Is it Acoustics, the Speakers, both?

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Jay Brown, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Sunday afternoon I moved my old Pioneer vsx-1020k reciever to my bedroom along with three of my Infinity Primus speakers, the mains and center channel. Everything going, I began to stream a few movies through using Plex using my Nexus Player. I didn't pay that much attention to the audio, until I went back downstairs to watch a football game, and I was surprised by the improvement in sound. I know I don't have any surrounds set up in the bedroom, and my living room system is set up with an Atmos configuration, but even with two-channel audio, the sound was much clearer. Both rooms are made up of the same materials regarding walls and carpet, and the living room consists of a Love Seat about 6 feet away from the speakers while the bed in the bedroom is close to 7 to 8 feet.

    Both receivers were set to Pure Direct and with the Klipsch Speakers downstairs, I still had a much improved bass response compared to the Infinity speakers.

    My question is, how does one determine whether or not they need to improve acoustics, as opposed to using improved products for audio? In both listening areas, the walls are very reflective and is the main reason why my subwoofer is no where near a corner after performing a Subwoofer Crawl and a few tests using REW last spring (using Pioneer receiver). The Klipsch are an improvement over the Infinity Primus speakers, but I wouldn't go as far as to say they are Martin Logan vs Sony improved, which is a comparison I do recall hearing years ago.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster Grim Reaper

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    I have a one third octave RTA with a calibrated mic. I also have the Audio Tools App for the iPhone and this mic - https://www.oppodigital.com/uhd/ The App includes an RTA. I also have this mic - http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-umm-6-usb-measurement-microphone--390-808 and Room EQ Wizard on the music servers - http://www.roomeqwizard.com/

    So there are a variety of ways to measure. If you could swap speakers in the rooms then you can of course do a comparison. It also could just be a better match between speakers and receiver. I my old house, I bought a Pioneer 1120 for the basement. It was a huge room (perhaps around 650 sq. ft.) and I had an old Marantz 7300 OSE (orig. special ed.) in there prior and the Pioneer was just lacking with my B&W speakers. Just lacked weight and sounded soft. I moved my 1120 to the office in the old house with a pair of Mofi speakers and it sounded great. I bought an Onkyo 1008 for the old house basement. I have the 1120 in my current master bedroom and it sounds good and the 1008 is now used in my office and it sounds good as well. So it could be that as well.
     
  3. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    LOL the Speaker switch-a-roo was a thought ("was" being the focal point), but I just do not have the energy yet to take on such a task. I'm just using a simple Radio Shack SPL Meter, the digital version, and I have a Dayton Audio mic sitting in one of my wishlists on Amazon. I'm going to run MCACC on the bedroom system this weekend. I know if I run REW in this room the results will be pretty bad, as the only improvement that was noticeable software and tonal wise was with the movement of the subwoofer in the living room.
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster Grim Reaper

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    The mics from the links I posted are on sale at Parts Express (and the USB one is as cheap as I've seen it). I originally ordered one (of the Dayton mics about a year back) from Amazon for more (at the time it was a few dollars cheaper) but it took a couple of months. There's also sources to get pink noise online as well as several discs which have tones on them. For whatever reason in the old house in the basement my 1120 just did not sound good with my B&Ws but the 1120 sounded great with my old MoFi speakers. I never bothered to measure as I used the basement 95+% of the time for either daytime TV (e.g. football) with an old Sony projector and an 88 inch Carada screen and for movies. Probably a bit more for TV vs. movies. I had my main system upstairs in the old place but the room was a 2-Story Grand Room with windows galore from all angles and the room got used more for 2-channel music than anything else.
     
  5. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster Grim Reaper

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    This was the basement of the old house. For whatever reason, the Pioneer 1120 did not sound good in the set-up, and, as noted above, I ended up moving it to the office of the old house and it sounded great with the MoFi speakers.
    [​IMG]
     

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  6. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    There is so much at play with acoustics it is mind boggling. I'm still trying to decide how much I want to do in the basement and if my goal is to primarily improve HT sound or stereo or split the difference. And all of these auto EQ routines are more and more debatable to me. I'm wondering if we didn't have it right just setting the channel levels by SPL. I have had fairly good luck with ARC but yesterday I moved the sub so I re-ran ARC and it set the LFE channel 8-10dB too high. It was obvious to the ear that it was off and when I measured it was way off. This is the first time I recall ARC being off like that so its probably just an anomaly but its something to be aware of and that's just the channel level. You have no idea how bad an AVR could be screwing up the EQ aspect because its tough to validate independently.
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    Are the rooms substantially different in size? If the bedroom is in the 10-12 feet wide or square range you've likely got a huge suckout of bass in the 40-50hz range. If the living room is much larger you won't have that room response issue. Measuring the in room response is the only way to really know (although there are some room modelling apps that let you define the room dimensions and speaker/listener positions and give you a pretty good rough idea).
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Gear matters...but not as much as the room does from what I've experienced...esp when it comes to bass.
     
  9. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    I performed some living room measurements last night and discovered that I had conflicting information coming from the property owner compared to my actual measurements. I used the property owner's information for when I bought new living room furniture back in the spring.

    (((Edit - adjusted square footage of room)))
    Width =12ft
    Length = 18

    Ceiling Height = 8

    I did measure the ceiling height of the bedrooms and they are identical at 8 feet.

    Taking consideration furniture which consists of a love sit directly in from of the system while the couch is to the left along the wall, thick curtains in the living room to cover the windows, CD/DVD Rack, the acoustics is a bit more manageable compared to the bed room where there is more clearance and echo as sound travels throughout the room.


    One aspect of two-channel audio I've noticed is that while my speakers are not towed in towards the central listening area, there are some instances where I think the center channel is running and it's not. This usually happens with older compositions which consist of more acoustic instruments rather than electronic. The listening area in the living room is very quiet now with the exception of the hard drive in my Tivo constantly running. In the bed room where my Dell Zino HTPC is now doing it's NAS work, the sound is noticeable the moment you enter the room.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

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