D I O... P A P E R
DIMENSIONS for a LISTENING ROOM
first thing one should consider when choosing or building a
room for dedicated listening is it's physical dimensions. This
alone will effect sound quality more than any other thing you
can do. I know, I learned this the hard way - more than once.
room at the shop was based on no engineering whatsoever. I
knew it would be a bad room before I started. I thought
this would be ideal for evaluating our amps in a handicapped
environment (the real world) and would prove more enlightening
than a perfect room (which few people have).
make a long story short, I was a bad room and served its purpose
admirably until about 2 years later when I simply couldn't stand
it anymore. After re-reading my Masters Handbook on Acoustics
I was inspired to remodel the room, especially after I realized
that it was physically possible to change it's dimensions to
exactly fit one of the optimal formulas below:
The optimal dimensions for a listening room
in my room was the drop ceiling. Above it I had almost
another 12 inches meaning I could go for a 9 foot ceiling height,
change two walls and be done.
The new room is Design #2
The ceiling height was changed
from 8 feet to 8.83 feet (106 inches) That was as close to 9 feet as I could
get it. Everything keys off the ceiling height.
The width was changed
from 12 feet to 11.3 feet. (8.83 x 1.28)
The length was changed
from 22 feet to 13.6 feet. (8.83 x 1.54)
is a pic of the old 12 x 22 room.
in the same spot here is a shot of the new room.
has a 6 foot opening at one end with the remainder of the original
listening room just on the other side. Flanking the opening
with a pair of speakers gives the sound stage almost infinite
you can see, the room was actually made smaller. The difference
in sound is amazing. The two rooms can't even be compared
the differences are so vast.
of this near perfect room were easily measured and it has elevated
the sound of my stereo to a point far beyond what it was. Speakers,
amps, sources, cables, power conditioners, and tweaks didn't
make enough of a difference in the original room to be worth
while when compared to the difference this room made using the
exact same combinations of gear. Let me drive this home
a little harder... A man upgrades to a $4500.00 source
and sees a 15 % improvement in the overall sound of his
system.. Then we take him back in time and have him keep
his original source, but change rooms on him to something like
this. Now he hears a 40% improvement in the overall sound
of his system. Then we get him the $4500.00 source he
wanted and because he is able to accurately hear it in his new
room, he realizes that it makes more like a 25% improvement
- not 15%. ! The end result gives him a 65% improvement
in the overall sound of his system. The remodeled room
cost around $1000.00 with treatments. After spending many
weeks with his new room and system the man hears into everything
farther and finds out that certain cables he thought he liked
he actually doesn't like anymore, and on it goes. If
you're accurately going to judge a beauty contest it helps to
have 20/20 vision.
study the formulas. See if adjusting a wall or ceiling
a few inches or feet can put you into a ideal room dimension.
Don't worry about it getting smaller or larger than it
is now, it really won't matter. As long as the room fits
one of the three formulas it will sound better than good.
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2007 2008 by Steve Deckert