Sound walls

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One correction to yesterday's post before we get rolling. I recommended Bridge owners use MConnect Player ($6) when in fact you want instead the free version called MConnect Control. Sorry about that. MConnect Control for Apple. MConnect Control for Android. In the app go to Browser/Tidal/Setup menu (three slashes at the top of the screen), then Settings/HiFi Master.
On a recent visit to Norway, we spent time at the spectacular Oslo Opera House, designed by Snøhetta. You've likely seen pictures of this white marble structure seemingly rising out of the ocean. Here's a shot of it. Inside is even more fascinating but perhaps only to a nerd like me. As we walked around the lobby I immediately noticed the sound quality of the room. I do that. A lot. In fact, it's the first thing I notice when entering any room. Listen to the room itself. Here's a picture of what I saw in this massive horseshoe-shaped lobby. Note the wooden slats along the walls. These structures are a combination diffuser and absorber and are very effective. The reflective parts are obvious: the wood. The absorptive materials are not as obvious: perforated metal with sound deadening material behind. I wish I had a similar structure in my listening room. The wood reflects sound, while the perforated metal structure does an amazing job of absorption. Here's a closeup. Sorry about the photo quality. Instead of a cavernous echo, visitors are treated to wonderfully controlled sound quality. Few (if any) of those wandering the halls (but me) noticed the work of some unnamed sound engineer, but thank you. It's wonderful when people care about sound.
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Paul McGowan

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