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I just received two new panels from Acoustimac. It took approximately two weeks from order time to reception. The construction and appearance far exceed the GIK panels I have in my other home.
The GIK panels I have are at least 15 years old so may not be representative of current production.
Pricing from Acoustimac is very reasonable IMO.
The performance of GIK versus any other brand are pretty much the same based on panel thickness. That means that a 2' x 4' panel with 2" thickness from GIK for $60 is going to perform the same as a standard 2'x4' 2" panel from any other manufacturer at any cost. This performance is pretty much equal to any other brand when looking at -STANDARD- acoustic panels including normal bass traps up to 10-12" thick without any front membrane or panels. The main difference here is frame construction and fit-and-finish. If you want a super luxurious high end gloss stained wood grain looking product with perfect aesthetics, GIK may not be for you. The standard panels from GIK with the Gilford of Maine fabric upgrade are actually not bad. Some people complain that the back side of GIK panels look ugly because they are unfinished, but they are going to be mounted against the wall and you will never see it (just like the back side of a picture frame).
The area where you will find differences in performance are with some of the bass traps which have drastically different designs. Low bass frequencies are the hardest area to treat and much of it has to do with room size and bass NULLs in certain frequency areas and locations in your specific room.
The one "cheap" brand that I would be careful of is ATS Acoustics, which also sells low cost acoustic panels. They typically put a 1/4" plywood backing on their panels instead of doing an open-back design. I have found that this "back panel" will actually resonate from the vibrations and cause noise distortions in the room. Not a good design at all.
I've never used GIK panels but know they are effective because they are all standard old school acoustic panels fundamentally no different than I have been making and using since the 1970's. That is old school.
We have learned a lot those 50 years. Panels, diffusers and such still work but there are a lot more refined and sophisticated methods now. If you want acoustic panels I would get Owens Corning 703 acoustic panels, cut them to the size you ordered, wrap them in some fabric you like, and put them on the wall. When/if you get GIK you will then be able to compare and send them back when you realize they are scarcely any better than you made for a fraction of the cost.
GIK do have a no-questions money-back guarantee, don't they?
The newer tech does. Synergistic HFT are a much more sophisticated and effective answer to room acoustics. You could probably buy a couple sets with the money you saved with DIY panels. These things all work together. Ditto helmholtz resonators and some other stuff that is out there.
Another big one nobody talks about, turns out the vast majority of room resonance problems are mechanical energy coming directly from the speakers into the floor and from there to the walls and ceiling. Speakers not isolated do this big time. And no, spikes and cones are not isolation. Springs. Springs are isolation. Speakers isolated on Townshend Podiums improve the whole room. You have to hear it to believe it. But all springs are an improvement and you can start cheap and try Nobsound.
Now if you do this you will find Nobsound, $30/set, OC703 $50 for several panels, for less than $100 you have accomplished more than whatever GIK will do. Don't believe me? Only $100 to know for sure.
I sent GIK an email this morning asking about the panels as if the reply was going to be something along the lines of you have to wait another 2 weeks or so, i was going to cancel the order and go with someone else.
from what she says, they are waiting for the black fabric to arrive which is today and panels should be ready for shipping monday at the latest.
we shall see if this is true or not……it has been frustrating to say the least.
Do not use GIK! I purchased from them twice. The first time I had issues with the diffuser panels I bought. The cuts were ragged and it looked pretty bad. The second time was much worse with panels literally not square in the corners and fabric not taught at all. I complained to GIK expecting them to cover the obvious issues under warranty, they would not. They were giving me some ideas on how I could reinforce the panels and fix them myself. What!? Why would I be in charge of fixing their panels.
Purchased all the remaining panels I needed for my studio from Acoustimac. Couldn’t be happier with the result. Every time I see a glowing review from GIK I don’t understand it.
Foam and nsulation only really absorb energy above 100-125 hz. If you have a small room you either need Membrane, Hemholtz, or diaphragmatic absorbers for below 100hz.
I have GIK absorbers on the walls and Acoustic Fields ACDA 10 and 12 throughout the room. Many think room treatments are a waste of money. I am of the other mindset. The room has to sound good before any equipment can have a chance. I have put my money where my mouth is. I love my 12x15x11 foot room with what I have. I have zero diffusion in my room.
You have to like your room. Start small with first reflections. I had 6 sitting areas to deal with so first reflections are all over the place. The low-end bass or roomboom was off the charts at 53hz and dsp wasn't able to help. That is why I went with the diaphragmatic absorbers and they are amazing.
You have to like your room.
I'm sure it's much worse now with current supply issues but I ordered 6K worth of GIK panels to treat my entire listening room on 8/1/19. I believe it was the 3rd week in January '20 before my order was complete. Needless to say, I was a little frustrated towards the end. That being said I'm very happy with the end results, room looks and sounds great. They just strike me as a smaller company with a lot of orders to full fill and not enough hours in the day.
Side note: If anyone is interested I have several of the ash grey digit wave plates that were cut in the wrong direction. They sent me the ones and didn't want the others back.
I have ten GIK panels. I waited between 6-12 weeks for them over the spring and summer. I almost canceled one or two sets, as I order them over a series of months.
But, I am super glad I was patient. You will be happy when you get them and place them appropriately.
I will say, it did take getting all them for things to really snap into place. But my space is a challenge and eliminating first reflections and other things was a huge improvement.
GIK makes a great product at a fair price. I own several of their panels. Functional and look good. ARC pannels I've owned also, they both work as well, could not say one is better than the other.
With COVID impacting so much and due to never being dealt with in the 1st place, we are seeing delays across all product lines, the whole infrastructure is out of whack, and I've been through it myself a chair for my Audio room took 12 weeks to make and ship to my house last chair 4 weeks. Hopefully, we all work together and put this virus behind us, and get back to work and normal life, get your shot to help us all.