Most effective Room Treatment for slap echo, etc


I am unfamiliar with room treatments products to eliminate slap echo, and to improve focus and imaging. I have no space in my living room to place two upright book cases stuffed with books to dampen down the room. Therefore, need advice and suggestions for a simple and reasonably priced room treatment solution. A member recommended Auralex. I rent my space,so wall or ceiling panels must have easily removable adhesive and not strip paint or stucco off the walls. Thank you, Jim
sunnyjim
I believe that the foam used by Auralex is less effective than fiberglas-based panels. Take a look at:
www.gikacoustics.com
www.realtraps.com
http://www.atsacoustics.com/
www.sensiblesoundsolutions.com

Kal
go to realtraps website...
I like MGD PZC products ... effective and good looking (pass my wife's living room test). They do need to be screwed to the walls for mounting so not sure if this is an option. The corner treatments do an excellent job with slap echo in my room and are visually unobtrusive.
Just search the various audio forums for inbo on DIY treatments. Easy to make, and much cheaper than buying from a manufacturer.
Heavy curtains
If the treatment has wires for hanging, 3M removable hooks do great.Link [http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=egsisas&xhr=t&q=3m+removable+hooks&cp=2&rlz=1B3MOZA_enUS325US326&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=5714062467531851914&ei=bM5KTY60MojDgQeyw6jVDw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=6&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQ8wIwBQ#]
I hung a woolen tapestry on the offending wall. The tapestry is no larger than about 3 feet on a side, and is spaced a couple inches from the wall.

The effect was dramatic and immediate. The room was harsh before but is now fairly good.

I'd like to replace the tapestry with a large, dense rug...maybe 6'x8' and put the tapestry behind/between my panels.

jdombrow has a good idea. DIY is easy and 'fun'. OC703 is one of the materials of choice. I'd secure the right fabric first, however, since most fabric stores do not carry sound-transparent cloth. You can buy '6-packs' of 1" or even 2" thickness in 2x4 sheets.
I went the auralex route and was not overly impressed by it. While it did produce results, you really needed a lot to equal some of the other items available (or even DIY). I did not glue mine to the wall, I glues a small strip of thin wood to the back of the auralex and hung them from this strip, which better allowed for playing around with placement.

Kal (above) thanks for those links.
I have had very good results with GIK Acoustic products, which are reasonably priced. They also have great customer service. The GIK products have made a HUGE improvement in the sound of my system.

I thought about the DIY route, but it is hard to build for much less than GIK prices. If you do go the DIY route, you may want to check out gearslutz.com and look under studio construction and acoustics forum and the sub-forum for bass traps, acoustic panels, etc., which has a lot of DIY info.
I use Ready Acoustics. Some come with a frame that you can just lean against the wall. I use 2 like this at the first reflection points of my speakers as well as wall mounted ones. I think they also have stand mounted ones.
Just a follow-up to Magfan's comments: Most fabric stores will carry burlap in a number of colors. Burlap is one of the most widely used fabrics for acoustic treatments because of it's open weave. And it's inexpensive.
Thanks, JD.
I live down the street from UFO (fabric store) and they have some burlap which just makes me itch to look at. They have exactly 1 fabric billed as 'grill cloth' which is ugly.
They DO have a VERY light / open weave fabric in white which I'd use as a liner if I ever went with something like OC703.

I live an hour+ train ride from LA and another 20" bus ride to The Garment District which is hours of just walking....fast. One day I'll migrate up there for a look-see. I understand there to be whole block of nothing BUT fabric.

On the way? Stop at Phillipe's for a french dip and some pie. yum yum.
Your Constraint: “Easily removable adhesive so as not to strip the paint or stucco.” -> This may limit the weight of what you can hang on a wall which is correlated to acoustical thickness, generally speaking. Because the popular fiberglass filled resistive-type absorbers should be a minimum of 4” thick (with 6” being better) and an air space of another 6”, the total depth is now quickly approaching what a bookshelf depth would entail. So you might need to place acoustical treatments where you can afford them to stick off the walls which may be your front and back walls, presumably, and use thinner devices for the side walls and ceiling.

Your Need #1: “Eliminate slap echo.” -> Luckily, slap echo is more of an upper frequency phenomenon usually above 1kHz so it takes thinner treatments to deal with it than lower frequencies. Have someone stand by each speaker clapping their hands while you sit in the listening position to see if you can hear the slap echoes and then try placing a thickly folded or rolled up towel at various positions along the wall and repeat the clap-listen tests until you’ve found the wall position where the slap echo is minimized. Then replace the towel with something more permanent to break up the hard parallel surfaces. A tapestry or thick drape was suggested and will work well. If you have some art work / pictures on the walls, then try placing a tennis ball between the wall and the bottom of the picture to angle the picture upwards. You might consider the lightweight RPG Skyline diffusers that are 2’*2’ square which can be hung with Velcro or sticky tape and shouldn’t damage your walls/ceiling.

Your Need #2: Improve focus and imaging. Reducing the indirect reflections by eliminating the slap echoes will help drive the ratio of direct-to-indirect reflections higher and help with focus and imaging. So too will listening in a near-field arrangement and toeing in your speakers. Try absorption on the front wall to attenuate the damaging reflections coming from there – the absorption should improve the perceived soundstage depth.

Lastly, a little education on room acoustics will go a long way. Try picking up Dr Floyd Toole’s latest book and F. Alton Everest’s textbook and plough your way through them. In the long run it’ll help you assess your needs, the quality of manufacturer’s products and help with knowing what to place where.

Good luck.
Thanks to all members for their suggestions and recommendations. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Hopefully, I will be able to eliminate the acoustic problems mentioned above by your input. Jim
It looks like this thread has ran out of gas. Nevertheless,I checked with Gikacoustics and Ats acoustics. Gik provided more informed advice and a AT plan for my room, but the price with shipping is too expensive . Though, I did move the speakers to the long axis and moved my couch out about 30 inches from the back wall as recommended by GIK---the sound did inprove in "some" areas. However, I noticed something today that might have an obvious answer. On louder passages of music, there seems to be less clarity, and also more noise, that is, congestion of the sound. Someone may advise: "Turn it down you are playing it too loud"....OR, is the amp clipping, or is my amp Creek SE5350 Classic coming up short in terms of dynamics?? One more point, it also seems that the room is amplifying the sound or making it louder... Need some input. Thanks again Jim
Have you done any of the things I suggested?
Kevinzoe, I did use some of step #1 by closing the slat blinds behind the speakers in the relocated long axis location. That, in combination with the one large bookcase have eliminated or lessened the slap echo, at least in the section of the room----there is more clarity at higher volume. The RPG diffusers have not been investigated because I am sorting out other other recommedations. I did make one change. On Thursaday, I got an earful of two CD's with the old speaker wire. On Friday, I was able to install the AZ Hologram II speaker cable which made a moderate to big difference---sound is warmer with a little less bite in the highs, bass sounds a tad slower. I could say more, but must run. If you have the time, check out Misc. formum. I launched another thread: "Can room acoustics amplify the sound from speakers?" I did so because of a phememnon I discovered last week. The responses have been interesting to say the least.
Kevinzoe, I did use some of step #1 and #2 by closing the slat blinds behind the speakers in the relocated long axis position. That, in combination with the one large bookcase have eliminated or lessened the slap echo, at least in the section of the room----there is more clarity at higher volume. The RPG diffusers have not been investigated because I am sorting out other other recommedations. I did make one change. On Thursaday, I got an earful of two CD's with the old speaker wire. On Friday, I was able to install the AZ Hologram II speaker cable which made a moderate to big difference---sound is warmer with a little less bite in the highs, bass sounds a tad slower. I could say more, but must run. If you have the time, check out Misc. formum. I launched another thread: "Can room acoustics amplify the sound from speakers?" I did so because of a phememnon I discovered last week. The responses have been interesting to say the least.