House buying and the aspiring audipihile


I’ve been looking for homes in the south. Final destination to be determined.

One of the features I’d like to have is decent potential for a great listening room, and doing so has made me feel like a true rare breed. What I mean is, it is so rare to find a room I think would work great for music. There’s a fireplace, or windows or odd shaped living room to throw off my aspirations.

What I’m reminded of, again, is how very very different the average consumer’s listening room and priorities are compared to audiophiles or moviephiles.  It is clear to me that if you want to be a very successful speaker maker you need to make speakers which still sound good even as they vanish.
erik_squires
I am/was a RE Broker. When I was showing homes back in the early 90s through early 2000s, I was shocked at how few homes had even a decent room for a top flight high end audio system. The closest was to turn master bedrooms into listening rooms. My current home, which I've owned for 26 years at least, has far from ideal dimensions, but offered a great room that I could work with at ~ 26 x 35, open up/down stairwell in the middle and a 12ft peak in the open beam ceiling that falls behind the near field seating position into a Florida room  that is floor to ceiling all glass (so, no back wall reinforcement), meaning I can't very well put the speakers in the middle of the room and fire at a reasonably positioned back wall, which is currently my front wall (behiind the system), which has a huge floor to ceiling glass window. My Emerald Physics open baffle speakers help a lot, as did my Accoustat 2 + 2s, but my Magnepan 3.5Rs were a bust. I tried dual subs but was unable to get anything close to a seamless integration.

I've been expecting a pair of EP 2.8s which have dual 15" carbon fiber woofers in a de Appolito configuration with a 12" midrange that has a 1" concentric polyester tweeter, hoping they will minimize the bass issues in this tough room. The speakers have gone through a 2 year plus journey on their way here


Now that digital room correction has come a long way, I will investigate that next.

Most wooden homes are not the best places for great hi-fi. Imagine a large stone room in a European mansion or castle. That's what I need. Natural reverberations! Might need some damping. Wall tapestries and an oversized sofa.
Nasty resonances from the suits of armor.
Nasty resonances from the suits of armor.


Now you told me, I've already moved 3 times because I thought it was ghosts.
We sold our house in the DC/Baltimore area and in June moved in with our 22 month old granddaughter and her parents, just a few miles from a new home that we are having built in the Biltmore Lake, NC community, just outside Asheville.  November 12th they hand the keys over!

Our builder was willing and able to modify the "bonus room" above the garage, which will be about 19' x 14', for my new listening room.

Hoping the room doesn't need much in the way of bass traps and other sound shaping additions.

The Asheville, NC area is a wonderful place to live, lots of restaurants, great music scene, festivals, UNCA has a nice lifetime learning program, lots of great hiking and biking.  Can't wait till "Mr. Covid" allows people to congregate again.
+1 on Master Bedrooms as listening rooms. I think they are the largest closed space typically available in a house.

Though my current listening setup might be duplicate for you due to the unusual shape of my master bedroom, I'm sharing this in case you come across something similar. Our house was built in 1998 and we've lived in the house for over 8 years. Our master bedroom is essentially in the shape of a hexagon with a bit of inset where our queen sized bed is located and an inset directly across from the bed. The length of the room is 18.5 feet. Each side of the hexagon is about 11-12 ft. The room has an 8 foot ceiling. My Monitor Audio Silver 300 speakers are 18 inches from the front wall.

Interestingly I've only figured this out in the past year as my wife used to have a TV in our bedroom, To improve her sleep, her doctor advised her to take the TV our of our bedroom. That opened up the wall opposite our bed for my audio system. I originally thought that the hexagonal shape would be difficult to use from an acoustic perspective. However, what I realized is that the hexagonal shape of the room naturally seem to absorb stray reverberation. There is only one 1st order reflection coming from the left speaker which I've been able to absorb with an acoustic panel. The result has been a room that sounds intimate, precise and pretty acoustically quiet..
I would encourage you to take a long look at basement spaces. Yes, in the South I think you would be looking for high ground or some pretty tall cable-lifts. Typical foundation walls are stiff enough to contain everything so you can “treat” the room with whatever materials and maybe break up some 90 degree angles. Good start on soundproofing and isolation. Usually handy to the mains breakers. 
Add: Dehumidifier
I'm happy with my Atlanta Metro home with finished basement (dry-walled, carpeted concrete floor, dropped ceiling with heavy-ish fibrous material squares) which has a decent sized room for dedicated audio (20.125' L x 12.67' W), EXCEPT for the ceiling height (7.1' H)! Would really like 9' or so instead. That is my room's limiting factor. It could prob use a little more width as well, but not as much a concern as ceiling height for me. But very happy with the sound from the room, though it is treated with GIK products.
@ejr1953   Congrats on the Asheville home!  That is on my short list for a perhaps final home destination.  I love it for all the reasons you cited.

I'm actually surprised how good some rooms can sound that aren't "supposed" to sound good.
I am outside of Austin. Arguably one the best town in the country for music. Big reason for which I made it our retirement home. And now with my new house of stereo it pretty much sealed the fact that we will end our days here.
I love Asheville! I live in Charleston where there are no basements and they love the narrow and long footprint. I converted an upstairs bedroom into my listening room and it took some work, especially the acoustics and I had to trade my tube amps in for SS because of the summer heat. Most very situation is unique to the user and most problems can be solved with a little thought, but I miss my place in the NW.
Ash and Charleston and of course Austin have vibrant and thriving live music scenes :-)

our Charleston condo was hurricane bombproof with a massive great room and high ceilings - easy to get Vandy 5a dialed in and singing :-)

good luck Eric
@erik_squires 
Are you looking to retire in the south ?
If so Tennessee is a great place . low property taxes and no income tax at all .
East TN is cheaper than west TN.
I live in Knoxville, TN 
I have traveled extensively throughout the US, for my job through 15 years on the road and Knoxville , Tn is near the top of my list , for places to live.
ejr53 is right that Asheville, NC is a great place to live . The only problem is that NC is higher in taxes. If you have plenty of money , then it matters little.
https://realestatescorecard.com/library/story/cost-living/lower-cost-living-comparison-cities-southe...
Are you looking to retire in the south ?


No, actually my goal was to retire wealthy.  Not that I'm close to reaching it...
I had a few “audiophile” features built into my house.
1) finished office/listening room in the basement with with insulation in all 4 walls and a solid wood door so music can be played louder at night without disturbing anyone.
2) in wall speaker wires so speakers can be connected to system in 4 different rooms + deck.   So you can play with sound in multiple rooms off a single good system.
@ejr1953 ...Welcome to Asheville!  Now, having said that, don't let my proximity concern you...much....;)
I'm generally docile in public, but given to 'one-liners' that don't register until I've left.
This is a 'pet friendly' city....watch your step, anyway...
No significant b&m audio outlets locally, be ready to drive to Charlotte (2ish hrs.) or Raleigh/Triangle (4ish hrs.); Atlanta....plan to overnight.
Online is your friend and perhaps your new mantra....and fits parts of the local kulture...  BTW, 😷 and purple, tending to blue.

It'll be great to know that some 'philes will be in the area...we're not typically the 'bumper sticker' sort....*G*

...and No, it's not likely you'll be next door....;)
Erik, keep playing those Lotto #'s...👍

....dam' 'scratch-offs' just tie up the lines in the stores....

"I'll have 5 of the *pause* 'W'....*pause*....5 of the...*pause*...."

20 to win 10....good investment....🤨  
@ejr1953 
If you haven't already, try the Mellow Mushroom for great Pizza and good beer .
https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/north-carolina/asheville-nc-is-a-hippie-town/

Grey9hound,

My daughter has lived in the Asheville area for about 12 years now and we've visited lots of times.  Yes, the Mellow Mushroom is a wonderful place.  There are other really fine pizza places, Pizza Mind, Galactic Pizza Asheville and we get a Mediterranean pie from the Apollo Flame Bistro that we like.
Asvjerry,

Good to "connect" with you.  I did join the Carolina Audio Society, but I suspect it'll be a while till we meet "in person".

No bumper stickers on either of our cars!
OMG, had forgotten about the Mellow Mushroom!!! I used to live in Atlanta and we had them. 
House hunting, give serious considerstion to North Carolina and South carolina
House hunting, give serious considerstion to North Carolina and South carolina


Well this is for work so I really don't get to pick. If it were my choice, and I could get Amazon/Instacart and Grubhub, those NC mountain lodges for $200K are amazing.
Another type of speaker I'm surprised more people didn't mention is the 2.5 way.

Tweeter, mid-woofer, woofer.

Small, Not very deep, easy to put down.
Told my builder to give me 9' in the basement. He said, after all the drawings he could only give me 8'. Told him forget it, just sell the lot.
Got the dimensions I wanted. Just had to wait till my daughter moved out. 
Wife wanted acreage and a house. First thing I look for is a room. Room's not there, no sale. 
Oh, you meant 9 FEET.  I always get feet and inches confused.  I had totally misunderstood your entire post.