Help Requested - New Room Setup

Yep, here I am. We have just moved into the new home and with it came the new listening room I have been salivating over. At this time the salivation has turned into swearing. LoL. Without embelishing too much, I feel like a kindergartner trying to color inside the lines with fat crayons at this point!

With the new room, came the belief it would automatically sound fabulous... I didn't put much thought into setup as in the past I have been lucky to find the "correct speaker placement" relatively easily. That has not been the case thus far. I have moved the speakers all day long with little improvement here and there. Here are some of the basics:

Room size is 15' 10" wide by 21' 10 long, ceiling height is 9' with a 9 box coffered ceiling (beams approx 6" deep x 8" wide). There are a couple new photos up on my system thread, but in general the rear wall is all built in shelving units for album storage. One side wall has drapes that are 6" from the ceiling to the floor and cover the three windows (approx 6-7' wide). I have some Eighth Nerve corner treatments as well as two fake ficus trees in the front corners to help with diffusion. The entire room is carpeted with frise (shag like). There is no noticable bounce to the floor, specifications were I joists on 16" centers and the builder beefed it up to 12" centers.

At this point the midrange and highs sound decent. The overall complaint is the bass from lower note stand up bass and down seems to be rolled off, or perhaps have a suckout. Amps have been plugged directly into the wall after thinking the line conditioner may be limiting dynamics, this did not prove true. Some of the "muddiness" was cleared up as I finally spiked the speakers in a place that was fair. The bass did tighten up, however still seems to be quiet at certain frequencies. My speakers are the Meadowlark Blue Heron 2 which are 1st order time and phase aligned transmission line which are front ported. I have been told I may not have to move them out too far from the rear wall. I don't mind if I need to. Measurements given are to the midrange driver. Yesterday I had the speakers out 47" from the rear wall and 36" from the side wall. Currently they are placed out 44" from the rear wall and 48" from the side walls. They are 2" shy of being 8 feet apart. Distance from a speaker to rear of listening chair is 12 feet. Distance to rear wall from where your head would be in the listening chair is 3 feet. Throughout the day, I have moved the speakers anywhere from 2.5 feet from the rear and side walls to about 4.5 feet from the side walls and 5 feet out into the room. The speakers are currently very slightly toed-in. My limiting factor here is the monoblocks are now placed inside the equipment rack. If need be to move the speakers out further I can place the mono's on their dedicated stands to tweak and just get longer speaker cords down the road. At this point I am a bit dumbfounded that movement within that entire area of speaker placement the bass response on deep bass seemed low. Please keep in mind, this system was set up in my old home in a spare bedroom of 11'6" x 11'8" x 8' ceiling... so I would imagine this would be much better with room to breathe. Which direction would I want to go to get more bass emphasis, of course while maintaining midrange and treble balance, imaging, etc.?

Of course considerations include, all gear and cabling has been in storage for seven months. Perhaps it has 10 to 11 hours of play time on it now. All five Porter Port outlets in the wall are new, as well as the cryo'd 10-2 Romex for all 5 dedicated 20A circuits.

Any input or feedback would be greatly appreciated. If there are any websites or general rules to follow for best initial setup, please point me in that direction. I suppose I have been lucky in the past to really just "eyeball" a few different locations, and then tweak toe-in and have it sound great.

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

That's a really nice system and room you have there. I wish I could afford to build a custom room for my system, but I try to make do with what I have (which is actually quite nice, in the grand scheme of things).

There are two approaches you can take to augment the bass in your room. One, is to simply add a dedicated subwoofer system in the rear corners. Probably a single, high-output sub in the center of the wall between the speakers would work well too.

The second approach might be an easy thing to try, depending on how your room is set up, and may not cost you anything other than a little experimentation. If you presently have the speakers on the long wall, try moving them to the short wall; and if they are presently on the short wall, move them to the long wall. To make this easy to try, you could even go to Radio Shack and get some 14 gauge speaker wire. That way, you can leave the equipment where it is while you scout the new speaker location and positioning.

Once you know whether or not the adjacent wall placement works better, you can then move your equipment so that your expensive speaker cables will reach. To me, this approach makes the most sense -- unless there is some very good reason why the speakers can only be located on the particular wall you're using. In that case, the first option (subwoofers) or even electronic EQ for the bass, would be the most appropriate course of action.

I'm assuming you realize that moving the speakers closer to the wall and corners will produce more bass; and that sitting closer to the rear wall should increase apparent bass, as well. That said, there are certain room nodes that produce cancellations (nulls) and reinforcements throughout the room. Walking around the room while bass-heavy material is playing can clue you in to places where the bass is stronger.

My guess is that in your previous small room you had a lot of room boost in the midbass that you got used to -- and is now more linear in your larger room. Isn't it amazing how much the listening room affects the sound we hear! If doing it by ear fails you, you can always get an SPL meter from RadioShack and a test CD with bass bands to clue you in to your new, in-room bass response. With that you can see the frequencies at which the bass response dips or peaks. If the curve is too irregular than electronic EQ could be your only recourse.

Good luck to you, and let us know how you make out.
Beautiful system and room! My room is quite similar in dimensions- 21.5 x 16.75 x 7.4

I have Vandersteen 5As. If you have the ability to do so, try moving your listening position. You just might be sitting in a null. Most attention is paid to moving the speakers, but sometimes the listeing seat in the room can be the real culprit of a bass null. I would try moving your listening position a little closer to the speakers. Keep us posted!
I fought a similar battle when I moved into a new house with a pre-existing home theater. I just couldn't get decent bass to save my life. Further examination revealed that my room dimensions were horrible (1x2x4). It doesn't seem like your room dimensions should be a problem although I haven't plugged them into a room mode calculator.

One thing you can do to see whether the problem is a bass null is to walk around the room when playing music or test signals with some good low frequency content. In my room, the bass would almost blow your hair back in some spots and be non-exisitent in others.

What I did to fix the problem was built some bass traps based on Ethan Winer's design and moved my listening seat a little. This made a world of difference. Now music sounds good almost anywhere in the room but especially good at the listening position.