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Small Room Treatment (Read 4856 times)
Rich
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Small Room Treatment
12/28/15 at 06:45:42
 
So, my wife is giving me my own room.  It was a spare bedroom that measures 9.5 by 11.5 with a 8 ft ceiling.  I will be setting it up for near field listening.  I have a SE84UFO amp and Caintuck open baffle speakers. These are the speakers that Randy demoed at the last Decfest.   I have the speakers on one of the short walls about 3 feet from the back wall and around 30 inches from the side walls.  My chair will be close to the back wall and about six feet back from the speakers.  I listen at fairly low volume.

I'm thinking about using a lot of absorption on the back wall behind the chair.  This should eliminate most reflections from crossing back into the room from behind me.  I 'm thinking of building some of Steve's  defuser's to mount on the front wall behind the speakers.  Since the speakers are OB, sound from the back of the speakers should reflect back into the room at a slight delay thus helping with creating a decent sound stage.  The floor is carpet and the ceiling is untreated.  Because the speakers are fairly close to the listening position I don't think there will be any first reflection points on the side walls.

Does this sound like a good approach to try?  Has anyone tried a small room treatment that has worked well for them?

Thanks
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Fireblade
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #1 - 12/28/15 at 13:51:51
 
In my personal experience, aside from the very needed absorption panels covering all corners and second impact areas, a small room depends mostly on diffusers placed at first reflection points on the exterior sides of the speakers and optionally in the front (between speakers) and back walls. Otherwise, the sound becomes too dull (with only absorption), lacking livelihood. Diffusers made a big difference in my dedicated room.  Just my $0.02

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JD
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #2 - 12/28/15 at 15:02:47
 
In my small room used for near field listening and tv viewing as well I find diffusion more important than absorption.  I have diffusion behind my listening chair and along the left side wall with the opposite wall windows covered in absortion panels with nothing but open space behind my speakers leading to another room.
Took a lot of time, energy and mistakes but sound is delicious and I think th diffusers look beautiful. Check out Steve's papers on room design on the home page of the website.

JD
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Rich
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #3 - 12/28/15 at 19:36:18
 
Thanks guys for your feedback,  Are you using OB speakers? My first reflection point would be on the back wall behind my chair.  It would be hard to say where the sound would reflect to after it bounces of the back wall, especially if I add defuser's to this wall.  I thought adding absorption to this wall would help with the stereo imaging.  I guess I could build a few defuser's and try them on the back wall.
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Fireblade
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #4 - 12/28/15 at 19:42:51
 
Absorption kills booming and buzzing, diffusers spread the sound around and enliven the presentation. A small room in particular really needs diffusers, otherwise the sound becomes dull when only using absrption. My speakers are not OB, but the direction of the initial sound wave could be predicted looking at the main driver's diaphragm orientation.
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« Last Edit: 12/28/15 at 19:44:02 by Fireblade »  

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Jeff1
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #5 - 01/05/16 at 21:58:38
 
Rich, I am assuming your seating position will place your head close to the back wall...12" or less? I use that arrangement as well. A diffuser reflects sound back in a radiating pattern so to speak. With your head so close to the wall you will not have the full effect at your ears. I would recommend placing your diffuser on the wall behind the speakers. I would recommend absorbtion at your early reflection points. Side walls, behind your head, ceiling and possibly floor to start. Use a mirror to identify the placement areas on those surfaces. This would be a good basic room treatment foundation. Next adjust speaker placement relative to the side walls just keep in mind this may chnge your early reflection areas on the side walls as well. Add and or adjust your acoustic treatments from there to dil in what sounds best to you.  My dedicated room is 10x18x8. My seating is within 12" of on of the 10' walls and my speakers are about 6' from me leaving about 11' or so behind them to the rear wall. Let me know how things work out for you.
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jpv
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #6 - 01/06/16 at 01:31:19
 
+1 for jeff1
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Rich
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #7 - 01/06/16 at 03:01:29
 
Thanks Jeff1  for your advise.  I'm waiting on a carpet install.  Once the carpet is in I can move my stuff into the room and start checking thinks out.  My listening position will be very close to the back wall. I'm starting to build some defuser's for the front wall behind the speakers.  I'm also ordering a couple of bass traps for the corners adjacent to my listening posisition.  I will then do some listening and ad some absorption to the wall behind me like you suggested.  

Since I'm using OB dipole speakers it's hard for me to know where on the side walls I will need treatment.  Sound from the rear of the speakers will reflect different from sound from the front.  Do you think the side wall treatments should be near my chair, near the speakers, or some ware in the middle?

Thanks
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Fireblade
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #8 - 01/06/16 at 10:15:18
 
Try diffusers on first reflection points on both side walls also, you'll be surprised. Everything behind your head should be absorption, in your case, due to the proximity of the sweet spot to the back wall.
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« Last Edit: 01/06/16 at 10:17:45 by Fireblade »  

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Jeff1
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #9 - 01/07/16 at 02:55:52
 
[color=#990033]Rich,  try to have someone assist you while you sit in your listening position have them hold a mirror on the sidewall at your eye level. Move the mirror forward and back and when you see your speaker's driver that is the spot of your first early reflection. Apply your first absorption panel there. Adding to the sidewall closer to you and/or closer to your speakers can help dial in your treatment. I have not used a diffuser on a sidewall as suggested by another member but experimentation is part of the fun. Bass traps can help as well and starting in the corners you mentioned is a  good start. I am not able to say for sure about your question on the dipole speaker affect but with the amount of space behind your speakers some treatment placement trials should help you determine what works.
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Rich
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #10 - 01/07/16 at 22:56:08
 
Thanks Guys,  I will try to identify the side wall reflection points and experiment with both defuser's and absorption.  The carpet install is next Thursday, so I should be able to try things out then.  I will post back on how it turns out.

Rich
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Jeff1
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #11 - 02/20/16 at 20:55:56
 
Rich, any progress on your room set up? I just added 2, 18" dia tube traps and balanced out my room a bit further.
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Rich
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #12 - 02/21/16 at 07:39:43
 
JI think I'm almost there.  I have two 4' by 2' by 1" absorption panels behind my chair. I have two 4' by 2' by 4" base traps in the coners to the side of the chair.  I have 2 defuser panels behind the speakers.

From the upper bass on up I think it sounds quite good using just Rand'y baffles with the Betsy drivers.  I found that with the carpet I needed to get the Betsy's higher up off the floor to sound their best.  With this setup I get a large sound stage with decent imaging and detail.

For the lower bass I tried a couple of 15" GRS woofers powered off a plate amp, in their own baffel  but I was not  that happy with the way they sounded.

I then built new baffel's with 10" MCM woofers and the Betsy's placed placed over them.  This has tightened up the bass and made it sound more musical.  I think I may add a second plate amp to have the woofers in stereo.  The other choice would to spend the money and buy Hawthorne Auggies for the bass
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« Last Edit: 02/21/16 at 16:25:45 by Rich »  

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Jeff1
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #13 - 02/21/16 at 15:30:15
 
Interesting that you do not have any side wall treatment. I wonder if that is due to the type of speaker design you have.
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Rich
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #14 - 02/21/16 at 16:44:03
 
I don't think that I am getting much reflection from the side walls.  One of the side walls has a double sliding closet door.  The panels in the door may be acting somewhat as a defuser.  My chair. Is only about six feet from the speakers so it's a very near field setup.  I think most of the energy from the front of the speakers is disapated by the absorber's behind the chair.  The speakers being open baffel have as much energy coming from the rear as they do from the front.  Any energy from the speakers rear is being scattered by the defuser's before  being reflected to the side walls.  Having the defuser's behind them does make a noticeable improvment in the sound stage and imaging.  
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Acetone
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #15 - 02/17/17 at 18:35:33
 
Over 2 years with Decware amps etc. and room treatment tweaking! A few weeks back I finally put absorbtion in the front wall window (47" x 47"). Left side window already addressed. I also moved speakers out to recommended position for my 11' x 16' x 8' room, as well as my triangular seat position. WOW! The sound is the best I've had so far. Most CD's and LP's now have wider sound stage (out to 45deg left and right with added height and depth. Speakers are doing disappearing act with more recordings, and the detail and separation of instruments is improved. Walls have not quite disappeared. I've ordered 8 PI audio diffusers (2' sq) and will be playing with placement in order to add more width and depth. The biggest gains to my sound (other than using decware) has been. A good Phono cart, Speaker cables, room treatment and good IC's.
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #16 - 02/18/17 at 00:30:49
 
Acetone
I just looked up PI audio diffusers and saw they have a design that is recommended with open baffle speakers and one other type both are 2' x 4'. which do you use and what materiel do they make these out of, wood, they seem very reasonably priced.
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Acetone
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #17 - 02/18/17 at 17:05:44
 
Hey Sonic, panels I have are the QRD's. They are styrofoam. I believe Stone of tone and other forum members have used them. There should be a few posts floating about.
Correction on my previous post. I sometimes get soundstage width out to 90 deg from my sitting position with some LP's and CD's.
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #18 - 02/19/17 at 02:01:45
 

I have four pair of those PI Audio QRD type diffusers. They are fine, and I use them as my mobile diffuser lab to show others, in their rooms, what even budget diffusers can do to improve their sound.

For a permanent installation I would recommend putting a wood frame around them as they are fragile, but absolutely worth the money.
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Acetone
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Re: Small Room Treatment
Reply #19 - 02/19/17 at 17:26:07
 
PI audio cutting the 2' x 4' into 2' sq panels at no add'l cost. I should see them in a week. My son-in-law has all his wood working tools in my garage and is up for making some wood diffusers. Could be a good spring project!
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