I recently moved and managed to get a dedicated listening room (yay!), but its a little on the small side at 12 x11 feet. My current speakers are B&W CDM 9NT's, purchased when they were for a much larger room. Do i stand much chance of getting these to work well in a room this size? I currently have them 3 ft from the back wall, and about 2ft from the side walls, with the chair about 1ft from the back wall. The bass is pretty lumpy, and there's a lot of HF echo/clatter, i have some traps on the way to try and tame things, but are there any fundamental issues that would prevent a floor stander of that size working in such a small room? Any suggestions on position changes?
Your speakers are just too big for a small (11'x12') room. I doubt that room treatment will cure the problems.
Stand mounted speakers have the best chance of sounding good in your room. There is a wide variety of speakers to choose from such as PSB, Acoustic Energy, Dzurko Acoustics, Totem, Platinum Audio, Coincident Speaker Technology, Joseph Audio, Acarian Alon, Phase Technology, Green Mountain Audio, Von Schweikert and many more in a wide variety of prices.
Omega Super 6 Alnico Monitor or if your budget can do it Omega Super 6 Alnico XRS. I have had the chance to listen extensively to the Super 6 Monitors and was VERY impressed. The room was 11w x 13.5l x 8h with carpeted floor. Gear was Audio Note Kits dac, pre and 300b amp.I haven't listened to the Super 6 xrs, but from what I've been told they improve on what the monitors can do. Give Louis a call (203)847-2800, he is a great guy and there is a 30 day no frills return policy. You don't like them, send them back. Chris
You might try setting up on the diagonal . Set the speakers up an equal distance , along the wall , out from a corner firing into the opposite corner where your chair will be . Try to put the speakers the same distance apart as the distance to your listening position and a couple of feet away from the wall in each direction behind them . The distance from this wall will not be as important as usual because it is on a slant . Play with toe-in or a lack of it . The price is right !
Zak42, I face the same issue of a small room. My room is 10 x 13 x 8. I was fortunate to have a pair of LSA1 Statements that I bought before having this small room. I bought them as I simply found them amazing at a RMAF. Even they can overload my room if I push them too hard. The Statement model has much better bass than the less expensive models and sounds very good throughout.
I still love to come back to my large listening room, but the LSAs are satisfying.
Incidentally, I have found that the Synergistic Research ART Basiks (two sets) can be of great benefit in the small room.
"The size of your speakers in your new room only means that you won't have to drive them as hard to get the same SPL."
One of the main problems Zak42 mentioned is "lumpy" bass, an indication the room is too small for his speakers, not to mention in a room that size a tower speaker itself becomes a reflective surface that must be dealt with. This speaker is more suited for a medium size (15'x20') room.
By going with a stand mounted monitor speaker several problems will be solved at once and if a speaker designed to be used close to the wall behind it is selected it will be even better.
Side wall or back wall reflections are an easy fix.
My system has been in a similar sized room (11X13) for a few years now and I love the sound. It took some time working with proper treatment but it can be done. Absorption at first reflection points, corner traps and some treatment behind your listening chair are most important IMO. While you can probably make it work with your B&Ws, smaller speakers would be more manageable. I have a pair of small floorstand speakers as well as a pair of monitors which I swap out every few months to keep things interesting. The small room can be overloaded if I push it but that's not what I enjoy anyway. Click on my system page for a look and good luck.
Those speakers as others mentioned are a bit too big for your room. Suggest you look at the smaller BW if that is the sound you prefer or the smaller Harbeths HLp3esrs. Or you can always acoustically treat your room.
One more setup idea. Try placing the speakers halfway into the room with your listening seat right against the wall behind you. This'll make it a near-field setup, and the bass might even out without the ports so close to the wall behind them. You also might try plugging the ports.
You might end up going to a smaller set of speakers rolling off before deep bass and adding a sub. Sometimes you can "tune out" the biggest problem somewhere between your speakers and the sub(s). This might be your only option in some rooms for getting deep bass without going to room correction.
Just wanted to add my voice to that of those who say equalize first. All small rooms have bass problems in the absence of equalization or treatment. Equalization works just fine for one listener; equalization plus treatment works even better for one listener, and helps with multiple listeners as well. And don't forget that results are highly dependent on both speaker and listener position.
HF crap is easily dealt with with absorption and diffusion. It really doesn't take too much absorption in a room that size, the effect of absorption is magnified in a smaller room. Just add it a bit at a time, you don't want to make the room too dead.
I'd try working with these speakers a little more before giving up.
Have you tried measuring with some test tones and an SPL meter to narrow down where the frequency humps are?
You could try the trick of sitting a foot from the back wall while damping the standing wave there with 4" thick panels (say three 2'x4' panels to start). This would allow getting the speakers well out from the front wall and still allow a decent separation for soundstage width. With the speakers along the 12' wall you could have a 6' listening triangle with the speakers 4' out from the front wall and 3' from the side walls.
I suppose after that you could try EQ with 1 or more subwoofers or an outboard digital room correction box.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions, I got setup with an SPL meter and roomEQWizard, and experimented with speaker placement tonight. Originally i was seeing a 25db swing from peak to trough, pulling the speakers further into the room and fitting the port bungs helped a lot, dropping that 25db swing down to about an 8db swing, but added a new 15db swing at a higher freq. Even so, already sounds so much better than it was. Am going to experiment some more at the weekend, and try the diagonal setup as well.
I had the exact same room with the same speakers. I ended up selling them; yes they were too big for the room. After that, I have had mmg, MG12s, Dynaudio BM5. I installed auralex kits in the room so 65% of all walls were covered. It sounded good near/mid-field. Foam colomns behind speakers etc... Heavy room treatment is the only way to do it if you want to keep those speakers.
Yeah, you'd still need to do the first reflection points. A small mirror or even an old CD disc together with a laser pointer can be used to find it. I use Blu-Tack type putty to stick the CD on the wall. Place it on the wall where a laser beam bounces from the tweeter position to the listening position (or vice versa) and note the position with a pencil mark.