A DAY IN THE LIFE: SPEAKERS & ROOM DYNAMICS
Jun 16, 2016
Steve reveals how your room will alter the performance of your system.
A day in the Life of……..
Spending time testing and evaluating new products is one of the most essential, yet enjoyable parts of our job.
For example, it is always interesting to find out how a new pair of speakers reacts with a known amplifier, or how a cable can alter the in room response of a system.
We have to rely on our years of experience to get things right. One of the biggest, if not the biggest single factor with any audio system is the room the system is played in.
Every room will have its own characteristics, good or bad. We recently made some structural changes to our demonstration room floor. The net result is a tighter, cleaner bass response in the room. (Acoustics & The Challenges)
It is not always practical for our customers to have their loudspeakers positioned where they should go. This is a real world issue we encounter on a daily basis. In these cases we would normally have to compromise. But do we have to compromise? What if the floor cannot be fixed? What if the loudspeakers cannot be correctly located for domestic reasons? In the past, we have had to resort to adding or subtracting soft furnishings, bass traps and objects to break up standing waves and tune the room. Again this is not always practical.
About 5 years ago, we were introduced to a company called Dirac. The company was founded by researchers from the Signals & Systems Group of Uppsala University, Sweden. Put simply, Dirac is a system for correcting in room response from a loudspeaker, in real time. The principle is simple, the practical application, far from simple. In fact, it requires one of the most powerful super computers in Sweden to perform all the necessary calculations.
Until now, Dirac has been the preserve of the Ultra-High End AV processors (due to the massive processor resources required to run Dirac). It also required specialists with very expensive test equipment to set up and calibrate these systems.
Step in Arcam.
Arcam have been working very hard to make sure we no longer have to accept second best. The new range of AV Receivers, AVR550, AVR850 and the brilliant SR250 Stereo Receiver are set to move the goal posts. We have at last got Dirac Live, the full frequency version, with a software package enabling an end user to set up and calibrate their own system!
To show a visual representation of what we can achieve, here are the results from our demonstration room:
Measurement 1 shows the un-corrected in room response from our chosen system.
Measurement 2 shows the Dirac corrected in room response from our chosen system.
The frequency slope drops from 0db down to -3db on the horizontal axis. This is known as the Thiele & Small slope, universally accepted as the most comfortable and acceptable ‘average’ to the human ear. It took 25+ years of practical research to establish this result. If you don’t agree (What Hi-Fi), the curve can be adjusted to mirror specific loudspeakers, or just for your own personal preference. It is a very advanced graphic equaliser, working in the digital domain, in real time, taking into account frequency, phase and impulse response.
SR250 is an incredibly powerful tool. In the real world, it will allow us to achieve better results in more locations from a single box solution. It is a product that ticks all the boxes and sonically punches well above its weight.
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