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 Awkward listening room set-up

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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Awkward listening room set-up   Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:49 am

Hi all. I understand that the standard rule for placement of speakers in a room should normally be on the narrow side of a rectangular room.  The room (in fact, living room) I'm going to set up my audio system is a 13'7" x 11'2" (just barely rectangular) with vaulted ceiling but without a door, rendering it not an enclosed room.  I'd appreciate advices on how should I place the speakers, taking into consideration the room's non-standard features.  Should I place them on the narrow side, in which case the left speaker would be facing an opening to a corridor leading to the back of house, or should they be placed on the longer side of the room?  The following link shows the sketch plan of the room in question.  Thanks

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/16/31/60/29/img_4112.jpg

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:13 am

Hi Man

Welcome to TuneLand

How does the vault run?

Do you have pics to take a better look?

Is this drywall on wood studs?

What is the floor, wood, carpet? Does it sit on concrete or does it have floor joist under?

I'd like to take a look of the opening and see what it flows into if I could.

What is your system?

Is the sofa fabric or leather?

Looking forward to getting this tuned up.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:02 pm


Hello Maninmac

Welcome to the Tune! Michael has good solutions for rooms with odd openings and gaps. In the old archives he had placements for a room which had no back wall but an archway leading to the rest of the house. Sonic knows a friend who used Tuneland gear and dealt nicely with a room that had an alcove on one side and a large archway on the other plus a picture window in the front area.

There are many options here at the tune, and you'll have a lot of fun, get good sound and all without expending lots of cash.

Sonic
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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:40 am

Sorry for having taken sometime to get the pictures ready.  Here are two pictures - one showing view of the vaulted ceiling and the other showing the entrance:

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/16/31/60/29/img_4114.jpg


http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/16/31/60/29/img_4115.jpg


The dry walls are on wood studs, the floor is carpeted on concrete (presumably with wood sub-floor and carpet underlay in between) and the sofa is fabric.

My system is

Power - Dynaco ST70
Pre     - Dynaco PAS-2
Speaker - KEF 104/2
CD Player - California Audio Labs Tercet Waveshaping player
Turntable - Thorens TD160 (Shure M97XE cart)

Hope these info would help.  Look forward to your advices.
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tmsorosk



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:37 am

Looking at your first drawing I thought things would be pretty simple but after looking at the pictures it's easy to see you have a challenge on your hands . Hope Michael and others here can help , keep us informed .
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:27 am


However, the equipment is simple and good and that helps. Nice simple tube gear, good turntable and M97xE which Sonic used before switching to the Ortofon Blue) but not familiar with the Cal CD player. The KEFs can make music.

How far are your speakers from the front and side walls? Have you tried near field listening?



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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:24 am

At the moment, I've placed the speakers about 2 ft from the back wall (that's the wall with windows), 2 ft from the side wall, 6 ft apart, and 8 ft from the listening point, ie sofa in front of fireplace.  Pardon my ignorance, what is near field listening?  Is it listening at the point where distance to the speakers is less than that between the speakers? Regarding the CAL Tercet cd player, I've googled for information but without much result, except from list of DAC/transport of cd players that I found it uses Philips TDA1541A (but I discovered this to be 1541 after opening the cover to verify) and CDM2 transport.  So far, I personally find it sounds good, better than the CAL DX1 and Denon DCD1520 that I kept for a while. Here's a picture of this player in case someone has experience/knowledge of it.  It looks like the Tempest of CAL.

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/16/31/60/29/img_4116.jpg
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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:26 am


Hi Maninmac

The Kef 104/2 -- that's a floorstander with the concentric midrange and tweeter and the double woofer with the force-cancelling rod? The one, without the grille you see the large port in front that the rod?

I understand that speaker is reputed to be a champion at imaging.

If you were to say where you'd like your system to go and where you like to make improvements, what will be on your list?

How have you aligned your Shure M97xE, any particular geometry? Do you use the little damping brush?

Sonic

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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:09 pm

Hi Sonic.beaver

Yes, the 104/2 is a floor-stander with the rather special construction that you described.  So far, I find it has good image and sound stage.  As to details, I have yet to find out.  However, it somehow lacks the kind of bass that I expect - LF bass that you feel air being pushed towards/around you.  I'm not sure whether this is too much to expect from equipment I'm having or from the challenging listening area I'm in.  And this is one area that I hope to improve on if possible. As I'm not really an audiophile as such, I have no way to know or to compare whether or not my set-up is the most optimum.  Therefore, I'm hoping to get advice on some fundamental acoustically proven rules for set-up.
As for the M97XE, I only used the very basic accessory tools (pictured below) to calibrate it.  I haven't used the damping brush because as mentioned in the manual it is only meant for bad condition of records, like warped ones.  By the way, so far I find this cartridge not up to my expectation - signal output not really strong and details got to be better.  Maybe this is something to do with more detail adjustment/calibrating of the turntable and the phono stage of the PAS2 pre-amp.

http://i56.servimg.com/u/f56/16/31/60/29/img_4117.jpg
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:16 pm

When possible it would be great to see the system and room so we can start to get a feel between the descriptions and the look.

I'm going to obviously be looking at the acoustics (speaker/room interface), electric and how the system is laid out mechanically. The more I see into how things flow the easier it will be to start having you try some things.

Dynaco, now you have my interest.

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:26 am

Hi Maninmac

Near field is something like what you say -- sit closer to the speakers than their spacing. For Tunees who follow Michael's method, you might find the speakers at about the halfway down the length of the room, close to the side walls and the seat placed so the listener is something like 4 to 5 ft from the speakers. You'll need to tune to get this to work -- giving you a giant soundfield. With unturned systems you get a broken soundstage -- a bunch of instruments stuck to each speaker and a blob of stuff in the middle far away at the front wall. When tuned right you hear nothing from the speakers themselves but a real stage in the space behind them. At advanced levels from what I learnt recently you may get instruments appearing forward of the speakers and voices behind and above your head. This last level Sonic has not experienced.

If the bass doesn't expand into the room, Michael will say there is blockage which can be freed up by some simple steps.

The Shure M97xE is a pretty good sounding cartridge IMO if aligned right. When I set it up with a simple two point protractor it was shut down and dim sounding with a tiny stage and compressed dynamics. But when it was set up to Stevenson alignment in my previous TT, it really sang. My Ortofon is set to Baerwald. These are different align protocols that give you a different distribution of tracing error across the disc radius. Of course with a pivoted arm there are two null points as in your protractor but setting your cartridge arm to zero error at these two points is not enough. You need to take into account the effective length of the arm and overhang which determines how much tracing error you get outside these points.

Baerwald gives the best distribution across the radius. Stevenson gives lowest error at the inner grooves but higher at the outside of the disc. The easiest way is to get a protractor like the Dr Feickert or the Dennesen. Unless a cartridge is set properly it is hard to judge its character.

What is the Shure tracking at?

You are also right to think about calibrating the RIAA of the PAS2. The values of the circuit components can drift with time. Worth to have a qualified tech with a scope check the curve for conformance to RIAA and similarity between channels.

Have you tried the speakers further out from the front wall like 3 or 5 ft? Having the speakers the same distance from the back and side walls (2ft in your case) or a multiple of each other might cause frequency response problems. Take it a bit at a time, let Michael say what acoustic treatment to start with and where.

Sonic
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi Guys

You know it just dawn on me what I was looking at in the pictures  Rolling Eyes . I'm a little slow  Laughing 

As soon as I realized that the picture with the drapes was the room I knew exactly what I would do if this was my room.

First I would remove the drapes for some wood blinds, second I would lay out my speaker/acoustical/seating like this



This would cast a huge stage. Nearfield listening BTW is when you pull the speakers close to you but as far apart as they will go making the stage far more realistic depending on the room, and your room would be prime canidate for this type of listening.

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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:24 am

Thanks Michael. I'd set this up asap. However, I'd like to know what are the gray bars appearing in your floor plan diagram? Are they acoustic screens, most importantly the one placed at the entrance for improving the sound of the right speaker which in your suggested set-up would be facing the open space?

Sonic - The RIAA equalization circuit of my PAs-2 has been modified according to that described in Curcico audio in dynaco-doctor.com and the M97XE is tracking at 1.5g.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:11 am

Hi Maninmac

These are RTSquares http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t25-roomtune-squares and the floorstanders are Deluxe RoomTune which are back in production in 4-6 weeks I hear. We may need to take a look at the space outside of the room but first treat the inside and give me a report on how it is. The tune over by the open space is something we will need to look at closer but it will either go flat on the rear wall or above where the opening is.

If you order these BTW from Harold you will get the TuneLand discount.

The open space is something we will blend into the rest of the mix.


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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:16 am


Hi Maninmac

In my set up, Sonic tracked the Shure M97xE at 1.25 gm (without brush). I tried once to raise tracking force to 1.5 gm and my notes said the sound went dull, heavy and internally opaque. At 1.25 gms the M97xE tracked securely even in the arm of my cheap Audio Technica AT LP120 turntable.

Sonic
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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi. Haven't had the time to do Michael's set-up yet. Probably would try after Easter holiday and also hence adjust M97XE's tracking to 1.25 as Sonic suggested. Would then report back. Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:42 pm

Have a great Easter!





 Cool 

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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:25 pm

Reviving this thread because just been able to set up speakers as suggested and as shown in the photo how they are spaced. With this set up, the sound stage has improved a lot and there are details that have become more audible and more "forward". May need to experiment more with different position of speakers from the back and side walls to see if image position of instruments and singer could be improved more.  Regarding the suggested acoustic screens, I would appreciate advice on

1) Are those 7 screens on the wall are to be put close to where the vertical wall and the ceiling meet?

2) The 2 angled screens and the 1 at the entrance facing right speaker are, I presume, floor standing?

3) Any recommended size for these screens?

Thanks for your help.

http://i39.servimg.com/u/f39/16/31/60/29/m16712.jpg
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:29 pm

Hi Man, good to see you.



1) Are those 7 screens on the wall are to be put close to where the vertical wall and the ceiling meet?

Yes, but I'll take another look at your room when you get them and try to help you get the perfect placement. these are http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t25-roomtune-squares

2) The 2 angled screens and the 1 at the entrance facing right speaker are, I presume, floor standing?

Yes, these are 3 RTD2's http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t243-roomtune-rtd2-roomtune-deluxe-ll

3) Any recommended size for these screens?

Yes, 7 RTSQ, and if you want to treat the 3 midseam corners 3 RTXLT.

So from What I am seeing

7 RTSQ
3 RTXLT
3 RTD2FS

If you would like to send me pictures of each wall I can post the placement for you.

For ordering TuneLand Family "best pricing" (always a great thing  Smile ), Call Harold 609 208 3536 or email harold@michaelgreenaudio.com .

You are in for a big surprise  Exclamation 

will be fun

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maninmac939



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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:28 am

Thanks Michael. So the 3 RTXLT are to be placed below each of the 3 RTSQ at the 3 corners of the room, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Awkward listening room set-up   Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:49 am

Yes, the squares would go ceiling wall, and the XLT's would go half way between them and the floor in the corners.

here's a drawing for you


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