Audio shows — big room or a little room?

Bobvin

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Jun 7, 2014
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I just completed my first exhibit at an audio show. The only rooms that were available were “standard“ rooms, in this case, at Pacific Audio Fest, The standard rooms were decently sized at 15 wide by 20 long, a very “believable“ sized room. My understanding is that these are the largest “standard“ rooms of any of the recent audio shows. But some exhibitors chose much larger rooms, way outside the size I think most Audiophiles could imagine for their own room or house.

So if you were visiting a show, what do you think is a more attractive exhibit room? A believably sized room, or are you more dazzled and impressed by a system playing in a very large room, even if that room is of a size you could never imagine for your own rig?

A large room frees the exhibitor from some of the challenges we normally equate with our rooms — base humps, nodes, suck outs, etc. Does this create a more compelling story for the quality of a speaker’s sound, or is it less convincing to you?
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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Personally I like to see crazy systems in massive rooms even though I wouldn’t ever own such a room. Is part of the fun in visiting.
 

cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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I think most audiophiles would 'shop' in the rooms that resemble what they have at home. I think generally that means more would be inclined buy from smaller rooms closer to standard audiophile installations. My room is 19' x14' with an extended dog leg out to about 28', ceiling going from 10 feet in front to 15 feet in back.

The bigger rooms are wonderful and grand. I think they only expect to make a dozen or so sales to oligarchs in the larger rooms with the edifice systems, which is probably enough to make it good for them.

However, there is another consideration for comfortable seating without playing butt ball with others. A slightly oversize room would be more comfortable for seating and listening with less proximity to other listeners. I bypass rooms that are smaller but stuffed to the gills with beer bellies.
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Personally I like to see crazy systems in massive rooms even though I wouldn’t ever own such a room. Is part of the fun in visiting.
I don't have a big room but imo big room with height is where speakers can reveal their full potential. I have experienced greater "life-like" action in bigger room vs more of an excellent sound simulator getting from smaller room. The side boundary somehow effect my feeling more. For an all out assault you need a room size like this. We get one or two big room like this in an audio show here. The room in vid isnt in an audio show.


 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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I don't have a big room but imo big room with height is where speakers can reveal their full potential. I have experienced greater "life-like" action in bigger room vs more of an excellent sound simulator getting from smaller room. The side boundary somehow effect my feeling more. For an all out assault you need a room size like this. We get one or two big room like this in an audio show here. The room in vid isnt in an audio show.



This room is in DDK’s AS2000 installation subforum. I think it is one of two systems owned by the same gentleman. The other is WAMM based.

I would want a room minimum of 18 x 24 if you’re going to fill it with 10 visitors in chairs at an audio show. I think 15 x 20 might be more typical for someone’s listening room, but this is WBF where we aspire to the best which I would think would be considerably larger. I would also want a minimum of a 10 foot ceiling.

Bob, what are the dimensions of your room?
 
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Holli82

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Jun 7, 2010
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Bob,
I think the room size is important but if you have a good product it isn't as critical....you should be fine.
 

Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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I don't look to a room in an audio show to represent anything. Iow if the room is comfortable and is made to sound decent within all the limitations that's good. But I go to audio shows to meet real people and see real products and get a general sense of systems. If a vendor makes a huge room shine that's a treat, but a small and good sounding room is too in its own way.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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I'd say 15x20 is the minimum for a show to let the audience feel comfortable at a demonstration. I've seen demos shoved into a 9x12 at CES - way too small. Bigger rooms can be done well with planning and a good-sized setup crew, but they also get expensive.

Partly depends on whether the room displays other non-active gear in the vendor's line-up. Did you have printed material to hand out? Need room for that. Used to be you'd get something in color with specs to take home. Pointing to a Web address is meh, in my opinion.

Partly depends on whether the vendor/manufacturer is there for show and tell or if they are also there for sales or signing up new dealers. If the latter better to have two rooms or a side room apart from the demonstration area.

Partly depends on how many "sales associates" are with the room.

If I were you (ha!) I'd have several poster size blow-ups of your own listening room to put on the walls.

Here's a question for you Bob. Where would you draw the line on show conditions such that you'd be better off not participating?
 

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