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Need Help Setting Up My Listening Area (room)

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#1
Hi all,

I need some input on how I can best utilise my working space, where I also listen to music most of the time.

The following is my current setup:


Passive listening is mostly done when I am working, where active listening is when I will move to my sofa. Waiting for my speaker stand that is currently on its way from China. At the moment, I am using a basic IKEA bookshelf to put the speakers.

The current amplifier has a good volume level, but I am looking for an upgrade. I have shortlisted the WXA-50, but I kinda feel that the tech inside will be outdated soon, with better visual eye candy now with Spotify/Tidal Android TV apps.

The help that I need is (I am new in this hobby, apologies for my newbie question):

  1. Would I benefit from a subwoofer?
  2. What would be a decent upgrade for the amplifier? considering that I may add a sub later on, e.g. Loxjie A30. my budget is around 400USD. I can stretch it a bit to USD500 if necessary.
  3. Is room treatment necessary (bass trap, acoustic panel, etc.)? (this is all alien to me)
  4. Any other little improvement that I can do to optimise my listening experience?

    Where I live, I am surrounded by 'golden-ear audiophiles' and 'buy everything that has an audiophile tag' on it to get the best sound. I am trying to avoid all that because it just doesn't make sense to spend money on a speaker stand that is more expensive than the speaker itself, e.g. the KEF S2 stand.

Thank you for helping me out.
 

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sweetchaos

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#2
  1. Would I benefit from a subwoofer?
Experiencing sound with good bass, is about 33% of your overall experience. So yes, it will be a huge difference with a sub.

Your speakers have excellent distortion profile at high volumes (look at 2nd graph).
They show distortion below 90hz, which means it's a good to offload that to a subwoofer.
1614204595935.png


Take a look at my subwoofer comparison spreadsheet.
Also, take a look at my post about the difference between a budget sub and an actual sub (like Monoprice Monolith 10 THX).

  1. Is room treatment necessary (bass trap, acoustic panel, etc.)? (this is all alien to me)
Excellent video that got released 3 days ago about this topic:

Any other little improvement that I can do to optimise my listening experience?
1. Get a measurement microphone and learn REW.
2. Start saving up $ for dual subwoofers as that will make the next worthwhile upgrade to your system.
3. Read 'Sound Reproduction' 3rd edition https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/113892136X
 
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dogtagkz
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Thread Starter #5
Since you seem to have a lot of room left in the back, I suggest adding some surrounds eventually — ideally the same monitors — for some additional envelopment.
Thank you for the recommendation. I would want to explore this. Should my seating position remain the same?

Eventually that space will be filled up with equipments for my kid's physiotherapy session.
 

ernestcarl

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#6
Thank you for the recommendation. I would want to explore this. Should my seating position remain the same?

Eventually that space will be filled up with equipments for my kid's physiotherapy session.
The arrangement itself might work okay. But what's optimal in the bass frequencies for the front couch may be less optimal behind the desk area, and vice versa. I also would try to avoid sitting in the exact middle of the room.

Grimani has a bunch of lecture series that covers multichannel setups on youtube with a lot of helpful visual slides -- although he usually designs more dedicated listening/theatre rooms.

More recently, the ff. thread might be useful: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/5-1-setup-speaker-placement.20556/
 
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dogtagkz
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Thread Starter #7
Experiencing sound with good bass, is about 33% of your overall experience. So yes, it will be a huge difference with a sub.

Your speakers have excellent distortion profile at high volumes (look at 2nd graph).
They show distortion below 90hz, which means it's a good to offload that to a subwoofer.
View attachment 114676

Take a look at my subwoofer comparison spreadsheet.
Also, take a look at my post about the difference between a budget sub and an actual sub (like Monoprice Monolith 10 THX).


Excellent video that got released 3 days ago about this topic:


1. Get a measurement microphone and learn REW.
2. Start saving up $ for dual subwoofers as that will make the next worthwhile upgrade to your system.
3. Read 'Sound Reproduction' 3rd edition https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/113892136X
Managed to go thru your subs list. I did a quick research on most brands, and sadly, they are not available in my country. Not even Monoprice. Some high-end brands are available, but the price is exorbitant. Sigh. Buying from Amazon is too. DOuble sigh.

I recently purchased the NAD C338 amplifier (deep discount from my local brick and mortar AV supplier, gotta support local businesses during these tough times) because it meets my use case. Only after buying it, I discovered that their sub output is a fixed 80Hz crossover. As you have said above, the JBL A130 has a distortion below 90Hz, hooking a sub; how will this impact the overall sound, if any?

Currently, the available subs that are within my budget are:-

Elac Debut 2.0 S10.2
JBL Stage A100P (the same series as JBL A130, going on discount)
Mission MS-150/MS-200 (cheapest available)
Polk Audio PSW10 (Stock is running low, going on discount)
Wharfedale WH-D10

Minus the measurement available for the above, having read your dual subs post, and the difference between a budget sub and actual sub, based on my use case (mostly near-field listening, 70music/30HT), and budget too (haha), what would be a better option, a passable two budget subs, or save up for a better budget sub like the Polk PSW10 (based on Erin's subwoofer shoutout video).

SVS, Rhytmix is available here, but I can't justify buying a sub that is more expensive than the speakers and amplifier. I can't afford it either.

Thank you, sir!
 

sweetchaos

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#8
Only after buying it, I discovered that their sub output is a fixed 80Hz crossover. As you have said above, the JBL A130 has a distortion below 90Hz, hooking a sub; how will this impact the overall sound, if any?
It won't be noticeable. You'll be fine crossing at 80hz.

Elac Debut 2.0 S10.2
JBL Stage A100P (the same series as JBL A130, going on discount)
Mission MS-150/MS-200 (cheapest available)
Polk Audio PSW10 (Stock is running low, going on discount)
Wharfedale WH-D10

Minus the measurement available for the above, having read your dual subs post, and the difference between a budget sub and actual sub, based on my use case (mostly near-field listening, 70music/30HT), and budget too (haha), what would be a better option, a passable two budget subs, or save up for a better budget sub like the Polk PSW10 (based on Erin's subwoofer shoutout video).

SVS, Rhytmix is available here, but I can't justify buying a sub that is more expensive than the speakers and amplifier. I can't afford it either.
Okay, I've looked at the 6 models you've mentioned:
1614669402067.png

Couple of thoughts:
1. We know the performance of Polk PSW10, since Erin measured it.
It has an audible resonance at around 200hz (according to Erin's observations), but that won't matter in your case, making this a subwoofer that's free of resonances/noises. So from that perspective, it's a good choice.
2. Polk PSW10 has a volume is 1.9ft^3, making it the largest of the 6 models.
The second choice would be JBL Stage A100P (also with volume of 1.9ft^3).
IMO, the reason that's important, is because the larger the enclosure, the more output you can expect.
So if you're trying to maximize your output, look for a subwoofer that's bigger than the other, for the same $.
3. I would avoid these:
- Wharfedale WH-D10, since it's sealed. So output will be lower than ported subs. And since it's already a budget sub (with already limited output), a sealed version just makes it worse.
- Mission MS-150Sub, since it's only 8" woofer, not 10" (like the rest). The smaller the woofer, the more distortion it will have.
4. Next, I would pick a subwoofer that has higher warranty, over another that has weaker warranty.
Polk PSW10 stands out as the best.

Overall, the Polk PSW10 hits more checkmarks for me, so that would be my choice.

With that in mind, I would still try to get your hands on a better subwoofer, like SVS.
SVS has 5 year warranty and are known for their great customer support.
So buying a used SVS makes sense to me, simply because of their reliability, and performance, when compared to most budget subs.
I would watch for any local used(2nd-hand)/refurbished/recertified/b-stock SVS subs.
 
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dogtagkz
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Thread Starter #9
Thank you for the clarity, sir. I learned a lot in a single week. I'll keep this thread alive.

Stay safe!
 
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dogtagkz
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Thread Starter #10
Apologise for the crappy pictures, but this is the current progress for now.

Awaiting a bigger and thicker carpet also a proper console table for the amp/source. Next is to purchase a measuring mic, then focus on acoustic optimisation.

Thank you @sweetchaos @ernestcarl !

IMG_20210308_191340.jpg
 

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