Need advice on what to do with this room

Nov 4, 2019
62
16
8
58
#1
Hi everyone. I need advice on what to do with an existing media room.

I’ve been looking at houses down in Florida, and my dream of finding an affordable house with a 13x20 or greater, dedicated space (not a family room or great room) for my audio system appears to be something of a fool’s errand. However, I have found an absolutely wonderful house in a wonderful neighborhood that happens to have an existing 13x16 media room. It has separate dedicated lines for electrical and lighting, and has angled corners. Very nice. But it is a very “live” room. With the door closed I read on the order of 26 dBA ambient noise, but when I talk or clap my hands the reverberations are plain to hear.

What I don’t want to do is make the room any smaller. I was actually thinking of rebuilding the room, since I want to replace the 15A dedicated circuit with a 20A anyway. I figured I’d take the walls down, get the electrical work done, and then put new walls back up. The question is - is there a wall product I can use that won’t cut into the room space but give me better reverberation control than whatever is in there now? I know about the Wall Damp technique, but that (if I understand it correctly) would require a double layer of wall board with the damping material between them. I’d rather not do that if I had an option that could keep the interior space maximized. Thanks.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
102
65
45
#3
Hello Tony,

Tearing out the walls and replacing them with quiet rock etc will not help the RT60 (Over liveliness of the room). Most people use double drywall with Green glue etc to help isolate the noise from the audio room from the rest of the house. Although engineered wall can help absorb some of the low bass (<40Hz) so you get less ringing in that region.

The foam such as in the video will not help with the bass. It will reduce the liveliness of the room and stop the echo. It will kill frequencies above about 1000Hz. So if you go that route when you set up your system in the room the bass will be lumpy, boomy and thick and the sound will be rather dead because the high frequencies are being removed by the foam. The midrange will also be affected in a negative manner.

You will need some bass trapping. Your fundamental length mode is 35Hz and the width mode of 43 Hz. These frequencies are very difficult to treat with absorption. I would expect to see large bumps in the frequency response in this area. I suggest building bass traps using fluffy insulation 6-10" thick and placing them at the reflection points in addition to having traps in at least two of the corners (two front preferable). The bass traps will also attenuate the high frequencies and after adding them and your furnishing I think you will find your RT60 is in line.

See the post a few down call "A case study in small room acoustics".

~Todd
 
May 30, 2010
16,299
1,252
420
Portugal
#4
An empty room commonly sounds too live, don't desperate.

But even more important than dimensions are materials and type of building - depending on them an wall can be a bass absorber or a reflector, keeping the energy in the room. I owned Wilson Watt/Puppy 5 and 7 in a similar size room with great success, but the room was filled with bookcases filled with books and LP's, decorative plants and some absorbing furniture.
 
Nov 4, 2019
62
16
8
58
#5
Hello Tony,

Tearing out the walls and replacing them with quiet rock etc will not help the RT60 (Over liveliness of the room). Most people use double drywall with Green glue etc to help isolate the noise from the audio room from the rest of the house. Although engineered wall can help absorb some of the low bass (<40Hz) so you get less ringing in that region.

The foam such as in the video will not help with the bass. It will reduce the liveliness of the room and stop the echo. It will kill frequencies above about 1000Hz. So if you go that route when you set up your system in the room the bass will be lumpy, boomy and thick and the sound will be rather dead because the high frequencies are being removed by the foam. The midrange will also be affected in a negative manner.

You will need some bass trapping. Your fundamental length mode is 35Hz and the width mode of 43 Hz. These frequencies are very difficult to treat with absorption. I would expect to see large bumps in the frequency response in this area. I suggest building bass traps using fluffy insulation 6-10" thick and placing them at the reflection points in addition to having traps in at least two of the corners (two front preferable). The bass traps will also attenuate the high frequencies and after adding them and your furnishing I think you will find your RT60 is in line.

See the post a few down call "A case study in small room acoustics".

~Todd
Thank you Paul and all.

Ironically, I’m looking at another house that does not have a purpose built media room, but a second bedroom that is 13x24x8. At the far short wall (where the speakers could be) are three windows. On the right side long wall along that far corner is a sliding glass door. I assume there may be issues here, if perhaps the room modes might be a bit better.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
102
65
45
#6
When it comes to room acoustics bigger is almost always better. I wiuld take the bigger room and figure out how to deal with the window.

Todd
 
Likes: Duke LeJeune
Nov 4, 2019
62
16
8
58
#7
Generally agreed, although after looking at all the pluses and minuses for the twelfth time (after all, I do have to live in the house :) ), it seems the house with the 13x16 will be a better home for us. So once there, the fun will begin.
 

Vienna

VIP/Donor
Oct 14, 2018
313
180
125
44
Athens Greece
#8
Tony if you will move to Florida any time soon, I will visit you
 
Nov 4, 2019
62
16
8
58
#9
I’ll be looking forward to that, Vienna!
 
Likes: Vienna

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,062
175
280
Metro DC
#10
Dont despair. An empty room supports comb filtering.
My lay opinion is put the system in the room and see what happens. Then you can get some software and see what is going on. You don't really want an anechoic chamber.
When it comes to room treatment there is an embarassment of riches. Your room should have an ambience.
IMO.
 
Likes: kach22i
Nov 4, 2019
62
16
8
58
#11
Well, plans sometimes don't turn out the way you expect. Neither house turned out to be suitable, once a closer look was taken. So the search continues...
 

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
947
91
85
Round Rock, TX
#12
Another option to add to the already excellent advice above is to employ subwoofer(s) to smooth out the bass modes. You could also use DEQ for further tuning. Also, you can install bass traps and put wood or whatever reflective hard surface covering part of the bass trap as to not limit its bass trapping ability but provide some diffusion like this from GIK: https://www.gikacoustics.com/product/corner-ct-alpha-bass-trap-absorber-diffusor/). Best of both worlds.
 
Likes: Gregadd

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing