Small space listening room


How many of you have grown tired of your equipment being out in the open for all hands (my grandbabies) to touch and just decided to use a small spare room to set up your (SERIOUS) listening space? Yeah I know small rooms aren't ideal, but I moved my stuff from the living room to a spare bedroom. I have a home theater set up in the living room and can also listen to music (as background filler) when the family or guests are over. But to do focused listening I've retreated. Except for the subwoofer, turntable and speakers, all other gear (power and headphone amps, computer, DAC, preamp and power conditioner) is tucked away in the closet. It's tight. My speakers and listening seat form a 6 and a half foot triangle in a 10 by 12 foot room. I thought things were good. Then I jumped on the Synergistic Research HFT and FEQx4 train and I'll never look back. An added bonus, I found if I temporarily remove HFT's from my speakers and place them on my headphones, they have the same effect on the cans as they do on the room, more spacious, focused and detailed. What's your small room listening experience?
mewsickbuff
My first listening room was my bedroom. I was 13. It taught me about speaker placement, acoustics (my first DIY was acoustic panels) and more. People need to get off the bigger is better train, learn how to work with what they got, and appreciate the advantages. In a small room you get near field listening, which actually makes it easier to hear more of the recording and less of the room. A large room you try to use its larger acoustic space to enhance the illusion of space on the recording. This can't work in a small room so instead you minimize the room by sitting near field like you are doing.

It worked good in 1973 with egg crates to kill reflections. It works about a million times better today with HFT, as you know. I do the same thing, with one on my turntable motor that I pull off and stick on my laptop for movies. Its ECT not HFT but they are practically the same thing just tuned a bit to optimize for different uses.

Have you tweaked out your speakers with the full HFT Speaker Kit? If you do it will be awesome! ECT can be used on your gear in the closet, and will have the same effect as you are hearing with HFT. Crazy to think you can be in a small room and yet with the lights out and the music playing it sounds like Carnegie Hall.  
Yes, millercarbon, my speakers have the full HFT kit as do my front, side and back walls. The FEQx4 takes it to another level. And even though they say use one PHT at a time for differing results, I have the type I and S on my phono head shell :) They came as a set. My phono set-up isn't the best (vintage Pioneer PL 560 TT, Graham Slee 2 Preamp and Shure M97xE cartridge) but the SR PHT's improved things. Have you or anyone you know tried the XOT carbon's? It's funny, we improve our SQ and think, I can't imagine it being better than this. Then we gamble on something else. If it's better, then we sit with the Cheshire cat's grin on our faces. What gear are you using your ECT's on (or in)?
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 
Look real close and read the descriptions. Also have some full length reviews of ECT, HFT, and PHT. That's in addition to the stuff from Pritchard and others here, how I got clued into them in the first place. 

They're hard to see and not visible in all pictures plus some are inside of things like the Herron and Melody. They work fine inside, but I wouldn't bother, or at least would leave that for last, because they work just as well on the outside which is a whole lot easier to try and move around.  

When I first tried one I decided to give it the acid test and see if it would work someplace really unlikely, and stuck one on my turntable motor. Well that totally worked and blew my mind. I watch movies off my laptop. So I tried moving the ECT from the motor to the laptop. Wife says what did you do? The picture is totally better! Sound too. MacBook Pro. 

Got my eye out for a good deal on FEQx4 even though right now my system is so over the top tweaked and dialed in its almost unbelievable. Did I say almost? lol! You would not believe it!

I have a small room for reasons that were slightly out of my control. I am currently residing in an old motel that was turned into apartments. 

My current living room is 9'7" X 11'2"  with there being a 4'7"  opening into the kitchen. The ceiling is 8'2" up. I place my chair at the entrance to the kitchen. My speakers (Which I bought with the intention of eventually getting a bigger room) are 35 " high and about three feet in, from the back wall. I need some room treatment and eventually I want a couple of subs.

That being said, I am fairly pleased with how well it sounds. I keep it low and take advantage of the first ten watts of my power amp being class A (It switches to AB over 10 watts). There is still a bit of a sound stage and I still get a small holographic effect from some of the singers voices. 
Hi, when you say the FEQx4 took things to another level, can you elaborate?  I have level 2 HFTs in my listening room and HFTx on my speakers.  Just recently added XOTs to my speakers.  There was an appreciable improvement with the XOTs.  The image got more detailed, more clear definition of instruments and more holographic presentation.  Just wondering if an FEQx4 is the next step.

Thanks,
Jason
Hi @mewsickbuff, 
Since you have a small space to work with, have you considered an high-end (or perhaps even an ultra-high-end) headphone system? Sound quality can be hard to beat.
@jasonsim, by another level I mean the FEQx4 cleans up the sound. When I flip the switch the FEQ dials in all the HFT's and PHT's in my listening room making voices and instruments sound so natural. It's easier to differentiate 2 or more voices or instruments singing or playing the same note. Depending on the engineering, on some songs singers have their own space on the stage. I don't hear more details in every song but what I do hear is so clear. And if I listen to a whole album chances are 1 or 2 songs will blow me away with a more detailed sound stage which is also usually deeper and wider than my room. I'd say the FEQx4 would definitely be a worth while improvement.

@jmarshak, I have a self modded Sennheiser HD 800 and Hifiman HE 6se. And right now my speakers sound better than both of them. I haven't always been able to say that. I have a vision of adding ECT's to my TT, DAC, Phono Stage, Pre and Power Amps along with GCT's to the same. I'm so satisfied with what I have I'm hesitant to take that next step. Bottom line, I don't have the funds for a high or ultra high end HP system. I have temporarily taken HFT's from my speakers and put them on the headphones with some improvements, but I still prefer listening to my speakers. I hope when I add the ECT's and GCT's I'll be able to listen at a lower level, not that I'm blasting music now. Synergistic Research has hinted they'll be coming out with ECT's for headphones. Can't wait.

@rickytickytwo, add some Synergistic Research HFT's. For small or large rooms they can be placed and take up literally no space. Talking about BANG for your buck, these tiny babies will certainly give it. Don't just take my word for it, read up on some of the threads about them. Give them a try. If before 30 days you don't like it return it.
Every time I stumble upon a new thread that intrigues me @millercarbon was already there.