Very quiet, little to no reverberation, little slap echo..... short of bass problems that every room has (which btw the 8th nerve products I have tried do nothing to tame, nor do they claim to) I would say I have been blessed with a most excellent listening room. To say that room treatment would do anything for my room seemed ridiculous to me. Why bother? Well after mid-west audiofest I was convinced otherwise. The Bolder Cable room convinced me otherwise. It was a combination of my system, Waynes, MikeGs, Chris Brady, and... am I forgetting anything? Oh yes our friend Bill Laurents 8th Nerve accousitic room treatment products.
I remember setting up, taking a listen, tuning the speakers to sound their best and getting a wonderful sound from the system. Then we put the treatment up and my jaw dropped at the improvement. I thought "If this stuff could make a great system sound superb in a decent listening room, I've got to try it in my own system."
Well just this last week I ordered my own room pack which includes 2 echo's, 4 corners, and 4 seams. The fit and finish of the whole pack is pretty cool. I ordered the black room pack and it has a slightly see through silverish sheen through the black which gives it a futuristic and professional look. Setting up was a snap (and so incidentally was take down for experimentation) Unfortunately in my room I wasn't able to install two of the seams in the front corners of my room due to their size and the way my corners are (see my gallery I really don't know how to explain it) so I ended up swapping two of the seams for two of the echos. I put the two echos on the seam of my front wall and the seams on the ceiling/wall on the front and back of my room.
After putting in the entire room pack my already quiet room was eerily quiet. It was similar to when you put on those noise reduction headphones. I almost felt ill-at-ease. There was less noise coming from the room and less noise from outside of the room from the street, it must have been because the noise that was there wasn’t being reinforced by the room itself. Very strange sensation, it made me realize how familiar we get with a room both visually and sonically and when something is changed it is very noticeable. Just as if you were to come home and somebody had painted your room two shades darker than it was before you would probably feel as though something had changed, but not know exactly what. Any way you get the point. I walked around the room and did the clap/snapping test (at this point my girlfriend rolls her eyes and walks out of the room) and could detect only a little echo in certain places from the glass windows in the back of my listening room. I threw some pillows between the glass and the blinds and the echo was gone.
OK after getting over the darker, quieter room I sat down to listen to some tunes. I was amazed at what I heard. My soundstage was so much more focused and accurate. Before I always felt my speakers tended to blur sound that was supposed to be presented just to the left and right of the speakers. That was no longer the case. Panning effects (when a sound travels across the soundstage) was incredibly focused and didn’t blur when reaching certain points. Wonderful. The biggest difference I detected was Q-sound, you know sound effects that place sounds beside and behind you. I was literally freaked out by how well it focused. Ask Tyson about this one, my system prior to getting 8th nerve had an incredible ability to trick your brain into thinking it was hearing sound behind you (for great recordings with Qsound check out Nine inch Nails – downward spiral and Laurie Anderson’s – Life on a string) Now the Q-sound effects were approaching flawless ability to throw sound. On the NIN track “The Ruiner” Drums that were recorded to the right of the speakers never lost focus or position. The bass guitar that normally tends to sound smeared in with the drums to the right was now clearly focused behind and to the right of the listening position.
As far as overall sonics I felt the room lost a little vitality in other positions other than the sweet-spot, but I don’t care. I listen in the sweet spot chair only. Plus my 626’s have a more “focused” dispersion rather than a wide dispersion. Obviously your results may vary. In the sweet spot I felt that the midrange was the biggest thing to improve. There was a layer of grit that was removed and I had a smoother overall sound. Ironically I had to turn the midrange panels down on the 626’s, this was often the case previously, when a fuller midrange is needed turn the midrange down (strange I know). My theory is that the 8th nerve treatment was sopping up some of that reverberated midrange that was previously filling in the midrange, therefore after it was installed I had more upper midrange than lower midrange. (I’m going to stop now I’m confusing myself
) Treble was also clarified a little, though the effects were not as drastic I definitely detected cleaner highs and a bit sweeter sounding.
Overall impressions, this stuff works wonders. I Definitely think that there is something to say about a product that costs $280.00 and makes this big of an improvement in an already excellent room. Just think what it would do for a mediocre room… Oh wait I know what it would do, I’ve heard the improvments in Wayne’s system with the 8th nerve stuff
. Any way highest recommendations regardless of how good your room is. If you haven’t tried room treatment already try eighth nerve, if you have TRY EIGHTH NERVE!!!