Fine Tunes #20 Letters part 2

More letters on this subject appeared in the September issue of Stereophile:

Some fine tunes

Editor: After reading Jonathan Scull's February 2000 "Fine Tunes," I decided to do something about the annoyingly springy suspended floor in my listening room.

I purchased two screw-type floor jacks from my local home center—total cost $30—and placed them under the floor in the crawl space. I put them at approximately one-third points along the length of the room and at the center of the joists. I tightened the jacks until they were snug, then added approximately one more turn.

Results: 1) Tighter bass. 2) The room no longer swallows up deep bass at low to moderate levels. 3) No more foot massage.—Brian Remington,

Some springy tunes

Editor: Les Berkley and Jonathan Scull had a heated discussion in the June issue's "Letters" regarding the advisability of reinforcing springy floors via floor-jacking. I'd like to relate my own experiences, which resulted in an easy, cost-effective improvement in the sound of my system.

The springy wooden floors of the listening room in my vacation house were causing resonance excitations in the low- to upper-bass region. This created a foggy-sounding overhang that robbed the system of dynamic realism, speed, and clarity.

The listening room is not over a basement, but a crawl space (imagine a basement with a 3½' ceiling and a sand floor). With the guidance and assistance of my friend David Nemzer, of New York's Audiophile Society, we hit the lumberyard and purchased several 8-10' 2x6s. We crawled under the house and found the floorboards centered under each speaker. We nailed several horizontal pieces of wood across three or four of the horizontal beams down the length of the floorboard. We then braced these beams by nailing additional pieces of wood vertically, effectively bracing the new horizontal braces to the sand floor.

The resulting improvement to the system was quite noticeable: improved detail, sharper dynamics and transients, and significantly less bass overhang. Total cost: 40 bucks' worth of lumber and a couple of man-hours of labor. (Actually, David sawed, measured, and hammered; I held the flashlight and poured the wine.)

For those audiophiles with such crawl spaces under their listening rooms, this is an easy and cost-effective tweak that shouldn't upset the This Old House crowd.—Robert Reina,