Hi Fi, why does the room matter so much!

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  • Hi Fi, why does the room matter so much!
  • aP
    Member

    Did the shop have a rc slab floor and does your house have timber suspended floors?

    deluded
    Member

    I bought a Marantz mini-system with Mourdant short speakers (from Richer Sounds) recently to play my iPod through and it’s a fantastic sound – a perfectly serviceable bit of kit for my ears. Your own ability to hear and pick up on all the different sounds & notes will put natural boundaries on what can be gotten out of a system. I have a friend who has £30,000 set up with all sorts of ludicrously expensive cables and he plays mostly thrash metal and hard industrial through it FFS.

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    Mate of mine had a lovely little system; Musical Fidelity Amp, Marantz CD, Heyborrok speakers. He fitted laminate flooring in his front room (RC council block). Then wondered why everything suddenly din’t sound that good. Took the flooring up again, and hey presto- problem solved.

    TBH all but purpose built listening rooms aren’t going to sound optimum, so no amount of money will solve basic structural deficiencies. Makes me laugh that some folk spend tens of thousands if not more, on fancy gear that they then go and stick in a Barrat box with plasterboard walls, suspended ceilings and the like. Speshly if they’re late middle aged with significantly diminished hearing. 🙄 😀

    Enjoy the music, not the sound….

    neilnevill
    Member

    Andy, yes, good point….timber suspended floor which does give added bass resonance….I can feel it moving if the sub is on and volume is at ‘neighbours must be able to notice…just one track’ type volumes 😉

    neilnevill
    Member

    Yes Elf, I am 🙂 time for a change….where’s Ms Simone got to…

    neilnevill
    Member

    After my trip to a local hi fi shop and some listening yesterday…and sitting here right now listening to REM, I’m amazed at the difference a room makes. Now I’ve a Masters degree in engineering so I’m not a science muppet and understand waves, diffusion, power transmision by waves (well….don’t test me), bandwidth, refraction, filtering, absorption, reflection etc and how this all varies with wavelength and stuff like room shape, soft or hard furnishings are clearly going to alter the sound experience achieved in a room, but but…
    Yesterday I was listening to a few sets of floor standers, driven from a nice Arcam set up, shop was not mahoosive but I guess a bit bigger than my lounge dinner….say each half of the shop (double fronted, joined by an archway inside) 30% bigger than my louge dinner….then again I’m not great at judging…maybe 50% bigger. Shop had carpet floor but other than lots of hifi set ups, no other furnishings. I guess I’d expect a harsher sound, more reflections but what was clear was that all the floor standers seemed weak and feeble in that space…simply no presence, no ability to fill the room.

    I flicked the music on here this morning expecting to feel very underwhelmed….right now I’m listening to a pair of mordaunt short alumni speakers, ickle satellites….very similar to KEF eggs. Listening to music so just the front pair, and for reasons of clarity/performance I’m using the Marantz player to do the D-to-A not the Cambridge Audio reciever (far, far better D2A converter), which means in this set up my sub is not in use – it’s direct analogue mode, stereo only to the front pair.

    Clearly 2 alumni satellites don’t have the bass or ‘ommph’ of a pair of floor standers that cost 3 to 4 times as much, but here in my lounge they do an outstanding job of filling the space. They offer a warm, rich sound with plenty of depth yet still quite clear and controlled, plenty of separation. Listening here is enjoyable, a totally different experience to the shop yesterday. Surely the room and the furnishings is the root of this difference? It seems incredible…..or are 400 to 500 quid floor standers a waste of cash? It must be the room…surely, but…what a huge difference.

    threeek
    Member

    The combination of the speakers and the room can either work together or completely against each other.

    The difference could be the resonant frequency of the smaller room is being excited and augmenting the bass. It’s just like the room acting like a graphic equaliser with some frequencies boosted. The size and shape of the room, and the siting of the speakers can make a big difference. i.e. Moving them close to the walls can increase the bass but muddy its definition; get too close to the wall and some bass notes will be louder than others.

    Edukator
    Member

    I took some bookshelves out to do some repair work. That left two more of less flat surfaces opposite each other. The sound was then horrible. Not surprising but it suggests the more books and junk I cram in the room the better it will sound.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    80% of sound “quality” is the environment in which you stick the kit, only 20% of it is the kit you buy.

    Why do you think sound recording studios go to such great lengths to minimise any effects of the room on the sound… You can produce hit records on speakers costing only a few hundred quid, maybe a grand tops, but only if the room is as good as it can be in terms of its sound dynamics. Spending thousands on speakers in a shoddy room doesn’t deliver good results either.

    The same applies for Hifi too, but people who buy Hifi are usually duped a bit easier by marketing and sales speak than people who make the music, its a hobby for them rather than tools for the trade.

    neilnevill
    Member

    yes, if I get the floorstanders (which I probably will) they will need a bit more care positioning….which isn’t easy since they are so much bigger. The satellites are made to be wall mounted and the wall close behind must reflect and boost the bass. I did play with their positioning a bit before gettng the hammer drill out and mounting them but didn’t notice too much difference, they ended up about 60cm out from the corners, on that wall. The floor standers, due to other furniture, don’t have much space to move around, will probably end up slightly further from the corner, but only 30 or 40 cm from the end wall….hope the bass doesn’t get boomy or I’ll have to take them back.

    yunki
    Member

    mate of mine is a reviewer for the hi-fi buffs hi-fi magazine..

    he gets to use some ace kit.. and his listening room for the big items is very well thought out.. has to be I ‘spose..

    however.. for most of his listening he uses a tiny little room that is jam flippin packed to the rafters full of vinyl.. books.. ornaments.. rugs.. plants.. soft furnishings.. more vinyl.. more rugs and plants.. and more stuff… and then some more stuff on top..

    absorbs and breaks up all the waves that aren’t going into his ears or something.. makes it all nice and pure and clean..

    all of this.. as has been mentioned before.. and is scientifically proven.. and widely acknowledged by experts in the field.. is superfluous to requirements..

    THIS is the best investment you can make to improve sound quality.. even if you are the old woman who lives in a shoe..

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