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Objectivists board room

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by joe bloggs, May 28, 2015.
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  1. bigshot
    I'm limited in the amount of treatment I can do in my listening room. The walls and ceiling are all 1950s knotty pine, and I'm not about to cover that up with acoustic panels. I experimented with speaker placement and laid the furniture out to make it as easy on the sound as possible, and then EQed the rest of the way. It works fine. Room acoustics aren't an absolute thing. You need to trade off and make compromises so the room still works as a living space. In that sense it's different than designing a recordings studio.

    I have really good headphones, but even my bookshelf system is more enjoyable to me than my cans.
    93EXCivic likes this.
  2. 93EXCivic
    Ok thanks. My living room is kind of part of an L open room with a big opening to the kitchen kind of behind and is super awkward for acoustics I would think with the furniture we have. It isn't very deep either. Any changes would have to have the wife's approval.

    I am currently also in the process of rebuilding my garage with an upstairs office/workshop (3d printers, soldering, etc). I was thinking of doing a near field setup in there. I am assuming that a near field would be better then headphones.
  3. RRod
    My listening room is open to the dining room and kitchen, with windows on the other side and the subwoofer right near the fireplace, and I still prefer my floorstanders to anything headphones do.
    93EXCivic likes this.
  4. 93EXCivic
    Thanks guys. I guess I will go with my original plan of building some Fostex driver based towers with a sub and a vintage receiver and Hifiberry setup.
  5. castleofargh Contributor
    on principle, headphones with custom signature, and some DSP for the stereo(or if you're lucky with binaural albums), could do better than even great speakers in a good room in a few fidelity measurements. but getting there isn't easy, while it's hard not to love the feeling of low end frequencies shaking our body with speakers. so unless you try to go the road of customizing headphone signal a lot and maybe adding a subwoofer for tactile sub, speakers also have my vote.
    you can probably get something enjoyable even if not ideal, after moving the speakers around a little and maybe get a mic and measurement software to see how you can save the day and or the room.
  6. sonitus mirus
    I haven't used my headphones at home in a long time, and I listen to hours of music nearly every day. At work I still use headphones on occasion, but mostly so people won't bother me. :ksc75smile:
  7. sonitus mirus
    Just my opinion, but for music listening, I don't think a subwoofer is a requirement. In my research, it was the subwoofer that is typically the most inferior transducer in most people's setup, and a good subwoofer is very expensive. A subwoofer is the easiest way to mess up the sound quality for music. Now for movies and video games, even a cheap subwoofer is usually good and more pleasing than not having one at all.
  8. castleofargh Contributor
    I was suggesting a woofer with the headphone to bring back the missing tactile feelings. it's an aspect of real ambient acoustic experience so I'm tempted to say that even a bad woofer is more fidelity than no tactile response. but I'm fine with putting this as my personal taste. also it's not about hearing ^_^.
    and I can't talk about those shaking devices we put on a chair because I have yet to try one. maybe that's a cool substitute?
  9. bigshot
    Good subwoofers are definitely expensive. If you talk to a home theater technician and explain what you're trying to do, he can steer you in the right direction. That is what I did and although it cost me a grand, it was well worth it. I never complain about spending money on speakers. That's the area where the bang for the buck threshold is higher. In a large room or with bookshelf speakers, a subwoofer is a necessity. If you have full range speakers and a smaller room, it isn't so much. The trick is finessing the response and crossover. It takes a bit of work, but adding a center and rear channel does too and it is well worth the trouble.

    The advantage of a subwoofer isn't just the kinesthetic thump. A good subwoofer properly calibrated and integrated into the room will nearly always improve the bass response and clarity over just two full range speakers. Full range speakers aren't designed to do bass perfectly. They employ compromises to be an all in one solution to the problem.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  10. Strangelove424
    You can pick up a really good subwoofer below $500 pretty easily. They might not be super powerful 15" woofers that can deal with a huge room, but they will play clean and flat down to 17Hz-20Hz, with plenty of SPL for people with normal sized rooms. I had to spend a bit more than I thought I would for a good subwoofer, but nothing too outrageous.
  11. pinnahertz
    I guess it depends on how you define your own "good". I haven't found a below-$500 subwoofer that I considered "good" yet, as they don't deliver adequate SPL at 20Hz, but that's not part of every definition of "good".

    It's my stupid expensive tastes. I got it bad. Speakers, subs, cameras and lenses, test equipment....darn it! I do keep it under control by applying the Pareto principle wherever possible, and that saves a cubic car-load of cash. And, since I don't buy audiophool cables, wires, ointments, bricks, or pyramids, or enemas, that extra cash goes to real improvements...like speakers and subs!
  12. Zapp_Fan
    Kind of depends, despite best efforts it's hard to replicate the sound of headphones on loudspeakers and vice-versa. Even on this forum, I've seen strong opinions that speakers are a more "true to original" (i.e. the recording as heard in the studio) way to listen, and tend to agree that there is something to that argument. So, if you value fidelity to 'what they heard in the studio' then you should place some priority on speakers.

    How flexible is your speaker placement? Speaker placement is very important, it goes hand-in-hand with acoustic treatment. This is a really nice guide to speaker placement I came across recently. it's aimed at recording studios, but the same principles apply.


    If you can see clear to covering 20-30% of your walls with acoustic treatment, you will have a room that's better than 99% of listeners. Even 15% might be worth a go. And, acoustic panels do not need to be ugly. In fact a few years ago I noticed one acoustic treatment store online selling custom printed fabric-covered panels for CHEAPER than you could buy a plain custom digital-printed canvas. Effectively you got a bunch of wall art and the acoustic treatment is thrown in for free. Go figure... Not sure if they are still doing it, but you can get that kind of thing for sure.
    JaeYoon likes this.
  13. Zapp_Fan
    So today I demoed some really blingy gaming headphones that included two transducers per ear - one for sound and one for what you might call "rumble" or "LFE". The fidelity overall was exactly what you'd expect from shiny plastic headphones that light up, but I thought the tactile sensation from the extra driver was actually interesting... the low frequency content in the game actually vibrated the cans rather noticeably - it wasn't like being in the presence of (say) actual thunder, but it was as much as you could expect from a headphone in that regard. They were USB powered so I guess it wasn't a problem to draw enough current to generate vibrations in addition to actual audio, but it's actually not unlike your sub + cans solution in a way. I wonder if there's room for "rumble" effects in hi-fi?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    JaeYoon likes this.
  14. JaeYoon
    If you want big rumble!

    I think you might be better off with that gaming headphone for less.
  15. Zapp_Fan
    Ironically the bass performance on these gaming headphones was nothing special. It basically had a special transducer just to add sub or near-subsonic vibrations you can kinda feel in your head. But, it helped to add the "you are there" sense of tactile vibrations from low bass. Something that is commonly said to be one of the inherent 'missing pieces' of headphone listening, which got me thinking as to whether it might have more potential than just being a gimmick for teenagers... curious what people might think about such things.
    JaeYoon likes this.
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