How would you rate your listening room?

I think most people visiting Audiogon are familiar with Stereophile's equipment rating system. So, more or less using that system, how does your main listening room rate as to potential music quality? I've given this some thought, and at 14'W 22'L and 7.5'H, I'd rate my room as "B", mainly because of decent dimensions. With the addition of ASC treatment(s), which I've done, I'd upgrade it to "B+", and if I were to go to good quality monitor speakers (which I won't) with bass to about 40HZ, I could maybe upgrade the room to "A-". My room could never be full class A IMHO because of low ceiling height. I'd like 9 ft. ceilings and a 2-3 more feet of width. Also, as I like good sized near full range speakers (I have Vand. 3Asigs.), I doubt I'd be willing to go to smaller speakers. Have others thought of rating their rooms? Cheers. Craig.
My room really suck. I mean really, really sucks. I had a great listening room once. It was perfect. 9'x 14'4" x 22'5"! Almost a perfect 1.6 ratio room. But now I have an 8'x11.5'x16' room that is plaster walls and ceiling with hardwood floors and two large throw rugs. My ex-wife calls my old perfect listening room her livingroom now. Life suck but not as much as this listening room does......
Good thread. I'd probably give mine a B/C. No bass boominess whatsoever, but no bass either. 14' x 22' by variable height ceilings, rising from 8' at the walls and shooting up to the moon in the middle. But it's a beautiful living room and I love it in all other respects.
Jazzcatlewis; I got two closets bigger than that...... Just kidding. Garfish, If you put your room in the classified,give me first crack at it! No haggling/ will cod be ok? I have a C -"room",/ Borderline class D. One of those L-shaped nightmares. Everybody feel sorry for me? Wadda ya mean, hell NO.? I just make the best of it. It takes 80 grand to make it sound like a 30grand system. I hope when I go to sell this room; the buyer hasn't read this post.
Like Jazzcat my room absolutly sucks. It is a T shaped basement area. The room is 21' long. At one end it is 11.5' wide and at the other end it is 21' wide. In the 11.5' end the ceiling is 7' and then jumps up to about 7.5' at mid point. The hi-fi is setup so that 11.5' wall is the front wall. The room widens from the 11.5' width to 21' at about the mid point of the 21' depth. The partition walls are flimsy 2x2's with cedar paneling. The front wall (11.5' wide wall) has a door in the right corner. Open the door and guess what......washer, dryer, furnace and water heater. I have hung a small picture on the front wall, on good bass thumps I can see the picture shaking. The room sucks's mine. This room is off limits to her decorating ideas. It's not off limits to her, we both love listening, just no decorating unless I do it. Doug
i'd have to give my room a class "a" rating, yust cuz of its size. while not perfectly rectangular, the dimensions are approximately 25x38x8.5. w/its slightly off-kilter shape & large size, i really don't need much acoustical treatment. the speakers can be out from the back wall, & they're way-far from the side-walls. as the floor is carpet over concrete, not much early reflections here, either. i guess i could treat the ceiling, that's about it. i've been here ~4 years now, & as this is the 1st really decent room i've had, i can really say it's easily the most important piece of audio equipment i've got.

and, craig, i suggest ewe go for those monitors - if ya like full-range sound, couple 'em w/a pair of vmps original subs (should be more than enuff for your room), & an excellent outboard x-over, like the marchand deluxe xm-9. yule be able to position each for best response, w/o compromising the other. when i 1st got my subwoofer set-up (prior to my current class "a" room), i was using thiel 3.5's. at +/-2db from 20hz to 19khz, these are truly full-range speakers, all by themselves. even so, they benefitted from being run w/a subwoofer set-up. crossed over at 70hz, the midrange got cleaner as the driver dint have to work so hard. and, the bass w/my subs is in a different league altogether. i'm currently using meret re monitors on stands in the main room, w/the subs, & it's great.

regards, doug

I would rate my room a B plus or A minus at best. The dimensions are 19.8' wide, 33' long and 12' high. It is presently treated with 4 tube traps, 6 RPG panels and has 15 dedicated electrical runs, each with their own breaker, star ground system and Hubbell hospital grade outlets. The Analog system is all on one side of the 220V three phase electrical panel and the digital is on the other, to avoid interaction. I have two acoustic engineering companies working on the construction plans for this room right now. There will be a total room treatment performed that will address reconstruction from the wall studs out. There will be acoustic damping of any bad first and second order reflections, as well as standing waves. This all began because of a low flow water leak that slowly destroyed my foundation. Since it is necessary to tear the room out completely, past the pier and beam and down to earth, this is the ideal time. The extra (acoustical) work will be accomplished at my expense, at the same time the other construction is being done. Included are plans for audio grade, non conductive conduit to be run under the floor. These will allow safe passage for all the long runs of audio and video cables. There will also be a full feradine copper screen cage for the walls and floor, to stop RF and EMI, plus a patented acoustic treatment will be sandwiched between the triple layer sheet rock walls. On top of that goes one to four inches of 6 pound recording studio grade fiberglass, same as is going in the new NFL studios ( the same engineer is doing that job), and then acoustically transparent cloth goes on top of that. Cosmetically, the walls will appear to be covered in decorative fabric, less the welting and staples. This type of treatment is very new, using a guide track system that allows a razor thin line between the widths of fabric. The special fabric is pressed into each locking rail with a thin edged roller, with no other fasteners needed. I also have plans to build my surround sound speakers into the walls at this same time, so my current speakers hanging into the room on brackets will be sold. I am still trying to figure out what surround speakers to build into the walls, and am seeking advise from friends in the audio business. When this project complete in approximately 4 or 5 months from now ( I not beginning right now! ) I have hope that my room will become as close to A plus as a home can get, short of rebuilding the entire house from scratch. The hardest part of this will be removing and replacing my stereo system and all my software. My suffering during the construction will be made even worse by the equally long period of no decent music. I can only hope that in the end it will all be worth it.
I was just given a room in our soon to be built out cellar. The dimensions are 16x 18x 8. It is 6 inch brick walls with a concrete foundation. I just had an acoustician look it over. He plans 2 layers of 5/8 acoustic paneling with an acoustic ceiling suspended from springs(?). He also plans to treat the walls with acoustic fiberglass. Because of the large size of my speakers and the relatively small size of the room, he feels that some time allignment will be necessary, probably in the electronic domai. The dealer recommends the Accuphase unit. I will investigate this, as well as the Sigtech stuff.

I would rate my room as a B+ if I could set things up the way I like. However, have a SO makes that difficult and I'm ending up with a B-. My room is 19x25x8.5ft. When we first moved in it was MY room. Speakers 7 ft out from the short wall, 5.5ft from each side wall. No windows at reflection points. Family has now encroached and I have had to put my system along the long wall at one end of the room. Speakers are noe 6.5ft from the "front" wall and 4 ft from one side wall and 12 ft from the other side wall. That last part is what reduces my grade. We've argued about this enough thð¡e agree that the next house WILL have an AlbertPorter style room.
I think we should arrange an Audiogon field trip to Albert's house when the new room is finished.
Yes,we'll all go over to Albert's /BYOB. Then we all come over to my place as an example of "how not to". Bring money to my place/ not booze.
After seeing the dimensions and ratings of some of the above rooms, eg Dugg's, Albert's, and Metaphysic's, I may have to re-think my own rating. I can see why Albert had to down-rate a bit-- so he could up-grade!! Duggg's is huge (I'm envious), and Metaphysics just seems to have a bit of speaker placement problem-- been there! Jazzcat, and Avguy-- guess we've all got problems of some sort. I have chickenwire around my 3As to make them catproof-- low treble is a little "wirey":>) Cheers. Craig.
Dhougg; one thing I am considering re speakers is Vand. 5s which have built in subs and are room tunable for bass. Craig.
I have temporarily moved into a new home in order that my wife finish school. She decided that a career change was necessary and so we moved. Having said that, my room sucks! I am unwilling to part with my Maggies. In another year we will be in a new home at which time I can enjoy an appropriate sized listening room. Currently, I am in a 13x11 foot room with 8 ft ceilings. I have my speakers firing down the long end and have had to place the tweeters on the inside. This compromises the sound stage but give me a more flat tonal perspective. With the proper speaker the room may rate as a C. However, as set up it rates as a D. Although, the sound I have coaxed out of it is a C+.
C - Just the family room. I am moving soon, so I may do something more this time.
when i hear about albert's upcoming room, it makes me re-think my ratings - perhaps a "b" is in order for my room. jeez - copper shielding - i've only seen that used in mri facilities i've designed/installed at the nih! :>)

craig, good luck w/the vandy-5 thing - i agree that tunable bass in full-range speakers is desirable, but i think it's nice to have the subs totally separate from the rest of the output, so the monitors (even full-range ones) can be optimally placed for soundstage/imaging, w/no concern for low-end response. good luck in your search for a steal on some vandy 5's! :>)

regards, doug

I recently remodeled my family room which is dedicated to entertainment. The room is 26x13 with 7 foot ceilings. On one wall in front of the existing drywall I placed standard 2x4 wall framing. I rewired with 10 guage copper used 5 different circuts for the hospital grade outlets I installed with the closest circut dedicated to my amp. Next I packed in 7 inches of unfaced fiberglass & over this I screwed in inch thick Tectum 2x4 acoustical tiles. From a distance these look like standard ceiling tiles but they aren't. They are constructed of strands of shredded wood & the surface is painted white.The tiles provide good dampening but it is the fiberglass behind this that really tames the gremlins. I also studded up half the ceiling with 2x6s & placed in 6 inches of fiberglass & again screwed in the Tectum panels. My initial impressions were that the midrange & highs were just what I was trying for. The bass was somehat muted but after moving my main speakers & subwoofer around I was able to dial this in as well.The soundstage is now uncanny in how close it is to the real thing. I went to an acoustic folk concert this weekend & playing the performers latest cd afterwards gave me a great reference. With certain types of well recorded music with good gear in a well desiged room you can get very, very close to real event. Personally I think that the listening room should be considered as important to a good system as your speakers,amp, cables etc.Since I did the work myself it cost me approximately $800 to do. I don't have exact figures because I gutted the adjacent bathroom & hallway & remodeled those at the same time. The project could have been done for less if I did't do the ceiling which depending on your speakers & volume levels may not be needed.
I give my room a solid "B". Its dimension are 33x14x8.5 with wood floors and drywall over brick. It's slightly live sounding. I use acoustic treatment (11 various roomtune products). The room has a deep notch at 50Hz and a boost centered around 80Hz. Although noticeable, neither is particularly bothersome. The ambient noise level is typically somewhat high at 53dB (C weighted). It's mostly low frequency rumble from high overhead airplanes and nearby trains. I live more than 10 miles from O'Hare (not in a direct flight path either) and the nearest train line is 1.5 miles away. Apparently, low frequency sounds can travel quite far.
I forgot to rate my room on the above submission. I give it a B+; I can't in all honesty give it an A because I Have 2 large windows at one end of the room & glass will vibrate. I am waiting for my better half to get some drapes which should help.
garfish, heard the vandy 5's this last weekend. so much like our 3a sigs and yet sooooo much better. no resonances from the boxes, bass to die for (and i've got a rel stadium II). just seamless integration from top to bottom.i was drooling. and the guy selling them did'nt even have them set up for optimum effect.
Hi Mark...; thanks for the mini-review of the 5s-- whets my appetite.
My room I think is about a B. Looks like:

the black boxes are the speakers, in reality they are toed in slightly. The blue box is my listening chair.

The room is about 8' high, 14' wide at the narrow spot, and 20' long. The alcove in the right-bck has two doors in to adjecent rooms, normally closed. The front-right area is open to the second floor on the right hand side, and just open on the ground level in the back.

Floor is tile over concrete, left wall is about 90% glass. Back wall is drywall, as is front. Right wall is brick. The floor in front of the speakers is covered with a few rugs, as is the floor behind the listening position. I recently hung a rug on the back wall. Turned out that with the rug about 2" out from the wall, the room became absolute magic. Frequency response from 1kHz to 15kHz is +/- .5dB in almost the entire room... Stereo imaging from the listening position is absolutely amazing. I see the singers, I see the instruments, the sound extends beyond the speakers, and with my eyes closed I often times am not able to pinpoint the speaker locations. I love it.

The ceiling is hardwoord planks with beams haning down 8" at 4" wide at 8' and 16' from the front of the room.

I rate the room a B because the combination of the room and the speakers have a pretty serious bass issue, about +6-8dB at 50 and 63hZ or so, and a dip of about -4dB at 125hZ. The whole bass region is a bit +, about 3-4dB on average. This seems to be partially due to the speakers (Vienna Acoustics Mahler) and partially due to the room.

I have not yet found appropriate methods of dealing witht his bass problem. Just last weekend got the rug on the back wall up, which made a big difference. Build some bass traps, but they did not quite work like I expected. So, maybe with a bit more work can get it to a B+.

I've never seen a graphic in a post before! How'd you do that?
Njonker, your bass response is not as serious a problem as you think. Although the exact frequencies may differ, nearly all domestic rooms without serious acoustic treatment exhibit the sort of problems you have detailed. A bass trap that would be effective at 50-60Hz will be very large, however, if the problem is particularly annoying, than a more effective solution is to use an outboard equalizer. The dip at 125Hz is probably phase cancellation from the floor reflection. Try placing something that will soak up sound at the "mirror point" between your speaker and the listening position. I use a large fabric foot rest.
My room is 8Hx12Wx15L. Is this a bad, ok, or good room? Thanks
I hope Garfish will not mind if I vary from his topic, especially since I posted about my room and plans to improve it. I would like input on speaker choices to build into the space in my walls (during the reconstruction I described) . These would serve exclusively for Dolby 5.1 and beyond, and will only be active when movies are in play. The ideal design would be one of the new surround speakers that measure only 4" or 5" deep. I have space for any depth at the rear of my room, but the sides are limited, due to the construction of the load bearing walls. It has been suggested by some friends in the audio business (NOT speaker companies) to consider the new B&W in wall surround speakers, as well as Vandersteen and Aerial. I looked at all three web sites, and Vandersteen and B&W both fit the need for the side and rear positions, but the Aerial is quite deep, and making it work on the side positions will be almost impossible. Does anyone have suggestions, especially those who may have actually installed and used such a system? I would like to do this right and not look back later and wish I had gone another route. By the way, the current system is Soundlab U-1 for the front, Vandersteen dialogue channel and Fosgate SD 180 Bipolar for sides. There is currently no rear surround speakers. Everything is driven by individual mono tubes amps.
Albert, I think if your going to build a room for audio and video, you might want to look at the future directions you may go. If six channel is of any intrest to you, and SACD or DVDa live up to there potential, it may be only two or three years before you start looking at a state of the art surround system. A few of the new SACD (DMP) that I've gotten are recorded in DSD six channel. The recommendation in the flier talks about the proper set-up of six channels and strongly recommends the same speaker for the five main channels. If that was the case the set-up is rather like a cicle in the middle of your room, and this might have a large impact on how you chose to proceed. Just a thought, good luck. J.D.
Worldcup86, it is hard to say cause it depends on many factors. One of the things that seems to play a big role are the normal bass modes of your room, which are determined by the height, length and width of the room.

In your room, you would have 'doubles' on 141, 188 and 283 Hz, with wide mode spacing at 70, 141, 188, 211 and 263 hZ. It is my understanding that the co-existance of doubles and wide mode spacing at the same frequencies can cause an audible problem, so you might find bass a bit uneven and diifult to control.

I am just recently starting to get a handle on all of this, so anyone that has more input feel free to augment or correct as you see fit.

You mean my closet? D+ (I use monitors as headphones, sounds good, but for some reason my neck hurts.)
Albert: There was positive talk of Linn in wall speakers a while back which you may want to look into. Linn has a good track record with standard box speakers that work well when positioned close to the front wall, such as the Index and Kan models. I find my horse shoe shaped room too difficult to describe in the thread, but may post photos if I can get my wife to shoot them (I can't be around camera flashes). I would love to have some feedback on it before I relocate the equipment. I would rate it as the worst room that I have ever had (short of a dorm room), but it's still OK. I have taken up listening in the near field on some of the nights that my wife retires early.
Given some of the above mentioned threads. Iam afraid to say.
My house here on guam is a concrete bunker.The listening room is 13ft x39ft with 10ft. ceilings.On the back wall i took 1 in thick carpet pad made of wool. then hung carpet over the pad. on top of that is cotton fabric to decorate.
the first 12 ft on the side is the same has back wall. In front of the speaker,s is a thick oriental rug. On the ceiling,s i bought 2 in. thick foam and covered the first 12ft. has well.All this caused too much absorption at first. then i made some reflection pannels. 1/2 plywood with 1 1/2 thick fiberglass sheets covered with cotton cloth.
Has of tonight|||| the soundstage is great. lots of air between instruments.It,s an on going education, just when things make sence, i read some thread here on audiogon and iam off trying it.I love all the tweaking .
where,s that shrink?
My room used to suck big time due to a very odd shape and open space into the hall on one side and another room without wall on the other side, not to mention high and slanted ceiling following the roof line. Nothing I tried worked until I tried TACT RCS 2.0 It's a great unit which cured all the ills and I didn't have to "decorate" my room with all the absorbing/reflecting/difracting, etc. panels or tubes.