Room Treatment

Hi Chaps,

I'm pondering some acoustic treatment for my seemingly overbright listening room, and would appreciate input from forum members who've gone down this route.

System info is in my profile, and the room?

Well, it's irregularly shaped, call it "cone" shaped, with the system at the broad end, and the listening position halfway down it's length. The issue is more than likely that one longer boundary is wholly glass - french doors and a patio door, mitigated to some extent by vertical blinds. 

Not ideal, but what can you do, short of calling in the builders, and that's probably a step too far.

I have carried out some research on't net, but there's nothing quite like the experiences of others, good or bad, to provide some practical enlightenment.

Thanks in advance,

Dave.

 

Original Post

Hi Dave,

your situation sounds somehow familiar. While my room is rectangular, it suffers from too many glass doors as well. My system is placed along one of the shorter walls and the listening position is halfway down the lengths. Without any treatment it is overly bright, just like yours.

Placing two diffusers, I chose Artnovion Douros, on the wall behind the speakers and six small absorbers along the long walls made things better by a very noticeable amount. The absorbers are made from Basotect and 35 * 35 * 8 cm. Two of them are placed near each front corner, the other two halfway down the length, clock to the ceiling. When covered with a suitable fabric, the absorbers integrate themselves quite well into our living room. They are very easy to use, regarding both placement and the numbers needed. Placing a seventh one anywhere in our ca. 4,5 by 6 m room makes it uncomfortably dead.

Also you don't mention what floor covering?? If wood then a rug 

I use acoustic foam panels on wall opposite my speakers as well as one on the 1st reflection points to the sides. In the corners behind the speakers I have bass traps.  Acoustic panels were made from 4 by 2 wood with a chipboard back then spray adhesive for the acoustic foam tiles. Covered in fabrich to match your decor. Cheap and easy diy job. 

Can't post pics as at work

Having just treated my listening room , I can fully recommend GIK.  Supply them with room details and they will give you good advice on action to take.

Is your listening room able to accommodate acoustic panels as required.  I found broadband bass tri traps in all corners were a good first step. Then add first refection point panels, 242s, on walls and ceiling , if you are limited to what you can accommodate then use Monster bass traps on the wall first reflection points.

I found diffusor panels a bit swings and roundabouts , you make like the results or may not.

One beneficial side effect of room treatment I found was that the room is now much quieter and relaxing.

My opinion. Room treatment is certainly very important and will make or break the system. For a considerably bad or bright sounding system room treatment will be useful if all other options are fully exhausted. For few folks like myself, room treatments are not feasible due to WAF especially if the system is in the living room. Try thick curtains, thick rugs and leafy plants as alternative options to treat the room. If all else fails then consider aftermarket room treatment products that will usually yield satisfactory results if properly implemented.

My philosophy is no room or system is 100% perfect and some form of room (or system) colouration is acceptable as long as the music is enjoyable.

Canvas prints on an art frame stretcher hung up can go some way of  fulfilling what audio specific panels do. Good choice always available and more domestically suitable.

i do a lot of painting, there's no shortage of them for me to hang up on the walls. Experiments with placement and sizes has led me to tune out my room.

The first thing to do is establish WHY the room is excessively bright.

One approach to this is to use REW and a calibrated microphone (such as the miniDSP UMIK-1), then look at the waterfall plot and reverb plots to find reflections or other effect causing HF reverberation.  The time delay will indicate the additional path length and can help to localise any reflections.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your input thus far.

I've had a look at the various offerings from the manufacturers mentioned, and have just checked out the REW webpage.

It does make sense to adopt a scientific approach, in establishing exactly, the whys and wherefores of my music room, rather than simply buying a "complete" room treatment pack, so I'll look at getting hold of the suggested microphone and see where the free REW software takes things.

The fun just never stops! 

Room acoustics and treatment is the most neglected part of home hi-fi. How many hi-fi stores provide a room measurement service and sell acoustic treatment? Yet it makes a massive difference and should influence product selection.

In a domestic environment you can more or less forget treatment for bass absorption below 100hz unless you want your room to look like a loft or recording studio.

I agree with Folkman in that treat the corners with gik broadband corner tri traps, treat first reflection points (in my case side walks) with broadband panels, and treat wall behind your listening position with some more broadband panels. That's the approach I've took and it works very well. You can print artwork onto fabric panels to make it look more pleasing. Massive improvement in all areas. I was unable to tame low bass between 40-50hz so I downgraded speakers from ATC SCM40A to SCM19A and this more or less eliminated the problem.

We don't have any glass in the room other than bay windows - heavy lined curtains solve that problem.

A couple of shots of my treated room, luckily this is a dedicated listening room so have free rein ....

all GIK panels.

Stacked Tri traps in all corners , 242 panes at first reflection points on walls and ceiling , Monster bass traps on walls and behind front and rear curtains. Also a 6A Alpha panel in window behind listening position.

 

 

Thanks Folkman 

That looks like a great room. My gear is in the lounge but I am the only one that uses it really. Not sure I could get away with such extensive treatment but might manage a couple of wall panels if I can work out the best position 

There is a great thread on another forum about this. If I can remember where I'll post it. From memory I believe it came down to bass traps in corners first. You can't have too many. After that it was add at reflection points as needed. You may not need anything other than those bass traps. You have to becareful adding absorption panels because it's easily overdone and makes a room dead. Bass traps in corners and diffusers in back of you and begins the speakers. Vicoustic makes some nice looking Diffusor panels but they are pricey. GIL makes some cheaper ones but don't look as cool to me. 

I second Huge's suggestion of REW - it can give a lot of information and help identify if other actions would help, like repositioning of speakers and/or listening position, which if the circumstances allow can be a good option, reducing the extent of treatment that might be necessary.

There's a very good company called GIK acoustics who will give free advice using amongst other things REW plots sent to them (obviously hoping for sale of their products). 

Thanks again chaps for all the advice so far.

I've had a good look at the REW software, and will probably order the suggested UMIK -1 microphone when I return home next week ............. unless, of course, anyone out there is prepared to lend me one for what I hope would be a one off use! 

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robgr
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