Your Listening Room
Copyright 2013 © Troels Gravesen


The lines below comes from the Speakers' Corner pages some two years ago. It addresses a crucial issue in any hifi system set-up and my idea of giving its own page is to add comments from time to time whenever I come across things that may help people in not only creating a decent room for hifi but also understand why the sound from your hifi set-up may be less than adequate.
I did a google on "modern interiors" and nicked the image below. Probably a nightmare in terms of acoustics. I hope the panels on the ceiling and on the walls are acoustic absorbents to at least remove some of the bathroom acoustics. Why modern interiors must look like this is a mystery to me. Maybe our modern lives are so chaotic that we need home interiors free of anything that may tickle our curiosity. I love visiting people where the living room tells a story of what these people do and find interesting. Paintings, books, things they brought home from where they have been, things they have made with their hands, etc.  I love carpets, curtains, book shelves and fabric furniture that enables more than two people to have a conversation without hearing the echoe of voices bouncing between tile floors and concrete walls and ceilings. Highly reverberant rooms adds to the stress we so much need to get away from.
Check out the youtube videos below and find inspiration for a better acoustic environment.


Any sound system set-up should start with this question: What is your room like? Many people set up seriously expensive systems in less than adequate acoustic environments and never render the full potential of their investment.
Almost every day I have to direct respondents to this page: CHOICES. I cannot - and shall not - give any recommendations on what speakers to build, but I can tell people not to build the Jenzen Illuminator if they have 5 SET watts at hand - and not to build the TQWT if they use a 400 watts solid state amps. Generally people are afraid of using large speakers in small rooms - and yes, it can go wrong depending on actual speaker and room placement. 12 sqm is not a whole lot - actually the size of my workshop - and I don't have problems running my Jenzen speakers in my workshop where they can be placed away from the corners. But don't stick two Jenzen speakers in the corners of 10-12 sqm unless you have a digital equaliser. Not recommended.
A speaker may be so tall the response from the drivers may not gel properly at short distance, but a large speaker may be much better energising a 12 sqm room compared to a small 6+1 speaker. That is: The speaker drivers don't have to do much, we have reduced cone movement, we have low distortion and we have more dynamic headroom.
One thing is matching room, speakers and amplifiers, another thing is what can be done to better room acoustics. Sometimes a modest investment in room treatment may be worth more than a new megadollar amplifier - or loudspeakers. Lots of literature is available on room acoustics - and what can be done about it. I won't make a list, but simply point to a few youtube movies on treating your room for better sound: I love this couple - and the wife's body language saying : "Do I really have to in on this?" Very sound advise. Must see video! Part one. Part two. Sound advise too. Don't know the language, but have subtitles and very well demonstrate what it means to add a few acoustic absorbers (use a pair of good head phones to hear the sound). On my 5F mini-system here the difference is very clear. This guy must have had 6 double expressos in a row. I love his AU accent. Have fun!

There are many more movies on acoustics on youtube and take a look around and get ideas.

more to come