Speakers with hardwood floors

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by KeithY, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. KeithY

    KeithY Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 23, 2003
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    Auditioned M&K 750s today, sounded great at the showroom but the demo room was carpeted floor to ceiling. Will probably bring them for a demo to hear how the sound with hardwood. They are the perfect size, but afraid they will be too bright with the floors.

    Any other suggestions for bookshelves that aren't so bright? Do non-rear ported speakers tend to be bright?
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
    Real Name:

    Why jump to conclusions? Why not just wait and see?

    There is more to “bright sound” than the speakers themselves or hard floors. Since the floor is hard I’m guessing your system is set up in a family room of some sort, right (people don’t use hard floors for dedicated rooms!)? If that’s the case, things might not be as bad as you suppose.

    If there is enough distance from side walls, or if you have high or vaulted ceilings, that will work in your favor. So will things like overstuffed furniture, draperies, bookcases and other normal room furnishings. Any irregularities in the rear wall will help to – if it has openings to other rooms, a staircase, etc. Basically, anything at the back other than a solid, unbroken expanse of sheetrock is good news.

    Keep in mind too, that “bright” is synonymous with “bass shy.” Along that line, the size of the room makes a difference: Simply put, smaller rooms reinforce bass better than larger rooms. So if the speakers “sounded great” in the showroom, there’s a good chance they’ll sound warmer or even a little bass heavy at your place if the showroom was appreciably larger than your room.

    Along the same lines, “size matters” when it comes to bass output. I’ve seen some speaker manufacturer’s websites that recommend certain models for “small,” medium” and “large” rooms. The larger the recommend room, the larger the speaker gets as more low frequency drivers are added.

    Thus, bookshelves as a class are generally going to be brighter than floor standing speakers, because they don’t have the extension and bass output that larger speakers with multiple woofers do. If you do find bookshelves with ample bass output, the trade-off is that they’re going to be very inefficient.

    At the end of the day, if your problem really is that you have bad acoustics, that’s something you address by treatment, not by changing speakers. Even with speakers “not as bright” you will still have all the reflections, echos, etc. of an overly “live” room.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  3. Tim Stumpf

    Tim Stumpf Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 3, 2004
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    I've recently converted from a carpeted living room to hard wood floors. The mains do not sound different, but my subwoofer (PC Plus) really does. More boomy. I think you'll have more issues with lower frequencies if your experience is anything like mine. I'm still experimenting with placement etc. I don't want to highjack your thread, but maybe other member can give insight on how to best deal with hardwood floors. I'm assuming they are more of a challenge than carpet, but I could be wrong on that. They seem to really carry vibratios much more / better than carpets do.

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