Author Topic: Placement and equalization before room treatment  (Read 1315 times)

Offline cybasoul

Placement and equalization before room treatment
« on: December 27, 2019, 11:28:36 AM »
I've moved into a place that has a decently sized room and ceiling height. I basically connected my system and did no equalization and just switched back to the preamp's default presets. I held back on equalization because I wanted to replace the damaged center's tweeter first. The only thing I did was to try the subwoofer on two different locations, corners to be exact because I read that a tapped horn needed to be corner loaded to play best. I chose the corner that sounded best based on my ears.

The overall sound has been ok, but more on the bright side. In my mind I thought room treatment was a must and it was going to be one of the things I'll be working on.

In my previous small apartment I had two basstraps and I must say the bass was quiet delightful, for music it was one of the best I've ever heard if not the best. The overall sound was still on the bright side of things, even after I did eq with Dirac Live that came with my Emotiva XMC-1. I thought it had to do with the fact that B&Ws are known for being bright.

A week ago I finally went to HFX to replace the center's tweeter and wasted no time, ran measurements of my whole system and room. To my surprise and disappointment I saw that the sub had horrible nulls, two: one spanning from 53hz to 30hz dipping by 10db. I moved the subwoofer to the second and only other corner option and the results where not pleasing as well. I tried moving slightly away from the corners, tried turning it around so that it doesn't fire directly into the corners and I wasn't even happy with the outcome of the best of those placements.

I eventually moved the sub to the middle of the longest wall and the response was much better, pleasing actually. it is fairly flat from 90hz till the only very narrow null between 50hz and 44hz. I didnt mind the null because the mains will cover that null which they do not suffer from. The subwoofer even measure even lower than when it was corner loaded managing to go down to 16hz at decent db.

I then ran a complete eq with Dirac Live with the following targets:
- Lowered high-end hoping to remedy the brightness.
- Limited the mains and center to 40hz.
- The subwoofer joins the action from 90hz, because it can.
- The surrounds limited to 80hz of course.

The outcome of Dirac Live's correction was as close to perfect as I could hope for. Very much flat overall and those very high highs of B&Ws are no more. I've been listening for two days now and I really don't hear the need to even bother with room treatment as it is now. I is a much improved sound overall, without changing a single component.

What I've learned/experienced:
- Speaker placement is a thing.
- My tapped subwoofer horn benefited more from being away from a corner contrary to the believes.
- Dirac Live saved me a whole lot of money that I was going to spend on room treatment.

I might install bass traps as the time goes. But it is no longer urgent.

Thought I should share my experience with the difficulty of getting my tapped horn to integrate with the room, taming the notoriously bright B&Ws, and how Dirac Live took my system to a different level. I had already paid a bit extra for the full version of Dirac Live, so I didn't spend a cent now besides replacing a damaged diamond tweeter with an aluminum one  :thumbs:

Offline Dubya Jay Dee

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 09:53:55 AM »
Thanks Cyba - excellent insights.  I must experiment! :thumbs:

Offline Timber_MG

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 03:54:08 PM »
tapped horns have increased loading from corner placement....but the effects are much smaller than placement. Corner placement excites all modes, frequently one sub in a corner and one elsewhere (often integer fraction down one side of an adjoining wall) works well if one can EQ and align.

Offline naughty

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 08:00:03 PM »
@cybasoul in my room the sub also works better nearer the middle of the wall and more-or-less inbetween the speakers  :thumbs:

Offline cybasoul

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 09:54:34 AM »
Thanks Cyba - excellent insights.  I must experiment! :thumbs:
We experience and share  :thumbs:

tapped horns have increased loading from corner placement....but the effects are much smaller than placement. Corner placement excites all modes, frequently one sub in a corner and one elsewhere (often integer fraction down one side of an adjoining wall) works well if one can EQ and align.
I've been thinking about adding a second sub. Been considering a second tapped horn, but it's a serious build. I might endup doing an IB. Two of them possibly.

@cybasoul in my room the sub also works better nearer the middle of the wall and more-or-less inbetween the speakers  :thumbs:
Been enjoying the current placement. The wall that it's against looks better since there's now symmetry :clap:
Although, it does sound like the drivers are overworked compared to when it was in the corner. Im enjoying the smoothness of the bass, but I do have some fear when watching movies at high levels.

Offline Drifter

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Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:28:07 PM »
Not even Baby likes a corner (I'm really on a role now  :giggle: ).

If you want to bring down the roof for home cinema, stick the sub in the corner. If you want to use a sub for stereo or nuanced audio in movies, changes are great that subtleties will disappear and you are left with all low frequencies sounding like a Harley....

Offline tiaand

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 08:41:12 PM »
@cybasoul in my room the sub also works better nearer the middle of the wall and more-or-less inbetween the speakers  :thumbs:

Exactly the same here. Sub in the centre a bit away from the walls sound very natural with music. I moved it around quite a bit before settling there. Moving it around obviously made a big difference since the levels detected by the room correction was hugely different.

Offline Katji

Re: Placement and equalization before room treatment
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 09:06:01 PM »
 :giggle:  ...sounding like a Harley.