After writing The Audiophile’s Guide I get lots of questions from folks who aren’t getting all the sonic qualities they hoped for.
They followed closely the steps in the Guide and while everyone that has followed those steps has gotten much better sound, it isn’t always as much as some might have hoped for.
Of course, no guidebook can fix all the ills in a complex system any more than a road map can only tell you where and in which direction you should turn.
A consistent problem I am uncovering in the many room and setup photos sent to me is over damping.
Seems audiophiles cannot leave room walls alone. And who can blame them? Every reasonable picture of a great system sports acoustic panels on the wall.
One consistent piece of advice I can offer folks is to start simple and clean.
Over time and getting the basics right, it makes sense to slowly add back in the absorption or diffusion panels so often adorning listening room walls.
Too much room treatment sucks the life out of music often causing the sound to come directly from the speakers rather than disembodied as we hope for.
Start simple, work your way up—listening to the results at every step—as if you were seasoning a meal.