Small Room But Velvet Drapes, Sound Absorption Question

sameoldname

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

My brother and I are about to install a home theatre room in our parents house and are just looking for a bit of advise.

The room is 14.5ft x 12.5ft and will have floor to ceiling length velvet drapes along the entire length of the longest two side walls.
The equipment we'll be using is:

Denon AVR-2809
Monitor Audio BX2
Monitor Audio BX Centre
Mission 79DS Surrounds
SVS PB12 Plus (525watt)
SVS PB12 NSD (325watt)

Now, we may not be using both subs if they don't work well together but we have the option.

Does anyone think that buying a pair of BX5's for the fronts and moving the BX2's to the rear would be a good decision? I'm worried that even though its quite a small room that the velvet drapes will absorb quite a bit of sound and it might be worth getting the larger speakers, if only for sound cohesion.

It will be only a 5.1 system because we have no where to put the other surrounds and i do realise that the 2809 and subs are a step above the speakers we're using but they'll probably be replaced in the next few years.

Any advice is greatly appreciated :)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The speaker size has no bearing on what the velvet drapes do to the sound. Larger speakers may have other benefits in terms of extending the bass, and better speakers will improving the overall sound quality, but the drapes are not a consideration for speaker size.

BTW, in addiiton to the side walls, the floor and rear walls (and front wall / ceiling) can also have a major effect on the room possibly significantly greater than the drapes'.

I don't see the point of two subs, even less so when they're not even identical.
 

sameoldname

Standard Member
Well, we're gonna try the two subs, and see how they sound, we'll then decide after that.

The front wall is 18" thick old cottage stone wall rendered with plaster.
Rear wall is 4" solid concrete block.
The first side wall is also 18" cottage wall with a 8.5ft x 3.5ft double glazed window.
The opposite side wall is a double 9" cavity block wall.
Floor is concrete foundation.
Ceiling is regular plasterboard, above is the attic.
 

sameoldname

Standard Member
Sorry, forgot to mention,

8ft ceilings!

I really just want to know will the speakers I have be sufficient in this room for relatively loud listening (not reference level.. but you know, loud enough :D)

If not, will getting the BX5's be any benefit at all?
 

dlg78

Novice Member
Sorry, forgot to mention,

8ft ceilings!

I really just want to know will the speakers I have be sufficient in this room for relatively loud listening (not reference level.. but you know, loud enough :D)

If not, will getting the BX5's be any benefit at all?

I preferred the sound of the BX2's compared to the BX5s when having a demo, the BX5s have very strange sounding bass, sounds almost detached and could be tiresome with movie soundtracks?

Not sure on the spec but it could be that the floorstander is the more sensitive though, and might give you a bit more level if thats what you seek :)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I'd be worried about reflections from the front and rear walls, and the hard floor, rather than the drapes.

With two subs (or even only one) handling the bass, volume will not be an issue, even with reference level. It's really just a question of audio quality.

---

For a foreigner: could you explain the exclamation mark after "8ft ceilings"? By my calculation, that's 244cm, well within the usual 240+/-5 cm, only really useful to know when considering my 236cm wardrobe (not for sale).
 

sameoldname

Standard Member
For a foreigner: could you explain the exclamation mark after "8ft ceilings"? By my calculation, that's 244cm, well within the usual 240+/-5 cm, only really useful to know when considering my 236cm wardrobe (not for sale).

Slip of the keyboard, I tend to over use them for no real reason at all :D

The floor will be carpeted in the future and the rear wall has a door in it which we may cover with a drape also so that should hopefully reduce some of the reflections, or at least I'm assuming it will.

dlg78, was it the lower frequency bass that seemed strange or the bass in general, just wondering whether using them with a sub crossover at the usual 80hz make any difference in your opinion? I would just go and arrange a demo but I live in the Republic of Ireland and I'd have to travel up to Richersounds in Belfast to hear them, not many hifi stores left in this country!

Many thanks for the advice so far :)
 

dlg78

Novice Member
Slip of the keyboard, I tend to over use them for no real reason at all :D

The floor will be carpeted in the future and the rear wall has a door in it which we may cover with a drape also so that should hopefully reduce some of the reflections, or at least I'm assuming it will.

dlg78, was it the lower frequency bass that seemed strange or the bass in general, just wondering whether using them with a sub crossover at the usual 80hz make any difference in your opinion? I would just go and arrange a demo but I live in the Republic of Ireland and I'd have to travel up to Richersounds in Belfast to hear them, not many hifi stores left in this country!

Many thanks for the advice so far :)

Indeed using an 80hz crossover may well improve things, to me the low bass didn't integrate well with the midbass, it sounded slow and thumpy.

I almost wished I could switch off that dedicated bass driver and hear them as a 2 way at the time.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I think there are a lot of factors that come into play.

Can floorstanding speakers work in your room? Yes.

Will floorstanding speakers work in your room? Maybe.

I'm a strong advocate of floorstanding speakers, but that is mostly for stereo. A vast majority of people in a vast majority of rooms will do very very well with Bookshelf/Sub systems.

As to the Subs -

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/p...ypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=14&category_id=7

http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/p...ypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=13&category_id=7

Those both seem like a LOT of Sub, somewhat disproportionate to the rest of your system. Though I couldn't find UK prices on the Subs, but I think it is safe to say, they are not especially cheap. If we convert the USA prices in the links above to UK prices we have PB12 NSD = ~£500, PB12 PLUS = £865. Though I suspect the UK price are higher than that. I think we can safely say 20% to 40% higher in price in the UK.

So, before we go any farther, explain the equipment you listed in the original post? Is that something you actually have, or is it something you intend to buy? Do you have some of it, part of it, none of it?

The amp doesn't seem to be a current model, so again, do you already have it, or are you planning to buy it? If you don't have it, then I would say, spend less on the Subs and more on the amp -

DENON AVR2809 AV RECEIVER at hifix.co.uk

You can get a perfectly serviceable, even well regarded, Sub from BK Electronics of noticeably less money -

BK Electronics - Subwoofers

There is no denying the quality of SVS Subs, but it seems like overkill for a small room and matched with the MA-BX2 front speakers. Save yourself £200 to £300 and, again, put that money into a better amp.

In that room, you certainly don't need TWO Subwoofers.

Then it comes to setting up the system. Since you will have a substantial SUB, most would recommend that you set the front speakers to Small and let the Sub only handle the bass for movies. This takes some of the strain off the Front speakers, and will likely improve the sound quality.

As to the Velvet Drapes, the will soften the room and diffuse the sound, both very good things. But, there is a limit to how much they will effect bass. Typically, you need some very deep absorbing material to absorb the enormous size of bass frequencies. So, the bulk of the softening will be in the Mid and High range, which again is a good thing. And the irregular shape of the curtains may help to diffuse some of the bass, which again is also a good thing.

Only you can decide if the MA-BX5 are worth the money. I don't think you actually need them, but, again with the Front set to Small I think you will get more controlled upper bass, and likely clearer lower-mids. I don't think they will over power the room, and I think for pure music listening they BX5 would be an improvement. But, is it really necessary, and is it an effective use of your money?

In my opinion, it gets down to a question of want, not need. You don't need them, yet you still might want them, and I think properly placed and properly set up, they could be very effective. Yet, you really don't need them. I really don't think you need one SVS sub much less two. As I've said, put less into the Sub, and more into the amp, and you should have a system that will last for a very very long time.

But then, that's just my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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sameoldname

Standard Member
Hey BlueWizard,

Thanks for the detailed response, and yes... I always "want" more equipment! :D

Yes, this is all equipment we currently own, the amp and the subs were bought for larger rooms but this room has recently become available in the house and will be pretty much a no compromise speaker placement affair.

We also own a Denon AVR-1911 amp but were planning on using it in a different room to power a 10 year old Mission 7.1 system which the 2809 is running at the moment.

It'll be roughly a 70/30% split between movies and music, we're planning on getting a JVC X30 projector for the new room so there will also be a certain amount of velvet on the front wall surrounding the screen as well as about 4ft out into the room on the ceiling.

I really would like to replace the Mission surrounds as even though they do "wrap around" the rear well, I find them very bright verging on harsh and lacking in midrange punch, also they are a noticeably different tone to the MA fronts understandably.

For an extra £100 over the BX5's I could get some RX2's but I wonder would they be a good match for the BX's?
 

dlg78

Novice Member
For an extra £100 over the BX5's I could get some RX2's but I wonder would they be a good match for the BX's?

In terms of balance probably not, the RXs have quite a bright presentation compared to the BXs which is less "Monitor Audio" than they used to be, much smoother sounding.
 

sameoldname

Standard Member
In terms of balance probably not, the RXs have quite a bright presentation compared to the BXs which is less "Monitor Audio" than they used to be, much smoother sounding.

Good to know, so I guess that leaves me with either the BX5's at £400, another set of BX2's at £230 + stands for about another £80 or a set of BXFX for around £250ish.

Its interesting in your earlier post dlg78 you mentioned the bass on the BX5's sounded slow because I'm very impressed with the BX2's agility in the bass department.

Decisions decisions...
 

dlg78

Novice Member
I would suggest you find somewhere to have a listen to the bx5s and I'm sure you will hear what I mean.

The bx2s didn't sound too bad and have a nicer bass than the floorstanders I think, both are quite coloured in the midrange but I would take the standmounter out of the two.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Good to know, so I guess that leaves me with either the BX5's at £400, another set of BX2's at £230 + stands for about another £80 or a set of BXFX for around £250ish.

Its interesting in your earlier post dlg78 you mentioned the bass on the BX5's sounded slow because I'm very impressed with the BX2's agility in the bass department.

Decisions decisions...
As dlg78 says, it's time you went in and auditioned the speakers and any other options your dealer might suggest in your price bracket.
 

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