Room dimensions

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Music Room One is 15 feet across and 24 feet deep with tall, 12 foot ceilings. It's not a giant room but it's probably about the same size as the average open listening spaces in many homes, and larger than most who are lucky enough to have a dedicated room. In my home, for example, the open area is much larger, encompassing the kitchen, dining room, living room and entryway, though obviously it is dedicated to things other than just listening. The YouTube video of Music Room One has had 303,000 people watching it and the comments I get back are a hoot. Extraordinary, actually. Everything from swearing to accolades, anger to joy, envy to disgust, amazement to boredom. The comments are soooo off the charts I look forward to reading them daily. The two most common comments are complaining about the hiss on the video (who would expect YouTube to have audio critics?), and the size of the room. Yup. The size of the room as in "it's too damned small." I used to take the time to try and explain to viewers something about room dimensions and speaker sizes, but I gave up. With more than a quarter of a million people watching the video it's an impossible task. And you know what? Most of them think the room's too small not because of what you and I might judge it by, bass response at those very low frequencies, but the height and size of the main loudspeakers relative to the room. The sheer mass of the tall structures that visually overtake the room and dwarf me standing next to them. This idea that the bigger the box the more room is required to sustain it is up there with the common misconception that the bigger the speaker box the more amplifier power needed to drive it. Big speakers must need lots of power. But, of course, that's not necessarily true. In fact, it's often the opposite. I find it fascinating how these ideas spread and become near gospel.
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Paul McGowan

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