New Listening Room Digs

In preparation for the second coming (also known as a 2nd kid), I have been given the keys to the bedroom for a few months. Of course, this means turning it into a dedicated 2-channel nirvana.

Before I brought the Rega RS10’s out, I setup my smaller Proac Tablette 10’s. Normally these are used in my office system, where the sealed design is particularly appealing.

Online, I’ve read and seen multiple times – people advocating the use of sound panels. I have never experienced this need myself though. My main system has always been in the living room, which was big enough that such treatment wasn’t needed.

I know the Proac Tablette 10’s really well. In my current speaker inventory, they are the oldest speakers I own; I’ll talk about them more at another time. Back to the topic though – I listen to them eight hours a day, five days a week. Listening to them in that room was eye opening.

It was the first time I noticed how much a room can really affect the sound of a speaker.

Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

Now it’s time for the big boys, the Rega RS10’s. If the sound affected a tiny 12lb speaker that much, how bad will 84lb behemoths be? I’ll simply say that the first listening session lasted all of 5 minutes before my ears started ringing.

To be honest, I was in shock. I had never experienced anything like this before. How could my dear reference system sound so bad? Some experimentation was in order…

Rega RS10’s with some, rather poor, experimental room treatment

Let’s cut to the chase. Pillows, boxes, and blankets didn’t help. Well, that’s a lie. There were definitely less reflections, but the room was still far too noisy. How would I describe it?

An elevated treble response coupled with a messy soundstage. Nothing focused, like my hearing had the equivalent of 20/80 eyesight. A quick google indeed confirmed that these were classic symptoms of an untreated room.

Corning 703 to the rescue

After another quick google search, Corning 703 insulation comes up as a very popular choice for room treatment. It’s not cheap, coming in at $65-75 per box of 6×2″ panels, but it can’t be beat.

I’ve also contacted GIK Acoustics, a popular internet-direct seller of room treatment that often gets rave reviews. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do DIY or purchase from GIK, but either way I’m 100% positive this will solve my room woes.

But before that, let’s get even more creative

My wife has insisted that before I spend money on room treatment, I take another look at pillows and blankets. So… this weekend I’ll be hanging up blankets on the wall to see how that sounds. I’m not too optimistic, but happy wife, happy life!

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