They'll patch but the only real solution is acoustic treatment or redecoration or relocation.
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Agree with Kr4 - expect some improvement from equalization and/or signal processing but acoustic problems often call for acoustic solutions, especially if you're looking for improvement over a wide range of listening positions.
For instance if you have audible slap-echo at the listening position, then you have an acoustic problem that calls for an acoustic solution. You'll have to treat several square feet area on at least one room surface.
In addition to your room, your speakers are part of the equation - in particular, their radiation pattern. What speakers are you using?
"what about components and speakers specifically chosen for the room??"
That will definitely help, but it won't provide a total cure. You have *got* to damp at least one of those reflective surfaces and preferably two that are are not facing each other. Find some suitable art, plants, screens, cushions, etc. or go whole hog and get some professional sound absorption/diffusion devices.
It would probably be well worth your money to engage the services of a pro. If you're anywhere near Virginia, Rives has earned a great reputation amongst Audiogoners...
RW--are you implying you need to be near Virginia for Rives services? We do work all of the world (mostly US, but oversears as well), predominantly through our dealer network. We are based in Iowa. Just didn't want anyone to think we were limited in areas where we do design work.
As to the other points, the room does need to be treated. You can't reduce reverberation times with any signal processor.
"We do work all of the world (mostly US, but oversears as well), predominantly through our dealer network. We are based in Iowa."
Oooops, my bad. Sorry about that. I coulda sworn you were based in Va - time for that 2nd cup of coffee. Maybe it will wash down the taste of that foot I had in my mouth...
-RW- I *did* say you have a great reputation here.
If you can't do a lot of treatments (at least put up some cornerbusters of a soffit system that incorporates treatments). Then make sure to setup a near field listening position. And look for a speaker like Wilson's where they are aimed directly at the listener to lessen the side wall interactions. some speakers require them to be faced forward to create the soundstage instead of towed in.
I own a Tact and it does help, but you have to upgrade the powersupply for it to be considered depending on the level of your system. Now I own the 2.2x and I use to own the M2150 integrated and that was a bargain slayer. and yes the 9 eq modes can be used to make unbearable recording listenable. Sub integration is amazing when used with 2 DAC cards because of the flexibility of placing the speakers in the best position for naturalness and imaging and not being concerned about bass.
RW--No problem, we were based in Maryland several years ago. We manufactured the PARC there, but now we are based out of Iowa. It really doesn't matter very much where we are located because the majority of communication is by e-mail and phone. This keeps costs down--with level 1 starting at only $1200. Level 2 our dealer takes acoustical measurements (so again, we don't have to travel and can keep the cost down). Only in level 3 do our engineers go on site.
Thank you for the comments on our reputation. I just didn't want people to think we were a regional operation--regardless of what region.
Just for starters, a thick rug and curtains for the sliding glass door will take a bite out your problems. Wall hangings, bookshelves and other furniture will break up sound waves as would large plants. Sometimes dispersion is preferable to absorption. Over damping can take the life out of the music. Bass resonance may be your biggest obstacle, but if brightness is the problem you may be able to tame the room without professional assistance or electronic correction.
With a fairly live room (which is what I prefer), my inclination is towards speakers with uniform directivity over as much of the spectrum as is practical. This is because the tonal balance will be dominated by the reverberant energy in the room, and most speakers don't do very well in this area. That being said, if you have a serious acoustic problem in the room even super-narrow pattern speakers won't eliminate it - you'll still need room treatment of some kind. Would a wall tapestry fit in with your decor? How about a throw rug? You only need to treat one of each pair of opposing room surfaces to get rid of slap echo. Do you like plants? Plants can be used as diffusors to prevent strong, distinct early reflections ("specular" reflections) that can be especially detrimental to imaging and/or perceived timbre.
Briefly, there are two general types of radiation patterns that generate a nicely balanced reverberant field. The first type is omnidirectional or quasi-omnidirectional, and includes dipoles and bipoles. The second type is controlled forward-radiating, and includes many coaxials, horn or waveguide speakers, and a few conventional direct radiators. Nearly all of the speakers I sell fall into one of these two general categories. Speakers I don't sell that do a good job in these areas include models by MBL, Shahinian, Wolcott, Mirage, Magnepan, KEF, Pioneer TAD, Tannoy, Classic Audio Reproductions, Edgarhorn, PiSpeakers, SP Technology, and Avalon. I'm sure there are many others that I've overlooked.
Arguments can be made as to whether a wide or narrow pattern works best in a room like yours, but part of it comes down to personal preference. What kind of presentation do you want - more like you're sitting up near the front of the concert hall or jazz club, or more like you're sitting near the middle of the hall or club?