I'd go for broadband absorbers like RealTraps. Tube traps are frequency specific (tuned) and unless you are an acoustician you may end up with making things sound worse. Broadband absorbers installed across corners improve things 99% of the time - so that is the approach that I would take.
I've had experience with both and have owned both. I've found Realtraps to give a more satisfying result and to be more flexible in terms of placement. I currently have eight REaltraps in my listening room, including Mondo traps in the corners. They do a great job. I have some Sonex JRs on the ceiling, but I plan to replace them with REaltraps in the near future. Tube Traps do work, but I've found that the expense and amount of tweaking needed make them less cost effective.
I owned ASC's before I went to Realtrap Mondo Traps... I would have had to have 3x times the number of large ASC traps to be as effective as the realtraps.
Thanks everyone! My one concern (or my wife's concern) is how the Realtraps Corner Traps look. She can deal with the ASC tubes which we can put a table cloth over but the Realtraps panels is something that is hard to decorate around. So are the Realtraps THAT MUCH better than the ASC?
The ASC tubes will not work correctly if covered with a table cloth, they are absorbant and reflective depending on the direction they are turned.
If you like your bass, the Realtraps are THAT MUCH BETTER! To effectively absorb bass with ASC tube traps you have to fill 30% of the volumn of the room, and that is not pretty either.. Keep in mind you would need the largest 16" ASC traps floor to ceiling (2-3 stacked) behind your speakers. Those large traps are required to try to deal with the sub 70hz bass.
I recommend putting a lock on the door to the room so it doesn't have to be decorated ;-) said the single guy... your system (Most excellent) looks like it is in a rather small room, is it off the living room or den or something?
In looking at your system (way cool) it looks like your room could benefit from stopping slap echo as well as bass management. Realtraps are broadband, so while tameing the bass problems,they help even more with calming down a room to allow your ears to focus on the speakers and not reflections, something tubetraps can't do. Realtraps made a BIG difference in my room.
Neither! Some nice closeout carpet pieces, rolled up of course, would do the job. Most likely you could return them if they don't work. Size? At least six feet wide (gives you six feet high,) but depending on your lay out, you could go all the way to eight feet. How thick would depend on your space, try to stay under ten feet as the 'round' of the roll would not be to big. Cost? most likely under $50 for two pieces. I've seen this scheme used at the CES show by many high end rooms.
Take a look at GIK Acoustics Tri-traps or Real Traps "stands". Either of these may be both the ticket to WAF aesthetics and broadband absorption....frankly I don't like the awkward look of 4 inch panels straddling the corners either.
See my virtual system components for pictures of the GIK Tri-traps...you can order them in eight different colors. You need to purchase about 16 linear feet to make a modest improvement, as treating only one corner is unlikely to make an audible difference. I was in two minds whether to get these or Ethan's stand traps - no doubt they both work effectively if you get enough of them.
cytocycle, my system is in the small part of the living room. The room itself is pretty large 16ft x 25ft x vaulted ceilings. The back wall opens up to the rest of our house and the second story. I have been relegated to the portion of the living room which is not more than 10ft wide, due to the front door which is to the immediate left of the system. This forms a little niche that my system sits in. Unfortunately, unless I get a dedicated room (unlikely), I am stuck out in the living room so I HAVE to consider how room treatments look.
hi5harry, how do you suggest I deal with slap echo?
I am thinking about room treatments as well. How do the real traps compare to Echobusters (which have a relatively high WAF)?
shadorne, thanks for the info. I had forgotten about the GIK! Do you know if the Tri traps work as well as Realtraps? They do look better than the panels. The wife will like this.
Any thoughts on echo busters? They seem to have nice products (and come in white) with good writeups. I was thinking of getting a couple of phase 4s for the corners behind the speakers (slightly out from the corners with reflective sides showing as recommended) and echo busters for the two first reflection points. Thanks in advance.
I own the echo busters and realtraps and there is no comparison in absorbtion qualities... The realtraps weight 5-8x times more because of how much absorbtion they provide and the echobusters can't really do anything about low low bass (sub 50hz). Their Cornerbusters are excellent, and 1st order reflection points will work perfect but for the corners (or floor and ceiling if corners don't work) realtraps can't be beat.
The Echobusters do have a higher WAF but when you see them up close the fabric is a wide spaced burlap (required to let HF freq through). I recommend getting fabric samples before making a color decision if WAF is important and they can provide them to you.
shadorne, thanks for the info. I had forgotten about the GIK! Do you know if the Tri traps work as well as Realtraps?
I don't think there is much difference. It is the volume of treatment that matters most in corner broadband absorption. 4 inches thick is a bare minmum and the Realtraps (although thinner) may work just as well becuase they straddle the corner. (Air particles don't move at a wall surface so absorption is highest a few inches off the wall.)
GIK are independently tested in Riverbank acoustic labs if I recall correctly and Ethan's are tested too....so I think you can be confident about either product.