DIY Furniture With Low Frequency Absorption?

  • Thread starter Sergio Sotolongo
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Sergio Sotolongo

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As the title says. Has anyone tried it? I don't see much on the web. I have a 5.2 set up in my living room. The living room is 17x23x20. My listening position is about a foot off of the 23' wall. Unfortunately, it's the only realistic listening/viewing position. I have some 2" sound panels behind me. I let the wife pick out some fabric and it made some major improvements. The wife would not approve of the 4" kind. In the corners I don't have bass traps because the wife thinks they are unsightly. I know the best place for them is the corner. Has anyone come up with some ideas of what to do there to incorporate a bass trap into some furniture? I was also thinking of some ottoman type furniture with some thick insulation either on top or with an open bottom to allow for absorption. Thanks.
 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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Use the same or some other fabric selected by the wife to custom cover some bass traps. Or even match them to the wall color. GIK can build them custom covered with your choice of image/design on them as well.
Thanks for the suggestion, but that's what I tried initially. The idea of bass traps covering the corners for the entire height of the wall doesn't pass the WAF around here. I had another idea where I would put segments of a corner trap say 12 inches tall and then a small picture stand, and repeat the process. I don't know if it will be more trouble than it's worth though.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

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Many of the normal furnishings in living rooms will dampen low frequencies.

2 inch panels, however, will not.

GIK makes great products (I LOVE the Artpanels!),but, as with any 'sound panel company' they are happy to sell you WAY more than you need.

What are you hearing that is leading you to think more absorption is needed? Are you able to take acoustic measurements?
 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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#5
The living room is huge. 17x23x20. There still an echo after putting some panels and with a large sectional. The sectional is leather though. With kids, the wife insisted on leather to make it easier to wipe down when they sneak something in and spill it. As you said, 2" won't absorb low frequencies and everything I've read says I need some low frequency absorption especially in the corners. I don't have equipment for taking measurements. I've used some of the set ups others have put online and created with excel calculators. I know it may not be as precise as actual measurements but after inputting all the measurements it asks for, I have a huge drop in db at about 200htz.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

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#6
The living room is huge. 17x23x20. There still an echo after putting some panels and with a large sectional. The sectional is leather though. With kids, the wife insisted on leather to make it easier to wipe down when they sneak something in and spill it. As you said, 2" won't absorb low frequencies and everything I've read says I need some low frequency absorption especially in the corners. I don't have equipment for taking measurements. I've used some of the set ups others have put online and created with excel calculators. I know it may not be as precise as actual measurements but after inputting all the measurements it asks for, I have a huge drop in db at about 200htz.
Have you level matched all of the speakers as closely as possible across the seats of the couch?

When listening to familiar music, is the bass tight or do drums sound bloated or exaggerated?

Are spoken voices clear and easily understood, or do you find a need to turn up the center channel?

An echo does not indicate a need for bass absorption. I have a tall ceiling as well and eliminated the echo with 3 of GIK Acoustics ARTPanels (I chose a vivid stock photo of the Golden Gate Bridge for my wife) and a single 4" panel on the opposite wall - anymore and I found the room to sound dead and uncomfortable to listen in.

If you are not permitted to hang the ARTPanels either, you can hide absorbing materials behind window and door valences, buy more pillows or couches (just put a decorative (washable) cover on them - no more leather!) add and fill a bookshelf, add an area rug with a thick pad - things like that.

Corner absorption is a marketing trick, do not spend your money there! Sure having more absorption is good, but corners are the least ideal location for bass absorption as a corner represents a pressure minimum according to measurements.
 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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#7
Have you level matched all of the speakers as closely as possible across the seats of the couch?

When listening to familiar music, is the bass tight or do drums sound bloated or exaggerated?

Are spoken voices clear and easily understood, or do you find a need to turn up the center channel?

An echo does not indicate a need for bass absorption. I have a tall ceiling as well and eliminated the echo with 3 of GIK Acoustics ARTPanels (I chose a vivid stock photo of the Golden Gate Bridge for my wife) and a single 4" panel on the opposite wall - anymore and I found the room to sound dead and uncomfortable to listen in.

If you are not permitted to hang the ARTPanels either, you can hide absorbing materials behind window and door valences, buy more pillows or couches (just put a decorative (washable) cover on them - no more leather!) add and fill a bookshelf, add an area rug with a thick pad - things like that.

Corner absorption is a marketing trick, do not spend your money there! Sure having more absorption is good, but corners are the least ideal location for bass absorption as a corner represents a pressure minimum according to measurements.
For level matching, I've only measured it at the main listening position. For the standing wave, I have measured at the main listening position and the two spots where the wife sits.

Depending on the movie, I may have to turn up the center channel. Dunkirk the other day was hard to listen to at times. If I'm watching one of the Transformers movies, I really don't. I know that the panels have improved the sound in here because after adding the panels, the Transformers movies sounded like a different movies. Sometimes there are scenes were the audio sounded a little muffled and others were it sounds like just the highs are working.

How did you get the echo controlled with that few sound panels? Is it that the 4" one work that well? I have a few behind the main listening position a few on the two adjacent walls and two on the front wall higher up so they do not line up directly opposed to the ones behind me. I do have a rug on the floor, but I am going to add some padding underneath to help out.

If corners are not that ideal, then great. I have some ideas like creating an ottoman with an open bottom to allow the insulation to work. I'll have to put some more thought into it to make sure it's as helpful as possible. The wife wanted me to build a new home entertainment center. That will have some shelving on the sides for the books. I was also looking at building a possible acoustic diffusor.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

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For level matching, I've only measured it at the main listening position. For the standing wave, I have measured at the main listening position and the two spots where the wife sits.

Depending on the movie, I may have to turn up the center channel. Dunkirk the other day was hard to listen to at times. If I'm watching one of the Transformers movies, I really don't. I know that the panels have improved the sound in here because after adding the panels, the Transformers movies sounded like a different movies. Sometimes there are scenes were the audio sounded a little muffled and others were it sounds like just the highs are working.

How did you get the echo controlled with that few sound panels? Is it that the 4" one work that well? I have a few behind the main listening position a few on the two adjacent walls and two on the front wall higher up so they do not line up directly opposed to the ones behind me. I do have a rug on the floor, but I am going to add some padding underneath to help out.

If corners are not that ideal, then great. I have some ideas like creating an ottoman with an open bottom to allow the insulation to work. I'll have to put some more thought into it to make sure it's as helpful as possible. The wife wanted me to build a new home entertainment center. That will have some shelving on the sides for the books. I was also looking at building a possible acoustic diffusor.
I have an open living room with a 16ft peak sloped ceiling - not as large as yours.

The 4 panels mounted high (need a ladder) effectively controlled the echo alone.

I also added a FreeStand panel in front of a window that unfortunately sits between a front speaker and the couch. (otherwise I do not recommend absorbing first reflections) There are also 2 - 6" panels taking care of a 'booming' room mode. So that is a total of 7 panels. The weird layout of the room doesn't allow for many DIY solutions, unfortunately.

Book spines work well as a natural diffusor as well as providing some absorption. You are thinking right if you are already planning some DIY solutions - the world does not sound better simply because of acoustic panels. The normal furnishings of a home can be more than adequate when used appropriately.

I also think GIK acoustics Art panels are just awesome and are definitely spouse friendly! They use Dye sublimation printing so it fully soaks each thread as opposed to a surface-only coat application that might peel or flake. I see they also have (finally) started offering them in multiple sizes - 242 was all that was available when I bought about 5 years ago. They will print any image as long as you have the rights to it - I think I paid an extra $20 or $30 for the image....

 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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#9
I have an open living room with a 16ft peak sloped ceiling - not as large as yours.

The 4 panels mounted high (need a ladder) effectively controlled the echo alone.

I also added a FreeStand panel in front of a window that unfortunately sits between a front speaker and the couch. (otherwise I do not recommend absorbing first reflections) There are also 2 - 6" panels taking care of a 'booming' room mode. So that is a total of 7 panels. The weird layout of the room doesn't allow for many DIY solutions, unfortunately.

Book spines work well as a natural diffusor as well as providing some absorption. You are thinking right if you are already planning some DIY solutions - the world does not sound better simply because of acoustic panels. The normal furnishings of a home can be more than adequate when used appropriately.

I also think GIK acoustics Art panels are just awesome and are definitely spouse friendly! They use Dye sublimation printing so it fully soaks each thread as opposed to a surface-only coat application that might peel or flake. I see they also have (finally) started offering them in multiple sizes - 242 was all that was available when I bought about 5 years ago. They will print any image as long as you have the rights to it - I think I paid an extra $20 or $30 for the image....

Nice picture, but's that not a 4" thick frame right? It's bigger than one I have up, but you're also higher. I might have to experiment and try moving it up a little higher. That might help. I'm going to have to also come up with some ways of integrating some larger ones into the room. A couple of 4 and a 6 did it for you. I see from the corners of the pics, you also have drapes. That has to help. I have the wooden blinds though. I'm sure that reflects though.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

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Nice picture, but's that not a 4" thick frame right? It's bigger than one I have up, but you're also higher. I might have to experiment and try moving it up a little higher. That might help. I'm going to have to also come up with some ways of integrating some larger ones into the room. A couple of 4 and a 6 did it for you. I see from the corners of the pics, you also have drapes. That has to help. I have the wooden blinds though. I'm sure that reflects though.

At the time I purchased these 5+ years ago, 242 panels were the only available ARTpanel option (maybe 2x2 square also). The opposite wall has a single 244.

Though, you should understand that the room is a part of the playback system - therefore, what worked in my room, unfortunately, is irrelevant to what your room may need.

The drapes only block out the light for my projection system. The left side has a 5ft FreeStand behind it. You can also hide lots of absorption behind the decorative valence that sometimes goes over the top of drapes.
 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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At the time I purchased these 5+ years ago, 242 panels were the only available ARTpanel option (maybe 2x2 square also). The opposite wall has a single 244.

Though, you should understand that the room is a part of the playback system - therefore, what worked in my room, unfortunately, is irrelevant to what your room may need.

The drapes only block out the light for my projection system. The left side has a 5ft FreeStand behind it. You can also hide lots of absorption behind the decorative valence that sometimes goes over the top of drapes.
I understand that each room is different. What I meant to say it that I probably don't need a boatload of panels to control the sound. I can go with fewer strategically placed panels.

I'm not sure what you mean by free stand? Is that a specific type of panel? I'm not familiar with it. Unfortunately we have wood blinds in this house. So I have to compensate for the reflection that's probably giving me too.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

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I understand that each room is different. What I meant to say it that I probably don't need a boatload of panels to control the sound. I can go with fewer strategically placed panels.

I'm not sure what you mean by free stand? Is that a specific type of panel? I'm not familiar with it. Unfortunately we have wood blinds in this house. So I have to compensate for the reflection that's probably giving me too.
Sorry for the delay, I’ve been out of town...

GIK Acoustic’s makes a ‘Freestand’ panel that can go anywhere. It has two metal feet and I believe is 5ft tall x 2ft wide (I have it behind a curtain so I haven’t looked at it in a while)

But yes, my purpose in mentioning other ways to absorb was so that you would not need to buy lots of panels. More money in panels means less money for speakers! Haha!

Good luck!
 
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Sergio Sotolongo

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Sorry for the delay, I’ve been out of town...

GIK Acoustic’s makes a ‘Freestand’ panel that can go anywhere. It has two metal feet and I believe is 5ft tall x 2ft wide (I have it behind a curtain so I haven’t looked at it in a while)

But yes, my purpose in mentioning other ways to absorb was so that you would not need to buy lots of panels. More money in panels means less money for speakers! Haha!

Good luck!
No worries. We all have lives to live. I can't do a whole lot right now. I'm swamped, so this something to do during some down time I will have in a few weeks.

Less money for speakers?
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