concrete vs. wood listening room

Since concrete is "dead" would I still need spikes to control resonance? What would my optimum set up be?

Room...concrete floor covered with thick carpet. Concrete walls covered with sheet rock.

System...tsm/mm`s, AA prima mk1 int. amp, cdp (undecided), wires (undecided).


No down side to using spikes on carpeted concrete, in fact it will usually help give you a more secure connection to the floor and make the speaker more stable (assuming that you use 4 spikes, not three. I found that three spikes under a tall speaker doesn't always work as well stability wise. However, IMHO, spikes will not help control resonances when used on concrete.
As Newbee says plus you are decoupling the speaker from the floor other wise the floor itsle f beomes in a sense part of the cabinet.if room is alive even with sheet ros\ck you can find that certain speakers sound beter than other in the enviorment.Martin Logan come to mind as a speaker that sounds better in live room.Check out say ASC or other roomm treatment sites.Just saw nice one in Music Direct
catalogue for treaments near speakers,corners etc.You can ad carpet to floor but experiment it may sound better being used BEHIND stereo.Since sound is like light wavees you can with a big mirror or roll out mylar see where sound will bounce off side walls and where sonnex or other sound absorbing m,aterial can be applied (think I read that in Robert Hartley (editor of Stereophile) top see where pretty narrow strip of absorptive ,materioal can be applied so when they bounce of the side note it won't collide with beginning of next not or tail of last note.This is called standing wave effect and happens when note hit 90 degree suirface even inside speaker cabinet (why many are oval or spherical).Sounds like basement so look aren't so importanmt as sound and uyou could put in bass trap if closet present 9again in Hartley book) apply treatmentts to walls., use acoustic pillows for corners or use flat reflectors or spherical tube traps.All depends on what sounds good and budget will allow.If in lving room more compromises need to be made for where speakers are put rugs and drapes need to suffice for better sound materials etc.Remember rule of thuimb is 50% of sound is the room the other half your rig so this stuff isn't as anal ass I might sound at first.In future more and more speaker companies will use technology like NHT used to get tiny Xd sub sat system.Know a guy who built his won speakers and there $3,600 pre/processor (speakers and room).The reasoin that little system sounded so big and so good is DEQX conveted al signals not just CD into digital and optomized everything to not only process for room buit to make the small drivers,cabinets etc work to sound their optimal best.I predict as well as more and more powerr amps go digital and finally sound good compared to first generations thprocessing will companensate for what must now be done with materials.But for today bring your rig in and try to do as many styring searches about room corrections you can here and
G'luck make it fun
I suspect spikes/no spikes will be the least of your worries...a concrete room is going to sound very different from what you are used to hearing with a wood stud/sheetrock arrangement; room modes at LF will be much stronger. Concrete may be "dead" but it reflects the acoustic energy all to well.
Thanks Newbee and chazzbo. Yes, I`ll play with room treatments when the time comes. My primary concern is the non dissipation of excess energy and the resulting sound and the best ways to deal with this issue.
Here is an argument for wood:

Also look at his page on room acoustics.
Hi Pardales,

We`ve exchanged e-mails in the past where you gave me excellent advice on purchasing used, modded electronics. I`d concider panneling the listening room even tho it`s a rental.

My primary concern is that speakers on spikes and electronics on spiked platforms would not be able to dissipate excess energy enough when coupled to a concrete deck. Moving is not an option as I`m tied in with a lease. Any ideas?

update....just talked to Bobby P. of merlin fame and he loves concrete coupled with some proper room tuning. :)
I was simply offering the link as a different pespective. You have to take seriously the realities of your situation. I would take a recommendation from a person who really knows my speakers any day. Good luck,
Just in case you see this again was thinking about how muiscians seek out old wood paneled room where classics have been recorded and even though gear is way more sensitive now back in 50's you still heard tha magic of a particul;ar RCA hall or another label.It's not just pannleing but type,how it's attached to wall behind it,etc.Some counties have real problems because of type of construction they use.Lived in Isreal for a year and that's a place wher all houses ar stone and would need treatment on that basis or have speakers that sound good with hard walls.Some show demos sound terrible (or holmes and folks can't igure it out) because of false drop cielings (again prevelnt in some countries like England I think.Plus housing in Europe and japan is usually smaller so problems an solutions can be specific to smaller enviorments others universal and need can use carpest or drapes as opposed to expensiove acou tic tiles and traps.But here and will have comments,links,help in general to do your fix.I fould Robert Hartley's book on high end to have a good section on room acoustics (where i got tip about getting mylar (or move mirrors if large enough say on a chair) to put on walls and you put a lamp where you sit and that's where waves just like light are going to hit and you can just apply fix to narrow strip of area to deaden "standiong wave affect" (where end of note collide with beginning of next.This happens in side your speakers to that's why many have desigened them now to not be traditional box but more curved (again to break up standing waves).That's why you see in in a an anechoic chamber (where room is dead and loudness measuremen\ts or anything,a lawn mover maybe. is done because those soft material pyramids are designed to break up waves wuickly instead of refelctoing off a 90 degree sidewall etc.
Good luck.
In my last (late, lamented) home I had a dedicated listening room w/carpet over concrete floor and framed walls. This is the best combo I've found. In a prior home, I had two concrete walls with a concrete floor. The floor is great, particularly w/a turntable. The walls were more problematic.

To deal with the wall issues, you may wish to follow the process I followed:

Pick up a whole bunch of absorbtive wall treatment (there are a lot of options out there and many are reasonably priced; e.g. area rugs) and experiment. Cover most of the wall surface to begin with and then incrementally reduce the treated area. Leave the first reflection surfaces covered throughout. You may want corner bass traps to complement. At some point, you'll find your best mix.

Good luck.

Chazzbo, I have Hartley`s book and will go back and read the section on room treatments. It`s been quite a while since I`ve looked through his book, and in fact, forgot that I had it. Sheesh. Thanks for the reminder.

Martykl, I too have two concrete walls, and by your suggestion, I`ll heavily damp them and then subtract accordingly. I have further issues in that it`s an L shaped room (living room and dining room).

Thank you both for your input.
Hi Capt369,

I've been living with my listening room for over 4 years. It is in a finished basement. Carpet over concrete, two sides frame and drywall over concrete block, the rest are frame and drywall. It is also an L-shaped room, which does present some challenges all on its own.

Definitely spike the speakers to the floor. I am also getting good results with sand boxes.

Since it is a living/dining room I'm guessing that you have even more limitations on what you can do. Just to give some encouragement I will tell you that I have been playing down the long end of my L with great success. The trick is to make the speakers "see" the same effects from side walls as much as you can.

For instance, in my setup one speaker is positioned at the break of the L and so it sees no side wall at all. What I did was make some simple absorption treatments for the opposite side wall so that the other speaker almost sees no wall at all. This has worked very well for me.

These irregular rooms are very common, very challenging but also provide many options depending on what you can do regarding the dual uses of the rooms.

Best of luck,


For instance, in my setup one speaker is positioned at the break of the L and so it sees no side wall at all. What I did was make some simple absorption treatments for the opposite side wall so that the other speaker almost sees no wall at all. This has worked very well for me

Dan, thanks for your input. I`ll try this positioning first.