Which frequency response is better?

Miro

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hello from Amsterdam,

I am new to this topic of room acoustics and this is my first post here. I am reading a lot lately about room acoustics, speaker placement and listening position. I am also starting to use REW which is a great tool. Finaly I can see what is happening in the room instead trying to calculate.

I did a lot of measurements. Here I added two measurements of my left speaker at the same distance from the side wall, but different distances from the back wall. Which one is better?

Also which one would be better to EQ with Dirac Live?

thank you very much
 

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Sonnie

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Welcome to AV NIRVANA. Frequency response doesn't always tell the story initially. The first thing I usually do is get the placement setup where I get the best imaging and sound stage, then I let my processor with Dirac Live take care of the frequency response to improve on the imaging and sound stage.

If I am placing subwoofers, then I might use REW to check for the location with the best response, but for the mains, imaging and sound stage dictate placement for me. Dirac Live will smooth out the response.
 

Harrycr

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I would go for the response with the least dips.
Eq likes cutting peaks but not dips.
Sonnie does apply to Dirac as well?
 

Miro

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Welcome to AV NIRVANA. Frequency response doesn't always tell the story initially. The first thing I usually do is get the placement setup where I get the best imaging and sound stage, then I let my processor with Dirac Live take care of the frequency response to improve on the imaging and sound stage.

If I am placing subwoofers, then I might use REW to check for the location with the best response, but for the mains, imaging and sound stage dictate placement for me. Dirac Live will smooth out the response.
OK, thank you. I am trying to find the best speaker and listening position by using these measurements. After that maybe to buy a DSP with Dirac Live to improve further. That was my initial approach. But I am not sure what are the capabilities of DSP? Do they better handle dips or peaks?
 

Miro

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I would go for the response with the least dips.
Eq likes cutting peaks but not dips.
Sonnie does apply to Dirac as well?
Yes, that is what I am looking for. So I need first to choose a listening and speaker position with least dips and than handle peaks with Dirac Live?
Is this a good approach? I have so many questions, but trying first to-down to understand how to start with room correction because this is a new area for me.
 

Harrycr

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I think you are on the right track.
Dirac is suppose to be one of the best if not the best eq out there.
Minidsp has a couple options with Dirac.
With REW you can use the RTA function (Real time analyzer) this saves taking a multiple sweep measurements for speaker placement and main listening position.
The more you play with REW the more you will start to understand acoustics in general.
 

Miro

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I think you are on the right track.
Dirac is suppose to be one of the best if not the best eq out there.
Minidsp has a couple options with Dirac.
With REW you can use the RTA function (Real time analyzer) this saves taking a multiple sweep measurements for speaker placement and main listening position.
The more you play with REW the more you will start to understand acoustics in general.
Thank you. So it is better to find a listening and speaker position with peaks and then handle them with Dirac Live?
 

Harrycr

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Yes the more you can do the less the eq has too.
It's great that you are willing to learn, you can take it as far as you like. It can be alot of fun but also frustrating so keep that in mind. Every room has its problems so don't think you will get it perfect. Problems normally are in the bass region 20-250hz. Don't forget human ears can't hear bass that well so we need a boost from 80-120 down.
The photo of the room you have no rugs or anything.
Where the mic is where you are prepared to sit.
As a starting point use the rule of thirds although possibly not doable but try and see how that goes.
Most speakers benefit from toe in. What does the manual say.
 
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Miro

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Yes the more you can do the less the eq has too.
It's great that you are willing to learn, you can take it as far as you like. It can be alot of fun but also frustrating so keep that in mind. Every room has its problems so don't think you will get it perfect. Problems normally are in the bass region 20-250hz. Don't forget human ears can't hear bass that well so we need a boost from 80-120 down.
The photo of the room you have no rugs or anything.
Where the mic is where you are prepared to sit.
As a starting point use the rule of thirds although possibly not doable but try and see how that goes.
Most speakers benefit from toe in. What does the manual say.
The manual of the Paradigm Monitor says that the distance between the speakers should be 75% of the distance between the speakers and the listening position with a toe in behind the head. In my case it's 180cm between the speakers and 240cm to the listening position.
 

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I would still say listen to what sounds best ... you want the best imaging and sound stage regardless of the frequency response. You want what sounds best... and the response may not necessarily tell you that, your ears will though.
 

DanDan

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The response without the big LF cancellation is way better. In many to most cases speakers work best almost touching the Front Wall. In Pro scenarios the speakers are IN the wall, flush mounted.
Use your Ears and REW to find the best locations for speakers and listener. There is a well known Rule of Thumb that RoTs are always wrong.
 
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Miro

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I would still say listen to what sounds best ... you want the best imaging and sound stage regardless of the frequency response. You want what sounds best... and the response may not necessarily tell you that, your ears will though.
Yes, I understand. I am trying to find the best sounstage. I have a problem with finding the best listening position. I just don't hear differences. I think there is less clarity due to too much reflected sound. I hoped to use REW to see the problem more easily.
 

Miro

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The response without the big LF cancellation is way better. In many to most cases speakers work best almost touching the Front Wall. In Pro scenarios they speakers are IN the wall, flush mounted.
Use your Ears and REW to find the best locations for speakers and listener. There is a well known Rule of Thumb that RoTs are always wrong.
What are RoTs?
So you are saying that it's better to have peaks and less dips/ cancellations? And moving the speakers to the front wall will increase bass which will create peaks in the response? OK, I understand, I will try to experiment.

Is it possible to optimize/lower these peaks with room correction hardware mini DSP which have Dirac Live software? That is what I am considering to buy.
 

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Yes, I understand. I am trying to find the best soundstage. I have a problem with finding the best listening position. I just don't hear differences. I think there is less clarity due to too much reflected sound. I hoped to use REW to see the problem more easily.
First, welcome Miro. You have a fundamental misunderstanding. There is no measurement system in existence that can tell you exactly what your 2 ears will be pleased most by. FIRST, listen to the speakers from where you want to sit, moving the speakers away from the front wall and also "toe in", that is angling the speakers inward/outward pointing at you.
Once you get the type of clarity and 3D image you think is best, THEN place the microphone around where your head would be at seat/sofa. DONT remove the sofa, it is part of the acoustics at your seat! Consider a thick rug between the speakers and your sofa.
Use the DSP to knock down peaks only, do not attempt to fill the nulls. Don't EQ anything above 500-600hz FROM YOUR SEAT.
For any EQ >500-600Hz, place the mic 1m from speaker to get the "speaker" response, not the in room response. Measure at 30 and 60 degrees also. Based on all 3 curves, you MIGHT then add a touch of EQ (post the curves, I will advise).
No offense to Dan, but I would be shocked if against the front wall is what you prefer, The opposite, I would expect the farthest you can place speakers away from that front wall, is where you will find "best" sound, whatever that is to you.
p.s. Has the sitting position chair been moved out of way for mic in picture? The chair should be there when measuring.

cheers
 

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Yep... closet to the wall will yield more bass output in most instances, which is confused for better sound. Sure the bass sounds better, but at the sacrifice of imaging, sound stage and most definitely depth acuity. I can't remember the last time I heard a good two channel system with speakers near the wall. I'd pull them way out into the room... then add a subwoofer near the corners to get your bass, then let Dirac Live take care of the timing, phase and frequency response.

Here is a very good starting point for speaker placement... http://www.cardas.com/room_setup_main.php
 

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RoT= Rule of Thumb. Probably the majority of high end critical listening rooms have the speakers flush mounted in the wall. The free lunch of +6dB at LF is easily equalised down by the simplest of filters. Even organic ones such as your large areas of glass. As your measurements show moving the speaker away from the front wall nulls and removes a band of bass frequencies. Fundamental musical notes are actually missing. This 'light in the loafers' tonality can be attractive as the tonal balance now favours MF and HF action. Stereo FX, Reverbs, etc. There are illusions that sound is happening behind and outside of the speakers. But these images also happen with even greater vividness when the speakers are mounted in the wall. Or in headphones. So any notion that these depth illusions need actual space behind the speaker is erroneous, although it may seem intuitive. Nulls, missing notes, are not amenable to Eq. Peaks and broadly boosted bass are. So yes, Dirac Live will pull down individual modes nicely. More importantly it has a freely drawn Target Curve which can persuade your speaker/room combo to deliver whatever you want tonally. Research has repeatedly shown a preference for the B&K or Harman Target Curves. When the speakers are moved very far away from the Front Wall the frequency of the LF null falls below the response of the speaker. Nothing generated, nothing missing. Perfect. Many Mastering Rooms work on this principle. Genelec used to advise farther than 2.2M or closer than 0.2M. In between can work too! Lets say you have a 100Hz boom caused by a mode. Move the woofer about 0.85M away from the Front Wall and the 'organic' null will drop it. So it seems everyone is right. Need an aspirin?
 
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Miro

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RoT= Rule of Thumb. Probably the majority of high end critical listening rooms have the speakers flush mounted in the wall. The free lunch of +6dB at LF is easily equalised down by the simplest of filters. Even organic ones such as your large areas of glass. As your measurements show moving the speaker away from the front wall nulls and removes a band of bass frequencies. Fundamental musical notes are actually missing. This 'light in the loafers' tonality can be attractive as the tonal balance now favours MF and HF action. Stereo FX, Reverbs, etc. There are illusions that sound is happening behind and outside of the speakers. But these images also happen with even greater vividness when the speakers are mounted in the wall. Or in headphones. So any notion that these depth illusions need actual space behind the speaker is erroneous, although it may seem intuitive. Nulls, missing notes, are not amenable to Eq. Peaks and broadly boosted bass are. So yes, Dirac Live will pull down individual modes nicely. More importantly it has a freely drawn Target Curve which can persuade your speaker/room combo to deliver whatever you want tonally. Research has repeatedly shown a preference for the B&K or Harman Target Curves. When the speakers are moved very far away from the Front Wall the frequency of the LF null falls below the response of the speaker. Nothing generated, nothing missing. Perfect. Many Mastering Rooms work on this principle. Genelec used to advise farther than 2.2M or closer than 0.2M. In between can work too! Lets say you have a 100Hz boom caused by a mode. Move the woofer about 0.85M away from the Front Wall and the 'organic' null will drop it. So it seems everyone is right. Need an aspirin?
Thank you, I am trying to understand. More than approximately 70 cm from the front wall is not possible in my living room so rather close to the wall if that will not ruin the tone. I don't want a boomy bass.

Can DSP also improve clarity and reverbation time or only frequency response?
 

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I can't remember the last time I heard a good two channel system with speakers near the wall. I'd pull them way out into the room
There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence based on controlled listening tests that agree with your sentiment. I wish these 2 links were forum sticky's mandatory reading for every discussion like this.
https://www.audioholics.com/room-acoustics/room-reflections-human-adaptation
https://www.audioholics.com/room-acoustics/room-reflections-human-adaptation/what-do-listeners-prefer
The two "sides" of these discussions are always those with scientific evidence based on controlled listening tests...and those without.

... then add a subwoofer near the corners to get your bass, then let Dirac Live take care of the timing, phase and frequency response.
Well...his Paradigms (Model?) show good extension to below 30hz in his measurements. Unless he likes pipe organ and/or higher levels, they might be suffice for 95% of music.

cheers
 

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I am trying to understand.
Please read my 2 links to begin your understanding.

I don't want a boomy bass.
Can DSP also improve clarity and reverbation time
It is trivially easy to have non boomy bass with DSP eq'ing down any bass peaks, but for clarity and spatial rendering, speaker/listener position is critical. DSP cannot change the polar response...and subsequent room reflections of your loudspeaker.

cheers
 

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Yeah... just go to ANY of the audiofest events... not one manufacturer with free-standing speakers have them placed up against a wall... and it's for a reason, they sound better pulled out from the wall. Hence why Cardas recommends what they recommend, pulling them out from the wall and into the room. I've yet to go into a high-end critical listening room that did not have the speakers pulled a good distance out from the wall. The few stereo shops that I've been to that had them shoved up against a wall, pulled them out for listening sessions.
 

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"Thank you, I am trying to understand. More than approximately 70 cm from the front wall is not possible in my living room so rather close to the wall if that will not ruin the tone. I don't want a boomy bass.
Can DSP also improve clarity and reverbation time or only frequency response?"
You are welcome. Removing booms and honks with Eq, can absolutely improve clarity. Reverb time, sorry no, but both level and actual rate of decay of those particular resonances will be usefully reduced by simple Eq. In my tests Dirac gets hold of the tail of the biggest monster more firmly than other Eq's I have tested, and I have most of the usual Mastering products. No idea why. Eq is Eq.
Harman etc. have done a lot of studies on the Target Curve and the use of Eq. One big take away conclusion is that DRC, really just Eq, is most effective in the least treated rooms which I think yours is.
Keep an open mind. I like to hear 30Hz clearly, since CDs it is very much an enjoyable feature of many recordings. If you do try your speakers as close as possible to the FW, which I recommend, and why not? then if you do find the bass too much, which I doubt because of your huge areas of glass, Dirac or other Eq's can very simply diminish it. You can also adjust the overall LF behaviour by popping some cotton wool or even a bung in the bass port of your speakers. Some speakers used to come with bungs for exactly this purpose. Such sealed LF drive is IMO superior to ported. It is faster, firmer, goes way lower, and doesn't 'boom with the room' so much.
Genelec have similar recommendations. The benefit of shifting the FW BIR cancellation up in frequency is that it gets lost in the increasing complex modal behaviour up higher.
Here is a quite rounded treatment of the subject neither biased towards Pro or HiF. http://arqen.com/acoustics-101/speaker-placement-boundary-interference/
Genelec.jpg
 
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Yeah... just go to ANY of the audiofest events... not one manufacturer with free-standing speakers have them placed up against a wall... and it's for a reason, they sound better pulled out from the wall.
To be fair, there are studiophiles who know this also
gLtLv4XVjj0VlgLEd1oqOn_YSXDhYXCjCczulZ_a2HPZzDhj6c.jpg


Miros' room pictured looks suspiciously like a "living room", not a mastering studio. Unclear if he's a studiophile looking to convert his room into a studio. If he's a 2ch audiophile, the links I provided make things abundantly clear where perceptual science points. Optimized speaker positioning and a bit of EQ at LF should make his 2 ears happy, even if the pressure omni mic isn't total satisfied at that single point spatial position (which reveals zero about the 3 particle velocities needed to fully describe that point in soundfield, pardon the pun) .There is a mountain more. One can only lead horse to water...

cheers
 

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Are we doing Acoustics here or Testimonials? It is difficult to tell how far Bob's speakers are from the Front Wall in that picture. I would guess that that the subs are approaching the 2M or so needed to place the cancellation null below their cutoff frequency. So it appears to more or less concur with the advice from both Westlake and Genelec. i.e. As close as possible or as far as possible. It is quite popular for Mastering Studios to look and be somewhat domestic. Bob's room there has carpet, and very little acoustic treatment. (Vastly increased in more recent times) Floor standers are common in Mastering, and they are usually as distant as possible from the Front Wall. In some cases this may not visually seem to be the case. But in this one in Miro's home town, there is a vast distance between the speakers and the boundary shell, metres of both distance and absorption. Amsterdam Mastering.
Amsterdam Mastering.png


Here is a vivid example of the vastly destructive comb filtering, huge null AND a big peak, caused by locating speakers about 1 Metre from the Front Wall (Red) vs kissing it (Blue) These Celestion Ditton 66 towers were a very highly regarded Hi Fi Speaker, but had 'Studio Monitor' written on the back. Huge floor standers. I used to bring these with me when Freelancing. Once I installed them into the flush voids in a temporarily empty Control Room Stunning.
White Room copy.png
 
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AJ Soundfield

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white-room-copy-png.png


What were the results of the double blind listening tests for the two single spatial pressure points measurements above, using human binaural hearing? Which did 2 ears/no eyes-beliefs prefer?
In anticipation I had pointed out the differences between the 2 "sides" to these discussions previously.
It appears many missed Miro is setting up a recording studio in his living room pictured above. :)
Also in anticipation, my 2 layman links above addressed this home vs studiophile listening very specifically...with results of double blind listening tests from around the globe.
 

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"What were the results of the double blind listening tests for the two single spatial pressure points measurements above, using human binaural hearing? Which did 2 ears/no eyes-beliefs prefer?
In anticipation I had pointed out the differences between the 2 "sides" to these discussions previously."


What gibberish. Those graphs are for multiple measurement points averaged. I cannot imagine that anyone competent in reading those graphs would suggest that some psycho surveys are needed to tell which one is technically superior. Ditto Miro's graphs and his question. i.e. The Topic here.
As I said, my input here is acoustics. It is of professional level acoustically but also informed by decades of creating the source material to a sometimes reference level.
What exactly are you trying to do here? All I can see is repeated advice to the point of annoying insistence that Miro's speakers MUST be distant from his Front Wall. Irrespective of his own evidence posted and completey ignoring his glass walls and dissing qualified advice.
 
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