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Thread: New sound absorbing panels from IKEA...!

  1. #31
    Join Date: Feb 2017

    Location: Essex-Herts border

    Posts: 134
    I'm Matt.

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    Fully agree that room treatment is a very cost effective upgrade, far more so than trying to cure problems with different cabling etc.
    When I moved my system from the family lounge into a small, but dedicated room, it sounded ropey. I tried different speakers, placements etc but the over-riding issue remained.
    I started looking into basic room treatments. Having learnt what the room was giving was flutter echo, I started experimenting with cushions, duvets etc propped up against the wall & covering the wood flooring. Whilst it looked like I’d finally lost the plot & was building a diy padded cell, I could hear enough improvement to invest in some proper treatment. The result is that the flutter echo has gone, the imaging is now superb & far more controlled.
    GIK do sell panels that are far more visually acceptable than the usual foam pads (agreed they’re not the cheapest though) as well as offering panels with bespoke artwork printed on them which might help with the WAF.

  2. #32
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 30,024
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    Hey Martin, I may be wrong but it appears you have not been exposed to a before and after listen to a room properly treated. It's science, there are is a target response to achieve and when these conditions are met the transformation is amazing. No guesswork involved.

    In the interests of keeping my post from getting overly long I purposely left out what transpired at my idiot mates place. I regularly bought fibreglass/rockwool panels from demolishers for myself and friends at about 20% of new price. I had picked up a truck full and due to an installation being postponed I asked my mate to store them for me.

    I convinced him to buy the beer and allow me to place the panels where I thought they would help. I lay a bunch at the floor/wall corners and in 2 of the vertical wall/wall corners and some on little tables etc. for first reflection points. I can go into greater detail about what we heard first and then with the additions but suffice to say the sound was simply amazing.

    Andy was almost beside himself trying this album then that and I noticed that his wife was quietly in tears because she loved it and was happy for her husband and I suppose because he could now finally get his system sorted instead of wasting huge sums on never ending 'upgrades'

    He at that stage had replaced an Aragon 4004 with a beautiful Spread Spectrum Technologies pre/power combo. I can't remember his turntable. Speakers were changed from Appogee to Martin Logans to Magnepans. What was presented now was clean and had a soundstage and most importantly now, musical. If anything a little soft in the top end. This because he had made the mistake of trying to correct a room problem by choosing warm sounding cables.
    No, not experienced a before and after situation like that. But your mate's room must have been pretty empty if you were able to lay out panels so symmetrically. Also those panel speakers like Martin Logans have poor off-axis response so would probably benefit more than a well-designed conventional speaker with good off-axis performance. So the design of speaker and what that is doing is also a factor.

    Mine is well-damped from carpets, rugs, two large padded settees and thick curtains. Lots of clutter. Never had any issues except when I got rid of a large plant from one corner and was getting some bounce from it. A large roll of loft insulation stuck in the corner solved that.

    If the room has hard floors, no soft furnishing except one couch or chair, no clutter, blinds instead of curtains then you will have all sorts of issues. You see that sort of room a lot nowadays as it's the style of the times.

    There is science behind it, of course there is, but even so experts don't always agree on the optimal solutions. For example damping first reflections can be beneficial or it can ruin soundstage. Too much treatment and the room will start sounding weird, as your moving towards an anechoic chamber. If speech sounds natural in the room then recorded music probably will too.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Audiolab 6000CDT* SoncozSGD1 * Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  3. #33
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,649
    I'm Dennis.

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    This is tending towards what is becoming a discussion on many forums; the degree to which we allow the listening room to impose its characteristics on a recording, which already has its own, and the results on a stereo image..

  4. #34
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: limerick

    Posts: 64
    I'm charles.

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    @Manicatel : nice post. I did as you mentioned in your last sentence. My wife chose some attractive art and had GIK print the fabric and post it to me rolled up in a sturdy cardboard tube.

    For whatever reason, treating a room is low on the priority list or just completely ignored. The Royal Albert Hall had a big problem with the dome. People joked about the echo, saying: you can hear any piece twice at the RAH. After many attempts they resorted to dispersion by installing large 'upside down mushrooms.

    My point being, all rooms need acoustic treatment and the smaller the room the more important it is. All it takes to tackle this scientifically is to download for FREE the very useful REW and buy, for about the same price as modest interconnect cable, a microphone. Online you can find, also free, programs that will identify the modal issues. So you let REW produce a waterfall plot of your room. This will show exactly where the peaks and nulls lie and also the amount of time the sound takes to decay.

    How long should that decay be? Good question. Work out the volume of your room and find online a table that provides the correct T60 for that size room. T60 is the time it takes for the sound to decay by 60dB and for my room is about 400ms.

    This is not expensive, provides a bigger 'upgrade' than any component swap and is great fun. When I first did this I found it to be quite exciting to watch the waterfall plot reveal that the peaks were being tamed and the nulls started filling in. Bass traps are needed to reach the lower frequencies and as I added them I noticed that what was previously a partial or complete null start reaching up to the mean amplitude.

    For anybody reading this not familiar with peaks and nulls on a plot, a complete null is zero music. When this fills in from preventing bass waves from combining destructively you now get to hear parts of the music not previously heard. When preventing bass from combining constructively you tame the peaks which lead to one-note-bass. On my system I can hear all the detail of Ray Brown' double bass and its wonderful.

    No amount of money thrown at bigger better amps and/or speakers can provide that music being cancelled in the nulls. It's gone and you ain't getting it back unless you address the cancellation problem. And no Sir, EQ can not bring it back. Partial nulls can be boosted a little but this will not help the power response. Some nulls will require maybe a 20dB boost but where will your power come from. A 12dB boost will need power doubled 4 times. So from 60 watts to 960 watts but of course there are not many domestic speakers that can handle 1Kw and even if they could would just cancel those particular frequencies with the same power!

    Small scraps of foam, beach towels and bookcases just physically can't achieve this unfortunately.

    The pic below shows a 6" deep wall mounted frame with 75mm insulation and a 75mm air space behind it. A free standing movable frame is great for tweaking its performance by varying the distance from the wall. If mounted overhead as a cloud and reasonably high ceilings are available a greater distance from the surface behind it is possible achieving absorption down to a lower frequency and results can be viewed on the CSD (cumulative Spectral display)/waterfall plots on REW.

    In the far corner one of the bass traps can be seen. The grey coloured cover measures 900mm/35.5" across


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