Well, well, who would have believed it, a little trip into the DSP settings (oh no not me I’m a bit perfect sort of guy!) and musical nirvana is achieved!
For around 5 years or so (since updating tweeters in my previous speakers and then building my own with Mark Audio’s full range drivers) I have noticed a particular annoying trait of my room. The speakers are placed either side of the telly along the long edge of the room, which makes for quite a wide gap between them compared to my listening position on the sofa facing them. Its ok - not dramatic but can give very pronounced separation left to right. Now fortunately the MA drivers have wide dispersion, but they also have a lot of energy in the treble area where female voices often sit. To compound this the left hand speaker fires past me and directly into the open plan kitchen area, whereas the right hand speaker hits the wall about 3’ behind the sofa.
Now my problem has been that this results in a nice lot of reflections (presumably) bouncing back and forth from the RH speaker and much delayed set of reflections (if any to my listening position) from the LH speaker - at least that has been my reasoning when battling with recordings in which for some reason the producer has decided to place all the vocals over the the right and not much of anything over to the left!
Well last night at just before midnight I’d had enough! I just wasn’t enjoying this album by Liz Green, who seemed to place absolutely everything in the RH channel and leave the left to mere ambience! So - I decided to check whether I only noticed this so much because occasionally my left ear became a bit blocked up with cold or whatever, or whether it was in fact the room. As my Mojo has two minijack outputs I left one attached to the hi-fi and the other I plugged in my headphones for simultaneous comparison (why I hadn’t done this before who knows!) And no, my hearing was fine, in my headphones Liz was firmly in the middle, so wishing heartily for a balance control knob on my amp I sat back down - then remembered Roon has some crazy DSP stuff somewhere. I don’t suppose there could be a balance control in there I wondered to myself?
After finding many esoteric DSP settings I eventually clicked the ‘Add Filter’ and low an behold up popped ‘Speaker Set-up’ - yay! Around an hour later I had discovered my RH speaker was indeed 7cm closer to my right ear than my LH speaker was to my left (who knew!) so I dialled in the respected distances in the fields provided and… wow! Liz’s voice changed considerably. Checking the filter off and then on again her voice clearly lost a sort of fullness that had been surrounding it, it seemed clearer and did indeed seem to hover just a little way off the RH speaker now (I was choosing a particularly RH focussed track here).
Lacking a dB meter or appropriate test track I next found a nice clear mono recording and using my ears as measuring devises the image was indeed a little bit better placed but still slightly RH focussed. Dialling in 2dB uplift on the LH speaker and Nirvana was reached! Amazing I now had, a cleaner clearer voice presentation, presumably due to now both images arriving at my ears together instead of 20ms apart (who would have imagined you could even hear that!) and no more laying across the sofa to try and hear the LH speaker!
Just thought I would share… and it does beg the question why do we not perform even this sort of basic room correction as a matter of course - I’m a convert!
Now I’m seeking further DSP goodness and I notice Magnus has posted something about room correction that could keep me occupied for hours just below!!