The Studio

This is both the smallest and the least treated (in either acoustic or in terms of system infrastructure) of the three listening spaces. This is entirely intentional, mimicking more closely the conditions found in the majority of domestic situations and allowing us to test the efficiency and effectiveness of ‘in-room’ AC, support and acoustic solutions. At first glance, the room’s dimensions look anything but promising, but this ignores the excellent venting that it enjoys as part of an extended, four room open-plan matrix. The diagram shows only the immediate room boundaries.

Physical Structure and Furnishings

Walls are solid stone with plaster facings. For the most part they are heavily indented with alcoves or similar details and far from parallel. The floor is also solid, overlaid with a modern wood laminate. The ceiling is extremely thick lathe and plaster construction, with significant mouldings, beams and other disruptive elements. The wall behind the speakers contains a large window and door, both sealed-unit double glazed and covered by vertically slatted fabric blinds that offer a surprisingly impressive and tuneable disruptive effect. The floor is covered with a thick, wool rug and furniture is limited to the listening sofa, an armchair and two cupboards. The rear and right-hand sidewalls both contain large aperture openings into adjacent spaces, that themselves also vent into rooms beyond.

Electrical Supply and System Support

The AC supply to this room is a ring fed from the standard domestic DCU. The socket feeding the system has been removed, cleaned and the contacts tightened, but otherwise it remains stock. The one concession to audiophile sensibilities is the provision of a clean ground, so that AC distribution or conditioning units can take advantage of the facility if they are equipped to do so. The system is supported on modular Hutter Racktime shelving, upgraded with the use of Track Audio feet between the rack and its isolation level, and between that and the floor. Various coupling devices and support platforms can be used between the rack and the supported equipment.

Acoustic Behaviour and Treatment

As already described, we have kept acoustic treatment to a minimum in this room, with no permanent acoustic elements in use. However, there is an assortment of freestanding Michael Green Room Tunes (PZC-FS and Bass Traps), RPG Skyline diffusers and Richter Akustic velocity chokes that can be pressed into service if considered necessary. That need is blessedly rare.

Despite the almost square footprint of the room, the non-parallel and varying nature of the dimensions, along with the almost open venting helps reduce the acoustic signature dramatically. The main bass hump at 61Hz is nowhere near as severe as expected, with subsequent low peaks at 93 and 126Hz separated by smooth, shallow valleys. Below 60 Hz the bass steps down but is extremely even down to below 30Hz. The result is pleasantly warm yet articulate, with exactly the sort of mid-bass reinforcement that suits smaller and especially standmounted speakers.