Sitting alone in a dedicated listening room seems like a perfect storm situation for marital, familial and social isolation.
If that's what you seek, then go for it.
If that's what you seek, then go for it.
Hiya Grimace, at my oldhouse, we had the "theatre room". Acoustic panels, heavy motorized curtains, 7 surround speakers (all wilson) two risers, solid core doors. It was great when we had occaisional friends over, it was great to watch movies in, but it cost me close to 100k with everything. Well, that;s a lot of darn movie nights out, even with dinner. Then it was above the garage, so it was isolated and a trek from the kitchen. So in the living room, eventually I bought a big plasma, new wilsons, amps, etc, because that was the easy place to laze around, watch tv, and have music during dinner and working around the house, another 40k. I was really anal about food, etc, in the room. The house got bought by friends, and they used the theatre room alot for about 3 months, and then gradually they hardly used it.
Flash forward to new house, a dedicated room already pre-wired and separate from everything. Didn't even bother setting it up, made it a guest bedroom, and drumset hideaway for my daughter. We have my system in the living room. Everybody gets to use it, everybody gets to hear it, which can be a drawback because... everybody gets to use it, and everybody hears it. However it is nice to just have the fireplace, sit and play a game or read book and listen. Or have my main system as background when we eat, and just laze around with the kids, the dogs, and wife.
I think if this is somebody's absolute passion, that they want to spend all their free time listening to their system, or having a great home theatre, then they should have a dedicated listening room. Other family members can use it if they want, but for somebody who wants to go and shut themselves away for a couple of hours, it could be a sanctuary and haven.
So I would say it is a matter of priority and money. Sometimes my wife wants to watch tv in the kitchen, and she can't because I have the stereo on, or vice versa. I can just say for me, I spent too much time isolating myself and hence, didn't use the dedicated room near as much as I use this one.
chris great looking set up love the look of mbl never heard though, sure they sound fantastic. i have their counter system krell evo/ b&w. whats up no vinyl? i believe there is a happy medium. a room which is dedicated and not. stereo/workout/home theater/office. seperate section of home but plenty to do and still the ability to dedicate and yet not.
I have a shared space now and am excited to have my own room soon only because I can make it much closer to ideal for audio then I ever could in a family room, but it has a fireplace and I am going to hopefully get a projector for movie viewing.
I am also going to have a very modest system in living room for casual listening and fun so why not have it both ways? Again the dedicated room is more about placement and looks of gear and treatments then it is about hiding out. All and all I think its gonna be the best of both worlds.
What's wrong with peace and quiet? I bought a large screen TV a few years ago and innocently installed it in my sound room. I thought everybody could enjoy watching it. My wife and daughter almost never go down there, but my 21 year old son spends gobs of time there watching TV or playing those awful totally loud and often violent video games. What's wrong with peace and quiet? The thought that he would install all those game consoles in the sound room never occurred to me.
If you are an avid music lover an isolated, as you call it, dedicated listening room with a music only system is the way to go.
So now I have a second system in the living room that I enjoy, but still the big rig is in the basement sound room so I always feel that Im only getting a half serving when listening upstairs. One thing I will surely do when I move out of the present house is to have the sound room at ground level or higher with good sized windows giving me some sense of connection to nature. Oh, I may be moving to the Eastern Townships in the spring and wouldnt mind having a view of a nice valley from a mountain top house.
I agree that some environments look pretty cold and uninviting. A semi-religious shrine of sorts => cold, austere and meticulously laid out with gear with no sign of life.
Other shared rooms look great and comfortable until you notice giant speakers that look anomalous or out of place in proportion to the room....like the "obelisk" in 2001.
Others are music themed and you have Elvis LPS's etc on the walls - I like these rooms a lot!
Perhaps it is all about balance - a pleasant place to spend an afternoon or evening rather than a cave.
I chose to hide all my gear, including speakers as I don't need to see it and I don't plan on changing stuff each year. The room I chose is a play/family/rec or den room - it had a pool table in it when we moved in, which I removed and now it has children's toys over the floor. The advantage is that it is large and is one of the only carpeted areas in the house plus it walks out into the garden so it is a pleasant place to sit. The only drawback is I have to share it with the kids sometimes, which is a great pleasure, as, after all, there is nothing more important in life.
We're empty nesters so I don't have to share with anyone or anything. Well, except my pool table. My wife and I are much happier having our separate spaces to enjoy what we each enjoy. We're not worried about growing apart since we still do plenty of stuff together. We watch a lot of sports together and dine out often. After 32 years of marriage, who else would want either of us anyway? ;-)
I am starting to address the "man cave" look. A few LP covers in frames, lots of wood since I've build my own racks and speakers. But I am starting to consider some color. The off-white drywall is getting old and the room could use some new curtains.
My room is dedicated...but not isolated. It has a music system, hometheater system, and computer. It's also a good place to read...and dance, (mostly, the grand kids do the dancing, and we do the watching....age 2 and 9).
We have a TV in our living room, and the bed rooms...no TV in the dedicated room. (exceptions made for hi def sports!)
My high-end system is located in a dedicated room and this room was a priority when we had our house built (my wife's priority was a large kitchen and plenty of other entertaining rooms.) It is my belief that to extract the maximum performance from a hi-fi system a dedicated room is needed - this will allow the use of proper acoustic treatment and a highly symmetrical arrangement, with respect to the speakers. My family understands that I have been into audio for over 25 years and totally accepts my unique hobbies (I have others). We do not think of my dedicated room as a form of societal isolation, but rather a means of fully appreciating the art of music reproduction. Some hobbyists have dedicated woodworking shops; others art studios or large garages with vintage automobiles. In general, these are places we practice our passions and are not necessarily a social and family screen. I realize a dedicated room will not work out for everyone, but for those seeking the ultimate hi-fi experience and have understanding family members, it is wonderful.
When my GF and I were looking to buy our first place, I suggested a seperate bedroom/den for the system since she seemed bothered by it visually in our living room. To my shock she said no way, if we're going to have a stereo, especially a silly expensive one, then we should both be allowed to use it, including any friends that come over. I was rather surprised by this but couldn't argue, and the more I think about it the happier I am not to be locked away in some soulless dedicated room.
Having a "purpose built" dedicated room,I can understand some sentiments on these threads.Yes,I definitely feel a bit isolated at times.There is something psychologically different about listening alone,having to walk to the end of my home,and being isolated.However,the ability to "really" max out all the NUMEROUS variables that matter,in a high resolution set-up,come to the fore much more easily.The room's ambient noise floor,alone,is something that is astonishing when addressed with low noise componentry.I love it,but don't feel I "need" it!I have a few super serious hobbyist friends,who have wonderful "shared" rooms.A dedicated one is NOT a must,but quite nice!
These are just some of my experiences,and I would definitely NOT state that one needs to have a dedicated room.I have been just as happy in past rooms,which shared other aspects of living space.
Best to all
I guess the grass is always greener. I would like nothing more than to have a dedicated space where I can optimize my system and got the most out of it. We already have music systems throughout my house in the family room, patio, master bedroom, and loft. As a family we spend a lot of time casually listening to music but when I listen to my setup it is usually after my kids go to bed. My wife hardly ever ventures into the living room when I am listening unless so is reading a book or surfing the web on the laptop so isolation is not a real problem for me. In fact, I prefer it. Everyone needs some "me" time. I only listen to my system for 1 hour a night before going to bed anyway.
I guess I can see it both ways. For example: At the moment I'm trying to read all of these responses while listening to a great Roy Eldridge record. Simultaneously I'm being peppered with questions about appropriate cooking times for a chicken..... Guess what I'm only half listening too?
On the whole though, I think this arrangement works pretty well. Besides, I think i'd feel a little antisocial if I scurried off to my little hole all alone.
Chad, Since I know you're in the process of building your dedicated room, I'll be curious to hear how that works out in six months or so.
Thanks for all the interesting response.
My room is in the basement. The mistake I made is the walls go up to the floor truss and the cieling is constructed on the floor truss. I hear footsteps and the music can be heard upstairs. The walls and cieling will have to be disconnected from the floor truss and cieling joices will be placed on top of the walls for the cieling. Good thing it is a 9 foot basement. Other than that I hear no outside noises and the neighbors do not hear me. The source components, line stage and amps are in their own room also.
My setup is in the living room and there is no family room. I listen casually in the mornings, while others sleep late. All the serious listening is done when others are out. I move chairs around and pull the speakers out from the wall and I'm in business. The only problem is repeating the ideal speaker positioning. I'm thinking of buying a laser "chalk line" to repeat the best set up reliably.
I have a "music room" full of trumpets, guitars and a fairly powerful computer with PhotoShop and recording software. It's just a converted bedroom, but there's not enough room to add my high fedility system. I spend time alone in there everyday woodshedding, so one private room is probably the limit.
One day I'd like to roll it all together in one large room. Maybe some day...
My favorite room was a basement in my memphis home that was large enough for a hometheater setup on one end (complete with 7.1 sound) and a pool table on the other end. It became the best room in the house and could easily handle music and/or movies along with a pack of people playing pool. The room acoustics were pretty good as the room was 25 by 60 rectangle with concrete floors and concrete walls.
My current set up is a family room (had to leave memphis,ugh) so the setup is not as friendly I still have the 7.1 home theater and pool table but the room dynamics are not as good and the pool table is between the listening/seating area and the speakers. It is still the favorite room in the house and gets lots of use. I did have a dedicated room for music but found it did not get as much use since it was isolated.
I have my own space but it is not isolated. We have a two story house and there is a fairly large "Bonus Room" on the 2nd floor. The side/rear of the room is open to the upper stair landing. The picture posted with my system is from that landing. This is my space, the rest of the house is my wifes but it's my stereo only room.
I think all this opinion one way or the other truly in most cases lies on the "Female Factor" not only due to is it too much to have in the living room physicall, but does she really want to hear and see this thing as much as we would like to use it...
Thats my current issue, I will be able to blend it into a family room environment if need be, but I know it will most likely get even less use as she would be in the kitchen behind it, or doing things in the main part of the house.. Some women might love this, some are completely happy if you can tuck it away elsewhere, besides that unless your lucky enough to have one that is interested in something other than listening to some top 40 crap on the car radio, than you can get away with more I am sure.
However I think I am going to make my audio comeback soon with a decent basement room to get away when needed, by the way this is not a lifeless way to listen to music, fact is most of us that are in this have pretty good friends etc.. that like to come over and have some fun listening, so I guess having an area that does not jeaprodize the main portion of the house is not all that bad in most cases. Plus yes if you can dedicate and even isolate a spot, well you have more capability late night, or anytime of the day just going for a couple hours to listen while others use the house for what it is really designed for.
I'm pretty lucky, I have both. The HT is in the family room off the kitchen - it has blackout shades and wiring in walls and the big Vandersteens are 3' from the back wall, but the only "sacrifice" the wife has made is the 58" gloss piano black RPTV and matching equipment rack. We use this system and the B speakers for whole house sound.
Upstairs in my Lair, I have a tube amp, speakers, and a universal disc player. I can hide out here when the wife has company over or is engaged at something that requires quiet. I go here to get away or really concentrate on the music, or listen to something she fiends objectionable: Joan Baez, PP&Mary, etc.
have a dedicated 2ch area in basement--it is very nice to have a melt down place to listen and also for friends as well -great area for parties but since someone was sitting on my sub and eating(it was so hard to be nice)-parties ended --upstairs have a HT system near kitchen can be enjoyed by all --thinking of putting a 3rd together in the bedroom -- when HT is being used to watch some banal programs--?? if I have 3 systems does that qualify as audio store or just certifiable :):)
One thing I forgot to mention about my seperate dedicated room is the ability to listen LOUD at any hour of the night.I live deep in the "burbs",and have no neighbor issues either.
The only problem,as of now,is I am getting a bit older,and those late night sessions don't come as often as they used to!
Another "listening killer",for me,has been the implementation of a new Sony LCD High Def TV,along with a maxxed out cable package.Not big time home theater,but enough to make me realize that High Def TV must be like what they claim doing crack cocaine is all about.Once you get a sampling you are INSTANTLY hooked!It does not offer me the same passion of audio/musical enjoyment,but BOY is it fun!!
the problem with high deff. is the content. there is none, at least none worth watching. i started in video. been watching 1080p for 5yrs or more. just in the middle of dismanteling home theater surround going 2 channel anologe only. keeping the projector and scaler for that rare viewing, and the recliners, but all else, surround sound (7.1)gone. preferr listing to vinyl over a crappy movie any day. my basement is my dedcated area, does not look like a basement(walk out), practicly live in it, completely addictive. i also am an empty nestor and loving it.
I recently moved my main system from our living room to our lower the rec room, which has 9 foot ceilings, a fireplace, and is a walkout with daylight windows on two sides. Neither is "dedicated," and both are living spaces, but I no longer have to compete with the television that my wife often prefers, so I am able to enjoy music pretty much when I want, and to much better (and more often) utilize my main system. My pool table is also in the lower level room so the new set-up is all around better suited to our needs, and for entertaining. My wife and daughter can easily access and use the HT system in the upper level for movies, and we can use that upper system for music also. I haven't yet changed my virtual system pictures, but I will soon. I am enjoying the sound of my system in a carpeted room (instead of the hardwood floors upstairs) and also experimenting with a sort of corner speaker positioning that sounds promising.
I've got a dedicated FROG. Finished Room Over Garage connected to the main structure only by a breezeway. A decent size of 34x19 w/it's own HVAC. I soundproofed it when I upfit it by isolating all the drywall off the studs using neoprene pipe insulation and a clutched driver. (I also use it as a recording studio) and also installed audio treatments in the form of heavy theatre curtains at each end over the windows.
This room was criteria when we purchased this house 8 years ago and my wife fully supports this Utopia just a few feet from our main living structure living w/a musician who enjoys listening to the music as much as creating it. I've got no WAF to worry about in this room (good thing!).
Whether she entertains her friends in the afternoon or I want to crank at concert levels at 1:00AM, (we're in a very rural area), nobody is put out.
We still spend plenty of time doing things together and nobody feels this setup leads to any isolation within the relationship.
The room has no video , just music gear. One end of this room is pure audio with the cliche Maxell chair located perfectly between a pair of M/L Ascents and the rest of the room is filled w/vintage guitars, old tube amplifiers and recording equipment.