Harwood Flooring Information For Dedicated Room

I am seeking advise on hardwood floor installation for my dedicated sound room. The wood flooring will tentatively be used on only 1/3 of the floor - the speaker end of the room. The hardwood will end about 8 inches in front of the speakers such that the speakers will be sitting on the hardwood and fire into the carpeted end of the room. The room is on the second level with a wood subfloor on 2x10 joists. Speakers are Dunlavy SC4a on Sistrum SP101 stands.

Should I use...

Real Hardwood?
Nailed down?
Underlayment or directly to subfloor?

Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks so much for your experience and expertise!
Nothing beats the look and solidness of real 5/8" or 3/4" hardwood nailed or glued down. Either way, you will have a nice soild floor. On the other hand, floating engineered or laminate flooring tends to be noisy (just tap on it) since it is thin and de-coupled the sub-floor.
There is a special underlay product that reduces noise and is used in appartment buildings - I'd recommend that to dampen vibration - it is expensive though and the floor will need to be glued down. I think a live end can sound nice if you have an acoustically dead end around and behind the listener. The product will raise the wood floor considerably and you can therefore use a thick underlay under the carpet too...the more absorption the better.
On my 1st level floor I used 1" T&G Oak nailed on 1" plywood laid over 2x6 T&G doug fir over 12" joists on 16" centers. On the second level I used 1" T&G oak over and nailed to 1" plywood which was screwed and glued on 10" joists on 16" centers. Virtually no floor flex on either level. FWIW.
Try using engineered Bamboo or Cherry nailed and glued. If you use solid hardwood like Oak or Cherry do not glue to the subfloor because it expands and contracts during different times of the year. I would also use a wider board like 4" to 5" instead of the smaller 2".

Screw and glue the subfloor like NewBee suggested. If you cannot glue the subfloor make sure you double up on screwing the subfloor down to the joists. If you have squeaks in the subfloor you can search for special fasteners that help eliminate the squeak.
First and foremost , screw the subfloor every six inches along the floor joists . Stagger the pattern from joist to joist. Start 3 inches away from the wall on the first joist then six inches away from wall on second joist then back to 3 inches then six again . DO NOT use drywall screws . Buy the proper screws . This is not overkill but properly done . The special underlay spoke of previously is a higher performance of the years back when waxed paper was used . The newer material offers some but limited dampening or vibration control . It,s main job is to eliminate the possibility of squeeks occurring through natural shrink and expanding of real hardwoods . When laying any floor the first layer is more importantly done properly as it is the foundation your finish floor sits on . By screwing the subfloor down properly you tie it in firmly with all the joists as if it was now one peice or slab . Real 3/4 inch hardwood is the best for durability and as stated the laminates are thin and noisier . Also never never glue down a real hardwood floor !! It must be able to expand and contract freely with the seasons or it will split crack and squeek . The glue will stay put the wood will not . Laminates can be glued but myself I never recommend them unless thats what people insist on . They don,t last as long and if there is a need or a want to remove them , because they are glued the subfloor is ultimately damaged as well . The floating floors for a room to use as your dedicated sound room I would not recommend .Laminates floating or glued are best used for basements, laundry rooms and bedrooms . Ultamately because the hardwood will not go more than 8 inches past the front of the speakers the carpet will play a bigger roll in affecting the sound . You stated tentavily . I have had and those I have installed floors for as well have had better results for a listening room with a complete hardwood floor then using some area rugs . Cheers
Newbee and Has2be have provided excellent advice, and my hat is off to them.

The only additional thing I would recommend is a 1/4" layer of luan on the plywood subfloor, which is how I went.

As far as underlayment goes, rose paper is the material of choice these days. It also makes the job go easier, as the hardwood glides across it easily.

I'm particularly happy with my own installation in my home, which followed this route, though I definitely noticed the rooms are noticeably colder in the winter time in comparison to when I had wall to wall carpet. And, because I was so happy with the previous installation a couple of years ago, I'm now about to do one additional room in the next month, and am considering replacing the rose paper with either asphalt roofing paper, or another product called "Insulayment" to address the winter time feel issue.

And, by the way, if you lay down an unfinished floor, I more than recommend finishing it (yourself, not a contractor) with polymerized tung oil from Sutherland Welles, who Rushton recommended to me. Once you see a floor finished with this material, polyurethane will NEVER look right to you again. While the per gallon cost is probably twice as much, it went so far, I only needed about 1/4 to 1/3 of the estimated amount, so the actual cost is much lower. And, with tung oil, you can refinish wherever/whenever you want. With polyurethane, you cannot make spot repairs, the entire floor must be sanded and then refinished.

Best of luck!
What underlay product should be used for basement concrete floor under engineered hardwood flooring? I looked at some but did not see any in the US.

I have engineered hardwood flooring and was expecting to lay that down in the basement as a floating floor for the entire dedicated listening room. It was stated in the previous post that floating floor is not good for dedicated sound rooms. Why is that? Then it states that laminates are good for basements. Please clarify for a dedicated sound room that is in the basement. Thanks, Bob
For Stenersr.... Hi Bob . Your questions about laminate for use in the basements are good points to bring up . I was answering about flooring over a suspended floor (joists) , first and second floors . Laminated or engineered wood floors are not as affected by moisture because of the layering and bonding that occurs when manufactured and the glues used to bond them together . That is their greatest strength and why they were initialy developed along with dwindelling resources . To clarify why if possible not to use in a dedicated sound room is when used over a suspended floor they really affect sound , I think they call it lively but to me it sounds more like an empty room the way sound bounces quicker . Real Hardwood is not quite as lively in my experience any way . But realistically there are alot of factors , ie. height of ceiling, size of room , insulation, furniture, doors windows . Now the more important question about underlay in a basement over a concrete floor . This has less to do with sound than peice of mind . Concrete and wood of any kind be it natural or engineered should never come in contact with each other . Some lay 10 mil poly on the concrete floor first going at least 3 inches up the wall behind the drywall then the plywood subfloor . 15 pound felt paper can be used as well . These are cheap and not that effective solutions to provide a barrier from the concrete so the wood is not allowed to wick the moisture up and create that musty mouldy smell . I would strongly suggest that if you need to lay a subfloor in the basement use Dricore panels . They come 2 ft by 2 ft with a poly waffle sheet bonded to engeneered wood . The poly waffles make contact with cement and raise your whole floor off the concrete . Two very important things it does is provide a moisture barrier and allows the concrete to breath . That little bit of air movement it allows will make your floor 6 degrees warmer at the finished floor level . It can hold almost 6000 pounds per square ft as well . Highly recommend this product for a solid basement subfloor . Its the only way I will install a basement subfloor . Go to www.dricore.com and all you need to know is there . I know they sell it at home depot . Enjoy