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Author Topic: My little venture into tuning my new room  (Read 16070 times)

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Offline Jimna

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My little venture into tuning my new room
« on: November 12, 2009, 12:24:11 AM »
i got this stereo when i was living at a different place so i had a feel for its post break-in sound.  last august we bought a house finally, and the basement minus a guest room and storage was mine make my man cave.  it was already finished and painted in yellow which i didnt like in the beginning but has grown on my allot, mostly because it brightens the place up nicely given its subterranean lack of light...and it gives that feel of Steelers colors which are ingrained in my soul, but i digress.  But unfortunately as soon as i turned the stereo on in the new room i was disappointed.  first off the room is considerably larger, its 12'8"W X 25'L X 7'4"H while the original room i got to know the system in was 12'x12' but had a drop ceiling and some favorable qualities for a small room, plus my listening seat was in the perfect place.   the new room has 2 walls that are painted concrete(foundation) with the rest finished sheet rock.  the echo was ridiculous while the bass was boomy and muddy as hell, i had the dreaded one note bass effect.  it was almost an unusable room it sounded so bad, the highs caused listener fatigue so dramatic my listening was cut way back.... i was not a happy boy.  it was like i took a step backwards sonically and i had no choice but to take action, so i did.

it has been quite the project, much bigger and more work than i originally expected.   It has been 100% DIY and low budget enough that i thought i would share with others in case anyone else is interested in doing this for themselves.  all told i guess ill have about $400 in the whole thing....minus buying a house that i can do this too.  it could have been done cheaper but i made the mistake of buying my first batch of panels online and paid way to much.  i found a local supplier for everything after that which saved me a ton of $$, plus i rocked the jo-anne fabric sales catalog and never got less than 40% off all my fabric.  to buy all the bass traps and HF traps as finished products from a vendor to do all i have done would cost a fortune.  Long live DIY! 

TNJazz turned me onto the Owens Corning 703 panels originally (thank you sir!).  but after research i decided used a combination of the 703 (3lb p/sq' fiberglass for mid-bass absorption) and the 705 (6lb p/sq' fiberglass for deeper bass absorption) in both reflective and absorbent facing, making a variety of low FQ bass traps and absorbent broadband traps.   my goal was to attempt to get as close to 100% corner coverage as possible.  (Low FQ and undesirable sound in general live in the corners, that is why band shells and good theaters have rounded corners everywhere with a giant sloping front wall)  all the traps were also made in a variety of 2" and 4" thicknesses in both density panels to get a better over all frequency control from 35-500mhz.  everything over 500mhz is then handled by the high FQ absorbers at the first reflection points plus the evenly placed unfaced traps through out the room too.  my goal unlike high school is flat. ;)

here are some pics from the start of the project:
2 OC 703 panels 2' x 4' 2" thick


the corner of the 2 concrete painted walls


first reflection point on left


first panel i finished


front of the room with the first few panels in their possible new homes, proped up of course


this HVAC that was finished around was a huge challenge.  symmetry is key to a good room so it really presented a problem.

 
as you can see i had quite the puzzle in front of me








« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 12:31:13 AM by Jimna »
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Offline dennisrtyler

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 12:35:09 AM »
 8)
4. im so abrasive i make sandpaper nervous.

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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 12:46:04 AM »
here is how i made one of my low FQ bass traps, but all traps and panels were made in the same basic way.  the only difference was the thickness or size i cut the panel to, and whether or not i used the membrane for facing to reflect high FQ sound waves.  the membrane serves 2 purposes, on the higher density panels it helps causes them to reach a lower FQ response while reflecting all high FQ waves making them a true bass trap and it keeps the rooms lively feel allowing me to maximize the bass trapping while not over deadening the room.  all the traps were covered in a waffle weaved muslin fabric i got at jo-anne fabric.  its not the cheapest muslin available but i had to keep in mind that i could be looking at this stuff for a long time and so i spent the extra cheese on aesthetics.  all that really matters when choosing the fabric is that it is acoustically transparent. 

panels, fabric, and work space + rear wall before any treatment




i used multiple strands of phone wire because i have an unlimited supply of it for free and i really tried to keep this as low budget as i could, but any strong wire(or doubled up like i did here) will work.  I threaded it through the middle of the 2 glued together 2" panels to suspend them.  amount of wire varied by weight of the trap or panel, on these i used 4 because the high density panels are heavy enough plus the muslin isnt the lightest fabric either.






this is the membrane that reflects high frequency sound waves while allowing the lows to pass through and be absorbed.  i used 3mm gardening plastic + the heavy plastic the fiberglass came packaged in.  the point of reflecting the HF waves is to keep the room sounding live and while still sopping up and absorbing all the deep or muddy lows, which additionally the membrane helps to absorb to a lower FQ then without the membrane(down to 35mhz!).  this is mostly effective in corners where the air pocket behind the trap is maximized, therefore not nearly as effective on a flat mounted panel with minimal or no air pocket. 

the muslin underneath it is glue on using a can of spray adhesive.  any brand works as i tried them all as they came up in sales.  theu muslin went on much like wrapping a gift.

and this is a finshed low FQ reflective basstrap, corner mounted for maximum effect




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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 01:27:16 AM »
I did the whole thing on my weekends by necessity, but found it to be a good measure of my progress sonically.  each weekend would render another amount of change that i got the rest of the week to evaluate.  my biggest fear was to kill the room, kill it dead!

the rest are my progress in steps

this was my first try









this was a huge improvement over the original sound of the place but after a taste of what tuning could do i wanted to go farther.  i quickly decided that the small thin traps in the corners were not going to cut it and that flush mount treatments to the front wall were better served else where since boxed speaker primarily send waves away from that wall except the bass which is ported out the back, so i revised my plan and found better suppliers.  the rest is the result...

again in stages of finished legs
front





Rear






left side with the evil duct work treated



^^as you can see this still hasnt been completed, its still a project in motion..

and the opposite wall



another thing to work around, its the only window so i had to adapt

more work to do...


my desk and listening seat ive managed to get almost at 38% each from their closest wall be it front or back for best case positioning.  my seat on the couch is dead nuts on, but the desk has that rolling seat so im not perfect...


this wall has first reflection points for both my listing seat and my desk covered while the other wall has just the couch covered since the open door way doesnt reflect. ;)





so thats where i am to date.  still have some custom panels to make to finish this mess of corners



....and hang some framed stuff to keep the wife happy.  she thinks im off my rocker btw, but cant argue that it sound fantastic down here now.  its extremely flat.  the bass is so smooth and tight, and i can bring more lows in without it becoming muddy.  my highs are very crisp and clean without being fatiguing or overwhelming.  im happy boy, hubba hubba hubba!

the view from my office right now

Co-Founder of F.M.Recording 
SD: Busman Audio BSC1-K1/K2/K3/K4 > Grace Lunatec V3 > Busman Hybrid R4
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Information is not knowledge
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Offline anodyne33

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 12:27:34 PM »
Hi, my name's Jim and I'm a geek.  ;)
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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 12:38:03 PM »
a geek with a fiberglass rash. 
Co-Founder of F.M.Recording 
SD: Busman Audio BSC1-K1/K2/K3/K4 > Grace Lunatec V3 > Busman Hybrid R4
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Offline Javier Cinakowski

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 12:42:22 PM »
holy shit Jim, that is remarkable.  Seriously, hell of a job! 
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Offline Tim

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 01:39:26 PM »
a geek with a fiberglass rash. 

:lol: seriously, well done
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Offline page

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 02:01:00 PM »
You must have an awesome wife, I don't forsee mine letting me come anywhere close to that. I wonder if you'd have better success if you just did the entire wall so it didn't appear spotty (cosmetically)?

a geek with a fiberglass rash.

That sucks.  :-X
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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 02:16:53 PM »
my wife is cool on many levels, this being one, and the fact she has run my 4 channel rig being another.


I wonder if you'd have better success if you just did the entire wall so it didn't appear spotty (cosmetically)?
no, you need the properties of the fiberglass panels exposed to achieve the desired results, but to much would result in a dead room, its a fine line.  and i have learned its as much an art as a science too(trust your ears).  i have seen people treat walls and then cover the entire wall or ceiling in fabric to make it look congruent, but the look of it doesnt bother me, its a mood setter ;).  to actually build the room to sound correctly would cost more than i can even think about.  this is the best solution given my situation.  anyway, even studios and music halls use these external treatments. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 02:18:34 PM by Jimna »
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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 11:43:03 PM »
finished this mess up today

before>>>>>>>>>>>




after>>>>>>>>>>>









im really done with anything fiberglass now, im out!
Co-Founder of F.M.Recording 
SD: Busman Audio BSC1-K1/K2/K3/K4 > Grace Lunatec V3 > Busman Hybrid R4
LD: ADK A-51TL MP > Busman Hybrid R4
+ 48 Channel Multi-track rig

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 2x Extender Mark III, Canon 15mm f2.8, Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM, Canon 100mm Macro f2.8, Canon 16-35mm L f2.8, Canon 24-70mm L f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm L f2.8 IS, Canon ST-E2, Canon 580ex II (x2), Canon 430ex II, PocketWizard PLUS II(x4), Radiopopper PX System

http://jmimna.com/

Information is not knowledge
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 12:37:59 PM »
Hi, my name's Jim and I'm a geek.  ;)
Hello, my name is Jim and I've got OCD.

Welcome, fellow basement dweller!

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

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Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 01:30:17 PM »
the only thing left to do is to install 36sq/ft of diffuser/deflection tiles i got super cheap from a music store that was going out of business.  this is a daunting task because i plan to put them on the ceiling were i cant place them and then listen to the results to decide their effect and placement(this has been my final test with everything so far, install and critique the result).  im not expecting them to make as big a difference as a real diffuser, but hopefully the will give some dispersion of HFQ waves and help with flutter echo.  these are the tiles im speaking of:



any ideas on how i test the placement of these before i break out the liquid nail?
Co-Founder of F.M.Recording 
SD: Busman Audio BSC1-K1/K2/K3/K4 > Grace Lunatec V3 > Busman Hybrid R4
LD: ADK A-51TL MP > Busman Hybrid R4
+ 48 Channel Multi-track rig

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 2x Extender Mark III, Canon 15mm f2.8, Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM, Canon 100mm Macro f2.8, Canon 16-35mm L f2.8, Canon 24-70mm L f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm L f2.8 IS, Canon ST-E2, Canon 580ex II (x2), Canon 430ex II, PocketWizard PLUS II(x4), Radiopopper PX System

http://jmimna.com/

Information is not knowledge
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Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
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Music is THE BEST
-FZ

Offline flipp

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 02:03:54 PM »
Since your ceiling is only 7'4", get a couple of tall friends to come over and hold them up in various positions while you listen from your usual spot.

Alternatively, get a couple of extension poles like painters use and hold the panels up with them. Personally I think you should invite a couple of friends over.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 02:07:04 PM by flipp »

Offline Jimna

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Re: My little venture into tuning my new room
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2009, 02:23:59 PM »
its 36 tiles of 1'x1'.  it would take either a serious party to get that many folks over to hold tiles up, or i would have to go on a clothesline pole stealing spree to do it, and it is winter so not to many clothes lines are in use.... 
Co-Founder of F.M.Recording 
SD: Busman Audio BSC1-K1/K2/K3/K4 > Grace Lunatec V3 > Busman Hybrid R4
LD: ADK A-51TL MP > Busman Hybrid R4
+ 48 Channel Multi-track rig

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 2x Extender Mark III, Canon 15mm f2.8, Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM, Canon 100mm Macro f2.8, Canon 16-35mm L f2.8, Canon 24-70mm L f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm L f2.8 IS, Canon ST-E2, Canon 580ex II (x2), Canon 430ex II, PocketWizard PLUS II(x4), Radiopopper PX System

http://jmimna.com/

Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST
-FZ

 

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