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Listening Room Design (Read 1071 times)
chumily
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Listening Room Design
08/27/17 at 19:39:16
 
Hi all, I have been watching this forum for a couple years now (although been more learning than posting) and have met many great people through several of Steve's Decfests.  

My wife and I are embarking upon a new project to build a house for the first time ever.  Given we have complete control over the design, I would like any advice you have to set up a fantastic listening room.  If I could double the room's purpose to have it set up for movies as well even better, although this is secondary to the listening room.  I am looking for any guidance on room dimensions and shape, ceiling height, electrical considerations, room treatment considerations, material selections, and etc.  Thanks for your thoughts!
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busterfree
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #1 - 08/27/17 at 20:57:35
 
I envy your position to design a listening room. I would suggest reading a lot on various forums, go with several dedicated circuits, and get as many room treatments the wife will allow. Depending on your budget, you could hire a consultant if your builder is not into music rooms.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #2 - 08/28/17 at 05:26:19
 
Check out some of the Acoustic Fields YouTube videos - Dennis knows his stuff, but doesn't always explain it in a useful way unfortunately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-iFsWUrOhs

If I were to start a room from scratch, I'd probably do all prime numbers - 11' ceiling height, 19' width and 29' long.

Keeping your room over 3000 cubic feet helps with so many bass issues, and having high ceilings  and wide walls helps with time delay in the reflections.  Regardless of how you set your room up, you're going to want lots of diffusers.

More Acoustic Fields room setup info

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-dOSD1KoNU

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #3 - 08/28/17 at 05:37:40
 
For power, I would do home runs to your circuit panel to dedicated outlets in the room. no stops, no splices, no interference. I'd also look at adding a grounding rod to whatever existing grounding your house might have to lower the noise in your power.


Speaking of noise, I'd work hard on lowering your ambient noise in your listening room. Be able to block out windows, insulate between the listening room and the rest of the house, even position your HVAC ductwork and use soft insulated ducts to keep the air noise down and keep sound from your room going out, or other rooms coming in.  The lower you get your noise floor of the room, the deeper you'll be able to hear into your music without turning it up.

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Dave1210
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #4 - 08/28/17 at 11:17:17
 
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chumily
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #5 - 08/29/17 at 01:03:17
 
Thanks all!  The resources and advice you have provided are adding to my design list.  I like many of the concepts you shared and am thinking of how to lower the noise floor in ways I've never thought of before.  

If anything else comes to mind, please let me know.  I probably have about 30-60 days to finalize the design with the builder.
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jpv
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #6 - 08/29/17 at 18:05:36
 
This is a very complicated subject but you are lucky to be able to control some of the building.
 Not only size of the room but the ratio of the dimensions is critical.
What type of system/speakers is important to know.
Here are some basics. High ceilings are good. Don't use sizes that are multiples of each other. A 7 x 7 x 14 room is bad. Look at Bolt ratios and try to get as close to those as possible.
Keep the room symmetrical as possible what is on the left should be on the right. Don't have a window next the one speaker and a opening to a hallway on the other speaker.
 Make the room quite like Raven said. Keep it as isolated from the rest of the house as possible. Little things like making sure any openings from one room to this one are completely sealed off. Think of it if air can get thru in so can sound. Ever the smallest opening will let enough sound thru to cause problems.
 Dedicated power is good - I have two dedicated line to my listening room. One for the amps and one for the low power equipment.
 As far as room treatment goes I built mine into the walls. If you can have bass traps built in so you done see them.
 lastly remember room treatment is not sound proofing and it will not keep sound in or out.
 

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VPI Scoutmaster, Grado Sonata 2, Counterpoint pre amp and amp (modded by Altavista Audio), Proac sp. and home made subs. Lots of room treatment. Anti-cable sp cables and IC, Decware IC, ZKit 1.
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beowulf
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #7 - 08/30/17 at 00:42:16
 
jpv wrote on 08/29/17 at 18:05:36:
This is a very complicated subject but you are lucky to be able to control some of the building.
 Not only size of the room but the ratio of the dimensions is critical.
What type of system/speakers is important to know.
Here are some basics. High ceilings are good. Don't use sizes that are multiples of each other. A 7 x 7 x 14 room is bad. Look at Bolt ratios and try to get as close to those as possible.
Keep the room symmetrical as possible what is on the left should be on the right. Don't have a window next the one speaker and a opening to a hallway on the other speaker.
 Make the room quite like Raven said. Keep it as isolated from the rest of the house as possible. Little things like making sure any openings from one room to this one are completely sealed off. Think of it if air can get thru in so can sound. Ever the smallest opening will let enough sound thru to cause problems.
 Dedicated power is good - I have two dedicated line to my listening room. One for the amps and one for the low power equipment.
 As far as room treatment goes I built mine into the walls. If you can have bass traps built in so you done see them.
 lastly remember room treatment is not sound proofing and it will not keep sound in or out.
 

 


Building them into the wall sounds interesting.  Do you have any pictures you can share?
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jpv
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #8 - 08/30/17 at 02:07:29
 
Here is a photo during the construction phase. The wall is not a supporting wall so the stud spacing was made so I can move the treatment in and out as needed. [img][/img]
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building_resized.jpg

VPI Scoutmaster, Grado Sonata 2, Counterpoint pre amp and amp (modded by Altavista Audio), Proac sp. and home made subs. Lots of room treatment. Anti-cable sp cables and IC, Decware IC, ZKit 1.
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chumily
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #9 - 11/19/17 at 23:27:57
 
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chumily
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #10 - 11/19/17 at 23:30:04
 
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DB2
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #11 - 11/20/17 at 23:58:14
 
If possible, put the listening room near other used areas rather than, say, down in the basement. It makes music much more a part of everyday living. Of course, you would want to have double doors to close it off for late at night listening.
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chumily
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #12 - 11/23/17 at 03:20:20
 
Thanks DB2.  I completely agree with your advice.  And wish I could make that happen.  Although my wife and 3 children have plans for every room on the main floor...and their plans don't include a listening room. I do feel lucky my family enjoys music and will tolerate my madness even if its in the basement! Shocked
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Brian
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Re: Listening Room Design
Reply #13 - 12/15/17 at 01:52:26
 
I did not see this until today. Perhaps too late to be of any use.

You can get the book: "The Master Handbook of Acoustics" by Alton F. Everest. Mine only cost 34 cents plus shipping on the used market. This will give you dimension ratios of height to width to length.  Absolute size I don't know about.  

Echo occurs between parallel surfaces. You might avoid this by using a vaulted ceiling or else a coffered ceiling to break up the flat ceiling plane into many small planes each slanted to the floor. You can throw one wall out of parallel with it's opposite by making it a waggle wall with a zig zag shape.  

Speakers are said to reflect off the floor for several feet in front of them.  This reflection is said to cancel with the sound coming directly to the listener and create what is called a comb filter.  To get away from this I have wanted to set a diffraction grating into the floor in front of each speaker. It could measure perhaps 4 ft x 4 ft and several inches deep.  Someone more knowledgeable than me can advise on the depth.  

Brian
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