Acoustic Treatment Considerations for Sound Lab Speakers?

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    • #939
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I have some questions about acoustic treatments for Sound Lab speakers.

      Here is my room.  My primary listening position is on the sofa in the middle.  About 90% of my listening, however, is sitting at the desk facing the left wall.

      The plan view below is fairly accurate.  The blue lines indicate the approximate position of Sound Labs when I get them, although I think I’ll likely slide them wider so more of the back wave hits the bookcases.  I may slide them further into the room as well.  You can see my desk and chair along the “left” wall (bottom of the plan), which if I keep the desk centered between the bookcases on the left wall, will be close enough to the left panel to touch, which seems a bit close to me.
      I’m deep in the acoustic treatment rabbit hole.  I know I have some pretty significant constructive and destructive interference (room nodes) even after I’ve done quite a bit of bass “trapping”.  My “Swarm”  subs do a great job managing bass in the primary listening position (+/- 2 dB below 100 Hz!), but bass in my secondary listening position is quite lumpy (~+- 10dB below 100 Hz).  One option is to repeat my subwoofer crawl using my desk chair to optimize bass, but that will likely leave my sweet spot lumpy.  Another approach is to increase my low frequency bass absorption to smooth response in both locations.

      I’m toying with getting a couple RPG Modex panels for the back wall (behind the primary listening position) and, since RPG has a min order qty of 4 units, two corner Modex panels for the right rear corner.  I’m also considering adding 8 2’x2′ GIK T40 panels and 9 T40 corners for the wall-ceiling interfaces.  Is this worth doing before I get my Sound Labs or should I wait and see how the dipolar bass energizes my room?

      Thanks,
      Evan

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    • #944
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Here’s a frequency response of my room without the Swarm subs, which do a very good job smoothing bass response at the primary listening position.

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    • #946
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I no longer have the curves, but the bass absorbers I’ve already added significantly improved the waterfall plot. There is no flutter/slap echo to speak of in the room, although I’m sure some treatment of the primary reflection points would help things.

    • #947
      MikeB
      Participant

      Based on you OTL Asylum post and our PM conversation [https://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=otl&m=38458], I believe you’re in the midst of obtaining new Atma-shpere MA-1 amps and SoundLabs.

      If you room sounds ok with your current speakers, you should be ok with the SoundLab’s. Moving them ~4+ feet out from the wall behind them, should be a good starting point. Moreover, I wouldn’t worry about purchasing room treatments until the new Atma-sphere MA-1 amps and SoundLab 645’s are installed and you’ve played around with positioning the speakers and have become accustomed to what they present sonically and bring to the room – i.e. wait for the status quo to develop and be established. That will give you a better handle on what a tweak or move here or there, will provide etc…

      The placement of the speakers in your drawing seems like it is a good starting point.

      Although the desk may be where you’re at most of the time, it obviously should be quite secondary sonically to the sweet spot on the sofa. I would tweak things to sound their best at the sofa and be satisfied with what then occurs at the desk, with perhaps a subtle compromise here or there.

      Your rear/corner bookcases appear to contain albums and books. These should help absorb and deflect the speaker’s rear wave. Heavy drapes over the window area may also be of benefit, but that sort of thing can wait. Because you have what look like louvered doors at the back of the room, enclosing a space with what looks like an angled wall, these features could quite well be beneficial.

      Although SoundLab’s are physically imposing, I’ve found them set-up wise, to be quite room friendly. I would assume that is because they are line source drivers and side and ceiling reflections are curtailed. This is why they can be placed quite closely to the side walls and even ceilings.

      The goal should be to have the initial sound wave arrive at your ears before its remnants. Thus, dissipating or slowing the propagation of reverberate energy, especially from the speakers rear wave, is important which is why they should be pulled as far out into the room as possible &/or sounds goods.

      Good luck and congratulations on your new equipment. After fiddling with the set-up, let us know your observations and findings.

    • #948
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Mike,
      Thank you!

      Yes, I have a pair of Sound Lab 645s coming as well as a pair of AtmaSphere MA-1s.

      I think (hope) my mid and high “diffusion” with records and books will suffice. I definitely have some room modes, and it seems they would be just as susceptible to planars as cone speakers. I do think it’s prudent to hold off any major expenditure until the new components arrive.

      I also agree with optimizing for my sweet spot. (What I’ve done to date) I also like the idea of making my desk chair position sound better, as well.

      If you haven’t noticed, I’m not so good at patiently waiting!

      Evan

    • #950
      kilkil
      Participant

      It is understandable to want the couch to have the best position, however listening that off center at the desk is not great (you get almost no sound from left speaker).

      if you can possibly pull off putting the desk behind the couch, like the attached image, you would have much better sound while working. 3 feet for the desk chair is a little tight, but should be usable.

      My main reasoning is that i spend 45+hrs a week at my desk and it also is where i spend the majority of my listening time. It is so much more enjoyable having a good system in my office. With this proposed layout, you optimize the sound for the couch, though it is almost optimized for the desk also.

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    • #952
      MikeB
      Participant

      The desk moving suggestion is good idea “kilil”. That indeed would provide the best of both worlds. I hope it may work in Evan’s case.

      In fact, why not move the desk, dispense with the sofa, buy an extremely comfy desk chair and be done with. If a 2nd. listener’s spot was needed it could be in another moveable chair behind the main desk one. A sofa/off-the-sweet-spot listening position has never been to my liking.

      Or, perhaps this desk/no sofa idea may work better if the speakers were placed on the desk’s wall as opposed to in front of the windows. If 90% of the listening time will be done from the desk, why not have SoundLab desk speakers!??

      • #953
        ACHiPo
        Participant

        Kilkil,
        That is a great idea. Not sure if it will work space wise, plus there will still be a 27” monitor blocking sound, but it still might be better than its current location. Will let you know what the measurements indicate.

        Evan

    • #955
      MikeB
      Participant

      ACHiPo, For your purposes, I hope Kilkil’s idea works space wise. The monitor shouldn’t be too detrimental; especially when compared to the original wall/desk postion, that is Left speaker centric.

    • #963
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Gents,
      I’m afraid it’s either a desk or the sofa. There’s just not enough space for both (without the sofa being between the Sound Labs at least!).

      I had a bit of an epiphany this morning and discovered that by adding some thin-ish acoustic panels to the coffee bar, closet, and man doors I should be able to significantly increase my LF absorption without too much money or aesthetic impact. I think if I get the bass to within 5 dB or so in the room I will be able to reach a compromise in Swarm settings to get 2 dB range in both listening positions.

      Evan

    • #964
      kilkil
      Participant

      That is sad that it can’t be optimized for both couch and desk.

      Here is another possible option, what about turning the couch 180degrees with desk behind it. Would the bay window area be enough room for the desk chair? This may also not really be feasible due to partially blocking the closet and kitchenette, besides not having a direct view of outside.

    • #969
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I slid my desk as far as possible to the left. My chair is now about even with the primary listening position. Initial bass response is similar in my chair as the primary.

      I have some acoustic absorbers en route. Once they are installed I’ll use REW and baseline.

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