Creating a system you love shouldn't be difficult. The Acoustic Frontiers blog is here to help.
The first task in most dedicated rooms is to "rough in" speaker and listener position. It is typical for dedicated rooms to have a lot of flexibility in terms of placement, something that mixed use rooms generally do not have. We supplied Mr. Lowe with the easy to use XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro package so that he could take acoustic measurements of his room and we could assist with placement optimization. This can all be done remotely - the measurement software is installed on the clients computer and we "remote in" over the internet using a screen sharing application. Over a phone call with us seeing the same screen as the client it is possible to very quickly optimize placement and even do things like system equalization and subwoofer integration.
XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro includes all the hardware and software you need to take room acoustic measurements[/caption] In the client's words: "The first measurements taken with XTZ showed that the most dominate room mode was centered at 47Hz @12.5db. Nyal advised me that room treatments wouldn't touch it and if I didn't want another set of subs in the rear of the room to cancel this mode, I would need to find the null for this room mode. Nyal showed me how to do this simply using the mic and the RTA function in XTZ. I found the null almost exactly where Nyal predicted it would be; 5'2" from the front wall." After speaker placement we performed our Room Acoustic Analysis process, analyzing the frequency response and time decay of the room. The standard 20 page PDF report was sent to the client and discussed over the phone. We agreed the high level path forward and then proceeded with a detailed Acoustic Treatment Design that specified the number, type and location of acoustic treatments. For this particular project we specified a number of Primacoustic products including the RazorBlade QRD diffuser, FullTrap bass trap, FlexiFuser slat absober / diffuser and Stratus cloud absorber panels.
View towards the front of Mr. Lowe's acoustically treated dedicated listening room[/caption] Finally we proceeded to post install verification and System Setup. Per Mr. Lowe: "After the treatments were setup and I dialed in the toe-in (3/8"), I was ready for parametric EQ. This is the part where most audiophiles will go running for the door. Although Nyal is a proponent of EQ, he does not think EQ can solve all problems. At this point my decay time was about .4 seconds evenly across the frequency spectrum. I was told that my room would sound dead and "uninvolving" with all of these treatments. I don't hear it. The decay time is perfect for me. I am not a live music re-creator. I simply want the musical performance as it was originally recorded. How to EQ? As you can see, I only use a music server for my source. I have a custom windows music server. I run Jriver is media server mode. Jriver is the best software I have tried and I have tried them all on mac and windows, almost. Nyal recommended a VST plugin called FabFilter Pro Q. It's very easy to use. Nyal and I ran one more XTZ measurement and then Nyal recommended a total of 6 bands of parametric EQ (all low frequency). XTZ has a simulation mode so I was able to test his recommendations out which gave a result within +/-5dB over the range 16Hz-125Hz. Fabfilter is totally transparent. I can turn it on and off and I lose nothing in the higher frequencies. The only difference that can be heard is the corrected frequencies."
View towards the rear of the clients room[/caption]
More information can be found on the thread at What's Best Forum.
Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers