PSI Audio AVAA C214 Active Bass Absorber

ecwl

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2021
205
172
113
Winnipeg, Canada
So my living room where my stereo lives is asymmetric and opens into the dining room on the right. I've been adding more bass traps to reduce the bass resonance which I found DSP/EQ alone was not adequately addressing to my ears. Unfortunately, the left rear corner of the room doesn't have enough space for a proper large corner bass trap but I can see from my iPhone AudioTools RTA measurements I have 53Hz, 75Hz and 90Hz resonances coming from there. As a result, I decided to give the new PSI AVAA C214 a try for that corner. I thought I'd share some observations.

According to the C214 manual, as long as you're not overloading the active bass trap, you can crank it up as high as you want. Default comes set at 0dB which is the standard amount of absorption but you can crank the setting up to +6dB or reduce the degree of absorption to -12dB. When I first got it, I followed the instructions and cranked up the absorption to +6dB. The problem was that the room started sounding asymmetric. I couldn't at first quite pinpoint what was going on. So I just assumed that I put too many bass traps on the left side of the room and not enough on the right. I ended up moving the C214 to the right side of the room but there weren't as many bass resonance/buildup there. It worked fine at +6dB. The bass seems slightly more even. Not totally sure if it's worth the cost of the C214.

One day, I started wondering, did I simply set the absorption setting too high at the left rear corner? I put the C214 back at that corner and listened more carefully. Basically, it was as if there is no wall on the left side but my right side still has my living room and that was what was causing the dissonance effect of an asymmetric room. I realized in order to make the C214 work for that corner, I need to slowly turn down the setting until the amount of bass resonance on the right is similar to that on the left. I ended up settling for the default setting of 0dB.

The improvements from the C214 at that corner were great. And this is supported by REW measurements at the primary listening position. I get -2dB reduction at 53Hz and -1.5dB at 90Hz. But more importantly, on the spectrogram, 53Hz resonance went from 330ms to 290ms and at 75Hz & 90Hz, the resonance went from 415ms to 360ms. The RT60 graphs also improved. Since I didn't want to cover my whole room wall-to-wall with bass traps, I still use DSP/EQ to optimize the frequency response. But the bass clarity and dynamics improved quite a bit with improvements to these frequencies and midrange and treble clarity also improved without those bass notes rumbling around in the room.

Obviously, I'm not exactly using the C214 as designed as most people would probably buy two C214/C20 and put them symmetrically at two corners in a symmetric room for additional bass absorption. But I thought I would share my experience in case somebody did end up getting a single C214 to try and is not getting the results they want.
 

bcurtis1959

New Member
Jan 3, 2024
4
0
1
65
Boise
So my living room where my stereo lives is asymmetric and opens into the dining room on the right. I've been adding more bass traps to reduce the bass resonance which I found DSP/EQ alone was not adequately addressing to my ears. Unfortunately, the left rear corner of the room doesn't have enough space for a proper large corner bass trap but I can see from my iPhone AudioTools RTA measurements I have 53Hz, 75Hz and 90Hz resonances coming from there. As a result, I decided to give the new PSI AVAA C214 a try for that corner. I thought I'd share some observations.

According to the C214 manual, as long as you're not overloading the active bass trap, you can crank it up as high as you want. Default comes set at 0dB which is the standard amount of absorption but you can crank the setting up to +6dB or reduce the degree of absorption to -12dB. When I first got it, I followed the instructions and cranked up the absorption to +6dB. The problem was that the room started sounding asymmetric. I couldn't at first quite pinpoint what was going on. So I just assumed that I put too many bass traps on the left side of the room and not enough on the right. I ended up moving the C214 to the right side of the room but there weren't as many bass resonance/buildup there. It worked fine at +6dB. The bass seems slightly more even. Not totally sure if it's worth the cost of the C214.

One day, I started wondering, did I simply set the absorption setting too high at the left rear corner? I put the C214 back at that corner and listened more carefully. Basically, it was as if there is no wall on the left side but my right side still has my living room and that was what was causing the dissonance effect of an asymmetric room. I realized in order to make the C214 work for that corner, I need to slowly turn down the setting until the amount of bass resonance on the right is similar to that on the left. I ended up settling for the default setting of 0dB.

The improvements from the C214 at that corner were great. And this is supported by REW measurements at the primary listening position. I get -2dB reduction at 53Hz and -1.5dB at 90Hz. But more importantly, on the spectrogram, 53Hz resonance went from 330ms to 290ms and at 75Hz & 90Hz, the resonance went from 415ms to 360ms. The RT60 graphs also improved. Since I didn't want to cover my whole room wall-to-wall with bass traps, I still use DSP/EQ to optimize the frequency response. But the bass clarity and dynamics improved quite a bit with improvements to these frequencies and midrange and treble clarity also improved without those bass notes rumbling around in the room.

Obviously, I'm not exactly using the C214 as designed as most people would probably buy two C214/C20 and put them symmetrically at two corners in a symmetric room for additional bass absorption. But I thought I would share my experience in case somebody did end up getting a single C214 to try and is not getting the results they want.
 

bcurtis1959

New Member
Jan 3, 2024
4
0
1
65
Boise
This is helpful. My audio system opens up on the left side to a much larger area of dining connected to kitchen and even a small hallway. Surprisingly i am happy with the sound and don’t hear a imbalance. However in the quest for better i am considering the c214 for the two enclosed corners on my right side of the room. Did you consider 2 units for this type of set up?
 

ecwl

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2021
205
172
113
Winnipeg, Canada
This is helpful. My audio system opens up on the left side to a much larger area of dining connected to kitchen and even a small hallway. Surprisingly i am happy with the sound and don’t hear an imbalance. However in the quest for better i am considering the c214 for the two enclosed corners on my right side of the room. Did you consider 2 units for this type of set up?
I did except my left front corner has a lot more space for a more traditional bass trap and the bass peaks are mostly >70Hz so it made more financial sense to just use the Vicoustic Super Bass Extreme Ultra than the C214. By comparison the left rear corner has a bass peak at 53Hz and I have no space to even put the Vicoustic trap. So C214 makes more sense there.
 

ecwl

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2021
205
172
113
Winnipeg, Canada

Interesting review. I didn’t watch the 18 minute YouTube version and just read the text.
 

ecwl

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2021
205
172
113
Winnipeg, Canada
I just noticed this:
www.facebook.com

Magico LLC

Fully revealed. A pair of Magico M7 loudspeakers. Dual TITAN 15 subwoofers. An MXO crossover. A peerless sonic experience from Magico. Présence Audio Conseil #Magico #loudspeakers #legacy...
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In addition to the Magico M7 & Titan, there are two PSI AVAA C214 at the corners.
 
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