Proper approach to Hi End?

I have a new unfurnished dedicated 19.5 wide, 20.1 long room and I've almost narrowed my components down. Does it make sense to treat the room first then add electronics? It's pretty obvious that most rooms will have first order reflections and perhaps some bass problems. Since I am using the "internet model" to audition speakers such as Tyler Acoustics, Salk, etc. and perhaps some local shops, does it makes sense to FIRST have a room as ideal as possible for fair comparisions?

I am also aware of great products like Tact Room Correction and various cables that change the sound but I would like to stick with room treatments

If this approach is correct, what amount of effort am I in for and how expensive is it? Oh, and it has to look great, no egg cartons.
Contact Rives are correct the room is the first thing to get right...easily equals the contribution of the hi fi gear you use.
I think you are on the right track to want to treat your room and applaud your ideas, however untill you know exactly what your are going to use then how do you approach it? I mean Planer, stats, monitors, full range floor standers, and added sub woofers all require diffrent particular considerations.
thanks! Rives Audio has some very useful information.
for alot cheaper alternitave to paying a pro go to your local (guitar center store),they have everything you will need to address any issues with your room at a much cheaper cost over audiophile products.

if its good enough for a studio then its good enough for a listening room.
Good points Chadnliz.

Ebonyvette, what you do with the room depends somewhat on what kind of speakers you want; and what kind of speakers will work well depends somewhat on what you can do with the room. So I don't think either decision can be made in a vacuum.

But I think the real question is, "What do I really want to do, and what's the best practical way to do it?"

In audio as in life, many fruitless paths are avoided (and many less dealers enriched - alas!) if you first come to know yourself. So, what kind of presentation do you really want? Identify that and you're halfway there. Then just proceed accordingly, or research what it takes to proceed accordingly. Unfortunately tradeoffs exist - for example among imaging, ambience, liveliness, clarity, timbre, and sweet spot size. Speaker characteristics and room acoustics both play a part in each of these areas.

For instance, I like a lively, rich (in ambience and timbre) presentation over a large sweet spot. I'm willing to trade off some imaging and clarity to get what I most want.

This inclines me towards a fairly live-sounding room - wooden or leather furnishings, a few throw rugs instead of thick carpeting, lots of objects in the room to diffuse the reflected energy. I've had good results using fake ficus trees (and occasionally even real ficus trees) in the first reflection zones as incognito room treatment. Any bushy plant will work well with most speakers; the height of my big electrostats pointed to indoor trees.

Now in speakers, my preferences incline me towards models with a fairly wide but most importantly uniform radiation pattern along with fairly low power compression. Such speakers can be used in a well-damped room, but that would work against some of my priorities. And if the radiation patten was quite non-uniform, we might well want to absorb as much of that reverberant energy as possible. So you see how the speaker characteristics and room acoustics can work together?

Finally, your room is pretty close to square - in the back of your mind you might take note of the possibility of diagonal placement. I keep that trick up my sleeve for squarish rooms, and when it's practical to try it can "save the day".

Best of luck to you!

Duke (a dealer)
As Duke pointed out, your room dimensions indicate a nearly "square" dimension in at least two dimensions which will most likely make it more difficult to achieve a smooth bass response without some treatment. PMI (located in Marin County, CA) manufactures a product called "Cinepanels" which are very effective for taming standing waves and other anomolies. Like Rives Audio, It may be worth contacting them for an estimate if you are serious about optimizing your room for home theater. -jz
My room is not quite square. It is the room over the garage and it follows the lines of the roof. It goes up about 5'on the sides and then angle inward following the roofline. Almost like a triangle. Hopefully, this will break up some standing waves. I will be firing my speakers into the long part of the room.

I am used to a Maggie presentation. I do not care for analytical sound, I like a natural presentation even though they were larger than life on certain material. I am certain that Tyler Linbrook, Salks, Reference 3A's do not sound like Maggies but should be easier to place in a room.

I am not bound by the WAF but I still want room treatments that LOOK good.