Lousy room acoustics - Help!

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by David_Wong, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. David_Wong

    David_Wong Auditioning

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    I have my equipment in a room that is not a regular rectangle which I believe is the reason why I'm hearing what I'm hearing.

    Although I get a fairly stable stereo image from my mains, I always get a feeling that the female vocals of different recordings tend to emanate from left of center more often than not. I suspect my room has something to do with it. I will attempt to draw my floorplan as best I can using ascii:


    _________________________________
    |................................|
    |................................|
    |...LSP....................RSP...|
    |................................---------
    |........................................|
    |........................................Door
    |........................................Door
    |........................................Door
    |........................................Door
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |............... LP......................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |........................................|
    |________ Opening A ____ Opening B_______|


    I do my critical listening from LP (Listening Position). LSP and RSP are my left and right speakers respectively. I keep "Door" closed for critical listening. Opening B is the doorway to the dining room, and has no door attached. Opening A is an opening about 3 ft from the floor, going up to the ceiling, it's about 4.5ft wide.

    The speakers are 6 feet apart. Distance from speakers to back wall is about 3 feet, to front wall about 13 feet.

    LP is about 9 feet from either speaker. As you can see, LP is closer to the left wall than the right wall by about 4 feet. Also, Right speaker is firing directly into an empty doorway (no door attached), but Left speaker gets some reflection.

    Okay, the room is far from ideal but this is all I have. I live in a small apartment and this is the living room. I cannot move the right speaker forward and to the right because it will block "Door". I can't move it forward of the door because then it'll be too far forward.

    Could anyone help with any tricks to beat this room? Or do I have to live with off-center vocals that I know should be coming from dead in front.

    My speakers are Athena AS-B2s on 27" stands and they gave a really good image when I listened to them in the store.
     
  2. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I don't think your room is that bad. In terms of layout. Do you have carpet or wood floors?

    How far are your speakers from the walls on either side? If you have room I would try moving them 1'-2' further apart.
     
  3. David_Wong

    David_Wong Auditioning

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    The floor is carpet, the wall is drywall.

    The speakers are 1 foot from the side walls so I don't have a lot of room to maneuver.
     
  4. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I suspect your left speakers closeness to that wall is causing what you are hearing. I'm guessing it is reflection off that wall that your not getting with the right speakers because of the bump out on the right side. Try hanging some blankets on that wall and see if that tames it. If so then you'll have to work at a more elegant solution. Also toe-in them in as much as possible.
     
  5. David_Wong

    David_Wong Auditioning

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    Toe-ing the speakers in helped tremendously. [​IMG] Thanks! I haven't tried to hang anything on the wall yet, but I will try that also. A nice wall-hanging rug might even improve the decor.

    The Athena AS-B2s are such a joy to listen to. Sarah Brightman's vocals on A Time to Say Goodbye is clear and precise. The stereo imaging is rock solid.

    I would encourage anyone looking for speakers to give these a listen. They are just about the most (physically) accessible speakers of their quality because you can find them at any Best Buy. However, it may be difficult to pair them with a worthy amp at Best Buy.
     
  6. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Glad the toe-in is working for you, which can often help imaging, although sometimes at the expense of soundstage. Per previous suggestions, it's always worth trying to eliminate any primary reflection points. One other point worth mentioning (IMO): there's no firm rule that your listening position be the same distance from both speakers. Due to room and related issues, a small difference of distance may help at times. You may need to play with receiver/controller settings to compensate, and such an arrangement may not be suitable for all modes of listening (e.g., music vs HT), but this is always worth a try when other avenues reach a dead end.

    Doug
     

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