• Listening Room Remodel & A Little "Rage"

    Fifteen months after moving into a new house it's finally time to remodel my listening room. I've lived with the unfinished pine walls and hideous carpet long enough. I'm sure the previous owner loved the look, but it's not cutting it for me. I'd been researching options to make my listening room more aesthetically pleasing and acoustically acceptable. The first stage of the remodel will be mostly aesthetics with more acoustic considerations coming later this year. Needless to say I was gung-ho about getting the project underway. First the carpet was ripped up and the wood trim torn off the bottom of the walls. A little over one week into the project my listening room is in shambles, I'm listening to headphones only, but at least I'm discovering some great music while the room is out of commission.


     

     

    Now that the carpet is gone it's time to get to work. I'd rather paint the walls with no carpet on the floor then lay drop-cloths and risk spilling paint on new carpet. The new carpet is sitting in the garage waiting patiently while the rest of the room is remodeled. A lot of painting is being done right now. The walls, the trim, the window sills etc... I tried to order a door for my listening room only to find out it's a nonstandard size and none of the typical places will install such a door. Fortunately I stumbled into a little shop in Minneapolis called Left of Center Style. Designer Gerri Summerville is working with me to create a door that diffuses the sound similar to an RPG Skyline while at the same time looks much better than the styrofoam Skyline pieces. I'll publish photos as soon as I have them. As you can probably guess, most of my time lately has been spent working on this room and working on the CA forums. It's kind of hard to review audio components without amps and speakers in place.


    While this remodeling is taking place my speakers and amps are collecting dust in another room. This is driving me crazy since I have the dCS Paganini DAC and Puccini U-Clock and an Ayre DAC sitting here on the sidelines waiting to be reviewed! Over the weekend I couldn't wait any longer to hear the dCS components so I moved them into my music server closet and connected my PS Audio GCHA headphone amp to the Paganini's analog output. This at least gave me a tiny peak into the dCS components and gave me a chance to get dual wire and external clocking working on my Mac Pro with Lynx AES16e card. If there's ever been a strong incentive to get a remodeling project completed it's the dCS components. I can't get them into my main system soon enough.

    As the title of this post suggests A Little "Rage" is in order. By "Rage" I am eluding to Rage Against The Machine. One of the most talented and unique bands around. Rage members Tom Morello and Zack De La Rocha have each released separate albums with side projects recently. Tom Morello and Boots Riley have created a new band called Street Sweeper Social Club and released a self titled album this past June. I absolutely love this album and can't stop playing it via headphones and in my car as my main system is sitting on the bench during the remodel. The album sounds a bit like Rage Against The Machine with smoother, softer lyrics that are a bit less political than a typical Rage album. I highly recommend picking this one up at your local record shop.

    Zack De La Rocha and Jon Theodore have collaborated on a project called One Day As Lion. This album is classic Zack and has the feeling of a Rage album from the opening note. Reading the the One Day As Lion" website it's pretty clear Zack is still full of piss and vinegar. The site says, "... it's a sonic reflection of the visceral tension between a picturesque fabricated cultural landscape and the brutal socioeconomic realities it attempts to mask." Readers familiar with Rage records will have a real good idea what they are getting with this album. So far I like the album, but I haven't been in the mood to think that heavily about its lyrical content. It's a bit heavy for my taste at the moment, but I will no doubt get into the album in due time. The album is a short five tracks, but should be available at a local shop for less than ten bucks.

    Other albums I've purchased in the last week since my system has been unavailable include all the Kings of Leon albums, Adele, and The Dead Weather. All are very good. If you like Jack White's style I suggest picking up The Dead Weather. It's his latest project and was recently featured on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

    Enough writing for now. It's back to work on my listening room. Here are some photos of the room's current condition.


     

     

    Computer Audiophile Listening Room Remodel
    Computer Audiophile Listening Room Remodel
    click to enlarge


     



     

    Computer Audiophile Music Server Closet
    Computer Audiophile Music Server Closet
    click to enlarge


     

     
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      A viewq inside Castle "Computer Audiophile" we're privileged ...<br />
      <br />
      I've actually always been curious what (apart from the Berkerley Alpha) your reference system consists of Chris - what speakers, amplifiers, etc?<br />
      <br />
      Eloise
    1. Andrew S.'s Avatar
      Andrew S. -
      Good for you Chris. I reckon having a nice environment is 3/4 of the psycho acoustic battle won.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks Bachrocks - nice summation of what we all should think about. <br />
      <br />
      Re: dcs - I have the privilege of regularly listening to a full dcs Elgar stack in a system very close to mine (Quads ESL + Valves). It is remarkable. I will be very interested to hear how the Weiss/Alpha Dac compare. The one thing about dcs - you need a very transparent system to hear what they can do. 9/10 times your gear runs out of puff before they do.<br />
      <br />
      Happy renovating
    1. Elprior's Avatar
      Elprior -
      Hi Chris,<br />
      <br />
      I was wondering why you were "less" productive these days (btw, how much of your time are you spending on CA ? I'm much impressed (and grateful)).<br />
      <br />
      Anyway, nice project of yours. I'm too moving and reworking all things. Unfortunately to a smaller place, with no dedicated room for the system. Having reworked the electrics entirely, I managed to create a dedicated shielded (to the earth) line. Not tested yet, but highly recommended <br />
      <br />
      As soon as I can get my system back, I'll give your records list a try.<br />
      <br />
      Good luck !<br />
      Elp<br />
      <br />
      Bachrochs : lol, I'm on my way with the tapestry...<br />
      <br />
      ps : Can't wait to read from you about the dCS stuff. Previous versions were definitely topnotch. Go go go
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      So how's it going Chris - any closer to getting your redesigned listening room?<br />
      <br />
      Eloise
    1. sammys's Avatar
      sammys -
      Good luck with your remodeling project! You'll need to come up with a good plan specially if you have specific features to include to your listening room. You could check for <a rel="follow" href="http://www.rochesterremodeling.biz">Rochester remodeling</a> for an additional advise, they have excellent customer service. <br />
    1. allenjoe's Avatar
      allenjoe -
      Furnishings must be in proportion to the space they occupy and to the needs and lifestyles of the residents. The design of such nonresidential spaces as offices, hospitals, stores, and schools places clear organization of functions ahead of purely aesthetic concerns.<br />
      <a href="http://www.myspace.com/donnayhomes">Donnay Homes</a>
    1. bryanfurry's Avatar
      bryanfurry -
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