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My new listening room/artist's studio


Ray_pierrewit
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Hey fellas,

 

The long and short of it: I've owned Lascalas for the last 11 years, which I purchased dirt-cheap shortly after having read the Trends TA10 review which claimed the Lascala + T-amp could, for all intents and purposes, be an end game system for most people. They've been placed in at least four different locations before being installed in my new artist's studio/listening room I built last summer. 

 

It could be said that the studio was built around the Lascala. The dimensions are 16'W x 26' L x 10'H, for a total of 4160 cubic feet. Jim Smith suggested that for most people these dimensions would yield great results. For the first time in my audiophile life I've got a perfectly symmetrical room in which to play! YA! The building is built out of SIPs (1/2 plywood interior walls, 4" foam insulation, 1/2 OSB exterior wall) which I chose mostly because of the terrific insulation value (R26.5 for a 4 1/2" wall) and ease of self build. Plus I can avoid the drywall on stud resonance, though I trust my walls invariably resonate at certain frequencies.

 

It was with great interest that I discovered Chris A's fantastic FAQ on Cornerhorn Imaging. I had already decided that the speakers would be placed in the corners at 45deg because I had read PWK eight cardinal rules. I told myself that I'd use the speakers as the good Colonel had designed and intended them. My goal for this system is to have it be balanced and compelling from everywhere in the studio, not only the sweet spot. Needless to say that I also wanted the sweet spot to be of particular interest! 

 

I think I've totally adhered to the FAQ and here is where I am at...

 

System consists of:

 

Dedicated 20amp circuit with some industrial type receptacles.

 

AA Lascala with bass bin

Scott 299b and Denon PMA-890DG (tubes at night, SS during the day)

Amps are switched via Niles DPS-1

Denon TU-500 (I listen to a lot of FM radio)

Oppo DVD/CD player

Mass Fidelity Relay (bluetooth streamer)

Lenco L70 with Shure M7N21D

cheap interconnects and 16ga tinned copper speaker wire (cheap boating wire)

 

Acoustic treatments:

 

Absorption:

Side walls: 4" thick 3'x4' Roxul Comfortboard (much like Owen Corning rigid fiberglass)

Front wall: 2" thick 3' x 8' Comfortboard, hidden behind a decorative textile

 

Diffusion:

Poly diffusers made with 1/8" coroplast. I chose coroplast on a hunch that it would be easier to work with than masonite or plywood, plus it is light, quite non-resonant and relatively cheap. I had lots of reverberation in my room (understatement!), there aren't any couches or soft things to absorb the sound. In fact everything is quite hard and reflective. Well, without any way of measuring except my ears, the hunch was conclusive! For a short while I had only treated the listening area with the Poly diffusers when my wife came to check up on me. She asked if they "worked", so I had her clap her hands in the non-treated area then again in the treated area. Her eyes widened and she clapped again and again. In her words, the clap sounded tighter and had more attack than in the non treated area, which obviously still reverberated a lot. I've since treated the four walls with approximately 200 sqft of poly diffusers, randomly placed. 

 

I've taken care not to place ANYTHING between myself and the speakers as has been suggested,  also like PWK's rule of no shadows.  Here are my impressions on the room... The primary goal was to have a balanced sound from everywhere. This is, first and foremost, a work area where I spend entire days drawing and moving. I am continually impressed that I can walk around and still get some stereo effects, even slight imaging. Above all, I find the tone and coherence to be way better than I ever anticipated. Now the sweet spot is something else altogether! I'm still moving my listening chair to find the smoothest bass response, it's generally between 10' and 12' from the tweeters. The center image is mesmerizing and the imaging is much as described in the FAQ, breathtaking.

 

I've always hoped to become that fabled "wise" audiophile who isn't chasing perfection, but rather assembles a lifelong companion and loves it, warts and all. Truth be told, I have't invested that much money into this hobby in the 15 years I've been an audiophile, so even if I do purchase new things it doesn't feel compulsive. I'm getting there...

 

Next steps:

2" thick 4' x 6' absorption panels on the ceiling (I've got all the material, just need to figure out where is the best placement)

REW measurements of the room, I have a friend with a calibrated mic and software and knowledge. Should be done in the next few months.

I would love to build some of Claude's QPie horns for a fully horn loaded system... any thoughts?

True end game would be some Jubilees with DSP and the whole kit... I'm not yet 40 years old, so I'll leave that one for a little later on in life, the water's good for now!!

 

Many thanks, please share any comments and thoughts,

Daniel

Photo on 2019-02-20 at 9.13 AM.jpg

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Awesome place! Definitely "the space" for Grand MCM's :D 

t450_5e0ffe6178b19737daf428c27d1a23a6.jpg?1326842119

 

Or ... if you are "not ready" for those, I would consider some smaller Pro speakers like the KPT-942-T.  (I have the 904 version with the smaller 510 horns ... but haha, you have the room for the larger 904 horns :D )  https://web.archive.org/web/20130603050449/http://www.klipsch.com/kpt-942-t   Sorry for spending your money :( 

 

t450_d6ece47f819adc70479386a8feca76c1.jpg?1370207726

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4 hours ago, Ray_pierrewit said:

True end game would be some Jubilees with DSP and the whole kit... I'm not yet 40 years old, so I'll leave that one for a little later on in life, the water's good for now!!

Be sure to get while they're still the best speaker Klipsch NEVER made:)

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3 hours ago, Budman said:

they sure are angled in a bunch

 

45 degrees, in the corners. They converge a little in front of my listening position.

 

2 hours ago, babadono said:

coroplast? Googled it and seems like data is sparse. how thick are the panels you used? Oh I see it now 1/8 inch. can you see the ribs through the surface?

 

The ribs are barely visible, clear coroplast exists and could also look sharp in the right context.

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Cool room, it looks like alot of work went into it, well done.

 

Just a question for fun, have you tried the speakers with a little less toe-in, unless it's just the picture it looks like it's crossing way ahead of the seating position?  

 

6 hours ago, Emile said:

Awesome place! Definitely "the space" for Grand MCM's :D 

 

6 hours ago, Emile said:

Or ... if you are "not ready" for those, I would consider some smaller Pro speakers like the KPT-942-T.

Na, neither of those are in the top 2 models Klipsch still makes, especially the direct radiator. imo

 

 

.

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11 minutes ago, dtel said:

Cool room, it looks like alot of work went into it, well done.

 

Just a question for fun, have you tried the speakers with a little less toe-in, unless it's just the picture it looks like it's crossing way ahead of the seating position?  .

 

I've just finished getting installed/ organized and am only now settling into the space. I'm not averse to trying less toe-in being well aware that these aren't Khorns, thus NEEDN'T be at 45deg in the corners. Figured I'd just try it that way to start with and fine-tune it later. Truth is, I'm a little afraid of the potential loss of (productive studio) time if I start fussing with toe-in and speaker placement minutiae. By imposing the 45deg angles, and being truly impressed with the results, I hope to spend more time drawing without the constant allure of "what if I tried this, or, what did it sound like this way or that, ad infinitum". I've spent enough of my earth time doing just that, now I've got to buckle down to what matters most to me, creating art.

 

This studio brings forth an interesting dilemma for me. I've introduced my most time consuming hobby , hifi, into my work area. When I say work area, I mean work... I take making art as seriously as others take their respective careers. A major difficulty in being a productive artist is that, in most cases, our artistic practices are self driven and finding the motivation to get down to it can be challenging. Especially when there are so many distractions (read: instant gratification) at hand. I'm lucky in that I don't NEED music to make art, but enjoy some most of the time. My thinking was: I'll go "balls to the walls"  now, with the build and acoustic treatment. Get it out of your system, then DRAW!

 

Here are some shots from the exterior:

 

Daniel

Exterior1.jpg

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20 minutes ago, YK Thom said:

Being a Yellowknifer and see snow and Bush my thoughts turn to heating systems. What are you using?

 

 

In slab electric heating. I live in Québec where electricity is still relatively cheap. The building is R26.5 and also incredibly airtight. Haven't  yet seen the hydro bill for this winter, but the additional expense was factored in when we chose to build. In floor radiant heating is something special! I keep it a little cool in here, around 69 degrees (I think), 20.5 celsius, but because my feet are never cold it doesn't bother me. The heating wire option ticked off the most boxes of all the heating systems I researched: it's absolutely silent (no pumps or boilers humming away as with hydronic in floor heating), no moving air (like baseboard heaters, which also rattle something awful), DIY friendly... so far I'm loving it, and we've had quite the winter!!

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Alright, so I tried aiming my speakers at the listening position last night, gotta put the pencil down at some point. I'm now looking right down the throat of the horns and it doesn't hurt any, if anything the soundscape gained a little width. The center image is still absolutely stable and it hasn't had any averse effects on the music elsewhere in the studio. Looks better too, thanks for the suggestion!

 

Daniel

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Mine are pointed just BEHIND my main LP... with distance behind my listening position I find that is generally the widest and most airy presentation  while maintaining a solid pinpoint center image... it's quite good. It also alleviates some of the fatigue one experiences when listening on axis with horned speakers. I never sit on axis.

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