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Acoustic Panel Questions

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
#1
I am finally getting ready to think about acoustic panels and have some questions.

This is the front of the room

My initial thought is to put a panel on each side of the television. What I do not know is how big the panels need to be or at what height I should mount them. As you can see, I have a window on one adjacent wall and an opening to the dining room on the other. We will eventually put drapes on the window, but will likely do blinds first. The subwoofer is tucked into the front, right corner, which is about the only place I can put it.

The second question is what kind of panels I need? I've looked at a bunch. For cost reasons, I am currently leaning toward these, but I have no idea what the various panel specs mean or how to know which to use.
https://www.atsacoustics.com/item--ATS-Acoustic-Panel-24-x-48-x-2--1270.html
 

bmwuk

Well-Known Member
#2
Same pricing point I used Acoustimac . I liked them because they had tons of color options. You can order the fabric samples for $5 to look at as well
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#3
My advice is based on the idea that since this is a common space and needs to be dinner party friendly you cannot fully treat the room and solve all the core issues with panels. As such, I would look into merely "taming" the overall loudness, echo, and sloppiness of the overall room performance as opposed to focusing on specific issues related to stereo listening.

1st Suggested Approach
Put two vertical 2 x 4 panels at the same height as the TV, where the center of the TV's height is the center of the panels' height. You can then space them so they look balanced on the wall, filling in the bare wall space between the TV and the corners - but for artistic reasons I would not place them directly between the TV and the corners, but closer to the TV to take advantage of the horizon line aspect which will make the room look deeper in that direction. As in, place the panels at the 2/5ths point between the TV and the corners where they are closer to the TV. It will look like a larger room and be pleasing on the eyes.

Next, if you are up to it, I would consider putting foam corner block bass traps all along the ceiling / wall intersection above the TV. You can probably find a foam color which matched the paint of the trim in the room so it looks more like a soffit than an acoustic material until one looks very closely.

Those two things would help immensely.

2nd Suggested Approach
If you want to go more hardcore you could cover the entire wall with acoustic panels of a pleasing color making the whole wall appear to be an "accent wall" covered with fabric panels like you'd see in a hotel lobby or similar artsy public space. That would take more work, but you could do it fairly affordably.

3rd Approach
You could place 2 ft tall panels in a solid line centered at the center height of the TV across the entire front wall, making a lovely looking and effective reflection control line.


Regardless of which of those three you go with, or whatever you choose, think about adding acoustic absorbing materials to the room where you can. For instance, if you are hanging a photo, you could get or make a fabric wrapped fiberglass panel slightly larger than the photo frame and back it with a thin sheet of plywood which you run a bolt through for hanging the photo. Then mount the panel and hang the photo on the front of the panel. While the photo will still reflect treble, the midrange and upper bass characteristics of the acoustic fiberglass will be fully effective and taming the room. If you have an open shelf bookcase in the room, you could put 1" thick foam or fabric covered fiberglass against the room facing back of the shelf areas to absorb sound, place you books and trinkets in front of the foam/fiberglass. If you are hanging a stretched canvas artwork, fill the area behind the canvas with fiberglass or foam like I did (and posted photos on the forum) so the midrange is cleaned up a bit.

Basically, it is easy to make some effort to treat a room without ruining the design and aesthetics. In many cases the acoustic treatments can enhance the appearance of the room. I put some artsy looking diffusors / absorbers I got from GIK Acoustics in my family room and people love them. Not a single person who has seen them thinks they are unattractive.
 

Huey

Well-Known Member
Famous
#4
When I ordered my panels from GIK, UPS was less than kind with the boxes, and the panels had some smudge marks on them. If I remember correctly, the owner use to visit S&V from time to time, saw my post about them, and sent me two new panels, even though it was not their problem. Not that the story helps you in any way, but I would look at GIK as they have excellent service, and it seems like I paid $60 for a pair of 4 inch thick panels. I ended up covering them with a sheet and they look pretty good. I'm running two at the first reflection points, and then two behind the front speakers as you are wanting to do. The two at the sides do the mo
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
#5
The first option is more or less what I was thinking in terms of the panels themselves. It is great to hear that it should work. I like your bass tap suggestion and will look into it. Some of those other ideas about pictures and boxes are also interesting. I will have to tinker over time, due to budget limitations, but I want to do as much as I can to make the room sound great.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#6
Here's a link to the thread where I show how I installed 1" thick compressed fiberglass in the rear of stretch canvas artwork, protected it with fabric, and hung the art without changing the appearance at all. It made a HUGE difference in the big area those paintings are in. That area is where my tall line array speakers are, and the fiberglass is proving very helpful to the sound in there.

http://www.theaudioannex.com/forum/threads/proving-my-own-theory-on-art-and-acoustics.12056/
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#7
And here's what I did in my family room which is open to the kitchen and breakfast dining area:

FamilyRoomRig_Aug2018.jpg

I rotated the diffusors so the circle pattern is less obvious. The foam wedge panels are held in place via friction.

I intend to make fiberglass panels to go behind the two paintings on the right side wall, but I haven't gotten around to it yet as I feel the need to very carefully choose the right color fabric. I may go bold with a yellow or bright green.
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
#8
Can I paint acoustic panels? My daughter is trying to figure out if she can use acrylic paint or if she needs to use ink. I'm also curious about acoustic foam that I can install like crown molding. Most of what I'm finding is black. Is there a way to paint the stuff?
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
#9
I don't recommend painting as it is reflective in the treble, which is an important range to try to control when you can. You want the sound to pass through whatever it covering the acoustically absorbent material. That's why fabric is most often used. You can fabric wrap foam the same way you do fiberglass, mineral wool, or cotton batting.

As for the corner solution, you can find foam outlets which sell acoustic foam in dozens of colors, though getting an exact match for your room's paint-job might be difficult. I've seen solid white and ivory, but a contrasting color, like a dark burgundy might be night to look at.

https://www.thefoamfactory.com/acousticfoam/bassbroad.html
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWKBBX...Qd&pd_rd_r=Y72WGPTA7K883J23GQJR&pd_rd_w=Z7O9P

I've found I can spend about an hour on Amazon searching and clicking links to "similar" products and find damn near anything I could dream of in terms of acoustic products.
 

Haywood

Well-Known Member
Famous
#11
I've found I can spend about an hour on Amazon searching and clicking links to "similar" products and find damn near anything I could dream of in terms of acoustic products.
I've looked at what was available on Amazon pretty thoroughly, but none of it would look good in the room. Most is the wrong color and even the white stuff looks like foam. Right now, I'm looking at solutions from GIK acoustics.
 
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