Cheap Room Acoustics

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by nevtra, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. nevtra

    nevtra
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    My mate is a sound engineer and i told him i was about to spend a bomb on room acoustics treatment and he offered these solutions for a fraction of the cost.

    Decorate!

    Apparently the following will do the same as the flash lumpy foam stuff that costs.

    Large soft fabric sofa with lots of scatter cusions.
    Piled carpet
    Anaglypta Wallpaper with small patern.
    Artex ceiling........


    Might try it.
     
  2. nevtra

    nevtra
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    Oh, and hang canvas picture frames on 30% of side and back walls
     
  3. Jammyb

    Jammyb
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    sounds like a horrible looking room to be honest :p

    You'd be better off in here:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=172

    I'm not convinced that 'Anaglypta Wallpaper with small patern.
    Artex ceiling........' is gonna make much difference.

    I'm gonna have a go at something like this when I redecorate the place I'm buying:

    [​IMG]
    the panels are wooden frames full of rockwool
     
  4. nevtra

    nevtra
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    That room looks nice, if you can afford the sort of kit thats in it then you probably wouldn't mind spending on expensive room acoustics. My mate reckons its all about avoiding reflection and encouraging absorbtion, and insists that what he has described would do that?????, and if you look at the pic again you'll notice that some of the elements are there, carpet, soft furniture. fames on walls.

    I honestly think that room acoustics are like speakers and speaker cable, in that its subjective, and the salesman will always say " Ah but sir, didn't you notice the better integration and improved soundstage on the £1100 speakers as opposed to the £900 pair", you by it then the guy says " oh but of coarse you wont be able to ge the full benifit of your purchase without the XR nutter bugger cable @ £50 per meter".
     
  5. Jammyb

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    Some wood, rockwool and material to make the frames wouldn't cost much at all, just take a while to make a few of them

    well yeah, it's common sense really, you walk into a completely empty room and it echos with every foot fall, put a sofa, some curtains, a rug etc in there and it starts to soak up the sound, so it no longer bounces round the room.

    well yeah but I think most people have that stuff in their rooms anyway, but artex and anaglypta and loads of picture frames aren't gonna make a massive difference was my point.
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I think that most people that place a hifi system in a bare room with neither curtains, carpets or soft furnishings will soon realise for themselves that the sound isn't particularly good.

    Most of us will furnish the room anyway but the more expensive acoustic treatments are to improve the sound beyond normal furnishings. You only have to read some of the threads in the subwoofer forum to see the problems that the room shape and acoustics can have on the sound quality.
     
  7. clarky78

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    So you therefore except that what his mate said is right...!

    Anyway being a sound engineer i should hope he is.
     
  8. mattym

    mattym
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    i would be very impressed to see it make the same improvement as properly placed room treatments. While it is true that some plants, rugs/carpets and furniture can make a difference toa room, Plants, rugs and furntiture normally come as standard in a room anyway, unless you live a minimalistic livestyle. 'lumpy foam stuff' will give you proper attenuation at specific frequencies, well designed bass traps will remove unwanted room modes and free up your mid range, while diffusion wil remove the feeling of walls without taking away the feeling of a live room. If it was as easy as decorating, i would be a painter....:D For proof of a what a room can sound like, go visit a hifi retailer with a fully treated listening room. The difference between a properly treated room and a non treated room is huge, it cannot be compared to cables and mains leads!
     
  9. Jammyb

    Jammyb
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    I totally accept the stuff about carpets, curtains and sofa's, I just didn't want him artexing his ceilings and papering his walls in the name of HiFi :p

    I've got a mate who's a sound engineer*, he thought the speaker on my TV was a subwoofer, he got quite arsey by the time I stopped taking the p*ss :devil:

    *bands and live events and stuff.
     
  10. nevtra

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    Not being funny but you would say that youre a retailer, and i sensed a mild tone of condersention in the "lumpy foam stuff" quote. Just because someone isn't prone to verbiage doesn't mean what they are saying has less validity.

    Perhaps you have been listening to the sales reps from the "lumpy foam stuff" company to often, opinion on sound is subjective and will always be so. All i was trying to do was share what was given to me as a potential alternative to massively overpriced lumpy foam stuff.
     
  11. mattym

    mattym
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    i didnt mean to sound condescending, i apologise for that :oops: i realise what you are saying, but i'm trying to get across that proper acoustic treatments are not Snake Oil

    However ;)

    It isnt subjective, its scientific fact, absorption and diffusion products have enormous benefits. Schools now have to adhere to regulations for reverbtime in a room, and the only way to address this is to use acoustic treatment, either diffusion or absorption, these rooms are treated by measuring the room with mics and software, then adding treatment to get the reverb time down to guideline levels, there is no room for human subjectivity there. Home rooms are the same, some wallpaper 2mm thick will never produce the same results as a professional product.

    I am slightly biased i suppose, but after spending over 10 years manufacturing and installing acoustic products, i can assure you that all the products we make are designed and made to solve specific acoustical issues, its not just a case of placing some foam here and there. We dont have salesmen telling us what product they have we can sell, we have helped to develope some of the most efficient treatments available today.

    As for massively overpriced, well yes some of the american made foams are expensive, but UK manufactured foams can be had for as little as £17 a sheet 4'x2'x50mm from a company that has spent £$$$$ on design developement and testing over the last 15+ years, also, foams are not the only material that treatments can come in, we manufacture products in anything from foam to transparent acrylic foil
     
  12. avanzato

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    You seem to have already decided on the 'value' of commercial room treatments. So why don't you try out your mates suggestions and let us know how it improves the sound.
     
  13. georgek

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    This thread reinforces my suspicion that when one spends £10000 on sound equipment one has to spend an addition percentage on treating the room acoustics to comply with the quality level or else something is "out of balance". I suspect also that those of you with subwoofers approaching 1000W will need structural modifications as well ... What's probably next is a 380V three-phase circuit for the power amplifiers!

    £+£+£+... for our wonderful addiction.

    George
     
  14. nevtra

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    I would disagree here as the subjectivity i spoke of was in relation to how music sounds to an individual when listening(one mans food is anothers poison), and as such the school example has nothing to do with this (although its interesting to know that under funded schools have to spend money on things like this when the roofs leaking and the kids share books)

    Iv'e no doubt that your business does a bloody good job, and from what you say, you also have extensive experience. The overall tone of your comments suggest a real professionalism which i hope i haven't come across as poo pooing as this was not my intention.

    My original post however was meant to perhaps offer an alternative for those amoung us with limited bugets, thats all, perhaps my discriptions were originally a little flippant so sorry for that.

    Thanks for the conversation, enjoyed it.
     
  15. nevtra

    nevtra
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    Look mate, not everyone has 10000+ to spend on hi fi, your a senior member, are suggestions and/or comments on money saving ideas allowed here or not????, Admittedly i was a little flipant at the begining, but hey, call it reversed snobbery and you'll have a taste of your own medicine, think about it.
    If there's anything constructive and/or educational you have to offer as the retail guy did, then i'm all ears, otherwise be smug with someone else.
     
  16. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    Reflections are not automatically bad things, they can allow a nice sound stage to be created or destroyed
     
  17. avanzato

    avanzato
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    For a start I'm not your mate and all I was asking you to do is try your mates solution and let us know how well they work. Any reason why you don't want to do that? I've done plenty of DIY 'treatments' and posted info on this forum about some of them.

    With your 'attitude' I'm not inclined to offer you any suggestions and you can take a long walk of a short pier as far as I'm concerned. :rolleyes:
     
  18. mattym

    mattym
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    there are 2 phrases that RPG use as advert hooklines that fit the room treatment arena, one is Listen to the Music, not the Room, and the other is Take the room out the mix, not the mix out the room

    When you have a room, and its acoustically poor, the music you listen to in it will suffer, ones taste in music is meaningless if the mids are smeared and trebles distorted!

    Im sure both Mat and I can rustle up a whole list of effective cheap solutions for treating rooms, also Adam has recently finsihed a great article on the subject, which can be found on his website here:
    http://www.apsalisbury.dsl.pipex.com/
     
  19. nevtra

    nevtra
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    Thanks for the link, much appreciated
     
  20. nevtra

    nevtra
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    behave yourself, MATE
     
  21. recruit

    recruit
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    What a lovely well mannered chap :rolleyes:
     

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