Acoustic Panel Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brandon_S, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Hey guys,

    After much research, I think I am ready to buy an acoustic panel for the back wall of my apartment home theater. Unfortunately, my HT room in my apartment is very lively. I can tell I am getting reflections all over the place. To make things worse, my couch is placed right along the back wall. Here is a diagram of my current layout (JBLs have been replaced with B&Ws).

    http://sweb.uky.edu/~btsmit2/HT_Layout.gif

    Will placing an acoustic panel right above the listening position (couch) on the back wall help alot with reflections? There is only one side wall, and a sliding glass door runs along with lenght of it, so a panel there is not an option. Here are the panels I am looking at...

    http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/p.../alphasorb.asp

    Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Brandon Smith
     
  2. Kevin Magee

    Kevin Magee Agent

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    Use curtains along the sliding glass doors to stop reflections. That's the first thing you should do. Use some panels for the sidewall that you can place them on. Even panels on only one wall will help. How about the front of the room? Many people place absorption panels there and diffusion panels at the rear wall. First thing, again, though is to take care of the sliding glass doors with some nice drapes.
     
  3. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Thanks for the reply Kevin,

    Here is a picture of my sidewall. I currently have blinds on them that are supplied by the apartment complex...

    http://sweb.uky.edu/~btsmit2/sidewall.jpg

    I guess my question is can I get curtains to go over the top of the blinds, or do I have to remove them first. Also, would it be a good idea to place a panel right behind my head at the listening position (seeing as the couch sits right next to the wall)? You mention a diffusion panel, so I assume that is different than an acoustic panel? Thanks for helping a newbie in this situation out [​IMG].
     
  4. Andrew Steel

    Andrew Steel Extra

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    Brandon,
    Can you describe the frequency of the reflections? High, mid low???

    Andrew
     
  5. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Andrew,

    The reflections seem to be more high frequency. I think the main culprets are the sliding window along the length of the wall and the fact that my couch sits right on the back wall. It is a fairly small room and to make matters worse it is pretty much a square. Any suggestions on the best course of action?
     
  6. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Yes, acoustic panels will help on your back wall as well as thick curtains on the windows. With your couch being right up against the back wall, DO NOT use Diffusion Panels! You should only use absorption on surface this close to your listening area.

    - Rutgar
     
  7. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Do any of you guys know where I could get a curtain large enough to cover the window I have (see picture above). It measures 110' wide and 84' tall. I check Wal-Mart and Target, but they don't have anything close to that big.
     
  8. Tim Bargar

    Tim Bargar Agent

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    Those blinds will have some diffusive as well as reflective properties. How much of which, I don't know. But they may not be as much of an issue as the front and back walls. Something you could try is a large wall hanging quilt or something to that effect. Put one above the couch on the back wall and one or a couple on the front wall behind the front speakers. They will be less expensive than the acoustic panels and possibly more pleasing to look at. You'll be amazed at how well they will work for the higher frequencies, which are what makes a room sound lively.

    If that isn't enough, maybe a couple of panels on the ceiling at the reflection points.

    Also, I keep editing this post, you could make a simple diy panel by getting some rigid fiberglass boards, attaching them to a board, and wrapping fabric around them to make them look decent.
     
  9. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Well guys after much research, I decided to go the DIY route for my acoustic panels. Check them out here...

    [​IMG]

    The materials are as follows:

    2x4 and 2x2 MDF board for the back of the panels
    2" composite poles for frames of the panels
    2" thick fiberglass roll (16" roll)
    2 yards speaker fabric for outer coverings

    These panels couldn't have been easier to make. For about $80, I was able to make one large panel and two smaller panels. Sure beats the hell out of paying $90 for one panel! I was amazed at how awesome they look and the improvement they made in my room!

    If any of you guys want information on how to make panels or what you need to get at Home Depot, don't hesitate to drop me a line!
     
  10. marion.r

    marion.r Extra

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    First buy this book..."Home Theater For Everyone: A Practical Guide to Today's Home Entertainment Systems" $13+ dollars at Amazon.com.

    Understand the dynamics of your room and what works and doesn't work for acoustics.

    Generally...

    Absorption on the front wall. Diffusion on the back wall. Side walls absorption at first reflection points and bass trap ALL corners. Reflections at areas that are not first reflection points.

    Definite curtains on the sliding door (and if possible, sew in a fiberglass absorptive pad as a filler for the curtain).
    Glass is the single worse reflectors exactly where you need diffusion.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Sean_avnut

    Sean_avnut Extra

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    Brandon -

    Could you go into a little more detail about the materials you used?

    2x4 and 2x2 MDF board for the back of the panels

    2" composite poles for frames of the panels
    What is this?

    2" thick fiberglass roll (16" roll)
    Brand? I didn't know it came this small of package?

    2 yards speaker fabric for outer coverings
    Where did you get it? Joannes?

    thanks!
     
  12. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    Brandon,
    try Sears or JCPenney for curtains.
    I DIY'd my own panels using rigid fiberglass and 1 x 2's. It was cheap and effective.

    Did you stumble across this company when looking for an accoustic treatment solution? HSF panels & traps
    I am thinking about purchasing their bass traps for my corners
     
  13. Brandon_S

    Brandon_S Second Unit

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    Sean,

    I am actually on Spring Break right now, so I don't have access to the receipt to give you the exact model #s of what I got at Home Depot. However, I will try to describe as best I can...

    For the 2" poles, you should be able to find some composite wood that is often used for railing on decks. The wood I bought was light blue in color and came in long stips. I just bought multiple strips and had Home Depot cut them to the lengths I needed for the frames.

    The fiberglass rolls should be in small plastic packages (it will be rolled up). It has the Pink Panther on it (is this Owens Corning?). It also has a backing on it that makes it easier to glue down with a spray adhesive.

    I got the fabric at a fabric store in Lexington. I can't think for the life of me what the store was called. But any large fabric store should have speaker cover fabric. The store I went to only had black, but if you look around online you might be able to find various colors.

    Once I get back to my apartment on Sunday, I can try to give you the exact UPCs of the items if you still aren't able to find all the supplies. Hope it works out for you!

    Brandon Smith
     
  14. DelRay

    DelRay Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the speaker material you're reffering to is actually quilt batting. Available in different thicknesses. For my acoustic panels I used #8. Joanns carries it. Very affordable.
     
  15. Sean_avnut

    Sean_avnut Extra

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    Cool, thanks.. I'm still up in the air about whether I should do it myself or not.

    I want them to look good. I really like the look of my theater and don't want a shoddy job.
     

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