Made a few small changes recently and I’m loving the uplift in sound:
Powerline on my NAP500 (all Powerlines now)
Streaming UPnP to NDS
I’m really not sure there’s anywhere else I want to go in terms of the system itself and I’m not interested in chasing super diminishing returns on cables. Have I missed anything? I’ll keep one eye open for a 500DR, but otherwise I’ve got where I was hoping to get to… for now
Now I feel I should turn my thoughts to acoustic treatment for the room. Something I know nothing about so should be exciting. Plus I’m hoping there will be some quick wins…
PS forgot about the dedicated mains. That will be ticked off sooner rather than later.
It always amazes me that people wait so long before getting dedicated mains. I can’t imagine having such a swanky system and still be hanging it off the ring main, unless it’s a rented property and it’s not allowed. Anyway, I’d just do that and then see how you feel. I’m assuming you have good system supports already.
The whole tweaking thing is interesting. I tried some isolating feet recently, having read positive reports, and to me they made things worse. It’s almost impossible to know whose reports to use as guidance, so all I’d say is only get something if it has a 14 day refund policy attached. Piggy backing an EE switch off the Cisco might be worth investigating.
If it were me the next thing I’d explore is replacing the Hi-line with a Lumina interconnect. From memory, the step up from the standard interconnect to Hi-line was worthwhile but the jump in performance when I tried the Lumina was huge. One of those home demos when the improvement was obvious and significant barely sixty seconds in to the first song.
I don’t think anyone could predict what room treatments would work by looking at photos. If you want to do it properly I would measure the room acoustics using something like REW, and then use treatments that will address known problems.
I can’t see your TV causing too many problems given that it’s wall mounted, and the speakers are further into the room.
My immediate thoughts, without knowing how much scope is there for change and how important aesthetics are…
Bring the sofa forward to get your head away from the back wall.
Speakers further into the room.
Equipment rack in the bay window or along the RH wall (less important if you can bring the speakers forward of the rack).
Treat 1st reflection point on the RH wall.
Stand mounted panel for 1st reflection point in front of the bay (perhaps pull it out when having a “proper” listen and leave it by the LH speaker the rest of the time).
Treat rear wall, behind sofa
Bass traps in the front corners, rear corners if needed
There are two approaches to dealing with the acoustic issue-
Do it yourself
Comprehensive and professional treatment
You must decide, what is the budget you want to allocate to the subject…
From my experience, the second approach is much more effective, and achieved the desired result, but also more expensive.
A. Measuring the room in general
Finding problematic resonance points
Finding high return bottlenecks
Finding “pits” of standing waves
B. A recommendation for passive acoustic treatment at the problematic point, in the form of - bass traps, absorbent panels at the problematic return point (including the ceiling)
(From testing several brands, it turned out that the most effective bass traps, for me, were Canadian PRIMACOUSTIC and Portuguese ARTNOVION absorbers)
In my humble opinion, there is no substitute for a professional acoustician, who measures the room accurately and without compromise.
The woman factor must be taken into account.
Not every spouse agrees to the “decoration” of the living room…
But in such a case, it is recommended to take care of her first.
There is an in-between: some suppliers, and GIK is one, offer a service where they will take details of room - dimensions and shape, layout, furnishing, construction, and also REW files from room measurements conducted by oneself (and will give guidance on measurements to take), and from that make recommendations. That service is free of charge, of course hoping that people will follow through and buy their products, and of course proposed solutions are only using their own products. They seem happy to discuss partial solutions.
Regarding DIY, there are two levels: One is DIY assessment using tools like REW, and using that info to determine what and where treatment would be best, then seeking commercially available products based on published performance data. The other is going the whole hog and building absorbers etc, for which much info is available online these days. All depends on the skill/competence of the DIY-er, and available resources (money and time). Of course, if unscrupulous, there is nothing to stop someone availing themselves of a free assessment service then making their own, or perhaps part and part, some commercial products and some DIY, enabling customisation to specific spaces.
That’s correct. However the microphone is important, as it should be a calibrated measuring microphone so that you know you’re measuring the room response and not the microphone! The one the REW people recommend, UMIK-1, is fairly inexpensive: somewhere around £110 last time I looked, and available at about 2/3 to 3/4 of that secondhand in the usual places – and easily sold on afterwards at minimal loss should your use be one off.
At the time I addressed this issue in detail.
I don’t want to get into the discussion of what is better and what is less… However, when I invest tens of thousands of pounds in purchasing audio equipment, this is not the point (and even the opposite), to save on the most important factor in the room image.
To carry out measurements and adjustments of equipment, amateur and non-professional, similar to the purchase of kits for self-assembly, of amplification / speakers.
I will always trust a professional, valued and proven, in his specific specialization.
From what I read here,
Friends with expensive equipment, for one reason or another, tend to save/take a shortcut, in the most important factor of their system’s performance.
Articles and videos on YouTube that present acoustic solutions are solutions for “conscience” and not absolute solutions.
I also tried the “measurement” of GIK and VICOUSTIC at the time
Their solution is simplistic and unprofessional and it’s quite clear…
I had not the faintest idea, about the composition of the absorbers and the bass trap and their measurement data, (which are of crucial importance in performance), which were compiled (and not by the manufacturer…) until I was exposed to those products, through the acoustician who visited me…
This is just a small example of the importance of consulting, compared to such and other commercial websites.
The Bottom Line-
Don’t save and look for easy school solutions, at the most important point.