New Home Office / Listening Room

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grimace

New Home Office / Listening Room
« on: 7 Feb 2018, 02:36 am »
Looking for some suggestions / guidance on a new room setup for me.  I will finally have a dedicated home office (11’W x 13’D x 13’H) that I can use as a listening room in the evenings...yes!  I will keep my current setup of N3TLs upstairs, so am basically starting from scratch.  I’m interested in trying OB speakers and the NX-Otica’s look like they are amazing.

I am looking to do this system the right way from the start and don’t mind spending a little more $$$ if needed to do it well.  I listen primarily to rock, jazz, female singer/songwriters, and classical music and split time between digital AppleTV and vinyl (Linn Axis turntable) so should be ok on the basic sources.  I will need a new pre/amp for the setup too.  If folks think the NX-Otica and separate OB subs make sense, I am willing to get the flat packs and do the build myself, but this would definitely be a bigger step for me in speaker building.

Thoughts?

JLM

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #1 on: 7 Feb 2018, 01:17 pm »
Above all else, do something about the square room (recommend adding a whole wall of 4 inch Owens Corning 703 and using a skewed layout).  Even than you'll probably need to use EQ or DSP to tame the echo.

Can't imagine a layout where OB/dipoles work well in a room this small, especially when used as an office.  Have you considered a near-field setup with monitors?  (My dedicated basement office/listening room is 8ft x 13ft x 21ft with desk in the back facing the speakers and a near-field setup in the front, which follows the Cardas Golden Cuboid ratios and setup recommendations.)  Note that this would provide a completely different presentation from OB/dipoles.

Ideally the room will be acoustically isolated so background noise levels are lower.  I used insulated/lined flexible ductwork to avoid hearing the furnace and an exterior insulated fiberglass door (both very effective and inexpensive).  I also ran dedicated electrical for the audio while I was at it.  My downfall was the drywall ceiling (wanted it to float but contractor balked) and my choice to use recessed can light fixtures (should have gone with wall sconces).

Hirst

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #2 on: 7 Feb 2018, 01:40 pm »
There is a wealth of knowledge in the "Acoustics Circle".  I have a similar problem (as most do), trying to wrestle with the laws of physics and finance. 
Have a quick look at the thread that I started and you will quickly realize how helpful and knowledgeable the contributors are:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153135.msg1637900#msg1637900

I have Danny's X-LS and they sound incredible.  I am going to buy Danny's wedgie kit with the H subs and servo once he has finished with the re-design.   

As JLM's signature states, the room analysis and treatment is critical.  I picked up a mic, downloaded REW and I am in the learning process to better prepare my room for listening.

Best of luck and drop into the "Acoustics Circle" for room treatment.

Paul

Danny Richie

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #3 on: 7 Feb 2018, 02:06 pm »
There is nothing wrong with using the NX-Otica or Wedgies in the near field. The crossovers were designed based on a one meter away mic location. And open baffle designs will still minimize the room interaction and room loading. You just need to get them three or more feet off of the front wall.

The good part is that with the servo subs handling the bottom end you have complete control over everything and can easily balance out the room response by adjusting phase, crossover points, and gain settings on the servo amp. There is even a built in EQ if there is a peak or dip that needs help.

You will have to address the square room shape with absorption and diffusion. It won't be difficult, but can't be overlooked either.

And I'd avoid any additional EQ or DSP. Those devices won't change the room reflections. They just average the amplitude. They can sometimes really mess up the sound stage as well. I like keeping those devices out of the signal path.

Tyson

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #4 on: 7 Feb 2018, 04:19 pm »
Open baffle speakers (and especially open baffle bass) are the best solution/foundation for getting great sound in a difficult room.  I had a horrible, horrible room for many years - an L shaped living room with one side closed and the other side open.  With box speakers (many different models) the bass and overall sound overloaded the closed side and was too thin on the open side.  A nightmare.  Moving to OB was the first thing that even got me in the ballpark of great sound in a room like that.

I've since learned that OB speakers are generally the best option in all but the very best rooms.  So I recommend the NX-Otica on top of the 12 inch servo OB subs as a great, configurable solution that will sound awesome in almost any room. 

gregfisk

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #5 on: 7 Feb 2018, 06:47 pm »
There are a few guys here that use OB speakers in very small rooms with nearfield set ups. Perhaps they can chime in and give you some first hand knowledge of that application. Of course Danny just explained why they work so well but it's always good to hear from real world end users.

I'm guessing they are the best solution for your difficult room.

Keithh

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #6 on: 7 Feb 2018, 08:36 pm »
I just got rid of my Wedgies/ 3-8's last month so my wife would let me build a new
set of speakers. They went into a 9'x11' room where they are quite impressive, much more so
than in my 14'x22' room.

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #7 on: 7 Feb 2018, 09:40 pm »
There is nothing wrong with using the NX-Otica or Wedgies in the near field. The crossovers were designed based on a one meter away mic location. And open baffle designs will still minimize the room interaction and room loading. You just need to get them three or more feet off of the front wall.

The good part is that with the servo subs handling the bottom end you have complete control over everything and can easily balance out the room response by adjusting phase, crossover points, and gain settings on the servo amp. There is even a built in EQ if there is a peak or dip that needs help.

You will have to address the square room shape with absorption and diffusion. It won't be difficult, but can't be overlooked either.

And I'd avoid any additional EQ or DSP. Those devices won't change the room reflections. They just average the amplitude. They can sometimes really mess up the sound stage as well. I like keeping those devices out of the signal path.

Thanks Danny, I will be able to move them 3’-4’ out no problem.  As I said, I’m interested in OB because it will be a new experience for me, so I’m glad to hear you say that the NX-Otica/Wedgies can work.  When the buildout of the room is done, I will definitely take a look at absorption and diffusion. 

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #8 on: 7 Feb 2018, 09:41 pm »
I just got rid of my Wedgies/ 3-8's last month so my wife would let me build a new
set of speakers. They went into a 9'x11' room where they are quite impressive, much more so
than in my 14'x22' room.

Thanks - too bad I missed an opportunity to buy them off ya :)

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #9 on: 7 Feb 2018, 09:44 pm »
Open baffle speakers (and especially open baffle bass) are the best solution/foundation for getting great sound in a difficult room.  I had a horrible, horrible room for many years - an L shaped living room with one side closed and the other side open.  With box speakers (many different models) the bass and overall sound overloaded the closed side and was too thin on the open side.  A nightmare.  Moving to OB was the first thing that even got me in the ballpark of great sound in a room like that.

I've since learned that OB speakers are generally the best option in all but the very best rooms.  So I recommend the NX-Otica on top of the 12 inch servo OB subs as a great, configurable solution that will sound awesome in almost any room.

Thanks Tyson, so you’re recommending the Otica MTM setup sitting on the subs instead of the floor standing model?  That could save me some $$$.

I’m very interested in hearing opinions on a nice, but affordable way to drive these speakers too...

Tyson

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #10 on: 7 Feb 2018, 10:20 pm »
Thanks Tyson, so you’re recommending the Otica MTM setup sitting on the subs instead of the floor standing model?  That could save me some $$$.

I’m very interested in hearing opinions on a nice, but affordable way to drive these speakers too...

Yes, that's exactly what I recommend.  Here's why - the full range towers will have passive bass that cannot be tamed/EQ'd like the subwoofers can.  Passive OB bass like in the Otica Towers is certainly better than box bass in closed speakers.  But OB bass in the Servo Subs is even better because each sub is individually tunable to the room via the volume, phase, damping, EQ and Extension settings. 

The "even better" part of the Otica MTM is that whatever amp you pick to drive them won't have to do any bass duties, so you can pick a smaller, more refined, more beautiful sounding amp that only does mids/highs, while leaving the crushing bass duties to the dedicated servo sub amps.  That's how I run my speakers (the Super 7s), and it's an absolutely brilliant design approach. 

When you say "affordable", what do you mean?  If you want a couple solid recs from manufacturers here on AC, then the smaller Odyssey amps are very good for class A (and AB) solid state amps, while the DAC amps are very good if you want a high efficiency (and small) digital amp. 

For a preamp I'd rec a good tubed pre, just as my own general preference.  There's lots and lots of good ones around, especially used. 

fishboat

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #11 on: 7 Feb 2018, 10:34 pm »
I've been researching a similar project (thread down below a ways).

Here's a couple links for thought..I know..there's a ton of info out there, but if one can't do golden rectangle dimensions..then the next question is "..X x Y x Z is what I have, how bad/good might it be..?

http://www.acousticsinsider.com/find-ideal-room-dimensions-using-calculator/

https://www.acousticfields.com/ideal-room-size-ratios-apply-bonello-graph/

https://amcoustics.com/tools/amroc?l=20&w=16&h=13&ft=true&r60=0.6

mlundy57

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #12 on: 7 Feb 2018, 11:00 pm »
Yes, that's exactly what I recommend.  Here's why - the full range towers will have passive bass that cannot be tamed/EQ'd like the subwoofers can.  Passive OB bass like in the Otica Towers is certainly better than box bass in closed speakers.  But OB bass in the Servo Subs is even better because each sub is individually tunable to the room via the volume, phase, damping, EQ and Extension settings. 

The "even better" part of the Otica MTM is that whatever amp you pick to drive them won't have to do any bass duties, so you can pick a smaller, more refined, more beautiful sounding amp that only does mids/highs, while leaving the crushing bass duties to the dedicated servo sub amps.  That's how I run my speakers (the Super 7s), and it's an absolutely brilliant design approach. 

When you say "affordable", what do you mean?  If you want a couple solid recs from manufacturers here on AC, then the smaller Odyssey amps are very good for class A (and AB) solid state amps, while the DAC amps are very good if you want a high efficiency (and small) digital amp. 

For a preamp I'd rec a good tubed pre, just as my own general preference.  There's lots and lots of good ones around, especially used.

+1 on Tyson's recommendation.

I'm currently running the NX-Otica MTMs on top of dual 12" servo subs in H-Frames. My room is 10ft x 13ft x 8ft.  I have also had the Wedgies in this room. In this size room I couldn't fit the full size NX-Oticas and separate H-Frames for the subs.

I have driven the Otica MTMs with tube amps ranging from 5wpc to 35wpc. I'm currently using a 15wpc DODD Audio EL84 based tube amp paired with a DODD Audio tube buffer. Both amp and buffer are running on batteries.  Like Tyson said, amp choices are wide open. I kinda wonder what they would sound like with a 300B SET amp.

Mike

Danny Richie

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #13 on: 7 Feb 2018, 11:04 pm »
Hey Tyson,

The full sized version doesn't really require the amp to handle bass duties either. But the four lower woofers push the crossover point from just below 200Hz with the MTM only version to around 80Hz with the full sized version. Some guys are getting lower crossover points than that in their rooms. They also blend a bit better with the servo subs crossing lower. And you can still drive them with low wattage chip amps and tube amps. I do.

But grimace might like a two piece speaker in his small room rather than a four piece version.

Here is the deal on the MTM version: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=144907.0

Jay made a nice comparison of the two here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=153391.msg1639527#msg1639527

Tyson

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #14 on: 7 Feb 2018, 11:41 pm »
Wouldn't the MTM's just be able to sit on top of the subs?  The full tower Oticas don't do that, do they? 

Danny Richie

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Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #15 on: 7 Feb 2018, 11:54 pm »
Wouldn't the MTM's just be able to sit on top of the subs?  The full tower Oticas don't do that, do they?

Correct. See full sized version.




ebag4

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #16 on: 8 Feb 2018, 12:18 am »
I ran OBs in a room nearly the same size (except that great height) as yours for many years.  As mentioned earlier in the thread, OB is a great solution for a small room if you can pull the speakers away from the front wall.  The last set of speakers I set up in that room were the Wedgies with the 12" H frames, they sounded great in that space.  I have also had the NX Otticas in that room but it was a short period before I moved the Otticas to a larger space, so they were never tweaked for best response through positioning like the Wedgies were, so the Wedgies remain my favorite speaker in that room.  For reference this was my layout, Danny's V1 (another OB) is the speaker I was running at the time of the sketch, this should be a reasonable starting spot for any OB in a room of this size.




Best of luck!
Ed
« Last Edit: 8 Feb 2018, 01:32 am by ebag4 »

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #17 on: 8 Feb 2018, 02:29 am »
Yes, that's exactly what I recommend.  Here's why - the full range towers will have passive bass that cannot be tamed/EQ'd like the subwoofers can.  Passive OB bass like in the Otica Towers is certainly better than box bass in closed speakers.  But OB bass in the Servo Subs is even better because each sub is individually tunable to the room via the volume, phase, damping, EQ and Extension settings. 

The "even better" part of the Otica MTM is that whatever amp you pick to drive them won't have to do any bass duties, so you can pick a smaller, more refined, more beautiful sounding amp that only does mids/highs, while leaving the crushing bass duties to the dedicated servo sub amps.  That's how I run my speakers (the Super 7s), and it's an absolutely brilliant design approach. 

When you say "affordable", what do you mean?  If you want a couple solid recs from manufacturers here on AC, then the smaller Odyssey amps are very good for class A (and AB) solid state amps, while the DAC amps are very good if you want a high efficiency (and small) digital amp. 

For a preamp I'd rec a good tubed pre, just as my own general preference.  There's lots and lots of good ones around, especially used.

Thank you Tyson, that is helpful for sure.  I would love to find a solid, starter set pre & amp (or even integrated) for less than $2500 if possible.  Happy to buy used to save $$$ too.  Down the road, I may sink more money into the system, but with the initial buildout of the subs and speakers with room treatment I will eat into my budget pretty fast. 

Glad to hear any and all suggestions.

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #18 on: 8 Feb 2018, 02:30 am »
+1 on Tyson's recommendation.

I'm currently running the NX-Otica MTMs on top of dual 12" servo subs in H-Frames. My room is 10ft x 13ft x 8ft.  I have also had the Wedgies in this room. In this size room I couldn't fit the full size NX-Oticas and separate H-Frames for the subs.

I have driven the Otica MTMs with tube amps ranging from 5wpc to 35wpc. I'm currently using a 15wpc DODD Audio EL84 based tube amp paired with a DODD Audio tube buffer. Both amp and buffer are running on batteries.  Like Tyson said, amp choices are wide open. I kinda wonder what they would sound like with a 300B SET amp.

Mike

Thanks Mike.  I’d love to see a picture of your setup with the two stacked.

grimace

Re: New Home Office / Listening Room
« Reply #19 on: 8 Feb 2018, 02:30 am »
I ran OBs in a room nearly the same size (except that great height) as yours for many years.  As mentioned earlier in the thread, OB is a great solution for a small room if you can pull the speakers away from the front wall.  The last set of speakers I set up in that room were the Wedgies with the 12" H frames, they sounded great in that space.  I have also had the NX Otticas in that room but it was a short period before I moved the Otticas to a larger space, so they were never tweaked for best response through positioning like the Wedgies were, so the Wedgies remain my favorite speaker in that room.  For reference this was my layout, Danny's V1 (another OB) is the speaker I was running at the time of the sketch, this should be a reasonable starting spot for any OB in a room of this size.




Best of luck!
Ed

Thank you Ed - this is good to see