AudioCirc: E -May I ask why did you built the big listening room some ten years ago?
E.: In the 90ies I was listening to my music in a 20m square room and I was quite happy. Some day a friend visited me and asked if it is not possible adding two more meters of space to the room. I replied there are trees behind the wall belonging to the community. A few years later when I had built the listening room – and I got convinced it will enrich my listening quality – I was invited to a room in southern Bavaria. This room was about a similar size than mine, maybe a little less. When I put the same question I guess the guy felt intimitated. We have no contact anymore.
AudioCirc: You know that not everyone can and is motivated building such a big room?
E.: of course. It depends on many preconditions, space, addiction, investment and in the end commitment of the family. Btw. you can listen in smaller rooms in a quite an efficient way. I have been to small rooms which provide a nice atmosphere and good acoustics. Putting your stuff into a bigger room means you need doing a lot of preparatory work. It took me two years on planning, discussing – not only with architects, acoustic specialists, High Enders who have been to big rooms.
AudioCirc: So what where the results of your study?
E.: first of all you need a good size for the room. I ended up with 10m length, 7,5 m width and 4,80 m height, and…
AudioCirc: … sorry why exactely these numbers?
E.: It is a compromise of golden ratio, experiences of High Enders with other big listening rooms and somehow the space which seemed to become not too expensive – and of course refering to the space needed for the garden and veranda around it.
AudioCirc: okay, what else?
E.: The biggest enemies of a good listening room are window space and reflecting areas. I kept it under control by eliminating all direct windows. Nevethless I didn’t want ending up in a bunker. When sitting in the room one should enjoy a nice atmosphere also feeling well. Therefore I installed a large window space on the rear ceiling area thus providing quite some light. In addition a small side window on the front of the right wall gives light to the system and also fresh air! This window may be covered by a thick curtain, also for watching movies (which I didn’t in the last four years 😢).
Dispersing items are record and CD shelves at the side walls as are a huge book shelf at the rear wall. I built in a special suspended ceiling comprising chambers of different size filled with mineral wool mats. In this way the running waves will not being piled. The surface of the suspended ceiling showing to the room’s inside contains special elements for absorbing the front waves on different fequencies just in front of the system.
AudioCirc: Did you do any special treatment for the floor?
E.: I was searching for the best way handling the floor issue. I avoided bringing in any heating installations underneath the floor. Only cable tubes for the 7.1. surround system were put into the bases made of concrete. On top of that a 20 mm hard wood parquet floor was being laid. The big blue carpet enables a warm and soft sound.
AudioCirc: As you are running many units with tubes doesn’t it become too hot especially in summer?
E.: No, not really. The climate of the room is very balanced. As visitors always tell me they are surprised that is not really getting warm during the hot months as it is not too cold in winter. Maybe this is due to the 400 mm thick walls of concrete, I don’t know…? Btw. we did not build in any dampening material, the listening room is isolated from the house and half of it’s size is built into the ground.
AudioCirc: Having experienced the difference between your former small room and the new listening room what are the advantages from your point of view?
E.: oh, after all you are able playing loud rock music during the night hours… ha ha. But that wasn’t the overall aim building it. Even with a moderate volume level I think I am listening and enjoying differently as I am sitting 1,5 m away from the speakers in a kind of direct confrontation similar to listening with headphones. Both can be enjoyable but it is different.
AudioCirc: A last question, did you perform this interview with yourself?
AudioCirc: Thank you
5 thoughts on “AudioCirc Interview”
E. Excellent ‘Interview’, ha ha. I have wanted to ask you many of those same questions, but did not want to take up so much of your time. Now, if you could load more pictures of the room that would be great. Maybe you could get Tim to do a similar interview?
Norman, thanks. Are you focusing on pictures showing the room while being built or of the finished room?
Tim and me will work on the interview project 🙂
E. I would like both! Those of the room being built and finished.
Thanks. Looking forward to Tim’s interview.
No self interviews on my side.
Actually don’t have a dedicated room. My systems are central and things evolve around with it. One switch on/off and ergonomics to just play. Share with my wife and lots of friends come around to share in this space. Actually diner this week and friends are bringing some records (and wine 👍)
E, Congrats for your one-of-a-kind philosophy, room and equipment. I would like to comment on one topic I’ve never seen mentioned on articles about acoustics everywhere. I hold on to a theory that the nature of the acoustic materials you employ in a room really matter and I see that such concerns are frequently overlooked by all. For example, a stone wall will always sound more solid than a concrete one; natural materials always sound more organic and better than synthetic ones, and materials possessing soft surfaces (i.e. high-quality wood) always sound warmer and more delicate than ones presenting hard surfaces. This came to mind as I noticed that different materials on the baffle of a loudspeaker do make a difference in tone quality, and this criterion extends to all the surfaces which sound reaches and is reflected from. In fact, all surfaces leave characteristic “fingerprints” on sound, as this is bounced to and fro inside a room. However, this aspect of acoustics is totally neglected and I’ve never witnessed listeners and acousticians either pay attention to or comment on it, blindly employing “laboratory-grade” materials which sound cold by comparison and are soul-lacking in my opinion. Isn’t it time that listeners would make use of selected natural woods and materials for their walls and acoustic fixtures, since these noble materials are made up of long molecules which are able to vibrate harmonically and beautifully to sound waves?