Bass traps - too many choices!!


Browsed the forum and read a lot regarding bass traps. But overwhelming and still not sure what to buy. Looked at the ASC site; and their tube traps are tuned to different frequencies. eBay sells foam wedges which are advertised as corner bass traps. Relatively inexpensive too. But are they effective? I've also heard about using sand-filled cardboard tubes (used for pouring concrete). Even heard that a large potted plant set in the corner can be an effective bass trap.
Can anyone simplify this? I already have Room Tunes in my corners. Speakers are on the diagonal as my listening room is kinda squarish. So I'm just looking to put a bass trap in the corner behind and between the two speakers. But I want to make sure that whatever I buy is effective. 

rockyboy
Everybody claims their acoustical product is a bass trap; It ain’t true. Room tunes is just cloth-covered fiberglass, a joke at the prices Michael asks for them. I still have some. Owens Corning 703 Semi-Rigid panels are far better for eliminating slap echo on walls. For true bass traps, ASC is the real deal. Expensive though. I found 13 of them in a local paper twenty years ago for ten bucks each, including a pair of 16"!
These guys are really good.  They will help you all the way.  They have gotten great user reviews.

http://www.gikacoustics.com/acoustic-advice/
I've already eliminated slap echo using panels at reflection points on my walls. What I want/need is a bass trap. Just not sure what the "right" product is. I may call ASC next week and get their thoughts. Their products are pricey. That's why I might buy a cylinder from Lowes, fill it with sand, plop it in the corner and hear what it does. 
Sand?! Sand is pretty good at absorbing physical vibrations, but not acoustical ones. Honest! There are diagrams on the net of how to build a bass trap. Get yourself some chicken wire (not a solid cardboard tube---the sound has to be able to get inside) and roll it into a tube. Line the inside of that tube with fiberglass. Seal the top and bottom of the chicken-wire tube. That's the general idea; for more details do a Google search on how to build them.
Just scanned the gikacoustics site and was very impressed with what they offer. Prices seem reasonable as is shipping cost. 
Yes I guess the cylinder/sand approach is flawed. Not interested in using chicken wire/insulation. WAF is non-existent.  Think I'll call ASC and GIK on Monday. Thanks for everyone's input. 

Just be aware that the efficiency of traps at absorbing bass frequencies is very low; it takes a lot of them, and the larger in diameter they are the lower in frequency are they effective to. I’m investigating the cost to build a room within a room (garage, actually). It might be cheaper to build one to Golden Ratio specs than to outfit a poorly-dimensioned one with traps!
What you may need for your problem may simply be a pair of Cathedral Sound Panels. They are tiny, a snap to install, inexpensive and very effective on frequencies south of 200 Hz, even down close to 20 Hz.

But beware, they operate on a completely different principle of physics than the usual bass traps, manufactured or DIY and therefore scare off most audiophiles. They’re just a shallow, cloth-covered box with layers of ’pegboard’ inside with many air-holes drilled into them and offset at a particular distance from each other in order to set up a sort of sonic ’maze’ for the sound pressure to travel down into before becoming ’diffused’ and their energy is absorbed. The science is not new. It’s actually just a reasoned application of Bernoulli’s principle (high school physics) in which air (a gas) speeds up when flowing through a constriction (like water speeding up through a spray nozzle in a garden hose). The panels end up being a bit like a Helmholtz radiator for your room...they trick your woofers into thinking the room is larger than it is. But, with such an efficient use of surface area, the device need not be large, even with bass frequencies because what we’re dealing with here is wave pressure, not wavelength...this is where, I think, the whole bass trap idea/industry, comparatively at least, and certainly from any price/performance ratio, has gotten it all wrong. Unless your particular room is some kind of unholy challenge, then I’d say this is your best bet.

This solution is:
effective
fast
simple
cheap
a breeze to transport
good resale value

what else is there??
One thing I should point out, a clarification really, lest anyone wants to follow up on my post above. There is only one real sticking point with the Cathedral Panels and that has to do with the fact that they deal with wave pressure and not wavelength. This necessarily means that the listening room has to be used as a 'sealed' room, i.e. doors and windows must be shut and there should be no areas open to the rest of the home. If so, it would undercut the effectiveness of the panels that can only operate in the presence of dynamic changes in air **pressure**. So it really depends on each end user's own situation. Can your room be easily sealed when listening or do your circumstances prevent this? When the room is sealed, the panels should do fine. If that's not an option, then the traditional approach should be more appropriate.
Ivan...you beat me to it. I was just going to comment on your above post. I’ve recommended and even tried the Cathedral Sound Panels myself, but they only work in a sealed room which most people don’t have, unfortunately.

IMHO, they still don't work as well as traditional materials.  YMMV.
If any are going to the Newport Beach Audio Show June3-5, GIK will have a demonstration room and will be glad to answer all questions. Good people with good stuff.

David Pritchard
Auralex Lenrd bass traps are very effective and are based on acoustic principles.  I could not tune my room effectively without them.  They are also extensively used in recording studios.
I also use Auralex bass traps in four corners of my 11x12 foot room. Also use corner tunes. My room is together.

Mofi, understood. I tried them in a sealed room I had before my current room, which is now open floor plan, and they did pretty well, although the bass problems in that room happened to be not all that severe, at least not after I had gone through all the motions and given speaker placement its proper due first.
Helmholtz resonators such as the ArgentRoom Lens operate a little differently than tube traps and have a rather wider bandwidth. The best thing about Helmholtz resonators is they’re easily to build yourself. Heck, I even built a low frequency Helmholtz resonator to curb a standing wave in the corner, it was a 15 foot long folded horn as it were. Crystals operate at low frequencies, too, as well as higher frequencies although you wouldn’t think so by looking at them. Even those tiny little bowl resonators affect low frequencies IIRC. 
Okay, way too much info.  I'd like everyone who has weighed in to get into the same room this week and come up with the best, most cost effective solution for me!  And don't come out until you have one. I will sit here patiently waiting. lol
rockeyboy:,

You're asking too much. I've found that on most issues, especially room acoustics... it's a very personal choice. All one can do is report on their findings in their specific room.

Asking others to somehow make a recommendation that will fulfill your specific needs is a false question.

(I recently ordered a pair of Vicoustic Extreme Bass Panels.),.....

point being, this is what I felt was right for my room. we'll see....?
Another vote for  Auralex LENRD Bass Traps.  They do a great job of breaking up the reinforcements that occured in the corners of my room.  eBay lists a version that is much cheaper and I see no reason that they wouldn't work as well.  Note the configuration, compared to Auralex's: (http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Pack-Corner-Bass-Trap-Acoustic-Foam-Sound-Proffing-Pro-Audio-12X12X24Inche...)  (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Auralex-LENRD-Corner-Bass-Traps-Acoustic-Foam-Studio-Soundproofing-4-pack-NE...)
I use GIK acoustics in Atlanta

Acoustimac bass traps are fantastic as well. They are the only company that would custom make and ship one piece traps that go from floor to ceiling in my room. They worked great for me. Flawless fit/finish and a snap to install.
So, I'm now comparing bass traps from ASC, Auralex, Acoustimac, GIK and Auralex clones off eBay. I feel a migraine coming on.

rockyboy, if you email ASC a diagram or pics of your room, they will send you a proposed treatment of that room using their products, free of charge. Start there.
I may do that. But their products (and shipping) are more expensive than those from companies I listed. 

I have two DIY 2' X 4' acoustic panels that I made years from 2" thick Owens Corning 703.  I have since replaced them with professionally made panels.  Since these two DIY panels are excess to my needs, is there any  reason why I can't sandwich the two together to make a 4" thick bass trap in the corner between/behind my speakers?
To refresh your memory, I have my speakers on the diagonal since my room is pretty square. So the corner I'm trying to address is behind and between my monitors. 
ivan_nosnibor
Your 2 posts dated 5/22/2016

I enjoyed reading what you had to say. Very insightful 

Glad you mentioned the door. I was able to make a huge improvement
by opening two doors in my room.
I've tried all kinds of acoustic treatments over the years, even some DIY stuff.  The best I've found by far for bass/corners are ASC tube traps.  

I've bought them used on Agon and eBay for 50% or more off retail.  ASC themselves have show demo units they discount for sales sometimes.  Great folks to deal with and very helpful...

I raised my subs about a foot and love the difference. 
rockyboy, Check out www.readyacoustics.com , they use the same stuff you now have and you may find useful info there. Nothing like trying for yourself.
My Vicoustics arrived today. Will report soon.
Slaw, thAnks for the suggestion. I think I have a handle on most everything. I'm just lacking a low freq. bass trap in the corner between my speakers. I have someone coming over next week who will help identify what frequencies need taming. Will try to go the DIY route if at all possible. 
Good luck rockyboy. If you have the tools, as any DIY'er does, you shouldn't have much problem. Look at the Vicoustic, and copy it. I did find it very effective. I did the same years ago with the Per Madsen record racks, got the measurements, made my own.
Everything I make tends to look like a third grade shop project, but doesn't stop me from trying.
Yesterday made cable elevators from small 6" high easels purchased at Michaels (bought 15 @ $1.27ea)!  They were already 60% off and I had a 20% coupon. Sanded the fru fru side edges straight, sanded notches on top to hold the cable (made risers to accommodate two cables and risers for only one cable), and sprayed them black, and they look pretty nice.  I think any third grader would be very impressed with my results!
Highly recommended solution for anyone wanting inexpensive cable risers.

Nothing wrong with DIY!

As I progress in age, I find that people smarter than me, develope items I find interesting and obtainable. I'm at the stage in my life where, I can see the benefit of purchasing said items, auditioning them, then, if I like, I then duplicate them, as opposed to trying, on the fly, to replicate or develop something "unknown". To me, this is the smart way to go as a DIY'er.

I will say, I own Ready Acoustic products that I've modified. After receiving the Vicoustic, .....(NIGHT & DAY) difference!

Take this as you may. I would not write this if I did not feel that, more money spent, (wisely), upfront, will result in more satisfaction for years to come.

I'm feeling a kinship.
My first DIY audio project was an equipment rack out of different sized dowels. ( This was of course, before I knew anything about vibration/resonance's effect on what we hear in the end.) I still have it, by the way. Maybe as a reminder, somehow?

Cheers!
rockeyboy: If you haven't already, look up www.mapleshade.com . You'll find their cable risers that are a more simple design.

In the future, you'll need to have a direct correlation of your item and it's effectiveness to the sound of your system.

What state are you residing? Reason being, maybe someone, a fellow audiophile can help guide you?

Regards....
Agree regarding introducing items willy nilly into a system. That's why I've not yet purchased a low frequency base trap.  I'm retired and have to be careful how I spend my money.  
An audiophile friend/designer is coming over this week. Looking forward to his recommendations. 
Think my DIY wooden risers are every bit as effective as Mapleshde risers and at a fraction of the price.

I have never found wood or metal cables risers worth a damn. Wood is a fair dielectric and at least in my second floor listening room static electricity is the threat. The best are porcelain and glazed isolators.
While you may be technically correct, I can't imagine any system revealing enough to A/B test various risers. If you know of any, I will book a flight tomorrow to assist with that testing. 
rockyboy, a few months ago I was at John Tucker of Exemplar Audio in Everett, Washington. He had a nice sounding system in his listening room with three ceramic rings holding up the speaker wires. After listening a while, I asked if I might do something. He said yes. I used only one of the rings in an elevated  position on each side.

He said, "Had I not heard that I would not have believed it possible." 

This was a smaller difference than between types of risers. You are welcomed to come down and listen. I am in College Station, TX. Bring your preferred risers.



Very interesting. Appreciate the offer. But, I graduated from Univ. of Texas and my restraining order forbids me from setting foot within College Station city limits.
Rockyboy,
I have a fair amount of experience selecting, positioning and installing bass traps.  I found those from ATS Acoustics to be well made, very reasonably priced and easy to install, I have two of their corner traps and eight wall mounted ones.
One thing that really helped me get the sound in my "man cave" just right was to download and purchase "REW" (Room EQ Wizard) and the "miniDSP UMIK-1 USB Measurement Calibrated Microphone".  I really struggled trying to get the best from my sub woofers & bass traps with a system tuning disk and Radio Shack sound pressure meter.  I was able to configure some "sweeps" in REW, moved the bass traps around to find the best places to install them.  In one case, sliding one of them rearward just about 5 to 6" seemed to make a big difference.
With the disk/sound pressure meter I was able to get the "boominess" out of the room, but it still sounded like I had subs.  With the calibration microphone and REW, I was able to tune the crossover point, crossover intensity and volume on the subs, and it helped me immensely in getting them positioned "just right".  Now the system/room has excellent bass, doesn't sound like I have subs...unless you turn them off!
I recently pulled my Rel Storm III out of my room (and put it up for sale). Found it added little to SQ and getting it out of system simplified my life. I will look into the REW and microphone to see their cost. Downside is that they are a one time use item. After setup, the items go on the shelf. Shame that dealers don't purchase and rent them to customers. 


http://www.stereophile.com/content/psi-audio-avaa-c20-electronic-bass-trap#hwiChGrtheYc5L2Q.97

Cheers George


That's a very interesting review, George. I wonder though why the trap needs to be priced at two grand.

It's an active trap, so it's got specialized room correction electronics inside, until they become mainstream (copied), they can charge that much.


Cheers George 

best bang for the buck i know of and use are GIK Soffit traps.  Effects are broad and effective below 100 Hz. Great advice available.

ASC is very good but pricey.

foam corner wedges, meh.
I use GIK for everything. They have variations with Scopus tuned traps, effective at certain frequencies. scatter plates to keep from damping the highs. They are serious about effectiveness, no window dressing here. They will sell you Owens Corning 703. I bought a box of six 2 inch 24 by 48 and use it to play around with different reflection points.
They made me a beautiful trap to hook over my tv that's between my speakers. Took a lot of shout away from my front stage. And yes, the soffit traps are probably the most effective trap. My speakers have active bass down firing from the cabinets and treating the room well  has taken full advantage of that.