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How does an open-plan room layout affect the sound?
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Richard62SX
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#1
1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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How does an open-plan room layout affect the sound?

I have moved into a house which has an extension, which I now use as a Hi-Fi/TV room and practise room for sax. The house's original doorway and window have no door or glass. These gaps are shown in green on the plan.

My Hi-Fi sounds OK, but the room has too much reverb.
I am going to improve the acoustics of the room with a thick rug, and possibly add some acoustic panels/bass traps.

Should my priority be to change the layout to two separate rooms?
How much effect does the Kitchen/Dining Room have on the Hi-Fi room acoustics? Would the sound be improved if I added a door and blocked the "window", or hung a thick curtain across both gaps.

I'm not sure whether the open-plan kitchen/dining room is:
An advantage - the Hi-Fi room dimensions are fairly small/square, so the extra space makes the Hi-Fi room sound larger.
A disadvantage - it makes the the Hi-Fi room sound too large with a long reverberation time.

Height of both rooms is 2.2 metres.
Thanks for your help.
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1st May 2012
Old 1st May 2012
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Rubstubs is offline
You have an almost squared Hi-Fi room, which will cause a lot of mode related problems, especially in the bass range. I don't think it's a good idea to put up a door, and close the room, since that will just make those modes more powerful.

My suggestion: hang something in front that will take out high frequency, and allow the bass to escape the room. Thick rug, acoustic panels for early reflections, bass traps and some plants and stuff should also better things. ps, avoid sitting in the middle of the room, and close to the wall, modes get nasty there.. Move both your stressless and your speakers around till you have found the area where the bass is the most stable.

Ruben
Richard62SX
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1st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubstubs View Post
Move both your stressless and your speakers around till you have found the area where the bass is the most stable.
Ruben
Ruben - Thanks for the quick reply and your detailed suggestions.

I've read that speakers are best when firing down the long dimension of a rectangular room.
I wonder whether positioning the speakers across the corner of the room would be best. I know that this isn't the ideal position, but the speakers would point towards the doorway and window openings.
Would this create a "longer" room? I would hang a curtain across the openings, as you suggested.

I know I need to try it out, but I would welcome people's comments.
Thanks for your help.
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2nd May 2012
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Just be careful placing the speakers to close to the wall, the need a couple feet to breath
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2nd May 2012
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One more thing, when you place stuff around and listen, this could be a good tool:

Room Mode / Standing Wave Calculator

Just type in the dimensions of your room, and all the typically probelmatic frequensies will show. That way you'll know what to listen for.(ps. axial modes is all you need to look at, don't mind the other types)
Richard62SX
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2nd May 2012
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Thanks for all the great advice.
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2nd May 2012
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Quote:
Would this create a "longer" room? I would hang a curtain across the openings, as you suggested.
Actually I would face the upper wall to have the opening behind you. A lot of the low end mess comes from the back wall. If you want to make sure then you can test the room with the following program.
GIK Acoustics. REW Room EQ Wizard Room Measurement Tutorial video.
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Richard62SX
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5th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Kuras View Post
Actually I would face the upper wall to have the opening behind you. A lot of the low end mess comes from the back wall. If you want to make sure then you can test the room with the following program.
GIK Acoustics. REW Room EQ Wizard Room Measurement Tutorial video.
Thanks Glenn. I'll try your idea and the program.
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