Newbie Q: Soundstage, what for?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JustinS, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    Probably been asked before but I could not find with a search.

    I am in the process of building a very modest theater room (or more to the point, a theater end of a larger room) in my basement.

    Specifics:

    Room is open-backed but I will have walls on both sides to about 15.5" in length. Width is sllightly more than 11". Height is 7.5" to the bottom of the overhead joists, another 10" or so to the subflooring.

    LCD FP (probably a Sanyo Z2) on a ~100" screen.
    Marantz SR-7200
    Paradigm Mini-Monitors plus Monitor series CC (forgot model number)
    Hsu VTF-2 sub

    The ceiling is painted white, which I will probably remedy somehow at a later date. Floor will be standard carpet in a dark color. I will hang 1/4" pile felt on the walls and will probably create a curtain for behind to help with ambient light.

    I am not an audiophile and this will really be a fairly modest HT as far as these things go. However, I am very willing to add some elements to the room so long as they are not too time-intensive to create and/or too expensive if the benefit is there.

    I guess I'm not entirely sure what the soundstage is for and if it is worth me adding one.
     
  2. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Justin,
    As far as I know, the "soundstage" isn't something you add or build, it's what you get with a high-quality, well-set-up stereo system and room. It's how the music is presented in front of you by the speakers. Ideally the speakers should "disappear" and the music is presented in 3D realism beyond and around the general area where the speakers are. It's as if you were in the "soundstage" where the music was recorded. You can close your eyes and tell precisely where each voice or instrument is located...some often being well beyond your room boundaries. You can tell which way a grand piano was oriented in the recording, and how large a room it was in. This can be an amazing experience for someone who has never heard a truly high-end audio system.

    What you may be referring to is a physical "stage" with proscenium, curtains, etc. While this does add to the "theater" experience since it looks like a theater (especially if the curtains draw apart automatically --revealing the screen --at the start of the movie), it doesn't necessarily do anything for the acoustics. A little front wall absorption usually helps acoustic "imaging", but this can be accomplished with sound absorbing panels just as easily as with a curtain.
     
  3. JustinS

    JustinS Agent

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    Yes, physical stage. That's what I meant. Sorry.

    So no real tangible benefits other than visual then?
     

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