"Innovations" rooms at RMAF 2017

At the upcoming Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, there will be four "Innovations" rooms on the Second Floor of the Tower. My company and James Romeyn Music and Audio will be hosting one of those rooms.

The mandate for the Innovations rooms is mainly to be educational and visitor-friendly. This includes encouraging and accommodating music requests, doing our best to fully answer any technical questions (without taking too much time), and generally being educational and not merely promotional.

The area we will be teaching about is, the psychoacoustic implications of reflections in small rooms... the hotel room obviously being a case in point! Briefly, reflections done right are generally beneficial. We won’t be set up to effectively demonstrate reflections done wrong, but in general early reflections tend to degrade clarity, and spectrally incorrect reflections tend to degrade the tonal balance. That leaves spectrally correct, late-onset reflections as being theoretically desirable.

Listeners will be handed a remote control unit that will let them toggle between a "normal" mode (actually the speakers will be more directional than most), and an "enhanced" mode, wherein a secondary array of drivers contributes some spectrally-correct, relatively late-onset reverberant energy. Obviously we hope this to be more educational than a boring lecture on the subject.

The psychoacoustic principles we hope to demonstrate are generally applicable regardless of whose speakers you use, and having experienced them first-hand, you can then tweak your own setup accordingly... or not, as the case may be!

For those of you more interested in candy than in classrooms, we'll be serving up four-inch voice coil woofers with a side order of Beryllium-diaphragm tweeters. 

I don’t know what will be happening in the other three Innovations rooms, but make sure you don’t overlook the Second Floor of the Tower this year!



No, no, no. You have to start with very wrong reflections and sound and then in steps demostrate how it becomes better and better until it reaches the best possible. That's how you tune a system, at least in my opinion.
Fine tuning might require changing tubes in those Atma amps and throwing away Mogami cables. Sorry, couldn't help it, but I am serious, nonetheless.

"No, no, no. You have to start with very wrong reflections and sound and then in steps demonstrate how it becomes better and better until it reaches the best possible."

That would require an enormous amount of radiation pattern adjustability.  Not saying it can't be done in a demo, but not on our budget!

And our luck would be, reviewers and actual potential customers stick their heads in the room just as we successfully demonstrate how badly the sound sucks when the reflections are at their worst. 

Duke, you don't disagree with me in principle.
Yeah, practical considerations and people's tolerance are often limiting factors. Very sad.

Actually that hypothetical "reviewer sticks head in room when everything is adjusted to SUCK" scenario happened to a friend of mine.  A long-time designer in prosound, he had just taken his first plunge into the high-end loudspeaker market with a very ambitious product.  He made the mistake of having a "sucks" setting, to demonstrate the sonic benefits of his design, and that played out very badly for him when people stuck their heads in the room just long enough to form an initial impression, and then posted that impression online. 

So hopefully both switch settings will sound good, but noticeably different, and of course we hope the one we put the most work into does the best.