David and Deb's Digital Loft - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 8 Old 08-07-16, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Smile David and Deb's Digital Loft

Before you look at the photo, I already know what you're going to think..."Gosh, that room is way too small for those loudspeakers!" Well, probably something along those lines, and sure, I agree. But before you make a judgement and move on, imagine that you had purchased your dream loudspeakers for a big dedicated media room out on the east coast and then a few years later ended up moving to a smaller place on the west coast. Would you sell them for a substantial loss and buy something smaller or try to make your dream system work in the new space?

Well, that was my situation, and it took a lot of hard work over a period of about six months to get these big loudspeakers to sonically disappear in a 15.5ft x 10.1ft room. I ended up using a combination of room treatments from ATS Acoustics and digital room correction called Acourate from AudioVero. So, the point of sharing this photo is not to suggest that others should go out and buy large loudspeakers for a small room; rather it is to show what is possible with enough effort and persistence. It's uncommon to have the opportunity to design and build a dedicated 2-channel room from scratch; most of us who are fortunate enough to have a dedicated 2-channel room are going to be working with a smaller space. If this is your situation, don't give up, and don't hesitate to ping me if I can answer questions or help you to make that room reach its potential.



The backs of the loudspeakers are 3ft from the rear wall, and the centers of the midbass drivers are 18.5in from the side wall. The listening position is 4.25ft from the rear wall and 7.75ft from the loudspeakers. The soundstage is wide, tall, deep, and incredibly precise with startling realism on good recordings. Even old mono recordings sound excellent with the sound emanating from a narrow but deep/tall area dead center between the loudspeakers. Bass is extended, effortless, and extremely quick. It took a lot of work to get there, but I'm very pleased with the final results. :-)
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David and Deb's Digital Loft-loft_wide_web.jpg  


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post #2 of 8 Old 08-07-16, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

Here’s an interesting graph that shows the frequency response of the loft at the sweet-spot before and after correction. The target correction curve is overlaid.



The room was setup as well as I could manage with loudspeakers that the manufacturer states are flat +/- 2dB from 18-30kHz. However, even with seven absorption panels and four bass traps, the room was adding significant distortion to the response. As you might imagine, all of those peaks and dips were obscuring details in the music and causing the soundstage to loose focus. Correcting the frequency and step response has transformed this system and room into a surprisingly revealing listening environment…and all for less than the cost of a high-quality pair of interconnects!

If you have not already experimented with Acourate digital room correction, I encourage you to grab Mitch Barnett's book, Accurate Sound Reproduction Using DSP and check it out.

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-07-16, 01:24 PM
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

I see the picture attached in the first post.

Yes, those speakers are huge compared to the room size but like you said, no point wasting the money already spent. Make use of what you have and accomodate!

Also, with the use of room treatments from ATS Acoustics and digital room correction, you can easily make the room the right size for those speakers.

I am sure it sounds great!

Thanks for sharing.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-29-16, 03:08 AM
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

Wow. Why do I not see any of digital room correction with DSP in Hi end 2ch HI-FI?
It looks so beneficial!

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-29-16, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

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HiFiStereo wrote: View Post
Wow. Why do I not see any of digital room correction with DSP in Hi end 2ch HI-FI?
It looks so beneficial!

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I think the main problem is that most audiophiles are old enough to have experimented with tone controls, graphic and parametric equalizers and DSP/room setup tools on some home theater receivers. While it was sometimes possible to make improvements to frequency response using these tools, those improvements almost always came at the expense of imaging and soundstage. Upon critical listening, the soundstage typically shrinks in size and loses focus.

The reason for this is probably that traditional EQ and DSP negatively impacts timing and phase, and those are critical for accurate localization.

The amazing thing about modern FIR based room corrections, like Acourate, is that they can perform amplitude response corrections without ruining timing and phase. In fact, they can even improve phase response in multi-way loudspeaker systems. The graph below shows the step response of the right channel in my room before (red) and after (green) correction relative to ideal step response (left channel is almost identical):



In the "before" graph (red), you can see that the various drivers are fighting with each other in the time domain while they are mostly aligned in the "after" graph. The impact to sound quality, as you might imagine, is a larger soundstage with significantly better image focus. Transients (like snare drum taps) are sharper as well.

Of course, there's no free lunch...these time domain corrections add one or two seconds of latency to playback. This means that starting/stopping and seeking during playback is more laggy than when correction is disabled, but this is a small price to pay for the excellent improvements in frequency and phase response.

Loudspeaker manufacturers like Legacy Audio, Meridian, and Avantgarde Acoustics are integrating room correction into the active crossover networks in their loudspeakers. As these solutions gain popularity, hopefully, more audiophiles will be willing to dip a toe into digital room correction.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-19-16, 02:28 PM
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

Thanks for sharing this... very cool! Would love to hear!
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-19-16, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

Hi Todd,

Ping me next time you'll be in the SF bay area. I'd enjoy playing some selections for you. In the meantime, I have posted a few recordings (not great, but you'll get a 20% idea) here:

http://sanfranciscoaudiophilesociety...-digital-loft/

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post #8 of 8 Old 10-21-16, 01:20 PM
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Re: David and Deb's Digital Loft

Sounds like a plan... thanks for the link. While it's impossible to truly hear, it's still fun to use it as an anchor to imagine. ;-)
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