Acoustic Panels and Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Theon, May 4, 2004.

  1. Theon

    Theon Agent

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    I know speakers need their space from walls and reflective surfaces, but do they need space from absorbant acoustic panels? The reason why I ask is because I made some freestanding acoustic panels and find that they absorb the sound better when they are right up to the side of the speaker. They cut down the angle of reflection from the side of the speaker and absorb more sound waves (at least that's my explanation). So do you see any theoretical problem with placing acoustic panels up against speakers? Will this limit the soundstage at all?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, obviously you have the panels and the speakers: move them around and see what happens and what you prefer.
     
  3. Philip>L

    Philip>L Stunt Coordinator

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    If it sounds good it is good.
     
  4. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    I wouldn't think the panels would be a problem placed right up adjacent to your speakers. My side wall panels are within a foot of my speakers and they image just fine and dandy.
    Just how far "off to the side" you have them is dependent upon your room layout and the thickness of the panels , as well as how far you have your wall panels spaced away from the wall.
    Obviously, you are not obstructing the front grill so you should be OK. Correct ? Had to ask.
    Many folks place their treatment right up close to their speakers (many pics I have seen of ASC tube traps are placed very close to speakers) and reap the benefits.

    Placement is the operative word here, of course.... and experimenting with said placement might reap more rewards.

    That is the fun part of room treatments..... it is a science, but not quite exactly down to the inch, because each room is different. Each wall material is not always the same and down the room variable list you go. Every room is unique. And every room will sound different from the next. Treat away until you hear what you are after, so to speak. But there are road signs and markers to follow, charted by the experts in the acoustical field. Best not stray too far, if at all.

    Good Luck
     
  5. Theon

    Theon Agent

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    Ok, now I know that there isn't anything theoretically problematic with placing acoustic panels right up against speakers. For my next DIY project, I want to make acoustic panels for my two tower speakers. Instead of placing the panels around the room, I want to "box in" the speakers by making an absorbant frame around the outside. So I'll absorb at the source instead of absorbing at the walls. Do you see what I mean? What do you think of this plan?
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Theon, while it may improve things, it won't be the same thing, for a couple reasons:

    First, you may be killing too much of the dispersion from the speakers. This creates a good spacious soundstage in the room, if your reflection points are treated. The other points will reflect around hopefully for a more diffuse sound in the room. So you may end up with losing too much of that.

    The other thing, is that this will not really affect the reverb of the room that much, which is another big reason for adding panels to various places on your walls.
     
  7. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Like Chris says, boxing the speakers, as in an enclosure, is certainly not what the speaker designer had in mind.

    It will most likely skew you HF dispersion in a bad way and offer way to much absorption for the mids and HF which you need for the depth/soundstage within your listening space.

    Try another plan and space the acoustical panels at distances from the speakers which correspond to your speakers placement and adjoining wall surfaces nearby.
    If "a little is good, then alot is even better" does not apply here, IMO.

    BOK
     
  8. Theon

    Theon Agent

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    And here I was thinking I had hit upon a good original idea! Thanks guys, you've saved me a lot of time and frustration (unless of course my idea IS good and original and would have paved the way for a paradigm shift in acoustic absorption...).
     

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