Initial subjective testing of room treatments... - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 14 Old 09-11-09, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Ok, I just received 8 2'x4' x 1-1/2" thick CertainTeed Acoustaboard Black series 300 (3 lb/cu. ft density) panels yesterday from FedEx and did some initial setup and listening last night. I didn't do any baseline measurements prior or post setup yet, so this is purely subjective listening and initial reactions to what I did and what changed. I also only changed the volume control while listening and took mental note of where I normally listen to certain recordings and where I was listening to them with the treatments. I did not change any individual speaker or sub trim levels at any point.

First off, I've got bi-polar speakers (Mirage 895is, front 1"/5.25" and rear 1"/5.25" speakers in each tower) and when subjected to absorption behind the speakers, obviously things are going to change dramatically! I've got dual SVS Ultra 13's in the front corners of the room (but not located directly in the corners). My room is all ceramic tile floor with a large area rug with no padding beneath it. The room is 15' wide by ~20' long x 10' tall. The back right corner of the room is a full opening about 10' wide, so there's not much back wall except a the non-symmetrical 5' in the back left. Furniture is all leather and we have a large-ish glass topped coffee table in the center of the room. I setup and level matched things how I like with REW and am familiar with its basic settings/testing capabilities.

The first image was the full setup with double thickness (3" thick) panels in each of the three corners in the room (rear not pictured). Also, a single thickness panel (1-1/2") behind each front main speaker.

Initial subjective testing of room treatments...-p9111892sm.jpg

I only listened to 2 channel stereo (with subs). Initially, I was amazed at the differences. Not necessarily for the better, but still amazed at how different it sounded. It sounded more muted, controlled, less harsh, quieter. Eventually I got somewhat used to the sound. Even turning up the volume way past what I normally listen to, my ears didn't complain.

After a good session on a variety of music (pipe organ/classical and hard rick live concert) I removed the treatments and re-listened. Wow, it was a fair bit "louder" to my ears and quite a bit more live sounding, but also very difficult to pick out instruments, and much more confusion. Certain sounds were harsh and with much volume my ears hurt.

So I re-enlisted some of the panels, this time strictly in the 3 corners of the room, double thick in each corner (3") and nothing behind the speakers.

Initial subjective testing of room treatments...-p9111889sm.jpg
Initial subjective testing of room treatments...-p9111890sm.jpg
Initial subjective testing of room treatments...-p9111891sm.jpg

This was not nearly the dramatic change I initally observed, but still discernable, but only in the bass region with very little change in the mids/treble. I only noticed the mid/treble difference when I once again removed all the treatments. Still the strictly corner placement was a good change. The bass wasn't as floppy, perhaps a bit more tamed. Initially, it sounded quieter in the bass region, but later it just seemed more clear. I listened through the entire live hard rock concert this time and eventually went from room treatment testing, to just enjoying a live concert. Music gets in the way like that sometimes.

In then end I don't know if the WAF will get to where it needs to be for anything like these to stay. I've got a week of her on a business trip to do some panel cutting and covering to better fit in the room. Before I do that, I'll try to get on the ball and actually take measurements to best determine what I need and what I like. I've also got some friends that'll come over for listening help. We'll see where it goes from there!
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-11-09, 06:06 PM
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

I would also suggest that you try the corner traps at 6" thick..
This is the normal recommended thickness for flat corner panels..

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-11-09, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Ok, I'll try that, but what about splitting the 2'x4' panels lengthwise so they are 1'x4', thus I'll have more to make thicker corner pieces, plus they'll nestle into the corners better? I may even have to go narrower to even think about keeping them in the room. I know this will lessen their ability to dampen bass, but if they're adequately thick and tall would this be a good trade-off?
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-12-09, 02:28 PM
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

If you're going that route, you should look at superchunk bass traps, ripping each 2x4 into 8 triangles and then stacking those in the corner. They'll fit a little more snug and will perform much better.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-12-09, 05:49 PM
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Quote:
eugovector wrote: View Post
If you're going that route, you should look at superchunk bass traps, ripping each 2x4 into 8 triangles and then stacking those in the corner. They'll fit a little more snug and will perform much better.
Agreed...Cutting them down to 1' wide will reduce their effectiveness considerably..
Ideally they need to be as wide as practical..
Superchunks will do the trick..

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post #6 of 14 Old 09-12-09, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Great suggestions, plus they'll have a better chance passing the WAF. Ok, so a stack of progressively larger sized equalateral triangles to nestle into the corners. Make them ~6" thick still? I'd like to use a few (3 of them, perhaps full size) on the front wall stood up behind the mains (L/C/R) possibly. Corners first! I'll be able to do the lower ones, but also should try the upper ones to? Thanks guys.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-13-09, 12:32 AM
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Nope, like this: http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=535
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-13-09, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

Ah, ok. I'd have gotten there eventually by SEARCHING! ;-)

So, what about GIK's smaller 3 wall interface corner traps? The ones that are equalateral triangles and sit up or down at the interface of a 3 wall junction. I'm reading about the superchunks...might need more material.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-13-09, 11:39 AM
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

GIKs products will work and look great. And yes, if you DIY, you'll need more material.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-15-09, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Initial subjective testing of room treatments...

I have another question regarding the corner solutions (StudioTips Corner Absorber and the SuperChunk). It's mentioned that the trap should be against the walls...
"When mounting the panel be careful to fix it into the corner so the both long backside edges touch the room boundaries [walls, ceiling or floor depending on how you orient the panel]. Gapping the panel away from the walls as little as a couple of inches will make the 100 Hz peak demonstrated in the "4 Devices" comparison collapse."
Now in my front two corners, I've got an extra protruding corner (see photos up top). Will this perhaps help my standing bass waves and make front bass traps less necessary - kind of like a diffuser? It'll require a bit more of a custom solution if I do place a trap up front. I took some REW measurements without any room treatments (a while back) and I don't seem to have too much room ringing going on (posted graph in REW forum) I believe.

Now in the back of the room, I've only got one corner, the other is a square column support that is open to two story cathedral cielings for the rests of the main area in the house. So, I'll likely do well by treating that one rear corner I do have.
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