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 2 responses by millercarbon

Looks like pretty normal room response to me. Find me a room that does not have humps like that. Good luck! All that happened, you finally got some good speakers with good bass. Now you want to get rid of a lot of what is great about your speakers. Go figure.

Those humps are there in almost every room for the simple reason the room is smaller than the bass waves are long. So they all reinforce and cancel. Your real problem looking at your charts is not the humps but the suckouts. I notice you're not all that concerned with those. Not at all. Yet they are by far the bigger problem. Funny.

The other thing I notice, if that is where you are sitting, right next to the wall, well no wonder. Bass response is not just the speakers and where they are. It is equally the listener and where they are. Anywhere near a wall is going to be huge bass reinforcement. Move even a foot or two away from the wall and into the room, this alone will make a huge improvement.
The cat is there because it knows better than anyone where the good sound is, and has its priorities straight. All the OP has to do is convince the cat to swap places. I recommend gloves and a long sleeve shirt.