"Thank you for your help in transforming my listening room into a magical space.
I am fortunate enough to have had a dedicated room constructed for Hi-Fi in my home.
I initially contracted Jocavi for some room help and was supplied with some "computer designed acoustic treatment." This was mostly highly absorptive materials that hung on the walls and from the ceiling, like I have seen in recording booths and "typical" audio rooms.
I have been a long-time fan of the MBL Radialstrahler loudspeaker and their accompanying electronics, and have owned several models.
One of the many strengths of the MBL system is its "lifelike" quality, that it can create believable sonic images that sound "live" in the room with me. I have heard this sensation described as like being at a play, where other systems are more like going to the movies.
But the sound in my room after the installation of the Jocavi designs left me wanting. The room was dead; not just dead for music playback, but also dead when speaking or just "being" in the room without music playing. It made you uncomfortable.
I knew I needed to find a professional who understood the bigger picture. I had a representative from MBL visit and was told that the reverberation and reflection times were incorrect in the room and this was impeding the system's ability to really "live and breathe."
MBL suggested I begin removing the Jocavi treatments one by one and listen each time, noticing if the sound is more natural and convincing with each change. Sure enough, the sound improved each time, until it became clear that a "naked" room was not going to be of much benefit either (too many reflections...smearing things and making it uncomfortable just to sit in the room). MBL suggested I meet with Matts Odemalm from SMT Sweden to see about having my room treatments redesigned and installed.
I was able to meet Matts at the Munich High End show last year, and was impressed by his knowledge, manner, and passion for great, natural sound. He clearly "thinks out of the box" and does not use foam-type acoustic panels that absorb, reflect, and diffuse all at the same time. All of this is supposed to be calculated for a range of frequency in their modeling and measured by a microphone. Too "rough."
SMT puts knowledge, experience, and practical custom made devices into their "holistic" approach.
With MBL's urging, I hired Matts to give my room the full SMT treatment. It took over five years of trial and error to finally get my dedicated listening room to sound as good as I imagined it could sound. Since SMT designed and installed their optimized devices around the room, there is now a total absence of coloration; where "tonal color" and character take on a much more authentic, realistic presentation. I no longer hear the room or the system: I experience the music.
And the wonderful layers deep in my favorite recordings are now plainly revealed, each within its own space, but still woven within the fabric of the event. I now not only hear the musician's sound, but their effort as well. Their "intent." Music that didn't speak to me in the past has become more vivid, more emotional, more present. I enjoy much more music now that the SMT "system" has certainly injected life and emotion to the room.
Now, tonality in my room is spot on, allowing the MBL system to perform to its capacity...to get out of the way and allow the listener to connect with the music.
Once the SMT system was completely installed, it became plainly clear that this was the most effective room improvement I have ever experienced. Thank you, Matts, for sharing the SMT magic with me.
These moments of revelation are what make our Hi-Fi hobby rewarding. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding and misleading that goes on in the High-end audio business. But once on the right track, the results are nothing short of magical.
Thank you Matts and Jeremy
A long journey has brought me to the "best seat in the house" for every "performance."