My new room (long dreamed of) is my private and out-of-bounds-without-written-permission space for music, reading, processing photos and whatever-the-hell- else-I-can-think-of-because-its-nobody's-business-except-mine — as well as my office (I'm an editor and work from home). Its pretty much a square box: 4.3 x 4.3, with 3 metre ceilings. The floors are timber; there is a three panel glass door/window along one wall; stud/plasterboard walls on other three; one wall of bookcases. I've taken over 1000 books to various secondhand dealers and op shops in the past few weeks—very painful experience selecting which should go, but better that someone else gets to read them before they disintegrate.
My system is just for 2 channel and is pretty bog standard commercial gear: Arcam A90 amp and P90 power combo; Arcam Alpha 9 cdp; iMac/Airport Express/Dacmagic; Celestion A1 speakers and B&W CDM7s; Atlas Equator interconnects; Silver anniversary speaker cables. Its pretty good at most types of music that I listen to—but what would I know, I've had nothing else to compare it to yet.
I set it up today and its been a strange experience: nothing sounds like I expected it to or remembered it, which no doubt proves that the room is the biggest and most expensive audio component of the lot. Its sounding a bit thin and lively, but not as clean at the top end as I remember it. But its not a disaster,
I set the Celestions up first. I got them from ebay last year. They are about 15 years old and I think were near the end of the production line for these British audio speakers. This is the first time I've had them set up with proper amplification and a decent space. They are big solid standmounts which need room to breathe and plenty of power, but they have surprising scale, walloping big bass and very sweet top end. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is sounding pretty damn good, and those drums go way deep. I will decide whether to keep them or the B&Ws—the losers go into the lounge room.
In the longer term when things have settled down and I don't have to pay for crap like doors and fences there will be some changes. Its immediately obvious that the DacMagic has to go. It worked well in a small apartment when I couldn't get my cdp on a solid platform, but it sounds very insubstantial and astringent now next to the cdp. So a new dac. I will also probably be in the market for some PMCs which I have been really impressed with.
Anyway, its not bad for the first day and I'm hoping that a rug and blinds on the windows will tame it a little. Any other suggestions for cheap room improvements would be greatly appreciated.
Here are a few pics.