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If left untreated, a room’s acoustic issues can have a major effect on your hi-fi’s sound. Huw Price identifies and explains some common problems, such as comb filtering, standing waves and flutter echoes…



Stereo images are conjured up by differences in intensity between sounds, achieved by using pan controls during the mixing process
All images iStock

When reading reviews in hi-fi… magazines – and studiorecording publications for that matter – it can offen seem odd that room acoustics are disregarded. Think about it for a second – some rooms have a lively and bright sound, while others sound darker and deader. It’s one reason why you might feel more inspired to sing in your bathroom than a walk-in closet.

So it stands to reason that the acoustic characteristics of a room will have a strong in uence on the way any hi-fi system sounds, because it affects both frequency response and stereo imaging. You may even find that ‘upgrading’ a system can make it sound worse, if fundamental acoustic issues aren’t dealt with.

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About Long Live Vinyl

On sale 50 years to the day after The Beatles released their timeless masterpiece Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, issue 4 of Long Live Vinyl tells the full story of one of the greatest albums ever made, as well as taking an in-depth look at the new Anniversary edition masterminded by Giles Martin. Elsewhere, we round up the essential 40 jazz records, take a crate-digging trip to Orlando, get the lowdown on the new American Epic TV series with Jack White, T Bone Burnett, Elton John and Robert Redford, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours goes under the microscope in our Classic Album feature. We also meet Sonic Youth noisenik and record collector extraordinaire Thurston Moore, profile Classic Album Sundays and bring you the most comprehensive range of vinyl-related reviews anywhere!