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keiser1's picture
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Acoustic Panels (home made)
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Hello,

I currently have alot of sound retention in my living room where I watch films,tv and gaming. I've been looking into acoustic panels and found they can be a fairly big cost. The room walls are wood studed with insulation and 18mm plasterboard then skimmed and painted,I then have an engineered oak floor which i dont really want a rug on. (I've read else where that that can stop some echo in the room)

What i'm thinking of doing if it works and is the right way to go about it,is to put building insulation inside these canvases

which is opposite this

Would this be a good idea or really just a waste of time, all other walls are bare so would I need some more panels else where?

Thankyou.

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

Can't do any harm, but with what looks like a regular rectangular room with a wood floor and relatively low ceiling, the reverberations will take a lot more breaking up than that...

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

what mr e. said, my room used to look a bit like that, the sound will be much better when you get the room damped down a bit.  as much as you don't want a rug, they really do work.  the best sounding rooms probably look like an explosion of laura ashley.  stand in the middle of the room and clap your hands loudly, hear that echo?  that's what you're up against.

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

I would suggest that covering an area that small would be a waste of your time. If the room is under 20 square metres then acoustic tiles such as these  http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Acoustic-Room-Sound-Treatment-Foam-15-Wedge-Tiles-/380067852013?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item587dcf2eed#ht_1929wt_906 for about £50 would make a significant difference in damping mid frequency reflections, however it would take a bit of reading up to know where to put them. Also, they aren't the world's most attractive objects and your room would start to look like a recording studio. I have worked a couple of studios with wooden floors which sounded fine so it can't be a lost cause, but I have no idea how the rest of the room areas were treated....a carpet would certainly be helpful but again that would ruin the look of the room..There are a few other options such as having the room professionally treated and designed such as  http://www.geckohomecinema.com/Room-Design-and-Treatment , but this would be very expensive and the room would look nothing like it does now. Um...

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)
Craig M.:what mr e. said, my room used to look a bit like that, the sound will be much better when you get the room damped down a bit.  as much as you don't want a rug, they really do work.  the best sounding rooms probably look like an explosion of laura ashley.  stand in the middle of the room and clap your hands loudly, hear that echo?  that's what you're up against.


I've done the clap test Craig and yep, there's some serious echo to sort out!

keiser1's picture
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)
Andrew Everard:Can't do any harm, but with what looks like a regular rectangular room with a wood floor and relatively low ceiling, the reverberations will take a lot more breaking up than that...


Thanks for the quick response andrew.

keiser1's picture
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)
JohnnyV111:I would suggest that covering an area that small would be a waste of your time. If the room is under 20 square metres then acoustic tiles such as these  http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Acoustic-Room-Sound-Treatment-Foam-15-Wedge-Tiles-/380067852013?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item587dcf2eed#ht_1929wt_906 for about £50 would make a significant difference in damping mid frequency reflections, however it would take a bit of reading up to know where to put them. Also, they aren't the world's most attractive objects and your room would start to look like a recording studio. I have worked a couple of studios with wooden floors which sounded fine so it can't be a lost cause, but I have no idea how the rest of the room areas were treated....a carpet would certainly be helpful but again that would ruin the look of the room..There are a few other options such as having the room professionally treated and designed such as  http://www.geckohomecinema.com/Room-Design-and-Treatment , but this would be very expensive and the room would look nothing like it does now. Um...


Hello Johnny and thanks for your info, Yes


I checked out your link to the first site and they look like the real deal but the design is not really living room friendly. I was thinking that I could live with it and ignore the fact they are there but the Mrs gave it the big no. The second link was certainly an eye opener and looks like some serious cash could be parted with there, I may contact them and see if they can offer any advice.


To be honset it seems that this idea of putting panels up to stop the echo is alot more complicated then first thought as its not a case of just putting them anywhere. As i've nothing to lose I'll have a go at the diy panels first and see if that produces any results.


Cheers

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

i would suggest you use a bog standard acoustic partition roll which is easily available from a builders merchant and comes in varying thicknesses. further i myself would use a knauf apr as its one of the few that isnt itchy.

Anonymous
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

FWIW, I've made some acoustic panels from rockwool which work really well. What's more, they even have approval from my wife who actually likes them. If you build them yourself, you can fit a fabric that matches the room. It's probably best to concentrate on the first and second reflection points on the side walls, if this is practical. I'm no acoustics expert but what I've experienced makes these DIY panels one of the best upgrades I've made.

There are quite a few sites out there that will provide the informtion necessary to build them and it really quite easy. Pics of home made panels:

Side wall:

 

 Rear broadband absorbers behind the main speakers:


 Edit:

There is also a rug on the floor - you just can't see it!

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

Nice set up ericleroi and those panels are pleasing on the eye great job Yes. I really only have 2 walls to put the panels on as from left of the seating position there's a window. Would I be right in saying the wall with the canvases on and the side wall to the right of the sofa would be the main reflection points? 

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

Looks very slick. DIY is fun, though Advanced Acoustics make something similar if you don't have time etc to make some yourself (with the benefit that they're tried and tested). Always loved the picture ones as it just looks like art to the non informed!

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)
keiser1:Nice set up ericleroi and those panels are pleasing on the eye great job Yes. I really only have 2 walls to put the panels on as from left of the seating position there's a window. Would I be right in saying the wall with the canvases on and the side wall to the right of the sofa would be the main reflection points? 

"Reflection points" are where the soundwaves hit surfaces, therefore soundwaves directly from speakers are known as "first reflections." When they bounce off the surfaces the first few bounces are known as "early reflections." If the sound is caught any absorbent object, be it a rug, sofa, acoustic foam or rockwool, in a first or an early reflection, it will be damped to some extent and less likely to bounce uncontrolled around the room causing unacceptable "reverb." You are experiencing "reverb" as distinct from "echo" in which case you would hear each reflection individually, as shouting through a tunnel.

Unfortunately soundwaves aren't fussy about hitting things like windows but no domestic listening environment is ever perfect. The rockwool idea seems good - the above photos look brilliant and it could see off the worst of the problem. Perhaps you could ask your wife if she'd like to choose the colour and if she OKs the project then spend a few hours reading up on the Internet about the amount and placement of the panels for your room. Not a complete cinch but definitely worth it...

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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)
JohnnyV111:
keiser1:Nice set up ericleroi and those panels are pleasing on the eye great job Yes. I really only have 2 walls to put the panels on as from left of the seating position there's a window. Would I be right in saying the wall with the canvases on and the side wall to the right of the sofa would be the main reflection points? 


"Reflection points" are where the soundwaves hit surfaces, therefore soundwaves directly from speakers are known as "first reflections." When they bounce off the surfaces the first few bounces are known as "early reflections." If the sound is caught any absorbent object, be it a rug, sofa, acoustic foam or rockwool, in a first or an early reflection, it will be damped to some extent and less likely to bounce uncontrolled around the room causing unacceptable "reverb." You are experiencing "reverb" as distinct from "echo" in which case you would hear each reflection individually, as shouting through a tunnel.


Unfortunately soundwaves aren't fussy about hitting things like windows but no domestic listening environment is ever perfect. The rockwool idea seems good - the above photos look brilliant and it could see off the worst of the problem. Perhaps you could ask your wife if she'd like to choose the colour and if she OKs the project then spend a few hours reading up on the Internet about the amount and placement of the panels for your room. Not a complete cinch but definitely worth it...

Thank you very much for your info Johnny, (every day's a school day!) the above has really simplified things for me.  The wife likes the idea of colour matching so this looks like the road im going to go down. I'm quite keen to read up some more and make sure I get the correct placements,fabrics etc as I like to do things right and do it once!

keiser1's picture
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

Having a look at some insulation and I came across this, only 15mm thick but dont really know if the thickness was to make much of a difference?


http://www.insulationexpress.co.uk/Acoustic-Insulation/Karma-Acoustic-Easy-Panel.htm

Anonymous
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

It looks like the question about reflection points has been answered already. From my research, the best type of acoustic panels tend to be around 50mm in depth, with the broadband absorbers being 100mm (2 slabs of 50mm). It sounds a lot but the 50mm can be made into a feature effectively adding blocks of colour to the decor which gives a contemporay look; it seems like it would go well in your room. I appreciate that what your wife thinks is a very important factor in making any decision.

I read around about the best rockwool material to use in terms of absorbtion properties with me ending up with something called Rockwool RW3 which I bought from Studiospares. For the fabric, I chose something from Camira - Lucia - which I checked was acoustically transparent. They provide samples if you sign up to their website. I bought the fabric itself from ebay.

I have to say that I really was amazed at what these panels did for the sound in the room. 

As indicated, ready made panels are also an option if you want convenience.

Anonymous
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Re: Acoustic Panels (home made)

....following on from the previous post, another key point to note: it's important that acoustically transparent material is used for the fabric.

Aso, in terms of identifying reflection points on the side walls, a mirror comes in handy with determining where the panels should be placed. When sitting in your normal listening position, ask someone to hold a mirror against the wall and move it along it's length. When you see the speaker in the mirror, that is typically where the panels should be placed.

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