Since I have my SDA-CRS here at work I decided to set them up in a big room which has been cleared out to see what they would sound like. The room is 18' X 24' with corporate style carpet. The ceiling is dropped acoustic tile. The room was empty except for a leather couch. Three sides of the room is drywall and the fourth has huge windows with metal mini blinds over them. For amplification I brought in two Manley tube mono-blocks rated at 100 watts per channel. The source was my Luxman tube preamp CD player. I used RCA flat cable for the speaker wire and Pheonix Gold interconnects.
The room is rather live sounding but since I had no dampening material I left it that way. I obtained the best sound with the speakers centered on the long wall, about 8' apart and 4' from the back wall with the couch sitting in the middle of the room about 6' in front of the speakers. I tried many combinations and this was absolutely the best.
The sound was the worst I've ever heard. I'm not too good with all the audiophile terms but I believe it sounded like ****. Yes, **** is the term I'm looking for.
The sound was distorted, the SDA effect was masked by the wall reflections, at a very low volume it seemed loud and obnoxious, no separation, hollow, noisy, naysal etc. I have never heard a speaker system, regardless of price, sound any worse. One of my co-workers mentioned that his Sony speakers and amp would have sounded better. I agreed.
So much for the big room idea! Even if the room was dampened I don't think it would have sounded very good. This was my first attempt at trying the CRS's in a room larger than 12' X 20' like my livingroom. (in which case they sound awesome)
I think the demise of the system is the liveness of the room, the room is too large for the speakers, and the room walls use the steel 2 X 4's rather than wood ones which privide little attenuation of vibration.
I WAS going to try to make a listening area at home this same size but I think I will stick to something smaller now. I have to wonder what the 1.2's would do in such a room (dampened) but I lack the willpower to carry the 200 lb monsters to work with me.
I have come to the conclusion that the room is certainly more important than any electronics you could buy. This is a great sytem in the proper setting.
Does anyone else have experience with a room this big?