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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:47 pm
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
I have two systems, one at home in our theatre room and one at our weekend place, which is an old stone farmhouse. The system at home is far better quality than the one at the farm, which is made up of my old castoffs. Yet...I have been listening to this farm system today and it sounds great in the room it is in, which is fairly large, with 11 foot ceilings. It is just a regular living room with no acoustic treatments. Big carpet, plush seating but some big windows and just a bit of art on he walls. In several respects it does things better than the home system and overall, it is more satisfyingly lively.

The home system by comparison sounds flat and lacks "sparkle". Is it possible that the theatre room is too "dead" for two-channel music and if so, how can it be made more lively?

The theatre room has low ceilings (6'4") and is half the volume of the farm room. It is double-drywalled and acoustically insulated with very thick shag broadloom. The walls are bare.

Almost all acoustics discussions talk about how to tame a room, to reduce reflections. How does one go about livening up a room?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:39 pm
Posts: 1684
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
So your room absorbs too much highs and mids? That's the usual effect of 'over treating'. Maybe place framed movie posters between reflection points on side walls (not at reflection points). This way you will have more hard surfaces. Any way to get rid of shag carpet? Maybe replace it by thinner type of carpet?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:09 pm
Posts: 1239
Location: Sherbrooke, QC, CA
You simply are more relaxed on weekends and in the country. Relax, enjoy the castoffs, higher priced equipment is a source of anxiety. The proof of that can be found any day here and on similar sites. Strange thing is you make no mention of any differences in the city music vs. the country music you listen to, oh and I don't mean Country Music.

The major difference in ceiling height would make the two rooms radically different one from the other. The volume is that much larger in the room with a high ceiling so that a normal array of furniture would not affect the acoustics that much. OTH, it requires much fewer couches and stuffed armchairs and the like to fill up the volume of that low room and deaden the acoustics.

To quote those well known philosophers, The Rolling Stones: "You gotta to move".


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:47 pm
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
When I got back home I played around with speaker and seating placement but didn't add or remove anything to the room. In the end I moved my seating position a mere 8" forward and there is a surprising improvement in the "liveliness" of the sound. Punchier bass and the higher frequencies on piano seems more sustained. I am now about four feet from the back wall and 8 feet from the speakers which seems to do the trick.

Still surprised by how food the farm setup sounds. Must just have gotten a bit lucky because there wasn't a lot of thought put into it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Location: Kingston, ON, CA
Tangram wrote:
I have two systems, one at home in our theatre room and one at our weekend place, which is an old stone farmhouse. The system at home is far better quality than the one at the farm, which is made up of my old castoffs. Yet...I have been listening to this farm system today and it sounds great in the room it is in, which is fairly large, with 11 foot ceilings. It is just a regular living room with no acoustic treatments. Big carpet, plush seating but some big windows and just a bit of art on he walls. In several respects it does things better than the home system and overall, it is more satisfyingly lively.

The home system by comparison sounds flat and lacks "sparkle". Is it possible that the theatre room is too "dead" for two-channel music and if so, how can it be made more lively?

The theatre room has low ceilings (6'4") and is half the volume of the farm room. It is double-drywalled and acoustically insulated with very thick shag broadloom. The walls are bare.

Almost all acoustics discussions talk about how to tame a room, to reduce reflections. How does one go about livening up a room?


Is the old farmhouse wall finishing slat-wood, and horsehair plaster, over the stone? Modern drywall is absolute crap for acoustics. The horsehair plaster is far far better for acoustics, in the vast majority of cases. Raw limestone is also far better than drywall. Even bare cement is far better than drywall.

The floor covering combined with seating... is probably sucking out all the mids, making for a dead room with a big boom overhang. Then the harsh reflection of the bare walls makes another ugly contribution. Distributed absorption and reflection is the way to go, but surround sound has slightly different requirements than that of 2 channel audio.

(my business partner has done the acoustics for probably 60 major film productions/sets, and successfully met challenges ('impossible' installs) that the best acoustics firms in the world would not touch. I picked up some stuff from him, over the years)

_________________
(Ken Hotte, of) Teo Audio


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:27 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:47 pm
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Location: Oakville, ON, CA
Teo Audio wrote:
Tangram wrote:
I have two systems, one at home in our theatre room and one at our weekend place, which is an old stone farmhouse. The system at home is far better quality than the one at the farm, which is made up of my old castoffs. Yet...I have been listening to this farm system today and it sounds great in the room it is in, which is fairly large, with 11 foot ceilings. It is just a regular living room with no acoustic treatments. Big carpet, plush seating but some big windows and just a bit of art on he walls. In several respects it does things better than the home system and overall, it is more satisfyingly lively.

The home system by comparison sounds flat and lacks "sparkle". Is it possible that the theatre room is too "dead" for two-channel music and if so, how can it be made more lively?

The theatre room has low ceilings (6'4") and is half the volume of the farm room. It is double-drywalled and acoustically insulated with very thick shag broadloom. The walls are bare.

Almost all acoustics discussions talk about how to tame a room, to reduce reflections. How does one go about livening up a room?


Is the old farmhouse wall finishing slat-wood, and horsehair plaster, over the stone? Modern drywall is absolute crap for acoustics. The horsehair plaster is far far better for acoustics, in the vast majority of cases. Raw limestone is also far better than drywall. Even bare cement is far better than drywall.

The floor covering combined with seating... is probably sucking out all the mids, making for a dead room with a big boom overhang. Then the harsh reflection of the bare walls makes another ugly contribution. Distributed absorption and reflection is the way to go, but surround sound has slightly different requirements than that of 2 channel audio.

(my business partner has done the acoustics for probably 60 major film productions/sets, and successfully met challenges ('impossible' installs) that the best acoustics firms in the world would not touch. I picked up some stuff from him, over the years)


Thanks everybody for your comments. Teo, this room was reno'd back to the stone so it is drywalled. Original plank flooring mostly covered by a large area rug.

When I embarked on this journey I thought that the HT room would be ideal for my 2.1 channel system I was building. Now I am second guessing this approach and may try another room in the house. In any case, I am stuck with a max ceiling height of 8'. Maybe I will need to put everything in the garage!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:35 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Carp, near Ottawa, ON, CA
I'm in the minority that prefers untreated rooms. My 2 channel system is in a 14x35 ft family-kitchen area with hardwood flooring, no rugs and very little soft furnishings and I love the natural ambience that the room provides. Sure, most speakers sound bright, but that's not a problem with the special setup that I use.

In contrast, my basement theater room, approx. 35 x 20 ft is acoustically dead and music sounds dull and lifeless in it. Its OK for movies though, due to the surround sound.


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