Room acoustics - Spending and sound videos


HI all,
Because I’m one of their top social media influencers (hahahaha) GIK acoustics sent me a couple of videos which go to some topics we’ve had recently about budgeting for room acoustics and how a room sounds with/without room treatment. While I am a fanboy, these are vendor videos so take with appropriate skepticism.


Budgeting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UFg2IXT9wU&feature=youtu.be

Sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9u6rvWSTDM&feature=youtu.be

Even though this is a vendor video, the dollar amounts suggested here are far far less than we've seen in some discussions. 

erik_squires
I want to add a few recent lessons as a newbie. I have not yet purchased anything from a vendor. If any of this sounds wrong, I would appreciate correction.

If one reviews user posts about room treatment, many are content. Still, many also tell stories of buying a lot of stuff that they didn't wind up needing. They overspent in part because of the advice they got from vendors. This is not necessarily because of vendor incompetence or greed (though that happens) but because the vendor wants to make sure a difference is made, and that results in overkill. This pattern recurs in reader comments. 

The basics of what is problematic with rooms is easy to learn and there are many videos which explain it well. Speaker and listening position changes have an enormous impact. They MUST be worked at before contacting vendors, or vendors may assume one's problem is worse than it is.

Non-basic room analysis and experiment is very complicated. It will likely require expert help to reach beyond some basic band aids unless users are willing to really school themselves.

There are many experts on forums willing to answer questions with their own expertise. People are generous and kind much of the time.

DIY is quite doable for some of this. Maybe not all, but costs can be seriously defrayed by a trip to Lowes.

Even if one knows they will go to an expert/vendor, basic preparation can avoid the problems listed first, above. That preparation includes learning a bit, reading a bit, and playing with room analysis software to see what the biggest problems are. Then, one can proceed stepwise by starting with the biggest problems, first. No need to go whole hog all at once. Better to do something and see how it suits.





i’m in the middle of the ordering process with GIK for my separate Home Theater room and got those same videos.

i’ve spent the last 16 years tweaking my dedicated acoustically designed 2 channel room so i have some level of understanding about room acoustics, but don’t consider myself any expert. GIK seems to be pretty competent, and while not cheap, i view their products and services as good values.

we will see after i’m done what i think.

my 2 channel room in my barn (the one listed here on Audiogon) has almost the whole room with built in diffusion. so the ’bones’ are almost perfect. my Home Theater room in my main house is a more standard domestic room; with a large window and patio doors. all i can do is to improve things, it will never be perfect like my 2-channel room.

but also the Home Theater room had 15 speaker channels and 3 subwoofers (9.3.6) with an all dsp signal path (Trinnov Altitude 16) so the dsp can 'fix' things. my 2 channel room has a pure analog signal path. the room has to be right fundamentally.......no dsp to fix it.
I do agree with the start small and grow your acoustics, and I think some of the rooms shown in the GIK demo were overtreated. There is however a minimum critical mass IMHO when it comes to room treatment. Treating bass requires big traps, and that is expensive, and it’s a shame a lot of poeple never hear how good a room can be with them, especially when it comes to giving small speakers a big speaker sound.

In the scale of $20K speakers and amps though, I don’t think investing $2-5k in your average listening room is a bad idea at all.

Best,
Erik
Room treatment is the most critical piece that most folks should have at least a bit of budget when designing a new room. At the same time it is important to experiment and find out "where" to place the treatment. Over treating kills the sound - speaking from experience here. Also, when you change the speakers or speaker positions, adjust the treatments accordingly. My current issue is with the ceiling reflection on the left speaker. The right side is fine, but the slight drop in the ceiling on the left side does not make the sound to appear to come from 3-4 feet outside the speaker boundary, like it does for the right side speaker. Not sure if a ceiling treatment would help, since it would make the ceiling even lower.
@milpai

Can you mount a blanket or something near by to test it?
I guess nobody will believe me that acoustic treatment can be done at no cost at all.... 😊Because the laws of physics dont give a dam about consumers pricey products and the price difference with a piece of straw or a plumber pipe...Happily for me....

I created my 18 Helmholtz tubes and pipes grid with leftover pipes and plumber tubes and 18 straws for neck.... 😁 it is the main part of my "activated" room acoustic system, the passive material treatment is the other one....This part is also made with homemade no cost materials...The ears perceiving experience guided all my experiments with success but in the long run.... It takes me 2 years for sure....

I wrote that post for those who dont have money and like sound quality anyway....

All is possible if i have done it, not in an esthetical way tough, save if you are very crafty ...And not in a common living room for sure with a wife guardianship....My audio room is only for audio....It is my most pricey gear : the room.....

I made it myself in the last 2 years in a continuous sets of experiments.... And for most people no upgrade will reach the level of impact and transformation of the acoustical settings of a room....

The acoustical embedding control is the KEY to audiophile experience....Not mainly and only the gear....For most of us anyway costly gear experience is inaccessible... But anyway when the brass orchestra is in the room with all his natural different timbre the essential is here.... Costly gear will ONLY improve this not changing it ....

I listened to half million bucks system on youtube so bad sounding that i was able to detect the deficiencies of the room through my own 500 bucks system.... That say something.... 😁 Many people confuse harsh details, piercing unnatural timbre with high quality....It is a fact.... They think that a piece of gear MUST be a microscope not a musical instrument.... They listen to the gear not to the music....Anyway....

Acoustic is the way....It is my experience...

My best to all....
@mahgister 
I guess nobody will believe me that acoustic treatment can be done at no cost at all....
I've seen you post about your system and your embeddings dozens of time and at great length. Many people do listen to your observations and some have confirmed you're on to some very good ideas. Why are do you play a sad violin? What kind of award would you like?

Why are do you play a sad violin? What kind of award would you like?
Thanks for your patience with my posts and anyone else posts...

"Sad violin" ? please dont pick a formulation in my post to interpret it like if i was sad....On the contrary i am an enthusiast nature...I only ask how anybody can belive me if i had hard time to believe me myself...It is only an expression about my own surprize...

I dont want to post for an "award", i give my post for the many new people here who read about "costly" acoustic treatment...I want to give hope to some beginners without money and who will be willing to experiment... Thats all....I remember my own sadness to lack money 7 years ago with the ONLY general trend and audiophile motto being upgrading at all cost.... This is very deceiving attitude.... I want to correct this for those who dont have plenty of money... And i wanted to give some new and unorthodox possibilities to contemplate...

By the way, save for me, who DARE to talk about the possibility of audiophile experience at peanuts costs? Name one....

Then i understand that you are tired to read my posts, pass them, it is simple no?

There is plenty of newcomers who have not read them.... Is there a law against my post in an acoustic thread, giving another bell tune to the general consumers buying spree?

I only sell enthusiasm and creativity..... Thats all.....Then feel free to ignore my posts.... I cannot mute myself because you are tired to read me....If many people say the samething i will go out definitively.... I am very polite and respectful.... Enthusiasm is my main defect....Imagination too...

By the way my reward is my music.... And the few "thank you" of some others....

My best to you and my apology for being  tiresome....





«Mosquitoes flight are fascinating or tiresome, pick your perspective»-Groucho Marx
Knowledge is power.  Ignorance gives birth to futility and frustration.   A guy with no knowledge of acoustics or measurement capability sending GIK (or their competitors) 3K and say. "Tell me where to put it" is pretty much like a blind man in a dark room with a shotgun.  If he shoots 6 rounds, he is probably going to hit something, but it is a rather inefficient approach.  These audio consultants can certainly help, but I have had enough experience with them to know their recommendations are based on what they have found to be generally true.  I've gotten bad advice from more than one of them.   

It really depends upon what you want.  If you don't have time, do have, money, and want to make your room better, GIK and others can help.  If you want to transform your room/system into the best possible listening experience, you better be ready to do the work it takes to fully understand the principles and learn how to use measurement tools to put those principles into practice within the context of your room.  
Knowledge is power.  Ignorance gives birth to futility and frustration.   A guy with no knowledge of acoustics or measurement capability sending GIK (or their competitors) 3K and say. "Tell me where to put it" is pretty much like a blind man in a dark room with a shotgun.  If he shoots 6 rounds, he is probably going to hit something, but it is a rather inefficient approach.  These audio consultants can certainly help, but I have had enough experience with them to know their recommendations are based on what they have found to be generally true.  I've gotten bad advice from more than one of them.  

It really depends upon what you want.  If you don't have time, do have, money, and want to make your room better, GIK and others can help.  If you want to transform your room/system into the best possible listening experience, you better be ready to do the work it takes to fully understand the principles and learn how to use measurement tools to put those principles into practice within the context of your room.  
 I think you are totally right...

 It takes me 2 years.... It is not perfect, but it is so good that before and after had no comparison at all.... It is like upgrading from the worst system to a very good one.... Not the best but for panuts costs and fun experiments... What can i say?


My best to you...