Room Size and Loudness

I'm at the room tuning stage with my addiction and one of the various room problems I want to address is a loudness issue which plays out this way: To really get the best out of my speakers I need to run them at a level that makes them too loud for my room -- every once-in-a-while I can handle a Who concert, but I don't want to do it every time I fire up the system. I knew this could be a problem for me when I picked up the speakers I'm using (in April) but I like the speakers and the way they fit in with my system. Can I use acoustic treatments to solve this problem (I'm sure that might raise other problems -- but I need to know the options before I can identify points of compromise). For example, would lining a wall(s) with absorption foam, etc. be a solution? Any thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Acoustic Foam lets you run them louder, as you get fewer room interactions and reflections. I go about 6db louder now before the system glares, so this may not be the approach you want to take.
What do you mean by "to get the best out of my speakers"? If you mean more bass, then yes, there are methods you can use to make it sound better, such as bass traps.
What makes you think the room is the problem? Playing your system loudly won't change room modes. IMHO: If your system doesn't peform at low volumes, the problem lies elsewhere. Having said that, bass traps will eliminate some room modes. See Jon T. Gale's recipe for cylindrical bass traps. If you'd rather purchase, check out Audio Pimp. And you'll need flat panels to absorb or diffuse first reflections. If you really want to delve into this, read 'A Master Handbook of Acoustics' by F. Alton Everest.
Good luck,
Thanks for your thoughts. When Barry Wilis at Stereophile reviewed my speakers he described what I am myself experiencing this way: "[In the 12 by 14 room] the electronics were impeccable ... but [the speakers] really came to life only at music levels at which they overwhelmed the room." It's not just a bass issue -- and it's not that the speakers under-perform at lower volume, it's just that the magic in these speakers really seems to require the extra watts to materialize.
Your root problem is why acoustic treatment is used. Naturally the effect of the room varies directly with volume. Employing basstraps, and panels at first refection points is a standard starting point, and your going to have to experiment to get that sweet tonal balance (yeah, its boring). I'm keen on rugs, and absorbent material on the rear wall if you sit close to it. Super luck, cowboy.
If you want to maintain tonal balance at SPL far from the original sound level there is really no way to do this other than electronic equalization. Old time preamps addressed this problem with a "Loudness" control, which is just a volume control the effect of which is variable with frequency. Today you probably need an equalizer.

I am very happly with the Behringer DEQ2496 which costs only about $300, and includes a RTA so you can see what you are doing (provided you also buy the mic for $70). With this unit you could store several equalization curves, corresponding, in your case, to different SPL, and perhaps different types of music. It's not a big investment ...well worth a try.
My take on Barry Willis' review of your speakers was that a small room didn't allow him the space to properly place the speaker for best best response and soundstage info. In the small room he was forced to listen in the near-field where the speaker didn't perform at its best. This could also raise questions about driver intergration (in the near-field). Willis is very specific at the end of the review stating that the speakers will perform best in medium to large size rooms. I doubt even extensive acoustic treatment will truly solve your issues with this speaker in your current room.
Treatment helps, period. Room modes are there, laws of physics that cannot be denied. Go to and read. Once you do use some room treatment you'll wonder what you were waiting for, I know I did.
Treatments help, but will they solve this particular problem? Vtl says he has to listen at high volumes for the speaker to come alive. Barry Willis in his review of the speaker says essentially the same thing but adds that they didn't work in his room in the near field. Vtl makes no mention of boomy bass, or any issues with bass at all. The need to play music at high volume may be something intrinsic to the speaker, which coincidently also sound best in a large size room. Some speakers, Magnepans for instance, just sound better when played loudly. I just don't see how room treatments will solve this issue.
You failed to tell us the boundaries of your room, whats in it, how is it setup, where and how big you TV is, any bookshelves, I hope you have thick area rugs (nice ones),
where do you listen from ? etc,etc,. This is hard work but very rewarding,