Getting the most from a small room?

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DGoosen

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Getting the most from a small room?
« on: 9 Feb 2021, 03:01 pm »
Looking to get the best sound i can from the following room. Have been curious about GR Research Emerald Physics and Spatial Audio speakers.
 -Net rectangle is 12.5' x 8.5', ceiling height is 8'
-Very dead room, carpeted floor, wood cd racks on three walls (floor to ceiling), front wall (behind speakers) is dampened w/ hanging Persian rugs.
 (Components are in a closet behind the speakers outside the net rectangular area of the room).
Current system:
-Resolution Audio 3.0 Cantata CD player (has an on board preamp) / modded Lenco  78 w/ Odyssey arm/Transfiguration Temper mc cartridge/ Graham Slee Accession phono stage.
-Coda 11 (pure class a, 100/100) amp
-Green Mountain Audio 1.5i speakers (3 way w/ a 10" woofer)
Some cds and Lps sound fantastic, (ECM, BMC, Clean Feed, Cuneiform...) most well recorded small ensemble releases really are a fun listen. Quite a few old rock favorites sound sibilant, two dimensional and somewhat muffled. Suspect that a good open baffle (possibly w/ servo subs) could provide more detail and imaging and maybe sound more natural. Not sure if the room is just too small to expect much potential for improvement.
Thanks if you made it this far. Any recommendations from open baffle owners, (or anyone else) will be much appreciated.

JLM

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #1 on: 9 Feb 2021, 04:58 pm »
Sorry to read of your tiny room.  Not much potential there.  What is your current setup (loudspeakers/listening position) like? 

Dipoles (including open baffles) would be worse as they ideally should have 5 feet clear behind them. 

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #2 on: 9 Feb 2021, 05:27 pm »
Considering the side of your room, (Basically a small office/bedroom) you're probably going to be better off looking at working with a near field setup?

IIRC, the Spatial towers are quite large, in both width & height, and require, at minimum, 3ft from the front wall. Leaving you with 8-9ft of usable space. When in a listening position, but may sacrifice some width in the soundstage.

Ideally, you're going to need a bigger room for a full OB-setup, tho its not impossible if you want a one-and-done sollution.

For ease of placement & floor space, the NX-Studio will probably be your best bet, & will work well in smaller rooms and can be placed closer to the front walls.
You can then augment the bass with 1 or two sealed subs, as space allows.

If you're less picky about placement & dont mind giving up some floor space, you could probably squeeze in a pair of NX-Otica MTMs sitting on top of a pair of dual H-frame towers.

Any of these options will sound amazing, but will definitely reward you greatly in the future should you ever have a chance to move the setup into a larger room in the future..

Just my 2 cents! Hope it gives you some ideas to consider going forward! :thumb:

mlundy57

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #3 on: 9 Feb 2021, 08:53 pm »
The best open baffle options for that room would be the Wedgies or Super Mini set up on the 8-1/2ft wall. That’s the only way to get the baffles at least 3ft off the front wall without wearing them like headphones.

If you can’t put the speakers on the 8-1/2ft wall your best bet would be Studio monitors with a sub.

scooby_scrappy

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #4 on: 9 Feb 2021, 11:01 pm »
Even though these are not open baffle speakers, I have a pair of Charney Audio Maestro speakers 103db in a 10'x10' room.  The speakers can be pushed up against the rear wall.  I am 6' from the speakers in an almost near field position.

DGoosen

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #5 on: 10 Feb 2021, 12:11 am »



Thanks for the information, (and some hard cold facts). I guess this has always been a nearfield arrangement. Placing the speakers somewhere around 3.5' from the front wall should be ok, (getting the room to sound as good as i can is the main priority. Was thinking that the NX Studio speakers w/ two of the single woofer servo sub 2 kits might be pretty good, but might not deliver some of the positive attributes of an open baffle speaker setup.
JLM, hope the crude aerial drawing of the room, (above) might slightly improve your prognosis in terms of possible options.
Will have to do some homework on wedgies, which is i guess the NX-Otica speakers are. Hobbsmeerkat, are those dual H frame towers a pair of subs that would sit under the NX-Otica MTMs? if so, would the height of the tweeter and top woofer be an issue?
Thanks again for the responses!

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #6 on: 10 Feb 2021, 12:27 am »
The dual tower subs are roughly 28" in height, then add another 10-12" for the tweeter, and it should sit right about 38-40" which should be perfect for the listening height, but you can always tilt them a few degrees up or down as needed.

MLundy57 has a picture of that exact setup as his profile picture a few posts up, & is his main rig.

WGH

Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #7 on: 10 Feb 2021, 01:08 am »
Any recommendations from open baffle owners, (or anyone else) will be much appreciated.

Not exactly open baffle but close -
Mick Wolfe, a member of our local audiophile group, frequent poster on AudioCircle and all around good guy uses a pair of Ohm 1000's with a REL T-2 in a 11x10 room. Mick has cycled through many speakers in that room including Salk SongTowers and always comes back to the Ohm's.

I have been in that tiny room many times and the sound is perfect. Read more from Mick and his room here:
https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=173888.msg1842604#msg1842604

corndog71

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #8 on: 10 Feb 2021, 01:32 am »
My main rig is in a 10 x 12’ bedroom.  It’s not ideal.  I have good depth but narrow width sound-staging.  My speakers are all open baffle.  The NX Studio on a pair of dual open baffle subs would be my recommendation.  It might look like too many subs but my bass is clean and clear and tight as a drum. 


rodge827

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #9 on: 10 Feb 2021, 01:50 am »
Even though these are not open baffle speakers, I have a pair of Charney Audio Maestro speakers 103db in a 10'x10' room.  The speakers can be pushed up against the rear wall.  I am 6' from the speakers in an almost near field position.

+1

The Maestro is specifically designed with small rooms in mind. I had the opportunity to listen to a pair with the Lii Fast8 drivers ($2800.00) and was extremely impressed with what I heard in a 14x19x9 room. Place them in your corners and move them into the room for fine tuning. You’ll also find that removing room treatments will help improve the sound.

http://charneyaudio.com/the-maestro.html





DGoosen

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #10 on: 10 Feb 2021, 02:25 am »

"MLundy57 has a picture of that exact setup as his profile picture a few posts up, & is his main rig."

It doesn't look like the speaker in his profile photo is available on the GR Research site, (same goes for the wedgies). The NX-Otica shown there has six woofers and a tweeter, no measurements are shown on the site, but it appears to be somewhere between 4' and 5' tall. BTW those MLundy57 gallery shots are pretty nice!
Did stumble on to some Charney Audio speaker info a few days ago and have to say they are beautiful, (especially the Companion Excalibur). I'm generally a little gun shy about single driver designs but would certainly like to audition them.

Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #11 on: 10 Feb 2021, 02:46 am »
Correct, they aren't on the site, yet, but I imagine they possibly will be in the future as the site continues to be updated with new products and some old. The NX-Otica MTM is an available model that you can order from Danny by calling or emailing him until then.

The Wedgies will be available once the crossovers have been updated to work with the new batch of LGK drivers.

mlundy57

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #12 on: 10 Feb 2021, 02:56 am »
My speakers are the NX-Otica MTM monitors combined with a pair of dual 12” OB H-frames. While they are not on the website, they are available as soon as the drivers arrive.

The Wedgies are currently unavailable until Danny gets the new LGK drivers finalized and in stock.

Currently, my speakers are in a 12’ x 14’ x 8’ room. Previously they were in a 10’ x 12’ x 8’ room. Before adding absorption in the corners and behind the listening position (which is up next to the back wall) and diffusion in the center behind the speakers and at the first reflection points, the MTMs sounded like they were in a cave, a bit overpowering. After the room treatments this went away and now they sound full and balanced.

In a small room the Wedgies are less imposing while the ‘Otica MTMs have a fuller midrange.

JLM

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #13 on: 10 Feb 2021, 12:11 pm »
You're setup would be considered mid-field, although recommend bringing the couch farther into the room as bass piles up along walls.  In my 8ft x 13ft x 21ft room the loudspeakers are 5.5ft from front wall, 1.5ft from side walls, and 6.5ft from the listening position.  I use 3 carefully placed subwoofers and 10 GIK 2ft x 4ft 244 absorption panels (find them here at Audio Circle).  Am a big fan of Floyd Toole (famed acoustician who invented spinorama loudspeaker testing and pioneered double blind trained listening panels). 

Adding one or two subs can easily make things worse, especially in a small room as residentially sized rooms inherently have large bass peaks/dips (on the order of 20 dB or more).  Best to disperse the bass sources around the room and go with small loudspeakers.  Check out AudioKinesis swarm as a distributed bass system.  As your listening distance decreases the coherence of midrange/woofer and tweeter becomes more critical, so best to look for something like the coaxial KEF LS50 Meta or smaller single driver Omega (here at Audio Circle). 

kingdeezie

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #14 on: 10 Feb 2021, 02:50 pm »
With your room size, I think you are on the right track with OB speakers.

I struggled for years in smaller rooms with all variety of boxed speakers; sealed, ported, and in-between. I also had my previous small room treated with GIK panels. I never really could get the sound that I was looking for until I switched to a dipole design.

I think you can get great sound with the right selection of speakers, of which GR Research and Spatial can certainly provide. 

DGoosen

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #15 on: 10 Feb 2021, 05:44 pm »
Have heard several systems where subs did not seem to integrate well, as a result I had always opted to stick w/ single cabinet designs. Now it looks like subs might further improve fidelity, at least in this layout. Was wondering how to identify bass loading problems in a room and how to determine where to place two, (or three) subs to get the best results.  Clearly need to do some homework on this site and Audiokinesis.
I really like what's been happening w/ the Green Mountain Continuum 1.5i speakers most of the time, but haven't compared anything else to them until recently when someone asked me to hook up a pair of old Celestion Ditton 33's to see if there was anything wrong with one of the drivers. Pretty sure there were no major problems, they weren't the final word in terms of focused presentation, but they sounded way better than expected... I blame them for getting me back on the merry go round. It sure looks like Danny, (who must be one of the busiest guys around) has figured out how to blend drivers  through measurements and diligent auditioning. I'm starting to think that with this room, bass management could be the toughest nut to crack.
Again, thanks for all the excellent responses.

mlundy57

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #16 on: 10 Feb 2021, 06:35 pm »
Have heard several systems where subs did not seem to integrate well, as a result I had always opted to stick w/ single cabinet designs. Now it looks like subs might further improve fidelity, at least in this layout. Was wondering how to identify bass loading problems in a room and how to determine where to place two, (or three) subs to get the best results.  Clearly need to do some homework on this site and Audiokinesis.
I really like what's been happening w/ the Green Mountain Continuum 1.5i speakers most of the time, but haven't compared anything else to them until recently when someone asked me to hook up a pair of old Celestion Ditton 33's to see if there was anything wrong with one of the drivers. Pretty sure there were no major problems, they weren't the final word in terms of focused presentation, but they sounded way better than expected... I blame them for getting me back on the merry go round. It sure looks like Danny, (who must be one of the busiest guys around) has figured out how to blend drivers  through measurements and diligent auditioning. I'm starting to think that with this room, bass management could be the toughest nut to crack.
Again, thanks for all the excellent responses.

If this is just a music system, the dual open baffle subs under the MTM monitors is all you will need. Open baffle bass behaves differently from boxed bass, either sealed or ported. Open baffle bass does not load the room the same way boxed bass does. Specifically, open baffle bass does not pressurize the room like boxed bass and due to having nulls at 90 degrees, the open baffle bass does not interact with side walls nearly as much.

With the small two cabinet/speaker of NX-Otica MTM and dual servo ob subwoofers, the MTMs need to sit on top of the subwoofers due to the crossover frequency. This arrangement is also what allows for full open baffle speakers of this caliber in a small room.

Think of these open baffle speakers as a two box, full range speaker rather than a satellite/subwoofer arrangement. With this type of open baffle setup, the concept of multiple boxed subwoofers in a swarm effect for home theater does not apply music.

If you plan on using the system for both music and home theater then add a sealed servo subwoofer like Danny's servo sub kit 2. This sub is connected to the subwoofer output of your AV processor and placed where it works best for movie special effects.

Mike

DGoosen

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #17 on: 10 Feb 2021, 09:59 pm »
Thanks Mike,
This is just a two channel audio only, turn off the lights geek out room. It certainly seems to simplify things if a bunch of bass loading problems don't arise w/ the two adjustable open baffle subs. Did you do the 3 or the 4 kit? Also was wondering what performance differences there might be between the W and H construction methods.
 :thumb:

mlundy57

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #18 on: 10 Feb 2021, 11:20 pm »
Thanks Mike,
This is just a two channel audio only, turn off the lights geek out room. It certainly seems to simplify things if a bunch of bass loading problems don't arise w/ the two adjustable open baffle subs. Did you do the 3 or the 4 kit? Also was wondering what performance differences there might be between the W and H construction methods.
 :thumb:

I used kit 4 with the A370 PEQ3 amps. I started with the A370 PEQ3 amps and ran them for a few years. In the past year I upgraded my electronics to balanced components so I swapped out the A370 PEQ3 amps for the A370 XLR3 model. I'm not a fan of the HX300 amp that's in kit 3. Compared to the A370 amps the HX-300s are severely limited in input connections and output combustibility. adjustability, auto correct in action  :duh:

The advantage of a W frame is that it is a couple inches shorter but less well braced. The H frame is taller but sturdier and is a lot easier to install the drivers. Unless there is a compelling reason to shave off those couple inches, which there is not with the MTM monitors, go with the H frame.
« Last Edit: 14 Feb 2021, 05:52 pm by mlundy57 »

Danny Richie

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Re: Getting the most from a small room?
« Reply #19 on: 14 Feb 2021, 05:43 pm »
We make a speaker for that application. It is the NX-Studio Monitor.

The open air tweeter will give you much of the open baffle sound while the sealed box and more limited low end extension will help minimize room boom while also playing down low enough to easily reach a sub.

And the real key is to defer the bottom end to a servo sub so that you have completely control over its output over its whole range.