a lot of times, i am exasperated by how audiophiles "decorate" their hifi room/listening area. i am a believer in feng shui (geomancy), naturally i believe there is such thing as hifi feng shui too.

yesterday i visited one audiophile who stays in a big bungalow. he should be rich as the bungalow is big and tastefully decorated. but when i entered his dedicated hifi room, my oh my, what a ugly mess! pillows and sofa seats of assorted sizes and colors adorned the four walls, acting as acoustic materials! his large JBL speakers are sitting on make-shift coffee tables with rollers! cds are strewn everywhere on the carpet and worse still, all the hifi equipment sit on the carpet with no supporting materials underneath! well, i don't have to mention the sound of the system, do i?

another memorable visit was this audiophile who combines his lab (he is a DIY-er) with his listening room. on the carpet, there were so many soldering blobs and cable remnants and all sorts of tools and many W.I.P (work-in-progress) kits ... one practically has to watch his step lest one steps on the wrong thing and gets electrocuted! and the room is full of dust.... it really was a disastrous environment to be in, let alone enjoying music!

another classic case was this guy who had a pair of very old magnaplanar 3 for sale. his room looked like a junk yard with gears so old that even i couldn't recognize. the grille cloth of the maggie was supposed to be white but this guy's pairs were practically black due to dirt and other forms of pollution! i told my friend who accompanied me there that the maggie 3 looks like the reverse of a gigantic pair of white-colored socks which have been worn for a month and still unwashed! my friend laughed so loud that the owner started looking at us with a scornful look! it was a hilarious visit.

more comedy came from one audiophile who decorated his hifi room with various national flags, again, supposedly acting as acoustics materials. you may wonder if you have stepped into united nations office by accident!

yet another audiophile sealed with room entirely with wooden doors! yes, wooden doors! yes, the entire room! can you imagine how dead the sound will become?

of course, the best hifi room i have ever visited belong to my good friend (that he is a millionaire is besides the point). check the archive for this audiophile who owns dcs, krell, finite elemente and apogee. he built his room based on robert harley's golden ratio and the acoustics are so good, with simple but classy aesthetics to boot. stepping into his hifi room each time has always been an aurally and visually enjoyable experience. you can ask panzer and hifikaki who have been there. no one else's room comes close to his room in my book.

my recommendations for an aesthetically pleasing and good feng shui hifi room/listening area:

1) tidy up! buy CD racks from ikea to store all your CDs; strewn CDs on the floor are bad feng shui. i know the mentality of some hifi nuts - they want to flaunt their collection but there are other ways to do it.

2) rack up all your equipment. equipment sitting on the floor is not only bad for the sound, it is hazardous as well.

3) acoustic materials - buy the professional ones like auralex and sonex. pillows are for your bedrooms and egg containers are for grocery shops! if you must use curtains, buy those materials (again, ikea is a wonderful resource) with good patterns and designs (plain ones are the best). no mickey mouse or superman imprints!

4) buy a good listening chair for the sweet spot because you are the one that you should please most since you sit there all the times! one audiophile i visited recently actually uses a barber chair (with elevation control!) used by those indian barbers!

5) reduce clutters - your stereophiles or TAS should be kept in shelves. buy lots of shelves if you need extra storage.

6) vacuum your room often to rid of the dust. a dusty place is never conducive for hifi and relaxation. you hifi may cough in unison with you!

7) have dimmer lights for that extra ambience but do watch out as dimmer lights are audibly noisy. for the bachelors who bring home girlfriends to listen to music, this is a great help....

8) treat your room as the most sacred place in the house! as you have spent so much on your hifi, you deserve the best listening environment to derive all the joy of music!

if you have a messy hifi room, this chinese new year is the best time to tidy up and introduce good feng shui to your hifi!

No comments: