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Help with room treatment and speaker placement

Mogami Cables

scipath

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I have a pair of Polk Rti A3 and a Polk hts 10 subwoofer. It is paired with a Norge 2060 Stereo amplifier. These are installed in my living room.
They are my first bookshelf speakers, and while they sound better than anything I have owned before, they don't sound as good as they did in the store demo in a completely treated room. I guess the trouble is the acoustics of my room. The bass gets boomy for some notes and has a reverb, in the sense that if i stop playing a track, the bass lingers for a second.This happens even if I turn off the subwoofer. There is reverb in general, noticeable for vocal frequencies too.
The living room right now is mostly unfurnished, except for a chair and a table. I have added photos and a (hand-drawn floor plan ).
Eventually, the TV and amp etc will be place on a table, and there will be a couch. The cot and all the stuff in the back corner will be removed.
room2.jpg
room2.jpg Plan.jpg
I am wondering if there are some simple things that I could do that could make an improvement to the sound.
I have read about the following things
1. Putting a carpet between speakers and listening position. Don't want to carpet the whole floor due to dust issues.
2. Getting heavier drapes.
3. Installing corner bass traps: can do this to only two of four bottom corners as the other corners are occupied.
4. putting tapestries on walls.
5. absorbers and reflectors on walls.

However, I do not want to convert my living room into a studio, as aesthetics are also an issue. So which of these would have the most impact? Are there any other simple things I could add, like specific kinds of furniture that help with the acoustics?
As you may have noticed, I am not savvy with audiophile lingo, but I hope I conveyed my issue clearly.
Thanks.
 

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elangoas

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I have a pair of Polk Rti A3 and a Polk hts 10 subwoofer. It is paired with a Norge 2060 Stereo amplifier. These are installed in my living room.
They are my first bookshelf speakers, and while they sound better than anything I have owned before, they don't sound as good as they did in the store demo in a completely treated room. I guess the trouble is the acoustics of my room. The bass gets boomy for some notes and has a reverb, in the sense that if i stop playing a track, the bass lingers for a second.This happens even if I turn off the subwoofer. There is reverb in general, noticeable for vocal frequencies too.

I don't have first hand experience w.r.t room treatment, though have planned to treat my room sooner..

How have you managed the subwoofer crossover to speaker in this arrangement?..

There would be some dominant room modes w.r.t your room dimensions of 20 x 14ft and more troublesome treating bass frequencies less than 80Hz, because of the thickness of the absorber needed.. But, you can use absorber to reduce the room modes above that freq..

Keeping the subwoofer in between the speakers (or) in middle of the room width could help reduce some modes..

If you can move the subwoofer in to the room, then you can try positioning it near your listening position to check for improvement..
 

scipath

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I don't have first hand experience w.r.t room treatment, though have planned to treat my room sooner..

How have you managed the subwoofer crossover to speaker in this arrangement?..

There would be some dominant room modes w.r.t your room dimensions of 20 x 14ft and more troublesome treating bass frequencies less than 80Hz, because of the thickness of the absorber needed.. But, you can use absorber to reduce the room modes above that freq..

Keeping the subwoofer in between the speakers (or) in middle of the room width could help reduce some modes..

If you can move the subwoofer in to the room, then you can try positioning it near your listening position to check for improvement..

For the subwoofer position, I did the subwoofer crawl and the best sounding was where I currently placed it, as seen in the picture. However I only looked at locations near and behind the speakers, and not too close to the listening position.
I have connected both the speakers and sub directly to the amplifier, the latter to the line out. I don't have a receiver or a crossover. There is a low pass filter on the sub which I have set to 60 Hz, again because that was what sounded best to me in the previous room.
I did a frequency sweep in the bass frequencies and could hear a huge peak at exactly 60 Hz. It sounds more than twice as loud as the other frequencies.
I had purchased the sub for my previous listening room, which was larger and L shaped and had a lot of furniture in it. There the bass from the speakers alone felt lacking. In this room, the speakers alone seem to give out enough bass. Also when I demoed the sub along with the speakers at the store, they sounded amazing to me.
 

elangoas

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For the subwoofer position, I did the subwoofer crawl and the best sounding was where I currently placed it, as seen in the picture. However I only looked at locations near and behind the speakers, and not too close to the listening position.
I have connected both the speakers and sub directly to the amplifier, the latter to the line out. I don't have a receiver or a crossover. There is a low pass filter on the sub which I have set to 60 Hz, again because that was what sounded best to me in the previous room.

With this scenario, there is every possibility that both the speaker & subwoofer are duplicating some of the frequencies.. If your subwoofer has speaker level outputs, then connecting them to speaker will give you some control over crossover and will stop duplicating the bass..

I did a frequency sweep in the bass frequencies and could hear a huge peak at exactly 60 Hz. It sounds more than twice as loud as the other frequencies.

Right.. According to your room dimension.. 20 (L) x 14 (W) x 10 (H) ft height (assuming), you have two room resonance very close to each other {57Hz due to room length & 59Hz due to room height}, this could be the reason why the sweep sounds twice as louder as other freq..

My room too has a strong peak at 60Hz, due to room height (9.7 ft)..

I had purchased the sub for my previous listening room, which was larger and L shaped and had a lot of furniture in it. There the bass from the speakers alone felt lacking. In this room, the speakers alone seem to give out enough bass. Also when I demoed the sub along with the speakers at the store, they sounded amazing to me.

The sub would have been placed at the ideal location in the store, and hence you felt it was good..
 

scipath

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With this scenario, there is every possibility that both the speaker & subwoofer are duplicating some of the frequencies.. If your subwoofer has speaker level outputs, then connecting them to speaker will give you some control over crossover and will stop duplicating the bass..



Right.. According to your room dimension.. 20 (L) x 14 (W) x 10 (H) ft height (assuming), you have two room resonance very close to each other {57Hz due to room length & 59Hz due to room height}, this could be the reason why the sweep sounds twice as louder as other freq..

My room too has a strong peak at 60Hz, due to room height (9.7 ft)..



The sub would have been placed at the ideal location in the store, and hence you felt it was good..
Thanks.
Do you think any of the treatments I mentioned in the original post would make much of a difference. Even if I can't get rid if the room modes, any improvement to the reverb possible? Will a carpet help?
 

elangoas

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Thanks.
Do you think any of the treatments I mentioned in the original post would make much of a difference. Even if I can't get rid if the room modes, any improvement to the reverb possible? Will a carpet help?

From my very limited experience with room acoustics, carpet will not help for issues with bass.. Carpet might help absorb some high freq, but from issues you have described that doesn't seem to be an issue in your room.. Any thinner material wouldn't be of any help too due to below requirement..

Bass traps have to be thick, really thick - 1/4th thickness of the target frequencies wavelength..

For ex, if you plan to contain the 60Hz freq, the full wavelength of that freq is 18ft.. 1/4th wavelength would be 4.5 ft.. So 1/4th thickness of the trap needs to be 4.5ft to fully contain it, which i think is practically not possible in a room..

Broadband absorption is recommended to tame, bass issues in the room.. A lower density fibre (higher air flow), more thicker panel with more (to the extent possible) surface area covered should tame the bass issues in the room..
 

sound_cycle

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1. Putting a carpet between speakers and listening position. Don't want to carpet the whole floor due to dust issues.
2. Getting heavier drapes.
3. Installing corner bass traps: can do this to only two of four bottom corners as the other corners are occupied.
4. putting tapestries on walls.
5. absorbers and reflectors on walls.

However, I do not want to convert my living room into a studio, as aesthetics are also an issue. So which of these would have the most impact? Are

Nice room :)

5 is the one which will make a real difference. You don't not need too much. I've recently rediscovered my love for white royale walls and lots of light. But that does not play well with the chase for SQ and imaging. I have not fixed my rockwool panels. They are in place temporarily. I have discovered melamine foam which is expen$ive but effective. I have about 8 sq ft of these and another of foam shaped into a diffuser. The plan is to use these when listening and shove it behind the telly or something at other times.

There should be some way to make these part of the décor and the enjoy music in a room which does not look like a padded cell.

Drapes, carpet, tapestries will look pretty and do nothing . Hide melamine foam (if the tapestries are acoustically transparent) and yes. I seem to have no significant reflection from the floor, unless I interpreted my measurements wrongly. I don't have a rug or carpet. Bass traps will make your room look like a studio. They need to be large for lower frequencies.. I am researching and trying to figure tube traps which are hopefully less ugly and use up less space.

ciao
gr
 

scipath

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Messages
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Location
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Nice room :)

5 is the one which will make a real difference. You don't not need too much. I've recently rediscovered my love for white royale walls and lots of light. But that does not play well with the chase for SQ and imaging. I have not fixed my rockwool panels. They are in place temporarily. I have discovered melamine foam which is expen$ive but effective. I have about 8 sq ft of these and another of foam shaped into a diffuser. The plan is to use these when listening and shove it behind the telly or something at other times.

There should be some way to make these part of the décor and the enjoy music in a room which does not look like a padded cell.

Drapes, carpet, tapestries will look pretty and do nothing . Hide melamine foam (if the tapestries are acoustically transparent) and yes. I seem to have no significant reflection from the floor, unless I interpreted my measurements wrongly. I don't have a rug or carpet. Bass traps will make your room look like a studio. They need to be large for lower frequencies.. I am researching and trying to figure tube traps which are hopefully less ugly and use up less space.

ciao
gr

Thanks a lot. I will look into melamine foam. Will couches help or hurt? I am comfortable on the cloth chair, but if couches help with sound quality in any way, I will get one.
 

sound_cycle

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Thanks a lot. I will look into melamine foam. Will couches help or hurt? I am comfortable on the cloth chair, but if couches help with sound quality in any way, I will get one.
The foam / cushions does help reduce the amount of sound bouncing around in your room.
ciao
gr
 

prateekatasniya

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Setup your subwoofer properly.

Get a recliner or a single seater sofa type chair. This will make night and day difference in the bass.

Mildly treat the room.

Try adding EQ to your system like minidsp.

Add another subwoofer ( make sure that even the second sub can be placed strategically otherwise it will be useless and might do more harm than good.)
 

scipath

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Messages
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Location
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Setup your subwoofer properly.

Get a recliner or a single seater sofa type chair. This will make night and day difference in the bass.

Mildly treat the room.

Try adding EQ to your system like minidsp.

Add another subwoofer ( make sure that even the second sub can be placed strategically otherwise it will be useless and might do more harm than good.)

Thanks a lot! I looked into minidsp and it looks like it has everything I need. Parametric eq, crossover, room correction etc. I see there are two options, minidsp and minidsp hd. The hd one has digital optical input. Now if I use ordinary one without digital input, then my FIIO DAC converts digital to analog already. Now the DSP has to convert the analog to digital then after DSPing back to analog again. Does this effect the sound in any way?Minidsp HD costs twice as much as the regular one. Does it have any advantage over the ordinary minidsp (Other than digital input)?
 

prateekatasniya

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Thanks a lot! I looked into minidsp and it looks like it has everything I need. Parametric eq, crossover, room correction etc. I see there are two options, minidsp and minidsp hd. The hd one has digital optical input. Now if I use ordinary one without digital input, then my FIIO DAC converts digital to analog already. Now the DSP has to convert the analog to digital then after DSPing back to analog again. Does this effect the sound in any way?Minidsp HD costs twice as much as the regular one. Does it have any advantage over the ordinary minidsp (Other than digital input)?
Even I haven't tried that.. But I feel taming those peaks is more important.. slight deterioration in sound quality is the price we pay..
I am not sure about the reduction in sound quality.
 

elangoas

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I looked into minidsp and it looks like it has everything I need. Parametric eq, crossover, room correction etc. I see there are two options, minidsp and minidsp hd.

Two things to your approach.. 1) Get a measurement microphone like UMIK-1 (or) equivalent to assess the issue at your listening position and then approach solution accordingly..

2) While i don't know abt Mini DSP product offerings and cost associated with it, you may consider any AVR (used) that has Audyssey EQ built in to replace your stereo amplifier.. Used AVR as it is inexpensive route, say inside 15K easily.. You would get more control with speakers & subwoofers in the chain..

An AVR with Audyssey Multi EQ XT is good, but if you can get your hands on an AVR with Audyssey Mutli EQ XT32, the better as it in-built EQ for dual subs.. Audyssey is said to tame the peaks..
 
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