Hmmm. A bit impatient are we?
I’m holding out on posting photos until the room is done, which may be awhile since I still need to buy furniture, a display, and a few other items for “completeness”. It doesn’t look to “cool” right now.
Nonetheless, I’ll begin by saying when I starting thinking about setting up my room, I did what any sane person would do and contacted Mr. Ethan Winer for his opinions. In the process, I was also able to get the opinion of Mr. Carl Tatz, of Carl Tatz Designs. The reason for my adding panels behind the couch is to control the bass as much as possible as the back wall is, in fact, the largest wall in the room and my couch is only 3 feet from it. Acoustically, rotating the room 90 degrees would have been better, but not practical for me. So, I decided to use the absorption on the back with about 12 inches of space between panel frames (to gain some diffusion). The main speakers are far from the side walls (about 5 feet), so early reflections weren’t as critical. Still, tame what I can.
For the sound…I haven’t had a great deal of time to truly listen, and trying to describe what I hear will be difficult
. I’ve lived with the speakers in their positions in that room without treatments for about 2 months, so I became familiar with the sound, which was good. Here’s my description after brief listening periods:
First, the bass. The bass sounded louder. This surprised me, as I fully expected the opposite to occur. But, it sounded much different. There is a very defined difference between the bass drum and bass guitar in many recordings now. Also, the bass sounds more solid. As an example, Fleetwood Mac’s “the dance” CD starts out with “The Chain” where Mick’s kick-drum starts. In the past, it sounded full and coming from the front of the room. Now, it sounds very tight (almost like you can hear the drum being hit with a slight decay) and is exactly left of center. Towards the end where John’s classic bass line comes in, it used to be loud and upfront where now it is more laid back, but solid. Hard to describe. You can feel it in your chest at elevated volumes but you cannot hear it. Or at least, hear what I thought was bass before. Supertramp’s School..when the bass comes in…damn, in your face, but not boomy or obnoxious.
By far, biggest difference is in the bass performance.
Second, midrange/treble. Improvements were more subtle, but I’d say definitely more detail can be made out, and imaging has improved as well. You can, without a doubt, hear two guitars playing (one from each channel) during Rusted Root’s “Ecstasy” where I thought it was one guitar before. And each guitar part can clearly
be heard. Also, vocals are not as “in your face” as before, where they are more in-line with the music. I played a trick (unknowingly) on my wife as I had forgotten to hook up my center speaker and she asked how I was able to get the vocals to come from it. She even walked up to the speaker saying I had done something different....then I told her to look behind the speaker to see it wasn't hooked up. :happy-smileygiantred:
The treble was great before with these speakers, but the main difference I hear is at elevated volumes...the treble doesn't get louder than the rest (which happened before). Just seems to tame it down so everything sounds "right" when loud.
Imaging/soundstage has improved as well. Now, can hear left, left/center, center, right/center, and right. The sound is outside of the speakers on some recordings. On Tool’s 10,000 days, the thunderstorm comes from behind me. I haven't heard much difference in depth, but may be some of the recording's I've listened to in my limited time.
One last bit of noteworthiness, is that now I can turn it up so much louder and the music remains composed…it doesn’t break down…in that the imaging remains pinpoint, and it actually doesn’t sound loud. It just sounds bigger…nothing dominates as the volume goes up.
Last night I played Handel’s Water Music (Music for the Royal Fireworks) and simply enjoyed.
Big improvement for 200 bucks. Only problem is, it’s like cocaine. I’m already thinking about adding some absorption behind the speakers in the alcoves (mandatory) and some diffusion as well around the room.
I will say that if anyone can add some treatments (I know most here know this), I would do so.