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Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

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wilro15's picture
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I think there have been a couple of threads on this in the past but I wonder if anyone has any practical experience that they can share?

I have recently redecorated my living room which went from a cluttered, carpeted room with curtains to a minimal, tidy room with laminate floors. The room now has a terrible echo/reverb and badly fails the hand clap test.  

My hifi has become almost unlistenable as the high frequency reverb gives me earache and really ruins the sound quality.

I will be investing in a rug or two for the floor, but I am a bit stuck on what to do with the walls.  I was hoping to print off some attractive artwork canvases like these and fill the back of them with acoustic foam.  However from what I can gather they are printed with an oil based paint which would be just as reflective as my walls.

The good thing about that site is you get a good sized canvas for about £30 - £50.

Does anyone know where I can get acoustic panels with artwork printed on that aren't hideously expensive?

 

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

http://gikacoustics.co.uk/product/gik-artpanel-acoustic-panels/

 

I don't think there's anything around massively cheaper. That type of panel (rockwool) will work a lot better than foam.

 

If you can't breathe through the material then it's going to reflect high frequency sounds back out so canvas prints aren't usually suitable. You might be able to find a printing firm that will print onto a suitable fabric then just make panels yourself.

 

The problem you are likely to have is that you'd need quite a few to make any appreciable difference - one or two aren't going to cut it. Also, the placement is important - a panel at the first reflection point at the sides will do a lot but one placed randomly becaused it looks nice there won't be as effective.

 

Unfortunately modern, sparse rooms are terrible for sound. It is very difficult to get rid of the slap echo without puting in lots of absorbant stuff in - I speak from experience.

 

 

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

I have a similar bare room (4m wide by 5m long with laminate floor and bare walls plus a large mirror), and I have also looked at the same canvas site. 

But first, I tried moving in my speakers as much as could get away with. They are now 1m in from both the side and back walls and this has improved the SQ - and removed any booming. A rug is the next step (when I find one that matches the decor).

If you can - try moving your speakers in to see if that helps, or/and then add the rugs.

I've got a canvas print which was a present - it was produced from a photograph - I've asked and am waiting to find out where they got the print from . Looking at it, I suspect it will absorb some of the sound waves, it's probably better than a bare wall but how much better I couldn't say. I will find out how much it was as well. 

 

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wilro15's picture
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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

In terms of positioning speakers they are as far in as they can go (right up against the TV cabinet in the middle) so my options are limited.

I think I have a good idea of where to put the panels based on what used to be in the room before hand. I suppose there is more science to it than that, but other than the trick of using a mirror I wouldn't know where to start.

Here is an image of the room

 

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wilro15's picture
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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Damn the image thing doesn't work.  This forum software is pants by the way. How do people show images on this site?  It doesn't seem to work.

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wilro15's picture
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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

High freq. are fairly easy to treat, there are kits you can buy for about £100. Bass is more difficult and you need 4"-6" panels to absorb it and room needs measuring to know where to place them.

 

Wilro have you considered some tapestries on the side walls?

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Nice room. But tricky yes! Bass traps are difficult with the door. Position of panel/artwork seems possible tho. U could post query to GIK who will advise. Or mock up some panels to see if they work. My panel cost little as an experiment but I found it of little benefit. I was able to use corner traps.to great effect tho. Personally I would experiment with old carpet and even hanging rockwool just to see its effect. A false wall? How far do you want to go?
Nice room!

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Rememer that no domestic room is ideal - most of us have similar issues - even if the room was carpeted opposing walls will still give you slap echo.

Personally I would go for a bass trap behind each speaker - GIK's 'off white' fabric is quite unobtrusive and you wouldn't really notice a panel behind those speakers. You can either buy ready made (the 244 panel) or DIY.  Something 'soft' at the side of the right speaker (first reflection) would be helpful too as the speaker is very close to the wall. 

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Thanks for all the feedback, very helpful.  My thoughts had been on putting panels on the right hand wall, there used to be three bookcases there before and getting a bigger rug for the floor.

I actually don't have problems with bass - actually quite the opposite, there isn't enough!  The room is quite long, the sofa you see facing the TV sits in the middle of the room.  Behind the sofa is the dining room which is the same size as the sitting area.

This means I don't have a wall right behind me so all the bass gets lost in the room.  As a result I usually turn up the bass control on the Arcam by +2/+3.

I *think* this also means the echo/reverb is coming from the side and the floor rather than behind.

 

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wilro15's picture
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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

This looks like it might be a winner: Photosorption panels from Sound Service

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

wilro15 wrote:

This looks like it might be a winner: Photosorption panels from Sound Service

 

That may work but not sure how much they will absorb, but you could always put more underneath it, make sure its at ear/tweeter level though which may look a bit odd at around 3 feet. I would also consider other options like carpets/rugs on the walls with panels underneath, that whats they used to do in the old days, too good to put on the floor.

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Bass traps don't take away bass - they reduce the reasonance introduced by the room allowing you to hear the bass properly (which can also come across like more bass). You will have reasonance in high and low frequencies  - a bass trap like the 244 I mentioned will work, to an extent, on both.

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

BigH wrote:

That may work but not sure how much they will absorb, 

 

I have panels of similar characteristics in my room - the answer is very little. You could certainly use rockwool panels behind them to make them work better but then you're losing a lot of the aesthetic they're meant to give as you'd need a box frame behind it.

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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

Would this http://www.gowallpaper.co.uk/saarpor-latex-sound-proof-wall-liner.html

 

be any use, not cheap either.

wilro15's picture
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RE: Custom acoustic panels with artwork or photos

BigH wrote:

Would this http://www.gowallpaper.co.uk/saarpor-latex-sound-proof-wall-liner.html

 

be any use, not cheap either.

I think this acts as insulation rather than absorption so I guess would reflect the sound back?  Good for my neighbours I suppose!

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