Some of us don’t have a dedicated listening room with worlds of empty space and we have to make do with what we call a living room – a room with conventional furniture arrangements that don’t ostentatiously worship the almighty audio shrine. In such rooms “less is more” when it comes to audio equipment racks and arrangement of gear. Keeping racks low, neat and tidy and having loudspeakers “in the background” helps keep the living room looking like a living room. In my case space dictates that the amps be stacked above the source gear and that furniture be close to and even in front of the loudspeakers. If I add a turntable it would go on a matching stand to the right of the amps. The furniture does not block the tweeters and mid-range drivers, and the bass woofers don’t seem to care. From the listening position the furniture audibly disappears. Despite the furniture, sound-staging is holographic and excellent. Because there is not much distance between the loudspeakers and the back wall, I put acoustical panels behind the speakers to minimize rear wall reflections. Fortunately my ceiling has multiple slopes and the walls are angled and irregular, so I have no problems with room reflections and bass nodes. The floor is hardwood with a large area rug between the speakers and listening position. Decorative clutter on the glass coffee table helps minimize sound reflections off that surface.
My main system consists of PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player, DirectStream DAC, BHK Signature Preamp, Pass Labs xa100.5 monoblocks, and Von Schweikert loudspeakers (cabinets circa 1998) recently completely rebuilt and custom tuned by Albert Von Schweikert to meet VS’s current high end technology and performance standards. In another part of the living room I have a digital pipe organ with its own amplification and loudspeaker system, but that’s another story. That organ system interfaces with the main system via an I2S data stream to the PS Audio DAC. In all, over 40 speaker drivers and over a dozen sound channels can be in play simultaneously – all in my living room!