Examples of GREAT sounding rooms? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 8 Old 10-10-12, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
Brad Nailer
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Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

Does anyone have both waterfall and frequency graphs of great-sounding rooms with dimensions and descriptions of furnishings/treatments, e.q. settings (especially just for plain audio, as opposed to home theater) they could share (not even limited to R.E.W. graphs)?
Kind of like a "best-of" list?
Or links to such things?
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-11-12, 07:46 PM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

One man's "great" may be another man's "noisy". :P

My main advice is to look for a relative neutrality in the reflected sound. No overemphasis in any one region. how live it should be is not something that can be dictated, and your speakers' radiation pattern will affect your preferences as well.

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-24-12, 09:03 PM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

I've measured quite a number of rooms in Australia and what I'm finding is that the better sounding rooms overall have a relatively low reverb time of around 0.32 that is quite flat. The reverb time tends to be more consistent when the room is deliberately treated, where many untreated rooms might have a reverb time more like 0.7 and it tends to be high in the midrange and fall at the top. Treat it well and the midrange comes down but the top end doesn't fall so much. I should mention that this is reverb time as measured by REW with the speakers used, so it's not by strict standards, correct, because ideally RT should be measured with an omni source.

What I find is that it's rare to find a room that measures well with respect to waterfalls. In my bass integration guide I showed some pretty good ones and I aim to get a target of 20 db down at 150ms with a 300ms window above 40 Hz. Every room seems to fail that test and it requires fairly serious treatment to meet that target.

If you can get your reverb time flat and around 0.3 - 0.4 and meet the waterfall target then you have done pretty well.

This is a recording of two identical rooms, one treated with a RT of around 0.32 and the other more like 0.7. Best with headphones. It's a recording of an in-room reproduction:


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post #4 of 8 Old 10-25-12, 09:31 AM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

George Cardas has published some interesting information about room dimensions and speaker placement here:


I didn't have the ability to alter my room, but found the speaker placement info helpful.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-25-12, 06:32 PM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

Wow, great experiment in that post, Paul!

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-30-12, 04:38 AM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

I agree with Paul in that for sound reproduction, dead is good and maybe the deader the better (down to some point). All the sound is on the tracks and you don't want the room adding its own characteristics.

Maybe there is some way to listen to recordings to see if they sound great on headphones as some kind of guide to room sound.

Now a days, you rarely see a room furnished with much stuffing, wool carpeting, felt carpet underlayer, heavy drapes, stuffed furniture, and the like... to the detriment of reproduced sound.

Almost any absorbent you add anywhere in a room helps. You can put pillows under your couch, fiberglass boards behind your curtains, and so on.

But not to be confused with making a room nice for making music.

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post #7 of 8 Old 10-30-12, 05:05 AM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

The sign of a deliberately treated room is a flat reverb time.

3 rooms I've measured:

The first is a large open room with a high raked ceiling, timber floor, lots of glass and some thin foam treatment on the rear wall.

There is much more to the room than shown, it was a bit hard to photograph, but here is one snap:

I wrote about it in full here:

So what do you notice about it? The reverb time is high due to the size of the room and lack of absorption. The foam panels used reduce HF but leave the midrange reverb high, approaching 0.7s.

The middle room in blue is a show room at the Melbourne Hifi show. You can see a similar trend towards higher reverb in the middle and this is a more typical small domestic room. It sits around 0.5s.

On the bottom in orange is my room at one point, which is a small room with bass traps at the time that were so large, they actually tame the reverb. I don't recall exactly where I had other panels.

Now in my room you see a RT around 0.3s, slightly lower in some points, and it's quite flat. My first thought was to attribute it to the Synergy horns I was running, but I have since seen other rooms with other speakers that when treated have a similar measurement with conventional speakers.

One thing to watch when treating a room is to avoid treating only the HF. I've done that in the past and found you can end up with a room that doesn't even sound as good as normal untreated room.

I find there is such a thing as overkill here, and there is a sweet spot that you want to aim for, that is somewhere in the range from 0.2 - 0.4.

I have a tentative hypothesis that as the room gets larger, the desirable sweet spot can tend to shift upwards. In other words, bigger rooms might sound better with a higher RT than smaller ones. I have not tested this idea adequately, it's more of a hunch.

Having said that, I find that the room in the video with a RT of around 0.32 has some similarity to my much smaller room at around 0.3. In reality, reverb time is not the only measure that we need to consider, however it is one of the easier measures to grasp and it is not too difficult to change it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 10-30-12, 05:36 AM
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Re: Examples of GREAT sounding rooms?

I guess this room have greatest acoustic I have heard this far. Nothing wrong with those 1036A speakers either.
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