The listening room is where it’s at for thrilling music reproduction and I’ve had three great ones. Most Audiophiles I know don’t have options and don’t match the speakers to their room and thus their amplifiers to their speakers.
Our rooms are as important as our equipment yet only a scarce few of us have the luxury of choosing our room dimensions. Typically we take what we can get within our home and make the best out of it.
With our new building in process, we’re heavy into the architectural tasks of designing three new music rooms from scratch, a rare treat afforded only a very few audiophiles.
Our years of experience and research have been boiled down to a few simple formulae for calculating the ideal room size and we thought it might be a valuable service to our community to make that knowledge freely available. Over time we will also publish the architectural drawings for our rooms so any curious or prospective builders can copy them.
One of our programmers, Kevin Briggs, built a really cool automated room calculator we just launched on our website. If you go here you can see it in action. In the future, it’ll remain available under the web site’s Resource Tab.
On that same page is a great explanation of how room dimensions are calculated and why they matter. Take a moment to visit this free tool and you’ll get a quick education in the art of maximizing sound quality.
One of the most difficult challenges we audiophiles face is making sonic comparisons between equipment. God, it’s hard. And while speakers are the worst, electronics aren’t too far behind in difficulty.
In some parts of the world, a forest of them are lined up in elevated tiers like choir members. A number is assigned to each pair and the listener can quickly go through the lot making what some consider a determination of sound quality. For me, it’s a bad scenario, but not as bad as what others do.
Many dealers limit choices to only a few pairs of different audio brands. At first, the challenge seems easier because there’s fewer to choose from but look again. Those narrowed choices reduce the field to a point where you might easily be choosing between decent, almost good, sort of ok, and maybe not good at all—and you wind up choosing the best amongst a mediocre group. Speakers vary so widely in their sound and performance that it’s nearly impossible to make sense of it all from a small handful of preselected choices.
And then there are electronics where differences are more subtle. Electronics benefit from long-term exposure in a person’s home. I don’t envy people trying to make a snap judgment on a DAC’s sound quality while comparing it from a limited group in the unfamiliar environment of a dealer’s showroom.
No, comparing the sound of audio kit needs to be done in the peace and quiet of one’s home to see if it matches not only the listener’s tastes but the environment it is being asked to perform in.