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Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
#386199 11/27/12 04:26 AM
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Hi all,

I would just like to comment on how beneficial I have found DIY acoustic panels to be in my theater room. I was skeptical at first and had no expectations.... I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a fun project for little $ and big impact.

Method:
I was careful to set up the mains first to get the soundstage/imaging as best I could. All room EQ was, and remains off. The speakers were not moved once initially set.

I used Roxul Safe n' sound 23" x 47" x 3" batts vertically at first reflection points (mirror on wall) and half width panels in the front upper corners of the room for bass traps. At first I included a panel horizontally directly behind the listening position, but soon found out that doing so removed the spaciousness of the sound; artificially shrinking the rooms feel-- especially noticalbe in vocals. Treating the back wall for me deadened/flattened the sound considerably.

I used 2ch music my testing, as I find it to be pretty telling of absolute potential of the system. If music sounds great, movies will be great as well.



Before:
I thought it sounded great. Stereo music was full, enveloping and almost holographic in the way the center image was formed while instruments and drums bounced around the singer. CDs had a live sound and the vocals were pushed noticably forward into the room.

After:
All the above plus:
I heard much, much more detail than I had ever heard out of CDs than I was accustomed to. The speakers themselves dissapeared more and were hard (if not impossible) to pinpoint with my eyes closed. The sound became a wall of energy with a stronger illusion of players spaced on a full stage. I never knew how much reverb my room added before I heard it treated. Instruments, particularly horns and percussion sounded much more focused and sharp.

My experience:

Pros:
-Improved Transparency
-Added detail and clarity in vocals and instruments
-Micro details like singers breathing and lips were now noticable when not present before
-Every song I listened to made me appreciate how well (or not) the track was mixed and how much time must have been spent on pouring over every little detail
-Large improvement for little $

Cons:
-Flaws revealed: Poorly recorded, compressed or mixed tracks sound much worse.
-any noise floor in the track is noticable
-Not all details in songs are meant to be heard (in one track I could hear people faintly talking in the background...groupies?)
-Easy to over dampen sound. Go slowly and listen as you proceed.
-Picking fabric can be a tedious process. Avoid shimmer. Matte fabrics hide imperfections in acoustic material.

In my experience the level of detail/clarity possible from a good setup can become much improved if acoustic panels are used to tame first and secondary reflections. It's not going to make poor speakers sound great, but will help good speakers deliver their potential. I would encourage anyone to experiment with treatments and enjoy the difference.

Cheers.

Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
TrevorM #386201 11/27/12 05:11 AM
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Very cool.

Is that bare Roxul in the picture, or did you build a frame and cover it with speaker cloth or something?


bibere usque ad hilaritatem
Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
TrevorM #386204 11/27/12 11:02 AM
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a good way to treat the back wall is by having it only diffuse the sound, but not absorb it, as is done for the side and front walls.

it does make a lot more difference to the sound quality.

Nice setup too. :-)

Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
tomtuttle #386208 11/27/12 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Very cool.

Is that bare Roxul in the picture, or did you build a frame and cover it with speaker cloth or something?


They are frames made of mdf that the roxul is set into (for better shape) then wrapped with fabric. Black on front wall. Brown on sides. smile

Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
TrevorM #386224 11/27/12 04:41 PM
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I have always commented on the positive benefit of my DIY panels from Owens Corning 703, both hearing and graph improvements. Also, I do use Audyssey in addition as iceing on the cake.


M80s VP180 4xM22ow 4xM3ic EP600 2xEP350
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Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
TrevorM #386260 11/28/12 12:17 AM
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STOP IT! You guys are killing me! As many know, I plan on doing similar panels in my home theater. I don't need people reminding me how much better it is going to sound when I actually do it!

Current project that is preventing me from working on the home theater? A DIY LED light set for my still not set up saltwater aquarium that I bought a week ago. Thinking about working on the lights while I am traveling for work the first two weekends in December, but I still have all of the rest of the aquarium to set up. Grrr... Acoustical panels, someday you will be mine!

(Thanks for sharing Hellcommute.)


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
TrevorM #386262 11/28/12 12:43 AM
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You know, Nick, those panels would make your theater sound SO much better. I don't think either of us can fully realize the potential there. I mean, I'm sure it sounds great already and everything, but we both know that "the room is the forgotten component" and that you've really neglected that part of your installation. Honestly, I don't know how you can sleep at night knowing that there is something else - so simple and relatively cheap - that you could be doing to optimize the listening experience for your loved ones, who so richly deserve the very best audio-video experience you can give them.

And - ha ha - you've entered the rabbit hole of salt water aquariums. It was nice knowing you.

laugh


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Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
nickbuol #386274 11/28/12 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted By: nickbuol
Current project that is preventing me from working on the home theater? A DIY LED light set for my still not set up saltwater aquarium that I bought a week ago.

What LEDs are you going with?


Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
tomtuttle #386280 11/28/12 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
You know, Nick, those panels would make your theater sound SO much better. I don't think either of us can fully realize the potential there. I mean, I'm sure it sounds great already and everything, but we both know that "the room is the forgotten component" and that you've really neglected that part of your installation. Honestly, I don't know how you can sleep at night knowing that there is something else - so simple and relatively cheap - that you could be doing to optimize the listening experience for your loved ones, who so richly deserve the very best audio-video experience you can give them.

And - ha ha - you've entered the rabbit hole of salt water aquariums. It was nice knowing you.

laugh


I've been down this rabbit hole before.


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: Treat yo-self. Room treatments are worthwhile.
fredk #386281 11/28/12 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: fredk
Originally Posted By: nickbuol
Current project that is preventing me from working on the home theater? A DIY LED light set for my still not set up saltwater aquarium that I bought a week ago.

What LEDs are you going with?


Since I am going FOWLR (fish only with live rock) and don't want to mess with corals (they look awesome, but just too much time and money to get to that level), I went away from CREE LEDs which are nice and bright and efficient, and went with Bridgelux LEDs from a place called AquaStyleOnline.com. A couple of nice kits need to be built. My new soldering station arrives today. wink


Farewell - June 4, 2020
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