Wood chips as absorber for low frequencies?

dustman

New Member
Mar 4, 2022
3
0
1
121
Would wood chips make a good absorber for bass frequencies? Seems like bass would be able to enter and then get lost in the labyrinth of interstices and the wood chips would rub against each other when perturbed causing friction between them. Perhaps also making a good diffuser with the random shape and orientation and interstices?
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,869
233
500
Monument, CO
Would wood chips make a good absorber for bass frequencies? Seems like bass would be able to enter and then get lost in the labyrinth of interstices and the wood chips would rub against each other when perturbed causing friction between them. Perhaps also making a good diffuser with the random shape and orientation and interstices?

Maybe, but unless they are finished and/or treated they would also collect moisture (mildew, mold), dust, insects, etc. And they may rattle and buzz at high volume. Plus hard to constrain evenly in a vertical frame. I'll stick with OC-70x or whatever.

Still looking for a good use for woodworking refuse other than compost...
 

Tim Link

Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2019
156
119
113
54
I don't know, but I'll ask you this: How much bass would a wood chip erase if a wood chip could erase bass?

Seriously, I think it's quite possible that enough wood chips would have a considerable effect on bass and other frequencies. If you were to net up a 4 inch layer of wood chips against the wall the effect would be quite significant and broadband. I'd bet with some experimenting with chip size, thickness, and amount of wall covering it could be made to sound very good.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bobvin

Robh3606

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2010
1,281
272
505
Destiny
I don't know, but I'll ask you this: How much bass would a wood chip erase if a wood chip could erase bass?

Seriously, I think it's quite possible that enough wood chips would have a considerable effect on bass and other frequencies. If you were to net up a 4 inch layer of wood chips against the wall the effect would be quite significant and broadband. I'd bet with some experimenting with chip size, thickness, and amount of wall covering it could be made to sound very good.

How do you plane on keeping them from self leveling?? If they do absorb bass they will vibrate and end up in a pile in the bottom of the trap. Same thing will happen if you put them in "pockets". You need a way to keep them uniform and not let gravity and vibration effect the fill density.

Rob :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bobvin and Tim Link

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,235
849
200
I can see a new fad coming. Old coffee bags stuffed with wood chips placed around the room. Maybe even used as amp stands.

Even funnier, I bet as a low budget tweak it would work well.
 

DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
3,869
233
500
Monument, CO
I personally think wood chips are a bad idea as stated above, but in a vertical frame one answer to settling would be to use cloth pockets or dividers to create little square holders (like the little cubical shelves) that constrain the chips to a smaller area. Then fill each little square "box" with chips (probably have to do once, use a bit, then top off again as they settle). They will still settle, natch, so you'd want to turn the panel around every now and then.

Normal acoustic material will probably work a lot better, is easier to handle, does not settle for all practical purposes, is much lighter, less likely to attract mildew/mold/insects, etc.
 

Tim Link

Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2019
156
119
113
54
How do you plane on keeping them from self leveling?? If they do absorb bass they will vibrate and end up in a pile in the bottom of the trap. Same thing will happen if you put them in "pockets". You need a way to keep them uniform and not let gravity and vibration effect the fill density.

Rob :)
You're definitely right. There are issues that would have to be worked out with experimenting and testing. Probably not worth the effort unless you've got loads of woodchips with nowhere to go and a mind for experimenting
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robh3606

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
1,235
849
200
Call me falling off the deep end, but I was looking at acreage this last weekend. There was a barn. I started thinking, I wonder how some big speakers would voice on a dirt floor. I kind of kick myself for not buying Howard's Altec. But I had no place to fit them. I could put them in a barn. If I made some nice stands to keep them off the ground, I bet they would sing in the large open space. High ceilings. Lots of beams and natural scattering. I wont ever know as he sold the bass cabinets. That was the honey in the pot with those speakers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tim Link

Tim Link

Well-Known Member
Feb 12, 2019
156
119
113
54
I got to hear something interesting last night; a Benchmark amp and dac hooked up to several well regarded speakers in a large space with some fake walls made up of boxes of other speakers and components that hadn't been opened yet. We all agreed it didn't sound nice in there. I didn't get to take any measurements but the sound was thin and lifeless. I think too much highs bouncing off the cardboard but then midrange and down getting highly absorbed, taking the body out of the sound. It's really hard to believe it's not something wrong with the speakers or electronics because it just seems like the sound coming directly from the speakers sucks. It gives me perspective on how difficult it can be to convince someone that their stuff might go from bad to awesome sounding just by changing the playback environment. So back to mesh bags of woodchips, I'd expect some possibly unpleasant results, although judicious use in a normal home listening room might produce some improvements.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarkusBarkus

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing