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lawdog
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Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 11 2010 - 1:46pm
Home made room tuning that's better than most pro stuff

After spending a fortune on equipment and music my spouse balked at the idea of spending more big bucks on room tunes, etc. So after checking out the various room tuning stuff at the local high end dealers to see what the stuff was and how it was placed, I went to Lowes and bought some cheap cardboard circular forms normally used for concrete in various diameters (dirt cheap!) and then went buy the dollar store to buy various sound absorption materials like sponges and the like. I then picked up 100 pounds of clean sand and grabbed some of the tubes used to separate golf clubs from my golf bag, cut them down to about 4 inches lower than the desired height of each specific tube and built my own.

After cutting the cardboard to the length desired, cement the bottom to a wooden circular piece of wood that's about 1.5 inches thick and larger in diameter than your selected cardboard tube.

After it dries, wrap the outside edge of the inside of the tube with sheets of sponge-like material that reaches from top to bottom, cementing it to the cardboard. Then fill the bottom of the cardboard with a few inches of sand. In the middle of the tube stick your golf tube in solidly and fill it with sand. Then throw all your damping materials around the inside of the tube until it's nearly fill. Then pour more sand on the top and let it seep down in between your damping material and then add an inch or two to the top of it until the tube is full. Cement a second circle of wood that's identical to the one on the bottom, (add some material from your local fabric shop that will match your decor around the tube) and viola! You have an killer room dampener. You might want to stain the circular cuts of wood to match the material you've selected for the tube.

Anyway, I did this with several different pairs of lengths and diameters, set them up the way the local high end stores presented the pro stuff and listened, making adjustments in placements as I went along. When I finally found the best combinations, my friend who has invested thousands in this stuff brought his pro stuff over and we "a-b'ed" everything. My home made stuff turned out to be every bit as good as his and he went home swearing about high end rip offs.

(I also went and bought bed padding that is foam and egg-crate shaped that folks who are bed ridden use to avoid developing bed sores. My local department store had everything I needed. I then stapled the pieces to sheets of plywood cut down to the sizes I wanted and added them to the mix to approximate what room tunes did. Bingo! An even greater overall improvement at very little additional cost.

You can do this for very little jack. Why pay a bunch of money for a name? Besides, you're friends will love and respect you that much more when they "hear" how you improved your sound without taking out yet another mortgage on your home! ;)

geoffkait
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Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Room Tuning - is Homemade worth it?

There are a number of ways to look at this, and a lot depends on what you're trying to accomplish and how much effort you put into getting the most out of the store bought room tuning products. There's quite a few locations in a room where a given room tuning device won't work properly or will actually hurt the sound. It's not unusal for folks to give up too quickly on this or that product since it can take considerable experimentation to determine optimum locations. Some room tuning devices lend themselves to knocking off and audiophiles have attempted, with varying success, to knock off Shakti Holographs, Skyline diffusers, Bass Traps, Sonex foam, Acoustic Discs resonators, Room Tune Corner Tunes, Mpingo discs. Given the relatively low cost of many room tuning devices you have to ask yourself, is knocking them off really worth the expense and effort, esp. when you wind up with something that may not work nearly as well as the original product and that may have a tendency to look very homemade, you know, cardboard, egg cartons and such? Besides, can't a lot of "Pro" room tuning products be found on the used market? So, what's the point of going to the trouble of knocking them off?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

tmsorosk
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Last seen: 3 weeks 21 hours ago
Joined: Dec 5 2010 - 12:34pm
Home made tuners

I've made many home made tuners of different types over the years , they work great . they may not work quite as well as the prebuilt ones , but the cost is very little . I friend purchased some expensive room tunes that now reside in his garage . I guess after a few years they were deemed socially unexceptable . There are pictures of my absorbers and system on A-gons site , under virtual systems , heading ( opinions please) same user name , system name is ( built in budget beater ) .

Drtrey3
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Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
My effort

I made exactly one home brew echo buster. Before the birth of our triplets, I had a little room with a stereo and speakers and nothing else. The echo sucked! So I hung a rug on the back wall and that helped a bit. I looked into some devices to put in the corners but was too cheap to purchase any.

So I went to Home Depot and looked at the carpet pad they had and a guy there gave me a few feet. I cut 12 similar sized triangle, glued them into groups of three, then lightly tacked them in the corners. They really helped a lot!

Now I am sure they were not as lovely or even effacacious as something I would have purchased, but I am stll proud of my little audio project.

Trey

Doctor Fine
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Joined: Dec 13 2010 - 1:13pm
Room taming accessories

I use tapestries and Sonex if possible to get rid of slap echo from walls in general and to tame first relection nasality around a speaker if it is on or too near a wall. Both are cheap and look acceptable in various rooms.

Wall to wall carpet on the floor if usefull to tame the room echo and for the most part bare floors are to be avoided. Those are all my basic parameters when I look at a messed up room and most of them are pretty messed up unless they were designed as control rooms.

It is important to achieve room lock by moving box speakers around until you find their optimum launch position. Muddy sound can sometimes occur by a move of less than a quarter inch in the wrong direction! If the room is beset with echo it just makes your job of moving the speakers around that much harder as all that relection makes for a confused mess.

If you know going in that the room will have to remain fairly hoot-y and untamed because of the look of the architecture etc perhaps you need to consider line source speakers such as planars and electorstatic panels. These transmit energy to your ear without bouncing off walls and floors so they are a lot easier to get an acceptable sound in a bouncy location.

However planars and electrostatics usually only sound best when you are sitting in an exact "sweet spot," so some folks don't like them if they care to get up and walk around the room.

In general I find room damping and speaker moving will account for a greater quality improvement than doubling or tripling one's equipment budget. I am a big fan of bi-amping and tri-amping and the use of multiple drivers in separate boxes so as to allow for perfect in-phase launch points and superior frequency response and soundstaging. But even a simple shoebox size pair of mini monitors will benefit tremendously from taming the environment and moving the speakers around while listening for room lock.

Room lock is defined as that exact spot where vocalists voices suddenly sound palpable and solid and the bass response is deep and flat too. There are books on the subject of exact set-up and one excellent one is Jim Smith's. Some years ago Tascam (the recording folks) and Yamaha had fairly usefull room setup how-to books. A lot of usefull acoustic tuning information is floating around if you look for it. All tremendously valuable if you want to be intoxicated with your results even before you pour yourself a nice refreshing beverage...

geoffkait
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Last seen: 7 min 34 sec ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Sonex and Electrostatics
Doctor Fine wrote:

I use tapestries and Sonex if possible to get rid of slap echo from walls in general and to tame first relection nasality around a speaker if it is on or too near a wall. Both are cheap and look acceptable in various rooms.

Wall to wall carpet on the floor if usefull to tame the room echo and for the most part bare floors are to be avoided. Those are all my basic parameters when I look at a messed up room and most of them are pretty messed up unless they were designed as control rooms.

It is important to achieve room lock by moving box speakers around until you find their optimum launch position. Muddy sound can sometimes occur by a move of less than a quarter inch in the wrong direction! If the room is beset with echo it just makes your job of moving the speakers around that much harder as all that relection makes for a confused mess.

If you know going in that the room will have to remain fairly hoot-y and untamed because of the look of the architecture etc perhaps you need to consider line source speakers such as planars and electorstatic panels. These transmit energy to your ear without bouncing off walls and floors so they are a lot easier to get an acceptable sound in a bouncy location.

However planars and electrostatics usually only sound best when you are sitting in an exact "sweet spot," so some folks don't like them if they care to get up and walk around the room.

In general I find room damping and speaker moving will account for a greater quality improvement than doubling or tripling one's equipment budget. I am a big fan of bi-amping and tri-amping and the use of multiple drivers in separate boxes so as to allow for perfect in-phase launch points and superior frequency response and soundstaging. But even a simple shoebox size pair of mini monitors will benefit tremendously from taming the environment and moving the speakers around while listening for room lock.

Room lock is defined as that exact spot where vocalists voices suddenly sound palpable and solid and the bass response is deep and flat too. There are books on the subject of exact set-up and one excellent one is Jim Smith's. Some years ago Tascam (the recording folks) and Yamaha had fairly usefull room setup how-to books. A lot of usefull acoustic tuning information is floating around if you look for it. All tremendously valuable if you want to be intoxicated with your results even before you pour yourself a nice refreshing beverage...

I find myslef disagreeing with the idea that electrostatic speakers do not bounce energy off the walls. On the contrary, they are excellent at bouncing energy off the rear walls; that is why Quad used to recommend horsehair mats be positioned behind their electrostatic panels. But I agree with you on side walls.

On the touchy subject of Sonex, my Pet Peeve No. 5. They seem like such a good idea, too, but even a little bit in a room does something very unwelcome to the sound IMHO. I can only imagine how abominable the sound must be in those recording control rooms you see with Sonex covering the entire surface of the walls. I can live with slap echo, I canna abide Sonex.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

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