Triton Reference
(Audio Esoterica) 
(Soundstage! HiFi)
Welcome to the latest GoldenEar newsletter. This edition is all about a fun and pretty easy project that can make clear improvements to the sound of your system. We're talking about the magic of room acoustic treatments.  

One of our happy GoldenEar staff members set out to build his own room treatments and place them properly in his listening room. In spite of his lack of woodworking and upholstery skills he managed (with the help of a close friend) to build these panels with a minimum of spilled blood, just a few splinters and lots of second guessing. Believe, us, if he can do it just about anyone can.  There are lots of pictures to go along with the project too.

In this edition of Sandy's Place, he shares his experience seeing and hearing Anais Mitchell at the Rubin Museum of Art. A very unique and little known small music venue in NYC.

And make sure to check out the latest reviews (see Quick Links, on the left), the new Triton Reference is getting some incredible reviews and honors from the industry's best reviewers.

If you have any questions regarding this project (or any other GoldenEar related topic) give us a shout at . As always, we hope you'll find this stuff interesting and informative. And don't forget, we truly value your thoughts and feedback concerning these newsletters. Happy listening,
Happy listening,
The GoldenEar Team
Do It Yourself Sound Absorbent Acoustic Panels for Your Home

Two Finished Sound Absorbent Panels Mounted on the Wall
A Little Cutting Here, a Little Stapling There, and  Voilà!
In the years we've been writing these newsletters we've shared lots of recommendations and advice. Well, like they say, talk is cheap. So it occurred to us that actually doing one of our recommended projects and documenting it for you might be kind of like putting our money where our mouth is. Or putting our hands where our keyboard is. Or maybe ... never mind, you get the picture. 

Acoustic Room Treatments

So, you have carefully followed Sandy's Setup Tips and tweaked your system to the max for the best sound in your room. It sounds spectacular, but, is there more? Well, yes.... Among the most overlooked ways to enhance residential sound systems, acoustic room treatment has to be number one. Although many typical residential rooms aren't acoustically terrible, there's little question that properly placed acoustic enhancements can make notable improvements. If you were to go "whole hog" on room treatment, many experts recommend roughly 50% of the room be reflective, 25% be absorptive and 25% be diffusive. But fear not, we're not talking about anything that dramatic here.
Panels Done, Time to Determine Best Placement and Hang Them Up
Twelve Finished Panels Ready for Hanging  
Placement and Hanging
As mentioned earlier, many domestic rooms are acoustically "OK" but that doesn't mean some treatment won't improve them. For absorption panel placement the first thing you want to find are the primary reflections from the left and right front speakers (and the center channel, if it's a home theater). These direct initial reflections from the speaker drivers have the most significant impact on what you hear.

Here's an easy way to find them:
  • Using a flat mirror (the bigger the better) have a helper slowly walk the room holding the mirror flat against the wall, at seated head height.
  • Sit in the prime listening position ("the sweet spot") with your head positioned as it would be when you're listening. Watch the mirror and whenever you see one of the front two or three speakers reflected, that exact spot on the wall should be marked in some way.
  • Turn your head to look at the mirror but don't lean in any direction, just try to keep your head in the most natural listening position. Those marked spots, at seated ear height, are the prime reflection points and the ones you want to first treat.
Sandy's Place - Anais Mitchell: Perfect Sound at the Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum in NYC is something really special. Located in the old Barney's Boys Town building (I shopped there as a child), it was built and filled as a labor of love by Donald and Shelley Rubin in order to display their collection of Himalayan art for the world to see and enjoy. It was their magnanimous gift to NYC. And among their many programs is one called Naked Soul. Now what do they mean by that? Herein lies one of New York's best kept secrets. You see, the Rubin has a small concert hall/auditorium that seats about 100 lucky souls. The walls and ceilings are covered in cherry wood, and the room sounds magnificent. But best of all, for the Naked Soul concerts, the presentation is totally and completely acoustic. Now I don't mean no electric instruments. I mean no amplification, no microphones, no nothing except the pure sound of the musicians and their acoustic instruments.

Anais Mitchell at the Rubin Museum of Art

Now I can not overemphasize how special and important this is, both for the unvarnished beauty, as well being the ultimate audiophile reference. You see, how and when can you actually hear acoustic music unamplified? Certainly classical music and opera. But popular music, folk music....almost never, if ever. So when audiophiles try to compare the performance of equipment to the real thing, have they ever heard the real thing? Take jazz, for instance. I go to hear a lot of jazz in NY, and I try to sit right up front so I hear more pure sound and less PA, but the PA is always there. Perhaps the one and only time that I heard pure unamplified jazz was years ago in DC at the Smithsonian, where they had Sonny Rollins live and unamplified in a small auditorium. That was beyond memorable.

Anne and I go often to the Rubin, and have heard Al Jardine of Beach Boys fame and Janice Ian there, among others. The concerts are always great, as is the sound (although I heard someone complaining about the acoustics). And true to form, this was another great concert. For those who are unacquainted with Anais Mitchell; she is a young singer and composer in something like the folk idiom. Born in Vermont, now living in Brooklyn with her young daughter, Anais has a great voice and an enchanting personality. Early on she recorded for Ani Defranco's Riteous Babes label, but now she has one of her own. We were introduced to her last year at the Rubin by Bill Low of Audioquest fame. In that first concert she was performing mostly work from her smash hit play, Hadestown

At this concert, I believe she was playing somewhat simpler and less charged material from her album, Young Man in America. She played various guitars, and was accompanied by her friend, Josh Ritter, who played a wide variety of stringed instruments. Anne was in Baltimore, so I called my friend Michael Trei to see if he was interested in coming, which he was. For those of you not familiar with Michael, he is considered to be, perhaps, the world's best turntable set up artist. He had never been to the Rubin, never experienced its perfect sound, and in Michael's words, it was a treat, to be sure. Get one of Anais's albums if you can.  If you have GoldenEar speakers, it will sound close to what we heard that night at the Rubin ��.
All trademarks and images that appear in this newsletter are property of their respective owners. All contents copyright © GoldenEar Technology and may not be reproduced without written permission.

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube