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Hello, per suggestion in the STEVEHOFFMAN forum, I would like to post this question, so I could hopefully get some help from your knowledge. As I am a firm believer that room acoustics plays a great part in how good a system could sound, I've hired an acoustic firm in my country (from the very, very few that actually exist) to treat the room in my house where I have my stereo, at one side and my HT at the other side. Is a room I've dedicated in my house to for that matter and I only use it a night when my daughter is asleep. It's not a perfect room and there are some parts that I just can't modify. One part is a closet I have on the right side and the other parts some windows and a door. They are offering me to change the door to an "acoustic" one and also the windows. I'm showing you some photos of the renderings they made and what could be the result. They are charging me $6,000 including the "acoustic" sealed windows at $1,500. I'm willing to spend that money for the sake of having a good sounding room, MY FEAR is what if they are only focusing on absorption of echoes? Any questions I should ask them? They came to my house, did some measurement with a "gun" they shoot at the floor while the other engineer held a special mic that has a display, and they show me an eq graph and the problems of echoes I had. They are specialized in treating recording studios, music halls, etc but just a few individual rooms like mine. That's understandable because not many people would like to pay that much just for having their room treated, ****, most of the people wouldn't even pay $6,000 for a home stereo but I guess there a very few audiophiles and music equipment lovers in my country.
Anyway, I would love some comments and insight from you including suggestions and questions I should ask them. In my ignorance, as the engineers made special emphasis on the echoes, I fear they could be letting aside other factors that should be corrected apart from the echoes. That's why I think the photos of what they propose should help. They are using PVC, fiberglass and the windows are made from hermetically sealed double-glazed. Excuse the translation from Spanish to English LOL.

Thank you a lot!!!



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This is a terribly complicated topic to discuss in an online forum. Is the purpose of the room treatment to make the room sound better or to insulate your night enjoyment from your sleeping daughter? Because the 2 things require VERY different approaches. The first RULE of acoustics... for the best sounding room, the room should be "the same" on the left side and on the right side (symmetrical) and the ceiling in the room should be the same height at left and right and there should not be a "peak" on slant to the ceiling. You did not mention ANYTHING about bass in your room. And it doesn't look like they are doing ANYTHING to improve bass response in your room because devices that improve the quality of bass are very large because the wavelengths of bass are very long. If they have an absorbing panel on the left wall, there should be an identical absorbing panel on the right wall in the same location. They should also be using REFLECTIVE treatment as well as absorptive treatments... when they use ONLY sound absorption, the result is a DEAD sounding room. If these guys are not experienced with home-sized rooms and only large spaces, they may not be good for you. Room treatment in a home-sized room is VERY different than in a church, or auditorium or theater or even in a bar/pub.
 

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BTW, "acoustic windows" and an "acoustic door" are worthwhile for ISOLATION of your sound and keeping more of it INSIDE YOUR ROOM... but those devices WILL NOT improve the sound in your room... not in any meaningful way. But doing ONLY the windows and door will not make the room sound better... unless the door does not exist now and when it is closed, it makes the room's shape more "regular"... the "regular" shape of a room makes it easier to improve the acoustics. HOWEVER... the WORST rooms have the width, depth, and height the same dimensions... very bad for acoustics and difficult to treat acoustically. 2 dimensions the same is better, but still not ideal. AND if the room is 8 x 14 x 16... that is not as good as 7 x 15.5 x 19 (example 1 - all dimensions can be divided by 2; example 2- no dimensions can all be divided evenly by the same whole number. There are SO many things to take into account.

The "gun" they are using is a typical measurement device to produce an impulse to measure delay/reverberation times in large spaces. That sort of measurement is LESS helpful in home environments because the delay/reverberation times are FAR shorter and don't really come into play like they do in large venues.
 

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The room looks quite pretty, but the highly reflective minimalist decor is just about a worst case for stereo or surround sound. This is a typical situation in so many modern architect designed houses and appartments, with zero consideration or knowledge of acoustics, evidenced by an obvious echo when talking. Even TV dialogue is compromised. As mentioned, acoustic windows and doors are a waste of money with respect to acoustics, they will only provide improved external isolation. An economical quick fix is wall-to-wall carpet and heavy window drapes, but of course this would destroy the current quite pretty minimalist look. As for the bass, effective treatment is in general big, ugly and even uncertain. But the most effective quick fix is using multiple subwoofers. Several well spaced modest Subs will be so much better than just one really great Sub. This is firmly established knowledge demonstrated Toole and Co., yet unknown to most of the of the SALESMEN ¨experts¨ !!!

Sorry not to offer any magic trick solutions, but modern minimalist decor is a tough nut to crack, and often an acoustic nightmare in trendy restaurants where social table talk is severely compromised:
 
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