Press play above for "Mono" from Courtney Love's 2004 America's Sweetheart, "Straight On" and "Mistral Wind" from Heart's 1978 Dog and Butterfly

Press play above for the Eagles in concert in 1994 performing "The Last Resort"

Music Room

A no-compromise room dedicated to music...

In 1988 I undertook a big construction project, converting half of my 4 car garage into a music room. My music room was published in Stereo Review magazine in June, 1989. To read the article full size, just click on the scan below.

Since then, the room has been adapted as both my studio for practicing music and as my office. The equipment has evolved as well. The basic speaker complement is now a biamped pair of Polk SDA-SRS's, a custom pair of VMPS Larger Sub-woofers and a pair of NHT 1.3a's on stands to round out the Polk's weak midrange.

How it's built....

A lot of planning and research went into the design of the room. This is the room that music built. My approach to designing the room was to do my own research through the audio press, the manufacturers of my speakers and audio insulation manufacturers (no internet back then). The following is a scan of the basic structure plan.

The idea of a live-end, dead-end music room is to absorb all but the direct sound from the speakers in front of the listener and let the sound behind the listener bounce like wild to give a feeling of increased depth. This works because the brain interprets position based on sounds coming from in front of the ears. Sounds which come from behind the ears are not accurately positioned, so the more irregular they are, the better the depth effect.

To absorb the sound in front of the listening position, I used exposed beams in the new walls and ceiling to create a 3.5" sealed air gap. On top of the air gap, I applied 2.5" of Manville 1000 Spinglass high density fiberglass insulation. Over the Spinglass, I used 1" thick Armstrong 3104 high density fiberglass ceiling panels. With these facing panels there is a lot of variation possible for price, durability and appearance without affecting the sound.

The combined effect of these materials is a 3.5" layer of high density fiberglass over a sealed 3.5" air gap. This gives good sound absorption well below 100Hz, thus blocking reflections which would give incorrect position information to the listener. Lower frequencies tend to be less directional, so deeper fiberglass layers and air gaps have diminishing benefits.

Ideally the room should have a depth 1.5 times the width. I couldn't quite do that. Tilting the walls slightly helps prevent standing acoustic waves from doubling on themselves. The recessed equipment cabinet keeps the equipment behind the stereo image.

This site includes hours of streaming music at mid quality and about 90 minutes of concert streaming video. If you would like to hear all of the music or see all the video from this site in one place, press the button above to launch the virtual music room in a separate window. As an alternative, many pages have their own content-specific music and video which you can play as you navigate. Note: If you run anti "pop-up" software that prevents opening a separate window, click here to navigate directly to the virtual music room. The music will require a connection of at least 48.8K baud and the video will require at least 100K baud. You'll need Windows Media Player - the latest version of which seems to be more forgiving of slow connections. You can download it for free from Microsoft at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp.

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Mackey Group, Inc. 2002 - 2010