Help me tame my out of control bass

Hey all,

Hoping to get some advice on how to tame what appear to be some pretty bad room modes. See my system here:

I’m in a bit of a pickle for a few reasons. First, my NY apartment is on the small side and requires me to set up on the long wall with the listening position against the opposite wall. On top of that I upgraded to my dream speakers, Egglestonworks Kivas. They sound amazing but they’re big and have a lot of low end reach. The combination of these two factors leads to the waterfall you see in my system - a pretty massive bump in low end, particularly at 40-44hz and from 60-70hz.

There’s also a huge bump at 120hz, but I don’t understand how that one is possible. I think that might be a measurement or microphone error - I don’t hear that at all and it doesn’t go away even when I EQ 120hz out completely, but maybe it’s a resonance?

Things I’ve tried so far, each with modest success:
- Plugging the ports gave me about a -5db reduction in the trouble spots (all measurements are with the port blocked)
- I don’t have a ton of placement flexibility but moving them back from their original position gained me about a -3dB reduction in bass
- I added a pair of 5.5” thick GIK bass traps, but they didn’t do much that I’m seeing in the measurements. Maybe a -1-2dB reduction, tops. They honestly helped more with the mids and highs.
- Convolution curve in Roon - this works the best, but doesn’t solve the problem for home theater or vinyl

I’m pretty stumped as to what else I can do. I think that the amount of bass traps needed to fix this is more than my marriage can withstand. I’m considering the PSI AVAA active bass traps, but only if I can do a home trial of them first to see if they’ll actually help - I worry this 8-10dB bump I’m seeing will be too much for even a pair of those. I could get a DIRAC processor from miniDSP and that would at least then work for all digital sources. Vinyl is mostly not a problem since this is so low and most of my vinyl is rock and jazz.

Any other ideas? Rolling tubes that have less bass? Are there any less expensive EQs with digital in and out that I could use as an alternative to the DIRAC for home theater only?

Showing 6 responses by audio2design

Magnepans don't magically solve bass nodes unfortunately, however, adding a couple more subwoofers, some electronics for integration, and playing with speaker placement may.  That may get your lowest nodes under control, and then you can work on the higher ones. If the misses is into decoration, involve her in the selection process for acoustic treatment.
Going to guess your main room is about 8m * 5m with 3m ceilings?

Then I am going to guess there is a wide hallway or extension off the main room?

8m, 5m, 3m are your 60, 110, and 180Hz approx peaks, then with a range of harmonics off those sizes.

The 45Hz is typically too low for a typical sized apartment, especially in NY and you said it is small? That leads me to believe there is a hallway / extension off the main room creating the 45Hz node and the suck-out just above it.
erik_squires10,600 posts02-22-2021 10:33amI just looked at your waterfall. That's not your speakers!

That solid green line at 120 is background noise. More likely either your equipment or something like an AC running.

Bang on erik. It is pretty evident in the waterfall where the 120Hz does not decay.  Most 60Hz noise presents as 120Hz due to rectification. It is likely electrical noise.

+1 on gearslutz, you will find far more acoustics experience there.
hudsonhawk OP113 posts02-23-2021 9:38pm@speakermaster Great question and a detail I forgot to mention is that i did decouple the speakers by adding Isoacoustics Gaia feet to the speakers. It didn’t make as big of a difference for the bass as I was hoping (although in retrospect I wish I’d measured before and after, I didn’t yet have the measurement mic) but it did improve the imaging significantly.

In terms of measurable differences, this is unlikely to make any difference. Their may be a slight slight difference, but the vast majority of the energy is coming out as sound, not vibration in the cabinet, especially something as solid as what you are using.

Odds are the microphone/mic-input is picking up 60Hz and rectifying it (hence 120Hz).