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Just moved home? The fastest route to high quality sound revealed

by Nyal Mellor February 24, 2010

Nyal Mellor says:

Recently I moved to a new house. The room is an odd, L shaped space which although on the small side is actually quite typical of the spaces most people have to work with. I reckon that 95% of us don't have a dedicated listening space. We have to share it with other members of our family and the room may be used for dining, working and entertaining. It is these, non-dedicated rooms, that are the most challenging (and fun) in my opinion to work with. Not only do you have to solve the acoustics issues, but you have to do so in a way that is acceptable to the rest of the family or users of the space.  

 /></span><span class=My humble new spaceI'm sure all of you have gone through the experience of moving house or moving your music/movie reproduction system into a new room. In some cases the sound will be obviously better but you may not understand why. Most typically though in my experience is that some parts of the sound will be better and some parts will be worse. And most of us are probably at a loss about why these differences have appeared.

Having moved a lot myself (5 times in the last 5 years) I have come to the conclusion that having a good understanding of acoustic design and calibration is the quickest way to getting good sound in your new space. Before I was schooled in acoustics I would often be unsatisfied with the sound quality I was getting until I had spent huge amounts of time over an elapsed duration of months or years fine tuning the sound through a process of experimentation. In those days I probably thought there was method to the madness but in hindsight I had no clue. My 'process' involved trying out new cables or amplifiers or maybe moving the speakers a little left or right trying to alter the system balance through equipment. In the end the system would always sound acceptable but it was always a long and tedious process whereas it would have been better to have spent that time on enjoying and exploring music or movies. And in hindsight with no knowledge of acoustics the sound I was getting was only ever a shadow of what it could have been.

Each time I move the process to get good sound seems to be quicker. This is because I have a defined process to work with. This incorporates the art (listening, interpreting and problem solving) as well as the science (using appropriate measurements) of good acoustic design and calibration. This is the same process we use at Acoustic Frontiers.

In my new space I am getting the best sound quality I have ever had. From beginning to end the process has take a little over a month, including the lead time for ordering and installation of appropriate acoustic treatments. Actual time spent on design and calibration has been 12 or so hours.

So the value proposition for using a skilled acoustic design and calibration professional is clear - you will get better sound quality than you would have done otherwise and you will get it faster. This will allow you more time to do the thing that actually matters - enjoying music and movies!




Nyal Mellor
Nyal Mellor

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Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers

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  • Fairfax, Northern California, USA

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