When you think of the extraordinary effort that some loudspeaker designers put into creating inert and well-damped speaker enclosures, it makes sense that one would want similar performance from the structure in which the loudspeaker is operating. There was a quiet between the notes that heightened the impression of realism. Acoustic supply houses sell gypsum board composed of two layers of gypsum separated by a viscoelastic polymer (SoundBreak XP from National Gypsum, for example) that blocks more sound than does conventional drywall. AC power to the listening room is supplied by a separate sub-panel located right outside the listening room. 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. The Iso-Wall construction technique solves the three main problems with listening rooms: 1) it greatly reduces wall shudder; 2) prevents sound inside the listening room from getting out; and 3) absorbs excess bass energy by virtue of the flexible walls, turning them into giant membrane bass traps. With a large surface area such as a wall, even a very small excursion can produce an acoustic output. 7). Thinner 12AWG wire is standard, but don’t let the electrician scoff at the need for 10AWG and talk you into the easier-to-manage 12AWG. Wall shudder also distorts music’s dynamics. I treated the inside walls with the Acoustic Geometry Pro Room Pack 10 that I had been using successfully in my temporary rental house (see my review in Issue 291). Even if you hire out the Iso-Wall installation the cost is still reasonable when viewed in context of the price of today’s high-end systems. The channel’s springiness “floats” the drywall on the channel, reducing the energy transmitted from drywall motion to the framed walls and ceiling. While Mr. Huber was doing research on room acoustics, an amplifier used for taking measurements damaged expensive speakers a few times, generating constant voltage of 70 V on the output – no converter would handle that. The first layer of drywall is laid up vertically and screwed to the channel’s wide face. You can also see the perimeter gasket (black strips along edges and around the door) and the wall-bearing felt (the white strip along the floor at the wall). 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. For starters, bass in the new room is extremely linear, smooth, and highly resolved in pitch and dynamics. The room is now ready for surface treatments. Copyright © 2021 The Absolute Sound. The size, i.e. 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. Music ought to command the same respect that film does insofar as its application is concerned, instead of being a well integrated afterthought. the scale of the presentation, is above average and it is difficult to achieve, even in very good systems based on an analog sound source; usually when it does happen the source is a high quality reel-to-reel. I hit an undamped stud with a hammer and listened to the ring. The same goes for tubes. 9). A study in one-upsmanship par excellence.” See Letters, Issues 283 and 286). 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. After living with the finished room for about three months at the time of this writing, I’m very happy with the size and feel of the space. We’ve all had the experience of bracing ourselves, or tightening up, anticipating a loud passage on a familiar poor recording that is shrill or distorted. The track starts with just the gorgeous vocal harmonies spread out across the soundstage, then the lone guitar, and then the drums (a couple of pick-up beats on low-tuned toms) come in followed immediately by the remarkable fretless bass guitar playing of Bakithi Kumalo. The gypsum board manufacturers (USG and National Gypsum, for examples) publish a wealth of useful information about the various wall-construction techniques and their sound-blocking performances. 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. The ceiling is treated the same way, but with a slightly different resilient channel (ASC’s dRC-2) and closer spacing between the channels. To avoid damage to the new house (and preserve domestic tranquility), the listening room has a secondary door that opens to a third-car garage with no step. What Do We Need in Order to Make it the Ultimate Listening Room? The undamped stud rang for a long time; the damped stud produced a dull and short-lived thud. But it was only after living with the reference system (see sidebar) and its much deeper bass extension and wider dynamic scale that I came to fully appreciate the room’s contribution (or more precisely, lack of contribution) to the sound. After the insulation had been blown into the walls, I started the Iso-Wall installation in earnest. 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. If your priority is economics and space, then integrating your listening room into your home theater is the only option. All rights reserved. For instance, most home theater environments necessitate in-wall speakers because clean lines and visual aesthetics are important to the consumer. 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. Building the room was a small price to pay for realizing a place specifically tailored to reviewing and enjoying music with wonderful fidelity for the rest of my days. Or you may prefer to relax at the Village Vanguard with John Coltrane or experience Pavarotti grace the stage at Carnegie Hall. It has exceeded expectations in every way and, indeed, has been revelatory. You can see the black perimeter gasket and white wall-bearing felt in Fig. High-level peaks maintain the same clarity, resolution, and timbral quality of the lower-level signals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. In addition to the dimensional-ratio spreadsheet, the site includes many other valuable resources for room design. Once the gasket and felt are installed you’re ready to attach ASC dRC-1 resilient channel to the studs and ceiling joists. The ceiling height of the rooms surrounding the listening room is either 10′ or 9′, lower than the listening room’s 11′ height. Although I was disappointed at the time, the situation turned into a valuable learning experience. The materials cost for my room was about $13,500—$8500 for the ASC Iso-Wall products (ASC supplies a kit with the appropriate amount of dRC-1 and dRC-2 resilient channel, WallDamp strips, squares, and StudPacks, perimeter gasket, and wall-bearing felt,), $4000 for the isolation door, and $1000 for plywood stud dampers, screws, acoustic caulk, and miscellaneous supplies. If a home theater isn’t well deadened, standing waves would leave the viewer with a headache. Art Noxon, founder of Acoustic Sciences Corporation, inventor of the famous Tube Trap, and consultant on my room explains room ratios in the sidebar accompanying this article. But it turned out he was interested in audio, and after discovering the purpose of my odd request, fed the sheets through the saw while I stacked the strips (I was prepared and brought hearing protection). I went through 17 tubes of oversized (29-ounce) acoustical caulk. The higher the number the greater the wall’s attenuation of sound. Remember that the WallDamp Strips and WallDamp Squares are self-adhesive, requiring that you remove a release paper on both sides of the strips and squares. To summarize, the three primary problems inherent in music-listening rooms are: 1) sound leaking from the music room into the rest of the house; 2) wall shudder; and 3) excess bass that requires bass traps in the listening room. 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. Then I repeated the hammer strikes after installing the stud damper. Would the room sound any better than a conventional room? The result is a distortion of an instrument’s dynamic envelope and thus a diminution of music’s dynamic expression. In order to get the full benefit of a two-channel high fidelity audio system, it must be located in an environment that is customized to it, not the opposite. :D. See more ideas about audiophile listening room, listening room, audiophile. It was absolutely sensational and thrilling. What would I have done differently? Then WallDamp Squares (4″ by 4″) are applied to the drywall face 12″ on center (Fig. (Builders and subcontractors don’t like to do things that are outside the ordinary, and quote very high prices to discourage custom work.) Instead of the kick drum sounding like a low-frequency thump, the system conveyed details about the mechanism by which its sound was created, including the beater hitting the drum head and the resonant ring of the drum. This precision in the bottom end was apparent on just about any music, and proved a defining quality of the new room. Moreover, peaks had a sense of ease and effortlessness that encouraged higher playback levels and simultaneously greater relaxation and involvement. It took only a few seconds into the first track to hear that this same system sounded dramatically better in the new room. As a result, the sound had a delicacy and density of information that accurately conveyed instrumental timbre, while also vividly portraying the size of the recorded acoustic and the spatial perspectives between instruments and between the ensemble and the surrounding hall. Because my listening room is also a mastering room, it has to be as accurate as possible (see photo 1). Your email address will not be published. Good room ratios spread out the room’s resonant modes more evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear bottom octaves. 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. In order to keep with a long tradition, we also awarded Best Sound awards. 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. Conventional resilient channel is commonly used between adjacent condos and apartments where STC-45 sound isolation is part of the building code. In practice, the listening room’s dimensions are also influenced by real-world considerations such as the amount of real estate you’re prepared to commit to the room and how the room fits into the floorplan of the rest of the house. Room 1 (Left): A lightly treated 2-channel mixing room with basic absorption and diffusion (typical in a project or home recording studio). I wanted to be able to listen to any music, at any hour of the day, at any listening level. 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. Resilient channel is a “Z”-shaped strip of somewhat flexible metal that acts as a spring between the framing and the drywall. THE WAY WE LISTENED | The cables were tested in the “High Fidelity” reference system and compared to our absolute reference, i.e. But it was no match for the acoustic isolation door. 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. 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. The goal is to make the room as inert as possible, reducing the amount of wall resonance and shortening the decay time of the resonances that remain. Such an experience allows the listener to quite literally transcend spacetime, teleporting them to witness Beethoven’s 9th, the orchestra and choir before you in their respective positions. You can also hang vinyl material inside the wall for even greater isolation. Most reputable integrators are capable of providing an outstanding home theater experience; however if you want a zero compromise approach, then we highly suggest consulting with NYC’s premier two-channel architect, HFDG. You must decide how important this sound-proofing is to domestic harmony, and then choose the wall-construction technique that fits your budget and needs. 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. It involved screwing and gluing, rather than nailing, the wall structure together. This sense of life continued throughout the song, anchored by the tight kick drum and Kumalo’s extraordinary inventiveness in playing his instrument. I could use just about any piece of music to illustrate this precise sense of pitch, bass articulation, and dynamic agility, but I’ll choose one that many of you are undoubtedly familiar with and one in which the sonic improvement rendered a large difference in musical perception: “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” from Paul Simon’s Graceland. Keep in mind that good room ratios span a spectrum in which you’ll get good sound. The walls adjoining the hallway and garage are framed 2×6. Two weeks after moving in I got the reference system up and running (see sidebar). I specified five dedicated lines for equipment-placement flexibility. When the wall is flexed by the acoustic pressure of low-frequency sound inside the room, sheer forces in the viscoelastic layer dissipate that energy as a minute amount of heat in the viscoelastic material. The Absolute Sound team is proud to highlight Martin Logan and Paradigm, known for loudspeaker innovation. In designing an Iso-Wall installation for my room, Art Noxon specified an elaborate framing structure that would further reinforce the external side of the listening room walls. 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) Planning the Room: Size and Dimensional Ratio The first step in any room design is choosing the room’s size and dimensional ratios—the ratio of the length to the width to the height. Tags: audio vs video, listening room vs home theater, Robert Entenmann, the listening room, Your email address will not be published. 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. The speaker had a spooky sense of realism, with instruments appearing seemingly out of nowhere with startling immediacy. The difference was so dramatic that I recorded the experiment on my phone. Moreover, the wall movement is chaotic. Typically, a dedicated listening room will be comprised of a high-quality set of loudspeakers, comprised of a left and right main speaker. I did, however, adhere to Art Noxon’s specification that I damp the 2×6 studs by attaching strips of 5″-wide and 1/2″-thick plywood to the side of each stud, with two strips of ASC’s WallDamp, a self-adhesive viscoelastic damping material (Fig. Several years ago when reviewing a speaker with heroic cabinet construction, I used the term “self noise” to describe how the speaker didn’t seem to add a low-level “chatter” or chaotic noise to the music. At the next level, Art Noxon will design a custom ASC Iso-Wall System for your room for a consulting fee. 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. A standard 2×4 wood-framed wall (16″ on-center) filled with insulation and with 1/2″ gypsum board (drywall) on both sides is specified as STC-35—not a very high value. 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Is supplied by a separate sub-panel located right outside the listening room i went through tubes. On this wall because it happened to work out with the new room thrilled with anniversary... Combine one ’ s resonant modes more evenly, resulting in smoother and more linear bottom.. Sounds magnificent ) viewer with a single construction technique more money on a scale... To use 2×6 plate with 2×4 studs that are staggered a hi-fi system sounding like a facsimile rather nailing... The floorplan specify all the surface acoustic treatments for the acoustic isolation door to diffuse sound is for...

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