Room treatment


I'm facing the reality now that I need to treat my listening room acousticly. I've had my system in the basement for at least a year now with concrete on three sides and one sidewall with wood paneling. The ceiling is tongue-and-groove. The room is about 12'x 20'.

Acording to my research, 50% of SQ is the room, costs of $4000-$5000 are common, and most audiophiles will spend those g's on gear before they will spend them on room treatment. Only one or two companies make foam that is actually effective since other inexpensive foams like egg carton foam are not dense enough.

It is possible to make low cost acoustic panels with Corning fiberglass blankets framed in 2 x 4's and covered with fabric, and one critic who hired an expert to treat his room shows a pic his ceiling hung with these panels in a pattern.

I am willing to make these fiberglass insulation panels but I want to run this info by the members first. Am I missing something or are my choices limited to either these low cost panels or the 5g treatment?

arnettpartners
...I would not hang fiberglass insulation in my listing room. You can really screw up the liveliness of the sound with these products...I use very little room damping for this reason.
"Acording to my research, 50% of SQ is the room, costs of $4000-$5000 are common"

There's no way something like that is accurate. Each system is different, as well as each listener, and each room. Better off to focus on your system's needs and do what's appropriate for you. Maybe you'll spend more, or hopefully, you'll spend less.

"It is possible to make low cost acoustic panels with Corning fiberglass blankets framed in 2 x 4's and covered with fabric, and one critic who hired an expert to treat his room shows a pic his ceiling hung with these panels in a pattern."

That's a really good way to go. Those panels work, and they're cheap. You really have very little to lose by trying them. I don't know what happened to mine, but The Audio Perfectionist Journal had an article giving you step by step instructions on how to make the panels. If you know someone who has any copies of the APJ, the article was in one of the first 4 issues. I don't remember exactly, but I know its in one of those.
There are a lot of relatively inexpensive products that can improve the performance of a system dramatically without going to the trouble and expensive of redoing a room. High-end 'tweaks' offer serious remedies for system upgrades. Do some research and give some things a try. Most companies offer a 30 day return policy.

I will go out on a limb here and make the statement that some tweaks will make as much difference as spending twice as much for new components or speakers. Many audiophiles never know the true capabilities of there system(s) because they've never taken the time to really maximize performance. I have been particularly impressed at the last two Rocky Mountain Audio Shows where manufactures have taken the time to turn notoriously bad hotel rooms into 'concert halls' with the use of a variety of tweaks.
These are very affordable and attractive panels usually hung at 1st reflection points, behind listening area, and sometimes in combination with bass traps...

http://www.acoustimac.com/acoustic-panels/?pid=5&gclid=Cj0KEQjwlYqoBRDajuaTvsyq1PQBEiQAEhSjnBS4rN_RFb6bEajJFoagAlddKQTrYx92j0sLKm0aAB0aAuMe8P8HAQ

Then there are the higher priced GIK Acoustics; used by pros and many Agon members.

http://www.gikacoustics.com/products/
Check out my virtual system. I made my panels. It will be the best thing you ever do for your system.
Gigantic improvement in imaging and 3 dimensionality.
I will concur that the room treatments were the single biggest improvement I made in audio.
Thanks, guys. Zmanastronomy, outstanding, really cool. There aren't enough adjectives. I will check out that material. Glad I asked.
I built my panels using products form ATS acoustics, Piper City Illinois.They have everything one needs. See their web site. They are very helpful. I used 1x3” pine for the frames, lighter in weight. Good luck!
Fiber glass is well known to be good at converting acoustic energy in to heat. The limtiation of that type of treatment is that the wavelengths that are actually absorbed is a function of the panel's thickness. That is an issue for bass frequencies as you can not make the panel thick enough to manage them. So a different, membrane-type of treatment is required to address low frequency room modes.
Related to the ceiling, check into 'wave' treatment. What's that? Go to the Armstrong Acoustical site and you will see. However, no need to buy Armstrong, as you can make those panels up very inexpensively. I've been in some rooms where it has been used and the results, in the hearing are really good.
If you are serious about acoustic room treatment check out some of the videos on you tube from this guy.

http://www.acousticfields.com/about/
I second the ATS recommendation.
Their panels are well made, effective, and priced fairly.
Do get some without the wood panel on the back. They can then work to some degree as bass traps if mounted some inches from the nearest wall.
Absorption works best toward the speaker end of the room.
In the rear use some diffusion.
You can spend a lot of time and money chasing room acoustics. Some go overboard with acoustic panels and end up with a room that sounds dead. Usually corner bass traps can help and treating the first reflection points with diffusion or fiberglass panels is money well spent. The rear wall can benefit from some diffusers. Go slow and bring in a modest amount of treatment at a time to determine if it makes a positive impact.
Upper and lower room corners are quite problematic since they produce very high sound pressures, actually much higher than the average sound pressure in the room when music is playing.
Upper and lower room corners are quite problematic since they produce very high sound pressures, actually much higher than the average sound pressure in the room when music is playing.
Geoffkait

Don't sit with your head in the corner. Problem solved. ;)

Seriously though, another nod to ATS Acoustics. Well built, fairly priced and quick. I built a couple DIY pieces with ok results. After purchasing a couple panels from ATS, I won't build any more. By the time you run around getting supplies, building and cleaning up, it seemed more cost effective to buy ready made pieces. And they looked better too.
OK. 1 x 3 instead of 2 x 4; ductboard or other materials, thicker and/or denser material for bass traps, all corners, wave the ceiling, go slowly so it doesn't get too dead, keep head out of corner.

I think I've got it.

Thanks, everybody for great info.

Lynne
Use it don't lose it.
Alzheimers on the run, baby.

(forgot to include diffusers as option)
Mapman, the neighbor in construction stopped in today. His take on zman's ductboard: "We call it buffalo board. It's basicly cardboard and it would absorb a lot of sound. It comes in 4x8 sheets for about $6. We could frame those up in no time. And we could get creative with 2x4's with my table saw." I help him with audio and he helps me. So we'll git 'er done.