My failed experience with Dennis Foley and Acoustic Fields

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
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Hi,

I've read a few reviews about him on this forum and decided to share mine.

I've signed up for an phone call with him and sent my room info with photos and plans. Some people here mention his arrogance and I would agree, though I can live with that given he solves the problem.

First few things he told me that my $10,000 budget won't do much, but he will see what he can do if I do a video for him. That's important thing to realise and this goes against some of his videos, where he demonstrates: if you have $1,000 do this, if you have $3,000 do this.

He told me I need to put lots 12" deep carbon panels on all 4 walls. I asked: is this it? Do I need any diffusers? He said, yes, you room is an odd shape, so it probably won't need diffusers. He asked me to send him the dimensions of the wall surfaces where we could put the treatment.

Knowing how busy he is, I went above and beyond. I've put the dimensions in a table in both metric and imperial systems. I've created a 3D model of of those areas, so it is easier to understand and some illustrations and wrote a detailed explanation. Next I asked him questions in the same email on how can I measure the problems I have in the room so I could pass it to him. And how does he know that this particular panel is going to solve my problems. I asked him: Your product description says: "smooth frequency response starting at 40 – 60 Hz. and going through 6,500 Hz" What about the low frequencies below 40Hz? In my view these are valid questions, because this is what he is preaching in his videos: "measure your problems first, before you try fixing them. guessing does not work even for professionals like him" I think this is where it went wrong. He emailed me saying he needs to see at least 58 square feet, but ideally 100 square feet on the front wall for putting the treatment. I've replied mentioning that my table I sent him shows 102 square feet. He replied, he made a mistake, he needs to see this space on the side walls instead. I've replied saying that my table shows 92 square feet. He answer was: I would like to pass on this project, because we are not communicating properly. I was gutted.

I remember he fixed some famous studio increasing the sweet spot big way. I would assume he probably spent great amount of time checking, measuring and experimenting in this studio as the budgets there could be 6 figures. If you come to him with a humble budget of 10 or even 20K, do you think the maestro would put much of his time into checking your problems and fixing them in a cost efficient way? Probably not. He even didn't want any of my measurements. After his 12-14 hours of working day you may hope that the maestro would remember which wall he initially wanted to put his treatment on and which room he looked at in the last few days was yours. His solution may work, but will it be cost effective and optimal in other factors, such as space and look. I really doubt so.

My view is, he is flying too high, for an ordinary folk he may be not the right person.

Another problem is, he speaks bad about his competition and anyone opposing his views. At first he looks like a contrarian, who is revealing the "lies" people in the industry make to get rich and sell you more gear, but after closer look it may be the other way around. One example is the dealing with the low frequencies. There are people in the industry who also got involved in doing professional high end studios, who believe that low frequencies are impractical to treat with sound treatment, you should do multiple subs instead and they are respectful to other opinions. Mr Foley essentially calls them liars as he believes that in a small room you can't put multiple subs and suggests everyone should buy his bulky and expensive panels. This is a semi-truth, because depending on how small the room is it may be hard to fit his panels too. What about medium room? If I can treat it putting 2 or 4 subs, I would prefer this and this would cost me less then $10,000 and they will take much less space. Mr Foley sells acoustic treatment and he tells you to buy his acoustic treatment in huge amounts, not subs. Some people in the industry, like Anthoni Grimani, also sell acoustic treatment, but they tell you to use subs to fix low frequencies. So who is telling the truth?
 
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HughP3

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Apr 25, 2019
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I am a former dennis customer. Have you read these threads? I commented in the first thread about my experience with him. The second is my room build. Am i lucky things turned out ok? Given his recent issues, Probably.


my room build
 
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Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
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I am a former dennis customer. Have you read these threads? I commented in the first thread about my experience with him. The second is my room build. Am i lucky things turned out ok? Given his recent issues, Probably.


my room build
As they say, past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Once people become successful they often become arrogant, take those music and movie stars for example. It is not only the skill level of the "maestro", but also the amount of time he is prepared to spend on your issues. It also matters how cost efficient his solution can be given the time he spent on your project and if he is the best person for you to deal with. It is about if you can you get better value with someone else.

When I built my house I had a hydraulics engineer with some 30 years of experience and he did a stormwater detention system for me. It was doing the job, but it was ugly as hell. I told him, I don't like it, I want it to be hidden under my deck instead of an ugly drainage pool taking all my front yard. He said: I can't do it any other way, there are no water tanks in the market which will satisfy the requirements and fit under your deck. I asked him: ok, what are your requirements? He said: 7,500 liters above street level and about the same below. I spent some time reading the survey plan and calculating the volumes and couple of hours researching the water tanks available. Next day I gave it to him and he accepted my solution. This was not because he was bad, it was because he did not allow much time for the design. Same thing with acoustics. I wouldn't trust a "maestro" spending few minutes guessing on my room (without even asking me to take any sound measurements). It will be ugly and cost ineffective solution.

On one of his videos he helps a guy who has his speakers in a living room and brings some mobile acoustic panels to lean against walls and chairs. But once he made enough videos, do you think he would be keen enough to spend time on your humble room given he has six or seven digit projects elsewhere? I had a dedicated 29sq meter (approx 312 sq feet) room and a budget of 10,000. He told me you can't do much for this money and he will see what he can do if I do a video for him. Perhaps later he decided he had enough videos and/or I was asking inconvenient questions. And I think I had a right to ask those questions, because this is what he is preaching. And if he does something against of what he preachers (and I watched dozens of his videos) this raises questions about his honesty.

I am not saying he can't improve sound in your room, he can if you spend crazy amount of money, I am saying I doubt it would be the best value. And also, I don't think he is that contrarian revealing the lies of the industry. Some genius who is being ignored by big companies. He is very commercial, he wants you to buy as much of his stuff as possible.

Once again this is my personal opinion, you are welcome to post yours and people can decide for themselves what they want to do.
 
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Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
16
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47
I am a former dennis customer. Have you read these threads? I commented in the first thread about my experience with him. The second is my room build. Am i lucky things turned out ok? Given his recent issues, Probably.


my room build
And by the way, I just looked at your setup, you are in that range where you have a much bigger budget, much more to the liking of Mr Foley.

Does that mean people who have smaller budgets can't improve the sound in their room? Surely they can. It won't be as good as yours, but it can still be good. To be honest, I don't think my room has big problems. I love my room and spend hours there mostly for movies and gaming and I do enjoy the sound. I have a certain budget and just want to make it better.
Dennis Foley should be honest in saying: "don't approach me if you don't at least have X amount of money, I won't get of my bed for that money" or "don't ask me any questions, I am a maestro and can't be questioned". I feel like he wasted my time.

And even for bigger projects like yours, the question remains on how cost effective they are? Could you get better value elsewhere?
 

SeagoatLeo

Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2015
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No, I had a truly mediocre experience with Dennis Foley. He also can't count. He also demands wire transfer of funds prior to any delivery. I had a $150,000 custom built room with an excellent contractor who did several jobs with him. This was a new room from foundation up except for the ceiling, The resulting room was 19.5' X 15' X 10' with 16" multi-layer designed walls. Mr. Foley said he would provide plans. He NEVER did. He quoted a price for 4 chambered activated charcoal bass filters (for the walls). He quoted a price for wall and ceiling sound absorption panels. He quoted a price for quadradic diffusion (I could not afford and they would have eaten up another 12" to 14" of front and rear wall space). I paid him $50,000 in advance by wire transfer.

He said his company was so busy he could not deliver the full amount of bass filters. He delayed my construction by about two months. He only delivered half the number of bass filters, claiming he would use insulation batting in an up down pattern in the walls. Well, at the end of the contract, he said it would have been better with the full number of filters but he used higher quality ones at half the number and still charged me full price. He delivered incorrect sized filters (for 2X10 studs but then changed the plans to 3X10, not accounting for filter size). My contractor had to deconstruct the filters, empty the charcoal into separate buckets, resize (cut) them down to correct size and reassemble the filters. This took about four solid days which I paid extra for.

Then he delivered ceiling absorption panels (six) which were to cover most of the ceiling. Unfortunately, he chose to deliver six same size panels which did not fit. Two had to be taken to a custom cabinet maker to cut and reassemble. Guess who paid the difference and lost another week of time.

He instructed the contractor to install unfinished cherry plywood paneling. I wanted finished paneling to expedite and be uniform in appearance. So, I ended up with extremely toxic smelling finishing of the panels in place which took another 4 days and was less than uniform.

The front and rear walls did not need his absorption panels. They killed the dynamics so I used SR HFTs instead and my two pair of Hallographs to adjust for the slightly bright plywood front and rear walls.

Yes, I have an acoustically excellent listening room. However, Mr. Foley would not remit the difference of half the missing bass filters and refunded some odd amount that included shipping in some bizarred accounting statement at the conclusion of the job. The contractor surreptitiously took photos for use in Mr. Foley's video before Mr. Foley settled the refund bill. After would have been appropriate.

Oh, yes, Mr. Foley also had me order 10 rolls of acoustiblok vibration control when only 8 were needed. They result was another $1600 wasted.

He used very thick rolls of insulation brought for the attic area vibration control. He told the contractor to inform me that sealed, folded rolls would be better than unfolded, open rolls out of their plastic bag. I doubt that. I think he just didn't want to bother the contractor to lay out the 280 sq ft of fiberglass in the attic.

In all, I paid Mr. Foley $50,000 and received a mess for the contractor, higher expense, longer construction time and NO plans (all in his head).

I have no problem with the high quality of the Acoustic Fields products. The process was terrible.
 
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SeagoatLeo

Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2015
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My mistake, I did not pay for the deconstruction and reassmbly of the bass filters, just the loss of time. I did have to pay nearly double the price for in place finishing of the cherry plywood paneling instead of buying uniform pre-finished paneling.
 

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
16
4
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47
No, I had a truly mediocre experience with Dennis Foley. He also can't count. He also demands wire transfer of funds prior to any delivery. I had a $150,000 custom built room with an excellent contractor who did several jobs with him. This was a new room from foundation up except for the ceiling, The resulting room was 19.5' X 15' X 10' with 16" multi-layer designed walls. Mr. Foley said he would provide plans. He NEVER did. He quoted a price for 4 chambered activated charcoal bass filters (for the walls). He quoted a price for wall and ceiling sound absorption panels. He quoted a price for quadradic diffusion (I could not afford and they would have eaten up another 12" to 14" of front and rear wall space). I paid him $50,000 in advance by wire transfer.

He said his company was so busy he could not deliver the full amount of bass filters. He delayed my construction by about two months. He only delivered half the number of bass filters, claiming he would use insulation batting in an up down pattern in the walls. Well, at the end of the contract, he said it would have been better with the full number of filters but he used higher quality ones at half the number and still charged me full price. He delivered incorrect sized filters (for 2X10 studs but then changed the plans to 3X10, not accounting for filter size). My contractor had to deconstruct the filters, empty the charcoal into separate buckets, resize (cut) them down to correct size and reassemble the filters. This took about four solid days which I paid extra for.

Then he delivered ceiling absorption panels (six) which were to cover most of the ceiling. Unfortunately, he chose to deliver six same size panels which did not fit. Two had to be taken to a custom cabinet maker to cut and reassemble. Guess who paid the difference and lost another week of time.

He instructed the contractor to install unfinished cherry plywood paneling. I wanted finished paneling to expedite and be uniform in appearance. So, I ended up with extremely toxic smelling finishing of the panels in place which took another 4 days and was less than uniform.

The front and rear walls did not need his absorption panels. They killed the dynamics so I used SR HFTs instead and my two pair of Hallographs to adjust for the slightly bright plywood front and rear walls.

Yes, I have an acoustically excellent listening room. However, Mr. Foley would not remit the difference of half the missing bass filters and refunded some odd amount that included shipping in some bizarred accounting statement at the conclusion of the job. The contractor surreptitiously took photos for use in Mr. Foley's video before Mr. Foley settled the refund bill. After would have been appropriate.

Oh, yes, Mr. Foley also had me order 10 rolls of acoustiblok vibration control when only 8 were needed. They result was another $1600 wasted.

He used very thick rolls of insulation brought for the attic area vibration control. He told the contractor to inform me that sealed, folded rolls would be better than unfolded, open rolls out of their plastic bag. I doubt that. I think he just didn't want to bother the contractor to lay out the 280 sq ft of fiberglass in the attic.

In all, I paid Mr. Foley $50,000 and received a mess for the contractor, higher expense, longer construction time and NO plans (all in his head).

I have no problem with the high quality of the Acoustic Fields products. The process was terrible.
OMG, he acts like that even on a larger projects. As they say, past performance is not an indicator of future performance.
 
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SeagoatLeo

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Feb 24, 2015
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My contractor had finished a Capitol Studio remodel and was doing a high value home sound room in Newport Beach(?) which was at least $400K or $1m. So, Mr. Foley is involved with major sound room projects. I think he has too many at a time. Also, he claims he has 177 employees in his Arizona factory. I don't believe it.
 

iansr

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2010
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413
I saw him for what he is after watching a YouTube vid he made in which he attempted to trash other approaches to room correction. It was quite frankly pathetic and I unsubscribed immediately.
 
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