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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sure wish someone would make a nice Bass Trap that wasn't ugly. My home theater is trimmed with a whole lot of woodwork. The ability to choose a bass trap that would match or come closer to matching my particular set up would sure be nice. Black bass traps are OK but something other than that, would make the wife really happy. The wife has decorated with this natural green and brownish sort of jungle motif with dark furniture, with medium to dark wood finish. If someone made a panel that was, I don't know, just a bit more flexible that would allow me to choose a color that would work well for my room and not disturb the carefully thought out color scheme already in place. I would be a happy camper. Also, what about quality. I for one would be willing to pay more if necessary for something of greater quality than some of what seems to be available. I used to be a master cabinet maker in my former life, with a top end custom cabinet shop in the Minneapolis area, and know the distinct difference between carefully crafted products and stuff that is just tossed together by some hack. "Hack" is a popular term amongst cabinetmakers when referring to poorly constructed woodwork. I also know the difference between bargain basement materials and top of the line products that make the best finished goods. I would certainly be willing to pay more for a better mouse trap, I mean bass trap panel set up, that is functional, looks great and makes my wife happy. Happy wife = Happy me.:jiggy:
 

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Understand that the mechanics of a bass absorber are just a couple nothces under sending a man to the moon - and a notch under finished cabinetry. They need to sit in a corner and absorb sound. They don't move, they don't have detail finishes, visible hardware, etc.

Not trying to come across wrong but just want you to understand the realities.

If you want something that looks like a cabinet finished woodwork and has matching cloth, build it yourself - you obviously have the skills. All the materials are readily available.

Bryan
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glenn, Bryan and Wayne,

I have already purchased your corner bass traps and after unpacking them discovered that they are cardboard. I was really disappointed with the quality. I never even brought them in from the garage. The black looks fine in the garage as I do have my own stereo out there where I spend a lot of time putsing around. As you probably know a man's garage is his castle.

I have to say that one reason I started this thread was to detail what in my opinion is a lack of quality in the GIK traps I bought. I could easily make the same corner unit using plywood or even some sort of plastic if I have to. Maybe you are not making them any more out of cardboard. If so that would be a huge improvement from the traps I received about a year ago now. Also the limited color choice, as detailed in my post above, really limits or almost forces me to choose that black. I think black is way cool myself, like most folks, but the wife really likes softer more natural colors. A tough one to please is she. So in the end if I have to make these myself, I will probably go with plastic and take the little woman to JoAnn fabrics so she can pick out something that she likes. I'd really would rather not have to spend the time making these myself but I may have no other choice.

Oh and Wayne... I agree a refrigerator is a great idea to have next to the sofa! It's certainly is a must have for the garage too! That plus a freezer. You never know when your putsing around and might get a hankering for your favorite weekend beverage or a ice cream sandwich! LOL

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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First of all, it's not cardboard. It's a composite material that can be made into a single form to hold everything. This is done because it is what's required in order to perform the function. Sure, we could make them out of solid wood. That would require additional material costs, not to mention being much more labor intensive. Also, it would require stocking many different kinds of woods and stains and increase turnaround time to our customers. It would also require additional manufacturing space, additional staff, etc.

All of those things would drastically drive up the price of the units - and realistically, not provide any additional performance for the additional money.

Cloth - again, everyone has different tastes. Stocking hundreds of different kinds of materials would require additional warehouse space and additional costs again. If we don't stock everything, then the cost per yard would be higher and turnaround time would again be longer as we'd have to purchase the special cloth every time someone wanted something different. Even using GOM fabric would increase costs both up front for inventory of an entire bolt of 48 different colors - and even then people want more choices.

The material choices we offer are there becasue they are the ones the majority of the people want. Most companies who make things like this offer maybe 2-3. We listened and offered an upgrade cloth in a different textrure and a few additional colors.

Unfortunately, we're not a multi-billion dollar company that can afford these kinds of additional cost. Think of it this way just on the GOM cloth. If we got it for say $12 per yard and bought a full bolt of each color (48 colors just for FR701-2100) and 60 yards to a bolt. That's $720x48 in an up front cost.

Our goal is to be able to offer a product line that performs very well for a resonable price that pretty much everyone can afford. There are already plenty of people out there who will charge $300 to $1k per bass absorber that don't perform much if any better than what we're offering. That's not our niche.

I'm sorry if you're not happy with your purchase. I think though that if you gave them a chance, you'd be very happy with the performance - which is our primary goal. Sure, you can probably make something that will perform similarly for about the same money that looks exactly like you want it to. You almost always can in a DIY situation. DIY doesn't have to consider business taxes, employees, warehouse and manufacturing space, labor costs, inventory, advertising, etc.

We have been investigating some new products with different finish looks and options. We're still trying to balance the performance per cost and our customer base.

I wish you well in your DIY effort.

Bryan
 

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I sure wish someone would make a nice Bass Trap that wasn't ugly.
The main problem as I see it is not so much what one trap looks like, but what the necessary six or more traps and panels all look like together in the room.

This comes up often when people ask me if we can make a different color, or add a fancy pattern to the front, or whatever. But no matter how beautiful we or GIK might be able to make each panel, once you have a lot of them in a room they still dominate. I'm in the process of putting together an article explaining how to hide acoustic treatment, and there are things you can do. For example, there are stretch fabric wall systems that can hide all the panels. But they're not cheap.

With acoustic treatment you can have Attractive, Effective, or Inexpensive. Pick any two. :rofl:

--Ethan
 

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Amen.

Bryan
 

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I honestly don't know if our cloth could be dyed. Potentially I suppose.

Bryan
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bryan or Ethan - Can the cloth on panels be dyed ?
We regularly advise our customers that our panels can be wrapped in fabric (so long as it's acoustically transparent, or at least reasonably so) without significantly altering the performance of the traps.

Here are some pics from a customer who wrapped his in some fabric from Guilford of Maine:
 

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the fabric wall idea is a good one, and it doesn't need to be expensive, you just give up a lot of room real estate to do it.

You will want to use Guilford or similar fire-resistant fabric - DO NOT take your wife to Jo-Anne!
I called guilford, found out who my local rep was, talked with her and she sent me a ton of sample cards - she was really cool (Thanks Christine!)

your cost for a false wall are pretty low - some basic lumber, the fabric, and as much insulation as you care to put back there. if you line the wall with floor trim and crown moulding, most people won't even know it's a false wall, plus you can hide your sub and speakers behind it if you wish.

I will say it's kind of unfair to bash GIK here - those traps are very inexpensive, and they fill a much needed spot in the acoustics marketplace. Just as entry level AV gear does. And I believe they have a money back guarantee - so to complain about it a year later seems a little underhanded..
 

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Ethan - Will your article be on this site, or on your site ?
I'm sure it will go on the RealTraps site since the goal is to help sell more RealTraps. :devil:

Actually, that's part of my devilish master plan: To make the RealTraps site so downright useful and informative that people go there just for the education and reading material. :reading:

Of course, there's already a ton of useful articles, software tools, educational videos, etc. :jump:

--Ethan
 

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You guys lost me really quick on a few things here.

If you’re going to wrap a sound trap with cloth, why does it need to be fire-retardant cloth ?

“you just give up a lot of room real estate to do it.” Another one that you lost me on. How does wrapping a sound trap in cloth cost you extra space ?

“your cost for a false wall are pretty low” False wall ? I’m not sure where this came from. Are you talking about a stand-alone panel ?

Ethan – I really like your business philosophy. One of the local businesses around here a few years ago had a slogan that said something to the effect of – The more you know, the more you’ll want to buy from us. Educating is a time consuming process, but I would think that it builds a loyal customer base over time, and you end up getting the best word-of-mouth advertising possible.
 

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No idea on the real estate or the false wall comments.

Any time you build something like this it should be covered in a fire retardant fabric.

Bryan
 

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You certainly know more about this than I do, so I'll take your word on it. I'd just like to know why a fire-retardant fabric is recommended.
 

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"panel fabric" such as that sold by Guilford of maine, has a few properties that make it well suited for permanent panels, such as those installed in sports complexes, churches, concert halls etc..

property # 1 - I think they are all made from polyester or similar - the material does not absorb moisture from the humidity in the room - so it will not sag over time.

Property # 2 - they have good fire retardant capabilities. this would be important in say a school or daycare center, but it equally important in your home...

Property # 3 - panel fabrics are often 66" wide

I'll explain further the concept of a false (or fabric) wall...

There is often a desire not to have a room filled with acoustic traps, corner traps, diffusors, and other acoustic fixers that wives generally do not want to look at.

for this example, Imagine that you have a 15x20 finsihed room.
to help you imagine it

lets use these dimensions:
+----- 20 -----+
15 **********15 <-lets discuss this wall
+----- 20 -----+
You draw up in a cad program that you want to have huge bass absorbers against one of the 15 foot walls. the picture looks similar to what Glenn posted above...

You're wife objects saying it looks like a freak show and she doesn't want it.
now, if you don't really need all 20 feet in that room, the back 15 foot wall can be moved into the room by say 2 feet.
so your new room (on paper) looks like this:
+------18-----+-2-+
15**********15**15
+------18-----+-2-+
on paper, you've made the 15x20 room 2 feet shorter, it's now 15x18.
however, the middle wall we just added, isn't going to be a traditional wall of 2x4s and drywall.
it's going to be a wall made entirely out of fabric (you'll have a frame behind it so the fabric is pulled tight)

now as far as sound is concerned, you have a 15x20 room, but your eyes see a 15x18 room.

you would then use the 2 foot space behind the fabric wall to install the same arrangement of traps that was in Glenn's picture.

anyhow thats the idea. People who enter the room don't notice the wall is fabric becuase it looks like a wall, not a 2x4 panel hung on a wall (even if thats what is behind the fabric - they can't see that)

It doesn't have to have 2 feet behind it, it could have 2 inches behind it.
I used 2 feet, because at that depth, you have enough room for some serious bass traps, but you could certainly adjust this. For example your side walls could be brought out 2 inches, and you could put an inch or two of rigid fiberglass on the sides to control 'early reflections'

building something like this has an assumption - there can't be any windows or doors on that wall (not without getting really fancy in how you do things)

now adding fabric on top of commercial traps, is going to add cost...

however many commercial traps are nothing more than fiberglass covered with fabric in some kind of frame. if you are building the false wall all you really need behind it is fiberglass - no need for a finished panel. Fiberglass is cheap.

so hopefully that helps you understand what I meant by a fabric wall.
My example was an extreme one - designed to accomodate a lot of insulation behind it...

A more typical application of fabric to a wall would be with a product like wallmate(http://www.wallmate.net/)

the brouchure shows the product in use, and how it's setup...

Personally I see advantages to doing something like that, but I also see advantages of ordering from GIK or Realtraps - I'm not trying to steer you in any one direction - just make you aware of what directions are available.

- Jack
 

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The Wall Mate thing is exactly what the doctor ordered ! That will help tremendously in my acoustics vs. appearance battle. Thank you so much for the tip. Any idea on how much it costs ?

The false wall may have an application also. I'll have to give that some more thought.

I still don’t understand the fire-retardant thing though, other than it would be nice to have.
 

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I have a wall panel like that and the guilford fabric has been nice and tight for over a year now..

The plastic track isn't cheap, I think most places I looked were around $3-5/ft. It's probably cheaper to frame your own - especially if you are trying to go floor to cieling, wall to wall.

Keep in mind, the against the wall mounting is the least effective acoustically, and will do little to help the bass response, which is usually what needs treatment the most..

Send me a PM and remind me, and I can post some pictures of it in the next few days.
 
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