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  1. #1
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    Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Since yesterday afternoon or so, I've been actively researching something I've never bothered with before, treating my room which is said to be more effective than swapping equipment, which I can completely understand.

    Naturally, the first company I looked at is GIK Acoustics. I was prepared to be shocked at the prices of the various panels and such, and I was, but shocked in a different way... Shocked at how affordable their products are! Granted, they're not bargain basement cheap, but they're certainly not expensive either. Think of them price-wise to a pair of decent interconnect upgrades, and more than likely much larger sound improvements than those new interconnects.

    So anyway, after looking around on GIK's site, I went ahead and filled out their "Free Advice" form and submitted it with a set of pictures of my current 11.5' x 15.5' x 8' room setup. One thing I forgot to mention on that form was the fact that this is an old house, so all of the walls and ceiling are plaster, which obviously is harder than regular drywall. But I did mention the wood floors and the fact that I put down a 6' x 8' shag area rug to help reduce/eliminate those first reflections off of the floor, which it did quite well. That and that I have IsoAcoustic ISO-200 subwoofer isolators under the subs which definitely helped clean and tighten up the bass.

    I run open baffle loudspeakers (GR Research X-Statik's) and dual subs. Surprisingly, everything sounds pretty darn good, especially after adding the area rug, but there's still just that last 10% that I want to chase down. I still have minor imaging, sound staging and phasing issues which I can hear as I move a foot or so forwards or backwards in my listening position. Some of it sounds a little bit like out of phase echo. And as for bass, I sit in a bit of a null. It's a little quieter and weaker where I sit, but move a foot forwards or backwards, the bass gets a little stronger and possibly a little deeper, but not boomy.

    Again, I've never dealt with room treatments before, but one thing I picked up on pretty quickly is that behind the speakers, I would want absorption/diffusive panels to still get the benefits of the rear wave of the open baffle loudspeakers. But other than that, I'll leave that up to the ones in the know.

    Here's the pictures that I submitted...









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  2. #2
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Some GIK's at your first reflection points will help a lot, in my room the curtains behind the speakers (ceiling to floor) did a lot of good.
    But if you are sitting in a null, I don't think any panels will help there, you will have to move the subs and speakers around. (or change the listening position)

    Will be interesting to see what GIK replies back with.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by imprezap2 View Post
    Some GIK's at your first reflection points will help a lot, in my room the curtains behind the speakers (ceiling to floor) did a lot of good.
    But if you are sitting in a null, I don't think any panels will help there, you will have to move the subs and speakers around. (or change the listening position)

    Will be interesting to see what GIK replies back with.
    If referring to the 1st reflection points to the sides of the speakers, I don't think anything can be done there as the 1st point for the left channel is the door opening, then 1st & 2nd on the right side is on the window.

    As for behind the speakers, since they are open baffle (and I plan on upgrading to fully open baffle in the somewhat near future), I'll have to go with something in the lines of GIK Impressions line for both absorption and diffusion.

    After moving the subs a little more and adding the mains to the mix, the bass null isn't really an issue anymore honestly. When I had the subs tucked in the corners and running the Klipsch Heresy III's, the null was pretty bad. Moving the subs and changing to the current speakers made a 95% improvement. So really, the bass null is a non-issue I suppose now.

    But I still get a little bit of an out of phase sounding echo in the lower midrange and a slight narrowing of the sound stage. If I move about a foot forwards or backwards, those issues somewhat go away.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Rooms with openings can be addressed with treatments mounted on stands.

    Stillpoints makes the Aperature II 22” x 22”that mounts on optional stands - they are more expensive, but built nice and work bar none - you would need 3.

    Regardless treatments will clean up your sound in an amazing way!


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  5. #5
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    i like the cozy look of your room; a nice listening space for sure.

    first off; some rooms sound great as they are, and i always hesitate to offer advice based on pictures. no way for me to really know what is happening for sure. my first room was 18' x 12' x 11.5' so i do have a feel for your space and a hifi system.

    that said; 3 ideas come to my mind looking at the pictures.

    1--you sit in the far-field with dynamic cone speakers. meaning you sit beyond the equilateral triangle of tweeter to tweeter, and tweeter to listening position. so based on that reflected sound will be dominant compared to direct sound from your speakers. to avoid serious smearing from first reflections the side walls need treatment. i know you already realize this. but part of this is a consideration to sitting closer to your speakers to remove a degree of reflections from the equation. not sure that works in your living situation but i would recommend experimenting with that. it cost zero to pull a chair up closer and try it.

    2--and 8 foot ceiling and far field listening combined means your ceiling is really involved in what you hear. it's dominant. it's not trivial to experiment with attaching stuff to a ceiling, but you should at least try. again, sitting closer would significantly reduce this issue too.

    3--the four corners of your room at your ceiling would likely be candidates for something simple to smooth the bass. those areas are typically nasty spots for bass build up and little corner traps might be easy to install and you could choose a fabric that matched your walls.

    lastly a comment about your vintage house and walls. typically the music likes wood floors and heavy vintage walls. they work better than sheetrock for room boundaries.

    good luck....

  6. #6

    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Based on my observation, acoustic treatment can be a great way to improve your sound at a fraction of cost of comparable effects from new equipment. This is of course, if your listening space has some room effects.

    In my case the room had too much echo, which I was able to successfully amend.

    Looking forward to seeing what you conclude.


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  7. #7
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i like the cozy look of your room; a nice listening space for sure.

    first off; some rooms sound great as they are, and i always hesitate to offer advice based on pictures. no way for me to really know what is happening for sure. my first room was 18' x 12' x 11.5' so i do have a feel for your space and a hifi system.

    that said; 3 ideas come to my mind looking at the pictures.

    1--you sit in the far-field with dynamic cone speakers. meaning you sit beyond the equilateral triangle of tweeter to tweeter, and tweeter to listening position. so based on that reflected sound will be dominant compared to direct sound from your speakers. to avoid serious smearing from first reflections the side walls need treatment. i know you already realize this. but part of this is a consideration to sitting closer to your speakers to remove a degree of reflections from the equation. not sure that works in your living situation but i would recommend experimenting with that. it cost zero to pull a chair up closer and try it.

    2--and 8 foot ceiling and far field listening combined means your ceiling is really involved in what you hear. it's dominant. it's not trivial to experiment with attaching stuff to a ceiling, but you should at least try. again, sitting closer would significantly reduce this issue too.

    3--the four corners of your room at your ceiling would likely be candidates for something simple to smooth the bass. those areas are typically nasty spots for bass build up and little corner traps might be easy to install and you could choose a fabric that matched your walls.

    lastly a comment about your vintage house and walls. typically the music likes wood floors and heavy vintage walls. they work better than sheetrock for room boundaries.

    good luck....
    Thank you for the kind words. I certainly enjoy listening to music in this room. It's by far the best room I've had for a system.

    1) Actually, tweeter center to center is 7' 3", and tweeter to ear distance is 7' 7", so not too far off from an equilateral triangle. I don't think that would constitute as being in the far-field. The extreme wide angle lens on my phone just makes it look like the room is longer and that I sit further back, but that's not the case at all. And the speakers are toed in quite a bit. Not directly at me, but more towards me than straight ahead. Their projected paths probably cross about 8' behind me. And keep in mind, these are open baffle, so they have less side interference than a standard "box" loudspeaker.

    2) I'm sure the ceiling plays a pretty good roll in reflections, and I do plan on addressing it at some point. James from GIK recommends using twelve 244 panels everywhere, but those panels are over 5" thick, and this is a small room. Those panels would only make this room look smaller, and on the ceiling would make the room look much shorter as well, especially when you add in the 4" cloud mounting brackets. That would make my 8' ceiling essentially into a 7' 3" ceiling. Sure it would work and wouldn't be in anyone's way, but it would just make the room look like a closet at that point.

    Also, judging from James' suggestion on twelve of these 244 panels leads me to believe that he didn't even look at the photos I submitted (same ones that are in this thread). Trying to fit twelve of those thick 24" x 48" 244 panels in this room would be ridiculous not to mention there's not even enough wall space for them. If he did look at the photos, then he totally disregarded the fact that there's a door on three walls and a giant window that takes up three-quarters of the other wall. Not to mention that everything that he wrote about I already know. So I don't know what to take if anything from his email and "recommendations" for my room.

    3) Yes, the corners and bass traps... What I'm thinking of doing is starting here first. In the corners behind the speakers, place two pair of free standing Impressions tri-angle bass traps from floor to ceiling. Try that out first and expand from there.

    And yes, this old house is built like a brick $_ _ _ house. LOL Probably why this room/system sounds so good already. And these inexpensive subs have never sounded this good in any room. I'm really impressed with their performance! I've had these things for over 10 years and they NEVER impressed until now. Again, probably has a lot to do with the walls and floor in this room.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    I'm no expert but to get an accurate reading of what your room is doing, I would get a reading from a 20 Hz. – 20,000 Hz sine wave which will tell you the problems your room has with highs and lows.

    To get an accurate reading it is best to use 'Room EQ Wizard'.

    I tried using it about a year ago but couldn't get it to work.

    I then tried a less accurate method but it still gives you an idea of where your room has problems: I downloaded 'Spectroid' from Google Play for my mobile, found a sine wave online and played it through my hi-fi speakers.

    You can give this information to Gik which will give them an even better understanding on how to help you.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Any update on this?
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  10. #10
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Chops, unless I missed it somewhere in the text. Can't you install a panel on the door on the left side or a temporary hanging from the top door casing?
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  11. #11
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Wow, over 2 years since I started this thread! Honestly, I completely forgot about it for some reason. Just as well as at the time we were renting that house, not to mention that room was just way too small and cluttered for anything useful.

    However, in our new home that we purchased, with this much larger 13.6' x 21.8' x 8' room, and with Maggie 1.7i's that I plan on keeping for a very long time, I am finally getting around to doing room treatments. With nearly non-stop tweaking of speaker/subwoofer placement, as well as sub settings. A half an inch here, a half an inch there... Every day this system is getting better and better sounding. Today I've been listening to the PS Audio Reference Playlist on Qobuz, a huge variety of musical styles and genres throughout, and man, the way this system is sounding in this untreated room is ridiculously good.

    Just last week, I put in an order with GIK Acoustics, two 4" thick 23" x 45.5" Alpha panels for the front wall, and four 2" thick 23" x 45.5" Impressions panels for along the rear wall. They will be here towards the end of the month. I also just ordered a heavy "blackout" two panel curtain (84" x 84") for the window on the front wall. Since that stupid window is annoyingly off center on that wall, I'm going to use this curtain to offset that and make that wall symmetrical, not to mention to help with some absorption behind the TV. As it is, I get a significant improvement just by throwing a blanket over the TV for when I do some serious listening, so I imagine this curtain will have similar results while improving the looks of the front wall.

    Obviously, this is just a start. I will do some more treatments as time goes by. I also want to replace the current rug with a slightly larger one since the tweeters are usually a foot or so beyond the edge of the rug.

    Some fun times ahead!
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  12. #12
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Best to sneak up on treatments. Going slow is good.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    You also have to keep your gear the same long enough to properly evaluate each tweak or treatment.
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  14. #14
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    Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    The alpha panels are partial diffusion, but also rated as “high absorption”. Bad idea for a dipole like Maggie. Pure diffusion panels are the way to go for front wall.

    Everything sounds better in your new untreated room, because any kind of absorption with a dipole or omnipole is a bad idea. Diffusion is the way to go.


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  15. #15
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Everything sounds better in your new untreated room, because any kind of absorption with a dipole or omnipole is a bad idea. Diffusion is the way to go.
    Preach Mike, preach!
    Agree of course...

    cheers,

    AJ

  16. #16
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The alpha panels are partial diffusion, but also rated as “high absorption”. Bad idea for a dipole like Maggie. Pure diffusion panels are the way to go for front wall.

    Everything sounds better in your new untreated room, because any kind of absorption with a dipole or omnipole is a bad idea. Diffusion is the way to go.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    While I'm in agreement with Mike I will add a caveat ........ speaker placement from front wall should be a min of 40" and ideally 4-6 feet. When room constraints force one to place speakers closer some absorption can be beneficial. As a long time di-pole user (Maggies and Logans) I've always maintained that if a di-pole speaker can't be given the correct amount of space to 'breath' then one should choose a different transducer.
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  17. #17
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by crwilli View Post
    Best to sneak up on treatments. Going slow is good.
    Very wise advice. It’s easy to over do room treatments in normal rooms. Go slowly.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    I was in the middle of replying last night when a storm took out the internet for literally 6 hours. It wasn't back until around 2am! Anywho...

    Best to sneak up on treatments. Going slow is good.
    Yes sir. My thoughts exactly. Didn't want to go too far as spend too much just to go in the opposite direction.



    You also have to keep your gear the same long enough to properly evaluate each tweak or treatment.
    The gear pretty much remains the same over a span of a couple years or more. Speakers on the other hand were in heavy rotation for a while there, but not anymore. The gear is here to stay for a long while, ESPECIALLY the Maggies!



    The alpha panels are partial diffusion, but also rated as “high absorption”. Bad idea for a dipole like Maggie. Pure diffusion panels are the way to go for front wall.

    Everything sounds better in your new untreated room, because any kind of absorption with a dipole or omnipole is a bad idea. Diffusion is the way to go.
    I'm well aware of how dipoles produce sound as I've run a lot of open baffle designs over the years, Martin Logan SL3's (which I still have), as well as Maggie MGLR-1's 20+ years ago, and some Def Tech BP10's way back in the day.

    I thought of this already, hence why I went with what I did. If the Alpha's on the front wall prove to be too much, I can always move them to the side walls still behind the speakers, and then get some diffusers for the front wall. The reason I went for the two 4" Alpha's up front and four 2" Impressions in the rear is because this room has a bit of slap-echo which can sometimes be heard with certain music. And where I sit, my head is roughly 5.5 ft in front of the rear wall, so it can be quite apparent sometimes.



    While I'm in agreement with Mike I will add a caveat ........ speaker placement from front wall should be a min of 40" and ideally 4-6 feet. When room constraints force one to place speakers closer some absorption can be beneficial. As a long time di-pole user (Maggies and Logans) I've always maintained that if a di-pole speaker can't be given the correct amount of space to 'breath' then one should choose a different transducer.
    I have my 1.7i's 6 ft from the front wall and 1.5 ft from the side walls. I sit about 9.5 ft away from them. Plenty of breathing room.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikado463 View Post
    I've always maintained that if a di-pole speaker can't be given the correct amount of space to 'breath' then one should choose a different transducer.
    Agreed. But too far forward from the back wall (the wall behind the speaker) can be disastrous with speakers such as Martin Logans.

    I bought a pair of ML 13A Expressions after a compelling showroom audition, only to find they sounded pretty dire (even with Anthem room correction) in my room where the speakers have 12 ft behind one and 15 ft behind the other. They sounded significantly worse than the 17 year old Avantgarde Uno horns I planned to replace with the new MLs. The MLs had to be sold after 4 months or so at a significant loss, later replaced with AG Duos that are very much more placement tolerant (with regards to side and rear walls) than electrostatics.

    I have considered omnis and last year auditioned MBL and German Physics but neither offered anywhere near the imaging detail that I enjoy so much from my AGs. Arguably choosing the right TYPE of speakers is the first and foremost decision to get right in any particular room. Peter
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  20. #20
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The alpha panels are partial diffusion, but also rated as “high absorption”. Bad idea for a dipole like Maggie. Pure diffusion panels are the way to go for front wall.

    Everything sounds better in your new untreated room, because any kind of absorption with a dipole or omnipole is a bad idea. Diffusion is the way to go.


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    I wanted to revisit this again...

    After re-reviewing my email from GIK as well as reading in a few forum posts from Maggie owners (with similar sized rooms), we have all been recommended to use the 4" Alpha 2D panels on the front wall directly behind the speakers as they absorb and diffuse sound as well as function as bass traps. GIK also recommend the same for the back wall, however I chose to go with the 2" Impressions panels on the back wall. I have four panels coming for the back wall, but not sure that I will use all four of them back there. They would have to be butted right up against each other as one continuous 8' wide panel so to speak. I may just put two back there and one on either side of my listening position on the side walls.

    Again, it's not like they are permanently affixed to the walls, so if things don't sound right, I can always move them around. Also, with the 2" Impressions, if I want, I can mount them with 1" to 2" stand-offs for an air gap between them and the wall to lower their frequency of absorption some.

    I'm also interested in those tri-corner triangle panels that mount up at the ceiling/wall corners. I've found some by ATS Acoustics and PrimeAcoustics, and they refer to them as tri-corner bass traps. I don't know how effective they are vs large bass traps that get stacked in the corners of the room, floor to ceiling. Probably nowhere near as effective, but I also don't want to take up a bunch of floor space nor do I want the room to look odd or like a studio. The PrimeAcoustics Cumulus tri-corner traps are said to be effective down to 100 Hz, and I effectively have 5 corners in this room where I could mount them.

    also, I just got in that thermal/blackout curtain to go on the front wall behind the TV, so I'll be installing that shortly. We don't ever use that window, and if the curtain ends up absorbing too much and killing the sound, I can always open it up some and mount a couple of diffuser panels in the center of the window. The only main reason for that curtain is to cover the ends of the window to make it look centered on the wall instead of off to the right like it is. Plus, we are both tired of looking at those garish homemade hillbilly looking window treatments from the previous owners of this house.

    I might look into getting a matching curtain for the large window in the right wall, but lighter/thinner as to not be too absorbent. Though I have to say, with the way the Maggies project sound, there's very little to no difference with having the blinds in that window opened or closed. IOW, not much in the way of 1st reflections on the side walls, which is a good thing.

    At any rate, that's where I'm at at the moment with this "project".
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  21. #21
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post
    I wanted to revisit this again...

    After re-reviewing my email from GIK as well as reading in a few forum posts from Maggie owners (with similar sized rooms), we have all been recommended to use the 4" Alpha 2D panels on the front wall directly behind the speakers as they absorb and diffuse sound as well as function as bass traps. GIK also recommend the same for the back wall, however I chose to go with the 2" Impressions panels on the back wall. I have four panels coming for the back wall, but not sure that I will use all four of them back there. They would have to be butted right up against each other as one continuous 8' wide panel so to speak. I may just put two back there and one on either side of my listening position on the side walls.

    Again, it's not like they are permanently affixed to the walls, so if things don't sound right, I can always move them around. Also, with the 2" Impressions, if I want, I can mount them with 1" to 2" stand-offs for an air gap between them and the wall to lower their frequency of absorption some.

    I'm also interested in those tri-corner triangle panels that mount up at the ceiling/wall corners. I've found some by ATS Acoustics and PrimeAcoustics, and they refer to them as tri-corner bass traps. I don't know how effective they are vs large bass traps that get stacked in the corners of the room, floor to ceiling. Probably nowhere near as effective, but I also don't want to take up a bunch of floor space nor do I want the room to look odd or like a studio. The PrimeAcoustics Cumulus tri-corner traps are said to be effective down to 100 Hz, and I effectively have 5 corners in this room where I could mount them.

    also, I just got in that thermal/blackout curtain to go on the front wall behind the TV, so I'll be installing that shortly. We don't ever use that window, and if the curtain ends up absorbing too much and killing the sound, I can always open it up some and mount a couple of diffuser panels in the center of the window. The only main reason for that curtain is to cover the ends of the window to make it look centered on the wall instead of off to the right like it is. Plus, we are both tired of looking at those garish homemade hillbilly looking window treatments from the previous owners of this house.

    I might look into getting a matching curtain for the large window in the right wall, but lighter/thinner as to not be too absorbent. Though I have to say, with the way the Maggies project sound, there's very little to no difference with having the blinds in that window opened or closed. IOW, not much in the way of 1st reflections on the side walls, which is a good thing.

    At any rate, that's where I'm at at the moment with this "project".
    I don’t agree since the Alpha 2D’s work optimally at 500hz (not sure how that’s “bass” in their definition). But at least, as you said, you can move them if they don’t work out well. I think you’ll find a midrange suck out and find you have to play them louder since the back waves are being absorbed. But trial and error is the only real test. Will be interesting to see what you hear.


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  22. #22
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I don’t agree since the Alpha 2D’s work optimally at 500hz (not sure how that’s “bass” in their definition). But at least, as you said, you can move them if they don’t work out well. I think you’ll find a midrange suck out and find you have to play them louder since the back waves are being absorbed. But trial and error is the only real test. Will be interesting to see what you hear.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    That's the nice thing about this... Nothing is set in stone, so everything can be adjusted, added or removed to get to the desired result.

    I agree with you. I don't know why GIK refers to the 4" 2D Alpha's as bass traps since like you said, they're tuned for around 400 - 500 Hz. Maybe when placed in corners and you have like a 12" air gap behind them... Maybe. Maybe mounting them on the side walls behind the speakers will do something. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

    One major improvement on the other hand (cosmetic/visual more than anything else), I installed the curtains, and removed both of those ugly homemade things the previous owners threw up over the windows. Man I'm glad those are gone. I honestly don't know why I waited nearly a year to remove them. Geeze, the 1st of next month it'll be a full year!

    Anyway, the curtains... I really don't notice any difference in sound that I can tell yet, which I suppose is a good thing. They just make the room look a lot better, and the ceiling a bit taller.



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  23. #23
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    The 2" Impression panels came in Friday, the 4" Alpha panels showed up first thing yesterday morning around 9am! That alone was shocking! They were supposed to ship out on the 24th and arrive by the 29th! Good on GIK Acoustics for that. As for fit and finish, I've read that a lot of these panels arrive looking like they were rushed, bad corners, wrinkled cloth, etc, etc. I have none of that with these panels. They look great front to back, top to bottom.

    All day yesterday, and I do mean all day, I played around with location. I tried the Alpha and Impressions panels everywhere in the room, swapped one out for the other in each location, tried all combinations, tried all types of locations, and the simplest actually ended up providing the best results.

    Music was from Phil Collins, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Depeche Mode, Neil Young, Diana Krall, The Cure, Peter Murphy, Gregory Porter, Holly Cole, Fleetwood Mack, Pink Floyd... Basically, artists and music I know extremely well and a lot that I have been listening to recently with the current system.

    I first tried the Alpha panels in the 1st reflection points on the side walls. They gave me a solid center image, but they killed the width of the sound stage. Any stage width I got it was restricted to only between the inner edges of the speakers. Even the ambient width in the recording was sucked out almost completely. While keeping the Alphas there, I tried putting the four Impressions in various locations to see if they would resolve these new issues, but they didn't. Even completely out of the room, these new issues stayed.

    So I swapped out the Alphas for the two Impressions you currently see in those 1st reflection locations. With no other panels in the room, these "removed" the walls, widened the sound stage considerably beyond the walls, and still give me that solid center image. This is something these speakers and room needed, and the Impressions in these locations deliver.

    I then tried the Alphas on the back wall and the other two Impressions on the front wall. They seemed to work really well, but something was off. After more listening of various tracks, I realized that stage depth had flattened and vocal height had dropped to about just below center of the TV screen. Also, some of that ambience in the recordings had gone away again, though not as bad as before, but it was noticeable. Lastly, imaging focus had become a little bit fuzzy. Again, just because I could, I removed the Impressions on the sidewalls while keeping the other panels in place and that just made things worse, so those Impressions went back to the sidewalls.

    And because Mike had me a bit worried about the Alphas behind on the front wall and sucking out the midrange, this is the very last place I tried them. I can honestly say now that I am relieved. What the Alphas did on the front wall is what the room/system needed. They opened up that front wall giving more space, air and much needed stage depth to the sound, as well as lifting the vocal/instrument height to realistic heights as if those vocals/instruments were in front of me. The ambience of the venues in the "live' recordings are back in strides and very clearly apparent, giving even more space and air within the room. The second pair of Impressions are on the back wall where they help reinforce what the Alphas are doing up front as well as the fact that there's zero slap echo in this room now.

    As an added bonus to these panels, and something I wasn't expecting them to do much of if any, is that they have in fact improved the bass in this room. I don't know if they helped clean up some of the upper bass or bass harmonics or what, but the overall sound of the bass is just a bit more clean, solid and planted. Almost to the same effect as putting the subs up on those IsoAcoustics sub stands I have them on. Definition and sharpness of attack just seem to be better. And no, the Maggies, the subs or the sub settings were never touched through any of this.

    Lastly, in order the mount one of the panels in front of the window, I mounted a couple of "legs" to the side of the panel, put a couple of eyehooks on the back of them, and a couple of L hooks in the wall, so installation and removal is simple and literally only takes seconds to do. Also, instead of using the sawtooth hangers that GIK provided with the panels, I decided to use heavy duty D-ring picture hangers for the wall mounted panels.

    All in all, I am extremely happy with the results and am quite amazed at how much was achieved with only six panels. They far exceeded my expectations. This doesn't mean I'm done however. I still want to get some diffusors for behind/above the TV, and maybe a few other things here and there after some more research and advise seeking.

    Anyway, here's some pics...













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  24. #24
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    I’m not surprised that the GIK impression series panels created “something off” when you tried them. I am surprised the Alpha panels didn’t do the same since their frequency specs are the same and it’s only their dispersion patterns which are different.

    Anyway, IMO, any kind of absorption behind a dipole should be avoided, but if you’ve found something works, that’s great.

    I would listen for a week with the panels, and then remove them from behind the speakers entirely and listen for another week. Pay special attention to the midrange. I suspect you may find it more muted and recessed with the panels after the comparison. But maybe not…who knows?


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  25. #25
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    The Alphas absorb more, obviously since they are two inches thicker. But yes, their curves are basically the same.

    I have tried removing the Alphas several times today on certain tracks I listened to, and I haven't noticed any muted/recessed midrange with them added. I plan on doing the same next weekend. Something else I'll be doing next weekend is taking measurements with REW. I was going to do that this weekend but never got around to it as I had other stuff to do as well.

    Maybe I can coax you over for a listen some day.
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  26. #26
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post
    The Alphas absorb more, obviously since they are two inches thicker. But yes, their curves are basically the same.

    I have tried removing the Alphas several times today on certain tracks I listened to, and I haven't noticed any muted/recessed midrange with them added. I plan on doing the same next weekend. Something else I'll be doing next weekend is taking measurements with REW. I was going to do that this weekend but never got around to it as I had other stuff to do as well.

    Maybe I can coax you over for a listen some day.
    Yes indeed! Love me some Maggie listening.


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  27. #27
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Yes indeed! Love me some Maggie listening.


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    I do too!
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  28. #28
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    A little update...

    Since my last post in this thread, things came to a standstill as shortly after my significant other had full hip surgery scheduled. So the week of, I took off from work to take care of her and help her around the house and such, then back to work the next week. Also, other things family related have occupied my spare time as well. Needless to say, I never got around to getting REW up and running and doing all of that jazz.

    However, last weekend, I did manage to get a few quick hours to myself. For about an hour, I played a track here and there of very familiar recordings for about an hour, quickly removed the Alpha panels from the front wall, then played those same tracks again, in the same order. The results were the same as before, no suck-outs of any kind and increased air, space, height and depth.

    With that being said, I do have to retract one statement where I said there was "zero slap echo now". There's still some, but nowhere near as bad as it was. It doesn't ring out as long as it used to, but it's also difficult to tell where it's coming from (side walls, ceiling, maybe front/back walls still?). If I loudly say "AH!" in really short bursts, or clap my hands, I still hear this short echo that has more of a "zing" quality to it that rises in pitch by the time it ends. I would say maybe two tenths to a third of a second at most? So far I haven't noticed it in any music that I've played like I used to before the treatments.


    In other news, for the most part, I have preferred the sound of the Maggies with the tweeters on the outside edge for a bit wider sounds stage and a larger center image with very little to no toe-in. Just for giggles, I swapped them a couple nights ago and now have the tweeters on the inside edge with a fair amount of toe-in (tweeters intersect about a foot in front of my head). I was expecting a smaller center image and a narrower, somewhat closed in sounds stage. To my surprise, the opposite happened!

    First thing I noticed is that the sound stage now extends out past the side walls by at least a foot or two, well beyond the speakers themselves. There's also a 3D or surround-sound like effect depending on the recording. You're placed IN the recording venue, hearing the natural acoustics and reverb of the live recording venue. Of course, highly engineered studio music does the same, sometimes to extremes. One recording I was listening to (can't remember what it was now) had an acoustic guitar being played close-mic'ed, and I swear it was a foot behind my head to the left. You could actually hear the pick come in contact with the string, and that string sounded like it had a rough texture to it like a round-wound string. However, that late at night I was starting to get really tired (was up 26 hours, 14+ hours of that at work) and failed to make note of the album/track or even put it in my favorites for that matter. It was just something I randomly picked on Qobuz.

    The second thing I noticed is that the size of the center image has remained the same (as with the tweeters out) but now that center image is sharper and has more roundness and dimensionality to it. Also, that center image is its own entity between the speakers. In no way does it sound like it's coming from either speaker.

    I had these Maggies set up this way a while back when I was experimenting with placement, and I was getting none of this, hence why I had them with tweeters out and very little or no toe-in. All I was hearing before was like a large mono speaker in front of me with some stereo ques here and there set up as they are now, only without any of the room treatments. It's a totally different story now with these GIK panels installed!
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  29. #29

    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by chops View Post
    All I was hearing before was like a large mono speaker in front of me with some stereo ques here and there set up as they are now,
    For my taste, for a bigger, more believable stage and stereo illusion, the farther the speakers are from each other, the better.

  30. #30
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spock View Post
    For my taste, for a bigger, more believable stage and stereo illusion, the farther the speakers are from each other, the better.
    If stereo imaging is what's wanted, then an angle between listener and speakers of more than about 60 degrees will spoil the stereo effect and create a hole in the middle. Perhaps this is what chops is experiencing from his description.

    My horn speakers offer exceptionally accurate imaging - close your eyes and you can confidently point towards any individual instrument or singer. This requires careful setting up, in paticular distance from listener, distance between speakers (as mentioned a 60 degree triangle is a good start), position relative to rear and side walls, toe-in (probably the most critical small adjustment) and maybe tilt. Get these right and you are sitting in the best seat in the auditorium. Peter
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  31. #31
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    Re: Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    spoil the stereo effect and create a hole in the middle. Perhaps this is what chops is experiencing from his description.
    How did you manage to get that out of what I said? I've always had a solid center image, never a "hole in the middle".
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Venturing into the realm of room acoustics and treatments...

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