August 2, 2009

A shoe rack for my hi-fi (part 1)

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

The shoe rack

My sanctuary before

I posted earlier about using a shoe rack for hi-fi. The project took a little longer than expected due to a little change of plans. I've decided to take the opportunity to darkened my room staging area a little, as a psychological inducement for added enjoyment. I realised this from my home visits, that the rooms I enjoyed most are the ones that had dark paint schemes.

My sanctuary after, note the "shoe rack" defusers?

The shoe racks are incorporated on to the speaker back wall as the role of acoustic difusers in areas that were previously untreated. I did mock trial placements all over the place and found the optimal placement. Also surprisingly, the depth of the difusers can also make a difference to the stage shape!, as in convex, concave or just plain flat depth(as seen from plan view of room, refer to sound stage chart below). My previous stage shape(before treatment) was B2. As the shoe racks came with various lengths legs, I used those to manipulate the stage shape. I finally settled for the flat depth, A1, which I felt was most natural. To achieve that, I used the longer legs on the four back wall panels, and shorter legs for the side walls. Check out the pictures. For concave stage shape, simply use the longer legs for the inner middle panels and the side wall panels and the shorter legs for the outer back wall corner panel. I don't think there are hard and fast rules, just try to your heart's content!

Sound stage chart, courtesy of joamonte of forums

Along with my recent purchase of the AQ Sky interconnects, the results were nothing short of stunning! I can say that I've lost some of my room's sonic signature. The highs are now intoxicatingly smooth and at the same time extended. The mids are open yet full bodied, as the difusers in theory should not affect the bass, but it's surprisingly more detailed now, but that's probably due to the AQ Sky perhaps. Most notable improvement is the staging and imaging department. The stage is now more of an open space like 3 dimensional, as oppose to the previous more 2D projection. The imaging is improved as each instrument and vocal now all have a space of their own, within the sound stage.

The view from another angle

The difuser panels have help me to further connect to the music. Improved upon audiophile checklist and most importantly bring my family together in helping out on the project, especially my other half with thanks.

Next I'll be trying out another extended tweak on the the difuser panels. Stay tuned!

No comments: