Heavy window curtains will help.........Also hang a nice rug on the wall behind the speakers......
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Here are some links for you regarding acoustical panels :
If you want to check out more sites, just do a google search under " acoustical panels ".
See if you could find where the sound is reflecting from the floor, to the walls and possibly back to you now.Somebody had an idea on here about using mirrors to visualize where the reflections are coming from.I'm not sure of the method that they described though.It may have been if you could see the reflection of the speaker,the sound would do the same?Possibly walking around and see if you find the reflected sound.Maybe temporarily taping panels in those spots. Hopefully the tape won't remove the new paint.Or have someone hold a sound absorbing panel in the spots you suspect.
Yes, your wood floors may indeed look gorgeous, but what you need now is a gorgeous area rug to accent the room and floor and minimize some of those reflections. Also, lots of oversized Pottery Barn floor-to-ceiling velvet draperies will help immensely.
Then along the floor borders stack a few oversized accent pillows randomly. Finally, add some soft lighting around the perimeter of the room to further highlight the wood flooring still exposed.
This should be a good compromise between aesthetics and room acoustics plus it gives you an opportunity to show off your design talents while still highlighting your cool refinished floor.
Here's the mirror method of determining first reflection points. You'll need a friend.
1. Since in the listening seat while a friend runs a mirror along one side wall. The point at which you see the reflection of the speaker from the same channel as the well you're examining is the first reflection point for sound from that speaker and is the location at which you should place a diffuser.
2.Continue along the same wall. At some point you'll see the reflection of the OPPOSITE speaker. This is the first reflection point for sound from the OPPOSITE speaker. You should place a diffuser here as well although this is nowhere near as import as the first case.
3. The same process can be used for both the ceiling and floor.
4. Remember, while these are called "points" of first reflection, an area of usually 2'-4' wide will most likely need to be treated.
5. Skylines from RPG or Auralex panels are particular good for the ceiling. The floor, if not carpeted, can be dealt with with a rug.
I moved the stereo into a larger room in my home, and along the way, pulled up the carpet, installed a maple hardwood floor, and worried about the same kind of issue. The acoustics were hard, and the last thing I needed was bright, harsh sound. As I walked around, clapping my hands and yelling out, some major sweating over what would come sonically ensued.
Thankfully, the end result is very, very good. In fact, friends would listen to the same system, comment on the sound, and ask what upgrades I'd made at the same time. Only one, the room.
What I did had no planning in regards to the system, just the typical things one would put in a room. As things ended up, I needed no audio related room treatments. As has been mentioned, curtains were the first thing I did. While my curtains are fairly heavy, they aren't anything special. However, I also have a more sheer, gauzy type inside the curtains that show in the room. The combination of both likely takes care of the hard glass surface of the windows. Next, a nice, fairly thick (again, nothing out of the ordinary), wool rug. Mine is about 8' X 11', and I would advise one not to skimp on the size. In addition to providing seating, comfortable furniture did a lot more than I would have expected in helping out the acoustics. Some "unintended" room treatments, such as things to brighten up the room like plants, lamps with large shades, etc. played a role. Finally, flexibility in terms of loudspeaker positioning in the room will always make a major difference, and is likely the one parameter most people are hamstrung by. Thankfully, I had (mostly) total freedom there.
Again, what I feared being horrible, softened up nicely once the room was furnished. Once I hooked everything up, I was more than pleasantly surprised with how things came together.
I said "It should be the same size as you wall. Otherwise how would you know what is missing?"
If the first reflection point is the only point of reflections you are worried about then sure one small mirror will do. But the first reflection is only a small fraction of the reflections we hear. Dont forget to put mirrors on the front wall, rear wall, ceiling and floor! They may be 2nd, 3rd 4th... reflection points but add up much more than one single reflection point.
Octave Doctor PHP
I may have this wrong, but from what I have read there are only four reflection points on the side walls that matter in a two speaker setup. The reason is that each speaker has only one reflection point on each side wall that directs sound to the listening position. All the other reflections off the side walls pass either in front of or behind the listening position. The mirror technique for locating these reflection points works because a mirror on the side wall will reflect light coming from the speaker position to the listening position only when placed at the reflection point.
When I used a mirror to locate the side wall reflection points in my listening room, I used a mirror about 1 foot x 1 foot and the trial and error method. It was a PITA because I didnt have any readily available furniture on which I could place the mirror at eye level when sitting in the listening position, and I had to improvise by stacking things. So, yes, a larger mirror would have made the whole process easier for me, but a larger mirror wasnt necessary to determine 3rd, 4th and other reflection points. The easiest way to use the mirror to locate the reflection points is to have another person hold the mirror and move it around until the person sitting in the listening position can see the light from the speaker reflected.
Other reflections in the room can cause excessive reverberation or ringing, but this is different in nature from the problem caused by 1st and 2nd reflection points. Excessive reverberation causes smearing and overhang and muddies the sound. First and second reflection points create a time difference in a specific sound reaching the listener and makes it hard to determine the location of the sound within the soundstage. In other words, imaging of specific sound sources is impaired. The solution to both problems is absorption of the unwanted reflections. However, ringing (detected by clapping hands) is solved by distributing sufficient sound absorbing materials around the listening room. First and second reflection points are solved by having sound absorbing material at those specific points.
Dougmc said, "but this is different in nature from the problem caused by 1st and 2nd reflection points. Excessive reverberation causes smearing and overhang and muddies the sound. First and second reflection points create a time difference in a specific sound reaching the listener and makes it hard to determine the location of the sound within the soundstage. In other words, imaging of specific sound sources is impaired. The solution to both problems is absorption of the unwanted reflections. However, ringing (detected by clapping hands) is solved by distributing sufficient sound absorbing materials around the listening room. First and second reflection points are solved by having sound absorbing material at those specific points."
I agree 100%. What I was getting at is that 1st and 2nd reflection point are just the tip of the iceberg.
The initial post question was "How do I dampen a room?". The answer to that is you need more than the 1st and 2nd reflection points covered. Which is why you need a full room mirror including the ceiling and floor!
If the first one hundred db suck, why continue?
I think it was me that mentioned the mirror thing. I did a lot of research on the subject, forgot most of it. It's not seeing the light reflected, it's being able to see the tweeter's reflection in the mirror. You have someone move the mirror across the wall at the heighth of the tweeter. Once you can see the tweeters reflection in the mirror, that's where the panel goes. This works for the second reflection point as well. You can treat you ceiling with panels but it's going to have to be the ceiling or the floor. No way getting around it.The idea of heavy curtains, book shelves loaded with books, bass traps in the corners can all make a huge difference and become very expensive as well. You really need to throw an area rug and nice pad down though. I can't imagine you're ever going to be completely happy without it.
Make it easy on your self. Call Auralex, they have an engineer who will lay out the room for you. By doing it your self, your subjecting your self to years of questioning. This way once you install it your done. From that point forward it is all about the equipment. And, yes I have Acoustats with Auralex, excellent results in the >$1K range.