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Can snake oil fix a bad room? (a survey)

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BackinBlack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackinBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 7:11pm
My Lounge/listening room is L-shaped, 7m x 6m x 2.35m high with a 3m x 2m section out of one side and a fireplace/chimney breast in the middle. I've tried entering the major dimensions (7m x 6m) as one room, considering it as 2 rooms using the major and minor axes (7m x 5m and 6m x 4m). The results generally show "yellow" problem areas in the lower frequencies 28 to 53 Hz, all other frequencies are green and the Bonello curve shows in the good classification.
These results align quite well with hearing tests which identified some boom at 30, 45 and 73 Hz when playing slow sweep and single frequency test tones (sine and pink noise). The boom was at particular positions within the room, presumably nodes. Initial "cures" were adjusting stuffing in the speakers and repositioning them. This reduced the boom a little. Crude bass traps helped quite a lot, although were not aesthetically acceptable (many will understand this problem, for which I've never seen any snake-oil offerings!!). minor repositioning of the 2 sofas within the room made the greatest difference by placing one at a major node and using the other at the listening position slightly away from another node.
But as yet no snake oil I'm afraid.

Ian
Just listen, if it sounds good to you, enjoy it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adytiger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 8:01pm
CanI just check something? When the chart asks for room length is this the on-listening axis or the longest dimension? To explain, my hi-fi is set up to point across a room i.e. the shorter dimension not along the room (i.e. the longer dimension). Which do I enter as the length - the former?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote izafireman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 8:07pm
Well you know my room dimensions from the info I gave on my thread I started. The latest tweaks I tried were tilting the speakers back as suggested by a forum member which worked a treat and also the Ikea using the Oak cones which I had always been sceptical of. But when combined with the Ikea Bamboo butchers block (which incidentally look great as shelves) the results were amazing, it was like a light being switched on...and that was using an ipod! ....surely things will be much better when the Pink is back?

With regards to other improvements that have made a difference in my room they were ..a dedicated 4mm ring main, I would have used better cable but at the time I did the re-wire I was unaware of the range of cables for sale for this purpose but even so...it made a difference. Same for a separate earth, especially as I live in the sticks and the mains/earth are not the best, I think the normal household earth is back through the neutral supply (PME ) I think I was told....correct me please if anyone knows about this. Double boarding plaster board walls also got rid of vibrations along with filling the voids with several cans of expanding foam. I also clipped every single household cable that went through any voids to stop any vibrations from them to.

Pete

Oh and a big tweak I forgot to say. I complained to my electric supplier that bulbs blew in the house and when I listened to my turntable it did not sound right. I asked them to check the supply. Guy came round to put a measuring device on my mains and confidently told me I was wrong and the mains was tip top. Three weeks later he returned and was rather sheepish as the mains supply was well below what was expected and a few weeks later a new transformer was fitted to supply the village.

Edited by izafireman - 18 Jul 2017 at 8:13pm
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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 9:49pm
Originally posted by Adytiger Adytiger wrote:

CanI just check something? When the chart asks for room length is this the on-listening axis or the longest dimension? To explain, my hi-fi is set up to point across a room i.e. the shorter dimension not along the room (i.e. the longer dimension). Which do I enter as the length - the former?


Longest dimension. In fact I've entered dimensions in the wrong order and it gave the same result. Basically it's working out the room's ratios.
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2017 at 9:59pm
Just to clarify what this is about, the following explanation which points to this post may help...

What I'd like to know is can so called snake oil solutions improve things when there are room issues. I almost found myself going down that route in my previous failed attempt at a listening room.

Perhaps calling them snake oil is a tad unkind? We'll have to see. And I've started another topic - a kind of survey - in which we could discover a lot more from each other.

see: https://www.hifisystemcomponents.com/forum/can-snake-oil-fix-a-bad-room-a-survey_topic4273_post52980.html#52980

I've also invited every member we've ever had to take part

I also put at the begining of this topic: Snake-oil has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit.

It is understood that a sturdy turntable support is not snake-oil, and I suggest it is a good idea to use such even if the room measures perfect.
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote graham61 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 7:38am
Hi Graham. 
Excellent idea for a survey, and I am looking forward to reading comments. It's not just the shape of the room though. In an 80-odd year old house with suspended wooden floors, the floor flexes when walked on, so things in cupboards, display cabinets etc gently rattle. Add to that the inevitable doorbell and telephone interruptions and I suspect I will look on some of the contributions with envy. And finally, if only I could trade in my 75 year old ears for younger and more efficient models!
Good luck with the survey.
Graham61



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ezlxq1949 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 8:07am
My listening room is a bit of an acoustic nightmare.

It's a two-level combined foyer / dining area / sitting room (6.38 x 4.18 m) with a raked cathedral ceiling (anything from 2.9 to 4.1m high depending on where one stands), large picture windows on adjacent walls at one end and a permanently open archway into the house at the other. Calculate that!

Assuming that the overall length and width are the crucial dimensions in spite of the change in floor level, I find that both heights give roughly similar results from the calculator.

I haven't done much tweaking mainly because it's the main social area in the house and it has to be kept neat. I have two sets of wall-mounted speakers which are both too close to the corners but there is nowhere else for them to go. The amount of floor area available for a decent stereo image is quite small. It's not ideal but there are too many constraints.

One set of speakers is mounted high on one wall pointing along the long axis, the other well above head height on the adjacent wall pointing across the short axis right at the picture windows. Now that I am pleased with my TT, phono stage and amp, the remaining important factor in the audio quality chain is which speaker I decide to use. The larger Paradigms give a very comfortable, broad sound which suits many genres of music. The smaller Krix Atomix are tighter, narrower, OK for watching the TV but not the best for music.
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