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Desktop/listening room setup question

OldUI11

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May 18, 2021
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I've recently ordered a pair of Genelec 8030c speakers, which will arrive early next week. I own a SVS Micro 3000 sub. I'm now trying to think about room set up. I expect to listen about 1/2 the time with the sub and half without. The reason for this is that the sub will move between here and its normal place in the main listening room. I'll likely eventually get a second sub, but it will be this way for a few months at any rate. I'm listening to music for pleasure and have Dirac studio (run from my desktop rather than from a dedicated device).

The room is 3,8m x 3,8m with a 1,7m ceiling. There is a steeply sloping roof on one side that terminates at 1,45 wall. The door is offset to the left opposite the 1,45m wall. There is a built in closet next to that which creates a roughly 65cm x 65cm column on the left corner. If I am facing the door, there is window about 2/3 of the way down the room on the right wall. Last, but not least, my desk is 120cm wide, and my working position is about 1,2 cm from where the speakers would stand, conveniently.

I plan initially to put the speakers on desktop stands, since it is a sit-stand desk. I can put the desk anywhere in the room. I can also move the shelving around for improved acoustics. It's not very feasible to put a thick carpet down at the moment, but that may change in future.

According to Genelec, if I'm just using the speakers, I ought to place them 5-60cm from the front wall. If I'm using a sub, then more than 60cm. I don't listen very loud. When I've measured the DB levels on the main system, the volume (not counting peaks) is in the 75-80db range.

I have REW, as well, and can take measurements easily enough. But I'm looking to make an educated guess about where to start. Is it better to have the sloping part of the ceiling behind me, in front of me, or to one side? And, given the mixed subwoofer/non-subwoofer use plans, is it better to aim to be >60cm or <60cm from the wall? And lastly, is it a problem to have the window behind one speaker but ordinary wall behind the other?

Advice greatly appreciated!
 

Astrozombie

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I was going to say It would bug me not to have the matching sub..............then I notice they're $2-3K yikes :eek:
 

kuf

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Matching sub for the 8030 is probably the 7050 which costs 1k €, not 2-3 K.
It is also more expensive than other similar size subs but easy integration with the monitors pays off the difference in my opinion.
 
OP
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OldUI11

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Thanks Astrozombie and KUF. I'm going to work with the kit I currently own for the time being. It doesn't cost anything to try.
 

Hipper

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My principle for setting up a listening room as you are would be:

1. Position the speakers and your ears (listening position) for best bass (0-300Hz region).
2. Use DSP to improve things.

I would think it will be harder to get a smooth even bass response without a sub so place the speakers for best bass with no sub. When adding the sub you can move that about (I presume) to get the best location for that smooth even bass. It will however mean you may have to move and measure again when you do get a second sub.

Can you use different presets in Dirac Studio? If so you could make one preset for listening with a sub, one without.

For ideal listening you want a symmetrical layout. In particular, you'd want the two front/sidewall corners to be the same. With sloping ceilings it is apparently best to have the front wall, where the speakers are, lower then the rear wall. This allows less chance for ceiling reflections.

If you are stuck with an asymmetric set up, such as the two front corners being different, you might be able to measure and adjust Dirac for left and right sides individually.

You should concentrate on getting the 0-300Hz range as smooth as possible. Higher up use broader adjustments, more like tone controls then DSP. If you can do the latter manually that should be better. However I've read that some people who use Dirac like the full range automatic adjustments from its measuring. Try both perhaps.

I'm not sure shelving and books etc. does much for room treatment. Here's a video that discusses this:


If I've understood your room description correctly, there is a door and closet on the 1.7m high wall. This says to me it's best to have the front wall as the 1.45m high one. With you facing this, you get the correct low to high ceiling slope and presumably symmetrical left and right front corners. The window, which will be on your left, will be about one third of the way down the room (starting at about 1.2m?). That may present a problem with reflections compared to the right wall. And it may not, depending how the Genelecs perform. All you can do is listen. If there is an issue it is possible to get small absorbent panels on feet that could be moved into place for listening and stored elsewhere. Also it may be possible to put some even small absorbent panels right beside the speakers on your desk to stop them transmitting sound sideways.

The next question then is 'how far out should the desk be from the 1.45m wall?'. That really depends on how your Genelec performs but from what you say their guidance is for using with no sub, it will be 5-60cm. Perhaps 60cm will present the best compromise for using with and without a sub but I still think you should aim for the best sound with no sub. I can only suggest you start at 5cm, measure and save that measurement (is that possible with Dirac? If not use REW), then pull out by 10cm, measure again etc. until your are 65cm out. Of those measurements there may be one frequency response that is smoother then the others. Then do further measurements around that distance until you find the smoothest one.

Alternatively if you can't be bothered with all that, just place the desk where you like and employ Dirac to automatically make adjustments for that position! That may sound just as good.
 
OP
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OldUI11

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My principle for setting up a listening room as you are would be:

1. Position the speakers and your ears (listening position) for best bass (0-300Hz region).
2. Use DSP to improve things.

I would think it will be harder to get a smooth even bass response without a sub so place the speakers for best bass with no sub. When adding the sub you can move that about (I presume) to get the best location for that smooth even bass. It will however mean you may have to move and measure again when you do get a second sub...

@Hipper, I've truncated your remarks arbitrarily to save space. Please accept my sincere thanks for taking the time to write all this down. I greatly appreciate this and will make use of this advice in setting things up. I asked Genelec about how far to place the speakers from the wall in this scenario, and they said it's best to place the monitors and sub close to the wall, especially since the room is square. They don't anticipate a downside to using the subwoofer with the speakers between 5 and 60cm from the wall. They seemed to think closer would in general be better, at least as a starting point.

Your reply covers much more than that. I have the time and inclination to try to do a good job of this. I'll start the trial and error (and measurement) process using the ideas you suggest. I'm looking forward to it. I find this kind of learning-by-doing fun.

Again, you have my thanks.
 
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