Room treatments - GIK Vs Acoustimac

I would like to hear from you, opinions on treatments available from GIK and Acoustimac. I am leaning towards GIK, cause I have read nothing but very good user reviews on them. And in one such review I came across Acoustimac panels. Researched them and found that they make acoustic panels using the same material that GIK uses, but at much lesser price points. They also give you the option of buying 1 panel at a time. They are the only ones that have some eco-panels, albeit at a slightly higher price point.
I did alot of research before I bought my panels. I was going to buy from GIK until I saw the back of their panels. They didn't/don't trim the fabric and they just looked cheaper. Granted it's on the back, but I thought maybe the overall construction might not be as good as others. Just my feelings though.

I bought mine from Acoustimac and couldn't be happier. Acoustimac also had many more color options for the same price. Also, as you stated, you can buy one at a time if needed. I have bought about a dozen. Very happy and highly recommended and great people to work with.

IMHO, either would work well and I've read good things about GIK. I choose Acoustimac.
Thank you for letting me know about the back of panel description. I will look into it. But what about the effectiveness of Acoustimac compared to GIK? Did you get a chance to compare them?
My concern is that there are not too many users of Acoustimac, unlike GIK which has tons of user reviews.
I did not compare the two. IMHO, acoustic panel treatments like these are pretty much the same. They don't make a "sound", so it would be pretty hard to tell any differnce. They are made with, more or less, the same materials.

I just liked the build quality, choice of colors and the ability to buy one or two, better with the Acoustimacs.

Like I said above, either one will do the job well. If you need the reviews to validate your purchase, buy the GIKs.
GIk uses 8lbs/ft. density material while Acoustimac uses 4lb/ft.and the test results from the lab are better for GIK.Results are posted on their websites.One is good the other better.
From the info I found, they use the same exact materials. I can't see how one can have a higher, (or lower) rating than the other. Are you sure you are comparing the same model and SIZE of panel?
Look at Real Traps
In addition to my above post, I looked on both sites and could find nothing stating the rating that Lifeengineer posted? Acoustimac gives a NRC and a SAA rating. I couldn't find this info on the GIK site at all.

Both GIK and Acoustimac use Owens Corning 703 in a size of 2 feet by 4 feet by 2 inch thick, (GIK is model 242, Acoustimac is model DMD-422). These are put into a wood frame with fabric wrapped around and pulled tight. Unless they are using Voodoo, Magic or Alien Technology, these are going to have pretty much the same rating.
I found the GIK fit and finish lacking also but for the money they're ok. I have no experience with Acoustimac.
After going through the internet, I did find out a reason why GIK does not have backing panels. They are of the opinion that leaving a gap is necessary for the panel to be more effective. They think that without the backing panel, the panels will have natural gap when mounted on the wall. Some other experts also agree that leaving a gap between the panel and the walls is desirable.
Mofimadness,GIK does not put their acoustic treatments in a wood frame except the corner traps.The edges are left bare for greater absorbtion .Those that are well read agree with the master handbook of acoustics that leaving a space behind(off the wall) of the panel increases it's effectiveness.This is not an opinion but a scientific fact that can be measured and verified.Again,GIK uses 8lbs/ft material and I am not even sure if 703 comes in a 2 inch thickness,this is not what they use.If you are really interested in acoustic treatments and applications I suggest you get a copy of the master handbook of acoustics.It is a great read and highly recommended .No voodoo,magic,or alien technology just,comparing Gik and Acoustimac with eachother ,they are not apples to apples.If you are really interested you could talk to Glenn at Gik and he can verify what lbs/ft they use,etc.Their specs are listed on the website.
I own GIK acoustics 242, and 244 panels as well as monster bass traps and tri traps. All of them are wood framed. There is a space behind the acoustic material. Purchased them new last year. I have never auditioned the others, but find theGIK panels to be effective.
02-28-12: Csmgolf
"I own GIK acoustics 242, and 244 panels as well as monster bass traps and tri traps. All of them are wood framed."

Be careful. On my 244s, bought last year as well, there is a 1" (perhaps) wood frame that goes around the back, not around the sides. The panel is maybe 6" thick: 5" is the absorbing material, and 1" is the wood frame that causes the 1" gap between the panel and wall.
IOW - If you lay the panel face down and put a 1" x 1" frame around the edge of the back face.
(all measurements are guesses, give or take a couple of inches)
Mofimadness,I stand corrected that GIK does put their treatments in a frame,however the main point is the space behind the panel provides for greater low frequency absortion and the lbs/cubic ft (8 for GIK and 4 for Acousitmac)also is better for low frequency absorption. They say get the base right and all else follows.GIK does a better job at this than Acoustimac . As per my original statement one is good the other better.A DIY person can get or build the frames themselves but the spacing and the 8lbs/cu.ft. is the must have if you want the better of the two.
Agree with Sebrof. Same with my 244s. The side and back "framing" are open on purpose for trapping instead of reflecting. It is a bass "trap". Not done to be cheap, but rather for better effectiveness.
Sebrof, you are correct. Thanks for catching my mistake.
Csmgolf,i stand corrected about being corrected about GIK putting wood frames around their treatments.Thanks for the verification that they leave the side borders bare for absorption as per my original post of 2-27.
As an update, I received 2 tri-traps and 2 monster panels from GIK. They cleared up the sound stage while tightening the bass response. I do not have any panels on the first reflection points yet and that may be the reason why the imaging is not as pin-point as I would like it to be.

Can someone please suggest why people add panels behind boxed speakers? Does it help in sound stage? My mid-range is terrific and I love it. I want to get my system to a point where even when I move my head from the center position, the vocals should still appear to come from the middle. Is this possible? How should I decide between diffusion and absorption?
Very interested in the answers to Milpai's question too.
Hi Milpai,
* congrats on the GIK investment - glad to hear that the 4 bass traps are helping.
* lateral reflections from side walls tend to pull imaging in the direction of the reflection, so with no side wall 1st reflection absorbers or diffusers it's no wonder you don't have the tight and narrow imaging. Toole's research showed that unless you were a musician or product reviewer, that most folks preferred the side walls being bare to widen the apparent sound source.
* panels behind box speakers: it could for several reasons. Bass traps are usually most effective in corners, including front wall corners behind box or other kinds of speakers. Also, reflections from the front and back walls are less advantageous than from other directions. Placing a panel - absorption or diffusion or angled reflection like I use - on the front wall will help prevent flutter echoes between the back wall if it is a hard surface and parallel with the front wall. Moreover, placing a panel on the front wall closest to the speaker is to reduce comb filter effects, which Toole's argues is less troubling and not as auditory as a measurement graph or some people would make you believe. Lastly, I have found some absorption on the front wall deepens the apparent sound stage depth, at least in my room.
* by saying you want to be able to move your head to the side and still hear the vocals as coming from the middle/centre, then it sounds like you want a wider sweet spot, which I would think would benefit from side wall diffusion at 1st reflection points to widen the apparent sound source width, which contradicts your earlier desire for a tight image . . .
* deciding between diffusion and absorption at the side wall 1st reflection points is a matter of personal taste and goals. If the room already is 'dead' sounding, then diffusion or reflection ought to be considered. Also, do you want tight narrow imaging or broader more real-to-life imaging which loosely translates to being in the recording studio or having the musicians in your room, respectively.

Good luck and let us know how you make out. Oh ya, get an acoustical measurement tool to help you, otherwise it is just guess work.
Thanks much for the detailed explanation. Very helpful indeed.

Yes, I am for sure getting the panels for the first absorption points. They would be the 244 from GIK.
I am undecided on the front wall panels. I can confidently say that there is only 10-15% hash of what it was without the reflections. You have done a "Lamborghini" of treatment, whereas I am only aiming for an "Acura or BMW".
Again, I may be contradicting myself because this is the first time I am experiencing complete music, rather than some music and some room. I think I would love to have great imaging, in general.
I have also been advised to get the equipment rack out of the middle and place the equipments on the floor (on some platform). I plan to do this by using the panels from the Salamander rack I have and Herbie's footers.
I have become a BIG believer in treatments. For me, the effect (along with precise speaker placement) is "mesmerizing". It is like buying new hardware and listening to the music through new equipment for the first time.
What are your thought on ceiling reflections? My ceiling is 9'.

Glad my it'd bits of "advice" were helpful.
For the ceiling, and given your druthers for great imaging, I would be inclined you try 6" thick absorption with a few inches of an air space given you have the vertical space to spare.

Do you have a window in the middle of the front wall between your speakers? If so you will want to attenuate the reflections from the glass; close the drapes. Make the drapes as thick and with a deep fold with air space between it and the wall if possible.
I do not have windows on the front wall. But they are on the rear wall, about 3 feet from where I sit. I have taken care of them with the Monster traps. There is that french door, but I will put some felt on them sometimes later. I will update my system with the pics, after everything is put in place.

I will "try to start" a conversation about the ceiling treatments with the wife ;-) She has been supportive till now, but I don't want to stretch it. Thank You for letting me know about the gap though. I will keep that tip for future.

i use 242,244,Tritraps and used to use Monster bass.
I had 18 panels all in all.
Best is to use these and also use a Rives Audio PARC (+ XTZ Room analyzer pro II).
This way you can measure your room, then let the PARC handle the bass modes. None of these brands or panels can sort out and rid deep bass modes. No matter if you fill your whole room (it will just be dead-damped). When you have set the PARC correctly, you can start all over testing how many GIK or such, you'll prefer and where to locate them.
I would suggest running PARC balanced with a good PC and a hifi tuning fuse also.
You will be in for a surprise :-D
I was listening late tonight and noticed that if I move my chair closer to the back wall, towards where I have the GIK Monster Panels installed, I get better bass definition. I was actually advised that I needed to move my chair at least 3 feet away from the back wall.
So this new position (close to back wall) puzzles me. I have a squarish room (12.5 X 13.5) and I could do with a slightly more bass. So, is closer to the back wall or away from the back wall, better for more bass? I have ordered the 244 panels for first reflection points. Will that have any affect on the bass?
Yeah, I do understand that squarish room is not optimal for bass. But I do not have a choice.
Hi Milpai,

There is some pretty strong rational for having the listening chair some distance away from the rear wall. I've found measurements (using REW or XTZ) the best way to locate the listening seat position. This thread may interest you.
I think I have visited your system, multiple times when I was researching on room treatments. You have a great system and room. Thanks for the link. Will go through it. BTW, that site is on my Audio bookmarks. Nice site.
I am a big believer in treatments - now that I have experienced it. My small room, with lights out, sounds like I am sitting in an auditorium meant for sound reproduction. There is some slap echo that I am trying to work on. But the sound is much much better than what I started out with.
My only probelem with Acoustimac was that their quoted ship dare was not met, then not met the next day after I called and was promised it would go out, then not met for two more days.

Guess I am old fashioned. Do what you say, and do what your say you will do.

A notification to that effect would have gone a long way.

This was a tiny order, but who knows if I might have followed with a big one.

I did not ask for an industry discount nor identify myself as an industry person.

I liked the product, but the astonishingly poor customer service will most likely prevent me from doing business with them again.
That is something I would be wary of, Hornguys.
I went ahead with GIK and have 2 tri-traps, 2 monster bass and 2 244 panels. Doing some listening and fine tuning the speaker positions before making sure I need or do not ned more panels.
The only reason I'm leaning to Acoustimac is that I have some really weird custom sizes that I need and Acoustimac doesn't upcharge for that. GIK charges an additional fee for each panel that needs a custom size.
The only reason I'm leaning to Acoustimac is that I have some really weird custom sizes that I need and Acoustimac doesn't upcharge for that. GIK charges an additional fee for each panel that needs a custom size.
Anyone have GIK Monster traps on the rear wall behind the listening position? , I'm about 6ft away and I have one on order !

Please no on GIK
and triple no on Acoustimac - panels.

GIK large and bulky costly not so hot on acoustic waves

Acoustimac NO NO NO ... heavy dirty-crumbly costly
and poor aucoustics.
We are very sorry we used these items.
Heavy to hold and tend to flake or crumble during

IN our Opinion
- - -

For home use please try out: foam products like;

The CLOUD foam tiles - neat as you will see...

Very pretty, easy to use, light weight, stylish
easy to control sound problems.

[we have NO interest in this company, except to their
products use in our audio projects.]

Let us know what you did...
I have 2 of those behind me and I sit about 3 feet away. My room is small.

I have mentioned above that I went with GIK. They were pretty helpful and took a very conservative approach in getting my room treated. I have 2 tri-traps, 2 Monster panels and 2 244s in my room now. They are big panels. But I don't think humans are anywhere close to changing the laws of physics anytime soon.

The less you use to 'correct' the room reflections the better.

"...I want to get my system to a point where even when
I move my head from the center position, the vocals
should still appear to come from the middle.
Is this possible?

How should I decide between diffusion and absorption?..."


Suggest you remove all your cross-overs circuits
from your speakers, change over to a non-crossover
circuit design.

The problem with room reflections is that the speakers are connected to the audio source with old-crossover circuits. The audio signal is changed at ever frequency, being phase distorted.
This 'phase-change' is noticed as a change in timbre of the vocals and in the unique sounds of instruments.

The acoustical energy should not need be focused to a sweet spot. A sweet spot is actually an indication of something not being done right.

And yes with the correct inter-face circuits you can
get away from the 'ideal spot' and end up with a much broader listening area; with vocals in their original 'positions' and instruments heard as never before!

The room's size becomes less of a problem due to correct
'phasing' of the audio signal(s).

Well let us start here...