Whats better for sound...carpet or timber floors?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by BrettisMckinney, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. BrettisMckinney

    BrettisMckinney Second Unit

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    I'm looking at renting a new house and the loung room for HT is very important to me. I was just wondering what is more ideal for sound...carpet or timber floors?
     
  2. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    In general, you want a room without too much reverb and preferably with a bit of diffusion. Carpet generally does this better than hardwood floors, but it's nothing you can't work around. If you wind up with hardwood floors you can always put throw-rugs down at the site of first reflection from your speakers. (i.e. Put a mirror on the floor and move it to where you can see the tweeters of your speakers from your sitting position. Then put rugs there.) There are other aspects to a room which are important too. A good test for any room is to clap your hands sharply and listen for the echoes that result. If it sounds like you're in a shower-stall then the room is going to need a lot of treatment. The walls play a big factor in this too by the way. I'd take a room lined with crammed bookshelves and hardwood floors over a carpeted room with bare plaster walls any day. If you really want to get a handle on this stuff you might want to check out a book like F. Alton Everest's "Master Handbook of Acoustics" and read a few of the chapters pertinent to your situation.
     
  3. BrettisMckinney

    BrettisMckinney Second Unit

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    Great! Thanks heaps for that..apreciate it. Yeah the house i'm going to inspect today is long and rectangular and all polished timber floors. I'm excited as coz all my other places were small and had to put my TV in a corner, and couldnt have surrounds behind me. So this gives me a lot more to play with. The mirror trick is smart, will do that and get a rug i think, and once i put some funiture in should be alright. See how i go!
     
  4. paul clipsel

    paul clipsel Stunt Coordinator

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    I have wood and tile floors because my wife absolutely hates carpet. But I use several mats in key areas although she still gets me to keep them low key. I think you need soft furnishings to tame the reverberation but its hard when the wife says no.

    PC
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    IF you want to get more-indepth into the acoustics, Carpet is actually not usually preferred, though in most theater settings it's the only way to go, aesthetically speaking.

    Carpet is excellent at taming echos. Problem is, that you usually only hear echos as high-frequency reverberation. Carpet is absolutely useless for absorbing lower frequencies, and ideally you want to lower the reverb to a correct level across ALL frequencies, not just the highs.

    Some prefer hardwood floor, and an absorptive ceiling, since you can have many inches thick of absorption and also diffusion up there that you can't really walk on the floor [​IMG].

    Just realize that carpet *will* affect the acoustics of the room, but it is usually *not* the best desired treatment. You should take this into account if adding other absorbers, because you may end up absorbing way too much of the highs and not enough of the lows.

    If you dont go without carpet, some area rugs for the first reflection points off the floor wouldn't be a bad idea though.
     
  6. BrettisMckinney

    BrettisMckinney Second Unit

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    Cool..its something i've never really thought about. I mean, i knew that it all affects the sound, but i never really knew what to change etc. Thanks for the insights guys!
     
  7. Dean Wette

    Dean Wette Stunt Coordinator

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    I moved from a house with a carpeted room and dry wall to a house with a hardwood floored room and denser plaster walls. The new room has a large wool area rug. It is more reflective but the sound is more satisfying overall. I get better detail and clarity. My speakers (Dynaudios) have a warm, natural quality, so they hold up well to this environment.

    But setup, speaker characteristics, etc. all play a role. With most rooms you can come up with satisfying results via speaker placement, AV setup, room treatments, etc.
     

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