would agree that we're all in a spot because how many people have
a spare room large enough to be a good dedicated listening room?
I've been there and the vast majority of us are still there. Hell,
what do you do? All you can do is perform the WASP speaker positioning
procedure (Wilson Audio Setup Procedure) or similar procedure
and find the single point
in your room with the least amount of evils and then hope you can
find a way to live with the results.
and yes, I almost forgot... there are those $250.00 acoustic pillows you can
stick to your walls, or even better than that.... magic "tuning"
dots that you can also stick - and that by the shear act of using
them will free you of the bondage of this dilemma. In fact I heard that
if you paint your CD's green, put an M&M on the top of each
speaker and stick a Brazilian carrot in your ass while sipping
ginseng tea your stereo will never sound better!
how's that for freedom of speech? Anyway, the point is high end
stereo gear was designed and intended to be set up in a symmetrical
stereo array with the speakers a good distance from the rear and
side walls for one simple reason - to recreate the space, depth,
and focus of a live performance. You see, IT DOESN'T TAKE HIGH END
GEAR to reproduce two-dimensional sound fields.
know in the early days I didn't used to know what "imaging" really
meant. And the expression "sound stage" was curious to
me as well. Growing up as a young lad my favorite places to put
speakers was ON the wall and in the corners. This
gave the most punctual and tight bass response. In those days, bass
response was about the only obvious thing that changed from one
stereo system to another - so I thought. My ignorance wasn't tied
to stupidity, I had just never been exposed to a "sweet spot"
where the sound was a good 100 feet deep, twice the width of the
speakers and completely three-dimensional. On the day that
happened, everything changed. Prior to that day I read about it
until I was blue in the face and couldn't relate. Still I find it
magical to sit in my listening chair with two speakers in front
of me and not hear anything come out of the speakers. The sound
just comes out of the air from different spots as though there were
actually musicians there!
enough AUDIO CLASS 101 and on to the important stuff. (Understand
all types of people read this web site, not just engineers and audio
those of you who are on the side of the fence with the living/family/TV/listening
room thing happening, this is the end of the article. For the rest,
read on to get you own holy chamber for audio induced out
of body experiences.
is common knowledge among those who've tried to find out, that the
ideal listening room is rectangular and fairly large. The reason for the larger size isn't so you
can put your speakers farther apart, it is so that there is more
space between your speakers and the reflective surfaces of your
a small room, wall reflections ALTER what you hear from your speakers
and always in a NEGATIVE way. At the same time, room dimensions
create a comb filter effect that is responsible for
variations in frequency response that can reach 12 dB
or more as well as change by that much just from moving
your head. Ever wonder why your stereo doesn't
sound the same way twice? If you have, it's in
part the comb filter effect of your room dimensions
on the frequency response!
a dedicated listening room where the stereo is the main
focal point makes it possible to deal with the evils
of room acoustics. Even dimensionally problematic
rooms and small rooms can be vastly improved if you
know what you're doing and why!