Room Setup .... REW .... Umik-1 ......Advice Please

I have a Umik-1 microphone on it’s way and I want some advice on the order to tackle things. I have already watched lots of videos and feel comfortable on setup and taking measurements. My question is more in the order to tackle the setup.

My system is a Goldnote DS-10 to a Coda 8 amplifier to Sopra 2 speakers. I have a Rel S510 sub-woofer and 2 large burlap bags filled with Rockwool Safe’n’Sound insulation I use as base traps.

This is my plan.

1. Set up the sub-woofer 1st at maximum crossover finding the best location (speakers off). Try to find the flattest curve. Move the Rockwool around to fine tune.

2. Turn off the sub and now move the Sopra’s around to find the best location.

3. Turn on everything and adjust the subs crossover and level to find the flattest curve.

My Goldnote has an adjustable DAC but I don’t believe it would have much of an affect. I am trying for best sound in a dedicated chair not as worried about overall room.

Is that a good order? Any other advice you can share?



Probably does not matter which is first. Don't expect huge impacts or corrections from the traps unless they are very large and can address the modes you are certain to uncover. Look at your initial sweeps and they kinda start you down a path. Most folks struggle with getting the subs and mains to cross nicely and play well together. And you have more options to place the sub than the mains so I would personally start with the mains location. 

Don’t go for flat. Start with a target curve of +- 4 DB from 30 Hz to 10 kHz or so.

Use EQ to flatten any peaks in the sub.  If you are going to be using Roon as your media player app then I strongly encourage you get familiar with the DSP capabilities.

After you have gotten to flat but tilted adjust the subwoofer level by ear. +3 to +6 is often preferred.

Consider plugging the ports in your speakers. Especially good if you are using an EQ.. It will reduce distortion and improve dynamic range.

You might find this post helpful in terms of setting expectations.  The post is about how I avoided using a sub, but the measurements and examples will give you a good perspective on your goals.



I would keep the bass traps out until you have everything as flat as you can/like, then add the traps and place then where you need them to finetune your setup. Otherwise you will be fixing the traps signature as an add on to your system and you definitely do not want that.

Making the first measurements with traps in the equation, is like someone showing up to an emergency room with a big headache, and the doctor giving a medicine that you are allergic without knowing and adds another symptom serious symptom. Now the diagnostic becomes all more difficult. which was the original cause for your headache and what was the medicine that caused a bigger headache.

Each measurement is followed by listening and notes.

My system is all analog/tubes, no EQ or DSP.

This is how I did it.

  1. Set up the speakers as good as I could by ear.
  2. Find the best compromise between what you can achieve and like using my ears and REW. One speaker at the time. Due to your room’s geometry, furniture and other items in your room it very well be that the speakers are not at the same distance and angle from the listening position. We are not seeking visual symmetry, we are seeking acoustic symmetry. My speakers are about a foot different from the listening position and 9degrees delta. Ideally I would have the left speaker about 3 inches taller than the right but it was too much for me. I moved some furniture to tame the reflection points.
  3. Add the sub at around 70-80Hz and find the compromise between energy and decay. You do not want much of either.
  4. Plot the speakers SPL with the SUB SPL and see where the actual crossover is.
  5. Adjust the crossover and volume in the SUB to bring them to the speaker’s db. One speaker and sub at the time. This is the most tedious part find that compromise between left and right with the sub.
  6. Measure the speakers and sub together, now make very small changes to the speakers and find what you like. Only after you like the sound move on to the sub.
  7. Measure again one speaker + sub at the time look at the crossover and adjust. Just like in 5
  8. Measure the 2 speakers and sub. By now you should understand what happens when you do something, so do your final(s) measurements until you find what your ears like.
  9. Add the traps if needed and measure and listen again.

I have 2 subs, so the results are about an order of magnitude better than I could achieve with one sub.

I did not believe that 2 "crappy and small" subs are better than one larger and good. But I bought another 510/s and not only the room measured better, but it sounds SO much better, the stage widened, the 3D /holographic image got defined, the dark is dark, the sound dynamics, energy and coherency are beautiful. If this room was bigger I would add a 3rd little sub but it is living room not a sound room.

these examples for step 2







These are examples of step 5

You want as much blue as you can, and that doted line as straight as you can/like

This is where the room is now kind of before and after without any sound treatment. Traps for 45Hz and lower have to be very deep, 12+ inches, to seriously make improvements. I tested quite a few, from GIK to state of the art traps as big as armchairs.



Thanks Astolfor for the detailed reply, really appreciate it. Gives me lots of information to digest. 

I would keep the bass traps out until you have everything as flat as you can/like, then add the traps and place then where you need them to finetune your setup.


With 2 traps it's really hard to over dampen the bass in an average room, and they help you get to flat a great deal.  Any EQ you do without them you'll have to redo after so at most I'd suggest:

  • Measure without
  • Put traps in
  • Measure
  • Flatten

@tundratoad no problem and you can message me privately if you want to discuss this further.

I understand that the process "looks" tedious and long, but it is not, to the contrary it is a lot of fun to listen how the sound changes shape.

I learned this process/sequence from 2 of the best sound engineers there are in the EU, they both have a PhD in the sound physics field, and own 2 different companies that all what they do is room acoustics, from residential, to concert halls like the new Munich Symphony Hall.

I hired them to do all my 3 listening rooms in my primary home in Spain and the results are nothing sort of magical. I have been working with them for years, each time I change a component like speakers, amps, pre-amps I call them back to re-tune the rooms. I have been doing this for years, so by now we have become more friends than customers.

So I tried to do the same in the living room in my house in the USA. Granted I do not have the same gear they do, I have REW and 1 microphone, they have different hardware and software and use ~20-30 microphones in my rooms, but the process is similar and I believe that I have done a decent job. I still have to do some changes before where I need treatment if I end up needing it without overwhelming the living-room.

I have all my REW measurements, which I gave to one of them and they will let me know what to do next.

Is your system solid state?

Sorry if my English is not appropriate.

My equipment is solid state. I have a poor room, "L" shaped with the speakers shooting down the length of the room (just over 7 meters). Currently the speakers are about 100cm from the back wall, I do have room to move them another 50cm further out if needed so I do have some room to play. One speaker does not have a side wall. I don't expect miracles, just want to make sure I'm doing the best I can. I have very limited wall area for any kind of treatment. I'm looking at this as a fun experiment and after the cost of my system the cost of a microphone was minor.


Thanks again and your English is great.