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What Are The Biggest Challenges To Your Listening Room Setup?


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22 minutes ago, Pennypacker said:

last week I took some more time to determine the ideal listing position via tune dem to get a more akurate SO set up and my speakers ended up with 1.2m measured from the wall to the front of the speakers, to give some perspective the distance from the front to back wall is 4.2m

I have a similar shape of room to your diagram (albeit the mirror image L:R). The listening area is the square - the dog leg is open, and my gym!  Like you, I sit in front  of one wall, facing another. in my case the listening area is not exactly square, being 4m (deep) by 3.6m (wide). The listening position is 0.7m from the rear  'wall' which, in effect is a 2.3m x 2.3 m glass sliding door and panel with a approx 1m solid brick above. The wall that I face is 3.3m away and is a 2.3 m x 3.4 (wide) glass window and doors. Those still reading will have worked out that the ceiling slopes down from 3.3m behind me to 3.3  in front. The side walls have glass framed artwork. It is a challenge, and without SO I wouldn't even have bothered putting music in there. 

My philosophy is that unless one finds the true 'ideal position' for the speakers, by tunedem or any other similar method, then it is just nor worth starting with SO. I found exactly the same as you - for 'ideal position' the speakers were way out into the room - 1.4m in my case - almost half way from the front wall to my listening position. Not only that, they were only 1.4m apart  - clearly with this set up the  room was not going to function as a 'room'! Even in the 'ideal position'  it wasn't really ideal at all  - significant bass resonances and some reflections at very high frequencies. It took some days of work, on and off, with SO (in my case SO+)  most of which  was spent on fine tuning custom filters but finally I got the bass tamed and the reflections erased. Paul SS was a great help in this - from a distance! At this point I thought that I had nothing to lose by trying  for what would be my preferred 'practical position' - i.e. the speakers placed up against the glass (100mm away at one edge) and 300mm from the side wall. I was astonished to find that the SO+ compensated for this with virtually no loss. Yes, I spent a few hours over the following days further refining the filters and I added a little 'toe in' which meant further very minor refinements. It treat filter refinement like tune dem - moving the smallest increment one at a time. I have had this in place for 28 months now and have not 'tweaked' it since. The room is now very musical.

I'm not a habitual tweaker - my main listening room has the SO switched off as the ideal speaker position is also the practical one. This room is 7m x 3.3m but it has one huge advantage - the back wall has a 1.8m x 2m (high) arched opening leading to a 3.3m square dining  room. The dining room clearly functions in a similar manner to a bass trap - nothing appears to escape the 'choke' of the arched opening!

So, one very challenging room - tamed with SO, and one very easy room - with SO available but switched off. No dealer was involved in any of this work - it just requires method, patience, note taking and, most importantly, your ears and  brain.

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Before this gets further out of hand, perhaps we should provide advice and comment on ONLY those things we have first-hand experience with. So, if you have actual tried product X, please discuss; if y

My plan is to move the TV and speakers to the left, and through 90 degrees, so they are facing the piano, firing left-to-right as it were as per the photo. It's a big, blank wall with nothing but powe

I think acoustic panelling is very interesting and can make a big difference but I believe needs to be done very carefully and subtlety I went to one professionally set up and built cinema room and th

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2 hours ago, Phobic said:
3 hours ago, akamatsu said:

He said that most people on the forum are not interested in having discussions that achieve some sort of truth, but are rather interested in pushing their own agendas.

I don't recognise this about this forum at all, I think there's generally a good healthy discussion, a difference of opinion is fine.

I'd be interested in hearing what agendas people are pushing

I'd like to add my perspective, as a fairly recent joiner to this forum, with limited (and somewhat old) knowledge of HiFi generally and the Linn ecosystem specifically (despite having had an LP12 since 1987) and a - by you guys' standards - relatively low-grade setup. I've put up a few opinions about music and asked some question about my setup and genuinely feel that I have received very good advice across the board in a good spirit and have been treated with kindness and respect by all who've I've interacted with. Thank you, all.

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I am all for healthy conversation and dialogue about our experiences, but some seem to want more that we can give. We can give the best description of the changes we hear in the SQ, whenever we make an adjustment or a tweak: what more does one want? Can you not trust us? I can always give you a measurement that will always come to 42. Will that suffice?

Some post the fantastic SQ improvements they have gained by describing how they took their SO2 room measurements down to a micro-millimetre, or tightened their screws to a certain measurement (all Linn approved: except when you find your own measurements supersede Linn’s), and we are all very happy for you and applaud your efforts; however, once we start posting about non-Linn products, the Nay-sayers arrive, full of skepticism and disbelief 🧐🧐.

Do you ultimately have such little trust, and therefore regard, in your peers’ ability to hear?

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1 hour ago, PaulH said:

I live in an old building where there are no right angles, and some odd shapes.
Space Optimisation seems to work fine.

Nice! Likely beneficial with non-parallel walls, although they are close to parallel.

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I think the point got lost in all the defensiveness and feelings of being threatened. The really big news is that I was able to achieve a level of musicality in my system that eliminated the need for room acoustic treatment. I think this is very good news. About two others chimed in and confirmed similar experience. However, in order to achieve this level of sound quality, one must set up their systems very precisely, following sound fundamentals of hifi setup. That means all those tweaks that compromise the integrity of the setup need to go. This is how I did it, and this is how others have achieved it. There is definitely something of great value available here.

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2 hours ago, Eldarboy said:

once we start posting about non-Linn products, the Nay-sayers arrive, full of skepticism and disbelief 🧐🧐.

What makes you think that the discussion started because of non-Linn products?

2 hours ago, Eldarboy said:

Do you ultimately have such little trust, and therefore regard, in your peers’ ability to hear?

It seems strange to me that after a tweak, the system sounds better than ever before.
Strangely, however, after a short time, with a new tweak, it is the same again. Hmmh, one can doubt the credibility of this.

Or when someone with a worse signal (Akurate) applies tweaks and makes statements about how good it suddenly all sounds, instead of improving his signal (Klimax). Do the tweaks improve the signal (Akurate)? I don't think so. Of course you can say that the signal can be improved by tweaks, but that would apply to both, usually more to the better device. You can say it's a price difference, which is true, but when I see the prices for tweaks on some of them, it becomes relative. I find it difficult to have confidence over time.

2 hours ago, Eldarboy said:

Can you not trust us? I can always give you a measurement that will always come to 42. Will that suffice?

Yes, that would be nice. But what if only one side is supposed to trust, if some are not willing to try something that doesn't even cost money. Do they trust me or value my experience, no they don't. I can't keep buying power conditioners to test. I can't keep buying power conditioners to test them. But we have a pool where someone always has something like that and we can test it. But how can I trust someone whose system is technically (DSM) at a medium level? That would be like someone with a Technics record player using a better RCA cable and thinking it sounds better than if there was an LP12 instead of the Technics.

In summary, I fear that this is about something else entirely. And I also fear that even more people will not use this forum or will use it less.

P:S. there are new findings on the "rotation" setting in SO2.

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15 minutes ago, akamatsu said:

I think the point got lost in all the defensiveness and feelings of being threatened. The really big news is that I was able to achieve a level of musicality in my system that eliminated the need for room acoustic treatment. I think this is very good news. About two others chimed in and confirmed similar experience. However, in order to achieve this level of sound quality, one must set up their systems very precisely, following sound fundamentals of hifi setup. That means all those tweaks that compromise the integrity of the setup need to go. This is how I did it, and this is how others have achieved it. There is definitely something of great value available here.

Just asking as genuinely intrigued. What were all the tweaks that compromised the integrity of your setup? 

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“But what if only one side is supposed to trust, if some are not willing to try something that doesn't even cost money. Do they trust me or value my experience, no they don't.”
 

This is patently false. I do not question anyone on their upgrades, tweaks, or non-upgrades. I do have the decency that if someone here posts they have improved their system, I applaud them for it. Unless I have had a personal experience with something, I will say nothing. If someone prefers to do nothing, or not try a suggested tweak, then pass by: no one here claims you have to do anything. But please, base your comments on experience and not conjecture. Why suggest that something is rubbish simply because you believe it to be so, without actually trying it?

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2 minutes ago, Eldarboy said:

But please, base your comments on experience and not conjecture. Why suggest that something is rubbish simply because you believe it to be so, without actually trying it?

What makes you think I don't try things out? Apparently you haven't read what I write.

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7 minutes ago, Johannes said:

What makes you think I don't try things out? Apparently you haven't read what I write.

Of course I have read your posts. I have provided encouraging words to you in the past. 🍻🎼🎶🎶🎵🎻🎻

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40 minutes ago, Evo said:

Just asking as genuinely intrigued. What were all the tweaks that compromised the integrity of your setup? 

I looked at your profile, but there is no information on your system. So I can't say anything specific that might help you. My system is a Klimax LP12 and a Katalyst Akubarik system. I haven't employed the tweaks that I will mention, as I've been at this for about 35 years, and I left those gimmicky things behind long ago.

Starting with the turntable, fettling is left to the expert. I just make sure it is level, and the bias is adjusted. All components are on lightweight and rigid equipment stands. There should be no need for additional vibration isolation. However, I don't know that any harm will result from using vibration isolators. My system being all Exakt, the tweak of using ethernet cables other than Cat 5 or 6 should be avoided. This is Linn's recommendation. Moving on to the speakers. Linn are very clear about the speakers being level and rigid. Any tweak that results in wobbly speakers should be avoided. Mine are level, stable, and are even level with each other. There are only a few rules to follow for good setup. We have recently done some good investigation into torquing the fasteners for the speaker drivers. This was the final step in my setup that resulted in such a high level of sound quality.

Another one that I have never bought into is any kind of power conditioning. Linn recommend against this for their Dynamic power supplies. No one could ever explain to me how or why they could possibly make the sound better. If you have knowledge of electronics, visit www.shunyata.com and you will see what I'm talking about. If you don't understand electronics, ask an engineer ( I am one) to have a look.

Music reproduction is about precision and accuracy. If someone tries to sell you a tweak that compromises this accuracy, it should be avoided.

I am of the opinion that a high level of musicality can be achieved with any Linn system (within reason). I don't care how much you spent, or how little . I've heard entry level systems that make you want to dance. They were set up properly. I hope this helps. Linn know what they are doing, and gimmicky tweaks are not part of the intended execution of their systems. In the context of room acoustic treatment, I don't know about systems lesser than mine being able to achieve the "no room treatment needed level," but this is all new to me. So let's explore together.

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6 hours ago, akamatsu said:

I learned this decades ago. I had a pair of Linn Index Plus speakers, I bought Linn Kan IIs with stands used. I didn't do a very good job of setting them up and reported to the dealer that they sounded like my Index, to which he replied, "They should sound way better." He guided me in the set up, and they sounded way better.

Imagine if I didn't have the dealer to guide me, and I stumbled upon this forum. I may have had wobbly Kans, and no tune.

I have many Linn dealers that have helped me along the way, as well as many people on the Linn Forum that rarely if ever post. Some have worked together with Linn engineers, or continue to work with Linn engineers to solve issues and provide their expertise. I have also helped many Linn dealers with Space Optimisation for their clients and have done SO for many Linn dealers own setups in their showroom. 

‘I consider myself very fortunate to have access to these  people behind the scenes that have expertise far beyond mine, and talk with some of them frequently. I spend many hours every week talking to some of these people that have an abundance of great ideas sent my way. It is an incredible dynamic and far beyond what I could have imagined.

‘There are also many very knowledgeable and helpful people on this Forum that have a lot to contribute.

‘If you had a pair of Kans and placed them on top of studio monitor isolators you would significantly improve the sound quality and musicality. And yes they would be wobbly, but very stable. A cheaper alternative is placing Gunstigs under the Kans. 😊

6 hours ago, Phobic said:

no, I'm afraid that's not right, it's based on testable & provable theories which are confirmed experimentally.

"A theory is a verified hypothesis, after it has been submitted to the control of reason and experimental criticism. The soundest theory is one that has been verified by the greatest number of facts. But to remain valid, a theory must be continually altered to keep pace with the progress of science and must be constantly resubmitted to verification and criticism as new facts appear." — Claude Bernard

I'm really keen to help you with REW, I think it will be a real eye opener for you. I'm far from an expert though!

From your writing I can tell you have a good ear and a lot of knowledge, REW will help you visualise what your ear and experience is getting right. 

Hopefully it will also open the door to the potential for additional improvement for you as well once you're able to pinpoint problem areas .

not sure if you've ever read Floyd Toole's sound reproduction book?

He provides a useful summary halfway through, hopefully it's ok to quote a chunk of that

I agree with you regarding a verified hypothesis and good scientific exploration, discovery and discussion and documentation.

I have 4 university science degrees , including  a Masters and Ph.D. On one point, I have to agree with Johannes, the more I studied, the more I realized  how little we know about science in every field of study, and that there is so much more to discover.

I am well aware of the scientific method, and you are absolutely correct. Science is an ever changing ebb and flow of ideas that must be tested , discussed, debated and then becomes the new norm or not, until the next theory comes along

Linn is an engineering firm where the vast majority of engineers at the company work in IT. Very few work on the physical development of new products. As with any company, there are vast differences of opinion on knowledge and differing opinions on how to move forward amongst the different staff there. Linn would not have progressed to where they are if they stood stubbornly by concepts of engineering principles and did not search for better. They pushed the envelop into Exakt, streaming, Space Optimisation, Katalyst, SO+, 3K arrays, Karousel bearings, Dynamik power supples and so on. I can’t imagine Linn employees saying  “I’ve developed these new speakers and set them up exactly  the way we have done for the last 40 years. Good enough” They would be reading the HiFi magazines, marketing articles, scientific advancements and look at the latest trends for new ideas. I also know that Linn reads this forum and other Linn related forums, to get an idea of the pulse of the community and what is important to owners. These ideas could  be fuel for future direction of the company’s products and services.

‘Gilad’s recent interview, linked on this Forum was extremely candid and revealing about Linn. The last 15 minutes were my favourite part, and Gilad was asked about TuneDem and recocognized that it is not the only way to evaluate a HiFi system. He acknowledged that there are many experienced audio owners that have gained the confidence and abilities to trust their hearing and can easily tell if something sounds better or worse. He seemed happy to mention that some people can evaluate a HiFi system by listening to the music from an adjacent room.

When Gilad was asked about tweaks in the interview, he mentioned that the power supply in America and Japan are generally poor and eluded that there are power products that are available. He stated we should get our HiFi system in order, and then if you feel so inclined, look at tweaks. With a bit of discussion with the interviewer,  agreed that maybe only 10% of your budget should go to tweaks, once you have the HiFi system sounding good. He definitely did not dismiss tweaks as a possible route to take,  to improve a Linn system.
 

6 hours ago, Pennypacker said:

Well parallel to the starting flame war I will add my 2 cents and try to get this topic back on track... B|

Please see my living room. Essentially my listening area is a 4x4 meter box, not ideal I can tell, tried to set up on the small wall, but this gave me te same problem whilst also obstructing my view.

I’m not sure which Hz my problem exactly is, but I have some tracks which where really unlistenable due to the overblown bass. I experimented with: shifting furniture, adding a matras as absorber, tried every wall for the set-up. Really frustrating period because already purchased the M140’s second hand.. All in all the situation led me to a MDSi betting my cash on SO which really delivers in my case.

7F1D710E-94FF-4281-8D7B-2156224CE787.jpeg

Hi Pennypacker, 

‘Thank you for getting this discussion back on track.

It would be great if you could post some pictures of your room and components please, to see if we can identify anything that may be helpful. Thank you 🙏 

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I've thought the Kans to be a very good speaker to learn a lot about hifi and speaker setup. But now I realize some people may have owned Kans, but never set them up properly, and so they never learned. I guess this is a possibility.

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2 hours ago, akamatsu said:

I looked at your profile, but there is no information on your system. So I can't say anything specific that might help you. My system is a Klimax LP12 and a Katalyst Akubarik system. I haven't employed the tweaks that I will mention, as I've been at this for about 35 years, and I left those gimmicky things behind long ago.

Starting with the turntable, fettling is left to the expert. I just make sure it is level, and the bias is adjusted. All components are on lightweight and rigid equipment stands. There should be no need for additional vibration isolation. However, I don't know that any harm will result from using vibration isolators. My system being all Exakt, the tweak of using ethernet cables other than Cat 5 or 6 should be avoided. This is Linn's recommendation. Moving on to the speakers. Linn are very clear about the speakers being level and rigid. Any tweak that results in wobbly speakers should be avoided. Mine are level, stable, and are even level with each other. There are only a few rules to follow for good setup. We have recently done some good investigation into torquing the fasteners for the speaker drivers. This was the final step in my setup that resulted in such a high level of sound quality.

Another one that I have never bought into is any kind of power conditioning. Linn recommend against this for their Dynamic power supplies. No one could ever explain to me how or why they could possibly make the sound better. If you have knowledge of electronics, visit www.shunyata.com and you will see what I'm talking about. If you don't understand electronics, ask an engineer ( I am one) to have a look.

Music reproduction is about precision and accuracy. If someone tries to sell you a tweak that compromises this accuracy, it should be avoided.

I am of the opinion that a high level of musicality can be achieved with any Linn system (within reason). I don't care how much you spent, or how little . I've heard entry level systems that make you want to dance. They were set up properly. I hope this helps. Linn know what they are doing, and gimmicky tweaks are not part of the intended execution of their systems. In the context of room acoustic treatment, I don't know about systems lesser than mine being able to achieve the "no room treatment needed level," but this is all new to me. So let's explore together.

As I recall, Evo lives in Austria? I had some emails with him when we had the Linn Forum, and I don’t think he had Linn speakers.

As this thread is about challenges with the listening room and not tweaks, I am not sure why you continue to post your own dogma about tweaks which is misleading, cheery picking facts, and full of misinformation.

‘I have had you over to visit 4 of my audio friends that are Linn owners, and one non-Linn owner who is an audio reviewer for Sound  Stage magazine.

There was my Katalyst Akubariks/ Akudoriks surround system,  Katalyst Akudoriks, Passive 242’s driven  by Solos, and Exakted 242’s with 4200’s, and Paradigm speakers with an array of Mono blocks, Audio Research tube preamp, and outboard DAC’s from 3 manufacturers. I don’t think you got to hear his Meitner DAC which is quite wonderful.

In every home they streamed music for you and in every case their system sounded better to my ears than your streamed music with your 530’s. I am not talking about your LP-12,. Your 530’s streaming system was a great system, but I thought theirs sounded better. at the time. I’m not saying your system wasn’t good, it is just that their’s  all sounded better than your system at the time. 

Of course you now have Katalyst Akubariks and a full spec Klimax LP-12, and you have said that it has been a massive improvement. As with you, every one of them has made serious component or speaker upgrades since you visited them pre-Covid. I have also made serious improvements to my system since you were over and could not be more happy with my music.

‘All 5 of the systems you heard were using power conditioners and/or wave form correction, all had better quality Ethernet cables, some had better switches and all had vibration control devices. All 5 of us have room acoustic treatment, but admittedly one person had overdone the room acoustic treatment. 

Unfortunately, last time I had you over, I was trying out a surge protection device in my power supply, which I have since removed,  which degraded the sound quality.

‘Last time I checked, you are not an electronics engineer or an electrical engineer. One of my friends is and uses a Shunyata power conditioner for his Linn system.

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8 minutes ago, Paulssurround said:

In the context of room acoustic treatment, I don't know about systems lesser than mine being able to achieve the "no room treatment needed level," but this is all new to me. So let's explore together. As quoted from Akumatsu

https://www.crutchfield.ca/learn/room-acoustics-home-audio.html
 

Interestingly, all of the cinemas I have gone to use acoustic panelling on all their walls, and to great effect.

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