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tcirillo
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very large room challenge, physics, and thoughts

i've been an audiophile for 5 decades and i've had all sorts of rooms with all manner of equipment. my tastes have changed, but physics has not.

i'm moved into a LR which is 31 x 21 ft. the stereo will be on the short wall, with speakers approx 8-10 feet apart, and out from the wall. and the listening area will be within a 12-15 ft square facing that.

the overarching question is: should i give up on moving lot's of air with large speakers and settle for small monitors that image well in the right spot, and quit. i listen to classical, but also rock and pop.

or should i update my towers and try to fill this space?

i'm a techie but not an engineer, and given my taste changes, i'm inclined to say 'quit' and go small and not try to do the impossible.

what do folks think?

rrstesiak
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I can definitely recommend a fellow listener: Michael Green

Michael has extensive industry experience tuning all ranges of spaces... From private listening rooms you and I have; up to recording studios and concert halls.
His various methods of utilizing sonic structures and room treatments is nothing short of brilliant. It should also be mentioned he accommodates all budgets as well.

Respectfully,

Ron

michael green
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RoomTune

Thanks Ron

tcirillo, if you would like us to take a look we'd be happy to. here's the link

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

rrstesiak
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Reply

All:

As I am not sure if there is a way to "tag" other members like there is on FaceBook, I am glad Michael found this thread and introduced himself.

tcirillo:

please take a moment to check out Mr. Green's website. It is sincerely very inspiring. Especially take a look at the section "Members Stereo Setups" or similar wording.. again, very informative and educational.

Respectfully,

Ron

tcirillo
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thanks for the suggestion. if

thanks for the suggestion. if i become interested in room tuning i'll give that some thought.

i'm focussed though on the original question. two enginnering friends have weighed in on this, but i'm seeking the opinions of others.

rrstesiak
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From my own experience

From my own experience, I have found even with a much smaller room, that using quasi-near field setup with smaller book shelf monitors gives an excellent soundstage.. you could certainly do the same and save a ton of money from purchasing large speakers and amplifiers.

OR....you could also employ Michael's methods and sort of build a room within a room.... it sounds goofy at first but if you see some of his client's setups, it can actually be quite elegant. He has some serious craftsmen working on his cabinetry and sound walls/room treatments. His technique roughly employs building an elegant wooden screen of sorts behind your listening position much closer to the speakers than your rear wall... gain, reference Michael directly.

The only factor really being a show stopper for this smaller room within a room or near field setup would be if your requirements dictate you need to entertain in this space....for the small near field setups and room within a room are really only good for a single or couple of users from what I have learned and read.

If you do need to entertain or otherwise wish to utilize the entire space, I would need to defer that question to another member who could hopefully provide the right specs for wattage and speakers.

Just for a reference, here is my little setup; note the actual rear wall is roughly 8 more feet behind my listening chair in the picture.

Image hosted by servimg.com

I no longer have access to Michael's website unfortunately so I am unable to provide good pictures of what he has done, but maybe he can -

Kind Regards,

Ron

tcirillo
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these are terrific thoughts.

these are terrific thoughts. thank you for taking the time. i am sypathetic to the idea that we can't cheat physics and 'creating a room within a room' is a feasible but for me, not practical, approach. i will likely have to give up on the acoustics i enjoyed for many years and use a near field approach, which in this space, unfortunately makes sense. thank you for taking the time, tom

rrstesiak
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creating a smaller space within a larger one

tcirillo:

Never give up!

Seriously...

Depending on your budget, you could either employ a few high powered solid state mono blocks either new or on the used market; say 500-1,000 watts each... and appropriate large wattage speakers; again either new or used....

OR...

You could employ a sound screen of sorts behind your listening area, and hire an interior designer (not decorator, there is a huge difference)... a designer can architecturally alter spaces... and I am confident you will be able to build a very aesthetically pleasing micro space within the large space. I actually used to work on a design team where budget was no limit for very high net worth clients. You would be amazed at what can be done; at many different budget levels too!

Hopefully these additional thoughts provide you some "hope"...

Or...do it in stages... for now, setup a near field environment similar to my own, then build either a larger system in stages or a sound wall of sorts ...

Best Regards,

Ronald R. Stesiak, PhD

geoffkait
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Acoustics and where to start

Acoustic resonators for "hot spots" on room walls and corners. Skyline diffuser based on random shape generator for rear wall. Golden Sound Acoustic Discs for room corners, 3 per corner. Mpingo disc, experiment for ideal location. Echo Tunes; the trick is locating where the echoes occur with wood blocks. ;-). Locate all Hot Spots in 3D space of the room and place acoustic absorber like crystals at those locations. You will need a test tone like 315 Hz and SPL meter to find the hot spots. If you don't have a SPL meter you can substitute an empty sealed medium size box with some small holes punch in one end, the box will vibrate in your hand when in a hot spot. A hot spot is defined as any location in the room where the sound pressure level is more than twice the average level in the room when a test tone is played through the speakers at medium loudness. Tube traps and or Helmholtz resonators help with standing waves. Y'all probably don't remember the Argent Room Lens, three long vertical pipes, that was a Helmholtz resonator. You can experiment with empty beer or whiskey bottles in certain places around the room to hear the effects of Helmholtz resonators that don't have the correct physical characteristics. Note to self: don't allow a lot of boozing in the room at the Shows.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

tcirillo
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very impressed with the

very impressed with the thoughful comments. please dont forget, the room is 31 ft long. small is sounding (pun) good to me. ps i have an architect, a designer, and a decorator....and a builder, and builder's audio assistant....running out of consulting options don't you think? back to the orig q: physics of HUGE spaces with a stereo PAIR

rrstesiak
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A very rough idea

tcirillo:

To give you a very rough idea of how much wattage will be needed to fill that space, I can say 1,000 Watts per speaker in a mono block configuration. That would yield over 100 SPL for maximum transients as well as room dispersion.

This is definitely achievable; it's just going to cost a little.
To give you a real world recommendation, here are a pair of Musical Fidelity (vey good) solid state mono blocks:

MUSICAL FIDELITY - M8-700M POWER AMPS (PAIR)
Now: $7,995.00

Image hosted by servimg.com
They are rated from 700-1300 WATTS depending on your speaker.

Next, choose a full range speaker... this could get very subjective and very costly, but it doesn't have to be. Just for an order of magnitude estimate of cost, I've taken the liberty of picking out a very good full range speaker in the 700-1000 watt range; they are also somewhat compact and aesthetically pleasing:

Bowers & Wilkins Diamond 800: $24,000 / pair. These will handle 1,000 Watts and be exceptional. I can personally vouch for their CM series.
Image hosted by servimg.com

So.... You would be looking at around $30,000 to do it right soundwise; which includes a decent pre-amp and cabling.

However, while this setup would please most listeners as Musical Fidelity AMPS are known to be very pleasing and Bowers & Wilkins has a very large following, only YOUR ears will be able to determine what YOU ultimately purchase. I've merely included what would be a very good and popular setup as a reference for price; without going too crazy.

Hope this helps -

Ron

tcirillo
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ron, a very interesting

ron, a very interesting approach. another real world consideration: i wonder how the neighbors would feel about that space being filled at 100 SPL...but it IS a viable approach. again, i come back to the practicality of a small field setup.

rrstesiak
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tcirillo

Lol! I was only referring to 100 SPL as your maximum ability. Certainly you could (and in most cases SHOULD, listen to levels between 60 for soft music like Classical to 90 for rock 'n roll).

Kind Regards,

Ron

Ps. If you are thinking near-fielf, I again reference you to my picture of my own near-field setup. The amp is only rated at 85 watts for the 4 Ohm load. Much more down to earth price -wise. Amp and speakers can be had for $2,000. Let me know if you want to know more about how I achieved success with my system or if you want a different system recommendation.

tcirillo
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im very fond of your near

im very fond of your near field setup...in fact, i've used it a few times to describe my likely approach to friends, thanks

rrstesiak
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Thanks for the thumbs up

Thanks for the thumbs up on my setup. Just as an FYI, the equipment rack is just a book case on its side from IKEA, and my listening chair is from Ethan Allen's modern group. With the addition of some additional stereo equipment, I may swap out the bookcase with either a Salamander Archetype 5.0 or combination of 3 rack with 2 rack or ??, or, preferably, a custom design by Michael Green.

Best Regards,

Ron

geoffkait
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The problem with large rooms

There is an interesting discussion on another audio forum regarding a comment made by the illustrious Jack Bybee of Bybee Audio fame and maker of all manner of quantum mechanical products and do dads such as the Bybee Golden Goddess Speaker Bullets. His comment was made at the recent High End Show in California. What he said was that one of the big problems for the music signal propagating in the listening room is the air itself. The actual quote that appears on the anonymous audio site is,

""Air molecules are a barrier to sound waves, and inhibit their free travel from speaker to your ears."

As one might suspect Bybee's comment has generated quite a bit of angst, as well it possibly should. Anyone agree or disagree?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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