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  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    El, Paso TX

    Default Start with the source, or with the room?

    On this forum, often the advice is starting with a good source, garbage in, garbage out right? How much of an affect does the room have? Isn't it the first variable that should be addressed?

    Would modest equipment sound fantastic in a superiorly treated room?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Everett, WA


    I know for me, room treatments are almost not an option, so i have been upgrading my source, and it is a great improvement, better avr, better wires, and lossless files, now the addition of a CD player used for 90% of my listening now. while physical setup is huge in sound quality, you can only do so much to cover up that garbage. i would say do the sources first, as everything you do after that can be focused on getting the sound you really want, instead of trying to compensate for poor sourcing. That being said, if one is much easier than the other, do it first, i just think that you cant tweak it properly if the music you use to tweak it isnt the music youre going to be using it for.
    AVR: Yamaha RX-V 765
    Fronts: Polk RTiA3
    sub: Polk PSW110(will add 2x PSW 505)
    Center: CS13
    surrounds:Polk RTi4
    TV: samsung 40
    The real 2 Channel(work in progress):
    Pre:HK 3490
    Amp:Parasound 1200 MK II
    Sub:RBH 1010-SEP
    Speakers: Monitor 5 Jr. +
    most of my comments are passing on of info, im a noob, im just trying to help how i can, if im wrong or out of place to comment, dont hesitate to let me know :)

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (22)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Directly over the center of the earth in Olathe Kansas


    Whats modest and how big is the room, how is it decorated and furnished ?

    WIthout knowing more I would still recommend room treatments, at least the modest system has a chance to sound the best it can.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (45)

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC Foothills


    Room 1st

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    central Texas, trailer court on right


    This all depends on your budget. Lets face it,if you have the funds, you could hire a professional, start a major remodel project, and have as near a perfect acoustical room as is humanly possible. Of course you would also be a rare person, so as many others do, you look for work arounds.

    Given that, I would probably start with a 5 or 7. 1 or 2 system, and then make it sound as good as I possibly could. Not saying spending $10K plus necessarily, but buy some of the gear you think would work. Then mabe add a few room treatments, then decide, or guess where the weak link is. The point being that at some point in time, whatever upgrade/improvement you can think of just wouldn't justify the expense.

    So a little her, and a little there would be my approach.

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio


    In most cases:
    Room first.
    Speakers next.
    Everything else much later.

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    When my girlfriend moved in with her 2 kids, I lost my listening room in the basement and converted the basement to a family room and a bedroom. I brought my system up stairs to the living room. I could never get it to sound right! I changed amps, speakers, speakers again, source, speakers again,... I think I went through 10 different sets of speakers ranging from Carver Amazing to SDA1.2, SDA2.3, jm labs, vandersteen 2ce sig, and 3A's, polk rti12... there was a few more mixed in but you get the picture. What I was searching for was the sound I had in the basement with the SDA for rock and the Amazing for jazz and classical. I tried the speakers in every position possible.

    Newrival had the same legacy focus speakers I have currently and when I heard them at his place I was shocked and could not believe it was the same speaker. I don't know how many times Newrival came over to my place trying to help me get several speakers "right" in the living room ( thank you for all of the help! ) but, when I heard the legacy in at his place, right then I knew, no matter what I put into that room, I was not going to be happy and then thought of how much money I spent going through trying to get the sound back that I once had! I wound up moving the rig to the smaller den on the main floor and it sounds wonderful again! Bass is back where it should be, highs have an attack like they did with more of a live sound and not lifeless like it sounded in the living room.

    Bottom line, the room has a LOT to do with the sound!

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