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Fellow Arcamites - Are you using room acoustic treatments?

Discussion in 'Arcam Forum' started by darron027, May 1, 2008.

  1. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Hi all,
    thought I'd post this here as its my favourite part of the forums.

    Decided my next upgrade will be to the room itself. I'm now in a position that moving items within my AV/HiFi room (which also doubles as family living room) is no longer viable. Thus Ive been reading up on room acoustics and acoustic treatments. E.g. bass trapping / treating first reflection points etc.

    Ive done some testing on the possible improvements to be gained by treating the room. Firstly finding the reflection points using the mirror method and putting thick sofa cushions in these positions. Then used thick sofa cushions in the two front corners to do a little bass trapping. The final position I added some treatment to was directly behind the main listening position as I have to sit very close to the back wall. All in all pretty impressed with the results.

    Ive had enough of DIY lately so looking at 'off the shelf' room treatments and thought I'd ask you guys if you are using anything already??

    Cheers
  2. cjohnson6

    cjohnson6 Member

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    It's an interesting subject and one that I've never played with. Do you have any suggested reading? Preferably on the web.

    thanks

    Colin
  3. dtb300

    dtb300 Member

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    In the audio world today, room treatment is one of the hottest topics.

    With it being such a new "thing" to most audiophiles, we are usually very skeptical about proceeding forward. From my experience, it has been one of the best "cost vs performance" additions in my setup. But the question still remains for most of us on what to do and how to do it??

    Here are a bunch of sites to visit for reading about Room Acoustics and Treatments. Three of the individuals you will see most often are Ethan Winer - Real Traps, Bryan Pape - GIK Acoustics, and Glenn Kuras - GIK Acoustics. These folks run companies, make products to sell, and are out there on the forums to assist people like you and me to get our rooms sounding the best they can.

    There are also a couple of great products out there for measuring your room, both for free. One has some limitations and the other runs without any limitations.

    ETF Software
    http://www.acoustisoft.com/

    RoomEQ
    http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

    To learn about room treatments, room acoustics, etc. one just has to visit the forums, and READ, READ, READ, READ, and ask questions. Once you have decided to move forward into this domain, pick a company you would like to purchase your products from, then contact the individual, and start discussing your room and what needs to be done.

    Here are the sites:

    GIK Acoustics
    http://www.gikacoustics.com/index.html

    Real Traps - Many great articles to read
    http://www.realtraps.com

    Ethan Winers - Build your own Bass Traps
    http://www.ethanwiner.com/basstrap.html

    Jon Risch DIY Acoustics:
    http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/a.htm

    Forums

    Ethan Winer hosted forum
    http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthr...oard/24/page/1

    Rives Acoustics hosted forum
    http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/rives/bbs.html

    Audio Circles - The Acoustics Cirle
    http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/index.php?board=73.0

    Again, you will not believe how much better your current setup will sound once you address and attack your room acoustics. It will be the best money you have spent on your setup.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  4. IanCurtis

    IanCurtis Member

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    Hello all,

    I decided to make up some acoustic panels with 100mm insulation I had left over from soundproofing.I bought some acoustic material from custom audio designs,had a chippy make up some frames and got an upholsterer to cover them.

    Like darron I used a mirror to find the first reflection points along the side walls and placed the remaining panels either side of the projection screen.

    Obviously it made quite a difference to high frequencies by stopping any sharpness and also making the bass seem a little fuller.More intrestingly though I found it gave more seperation between the front and back channels.Sounds from the rears which should be localised are far easier to pinpoint and this seems to help alot,especially with front to back pans(or vice versa),whilst moments of ambience remain nicely generalised.

    Finally because my panels are black I found it helped with picture quality too.It has more punch and because you can't see the walls directly left and right of the screen,there are less distractions.All in all I'd say it was well worth the effort.

    cjohnson,
    Good introductions to acoustics can be found on Audioholics and Custom Audio Designs websites.

    Regards,
    Ian.
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  5. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    dtb300 - thanks for posting the above info, much appreciated.

    Hi Colin,
    the above very detailed info kindly posted by dtb300 is pretty much what and where Ive been reading.
    I honestly was very suprised with the results I achieved in improved sound qualty when I did my very basic testing. This is quite easy to do if you have to hand plenty of thick sofa cushions / bedding etc.
    Firstly put some thick sofa seat cushions in the two front corners leaving a space behind to do the trapping.
    Sit in your main listening position and get someone with a mirror to slide it along the left wall. When (from your sitting/listening position) you can see the left speaker in the mirror you have found the first reflection point. Put some thick cushions etc here. Do exactly the same on the right wall and if you want to on the ceiling (although I didnt bother with the ceiling as the missus would not be happy). Finally put some cushions etc of the rear wall at ear height directly behind the listening position. I just propped the cushions and bedding I used up with chairs and peices of wood.
    Ive stumbled across a very local company (10mins from my door), whom manufacture acoustic panels.
    Ive already given the guys there a call and thus far they have been VERY helpful and not once tried to push their products onto me.
    All thats been initially required is that I send a room plan + photos over to them for them to look at and advise accordingly. I have recieved detailed feedback already! In addition to advise on their products they have also pointed out a number of other issues (sub placement etc etc....).
    I'm going to pop over their place later today to have a look see and ask further questions and get a demo. Will let you know how I get on.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Hi Ian, just read your post (you must have put it up there while I was typing mine above).
    Your room sounds stunning.

    Thanks for this info mate.
    Im leaning more and more toward taking the plunge, the results you found in sound improvements were the same as mine in my basic testing.

    Darron
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin Active Member

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    And don't forget there's a forum right here on AVForums.
  8. GW43

    GW43 Member

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    I've recently (yesterday!) put a square of chipboard under my speaker stands.

    Initially my set-up was:

    Speakers (MA GR10)/Blu-tack/stands (Atacama SE5)/spikes through carpet/suspended wooden floor.

    New arrangement:

    Speakers/Blu-tack/stands/Spikes/Chipboard/Carpet/suspended wooden floor

    Boomy bass has gone, it's much tighter and more detailed, much more detail in the mids and top end, better sound-stage and imaging.

    SWMBO doesn't like the look of the chipboard, but I just used some bits I found in the shed as an experiment.
  9. Piers

    Piers Member

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    Darron,

    Sorting the room will probably provide a far bigger improvement than more expensive equipment.

    Off the shelf solutions don't tend to work with listening rooms as they are all different.

    To get the room right these guys are the experts (I was trained by them :)) www.homeacoustics.net
  10. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Thanks for the info Piers.
    Ive been their web site before and contacted the most local guy, but he didnt seem interested in the job...So Ive now gone my own way.
  11. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Update as promised:

    Ive completed my first stage of my room acoustic project.
    This as been to add 2 x base traps (2x4ft on stands) which allow me to position them as required.
    Install and wall mount a large (6x4ft) reflection point panel. This is mounted directly behind the listening position on the rear wall. Very important for me as I have to sit approx 40cm from the rear wall.

    Ive only managed a couple of hours of listening to 2 channel music to check for improvements.....AND the results were immediately noticable. The sound is much more vivid and higher in clarity, especially the mid & trebble. I can now distiguish many more instuments and the direction from which they are coming from. Bass is still strong but MUCH tighter. Thus far I can honestly say that this upgrade has achieved the best 'bang for buck' in improving the sound quality of my current system. The improvements are immediate.

    My next step is to look to treat the left and right wall 1st reflection points. Sometime in the next couple of weeks.

    Cheers,
    Darron
  12. texasboy

    texasboy New Member

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    Hi Darron,

    Any chance of some photo's to show what you've done please????

    We have pretty much the same gear (DV139/AV9/P7/GSFX & R505) and I'm also interested in doing something similar.

    How big is your room??

    Mine is 4.2 x 4.4 metres with 12 foot ceiling.

    Thanks :thumbsup:
  13. Krell rules

    Krell rules Guest

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    Talk to this place http://www.readyacoustics.com/ for $55, some pictures of your room and detailed measurements of your room will get you a detailed plan on what to do. I talked with him on the phone an he was very helpful for free. The $55 option gets you detailed plans for your exact situation all layed out on computer documents.

    They supply parts for traps so you can totally go DIY and get great results on the cheap. Good luck.
  14. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Hi Texasboy (living somewhere warm :cool:)

    My room dimensions are 3.3x5.3M with a ceiling height of 2.3M

    I have to view/listen across the 3.3M distance because of room layout restrictions.

    As your room is alomost sqaure in size, this will give you quite a few acoustic issues (read this point numerous times on the web that square rooms are always the worst).

    I think anyone would benifit from putting some treatments (in the correct locations) within their hifi/av rooms.

    I will take a few photos later when I get home and try and post them on this thread.

    Did quite a bit more listening last night to 5.1 material. Again here quite a noticable improvement in clarity. Dialogue in particular appears clearer. Im guessing thats because its not being 'masked' as much with rear wall reflections. As with 2 channel I found that the DD/DTS 5.1 material was much easier pinpoint the exact locations where sounds were being transmited from.

    Tonight I will be getting the SPL out to recallibrate/check the speakers.

    All the best,
    Darron
  15. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    Ive completed the speaker level check via my SPL meter. To my suprise ALL speakers inc sub required turning up by 2 to 4db. Obviously this must mean that the acoustic room reflection treatments Ive added thus far are doing their job well :thumbsup:
    Havnt got the photos done yet, but will add as soon as poss...
  16. darron027

    darron027 Member

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    A couple of photos as promised.
    Sorry my photography is not that good.
    You cant miss the large 'orange' rear wall panel on a couple of the images. Its big and its bold!
    The two images showing the corner bass traps are much harder to see, they are the same colour as the two side walls (aubergine).

    Next step as mentioned is to look to treat left & right walls.

    Cheers,
    Darron

    Attached Files:

  17. dtb300

    dtb300 Member

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    Being a big fan of room treatments, I have just replaced all my Auralex at 1st reflection points with 2" (5.08cm) Bonded Acoustical Cotton.

    http://www.acousticalsurfaces.com/echo_eliminator/wall_panel.htm

    I purchased these from Sensible Sound Solutions (across the great Atlantic Pond, where I am located).

    http://sensiblesoundsolutions.com/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=31

    In the beginning, I treated my first reflection points with Auralex and the sound improvement was very nice. BTW, first reflection points can be found with the mirror method - sit in your listening seat and have someone move a mirror on the side walls until you see your speakers - place panel there :) Since I own ML's I also treated the front wall behind the speakers as reflection points. I also have 4" thick (10.16cm) bass traps from floor to ceiling in all four corners, and along the wall behind my seating position.

    I added additional BAC panels on the side walls on the same line as my speakers. This addition really caught me by surprise at the improvement they made.

    Overall results? Spectacular - better left and right separation, better depth on the sound stage, better detail of and between instruments and vocals. The amount of comb filtering that was occurring in my room is now greatly reduced, hence much improved sound.

    For those treating for bass, do not forget your first reflection points on side walls and behind your seating positions.

    And Bonded Acoustical Cotton is a great alternative to fiberglass, rock wool, etc. as it is soft to the touch, does not cause itching, and works just as well.

    Dan

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