off. Measuring instruments requires the skill of interpretation, so you know what you can equalize, and what you cannot.

    Simple things like" this sounds good" and "this has these features" , "this speakers is more laid back, and that should tame your brightness" is much easier than to tell the person that you keep you existing equipment intact, but you must treat you back and side walls because you have diffusion and absoption problems. Most wives would never go for these kinds of fixes because lets face it, to them it is not visually attractive. To make them visually attractive, and blend well with the room decor will usually cause your wallet to become unattractive.

    The concept of equal treatment to the room and equipment is just too hard for many to grasp for so many different reasons.
    Sir Terrence

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  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Well said, Sir T. And doesn't this further emphasize the need to demo speakers in the room they'll be used in when possible? I don't think it's too far off to say that people buy speakers not just to sound good in anechoic chambers, but to sound good in their rooms, despite whatever issues it may have.

  11. #11
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    It's just plain fun to buy new stuff.

    I love my system. But I still have that little voice in my head telling me that it could be better if I bought this. Or even better if I bought that. Hmmmm... wouldn't it be great to have a new (fill in the blank). So-n-so has better (same blank) than I do. I need to buy bigger & better. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade....

    What? Keep what I have and just move things around? Totally unacceptable!

    Are the voices in my head getting too loud for you guys?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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