Finally got around to doing some room acoustic treatments... Wow!

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
603
488
175
Central Florida
The 2" Impression panels came in Friday, the 4" Alpha panels showed up first thing yesterday morning around 9am! That alone was shocking! They were supposed to ship out on the 24th and arrive by the 29th! Good on GIK Acoustics for that. As for fit and finish, I've read that a lot of these panels arrive looking like they were rushed, bad corners, wrinkled cloth, etc, etc. I have none of that with these panels. They look great front to back, top to bottom.

All day yesterday, and I do mean all day, I played around with location. I tried the Alpha and Impressions panels everywhere in the room, swapped one out for the other in each location, tried all combinations, tried all types of locations, and the simplest actually ended up providing the best results.

Music was from Phil Collins, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Depeche Mode, Neil Young, Diana Krall, The Cure, Peter Murphy, Gregory Porter, Holly Cole, Fleetwood Mack, Pink Floyd... Basically, artists and music I know extremely well and a lot that I have been listening to recently with the current system.

I first tried the Alpha panels in the 1st reflection points on the side walls. They gave me a solid center image, but they killed the width of the sound stage. Any stage width I got it was restricted to only between the inner edges of the speakers. Even the ambient width in the recording was sucked out almost completely. While keeping the Alphas there, I tried putting the four Impressions in various locations to see if they would resolve these new issues, but they didn't. Even completely out of the room, these new issues stayed.

So I swapped out the Alphas for the two Impressions you currently see in those 1st reflection locations. With no other panels in the room, these "removed" the walls, widened the sound stage considerably beyond the walls, and still give me that solid center image. This is something these speakers and room needed, and the Impressions in these locations deliver.

I then tried the Alphas on the back wall and the other two Impressions on the front wall. They seemed to work really well, but something was off. After more listening of various tracks, I realized that stage depth had flattened and vocal height had dropped to about just below center of the TV screen. Also, some of that ambience in the recordings had gone away again, though not as bad as before, but it was noticeable. Lastly, imaging focus had become a little bit fuzzy. Again, just because I could, I removed the Impressions on the sidewalls while keeping the other panels in place and that just made things worse, so those Impressions went back to the sidewalls.

The Alphas then got moved up front. What the Alphas did on the front wall is what the room/system needed. They opened up that front wall giving more space, air and much needed stage depth to the sound, as well as lifting the vocal/instrument height to realistic heights as if those vocals/instruments were in front of me. The ambience of the venues in the "live' recordings are back in strides and very clearly apparent, giving even more space and air within the room. The second pair of Impressions are on the back wall where they help reinforce what the Alphas are doing up front as well as the fact that there's zero slap echo in this room now.

As an added bonus to these panels, and something I wasn't expecting them to do much of if any, is that they have in fact improved the bass in this room. I don't know if they helped clean up some of the upper bass or bass harmonics or what, but the overall sound of the bass is just a bit more clean, solid and planted. Almost to the same effect as putting the subs up on those IsoAcoustics sub stands I have them on. Definition and sharpness of attack just seem to be better. And no, the Maggies, the subs or the sub settings were never touched through any of this.

Lastly, in order the mount one of the panels in front of the window, I mounted a couple of "legs" to the side of the panel, put a couple of eyehooks on the back of them, and a couple of L hooks in the wall, so installation and removal is simple and literally only takes seconds to do. Also, instead of using the sawtooth hangers that GIK provided with the panels, I decided to use heavy duty D-ring picture hangers for the wall mounted panels.

All in all, I am extremely happy with the results and am quite amazed at how much was achieved with only six panels. They far exceeded my expectations. This doesn't mean I'm done however. I still want to get some diffusors for behind/above the TV, and maybe a few other things here and there after some more research and advise seeking.

I should have done this years ago. What a transformation!

Anyway, here's some pics...













 

Sampajanna

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2021
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Nice!
 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
603
488
175
Central Florida
Thanks.
 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
603
488
175
Central Florida
A little update...

Since my last post in this thread, things came to a standstill as shortly after my significant other had full hip surgery scheduled. So the week of, I took off from work to take care of her and help her around the house and such, then back to work the next week. Also, other things family related have occupied my spare time as well. Needless to say, I never got around to getting REW up and running and doing all of that jazz.

However, last weekend, I did manage to get a few quick hours to myself. For about an hour, I played a track here and there of very familiar recordings for about an hour, quickly removed the Alpha panels from the front wall, then played those same tracks again, in the same order. The results were the same as before, no suck-outs of any kind and increased air, space, height and depth.

With that being said, I do have to retract one statement where I said there was "zero slap echo now". There's still some, but nowhere near as bad as it was. It doesn't ring out as long as it used to, but it's also difficult to tell where it's coming from (side walls, ceiling, maybe front/back walls still?). If I loudly say "AH!" in really short bursts, or clap my hands, I still hear this short echo that has more of a "zing" quality to it that rises in pitch by the time it ends. I would say maybe two tenths to a third of a second at most? So far I haven't noticed it in any music that I've played like I used to before the treatments.


In other news, for the most part, I have preferred the sound of the Maggies with the tweeters on the outside edge for a bit wider sounds stage and a larger center image with very little to no toe-in. Just for giggles, I swapped them a couple nights ago and now have the tweeters on the inside edge with a fair amount of toe-in (tweeters intersect about a foot in front of my head). I was expecting a smaller center image and a narrower, somewhat closed in sounds stage. To my surprise, the opposite happened!

First thing I noticed is that the sound stage now extends out past the side walls by at least a foot or two, well beyond the speakers themselves. There's also a 3D or surround-sound like effect depending on the recording. You're placed IN the recording venue, hearing the natural acoustics and reverb of the live recording venue. Of course, highly engineered studio music does the same, sometimes to extremes. One recording I was listening to (can't remember what it was now) had an acoustic guitar being played close-mic'ed, and I swear it was a foot behind my head to the left. You could actually hear the pick come in contact with the string, and that string sounded like it had a rough texture to it like a round-wound string. However, that late at night I was starting to get really tired (was up 26 hours, 14+ hours of that at work) and failed to make note of the album/track or even put it in my favorites for that matter. It was just something I randomly picked on Qobuz.

The second thing I noticed is that the size of the center image has remained the same (as with the tweeters out) but now that center image is sharper and has more roundness and dimensionality to it. Also, that center image is its own entity between the speakers. In no way does it sound like it's coming from either speaker.

I had these Maggies set up this way a while back when I was experimenting with placement, and I was getting none of this, hence why I had them with tweeters out and very little or no toe-in. All I was hearing before was like a large mono speaker in front of me with some stereo ques here and there set up as they are now, only without any of the room treatments. It's a totally different story now with these GIK panels installed!
 

tomsch63

New Member
May 31, 2022
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Thanks for this! I'm going through an evaluation of my listening room/loft and thinking about the acoustic solutions. Based on your experience I too have been looking at GIK.
 
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exupgh12

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2019
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Hi Chops,

Congrats on your room, looks very attractive.

How did you decide on the required panels and installation location?, did you measure and analyze your room before and after the treatment?

Thanks.
 

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