Improving sound in the room


I am in the processing of performing some room remodeling and in association with this am converting what used to be our breakfast room into an home theatre room. The room measures 12' X 18' (+/- a couple inches). It presently has ceramic tiles, but is being refloored in hardwood (tomorrow - no changing this). There are quite a few windows (totalling about 50% of 3 of the 4 walls). On the fourth wall there is a larger passage way (no door) going into the area between the family room and kitchen. This fourth wall is also a solid wood wall (similar to tongue and groove flooring). Ceiling is angled from 7' 6" angling up to about 13'.

Equipment: 50" plasma on east wall, facing west. Speakers are all B&W (including a 600 subwoofer, didn't want to go too strong on the sub due to room characteristics).

I am looking for advise on what I can do to dampen the sound waves while still appearing acceptable (to my wife). We just ordered a small sectional (clothe vs. leather) and will use an area rug between the front speakers and the seating area.

Question: has anybody ever made clothe panels with intersting fabrics that were framed with egg trays installed behind them for sound dampening (or something similar to this)? Black panels and exposed foam is definately NOT acceptable.

Any suggestions or experiences with this? I am not willing to tear down the walls and put up specialty walls.

Thanks truly for your knowledgeable feedback.

Chris Koffend
ckoffend
Not egg trays but compressed fiberglass. Good for absorbtion and the thicker the better for bass (and placed in corners). See www.realtraps.com or www.rivesaudio.com for ideas.

Kal
Also look here:

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/sound/acoustic.html
http://www.soundcontrol.com/whisper.htm
http://www.pacorinc.com/boards.html#anchor116266
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I made panels with Owens Corning sheets covered in Needled Cotton to match my room, squares can be made and covered in diffrent colors, mounted in diffrent patterns and can create a rather designer look that can be both beneficial and pleasing to look at.
Good option Chadnliz, you get the color and size you want and put the reflection killing panels exactly where they do the most good.

I've always wondered why some company doesn't screen fine art on acoustically transparent cloth with acoustic fiberglass underneath, and add a fancy picture frame. Everyone would be raving about the attractive new addition, not knowing it was there to help the acoustics :^).
I looked into this...it seems you need 2" thickness to really do any good. Another option might be a wooden box array....looks kind of modern and you can stain the wood in a nice colour. Perhaps you could even put a few nik-nacks in it.

Another option is to go for some custom crown molding. The local machinist here has a computer model with some acoustic diffusion/absorption designs (most often used for commerical buildings like courts and theaters). The machine shop can run nice oak, maple or whatever wood you like (even melamine) through the computer lathe and cut you strips of elegant and beautfiul wood that you could then use to panel the walls - it could be stained to match the wood on the floor.
I've always wondered why some company doesn't screen fine art on acoustically transparent cloth with acoustic fiberglass underneath, and add a fancy picture frame. Everyone would be raving about the attractive new addition, not knowing it was there to help the acoustics :^).

When I was formulating my DIY panels I found a company that was doing just this. I'll dig around; maybe I can find it again. In any case, youÂ’d send them a high res file and they would print it as a panel. I thought it would be great for some theaters to put movie posters on the walls.

I ended up making some panels myself, but I used Acousticotton instead of the OC fiberglass. The cotton is more expensive, and it is definitely safe, but most importantly to me is that it is very durable. You can walk on this stuff and it will spring back to its original shape. This was important to me since I knew my kids would be rebounding off the panels.