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  1. #1
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    Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Since yesterday afternoon or so, I've been actively researching something I've never bothered with before, treating my room which is said to be more effective than swapping equipment, which I can completely understand.

    Naturally, the first company I looked at is GIK Acoustics. I was prepared to be shocked at the prices of the various panels and such, and I was, but shocked in a different way... Shocked at how affordable their products are! Granted, they're not bargain basement cheap, but they're certainly not expensive either. Think of them price-wise to a pair of decent interconnect upgrades, and more than likely much larger sound improvements than those new interconnects.

    So anyway, after looking around on GIK's site, I went ahead and filled out their "Free Advice" form and submitted it with a set of pictures of my current 11.5' x 15.5' x 8' room setup. One thing I forgot to mention on that form was the fact that this is an old house, so all of the walls and ceiling are plaster, which obviously is harder than regular drywall. But I did mention the wood floors and the fact that I put down a 6' x 8' shag area rug to help reduce/eliminate those first reflections off of the floor, which it did quite well. That and that I have IsoAcoustic ISO-200 subwoofer isolators under the subs which definitely helped clean and tighten up the bass.

    I run open baffle loudspeakers (GR Research X-Statik's) and dual subs. Surprisingly, everything sounds pretty darn good, especially after adding the area rug, but there's still just that last 10% that I want to chase down. I still have minor imaging, sound staging and phasing issues which I can hear as I move a foot or so forwards or backwards in my listening position. Some of it sounds a little bit like out of phase echo. And as for bass, I sit in a bit of a null. It's a little quieter and weaker where I sit, but move a foot forwards or backwards, the bass gets a little stronger and possibly a little deeper, but not boomy.

    Again, I've never dealt with room treatments before, but one thing I picked up on pretty quickly is that behind the speakers, I would want absorption/diffusive panels to still get the benefits of the rear wave of the open baffle loudspeakers. But other than that, I'll leave that up to the ones in the know.

    Here's the pictures that I submitted...









    Charles
    Preamp | Amplifiers: Schiit Freya + | Schiit Mani | Schiit Aegir x 2
    Analog Sources: Music Hall MMF-7.3 w/ Ortofon 2M Bronze
    DAC | Digital Sources:
    Schiit Bifrost 2 Multibit | Raspberry Pi 4 | Panasonic SV-3700
    Speakers: GR Research X-Statik | Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    Power Conditioning: Blue Circle Audio | APC
    Cables:
    Audioquest | Wireworld | Pangea Audio | Mojo Audio

  2. #2
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Some GIK's at your first reflection points will help a lot, in my room the curtains behind the speakers (ceiling to floor) did a lot of good.
    But if you are sitting in a null, I don't think any panels will help there, you will have to move the subs and speakers around. (or change the listening position)

    Will be interesting to see what GIK replies back with.
    Aavik U-300, YG Acoustics Hailey, Aurender N10, dCS Rossini, Oppo BDP103D (audiopraise board), Ansuz Mainz 8 D2

  3. #3
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by imprezap2 View Post
    Some GIK's at your first reflection points will help a lot, in my room the curtains behind the speakers (ceiling to floor) did a lot of good.
    But if you are sitting in a null, I don't think any panels will help there, you will have to move the subs and speakers around. (or change the listening position)

    Will be interesting to see what GIK replies back with.
    If referring to the 1st reflection points to the sides of the speakers, I don't think anything can be done there as the 1st point for the left channel is the door opening, then 1st & 2nd on the right side is on the window.

    As for behind the speakers, since they are open baffle (and I plan on upgrading to fully open baffle in the somewhat near future), I'll have to go with something in the lines of GIK Impressions line for both absorption and diffusion.

    After moving the subs a little more and adding the mains to the mix, the bass null isn't really an issue anymore honestly. When I had the subs tucked in the corners and running the Klipsch Heresy III's, the null was pretty bad. Moving the subs and changing to the current speakers made a 95% improvement. So really, the bass null is a non-issue I suppose now.

    But I still get a little bit of an out of phase sounding echo in the lower midrange and a slight narrowing of the sound stage. If I move about a foot forwards or backwards, those issues somewhat go away.
    Charles
    Preamp | Amplifiers: Schiit Freya + | Schiit Mani | Schiit Aegir x 2
    Analog Sources: Music Hall MMF-7.3 w/ Ortofon 2M Bronze
    DAC | Digital Sources:
    Schiit Bifrost 2 Multibit | Raspberry Pi 4 | Panasonic SV-3700
    Speakers: GR Research X-Statik | Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    Power Conditioning: Blue Circle Audio | APC
    Cables:
    Audioquest | Wireworld | Pangea Audio | Mojo Audio

  4. #4
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Rooms with openings can be addressed with treatments mounted on stands.

    Stillpoints makes the Aperature II 22” x 22”that mounts on optional stands - they are more expensive, but built nice and work bar none - you would need 3.

    Regardless treatments will clean up your sound in an amazing way!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  5. #5
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    i like the cozy look of your room; a nice listening space for sure.

    first off; some rooms sound great as they are, and i always hesitate to offer advice based on pictures. no way for me to really know what is happening for sure. my first room was 18' x 12' x 11.5' so i do have a feel for your space and a hifi system.

    that said; 3 ideas come to my mind looking at the pictures.

    1--you sit in the far-field with dynamic cone speakers. meaning you sit beyond the equilateral triangle of tweeter to tweeter, and tweeter to listening position. so based on that reflected sound will be dominant compared to direct sound from your speakers. to avoid serious smearing from first reflections the side walls need treatment. i know you already realize this. but part of this is a consideration to sitting closer to your speakers to remove a degree of reflections from the equation. not sure that works in your living situation but i would recommend experimenting with that. it cost zero to pull a chair up closer and try it.

    2--and 8 foot ceiling and far field listening combined means your ceiling is really involved in what you hear. it's dominant. it's not trivial to experiment with attaching stuff to a ceiling, but you should at least try. again, sitting closer would significantly reduce this issue too.

    3--the four corners of your room at your ceiling would likely be candidates for something simple to smooth the bass. those areas are typically nasty spots for bass build up and little corner traps might be easy to install and you could choose a fabric that matched your walls.

    lastly a comment about your vintage house and walls. typically the music likes wood floors and heavy vintage walls. they work better than sheetrock for room boundaries.

    good luck....

  6. #6

    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Based on my observation, acoustic treatment can be a great way to improve your sound at a fraction of cost of comparable effects from new equipment. This is of course, if your listening space has some room effects.

    In my case the room had too much echo, which I was able to successfully amend.

    Looking forward to seeing what you conclude.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

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  7. #7
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i like the cozy look of your room; a nice listening space for sure.

    first off; some rooms sound great as they are, and i always hesitate to offer advice based on pictures. no way for me to really know what is happening for sure. my first room was 18' x 12' x 11.5' so i do have a feel for your space and a hifi system.

    that said; 3 ideas come to my mind looking at the pictures.

    1--you sit in the far-field with dynamic cone speakers. meaning you sit beyond the equilateral triangle of tweeter to tweeter, and tweeter to listening position. so based on that reflected sound will be dominant compared to direct sound from your speakers. to avoid serious smearing from first reflections the side walls need treatment. i know you already realize this. but part of this is a consideration to sitting closer to your speakers to remove a degree of reflections from the equation. not sure that works in your living situation but i would recommend experimenting with that. it cost zero to pull a chair up closer and try it.

    2--and 8 foot ceiling and far field listening combined means your ceiling is really involved in what you hear. it's dominant. it's not trivial to experiment with attaching stuff to a ceiling, but you should at least try. again, sitting closer would significantly reduce this issue too.

    3--the four corners of your room at your ceiling would likely be candidates for something simple to smooth the bass. those areas are typically nasty spots for bass build up and little corner traps might be easy to install and you could choose a fabric that matched your walls.

    lastly a comment about your vintage house and walls. typically the music likes wood floors and heavy vintage walls. they work better than sheetrock for room boundaries.

    good luck....
    Thank you for the kind words. I certainly enjoy listening to music in this room. It's by far the best room I've had for a system.

    1) Actually, tweeter center to center is 7' 3", and tweeter to ear distance is 7' 7", so not too far off from an equilateral triangle. I don't think that would constitute as being in the far-field. The extreme wide angle lens on my phone just makes it look like the room is longer and that I sit further back, but that's not the case at all. And the speakers are toed in quite a bit. Not directly at me, but more towards me than straight ahead. Their projected paths probably cross about 8' behind me. And keep in mind, these are open baffle, so they have less side interference than a standard "box" loudspeaker.

    2) I'm sure the ceiling plays a pretty good roll in reflections, and I do plan on addressing it at some point. James from GIK recommends using twelve 244 panels everywhere, but those panels are over 5" thick, and this is a small room. Those panels would only make this room look smaller, and on the ceiling would make the room look much shorter as well, especially when you add in the 4" cloud mounting brackets. That would make my 8' ceiling essentially into a 7' 3" ceiling. Sure it would work and wouldn't be in anyone's way, but it would just make the room look like a closet at that point.

    Also, judging from James' suggestion on twelve of these 244 panels leads me to believe that he didn't even look at the photos I submitted (same ones that are in this thread). Trying to fit twelve of those thick 24" x 48" 244 panels in this room would be ridiculous not to mention there's not even enough wall space for them. If he did look at the photos, then he totally disregarded the fact that there's a door on three walls and a giant window that takes up three-quarters of the other wall. Not to mention that everything that he wrote about I already know. So I don't know what to take if anything from his email and "recommendations" for my room.

    3) Yes, the corners and bass traps... What I'm thinking of doing is starting here first. In the corners behind the speakers, place two pair of free standing Impressions tri-angle bass traps from floor to ceiling. Try that out first and expand from there.

    And yes, this old house is built like a brick $_ _ _ house. LOL Probably why this room/system sounds so good already. And these inexpensive subs have never sounded this good in any room. I'm really impressed with their performance! I've had these things for over 10 years and they NEVER impressed until now. Again, probably has a lot to do with the walls and floor in this room.
    Charles
    Preamp | Amplifiers: Schiit Freya + | Schiit Mani | Schiit Aegir x 2
    Analog Sources: Music Hall MMF-7.3 w/ Ortofon 2M Bronze
    DAC | Digital Sources:
    Schiit Bifrost 2 Multibit | Raspberry Pi 4 | Panasonic SV-3700
    Speakers: GR Research X-Statik | Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    Power Conditioning: Blue Circle Audio | APC
    Cables:
    Audioquest | Wireworld | Pangea Audio | Mojo Audio

  8. #8
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    I'm no expert but to get an accurate reading of what your room is doing, I would get a reading from a 20 Hz. – 20,000 Hz sine wave which will tell you the problems your room has with highs and lows.

    To get an accurate reading it is best to use 'Room EQ Wizard'.

    I tried using it about a year ago but couldn't get it to work.

    I then tried a less accurate method but it still gives you an idea of where your room has problems: I downloaded 'Spectroid' from Google Play for my mobile, found a sine wave online and played it through my hi-fi speakers.

    You can give this information to Gik which will give them an even better understanding on how to help you.
    Boenicke Audio W11 Speakers with SwingBase; MFA Baby Reference V2 Passive Preamp; Lumin T2; Nord One SE UP NC500DM Stereo; Roksan Caspian CD Player; SRM Arezzo Turntable; Ortofon 2M Blue; Rothwell Rialto; Synology DS215j; Van Damme Blue series/Mark Grant

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  9. #9
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Any update on this?
    Boenicke Audio W11 Speakers with SwingBase; MFA Baby Reference V2 Passive Preamp; Lumin T2; Nord One SE UP NC500DM Stereo; Roksan Caspian CD Player; SRM Arezzo Turntable; Ortofon 2M Blue; Rothwell Rialto; Synology DS215j; Van Damme Blue series/Mark Grant

    ATMOS/DTS X 5.1.4: Sony VPL-HW45ES; 97" Filmex Screen; Arcam AVR390; Nakamichi AVP1; Sony BDP-S7200; XTZ Cinema Series: M6, S5, S2; XTZ 12.17 Sub

  10. #10
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Chops, unless I missed it somewhere in the text. Can't you install a panel on the door on the left side or a temporary hanging from the top door casing?
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, IC's and PC's. Audio Quest Vodka CAT 7's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

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Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

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