You might try some panels behind the speakers to absorb some of the sound. Something in the corners may help too. I mean this a DIY option, like foam behind and maybe 4-5ft body pillows for the corners. Just some thoughts.
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"Cheap cheap cheap ways..........."
Other than moving the speakers and/or listening position, no. And even if you were willing to spend lots of bucks you still might not be able to solve the problem w/out moving the speakers.
But you might do some research on room acoustics which might help you find a solution to you problem or, at least, understand why you can't fix it.
Hard to tell much from those pix which show only some parts of the room. However, there are only three things one can do to fix this:
1. Re-arrange the speakers and listening position. I assume that is what you did recently that upset the balance. See if you can move the stuff in the direction of their previous positions and how/if this helps.
2. Acoustical treatments for the room. This includes panels and corner traps. For bass, potted plants will do little as absorbency and size are the important parameters. Also, ripping out the carpeting will make things worse. Tell your wife that you will need more acoustical treatments to compensate for that.
3. Electronic equalization. This is your last resort and I doubt it fits your philosophy.
For more info:
What gets me this whole time is for years I just wanted a nice leather club chair to relax in and finally go it and set up the equipment nicely with wife's approval :) and now it sounds like crap.
I will make a before and after image and post it.
And I just ordered a new phono stage so if i turn around now and tell the wife I need to spend 100's of dollars on treatment me and the stereo will be on the front porch.
Make two panels of thin plywood or other thin material large enough to dampen behind your speakers, cut out and staple egg crate mattress pad to the plywood, have your wife pick out fabric (softer the better) and cover your panels. Put them on the wall behind your speakers... Pull your speakers out as far as possible each time you listen.
It will help quite a bit, your wife might not allow it.
You really need to be a minimum of 2 feet from all hard surfaces, 3 is better.
Good Luck, Tim (budget audiophile for 32 years)
Hi, Just in case you should check to see if one of the speakers accidentally got hooked up out of phase, just make sure that red is hooked up to red and black is hooked up to black on your speakers and on the amp end.
Also as suggested you should move the speakers around as much as possible until you find the spot that has the smoothest bass, sometimes you only need to move the speakers 6 inches or so for a different sound. Good Luck, Tish
Hi again, after reading your last post I'm wondering if your new leather chair might be the culprit? The leather is pulled tight like a drum head and will vibrate to the music and act like passive radiator sending bass notes back at your speakers and causing boom! Try removing the chair from the listening room and see what happens, if the bass gets smoother then let your wife pick out a new chair covered with cloth. Tish
If you use test tones, you might discover a couple of troublesome frequencies due to room resonance.
I fixed the problem in my room by moving them to 1/4 L from each wall. In your room, that would mean dragging them out to... yep... 3' from the wall, where they sat back when you liked them better. :)
The 26' resonance is probably not going to give you so much trouble (it's in the low 40s). The other one is around 90 hz, and you will definitely notice it.
By placing them 3' from the wall, you will be driving the resonant frequency at a phase difference of 1/2 pi from the speaker wrt the wall, and they'll cancel out quite a bit. Boom goes way, way down.
Try it with test tones, set around 94 hz and listen for the difference. The spot where you listen will affect matters as well, but no matter where you listen, you should still hear a significant decrease in the boom at that frequency as you place the speakers 3' away from the wall (wrt the orientation along the 12' wall).
Hello Golden Ear,
I would try a couple of things, I still believe that it is most likely the room. 1st, take Tish's advice and check to see if you have your positive and negatives reversed. I'm sure that you don't have 1 reversed because you are pulling a center image. These are probably ok, Next, Someone up the chain recommended that you put a pillow in a corner. Take the corner that you have moved your system toward and stack pillows as high as you can. If this removes you bass issue, let me know and I will help you tailor an inexpensive bass trap. How far are you from the nearest side wall and are your speakers towed and are you useing the golden triangle rule? These all matter.
Timlub - Yes, corners are the worst (I have window in one).
Damping materials work effectively to about 100Hz at 2" thickness. Further down it requires going to 4" panels (dense fiberglass) and positioning them 1/4 wave from the wall. I'm in process in building 2" panels (dense fiberglass material) but have to take care of corners as well. A lot of work and it doesn't come cheap. In addition there is WAF.
Well you make me chuckle, I hate sleeping on the porch. Get the most massive soft object that you can. Find the song that is most objectionable. Put this soft item (a wild bear would work) behind one speaker....Didn't work? move it behind the other speaker.... Didn't work? Move it to a corner.... Didn't work? Move it to the other corner... I noticed one corner has a table, try it above and below the table...If it helps a bit in one location, your are on the right track, If it doesn't work at all????
Timlub- are you talking about corner traps? For the walls I have thin wood (pegboard like) 2'x4' boards and 2'x4'x2" high density fiberglass panels to glue on and wrap in fabric. I'm placing 8 panels on one wall and 4 panels on another (planning to buy another 6 - 18 total).
When I bought panels salesman showed me the room with walls made of similar material and effect was incredible. I could hear his voice so pure and coming directly from his mouth. I know that acoustically dead room is bad for music but I'm very, very far from that. I have a lot of reverberation in 15'x25' room that has cathedral ceiling starting at 12' (a lot of walls). Thinner materials like fabrics or blankets don't do any good. If you place such material if front of you and can still hear thru it the it is no good (won't stop wall reflection)
Yes, these would be for corner traps, in an earlier post, you commented, "but I still need to take care of the corners" and yes, thin materials are useless. Are you hearing reflections from your vaulted area? Years ago, I ran Marcof Electronics/SpeakerCraft out of St. Louis, we had a dedicated listening room, the best it ever sounded was when we wrapped standard R13 fiberglass in speaker cloth (very nicely done), we did a live end/dead end room. The fiberglas was covered in brown cloth and black cloth and hung in rows, alternating the colors. Very nice room. If I tried that at home, I'd be asking Golden Ear to make room for me next to him on his porch.
I recently dealt with this problem as well and unfortunately there is no easy solution if you are unable to move things around. The cheapest and best solution is to move the speakers out from the wall behind them and/or move the listening position forward/back in the room until you have an even response. In my room having the speakers 2' vs 2.5' off the wall made the difference.
I have also tried room treatment using 4" acoustic bass trap panels in combo with bass trap wedge foam. IME minor room treatment like this helps a little but in the end will not cut it unless you are willing to go all out.
Finally, other things you can try other than changing speakers are port stuffing (probably wouldn't work too well on your Thiels) or some sort of parametric EQ. If you have a highly adjustable subwoofer you can also try to adjust the phase, polarity, and cutoff such that it cancels out the offending boom from your speakers without affecting the other frequencies too much. Good luck!
Timlub - There is a pretty good article here : http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html
It shows that my material (John Manville 817) has two times higher absorption coefficient at 125Hz than lighter 814 material (similar to common Owens Corning). It is still pretty bad for lower frequencies unless I'll go 4". Problem then is cost and WAF.
I'm not sure if reflections come from vaulted area. I think it is mostly from tall walls. I can hear echo, when clapping hands and also get better imaging at lower sound levels (echo dies faster). I had problems with previous speakers (Paradigm) resonating on upper bass frequency that was most likely multiple of bass refleks tuning. My Hyperions don't do that (why?).
I asked about hearing from you vault from dealing with pro sound equiptment. Back in the old days, I actually built several systems for night clubs and church's. Inevitably, I had to deal with sound reflection and absortion from high ceilings. Without fail, when we damped upper reflections, the room was better and you could hear the difference at floor level.
I can't answer the differences between your Hyperions vs Paradigm. I've never sat in front of Hyperions, but they look great.
"I've never sat in front of Hyperions, but they look great."
Timlub, you make me feel better. The only thing I didn't like about Hyperions was black piano finish and coffin like shape. Now it is slowly growing on me. I even realized that possible scratches on black piano finish can be easily repaired by piano repair/restoration shop while scratches on wood veneer are almost impossible to erase.
I've never read a thing on the subject. My Experience is just doing, doing, doing. Trial and error and being around alot of people who tried and failed many times before me. Everything that I've mentioned is proven only by me to me, But all used many times and as you can see, I've been creative more than once on making my own traps and diffusers. Now after 30+ years of mistakes, I typically am able to solve most issues, but one thing that I know is, I don't know much. If I were going to buy one of these two books, which one would you recommend?
Both books are excellent.
Anyway, if you can't move the speakers or listening seat, and if your main concern is with one person listening in the sweet spot, I suggest you go with parametric EQ. It will solve the problem at your preferred listening location and has a higher WAF than external traps. (You can build bass traps into walls, but that of course requires major surgery.)
I have EQ'd a few places in a professional environment and have experimented with eq's in audiophile systems. There is no doubt that if you have a spectrum analyzer and a mic that you can eq a room to be perfectly flat. It is a must in a church or even a night club. My experience in the audiophile home setting is not as good. There is always a grain involved or even though bass is now flat and accurate, the amp seems to have lost attack or mid range is natural, but has lost a sparkle or warmth. I prefer room treatments first and a RTA & EQ last. I am a electronics buyer (among other things) by profession, so I still go to quite a few shows. Recently I came across a well known mid to high end line (sorry, I forgot which one, I'll write if it pops in my head)that had an RTA and Mic Built into a Receiver, this is a line that I normally thought of as seperates. They eq'd the room fairly quickly and I have to say that I was quite impressed. No, not hard core Hi end, but Nice bottom, smooth mid, a high end that was not nasty and had a sound stage. So, I believe that it can be done. Maybe I haven't found a good enough eq.
I don't want to sound flippant but put your speakers back where they were and fit the furniture to accommodate the stereo. IMHO it is much easier to fit furniture around a stereo the visa versa. Considering the cost of equipment verses furniture (at least in my house) letting the tail wag the dog is unconscionable. Good Luck!
LOL, ok I just moved the thiels about 6 more inches into the room and moved the chair toward the speakers just a little more than 1 foot off the wall and it sounds very pleasing.
I don't like the fact i have to move the chair but i guess it will do for now.
in fact the little extra bass response is nice. "Color Rit" has a nice little punch.
I have to run some more test before I say that my problem is fixed.
Goldenear, I can't help but wonder how the plywood, perforated, sound trap, burlap wrapped, corner hugging, stand in the corner, acoustic treatment will pass the Wife Appreciation Factor. No doubt everyone is waiting to see how this transpires as inspiration to own own dilemmas.
On the edge of my seat...
Really, best of luck!
LOL yes thx Timlub, if I even attempted to bring anything remotely close to audio related into this house. I would seriously get my butt kicked let alone building a DYI panel. If I was alone forget it I would have a dedicated room, but that's not happening now.
We all have a problem. We are Audiophiles no matter the size or price of our system music speaks to use differently than most.
Thanks for all the help everyone.