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Adjusting Room sound using material damping methods (not DSP)

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  • Cheap damping solution

    Superb! Many thanks for the effort in demonstrating this cheap, practical solution. In my case, there's an unavoidable snag... the point of reflection off one of the sides is right in front of the fire!

    I wonder if the panels would be suitable for suspending off the ceiling using a few straps and hooks? Would they be rigid enough to 'hold their own', as it were?
    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

    Comment


    • Hanging the panels

      Originally posted by BAS-H View Post
      I wonder if the panels would be suitable for suspending off the ceiling using a few straps and hooks? Would they be rigid enough to 'hold their own', as it were?
      Well, they are rigid enough to be free standing so I should think that they definitely could be suspended. Again, the garden centre sells coils of 2mm wire which I'm sure would be strong enough to support a hanging panel. But the Rockwool will de-laminate when handled a lot, the edges will become soft and lose their crisp 90 degree cut.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        Please do check that it is Rockwool not fibreglass. Functionally they will give the same results but there are significant health/handling issues with fibreglass which do not seem, apparently, to be so with Rockwool.
        I had a look at the Wickes products today... the packaging gives no indication of whether the contents are rockwool or fibreglass, but the texture is the same as rockwool products and for what it's worth the products come up when searching for "rockwool" on the Wickes site (purely circumstantial evidence). What is more convincing is that the safety information is the same as the branded Rockwool products.

        The product I originally linked to linked to above is a soft batt... the hard batt that you recommend is here. Wickes also sell a black weed control fabric (no I don't work for them...) that is the same stuff as the Brazilian "TNT" - which BTW you can buy at a pound shop as a DIY "drop sheet" 1.5m x 1.5m, in white.

        This investigation was done in the company of my dearly beloved, who displayed the expected levels of shock & awe when shown the batts. After a bit of thought she said: "maybe we should think about some ethnic wall hangings..."

        (which is rather like the way we ended up with P3ESRs after trying out Quad ESL63s in our living room).

        Comment


        • Rockwool v. fibreglass

          Originally posted by honmanm View Post
          The product I originally linked to linked to above is a soft batt... the hard batt that you recommend is here.
          Ok maybe that is Rockwool. Certainly Rockwool batts are much more dense than the rather fluffy pink or yellow fibreglass. I think you'd be able to tell by weight - the Rockwool is more dense and hence, a batt is really rather heavy. A pack needs some effort to haul around.

          Rockwool seems to always be a drab greeny/brown colour - maybe you could ask if they'd puncture the bag and let you see inside? Rockwool is a trade mark, possibly patented, and I don't think there are any clones; fibreglass is of course just a generic name.

          Yes, I can well imagine the shock and awe! I think you'll be happier with a light, white covering; that black weed control material covering the DIY absorbers will make the listening room much darker, which is why I didn't select it myself.
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • Electronics vs. mechanical damping in modern and old houses

            I recently moved from a house built in 1970 to our new (very old) one dating rom 1790. The 1970s house was built with bricks and beton. The 1790s one is a timber framed house with clay walls and wooden floors. Our new listening room is under a pitched roof. The walls are out of wood with isolation behind.

            In the 1970s house I always had many room problems with too heavy bass. I wasn't able to fix these problems with simple damping alone. Panels don't help in case of heavy bass problems. (Already discussed in other threads). I used electronics (Lyngdorf Room Perfect) to get rid of the bass problems. But I always wanted to have a better sound without using any electronics just by mechanical damping.... The electronics do a good job, but they always also change the characheristics of the speaker. It always sounds a bit to "clean" and lifeless for me.

            The new room is excellent. When I first turned everything on, it knocked me off. The bass is just dry and deep without any drone. The stereo image is perfect. Initially I thought that I reverted the phase of one speaker and double checked this many times ... The old 1790s house seems to "eat" all unwanted bass. The antiparallel walls help to avoid standing waves. The side walls are far away so that there is no trouble with first reflections. The big sofa and the pillows do the rest. The Room Perfect module is disabled now...

            ListeningRoom1.jpgListeningRoom2.jpg

            Comment


            • Nice room

              Originally posted by T.W. View Post
              I recently moved from a house built in 1970 to our new (very old) one dating rom 1790. ... The old 1790s house seems to "eat" all unwanted bass. The antiparallel walls help to avoid standing waves....
              I can't help noticing the fact that you moved from a 40 year old house to a 220 year old. Maybe, it is something unusual for Europeans but over here it almost unheard of.


              About your beautiful and spacious room with anti parallel walls, you must be rediscovering music all over again.

              ST

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              • Mods to Alan's suggested Rockwool absorbers

                OK

                Here's my effort, apologies for the poor lighting in the photographs, I'm never home in daylight hours at the moment.

                I modified A.S's design a little by adding 15 cm wide wooden pieces around the perimeter. There's 20 cms depth of Rockwool (compressed slightly when the fabric was tacked on) and I got my wonderfully understanding wife to choose the fabric ;)

                Following a little experimentation I found an improvement in sound quality was achieved by placing them behind and a little to the side of the speakers, I suppose it has helped negate the first reflections from the wall behind.

                I'de like to publically give my thanks to A.S. for his demonstrations here and guiding this rather special group through many interesting topics.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by 1ryal; 19-01-2011, 08:50 AM. Reason: Typographical errors

                Comment


                • "Fibrerock" (Rockwool) panels - easier to cut and handle

                  Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                  ... Two absorbers would allow you to tame the side-wall reflections; four, the side wall and floor or behind the speakers...
                  I'm really tempt to try those "fibrerock" DIY damping panels at home. I already made some renovations with that product. We have Roxul company distributed here in Quebec. This product is easy to manipulate, safer than fibreglass and gets better proprieties. Plus, it is easy to cut with a simple knife bread. But for sensitive skin person, please wear gloves to manipulate it.

                  Actually, I want to ask your opinion about where to place the panels. There is already behind my left speaker my audio rack and behind the right one, some shelves full of books. The left side wall is full of LP and books, the right one is far away. Between the speakers sits a big couch. All of these will be difficult to change place. Just behind my listening position, I already have a studio grade panel absorber, 3 inches thick.

                  Do you think that I should work on floor's first reflections? On the ceiling ones? Built the panels and experiment? Any idea are welcome.

                  Thanks,

                  Sebastien

                  Comment


                  • Nicely treated walls ....

                    It sounds like you've hit the nail on the head, Sebastien. It looks like your walls are nicely treated as they are, leaving the floor and ceiling as prime spots for absorption panels. If you have carpet or rugs, I'd work on the ceiling first.

                    Best, Ben
                    Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

                    Comment


                    • Feed-back about my DIY panels

                      I'm actually on a two months parental holiday with my 6 months old daughter. It means that, when she sleeps, I have time to work on some projects. So I did this week my first DIY panels exactly as described by Alan.

                      Now I have four panels. I can play with them in my living room to see how it influences the sound. I realise that there is a great improvement when I place two of them on the floor, in face of the speaker. It really reduces floor's first reflections. Plus, when I place one behind each speaker, the sound is more focused. It think that it cuts the bass that goes and bounces at this place.

                      After all, I realised that: 1) the glue in spray have some difficulties to make its effect when you don't have the time to place it quickly on the fibrerock. You must be rapid; 2) The panel I did are not freestanding; 3) The panel are really easy to move around in my house. This allows me to use them when I do some serious listening and I can store them elsewhere easily; 4) It is a cheap and quick way to treat your room and improve the sound.

                      The entire project cost me $75 CAN. This is way cheaper than most of the professional studio panels for the same results.

                      Sebastien

                      Comment


                      • My living-listening room - update

                        For those who have already fallow the facts about my listening room, they know that I have a big couch that sits right between my pair of SHL5. The couch is just few inches behind. We give this couch 4 days ago and what an impact on the sound. I can't say that the impact is positive. The bass from the SHL5 is to loud and no more in tonal balance with the rest of the frequencies. I must say that there is a brick wall directly behind the speakers. But the interesting fact is that I hear some new sounds and particular timbers in pieces I know well.

                        I realise that my couch was an important damping in my "listening-living" room. I found that the sound is more focus, realist and that the bass in more controlled with the couch there. You often see some damping panels right behind the speakers. Well, mine are a couch!

                        Good for me, there is a new couch that will go there soon. I'll have to see if the damping effect will be similar. Story to follow...

                        Sebastien

                        Comment


                        • Professional buy-in studio damping solutions

                          I was installing M40.1/M20 this week at a studio (more info to follow) and had my first encounter both on the studio floor (a large brick-built open space) and in the control rooms with an attractive and effective Vicoustic damping solution. I was lucky that Phil Beaumont, the UK distributor of the panels was on site to show me the various panels they'd installed. The client seemed very happy. The panels clearly worked (they passed the hand clap test) and they looked great.

                          The manufacturing company is Vicoustics in Portugal.

                          The panels I encountered were the Wave Wood and the foam absorbers which looked great in a dark red colour. The general picture portfolio is here.

                          I wanted to take some pictures of the half-installed panels but it was decided to wait until the entire installation was complete and fully wired in a couple of months and then, when delivering another pair of M40s take some pictures then. I cannot say with certainty whether these panels are more or less effective than the Rockwool DIY one's we've been discussing here. They do have the advantage of looking very smart and being ready to use. I have no idea about cost. Apparently some clients attach them to the wall with velcro so they can be removed.

                          The bass traps look very interesting (not used at the studio). Taken at face value, the graph on this page suggests that in the 60-90Hz bass region where most untreated domestic listening rooms have a bass issue to one degree or another, the 19cm trap (the blue trace) is especially absorptive. The smaller ones far less so.
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • Conventional wall treatment in dubbing booth

                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            I was installing M40.1/M20 this week at a studio ....
                            The dubbing/voice-over are uses a more conventional thick fibreglass wall treatment arrangement. ITV have kindly sent on these pictures.

                            You can see in the pictures attached that an arrangement of deep compartments are filled with Rockwool. This is held in place by heavy grade 'chicken wire'. The whole wall is then covered with a heavy drape curtain, which can be easily removed for cleaning. The curtain has a slightly sparkly finish so brightens up the room. I'm not sure if this wall treatment is finalised in this room, but it seems that there is a combination in the wall of completely Rockwool filled compartments, unfilled compartments and hard-faced areas. This would allow the acoustics to be tuned so that the overall effect is not too dry and hence not oppressive to work in.

                            As I mentioned, many more pictures of modern attractive surface-treatment will be available when the installation is complete.

                            >
                            Attached Files
                            Alan A. Shaw
                            Designer, owner
                            Harbeth Audio UK

                            Comment


                            • Curtain material

                              How interesting. I am surprised the heavy, shiny curtain doesn't counter the absorption by the Rockwool. Perhaps it is flexible enough to move with the sound waves, and so pass them on towards the absorbers. Or perhaps it is porous enough to allow pressure waves to flow through.
                              Ben from UK. Harbeth Super HL5 owner.

                              Comment


                              • My path to perfect room treatment

                                Hello from Canada!

                                It has been a while since I have visited the forums and was happy to see that there is some discussion on the subject of acoustic treatment of listening rooms. I have been pursuing my own set of treatments and have done a lot of experimenting over the last two years. I will try to share some of the key points of what I have learned and also some of what my priorities have been.

                                - DIY acoustic treatments can be very effective, broadband absorbers and bass traps can be built with basic skills and readily available materials. One of the best sites I have found in terms of DIY resources is http://forum.studiotips.com/index.php

                                - My first attempt was to build some simple 2x4ft broadband absorbers, I built two and mounted them behind the speakers. It was very apparent that these absorbers worked, standing next to one feels kind of like an acoustic black hole. Later I built 2 more and mounted them behind my listening position, then I built two large floor to ceiling "Superchunks" bass traps and another set of panels for the ceiling. The bass traps really bring things into focus, every other room I hear now sounds flabby in comparison, bass trapping results in tight, tuneful, balanced bass that effects everything else in that it now does not blubber itself all over everything in both the time and frequency domain.

                                - I will try not to blab too long....I have much to say on the subject but will focus on a few key points. Treating my room to the point it is at now resulted in a few days of my wife hating what I had done and the room's sound being unconmortable at first. We are not used to hearing our domestic spaces have so little reverb, it sounded like a weight on your ears, but after a matter of two days you get over it and the benefits become very obvious. Don't overdo the absorber thing....a strategically placed balance will allow your brain to be "human" and your room to disappear.

                                -Conversation in my room is very easy to understand across the room, even though the level is lower. My TV now sounds as crappy as always, BUT..sometimes the image is huge and way beyond where it should be, speech is much easier to understand.

                                -On the music side, I used to listen sometimes late at night at quite low volume, since treating the room it is harder to get a convincing and "connected" musical presentation at those low volumes due to the lack of reflection in the space, in one way a negative....as some have suggested side wall reflections are good. So, for proper listening in a treated space it is necessary for you to have volume sufficient to convince your brain that the acoustic space in the recording is now your acoustic space.....you've erased a good part of the room. To me, that's a good thing, I want to hear the speaker and the acoustic space of the recording.

                                I have too much to say right now so I will post some pics for now and revisit with more comments later, I look forward to more discussion on this subject.
                                Attached Files

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