I found a similar problem with my room, to compound the problem the rear wall was a large patio door with vinyl verticals. I considered selling the house upon first listen. I put down a large area rug on the floor, and hung heavy curtains in front of the patio doors. Both of these endeavours were acceptable to the spouse, she picked out the stuff. After that, I wanted to do a full treatment of the room but ran into a brick wall, very very low WAF. Next, started changing equipment and cables, tubes sure make a nice difference. In the end, the brightness was tamed, the room looks acceptable, and I hafta admit, sounds better than I ever thought it could. Jeff
Gonna have to put a carpet over those nice hardwood floors. Your room dimensions are to die for and that 16' ceiling should be wonderful. Maybe a large area rug, leaving a few feet of wood floor showing all around would do it. Don
You have a 16 x 16 "shoe box" which will have a nasty double reinforcement at whatever frequency has a 16 foot wavelength. Invest in acoustic treatments, especially bass traps to tame that resonance. Other above advice about rugs, curtains, and other furnishings will help as well.
Alexanderj is right about the frequency doubling. As it turns out that frequency is about 70 Hz. In addition, the length of the long wall is going to cause an interaction with the ceiling and short wall at additional frequencies that are multiples of 7 of the 70 Hz primary (70, 140, 280, 350,....). The room is certainly workable though. As stated, get a rug on the floor and start working from there. Try everyday, inexpensive things. Sometimes something as common and inexpensive as a fake Ficus plant from Home Depot in each corner can make a huge difference. Good Luck, Doug
My wife is not going to like it. She chose this house because of the living room and hardwoods. I'm in a bad spot because she thinks this hobby is silly. I can play the most beautiful and dramatic music and she says "thats nice, do we have to have all those wires on the floor? And can we push those speakers back against the wall?"
I had almost the excact same room a year ago myself. I think it will be impossible to make it sound great.
Build a room in the basement, with the proper dimensions, it will be the best system upgrade you every make.
Try trading in the wife for a set of Argent Room Lenses.
You can try placing an area rug at the first point of reflection on the floor and if you have art work on stretched canvas try to place some of them at the first reflection points on the walls (you can lay out any other art work from those points). Stuffed oversized chairs placed at an angle in the corners do wonders, any corner that you can do it in, (I even placed an old wormed out wooden ironing board at an angle and on end in one of our short tight corners, which is better than nothing and my wife loves it). Neither of us like to look at electronics in the living room so my gear was enclosed behind the sliding doors of an old Tansu cabinet, but since switching to tubes I am in the process of moving the electronics to a hallway closet (for more ventilation) that just happens to be behind the speaker wall, so now I will be able to shorten the cable runs and will run the speaker wire through the wall (from the closet to the speakers). If you have such a closet behind one of your short walls this may be an option that should give you more leeway with your wife in regard to other concerns. Other option are using a nice freestanding wardrobe or credenza for the gear. The addition of a subwoofer with crossovers (if you do not already use one) might also increase your ability to tune the bass and mid-bass to the room by experimenting with placement of the subwoofer. Start collecting vintage wool blankets from the railroads or by Hudsom Bay and proudly display them in the living room (I did and my wife doesn't even suspect the reason why:-). If you can afford it down the line look into one of the computerized equalizers for you system (I forgot the name of the most popular one, but their is a thread on this site about this). If you have a spare work or guest room that houses the computer, this might be another option, you can then listen to music while going through the for sale items at Audiogon (just don't have any guests that are not into this hobby - your mother and mother-in-law excepted).
Doug28450, I think the frequency that has a full wavelength of 16 feet is somewhere around 61.5 MHZ calculated by freq= 984/wavelength in feet.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Scratch my last post as it has no relevence. It's late and I have no idea what I was thinking about. Sorry.
Actually, Doug28450 that is correct for a full wavelength--but a half wavelength is a node as well--so 35Hz is going to be a problem. It is very difficult to correct that with acoustic treatment. I have hardwoods and an 11 foot ceiling. A nice oriental rug works well--but it still has very little effect on low frequency. You might need to go to electical correction--it's considered a last resort by many, but sometimes there's really no other way. In my system I had to do this (17 foot wall to wall)--the flat response is a great improvement over the slight resolution loss in the bass (it's bi-amped so the correction is only on the bottom end). I'm using a McIntosh EQ--there are better ones, such as the TACT and I've heard the P1A is good if you are using digital only--but I have no experience with this product. Acoustical wall treatments will help the high freqency--I would recommend those for the first reflection.
Abstract7, you are exactly correct on the 35 Hz. I typically don't calculate the half wavelength because I know in my own mind that it must be considered. I should have mentioned in my earlier post, but I got ahead of myself and hit enter before I realized what I had left out.
Liguy, you had me worried there for a minute. It was late for me also and I was afraid I had made a math error. After I checked the math, I was afraid someone had changed the speed of sound :-). Thanks, Doug
DJ, I had a similar problem sans the 16' ceilings. A 10'x13' area rug over the listening area of a large stone tile room took care of the direct reflections from my CLS's. Canvas works on the back walls. Others tell me that plants, with lots of leaves (i.e. the dreaded ficus tree) do a good job at difusing sound.