room size, spl and acoustic treatment?
19 responses Add your response
I have a room similar to yours but with an even higher ceiling. They say it is hard to get good sound in a room that size. I say hogwash. I have the Sonus Faber Homage Amati Tradition speakers powered by a Raven Integrated Reflection Tube amp. My streamer is a Lumin X-1. I had Wilson speakers prior to the SF's. I absolutely love the sound and look of SF.
"Large room (20 × 40 x 10). Audio at one end with speakers facing side wall."
I’m envisioning speakers along the 40 foot wall but at one end of the room. So when you sit in the "sweet spot", it sounds to me like there’s a wall to one side, but a whole lot of open space (the rest of the forty foot width of the room) to the other side. Is this correct?
If so, how is the imaging in the sweet spot? I would think having fairly early reflections on one side but not on the other could cause problems.
Is a different configuration feasible?
How important is the sound quality outside of the "sweet spot", like throughout the rest of the room?
"...looking to replace speakers for better sound."
What needs to be improved the most?
Class D has improved quite a bit over the last 10 years. Consider a newer integrated in either Class D or linear ranges.
I'd ask about bass traps, and room modes.
It could be you need not anything better, just different.
I don't know of speakers I like better than Wilson's. There are lots which will give you more "detail" or have a different bass/mid/treble balance.
B&W, Golden Ear (shiver), Dali are speakers that fall into this category.
Monitor Audio, Revel are pretty neutral as well.
You might want to go out and listen between them.
ESL's can be wonderful for their imaging, but lack in dynamic range and overall tonal balance.
As far as the room, have you added any diffusors, or are they all absorbers? They can add a sense of liveliness and balance.
Appreciate responses and suggestions, will take all under advisement. Duke envisions correctly that speakers located at end of one long wall facing opposite long wall and only several feet from the side wall so there is a lot of asymmetry regarding speaker placement. I believe I get decent imaging and sound stage but not a lot to compare it to. Could reorient speakers to face the length of the room but would block windows with nice view. I do feel like there is a feeblenesss to the sound which may be related to room size and speaker placement. Have only absorbers and no diffusers. Did add an old 100 watt Velodyne 10 in. Sub parallel wired to speakers and that did make a very noticeable difference at the low end. Maybe I just need more juice in the amp/speaker combo.
Isnt the Dsi200 a class D (switching) integrated amp? The only time I could stand to listen to the older Wilson was with tubes. If you have one of the older Wilson tweeters I wish you luck with the high end. My initial thought is to spend more time on the room acoustics and then get rid of your integrated amp if things havent improved to your satisfaction. Once again I preach the gospel of getting the room right before doing anything else.
You are correct. The 200Dsi is a class D with 200 watts at 8 ohms and 300 at 4 ohms which I have assumed is enough juice. You are also correct that high end sounds a little anemic. Will take your advice and get some local expert input on getting the room right before moving on. If that doesn't do it, do you have speaker/amp Recommendations? Thanks
There are a number of good sources for acoustic information. "The Master Handbook of Acoustics" is a great book, but much of the information isnt applicable to the 2 channel room.
I have found GIK Acoustics to offer good advice and they have some reasonably priced products. Do some research and talk to a few companies that sell products of this type. Also check out some of the free information and services offered on these sites. Much of these products you can make yourself if you are of a mind.
So much to cover and so many things that can be done to a room for pennies when you compare these costs to that of equipment. My advice is to decide which are your highest priorities with your system (dynamics, organic quality, detail, etc) and then post here again. If you can isolate your single highest priority this would be great.
I have a problem with people blindly providing names of products, and I have done this myself, without asking the proper questions. I would avoid professional reviews, hold owner reviews in a bit higher standing and listen as much as possible to different systems. If you can, go to any of the various shows just to get a feel for what type of sound you like.
I think that Ralph at Atma-sphere gives good advice as does Duke at Audio Kinesis. I am sure there are many others. The people that dont give you quick answers and ask additional questions are often the ones to listen to the most.
"Will take [jsautter’s] advice and get some local expert input on getting the room right before moving on."
Kudos to you for going to an expert for advice on room acoustics!
If you don’t find someone locally, may I suggest Jeff Hedback of Hedback Designed Acoustics. Jeff is an award-winning acoustician whose services are still reasonably priced. I used to give out advice on room acoustic treatment until I went into a room that Jeff had done from afar (he doesn’t need to be there - he sends you files to play back and record, from which he does his analysis). Hearing what a real professional can do made me retire from being an internet amateur acoustician. The only product Jeff sells is very specific knowledge and advice for your room, and he can work within whatever constraints you have as far as room decoration and materials budget.
"Duke envisions correctly that speakers located at end of one long wall facing opposite long wall and only several feet from the side wall so there is a lot of asymmetry regarding speaker placement."
Thanks for confirming that.
"Could reorient speakers to face the length of the room but would block windows with nice view."
I once designed a custom pair of speakers for a couple whose window view was the Grand Teton mountains. I made ’em fairly short so their intrusion on that incredible view was minimal. But in that situation, there was no feasible option to position speakers on an unwindowed wall, as you have already done.
So let’s work with the view-friendly configuration you’re already using. I think the most problematic aspect is the asymmetrical acoustic situation with a wall (presumably treated with a lot of damping) on one side, and a big open space on the other. So my guess is that you get essentially zero highs surviving their encounter with the damping material on that nearby side wall, relatively little upper mids, and probably some lower mids (the effectiveness of absorption decreasing as the wavelengths get longer). Then I would guess that the room side has enough undamped surfaces that you still get some high and upper mid reflections from that side, after a nice long time delay.
(In general early reflections tend to be detrimental and late reflections tend to be beneficial, but in any case we want the reflections to have a spectral balance that is fairly similar to the first-arrival sound. If we absorb too much of the short wavelength energy, the reverberant field will have an overly dull spectral balance, which will tend to skew the perceived tonal balance accordingly even though the first-arrival sound has plenty of highs. A significant discrepancy between the spectral balance of the first-arrival sound and that of the reverberant field can even be a source of listening fatigue. I can go into more detail about this if you would like.)
The approach I would take in a situation like yours, where there is a wall on one side and a lot of open space on the other, is to start out with speakers that have very little early sidewall interaction (in the form of early reflections in the mids and highs) to begin with. One way to achieve this is with speakers that have fairly narrow and fairly uniform radiation patterns, along with a lot of toe-in. One beneficial side-effect of such speakers is, the tonal balance tends to hold up well throughout the room, assuming the room isn’t overdamped (which can remove too much of the shorter wavelengths).
"I do feel like there is a feeblenesss to the sound which may be related to room size and speaker placement."
A very large room requires a LOT of air-moving capability in order to get a good solid low bass foundation (ESPECIALLY if it is open into other rooms), but in return a large room will have inherently much smoother bass that a small room (and "smooth bass" = "fast bass"). I’m generally into using multiple small subs in smaller rooms as a way to approximate the in-room bass smoothness of a larger room, but you've naturally got that covered, so in your situation I’d lean towards two fairly high-output subs as a more cost-effective solution.