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#142437 - 06/25/06 07:42 AM Acoustic Panels
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I'm considering the addition of maybe an acoustic panel or two and came across these folks over on the Audioholics site ... GIK Acoustic Panels

These panels seem to be very affordable compared to most other I've seen, almost all.

Does anybody here use acoustic panels and if so, what are your thoughts? Seems to me the general consensus is the very least 'Oh they ecrtainly help' to 'These things are amazing'.


Edited by BrotherBob (06/25/06 08:10 AM)

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#142438 - 06/25/06 11:03 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Rick, I've given it some thought as well. However, some of the other folks on here, including Alan, have given me reservations. Why are you thinking you need these panels, to help improve bass, etc.? Since my HT area opens into a larger room, I've wondered if these would help for me as well?

Thanks, Randy
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#142439 - 06/25/06 12:26 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3915
Loc: Up yonder
Have you tried to use a house plant yet, to see if a trap would help?? If not, rap a wool blanket around one in a fiberglass pot and stick it in a corner. Really, it works……….
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#142440 - 06/25/06 01:46 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Randy and Mike, probably the single most reason I'm thinking about the panels is to spice up the back wall behind the speakers and thought no more than what a couple of these panels cost I would then kill two birds with one stone...in a very tasteful manner, mind you.

Mike I haven't tried the house plant wrapped in a wool blanket trick yet but I did stack about four or five big bed pillows (don't tell the wife!) in each corner and couldn't tell much of a difference but I also didn't spend much time with it either. I'm thinking the traps/panels may tighten the bass up just a smidgen, probably nothing worth mentioning though...who knows.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

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#142441 - 06/25/06 07:49 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Also upon further review and after a couple of two, three or maybe a few more beers...I believe I remember reading somewhere here in the forums that the Axiom speaker test chamber is a location where one can actually 'hear the blood pumping throughout the body' and is also an 'eerie' place to be due to the sound deadening properties. If this is the case, wouldn't *any* type of acoustic panel, diffusion or sound trapping device in a dedicated music/TV environment be at the very least a means to absorb, trap or diffuse sound ... which, presumably in the music/HT environment is a 'good thing'?

Am I missing something?
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Rick
Our Room

smile

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#142442 - 06/26/06 12:32 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Couple of quick comments...

My recollection is that an anechoic chamber is a better place to TEST a speaker than to LISTEN to a speaker. Having said that, I think all you lose is a few dB of sound level since you are basically giving up room reflections.

In that light, if acoustic panels were perfect and absorbed all frequencies equally (heck, I guess optimally would be even better as long as we are talking about magic panels) then adding a bunch of treatments would always help...

... but...

Since the panels tend to absorb over a specific range, adding too many panels gives you lots of absorbance in some frequencies and essentially none in the areas where the panels don't work, eg. frequencies below the cutoff point which is a function of material, thickness, presence of resonant membranes / panels (a la Real Traps) etc...

The result can sound worse than an untreated room, although I believe this is pretty unlikely. I think you are looking for maybe "half absorbent, half gently reflective" ie wood or drywall not ceramic tile. If your room is pretty live then sticking up a couple of panels is likely to help. If it is already pretty absorbant then maybe panels aren't the right addition.

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#142443 - 06/26/06 01:44 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
FordPrefect Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 1334
Loc: Ancaster, Ontario
what ever you do don't start gluing old egg cartons up on your walls
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#142444 - 06/27/06 01:02 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
The easiest way to improve room acoustics is to start with bass traps in the corners. I built my own using 4" Roxul 2'x8' mineral wool boards enclosed in 1x4" pine boards and covered with speaker cloth. One of these in each corner does wonders for reducing peaks and raising nulls as well as lessening resonances and room echo. The materials cost around $50 and the results were immediately noticeable as tighter bass and clearer mid range.

After living with that treatment for a while you may want to experiment with front and rear wall treatments. Heavy curtains also work well.
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John

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#142445 - 06/27/06 05:00 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: jakeman]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
I must agree with jakeman. Corner bass traps are the way to go when starting with room accoustics. I resolved a huge null in my room after I implemented 4 4" thick mineral wool traps

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#142446 - 06/27/06 05:03 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Are you guys saying to place these corner traps in the corners behind the left/right mains? I have no back corners in the HT area as it opens into a bigger area.
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#142447 - 06/27/06 05:07 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Yes, place two traps behind your mains. Your sub could be in one of those corners, too.

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#142448 - 06/27/06 09:52 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Royce or jakeman, do you have any instructions and/or pictures of your traps, I'm a DIY guy.
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#142449 - 06/27/06 11:13 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Has anyone used these products, prices seem fair?

http://www.foambymail.com/Products.html
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#142450 - 06/27/06 11:24 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Quote:

Royce or jakeman, do you have any instructions and/or pictures of your traps, I'm a DIY guy.




This is a good start

This one is a bit trickier, IMHO

I almost went with this one

In the end, I settled for this one

And one for good luck...

If you are a DIY'er, any of these should be cake. I am a hopeless case when it comes to DIY, but even I could figure these out. If you have trouble finding the accoustic material (whether it be Rock Wool or Rigid Fiberglass), there is a on-line guy in Missouri who has great prices. Let me know and I will post the link.

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#142451 - 06/27/06 11:35 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Ibelieve the last link I provided talks about foam products and how they are really not worth the price because they are not even close in low frequency absobtion compared to DIY traps that can be built for $19 a piece.

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#142452 - 06/27/06 11:50 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Thanks man, I found some of those links using Google, I'll have to check the others out. I think your 1st and last link are the same.

I really only have the two corners behind the left/right mains and sub. That area is where my screen sits back about 6feet. Then it opens up into a much larger room. My surrounds and projector are near a boxed in area for my duct work. I was thinking about putting something up there facing back towards the mains. This treatment stuff is new to me, however, I don't want to go overboard and ruin the sound which sounds great now. If you followed my first attempt at graphing my room with the realtraps cd, I had some big ups/downs....


_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#142453 - 06/27/06 11:53 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Quote:

Thanks man, I found some of those links using Google, I'll have to check the others out. I think your 1st and last link are the same.






In my defense, it's almost midnight here - I should be in bed!! This always happens when the wife is away!

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#142454 - 06/28/06 08:36 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10942
Loc: Central NH
I'm confused.

I'm not trying to sound negative about the whole thing, but on the provided link "I almost went with this one" there is a before/after graph at the top of the page. Clicking to take a better look, I just don't see the results that the author (near the bottom of the page) calls:

"In a word ASTONISHING! The once muddy room now sounds fantastic! I can hear pristine mixes, much sharper sound stage ,clear imaging, much tighter bass lines. My studio has never sounded better! I feel like I'm finally getting to hear what my studio equipment and monitors can do."

Not to sound like a jerk, but after installing what the author says is "7 Bass Traps, 2 mid/high Traps, and 2 "Super Chunk" traps" I would expect results that are better than a lower-level virtual mirror of the original measurements.

I do believe in the idea of acoustic treatments and have primarily avoided trying it only because I'm already short on space. But the results that he's touting don't look very impressive to me at all!

Can someone else look at the graph and tell me....am I missing something?
_________________________
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#142455 - 06/28/06 04:26 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
No, that guy sniffed too much fresh foam, I think.
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#142456 - 06/28/06 05:39 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: MarkSJohnson]
dllewel Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/20/05
Posts: 1189
Loc: Utah, USA
I'm with you Mark. To me, the graph still has the same dips and peaks, everything has just been dampened.

I have also been researching some treatments for my room. Don't know what just yet (DIY or professional), I am trying to decide what is "needed" without absorbtion overkill.

I'm thinking some absorbtion panels up front at the 1st reflection points between the speakers and the listeners. For me this is just 2 panels, unless I put 1 or 2 more on the ceiling. I have decided not to do any panels in the back of the room (between the side and back surrounds). Here you don't want absorbtion of the mid and high frequencies, but rather diffusion for a more spacious surround effect.

There sure is a lot to understand about room acoustics when you are new to it. I have done a lot of reading and still feel confused
_________________________
-Dave

M80s VP150 QS8s EP500s
ravenmanor.com/cinema/

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#142457 - 06/28/06 06:43 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: dllewel]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>I'm with you Mark. To me, the graph still has the same dips and peaks, everything has just been dampened.

I think that is what you would expect from good room treatments. You can't fundamentally change the peaks and dips except by (a) changing the dimensions of the room, (b) changing the speaker placement relative to the walls, or (c) sitting in a different place in the room relative to speakers and walls.

What bass traps can do is make the peaks smaller so you get a flatter frequency response -- when I look at that graph I see most of the peaks reduced by ~8 dB (which is a fair amount) and some reduced by 10-12 dB. I bet that room would sound MUCH better with the bass peaks taken down 8-12 dB.

Also, a frequency response graph only shows the most blatant changes. You need something with a time element, like a spectral decay graph, to show the reduction in echo at different frequencies, aka improved "tightness".

Having said that, the only "treatments" I have had time for in my new house are a borrowed rug and a pile of moving blankets in each corner (hey, I had to put them somewhere ).

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#142458 - 06/28/06 07:03 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
dllewel Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/20/05
Posts: 1189
Loc: Utah, USA
Thanks Bridgman!
_________________________
-Dave

M80s VP150 QS8s EP500s
ravenmanor.com/cinema/

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#142459 - 06/28/06 08:09 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: dllewel]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Interesting information overall....thanks for the input everybody.

>>>> I have also been researching some treatments for my room. Don't know what just yet (DIY or professional), I am trying to decide what is "needed" without absorbtion overkill.

This was my original thought process as well Dave, start here and then go from there.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#142460 - 06/28/06 08:50 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: dllewel]
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
Quote:

I have decided not to do any panels in the back of the room (between the side and back surrounds). Here you don't want absorbtion of the mid and high frequencies, but rather diffusion for a more spacious surround effect.





You are absolutley right in this assesment. From a lot of articles that I have read, most recommend putting a wooden CD?DVD rack against the back wall as it makes for an excellent diffusor.

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#142461 - 06/29/06 12:51 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10942
Loc: Central NH
I make my fat-ass dog sit in the corner of the room when I'm doing critical listening.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#142462 - 06/29/06 09:51 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia

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#142463 - 07/03/06 09:56 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Has anybody used products from HSF Acoustics? Prices seem to be very reasonable and there before/after sound clips show amazing difference when applied. I see they also have an Ebay store.

http://hsfacoustics.com/studiopacks.htm
_________________________
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#142464 - 07/04/06 06:58 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
The only problem I can see with the HSF stuff Randy is trying to get the things to blend with the room and decor, which I understand can be a problem in most home environments. Some folks like the bold 'engineered' look of these types of panels, which look great in some environments, personally I'm looking for something a little (lot) laid back.

On another note...

Last night while listening to music in 2 ch stereo I noticed the left front main seemed to have a little less volume than that of the right front main, maybe even a little (very minute) flatter sound and was thinking how I may need to recalibrate. Just in a matter of minutes my wife walked in and closed the plantation shutters that are on the window within the first reflection point of the left front speaker and I couldn't believe how the speaker came back to life ... I'm assuming the shutters, while open act as a diffuser on that particular speaker while the right main is getting full reflection from a solid wall.

Does absorbing panels, traps and diffusers tend to flatten the sound as these shutters seem to be doing? Also, sometimes I wonder if a little reverberation and reflection isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially in a pretty decent acoustic room ... which I believe *luckily* ours seems to be.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

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#142465 - 07/04/06 02:16 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Good questions Rick, for me I don't think the HSF stuff would look that bad. My back screen wall is painted flat black and my side walls ceiling are painted a dark navy blue. Since this room is a dedicated HT room, like a theater, it might work for me.

The sample audio clips are amazing what they did for the guitar and drum. I'm going to try the real traps test tones one more time with the 500 in the corner and compare to the other locations. Who knows, maybe I'll make some DIY treatments to see what happens, might be hard to beat HSF prices though.

I'm sure the 4' x 8' pool table I've added will change things also.
_________________________
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#142466 - 07/04/06 02:54 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>Does absorbing panels, traps and diffusers tend to flatten the sound as these shutters seem to be doing?

Sort of, but in your case I think the issue is that you need to recalibrate by a few dB when opening and closing the shutters, or at least calibrate with them set to whatever you use when listening. I noticed that between my left and right surrounds (M2s right now; my QS8s are out for extended audition) I had to bump one side up by 4 or 5 dB because it was in the open while the other was a couple of feet from a wall.

Randy, the good news is that you have a new degree of freedom -- you can experiment with changing your room acoustics by moving the pool table around

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#142467 - 07/04/06 06:14 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Good thing I put "moving buddies" under each leg.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#142468 - 07/04/06 08:47 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>I put "moving buddies" under each leg.

Geez, remind me not to help *you* move. Didn't their families come looking for them after a couple of days ?

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#142469 - 07/04/06 08:58 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
Merkaba Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 83
Loc: NL, Canada
I just read an interesting article on room acoustics and thought I would share the link. It aims to provide a basic understading of the various priciples involved while covering some examples of problematic rooms/objects, and tips on materials and placement

The author mentions the use of plants and actually includes a table of absorption coefficients for several species.

Link.
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#142470 - 07/05/06 06:19 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
>>> Good questions Rick, for me I don't think the HSF stuff would look that bad. My back screen wall is painted flat black and my side walls ceiling are painted a dark navy blue. Since this room is a dedicated HT room, like a theater, it might work for me.

Actually I believe the HSF panels would go with your room very nice Randy, and they do seem to be priced right ... they'll look really nice around the pool table, uh huh!
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#142471 - 07/07/06 09:41 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Rick, the more and more I read about these GIK products, I'm becomming interested. hmmmm
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#142472 - 07/07/06 02:54 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
MIKEY Offline
devotee

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 331
Loc: ORANGE COUNTY CALIF
From one SRV fan to another, check these sites.. Ethan Winters has quite a bit to read, but for those looking for the magic behind the curtain, you will find quite a bit of it there..
http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/forum/f/26.html
And another:
http://forum.studiotips.com/index.php
And, for those that want to come all the way over the dark side, http://ibsubwoofers.proboards51.com/index.cgi
...
And yes, you can dial in the amount of acoustic treatment you want.. Home theaters tend to be more on the dead side, as opposed to studios and music only rooms, which favor the livelier brighter room..
Oh, the older style wiremesh/box/compressed fluff has been pretty much replaced by the factory compress 700 series style, mineral wool, and acoustic cotton..
Lots of good reading, hope it helps..
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#142473 - 07/07/06 11:44 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Looks like GIK is offering a 10% discount over on AVSforum on their new corner Tri-Traps. When ordering on their website from now until 7-20-2006, use coupon code "AVS" and you'll get the 10%. So far I have not found another Bass Trap with these impressive stats, or approved by Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories (RAL). This is very tempting.

The ONLY TRI CORNER Trap on the market! Until now, acoustic enthusiasts had to make do with foam wedges for corners which are unattractive and far less efficient in sound wave absorption than acoustic panels. BUT NO MORE! Our dedicated sound engineers are proud to introduce the GIK TRI-TRAP. The Tri-Trap, like all of the GIK bass traps, was lab tested at the prestigious Riverbank Acoustics Laboratory and the results were amazing. The Tri-Trap has true effects at 50 Hz and below. The Tri-Trap has been effectively designed to absorb more low end, but also does an excellent job of absorbing the high end, creating smooth sound absorption from 50 Hz to 5000 Hz. Installing our Tri-Traps will result in a beautifully balanced room that will suit even the most critical listener.



http://www.gikacoustics.com/product_info.html
_________________________
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M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
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#142474 - 07/09/06 02:40 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Randy I went ahead and ordered a pair of the Tri-Traps and did get the 10% discount using the 'AVS' coupon code ... after reading a couple of reviews (including Audioholics) I concluded it's worth a try, so whenever they arrive I'll share my thoughts.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#142475 - 07/09/06 03:11 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Those look pretty sharp... like Ethan's "Soffit Traps" but designed more for wall corners than ceiling corners. You realize everyone is going to want "before and after" response graphs from you, right ?

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#142476 - 07/09/06 03:45 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I'd love to graph the room John, I'm just not sure how to go about doing this ... keeping in mind that PCs are far from my expertise.

Audibly, in the sweet spot there seems to be just a very minute loss of bass as opposed to the rest of the room, even just standing in the sweet spot I can hear a very slight difference. In my 25' x 14' room I have the couch 9' from the back wall, which going by the 38% rule is where it should be positioned for the flattest response ... I'm thinking the ceiling may be causing the oh so slight bass loss and am hoping the traps may tighten and tame the bass just enough to change that slightest difference. I've tried moving the couch forward and backwards and this position seems to produce the best overall sound.

Luckily I believe I have a very good acoustic room overall but I'd like to maybe tighten the bass up just a very small amount and I believe the traps may help. And also believe me whenever I tell you that I typically don't fall for the snake oil stuff but have read enough to believe it's worth a try.

Now, how do I graph the room again?
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#142477 - 07/09/06 03:55 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>Now, how do I graph the room again?

Personally, I would PM either Randy or Mark and say "so, like, wanna come over and listen to my system ?"

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#142478 - 07/09/06 04:01 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
RickF Offline
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Registered: 02/26/05
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Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Iowa <-> New Hampshire -----> Florida? I dunno John, I just don't know ... I'll give it a try though.
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#142479 - 07/09/06 04:15 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
bridgman Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
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D'oh !!

Um... (thinks for a minute) well, duh, obviously I meant invite them in the winter when it's bitterly cold in both places and Florida doesn't seem so far away. Yeah, that's what I meant !!

It's not too bad, really, although it is kind of mind-numbing (although not as bad as archaeology). You can download a series of test tones from RealTraps and burn them onto a CD so that hitting "next" moves to the next frequency. Then you just set up the SPL meter on a tripod in a reasonably readable position, step through the frequencies on the CD, and record the SPL meter reading at each step being careful to stand in exactly the same place every time so as not to muck up the readings. It's easier if you have a "reader" and a "writer-downer".

Here are the instructions from the Rives CD :

http://www.rivesaudio.com/files/TestCDinst.pdf

The other option, also from Rives I think, is a little kit you hook up to a PC your HT aux inputs. You push a key, it makes some wierd noises, digests the results for a minute, then spews out not only frequency response charts but spectral decay graphs for all the frequencies, eg "the room is too absorbent at most frequencies but has an evil echo at 500 Hz".

http://www.rivesaudio.com/software/testkit.html

For the HT owner who has everything -- including crappy acoustics

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#142480 - 07/09/06 06:17 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
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Rick, that is great, I'm trying to decide what to do...the tri-traps are more expensive, but seem to have much better absorption compared to traps that span corners. Everything is better than foam, based on my recent studies. If the trap is made from rigid fiberglass like owens corning 703, or using mineral wool board (cheaper) your good to go. The 440 and 442 (1st/2nd reflections) are much much cheaper.

I've learned tons from the Realtraps website. The videos showing how nulls can exist within 1" is amazing. Ethan's HT room is killer with 39 traps. I've also learned that what people say about HT being differant than music for treatments is not true, the main goal is to achieve a flat as possible frequency curve. Reducing ringing, combing is also very important. You can't do that with just furniture, drapes, etc...

I'm also tossing around the idea of building my own. It might be cheaper than building them. Insulationworld.com has good prices on Owens Corning Mineral Wool board.
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#142481 - 07/10/06 02:31 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
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Registered: 04/20/05
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Loc: New Jersey
Quote:

Ethan's HT room is killer with 39 traps.




I did some before and after room graphs and posted them on the AVS board. I was luck enough to get a response from Ethan and he suggested that a room my size should optimumly have 16 traps!!!

If anyone is interested, I can post my befores and afters for my room. Sirquack is getting some good analysis and I would not mind more advice as well.

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#142482 - 07/10/06 03:00 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
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That would be great to see your before and after results. Thanks for your help via PM's, I'm excited to start my own DIY traps.
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#142483 - 07/11/06 11:45 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
SirQuack Offline
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I found a local insulation supplier in my home town that had the OC703 for about $9 sheet, pretty cheap compared to the online sellers and that there is no shipping charges. I purchased enough to start with 2 8ft SuperChunk Bass Traps for my front wall. Royce, thanks for the Bryan's referrel at SensibleSound. Him and I talked for about an hour today and he was very helpful and knowledgable on this subject. If only I could have the knowledge that Bryan or Ethan Winer have in this area, it would be scarry.
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#142484 - 07/12/06 01:46 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
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Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>If only I could have the knowledge that Bryan or Ethan Winer have in this area, it would be scary

I ran across a quote a while ago talking about how to make one of those wonderfully green English lawns...

"start with any green space, then seed it and roll it for 150 years..."

I think it's the same with acoustics. These guys have spent 20+ years implementing room improvements then trying to figure out why the heck "it didn't work like it was supposed to...". The rest of us just try to understand and apply their comments and advice to our environments.

Just think about that scene from "silence of the lambs" where the victim is fumbling around in pitch blackness and the bad guy has night vision goggles.

We are the victim ;(

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#142485 - 07/13/06 11:04 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
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Very well put John, I'm sure you have read this article by Ethan from RealTraps, but I'll post it for the others, basically an Acoustic Treatment 101. Yes everyone, acoustic treatments are not just for music/recording studios, the same rules apply to a HT environment.

http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html
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#142486 - 07/14/06 11:41 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
SirQuack Offline
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Getting up early to start building my superchunk bass traps, keep ya all posted. We've had really humid temps lately so want to get done early so I don't sweat to much.
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#142487 - 07/18/06 04:12 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
SirQuack Offline
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The 17" x 17" x 24" Owens Corning 703 superchunks are in place and fill my front left/right corners. Hope to have the cloth frames completed soon to hide the rigid fiberboard.
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#142488 - 07/18/06 05:13 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
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No problem - can't wait to see what those Super Chunk's look like. Whose "recipe" have you decided to follow?

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#142489 - 07/18/06 05:19 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
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After talking to BrianP over the phone from Sensible Solutions, and getting some feedback on Ethan's forum thread, I ended using OC703 but also used this guide you gave me http://www.radford.edu/~shelm/acoustics/bass-traps.html from Steven Helm.

Brian said I would get much better results using the 703 superchunks compared to mineral wool or even straddling the corners with 4" material. He also gave me suggestions on treating the rest of the room, although I'm going to do a little bit at a time.
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#142490 - 07/18/06 05:28 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
chesseroo Offline
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Loc: western canada
SirQ,
The frequency graphs on that last link did not lead me to believe this fellow's bass traps were particularly effective at doing much of anything except changing the frequency response, slightly.
If the goal there was to curb the peaks and increase the dips, then...


If the goal is to flatten that bass area, a Berhringer unit or something similar would be far more effective per dollar spent.
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#142491 - 07/18/06 09:48 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
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Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>The 17" x 17" x 24" Owens Corning 703 superchunks are in place and fill my front left/right corners. Hope to have the cloth frames completed soon to hide the rigid fiberboard.

Forget the frames. Does it SOUND any different ?

Graphs, we want graphs

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#142492 - 07/18/06 10:05 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
chesseroo Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4832
Loc: western canada
I'm with bridgman.
Show me the graphs!

Speaking of graphs, it is on my agenda to graph my own media room soon. Working on getting the recording software and a decent mic.
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#142493 - 07/20/06 02:52 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: chesseroo]
SirQuack Offline
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I actually see a good improvement to Mr. Helms results, the range from high to low dB's has been reduced across the entire spectrum. Many of the severe drops/nulls have been tamed. Not sure if you realize this is not a 1/3rd or higher octave graph like most are, this covers 1Hz increments upto 300hz. Many people miss this information from other products used.

Here is another nice article I've found.

http://www.sbrjournal.net/journalsite/archives/acoustics/Acoustics.htm
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#142494 - 07/20/06 04:15 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
chesseroo Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
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Quote:

I actually see a good improvement to Mr. Helms results, the range from high to low dB's has been reduced across the entire spectrum. Many of the severe drops/nulls have been tamed.



SirQ, this is what from a scientific perspective one may call significant results without any significance.
Yes, he's changed something in his graphs since he added those traps, but tamed? Hardly. He even created a dip while eliminating another (see the 85-110Hz range).
There is still a huge spread >10dB for several points. The fact this may have decreased from a 15dB spread means little. If he had taken a 5dB dip and turned it into a 2dB dip, or at least chopped each of those major dips in half, then i would be far more inclined to agree about the significance of his efforts.
My point is that for the time, money and effort spent using these traps. he could've bought a Berhringer FD instead and made the line alot more flat. Maybe he just likes to build things for his HT, like a project that never ends. I certainly would not point anyone looking to fix up their room sonically towards ideas that really are not effective or concepts for which a great deal of work is required to utilize the idea correctly.

There is a ton of time spent on determining things like nodes and lulls in a room. People bang their heads over it for years and come up with tons of hypothetical solutions, but if this is the level of effectiveness one can expect from bass traps, sound bars, [insert name of product here], i think the solutions need alot more work.
I had a grandfather who used to like to paint his barn every year. It didn't need the paint, he just wanted to paint it.
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#142495 - 07/20/06 08:31 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: chesseroo]
Jordan Offline
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Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Don't hold back Chess, tell us what you really think.

I actually read an article on bass traps / acoustic treatments etc just yesterday. I really don't know where I stand on it. Most of them are so damn ugly. I would never get away with placing those things all over the walls.

Chess, you mentioned that you were going to graph the room response. What program do you intend to use? I would like to try something like this as well.

Cheers,

Jordan

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#142496 - 07/20/06 10:09 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: Jordan]
SirQuack Offline
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Jordan, if you talk to jakeman, royce73, and mrnomas(audioholics writer), all Axiom owners, they will tell you the positive results they received in both their graphs AND a big sound improvement. I frequent other forums where professional musicians and sound engineers hang, I have much faith in their factual statements.

And they don't have to be ugly if you have a little design talent.




Edited by sirquack (07/20/06 10:13 PM)

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#142497 - 07/20/06 11:01 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: Jordan]
chesseroo Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4832
Loc: western canada
Quote:

Don't hold back Chess, tell us what you really think



Well first God built the earth. Then he started with turtles.
That's my take on things.
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#142498 - 07/21/06 02:21 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: Jordan]
RickF Offline
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Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
>>>Chess, you mentioned that you were going to graph the room response. What program do you intend to use? I would like to try something like this as well.

Jordan you can order a Rives Audio test CD for $21(US) and then download either the color or black and white frequency chart to manually graph the room yourself. You can also download the test tones from RealTraps if you desire.

I have the Rives CD and am using the color frequency charts for manual graphing ... although I've only had the chance to graph a couple of times it's very interesting to view the results after slight room modifications such as doors open/closed, furniture placement and etc.
__________________________________________________________

Good luck with your DIY panel project Randy!
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#142499 - 07/21/06 08:29 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
SirQuack Offline
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Registered: 01/29/04
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Loc: Iowa
Hey Rick, did you get your Tri-Traps yet from GIK? I thought about building some 4' high superchunks which would be like yours, however, after talking to Ethan Winer and Bryan Pape on the other forums, they talked me into stacking clear to the ceiling.
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#142500 - 07/21/06 11:44 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: RickF]
chesseroo Offline
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Loc: western canada
Jordon, per BrotherBob's suggestions, the options presented are pretty reasonable for a DIY project (manual data logging). I was thinking of doing a complete 20-20 sweep and for that, i would need the Rives ETF software and a laptop.
At this point, i may not have easy access to a laptop and as such, may use the other approach...for now.
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#142501 - 07/21/06 12:17 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
royce73 Offline
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I finally go my graphs onto Photobucket - I would love to hear some comments. In my opinion, the treaments made a difference in the room - especially in 2-channel stereo. I also noticed a lot less "echo" and "reverb" when I clapped my hands together. Again, this is all subjective, but maybe the graphs tell a better picture.





I was running my sub a little hot when I made the graph and have since made an adjustment. I used the RIVES AUDIO 2 CD. What do you think?

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#142502 - 07/21/06 04:14 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: royce73]
chesseroo Offline
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Loc: western canada
Royce, can you overlay the two lines on the same graph?
The scale of your graphs is off making it a bit hard to follow changes in the curves.

What software did you use? Or did you manually measure the points with the test tones from the Rives cd?

Incidentally, i came across a website with a listing of a ton of audio software including some of the more common ones that pop up on Google. http://www.audiogrid.com/audio/


Edited by chesseroo (07/21/06 04:15 PM)
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#142503 - 07/21/06 04:47 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: chesseroo]
royce73 Offline
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Loc: New Jersey
I used my Radio Shack meter to make manuall measurements.

I used Excel to make the graph - should not be a problem putting the two together.

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#142504 - 07/21/06 04:55 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: chesseroo]
royce73 Offline
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#142505 - 07/21/06 05:31 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: royce73]
chesseroo Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4832
Loc: western canada
Granted the measurements are limited here (and i completely understand why, who wants to measure all 19,999 Hz manually?) but it certainly appears as though some significant changes have occurred in the response.
The line is smoothed and raised from 80-125Hz, the dip around 250 virtually eliminated, and a much smoother, more shallow amplitude response between 315 and 1250. After that the changes are both pluses and minuses offsetting, but certainly would be enough to change the overall sound character of the previous room configuration.

In my enthusiast opinion i would say that the changes bring the line closer to flat than the original configuration.
I would still be curious to see more measurements in between though. I'm planning on doing either a complete 20-20 sweep if i can get software to record the numbers properly, or i may manually measure every 10 myself.
That damn ETF software (demo version) keeps giving me runtime errors. {sigh]
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#142506 - 07/21/06 06:30 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
mrnomas Offline
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Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 86
Loc: Florida
Quote:

Jordan, if you talk to jakeman, royce73, and mrnomas(audioholics writer), all Axiom owners, they will tell you the positive results they received in both their graphs AND a big sound improvement. I frequent other forums where professional musicians and sound engineers hang, I have much faith in their factual statements.

And they don't have to be ugly if you have a little design talent.




Wow! Someone thinks I have design talent! I can't wait to tell my wife.

Oh, and in case anyone read my article, the crooked one is still on the wall. I swear, I'll redo it soon.
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#142507 - 07/21/06 11:08 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: mrnomas]
royce73 Offline
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Registered: 04/20/05
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Quote:


Wow! Someone thinks I have design talent! I can't wait to tell my wife.

Oh, and in case anyone read my article, the crooked one is still on the wall. I swear, I'll redo it soon.




mrnomas,

I used your article as the recipe for my room treatments. Thanks so much for sharing!!! As you can see from my graphs, they really work

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#142508 - 07/21/06 11:12 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: chesseroo]
royce73 Offline
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Registered: 04/20/05
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Loc: New Jersey
Quote:

I would still be curious to see more measurements in between though.




Thanks for the analysis. I am actually working on measurements using the Real Traps CD, which features more measurements. Damn thing took me an hour to do. I will post that graph as well.

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#142509 - 07/22/06 10:32 AM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: royce73]
chesseroo Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4832
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Well i may also have to do some manual measurements unless i can find software that will actually take readings of all frequencies in a sweep and record them in a manner in which i can plot it properly.
I don't want to have to measure 1000 times for that data either, but i will if i have to!!
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#142510 - 07/22/06 03:54 PM Re: Acoustic Panels & Audio software [Re: chesseroo]
Jordan Offline
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Registered: 03/29/06
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Just for the record, I have no problem with room treatments. I agree that any given room will have dramatic effects on the sound and that treating the acoustics in the room can improve the sound quality.

Just like anything in life though, there always seem to be trade-offs involved. There seems to be one with regard to aesthetics when treating a room. Currently, I would never get away with strapping absorbers all over our livingroom. When we move to a bigger place I am told by the Minister of Aesthetics (my partner) that I will get my own room to do with what I please. I fully intend to treat this room.

I know that treatments don't all have to be hideously ugly but if you intend to install 8 mini-traps for example I don't know how you could pull that off and make it look good (my subjective opinion).

Cheers,

Jordan

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#142511 - 07/22/06 11:03 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: royce73]
SirQuack Offline
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Hey Royce, I have been trying to build a graph in Excel I can use with my realtraps results. You would think an IT guy could figure out Excel. I feel like telling those "Wizzards" where to go.

The first time I used Realtraps CD, I actually printed off the supplied graph and marked the locations on the graph, while my other hand would occasionally have to reach for the SPL meter and change from 70 to 80 to 90 to 70, etc...

I actually found it easier the second time take a piece of paper, on the left side I made a column where I had 20-29hz, 30-39hz, etc... and then I just wrote the decibel readings across the paper, jumped down a line, etc...Then I used Microsoft Paint to actualy enter the dots on their GIF graph.

So, if you figure out how to create a similar graph in Excel, help me out man.
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#142512 - 07/22/06 11:10 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
RickF Offline
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Registered: 02/26/05
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Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Freakin' nerds.

Randy I haven't received my Tri-Traps yet, I called yesterday and was told by Glen that my order somehow got missed. No biggie, they should be here Monday and the folks were very cool about it.
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#142513 - 07/23/06 09:58 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
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Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>So, if you figure out how to create a similar graph in Excel, help me out man.

I'm going from memory here (misplaced my Office CD in the move) so you might have to interpret the menu items a bit.

I normally enter the FR data (other people's data, I'm too damn lazy to measure my own room) in columns, where the first column is the frequency and the second column is the measured SPL.

Start in the top left hand cell with actual data (eg. your lowest frequency) and select down to SPL for the highest frequency, ie select the data you want to graph.

Insert => Chart, then pick whatever option gets you a new worksheet instead of embedding the chart in the middle of your data table.

I think a little wizard pops up here. It lets you pick what kind of graph style you want. I vaguely remember picking X/Y but that doesn't seem right for an FR graph -- maybe start with a line graph first. You are given all kinds of options for smoothing the lines etc..., stay with "simple".

Other than legends & grid lines, you should be pretty much done at this point.

[EDIT] As long as I'm here, just wanted to say for the record one more time that a single frequency response graph is *not* sufficient to show more than a fraction of the improvements that you can get from good room treatments.

An EQ can fix response at a single point in the room, but you need room treatments (bass traps) and/or speaker relocation to get decent response across a listening area of more than one seat. You would need to measure response at a number of locations and plot them all (before and after) to show this improvement.

Similarly, many of the improvements from room treatment simply won't show on an FR graph at all. Reductions in echo need a more complex graph (spectral decay ?) to see the change. For changes like getting the right level of diffusion (which can open up the sound of a room in a similar way as going from direct surrounds to QS surrounds) I have no idea *how* to measure the results in a graph.

Regarding appearance, it's worth taking a spin through some of the sample rooms on the Rives Audio site to see what you can do. While I prefer the look of rooms with dramatic and highly visible treatments (as, I suspect, do most guys ) they actually design most of their rooms with hidden treatments right down to embedding large Helmholz resonators in custom-built furniture. It's really worth a visit to see what can be hidden in walls and ceilings.

For practical budgets, this translates into "don't hang ugly stuff on the drywall, use the space between the studs".


Edited by bridgman (07/23/06 10:16 AM)

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#142514 - 07/23/06 11:01 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
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Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Thanks John, that was all the help I needed. I am now transferring my data from the manual method to this new spreadsheet. Then I can try to figure out how to add another line with a different color for stats with the bass traps in place for comparison purposes.
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#142515 - 07/23/06 11:53 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
We quiver with antici....... pation.

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#142516 - 07/23/06 11:59 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17790
Loc: NoVA
Glad to hear that, G-Man.
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#142517 - 07/23/06 09:53 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
Well everyone, I got both of my 8ft superchunk bass traps finished tonight on the rear wall. Took a few pictures, hope to post them soon. I put my Fleetwood Mac Rumors CD in and I swear the bass does sound tighter, better, killer, awesome, etc... I plan to do a graph with these added and then another graph once I get my 1st reflection points done. I also plan to do something in the rear corners for broadband bass trapping as well. Since I have to make the wife happy, I'm planning on some creative ways to include bass traps and keep her happy.
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#142518 - 07/23/06 11:40 PM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: SirQuack]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Congratulations on getting the traps finished. Looking forward to the pics.

I wouldn't bother doing another graph after treating the first reflection points -- while the treatments are likely to make a difference, it's not a difference which will really show up on an FR graph.

There is no substitute for a group of acoustically insignificant assistants (aka kids) running in and out with the treatments while your eyes are closed.

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#142519 - 07/24/06 12:04 AM Re: Acoustic Panels [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
If you look at Royce's before/after combined graph a few posts ago, he actually saw some decent improvement with just 4 4" straddled bass traps in the corners and only 2 side first reflection points. Also, his graph is not plotted in 1hz increments like the Real Traps CD, so many peaks and dips won't even show up and will be missed.

graphs graphs and more graphs, that is the question.
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