Acoustic treatment and acoustic mechanical control over gear upgrade for improvement


«NO speaker can beat the room»... I dont remember where i read these words coming from the mouth of an acoustician....😁😊

No speakers at any cost will beat, by their upgrading power ALONE, over another good speakers we owned before it, the power of acoustic control over them two...

 

 

 

 

Here are these 6 aspects of acoustic control parameters in a room i experimented with :

1 -Balance between absorbing surfaces,

2 -Reflecting one,

3 -Diffusive one....

This was "classical" passive material treatment of a room...

Now these 3 new other factors are related to my concept of the mechanical active control of a room ( what i called a mechanical equalizer):

4-control over reverberation time and timing of the wavefronts by using reflecting devices at the right spot...( the great advantage of a small room is the possibility to control reverberation time and timing in a positive way, in a way that amphiteater or great hall could not so easily, making speakers/room synergy better)

5- control over the distribution of the pressure zones with a grid of H.R from one speaker to the other around the room...And with some other devices...

6- fine layering and tuning of the flow of the sound waves by working with tubes of different zize and straws for example in the right location on the shear velocity of the waves and their sound pressure...

 

 

 

In a small room remember that at the speed of sound 1100 feet by second, the sound weaves cross your small room of 13 feet, like mine for example, cross it 84 times per second...Your room atmosphere is tense like a violin cord for the ears/brain. who take decision and make his computing between your 2 ears in couple of ten milliseconds... Do you begin to understand why even a straw or tube diameter/lenght/volume, can change the sound of a room /speakers relation ?

 

These 3 last aspects described above could be controlled with Helmhotz mechanical method NOT by electronical equalization...

( Imaging, soundstage, dynamic, timbre percption, listener envelopment, sound source dimension, colors,etc any acoustic qualities are all related with one another and changing one is changing the others a bit also, the key is changing all of them together with mechanical control in a fine tuning incremental optimizing process of listenings experiments)

Electronic E.Q. can be a useful tool but cannot tune a room nor be a PART of the room like a mechanical equalizer...And E.Q.uing with a frequency test ask for a location which could be accurate only in a millimeter range, anywhere else causing havoc...

Then the piano will not sound the same from the same pair of speakers in a non controlled room and in a controlled one...Not even close...

 

 

Dont upgrade good speakers with costly one BEFORE studying and experimenting with acoustic...

My acoustic devices and experiments were all homemade and cost me nothing...

I can then claim that great hi-Fi experience is possible at low cost contrary to what is claimed or supposed almost everywhere by almost everyone...

People dont know acoustic and never seriously try experimenting with it in a dedicated SMALL room...

Anyway if electronic engineering design is a mature technology for 70 yeears now with major improvement behind, acoustic of SMALL room is a new venture for few decades only because customers demands was not there enough till very recently....

A living room is not an audio dedicated room... I am happy to be retired and i could experiment for the last few years in acoustic and made the above discoveries for myself...

A dedicated audio room is the ONLY one luxury in audio not the price tag of the gear at all...

Basic relatively good gear is enough to give a very good audiophile experience FOR MOST PEOPLE... Claiming the opposite is most of the times ignorance of acoustic....Reviewers sells gear not acoustic information...Then the customer is conditioned to upgrade the gear not to understand acoustic...

By the way i am only a not skilled, non crafty, ordinary dude, but dedicated in my passion : listening music with a good sound but at NO COST or very low one...

Is it possible? Yes i proved it to myself and my goal here is to point to the right direction for improvement and spare people their money...

I learned a bit of acoustic by listening experiments not by resolving equations...Anyway acoustic phenomenon are too complex in a small room with his multidimensional numerous parameters to be reducible to simple linear equations...It is mostly non linear phenomena...

Anyway the ears could beat computer on the qualities recognition... It is the reason why blind people develop bat skill and learn to see sound...

Human ears evolve million of years to recognize "timbre voices" not tested frequency and qualities in the sound source not reflective abstract waves for themselves...A map is not reality....

Acoustic has a taste, a color, a touch, and a life of his own so to speak in a poetical way... 😁😊😊😊

 

P.S. My system basic value is around 500 bucks but every part is well chosen and after 7 years i dont think to upgrade any part at all thanks to acoustic...

The photo in my virtual page by the way are too old and are in no way able to describe my actual room....

It is way nuttier and more silly now than some here said it was, trying to discredit my claims and discoveries...But my room is more a LABORATORY, not a living room and not the usual audio room, and "at no cost", none of my devices homemade and with improvised design are esthetical and suited to a normal living room... More skilled people than me must make their own device more beautiful and more efficient...

I say that my room is a laboratory because nobody teach me acoustic here and how to control a room...

-Passive treatment is NOT active mechanical control for example, they are COMPLEMENTARY but one cannot replace the other at all,

-square small room are not "bad" if we know how to adress them , ( there is no bad room only improved one, my room : 13 feet by 13 feet and 8 feet 1/2))

-and near listening will be affected by the room acoustic like regular listening position in a small room...( then thinking that near listening will make acoustic treatment and control unnecessary is wrong)

These 3 facts for example were personal discoveries contradicting popular claims in audio thread.......

And to give you an idea about my speakers/room relation NONE of my 7 headphones, hybrid, electrostatic or magneplanar or dynamic are interesting to listen to now , they are in my closet retired....

I begin my audiophile journey by buying headphones and modifying them with success hoping to reach the better...But Headphones are not for most of them satisfying on all acoustical count even when modified positively... I decided to try my luck with speakers...

After i have sold my stupendous Tannoy dual gold 12 inches speaker...I was lucky enough to buy the best speaker Mission ever designed for 50 bucks : Mission cyrus speakers 780 for sure they dont have the Tannoy potential but they are smaller and very good with acoustic control... Ratio quality/price more than good...But this is only relatively good basic gear, nothing to brag about...Acoustic is more important than the gear piece...

I learned for 2 years of acoustic homemade treatment and many months of experiments in acoustic control non stop... I am retired and time was no problem only money was... 😁😊

😁😀😊😁😊

I sell creativity not gear .....I sell a method not "tweaks"...

128x128mahgister

Mahgister, curious about the amount of time you have invested in solving these many room issues. I am not discounting your effort only curious if there exists some quick and easy steps. Thanks in advance. g

Thanks for your interest....

My goal in my posts and in this thread is to alert people who most of the times underestimated it about the huge impact of acoustic treatment but ESPECIALLY of acoustic mechanical control...

Alas! i dont sell acoustic panels here with a "general rule" to apply about their location...It is not so simple ...

It is more difficult...

Nobody teach me that, i am the only one i know to use the Helmhotz resonators and the Helmhiltz diffusers in a grid of devices mechanically adjustable each one of them... Their location is also a key element...

The tuning process cannot be applied AUTOMATICVALLY by a simple rule but i had to do it one piece at a time, optimizing each step by another step in a continuous listening process...

It takes me many months, it was fun, but not a simple act...

My goal here is speaking about the importance of acoustic, versus throwing our money in an upgrading sound obsession... The impact of tuning a room for specific speakers and specific ears is huge, more impactful than most useless upgrade... An upgrade of gear will not change the room...

And like already say an acoustician: no speaker beat their room....

There exist some quick and easy steps yes... Elementary acoustic passive treatment if you dont own a dedicated room, but if you are lucky enough to have a dedicated room, it is easy to create simple Helmholtz resonators and diffusers with discarded bottles, tubes etc using different straws with different lenght and diameter for neck in the case of resonators and different open tubes with different filtering devices at one end for the diffusers...

But tuning all that is not quick , it is not plug and play, you must listen and learn how to listen in the process... It was the more fun experience ever in my audio journey... Upgrading may be very deceitful, tuning a room is not, you are the designer yourself here...

Apart from my acoustic devices creation i make some discovery i will attempt to explain here soon about the psycho-acoustic geography of my room, or how i created my out of the head "headphone" intimate effect or listener envelopment/source width ratio (LEV/ASW in acoustic ) using one speaker like the "head" and the other speaker like the " tail" of my Helhmholtz grid " serpent" around the room ...

By the way i am not an acoustician, all my discoveries came from  listening experiments and from  a few basic known or well less known fact in acoustic science...

It is then difficult to explain it all for me in scientific way here... NO ROOM/ SPEAKERS relation is the same...The tuning process must be completely specific...

For example the way i modified my speakers each one of them is related to some way  i decided to experiment and  used mechanically some acoustic crosstalk and some acoustic crossfeed between the speakers tp suit optimally each one of my two  ears and make possible image acoustic source localization ...It is called  the precedence law or Hass principle in acoustic and also i use time modifying  control and level  modifying control in each speaker to do all that...

Being not an acoustician nor an engineer i must study AFTER the fact and AFTER my experiments WHY they are so successful...It is not easy to explain it all after all nobody ever explain it to me in the first place...  😁😊

i try my best here to convey the essential ...

But if someone is not excited by listening experiments it is useless...

I played with acoustic not knowing acoustic and i discovered the great power of acoustic principle while playing with them in a way not explained in most audio thread... People are used to buy, plug and play, or are willing to pay for costly acoustic devices... I never did that... Acoustic can be cheap cost if we know what we do or if we dare to experiment...

Most people really think that the cost paid for their gear give them the best possible experience... Most of the times even if there is for sure a possible improvement between 2 electronic designs choices on a quality/price  scale, the real huge improvement come AFTER acoustic tuning of the room /system... This is my discovery...

 

My deepest respect to you....

Mahgister, curious about the amount of time you have invested in solving these many room issues. I am not discounting your effort only curious if there exists some quick and easy steps. Thanks in advance. g

 

Thank you for the thoughtful response. Unfortunately today I don’t have the ability to dedicate a great deal of time to optimization of the room- but certainly appreciate the need to do so. Simple moves of equipment have yielded astounding results. But my space, while mine alone, is long and narrow. The footprint for equipment is pretty small. Again, my complete thanks and admiration. g

One remark...

Contrary to some saying, there is no so much  BAD rooms by their size and geometry...

There is only some room easy and other less easy to optimize...Most of the times.... Save some impossible room to optimize because of weird proportions...

Helmholtz resonators and diffusers exist precisely to modify the pressure zones distribution of the room...

For sure i am retired then i had plenty of time.... I did it each day for almost a year why?

Because each week it was better than the week before... It motivated me a lot...like someone upgrading his gear each week... It was fun... Not esthetical because i am not a crafty man  for sure but it was efficient...

Then your room will be perfect... After implementation of the mechanical control to tune them for your ears and system...

Now you know it, then  you will do it when the time come, i hope before your late retirement like in my case...i am 71 years old...

😁😊

 

My best to you from my heart....

Thank you for the thoughtful response. Unfortunately today I don’t have the ability to dedicate a great deal of time to optimization of the room- but certainly appreciate the need to do so. Simple moves of equipment have yielded astounding results. But my space, while mine alone, is long and narrow. The footprint for equipment is pretty small. Again, my complete thanks and admiration. g

 

 

One of the best listening experiences I had was in a large room without room treatments.  The size of that room and the fact he was using apogee diva speakers set up properly had a lot to do with the great sound, would have been better with room treatments who knows. Most of us don't have rooms large enough so we need room treatments to help get the best of the system.