PSI Audio AVAA C20 Active Bass Absorber

Apr 3, 2017
38
1
8
Hong Kong
#1
Has anyone had experience with this product, an active bass standing wave cancellation device?
http://www.psiaudio.swiss/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/

Reviews/forum discussions:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/psi-audio-avaa-c20-electronic-bass-trap
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/hig...o-avva-c20-post-your-experience-review-3.html
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stu...st-results-psi-avaa-c20-active-bass-trap.html

Having invested extensively into treating my listening room with 1,000s of kilograms of QRDs, diaphragmatic bass absorbers, as well as RPG Skylines, the peskiest and most difficult room nodes to eliminate are still the bass room nodes, as both geometric and volumetric limitations of the room will inevitably present unavoidable pressure waves which are proportional to the physical space of the room.

I will be auditioning the AVAAs in a few weeks, after the Hong Kong dealer gets their units back from the local High End Audio magazine reviewers who are writing a feature article. Eagerly looking forwards to further improving both the bass and lower midrange articulation of my system through (hopefully) the usage of 2-3 of this units.
 

nfnc

New Member
Apr 15, 2014
17
0
1
#2
I am using the AVAA in an untreated but well damped room. Was skeptical at first, given the rave reviews.

However, in my room, it really does work. The first thing that I noticed was the significant reduction (or elimination, depending on the track) of bass overhang. Bass notes are cleaner, more textured. Due to the elimination of bass bloat and congestion, it does help clear up the lower mids and, to a lesser extent, the mids. At the maximum absorption setting, I found the sound a tad dry (even if it is possibly more correct), so I have dialed it down to 3/4.

My dealer has another customer using the AVAAs in a room treated with SMT products.
 
Last edited:

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,719
212
63
E. England
#3
I have used a similar unit to good effect, in a large 27x22x13 space.
The Spatial Audio Anti-Bass Wave Generator.
Sadly it's a discontinued item, otherwise I might have added more units to my new room.
This PSI AVAA looks an even better bet.
I suspect my new 18x48x9 space would require 4, if not 6, to fully benefit.
Hmm, this hobby always demands more spending LOL.
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
866
43
28
Hong Kong
#4
Has anyone had experience with this product, an active bass standing wave cancellation device?
http://www.psiaudio.swiss/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/
Reviews/forum discussions:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/psi-audio-avaa-c20-electronic-bass-trap
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/hig...o-avva-c20-post-your-experience-review-3.html
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stu...st-results-psi-avaa-c20-active-bass-trap.html
Having invested extensively into treating my listening room with 1,000s of kilograms of QRDs, diaphragmatic bass absorbers, as well as RPG Skylines, the peskiest and most difficult room nodes to eliminate are still the bass room nodes, as both geometric and volumetric limitations of the room will inevitably present unavoidable pressure waves which are proportional to the physical space of the room.
I will be auditioning the AVAAs in a few weeks, after the Hong Kong dealer gets their units back from the local High End Audio magazine reviewers who are writing a feature article. Eagerly looking forwards to further improving both the bass and lower midrange articulation of my system through (hopefully) the usage of 2-3 of this units.
Hello QuadDiffusor,

Nice to talk with a fellow HK audiophile in WBF!

My friend Paul is using 4 AVAAs in his music room, placed at the two front corners :

Paulpaul music room 8-2018.jpg

Paulpaul avaa.jpg

Even though his room is more than 500 sq ft in size, it's not easy to tame the two subwoofers (the whitish structures along the frontwall) each of which has dual 18" drvers!
 
Last edited:

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,575
317
83
Beverly Hills, CA
#5
I am using the AVAA in an untreated but well damped room. Was skeptical at first, given the rave reviews.

However, in my room, it really does work. The first thing that I noticed was the significant reduction (or elimination, depending on the track) of bass overhang. Bass notes are cleaner, more textured. Due to the elimination of bass bloat and congestion, it does help clear up the lower mids and, to a lesser extent, the mids. At the maximum absorption setting, I found the sound a tad dry (even if it is possibly more correct), so I have dialed it down to 3/4.

My dealer has another customer using 4 units in a room extensively treated with SMT products.

View attachment 43463

View attachment 43464

View attachment 43465
I see many SMT Varitunes near the floor on the photos of that other customer’s system. Did the Varitunes not provide sufficient absorption of low frequency peaks in his room?

Why did he find the additional AVAA devices to be necessary?
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,719
212
63
E. England
#6
My gosh, are those the big crazy rare and pricey Zanden monos that were demoed at the Audio Exotics super show in 2017? I'm impressed.

The instructions for the AVAA talk about keeping units separate, but one review does discuss the positives of having a pair stacked in this way, so this obviously has merit.

No AVAAs on the rear wall in this room w Cessaro Gammas?
 

CKKeung

Active Member
Jun 18, 2011
866
43
28
Hong Kong
#7
My gosh, are those the big crazy rare and pricey Zanden monos that were demoed at the Audio Exotics super show in 2017? I'm impressed.
The instructions for the AVAA talk about keeping units separate, but one review does discuss the positives of having a pair stacked in this way, so this obviously has merit.
No AVAAs on the rear wall in this room w Cessaro Gammas?
Yes, those standing in the middle of photo are the Zanden Chouku monos. The owner is using it with the Zanden Chokoh preamp and Jinpu phono amp of the same series too.

He didn't put AVAA on the rear wall.
The room is quite long, about 36 ft and the listening seats are quite far away from the rear wall.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,719
212
63
E. England
#8
CK, I too have a long room, 38' on one side, 48' on the other to incl L-shaped alcove space.
If my experience was to match your friend's, I would as he does stack two-high AVAAs on my front walls in corners.
My side walls are just short of 4' high, so two stacked would fit perfectly.

However PSI don't recommend stacked AVAAs, indeed advising units to be kept separate, so this is v interesting.

Considering four AVAAs and GIK Gotham Quadratic diffusers on central front wall, side wall reflection points and my sloping eaves btwn seat and spkrs.
 

nfnc

New Member
Apr 15, 2014
17
0
1
#9
I see many SMT Varitunes near the floor on the photos of that other customer’s system. Did the Varitunes not provide sufficient absorption of low frequency peaks in his room?

Why did he find the additional AVAA devices to be necessary?
I would have thought that the SMT bass traps would have worked but apparently not. Heard that he's tried a number of other stuff but the AVAA works for him.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,719
212
63
E. England
#10
Well, purely panel based approaches must struggle at 70Hz, let alone anything below 40-50Hz.
 

Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
379
45
28
London, UK
#11
Well, purely panel based approaches must struggle at 70Hz, let alone anything below 40-50Hz.
You previously said you had turned your subs to crossover at 30HZ and reduced the volume to barely noticeable.
So where is this excess bass energy you want to remove coming from?
Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to switch the subs off?

Also, you had approx. 10 GIK bass traps in the corners and various locations and this didn’t work to remove the excess bass?

I only mention this to get other responses.

Cheers
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
360
5
18
#12
I would have thought that the SMT bass traps would have worked but apparently not. Heard that he's tried a number of other stuff but the AVAA works for him.
I once have SMT bass traps. They are Helmholtz resonater. There are no damping materials inside. They have very high Q. Wrong setting will make the bass problem even worse. They are pretty useless to me. I sold them and replace by RPG Modex. Much better as they are broadband.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,575
317
83
Beverly Hills, CA
#13
I once have SMT bass traps. They are Helmholtz resonater. There are no damping materials inside. They have very high Q. Wrong setting will make the bass problem even worse. They are pretty useless to me. I sold them and replace by RPG Modex. Much better as they are broadband.
I think this is the first negative report on the Varitunes I have encountered. What frequency response anomaly were you trying to fix with the Varitunes?

Did you consider ASC TubeTraps?

What made you select the RPG Modex?

Thank you!
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
360
5
18
#14
I think this is the first negative report on the Varitunes I have encountered. What frequency response anomaly were you trying to fix with the Varitunes?

Did you consider ASC TubeTraps?

What made you select the RPG Modex?

Thank you!
I have room modes 45Hz, 100 Hz. SMT bass traps are never able to solve these modes no matter how I adjust the width. They are very bulky. Sorry, I do not have any experience of ASC tubes. The working principle of RPG Modex makes more sense to me. You can get more info from RPG website. They are only 4 inch thick. Not very bulky. I have 9 of them installed in my room. Most importantly, they work. I would not say the room modes are completely gone but they are now much more acceptable. I highly recommend Modex if someone is looking for passive bass traps.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,575
317
83
Beverly Hills, CA
#15
Thank you for your speedy reply!

So you are using the Modex Plates?

Did you also consider the thicker Modex Modules?
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
360
5
18
#16
Thank you for your speedy reply!

So you are using the Modex Plates?

Did you also consider the thicker Modex Modules?
Modex Modules are not broadband. They are used to absorb particular frequencies. They have lower Q than SMT bass traps. I would use a combination of Modex Plate and Module. I think AVAA is also great. I think one can use a combination of these three products.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,575
317
83
Beverly Hills, CA
#17
Thank you, adyc.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,719
212
63
E. England
#18
Just a quick, maybe dumb, question.

If AVAA is removing, or neutering, certain frequencies, what happens to the musical info contained in those frequencies?

Does any info get removed or neutered too?
 

nfnc

New Member
Apr 15, 2014
17
0
1
#19
Just a quick, maybe dumb, question.

If AVAA is removing, or neutering, certain frequencies, what happens to the musical info contained in those frequencies?

Does any info get removed or neutered too?
If they are placed in the direct path between the speakers and the listener, then I suppose that the AVAA might (or will) interfere with the original signal before it reaches one's ears. However, they are intended to be used behind the speakers or the listener to absorb reflected sound and room modes.

PSI themselves explain it better: http://www.psiaudio.swiss/avaa-c20-active-bass-trap/
 

smt

New Member
Mar 21, 2011
2
0
0
#20
I’d like to clarify a few points on this thread
:
The SMT customer being referenced was very pleased with the performance of his room and made a point of sharing his thoughts on the SMT’s Facebook page.
He wrote: "I must say the setup sounds amazing, everything just sounds... right.
I can hear more details than I can remember. I could pinpoint the position of the instruments effortlessly."

The photos have been removed at the client’s request , as the comments was misleading
It doesn’t seem appropriate to discuss the particular client’s situation any further on-line, but I’d be glad to address the details from the PSI demo more completely through email should anyone be interested. Please feel free to reach me at matts@diffusor.com

Matts Odemalm
SMT AB
www.facebook.com/diffusor
 

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