December 15, 2010

Room treatment suggestions

Do you want to just roll up your sleeves and start treating your room? Here are some suggestions with what to try. If you want to know the basic theory behind these suggestions, you might like to read:

Room treatment primer
Bass trap primer

Proof that acoustic treatment doesn't have to look ugly.

1. Main bass traps

Place two broadband bass traps in the corners behind the speakers.

Details: they should be around one door width on the diagonal across each corner, with rigid fibreglass which is more dense than regular insulation. Alternatively use foam or insulation compressed together. The thickness should be around 150mm, although you can fill in the entire corner if desired. Aim for floor to ceiling and trap all corners if possible.

2. Diffusors

Place a moderate amount of diffusors on the front wall behind the speakers, on the side walls and on the ceiling, taking care to ensure that they are no closer than around three metres from the listening position.

Details: consider skyline or QRD type diffusors.

3. Floor treatment

If you have a bare floor, a large rug is essential. Even in a carpeted room, consider doing this as well with the first floor reflection points.

Details: More thickness is required ideally than carpet for best results. It is a good idea to place some other form of treatment below the rug if possible.

4. First reflection points

Find the first reflection points then place absorption panels in these areas. This could mean up to 6 surfaces are covered.

5. Bonus bass traps

You probably can't have too much bass absorption, although you can certainly spend more money and time than you need to. After you have used porous corner broadband traps, you may want to also add some membrane traps.

Details: These are essentially sealed boxes placed on the surface of the wall/ceiling/floor. They have a thin membrane (3 - 6mm ply) and rigid fibreglass insulation which should not touch the membrane. Like all traps, they are best placed around corners, but they could also cover the entire wall or ceiling. They differ to porous traps in that they need to be on the surface, while porous traps benefit from being out from the wall.

Ethan winer describes them here >

Membrane traps are easily placed in a room as they take up less space. A room built with plasterboard/drywall tends to act like a large membrane bass trap, however, due to the uniform depth (and often lack of insulation in internal walls), the bandwidth is limited.

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