Jump to content

Move 3A Sigs to New Room?


Recommended Posts

My current setup is a pair of Vandersteen 3a Signatures (circa 2003).  I've been using them in a basement room that's 14'9' wide by 21'3" long -- which is a pretty good size for a dedicated listening room.  The back of the room also has an opening to the other side of the basement which is a little larger.  The downside to the room is the ceiling -- which at its highest is 6'8" and there's a large area bisecting the front and rear of the room that drops to 6'0".   Despite the low ceiling, the sound is good.  Bass response is relatively flat at the listening position and I have DIY panels on the side walls and in the front corners (behind the speakers) to cut down on reflections.  The sound can get a little shouty when the volume is up as it reflects up/down between the ceiling and floor. One other downside is a lolly column that can get in the way but more of a visual nuisance than a sonic one.  (Photo shows the basement room, I normally sit just to the left and slightly behind that lolly column in equilateral triangle with the speakers and sometimes further back (83% setup) which is the POV of the photo.)

Why move them?   Well, we have a "bonus" room that is 11'6" wide by 21'0" long and has 9'6" ceilings, but it's on the second floor.  It's currently used as a guest room / treadmill room and my wife has agreed to move all of that to one end of the room so I can set up my system at the other end.   I just set up a small system in the room to test how it sounds and to make sure my wife can't hear the music when she's in our bedroom.   The music is pretty loud in the hallway outside the room, which will likely bother my son, but it dissipates enough by the time it gets to our bedroom.   My other concern with the new room are the windows.  I'll have two windows in the center on the front wall (behind the speakers), 2 windows in the middle of the right side wall and a large window on the wall behind the listening position.  Right now they all have accordion paper shades that cut down on reflection but wondering what else I'll need to do. 

So, before I move 180 lb. of speakers up from the basement with all the rest of the gear...

  • Is there any downside to moving the 3a Signatures to the new room ?   Are they too big for the new room?
  • Does anyone have any tips on how to cut down the sound of the music getting through the door to the hallway? 
  • Does anyone have any advice on what to do with the windows?   Are the paper accordion shades enough?

Thanks, all.   

Marty

IMG_1888.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our last house had a floor like that.
We took it back to concrete and floated a ‘scree’ coat and then acid stained and epoxied.

That basement of yours would be stunning in a similar vein. And the rug could go right back.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Holmz said:

Our last house had a floor like that.
We took it back to concrete and floated a ‘scree’ coat and then acid stained and epoxied.

That basement of yours would be stunning in a similar vein. And the rug could go right back.

Thanks for the idea for the basement floor.  I like it and will investigate.  The scree coat would help to even it out a bit too.  The rug is just going to go, though.  But enough about the floor, which room would you put your 2ce's in ?   11.5'W with 9.5' ceilings on 2nd floor -OR- basement at 14.75'W with 6.66' ceilings and why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 2 cents:

Move to the upstairs room, 

Add some drapery to the windows. Nothing fancy, but a bit of fabric does wonders not only to sound, but the look of the room.

If you could add bookshelves and books, or a rug/tapestry to the rear wall, it should help damp down sound transmission.

Maybe put some DIY panels on the door, as well.

Bob

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, nymarty said:

Thanks for the idea for the basement floor.  I like it and will investigate.  The scree coat would help to even it out a bit too.  The rug is just going to go, though.  But enough about the floor, which room would you put your 2ce's in ?   11.5'W with 9.5' ceilings on 2nd floor -OR- basement at 14.75'W with 6.66' ceilings and why?

Surecrete was the product. They have a list of people in the area, so that might help.

The Haus-Boss had some ideas about concrete projects and suggested that we do a course in Virginia Beach… which we did on a vacation.
The course was mostly counter tops and sinks.

Just after we were moving house, and we could not find anyone local that would do the floor… So… 😁
They accepted our course as being qualified and sent a pallet of product up.

It is pretty easy, just labour intensive and the tool cost.
I have no idea on the cost per square foot or sq-m to have someone do it. And we had no one around.
I found this, which was likely a “fumble photo”… it has a look a bit like water, with greens and light blue hues.
Luckily we got it done for the main room, craft room.

The garage floor being done in a standard opaque 2-pack epoxy.
Personally I would go white in a real garage, or plane hanger… in order to find dropped nuts and screws, and leaks.

All of it was not a lot fun, but one quickly forgets after it is done. Hopefully the basement would be small enough to not be too expensive.
 

They also have just about colour imaginable.
The epoxy does scuff up a but over time, but it is great for cleaning, those concerned with hypo allergenic, etc.
And makes it easy with a wet dry vacuum should the basement get flooded.

Just a random off the web example…
Large%20Office%20Concrete%20Epoxy%20Meta

 

This next one is an upside down shot of our dining room and lounge floor.

077A57B9-A5C7-490D-BA20-4501534844D2.jpeg

Edited by Holmz
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, nymarty said:

… 

So, before I move 180 lb. of speakers up from the basement with all the rest of the gear...

I’d get some fit fellows or women  to help.
Or some “up the stairs” lifting mechanism.

 

23 hours ago, nymarty said:
  • Is there any downside to moving the 3a Signatures to the new room ?   Are they too big for the new room?

You probably just need to try it.
I suppose it’s possible that a different speaker would be better if it is played really low volume?

 

23 hours ago, nymarty said:
  • Does anyone have any tips on how to cut down the sound of the music getting through the door to the hallway? 

We used something like the photo example, which drops down and forms a seal (right as the end when the door closes)… however that was for a counselling room.

281668.jpg
“Flanking” refers to sound sneaking around from any leaks, and is #1 enemy, so outlets, windows, doors and A/C ducts are NOT your friends.
If you have ducted AC, then you have a lot of flanking opportunities.

 

You need a door seal, and any gaps around windows to be caulked.
And weather strip on the door jam.

A solid door is better.
Ideally one has something like a neoprene layer say on the inside… and a mass loaded vinyl; or dry wall or something over that on the side facing the interior.
But, low frequency notes will still just flex the whole enchilada, and they will drum through with little attenuation.

The counselling room ended up going from hearing everything being said on the outside of the door, to hearing just unintelligible Jame Earl Jones low notes with all the upper registers all gone.
I should have measured insertion loss, but it had to maybe 10-20dB below 60 Hz and 30dB in the 500-3kHz.
It was very effective.
We did not do the mass loaded vinyl, and just had a music player in the waiting room, which then made it private.

I think you just need a good door, and a good seal, and do the best you can with the flanking with a caulking gun… it is going be good enough without going to a “Cone of Silence”.

 

23 hours ago, nymarty said:
  • Does anyone have any advice on what to do with the windows?   Are the paper accordion shades enough?

Maybe some heavier drapes that can be pulled over?

How silly are you going with the volume pot?
Or is it to keep sound out rather than sound in? 

Edited by Holmz
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Holmz said:

How silly are you going with the volume pot?
Or is it to keep sound out rather than sound in? 

Thanks, @Holmz.  Appreciate the info on the flooring and your advice on soundproofing.  Volume at the listening position is usually in the 70s to low 80s but every so often I'll want to crank it up a little bit.  But I can reserve that level of volume for daytime or times when the house is empty.  This is definitely about keeping sound in the room. 

Thanks, @GdnrBob.  I'm leaning towards using the room with the higher ceilings too.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

as an owner of 3A signatures for about 3 years, in a room that was 10'10" wide by 15'10 long (later extended to 28'6" long with expulsion of double french doors) and 8' tall, I can, I think, tell you what you need to do to enjoy these speakers in that room.

And im giving advice on that room, because i believe its probably carpet on concrete, like my room.

1. Concrete. Wow!. What a phenomenal opportunity. the density of Concrete is roughly 2.4g per cubic centimeter. For reference, water is 1.000ish. Saltwater 1.024. The average rock on the earths surface might be around 2.300-2.900. The earth as a whole averages about 5.7, in around 1965 best guesses according to an Isaac Asimov book I am unable to poinpint because he wrote so many. Concrete is composed of rocks around 2.7 and less dense filler material. In a room that size, 313 sq feet, if the foundation were 12" thick, you would have concrete foundational weight of around 150lbs per cubic foot = 47,000 pounds, or like 23 tonnes. And thats coupled to planet earth. Alternatively, you have some kiln dried 2 by 4s lining your house all around, until you have a main  floor whereby you have a thin resonant sheet of wood called a floor resting on 2 by 4s connected to other 2 by 4s. And if that wasnt bad enough, theres probably some more 2 by 4 supported pressurized resonant lightweight rooms on the 2nd floor that have an ultra low rigidity. Now you want to put your speakers up top there where the entire structure is going to sway back on those 2 by 4 wall as cones move? hehe.

I understand why you wound do that. To unconstrain the Bass, and try, but fail to undull the treble, instead replacing it with dull and bright spots from interaction between structure and tweeter.

Instead, I suggest utilizing the absolute anchor to earth, your concrete foundation, while understanding and treating your troubles in appropriate ways. The ceiling is a very simple problem. sound arrives after bouncing off the cieling about 5ms after the source, your speakers. Break it up. Traditionally, the arguement is pressure or velocity portion of the wave. Most acoustic products are acting on the half wave of the velocity portion of the wave. Unfortunately, with 84 inches floor to cieling, to treat down to a crossover point of 400hz would require treating a wave of 52 centimeters, or 26cm of foam. But remember, the pressure portion of the wave is against the wall, the velocity portion out FROM the wall. Putting 10" of fiberglass against the ceiling would not only leave you with a 6'2" ceiling, but also be ineffective because its against the wall, in the pressure phase of the wave, where it is ineffectve.

So the fiberglass would need to be suspended an equal distance from the ceiling, in the trajectory of the velocity portion of the wave to break up the cieling first reflection/supermassive early reflection. That leaves a ceiling height of 5'4", with 10" of fiberglass. Not really viable, eh? So alternatively, gotta work on the Pressure portion of the wave? meh/maybe. Engineering is about compromises and value.

There exists a magic zone, that I feel, but cant understand fully that encompasses both treatment of the velocity and pressure portion of the wave, potentially. Im not sure im going to explain this properly, and it might be wrong, but it goes like this: The velocity portion of the wave must be treated linearly as a thickness of fiberglass equidistant from the wall, in relation to the half wavelengh of a desired lowest frequency, typically a crossover or cutoff of 400hz, or 20" wave, or 10" half wavelength that must be treated. 8" half-wavelength will do pretty good. Less, dont bother. Yet the Pressure portion of the wave must also occupy some of that same area in a pressurized room? I believe so. I dont know how to square the contradictory idea that there is a pressure portion and velocity portion of a wave, yet the velocity portion is absolute and relative to the wall, and the room pressure zone charts I see on the internet extend far into the room. It would appear that its possible to treat both at the same time? Yes.

The best explanation I can give goes like this: from a phase perspective, if the pressure portion of the wave is 0-180degrees. The velocity portion is 180-360degrees. So what I am suggesting is treating neither 0-180 or 180-360, but half of each, 90-270 degrees?

Two birds, one stone. A pressure zone bass trap made of fiberglass, like ASC tubetrap, suspended on wires from the ceiling with a 10" airgap. That allows it to work down to 400hz on the velocity portion, as a tubetrap is just a concentric circle of fiberglass that is 1" or 1.5" thick, sealed on both ends, while being close enough to the wall to also act on pressure zones, as a tube trap has its own pressure zone inside itself that is different from the room immediately after the room pressure changes. in essence, by adding a pressurized zone that exists inside a tube, it will act as a buffer, immediately utilizing the laws of physics to suck pressure from the room and increase pressure inside the tube in an act of equilization. Oops. But if you do that, positioning the trap halfway between the speaker and listening position, the first reflection point would kind of just go over top the trap, hit the ceiling, and continue its journey to your ear on the other side. Instead, use Two tube traps, one in the path of the first reflection on the way up, and suspended enough to act on the velocity portion of the wave but high enough to be in pressure zone, and another on the way back down to the ear, again suspended enough to act of the velocity portion of the wave, but still be partially in a pressure zone. Thats a direct path that travels through 2 tube traps and 4 walls of 1" or 1.5" thick. In reality, im not convinced its actually partially acting on the pressure wave, as the early first reflection direct bounce off the ceiling has to pass through 4-6" of compressed fiberglass. The experiment to answer that question would be to replace the tube trap with its own pressure zone inside with just a hollow fiberglass tube, not sealed.

I know this route works. I fought with that cieling early reflection for years, not even understanding what made that destructive sound in the treble region. I tried to buy my way out of a room sound thinking it was the sound of my speakers or amp or other equipment!!!

Pics or it didn't happen?

Bonus: notice how the same technique is used for TRIPLE duty to destroy side wall early/first reflections? 2 tube traps, close enough to wall to be partially in pressure zone, while also in the side wall first reflection path of both speakers at the same time on each side. The nearest speaker after the side wall bounce and before the ear, and the far speaker before the side wall bounce and eventually the ear.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took a few days but I was able to move the system from the basement to the second floor.  All in all I’d say it sounds better.  Bass is a little more prominent so I need to play with placement a little more — maybe a little further from front wall..

 @Ipspam Thanks for all your info and you’re right about the bass.  It was much tighter/faster in the basement spiked into the concrete floor.  But overall everything else sounds better with the additional ceiling height.  The noise floor of the second floor room is also much lower.  The basement has the sound of the boiler, pipes, water, etc. so the quiet between songs is great in the new room.  I agree with @GdnrBob that you’re sitting very nearfield in your room. Definitely helps to take out the effects of the room but have you tried sitting further back?  I tried my 3a’s in nearfield  but felt like they sounded better when I was at least 7’ from each speaker.  Right now I’m 100” from each speaker and they’re 100” apart tweeter to tweeter.

 I went to see the master John Rutan on Saturday and picked up some Vandersteen spike shoes.  I was using coins to protect the wood floor but then couldn’t adjust placement.  Now, with the spike shoes I can slide them a little to reposition.   Before seeing John I had the speakers 7’ apart and he recommended moving them closer to the side walls.  He was right of course. Soundstage opened up and imaging improved.  

If anyone has advice about tightening up the bass in the room, let me know.  I’m wondering if the speakers are too coupled to the wood floor.

4069C9BF-5149-40BE-8177-5CF01E008482.jpeg

3A8D4977-BD80-4752-882C-7EE5EEACFFA5.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks @GdnrBob.    The new room definitely "looks" a lot better than the basement.   It even sounds better in most ways.  The panels are on the floor for now as I play with speaker positioning.  Once I'm more dialed in they'll be hung up on the walls.  The front corner panels will actually get another stack on top of them so they fill more of the front corners, too.  As to the windows on front wall, I like that suggestion and will try it. I'm actually thinking of building or buying some diffusion panels or boxes to hang in front of those windows -- at least to cover the center 4' square in front of my listening position.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, nymarty said:

Thanks @GdnrBob.    The new room definitely "looks" a lot better than the basement.   It even sounds better in most ways.  The panels are on the floor for now as I play with speaker positioning.  Once I'm more dialed in they'll be hung up on the walls.  The front corner panels will actually get another stack on top of them so they fill more of the front corners, too.  As to the windows on front wall, I like that suggestion and will try it. I'm actually thinking of building or buying some diffusion panels or boxes to hang in front of those windows -- at least to cover the center 4' square in front of my listening position.   

I suppose if you were building them, you could make them a shutters (or is it shudders? 😀) and be able to open and close them…?

Nice job on testing out the other treatments on the floor first, before getting out the screws.
 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see why you couldn't build a couple of these window plugs. http://www.asc-soundproof.com/products/window-plug/

Then you have a more even and solidified front wall wave launch. (still wrapping my head around allowing to leave VS having a consistent front wall wave launch, perhaps others can elaborate if this is an appropriate strategy in this room, but my understanding is venting should occur in front of the speakers, not behind them) After that, 3 appropriate bass traps in the front corners and front center will damp the room, drop the level of resonance and lower the Q. This broadens but reduces in amplitude the applicable frequencies that can couple in your room like a tuning fork, destroying the naturalness and even FR. Instead, by lowering and spreading out, there will be interaction still, but less audible as its spread out and hidden.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/23/2023 at 8:44 AM, nymarty said:

Thanks @GdnrBob.    The new room definitely "looks" a lot better than the basement.   It even sounds better in most ways.  The panels are on the floor for now as I play with speaker positioning.  Once I'm more dialed in they'll be hung up on the walls.  The front corner panels will actually get another stack on top of them so they fill more of the front corners, too.  As to the windows on front wall, I like that suggestion and will try it. I'm actually thinking of building or buying some diffusion panels or boxes to hang in front of those windows -- at least to cover the center 4' square in front of my listening position.   

If it's not sealed, you simply have a few inches of foam that work on the velocity portion of the wave.... Minimal gains  available treating noisy nasty glass, doesn't address wave launch.

Seems counterintuitive to simultaneously pressurized the front part of the room and then unpressurize it with bass traps.... But it's about consistency, solidity, intelligibility. Damping the pressure portion of the wave is more linear than working top down on the velocity portion of the wave. From that perspective, pressuring the front end, creating more even pressure zones, and then treating those pressure zones in a more linear fashion makes sense.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GdnrBob said:

For me- I would add some bookshelves, books, tchotchkes, and stuff to not only make it look lived in, but to act as decorative absorption and reflective items.

Bob 

Thanks Bob… I learned a new word today.
Rhymes with….

 

720F6E79-CDDC-4717-9F5B-5644BF75FCF0.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...