New house room size opinions please........

Hi All,

Looking into new house and so far we have 7 "contenders" wich means a room of my own, most houses have rooms in the 13X21 to 24ft range, all in basements. I ran into a house today wich looks great, has alot of other features we would like but a room that is only 14X18 and I wonder if this can still be an ideal room for my use, the room my gear is in now is 13X17 and am pretty happy even though it is our living room so a large cabinet and TV are in between speakers wich kills any performance other then average.
I was hoping to be in a room where I had more room from back wall but if we picked this house should I expect enough improvement by gaining the center image to ignore the fact I will be maybe 2-3 feet from back wall?
Speakers are VMPS FF3SRE and are large but tunable with woofer tuning and active outboard crossover and I never once felt they over-loaded my current room. One thing to consider is in the new room I will listen roughly 10ft from speakers, my couch in current room is against back wall and could be closer but living room WAF issues stand in the way, if in that new room I went 3-4 ft from back wall, sat 10-11 feet away I would have 3 feet behind me, speakers would be 7 ft apart and almost 3 feet from side walls, all in all what do you guys think? Thanks a bunch for your time.....Chad
let your wife pick the house...don't even offer an opinion, or you'll pay for it down the road in ways too bizarre to imagine.
ps...great system
I agree with Jaybo on both counts, but especially on the house. Your house is where you live and listening to music may be a large part of your life but it is not the entire center of it or your wife would not still be with you.
Good advice from Jaybo. When we were looking for our new home last year I watched for clues from my wife and offered my opinion based on those clues. She agreed from the start that my "stereo room" was on her list so it was easy to go along. Say what you will, I'm in my listening room now and we have a happy marriage.
Chadnliz, I went through the house search process recently and I commiserate with you on the challenges of finding the right combination of house and listening room. FWIW, my belief has always been to try to go larger than 21 feet if possible, and avoid substantially square rooms. The difference in support for the bottom end in a larger is pretty significant. You can drive yourself nuts over finding the right room with the "just-the-right" dimension ratios. But, you can overcome some imperfect ratios if you have enough volume to begin with. You can't make the room larger.

I'm a soundstaging nut, and I love a system setup that can both maintain accurate timbre and recreate a believable acoustic space. I find the best mix of factors for doing this usually involves being able to get the speakers (dynamic drivers) well out in front of the wall behind them 4-6 feet or so) and decently out from the side walls. I also find it very satisfying to work with a space where my listening seat is 6-10' from the wall behind my head. (Of course all this changes depending on room dimensions.)

Good luck!
Thanks for all replies so far.

I am walking a tight-rope trying to make her as happy as I can and hopefully will be able to get good results for my hobby/passion, whatever we get I will make do and tweak as I go, almost anything is going to be better then all this stuff in a living room flanking a large TV hutch so I am excited all the same.
This ofcourse is a long term investment so the whole situation needs to be considered and hopefully we both get at least a large portion of what we wish for, thanks again.
Chadnliiz, bear in mind how notoriously difficult it is to predict sound from room size alone. My advice is to select the house first or like Jaybo suggest above "let your wife pick the house...don't even offer an opinion, or you'll pay for it down the road in ways too bizarre to imagine." Good Luck!
Chadnliz - Unless you are home alone a lot, if you can, find a room where you can listen at good volume without disturbing her. This could be a basement room if bedroom is two floors above, or the end opposite the master bed in a long ranch etc. It is invaluable to me to be able to listen after my wife goes to bed without worry of waking her.
thanks Gammajo, if you would call it fortunate I am disabled so one advantage is I am home alone atleast 60 hrs every week so that isnt as large a concern as it would be many times, but great point. I also cant really entertain a bedroom on a second floor for saame reasons, I can get down to a basement to listen in, have a bathroom down there and small fridge and Microwave to camp out for a day, but doing steps for bed time and such isnt very workable for me. Again thanks for the tips so far!
I now have Vandersteen 5A's FWIW in a 23+ x 12+ room. This is
a living room , that I have dedicated to me me me. I have
given my family the 19x18 family room. If anything, I wish
that the 12+ was at least 2-3 feet wider. This enabling me to get the Vandersteens further than approx. 2 feet away from the side walls, where they now reside. I know it's a non-issue for you, but Gammajo makes an essentially important point on getting the listening room away from her ears when she is sleeping. Cardas has some their ideal dimensions on their site, I do remember this includes 9 foot ceilings, but I cannot remember the exact dimensions. It would seem difficult to find this in an existing room, but who knows.
"Let your wife pick the house...don't even offer an opinion, or you'll pay for it down the road in ways too bizarre to imagine."

Are you kidding?!
What ever happened to concepts like discussion and compromise?
Do you guys really live like that?

I am sorry to disagree with you who support this line of thought, but there is no way in the world I would let my wife pick the house without my opinion or input.

When we went looking for our last house (about 10-12 years ago), I made it understood that I wanted a large room so I could have my stereo in it. (Like I had in my first house, that I had bought alone, and into which we moved when we got married.) If said large room was the living room, I could live with sharing it with her, if she could live with my stereo. She agreed without hesitating. (Luckily she too loves music, which is one reason I married her.) She wanted a house with a nice view, a large kitchen and master bedroom, and a separate dining room. Items which I did not mind having and paying for, (although if would have only had a normal sized kitchen and/or no view, I would not be too upset, as those items were not a high priority to me.) We looked and looked until we found exactly what we wanted, and agreed to buy it. Communications and Compromise, IMHO, is the cornerstone to a good marriage.

To knowingly let someone buy your house for you is like letting someone dress you every day. Sorry, but that is not the life for me.

My two cents worth.


My advice is to get the largest room you can, and, if you can get a dedicated sound room, two thumbs up for you. (I wish I could have gotten one, but I compromised on our 16' x 24' living room, which works fine for me, and my family.) Remember that your room, being in a basement, will probably need substantial acoustical treatment, as it is probably concrete on the floors and walls, which is not so good for sound. I also agree that square rooms are not the best, but if that is what you end up with, you'll be able to deal with it, especially if it is decent sized. 14'x18' is a little small, but again, if it is a dedicated sound room, I think it would work acceptably.

Good Luck in your house search!
Chad, have you raised your question with Brian at VMPS? He should know better than anyone what both the minimal and optimal room dimensions would be for your speakers.

Of course there is the danger that you may not keep the FF3SREs the rest of your life (or at least as long as you remain in your future home) but I would guess it is not likely you would replace them with something radically different that could not be adapted to the same room.
Great points from all and thanks,

Wich ever house it is they all have a room for my man cave so every option that could be picked is still better then where I am now, this is only one of the homes and most are about 13X21 to 24 ft in length but something tells me this is going to be here fav, she will see them tomorrow. I know that picking a house that the other half isnt totally on board with is going to be a mess, it happened with me and my ex 10 yrs ago.....lesson learned.
Beavis, you are 100% right about not having any idea about how it will sound but opinions are fun to read and share all the same.
Fjn, my dad has Wood Quatro's and in 2 weeks we are going to give a long listen to the 5A as his 1 year upgrade time limit will close soon, I bet he gets the 5A...awesome speaker, and you are a lucky man.
To add the Kurt's thoughts, my parents are buying the house for me so part of feels like I should get the largest vote (after parents approval ofcourse) but I do want her to be happy, she will probably live much longer then I will anyway.
Pryso makes a great point on speakers maybe changing in time but I dunno, on Social Security the cash to buy anything close to a hi-end speaker looks weak at best so they may be with me for a long, long time. As always thanks a bunch for your time, I really appreciate it!
I'm with Kurt_Tank on this one. Any man who would cede complete control of the purchase of the house is less than a man in my eyes. BOTH of you will be living in the house, BOTH of you should have an equal say on the house purchase.

Having said that, look for the biggest room you can find in a house that your wife finds acceptable. Then, set it up the way that YOU want it. She can have the kitchen, living room, etc. Just make it understood that the audio room is YOUR room.

In the long run, this will make you both happy with the purchase...

RW, after reading you comments I did some soul searching (not manly I know) and decided to change my wimpy ways. Just got done slapping the wife and kicking the dog around. I feel much better now.
Can I enter your world of manly men now?
Chandliz - through the controversy generated about communication and compromise, be assured that we are very happy for you being able to start fresh with a new space that you can call your own - An exciting challenge that will have you listening carefully to the music for years to come. With intelligent accoustic treatments and varying listening positions, I think almost any room can form a suitable man cave for the pleasure of music.
Yup, I am really excited about the journey, plus the fact my folks are helping with the purchase (I am on fixed income and could never do this on my own)..........I feel like I won the lottery and very thankful for the mom and dad I have. Sometimes life throws you so many curve balls you forget how good it can be if you give it time. My parents dont troll Audiogon but, love you guys! Chad
I'm very happy that things are going well for you and look forward to seeing what you end up with. You're one of the good guys and I have a lot of respect for you, but you shouldn't be saying that kind of stuff in public. We just aren't ready for that yet. (I will not make a smiley face.)
Althiugh I'm sure your parents want to hear that.
lol..what can I say? I am goofy :)
Just enjoy the "journey"