My new dedicated room sound like crap,please help.

Hi there:i just moved my system to a small 11x9x9 room,the ceiling is wood and the floor is tile w/an area rug on it all it has in it is the system and a very confortable chair,needless to say it sounds like crap it used to sound way better in a larger florida room w/windows all around and all tile floor,will appreciate suggestions on how to get rid off the echoes,smearing,lack of details and other nasties i'm getting at a reasonable price,thanks so much in advance.Al
my system:
resolution audio digital source
simaudio moon i-5 integrated
paradigm ref v-40II on target stands internally rewired.
tad bybee power purifier
omega mikro ic's and p/c's
dh labs q-10 biwired speaker cable.
There are so many things you can do it would be difficult to know where to start. I would suggest running down to Barnes and Noble and buying Robert Harleys "Complete guide to high-end Audio." He has a least one chapter on your listening room with lots of helpful hints. If they have the book in stock look through it for a while and see if you would find it helpful. I thought it was worth the price of the hardcover but for a little less money you can get a softcover version. There are system set-up tips and vibration dampening advice. I would think his tips will be more helpful than most of what you get here simply because you can use his guides and fit them to your situation.
Best of LUCK!
In a small room, a little absorption goes a long ways. This is because, within a given time span, a sound wave goes through many more reflections in a small room than in a big one. So, any little thing you do will have an effect.

YOu have two problems to deal with - the voicing of the room, and dealing with early reflections to get good imaging. For the latter, basically you treat the first reflections points on the side walls, floor, ceiling, and rear wall. Whether you use absorption or diffusion depends on which is best for the overall room voicing.

To get an idea of the voicing of your room, do two things: First, walk around the room clapping your hands or snapping your fingers, and see if there's a ringggg. IF so, you have high frequencies bouncing back and forth between two reflective surfaces, and you must treat one of them. The second thing to do is just walk around the room talking to yourself. Listen to the sound of your voice. Then walk through other rooms, talking and/or clapping. This will give you a feel for what various rooms sound like. If possible, do this in a room that you know sounds good - perhaps at a dealer's, or in a friend's house. The idea is to give you a feel for what a good room sounds like, so you can move in the right direction when you go to change the voicing of your room.

It sounds to me like you'll need a combination of absorption and diffusion. Large leafy fake plants are good for diffusion, and so are bookcases with books. For absorption, since it's a dedicated room, you can make moveable wooden frames say a foot wide and maybe four or five feet tall, and glue acoustic foam to the frames. Try leaning the panels up against the wall in various places - the first sidewall reflection points would be a good place to start.

The corners of the room are places where a little treatment goes a long way. Take care not to overdamp your room, as that's easy to do. But you don't necessarily have to spend big bucks to alter the tonal balance of your room - you can toss pillows into some corners, back issues of Sterephile or Listener or whatever in others, and so on. A stuffed listening chair might sound better than a wooden one, or vice versa. Generally speaking, natural fibers (such as wool or cotton) sound better than synthetics - keep this in mind if you're buying a rug.

My point is, you can significantly alter the voicing of your room, but you have to listen first (using your own voice) so that you know what you're trying to do.

Best of luck to you!

I second Duke's suggestions. I would also add that you are going to run into some BIG "peaks and valleys" since you have two room measurements that are the same size ( 11 x 9 x 9 ). These will tend to heavily reinforce each other and may be tough to deal with.

If you've got more time than money, i would try building and running two of Jon Risch's absorption panels. These should be located along the side walls at the point of first reflection. You can build them to suit the amount of space that you are willing to sacrifice.

I would then try constructing some type of diffusor type panels and mount them directly behind your seated listening position.

Next up would be bass traps to go into the corners.

Obviously, speaker placement will be quite critical. Take your time and i would suggest starting some type of logbook. Make your notes as detailed as possible. Don't take for granted that you'll remember specifics, as the more trial and error that you do, the more the specifics will run together. Having detailed notes can save you from doing the same things over and over again.

If you're handy, have some basic tools, can follow directions and don't mind getting your hands dirty, this should set you back way under $200 total and bring you much closer to what you are looking for. You can obviously continue on a lot further than this, but this should give you at least a very noticeable improvement for very little monetary investment. Sean
I agree with Nrchy's comments, this one might be baffling (oops!- bad pun!). Not only do room acoustics come into play, but the resonant frequencies of the materials the components are sitting on will affect performance.

Sometimes with a smaller room the speakers will actually sound better not along one wall, but rather facing diagonally with a corner as a midpoint (picture an imaginary line from the midpoint of one wall to the midpoint of an adjacent wall and place the speakers along that line). This sometimes results in a "warmer" sound.

With a wood floor the spikes of speaker stands like to be pressed firmly into the wood. Any wobble can degrade performance. You probably know this already....

Last comment I have that may or may not help is to try placing your components on different isolation platforms or simply swithing their positions. Each room and every wall/floor has different resonance charateristics, and every component has its own needs in terms of isolation.
The shelf/stand that worked for your amp in the last room may not work in the new room for example. Things can suddenly sound bright and harsh. If you haven't been using isolation at all except for your speakers, the system will sound COMPLETELY different in a new room (not taken from a book- just direct observation). Steel amp stands with spikes on the bottom work very well with wooden floors, not just w/amps but sometimes cd as well. Try getting one for each component and see what happens.

Treating the room acoustics is basically trial and error, and as the above contributors have pointed out, a long process usually. The small area of wall behind/between the speakers as well as the region of wall behind the listener's head I like to leave blank & dry. When I've tried to diffuse these regions the result was often HF timing errors, percieved as brightness & fatiguing sound. One exception was a home studio a friend of mine had. He bought an expensive specialty diffuser designed to go behind the listener's head and it was great. Don't remember the name of it though. hanging plants in the corners is an easy & safe way to start experimenting.

Best of Luck!
For a (good) start, buy F. Alton Everest's "Sound Studio Construction on a Budget" (covers all kinds of listening rooms) or his 4th edition of "The Master Handbook of Acoustics". You'll learn how to anyalyze your room's resonant modes and what to do about them, and also about absorption and diffusion. There are a lot of DIY options covered, if you have any workshop capability. Good luck!
I would try Room Lenses. They are an awesome product, they look nice, and solve many of the problems outlined above. They are a little pricey, but well worth the money. Check out Audio Asylum for directions on contructing your own.
As Sean indicated your room is dangerously close to square. I would start with corner bass traps to get control of the peaks and valleys in the bass waves and because all sound waves tend to pile up in the corners. with the smaller room your first reflections will hit your ears sooner and appear to be an integral part of the signal (after a certain time period your ears recognize reflections as such and don't integrate them into the signal) and creates smearing. Room lenses may also work here but i'd build them ala john risch designs since their diffussion capabilities are much more important than the action of the helmholtz resonator properties of the stuffed tubes.
I use a dedicated room that is 7.5x10x8. Bass traps made a huge difference. Of course, a Tact Room Correction System can do wonders as well.
The book Tom Nice talks about sounds useful. Also his comment about resonant modes reminds me of this Cardas Sweep LP I have. Certain tracks on the LP will pump out pure sine waves at fixed frequencies. By moving your head around the room while playing these tracks you can tell where frequencies are being canceled out and adjust room acoustics accordingly. I'm sure similar CD's exist as well.
To track down such CD's and how to use them properly I'd try calling Audio Advisor, Needle Doctor, or Music Direct.
thanks to all very much,your inputs are greatly appreciated,regards.AL
I hate to be pessimistic, but you have ALOT of obstacles to overcome. While the above suggestions will probably all help, an extremely small room with wood ceilings and tile floor is a heinous combo for listening (especially at loud levels).

I think the hardest thing for you to deal with is a low wood ceiling. Almost everything sounds different in a wood ceiling room. Ceilings are just as important (if not more) than any other room aspect. One of the overlooked reasons for why equipment usually sounds better at a dealer location is the high acoustic ceiling tiles that are common in business office space.

On top of that, your small room probably does not let the speakers breathe and you can't get far enough from the speakers to let the sound properly integrate.

Instead of spending a fortune to correct that room, I advise moving your system to another room and throw a Henry Kloss Model 1 mono radio in that small room.