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Jone5y

Help me fix this room

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Hello all,

 

 

Following Cafads review of my Naksa 80 I've decided i really need to do something about my room. I am not getting a hint of the 2 or 3D soundstaging he found and enjoued so much. Being immersed in the sound and having the speakers disappear was something i fell in love with when i took the speakers to my local store to audition some CD players and amps but unfortunately, is also the one thing i cannot recreate in my room. To this point i have experimented with enough different components feeding the speakers to know what benefit they can give and none have made significant impact on the soundstage. The system as it stands at the the moment is Cambridge audio 651 cd player into Naksa 80 via Aurealis interconnects and onto DIY RG213U speaker cable feeding VAF DCX-35's.

 

The room is laid out as below and depending on the season the lounge positions will move to the side of the room:

Facing the front:

post-110101-0-70162700-1424236124_thumb.

 

Facing left (Right is a mirror image)

post-110101-0-33418500-1424236088_thumb.

 

Rear

post-110101-0-96138900-1424236060_thumb.

 

My problem is outlined in the rough sketch below. The centre image does not, under any circumstances, move from the base of the TV - centre of the speakers, 60cm off the floor. I can get very good separation between instruments and their placement left to right is easily identifiable but the voice is consistently located in the one position. The  region that music appears to come from is outlined by the crescent. As you can see it is quite flat and does not usually extend laterally past the speakers either.

post-110101-0-28840300-1424236019_thumb.

 

So, my questions are:

  1. Where would you start in terms of treatment or otherwise to give some depth/height to my music?
  2. Is there anything i've missed in the signal chain causing me problems?
  3. There has been mumblings from my wife of swinging the room contents 180 degrees and having all components and seating position reversed. Should this be pursued?
  4. Would i be better off separating music from this room altogether and leave it for TV and Movies - try my luck in a different room?

I have tried:

  • opening the doors to reduce reflections
  • covering the TV
  • Removing the coffee table
  • Mattresses placed either behind the speakers or in front of TV - not both at the same time

At this stage I'm happy to try anything but ideas that have low WAF will need to be handled delicately.

Edited by Jone5y

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If you just want to improve the audio listening alone I would move the speakers closer together and move the double couch to where the table is.   That is purely for personal listening.    Place the speakers just on the width of the TV cabinet then set up the two seater the same distance infront i.e. triangle set up.    Toe in the speakers to the listening position and see how you go then.

 

I think for pure audio, in the current position, the sounds are bouncing all around of the various surfaces.  As one note is reaching you from the speaker previous ones are bouncing from the back wall.   The brick wall behind right where you head is won't show you any love. 

 

Give it a fly.

 

Some portable baffles on wheels/feet that you can move in and out between the listening position and brickwork might also help.    Likewise portable panels at the 1st/2nd reflection points. 

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Guest myrantz

Lovely place you've got there.  :thumb:

 

How acoustically transparent are the speaker covers? Have you tried removing 'em? Does the imaging improve without the covers?

In general for speakers to disappear the tweeters more or less have to be at ear height (or slightly higher), use an office chair and move around to find that perfect triangle relative to the room. And once you know where the sweet spot is, you can adjust the speakers in (or out) to fine tune the image width, and add room treatments if necessary... 

 

Music wise for horizontal sounds I used Amused to Death by Roger Waters (as it uses Q Sound and has extreme lefts and rights - bigger crescent and also some depth, e.g. the chariot sound effects. The first track, there will be a dog barking in the beginning, that dog will sound like it's outside the room and behind you).  For heights I used Nitin Sawheney The Pilgrim.. These have very easy audio queues (and at the beginning of the track) too.. Another good disc will be the DSOTM SACD (you can try playing the stereo layer of Time in phase, and out of phase), one of 'em will have the chimes high up and fill up the whole room.

If you get these three albums to image well it will more or less work with anything out there (This is IMO only, so YMMV)...

If you want vocals that move around the stage, I think (can't be sure as I am havn't played that in a while) one example would be Harry Belafonte at Carnegie Hall, the guy can't stand still :confused: ...

 

If u have those albums, give it a spin...

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Probably no help but I assume your speaker connections are correct. Ie not out of phase. Easy mistake to make when the cable is twisted behind the amp.

Edited by Lord Osmium

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Hmm, dunno what happened to my previous post. I was incredibly witty and impossibly humorous btw. Oh well, I guess we're stuck with this response instead.

 

If you just want to improve the audio listening alone I would move the speakers closer together and move the double couch to where the table is.  

Regards Cazzesman

 

try to put your speakers nearer to each other, let say 2.7m from centre to centre.

Done, with immediate transformation of soundstage width. The track from amused to death with the horses now seems to have them starting outside my room and exiting out the other side. They do recede toward the TV when traversing between the speakers but its a massive improvement, thankyou

 

How acoustically transparent are the speaker covers? Have you tried removing 'em? Does the imaging improve without the covers?

I assumed they were transparent, they are slightly visually transparent. I didn't consider the manufacturer would hobble them in such a fashion but its certainly possible. Testing with grills off has been done before but it wasn't with a great spinner and it didn't show me much other than how horridly ugly they are with the grills off. I will repeat in their new position.

 

Music wise for horizontal sounds I used Amused to Death by Roger Waters (as it uses Q Sound and has extreme lefts and rights - bigger crescent and also some depth, e.g. the chariot sound effects. The first track, there will be a dog barking in the beginning, that dog will sound like it's outside the room and behind you).  For heights I used Nitin Sawheney The Pilgrim.. These have very easy audio queues (and at the beginning of the track) too.. Another good disc will be the DSOTM SACD (you can try playing the stereo layer of Time in phase, and out of phase), one of 'em will have the chimes high up and fill up the whole room.

If you get these three albums to image well it will more or less work with anything out there (This is IMO only, so YMMV)...

I have AMD and it will be getting a good run tomorrow, also have some Floyd but no SACD, will check and see what in the collection. Haven't heard the Pilgrim but it sounds like it'd be worth tracking down

 

Probably no help but I assume your speaker connections are correct. Ie not out of phase. Easy mistake to make when the cable is twisted behind the amp.

Yeah, I so badly wanted this to be the case, checked and checked and rechecked, even connected them out of phase incorrectly just to be sure. Alas, all is well on that front.

 

In general for speakers to disappear the tweeters more or less have to be at ear height (or slightly higher), use an office chair and move around to find that perfect triangle relative to the room.

That is definitely how my room behaves, to get detail and all the highs I must be seated, anything else and the music becomes a bit bass heavy. What has me confused though is that when i heard them in the store I was standing and wandered all over the place. There was no discernible difference in the 3D effect. I've almost come to the conclusion that the long skinny room i heard them in was artificially contributing to what i heard and has shifted my perceptions of what is possible in my environment. Hasn't stopped me chasing it though. Yet.

Edited by Jone5y

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That's a nicely shaped room, it should be great with the right treatment.

 

Rear - I'd be putting absorption on around 50% of that big brick wall behind you, and heavy

drapes to close off the echo chamber on each side of it! ie, the two alcoves left and right

at the back of the room.

 

Some soft furnishings along the two low walls behind you if you can. Maybe a few bean bags

would look inconspicuous? Or big cushions? Women LOVE cushions, you shouldn't get any

drama there!

 

Side walls/windows - try just lowering all your blinds, and angle them all down at 45 to 60 degrees

so most reflections hit your carpet, and what makes it through gets re-reflected in the window space.

 

Front wall - Shouldn't be too much of a drama. You'll be getting a little bit of first reflection from the

speakers, and some re-reflection from the back walls. If you can get some acoustic panels on that

front wall, even a little bit of coverage, it will make a difference. Something like 4' x 2' by 3" thick

panels such as these either side of the TV. I know this brand as I use them myself, but other brands

of proper panels should work as well.

 

http://www.primacoustic.com/broadway-broadband-absorbers-specs.htm

 

The ceiling looks like a nightmare at first glance, but in reality it's probably not that bad. If you could

whack some carpet (or preferably panels) along the face of the beam that runs across above the

coffee table you'll stop HF reflections being bounced straight from your tweeters to the beam and

thence to the front wall.

 

Anyhow, a few things to think about there. You've just got to think of sound being a bit like light.

Where does it reflect? Where does it reflect a couple of times and come straight back at you?

 

Cheers,

Jason.

Edited by koputai

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A few thoughts:

  • Have you asked the guys at VAF
  • The triangle method ?
  • The glass on the side - no no
  • Cant see what is on the other side?

 

Get a microphone and REW and pay Paul Spencer to help you.

 

All the best

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With speakers close together, I suggest no toe in. Have them more or less pointing straight ahead, this will throw more hf to the sides.

The alternative would be to move the speakers way out wide, just to the point of losing centre image (in stereo mode) that is.

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Walk around the room stopping at various positions and clap your hands once and listen for reflected and decaying sounds from the speaker position l, c r, and in the listening position for an idea of how the room sounds, it won't solve anything except give you an idea of the effect of the reflections of the large brick wall behind you and the smaller ones either side.

A lot of your bass problems will be cured by changing the speaker and/ or listening position

A lot of the difference in your final position is whether you want a holographic image in a sweet spot or adequate sound over a wide listening area, sadly it's almost impossible to have both.

As others have said, speaker width, toe in or out, distance, and distance from back & side walls will determine the final position.

One of my setups was so room intrusive that I marked the position of the speakers and had a second, less intrusive, position for non critical listening.

The effort is definitely worth the reward.

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A few thoughts:

  • Have you asked the guys at VAF
  • The triangle method ?
  • The glass on the side - no no
  • Cant see what is on the other side?

 

Get a microphone and REW and pay Paul Spencer to help you.

 

All the best

  1. Yes. Even paid them a visit but they didn't have my model to listen to, just the new 63's. imaging in their (less than ideal) showroom was not great
  2. Triangle, Cardas and a few others. Triangle has provided best results thus far but it does leave a lot of the room 'unused' which feels a bit weird. Small price to pay though
  3. I know the glass is bad (the other side is an exact replica). Won't be getting soft curtains to cover them unless SWMBO decides to swing the room around and revamp the whole shebang Outside the sliding glass doors to both sides is the exterior of the house
  4. Was all set to have him do it first hand when he was in Sydney last year but the timing was terrible. Your suggestion is definitely still on the table for me

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@@koputai Thanks for taking the time to compose such a thorough response. Its good to know the room can come good, eventually. I've started laying the groundwork for a few things you've suggested.

  • The beanbags were actually placed in storage for the photos so they can make a return. My 4yo loves them.
  • I'll give the reflection angle more of a go now I've made some progress, i couldn't get it to do much earlier
  • Every month or so i drop a hint about making the back wall prettier - Once the boss gets interested I'll steer things in the direction best for diffusion/absorbtion
  • I had previously thought the open voids were a good thing but there is significant echo in the room. I'll start hanging some big heavy stuff there and see what improvement i can get
  • Anything on the roof or main beam will be a bit of a struggle but i may be able to get away with it if the treatment goes on the front side and isn't visible from the main seats.

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Walk around the room stopping at various positions and clap your hands once and listen for reflected and decaying sounds from the speaker position l, c r, and in the listening position for an idea of how the room sounds,

This is one thing i had read but not yet attempted, from memory it is the "WASP" technique, no? Given there is evident echo in the room i think i can make gains doing as you suggest. I can try and position the speakers in the areas affected least by reflection

 

A lot of the difference in your final position is whether you want a holographic image in a sweet spot or adequate sound over a wide listening area, sadly it's almost impossible to have both.

As I've got just the one system, located in the main living room the speakers are backed up to the wall whenever i have company. Thus, general viewing and listening is compromised so I am aiming for holographic imaging from one spot when I'm listening in isolation.

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