Acoustic treatment? Have you tried sitting on the floor?

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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Had some time on my hands recently, and have been fettling a lot with my system. I have spent no money, just prodding and moving, screwing around with settings etc. I tweaked the eq, moved the speakers further from the wall and moved away from Airplay (only for serious listens*, for casual listens Airplay can’t be beaten in a single room setup). The strangest improvement however was by sitting on the floor.

I think the reasons for this are two fold. Firstly, I believe the BR5’s height is not ideal for me. My sofa is rather high, so the tweeters are about 8-10 inches below my ears level. I would like to have bought some short stands, but cash is pretty tight right now.

I sat directly in front of my sofa leaning my back against it , so my listening position drops by a foot and is moved forward a foot. I toed in the speakers a bit more to maintain the focal point of the triangle. This means my ear height is pretty much bang on with the tweeter now. The difference in high end and sound stage is quite profound. huge even. Staved off any power amp upgrade urges for the time being. Don’t think it was the ear height that caused this large difference though.

I think what has happened, is I have unwittingly acoustically treated my room. I often wondered about reflections, as I could never quite get happy with my speaker positions. I knew my system was capable of more, I just assumed it was the compromise of my living space. My sofa is flat against a back wall, as its rented and I live with my girlfriend there is no reasonable way I could expect to acoustically treat this wall without mahoosive lined canvas prints that I could not afford. Now however, instead of a reflective surface behind me, I have a vast expanse of sofa back, and it seems to be working wonders.

Not sure how I will adapt this information in the long term, but for the time being I am happy sat on the floor tethered to my amp by a Thunderbolt/HDMI cable. With a nice cushion its quite comfortable for an hour or so, normally I wouldn't have longer than that to my self in the evening anyway.

Anyone else fancy trying this?

*I would define a serious listen as only listening to music, not listening and doing something else at the same time. You wouldn't normally catch me with my eyes closed ‘considering’ the music, bearded chin** gently resting on clenched fist :)

**I don’t even have a beard, I just imagine its part of the serious audiophile uniform :p
 

Frank Harvey

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You may find that it's not so much that you've sat on the floor, but more to do with the fact that you've moved yourself away from the rear wall where the bass will be collecting. Avoiding close proximity to the rear wall tends to reveal much more detail and far less boom.
 

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
You may find that it's not so much that you've sat on the floor, but more to do with the fact that you've moved yourself away from the rear wall where the bass will be collecting. Avoiding close proximity to the rear wall tends to reveal much more detail and far less boom.
But then leaning forward in my imagined audiophile chin on fist position would have had the same effect would it not? I have previously leant forward on the sofa, giving myself the same distance away from the back wall just with wall behind my head and not sofa. Who knows though, I'm just guessing whats going on, quite enamored with it though whatever it is :)
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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Reality is the acoustics are different in each different part of the room. I got some flack on another thread recently for saying a move of a few milimetres can be different, and sometimes it can be a big difference. Here, you are lower, further from the rear wall, nearer the speakers and have absorbent material behind you.

First thing to do is sit on the sofa with a big cushion behind your head and see what happens :)
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Hi Paul

I would have said much the same as David. Years ago I used to set up hifi systems (I was a Saturday boy for 10 years!) and being close to the rear wall was almost always fatal, especially if it wasn't very absorbing. Oddly the shop's demo room was so tiny we sat near the rear wall, but it was a sort of fibreboard partition, covered in a flock wallpaper, and with some sloping too, so was not too reflective.

'Head on hands' mode for you might go some way towards correcting, but sitting on the floor you are getting a very different perspective, and damping the floor with your backside! It certainly reassures me about what I often ponder on this forum, that many of the 'faults' reported are set-up issues.

Glad you've saved a few bob, anyway!
 
A

Anonymous

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With my listening room being so small iv had no choice but to sit up close to the rear wall.

As mentioned above this will be fatal unless properly treated hence the need for bass trapping.

Were my room big enough for distance between my sofa and the rear wall then diffusion could also be employed but in a small room situation heavy trapping/absorption is whats needed and there can never be to much of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o_2tsffkkY&feature=plcp

Treatment has become a bit of an obsession with me and iv come to appreciate just how incredibly important it is in order to hear a systems true capability.

Unfortunately many systems share a living space :hand: :wall: ( though treatment need not be ugly) so unless you've a dedicated listening room you're stuffed, preferably with rock wool:rofl:
 

shafesk

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Sep 18, 2010
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Hi Paul, I know what you mean with regard to hi-fi and listener positioning. I think acoustical treatments do quite a lot especially when the listening position is far from ideal. I used to sit around 5 feet from the speakers with my chair which was less than the distance between the speakers. I now sit in my bed, I get better focus although I'm getting some reflections from the back wall which I'm sitting close to. I think a bass trap might improve matter and I am looking at some at the moment.

Interestingly, when I had stand mounters I used to sit on the floor too as the speakers were at ear level, I think its hugely important to sit at that height....I just don't understand speakers which have their tweeter below their midgrange/bass driver.

Also I wanted to ask you Paul, what do you feel are the difference between Airplay and a direct connection?
 

Inter_Voice

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Oct 5, 2010
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frotler said:
With my listening room being so small iv had no choice but to sit up close to the rear wall.

As mentioned above this will be fatal unless properly treated hence the need for bass trapping.

Were my room big enough for distance between my sofa and the rear wall then diffusion could also be employed but in a small room situation heavy trapping/absorption is whats needed and there can never be to much of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o_2tsffkkY&feature=plcp

Treatment has become a bit of an obsession with me and iv come to appreciate just how incredibly important it is in order to hear a systems true capability.

Unfortunately many systems share a living space :hand: :wall: ( though treatment need not be ugly) so unless you've a dedicated listening room you're stuffed, preferably with rock wool:rofl:
Good acoustic treatment will make a lot of differences on the SQ in partuicular when a room is small. Unfortunately a lot of people just do not accept the idea but prefer spending a lot of money to improve their hardwares (CDP, amps. speakers and interconnects etc). In my small living room I have also put in some acoustic tiles and bass traps (see the little photo on the left) but what is shown in the youtube IMHO is a bit over killed. After making treatments it is also important to take measurements and check the various acosutics responses such as SPL, FR and waterfall diagrams etc.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Inter_Voice said:
frotler said:
With my listening room being so small iv had no choice but to sit up close to the rear wall.

As mentioned above this will be fatal unless properly treated hence the need for bass trapping.

Were my room big enough for distance between my sofa and the rear wall then diffusion could also be employed but in a small room situation heavy trapping/absorption is whats needed and there can never be to much of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o_2tsffkkY&feature=plcp

Treatment has become a bit of an obsession with me and iv come to appreciate just how incredibly important it is in order to hear a systems true capability.

Unfortunately many systems share a living space :hand: :wall: ( though treatment need not be ugly) so unless you've a dedicated listening room you're stuffed, preferably with rock wool:rofl:
what is shown in the youtube IMHO is a bit over killed. After making treatments it is also important to take measurements and check the various acosutics responses such as SPL, FR and waterfall diagrams etc.
Not at all sure what you mean by overkill :? . A small room can not have too many bass traps.

If you're thinking perhaps that the room is dead then you couldn't be more wrong :shame: . It sounds exceptional and in the flesh looks pretty plush. Even the hoover sounds good.

Its a listening room and its sole purpose is for listening in. Hand on chin. It has been put together slowly and carefuly, trap by trap over the past year using all the data available and under the guidance of Blue Frog Audio :)
 

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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shafesk said:
Also I wanted to ask you Paul, what do you feel are the difference between Airplay and a direct connection?
I wrote this in the now defunct Houndcat thread...

Paul Hobbs said:
This thread and the Airplay SQ thread inspired an experiment this morning. Same file, Park Lake Speakers by Ella Guru ripped at 320kbps AAC. Eq and sound check etc disabled on both sources.

A: iPhone > Airplay > D-link hub > ATV2 > HDMI > Onkyo 805's Burr Browns.

B: MacBook Pro > Thunderbolt to HDMI cable > Onkyo 805's Burr Browns.

I 'believe' I can tell a pretty pronounced difference. Not night and day, but noticeable. I don't know what language to use to express what I was hearing, but the direct cable sounded nicer to me than the airplay setup. Weirdly, the Airplay setup sounded 'grittier' or maybe 'noisier' in the mids. The problem is I can't do a straight up blind test to see if it's some form of mentalness or not. I wanted to hit the source button a few times to toggle HDMIs, enough time to loose track of which source I was on. The problem is every time I toggle away from the MBP, OS X recognises the loss of connection and switches back to computer speakers to blatantly advertise which source has just stopped playing. I'm open to testing a different way, but I can't get anyone to help me.

Doesn't cost me anything, so can't hurt to keep using the cable I guess.
I need a new router as well to stop Airplay dropouts, but its such a boring thing to drop £100 on! I built a crude parabolic reflector from card and tinfoil which gave me a near 20% signal increase in my living room. This seems to have prevented dropouts from my laptop but not from my iPhone. I'm pretty certain the Thunderbolt/HDMI connection gives me a cleaner sound. Don't know why this is, I don't believe that resampling the data should affect the curve significantly. Maybe its just the significantly shorter/simpler signal path?
 

ID.

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Feb 22, 2010
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John Duncan said:
Cup your hands behind your ears and see how much the sound changes...
Oh, my, God :clap:

OK, maybe a bit of an overreaction, but my wife gave me a strange look and asked what I was doing....I did like the change in sound though.

The floor wasn't so effective for me because of the height of my tweeters, but my sofa is against the back wall, so moving away lessens the bass. I can even adjust the amount of bass bloom by how far forward I lean.

Angling the speakers more than the makers recommendation also helped focus the soundstage nicely.
 

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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John Duncan said:
Cup your hands behind your ears and see how much the sound changes...
Im going to design an audiophile hat which does just that :) Maybe it could use parabolic reflectors... Maybe I could build a beard in to it...
 

jiggyjoe

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Aug 21, 2010
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You should always try and listen as near to the tweeter axis as much as you can.

large suckouts in the tweeters frequency response develop if you sit either much lower or higher than the tweeters height.

You could try and lean your speakers back a bit by adjusting the plinth spikes or feet so they are higher at the front than at the back.

This will aim the tweeters up more to your ear level.
 

shooter

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BenLaw said:
I got some flack on another thread recently for saying a move of a few milimetres can be different, and sometimes it can be a big difference.
You did?

Well from experiance very small values can make a difference, it took me weeks of tweeking to set those old Mani's up, sometimes its was milimeters.
 

Paul.

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Nov 26, 2010
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BenLaw said:
Have you tried the big cushion behind the head yet Paul? :)
Not yet, the neighbours are away and there alarm is going off, so not really in the mood for music as the alarm ruins it. Heading out on my bike in a mo to get away from it, thank god I cant here it in the bedroom!

(Their alarm always go off, I checked all the windows were intact so all is well)
 

sheggs

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May 30, 2012
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As well as treating your room acoustically then the positioning of monitors, sitting poistion can make a massive difference.

The best way to check this is to measure the room response, get the waterfall graphs for different positions etc and look for the best response.

There are quite a few different free software packages that you can get for free. I would Recommend REW. Microphone wise for measuring the Behringer ECM8000 is cheap and very good. Whichever microphone you use just make sure it is omni directional. Try out different things with the room set up and try it out

If you need help on getting going go onto You Tube look REW measuring rooms and there are quite a few videos which will help
 

danrv

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Sep 17, 2010
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[/quote]

Im going to design an audiophile hat which does just that :) Maybe it could use parabolic reflectors... Maybe I could build a beard in to it... [/quote]

I'll take one of those if you're considering mass producing it.
 

danrv

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Sep 17, 2010
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My listening chair has to be against the back wall in my 4m x 4m bedroom and I notice an increase in bass which I don't really want. Is it caused by reflections? I have no specific acoustic treatment,just carpet and soft furnishings.

I'm also constantly experimenting with cabling and moving the speakers which are in empty corners ,around 18" from back and side walls. The bass from the Lektors is deep and well controlled but on occasions the lower mids of vocals can be muffled due to the the slight excess of bass.

Maybe a couple of bass traps might help or some acoustic treatment on the back wall.

CA Azur 640C / Rotel RA-01 / Dali Lektor 2 / Nexux Atacama 6 / Target HiFi stand / Chord cables.
 

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