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Creating a Reference Class Basement Listening Room

by ct_acoustic_frontier January 28, 2022

Creating a Reference Class Basement Listening Room

Client Profile & Project Overview

P.D. is President of a precision manufacturing company in Ilinois. The client was undertaking a basement remodel and desired to create the best possible basement listening room for his reference class electronics and speakers. Equipment included: Raidho D3 version II speakers, MSB Reference DAC and Solution 721 pre-amp with 501 monoblocks. The 15' x 23'3" x 7'7" space allocated for the listening room was in a basement, with two concrete walls.

Acoustic Frontiers Solutions

Acoustic Frontiers provided the following services: The sound isolation design incorporated decoupled walls and ceiling which not only reduce sound transmission but also damp ultra low frequency room mode resonances.   [caption id="attachment_4323" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Sound isolation design for a basement listening room. Sound isolation design for a basement listening room.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4328" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Sound isolation under construction. Sound isolation under construction.[/caption]   We built a low frequency computer simulation of the room to determine not only best room sizing but also investigate speaker / listener positions. [caption id="attachment_4324" align="aligncenter" width="749"]Low frequency modeling of the basement listening room. Low frequency modeling of the basement listening room.[/caption]   The acoustic treatment design for the room included large (30" wide x 30" deep x 84" high) custom de-tuned Helmholtz absorbers in the front wall corners. Since the client did not want to use subwoofers, we had to rely on acoustical treatment to reduce the severity of length related room mode resonances. The Helmholtz absorbers are effective over a 30-300Hz bandwidth. We also designed custom limp mass membrane bass traps to deal with the 2nd axial width mode resonance as well as specifying a number of metal plate absorbers. Reflections were managed using a high amount of diffusion including RPG Omnifussors and Formedfussors. Strategic use of hybrid absorber / diffusers including RPG BAD panels rounds out the design. [caption id="attachment_4325" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Acoustic treatment design for a basement listening room. Acoustic treatment design for a basement listening room.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4329" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Custom Helmholtz absorber under construction. Custom Helmholtz absorber under construction.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_4330" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Front wall of the basement listening room, including custom Helmholtz absorbers. Front wall of the basement listening room, including custom Helmholtz absorbers.[/caption]

The Results

The completed, fabric stretch and walnut-trimmed room looks fantastic and is a fitting space in which to house a reference class system. [caption id="attachment_4332" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Completed basement listening room. Completed basement listening room.[/caption]  

In the Client's Words

"Nyal did an exceptional job with this room. The imaging and realism is astounding. The musicians are present in the room. The sound does not emanate from the speakers but the room itself. Eliminating the negative effects of low frequency room nodes which cancel midrange frequencies (the heart of most recordings) is simply astounding. You don’t realize what your missing until you listen in a room that is effectively nonexistent with respect to its negative impact on audible frequencies. Lesson learned: Start with your room before you buy any high end gear. It is by far the most important ingredient to nirvana and the best money you will spend." PD, Room Owner


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