lets talk about those super fancy room treatments....

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by jeremyjustic, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    You know , the upside down city skyline things on ceilings, wooden slats angled at different directions, different shapes and angles all over the place. How do they figure out what weird shape to put where? I'm sure there is a science to it but is it something the general enthusiast can do on his own? Now I'm not talking simple sound absorption panels in the first reflection points, I'm talking full on purpose built listening rooms.

    Any of you guys have recommendations of articles to read or any info you could point me to on the different theories behind those types of treatments? Could you share some of your knowledge on how to take room treatments to the next level. Maybe some of the basic ideas behind them. Any suggestions for DIY projects?

    I know this has been discussed heavily on this forum so lets skip the basics and dive head first into full on audiophile nerdom.

    Thanks in advance for the information guys! Here are some pics to make you drool....

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  2. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Die Mause im Radialstrahler...

    Ahem.

    Is anyone else reminded of this?



    More on topic, one might wonder whether organic, rounded shapes of varying radii might be more random, and more effective, than these monuments to symmetry. Has anyone made a listening room out of a kidney-shaped swimming pool?
     
  3. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    Floor treatment.[​IMG]
     
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  4. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    Diffusers are sexy. That's all there is to it. Out of all the acoustic treatment devices, they reign supreme in terms of visual appeal. I've built several different types...poly, QRD, stepped, skyline...and can say that their sonic contribution isn't as readily apparent as a properly constructed and implemented absorption panel...but damn they sure look cool as hell! I like them on the front wall behind dipole designs so the rear wave energy is diffused back into the room. My experience is this creates additional sound stage depth, a little larger sense of scale and improved resolution. When used in adequate numbers and properly located in other areas of the room they can make the space sound larger than it actually is. There's plenty of science behind all of it, and I'll readily admit my understanding of it is minimal, at best. Ideally, you come to the fight against crap acoustics with absorption first and kill the early reflections. Then you add diffusive elements to "liven" the room in a good way..a sonically pleasing way. Diffusers help tweak a space's reverb behavior, as when you start to really get down to business with tuning a room's acoustic profile there is a numerical range (time domain) that is ideal to be in...ahem, I'll let the experts take it from there. Below are a few pics of diffusion implemented on the front wall of a prior listening space, first with QRD well-type diffusers (built using the QRDude design software) flanking a stepped diffuser (Arqen Acoustic's "leanfuser") and in the second picture the central stepped diffuser with additional diffuser modules (panels) in place of the QRD's (which got moved to the rear of the room) to form a modulated fractal array. At floor level are a a pair of poly diffusers.

    image.jpeg

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    Lots of good info on diffusers here...

    http://arqen.com/sound-diffusers/
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  5. HTWillie

    HTWillie Well-Known Member

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    The two main treatments are absorption and diffusion. Absorption catches sound and doesn't give it back. Diffusion scatters sound in all directions (as opposed to simple reflection which bounces off a surface at the same angle at which it hit.) There's also resonators which don't seem very practical unless you live in a cathedral.

    Best book I've found is Master Handbook of Acoustics by F. Alton Everest. Any edition from 2nd onward. I think they're up to 6th ed. now, but earlier ones are dirt cheap on Amazon. They include some DIY approaches to using these techniques.

    The book covers these too.

    I have zero expert creds - I've only read a lot, but the above pretty much captures it. The general scheme is to tame/mute the first reflections between the speakers and the listener, then anything getting past the listener gets diffused so that it's not localiz-able when it eventually returns to the listener.

    Oh - room modes. Again, the book does an excellent job teaching about these and how to tame them.
     
  6. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    Is t
    Hey Michael , How have you been? I hope all is well with you. Love your space and those Threshold amps! Thanks for the info , the website you linked to has some great information. I just quickly scanned it, I'll need to go back and really take my time with all of the information to really digest it. We are currently buying our house (knock on wood) and a livingroom renovation is high up on the list of things to do so I definitely see some DIY diffusers in my future. Thanks so much for the info!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

     

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  7. mfrench

    mfrench AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Shun Mook
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  8. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    Thanks for the book recommendation! I just ordered a 4th edition off of amazon for $6 shipped!
     
  9. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    I have seen those photos before.... definitely an interesting take on room acoustics. I wonder if all those instruments actually have an affect on the sound. Might sound like a silly idea but I know when I built my DIY turntable I used a drumstick for a tonearm and it really made percussion sound much more realistic. I know, sounds far fetched but it did add a more natural tone to the drums. I wonder if having a room full of stringed instruments would have a similar affect on classical music.
     
  10. mkane

    mkane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Miss your posts
     
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  11. unfairlane

    unfairlane AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  12. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    What's been shakin', JJ??? Good stuff evidently, seein' as how you're at the brink of a home purchase. Hope all that comes together to your satisfaction, man (when you're ready to bitch and moan about property taxes I'll gladly sing along with ya).
    I've been doin' alright (for a "privileged" white middle aged male), thanks for askin'! Had to sideline the audio hobby for a spell for a variety of reasons, but I'm kind of inching my way back in. The dedicated listening space I once exploited to its full potential is now used as a rehearsal space for a music project I have going, so I'm trying to build a slightly less ambitious (but still gotta deliver the goods as I can't seem to "unhear" all the prior systems I assembled...dammit) rig in the living room...which has a good number of sonic limitations and restrictions to stand the way of "wham bam thank you ma'am now we're kickin' ass and ridin' high on sonic bliss" that came much more easily in the free for all garage listening space.

    So, basically, I'm now dealing with audio in the real world.

    It's maybe kind of timely that you're approaching the challenge of taming and optimizing the acoustics of a living space and have an interest in the science (and ART) of diffusion. My intention is to get a little wacky with some diffusion in my living room, and my modus operandi is functional, aesthetically groovy, and friggin' easy to build, y'all! Perhaps we can brainstorm and do some cool shit. :idea::smoke:
     
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  13. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    Well thanks, man! Maybe I'll kick it up a notch or two. Kinda miss the hobby.
     
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  14. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    All that work to make point source speakers work in larger rooms. Give me a line array any day.
     
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  15. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    Good to hear you are doing well. I also took a couple of years break from the hobby, sometimes you just have to step back for a bit and just listen to music like a normal person! hahahaha I love the idea of collaborating on some diffuser ideas! AK design collective! lets do it.
     
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  16. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    Lol. Yep, been there, done that, too...;)

    image.jpeg
     
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  17. mfrench

    mfrench AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have no idea. Because I don't know, I can't say anything about it one way or another.
    I've been involved in quite a number of coversations with a guy that is a Shun Mook devotee, and I will assume that there is some sort of effect, as he talks about all of these changes that he hears with the most minor of changes.
    Personally, I did try seeing if acoustic instruments made much if any difference in the way that my room sounded. I have a tenor banjo (four string strumming banjo), a thumb harp (Kalimba), and a tuning fork resonance box with tuning fork (box acts as resonating horn for tuning fork). I tried them all, together and separate, and, cannot say that I heard any changes.
    This was the listening room of the gent that I've had numerous coversations with, regarding his use of Shun Mook.
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    Those vertical "posts" ^^, are for hanging treatment implements.
    Instead of violins, he uses birdhouses. He also uses these wood discs, and cones. He'll suspend them in various areas. He was big on old news paper too, in boxes, and as window covering.

    Me....
    I like laying down to listen to music. I like to be able to get really deeply immersed in it. I have a couch with chaise extension in my music room. When I lie down on the chaise, the back of the couch is in effect my rear wall; its quite dead. I don't ever hear any reflections from the real rear wall of the room.
    My right side wall is highly irregular in its shape; my left wall is broken up by a cabinet that I use as CD storage, and curtains; the wall behind my speakers is covered by two 5x5 Expedit shelves full of records. I've done nothing in regard to treatments beyond that.
     
  18. jeremyjustic

    jeremyjustic Analog

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    Shun Mook..... completely new to me. I also have a 4 string banjo, maybe I need to break it out and see if does anything!
     
  19. tomlinmgt

    tomlinmgt Addicted Member

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    One thing I think is worth mentioning is that there is a distinction that should be understood between true diffusion and simply scattering sonic content. For example, irregularly shaped knick knacks/decor items, bookcases with (staggered) books, shelves with (staggered) cds, etc are not "diffusing" sound/sonic energy in the true sense of the term...at least as far as acoustic engineers are concerned. Those types of items are "scattering" sound...which lies somewhere between a flat reflective surface (not good) and diffusion (very good). I'm generally not so hung up on it, but if you truly want to realize the sonic benefits of actual diffusion (which is controlled, even and predictable diffusion of sonic energy in the time domain over a given spectral range determined by the design of the diffuser device) it takes a carefully constructed diffuser (could be any of several types) placed in the appropriate location and, here's the kicker, in adequate numbers to actually create a difference that can be discerned by the listener. For example...if you place a single small-ish skyline diffuser over the listening position, say a 12"x12" or 18"x18"....you'll likely not hear much difference. As you increase the footprint of that device, however, the likelihood that you will begin to hear something happening will increase. This would be the case for any boundary layer (wall, ceiling, half wall, etc) location....simply stated, the mo' diffusion the betta'. Just look at the pics of high end studios, world class performance venues and full throttle listening rooms....diffusion covers practically all flat surfaces where there is no absorption. Unlike absorption, you really can't have too much diffusion. The only real no-no with diffusion is that you can't sit too close to the device when listening or you'll hear acoustic anomalies and sonic artifacts that are generated near the diffuser device (as a general rule, figure on keeping the LP at least three feet away from true diffuser device). But my point of mentioning all this is more about making it clear that achieving audible results from true diffusion takes A LOT of diffusers...and diffusers are expensive to buy, generally not easy to build, and need to occupy a good bit of real estate to deliver the goods. That having been said, now that I'm in the real world of setting up a listening space in my living room where windows, doors, fireplace mantles, furniture, etc all seem to occupy those spots that are ideal placement locations for acoustic treatments (could be absorption or diffusion), I'm now forced to be a bit more creative about how I go about creating an acoustic treatment scenario for my new listening/living space. And since this is the case for most people (namely the OP since he's looking for some direction with his new listening/living space), I'm interested in (by necessity) creating an inexpensive, effective and aesthetically pleasing acoustic treatment scenario that uses purpose built acoustic treatment devices( for absorption, diffusion and scattering) that work in conjunction with the existing environment and all of its elements....kind of guerilla warfare room acoustics, perhaps. I'm brainstorming and already have some concepts to share. Will return with more later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
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  20. Jeffery

    Jeffery High Powered Mutant

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    Yeah, IMHO the OP kinda poisoned the well when he put "super fancy" in the title. That's gonna get a lot of Shun Mook and whoever it was selling vertical sticks as room treatments (I want to say Mapleshade, but I don't see stuff like that on their site) references here. Along with Magic Rocks/cable risers/$450 wood volume knob and all the other things audiophools flock to (although I've never seen anybody here actually using any of those other than a couple of cable risers) - they're like the booger man that everybody tells you about but nobody has ever seen.
     
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