SIZE DOES MATTER AFTER ALL...My ht/ solid state system is in a room that is 16 feet deep and 27 or 28 wide...
but i have to sit on the short end due to windows on one side and dining room on the other...
it has somewhat bad sound properties.. high ceilings about 22 feet high... check out my virtual system pix...
and my tube system is in a back den that is about 15 by 20...definately wish i had a larger room like 25 x 25 for the tube setup... but the ht works out nicely..
I'm in the process of building a new house with an optimized room. It will be approximately (I say approximately because there will not be any parallel walls or ceiling), 20 (W) x 24 (L) x 11.5 (H). These are averaged dimensions.
Can you tell us little more about your walls or sources for information on benefits of your approach? Looking at Everest's Masterhandbook of Acoustics it seems somewhat unclear. He calls the benefit "nominal" and says "splaying walls only introduces unpredictability in listening room and studio situations."(p.281-2) I ask because I'm soon to build and have considered a similar approach. For now though, my cell is only 6x8 and they won't let me change very much.
You may find it interesting to check out Martin Logan's website. They have a section that describes the construction of their reference listening room, in which they performed the final critical listening in the design of the Statement E2 system, as well as the Prodigy.
Clueless: This is an area that I disagree with Everest's reference and a number of other references regarding splaying walls. In fact, if you look at most of the literature in this area, most discuss parallel walls and how to do all the calculations from this. It is FAR more complicated to design, model, and engineer a room without parallel walls. The results are predictable (contrary to Everest--but I think he knows this), but the effort is pretty great. I think Everest is clearly very smart in this area not to discuss it because it makes all the math very complex. Instead of using simple algebraic equations you have to do everything with integers and differential equations--it gets pretty ugly pretty fast. There's no way he could cover it satisfactorily in his book. It really just about requires a book unto itself. It doesn't make sense to do it in small environments, but when you get into larger environments that support longer wavelengths it is very beneficial in the bass region by reducing (or virtually eliminating) room modes when designed correctly. There's a lot more too it, such as designing the angles to reduce slap echo and even minimize the amount of diffusors used (they are almost always still needed to some degree). I know I haven't fully answered your question, but I think my fingers would wear out before I could really answer the question completely. I'd be glad to discuss it sometime and try to take some of the mystery out of it.
Rives, I've always enjoyed and respected your threads. Perhaps you could share the exact dimensions/proportions of your project?
My room is 15DX25WX8H, and it is fabulous. I got lucky.
When I ploted the graph recommended by Robert Harley in his book; it was obvious why, there are almost no reinforcements of any of the frequencies from 20-20K. Also since my speakers have the woofers far apart, they are quit immune to many of the room/bass problems.
Still, I would love a bigger room. But, I live in SanFrancisco with one of the highest real estate prices in the country; so I'm realistic and happy with what I can afford.
Unsound: I will when I finish the project. In fact I met with the architect today. I now have the basic boundaries of the room figured out, but do not have the exact measurments done. I have at least 2 more weeks of work (and probably longer--because I don't have enough time to do all the modelling and equations right now). My room is still not going to be perfect, because there are some constraints in terms of how it fits into the rest of the house, but it should work out very well. I expect when the project is complete (or at least the designs), I'll put it up on the rivesaudio website.
My room is 24'long and 14'wide. The ceiling is vaulted: 8' behind the speakers at one end, rising at 45degrees to 16', leveled off for 8', and sloping back down to the far end at 45degrees to 8' again. I use the entire room, with no divisions. It's almost like a mini-concert hall. I don't feel that it is too large, because I can fill it nicely with the sound from my 1 watt amplifier and single driver speakers. In fact, many times I need to turn it down a bit. I have used some acoustic treatments to good effect, but the room itself seems to have some good characteristics on its own. I have the speakers placed at one end, about 4' from the back wall, and about 4' from each side wall. This puts about 6' between the drivers. The equipment is between the speakers. My chair is about 9' from the wall behind me, and about 10' from the speakers. The chair is centered, and the speakers are toed-in so they are on-axis with the listening position. I have a room lens centered between the speakers, about a foot behind the diffraction plane. I have 2 room lenses positioned to the outsides of each speaker, angling outward at 45 degrees. There is another room lens directly centered behind the listening chair. 6 room lenses in all. I individually tuned each resonator in every room lens, for its position in the room, by ear. There are bass traps in the corners behind the speakers, and a drape between them on the rear wall. There is diffraction and reflection material on the wall behind the listening chair, but no traps. The floor is wood, with a 9x12 rug on the floor between the speakers and the chair, handling the 1st reflections from the floor. Absorptive panels are on the side walls in the 1st reflection zones. The vaulted ceiling is t&g pine wood. Overall, it is quite nice. I am not saying it can't be improved, but it is at least suitable for the time being. Since I am still working on finishing the interior of the house, things are changing, so I have to take all of that into account by listening to the system as I make changes to the house. No WAF to be concerned with. I'm as free as a bird.
My audio system (which is a small/medium sized solid-state system (I hear that tubes do sound better and more natural than solid-state does, but they're too much of a headache to maintain and upkeep, whereas with solid-state, all you have to do is plug it in, set it up correctly, hit a button or two, and you're off and listening)) is located in my living room, and the size of my living room is 14"(H) x 12"(W) x 16"(D). It is not to me, an ideal situation as far as a listening room is concerned. But for right now, it works, as I make as best of the situation as I can. But I can promise you, the first house that I move into, I am going to take the audio system into full account before I go to settlement and close on my first house, and I am going to furnish my listening/living room around my audio system instead of the other way around. An upgrade of the room and the acoustics that come with it (or that I make it into) will then permit me to potentially upgrade the speaker system (either getting a small speaker system like my KEF Reference 102s, but with more refinement, or getting a stand-mounted floor standing system with low stands) and the amplification as well (and I will be looking at either Bryston, or moving a little bit up the ladder, Krell or Levinson gear) while keeping my front-end sources intact (I am going to have some very good sources which I am getting right now, and once those are completed, I don't plan on making any more audio purchases no time soon afterwards).
My home theater system is located in my bedroom, and that measures 14"(H) x 12"(W) x 12"(D), and to this day, I am still trying to figure out how am I going to fit a six piece speaker package (for me, that is going to be four satelites, a center channel, and a subwoofer) into the same room that also houses my bed, a TV (which weighs 100 pounds all by itself) and stand (which has to hold the TV, a DVD Player, a VCR, and an A/V Receiver as well), armore (for clothing, not audio/video equipment), a nightstand, and a side bench. Maybe when I finally get my house, I may have a dedicated room to put my home theater in then, and that alone will give me a whole lot more room to work with. And as icing on the cake, I am single. So, I won't have a wife to protest and bicker with (MAN!!!!!! AM I A LUCKY DEVIL OR WHAT?!?!?!?!?). I do have a girlfriend, but she doesn't live with me. So she won't as have much of a say as to how I will set up my house when the time comes for me to get one. So in either since, I won't have any WAF (or in my case.... GAF) issues to wrestle with and worry about.
But like I said, at the moment, I do the best I can with what I can afford. Real Estate isn't cheap to begin with. And as I live in Washington, D. C., I live in a tight housing market right now, which means that housing is at a premium. But hey, whose complaining. At least, I do have a place to live, right???
Right now my gear is squozed into a 14x14 room with 7' ceilings, but this is temporary as we've just moved in. The house is ~150 years old and obviously wasn't designed with audio or theatre in mind! I'm building an addition, but the biggest I could realistically fit in the budget is 15x20 inside dimensions with a 8' 8" ceiling height. (I live in the middle of nowhere, too, where the real estate prices are reasonable - how do you guys manage this in SF and DC???)
The dedicated room won instant WAF as the addition basically is my room downstairs and a new kitchen upstairs :)
The last house (back in the SF area) had "more" space. It was 16x23, but it was shared space with the living room.
In answer to Blw:
I live in SF, but have a great wife that "lets" me have the biggest room in the house for my hobby. She even had to move her office into the dining room when our child got old enough to need his own room.
Also, if I had your room I would definitely "change" the dimensions. Whatever frequency that has a 7' wave is reinforced 3X. Line the walls with bookcases to reduce the problem.
Good luck with your next room.
I am moving into a new home with dimensions of 32x19'8"x12'1". Not yet set up so I can't comment on the sound. I know I'll need some room treatments but a lot of the specs seem like they should work nicely. My old listening room was about 27x17x9 and sounded quite good - the measurements only showed a couple of minor peaks and I really enjoyed it. Room dimensions are only one piece of the picture. Surface treatments are critical and affect the overall depth and soundstage. Lots of opinions here -- from real hard/solid surfaces to more forgiving surfaces. The key is consistency in design and approach -- there's more than one way to skin a cat.
I mentioned in a recent thread that one of my favorite listening experiences was in an average room of about 13x11x8. The equipment was great and there was lots of cushy furniture and heavy curtains in the room which helped.
Generally good things are: Fewer windows, more carpets or rugs, plush furniture, heavy drapes, lots of uneven surfaces like bookcases and dimensions which are not direct multiples of one another (e.g., 10x12x14 -- multiples of 2, or 9x12x15 -- multiples of 3). Good luck. Take a look at Sound Sturdio Construction on a Budget by F. Alton Everest for background (simple stuff, no differential equations per Rives' much more scientific approach). P.S. Good luck Rives -- let us know how it turned out.
Ozfly--thanks. I really can't wait to post what we are doing. We are working in some really intersting areas--trying to reduce the square footage (although still realistically large), fit into the house appropriately (geometry wise that is), and make it sonically fantastic all at the same time. These are real world goals. It will be at least a month now before the modelling is complete--it is taking much longer than originally anticipated due to other customer commitments (they come first). Once the room is in it will be tunable to a large degree and it will be very interesting to see how close our models and the actual acoustic measurements are. There are many psycho acoustic responses we have modelled into this room, which is rarely done. As you can probably tell--I'm very excited about this project; we are covering some fairly new ground on a few areas. It will be over a year before it is complete, but I intend on detailing it appropriately on our website--so stay tuned.