You are not logged in. [Log In]


Forums » General Discussion » Advice from Axiom Owners » Hardwood floor

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#294799 - 03/02/10 09:53 PM Hardwood floor
bdpf Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hi,

I would like some advice from people that have hardwood floor in their listening area.

I've had my M80s for about 2 months now and really got used to their sound. My living room is 20ft x 11 ft with 2 bay windows. The speakers are about 7ft from each other slightly angled towards the listening position, about 7ft from the main listening position and 7" from the wall. As for furniture, I only have the couches and entertainment center, nothing on the walls and blinds on the windows. Up to 2 weeks ago I had carpet and I was extremely pleased with the way the M80s sounded.

2 weeks ago I putted hardwood in the living room (maple if it makes any difference) and that's when the problem started. I knew that once I would put the hardwood, that the acoustic of the room would change but I didn't expect that much. In short, the M80s which sounded amazing to me before, now sound awefull. All the highs and mids now sound mixed together, nothing seems clear and distinct, the bass resonates throughout the whole room and is boomy. Basically, from what I read and from what I hear, I have the worst acoustical room that I could possibly have. I don't have a rug yet but I tried to put some bed sheets on the floor in front of the speakers, it helped a little bit but nothing amazing, the bass only starts sounding half decent when I throw pillows in front of the speakers. I reran Audyssey but it didn't help much. The only decent result that I got was once I started covering pretty much the whole floor with bed sheets and pillows.

I know that I will have to put a rug. Will the high pile rugs be more efficient than the low pile ones? Does it have to extended beyond the width of the speakers, meaning at least 8ft or it doesn't make a difference and 6ft is OK? Does it make a difference having also 2 small rugs underneath the speakers? The speakers are on their rubber feet, I heard that some people had good results putting them on spikes with metal plates underneath, would that help? I have blinds but would maybe consider adding curtains if it REALLY helps, would it?

Basically, I am looking from any input and advice from people that were in the same situation and what did they do to help getting back the sound of these great speakers. For the first 2 months, I was listening to music constantly when back from work. Now, I am so disappointed that I barely turn on my system anymore. Please help!!! I spent all this money on the hardwood and would feel bad covering it all now Will I ever be able to get the sound at least close to when I had carpet or should I just accept the fact that that will never happen?

Bruno
_________________________
Bruno
M80s/VP180/QS8s/EP600/AVR-890
------------------------------------
"The problem is choice..."

Top
#294803 - 03/02/10 10:17 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: bdpf]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6887
Loc: It's all about the location.
Welcome back Bruno! What you are getting is a lot of reflected sounds off of your hardwood floor. I too, have a very similar sized room to yours, about 19 x 13 with double garden doors and 3/4" hardwood flooring....I don't think the species really makes any difference but it's African Walnut for the record, lol. So anyway, I've got an 8 x 11 thick pile wool rug in the centre of the room which helps considerably with those first reflections, although I put it there with the original intention of protecting the hardwood in the main traffic area. You don't need to completely cover your hardwood, but I would put either a 7 x 9 or perhaps an 8 x 11 in the middle of the room...it still shows plenty of hardwood around the outside and personally I think it looks much nicer than just all hardwood, but that's up to you. Curtains will most definately help too, I have a combination of aluminum blinds framed with curtains. Something else you might consider to reduce reflective sounds is "hanging" a decorative rug as well.

A rug on the floor is where I'd start though, I would probably try for a rug width similar to the spread on your towers(7 or 8 ft). I believe some people have been successful raising the speakers up a few inches as well but I've not tried this myself.

Also, I'm using the rubber feet...I wouldn't even consider using the spikes unless they are not in direct contact with the hardwood.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

Top
#294827 - 03/02/10 11:42 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: Adrian]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
If you have a wall mirror, you can place it on the floor. Look from your seating position into the mirror and see if you can see the speakers in the reflection. Move the mirror around. Once you've moved it far enough that you can't see the speaker anymore, that's smallest you want to rug to be.

You can use the same technique on walls to find the first reflection point for treatments.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

Top
#294850 - 03/03/10 07:48 AM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: ClubNeon]
Argon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1443
Loc: Oak Ridge, NC
Make sure your curtains are thick or have a backing to them - you don't want them to be acoustically transparent. I also hung quilts on my walls.
_________________________
"A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" Churchill

Top
#294854 - 03/03/10 08:36 AM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: Argon]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
I intend to remove the carpeting in my living room sometime soon and expose the hardwood floor there. I also intend to put a large area rug in the middle of the floor. I'm glad to hear the the rug will solve most of the acoustical problems.

Top
#294930 - 03/03/10 05:05 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: bdpf]
alan Offline

connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3265
Loc: Toronto/New York/parry Sound
Hello Bruno,

Good advice already on adding the rug. You should consider adding a couple of bookcases (with books in them), perhaps on the side and/or rear walls to break up but not totally absorb reflections.

You want to achieve a mix of both absorbant and reflective surfaces.

Regards,
Alan
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)

Top
#294933 - 03/03/10 05:33 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: alan]
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
 Originally Posted By: alan
Hello Bruno,

Good advice already on adding the rug. You should consider adding a couple of bookcases (with books in them), perhaps on the side and/or rear walls to break up but not totally absorb reflections.

You want to achieve a mix of both absorbant and reflective surfaces.


Even better advice Alan! You seem to know a lot about sound or something...

The books and bookcase idea is a well known recording studio trick. Placed behind the mixing position, it really helps break up standing waves. I just worked on a project at a studio here in Atlanta that used books on bookshelves in lieu of acoustic treatments (except for bass traps on the ceiling) to great effect. Big tomes of varying sizes work the best.

The hardwood floor problem is one of the reasons I still have carpet in my living room. My 20 foot high angled ceilings with hardwoods would bounce the sound around like crazy. As much as I love hardwood floors as an aesthetic, dust friendly option, good sound comes first!

I just made sure to get really expensive and nice carpet. And like our brothers and sisters of the east, NO. SHOES. INSIDE. EVER.

And not having kids/pets help too... \:\)
_________________________
"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa


Top
#294938 - 03/03/10 05:57 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: audiosavant]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
We did the opposite, went from very reflective tiling in the former TV room to carpet whenever we built our new TV room and it is the only room in the house with carpet ... by design. What a difference.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

Top
#294958 - 03/03/10 09:59 PM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: RickF]
bdpf Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Thank you all.

Adrian, as usual, great advice, thanks. I guess I'll start with the rug. 8x11ft might be to much in my room due to the position of the couches and the entertainment unit (they only about 5ft from each other) so I guess I'll put an 5x8ft. I really hope that the thick pile will help because when I tried with bed sheets it helped a little bit but not as much as I would like. Maybe later I'll try the curtains and the rug on the wall as well.

Chris, nice trick with the mirror. For the reflection on the floor, I guess you just put it in front of the speaker and then start moving it away towards the wall, but how do you proceed for the wall, should I put it behind the main couch? And where do I position myself.

It's just too bad that I had a couple of months to get used to the sound with carpet. If I would have had hardwood from the beginning I guess it wouldn't have bothered me that much since I wouldn't have known any better. I wish now that I would have kept my money and finished buying my HT setup instead of the floor. I guess you live and learn... One thing is for sure is that it's the last time that I'll have a hard surface in my main listening area, from now on, carpet all the way!
_________________________
Bruno
M80s/VP180/QS8s/EP600/AVR-890
------------------------------------
"The problem is choice..."

Top
#294963 - 03/04/10 12:32 AM Re: Hardwood floor [Re: bdpf]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: bdpf
Chris, nice trick with the mirror. For the reflection on the floor, I guess you just put it in front of the speaker and then start moving it away towards the wall, but how do you proceed for the wall, should I put it behind the main couch? And where do I position myself.

On either the floor or wall, the reflection point will be between you and the speaker. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection and all that.

You position yourself where you'd be sitting when listening to the speakers. You can turn your head side to side to look for the speaker's reflection. If you're trying to treat multiple locations move about in the seats. It helps if you can stay in the seat while someone else moves the mirror.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

Top

Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 
Forum Stats

15,252 Registered Members
15 Forums
24,037 Topics
424,532 Posts

Most users ever online:
883 @ 03/04/17 05:06 PM

Top Posters
Ken.C 18044
pmbuko 16437
SirQuack 13572
CV 11677
MarkSJohnson 11443
0 registered ()
179 Guests and
3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newsletter Signup