It's the Room, Stupid!

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Early B.

It's the Room, Stupid!
« on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:00 pm »
I believe my system sounds far better than what I'm getting out of it. My room may not be wide enough for the soundstage to blossom. My room is 13'x20' with an 8' ceiling. The system is set up on the short wall. I have the speakers set 4 feet from the back wall and about 3 feet from the side walls.

Should I consider setting up the speakers on the long wall? The downside is that I would lose depth (only about 3 feet behind me if I listen critically in nearfield).   


Mike-48

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #1 on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:11 pm »
Are there any photos in your Gallery that show a wide view of the room with the system in it? Anyone trying to make suggestions to you will benefit from seeing that.

In my opinion, 13 ft width is not ideal but far from terrible. What you hear will depend on the acoustic properties of the room, as treated (or not).

Big Red Machine

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #2 on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:12 pm »
I tried that years ago and could not tame all the reflections from behind me. You pick up soundstage but get a bunch of confusing reflections from behind your head.

Which speakers? I'd rather treat the sidewall and get the speakers outward for a wider stage on the short wall. That gives you some more depth of seating.

toocool4

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #3 on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:20 pm »
Like Big Red Machine say sounds good to me, treat the side walls and hopefully the room will appear wider.
I would also treat all other walls too. 

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #4 on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:56 pm »
Like Big Red Machine say sounds good to me, treat the side walls and hopefully the room will appear wider.
I would also treat all other walls too.

I can't treat the side walls. The first reflection point for my left speaker is a window. Besides, my system is set up in the family room and I have a wife who won't play kindly to room treatments.

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #5 on: 20 Nov 2020, 07:58 pm »
I tried that years ago and could not tame all the reflections from behind me. You pick up soundstage but get a bunch of confusing reflections from behind your head.

Which speakers? I'd rather treat the sidewall and get the speakers outward for a wider stage on the short wall. That gives you some more depth of seating.

OK, so one problem solved creates a bigger one elsewhere -- maybe it's not a good idea. I'll leave it alone.

I have open baffle speakers.

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #6 on: 20 Nov 2020, 08:01 pm »
Are there any photos in your Gallery that show a wide view of the room with the system in it? Anyone trying to make suggestions to you will benefit from seeing that.

Here's an old pic...the sofa is now in the rear of the room.



Big Red Machine

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #7 on: 20 Nov 2020, 08:18 pm »
Love the room. Love the floors.

Not much toe-in there. Maybe you can squeeze them a little wider. Are sitting in the couch or a chair in front of the couch? Or, what is your triangle?

toocool4

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #8 on: 20 Nov 2020, 08:25 pm »
Could you get panels you can move in and out when needed? In my room I have windows on the right, so I made some DIY panels I can put in place when listening.



Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #9 on: 20 Nov 2020, 08:36 pm »
Not much toe-in there. Maybe you can squeeze them a little wider. Are sitting in the couch or a chair in front of the couch? Or, what is your triangle?

No toe-in. Sounds better shooting straight. Open baffle speakers need to be as far away from room boundaries as possible.

In the past, I was sitting on the couch which is about 4 feet from the back wall. A couple of months ago, I experimented with setting a chair in front of the couch which put me a couple of feet closer to the speakers. Looks weird, but it sounds better -- more immersive. In this way, I'm 8 feet from the speakers which are 6 feet apart. 

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #10 on: 20 Nov 2020, 08:40 pm »
Could you get panels you can move in and out when needed? In my room I have windows on the right, so I made some DIY panels I can put in place when listening.

I tried that before several years ago and it didn't make enough difference to continue doing it.     

Mike-48

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #11 on: 20 Nov 2020, 09:07 pm »
Let me be blunt. I think you are right -- it's the room. It is lovely, but it appears to have six reflective surfaces (walls, ceiling, floor). A big echo chamber. So far, you have rejected all suggestions for improving it. So my advice is, think about what could you accept?

For example, the rug looks like sisal or some other open weave. Could that be replaced with something similar aesthetically but that would kill some of the HF floor echo? Could a few small 2" panels be placed strategically to absorb slap echo? And so on.

If you can't change the room, you won't be able to change the sound -- UNLESS you are willing to buy into DSP room correction in a big way. I can't say that WILL help, but it MIGHT, and if you can't change the wall surfaces, that's the main tool that's left.

One person's opinion, which I hope won't seem too blunt.

P.S. Don't forget that acoustic panels can be covered with a choice of thousands of different Guilford fabrics. Most of those are more attractive than the defaults offered by acoustics firms, and there are fabrics to blend with any decor.

rollo

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Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #12 on: 20 Nov 2020, 09:16 pm »
Early, Have you tried bringing speakers out from front wall ? A third of room length in. We set rooms either by 1/3, 1/4 or 1/5 depending on speaker.

charles

Saturn94

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Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #13 on: 20 Nov 2020, 09:17 pm »
I believe my system sounds far better than what I'm getting out of it. My room may not be wide enough for the soundstage to blossom. My room is 13'x20' with an 8' ceiling. The system is set up on the short wall. I have the speakers set 4 feet from the back wall and about 3 feet from the side walls.

Should I consider setting up the speakers on the long wall? The downside is that I would lose depth (only about 3 feet behind me if I listen critically in nearfield).   

I have a similar room and placing speakers (currently Maggies) sounds better, especially soundstage, on the long wall (no special room treatment).  Don’t be afraid to try it.  Just because it doesn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Every room is different; experiment!  :thumb:

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #14 on: 20 Nov 2020, 10:06 pm »
Let me be blunt. I think you are right -- it's the room. It is lovely, but it appears to have six reflective surfaces (walls, ceiling, floor). A big echo chamber. So far, you have rejected all suggestions for improving it. So my advice is, think about what could you accept?

My question was very specific -- it was about placing speakers along the long wall, and BRM pretty much answered that. I don't have a big echo chamber -- the system sounds very, very good actually. I've already gone down the acoustic panel road.

I agree with you 100% -- there's not much else to do, hence the title of this thread.

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #15 on: 20 Nov 2020, 10:12 pm »
Early, Have you tried bringing speakers out from front wall ? A third of room length in. We set rooms either by 1/3, 1/4 or 1/5 depending on speaker.

I can try that again. I set them up a while ago and they're placed where I thought they sounded the best. My speakers are currently 1/5th in the room and I can temporarily move them out further, but can't leave them there because they would be in front of the TV.   

Mike-48

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #16 on: 20 Nov 2020, 10:22 pm »
Apologies for losing the specificity of the question while wandering though the weeds.
I think changing position is worth a try, particularly if you can get something (quilt? acoustic panel?) behind the listener's head to reduce the hard reflections from the wall.

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #17 on: 20 Nov 2020, 10:24 pm »
I have a similar room and placing speakers (currently Maggies) sounds better, especially soundstage, on the long wall (no special room treatment).  Don’t be afraid to try it.  Just because it doesn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.  Every room is different; experiment!  :thumb:

You're right. I thought it would be a hassle, but now that I think about it, I can test it without moving my audio system.

JLM

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Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #18 on: 21 Nov 2020, 12:17 pm »
Your room is OK.  The dimensions are close to Fibonacci ratios (an ideal) and almost identical to my room.  But bigger (as long as the shape isn't too weird) is always better within practical realms.  Your orientation is OK too (like mine).  Trying to turn the setup along the long wall would really squeeze the needed space between loudspeakers and front wall (especially with open baffles) and listener and back wall far too much. 

Always suggest reading Floyd Toole's "Sound Reproduction" (either/both editions) to learn how loudspeakers and subwoofers behave in-room, although he doesn't have much advice for open baffles.  (Not aware of any respected acoustician who does.)

Lots of exposed wood in the room, what does it sound like for normal conversation?  (Should be OK.)  Could replace the rug with something more acoustically absorbent.  Don't trust your eyes or gut to judge acoustic properties, use measurements.  GIK uses some of the very best materials/designs and can customize the coverings to whatever you want. 

My room is a man cave made of drywall walls/ceiling with wall to wall carpet on pad on concrete slab.  I insulated it well, added ten GIK 2ft x 4ft 244 panels (too many in my room), use three carefully placed subwoofers to tame inherent bass peaks/dips, and three tall side wall randomly filled bookcases to act as "casual" diffusers.  I also use Dirac (<500 Hz version) as many experts believe that going into higher frequencies with Dirac will affect the voicing of your loudspeakers. 

You're no doubt suffering from audiophile nervosa, always itching for improvements.  Just chill out with your favorite beverage and enjoy.

Early B.

Re: It's the Room, Stupid!
« Reply #19 on: 21 Nov 2020, 03:11 pm »
You're no doubt suffering from audiophile nervosa, always itching for improvements.

That's precisely the purpose of this hobby.