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 Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater

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RLA111



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PostSubject: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 1:46 am

Hi Michael,

I’ve enjoyed reading your advice the the Stereophile forum from a number of years back.

I was raised by a studio engineer and spent many of my younger years listening to music being recorded live from a couch in the back of a control room. My father is one who uses his ears exclusively rather than measurements and the “science” of it all, and I’ve picked some of that up as well, so your advice caught my attention.

Since then, I’ve grown up, started a family, and even though my time is limited, I have returned to my roots and want to enjoy my downtime listening and being transported to a different place from my own home. I like to think I’ve developed a discerning ear, even though I don’t have a lot of time or space to set up and enjoy as full of a soundstage as I would like to.

The difference in what I’m reading from you compared to what I’m trying to build is that I’m not building a 2-channel listening room (although it will double as that), but rather a home theater. I’m wondering whether your experiences and advice in 2-channel tuning also apply to a 13.2 channel immersive surround setup (I’ve attached a few pictures for visualization).

Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Img_0013

Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Img_0014

Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Img_0015


What I’ve assembled as far as equipment goes is meant to last years, and to be moved into a larger space once we move to a new house in the future. So now, it’s a lot of equipment crammed into a smaller 12'x18’x9’ room. Due to speaker placement necessary for home theater, there are some constraints on speaker and seating adjustments, which are relatively settled.

What’s on my mind now is I’m wondering how I should approach tuning the room through acoustic treatments - not wanting to over-absorb, or over-diffuse, or over-bass-trap. I don’t want to overdo anything, but I ould love to achieve as large a soundstage and musical tone as I can get, and make the walls and ceiling in my room disappear as we experience music and movies (with amazing scores and powerful deep bass sound effects).

Up until now, I’ve been exploring GIK products to apply absorption, diffusion, and bass trapping, but have not purchased anything because there’s something my intuition is driving me to research about further - basically, what my experience has taught me, which resonates with your advice about not eliminating the room, but tuning it.

I, too visualize sound the way you do - as pressure spheres. That’s how I’ve been imagining in my mind the interactions of my room, the sound from each speaker, and potential interaction with sound treatments. For instance, GIK offers absorption panels with scatter plate options, which sort of reminds me of your advice to absorb without destroying the reflections.

So, I guess my main question is this: Does your advice translate into the home theater world (if that is my first priority for this room, and music listening as a second priority)?

I’m wondering also if there is a less-than-ideal, but still a best return-on-time-investment approach that would allow me to set it up well enough and avoid needing to tune it to the content each time. I guess for now (until I have a dedicated listening room or more time to tune), I’m wondering if the 80/20 rule could apply.

Thanks!
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Michael Green
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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 5:39 am

Hi RLA111

Welcome to TuneLand!

A big smile comes to my face reading your post. I've spent many nights on that couch in the back of the room all over the world and still now have dreams where I'm there working with the recording musicians getting my head around the sound they want and making it happen. So, I'm thrilled having you on TuneLand!

My designing started because of that voice too telling me that the room is more than numbers on a screen. The ultimate room is of course The Tunable Room where once it is built you use the Tuning Key and voice the room to your liking. Acoustics usually comes last when at the end of the day we learn that the acoustics should have been first. It's a long learning process to get to that point, sounds like you're there.

I found early on that direct absorption takes away music content and Barricade Tuning controls the pressure zones allowing the content to be present resulting in the room becoming an instrument. The other thing I have learned throughout the years is, no matter where someone starts when they get really serious they end up switching from brand name acoustical products and companies and step up to restoring instead of killing the sound.

Lastly on this first post, I love when I get pictures and drawing. again welcome


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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 5:41 am

Lets start here.

Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Img_0013

Is this room already built? If so, tell me about the materials used to build the room. If the room isn't built yet, I can help you with plans or build the materials for you. Of course shipping right now is a major pain.

What floor is the room on, basement, first level second level or high-rise?

Once I know some of the basics I'll be able to give you some options ranging from the RoomTune Pillow Products to PZC, to SAM Wall and a bunch of other Tuning toys.

If you're going to setup the room with one voicing, I would then recommend a good equalizing setup which you probably already have with your multichannel equipment. Having both my goodies and the EQ we can find that happy place and still give you the flexibility wanted as your recorded sources change.

At first look we could do a basic RT setup that would give balance to your Pressure Zones and maybe explore a more advanced PZC and Shutter option. With you having your own thread here the options are endless depending on how far you want to take things. However even the RT Pillow option is probably going to get you a lot further than the LEDE, Diffusion, Trapping or Dampening routes.

just a note: I'm also re-uploading my pictures and drawings on my new server so the pages here will start filling in and as they do I'll give you links so you can see more than words.

Oh another question, are the speaker placement pics where the speakers actually are? If so that's what I'll work off of.

I'm ready to have some fun Very Happy

To edit myself, I reread the room is already built so sorry I didn't catch this first time around.

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RLA111



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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 8:37 am

Michael Green wrote:

Is this room already built? If so, tell me about the materials used to build the room. If the room isn't built yet, I can help you with plans or build the materials for you. Of course shipping right now is a major pain.

What floor is the room on, basement, first level second level or high-rise?

Yes, the room is already built into the second floor of a two-story home with wood stud framing. Sheet rock is mounted to the inside surface of the studs. The outer face of the studs either has sheet rock or OSB. The ceiling is also sheet rock, with empty attic above.

Michael Green wrote:
If you're going to setup the room with one voicing, I would then recommend a good equalizing setup which you probably already have with your multichannel equipment. Having both my goodies and the EQ we can find that happy place and still give you the flexibility wanted as your recorded sources change.

Yes, the receiver has equalization and bass management

Michael Green wrote:
Oh another question, are the speaker placement pics where the speakers actually are? If so that's what I'll work off of.

Yes, generally. The only exception is that the two top speakers directly above the seating will actually be flush mounted inside the ceiling rather than in the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 8:45 am

"Yes, the room is already built into the second floor of a two-story home with wood stud framing. Sheet rock is mounted to the inside surface of the studs. The outer face of the studs either has sheet rock or OSB. The ceiling is also sheet rock, with empty attic above."

Nice, we'll get some good tone.

What equipment and speakers are you using, cable too?

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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 10:24 am

Michael Green wrote:
What equipment and speakers are you using, cable too?

Here's a list of my equipment:

  • Pre-processor: Marantz AV8805
  • Amps: Monolith 7X (made by ATI - 200 Watts per channel @ 8 ohms, very low distortion and noise floor)
  • Speakers: Paradigm Studio V5 Series, models 100 (FL, FR), 20 (Surrounds and FHL, FHR), 10 (remaining Heights), CC-690 (lower Center), CC-590 (Height center)
  • Subwoofers: SVS PB-16's
  • Sources: DuneHD Pro 4K Plus, AppleTV 4K, Roku 4, dbx DX5 CD player, Pioneer Elite Bluray
  • Cables (source to pre-pro): Monoprice HDMI & shielded RCA (where needed)
  • Cables (pre-pro to amps): Stage Right XLR
  • Cables (amps to speakers): Monoprice 12-gauge in-wall rated stranded copper (single unbroken run from amps to speakers)
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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 1:36 pm

Is this the correct series?

Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater 0d497a_9ed4643ece3c40cd9028a5537fd47e7f~mv2

I'm putting the shapes and sizes into my minds eye.

Is that a leather sofa or fabric?

Did you say the floor is carpet? If so what is the padding and carpet like.

If I repeat myself sorry, I do that a lot until I have the system captured in my thinking.

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PostSubject: Re: Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater   Translating Your Tuning Advice to Home Theater Icon_minitimeWed Jul 29, 2020 2:46 pm

Yes, that’s the correct series.

The sofa is fabric, but I hope to replace with theater seating in the next year or so (likely leather, but undecided), or 1-2 other reclining sofas eventually. Nothing definite yet.

Floor is carpet. It’s actually a shag-like rug on top of carpet. Padding currently is builder’s quality, and it’s not in amazing shape. Eventually will replace carpet and pad, but may be some time.
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