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The Computer Audiophile

Article: A New Listening Room Part Two: Acoustics, Speakers, DSP

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Thanks Chris...this was a very fun and enjoyable article to read for me. What a beautiful system and room.....I doubt that I'll ever get a chance to personally own such an amazing system as yours, but I'm thrilled to live vicariously through you and your audio journey!

 

Thanks for sharing!


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Excellent article! Wow Chris, you make me intensely jealous. I need to find an excuse to visit Minneapolis to have a listen!

 

Thanks for laying out the steps you took, as I'm sure this is what daunts audiophiles the most. I've already forwarded your article to several of my friends who want to "do something about the room," but are paralyzed by the complexity of the endeavor.

 

Can you give us a ballpark estimate of what the room treatments cost?

 

I will say that the last step of DSP, while tantalizing, is also daunting, as most people don't have the benefit of a Mitch giving them counsel.

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience!


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15 minutes ago, DuckToller said:

I'd find it interesting to hear about the perceived differences between of the different target curves or what the EBU 3276 made better than the others for the klick ?

Hi Tom - This was a really fun exercise because there was no risk and the reward was high. Mitch sent me files, I uploaded them to Roon, and started listening. 

 

The first few filters really took the edge off transients for me and really collapsed the air around an instrument. When a drummer kicks the bass drum, one can often hear the snare head and wire vibrate in good recordings. Using the first few filters, this was totally gone. The overall sound was a bit off, although the bass issues were gone. 

 

The EBU 3276 curve is IT for me in my room. 


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Enjoyed the article.  Did you do any mic'ing of the room before doing the ceiling panels?

 

I see diffusors on the side walls, but none on the rear wall (or covering the glass doors) - correct?

 

And no tmts. on the top ceiling (horizontal part) - correct?

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Chris, awesome write-up and thanks for sharing!

 

Just curious, have you tried applying DSP to only 200 hz and below yet?

 

I've found that to be the best of both worlds.  Since DSP is altering the direct sound of your loudspeakers, I am typically against running broadband EQ.  Our ear/brain can "cue into" that direct sound from the speakers in a way that a microphone never could and filter out a good portion of the room sound that's causing your in-room response to not match the speakers anechoic response (which is very good w/ a Wilson obviously).

 

That said, there's never a harm in trying anything.  You just might like the broadband EQ better and there's nothing wrong with that!

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17 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Enjoyed the article.  Did you do any mic'ing of the room before doing the ceiling panels?

 

I see diffusors on the side walls, but none on the rear wall (or covering the glass doors) - correct?

 

And no tmts. on the top ceiling (horizontal part) - correct?


Due to strange timing of stuff coming and going I don’t have before and after measurements for my room with these speakers and these room treatments. 

 

 

 

9 minutes ago, emcdade said:

Chris, awesome write-up and thanks for sharing!

 

Just curious, have you tried applying DSP to only 200 hz and below yet?

 

I've found that to be the best of both worlds.  Since DSP is altering the direct sound of your loudspeakers, I am typically against running broadband EQ.  Our ear/brain can "cue into" that direct sound from the speakers in a way that a microphone never could and filter out a good portion of the room sound that's causing your in-room response to not match the speakers anechoic response (which is very good w/ a Wilson obviously).

 

That said, there's never a harm in trying anything.  You just might like the broadband EQ better and there's nothing wrong with that!

 

I tried using DSP on only the bottom end but believe the way it’s configured now is best. By the way, this isn’t EQ 🙂


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8 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:


Due to strange timing of stuff coming and going I don’t have before and after measurements for my room with these speakers and these room treatments. 

🙂

 

you could rip it all out for some mic'ing and then put it all back again...

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Rajiv - Thanks for the kind words. You have an open invitation anytime you're in Minneapolis.

 

I should've included prices in the article. 

The 24 Vicoustic Cinema Round Premium absorption panels were right around $2,000 total plus shipping.

The 6 Vicoustic Multifuser DC2 diffusion panels were around $700 total plus shipping.

The 2 ATS Acoustics Corner Bass Traps (24x48)  were roughly $300 total plus $125 to ship.

The Vicoustic room project was only like $50 if I remember correctly, and that was taken off my order total.

 

Fortunately, @mitchco just started his own business where he will handle the daunting task of DSP for anyone - https://accuratesound.ca/

 

A very interesting article and it's good to hear you've ended up with an excellent result. I've become a room treatment obsessive in the last two years, and it is nice to see it being promoted in HiFi publications not just studio ones. Is is possible to post an REW waterfall view of the room modes before the DSP was applied, as the frequency response isn't so informative?

 

The only thing I'm a bit puzzled about is why you stopped at just two bass traps. I can see from the photos of the sloping ceiling that you couldn't just stack a couple more of the ATS traps on top of the two you have. Would it have been possible to install bass traps at celing level at the wall ceiling boundaries in places where the wall doesn't slope. Or maybe horizontally suspended from the ceiling? If the rear of the room is the same as the front would it be possible to add another pair of the ATS traps in the rear corners?


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Chris, sounds fantastic. Would love to hear your room. 

 

In my room I installed room treatments and bass traps with advice from GIK. Worked very well. Got rid of all kinds of echo I had in the room and made the sound more focused. 

 

I'd had some earlier experience with DRC (via TACT and Lyngorf units), so I used the basic version of Auidiolense to get rid of a bass node and further smooth response (which was already pretty good). 

 

I also just played with a few target curves till I made one I liked. Ended up with flat response till 3000hz and then a gently downward sloping curve after that of a few db till 20khz. Taking off more db (like the -10db slope from 20-20000hz often talked about) sounded "dead" to me. I also used DSP to add in a 0.5db boost from 100-400hz, just because my personal taste says adding in a upper bass - lower mids bump sounds better than perfectly flat response in that area. 

 

The final result sounds good to me, although I'm sure professional help would improve my results even more. I also haven't been able to figure out how to use the Room Shaper program, although I'd like to see what it would add to the mix.  

 

I think a lot of audiophiles could do a reasonable job of this on their own. There are also units like Lyngdorf and DEQX which will do it for you (and also replace DACs and/or preamps) if you don't want to fool around with software. 


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39 minutes ago, wgscott said:

Great article.

 

I have very similar French doors.  The resonance drives me nuts.  Do you have that problem?  I want to take them out, but the owner of the house won't allow it (as long as it doesn't interfere with the PBS pledge drive, I guess it is just fine and dandy).

Thanks Prof. 
 

I initially thought the doors would be a showstopper but I was wrong. I talked to a few acousticians and all of them said not to worry. So I didn’t. 
 

The measured response between doors open and closed isn’t that big and each position offers something the other doesn’t. 


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Bill, you can angle the speakers and/or put something on the glass - even paper drawings done by children will help

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I have a really dumb question. With DSP, why does one need treatments? Can’t everything be done by DSP?


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18 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Bill, you can angle the speakers and/or put something on the glass - even paper drawings done by children will help

 

Mine are off to the side, but I could try plastering them over with rejected grant applications or something.

 

 

IMG_1016.JPG

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perfect for diffusor panels on a roll-away

 

BTW, in my (much less lucrative) field, grad. students in an adjacent lab once covered an entire wall with job rejection letters...

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also just realized that a Golden Retr. genetically engineered into Wookie form would be perfect to cover the glass doors

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6 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

also just realized that a Golden Retr. genetically engineered into Wookie form would be perfect to cover the glass doors

 

If you look closely at the bottom left, next to the fan, you can see we have already over-expressed the construct.

 

(The fan is there because the ceiling fan failed.)

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As long as you're looking in, @mitchco :) -

 

I have Vandersteens, which have linear phase crossovers. I also use linear phase filters when I do sample rate conversion. It seems to me this helps keep things time-and-phase aligned and thus helps with imaging.

 

I was wondering whether there is DSP that would maintain this linear phase characteristic.


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