With the completion of my basement (which included a dedicated HT room) almost three years ago, I have been experimenting with acoustical treatment methods. I started with furniture, progressed to DIY fiberglass wall panels and have ended with constructing DIY “tube traps”. This is a quick note on my results to date.
I now have seven tube traps for my room in various states of completion. The traps were constructed using the Jon Risch method. This project was broken into several phases and has taken over two years to reach this stage due to having a one-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son.
The first phase consisted of constructing three 16” diameter x 48” tall tube traps. These were placed in three corners of the room. The forth corner has a fireplace so a larger trap was not constructed. The improvement in acoustics for this trial was encouraging enough to continue with a phase two of the project.
Phase two saw the construction of three 13” x 60” and one 13” x 72” tube traps. Two 60” tall traps are placed against the side walls one third of the distance from the front wall, also in the path of the side wall first reflection point. One 60” tall trap was placed against the left side wall one third of the distance from the rear wall (no corresponding trap was placed along the right wall as this is the start of the fireplace). The 72” tall trap was placed in the right rear corner with the fireplace.
The acoustic improvements achieved at this point are breath taking and have surpassed all expectations. I can now hear additional details in recordings I did not know were present. The dynamic range of the room/system has significantly increased. The soundstage is deeper, it now envelops you and the spatial detail has greatly improved.
At this point, I will now complete construction of the 13” diameter traps. The three 16” diameter traps will be rebuilt into two 16” x 72” traps for the front corners. I am also envisioning a phase three that will see the construction of several traps that can be used around the fireplace. The traps will be built using “pipe insulation” as per the Jon Gale method as it is called. These will be smaller in diameter as well as portable so they can be stored when not required (fire place on in winter).
With the experimentation I have completed, I can not stress the importance of treating the acoustical environment. I now realize that the room is just as, and quite possibly, more important than the reproduction system.
If anyone is interested, further information on tube traps can be found at the ASC web site. There are many documents describing the theory, benefits and placement.
Till next tweak.