Very good advice. I accidentally bought a house with outstanding acoustics. I have been shocked at how important they are even after decades fiddling with ribbon speakers... half the sound quality... I have to agree.
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Thanks so much for this thread. After futzing with my room acoustics/set up endlessly over the last few years, I recently made changes that so-improved SQ, I decided the room would be fully addressed—either by ear or based on REW measurements—so that I may actually hear my current audio system with the veil of poor acoustics removed—fully, or nearly so. Only then does it make sense to evaluate new gear or ancillaries, as you report.
But, since my room does sound really good and I think is pretty sorted out, I was very much debating on whether to continue by ear or by REW. There is a rather short list of rational next steps I’d try that every audiophile knows: treatment on front walls, ceiling—for example. Even having a company like GIK or real-traps recommend a treatment plan for my room didn’t seem ideal. My hunch has been that REW is needed. And your findings seal it.
I have found an extremely knowledgeable person to read my room using REW, explain the results to me and advise on treatments or changes in set up based on them. The person charges for his services so it is important to make sure his service will provide data that is actionable by “interviewing” him before committing. Your OP help in that regrade.
All your reviews of branded and DIY treatments are useful too.
Any tips on which microphone to buy? I will be borrowing a friend’s Mac Book to run REW.
https://www.minidsp.com/products/acoustic-measurement/umik-1 should be sufficient.
I will be interested how the person you hired will help you. There are videos about how to use the software online that will give you some background and it might be nice for you to know something before this person comes over so you and he or she can get right to work. I'm really glad that the thread helped you.
In my experience what the software will provide will be the other side of a dialectical process where you will measure and see where there are either peaks or big valleys in the graph response and then you will move your speakers and / or your listening position in order to see what changes. After you have made some adjustments that seem to improve on some aspect of the graph, you will go and sit and listen to see if you can hear what the new readings show. In other words you will begin to establish a correspondence in your mind between your sensation / listening experience and what the graph is telling you. As I said, this is a dialectical and iterative process and it will be very rewarding and you will be able to do much of it without the expert help.
Thanks for the link for the mic.
The person is remote. I’ll take readings at his direction. His interpretation and recommendations will be the same as if he were here—other than he will not be able to listen to the changes along with me.
Seeing graphical depictions of audibly impactful room treatments and set up changes (seat, speaker locations) will be great.
To start, I’d like to measure the room as it is right now since it is by far the best I have achieved—owing to three changes made over the last 3 months. Then, we can remove the three things and remeasure. When that exercise is over, we can hopefully improve the room to a level beyond what I had achieved. I didn’t measure (except for my seating position) and I didn’t buy or make panels using 703, Roxie or alike).
About two years ago, I did use an app called RTA to read about 6-8 potential seat positions in my room. Jim Smith of Get Better Sound told me the two best spots base on the readings. It will be interesting to see if REW measurements indicate the same listening position or a new “best” one.