Room treatment-I was afraid of this


There I was with a dedicated room-not ideal being nearly square and a less than 8' ceiling-and barely adequate music, not awful but the system had sounded better. I tried moving things about some with differing results but nothing satisfying. Part of the problem was moving from a 30x35 foot room with an 18' ceiling. I was used to the speakers being well out into the room, far apart and sitting pretty far away. I used the odd integer matrix method promoted by Vandersteen but hadn't considered either placing them closer to the wall or moving near field. Nick at GIK recommended both, as well as some furniture rearranging that made a very pleasant difference. That was all the encouragement I needed to order bass traps, 1st and 2nd reflection panels and front and rear wall treatments. Installed them by about 4pm Monday and listened until 2 am, back at it last night from 3pm-1am. It's just as so many have said, this is a serious component upgrade. It is matched in scale only when I went from Vandersteen 2CE's to Chapman T-77SE's. Not a single aspect of the listening experience that isn't enhanced. So now the problem; I suppose a lot of the glowing stuff folks make of cables, power cords, fuses, and on and on also make significant differences. How long can it be before I'm off and running on that stuff?
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Corner placement worth a try also in a small room.
It's sounds like you're pretty well set after all the work you've done so I'd not second guess yourself with tweaks just yet. 

What you need to do is get some long term listening in to familiarize yourself with your set up and then experiment with cabling. Power cords can add more presence and authority than speaker cables or interconnects (in my experience) so I'd start there first: improve the foundation and it'll be easier to proceed from there.

Also, make sure your furniture is optimal and be ready to discard it, even if it's one of your favorites. I say this because I recently got rid of my overstuffed sofa and went with a set of Barcelona chairs and the improvement was more than subtle. I thought that the highs would improve some but it was the mids to bass that got better. Go figure.

All the best,
Nonoise
+1 for nonoise.
Going from such a large room to a smaller room is sure to give you problems you never imagined.
IMHO, I think you are now listening to the speakers directly, rather than having sound reflected (-which I love, Dr. Bose was on to something). 
Your new room may force you reevaluate how you listen to your system.
Thanks for the responses. Yes, going down to 15x19 was an awakening. I have since removed all furniture except my listening chair. I did experiment with a half dozen IC's and SC's a couple years ago, but that was before the move. Running Grover Huffman. Just never pulled trigger on power cords. Mojo Audio Mac Mini and Exogal DAC have external power supplies so I didn't think cords mattered. Could stand to do something about the mismatched generic cords on the Hypex blocs though. Will take nonoise's advice and live with things awhile. Crazy happy with GIK treatment. Really an ear opener. 
I kind of don't care about cables at all. :)  However, one thing is that great acoustic treatments will often outlast all your other gear. You can listen to a much wider range of speakers for instance, so things you might previously not have tried now make more sense. 2 way speakers with 6-7" woofers that sounded too light may sound unbelieavable and larger rull-range speakers won't sound as bloated as before.

Best of luck!

ERik
+1 on all the above

I have the opposite problem - a very large room with lots of glass picture windows and speakers near one wall, with an open space near the other speaker... so it could be worse, eh?

(Note the "eh?" --  I am practicing my Canadian...)
:-)
Wideload, can you give a little more detail on the size of your new room and what you did with furniture and such?  I'm in a similar situation, have a small dedicated room, but haven't gone so far as to purchase dedicated bass traps and such.  I think I've got the room Ok with other adjustments, but need a little prodding to make the next leap.

Good morning pmotz. The room is 15x19x7'8". I have the speaker baffles 32" from front wall and 39" from sidewalls. My chair, now the only piece of furniture-got rid of everything else-is 82" from front wall.  Near field. Now using 14 GIK panels/traps with very nice results. 

Hi wideload, I have a similar room size and I also do have GIKs in my system. Check out my primary system page for what I have done. And the best part is - I also have a single chair in my room - no furniture. I would love to see your system pic, since it would be so similar. I am assuming the speakers are on the smaller wall?
Oops, should've included that the 15' wall is the front wall.  The speakers are nearly in the corners much like Mapman suggested. The corner is occupied by a bass trap 
Milpai,  despite being a member for 16 years here I've never figured out how to post photos or even a description my system. Probably not that hard. I'll take a shot at it one of these days. You have a lovely system and room. Have you tried moving your listening position 38% from front wall as the folks at GIK suggest? Works for me. 

Post removed 
Just wanted to add to the point that furniture type and placement is so important when dialing in one's system. I just hauled out my Tonian Labs TL-D1s and fired them up (without the oversized sofa) and they sound effing fantastic. There's mass, depth and presence that just wasn't there before, prior to the sofa. If I knew this beforehand, I'd never had moved on to my present speakers (which I still love and am keeping). It's just that one doesn't know what one has until all possibilities are exhausted.

I wish I had a second room for a second system instead of listing them on another site. :-(

All the best,
Nonoise
Hey, if this is who I think it is, long time, no hear... Congrats on the room treatment. 

However, you are only half done. Power cords. If you trust me, do the aftermarket power cords. You are bluntly put, throwing away sound by not doing so. Trust me on this. :)
wideload,
Thanks for your kind words. I am sure your room is so similar!
BTW,  your statement - Have you tried moving your listening position 38% from front wall as the folks at GIK suggest? - did you mean back wall? Can you please explain?
Thanks!
Nonoise, congrats on ending up with two speakers you love. I move mine along to friends and family and get to hear them occasionally. Sliding the headrest up and down on my chair is an adventure in sound shaping. Hi Douglas, yes it's me still thoroughly enjoying the Chapman's. I hope you and your family are well.  Of course I trust your recommendation and will make cords my next purchase, although it'll be awhile. Your review of the Exogal lead me to that piece and I am very happy with it. Milpai, I consider the wall I'm facing the front wall. I know others refer to it as the rear as it's behind the speakers.  
wideload,
I am with you on the front wall. My loudspeakers are 5 feet from front wall. And 38% would roughly mean 7 feet from front wall. I am not sure if that would be ideal for the listening position, since I would only be 2 feet away from them.
Grover Huffman cables are great value, don't worry about those, but agree that stock power cables should be upgraded.

If it's something you could live with trying an across the corner setup is worth trying on a rainy day. The is often the ticket in a squarish room. Cheers,
Spencer 
Agree sbank about cables. The Huffman's will stay. 
Put bass traps in the corners of the room.  Personally I think high end cables are hocus pocus.  If you can't hear the difference stop right there and re-educate your ears.
Hello gentleman...
It’s almost intimidating reading about the exotic systems and what you do with them. I have a rather challenging room, irregular in shape and all mirror behind me. I’ve moved the sofa 14" from the rear mirrored wall and propped a couple large pillows behind where my head position is. With and without the pillows, there’s a huge difference so I am a believer in room treatments. Plus what I remember from sound engineering school.
As far as IC’s, I budget about $80 - $100 per IC, most all Audioquest. Speakers are Paradigm Signature S2 FL/FR, Paradigm Studio 20 V5 SL&SR, 3 REL sub base, and the weakest point is my center, Paradigm CC-490. Amp is an Anthem A5, Integra DTR-50.3 which now serves as my pre, Oppo BDP 103, and just added a REGA Apollo R. This system is dual purpose HT and music. When I listen to music, it’s direct stereo with no eq, only one sub base REL R528. the marriage of the S2’s and the R-528 are awesome!
I guess the point to all this is.. Room acoustics are a huge link in the chain. IC’s are a subtle but noticeable link, speaker position, huge link, components, huge link. Every component, IC, room characteristic, makes huge and subtle differences. All this keeps us more than busy and fun to boot...
Oh, I'm also adding a TEAC X200R to my system. Plan to record some favorite stuff and bathe in nirvana. I understand analog tape rivals vinyl....
It would be wonderful if there was a cable upgrade that could make as big of a difference as room treatments and getting the room right.
dsyder0cnn,
That would be difference between throwaway vs.$5,000 cables! Buying cables is an exponential equation. Squeezing that last bit of performance cost 10x as the last improvement!

wow wide load thats a bigger room that i went to...new room 10 by 12...really makes you work for it huh...just got atc 19's no ported cab helped me...definitely bass traps in corner though...and yes no couch...just a chair...which is uncomfortable as hell.

all in all i thinks its the best results ive ever gotten...fwiw

I too have an unusual room that has been quite frustrating to get tuned in decently. All the room treatment, cables, IC's etc. etc. were helping, but I just could not get the room to the point where I was content. I recently purchased the McIntosh MEN 220 Room Correction unit. It was a real learning curve for me, and I'm still tweaking it, but in my situation the MEN 220 has helped considerably. Just my 2 cents folks
I’m working on room treatment right now. Just ordered some broadband absorption panels and a HF absorption panel. I’m excited to get rid of the boominess. One problem I have is my left wall is pretty much all glass. I’m hoping the panels absorb enough to negate the ringing of the glass at high volume, but, if not, have any of you tried mass loading glass with clear vinyl? I’d like to avoid curtains...

@wideload - I was sceptical of the difference cables make and didn’t want to drop a good chunk of cash just to find out. So I did some diy-ing and have discovered that cables can make a huge difference. I’ve made my own ICs, y-cables, speaker cables, power cords and filtered power strip. If you are so inclined, there are loads of good materials available and, other than attention to detail, the skills and tools required are minimal. The connectors used seem to be of critical importance, more so than the cables (which are important, just less so). I’m more than happy to share my sources of info if you like, I just don’t want to hijack this thread..

Euphoric listening!
I am wondering if anyone has had the opportunity to compare GIK bass traps with and without either the Flexrange Membrane added, or with the Scatterplate added, or with both added.  
As stated by someone above, I also love the sound of reflected upper frequencies.  My listening room duplicates my favorite listening experience; 25th row, dead center at Apline valley. I would hate to part with that sound.  Nevertheless, tightening up lower frequencies might be an improvement.

This is a lovely thread and I wish more of them at Agon were of this caliber. I enjoy the cordial sharing and encouragement! 

Regarding which is more critical for sound, there is a huge variety of effects with cables, some conferring seemingly giant changes while others seem to do less. Swapping looms of cables produces a much larger effect than simply swapping one or two, as might be expected. A set of power cords confers a very noticeable effect, and it is easy, at least for me, to hear how each one contours the sound as it is added. 

Wideload, great to hear you're still doing well; blessings to your family as well. If you are pleased with what the Exogal Comet does, you may want to consider the Exogal Ion PowerDAC (reviewed at Dagogo.com) as well, because it magnifies the virtues of the Comet and expands the experience dramatically in the most virtuous ways. There is fantastic synergy between the DAC/Pre/Amp functions of the Comet and Ion. I believe they would sound inspiring with the Chapman speakers. Frankly, they sounded wondrous with any speakers I put with them. I have not found any combination of gear to perform DAC/pre/amp functions at such a performance level at anywhere near the price. I state all this clearly in the review.  :) 

toddverrone, kudos on conducting basic testing to discover the differences. I also did homemade power cords to see about it many years ago and it motivated me to move on to manufactured ones. I found a large range of performance not only between the homemade cables and the manufactured, but also between the aftermarket ones. The real judgment begins when you hear the differences, realize that it is related to cost (because you can't manufacture such cables yourself for less) and have to determine whether you will pursue that sound at a price. High end economics struggles! ;) 

As far as all my USA compatriots here on AGON are concerned, you all have a great opportunity to experiment with power cables and IC's from The Cable Co.. Man, do I wish that here in Canada I had such an opportunity to have a go at the "library" of cables, and IC's that they will loan out for testing purposes. It would really help in making proper choices before dropping $$$ on guesses. I'm jealous :)

Hello all, I am a firm believer in room acoustics and believe, as stated above, it more significant that upgrading all your components a level or two.  If you are in a small room 10 to 12' (Or even a large room) you may want to check out Modex plates.  They are mounted to the wall and are only 4" thick.  These are expensive by any standard but there are threads online (gearslutz) on making a DIY version.  You can source the melamine foam (Techlite Foam) in the US and cold rolled mild steel is readily available.  This thing can tame room modes down to 35 Hz where as "normal" bass traps only work down to about 80 Hz.  You can find more info in Fuchs book (The Inventor) which is available on Amazon ($259 -- Ouch).  Or you can just by the relevant chapter from Springer ($29 -- Ahhhh). 
OK. I'll downsize my question.
Has anybody tried/bought GIK bass traps with either the Flexrange Membrane added, or with the Scatterplate added, or with both added.
I'm interested in the effect on your bass frequencies and did they allow upper frequencies to continue, almost as before you added the bass traps?

I'd also like to ask if anyone has experience or stories to share about the Michael Green Audio acoustic "pillow"-type products. Universal acclaim for GIK et al., but tough to find anything on the MGA stuff. Thanks.
toddverrone,
I just read through your post about your wall of glass. I can't tell if you have a total wall of glass (side to side and/or floor to ceiling), or if you have a lot of separate windows, (maybe spaced close together, but each having a separate frame).  If your wall of glass is made up of separate windows have you ever tried that 3M insulating, window shrink wrap?  It's very easy to install and with a little practice and care, you can get them to the point they are almost totally invisible.
They may dampen the room since you're introducing a softer surface where you had a large, hard surface.  You might try a couple of the windows and then test the sound before completing the job.
If you have a second pair of hands, get help to attach the window film to the double-sided, clear tape as straight as you can.  After that, it's pretty easy to get the film totally smooth using a hair dryer.  Just use a light touch with the dryer, and don't linger on one spot too long to get a wrinkle out.  The two-sided tape comes off easily and any tape residue that might remain comes off with a light application of adhesive remover.
Anyway, $15-30 and a little effort should be enough to test out your plexiglass cover theory.

Toolbox,
To answer your question about GIK, yes I have both the Scatter plates and Flexrange components built into traps made by GIK. If you check my Virtual system page you can see their work. 
Since my best listening position was a bit close to the wall behind me I had GIK make the Jukebox Art Monster Bass trap right behind my head.
The two monster traps on the rear wall have both scatter plates and flex range built in. The trap on the front wall is actually hooked over the TV at the suggestion of Jim Smith of Get Better Sound.
I also bought a few [3] boxes of OC 703 and have actually draped a nice throw over 6 panels to make a bass trap sitting on the floor a foot deep.
Took 2 years, bit by bit but last night my wife and I cranked it up and I have finally hit the sweet spot. Having an intrinsically hard room it's taken quite a bit of treatment but not dead by any means.
Best of luck.
@toolbox149 Thanks for the idea.. My problem is that I have a big triple pane slider (1 pane slides) and a big sliding window. So, ideally, the treatment would still allow me to open them. Particularly the door. :-)
toddverrone,

About a year ago, while surveying the options for damping the wind reflections I happened on a covering, a perforated plastic/cellophane sheet attached to the windows via the corners with a small elastic band. They looked to be a good alternative. They were European made and with enough searching perhaps you could locate them.
As they were somewhat expensive I passed on them and hung curtains, which I saw were not an option for you. Unfortunately windows are very reflective for sound and make it borderline impossible to get the reverb factor in a room under control. 

Dentdog,
Thanks for the answer.  I went to the virtual system page to see your system, but when I searched for "dentdog" it found nothing.  What is your system listen under?
I'm interested why you placed the GIK bass panels behind you, as opposed to addressing the corners first.  I have a similar seating arrangement.

Thanks
toolbox,

Click on his name in blue at the top of his post above. Click on details. Click on the pic of his system.

Very nice system and room dentdog. Congrats.

Dave

Diffusion or absorption behind and between the speakers?
Brands to consider?
I did place the corner traps first. Then the TV trap and later the bass traps behind the listening  seat. The room is a hard room with windows left, concrete wall with sheetrock right, sheetrock ceiling and hardwood floors on concrete. The damping seems a bit much but trust me for this room the positive effect became noticeable with the two monster bass traps and the six pieces of Owens Corning , one foot thick on the floor.
It's a far cry from when I first set things up, one small love seat and nothing else in the room. At the time I hadn't had a music system for thirty years-crazy I know-and was thrilled, soon got busy on the room.
Aside-bought the speakers from a guy in Buffalo, NY flew up, rented a Yukon and drove them back to Atlanta, all in one day. You might say that the audio bug had bitten me pretty hard. no?
Best of luck and enjoy the music.
Top Acoustics-stepped diffusors
$99 for 16’ by 48" by 6" deep

No financial interest in the company.
Hi dentdog,

I think this is the same guy that graciously published a lot of research on the effects of different diffusors and also great instructions on a DIY how- to:

http://arqen.com/sound-diffusers/faq/?awt_l=N6Exr&awt_m=3vamGTydekOvzB9&utm_source=diffusers...

I was guided to this by randy-11 (thanks Randy) on another thread. As I am limited on workworking equipment, I thought of ways to build a quick and dirty replica using the DIY instructions on the link. I finally found some fluted wooden curtain rods from Bed, Bath and Beyond that looked similar to, but not nearly as good as, the custom-cut fluted-type he uses and ordered them. $112 just for six rods. Still would need to buy board for the backing plate and offsets and spend ?? hours trying to cut and build these "replicas".

Point being, I cannot imagine a better deal on a good diffuser than the one you recommended above. Pre-designed, pre-built, and ready to hang for $99. Available here on Audiogon. Whatta deal! The rods are going back to BB & B.

Best to you dentdog,
Dave
http://www.topacoustics.com/product/fd-480-fractal-step-diffuser/

- looks good; too bad I don't have enough room for them...
Dave,

Don't know how long the TA website has been up but having GIK and Top Acoustics nearby is helping my room. Going to put 5 across under my TV and call it a day. Best to you.
Good plan dentdog.  Enjoy.

Best to you,
Dave
Bummer, called Top Acoustics for some diffusors and they're out of business, no more in stock. 
DIY

http://arqen.com/
I started out with absorption behind my speakers and now have diffusors that I made out of wood.  It really helped to open up the soundstage and smooth out the bass.
I found that paying an electrician to run 10 gage stranded wire to high quality outlets was cheeper and had a better impact than power cords. 
The room was designed as a dedicated listening room with all walls and the cealing not parallel, false walls with acoustic damping applied and a bookcase on the front wall full of different sized books and dispersion panels and built in bass traps. 
The room cost was much less than top end SC and IC cost and was well worth the effort. 
Of course if the house is sold some ones going to think I had a crappy carpenter to have a wall 1 foot out of square in 15 feet ;-)