Conduct full acoustic measurements of any room
All sound absorption & deflection details for all equipments including turntables, CD players, amplifiers
Room acoustics to maximise performances
THE LITTLE ETHERAL ROOM THAT SIMON BUILT BY HOMER ASHBURN
It’s a common misconception amongst many that a good sound system can conquer any room. The truth is that there’s nothing even a top-end system can do to overcome problems with echo, resonance, standing waves and reverberation. In fact, it could actually make it worse. Simon Teh of Tehnichi Audio, who has a well-deserved reputation for recreating the audiophile experience in cars, has also been designing customised listening rooms to suit customer’s home hi-fi systems for many years now.
According to Teh, the answer lay with acoustic treatments. “All a sound system does is increase the volume of pre-recorded music. An un-amplified voice in any room sounds fine but, when amplified, it can acoustically accentuate the room’s acoustical deficiencies.”
“There is only one solution for this, treating the room. The system can only perform as well as the acoustics of the room allow them to.”
CASE STUDY 1
Mr C, who after decades of going down the usual route of buying more and more expensive systems, cables, components, and even DIY soundproofing kits to solve his music reproduction problem, turned to Teh to help redesign his listening room. After listening to Mr C’s system, Teh identified the room’s problem frequencies and reverberation rate, and proceeded to listing down the needed acoustic treatments.
To overcome the need for a bigger soundstage in a 16ft x 23 ft room, clear diffuser panels were lined across three walls to the front, left and right of the seating position, bass traps were set behind to manage reverberation whilst, diffusers and absorbers were planted on the ceiling to trap certain frequencies and to slow down the re-bounce times which in turn minimizes echo, reverb and standing wave problems. Finally to make the sound more lifelike and real, Teh tweaked the centre image using absorbers and diffusers.
THE LISTENING TEST
For a start, to even an untrained ear, the room feels different from other rooms. Voices in conversation come across clearer, fuller and crisper.
Cue the music and, with the lights dimmed and your eyes closed, many would swear that the musicians were performing ‘live’ in front of them. Every nuance of the performance, from the plucking of strings and the thumping of the drums to the brief intake of breath from a singer and the rubbery twang of a fretless bass, were reproduced faithfully.
The same too could be said of a folk pop performance and a rendition of a 60s pop classic, with the latter’s mono recording being very obvious to ears long saturated to today’s stereo and multi-channel recording. Even the pops and crackle of older vinyl recordings were reproduced clearly, only adding to the glorious ambience.
It was when an opera was put on play that the genius of the room really came to the forefront. Despite the obvious small dimensions of the room, the overall impression was of being in a larger hall or amphitheatre with a full orchestra and choir section in full attendance was hard to dismiss.
The smiles on the faces of all those in that room that night said it all, the little room that Simon built was nothing short of ethereal. It also highlighted the important fact that, when the need is there for the ultimate audiophile experience, we cannot neglect or overdo the acoustical treating of our listening room.
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TEHNICHI AUDIO SDN BHD
No. 31 & 33 Ground Floor, The PJ Highway Centre, Jln 51/205, 46050,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor,
012-391 2662 | 012-297 8226