My room treatment journey.

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
18
6
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Hi,

I've researched different companies from Acoustic Fields (Dennis Foley) to Verbox, Sonitus and Artnovian.
The spectrum represents the balance between practicality, cost effectiveness, looks and effectiveness of the products.
Acoustic Fields sells bulky and expensive furniture going to very low frequencies. Not very transparent in communication and looks not very cost effective to me. Based on the number of those bulky boxes I would need, I would be better off getting 4 subs and placing them around the room: both cheaper and takes less space and has better looks.
The other end of the spectrum is Artnovian. Their 60mm thick panels look good, but don't absorb well below 300Hz:

I went to a demo room with $180,000 worth of equipment and $6,000 worth of room treatment and the sound was not good even for my unsophisticated ears. They guy also mentioned spending $3000 on the carpet as part of the room treatment, which shows their level of knowledge in the area.
They would not let me measure the room response using REW. It appears they are focused on selling expensive hardware and when I spoke to them about room treatment they kept moving towards expensive processors and the like.

In the middle range is Verbox and Sonitus. The first one only sells absorbers, their ultra option claims to go to 100Hz:
Which is good enough to sort out the rest with subwoofers. The problem is, they don't have any independent tests and can't provide the entire solution. So far the sweet spot to me is Sonitus. On their US website you can select a pre-built setup for a certain room size and level of sound quality you want. I've attached the setup screenshot, as the link would not work. There is a problem though. Their most powerful absorber (Legato 12) only goes to 200Hz at .8 absorption coefficient, leaving a gap between 100Hz and 200Hz. Also, I am not convinced that the bass traps in the two front corners would be enough, given the small area they cover. I could not find a single demo room in Sydney which was properly treated and in which I could measure the room response or the shop would have such measurement.

So far I am considering combining Sonitus set with some Ultra panels from Verbox to fix the gap. I am also considering addressing below 100Hz range with additional subs and building a bass traps in my riser which is 305mm thick. The problem with the last option is that I could not find an expert for designing the bass trap in the riser. All I know is you need to fill it with insulation and make ventilation holes to allow the sound in. I have not idea on where to put those holes, how big and how many.

Any ideas? What was your room treatment journey?

Thanks.
 

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kodomo

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Apr 26, 2017
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It ids good that you are able to take measurements. If you share them, I can make better suggestions.

Most important thing as far as rooms effect on overall sound is what falls below your rooms schroeder frequency. Below this, your room will be dominant. Best way to deal with these bass frequency problems is treating all four corners of your room with "actual" bass traps. The best way is diy. You can make corner chunks, deep enough and low density. Deeper the trap, lower the density and lower the frequency it can effect.

After corners, find your first and second reflection points on side wall and ceiling. I suggest, broadband absorption on first reflection, and broadband absorption with a diffusing cover on the second reflection areas.

Further than this, you can treat the ceiling and side walls behind your listening spot with diffusion. You can put broadband absorption on front wall and diffusion the back wall or vice versa.
 
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sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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Kodomo is right on. It is much cheaper to build your own absorber as they are not complicated. You can use 2X4 construction. Get some fluffy insulation for the inside and wrap in acoustic fabric. For the corner traps you want them to be at least 18" on a side 24" is better. Once you get below 80Hz it is almost impossible to fix a room mode with just absorption.

How big is your room? How much flexibility do you have on seating position and speaker placement? If you put big bass traps in the corners and then treat the first reflection point I believe the rest can be handled with seating and speaker position placement. Throw in some subs and you are good to go.
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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I use a product called Thermafleece Cosywool, build it up to 4x2x2 columns, bound w PET panels, and the efforts seem superior to the GIK traps I had been using. PETs also on front and side walls, and on eaves. Four dozen PETs, and enough CosyWool for front and rear corners has cost me just over £2k, 15% of the cost of the Acustica Applica DaaDs fit out I'd been quoted for.
 

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
18
6
3
47
It ids good that you are able to take measurements. If you share them, I can make better suggestions.

Most important thing as far as rooms effect on overall sound is what falls below your rooms schroeder frequency. Below this, your room will be dominant. Best way to deal with these bass frequency problems is treating all four corners of your room with "actual" bass traps. The best way is diy. You can make corner chunks, deep enough and low density. Deeper the trap, lower the density and lower the frequency it can effect.

After corners, find your first and second reflection points on side wall and ceiling. I suggest, broadband absorption on first reflection, and broadband absorption with a diffusing cover on the second reflection areas.

Further than this, you can treat the ceiling and side walls behind your listening spot with diffusion. You can put broadband absorption on front wall and diffusion the back wall or vice versa.
I've uploaded my cinema room photos and other documents in this One Drive folder:
The measurements are in "Measurements" subfolder. I have 6 seats in the room. Two in the front row and 4 in the back. The front row (seats 1 and 2) is the most frequently used area. The back are used perhaps 2% of the time, so the front row is the highest priority.
I took 4 measurements for each seat. 2 for left ear listening position and 2 for the right ear changing the default output from "L" to "R" as highlighted on the screenshot in the "Measurements" subfolder. I've coded them the following [seat number] [left or right ear] [left of right default output] [date], so "S2 L R 8 May" means Seat 2, left ear listening position "R" selected for default output and date of today. The subfolder also has the room plan with the seat numbers.
It looks like I have some problems between 100Hz and 200Hz as well as some between 25Hz and 100Hz. My room is irregular shape, the front is narrower than the back. I also have an acoustically transparent screen set of the front wall by about 400mm. I can put something thick and ugly there as well as the back wall. I was thinking about putting those Verbox ultra panels there. I could also put the same along the back side wall. Can't put anything thicker than 150 mm along the front part of the side walls, as it will obstruct the screen.
 

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
18
6
3
47
Kodomo is right on. It is much cheaper to build your own absorber as they are not complicated. You can use 2X4 construction. Get some fluffy insulation for the inside and wrap in acoustic fabric. For the corner traps you want them to be at least 18" on a side 24" is better. Once you get below 80Hz it is almost impossible to fix a room mode with just absorption.

How big is your room? How much flexibility do you have on seating position and speaker placement? If you put big bass traps in the corners and then treat the first reflection point I believe the rest can be handled with seating and speaker position placement. Throw in some subs and you are good to go.
I've put a link to my room info on One Drive folder in the post above. It also has some measurements, photos and room plan with dimensions. I currently have 2 subs, can probably throw in 2 more by cascading them, as my amp only has 2 independent sub outputs, but my subs allow attaching another sub to them. I have a 7.2.4 system in my room, on Monitor Audio silver range with Yamaha A8A AVR:
2 x RX6 (front)
1 x RXLCR (centre)
2 x RXW12 (sub)
2 x RXFX (side)
2 x RX1 (back)
4 x Monitor Audio CP-CT380 8" In Ceiling Speaker (atmos)

What about putting something into the riser? It is 12 inches thick. I understand you need to know what you are doing. It is not enough to just put insulation in there and make some holes. The holes need to be in the right place, in the right numbers and right size.
 

Roust_m

New Member
Feb 25, 2022
18
6
3
47
I use a product called Thermafleece Cosywool, build it up to 4x2x2 columns, bound w PET panels, and the efforts seem superior to the GIK traps I had been using. PETs also on front and side walls, and on eaves. Four dozen PETs, and enough CosyWool for front and rear corners has cost me just over £2k, 15% of the cost of the Acustica Applica DaaDs fit out I'd been quoted for.
Would you be able to share some details, photos or links? What are PET panels? How do you combine them with "Thermafleece Cosywool"? I also would avoid using any Fiberglass based materials, even for my riser, as some of it may get into the air and lungs.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
13,934
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E. England
Ah, the panels are re cycled polyester, into 48" X 12" X 0.5" panels, super light. Mainly used in commercial installs. Thermafleece Cosywool is sheep's wool derived w some fibreglass in mix for binding.
These may both not pass your reservations.
 

Gunnar

VIP/Donor
Mar 24, 2021
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Grand Est France
Room treatments and the journey?

i made a huge upgrade when I retired 5 years ago. From a 8 000 system to a 100 000 system. Both Naim Systems. Loudspeakers in the new system are Kudos Titan 808 and they go down to 20 hz. And they do !

The new system sounded great but low frequencies……. Plus the open space on the right side of the listening position did not help the soundstage. Problems I never felt before. My previous speakers “started” at 48 hz and where much smaller.

So roam treatments. I bought an Omni microphone and downloaded the REW software. It took me a few hours to realise that I didn’t have the skill not even to calibrate the microphone. Contacted some companies specialised in HiFI roam treatments. Got some answers saying that my room was complicated and the best was to provide a REW reports. They had no possibility to make home trips.

Fortunately I found a German company, HOFA, not more than about three hours drive from us. A young very professional guy came to measure my room. Very interesting, I learned a lot during the four hours he stayed. In fact he came twice. First to measure and propose and then to verify that what had been installed also delivered as expected. Which it did. Before hooking up his computer to my system he measured the room with a loudspeaker / amplifier he brought with him. A Norsonic Dodechedron with its amplifie.
After everything was measured we discussed the proposals. First he ranked them in priorities. Then we discussed what practical was possible to do as my listening room is also our living room.

Conclusion. I got a combination of bas traps, diffusers and absorbers. The base traps HOFA make are round towers and has a diameter of 43 cm. They recommended 3 in each corner. One in the corner and one to the left and one to the right. For practical reason I have just 3 in one corner and one in the other two corners. I have just 3 corners as it’s open on the back right side.

I think it’s important to measure the room both before and after. That does means that we should not trust our ears but using the measurement tools available as a complement gives an understanding of how the different components work together.

Someone as me who is not an expert on these type of equipment nor / or acoustics I really recommend taking help from a professional. Even if the end result is “do nothing” you learn.

If you have the skill to DIY. Yes why not. Lacking that skill also.

Gunnar
 
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heihei

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Jul 24, 2017
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I use a product called Thermafleece Cosywool, build it up to 4x2x2 columns, bound w PET panels, and the efforts seem superior to the GIK traps I had been using. PETs also on front and side walls, and on eaves. Four dozen PETs, and enough CosyWool for front and rear corners has cost me just over £2k, 15% of the cost of the Acustica Applica DaaDs fit out I'd been quoted for.
Close shave - I stuffed my room full of loan Daads and they made no measurable difference.
 

Cellcbern

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Jul 31, 2015
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Hi,

I've researched different companies from Acoustic Fields (Dennis Foley) to Verbox, Sonitus and Artnovian.
The spectrum represents the balance between practicality, cost effectiveness, looks and effectiveness of the products.
Acoustic Fields sells bulky and expensive furniture going to very low frequencies. Not very transparent in communication and looks not very cost effective to me. Based on the number of those bulky boxes I would need, I would be better off getting 4 subs and placing them around the room: both cheaper and takes less space and has better looks.
The other end of the spectrum is Artnovian. Their 60mm thick panels look good, but don't absorb well below 300Hz:

I went to a demo room with $180,000 worth of equipment and $6,000 worth of room treatment and the sound was not good even for my unsophisticated ears. They guy also mentioned spending $3000 on the carpet as part of the room treatment, which shows their level of knowledge in the area.
They would not let me measure the room response using REW. It appears they are focused on selling expensive hardware and when I spoke to them about room treatment they kept moving towards expensive processors and the like.

In the middle range is Verbox and Sonitus. The first one only sells absorbers, their ultra option claims to go to 100Hz:
Which is good enough to sort out the rest with subwoofers. The problem is, they don't have any independent tests and can't provide the entire solution. So far the sweet spot to me is Sonitus. On their US website you can select a pre-built setup for a certain room size and level of sound quality you want. I've attached the setup screenshot, as the link would not work. There is a problem though. Their most powerful absorber (Legato 12) only goes to 200Hz at .8 absorption coefficient, leaving a gap between 100Hz and 200Hz. Also, I am not convinced that the bass traps in the two front corners would be enough, given the small area they cover. I could not find a single demo room in Sydney which was properly treated and in which I could measure the room response or the shop would have such measurement.

So far I am considering combining Sonitus set with some Ultra panels from Verbox to fix the gap. I am also considering addressing below 100Hz range with additional subs and building a bass traps in my riser which is 305mm thick. The problem with the last option is that I could not find an expert for designing the bass trap in the riser. All I know is you need to fill it with insulation and make ventilation holes to allow the sound in. I have not idea on where to put those holes, how big and how many.

Any ideas? What was your room treatment journey?

Thanks.
You might want to look at DHDI/ZR Acoustics panels - particularly for behind the speakers and listening position. They are a superior alternative to conventional room treatments (the ZR panels are thin and frequency independent), and can also be combined with conventional room treatments, which is what I've done (see photo) because of the high cost of the ZR panels. More than a year after deployment I remain thrilled with the results. The ZR panels "stomped" conventional absorbers and combination absorption/diffusion panels in my head to test. Note that in the photo the wooden panels and the two large blue panels directly below them are ZR panels.

My experiences here: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/trying-the-zr-acoustics-panels.31846/

Reviews and client list here:
 

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spiritofmusic

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Close shave - I stuffed my room full of loan Daads and they made no measurable difference.
Luckily the dealer resolutely failed to charm me, so the decision was easy.
 

microstrip

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(...) I think it’s important to measure the room both before and after. That does means that we should not trust our ears but using the measurement tools available as a complement gives an understanding of how the different components work together. (...)

Gunnar

Yes, measurements before, during and after are mandatory. Although abolute measurements do not tell us how our rooms sounds in a clear way, relative comparison of measurements has a lot of meaning.

I was very happy to confirm the efficiency of my large custom bass traps in the waterfall and RT60 versus frequency measurements. What kind of measurements were taken in your room?
 

x1992

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Jul 9, 2016
26
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110
Dallas
I asked Dennis Foley for a proposal but could not marry his ideas with my basic understanding of acoustics. I got remote help from Acoustic Frontiers. I basically did the leg work while Nyal gave me direction based on my REW measurements. We started with the bass, which he helped solve efficiently. He then produced a report grading particular acoustic sub-categores and ultimately came up with a solution which included products and their placement. I am in the midst of placing the panels myself. At this point I am happy to pay for his expertise as it costs less than making a mistake, not to mention creating unnecessary waste. I may start a thread about it once finished.
 

MTB Vince

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May 11, 2019
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I asked Dennis Foley for a proposal but could not marry his ideas with my basic understanding of acoustics. I got remote help from Acoustic Frontiers. I basically did the leg work while Nyal gave me direction based on my REW measurements. We started with the bass, which he helped solve efficiently. He then produced a report grading particular acoustic sub-categores and ultimately came up with a solution which included products and their placement. I am in the midst of placing the panels myself. At this point I am happy to pay for his expertise as it costs less than making a mistake, not to mention creating unnecessary waste. I may start a thread about it once finished.
While I didn't ultimately use Nyal Mellor of Acoustic Frontiers services, I was most impressed with his friendly professionalism on the several times I spoke with him over the phone and via email. Had Nyal been located in my area or visa-versa, he would have been my first choice.

About a decade ago I ended up engaging the assistance of a local room acoustics guy with a more professional audio/studio focus. As I already had a reasonable grounding in small room acoustics, I was primarily looking for an on-site consultant to mentor me through the rather steep learning curve of using and interpreting REW and also as a sounding board to bounce different treatment ideas off of in order to successfully address various room induced sonic warts. Despite having since retired, Jim was willing to come out and help again with a major system revision a few years ago.

I've been in the same dedicated purpose-built room for the past 25 years. In the beginning it looked likes this. All the treatments were DIY back then and while they worked, they all had design shortcomings which I would either address in later revisions or purchase commercial replacements.
Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 11.33.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-05-09 at 11.35.49 PM.png



The pics below are of the most current evolution of my dual duty stereo & multi-channel music & cinema room. The move to a dual purpose system created many more loudspeaker sound sources, each with their early reflections to deal with. In these pics about half the visible treatments are DIY. The remainder were sourced from ASC, RPG, & Seven Audio.
IMG_0809.JPG
Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 12.17.16 PM.png
IMG_0805.JPG
 
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x1992

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Jul 9, 2016
26
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110
Dallas
Wow, I respect the work you all put in to your room. Congratulations. Nyal and his team have been great. He is very professional. I should not have stated "helped" solve bass issues. He actually solved the bass issues with humbling speed. I just 'fine tune'.
 
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Gunnar

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Yes, measurements before, during and after are mandatory. Although abolute measurements do not tell us how our rooms sounds in a clear way, relative comparison of measurements has a lot of meaning.

I was very happy to confirm the efficiency of my large custom bass traps in the waterfall and RT60 versus frequency measurements. What kind of measurements were taken in your room?
For sure, measurements are not the “ones who decide” but for me a really guidance.

What was measured: (Most of the measurement was done from each loudspeakers)
- The size of the room
- Reverberation time RT 60 from 9 different positions including listening position. 63 hz to 8000 hz. RT 60 went from 0,51 to 0,37
- Waterfall diagrams
- Spectograms
- Frequency from 22 hz to 49 hz (room mode)
. Frequency respons. (I have a “problem” with 26 and 41 hz. Axial room mode)
- Temporal course of the frequency dependent sound pressure level at the listening position
- Reflection behaviour at the listening position In ms detour in meter

On the attached poto you can see that left side is not identical to the right side. For example the tail oven on the right side. So always some small compromises to do.

In total I spent 3000 euro.

Gunnar
 

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sbo6

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Lots of great rooms and stories for sure. I've been measuring and tweaking systems including subwoofer installs in my rooms and others for about 10 years. REW is my SW of choice and after much trial and error, lots of reading and learning key nuggets include
- Worry less about the small amplitude changes across the frequencies and more about large trends / changes. The human ear, especially at lower frequencies can't discern changes in level note to note as what you may see in REW (especially at lower smoothing levels).
- Decay matters as much as frequency response. This is most challenging with lower frequencies. You can tweak to obtain the flattest low frequency response (if that floats your boat) but if your decay is significant you'll never achieve articulate and accurate sounding bass. Subs may help flatten out peaks and dips, but adding additional low frequency transducers while keeping your decay at bay is a significantly more challenging task in our small rooms. REW spectrogram and waterfall plots are as important as frequency response. Learn them and use them to tame ringing.
- Stay away from boundaries - both your sweet spot and your speakers. Create a room within a room as best as possible. This helps minimize room interaction. Probably most important is - stay away from the rear wall and your sweet spot. Anything <5' is challenging unless adequate absorption (which I don't typically like unless it's much more than 5' away) or diffusion is employed. This yields <=10msec delay versus the direct sound. Anything less sounds muddy.

YMMV. Enjoy!
 
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henrich3

Member
Jun 7, 2022
3
4
5
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi all. Long time lurker. First time poster. My two cents...

I try to keep things pretty simple with room treatments. I put some basic 24"x48"x2" mineral wool absorbers at first reflection points. I don't even try to use bass traps to deal with room modes. Instead, I use multiple subs (two) and tweak their PEQs to get the best response I can. I had both a significant peak and a trough under my 80 Hz crossover point, but was able to eliminate both of those by dialing in some delay in my secondary sub. (I have two custom Funk Audio subs - a quad 18" and a dual 18".) After that I added a couple relatively small bell filters in the secondary sub's PEQ to flatten the low end response a bit more. That's about it as far as how I deal with room acoustics.

I use the Audyssey XT32 in my ancient Denon AVR. It doesn't work as well as some more modern room correction products, eg. Dirac, but it does well enough. I then do a few post-Audyssey setup tweaks like setting all speakers to "Small", crossovers to 80 Hz, and disabling Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume. I also increase the sub channel gain in my AVR by about 7 dB, and the Center Channel gain 1.5 dB.

My room's kinda ugly. Aesthetics aren't too important to me. I just want the room to disappear when the lights go down and the movie starts. Anyway, here are a few charts & pics -






I'm very pleased with the sound at this point, so I've transitioned from "tweak mode" to just enjoying things how they are...

Cheers!

~ Ward
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
11,048
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Hi Ward!

Thank you very much for telling us about your room and your acoustics, and for the photos!

Those Funk subwoofers look great, and I an sure they work very well!
 
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