Listening Room Options

We should be completing on a house purchase at the back end of next week. The house will be going through an extensive renovation before we move in as it’s not really had any work done on it for the last 30-40 years.

I have the choice of two rooms for dedicated listening. Both rooms are approx 4m * 5m with 2.7m high ceilings. Both rooms have chimney breasts. The room I’m drawn to has the chimney breast across the 5m wall, the other room has the chimney breast on the 4m wall. Whichever room I opt for the speakers will likely be positioned either side of the chimney. The main concern that I have is that the room I’m drawn to has a suspended wooden floor over a cellar, whereas the other room has a solid concrete floor.

My speakers are Neat Motive SX1’s with downward firing bass ports. Whether I opt for this room or not I’ll be putting thick Kingspan insulation boards underneath the floorboards between the joists.

Ideally I’d have a solid wood floor covering in the room as well.

Is my preferred room choice likely going to cause me issues with SQ? If so would tick carpet and underlay be sufficient to minimise the issue, or should I go for my second choice room?

I used to have a pair of Neat SX1’s on a suspended timber floor, solid oak. In the beginning I used a slate slabs cut just wider than the speaker footprint, then I changed over to IsoAcoustics Gaia’s which kind of decouple your speaker from the floor, I found them very effective. There is a current thread on them, worth a read.

Think you are just going to have to try and see which room suits or possibly change speakers as they may not work in either room.

I have a similar room in as much as there is a crawl space under the room. The floor is a reclaimed oak floor layer on top of floor boards with kingspan between the joists. Room is rather larger 9m * 5m with 3.3m high ceiling.
Biggest problem was the echo but with a bit of work with home furnishings and acoustic foam in all the paintings we have managed to eliminate.
However the little Kudos X2’s just could not fill the room so speakers had to be changed… Ovators 400’s sounding gorgeous in this room :smiley:

Thanks glasnaim, I’ve just had a look at these and it looks like they could be worth further investigation. Watched a back to back review video on YouTube, the difference when the Gaia’s had been installed was very noticeable.

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Thanks Graham, in an idea world I’d agree that trying out both rooms before deciding would be the way to go. However In reality I’m not going to get that luxury. It’s a family home first and foremost and whichever room I don’t want will be the formal dining room and I’ll need to get that room completed before I can invest in my own indulgence. I’ll be gutted if the SX1’s don’t work as I love these speakers. It’s encouraging to here that you’ve managed to resolve your issues though in a similar situation.

Digging around on Google today I’ve come across 15mm sound insulating underlay. I’m wondering if this could be an option between the suspended floor and the solid wood top layer. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of product?

It is difficult to determine as both rooms may have their pros and cons - however I think problems with either would not be insoluble, so I would suggest go with your gut feeling, or choose on the basis of whichever room will make the better dining room.

My gut feeling would be to use the room with the fireplace on the shorter wall and solid concrete floor.
This could make possible a greater distance of your listening spot from speakers.
Not knowing what’s going on with all the other walls makes it difficult to suggest some help, as you don’t necessarily have to have the speakers firing sentinel like within a room.
Could save you from the costs of upgrading for the speakers to fill out the space if they were within the shorter wall, maybe.

Hi Andy.

It looks as if your room dimensions will certainly not throw up any major problems. I put your room dimensions into the AMROC mode calculator- you are in for a treat, could simply be a case of somehow managing the differences in the floor structure. You are a lucky boy :+1:t3: ( wish I could say the same for my room :cry:) Have fun Peter

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A suspended floor over a cellar can make the cellar a bit of a sounding chamber. How substantial is the floor? I mean if you dropped a penny between the cracks, would it fall direct into the cellar? If the floor isn’t that substantial, a second floor over the top with tight fitting tong ‘n’ groove running perpendicular would be my choice. With soundproof lead mats sandwiched between the two. These are used professionally in studios and are 40kg/m2.

Thanks for all of the advice gents. The sub-floor has been replaced within the last 30 years so it’s tongue and groove. I was expecting the overwhelming advice to lean towards steering clear of the room with the cellar beneath so I am pleased to read that people have made similar rooms work. If we get the keys this week I’ll start the ripping out process and assuming nothing major turns up to sway my thinking I’m leaning towards the room over the cellar with soundproofing mats and a new solid wood floor over that with Isoacoustic Gaia feet under the speakers.

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