Gik soffit traps are broadband traps. They likely will not work as good as the ACDA traps for stuff around 50hz. I took a quick look at the Acoustic Sounds stuff. They make nice quality cabinets, but I think the cost is a lot higher. For example, the ACDA-12 will do just about the same thing as 3 of the GIK Scopus traps (about the same surface area). And the GIK traps will be about 70% of the cost of a ACDA-12. The Scopus will be cheaper to ship since they are only 2 foot x 2 foot each. The ACDA is a tuned membrane type bass trap that is centered at the 50hz frequency. So, absorption is 100% at 50hz, but only 60% at 40hz. Very similar to a GIK Scopus trap. You can have GIK custom build a Scopus trap for a certain frequency (though they have 3 standard models for 40hz, 70hz, and 100hz).
The main reason is price. ASC products are much more expensive. But there are more reasons as well: Effectiveness and sound.
The GIK Soffit traps are broad, and deep, effective in low ranges where it is difficult to get normal acoustic treatments to work, and a fraction of the cost of the ASC tube traps.
I recently went to a show in Oakland, CA which was sponsored by ASC and Pass. Every room heavily treated by ASC tube traps sucked. The midrange was missing and the bass was 1 note. The few rooms I liked either had minimal ASC or used completely different products, like Vienna Acoustics and Fritz Speakers. Honestly this was counter to my expectations. When I saw the traps in a room I immediately expected I would be treated to a great experience compared to a normal hotel room or exhibition hall.
Also GIK is very hobbyist friendly. They have experts who give much better advice than you’d get on Audiogon (including from me!) even if you aren’t going to spend a lot of money. I have never asked ASC for help, so I cannot compare on this dimension.
Not to hijack too hard, but any recommendations for bass traps for a very wide frequency band? I need to tame my bass between 20-200Hz. Most commercial traps seem to be more focused on a much narrower band.
The best solution I've theoretically found is a limp membrane bass trap. But man, I'll take any suggestions
GIK Monster Bass Trap with FlexRange Limiter works very well between 75hz and about 300hz, while not absorbing much above that. Anything below 75hz really needs a tuned membrane or limp mass membrane, like the GIK Scopus. Don’t get me wrong, the Monster Bass Trap will do some absorption under 75hz, but not as good as tuned/limp. I have used both.
I didn’t really test. I made limp mass for 63hz, and am in the process of making a set for 50hz. These are two bass nodes in my room. Google for “tims limp mass” to see what I did. One of the mistakes people do on these is to use Owens 703 for the damping. The 703 is too dense and actually reduces the box area. I used acoust-a-stuff from parts express.
I bought this stuff for the limp mass. It’s better than the vynil stuff:
i think i used 1/8” for 63hz, and will use 1/4” for 50hz. It all depends on desired cabinet depth. Thinner neoprene requires deeper cabinet.
I just spend an ABSURD amount of time researching this. I landed on ASC IsoThermal TubeTraps. They have built-in diffusion (or absorption)!
Recording studios is where ASC and their Tube Traps first found acceptance. Art Noxon is a highly degreed acoustical engineer, a true expert in a field with rather low standards, if not outright charlatans. Room Tunes, anyone? ;-)
Studios build bass traps into the structure of the room/building, the reason being that to be effective at very low frequencies, traps need to be huuuuge. To call the flat panels containing 2-4" 703 fiberglass offered by GIK and RealTraps bass traps is a stretch. Products like the DSPeaker Anti-Mode are an effective non-acoustical means of dealing with room modes.
I actually find Room Tunes rather effective, if tricky. But what isn’t? Certainly Tube Traps often take some experimentation to find the ideal locations and can actually hurt the sound if you’re not paying attention. I had good luck with Corner Tunes and Echo Tunes and the long narrow panels for room corners. As I said elsewhere the XLO Test CD is invaluable for getting room treatments as well as speakers precisely situated. There are too many variables to do it by ear. You could mess around for years.