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Need some recommendations for new home office

01svtL

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Hopefully the picture doesn't post too big, guess we'll see.

Ok, we bought and are renovating a home to move into in about 2 months. I've been needing an office, and will finally have one. I'm trying to turn it into a dual-purpose room, since I'm the only one in my house that cares about audio. The room is 12x12 with 9ft ceilings. It's a VERY reflective room at the moment, but I'm making plans to calm it down - rug that will cover MOST of the floor, "acoustic" wood slats (wood veneer hub) on lower 35" of left wall (considering wrapping it all the way around the room under chair rail), heavy curtains flanking the windows, and possibly one to pull across the French doors on the inside, and could put some square GIK or DIY sound absorption panels above the wood slats at some point if needed ( I don't know how to figure out where to place them). I have a pair of leather chairs that I wanted to place as shown in the drawing, with a little cocktail table dead center on the speaker setup. As shown, the chairs are angled in a little and pulled off the wall about 6-8", which would make the listener's head about 12-14" off the wall (again heavy curtains flanking the windows, which will also have blinds). The overall goal of the room is a dark speakeasy or underground jazz bar type of feel. Dark walls, wall trim and ceiling. Heavy wooden desk and dark leather chairs. Brass accents here and there. Anyway...
As you can see, neither chair is dead center, which is the main driver behind new speaker selection now.

I'm planning to build my own desk. Right now, I have it drawn for 56" long which gives me room to put speakers on stands flanking the desk. However, my latest design preference is to build a longer desk - closer to 80 inches long in order to get bigger side cabinets. This would basically delete my floor space for stands as the French door in the upper most right corner opens up against that back wall, and would only leave a few inches of space from the end of an 80" desk. In this case, I would need to set speakers on top of the desk. I could built little feet into the bottom of whatever I pick to angle them back down a little towards ear height when seated in the chairs if needed - not an issue. I'll also be running a sub or two (I currently have an HSU ULS15-MK2 and 2 RSL Speedwoofer MKII) - put in the corners. I'm planning to deploy EQ of some sort, either via the Wiim Amp (when available), or an AVR - my Anthem MRX540 would fit on my desk if I go 80" long. I do want something with some fairly good vertical dispersion as well, since it is unlikely I will be able to sit at ear level with the tweeter, especially if set on top of the desk. I listen to newer metal that is well-recorded in professional studios by some of the most knowledgeable producers there are, not like the old classic rock stuff, so don't hit me with "well it doesn't matter what you pick because it's recorded poorly anyway." No, it isn't. So electric guitars, bass guitars that are tuned lower than most music, and fast double bass drums. With all of this laid out, on to my initial thoughts on speakers:

HSU CCB-8 - due to having 2 chairs slightly off center. Being coax, and the extreme toe in suggestion on these seems to make these a good pick - fire left speaker at right shoulder of right chair, and fire right speaker at left shoulder of left chair.

KEF LS50 (meta) - again due to being coax with the off-axis seating. Not sure I need these to be Metas, with EQ being employed and not using high-end electronics upstream, but not opposed to spending the extra for them. I had these (non-meta) in a large living room with dual subs several years ago and loved them, but the room was just too big. I obviously won't need that much oomph in this set up.

Ascend Sierra LX - I really want to try these, but it seems like they only make sense if I stick to a shorter desk so I can stand mount them. Wouldn't the response, and sound, suffer drastically if I set them on a desktop? Would probably have to fire them down at a higher angle than HSU/KEF due to the tweeter being higher, but then the desk top comes into play even more, no?

Thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?

Office Drawing.jpg
 
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PGansz

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I think you're being ambitious. You should not be sitting next to the wall if you can in any way help that. Also, advice on the desk, 72in minimum especially if you have two screens.
 

kemmler3D

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I think the LS50 meta is a good choice given your (smart) point about vertical dispersion.

However, I agree that putting your listening position right next to the wall (windows, even!) is problematic, if you can avoid it. The curtains should help but you're going to get weird boundary issues there either way.

I also agree a 56" desk is narrow for 2 screens (I have a 60" desk with speakers mounted on the corners, and there's no way to fit 2 screens across) so maybe go for the 80" idea.

Overall you should try to avoid sitting the speakers on the desk if you can avoid it. It causes all sorts of reflections and problems with the frequency response. Put them on stands (even if mounted to the desk) if at all possible.
 
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01svtL

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I think you're being ambitious. You should not be sitting next to the wall if you can in any way help that. Also, advice on the desk, 72in minimum especially if you have two screens.
Definitely hear you on that. I don’t see any way around it in a 12x12 room though…
Best I can figure is to dampen the wall behind the chairs the best I can. Maybe double layers of curtains and whatever those cloth pulldown shades are for the windows. Absorption panels in the corners maybe?
For my monitor, I’ll be using a single 39” curved screen, wall mounted.
 

Chrispy

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Then there are the acoustic challenges of a square (let alone cube) room. I'd try and get my seating and speakers to be not up against boundaries, but could take some experimentation....
 

Chromatischism

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Generally you'll want 4" absorbers minimum on a wall you're going to be that close to. But with the windows, I don't know how you'd swing that.

Can you flip the layout and put the desk against the windows?
 
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01svtL

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I think the LS50 meta is a good choice given your (smart) point about vertical dispersion.

However, I agree that putting your listening position right next to the wall (windows, even!) is problematic, if you can avoid it. The curtains should help but you're going to get weird boundary issues there either way.

I also agree a 56" desk is narrow for 2 screens (I have a 60" desk with speakers mounted on the corners, and there's no way to fit 2 screens across) so maybe go for the 80" idea.

Overall you should try to avoid sitting the speakers on the desk if you can avoid it. It causes all sorts of reflections and problems with the frequency response. Put them on stands (even if mounted to the desk) if at all possible.
Agree with everything you said, and am aware of the shortcomings of the setup. Just looking for suggestions and recommendations to overcome it the best I can. The office is right inside the front door, so the wife is expecting at least a little bit of class going on in there. I could certainly rearrange things at the time of actually sitting down and listening, but again in a 12x12 room with French doors that swing in on one side, what are my options?

My thoughts on the bookshelves sitting on top of a long desk were to figure out exact placement where they sound best at one of those chairs, and mark it somehow - like with one of those push punches you use to make little divots to mark your drill holes for cabinet pulls. Then when not in use, I can push them back on my desk, and when sitting in the MLP, I simply bring them up to the marked spots at the edge of the desk - on either stands or little Isolation feet of some sort to get them off the desk. I’m starting to think this is least ideal of the two options, though.
 
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01svtL

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Generally you'll want 4" absorbers minimum on a wall you're going to be that close to. But with the windows, I don't know how you'd swing that.

Can you flip the layout and put the desk against the windows?
Possibly. My plan was to wall mount my monitor. Maybe I can mount it to the section of wall that separates the two windows. Might look a little goofy though… The chairs would still be against a wall though.
 

kemmler3D

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in a 12x12 room with French doors that swing in on one side, what are my options?
I hear that. Not many.

I do think that if you're able to put the monitors on the front of the desk for listening sessions and then put them back at other times, you could make the most of it. I am not aware of a really handy way to get that done, though.

FWIW I mounted my Genelecs to some cheap VIVO screen mounts that clamp to my desk, at about ear level, and so far it's working pretty well.
 

PGansz

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Can you move the desk to the right of the doors and set everything up independently of it?

It seems like you might ruin the experience if you have to keep moving stuff. Life should be easy :)
 

lowkeyoperations

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Two options IMO.
1. Buy Dirac Live. Your room is going to sound terrible with the current plan as drawn. At least Dirac can cut the peaks. Not much you can do about the nulls.

2. Setup your speakers for nearfield listening and sit at the desk when you want optimum performance. The two chairs can be used when a friend is over and you’re drinking whisky, talking and the music is secondary. In this setup also buy Dirac live.
 
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01svtL

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Can you move the desk to the right of the doors and set everything up independently of it?

It seems like you might ruin the experience if you have to keep moving stuff. Life should be easy :)
I mean the desk doesn’t hinder anything if I make it shorter and place speakers on stands right? No different than an audio/tv stand.
 

PGansz

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I mean the desk doesn’t hinder anything if I make it shorter and place speakers on stands right? No different than an audio/tv stand.
Well ideally you can work in a nice space and listen, those are two different functions. That said, my desk is an UpLift 72in with a single 37in monitor, I wouldn't make the desk any smaller if I could help it. Hence the idea of maybe just moving it somewhere else and setting up speakers on stands in an ideal spot 5-6ft apart with a chair 6-7ft away and that will minimize your room issues.
 
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01svtL

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Two options IMO.
1. Buy Dirac Live. Your room is going to sound terrible with the current plan as drawn. At least Dirac can cut the peaks. Not much you can do about the nulls.

2. Setup your speakers for nearfield listening and sit at the desk when you want optimum performance. The two chairs can be used when a friend is over and you’re drinking whisky, talking and the music is secondary. In this setup also buy Dirac live.
Yea, I have a newer Anthem MRX540 so I could figure out a way to use it in there for the room correction. I also have a miniDSP 2x4.
 
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01svtL

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Well ideally you can work in a nice space and listen, those are two different functions. That said, my desk is an UpLift 72in with a single 37in monitor, I wouldn't make the desk any smaller if I could help it. Hence the idea of maybe just moving it somewhere else and setting up speakers on stands in an ideal spot 5-6ft apart with a chair 6-7ft away and that will minimize your room issues.
I see what you’re saying. I may have to play around with it. My current desk is 54” long and I have a 34” monitor mounted on the wall. It gets the job done for me. The only reason I’m not using it is the opening for the chair is only 20” so my options for desk chairs is quite limited.
 

Butter

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I've had LS50s in 3 different office setups, and they're pretty forgiving IMO to placement, using some common sense. Adding a good sub and miniDSP made the biggest difference. Bottom line, with DSP and sub, you can probably put the L-R speakers in several spots and accommodate style and sound. Placing the sub will be important.

Frankly, I would create 2 or 3 profiles in the mini-DSP for: 1) desk seated, 2) chairs against wall, and 3) chairs pulled out 1 foot for listening critically.
Just put the chairs back against the wall when you want the room to look showroom ready

If you like to listen loud, maybe some Genelecs would make sense, but it's kind of a complete change of ecosystem to the Ones and then EQ, DSP etc.
You're room is probably ideally supported with some D&D 8C, but that's some $$.
 
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01svtL

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I've had LS50s in 3 different office setups, and they're pretty forgiving IMO to placement, using some common sense. Adding a good sub and miniDSP made the biggest difference. Bottom line, with DSP and sub, you can probably put the L-R speakers in several spots and accommodate style and sound. Placing the sub will be important.

Frankly, I would create 2 or 3 profiles in the mini-DSP for: 1) desk seated, 2) chairs against wall, and 3) chairs pulled out 1 foot for listening critically.
Just put the chairs back against the wall when you want the room to look showroom ready

If you like to listen loud, maybe some Genelecs would make sense, but it's kind of a complete change of ecosystem to the Ones and then EQ, DSP etc.
You're room is probably ideally supported with some D&D 8C, but that's some $$.
Man it was all I could do to figure out the miniDSP for the in-use purpose I have it in right now in my living room, haha. Are there good tutorials to show how to set up multiple profiles? Is it simple to switch between them? The chairs won't be placed directly against the wall. I think I mentioned earlier that they will be about a foot off the wall for sure. I may even bring them out 2 feet. The chairs will be delivered today so I'll take them over there and set them up and have a look. We are still a ways away from moving in, but I'm getting the office completed first so I can work there during the day and knock things out with the renovations here and there in between meetings/calls etc.
 
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01svtL

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Generally you'll want 4" absorbers minimum on a wall you're going to be that close to. But with the windows, I don't know how you'd swing that.

Can you flip the layout and put the desk against the windows?
Another thought on this - if I had to have a boundary behind me, wouldn't it be better to have the heavy curtains and whatever blind covering the windows than a solid wall?
 

Chromatischism

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Another thought on this - if I had to have a boundary behind me, wouldn't it be better to have the heavy curtains and whatever blind covering the windows than a solid wall?
Possibly. As long as you don't get outside noise (someone mowing the lawn, etc) leaking in behind your head.
 
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01svtL

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IMG_7191.jpeg
Little update. Here’s an actual picture. Just placing these slats against that wall and adding a couple chairs has calmed the echo down in there a bit. The slats have a ~3/4” foam backing, with about 3/4 of space between each slat allowing the foam to do some absorbing. I may just run these all the way up and cover the entire wall behind the chairs.
 
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