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davidl10

New listening room

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I just bought a townhome intown and I am downsizing. My new listening room is getting a lot smaller and more difficult. I am using a guest bedroom that is 14'x9'. I set it up the long way. One end is a large bay window the other side is a bathroom and closet. The only option I really have is to place the speakers by the windows. The other issue is it has hardwood floors. I purchased thick heavy curtains and a large wool area rug but can not calm the room down. The room is very live. It has a big dip in the middle and big spikes towards the walls. The speakers are probably too large to go the short way. I have Vandersteen 3A floorstanding speakers. I currently have the speakers positioned 36" into the room and 30" from the side walls. My seat is 34" from the bathroom and closet. This has been the best placement so far but I am still not satisfied with the sound. Any advice is greatly appreciated.   

 

Thanks,

Dave

 

 


Dave L

 

Main: CAPS 3 Carbon > Roon > HQ Player > ARC DAC 8 > ARC VSi60 > Vandersteen 3A Signatures

Cables: AQ Rocket 88 Bi Wired, AQ Columbia RCA, and AQ Diamond USB

Office: Macbook Pro > Roon > HQ Player > Burson Audio Conductor SL w/DAC Output > Adam F5 or HiFiman HE-500

Cables: AQ Carbon USB and Oyide RCA

Storage: Synology NAS 213+

Basement: in progress - Building a RPI 3 > Peachtree IDAC > Halide Bridge > amp? > Wharfdale 10.2's

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Dave,

 

You certainly did the right thing in purchasing the large area rug to help with the hardwood floors, and also the drapes to deaden the window area behind the speakers. Some sound treatments on the side walls, and also the back wall behind your listening position could help to tame the liveness. I would also wait for people who know Vandersteens well to chime in with their thoughts on speaker placement and positioning etc. I'm sure that you have them placed properly, at the long end of the room, but don't know the speakers well enough to guide you in distance from back wall, side wall, etc, as well as toe in. Best of luck with getting things working the way you want. A new room is always a challenge.

 

JC

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My experience in a similar sized room is that panels on the wall directly opposite the speakers and  behind my head (to prevent bounce back echo) and corner bass traps in the front corners near the speakers turned the room from an echo box into something quite nice sounding.
If you have the inclination bass traps in all 4 corners plus a panel on each side wall at the first reflection point would also help, but that's already a further level of refinement. 
I think you will be amazed what a couple of bass traps and 2-3 panels on the back wall can do. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I downsized from a large basement area to a fairly small, reflective, lossy-in-the-bass room. 

 

The size of your room should allow you to create really good, vibrant sound, but you have 3 challenges to overcome. You need your speakers well away from walls, which mandates setting them up firing across the width with the speakers well into the room, spaced far apart, with lots of toe in. This will give you a wide, deep soundstage with good image specificity.  Second, you need your back wall (behind your head) to be highly diffusive to stop standing waves and reflections from ruining the soundscape, sounding airy and sparkling rather than overdamped. Your sitting position will be quite close to the wall....so you’ll need to experiment to get the best bass balance. 

Finally I’m guessing you’re going to have a fairly major problem making those speakers sound really good in your room (Its a lot of speaker for a fairly moderate room volume) Bass quantity will be a problem if the speaker overloads the room when playing at realistic listening levels and integration of the drivers could be problematic given  the shorter distances involved. But until you’ve tried you’ll never know. They could end up sounding great! I’ve had success with small rooms but I’ve always bought room matching speakers with closely mounted drivers and sealed enclosures. I did have a pair of Guarneri Homage which are reflex ported that worked well, but deep bass in this speaker is pretty much absent. I now use a pair of Magico S1MkII and the bass is robust and extended but not in the slightest boomy or overblown.  The S1 more than makes up for the lack of trouser flapping bass power with incredible bass refinement,  which is what you want in a small room. The one thing worse than too little bass, is too much.   

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Thank you guys for all your help. I have increased the toe in and put a temporary curtain across the back wall. That seems to have made a world of difference. I am ordering bass traps and going to treat the back wall with something more permanent. I will probably sell the speakers and replace them with something that fits the room better. I have been itching to upgrade the speakers anyway.😁

 

Thank you again for all the great suggestions. 


Dave L

 

Main: CAPS 3 Carbon > Roon > HQ Player > ARC DAC 8 > ARC VSi60 > Vandersteen 3A Signatures

Cables: AQ Rocket 88 Bi Wired, AQ Columbia RCA, and AQ Diamond USB

Office: Macbook Pro > Roon > HQ Player > Burson Audio Conductor SL w/DAC Output > Adam F5 or HiFiman HE-500

Cables: AQ Carbon USB and Oyide RCA

Storage: Synology NAS 213+

Basement: in progress - Building a RPI 3 > Peachtree IDAC > Halide Bridge > amp? > Wharfdale 10.2's

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19 hours ago, davidl10 said:

Thank you guys for all your help. I have increased the toe in and put a temporary curtain across the back wall. That seems to have made a world of difference. I am ordering bass traps and going to treat the back wall with something more permanent. I will probably sell the speakers and replace them with something that fits the room better. I have been itching to upgrade the speakers anyway.😁

 

Thank you again for all the great suggestions. 

I would install all the panels and treatments first. You may find your itch to sell the speakers diminishes when the room sounds better. Then, even if you do decide to get new speakers, you will have a better sounding setup and feel like you can take your time buying something new. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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