Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Nothing to disagree with here, either.

Starting small

I would imagine the canon shots on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 might sound more like the banging of pots on a B&W Zepplin, or a pair of bookshelf speakers. Big music should be honored by full range gear.

Conversely, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, or Red Norvo sound right at home on small kit. If your musical choices lean towards ensembles, light classical, acoustic, and vocals, a compact stereo system might be just the ticket. Especially if you haven’t much room to contribute.

We could likely spend weeks covering the gamut of the small, so I’ll need to narrow the discussion by focusing more on high-end audio as opposed to the Sonos, and single system devices.

The first place to start is facing the elephant in the room, the loudspeaker. There’s simply no way around the necessity of moving air if you want to have music. Sure there are ways we don’t have to pay any floor space penalty, like the invisible Aminas, or in-walls like the Invisas, but these are mid-fi compromises. If imaging and spatial cues are important to you, you’ll need to tolerate the physical intrusion of external boxes.

Let’s settle on the idea of donating some amount of floor space, as opposed to bookshelf speakers mounted on their namesake or a table. The reason we want our speaker boxes off shelves and away from physical objects is to minimize sonic damage. Speakers sound best when their envelope of sound is unimpeded. Place them away from as many obstacles as possible.

Wrap your heads around the idea of rescuing a small bit of floor space and tomorrow I’ll give you some ideas what to do with it.

 

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Nothing to disagree with here…About the most important component in your audio system….Your room…
Starting from scratch

“My first piece of advice for anyone curious about stereo is start with where you are going to put it and create your system moving forward from there. What sort of sound priorities you have is the next issue to consider. A jazz trio in a closet is a different challenge than Carmina Burana in a cathedral.”

Great advice from one of my readers, ‘footfixed’.

Few of us have the luxury of starting from scratch. Whether starting anew or repurposing what you have, it’s helpful to hit mental reset before starting your project. Going into a system rebuild with preconceived notions of what does and doesn’t work is often more limiting than enabling.

As our reader suggests, you need to first determine the amount and location of available real estate. Perhaps the entire living room is up for grabs, but chances are good you’re only getting a portion of it—and likely a small one at that.

Second question, what is it you hope to accomplish? Big, room-filling sound or light background music with the occasional boogie? If the former, you’ll focus your efforts on the loudspeakers and grabbing as much space as you can. If the latter, convenience and disappearing into the setting might be where I’d want to start.

For this series of posts, we’ll spend time on each. Today, take stock of what space you have available and determine what you hope to gain from that space.

Tomorrow, we’ll start with simple, small, convenient.