Little known secret: Sitting in a IKEA Poang Chair, wearing an Urban Sombrero (from Seinfeld show) tilted at precisely 45 degrees, almost replicates exactly the acoustics of Carnegie Hall!
- 79 posts total
- 79 posts total
Seating features I seek:
Armrests, are a must for me.
Cushioning that provides support and pressure-point reflief such that I can sit for as long as I want without discomfort. Often hours.
I really enjoy good support behind my head. So, I either need to determine that a high back seat (with pillow added for support) does not degrade the SQ compared with a low back chair or I need head support that is pretty much as narrow as my head (as others have mentioned in this thread) so reflections are not a problem. Sounds pretty custom, right? BTW, my rear wall is almost 9' behind my ears. I am currently in a low back chair that replaced a high back one. Made the change about 7 mos. ago. The low-back seat is also 3" higher. The SQ improved compared to the high-back chair. Why? Lack of chair behind my ears or ears 3" higher or both?
I've since moved the seat and speakers after using an RTA app to find my anchor seat (jim smith's book, Get Better Sound). SQ improved so so much. And I moved my gear from between my speakers to the left of my chair. CRAZY good improvement from moving gear. So, to be thorough I'd like to bring in my old high back chair to see how she sounds. I'd make adjustments for the 3"H delta, naturally.
Satellite dishes need to be larger for weaker signals
Desert Rat Ears offer ample evidence. Audiophile tweaks at the genetic level. : )
However, how one avoids the predatory strikes of a sidewinder rattlesnake, while in one's comfy listening chair has yet to be researched. : )
From: AMER. ZOOL., 20:247-254 (1980) Morphological Adaptations of the Ear in the Rodent Family Heteromyidae
"SYNOPSIS. Middle and inner ear structure and auditory sensitivity have been studied in all five genera of the rodent family Heteromyidae. In the most xeric genera (Dipodomys and Microdipodops) the middle ears are greatly inflated, the tympano-ossicular system very efficient, the organ of Corti extremely modified, and low-frequency sensitivity extremely acute. ...Experimental data demonstrate that the low frequency sensitivity in Dipodomys is adaptive in predator avoidance."
"The selective pressure for these auditory modifications such as we see in heteromyids is no doubt especially strong for nocturnal species in a desert environment, where discontinuous vegetation allows litle natural cover and reduced food avail- ability requires that considerable time be given to foraging. In fact, similar modifications are found in several old world desert rodents (e.g., gerbils, jerboas, and the spring haas) and the African elephant shrews. There is also a fossil record of South American marsupials with greatly inflated middle ears. All these are small, desert-dwelling mammals. On the other hand, there are rodents with similar environmental problems which lack these auditory specializations, such as deer mice, pack rats, ground squirrels, and grasshopper mice. Auditory specialization is not the only way for such mammals to avoid over- predation. It is, however, an evolutionary strategy developed independently and successfully in several groups of small desert mammals. Among the heteromyids, each genus gives some clues as to this evolutionary process."
Ok, I have run some trials and so far have some surprising results, at least to me:
Base Case - Poang by Ikea - high comfort, low cost, adequate SQ, at least to me before reading this post (thanks again OP!)
Trial 1 - simple wood bar stool. Not comfy, low cost, SQ was like moving from 1st level balcony to nose bleed seats - obviously the new ear height relative to the speakers is the cause. This was trial 1 bc it was the the only other chair I have at my listening pad.
Trial 2 - no chair, sitting on floor. Not comfy, but much improved SQ, like moving to the main floor of the concert hall. More detail, resonance, presence. Hmmm,
Went on vacation, no listening for 10+ days, upon returning went straight to the neighborhood big box store and bought a zero gravity chair.
Revisited base case. Nice, nice to come back from vacation and once again realize that my stereo sucks less than 80% of the time. But geoffkait and the floor listening experience has led to the deep seeded fears of audiophiliac's insecurity - I can and MUST do better!
Trail 3 - zero gravity chair. Not very comfy (I have never been comfortable in one of these but kinda made sense to me from an acoustic perspective?), SQ was not distinguishable from the Poang. WTF?
Revisited Trial 2 - same results. Began pondering the vibe of a chairless listening room......could get a variety of cool floor pillows, some blankets, a classy rug that's easy to clean bc of all the spills I'll have due to resting beverages on the floor....umm wait a minute this is not looking so good. To pull it off I'd have to stick to a very minimalistic design approach, aka not comfy enough for listening for hours. Nix that idea.
Hypothesis - the zero gravity chair is made of cheap plasticy material, and has a head cushion, probably padded with foam equivalent in cost/quality to the Poang. It's this material next to my ears that is the culprit. So, next trial will be a lowback chair made of wood. Headed to the local neighborhood thrift/consignment store this weekend. Once again cursing my sister for stealing the Eames chair my mom found at a garage sale inspired by a nasty divorce...but that's another story.
More to come.