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  1. #1

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    Default Digital Room Correction for a less than ideal room

    Hi!

    I tried to position my speakers multiple times, but I can't get it to sound quite right. They are 1 feet away from the rear wall, but approximately 10-12 feet from the side walls! No way I can get around this... this is the only place where they can be. They are toed-in, 8 feet apart and 8 feet from the listening position.

    It does sound precise: On good quality recording, I can "position" some instruments on a virtual stage, but something's lacking in the sound quality department (e.g. some frequencies are muffled, bass isn't as great as it could/should, etc.). I know LSi7 aren't high-end speakers, but I know they should sound better than they do, and it's probably because of improper placement, room reflections, room size and such.

    Also, my room is perhaps way too big for my small speakers (450 square feet L shaped room). Think of it as a L shaped room where my listening area is at one end, and the kitchen / dinning room at the other end. I cannot get any kind of room treatment for practical reasons : lack of space, WAF, money consideration and the fact that we'll probably be moving a few times in the next 3 or 4 years.

    I plan on buying a microphone (MiniDSP Umik-1) and trying to do some kind of auto-EQ/ digital room correction (I use JRiver on my HTPC). However, I have no idea of what kind of improvement I would get from this. Would it be a total waste of 100$ (for the microphone, that is)? Anyone was able to get satisfactory results despite a less than ideal room?

    Thanks a lot for your time,
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Integrated amplifier: NAD C326BEE
    Source : HTPC Using JRiver Media Center
    DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC (S/PDIF)

  2. #2

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    I used to use a mini DSP in my setup and while it was useful at taming lower frequency issues I don't think it will be as helpful in the higher frequency. I used mine as a two-way crossover for my sub and mains. Coupled with REW room EQ wizard it worked well. However, remember that by adding it to your signal chain you will be sending all audio through another analog-digital-analog conversion (48khz 24 bit). Also a well reviewed measurement mic can be found here - http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=390-801

  3. #3

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    The Dayton mic I linked to above comes with a digital calibration file you can import directly into REW, then you can export your EQ settings directly from REW into the Mini DSP.

  4. #4

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    It would help if you describe what issues you feel you are having...IE..too much bass, echo/reflection or lack of deepth.

    Just saying, a fix could be simple as height adjustment to listening position or more involved as room treatments.
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  5. #5

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    Just my observations, so don't take anything too seriously or personal. Judging by your sig, everything in it screams office rig. Small room, not a larger room such as you describe. The MF v-dac is mediocre at best in my opinion, and your cabling can use an upgrade too. But none of that matters all too much if you have a smallish system in a larger room, the sound gets washed out, no reflections coming back at you.

    I wouldn't waste the coin on a microphone either. Instead re-invest that into your system or save a few more bottle tops and add to it for an upgrade worth the money spent. Since your using Jriver on the 'puter, is all your music in flac or some other lossless format ? That also would have lots to do with what your hearing. As a comparison, try and get your hands on a cdp and connect directly to the Nad, bypassing the MF dac. See what you hear. If you like that better, than your problems exist with the dac or 'puter and it's files.

  6. #6

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    I use a UMIK with REW to correct the frequency response in my room. It isnt perfect, but it gets you close enough that the last little bit can be tuned by ear to tailor the sound to your taste. It was worth the money and time investment for me. REW takes a bit of effort to learn. I will differ from some of the other opinions given. I believe if you dont tame the room first, you arent getting the most out of any equipment upgrades. Too bad you don't know anyone close who already owns a calibrated mic.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for your answers. I won't enter in a cables wars, but lets say that on my system, a 150$ pair of interconnects and speakers cables didn't change. much. It was interresting, nothing more. Here again, maybe I couldn't hear much because of my larger room.

    As for the flac files/Dac combination, I tried a 1000$ ish Rotel CD player (although, it wasn't brand new) and could only hear subtle differences. Could be because of my larger room and smaller speakers too.

    I could decribe my sound this way: I can hear everything just right but bass isn't as nice as it was in my other appartment. Mid range seems okay and high frequencies haren't hard or anything. I just think that the music isn't surrunding me as it could. As for speakers height, tweeters are within 1. Inch. or my ears heigth while in my listening position.

    I do agree that room treatment/ proper room is the first thing to do, but could REW EQ still be useful? I don't think I ould be adding a miniDSP... I don't want the extra conversion.
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Integrated amplifier: NAD C326BEE
    Source : HTPC Using JRiver Media Center
    DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC (S/PDIF)

  8. #8

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    You don't explain why the speakers can only be positioned where they are. That would help some of us understand a bit better your situation. I've had a chance to experience the McIntosh room correction and it is amazing. Remember, started with the simplest and move forward, room treatments can be made on a tight budget yet can have a huge impact.
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  9. #9

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    It's kinda hard to explain it with words, but I'll try... :P

    My speakers are in my living room, which is at the end of a 450 sqf L shaped open area (my living room is the central area of my apartment: this is where the entry door is, same goes for rooms and bathroom). Near the center of the L, there is a small area where there is a small desk. There is a sliding patio door there too with curtains. At the other end of the L shaped room, this is the kitchen and the dinning room area. Think of it as a room where you can be in the dinning room and still be able to watch TV/listen to music (non-critically).

    Speakers are on 24 inches stands and at least 1 feet away from the rear wall. Floor is laminate. There is a rug around a L shaped couch. I tried moving the speakers farther apart and moving the couch as far as I can, to no avail. Room is probably too big for anything else than floorstanding speakers.

    Thing is, my "living room" area cannot change... it's staying where it is. We're living in a small apartment and this is the only place where the speakers either can fit (moving the living room area near the patio door would limit the access and isn't what we seek).
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Integrated amplifier: NAD C326BEE
    Source : HTPC Using JRiver Media Center
    DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC (S/PDIF)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrocyborg View Post

    I do agree that room treatment/ proper room is the first thing to do, but could REW EQ still be useful? I don't think I ould be adding a miniDSP... I don't want the extra conversion.
    REW can generate frequency filters that you can enter into the parametric eq of JRiver. This is what I was referring to earlier. For example, I have room reinforcement around 56 Hz and REW calculated the amount of cut and the range to tame the nasty peak. Tightened up the bass considerably. Gave me much better image focus as well.

  11. #11

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    Thanks! I might give it a try. I mean, it's not as if it was wasted. I may even use it later if I do some room treatment and need to "push" things to the next level.

    Too bad I don't have anyone with this kind of microphone, just to try it out... Thanks anyways everyone!
    Speakers: Polk Audio LSiM705
    Integrated amplifier: NAD C326BEE
    Source : HTPC Using JRiver Media Center
    DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC (S/PDIF)

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