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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:12 am
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Location: Rawdon, QC, CA
As I mentioned in an earlier post regarding new year's audio resolutions, I've decided to undertake room treatment. I've scoured the internet and forums and am ready to embark on this path. My room is a garage which I've converted into a drawing studio and listening room, dimensions are: 11' W x 18'L x 10 ' H,, set up on the short wall, walls are 1/2" plywood, floor is concrete with persian area rug. My speakers are Klipsch Lascalas with recapped AA network crossovers, Trends TA10.1 amp, Oppo 981H DVD for CDs, and Schiit Modi Dac for Spotify from 27" 2010 iMac. I've not yet finished determining the speaker placement nor listening distance as I suspect the room's dimensions are creating some nasty nodes and are making it quite difficult for me to accurately place the listening area with such wildly fluctuating bass response. I've ran some tones from 60 - 150hz and walked around the room and was astounded by some of the bumps and cancellations that are present, notably around 70hz which is totally neutralized around where I suspected my listening position would be.

Having said all of that, I've experimented and enjoyed a couple of setups. I like to listen at levels which, when I close my eyes, make me believe I'm present with the group, so I imagine quite loud. I have to feel it in body as well as my ears, so to speak. I feel I should mention that even with such levels of volume I can listen for hours without feeling any sort of fatigue. I don't own an SPL meter so I can't give any more details than that. This system, as it is today, is capable of some breathtaking dynamics (it helps that the room, for the first time in my life, is very silent and totally separate from the house therefor devoid of all fridges and other noisy appliances, has solid and focused imaging and has what I feel is either very low distortion or great timbre or both. Where I find it lacking is the size of the soundstage, width more so than depth for now, I realize that this has a lot to do with speaker placement but I suspect first reflection absorbers ought help this out. Bass extension... now the Lascalas are not know for their sub bass, in fact the frequency response always cited is something like 53hz - 17khz (from memory), but in practice I feel it's a little lower than that, I can clearly hear tones down to 40hz in my room, they may not be loud but they clearly are present. I will eventually address the lower bass with some mods that I've read about over on the Klipsch forums and perhaps, eventually a couple of subs. I would also like for the system to be more enjoyable at lower volumes, which for now I find non-engaging and distant, though this might have more to do with my listening habits previously mentioned... I like realistic volume and again, for the first time in my life, I can indulge myself without bothering the family in the least.

So my plan of attack is of the "first do no harm" type. I want to build some broadband absorbers for the first reflections, then install some form of basstraps, either corner panels or superchunks. I've sourced 3 unopened bags of Roxul Comfortboard 80, 3'x4' x 2", so 9 panels in all. What I would like to know is how to best use these panels? They were, after all, very difficult to find where I live. If I cut them in half, I could make 2' x 3' panels and double them up to 4" then place four of them along the sidewalls. I could also just double up full sheets for 4" 3' x 4' panels and have one on each sidewall. From what I've gathered I would be well served to have some behind the speakers as well.

I'm attempting to do this on the cheap, so hiring an acoustician is out of the question. I'm willing to learn as much as I can and to cast aside any preconceived audiophile knowledge in favour of greater room treatment, I also do not exclude eventually measuring the room with more sophisticated tools to help me out on the way.

As a side note, while typing this message I took delivery of the said packages of Comfortboard after having spent the better part of the last couple of weeks trying to find some. Hell I must've called two dozen different stores and suppliers, even spoke with Roxul representatives themselves without avail. I needed to order an entire palette. I decided to try my luck with Kijiji and wouldn't you know it! I found a woman selling some leftovers from a renovation project who lives in a town about 20mins away from my place. She even offered to deliver them because she goes bowling in our town once a week. The Kijiji gods have been kind with me before, but this is something else! I could've negotiated more aggressively but figured 150$ without taxes and delivered to my door was more than reasonable.
dna


Last edited by Precautious D on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:39 am 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 7:54 am
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
Precautious D wrote:
I'm attempting to do this on the cheap, so hiring an acoustician is out of the question. I'm willing to learn as much as I can and to cast aside any preconceived audiophile knowledge in favour of greater room treatment, I also do not exclude eventually measuring the room with more sophisticated tools to help me out on the way.

You should really start measuring now, before spending money.

This is s a great inexpensive measurement rig:
http://solen.ca/products/electronics/te ... icrophone/

Use it with the free software:
https://www.roomeqwizard.com/

Once you obtain the measurements you can then figure out what you need to address.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:12 am
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Location: Rawdon, QC, CA
For some reason I thought the needed measurement rig was much more expensive than that... however it does seem like a lot of money for something that I will likely only use during setup. Is there anyway of renting one of these, or does someone in/around Montreal feel like renting one out to me? Like I mentioned in my message, I anticipated doing this one way or another, and it seems logical in retrospect to do it before applying any sort of treatment.
dna


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:10 am 
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The microphones on an iPhone are pretty darn good above 70Hz. There are free programs. That said, keep in mind that you are also measuring your speakers. Unless you are planning on keeping them forever, any changes you make to the room will be tied largely to those speakers. Move the speakers a few feet and see how drastically your bass measurements change too... Placement can do leagues more for bass than any bass trap.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:12 am
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Location: Rawdon, QC, CA
planetofsound wrote:
The microphones on an iPhone are pretty darn good above 70Hz. There are free programs. That said, keep in mind that you are also measuring your speakers. Unless you are planning on keeping them forever, any changes you make to the room will be tied largely to those speakers. Move the speakers a few feet and see how drastically your bass measurements change too... Placement can do leagues more for bass than any bass trap.


Thanks for the reply, I really value your opinion as one of the finest systems I've had the pleasure of listening to was in one of your rooms setup at the Montreal Audio festival in 2008(?), I can't remember the components exactly, though I do know the speakers were Harbeths. I had spent the day listening to different setups and kept coming back to your room. Someone eventually gave me a Harbeth t-shirt which I still proudly wear to this day.

I was led to believe from Jim Smith's book that the listening distance had more of an impact on bass response than speaker placement, and can confirm that there is an area where tones from 40 - 80hz are essentially missing regardless of speaker placement. Needless to say I've ruled that area out for my listening position. For now, my speakers are about 7' from tweeter to tweeter and I'm listening in a near-field type setup, speakers toed-in to fire a foot behind me. Also, I intend on keeping the speakers as I know the sky can be the limit with them. I have Scott 299b integrated which was completely rebuilt by NOSvalves which will likely replace the Trends when I'll have dealt with the room a little more, though I do think the Trends is fully capable of producing an engaging experience.
dna


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:12 am
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Location: Rawdon, QC, CA
So I've purchased the lumber and burlap to make my panels. I haven't gotten much feedback inasmuch size suggestions (as per my original post's main question) so I've decided to go with double sheets of the 3'x4' Comfortboard, so 4" thick on each sidewall. My listening area as of now is only about 8 feet away from the tweeters, which are roughly 7 feet apart. I'll also put a couple behind the speakers and make one 3' x 4', 2" thick cloud for the ceiling reflection.

As a side note, I've downloaded an SPL meter for the iPad and have measured my approximate listening volume and it looks as though, even when listening quite loudly, it maxes out at 87 dbs from my listening chair, and averages around 83 dbs or so. My room without anything turned on is under 39 dbs, which I figure is pretty good, though I can't testify to the apps' preciseness. I'll likely post pictures as these things go up.
dna


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