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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:22 pm 
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Recently I have been experimenting with room measurement and speaker positioning. I finally got around to using an individually calibrated USB UMIK-1 (from cross-spectrum) that I picked up a while ago, along with a copy of REW (freeware).

I have plenty of DIY sound absorbing panels and an area rug to tame higher freqs but nothing specifically for the bass. I have been systematically moving my speakers around the room trying to find the smoothest frequency response. My floor standers have side firing woofers and the front baffles are slightly sloped. I ran into some interesting measurements in my room which measures 145“ wide. All measurements are based on the tweeter position.

The flattest I found had the tweeters 36“ from the side walls, 50“ out into the room and the seat 90“ from either tweeter (red). What I found really interesting was the second flattest curve had tweeters positioned 36“ equally from side and rear wall (blue). Conventional wisdom saying this is a terrible position, but measured much better than where the Cardas method would position my speakers, for example. The 60Hz dip was in most of my measurements.

So here are my frequency response curves and I pose a friendly challenge - dare to share yours? A quick look at speaker positioning in most of the system pictures in the gallery, I’d guess many people would be surprised how far from flat their curves are!


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 6:26 pm 
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tilly wrote:
Recently I have been experimenting with room measurement and speaker positioning. I finally got around to using an individually calibrated USB UMIK-1 (from cross-spectrum) that I picked up a while ago, along with a copy of REW (freeware).

I have plenty of DIY sound absorbing panels and an area rug to tame higher freqs but nothing specifically for the bass. I have been systematically moving my speakers around the room trying to find the smoothest frequency response. My floor standers have side firing woofers and the front baffles are slightly sloped. I ran into some interesting measurements in my room which measures 145“ wide. All measurements are based on the tweeter position.

The flattest I found had the tweeters 36“ from the side walls, 50“ out into the room and the seat 90“ from either tweeter (red). What I found really interesting was the second flattest curve had tweeters positioned 36“ equally from side and rear wall (blue). Conventional wisdom saying this is a terrible position, but measured much better than where the Cardas method would position my speakers, for example. The 60Hz dip was in most of my measurements.

So here are my frequency response curves and I pose a friendly challenge - dare to share yours? A quick look at speaker positioning in most of the system pictures in the gallery, I’d guess many people would be surprised how far from flat their curves are!

The measurements mean nothing to "your" ears.

What sound did you prefer, RED or BLUE?

The

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:12 pm 
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see everybody likes their music differently...but we all enjoy it very much...as long as it is natural....


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:40 pm 
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AudiOhm wrote:
The measurements mean nothing to "your" ears.

Sorry, Ohms, but this is just didn't work for me. I trusted my ears until I started paying around with measurements and EQ.

Below is a before and after comparison. The green curve represents the frequency response a certain speaker positioning and no EQ, the violet curve has a slight toe-out and EQ. It's not perfect by any means, that purple curve, but it most definitely sounds better than before.
Attachment:
May 7 spl.jpeg
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:45 am 
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tilly wrote:
So here are my frequency response curves and I pose a friendly challenge - dare to share yours? A quick look at speaker positioning in most of the system pictures in the gallery, I’d guess many people would be surprised how far from flat their curves are!

Tilly, I won't disrespect you or my wife by posting a different type of curve.

Generally the guys and gals around CAM are a decent bunch, there's no doubt about it. However, as you can probably tell, only a small bunch are really into the effort of bringing their system up a couple notches with diligent speaker placement and modest or heavy room treatment while using computer software and a mic to help.

CAM is not like GearSlutz or diyaudio where there are endless discussions on acoustics and how to get a flat response. We are a gear-centric community; more willing to spend and brag about buying an X thousand dollar amps because it gets validated here; unwilling to get into acoustics because their significant other won't allow them to put treatments and restrict them to having the speakers up against the wall.

What I can't wrap my head around is the phrase "my system is in the living room so room treatments are out." If you can put art or framed pictures on the wall, then you should look into absorbers that have a printed fabric which has the WAF.

Anyway, to your post. The 60hz dip is probably related to your floor-to-ceiling distance if it's still here when you move the mic closer or further to the speakers.

Are you getting that low-end response from the side-firing woofers on your mains or do you have subs?

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:49 am 
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Gentlemen, please, can we get this thread back on topic?

You could post all the scantily clad lady pics you want IF this topic was in the CAM Lounge, but it isn't, so in this thread, all they are doing is taking the whole thread not only off topic, but completely and permanently rendering it useless for anyone looking for any real information on the subject.

CAM Moderation Team


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 5:32 am 
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AudiOhm wrote:
What sound did you prefer, RED or BLUE?


They both sound great. I’m currently using the blue location for practicality as the room is multi-use and the speakers don’t have to be so far out into the room. I do find that if they get any closer to the wall, bass gets really congested and boomy when the volume goes up.

AudiOhm wrote:
The measurements mean nothing to "your" ears.


In the end true, I find I quickly habituate to most speaker positions and it can all sound good (as long as the bass isn’t too boomy or there aren't too many echoes)!
I started this project because I wanted to “see” what I was hearing. Measurements are the only tool I could think of to objectively compare my different room layouts.
Also, I want to have the flattest response to hear, as close as possible, what the mastering engineer wanted the album to sound like.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 6:20 am 
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kwadzilla wrote:
Below is a before and after comparison. The green curve represents the frequency response a certain speaker positioning and no EQ, the violet curve has a slight toe-out and EQ. It's not perfect by any means, that purple curve, but it most definitely sounds better than before.

That is a great before/after graph Kwad. What are you using for EQ (software/hardware)?
For reference what are your room measurements and where are the speakers placed, (I see you also have a small dip at 60Hz and ~150Hz)?

kwadzilla wrote:
Anyway, to your post. The 60hz dip is probably related to your floor-to-ceiling distance if it's still here when you move the mic closer or further to the speakers.

Interesting, I experienced it to varying degrees with most speaker positions even with moving the mic closer or further. 96" ceilings.

kwadzilla wrote:
Are you getting that low-end response from the side-firing woofers on your mains or do you have subs?

Only the passive woofers, no subs.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:21 am 
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I have an open-concept condo. The system, as you can see is in the main area which has 11' ceilings; the horizontal lengths are 32', 26', 25', 24', 20', 18'. For the sake of the dipoles, the crucial measurements are:

Bass panel, c-c 69" apart, 42.5" from wall
Ribbons, about 84" apart, 45" from wall

I had four 6' absorbers on the front wall, but these ruined the stage depth and, as I perceived it to be, the overall phase response. The sound is more coherent with a bare wall there, but I'm sure to benefit from some type of treatment, be it scattering/diffusion or less aggressive absorption. I have absorbers up high near the ceiling at three points: above the speakers and behind the listening spot.

During most listening I pull the window covers closed. During serious listening, I'll hand a blanket from the pipes in the kitchen. Both help to reduce the echo and improve the clarity of the music.

I'm using a Behringer ECM8000 and REW, EQ is being done now by a KlarkTeknik 370. I have a dbx driverack 260 I'm going to out in later today for the purpose of its XO (I have a set of subs on loan to help fill in below 50hz 8) .


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:44 am 
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My Curves....

I'm a rookie at this whole analysis thing but...

System is:

Pioneer Elite N50 -> Tisbury Audio Passive Pre -> Into miniDSP

DSP directs signal directly to a Velodyne 12" Active Sub and Rogue Audio Sphinx Integrated which feeds a pair of standmount USHER-N6300's.

For various reasons my setup is sideways to what would be considered normal , i.e. across a fairly long room versus along it, and my orientation is basically such that this is setup as what I would think would be considered near field listening. Listening position is directly in front a mere 5 feet away.

Speakers are about 4-5 feet apart, too close to the wall ;-). Sub is basically right beside one of the speaker stands.

I'm not doing any active cross-overing with the miniDSP yet as my first attempt at that was less than stellar. Basically I'm using the USB UMIK-1 and REW software like many others.

Blue line is just the USHER speakers
Pink line is Sub+Ushers with Sub in direct mode.
Green line is Sub+Ushers with -9db gain on the Sub output from the miniDSP.
Gold line is Sub+Users with the -9 db gain on the sub with Full Range EQ applied.

Still fiddling, sounds pretty good, the sub even though hardly a decent quality item helps fill in the base without causing massive resonance. But it doesn't sound dead. I'd love to be able to actively cross-over the outputs to allow the Rogue to focus on delivering just 120Hz up to the USHERs but so far my attempts at this have resulted in a big dead spot around 110 Hz. My only issue with the miniDSP is the -7db gain loss it introduces. Other than that I don't see it affecting the FreqResponses at all. The Tisbury Passive Pre is an experiment which also nicely seems very transparent, but I found I can't blast things like I'd (sometimes) like given the using a passive Pre with the miniDSP.

Colin


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:17 am 
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kwadzilla wrote:
AudiOhm wrote:
The measurements mean nothing to "your" ears.

Sorry, Ohms, but this is just didn't work for me. I trusted my ears until I started paying around with measurements and EQ.

Below is a before and after comparison. The green curve represents the frequency response a certain speaker positioning and no EQ, the violet curve has a slight toe-out and EQ. It's not perfect by any means, that purple curve, but it most definitely sounds better than before.
Attachment:
May 7 spl.jpeg


If you need the curves to tell you what definitely sounds better, then you need the curves. I see no reasonable argument against.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:35 am 
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This was in my last house. These are Dynaudio Focus 110A's on some heavy DIY speaker stands in a 7' equilateral triangle, measured at the listening position with 1/6 smoothing. Sounded pretty good, a little bright due to the Dyn's tweeter. I don't have these speakers any more; they were replaced with a different active speaker which IMO is better in every way. I haven't had time to measure the new house yet.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:01 am 
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kwadzilla wrote:
tilly wrote:
Generally the guys and gals around CAM are a decent bunch, there's no doubt about it. However, as you can probably tell, only a small bunch are really into the effort of bringing their system up a couple notches with diligent speaker placement and modest or heavy room treatment while using computer software and a mic to help.

CAM is not like GearSlutz or diyaudio where there are endless discussions on acoustics and how to get a flat response. We are a gear-centric community; more willing to spend and brag about buying an X thousand dollar amps because it gets validated here; unwilling to get into acoustics because their significant other won't allow them to put treatments and restrict them to having the speakers up against the wall.

What I can't wrap my head around is the phrase "my system is in the living room so room treatments are out." If you can put art or framed pictures on the wall, then you should look into absorbers that have a printed fabric which has the WAF.


I think this is an interesting comment. Lots of talk about people preferring 'neutral', 'accurate', 'uncoloured' sound or claiming they get a 'flat down to 20 hz' response in room, or wanting to listen to music 'how the artist intended it to sound'. The reality is, without investing in some sort of sound measurement equipment (which is very reasonably priced these days), people have no idea of what the sound they prefer actually measures like. Without some sort of sonic measuring we have no idea how specifically changes such as room treatments, speaker or listening chair placement has on the final sound or what sonic tradeoffs we may be making when we imagine we have only made sonic gains.

What people are really saying is that they like the sound of certain equipment in their room and how it plays with other gear they own. And there is nothing wrong with personal preference, but specific claims beyond 'I like this sound' (such as those referring to things such as 'neutrality' or 'accuracy') made by people with 'golden ears' in their 50's and 60's without actual measurements are meaningless and highly subjective.

I feel many people, especially those claiming to be audiophiles, prefer a sound that is somewhat coloured and not actually 'flat'. They may like certain 'house sounds' and not necessarily 'flat'. Looking solely at a frequency response graph doesn't tell you everything about the sound you like, but is still educational and helps get to the 'why' you prefer certain equipment over another and can help you choose gear that may have properties that interact better with your room. Maybe it doesn't really explain the 'why' as much as it does 'what' you actually are preferring and in what way it differs over something else.

Perhaps even a hearing test isn't a bad idea either. Specifically knowing where our ears are lacking may be another piece of the puzzle to getting things 'right' (whatever that may be).


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Well said Obi I did not know that there are a lot of short bus riders on CAM.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 3:42 pm 
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RandyB wrote:
kwadzilla wrote:
tilly wrote:
Generally the guys and gals around CAM are a decent bunch, there's no doubt about it. However, as you can probably tell, only a small bunch are really into the effort of bringing their system up a couple notches with diligent speaker placement and modest or heavy room treatment while using computer software and a mic to help.

CAM is not like GearSlutz or diyaudio where there are endless discussions on acoustics and how to get a flat response. We are a gear-centric community; more willing to spend and brag about buying an X thousand dollar amps because it gets validated here; unwilling to get into acoustics because their significant other won't allow them to put treatments and restrict them to having the speakers up against the wall.

What I can't wrap my head around is the phrase "my system is in the living room so room treatments are out." If you can put art or framed pictures on the wall, then you should look into absorbers that have a printed fabric which has the WAF.


I think this is an interesting comment. Lots of talk about people preferring 'neutral', 'accurate', 'uncoloured' sound or claiming they get a 'flat down to 20 hz' response in room, or wanting to listen to music 'how the artist intended it to sound'. The reality is, without investing in some sort of sound measurement equipment (which is very reasonably priced these days), people have no idea of what the sound they prefer actually measures like. Without some sort of sonic measuring we have no idea how specifically changes such as room treatments, speaker or listening chair placement has on the final sound or what sonic tradeoffs we may be making when we imagine we have only made sonic gains.

What people are really saying is that they like the sound of certain equipment in their room and how it plays with other gear they own. And there is nothing wrong with personal preference, but specific claims beyond 'I like this sound' (such as those referring to things such as 'neutrality' or 'accuracy') made by people with 'golden ears' in their 50's and 60's without actual measurements are meaningless and highly subjective.

I feel many people, especially those claiming to be audiophiles, prefer a sound that is somewhat coloured and not actually 'flat'. They may like certain 'house sounds' and not necessarily 'flat'. Looking solely at a frequency response graph doesn't tell you everything about the sound you like, but is still educational and helps get to the 'why' you prefer certain equipment over another and can help you choose gear that may have properties that interact better with your room. Maybe it doesn't really explain the 'why' as much as it does 'what' you actually are preferring and in what way it differs over something else.

Perhaps even a hearing test isn't a bad idea either. Specifically knowing where our ears are lacking may be another piece of the puzzle to getting things 'right' (whatever that may be).


+1. Very good post and I agree 100%


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