Agreed. In fact, many of these "great systems" are actually in pretty awful rooms, esthetically and acoustically. Somehow, the message that the room is a major factor in reproduction has not reached enough ears.
I think more than the appearance of the room, which for some in a dedicated room is not as important, is the number of systems in these tiny little rooms. I have seen some systems with upwards of $25,000 - $50,000 worth of equipment in rooms that don't appear to be more than 8-10 feet wide. Some of these systems are running large, very large speakers that appear to be about 1 foot from the side walls and about 4 feet apart.
We all have compromises of some degree or other, whether it be appearance or room size, but it seems to me that many ignore the match between the system and the room (not just the accoustical treatments that can be applied, but buying the wrong sized equipment for the available space).
I agree and in fact, your point was the inspiration for my current room.
I have always enjoyed listening late at night and in the dark.
But even under those conditions I would agree that a "butt ugly", ill conceived, cluttered, garage like atmosphere detracts from the experience and pleasure of listening to music on a high end system.
Having said that, it can be very difficult and very expensive to create a beautiful and serene listening environment.
Nonetheless, something everyone should consider, and an excellent strategy for coping with WAF issues.
Like Tvad says..So what..if thats what it looks like then it is what it is.. there's no accounting for taste.the real issue should be, putting those superb, expensive systems and stuffing them into something no bigger than a guest bathroom. Now, thats a real shame. But, I suppose thats another thread ;-)
Kehut: What are you talking about? You've got a great
Cwlondon: I just think the atmosphere adds to the experience. I mean really, who wants to sit in front
of a kick ass rig, and see bare studs and a mill saw, a couple of old harley handle bars, some 45 grit sandpaper,
and maybe even a '64 rusted volvo--all while you're sipping
on your favorite kickback and listening to your tunes?
I'm not saying it's wrong, i just don't see a point in doing it. Spend moolah on the system, but put some dough into the room, too. You're not gonna grill your Omaha
steak (or whatever they're called) in you toaster oven
and then wash it down with Boone's, will you?
I agree with those that see the room and the equipment as a total package!! I love my equipment but I also love the ambience of the room. Since my wife was in on the room design, everybody has something to cheer about. Late at night, with the lights dimmed and the equipment doing its' thing - I can close my eyes and enjoy the music or open my eyes and enjoy the room AND the music. In case you are wondering (I knew you were) the room is acoustically well done and 19' (on average) by 35'. Plenty of room for those big 20.1 Maggies and all the optimal furniture placement that is required.
You don't drink fine wine through a straw - neither should you listen to good music in a closet - If you can help it! Having said that (it sounds aloof!) I have been guilty of the equivalent of drinking fine wine through a straw.
Great topic. My wife and I are starting our major remodeling project. By the time we finished, my neighbors will not be able to recognize the old house (typical ranch style home here in the Silicon Valley). We will be adding a dedicated listening room as well, from the ground up. So the sky (and, of course, the wallet) is the limit. Both the architect and I came out of fairly progressive design schools, so the design of the house will be kind of out there, at least in comparison to the fairly conservative American standard.
I've started envisioning what the listening room might look like, and contemplated about enlisting Rives Audio to assist in the design. Afer looking at examples on their websites, I'm leaning towards figuring out the design myself while using Rives Audio to provide advice on acoustics. Not that there's anything wrong with their designs, but you could tell they were designed by engineers. I've started rading a few books on acoustics to learn the basics of acoustics so I have some concepts of what to avoid. I'm also doing some researches on designs of concert halls to get some design ideas as well. So, we'll see how this project turn out in late fall 2009.
Why are you guys picking on my room?, its all I can afford!
I see two sides of this, I like the "Fine wine through a straw" comment but I also see another side to this......
This is almost universally a solitary hobby so whats the point? Who are we trying to impress? isnt it about the music? While I appreciate and wish for a beautiful room for me it aint gonna happen, its just a matter of funds.
While I sorta cringe at some super near field pint sized rooms or other things I see I dont really care for we all do what we can, its not about who has what and how it looks...we should all appluad or atleast champion and support those who participate and try to grow or hobby. When we cant even applaud our own we become the snobs too many think we are.
A very good friend of mine and fellow music lover/audiophile
coined the phrase (at least as far as I am concerned) as his
being married to a "reference wife". Well I have one as well.I have recently designed and built a dedicated room for music in our home. It also serves as a beautiful room for entertaining which we both enjoy doing as often as we can. While the room was designed for optimum 2 channel listening, it also employs as full theater complete with a concealed screen, pocket doors to cover the French doors out to the deck as well as automatic window shades.
While I know that we both fortunate to have the luxury of such an near ideal situation for me to enjoy music and friends, I understand that not all others are. So to those that are more WAF and or environmentally challenged I applaud you. It is all about the enjoyment of the music and all that goes with it.
I love my man-cave ... It's not pretty and I have stuffed it with audio and computer gear. It's dimly lit with neon lights and the acoustics are third rate.
Sure I would love a 20' X 30' room with lofty ceilings to spread out in but thats for all you rich guys. The rest of us have to live with the "third bedroom" or the converted garage. So to you Feng Shui lovin, flower vasein, chandelier hangin, pink walled pretty boys out there : I'd take a signed Led Zeppelin album cover tacked to the wall next to a Greatful Dead poster and my old comfy futon chair if it means I dont have to sell my Mac 275. For me it comes down to choices : I'd rather spend the cash on equipment. As for acoustic treatments - I'm all for that, but when I look at some of the "systems" posted, I cant help but wonder if Tammy Fay Baker isnt alive and well. My significant other can have the living room ... but stay the hell out of my man cave.
WAF .... gimmy a break - What about MAF?
i may have forgotten something in my original post:
my room isn't a crytal cathedral with ornate bronze thingamajiggs
or anything fancy. It's 13x17 with 8'ceilings
with a soft and plush sectional near the middle.
But it loooks good and the system sounds great.
And though the walls aren't pink, the chicks that come
over (for obvious reasons) love lighting my candles
There are many home built these days with "open" floorplans - which sometimes translates into one huge room in the back of the house, two stories high, with the kitchen, dining, and 'family-room' area all in one. Add that to a design style that insists on marble and wood floors, and hard walls and ceilings . . . you get a house that's so reverberant that it's fatiguing to be inside it . . . and I'm not talking about hi-fi. The mere clanking of dinner plates makes one want hearing protection.
I think this type of acoustical blunder is unacceptable, and most here would agree. So why is it okay when we do the same aesthetically, in the name of acoustics? It isn't actually very difficult to arrange a hi-fi system so it's at least okay to look at . . . but it does take some imagination.
Our remodel is going towards that direction with most of what we called a "public space", areas where the family hang out most of the time, i.e. kitchen, living room, and work area. However, the dedicated listening room will basically be a dark box, no windows, just an entrance into the room. We are taking out a major loan to do this, which pushes us further into debt. That means no retirement for me and my wife until we reach 85! But architecture is also a passion of mine. I went through six years of schooling (which I enjoyed thoroughly). So this is also a life-long dream for me.
But I think everyone's vision of what is aesthetically pleasing is different. And as you can see in this thread, aesthetics could also be low on many people's priorities as well. So, to each his own.
Lest there be no confusion here - it is first and foremost about the music but when it is possible to enhance the music with "designer surroundings" (whatever that conjures up in your mind) it is a double whammy benefit. Can't afford the fancy room? - nobody cares - it's your excursion. If I sounded snobby a few posts ago - my apologies. Not intended at all. Just making the point that when the room is pleasing it just adds to the pleasure of the experience.
I think art work whether it be paintings or sculptures improves the looks of a room and gives the mind/eye another avenue of occupation. Real or artificial plants are always a plus viusally and sonically. Also the room will look better with more furniture than two speakers, a rack of equipment, and one chair. Book cases, record racks, storage/display niches and of course some artful lighting. Some of the photos of rooms I've seen make me glad I don't listen to music in that room. They are just so bland and boring.
Jorgeparrapuppy,one observation,early on this thread you mentioned that you can't show your system because you simply don't know how to use your wife's digital camera,later on the thread you tell us that many of your girlfriends come over your listening room for the obvious reasons and they like to light up your candles. I guess you must have a lot of "MAF" in your mancave.Come on give us the recipe how do you achieve this?
Yioryos: Great point you bring up that needs some clarification. And yes, I'm still laughing!
1) The girlfriends are mutual friends of ours.
It's a long story.....my wife is 13 yrs. my senior.
2) I haven't had her take the pix for uploading here
because a key piece of my system is in the shop getting
pumped full of antibiotics. I should have it back next
week, at which time i'll put the wifey to work.
I would agree that a system should match the room it is in, after all, why spend all the money and not get the most out of it.
However, sometimes we move to a new house or for some reason or another move our system to a room that is less then ideal and hope that things will improve. One doesn't always sell a whole system just because one needs to move it to a less the ideal room.
I like the idea of listening in the dark since there are no distractions, so why care about what the room looks like.
By the way, have any of you guys ever seen your lady in a cluttered garage and all you noticed in that room was her???? Even over the wondeful system that lives in that room ;)
I can remember connecting a set of 1600.00 dollar mini-monitors to a pricey amp/pre/phono...equal in value to a VERY nice car of the time.
It was in a 12X14 bedroom, with carpeting stapled to the walls, (hole cut for one of the windows) padlock on the door...and a real live milk crate/bailing wire and plywood rack. I slept in a custom built loft, which had the couch underneath it.
In the living room, there was always a keg tap ready for action and the common area frequently smelled of beer and !sweet! smoke was known to waft through the air frequently.
Funny, rent was 160.00 per month including utilities and other than having to sleep with earplugs, once the 5 other roommates knew you would literally shoot them if they let anyone break into your room...it was pretty good.
I have such fond memories of that crummy room.
I could take off and follow a band in my van anytime I wanted to.