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Acoustic Room treatments


jtubbs6117
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This will be open I would really like to hear what everyone's opinion about this subject.

1. Are room treatments only needed for dedicated HT rooms? or can every room benefit(with an audio setup)?

2. How do you apply or how do you know where to apply treatments?

3. What tools do you use to find where to put the treatments?

4. What brand should you use?

5. Are there brand out there that will play well with decorations?

These are just a couple questions I could think of,I am sure there are members that would be happy to share their experiences good and bad. Sometime you learn the most from the bad. Thanks in advance guys! Happy Holidays

Edited by jtubbs6117
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I would say treatments benefit every room yes.

I've seen treatments behind speakers. First reflection points. Ceilings if they are lower. Back wall. Any real reflective surface.

Not sure of a tool. I know some sites offer to give you a quote if you send them room pictures. That's how I will go about it once my stuff is in a final resting spot.

Tons of brands out there. GIK is a big one. Just google it. Tips brands will shop up at the top.

Lots of options as far as looks also. Different fabrics and designs and you can even have photos put on them. They do get pricey when you do that though.

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Getting your room set up right might not be nearly as exciting as buying new equipment but the rewards can be huge! I HIGHLY recommend looking at the books/DVDs from Jim Smith (http://getbettersound.com/index.php). His book isn't so much a step by step room setup guide but more of a series of tips and suggestions based on his years of experience. Following just a couple of his tips will more than pay for his book!

This is a big subject and you find a bunch of "recipes" and "formulas" out there. All rooms are different though. It is also hard work that requires some trial and error as well as some patience. You can do more with some rooms than others... you might have no choice where some furniture goes for example. If you have a living room that is a cube you are going to have a tougher time. Don't just throw up some room treatments without a plan. If you have some flexibility on speaker and seating placements you have a lot of work to do before you spend anything on treatments.

ATS acoustics has some decent pricing on panels but I haven't bought anything from them. Arthour Noxon's tube traps are expensive but impressive for cleaning up boomy bass without deadening the room. My impression is that many people don't treat low enough. I think most rooms need some kind of bass traps.

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I bought my DIY panels and bass traps from my neighbor. They are very simple in design. You can see them in my build thread here and my thoughts after adding them here.

I agree with Scrappy, I think every room can benefit from acoustic panels. Reflections cause the sound to hit your ears at different times causing the sound to be not as clear as the sound just coming directly from the speaker. The first place I added them were the first reflection points. Sit in your main LP and have someone with a tall mirror on the side wall move it until you can see your speaker in the mirror. That's where you will want to place panels. I was explained why it's important to have panels at the first reflection point. Sound comes from the speaker directly to your ears but some of that sound hits the side wall, and reflects off and then hits your ears. Although this is a very slight delay, it is enough to "confuse" your ears and thus causes the sound to appear unclear. Not a very scientific explanation but it works for me because when I added panels, the main thing I noticed was added clarity and precision.

In my student ministry building, sometimes I will ask my youth a question and they can be 15 feet from me and I'll have to ask them to repeat their question because of the echo in the room. It causes the sound to be muddy, unclear and my brain is definitely confused by the reflected sound I'm hearing.

Other than where to place them, I left mine leaning against the wall because I was afraid I wasn't sure exactly where I should mount them. Without a laptop, software and a microphone, I don't know if there is a scientific approach to it. I added a panel behind each main speaker just because I had seen many others do it. LOL One along my back wall just because it's a very flat, hard surface. I've often seen people add diffusers on the back wall to help spread out the reflected sound.

I was considering buying panels from ATS and really liked these Chameleon AT Panel Frames but as you can see, they get quite expensive. The DIY route is a lot more cost effective and you can easily add whatever fabric you want to match your decor.

Before I placed them, I drew up a sketch in Photoshop of where I was considering mounting them.

Acoustic-Panels-Front-Wall1.jpg

Acoustic-Panels-Back-Wall1.jpg

Here is the final results

47c38574_acoustic-panels-1.jpeg

900x900px-LL-33695061_Klipsch-RS-62-Moun

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The very first thing you should do is to get some gear to measure your room, that will tell you what you have and where you need to start. Then it is a process depending on how much you are willing to do. I have been doing this in my room for the last two months or so, the rewards are worth it in my opinion!!!

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I have bought around 15pannels from ATS for two rooms and a few for a friend and they work great. People over think placement (what they said). Just getting the panels in the room on the walls is going to be the biggest upgrade by it self. Putting them in the very best spots will gain better results but it's small compared to the gain of getting them in the room on the walls. With are 5,7 and even 9 or 11 speaker set ups. Sound is bouncing all over the place.

Unless you have a huge room your placement is going to be pre set based in where they will even fit if you get the 24 x 48 panels. The biggest upgrade to me is with the side and back speakers. They sound a lot better in a treated room. With no panels really loud parts of movies sounded really loud. With panels really loud parts don't really sound just loud but bigger, clearer, and more dynamic if that makes sence.

Edited by reference_head
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It seems we are all talking about problems with standing waves. There is a lot of bouncing around of sound waves in a multichannel setup and problems with sound decay. This is a problem that is not amenable just by EQ or PEQ.

Exactly you need to add treatment and eq, to achieve good results with decay and reverberation.

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Acoustic panels and bass traps are essential and are the next step for me.

I didn't feel the need before because I spent the last few years without installing a drop ceiling. So the whole ceiling surface was Roxul Safe & Sound batts behind a thin plastic sheet (i.e. a huge acoustic panel). When I put in my dropped ceiling, it had to be painted and I lost all acoustic properties. The room had an echo. It's a little better now that I put my HT seats in, but still not as good as before.

As far as bass, my room has always been difficult, with 10+ dB swings in bass frequency response depending on where you sit.

I need to put in a bass trap in at least the one available corner and some panels on the few available spots in the room.

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They clean up separation and imagining. For multi ch systems this is a nice upgrade.

When i first put them up i only did a few at a time so i did not hear a huge improvement. But when i painted and took them down and watched a few movies with them down. The difference was really noticeable. It sounded bad in comparison.

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I have done alot of reading and research on this and it is my understanding that 2" thick panels are not going to do much to help with bass trapping, you need/want a minimum of 4" thick panels for bass trapping to be effective.

That is my understanding as well. I believe it's because bass waves are longer so they take more insulation to stop the wave. Not sure on that though.

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