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dfidler 26th March 2011 10:03 PM

Black Hole in your listening room; room treatment
Hey Guys,

I went to Audio World '11 today and, during one of the lectures, was shown some sound damping board that blew my mind.

It was about 1.25-1.5 inches thick, the front side of which was veneered and had tiny holes in it while the back looked like a thin piece of MDF with much larger holes in it. Upon looking through it, I couldn't see any light through it so obviously there's something going on inside of it, but it was amazingly light; kinda like holding a frame made of balsa wood.

Anyways, the room was really noisy (people chatting, projector fan, etc) and when I held this board 12" away from my ear (veneered/tiny holed side) the room went completely quiet; ALL background noise disappeared. It was the most amazing thing that I'd never not heard. It was like there was a black hold next to my ear absorbing all of the background noise and the speaker's voice (the guy speaking at the front of the room) was the only thing I could hear.

I got my wallet out ready to buy as much of it as I was sure to be unable to afford but was (thankfully) told that it was still under development and wasn't available on the market and what he had was a sample given to him by the company that's developing the concept.

Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the name of the designer [and have since forgotten] but are all room treatments this dramatic or does it sound like I'm exaggerating (which, I assure you, I'm not... it really was that good)? I was told that it's not useful for lows but it works great for mids/highs.

What really impressed me was that not only was it really effective at killing the errant sound bouncing around the room, it looked amazing with the wood veneer on the front... it is definitely something that would be wife-approved, on looks alone.

This was the first time I'd heard something like this so I'm not sure if this kind of experience with room treatment solutions is common. Does anyone know what this stuff is or if this experience is pretty common with room treatments?


marce 27th March 2011 08:05 AM

This may be similar.

dfidler 27th March 2011 10:27 AM

Yes, those are very similar and might even be the company that does them.

The stuff that I was holding had holes that were about 0.5mm wide and 2-4 mm apart so it became difficult to see the holes from not too far a way (10 feet or so). The smallest holes on that one are 1.5mm wide and 8mm apart.

But net-net is that it's pretty close. I think I might buy a few and make some panels for the livingroom (provided that they are not prohibitively expensive that is).

PS - I found another company that does them also: Timber Veneered Acoustic Panels from Salex Acoustics

But 67mm thickness is about twice that of the panels that I saw.

geraldfryjr 27th March 2011 02:33 PM

Those are very nice looking panels indeed and I bet rather pricey aswell.
They use a technique called "perforated panel absorber" and "Helmholtz resonators" and are very effective in reducing room reverberations.
Much nicer looking than some of the common charcol grey egg crate foam (like sonex ) that I used in my studio back in 1995.

Let me introduce you to the book " The Master Handbook of Acoustics 3rd edition" by F. Alton Everest from Tab Books, ISBN 0-8306-4438-5 AND ISBN 0-8306-4437-7 (pbk.)

This book is loaded with data and how to's of construction of such panel absorbers as well as many other types.
Such as Quadratic diffusers, slot diffuser, diagphram absorbers ,helmotz resonaters,tube traps for bass, how to properly build walls, aswell as an overwelming ton of data on material absorbtion and reflection coeffceints.
You name it,it is in that book.

I call it the bible (if you will) on sound room treatment.

Using the data from this book (mainly, aswell as few few others) is what I used to transform my house into a recording studio.

The sound we got rivaled many (if not all) of the local studios in my area and I,m not talking about your average garage band studio.
I'm talking about ones that were well built and well thought out and executed.

On several ocassions a,vocalist or guitarist or the engineer himself, would come by to check the place out and say "what did you do? We can't seem to get the same sound that I got over here at my place and we tried everything ,what are we doing wrong?" ( and of course I would say "why are you recording over there in the first place ha,ha,ha,ha") sorry I don't mean to gloat a bit ,but, facts are facts and that is a true story as we were very good friends with all of the local musicians and recording studio people , some very famous.

But all joking aside it was all because of that book.
Aswell as this one "Sound System Engineering 2nd edition by Don & Carolyn Davis" from SAMS, ISBN 0-672-21857-7 .

Both of these are execelent and are a must have on anyones bookshelf intrested in audio. jer

dfidler 28th March 2011 07:09 PM

@geraldfryjr - Amazon thanks you, SWMBO glares at you angrily and I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. :)

geraldfryjr 29th March 2011 12:02 AM

Well,ya gotta have whatcha gotta have.
I have one other good book around here too but it is still in a box somewhere when I find I'll just pdf it for you and send it to ya super mail,how's that. jer

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