Xec needs listening/whisky room advice

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Xecuter, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    So guys, I bought my first house.

    The missus has given me free reign on a listening room. Awww Yisss. Xec's gonna go crazy,,,
    Here is the room in its current state
    [​IMG]
    dimensions are 6x4x2.5 metres or for my American friends 19.6x13.1x8.2 feet.

    I want to document the entire thing here, but I need the help of some of the more experienced users here to help guide me.
    I bought the house for 100k less than I was expecting, so I have cash for the room, room treatment, speakers, air con, top electrical, furniture, shelving, audio rack art/decorations/lighting and maybe a serious TT.

    Please do not recommend I DIY stuff. I have neither the time nor the inclination.

    Something like this is my inspiration:
    [​IMG]

    First, the room needs to have walls and floors and electrical put in this year if possible.
    Floors - sound proofed hardwood for the floors, I'll throw a rug down
    Roof - I have read that coffered ceilings can be really great for diffusion, or I can place something like in the above picture with acoustic tiles.
    Walls - The poles are an issue, and for resale purpose I need to put a window on the wall I expect to be behind the speakers. I will try cover this with something so It doesn't mess with acoustics.
    I'm planning on leaving the storage cupboards in and extending the wall in to cover the poles. I will lose roughly .5 metres off the width by doing so. Hoping I can sink a book/record shelf and and whisky shelf close to the rear of the room into the wall.
    Another option is to box the poles in.

    So far this is what I think seems like a good idea?
    left is current - right is proposed.
    [​IMG]

    Insulation: I have been recommended rock wool?
    Cooling - Ducted aircon is not an option, just going to put an ultra quiet split system on the back wall?
    Electrical: Will run Cat 6, and put in some RCA and XLR running from the middle of the side wall to the rear of both sides. That way i can re-orientate the room and can also run a second set facing the other way?
    I will run an power line that is isolated from the house to the room. Also considering installing a powerwall to run the room off.

    Speakers:

    Here is the problem, I haven't settled on speakers yet and my amps are a bit limiting.
    I have the Eddie current studio inbound and want to buy some ultra efficient speakers, but these won't be my end game speakers. I was thinking about maybe importing some old Altec lansing 19s? I have a budget of up to 5k usd for speakers for the studio.

    Later next year I am thinking of running a second set of much larger speakers. I was considering getting the 100w Sonic frontiers Power 3 tube monoblock to complete by Sonic frontiers stack with SFD-1/SFL-2/SFT for an all tube vintage rig. However, I am unsure if this will perform that well when compared to modern gear. I also would like to try the EAR stuff later on as I tend to prefer slight warmth and bass emphasis.

    I am prepared to pay up to 40k usd for speakers, and another 10kusd on amps. I haven't really been super impressed by any of the speakers I heard at audio stores including KEF blades, and the new 802D3.

    TT wise I have only heard one TT that made me think digital had something to worry about and that was the VPI avenger, the classic was close but the Avenger was instantly jaw dropping. I think I am probably a ways away from this, I am a perfectionist and a single crack or pop is worse than listening through an ODAC IMO.

    I also want to build a dedicated digital source for this room. Something that utilizes my lynx. AES16e.. My PC has been an endless source of grief lately, maybe the source will be a macbook with a thunderbolt box thingy.

    lots to keep me busy.
    Open to suggestion/recommendations/criticism.

    Thanks

    Xec.
     
  2. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Congrats!

    Just a thought, if you are in the enviable position to be able to start from scratch as you are, I'd say thinking early on about bass trapping sounds like a good idea. The precise recommended configurations are beyond me but the one thing I do know is that bass traps are not small objects, so if you figure them in from the start it's going to be much easier to make the room look nice around them. All the other acoustic damping stuff you can fix later. If you aren't going to DIY, maybe just get an acoustician in at an early stage to sort you out with some bass trapping.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  3. Malabargold

    Malabargold Flipper

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    I'll leave the floor to people more competent in this sort of thing than I am but I think its an excellent idea to post the entire progression here!

    I want to build a listening room myself one day and a start to finish example could serve as a useful tool for those of us planning future projects of this size. With a budget like yours I'd definitely shoot for adding the turntable and a well built rack for it.
     
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  4. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    Hey bro, cant wait for pictures.

    Im not sure what's your taste like, but considering your gear seems primed towards vocals and jazz and the likes. I would highly, very highly suggest you go for a voxativ.

    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/f...speakers-70734-geismar-la?refsource=hifishark

    This is an ampeggio due at 50% off with the field coil drivers. They are divine and will be very well powered by your studio. It is however slightly above you expected price so... but its just such a bargain tbh

    If you want something more diverse, i would suggest wilson. The XLF's will be on discount soon once the new flagship comes out next year, and you can probably get one for 70k less. The alexandria's, which to me is still very damn good is sub 50k second hand.

    Other brands would be, "Franco Serblin" try out the Ktema. For amps, if you must have a tube amp, go for the Absolare 845 SET (20K secondhand) or a Nagra VPA (845) around 10-12k.

    The 845 tubes are warm but so organic and unbelievably clear.

    Other than the avenger, i would also highly recommend you try out the Kronos Pro. This was one of the setups that made me go weak at the audio show near my place recently, and it was pitted against 100k TT's still prefer it.

    In addition, you might want to consider placing a curtain behind your eames chair. Symmetry is very important and it makes it very much easier to isolate and sound pockets. The walls behind you chairs are assymetrical, thus will have it harder to tune the room.
     
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  5. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Depending how dedicated you are:
    1. choice
    If outside noise is non issue make walls as light as possible. Ideally out of fabric and mineral wool. That only works if you can have symmetrical placement.
    It would be helpful if you pointed out which of the walls needs to be of structural strength that can't be made out of duck's weathers.
    Shelf for your whiskey then needs to be without back wall.
    If you can pull this off, you might escape from some serious standing waves.
    One really have not heard their speakers to full potential before they subtract the acoustics from the equation altogether.

    2. choice
    If you need to have hard walls.
    Use natural wood for walls. But here the walls need to have some considerable weight, otherwise you get midrange glare or honk as all bass will fly out and high treble gets attenuated anyways with wood.
    Wood has dampening characteristics and will let some bass flow through freely, even when made of solid 30 cm logs. This also helps with standing waves. Looks good too.
    Ceiling, if possible is better left at angle (as it appears to be), not 90 deg with side walls.
    Front wall (the wall where speakers are at) in my exp needs to be of solid heavy material. It acts as foundation for proper bass.

    I'd bet the 'diffuser' (on the picture you posted) on the ceiling is perhaps good looking but hardly does anything to sound quality. Real diffusers loo like this: [​IMG]

    For small to medium rooms I'd prefer dampening to diffusers. Carpets, wool panels, soft furniture. Although your whiskey shelf if half empty doubles as a diffuser.
    [​IMG]


    Flush mounting of speakers might be worth pursuing, but then I think you'd need some pro help on site with measurements.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    If he's really just kinda building an entire room from scratch, then don't build a rectangular room...
     
  7. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    If he can make the walls from wool and fabric, it won't matter much.

    Out of heavy stuff, sure if he is willing to sacrifice some cubic meters.
    A trapezoid shaped floor plan would be good starting point.
    Even then, I have heard horrid sounding rooms that had angled walls. The materials that make the wall tend to impact the sound more.
     
  8. haywood

    haywood Almost "Made"

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    Speaking of which... If the budget is that high then it might be worth looking into the addition of a new room rather than rebuilding which tends to be almost as expensive. That'd leave the enclosed porch or whatever intact, boost the property value more and let you have better control over the room design. You'll probably be talking with an architect or contractors anyway, might be worth getting estimates to see if it'd make sense and if so then see if the better half approves.
     
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  9. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    Some great stuff so far guys. Thank you so much!
    With regard to building another room, the house is on poles and there is potential space but I will have to work around the poles and it will be VERY expensive. This house is a stepping stone house, I'm planning on being here for a maximum of 5 years. The next place I will probably build from scratch with a dedicated room that will not have windows/poles/any sort of restriction.

    This room needs to be able to be used as a bedroom when I leave because we will rent it out. So although I saved 100k AUD on purchase price that doesn't mean I have 100k to spend on the room. It means i have some spare cash to close this space in and treat it as much as possible without doing anything too permanent. I want to spend the bulk of the money on stuff that I can take with me. i.e. speakers/amps/dampening/diffusors and use later on.

    The roof is slightly angled. I measured about 50cm height difference. 3 metres at the highest point above the speakers on the plan.

    I can make the room more symmetrical at the rear. I am also considering not extending the walls to cover the poles and instead box them in something like a column with acoustic that will hopefully not cause too many reflections. This will give me a bit more width but means the poles will be in the main listening field.
    [​IMG]

    I can't really change the room shape too much. I looked at doing it and the narrowest point will become 2 metres wide which is too small, it also messes the room up too much to be used as anything later.

    I want the walls to be solid and ideally soundproofed so I can crank it loud and not worry about neighbours or too much vibrations through the house.

    I will continue to adjust the plans with all these great suggestions! We get the keys today!
     
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  10. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    Well, that's a fair point. However, I want to buy a business before I'm 30, I'm well on track but it means the dream home isn't the priority. The room should only cost 10-20k to wall in and treat and everything else I buy will come with me or be liquidated to buy more appropriate gear for the next house.

    That is the amazing thing about high end boutique audio stuff is that if you buy it second hand, like the 40k speakers @Rotijon suggested, I don't think I'll lose more than 20% on those.
    If it makes the next few years so much more tolerable for me while I grind out the next chunk of capital I need for my next investment then it's money well spent IMO.
     
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  11. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    My mate bought a new f type Jaguar R. He lost about 80k when he drove it off the lot. I know 8k is a lot of money to go up in smoke but it's all relative. If I can have world class sound in my house and it only costs me a a few thousand in depreciation each year, that's actually a pretty cheap hobby..
     
  12. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    If you want the space to be a bedroom/rentable, then you definitely want to have windows (might even be a legal requirement?), or possibly patio style doors which would also handy to bring in big equipment instead of trudging it through the house).

    Keeping things in a portable/reuseable mindset, perhaps build the room in a fairly standard manner but buy large panels which you can simply float away from the regular wall (perhaps in an angled fin/heatsink arrangement). Then you can simply take them with you when you move.

    If you encase the poles within the room, you can set up a sweet hammock listening position :cool:
     
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  13. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    @Priidik I actually love that crazy wood diffuser room you linked. If I can temporarily wall and roof mount those it might be a good way to hide the poles without losing too much width!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  14. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    That was actually Priidik that linked the crazy diffuser room.

    Additional idea that sort of builds off that "potential extension", instead of extending the room per se, build a secondary small narrow room that leads outside. This is a handy place to store coats/shoes/etc when it later becomes a rental property (we call it a "mud room" here). As an adjunct to your listening room though, this is also a place you can place your gear rack (especially if anything needs cooling fans). OR the fun project would be to build some full fledged externally wall mounted subwoofers. Heck, you could go crazy and build a rotary woofer!
     
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  15. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    @Xecuter , its fine if your ceiling is not completely flat, could in fact be an advantage.

    You'd like the speakers at the end where its lower, with you sitting on the end where the ceiling is higher. (assumption here is that the slope is north to south)

    Make sure the arpeggio's are shipped in the original boxes etc. It might be worth your time to fly over for a quick weeklong holiday with the wife, chat with the guy and check the stuff and ship it out. And lets not forget german sausages and beer =)

    Im fairly certain you wont regret the speakers. They are just absolutely divine and im certain you can get a good discount if you're serious and actually plan a flight over to his place. Should be much more pleasurable than a jaguar f type too =P Cars in australia are so expensive tbh.
     
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  16. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    https://www.audiogon.com/listings/m...-speaker-pair-stands-2016-10-18-speakers-3181

    These are also pretty amazing, i've had the older version which blew my mind, if you can power it, needs about 200-300 watts to sing.

    These are the new versions, very limited, only 30 pairs in the world. The mould used to make its carbon fibre chassis is also destroyed upon completion of the speakers, so these are as many as they ever would have.

    These went for allegedly 80-100k a pair, but it wasnt known since only 30 people got them.

    For these, im fairly certain the price will appreciate instead of dropping. You might actually make money on these 5 years in the future. They are in australia too, so it should save you quite a pretty penny, in shipping, insurance and tax!

    Make sure you see it and only pay upon receiving it. The seller has a very new account, could be a scam.
     
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  17. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    @Rotijon holy moly. Might have to to slow you down mate :D

    Big boy speakers are something I'll look at buying end of next year. I'll make arrangements to hear some of the highly recommended stuff in asia early next year.

    I wanted to buy something under 5kusd to start off with, to use with the studio. I have never owned decent speakers so i wanted to dip my toes in before spending serious money.

    However these recommendations are invaluable. I'm compiling a list and will sus out some auditions in Japan in January.
     
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  18. Rotijon

    Rotijon Friend

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    If you're buying non - super high end speakers, id suggest you take a look at countries where the currency is at a free fall and where the economy is not so good.

    Like mine for instance, unfortunately. You'd be surprised how cheap things are.

    I can keep a lookout if you like on local items for sale. Right now, there's a raidho and accordo for sale at very good prices. Since im here, i can help you coordinate and ship out. In exchange, give me a week or so with the gear =P

    The raidho C3 is about 9k before shipping, floorstander. The franco serblin accordos is about 6k inclusive of shipping.

    On the accordo's, it is my buddy's and i own a unit as well. Unbelievable clarity, organic, and works very well with a 100 watt plus tube amp. I think you'll really enjoy it. You wont be able to use the studio with it though.
     
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  19. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Wow... that's looking almost anechoic! I suspect that quite a lot of sound that enters in never gets out again. There is a pattern for diffusers that is not very deep, but it is one of those things where the maths works. I hasten to add... no personal experience. I'd love to do a room but never have. I'll dredge the bookmarks and see if I kept that diffuser thing, because, as I recall, one advantage is that it wasn't ugly. Whoa! Diffusion, absorbtion, reflection... I guess the first thing is decide on what goes where. And,,, too bass trap or not to bass trap?
     
  20. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    I have limited experience with diffusers, but who does have the experience say that in a large room diffusers retain liveliness of sound, whereas fully damped room has this dead sound.
    The diffusers function as .. you know angled mirrors spreading sounds in various directions + as resonators, cancelling out some sound that is possible with the geometry. That is why I think the shallow diffusers are not worth it.
    The bonus is that rooms with diffusers actually looks awesome, not like an asylum for schizophrenics.
     
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