i mounted 4 door-sized echobuster panels to my cathedral ceiling (!) due to an overly reverberant room. i honestly didn't know if it would work or not, but they (EB)custom made and boxed the panels for me. well, they work. there is still a tiny bit of liveliness to the room, but i think a very small amount makes a positive contribution- if i had ended up muffling the upper mids and treble too much, it would have ruined the experiment. anyway, i ball-parked it, and still came out ahead. others should take a more educated approach than i did, but i kinda knew instinctively after a few years how much of a problem i had just by walking around, talking or whistling (!) and listening to the amount of delay/echo. and it's great when the tweeters in your speakers stop driving you out of the room...
Thanks French_fries, every little bit helps.
I have two of the 12"x48" panels and am still trying access the best placement for them. I can tell you that curiousity go the best of me and I peeled the backing loose to see what was inside and I was very disappointed.
Especially when I looked at the cost. They are basically a Sonex panel 4)2'x2'panels are 75.00 at Audio Advisor. I can only say that the Echo Busters I own will be the last.
I figure I can make wooden frames and buy fabric and have 4)2'x2' panels for about 100.00. As for the performance of the product, yes it makes a difference, but not sure where they best assist the sound.
I might suggest that you investigate some of the products marketed to the pro audio community. These folks are ultra critical and rather knowledgable about acoustic concerns with regards to setting up studios and control room environments. Some of the products are, I might add, not inexpensive. You can scout a few forums for tips and advice; www.recording.org , www.johnsayers.com , www.homerecording.com are a few places you can go. You can check out the specific forums for acoustics and/or studio design and get lots of general info on acoustics, DIY project tips, and pointers towards quality manufacturers of acoustic treatments. Ethan Winer's products have a pretty good rep and you can check those out at www.realtraps.com. He also has a lot of interesting information on his website and for many links on studio acoustics, go to http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/articles15.htm
I think they work great. My dealer uses them. But only if your into dropping a lot of money. To treat my room with Echo Busters, the cost would be around $5k.
I chose diy.
I highly recommend reading the Room Acoustics Forum (sponsered by Rives) on Audio Asylum. Both Rives and Ethan Winer are active participants and there's ton of good information regarding room acoustics, panels, traps etc.
If you want to get into it deeper there are a number of other resouces including Ethan's excellent web site, the Master Handbook of Acoustics etc. If you want professional assistence, Rives also offers three levels of consulting services with specific recommendations. The more you learn, the more you understand that it is not a nebulous realm, but a science. And being a rocket surgeon doesn't hurt. ;-)
I've made a number of bass traps and absorbers for my room based on some of Ethan's designs and using Owens Corning 703 and 705 products. If you have a basic woodshop and a few skills, you can produce some very professional looking products that work extremely well. I decided to go the DIY route in order to custom build what I wanted in both terms of coverage and appearance. The fact that the price is significantly less than commercial products is a big plus.
In order to see some of the effects of bass trapping, you can buy bags of insulation to stack in a corner - not pretty, but very fast and affordable. Rigid fiberglass panels can be stacked or set in corners etc. to give you an idea of the possibilites.
IMO, a properly treated room is more important than any single component you can buy.
I recently "Echo-bustered" my music room and the results were quite dramatic -- I now fully understand why the experts like Rives tell us to treat our room as though it were a component of our system. Was it fairly expensive to do this, yes -- but expense is relative. I don't have a wood-working shop at home -- or event the space, let alone the tools, to dedicate to such a project. So that was a major consideration for me. So was the fact that I'm not especially gifted, shall we say, in making things from scratch -- what I make fools no one -- it looks homemade -- and I wanted my room to look as sophisticated as it sounded. I also bill my time at $450 an hour professionally, so for me, the value of the time actually spent making my own treatments was a consideration -- especially since it would take me twice as long as someone gifted at these projects.
As to the cost of what Echo-busters are made of, I'm not sure why that would surprise -- even in light of the cost of the products. Are the materials in our $3000 interconnects and speaker wires worth that much -- I'm not an expert, but I doubt it. But since I could not make such cables even if I had the materials, I pay the price.
Finally, Michael at Echo-Busters is great to work with -- very helpful, attentive to details, and if you buy a package as I did, he will give you a good deal -- he sold me my package at more than a 20% discount from the list prices.
So, were the actual items from a materials standpoint worth what I paid -- no -- but the improvement to the sound in my room would have been worth a lot more than what I paid.
Thanks to all of the A'goners for the current response, again you all have come through with some good founded experience and places for me to research. I will sharpen up.
EchoBuster products, a few thousand to several thousand dollars.
DYI, probably less than half that cost, but some sweat equity.
This site and its members, priceless!
Also consider realtraps. They are reasonable, but very intrusive to a room.
Vtl, amazing level of arrogance...how much did you pay for that?
I don't know Jaf2290...Vtl offered a good take on his/her particular situation with a reasonable balance of self deprecation. Commenting on professional worth, although possibly gauche socially, is not worthy of your ridicule IMHO. That's the great thing about AudioGon, we all have our personal opinions/knowledge and preferences. Let's keep it to the matter at hand, please.
I want to to be in your business!
Just joking, and you make an excellent point about DIY - not everyone has the tools, skill, space, time, or desire to build components. For these people, proven commercial products are the only real option.
I think Vtl displays rationalism to make trade-off decisions. Before I retired a decade ago, it was more cost effective for a client to pay for a first class flight than pay $500 an hour for me to sit on a plane. I few first class on my own time.
We had excellent results in treating our room, our amps (audionet) and speakers (wilson benesch) sound easily 20% better than before. Highly recommended.
Are they even in business? I have not been able to go to the website since last year or so.
They closed down shop from what I understand. Too bad. I'm still using my set and remain very happy with the performance and aesthetics.