December 18, 2015

Custom hybrid acoustic panel

One of my clients asks during a room analysis session "what should I do with this panel?" It was then an absorber without any fabric covering it. This photo shows demonstrates our answer. It's a hybrid absorber/diffuser and we think it also looks great.



What is a hybrid panel?


This panel is an absorber/diffuser hybrid. First, we start with an absorber - in this case it is 100mm thick and so it provides decent absorption in the midrange. Left this way, a pure absorber can make a room sound more dead than we'd like, if many are used. It is typically high frequency absorption that creates a sense of "deadness." It's at this point we know we have gone too far.

Adding slats does two things. Firstly, it reduces some of the absorption, especially at high frequencies. We retain a greater degree of liveness in the room, but now we have selectively retained the midrange absorption. So it is a selective absorber. However, at the same time, we also have an amplitude diffuser. Each slot is conceived as a binary - 1 or 0.  The number sequence serves to establish a pattern which results in diffusion at high frequencies.

The final result is that we achieve midrange absorption mixed with reduced high frequency absorption and diffusion. Ambience in the room is retained and improvements in clarity are made.

One of the great things about this type of panel is that they are fairly simple to build as a DIY project and one can add a large amount of diffusion and absorption to a room on a moderate budget.

December 15, 2015

Dayton Ultimax 15" subwoofer

This is a custom subwoofer project using the Dayton Ultimax 15" sub driver. Designed to go under a built in cupboard in a new home. A pair of subs integrated into a 2 channel system.

It's difficult not to be impressed with the build of this driver. The first thing we notice is the one-piece inverted Nomex honeycomb cone with no dustcap.


 Looking closer we see a tallboy surround to support high excursion without giving up as much piston area.



Looking even closer again, we see the lead in wires woven into one of the two spiders. This aims to avoid any problems with the leads slapping at high excursion.


Once complete, this sub will be calibrated for the room and set up with planar dipole speakers.


December 8, 2015

Vicoustic panels installed in a studio

Vicoustic ceiling diffusor (Multifusor) installed in a Melbourne studio.


It's hard to credit how easy this install was. We supplied and delivered these panels, assisting with installation and testing the final result. It is interesting to observe just one panel knock away a clear first reflection point with a panel that retains 'liveness' in the room.

December 6, 2015

Lifestyle audio in the normal living room

We're often associated with the extreme end of audio - large boutique horn speakers like PSE-144, horn subs like our HS-215 and extreme home theatre speakers. Then here at Red Spade Audio HQ we faced a challenge setting up a system for a small room where even Bose cubes might be a problem! 

Our solution? We started with a room analysis - testing the room to see what it needs. We tested to evaluate acoustic treatment options, speaker and sub placement. 

The result is a simple setup with minimal intrusion into the room. 

The TV was mounted onto the wall with a niche below so that the Blu-ray player would not intrude beyond the TV. All other audio equipment was mounted out of sight, with installed cables. 

Inwall speakers will be used here, installed into niches.



These are not typical cheap plastic inwall speakers!

Infinite baffle subwoofer coming


We tested for the best bass locations. We found that in this room, an infinite baffle sub works very well.

We will build custom decorative hybrid acoustic panels with timber slats over an absorber on the ceiling.

More info to come ...

December 4, 2015

AV10 home theatre loudspeaker


AV10 is our "middle of the range" home theatre satellite.  As with all our home theatre designs, it features:
  • the capabilty to achieve THX reference levels with a normal AV receiver
  • an easy to drive load
  • the potential to avoid a centre channel in many rooms (saving cost and also avoiding installation challenges, especially in a living room with a TV)
  • compact size considering the output capability
  • high power handling and high sensitivity
  • superior dispersion control
 This design is probably about the largest many would accept in a living room but it will also suit dedicated rooms. The next biggest (AV12) is probably too chunky for all but dedicated rooms.

Like all speakers in our home theatre range, it is available with these options:
  • DIY kit
  • Finished (veneer or paint finish)
  • Active or passive
Shown above is the prototype during testing, soon to be available for audition.

December 2, 2015

Extreme pro audio - point source horn with Acoustic Elegance TD18H+ and Keystone tapped horn sub

Extreme pro audio. This is a pro audio point source horn with a 1.4" compression driver, intended for small scale (up to 200) events. This client built a sealed box for the woofer (AE TD18H+ and then used an impressive neo B&C 21" woofer in a 30 Hz horn sub. We designed the crossover for the horn and calibrated the system for outdoor use. A very fun project.

This point source horn is about 1m wide and was tested outdoors to set up the DSP crossover.


The entire system was then calibrated outdoors, set up in the way they are intended to be used.



November 30, 2015

Red Spade Audio now a dealer in Vicoustic Acoustic Treatment


Need acoustic treatment? We now sell Vicoustic treatment products. The main reason for choosing Vicoustic is that it's not that easy to find affordable diffusers and we want to introduce people to the benefits, without having to build them. We have been recommending these for quite some time to our clients using our room analysis service, so it made sense to follow up and provide the products.

Their polystyrene diffusers are an affordable and easy to install option.  They can be installed easily even in a rental using removable picture hanging strips.

Wood version:



Perhaps the most familiar of all is their wavewood panel.


 Vicoustic Wavewood panel (Nordic)

This is a hybrid panel that offers midrange absorption as well as high frequency diffusion. In many rooms, more absorption is required in the midrange region. They are ideal where a simple absorber might make a room sound too dead. Panels such as these result in a room that sound more neutral yet retains an element of natural ambience.