Auralex Vs. PartsExpress acoustic foam

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by NickSo, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Just wondering if Auralex foam is much MUCH better than the stuff they sell at Parts Express:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage....ctGroup_ID=333

    My home theater isnt a super high end one, but we'd like to optimize the room to make the gear sound as good as possible. The auralex stuff is pretty pricey, just wondering if this partsexpress stuff would suffice.

    Also, how would one find out where to place these acoustic panels in the HT room? As a rule of thumb should it go at the first reflection surface?
     
  2. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    Well, the parts express ones are about the same price as auralex, The Bass trap corner peices are $27.50 from auralex through sweetwater, and $29.65 through parts express, it's just that you can order small boxes through parts express. Given the number of colors available from auralex, and the fact that their foam is more fire-retardent than most, would seem to me to be reason to buy from them.

    I don't think that the first reflection "system" is all that valid in a surround setup, seeing as most all surfaces are first reflection from one speaker or another. I treated my ceiling, and a strip around the wall at ear level. You can see pictures by clicking on my gallery icon.
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Edit: Nevermind, i should learn to read... it is a box of 12...

    Thanks for the info chris... how are the items priced on the sweetwater site (per box? how many sheets per box?)? because the auralex 2" studiofoam costs $250+, but for the same looking thing at partsexpress a box of 16 4'x4' is $44.

    Also, should i strictly be using the sound absorbers in an HT, or are diffusers needed as well? How do know where to use absorbers and where to use diffusers?

    Whcih would work better, the pyramidal foam, or the horizontal blades?

    Thanks
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    OTHER!

    Acoustical foam is very expensive compared to rigid fiberboard, and less effective. Buy some fiberboard and make a simple panel and you're good to go!

    Read Ethan's website for more info, etc. You'd have to spend many many hundreds more in foam stuff to try to get the same impact as one cheap batt of fiberboard!
     
  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    No, not *anything* like MDF. MDF is like plywood, but denser. Fiberboard is fiberglass shaped into a board-like form. Think a batt of loose fluffy fiberglass insulation, smashed down so it's not all fluffy, and is more dense. MDF would be a terrible absorber, to absorb you need porous material like cloth, open cell foam, or fiberglass. Fiberboard is excellent, cheap, and super-easy to put into a panel. Foams are usually very thin, and you need more thickness to absorb deeper into the low freq.

    Look:

    http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics....d%20fiberglass

    Read the whole article too.

    It's easy to wrap some fiberboard in fabric, make a simple frame, stick fiberboards in it, staple gun fabric over it, voila. You can put some more effort and craftsmanship to make em nicer if you want. I paid about 120 bucks for two batts of fiberboard, which is enough for 6 2x4 ft panels 4 inches thick, and corner absorbers in the rear floor to ceiling. God knows how much foam you'd have to buy to do that! Those little 1 inch thick foam squares are really pretty worthless in comparison.
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    search this form for fiberboard, or 703 or 705 and read up, this has been explained a lot, also dig up Bob Gold's website for a giant list of absorption coefficients for various thicknesses/spacing of absorbing material, etc.
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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  9. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    Sweetwater sells buy the box. You have to look at the detailed product descriptions to see how much is in a box, as it varies. The "wedges" absorb more than the "pryamids" because they have more mass.

    The thing I like about the foam is that it is very forgiving and easy to work with. The fiberglass panels, while effective and cheap, seem to break into the world of lots of measurement, and a lot of differing opinions on what worked best.
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    No not really. The problems you are trying to solve and functions of foams and fiberglass are the same in trying to absorb sound. The differences are in cost/performance, aesthetics, and ease of use.

    I suppose foams may be a little easier to deal with, but they are doing the exact same thing as the fiberboard, albeit less effectively (unless you are getting very thick foams, which is $$$$$).
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    well i printed out the article and read it today... good stuff in there...

    If i can find the fiberboard locally, i am definitely gonna go this route now.

    Thanks a lot guys...
     
  12. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    Nick

    Steels has the Owens Corning 700 series locally in the lower mainland:
    http://www.steels.com/insulationproducts.htm

    The Steels Kelowna rep (I'm in Vernon) said he's sell it to me retail but I did not ask the price at the time. I think it comes in 2x4 foot sheets, 12 per package.

    They also have the Roxul products similar to OC but made in Canada.

    Bob Golds coefficients page given by Chris is a good place to compare the products.

    I'm planning on going the 703 route in a 2x2 frame backed by pegboard for more strength, then cover it with something from Guilfords of Maine (who also has a Canadian Distributor in Quebec):
    http://www.guilfordofmaine.com/
     

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