So... spent the day packing up the HT system and reassembling the pieces in the new house to see how the room sounded and what kind of room treatments I would need immediately.
Step 1 was hooking up the M60s, receiver and DVD player then popping in a CD (Diana Krall, Live in Paris). That wasn't too useful because the VFD (front panel display) recently died on the receiver and the speakers were set to Small. After a few more grunts and curses I had the sub running and could do some serious listening.
The room is definitely too reflective and imaging was almost nonexistent, so first step will be adding a heavy rug in front of the speakers and doing something about the first reflection points, but overall I was VERY happy with the outcome. My big concern had been getting a boomy sound as a result of the 45 degree roof/ceiling behaving like a square room and emphasizing one frequency, but fortunately the room is sufficiently large that the primary room mode is just over 20 Hz. Boom away, I don't care
I had forgotten how different (and how good) a system can sound in a large room. The bass seemed very smooth and even compared to the smaller basement room where the system had been until this morning. Walking around the house showed that glorious "loft" or "church" acoustic behaviour, where the sound is slightly different everywhere you go but remains almost as clear on the floor below the loft as in the "sweet spot".
Next step was hooking up the DVD player, setting the center and surrounds to "None", popping in Finding Nemo and flipping to the Darla Tap scene.
I was always a bit disappointed with the Darla Tap scene in my old room, even after re-arranging the sub and listening position to greatly improve the bass. Here it was different -- the floor shook and the illusion of a giant banging on the wall was very real. Totally different experience.
The sub was running a few dB hot because I had wiped the receiver settings to try and fix the VFD problem (sub went from -5dB to 0dB) but I had run the sub hot before without hearing anything like this.
Next step was to pop in the War Of The Worlds DVD I had given my brother in law then promptly borrowed back
When the ground started splitting open (in the movie) my primary concern was that the loft might collapse, dumping me and the speakers into the kitchen below. The sub reached its limits at least once during the loudest parts, no doubt because it was set a few dB too hot. I will adjust the level down before playing any more DVDs.
Having a "live" floor makes a big difference in the "subwoofing experience". My old HT room was cheap parquet directly over concrete (and yes it was ruined every time moisture came in) while the new house has 2x6 pine over a timber frame.
Can anyone comment re: how much flexibility you need in the floor to get this effect ? I want to make sure my brother-in-law gets the right info before finishing his room. I'm wondering if those little plastic "bubble board" underlays will be enough to give a "live floor" or whether we need something like the 2x6 standoffs that someone here (Craigsub ?) used. I'm sure the floor wasn't the only difference (this room is much bigger) but I was sure surprised how much bass I felt through the floor.
Here are a few pics. First a straight shot of the starter system. The M60s are probably too far apart; this was my attempt to put them 8 feet apart but probably more like 12 feet. The sub is an SVS 20-39 PC Plus.
This pic shows the loft area a bit better. This is from the opposite corner of the loft :
... and here's a pic of the front now that the light fixtures are finally in and working