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  • Dedicated Listening Room Colors

    Hello everyone!

    have been lurking around on the forum for quite some time and decided to poke my head out to say hello and make my inaugural post!

    So I have been in the process of building a dedicated listening room and am at the point where i need to start thinking about colors.

    I am terrible at choosing colors and looking for advice.

    So..... here's the $100.00 question. Do you prefer a dark color or a light colored space for a listening area. Secondly, I will be procuring acoustic treatments for the room as well, need to choose those colors too... Thoughts / suggestions.

    Thanks!

    Erik.


  • #2
    Medium Grey is best. It can go light or dark depending on your room lighting...Don't buy room treatments until you have analyzed your room's acoustics with appropriate software and hardware. Or have your room professionally analyzed. You can do it yourself with a little research, education and excellent free software. You just have to purchase a calibrated mic for around 100.00, download fee acoustical analysis software and educate yourself. Having fun in the process....Otherwise you are wasting your money IMHO...You can Learn from my mistakes...
    Primary 2 channel stuff: Atma-Sphere MP-1 Mk 3.3, Pass Labs X600.5 amps, Aerial SW 12 subs, True Sound Works Ultimate Apogee Divas, Dunlavy SC4s, VPI HRX Reference w Avenger mag drive and Reference footers, Gimbal Fatboy, Yamaha GT2000 for Mono, Miyajima Kansui, Miyajima ZERO, Fidelity Research MC-201 & 202, VPI ADS, Vendetta Research SCP-1, Audio Note UK- 3.1X II balanced DAC, Meridian Sooloos, Western Electric Speaker wire, mostly diy balanced interconnects, Furutech Power Cords

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Letsmakeadeal View Post
      Medium Grey is best. It can go light or dark depending on your room lighting...Don't buy room treatments until you have analyzed your room's acoustics with appropriate software and hardware. Or have your room professionally analyzed. You can do it yourself with a little research, education and excellent free software. You just have to purchase a calibrated mic for around 100.00, download fee acoustical analysis software and educate yourself. Having fun in the process....Otherwise you are wasting your money IMHO...You can Learn from my mistakes...
      Thanks for your recommendations. I was actually thinking about doing grey too! But when its time to do acoustics I was thinking about black panels since black goes with just about everything but fear it may make the room look too much like a dungeon.

      Yes, thanks for the tip on the treatments. I plan on doing some measurements with REW once the room is completed and will go from there. It has been a crazy experience seeing how the room went completely dead with the insulation in the wall frames and then how the room turned in to an echo chamber once the drywall was up.

      What Microphone do you recommend?

      Finishing up the second layer of drywall tomorrow then i can start spackling. Hoping to start painting by next weekend


      Comment


      • Letsmakeadeal
        Letsmakeadeal commented
        Editing a comment
        Mini DSP UMIK-1 from Cross Spectrum Labs is the MIC I purchased. Works great! Once upon a time I had an almost black room with 2" and 4" thick (2' x 4') black panels everywhere (not based on measurements, just intuition and what others recommended online)...New House: My new room is now painted somewhere between a med and lite grey and serves dual purpose as a primary listening room and secondarily as a home theater. Ceiling is flat eggshell white. Carpet is mixed beige, greys and browns...I love the new color...And I use only 2 of probably 14 panels I once had hanging....I was able to get great sound without all the treatments using room design as much as possible, furnishings and speaker / sub placement to get the flattest response I could achieve. My new room is double drywall with a million tubes (woops I meant a million dollars in..Just Kidding!) of green glue in between the drywall layers. Price notwithstanding, the Green Glue really worked great and is economical as far as room treatment goes...
        Last edited by Letsmakeadeal; 03-29-2018, 05:49 PM. Reason: Always fixing typos and adding clarification.

    • #4
      Welcome Eric. This should be interesting to see the responses you get. To me, what color you paint your room is a personal choice and it should be predicated on colors that you like and that makes you feel comfortable being in a room painted with those colors. Go to a paint store and bring home a bunch of paint sample cards they hand out. Narrow it down to a few choices and then buy the small sample cans of the paints you think you like and paint some swatches on your wall. It shouldn't take long for a winner to emerge.
      SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by mep View Post
        Welcome Eric. This should be interesting to see the responses you get. To me, what color you paint your room is a personal choice and it should be predicated on colors that you like and that makes you feel comfortable being in a room painted with those colors. Go to a paint store and bring home a bunch of paint sample cards they hand out. Narrow it down to a few choices and then buy the small sample cans of the paints you think you like and paint some swatches on your wall. It shouldn't take long for a winner to emerge.
        Ohh yes... the wife has the Sherwin William "Bible" its still daunting to me as i can never imagine the final product.

        I'm a big fan of how In Living Stereo (NYC) has their showrooms designed..

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        • #6
          If you married the Martha Stewart type of woman, let her pick out the color(s) unless you don't share her taste in decorating.
          SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs.

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          • #7
            How do colors effect a persons mood

            https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824

            http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psyc...ies-of-colours

            http://www.arttherapyblog.com/online...cts-of-colors/
            Chris
            ----------------------------------------------------------------
            Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

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            • vego99
              vego99 commented
              Editing a comment
              Good Stuff!

          • #8
            In my room which doubles as a home theater, the 2 side and rear walls are medium green and the front wall and ceiling are black.
            Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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            • vego99
              vego99 commented
              Editing a comment
              Very Nice!

          • #9
            If your room will be lit solely by indoor lighting, I guess medium gray is fine. But, if there are times when the room will receive natural "gray light", sunlight from behind thin clouds with possible snow cover, I think the medium gray could backfire. Just my 2ยข.
            Equipment (All Mid-Fi): Sonos Connect, Marantz CD 6005, Emotiva MC 700, NuPrime STA 6, & Emotiva Airmotiv T1 Speakers

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            • vego99
              vego99 commented
              Editing a comment
              No natural light in this room unless i keep the sealed door open

          • #10
            Ok for a listening room the colour has to be green as in the same green as the dollar bill with large black dollar signs painted on the wall at the farthest point from the equipment rack.

            The dollar signs should get smaller and smaller the nearer they get to the rack. The dollar signs should flow in a spiral tighting to a funell as they pour into the rack from both sides.

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            • vego99
              vego99 commented
              Editing a comment
              hilarious!!

          • #11
            Just attaching a video of DCS listening room at their HQ in UK in case of interest....light grey walls.

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            • #12
              Having done a lot of color and wall treatments in various houses, some of it pretty crazy, i think it is worth looking on line at some rooms for color choices, taking into account window treatment and floor covering, as well as what the furniture and system look like if you are after optimal aesthetics that please you.
              I personally don't go for cave-like rooms.
              Do you listen with room light (natural or artificial) present? Or do you prefer that the room and system be dark when you are playing music?
              What materials are the walls made of -- wood, sheetrock, wood, etc.?
              Ultimately, I think it is more of an aesthetic choice than an acoustic one, though I'm certain there are psychological aspects at play-- I use my instinct and my eye.
              FWIW, a paint swatch tells you nothing.
              As you probably know, you've got to see what it looks like applied and dry.
              I should post pictures of a room we did at one of our previous houses- it looked like the canal level floor of a Venetian palazzo-- the guys did a perfect job of plastering the walls (not plasterboard, plaster over old concrete), then took a couple months to distress, age, discolor, marbleize and generally make the thing look like an ancient ruin. People who didn't get it would sometimes come into that room, which was quite large, and go "OMG, what happened?"

              Comment


              • vego99
                vego99 commented
                Editing a comment
                Good info here... so basically i converted a section of my basement into a dedicated room. Double walled, double sheet rocked, no windows.
                I also do not like caves, yet.... I would like to have a low lit area that feels comfortable being in for late night listening session while having an area that gives brightness during day time activities with out feeling cold and sterile.... does that make sense?

              • Bill Hart
                Bill Hart commented
                Editing a comment
                Sure. So depending on where you live, you go to a good lighting supply/retail store that can show you what different lights do- indirect, direct, and take into account color temperature as well as brightness/adjustability. The cost of some of the 'smart home' stuff is exorbitant in my estimation and you are going to want some of the sound studio type gurus to weigh in here on lighting systems or controls that are quiet- presumably on a separate line from your audio system.
                As to room color and aesthetics, look at pics of stuff you like. Take those with you to shops. Most high end paint stores and lighting fixture places have in house people that can guide you without the need to hire a "decorator."
                You may also see if you can try/buy one fixture of each type you are considering and see how it works in your room.
                You can bring this in on a budget- we have, with house renovations, even using top grade stuff. And some of the retail prices can be substantially discounted if you know someone in the trade, or the shop has an interior design service that will pass along the necessary discounts.
                I like antique stuff, so sometimes, it's just a matter of finding the right supplier. We bought a bunch of antique light fixtures from a vendor for our last house. That's where I found my marine surgeons' lamp for the turntable (which is sitting idle right now).
                For that matter, you can find cool stuff at flea markets if you are wiling to have it re-wired and it isn't missing parts that are unique.
                On color palette, it really is subjective. Find a good paint store. I don't know how small a container you can get as a sample but you really want to see what the color looks like with the lighting you are going to use.
                When I did my last projection room, the area where the screen was mounted was a large recess. It was painted a dark, flat green that read black, but during the day, it didn't seem as dark when I had the blinds open. Light and color work together.
                To me, it's more art than science-- you have to be willing to experiment. I don't know what In Living Stereo looks like, but if you like that look, you can try to emulate it.
                I like built-in shelves, and countertops, not just for record storage, but for other stuff. I like books and other artifacts in the room- I have old airplane gauges and antique car parts on display, along with various books.
                I don't necessarily like over-decorated or "done" rooms- b/c they don't reflect the personality of the owner, but you should look at some magazines or some home decor stuff online. Houzz is one site that comes to mind- I don't often study it, but get an email everyday, and once in a while, my wife will call my attention to a cool room. Pinterest has all kinds of stuff people grab, unfortunately there is very little vendor info about what it is and where to get it.

            • #13
              Personally, after working with many decorators over the years, I believe you want to go with neutral colors on the walls (that is a large palette to choose from) so your artwork stands out on the walls. Also, neutral colors will be easy on the eyes over time, and as the lighting in the room changes. Personally, I don't know what the hell works together so I would rather hire a decorator or consultant to get colors that blend rather than paint and then have the feeling things don't quite match. Some people have a knack for this kind of thing. I know when it works, but can't put it together myself. Its about creating an overall gestalt.
              Benz LPS, AMG v12 turntable, Einstein Turntables' Choice phono-pre (balanced, dual mono version), dCS Rossini DAC, Roon ROCK, Audio Research Ref10 pre, Audio Research Ref75 amp, Wilson Alexia speakers. Transparent Ref MM2 & Gen5 signal, Ref MM2 speaker cables, Shunyata Zitron Sigma, AlphaNR, Python, Anaconda, Cobra power cables. Shunyata Hydra Triton v3, Stillpoints. HRS. Acoustic environment optimized by Dr. Bonnie Schnitta of SoundSense.

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              • Garth
                Garth commented
                Editing a comment
                Now thats a room with a view very nice

            • #14
              I prefer lighter neutral colored walls and using art work and rugs for color. Mostly lighter oak trim. I find wood nicely offsets metal components. Plenty of natural wood for record storage.

              Lighting is as or more important than colors, especially for a room without natural light. I prefer recessed ceiling lights with an Alzak interior finish. My room has four recessed in a sqaure pattern on the interior with the perimeter lit with recessed that can be angled to wash the walls or art. There is a recessed task light over the turntable on its own switch. Artemide and Holkoetter table lamps are at a small workspace, at the turntable and on a small table next to my listening chair. Equally important is having everything on Lutron dimmers with both wall switches and small Pico hand controls. It is pleasant to control the room's lighting from my listening chair with the Picos.

              I need to tidy up and take some updated pics; these are a bit dated, gear-wise, etc. First photo credited to John Giolas of Wison - a top notch photographer.

              Click image for larger version  Name:	TA-Room-0818.jpg Views:	1 Size:	38.4 KB ID:	83711

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              Click image for larger version  Name:	DSC00629.JPG Views:	1 Size:	2.37 MB ID:	83713

              The work of an amateur. BadBob's beautiful room with its nature aquarium backdrop shows what professional designers may achieve.

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              • vego99
                vego99 commented
                Editing a comment
                Beautiful room! I really like that!

            • #15
              Just to show you an extreme, here's an image of a photo (by Mike*) of that 'Venetian' room -- you don't really get a sense of scale, but the piano was a concert sized Bosendorfer, so the room was probably 45+ feet long, and dotted with 'french doors' along three walls. It took several months to "distress" the walls after getting them perfectly smooth with fresh plaster:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0711.jpg Views:	1 Size:	848.5 KB ID:	83741

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              • Garth
                Garth commented
                Editing a comment
                Any problems with a piano picking up vibrations in the sound board cool room but not my thing several months to make it look like that I have 3 cats that could have done it in a hour.

              • Letsmakeadeal
                Letsmakeadeal commented
                Editing a comment
                Looks like a scene from Phantom of the Opera...Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess...

              • Bill Hart
                Bill Hart commented
                Editing a comment
                Wasn't a listening room. Yes, gothic creepy. I dug it. Fun house.
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