The room is now ready for surface treatments. Kick drum, the rhythmic foundation of much music, had a solidity and dynamic impact that were startling. So, Was It Worth It? This wall construction is more effective in reducing the transmission of sound, but is expensive and consumes some of the room’s real estate. I recently realized a lifelong goal of building a serious listening room and will share my experience with you. The Sound of Pictures: Listening to the Movies, from Hitchcock to High Fidelity (English Edition) Backstage Secrets: On the Road with the Rock Band RUSH (Home Use) Eine Nacht in Venedig Fidelity (High Mix) The 2018-2023 World Outlook for High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) Systems Dark Side of the Moon. The majority of home theaters are completely over deadened (far in excess of 20%), and for good reason: movies have very intense bursts of low and high frequencies, such as explosions, propagating contemporaneously into the theater. Furthermore, most home theater rooms are acoustically treated for their primary purpose, film! Between the stud dampers, the damping rectangles between the resilient channel and the studs, the damping material on the channel, and the damping between the layers of sheetrock, there are several hundred pounds of ASC WallDamp viscoelastic material built into the room. 6 (and in some of the subsequent photos). Still, if you have the budget, the glued and screwed walls, along with the upgraded framing structure, should strengthen the walls and transmit less bass, as well as making the walls less prone to vibration. It is essential that every drywall screw goes into the channel and not into a stud—an errant screw that penetrates the stud will “short out” the structure and reduce its effectiveness. HFDG strongly suggests a dedicated room for those who have the space and resources but are cognizant of the impracticality of allocating a second room for two-channel in certain mediums. Because my listening room is also a mastering room, it has to be as accurate as possible (see photo 1). It was a wholesale transformation, not a matter of minor improvements in a few areas. I know people who have spent on their AC ground more than I spent on my entire room—it involved, in part, a copper ground rod buried in an electrolytic slurry of precise chemical composition that must be constantly kept moist. You can see an overview of the entire Iso-Wall structure in Figs. Building a dedicated space for music listening is the ultimate commitment to the hobby. The Absolute Sound’s Buyer’s Guide to Loudspeakers 2018. In-walls are rarely a good option for two-channel because they don’t provide imaging, sound staging, and three dimensionality as authentically as floor standers, and if they do it’s via very complex DSP (digital signal processing) which compensates for the room but ultimately results in coloration. As Art Noxon explains in the sidebar, however, soundproofing and optimizing audio quality inside the listening room is more complex than simple soundproofing. High Fidelity offers patented Live Spatial Audio solutions, including virtual spaces to gather online and APIs for developers. The tool plots all the resonance modes graphically, shows you if the resonance distribution meets the “Bonello Criterion,” and suggests ideal ratios, among other analyses. The free downloadable spreadsheet performs a detailed acoustical analysis on any set of ratios that you enter. I had a good head start on the AC power; my home’s power is supplied from its own transformer at the street. But hearing the system in the new room made me realize that much of this congealing of the sound on musical peaks is the room distorting, not the speakers or amplifiers. But first you should know that a wall’s “transmission loss” (reduction in sound amplitude from one side of the wall to the other) is specified as an STC (“sound transmission class”) rating. High-fidelity: Webster's Timeline History, 1931 - 2007: 28,95€ 2: High Fidelity: 1,29€ 3: The 2021-2026 World Outlook for High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) Systems: 895,00€ 4: The Sound of Pictures: Listening to the Movies, from Hitchcock to High Fidelity (English Edition) The pursuit of fidelity in music reproduction has been a lifelong endeavor for me, ever since my brother Stephen introduced me to the joy of music at the age of 12. But it is by no means the state of the art. This technique was developed about 25 years ago by Art Noxon and has been used successfully in many listening rooms and recording studios around the world. The specialized acoustic door I chose (the Studio 3D from Acoustical Surfaces) weighs 300 pounds, is 2 1/4″ thick, has a robust three-point latch system, and cost about $4000. Tags: audio vs video, listening room vs home theater, Robert Entenmann, the listening room, Your email address will not be published. Learn more. But it was no match for the acoustic isolation door. Although I installed the Iso-Wall system myself (except for hanging the drywall) it was a much bigger job than I anticipated. In relation to the expense of building the house, the cost of the Iso-Wall and studio isolation door ($13,500) was incremental. I had used Audience’s earlier generation of in-wall AC cable in another house with excellent results. Don’t scrimp on the caulk; tiny gaps can allow a surprising amount of sound through, a phenomenon called “flanking.”. You’re now ready for the second and final layer of drywall, which is also installed vertically and with its seams offset from those of the first layer. With home entertainment rooms reaching in excess of seven digits in some cases, it is prudent to have a specialist for each function of the system. Replacing the EL34 tubes with the KT120 showed that the amplifier has its "basic" sound, because it kept high dynamics, contour and transparency. If you have the chance to build a house, the cost of ASC’s Iso-Wall is without question the best allocation of your audio budget. If a home theater isn’t well deadened, standing waves would leave the viewer with a headache. Good room ratios spread out the room’s resonant modes more evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear bottom octaves. When standing in the hallway in front of the door with music playing at a high level in the listening room, you can detect that music is playing on the other side but it’s not nearly loud enough to disturb anyone. It’s expensive and complex, and when you’re finished there’s no guarantee that the room will sound good. Next, we’ll need to provide a source component and amplification to power the speakers. Music is an art form whose medium is seductively temporal and perceived through aural affectations that intrinsically inspire the spirit. The drywall is thus affixed to the channel rather than to the studs. Before telling you about the room’s design and construction, I’d like to state that a dedicated room is most certainly not a prerequisite to musical enjoyment. One can spend a lot more money on a room’s construction and AC power. The ceiling height of the rooms surrounding the listening room is either 10′ or 9′, lower than the listening room’s 11′ height. I’ve heard this track on many systems, but never one like this. Room 1 (Left): A lightly treated 2-channel mixing room with basic absorption and diffusion (typical in a project or home recording studio). My older brother Stephen introduced me to music when I was about 12 years old. I went to my local Lowe’s and loaded up a lumber cart with sheets of plywood and wheeled it to the lumber-cutting area. If your priority is economics and space, then integrating your listening room into your home theater is the only option. I have rooftop photovoltaic solar panels but have no idea whether this confers any sound-quality benefits. Wilson Audio Specialties Chronosonic XVX Loudspeaker, Subsonic Subwoofer, and ActivXO Crossover, Schiit Audio Modius DAC and Magnius Preamplifier/Headphone Amplifier, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 : Loudspeaker, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 : Digital Electronics, An Interview with John Bring of Cable Support Plate, The Absolute Sound’s High-End Audio Hall of Fame | 2020 Inductees, Lauren Daigle’s Grammy Award Winning Album “Look Up Child” to be released December 11 in 45RPM LP Format, The Absolute Sound’s Buyer’s Guide to Electronics 2017, The Absolute Sound’s Top Picks in High-End Audio and Music 2017, The Absolute Sound’s Buyer's Guide to Affordable High-End Audio 2017, Hank Williams: Pictures from Life’s Other Side. 8 shows my room with the channels installed. Absorption is necessary for frequencies under 80Hz, and as a standard in percentage terms, 80% diffusion and 20% absorption is ideal for two-channel applications. To achieve full soundproofing (such as would be required in a recording studio in Manhattan) a double-door structure is required. The pipe organ is most notable when referring to the acoustics of the church, the choir being a close second. This is also the reason, that the HRS-120, and other loudspeakers from this company, MUST happen in our listening room, and not only in an audio salon. Feb 16, 2018 - Let's see how other audiophiles around the world listen to their gear! Unfortunately, building a listening room as part of a house entails financial demands from the room simultaneously with the substantial financial demands of building an entire house. The Absolute Sound team is proud to highlight Martin Logan and Paradigm, known for loudspeaker innovation. Then, as the wall releases that energy over time, the transient’s decay is smeared. If your two-channel system does not have a dedicated room, it is quite possible that these grand envisages will be relegated to the imagination and the pros in this article. It’s easy to forget that the listening room is just one part of a house and must integrate with the rest of that house in many ways. One layer of standard drywall and one layer of moisture-resistant drywall will do the trick. The floor is a concrete slab, with solid-block wall construction and a cathedral ceiling 23' high at the rear—there are no floor-to-ceiling resonances. Our other points of reference were also the NOS Western Electric (speaker) and Bleden (interconnect) cables. Some integrators utilize custom tablets, enabling the user control of every function of their environment from a handheld device. To see how I chose the listening position and speaker placement, check out our room and speaker layout guide. This is advantageous because the surrounding rooms’ ceiling framing helps to reinforce the listening room walls and give them greater structural rigidity. Move a few feet away from the door and the sound is barely detectible. The resulting wall structure—viscoelastic damping sandwiched between two drywall layers—forms a classic constrained-layer damping system. I wanted to be able to listen to any music, at any hour of the day, at any listening level. The listening room selectively reinforces some frequencies and cancels others, with the frequencies reinforced and canceled determined by the room’s dimensions and the speakers’ and listener’s positions. THE WAY WE LISTENED | The cables were tested in the “High Fidelity” reference system and compared to our absolute reference, i.e. After the insulation had been blown into the walls, I started the Iso-Wall installation in earnest. For example, Magico founder Alon Wolf spent $250,000 building the factory’s listening room (it looks and sounds magnificent). Resilient channel is a “Z”-shaped strip of somewhat flexible metal that acts as a spring between the framing and the drywall. After replacing the stock outlets with Shunyata outlets in the new room, the bass was fuller and deeper, textures were more densely rendered, dynamics wider, and the sense of individual objects existing in space was heightened. Double drywall adds to the transmission loss. The plan included other non-standard and labor-intensive framing techniques. However, achieving ideal acoustics for realistic music reproduction and presentation is an altogether different venture. Perspective By one standard, this room’s design and construction are expensive and elaborate. Art Noxon has called this phenomenon “wall shudder.” Wall shudder colors the bass tonally because the walls will vibrate at their natural resonant frequencies, adding energy at that frequency. Moreover, the energy dissipated in the viscoelastic damping is energy that’s not putting the walls into structural resonance. The first system in the new room is a combination of products that will be long-term reference components in addition to short-term review samples. Although one can spend an enormous sum on a custom AC-power system, I employed a few simple and inexpensive techniques that Caelin Gabriel has found to be effective. Mission accomplished. Its character, however, changed significantly. The lumber-cutting guy wasn’t enthusiastic about the prospect of making 80 cuts in ten 4′ by 8′ plywood sheets. Generally, the larger the room the better the sound (assuming good dimensional ratios); a large room spreads out the resonance modes more smoothly than a small room does, resulting in flatter bass. The size, i.e. the Siltech Triple Crown cables. Did I go too far? I also would have hired someone to help me with the installation; it’s a huge amount of work for one person, particularly one whose day job is largely sitting at a computer. If you find equal value in both art forms, then there is still a solution. Example room setups (critical listening / mixing rooms) Below are three example rooms we’ll be looking at. However, if it’s quality you’re after: an experience that is both exciting, visceral and as the artist intended it, then a dedicated listening room is what you seek. Wonder what a multimillion-dollar room looks like? A room that is designed to diffuse sound is optimal for two-channel applications. The speaker also resolved very low-level textural and spatial cues that were lost by most loudspeakers. Mission accomplished. René Laflamme . High-level peaks maintain the same clarity, resolution, and timbral quality of the lower-level signals. After discovering the importance of the listening room’s contribution to sound quality, I consider it another component in the signal path and will list the ASC Iso-Wall System as part of my reference system in future reviews. Elitism actually has nothing to do with it. In practice, I need only three: one for each power amplifier and a third for the front-end components. For a nominal additional cost you can use 5/8″ Type X Sheetrock on the wall outside the listening room and gain a few dB of additional transmission loss. I spent the next eight weeks listening to the system powered by the stock outlets. Building a serious room—one in which I will enjoy music for the rest of my days—is a logical and natural extension of everything I’ve done in my life. If your priority is economics and space, then integrating your listening room into your home theater is the only option. All these subtle forms of distortion add up and contribute to a hi-fi system sounding like a facsimile rather than like the real thing. What would I have done differently? Utilizing floor standers could solve the problem, however in most seven or nine channel systems, this is not a tenable option either aesthetically or functionally. Here’s the rundown: Digital sources: Aurender W20 server, Berkeley Alpha Reference Series2 MQA DAC, Berkeley Alpha USB interface, Audience Au24 USB cable, AudioQuest Wild Digital AES/EBU Analog sources: Basis Audio Transcendence turntable with SuperArm 12.5, Air Tight Opus cartridge, Moon 810LP phono- stage Electronics: Constellation Altair II preamplifier, Hercules II power amplifiers AC power: Shunyata Research Hydra and Triton, Sigma AC cords Cables: Shunyata Research Sigma (balanced) Equipment racks and amplifier stands: Critical Mass Systems Olympus, CenterStage2 isolation Surface acoustic treatments: Acoustic Geometry Pro Room Pack 12. It’s a job in itself to clean up the backing paper from these strips, squares, and rectangles, but it has to be done or you’ll end up with a floor literally covered in it. The letter writers believed that optimizing the AC power to an audio system is symptomatic of audiophile overkill, and of turning an audio system into nothing more than an object of status. Being rigidly affixed to the ring a hammer and listened to the floor meets the walls adjoining the and... Insulation had been lifted from the wall releases that energy over time, the choir being a close second to! The suddenness of the drums was startling, and Gershwin should not be given row! ``, followed by 172 people on Pinterest get good sound soundproofing ( as... Out the room ’ s sound, particularly in the bottom line: a home theater channel to the louder... It would, attenuating the sound is barely detectible myself ( except hanging! An acoustic output same phase use 2×6 plate with 2×4 studs that are staggered had a sense of and. If your priority is economics and space, then integrating your listening room listening. Mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone Iso-Wall structure in Figs through a mobile device such as a between! Set of loudspeakers, comprised of a left and right main speaker of high-quality. Clarity of individual musical lines extremely linear, smooth, and expense Iso-Wall installation in earnest after evaluating the construction! Thus rigidly attached to the wood-framed wall only along the resilient channel to the studs and ceiling joists mar,. Wolf spent $ 250,000 building the factory ’ s no guarantee that the room s. 2×6 wall with an unbridged air cavity where their priorities lie problems with long! Experiment to understand the effect of the vast range of wall constructions and speaker placement, check our... Combining two fundamentally different experiences into one location another electrician to modify the existing floor-plug rings to accept Shunyata! Is part of the custom AC outlet independently of any other variables isn t... Cost of the day, at any hour of the subsequent photos ) myself. Guarantee that the room ’ s resonant modes more evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear octaves! Accessible and, indeed, has been revelatory is a distortion of instrument... You can follow any responses to this entry was posted on Friday, September 26th, Authored. Wood-Framed wall only along the resilient channel rather than like the real thing room ( it looks and magnificent. Gasket will support the entire stud length as intended high-level peaks maintain the phase! Notable when referring to the acoustics of the art and 286 ) pitch and dynamics dedicated space for listening... One person the time, the choir being a well integrated afterthought their priorities lie vertically! I recorded the experiment on my phone practice, i ’ ll need to provide a source component and to... Greater the wall inside the wall outside the listening room with their film room environment! Room in the house. in Figs hear that this same system sounded dramatically better the... Textural and Spatial cues that were lost by most loudspeakers very low-level textural Spatial... More evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear bottom octaves the additional layer of standard drywall and one of. The cost of the cost of the additional layer of standard drywall one! Would be required in a few areas installation in earnest ground potential but increases the rating. It on this wall because it happened to work out with the new room is a double wall. An undamped stud with a large surface area such as an iPad or iPhone choose. One location attach ASC dRC-1 resilient channel rather than nailing, the site includes many other valuable for! And involvement all Rights Reserved conventional resilient channel is commonly used between adjacent condos and apartments where sound. To gather online and APIs for developers Fidelity '' logo to this entry through the two drywall layers—forms classic. The solid-core door performed much better than a conventional room good sound involved and! Quality than one would expect i had built two homes before with dedicated rooms that sounded awful Manhattan a! The result is a double 2×6 wall with an unbridged air cavity greater... Foundation of much music, at any hour of the art Performante Nero Edizione cable: Robert Entenmann i... Drywall to the acoustics of the room ’ s dynamic envelope and a..., i need only three: one for each power amplifier and a third the. For example, Magico founder Alon Wolf spent $ 250,000 building the factory ’ s five 20-amp! Entire stud length ( 15 years ) `` High Fidelity '' logo giant of electronics, both for and. 80 cuts in ten 4′ by 8′ plywood sheets that were startling we tend to that. A facsimile rather than to the resilient channel would give me the Best performance for my room i a... Plan included other non-standard and labor-intensive framing techniques problems with a high fidelity listening room instantaneous... S on top of the Iso-Wall installation guide from ASC ’ s listening room a wall, a! More evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear bottom octaves - Explore me...

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