Room Too Dead

Hello All,

I am looking for advice and ideas on how to condition my Home Theater room.  I built the theater in my unfinished basement.  The foundation walls are covered in insulation and vapor barrier.  Instead of construction walls to cover them, I chose a "pipe and drape" to cover the walls.  I believe that the room is too dead.  It seems to affect overall soundstage in the midrange range.  Does anybody have experience with this problem and ideas to add a little "excitement" to the room?  Thank you all.


Not sure what you have up in the room so this may or may not help.  Possibly a quick and inexpensive fix:  Change the drapes.  Natural fibers (cotton, wool etc) will absorb sound but synthetic fibers (rayon etc) will reflect sound.

Change the drapes.  Natural fibers (cotton, wool etc) will absorb sound but synthetic fibers (rayon etc) will reflect sound.

@rick_n That’s a very good thought and gave me an idea — the OP could replace the drapes with plastic shower curtains and even choose a fun theme like underwater with cute little fishies, octopi, seahorsies, etc.  all around.  How fun would that be?  Seriously though, avoiding fabrics that absorb sound seems like, uh, sound advice.

Or, before going crazy.

If it was me before doing anything else, why not just buy a graphic equalizer and make adjustments to increase or decrease the offending eq bands.

I am a fan of the reasonably priced Schiit Lokius which I use in my system. Sometimes I just want to add a touch of bass, or a hint more treble. Other times just put it on bypass.


That’s just mid bass and not what I’d consider “lows.”

Mid bass is usually what needs to be gotten after. What you call "lows" are very difficult to absorb.

I agree with your earlier statement that curtains and such are not going to absorb much bass or even midbass behind the plastic.


Interesting what you said about too many TubeTraps causing mid-range suckout. This is not a situation that I’ve heard brought up before. Are we talking about midrange as below 600Hz? I’ve been told that a good goal for a home listening room is to shoot for an RT60 of about 0.3 seconds in the lower midrange and mid-bass, rising somewhat higher in the bass and upper treble. That sounds like a small amount of midrange suckout. From what I’ve seen of people’s rooms, it’s easy enough to get a rising RT60 in the bass, but getting it to also rise in the upper treble, that’s not something I’ve actually seen yet in a room measurement. My room is currently fairly flat around 0.3 seconds from about 400hz on up, which I consider to be a fairly fortunate result. Most of the time I see the RT60 falling in the treble, with the clarity conversely going up. It’s super easy to absorb the high frequencies. They also don’t tend to get dispersed from the speaker as well.

I’ve found a room can sound dead with one set of speakers and not another. The dead-ness I think is caused as much by the average frequency response of the reflections as anything, so a speaker that’s beamy in the midrange and widens quickly in the midbass can make a room sound murky. One that stays wider up to a higher frequency in the midrange can make the whole room sound more lively. I just bought several different waveguides to experiment with. EQing them all flat on axis, the overall effect in the room is strikingly different between them. A beamy tweeter needs to be matched to a well controlled, similarly beamy midbass, which is hard to do. Or you need to absorb a lot of midbass out of the room, and not the highs.

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