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Thread: What is the best acoustic material to place on the floor?

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    What is the best acoustic material to place on the floor?

    Although regular rugs and carpets seem to work, is there a better acoustic material to manage peaks and dips? Why don't people just lay absorption panels on the parts of the floor where one wouldn't walk?

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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Although regular rugs and carpets seem to work, is there a better acoustic material to manage peaks and dips? Why don't people just lay absorption panels on the parts of the floor where one wouldn't walk?
    What part of the floor would that be?

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    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Although regular rugs and carpets seem to work, is there a better acoustic material to manage peaks and dips? Why don't people just lay absorption panels on the parts of the floor where one wouldn't walk?
    F. Toole reccomeds a high-quality clipped-pile woven carpets (with porous backing because the sound must be allowed to penetrate into the felt underlay) on a good carpet underlay— 40 oz/sq yd (1.4 kg/m2) hair felt, which is typically about 0.43 in. (11 mm) thick. We should avoid rubber or plastic backed carpets. Sound Reproduction page 478.
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    F. Toole reccomeds a high-quality clipped-pile woven carpets (with porous backing because the sound must be allowed to penetrate into the felt underlay) on a good carpet underlay— 40 oz/sq yd (1.4 kg/m2) hair felt, which is typically about 0.43 in. (11 mm) thick. We should avoid rubber or plastic backed carpets. Sound Reproduction page 478.
    Indeed. The reason he does that is because the timbre change seems to come at 500 Hz+ so even a thin absorber works.

    If you want more data than you ever thought you needed on acoustic properties of carpet and its underlayment, this is a great paper to buy: http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa...1121/1.1908124

    It has nice graphics like this:



    We see that with enough thickness, we get pretty good absorption starting at 500 Hz.

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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    Although regular rugs and carpets seem to work, is there a better acoustic material to manage peaks and dips? Why don't people just lay absorption panels on the parts of the floor where one wouldn't walk?
    I use an OEM of my acoustician called Noiseout which sits above the subfloor and under the carpet pad

    http://noiseout.com/

    It converts the floor to a bass trap

    you don't even know it's there
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    Gentlemen, thank you all for the replies. I will check out the "noise out".

    But what is unclear to me is: why, theoretically, we need to treat the floor differently than the walls? Why not just have a runner rug going to your rack, and adorn the rest of the floor with absorbers and cool looking RPG diffusors?

    My perspective may be different also, as I am playing around with an omni. The manufacturer recommends a lot of highly reflective surfaces, but I have wood floors and wood walls. Placing the speaker on a hardwood floor alone, I have a sinusoidal looking midrange, with a dip in the lower midrange and a peak from 1k to 2k. However, when I place a moderately thick Tibetan rug on the hard wood floor, it's like magic! Measurement flattens out fairly well and the midrange becomes much, much, much cleaner. But this again begs the question, if this type of rug works so well, why not reduce the number of the ugly absorption panels in your living quarters, and hang more beautiful rugs on the walls, as they do in many parts of the world?
    Last edited by caesar; 02-25-2014 at 07:40 AM.

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    The reason the floor is different is because the reflections there are heard equally the same by both ears (assuming on axis). The psychoacoustics of that is different than the side walls where one ear will hear the sound differently both in time and tone.

    On the walls, you want broadband absorption which should go to 200 to 300 Hz (transition frequencies). That requires at least 4 inches absorber. So the rug there doesn't work as well.

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    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    The reason the floor is different is because the reflections there are heard equally the same by both ears (assuming on axis). The psychoacoustics of that is different than the side walls where one ear will hear the sound differently both in time and tone.

    On the walls, you want broadband absorption which should go to 200 to 300 Hz (transition frequencies). That requires at least 4 inches absorber. So the rug there doesn't work as well.
    I also use an OEM from my acoustician on the side walls called Lumitex which lines my drapes. Lumitex is thin like a piece of fabric but is equivalent to stuffing your walls with 2" of insulation

    http://www.soundsense.com/wp-content...x%E2%84%A2.pdf
    Steve Williams
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    Personally I use carpets from Turkey or Iran. They work great. Oh yeah, and they look great too. I just can't get things like acoustic foam panels past the wife.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caesar View Post
    why, theoretically, we need to treat the floor differently than the walls?
    From the perspective of taming bass, you would treat a floor just like any other surface. Anechoic chambers need to be anechoic at all frequencies, and they have a fully absorbing floor. The problem in a home is that people walk on the floor. But for places where nobody walks, thick bass traps are very useful. I have a bunch of bass traps straddling the wall-floor corners in my living room home theater, resting half on the floor and half against the walls.

    --Ethan

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