A blank slate--help me redesign my audio space!

Discussion in 'Listening Spaces' started by jellyfish, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. jellyfish

    jellyfish AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    I'm asking the wise folks here at AK for advice on what they would do if they could design it from scratch. Essentially, I have just purchased an apartment, and we are pulling out all the built-in stuff, and rebuilding the interior. I want to know...what worked for you, what is a must, what is a waste, etc. Here's the stuff to think about:
    --It's an open plan kitchen/dining/living area, with separate Japanese room/study room. Master + 2 kids BRs. 2 Bath. 2 tiny balconies. My wife isn't really into too much gear, so I am thinking about some in-wall/celiing speakers. About 1300 SF. Concrete building. Neighbors in each direction.
    --We don't watch much TV, so my small Marantz home theatre system is enough. I'm a fan of 1970s Sansui and Pioneer, so would like to place a few units around. Plan on using some Bluetooth/NFC receivers to hook up the ipads, etc.
    --I'm thinking of running a Sansui 661 or similar in the study room. It's a tidy unit and will fit nicely on a bookshelf.
    --I'd like to add another Sansui or Pioneer in the dining, with in-ceiling speakers in the kitchen, and either in-ceiling or in-wall units in the dining area. (I don't have a brand picked out yet). I'm not too worried about the sound quality in the kitchen, but a little concerned about the directionality of in-ceiling speakers in the dining room.

    So, what did you do that worked out fantastically? Or what would you do wish you would have done? Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts and time!
     
  2. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    West coast
    if I had to do something I would dedicate one wall to bookshelves and have a 6x8 section in the middle to hold the hifi and maybe big screen TV.
    this section hold all the electronics and pull out speakers (probably on solid foundations with wheels under it with speaker cables for bi-amping
    and storage).

    then the coup d'tat is a 2 section (6x4) matching color panel that is hinged and moves along the front ((we call them barn doors here)
    that pulls left/right to open this middle section for viewing TV or listening to music. that way, it covers the wife-unacceptable-stuff but
    highlights the good stuff.

    BTW I have a large area for my stuff so WAF is not an issue. and congrats on such a large space.
     
  3. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    First thing I'd do is check the sound deadening on common walls you share with the neighbors. Be a real shame to put a lot of work in and find out you can't turn it up past 2 ...

    With a full on gutting in mind, I'd check your options for insulation in the existing walls, and even consider floating another wall in front of those if it looks like there's gonna be a problem. Also a good idea to make sure your final layout doesn't put subs and bass ports firing right at em.
     
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  4. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    West coast
    it's a concrete building, probably rebar re-inforced for all those flag 5 typhoon. probably test with a small system
    and ask the neighbors left/right and up/down. My guess is that there's a built-in 50db attenuation and any sound
    bleed through is through the windows, balconies, and front/back doors.

    great news is you don't worry about 10,000 lps against a wall and over 4x6 joists.
     
  5. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
    13,713
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    IME none of the in wall speakers I've ever heard were IMO worth investing in.
     
  6. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,763
    Location:
    Espanola NM
    Open floor plan good, in-wall speakers bad...

    :smoke:
     
  7. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Concrete wall sounds sturdy, and any concrete wall will typically have somewhat lower sound transmission than equal thickness balloon construction, but ... the extra weight and mass also tends to make a killer sink for deep bass. That's where surface treatment (heavy drapes or a floating wall) can make a big difference in minimizing annoying resonance. Give it a try as is, and keep that in mind if you have problems.

    Obviously you've never heard my Gekko's ...

    [​IMG]

    The flat panel radiators create an amazingly stage, and surprisingly good frequency range and power for their size. Then again, those are surface mount, so forget I mentioned them. <G>

    Oh ... any decent in wall speaker will also have an optional baffle box that fits behind them to isolate them from the wall cavity. Don't expect much bass, but that's more of a sub kinda thing any more. In your case, a distributed sub system might be the way to go to solve a whole lotta common wall problems anyway.
     
  8. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

    Messages:
    13,713
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    As a panel user all I can say about any of the in wall speakers I've heard, is they sound like extremely mediocre boxes at best. The brand is irrelevant. Underwhelming is the term.
     
  9. jellyfish

    jellyfish AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    Thanks for all your ideas! I'm still thinking about ceiling speakers in the kitchen, as don't really need tremendous sound quality. I think the sound deadening may be useful advice, and I'm trying to figure if any of these bluetooth in-wall receivers are worth the time...
     
  10. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,817
    Location:
    Rockford, Illinois
    I've never had in-wall speakers. Can't help but think they would be more likely to bother the upstairs neighbor. Sitting in a hole in your ceiling, they defeat the sound deadening the inside wall surface would give. No acoustic engineer here.
     
  11. El Pee

    El Pee AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,734
    Location:
    In the groove
    I have in-wall speakers in my kitchen and they sound fine... especially in a kitchen where I am doing other things.
    My beef with in-wall or in-ceiling speakers for the OPs apartments is that they can't easily be moved to accommodate new furniture or other changes.
     
  12. jellyfish

    jellyfish AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    These are concrete floors, so there isn't much sound passing to the upstairs neighbors, I think. And since I'm just putting them in the kitchen, there isn't any furntiure to move about. That part doesn't worry me too much.
     

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