Acoustic Behaviour and Treatment
The room structure and comparatively solid suspended floor create a lively, open sounding room, with a quick, clean bottom-end. The 5.55 x 8.14 x 2.8M dimensions create an incredibly even resonant character, but with a three-way coincident frequency (length, width AND height) at 61Hz. That makes the room incredibly responsive to bass trapping, a large, absorptive panel being placed on the rear wall (behind the listening seat, augmented by two highly tuneable traps in the front corners. The one on the left is built into the fireplace and the degree of absorption as well as the frequency can be adjusted by varying the quantity/spacing of the foam inserts. On the right, a stack of six, staggered IKEA Kallax two-by-two storage units is set into the alcove. By filling the rear of the storage cubes with either single or pairs of foam inserts, the bass response can be precisely tuned, with both the enclosed volume and the degree of damping easily adjusted. The volume in front of the foam inserts is partially filled with books, to provide another degree of acoustic resistance but also some adjustable dispersion. Empty storage elements were then used to house random objects to further increase acoustic disruption at higher frequencies.
The physical presence of the system is balanced by another, two-by-four Kallax unit, containing more books and records. This is on wheels to allow a degree of adjustment. A Michael Green PZC-FS panel balances the curtain on the right, with additional fine-tuning provided by a column of acoustic foam set into the front left corner of the room. The listening seat is movable, forwards and backwards and enjoys a large space behind it. As well as the acoustic panel and sofa on the rear wall, this space is controlled by a four-by-four storage unit on the right, again containing books and records, and a small sofa opposite it on the left. This careful mix of absorption and diffraction was arrived at by painstaking experimentation, working round the higher (93 and 123Hz room modes)while the adjustable low-frequency traps in the front corners make this a highly adaptable space.