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Thread: Hardwood Flooring Acoustic Help

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    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Hardwood Flooring Acoustic Help

    I'm having real difficulties getting my L100S's to perform well at my girlfriends place. Her living room is large with laminate hardwood flooring. There is is a real lack of bass, and an abundance of mid-range, which seems very scattered. Turning down the L-pads seems to have little effect to clean up the sound. I know that hardwood flooring can cause alot of reflections, and that an area rug would really help.
    You can see that I have picked up the speakers with boxes, this has helped the reflections a little. I wonder if the lack of bass has to do with the length of the wall behind the speakers, providing little boundary reinforcement, as compared to how my set up is at home, or do the high ceilings also play a role? The room is much larger than my living room at home, and I almost wonder if the speakers are simply too small for this room. I attach a few pics so that you can get a better idea of the layout. If I did not know what these speakers were capable of, I would think that they were completely incompetent, but I know that is not the case. What effort can I make that would do the most good?

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  2. #2
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    I've had L100T and L100t3s - no lack of bass with either of those, even with just 60-75w/ch receivers

    What kind of power are you running them with - how many watts?

    Looks like a ground level floor -is it possible the hardwood floor is against a cement slab -
    maybe it was installed with some kind of foam absorption layer that's damping the bass ...
    (like they do with Pergo &r some of the similar composite wood floor materials)?

    Put a small piece (maybe 10 x 14 or so) of MDF flat on the floor, then use a set of speaker spikes
    to give the speakers a more stable footing ...
    That's a pretty cheap test to see if you get an improvement.

    You could also try a small throw rug to see what effect that has ...

    Cardboard boxes are no good - you need something SOLID -
    you could make a wooden box/pedestal if you think the height is helping ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    I'm having real difficulties getting my L100S's to perform well at my girlfriends place. Her living room is large with laminate hardwood flooring.
    There is is a real lack of bass, and an abundance of mid-range, which seems very scattered. Turning down the L-pads seems to have little effect
    to clean up the sound. I know that hardwood flooring can cause alot of reflections, and that an area rug would really help.
    You can see that I have picked up the speakers with boxes, this has helped the reflections a little.
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

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    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    What kind of power are you running them with? How many watts?
    Is it possible the hardwood floor is over a cement base -
    maybe setting on some kind of foam absorption layer thats damping the bass ...?
    Put a small piece of MDF flat (maybe 10 x 14 or so) on the floor, then use a set of speaker spikes to give the speakers a more stable footing ...
    That's a pretty cheap test to see if you get an improvement
    Hi Heather!

    Admittedly, she has a really cheap receiver, that I bought her.... The receiver had a dock for her Ipod, so that's how that happened. I did have my recently purchased Adcom 555 hooked up over here...it still sounded pretty horrible. I am dealing with alot of less than great components here, but it's my second home .

    The house is an 80's tri-level. There is a crawl space below the living room. Upstairs on the other side of the house, like in the shower, the bass is great. This leads my to believe that it isn't really a power issue. The speakers used to have spikes, but I took them off for her floors and put on some felt pads. I think that some improvement can be made, but I'm wondering how much of a problem the room itself will be, or if it's a lost cause....

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    We do have a friend here - we jokingly say his home is "... the place where bass goes to die" because
    despite great amps and subs and such, he just doesn't get the pounding bass we'd expect from his quality gear.
    Its partly the shape of the rooms in his home, and a dining room off one side of the living room and a window wall on the opposite side ...
    and maybe the wood floor with basement underneath "helps" too ...

    Well, since you already have spikes, I'd get some MDF pieces to put under the speakers so you can spike them without harming the floor and see if that helps ...

    There's only so much you can do in someone else's home with audio treatments ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    Hi Heather!

    Admittedly, she has a really cheap receiver, that I bought her.... The receiver had a dock for her Ipod, so that's how that happened. I did have my recently purchased Adcom 555 hooked up over here...it still sounded pretty horrible. I am dealing with alot of less than great components here, but it's my second home .

    The house is an 80's tri-level. There is a crawl space below the living room. Upstairs on the other side of the house, like in the shower, the bass is great. This leads my to believe that it isn't really a power issue. The speakers used to have spikes, but I took them off for her floors and put on some felt pads. I think that some improvement can be made, but I'm wondering how much of a problem the room itself will be, or if it's a lost cause....
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

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    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    maybe sliding the speakers into the corners of the room itself could help?


    Is the bass in the adjacent room
    (behind the short wall to the right of the TV & vase) better?

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    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louped garouv View Post
    maybe sliding the speakers into the corners of the room itself could help?


    Is the bass in the adjacent room
    (behind the short wall to the right of the TV & vase) better?
    No, not really. Now, if I move up to the top of the carpeted stairs, the bass is up there, the sound is better too. If I keep going away from the stereo into the bedroom and bath, the sound is muffled, but all the highs and lows are audibly more balanced, and coherent. It isn't boomy, but the bass is very audible. There are no curtains in the house, only wooden blinds, I see this as a problem too.

    "... the place where bass goes to die"

    Yeah, that sounds kind of like here too.

    The room is very excitable and none of the highs or lows sound good. I wonder if this wouldn't be a good room for smaller full range speakers with a sub or two, to keep the acoustic energy down.

  7. #7
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    That's kind of what I was thinking... it would give you some options about where the
    bass was emanating from. If you have the option of trying them under the oriental
    wall hanging, that might change things (not necessarily for the better, and I understand
    that most humans put speakers and TV's where they're out of the way... so that placement
    may not be practical). Having L100t's, if they're working properly, they have plenty of bass.
    If placement doesn't work... different speakers are probably the best solution.
    It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look...

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    Senior Member herki the cat's Avatar
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    Hardwood Flooring Acoustic Help

    With due respect and courtesy to everyone, this living room appears to be quite massive and under-damped and what you hear is massive, uncontrolled, masking reverberation. This room requires the large scale wall & ceiling treatment you find in a typical movie theater, or a $10,000 high end dealer's acoustic demo room__ or treatment with the very efficient acoustic tiles shown in Macaroonie's posts #1 & 2, and a recording studio shown in post #4 of Thread: Acoustic Tiles UK which you can click in.

    In case any case, you would benefit by moving the audio system and speaker in question to a small bed room to evaluate the speaker in question.herki[quote']

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Umm, forgive me if this sounds ignorant, but aren't the L100S (like the L100T/3) rear-ported reflex cabinets? How close to the wall do you have them? They need to be at least 12-inches from the wall. The manual for them probably recommends even more.

    Just a thought.



    Well, I just checked and the T3 owners manual doesn't really give that advice, but then it doesn't contain much of any information. The L1,L3,L5,L7 manual goes into much greater detail, and they're rear-ported, too. In fact that manual recommends the speakers be placed three-feet from the rear wall.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

  10. #10
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    good point (re port placement). I figured that was kind of obvious, but
    then I'm not convinced even stuffing it completely would result in massively
    missing bass.

    Serious room mods are probably also out of the design parameter space
    (can take lots of coin or work to disguise audio room modifiers). Which is
    why my suggestion of matching the speaker type to the room, rather than
    vice versa.
    It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look...

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    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    L-Pads??

    I kind hate to bring this up now because I just said how the L-pads weren't realy doing much. But after I said that "maybe the room needed smaller less excitable sound levels" it got me to thinking how the L-pads should be able to correct for this by turning down the volume of the offending drivers.

    So what I did was to lean the speakers back, which not only helps with time alignment, but would also affect how the sound comes off the speaker and hits the floor, and it picks up the woofer a little too. Next, I turned the L-pads down - waaaayy down, more than I ever imagined they ought to be, starting at no sound at all. I think the mid-range is now down about 5 decibels (if I remember the range of the L-pads right), and the tweeters would be down around 4.5 decibels. This is on the low side of the L-pad range that I honestly never imagined I would ever want or need to use. I guess I always figured that the ony way you would use this low setting is if you were tone deaf (or really into bass)! It took a moment to adjust to the sound but sure enough, the noise (cause by all the reflections)is down, the loud mids are turned down in volume which brings forward the bass. As I turn up the volume on the Receiver the bass comes in loud and clear and (as it should) is now shaking items off the wall, the high's (mids) are well tamed. They still lack the excellent dynamic difference I get at home but there is simply not much to be done presently, If the mid-range comes up, it's too noisy. At least it's much more listenable. It could be said that this room is quiet enough (or loud enough) to hear a pin drop.

    Surprisingly (perhaps), the tweeter volume only adds a various amount of airy-ness, nothing shrill, rather, it's the mid-range that has the most noisy effect, it seems apparent to me anyway. The GF likes a little bit of highs, she love's these speakers, but like's them alot more now that things are shaking off the walls (which I will not in present company psyco-analyze ).

    We have also laid down some rugs and blankets on the floor in front of the speakers, and have agreed that when she get's the chance she should add more of them to the room to improve the sound even more. She was surprised I could make them perform though, she had hardly been listening to them. As we got closer to the speakers she could hear and feel how hard they were hitting. I explained that this is how well they should be sounding at distance, no distortion, lots of dynamic energy and clarity, the woofer hitting as hard as I have ever felt it.

    "trying them under the oriental
    wall hanging"

    I think speaker placement is very relevant, but I don't want to change the room around. Not just because it's not my place, but also because it involves alot of furniture relocation



    "this living room appears to be quite massive and under-damped"

    That is exactly the case Herki! It can be difficult to believe...Thanks for understanding!



    "They need to be at least 12-inches from the wall."

    Absolutely! I have moved them in and out. But bassy-ness or boomy-ness is not really the problem. It's noisy-ness. As I turned down the L-pads mids/highs to super-low numbers bass came through. Not super-clean bass at listening position, but finally..some bass. I am now at the point where I could pull them out to help what boomy-ness is there. A problem I can live with!

    Thanks for all your helpfulness, I really appreciate it! Thanks to Duanage for the L-pads too! Up till now, they were more of a curiosity that I never really knew how much I would need.

    Definitely some fabric room treatments in the future, maybe better equipment, if I can part with them

    Has anyone else had so much need for L-pads as well?

  12. #12
    Obviously... not a golfer grumpy's Avatar
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    well, well... congrats in making them not only listenable, but satisfying to your understanding GF.
    It's uh... uh... it's down there somewhere, let me take another look...

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    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    well, well... congrats in making them not only listenable, but satisfying to your understanding GF.

    Satisfying might be too strong a word... Like us, there is only temporarily pacified.

    There is always tomorrow to decide to be less than impressed by our devices

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    As I turned down the L-pads mids/highs to super-low numbers bass came through. Not super-clean bass at listening position, but finally..some bass. I am now at the point where I could pull them out to help what boomy-ness is there. A problem I can live with!
    Hey Pathfindermwd, any chance you have a phase/polarity problem that is cancelling out some of your bass response? I accidentally reversed polarity on one of my 2235H's recently and was wondering where my bass had gone in my 4430's.
    Control 25AV on the deck - L1 - L20t & L80t in piano black - 4312A - 4430

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    Phase

    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    I'm having real difficulties getting my L100S's to perform well at my girlfriends place. Her living room is large with laminate hardwood flooring. There is is a real lack of bass, and an abundance of mid-range, which seems very scattered. Turning down the L-pads seems to have little effect to clean up the sound. I know that hardwood flooring can cause alot of reflections, and that an area rug would really help.
    You can see that I have picked up the speakers with boxes, this has helped the reflections a little. I wonder if the lack of bass has to do with the length of the wall behind the speakers, providing little boundary reinforcement, as compared to how my set up is at home, or do the high ceilings also play a role? The room is much larger than my living room at home, and I almost wonder if the speakers are simply too small for this room. I attach a few pics so that you can get a better idea of the layout. If I did not know what these speakers were capable of, I would think that they were completely incompetent, but I know that is not the case. What effort can I make that would do the most good?

    Attachment 54023Attachment 54024Attachment 54025
    Try reversing the wires on one speaker

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