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piinob
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Room Size, and Possibility

I wonder if a small room, properly treated and set up can give real good sound? Can anyone comment on this. Surely Ethan has some experience with this. What say you folks?

I should add I am speaking on the order of 10 x 10 or so.

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Absolutely! Truly low frequencies are an issue, but otherwise a well-treated small room is wonderful.

A square room is the most difficult dimension however - but I appreciate you are referencing 10x10 as just an example.

piinob
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

I am cosidering partitioning off a portion of my shop building for a dedicated listening room. I have unlimited freedom there to do whatever I please. But the space available is limited. The shop building is 11'4" x 24' x 8'.

The living room where my equipment is currently would be, even without the objections of my better half, pretty difficult to treat. It is large, and boomy, and very expensive to do right. So I am looking at alternatives.

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Time to consult Ethan!

RGibran
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility


Quote:
Time to consult Ethan!

I dunno. Large room like that, some Italians believe you can just double up on magic dots!

RG

piinob
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

In Texas we have Mesquite. I wonder if that is a substitute for Mpingo?

ethanwiner
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility


Quote:
I wonder if a small room, properly treated and set up can give real good sound?


Sure, though the smaller the room, the more bass trapping you need proportionally. If you're willing to have a dozen bass traps, you can make that 10 by 10 foot room a lot better than what that vast majority of people listen in. All it takes is a bunch of bass traps, and absorption at the first reflection points too.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility


Quote:
Sure, though the smaller the room, the more bass trapping you need proportionally.


For some reason I am having trouble groking this. Is this a factor of the nodes being so close together?

ethanwiner
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility


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Is this a factor of the nodes being so close together?


Not so much the mode spacing, but simply because the reflections are stronger. The smaller the room, the closer the boundaries, which in turn means the reflections don't travel far to reach your ear and each other.

Also, to be clear, the modes in a small room are farther apart than in a large room. So the result is sort of like boosting every fourth band on a 31-band graphic equalizer. Versus a large room with modes close to each other, which is more like boosting all 31 bands.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Aha! This makes sense.

Thanks!

(Believe it or not, I actually have a 10'x10'x10' room. A perfect cube. I have been tempted to see if I can force it to sound good - whether it wants to or not.)

ethanwiner
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

An audiophile with a 10 foot cube room?

Bass traps can get you from "This sux!" to "Wow, not bad at all," but you'll need a lot of traps.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Isn't it nutty?!

I have my project studio (editing only right now) in there and I listening nearfield to a pair of Adam active monitors. It works fine for this, but with the reference to a 10x10 room got me to thinking if it could be made to actually sound good. How many traps would it take? I really need to get some more acoustic treatments anyway - maybe goofing around in this space is a good start.

Once I finish remodeling the room I typically use all the studio stuff will be moved back. This room is not as big as I would like but at least it isn't a cube!

ethanwiner
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility


Quote:
How many traps would it take?


It's a sliding scale. No domestic size room will ever be perfectly flat, or devoid of ringing. So the more traps you have the closer you'll get. My standard recommendation is at least 4 MiniTraps to make a "meaningful" improvement, with twice that being closer to what you really want. Even 20 traps would not be too many.


Quote:
This room is not as big as I would like but at least it isn't a cube!


I misunderstood earlier. I thought you mean the room you actually use is 10x10x10. Now I see you mean only that you happen to have that room in your house.

--Ethan

Elk
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Fortunately, it is just a temporary spot for now. It's actually a rather neat room. It probably has pyramid power or something.

piinob
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

If one whole wall of my room is window, twenty feet long by 6 feet high, could I build a Bass Trap configured as a curtain that I never open? It would seem to be a perfect solution because it would be totally unobtrusive, and put a tremendous amount of trapping in place.

ethanwiner
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

Bass traps work best in corners, and also on the front and rear walls. No curtain is effective as a bass trap, but glass passes bass more than a solid wall. So a glass wall is sort of a bass trap anyway. At least at the very lowest frequencies. I measured a customer's room just yesterday, where the entire rear wall is a window. His room has far fewer bass problems than most. And this is the real point - the only way to know what you have, and what more is needed, is to measure the LF response at high resolution. More on room measuring here:

http://www.realtraps.com/art_etf.htm

--Ethan

piinob
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Re: Room Size, and Possibility

At normal listening levels things get boomy. At low, late night levels it sounds really good. By all the online calculators I have a major node at about 37 hz plus multiples. The wall behind my set up is nearly all windows. The wall behind my seating 16 ft from the windows, is all walnut paneling, glazed tile floor, brick fire place on one short wall, and opening into the kitchen along with two doors on the other short wall. (22.5x16.5) The ceiling is eight feet at the corners going to 10.3 at the center beam(longways. It just doesn't appear to lend itself to listening or treatments. The shop conversion looks better all the time, but I am still studying the situation. I think I have come up with a plan to get my landlord/better half more open to treatments but she is pretty unpredictable. I guess that is why I like her so well!

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