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  1. #1

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    Default Acoustic Panel Madness

    I know there have been threads posted before showing very tactful, elegant, rich looking acoustic panels made by the members here...this will NOT be one of them.

    In the spirit of Club Polk Harmony, I almost didn't post this thread. I thought the Rockwool supporters would take offense to my choice of OC703 and an argument would ensue. Then I'd have to find some clever way to blame the bickering on gun control and then inevitably someone would accuse me of having "bad form". So play nice people! There is enough room in this world for Rockwool and Owens Corning fans to live in harmony. I'm trying to bring world peace one acoustic panel at a time. High-five!

    The room is 11.5' wide and 14.5' long, so I'm just trying to make a bad situation a little better. This is a ranch style home with no basement, and my living room has hardwood floors with many windows, so that is why I put a home theater in a small spare bedroom (carpet, one window).

    Attachment 92626Attachment 92627

    I've been searching since this past summer for some used acoustic panels or rigid fiberglass to make panels out of with no luck. The first time I searched on CL, I found four used panels with black fabric within an hours drive, but they were already sold and the guy forgot to delete the listing. Then I thought I found some raw rigid fiberglass, but it wasn't what I needed. I didn't want to order some online because I kept seeing awesome deals on used panels, but they were never in my area. I almost ordered two panels from GIK just to get me started, but decided to just order some Owens Corning online and make them myself. The cheapest place I could find it was a site called BuyInsulationProducts. I don't want to spam the thread, so you can Google it. They had OC704 4"/box of three for $54, but their 2"/box of six was $48 (not including shipping). So if you want to use their four inch product, you are better off buying the two inch and doubling it up. I purchased one box of two inch for $81.91 with UPS ground shipping. Originally I was going to make three 4 inch panels, but changed my mind. I went with two 2'x4'x4" panels for behind my front speakers, which are also near the corners of the room. I had read an article that said even if the panels aren't in the corners, but near the corners, you can get some added benefit by using thicker panels. Since my front speakers are near the corners, I figured I'd try it.

    I have a twin bed behind my chair with one of those new taller/thicker mattresses, so putting 2'x4' panels vertically wouldn't work because the bed is all the way up against the wall. I could have put one horizontally, but I wanted to go with three 2'x2'x2" panels on that wall behind the listening position. Then I made two 1'x2'x2" panels for the side walls for the first reflections. Those were difficult to deal with because I have a desk in the left position and a curio cabinet and chest in the right position. I thought I'd use one 1x2 panel horizontally as a back rest for my desk, and the other 1x2 panel vertically for the curio. I was trying to find a way to use these panels and still make things look decent.

    I went through some leftover lumber I had from various projects. I grabbed a rough grade pine 2x6, some 1/2" plywood, and some quarter round. I thought I had a 1x6 but I must have used it, so I substituted the 1/2" plywood in it's place. I was able to find two 2' sections of the 2x6 that was in good enough shape (no knots) to work with. I cut two pieces 2'2" long. The edges were a little rough, but it didn't matter because I used a router on all four sides. This will be the base of the two floorstanding panels that go behind each front speaker. Sanded it and cut a piece of quarter round to go on the front only, leaving a small reveal above the top most router line. Nailed it, then will eventually prime the two identical pieces and paint them black to match my speakers, equipment, and entertainment stand. I took the plywood and ripped two pieces that were four inches in width using a circular saw with a guide. Cut the two pieces to two feet long. I took two OC703 panels, put them together to make them 4 inches thick, then took the plywood and attached them to the bottoms of the panel. I covered the panels, including the plywood with fabric. I noticed as I handled the fiberglass that it didn't take much to loosen the fiberglass dust from the sheets so I bought enough fabric to cover both side of the panel. It was probably overkill, but I though in case a panel got bumped, knocked over, or fell off the wall, it would prevent fiberglass particles from becoming airborne or making a mess on the floor. Also if I relocate and the panels happen to end up near an air conditioner vent, I'd feel more comfortable not having the backs of the fiberglass panel exposed. I also knew I'd be moving them around a lot until I came up with the proper placement. Now that the fabric is on, I plan to nail the bases to the plywood on the bottoms of the panels. The bases will make the two floor standing unit more stable and bottom heavy. These are for the panels behind the speakers which are out of the way and won't be bumped. The panels actually stand up by themselves without the 2x6 bases because of the plywood.

    Attachment 92629Attachment 92630

    The tools I used were: miter saw, router, sander, nail gun, staple gun. I had a plethora of scrap wood, the only thing I had to buy was the insulation and the fabric. The fabric I bought yesterday. I wanted a very dark color for the two panel behind the speakers. I went with a black microsuede and went with a two-shaded grey alova suedecloth for the rest. I could easily push air through both fabrics, but it was dense enough to hide the insulation, unlike a lot of loosely woven burlap. Ironically the grey looks better but cost less than the black. In Elaine Bennet's words, "I didn't have a square to spare."

    I ended up not going with my original idea of placement. If I hang the three 2x2 panels behind my chair they will be above ear level. And I thought I would benefit more by trying to treat the first reflections on the side walls. I replaced the 1x2 panels with 2x2 panels. I won't be winning any Decorator of the Year Awards anytime soon! I put one 1x2 panel on the side of the chest of drawers and was left with one 2x2 and one 1x2 which I can either put on top the chest or lay against the wall behind my chair, but I don't think they are wide enough to benefit behind the chair. I might go to Garden Ridge and buy a couple large over sized decorative pillows to put on the bed against the wall behind my chair. Nothing is permanently attached to the walls so I can still move everything around. The two Stanley Kubrick Monoliths were originally centered behind each speaker, but I ended up sliding them more towards the TV to cover the bare wall area, they still cover the wall behind the speakers. I really like having that dark background on each side of the TV. When I complete a drawing, I always name them before framing them. So I decided to name my panels in the same tradition. The two monoliths are called Itchy and Scratchy after the condition of my hands during this project.

    Wuji Caviar Solid Black Microsuede 3 yards @ $12.99/yrd $38.97
    Wuji Charcoal/gray solid Alova 3 yards @ $8.99/yrd $26.97 ($70.56 with tax)
    Owens Corning 703-2" 6 panels/box $48.00 + $33.91 UPS Ground ($81.91)
    Two 2'x4'x4"
    Three 2'x2'x2"
    Two 1'x2'x2" panels
    Total cost: $152.47

    GIK Acoustics prices on different packages if I had gone that route:
    242 Acoustic Wood Frame Panels $59.99 each (sold 3 per box $179.97) + $25.46 s/h
    244 Wood Frame Bass Traps $69.99 each (sold 2 per box $139.98) + $25.46 s/h
    Acoustics Spot Panels 24″ x 24″ x 2″ $35 each (sold 6 per box $210.00) + $25.46 s/h

    If I would have bought 1x6 pine board for frames, the savings would have been minimal compared to GIK.

    Attachment 92632Attachment 92633Attachment 92634

    Sometimes I think I would have been better off just investing to a really good set of headphones!
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  2. #2

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    Why aren't my pictures being displayed as thumbnails? I hate everyone!
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
    Monster PowerCenter HTS 5000
    Polk: RTi8 Towers, CSi3 Center, F/Xi3 Surrounds | Polk Subs: PSW125-12", PSW303-8"
    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  3. #3

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    Well,I hope it sounds better? I can say that the space has a warm and cozy feel to it.

    Room treatments are my next task...
    FAMILY ROOM
    TV - Mitsubishi WD-73734 73" DLP 1080P | AVR - Pioneer Elite SC-65 | Source - Sony PS3 Slim 320GB | Front - PolkAudio RT3000p | Center -PolkAudio CS400i | Surround - PolkAudio F/X1000 | Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Behringer EUROPOWER EP2500

    2 Ch Dreaming...hoping to purchase, build someday
    OPPO 105 | Squeezbox Touch | Odyssey, or HALO A21 amp | DIY Statements towers

  4. #4

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    The panels did an extraordinary job of making a crowded room look even more cluttered.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
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  5. #5

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    The monoliths have a four inch space between the panels and the wall. The others are just leaning against the wall with a one inch spacer at the top. If I hang them, I'll put a two inch spacer behind them.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
    Monster PowerCenter HTS 5000
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
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  6. #6

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    Nice work. It's always rewarding to DIY. From what I can see in the finished pics, they look pretty nice.

    I just finished a half dozen of my own panels.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Squeezebox Duet; Oppo BDP-83
    Amps: PS Audio GCPH; PS Audio DLIII(Cullen mods IV); Parasound Halo P3; B & K Reference 200.2
    Speakers: Polk - LSi15's(db sub mod)


    HT
    Amps: Sony - STR-DG1000; Outlaw 200 Mono; Speakers: Polk - CS2, Monitor 70's, RC80i's; Video: Optoma HD20; FAVI HD-100


    Man Cave (In Progress)
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  7. #7

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    The million dollar question is.....has the sound improved or not ?

    I'm leaning to the "not" side as that room looks pretty well dampened.

  8. #8

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    I finished late last night and only got to listen for about 15 minutes as I was placing the panels. Haven't listened today yet. Once I get everything where I want it, I'm going to run the calibration again and see if anything changes in the settings. From what I heard last night, I think it may have a little more clarity. I haven't listened since I switched the 1x2 for the 2x2 on the side walls. I don't know if it will make any difference.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
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    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  9. #9

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    Did you provide acoustical treatments to your VCRs ? :)
    Living Room Evolved
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbrowser View Post
    Did you provide acoustical treatments to your VCRs ? :)
    No, just Dynamat. Your VCR jealousy knows no bounds!
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
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  11. #11

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    Just for that, I think I'm going to add my Sony VCR to my signature! It will be the "signature" piece of my A/V collection. See what I did there?
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitism View Post
    No, just Dynamat. Your VCR jealousy knows no bounds!
    You did wrap the Dynamat around the big spinning silver barrel type thing right ? Doing so will provide the utmost in acoustical and video improvements to any VCR. As much as possible actually, it'll make you realize how good a DVD is...no wait...a Blu-Ray...try it and report back...

    LOL




    (Kids, don't try this...if someone does I'm not to be blamed for the damage incurred.)
    Last edited by nbrowser; 12-15-2013 at 03:57 PM.
    Living Room Evolved
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    Apple Mac Mini
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    Sony PS3 160Gb/Microsoft XBox 360
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    Bedroom
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    A:Onkyo SKF-4800 Towers Black
    B:Polk Monitor (Model) 5 with Peerless Tweets
    Polk PSW108
    PS3 320Gb
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  13. #13

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    I used to repair vcr's for a liven and had one come in that a kid loaded a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into it and then a rental tape to follow it that was sweet to see for sure.

    As for the room you want to go as thick as possible accost the corners 6" or more if you looking to trap bass. Thin panes are fine but will allow you to way over dampen the highs and leave the lows untouched.
    Absolute corruption empowers absolutely.

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  14. #14

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    Well, the first thing I notice is that my bass is hitting harder. I don't see how acoustic panels could result in harder bass.

    I suspect I inadvertently bumped the volume control on the back of the sub while placing "Itchy" behind my left tower. I like it.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
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  15. #15

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    You might instead be noticing a reduction in high frequencies, making the others sound louder in comparison.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    You might instead be noticing a reduction in high frequencies, making the others sound louder in comparison.
    I like your theory better. I'm going to go with that. I feel vindicated!
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  17. #17

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    You could have more bass because a low frequency suck out could of been lessoned or there could be a peak that was not there before because whatever was canceling it is now gone you would new to run rew and do a before and after to understand what happened.
    Absolute corruption empowers absolutely.

    Lg 55LW5600 TV
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    Legacy Audio Focus SE
    Legacy Audio Silverscreen HD center
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  18. #18

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    It was driving me crazy, I had to look. I just checked and the volume control is still pointing to the "v" in "volume" which is where I always put it. High-five! Bass (or the lack of) has been one of my biggest complaints. It would either be lacking or boomy, I could never get it just right.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
    Monster PowerCenter HTS 5000
    Polk: RTi8 Towers, CSi3 Center, F/Xi3 Surrounds | Polk Subs: PSW125-12", PSW303-8"
    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  19. #19

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    Need a new home with bigger rooms.

    Good luck.

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    Thicker traps in the corners should help even more it is a matter of how much room your willing to give up when I get home I will post more info and pics on what I did to over come a bad room.
    Absolute corruption empowers absolutely.

    Lg 55LW5600 TV
    Onkyo PR-SC 5508
    Legacy Audio Focus SE
    Legacy Audio Silverscreen HD center
    Polk F/X500i Rears
    Parasound HCA-3500
    Sunfire Grand Cinema
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    Pair of CraigSUB SS-18.1

  21. #21

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    I don't have room for a 2 foot wide trap in each corner. Would I get any benefit if I built panels that were one foot wide for the corners?
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
    Monster PowerCenter HTS 5000
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  22. #22

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    I've seen corner traps where they take solid fiberglass sheets and cut them into triangles, stacking them on top of each other and gluing them together. It piqued my interest, but I'm not ready to tackle it just yet.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    Do you know how wide the exposed side was?
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitism View Post
    Do you know how wide the exposed side was?
    Don't remember.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    Anything on the ceiling?
    For Sale:
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorcilantro View Post
    Anything on the ceiling?
    No, the ceiling to bare. I think I might be happy enough to just let things be for now.
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Pioneer BDP-51FD, Pangea AC-14 PC
    Sony Bravia KDL-46S4100 | Dish HDTV
    Monster PowerCenter HTS 5000
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    Douglas Connection: Furez DCF124BW, DCF92 SC's
    AudioQuest Chocolate HDMI | Monster: M-Series M850SW, Ultra 1000FO Toslink, Ultra 800 HDMI IC's
    Acoustic Treatments OC703 | Dynamat: Components, Baskets

  27. #27

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    That should have said "the ceiling IS bare". I'm just going to stop trying to type with this tablet. One of these days I'll learn to proof read before posting. Sure wish you had more than five minutes to edit your posts. People are going to start thinking I'm illiterate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    You might instead be noticing a reduction in high frequencies, making the others sound louder in comparison.
    Hmm...unlikely that this is happening. High frequencies don't really mask other frequencies because they don't have much energy in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitism View Post
    It was driving me crazy, I had to look. I just checked and the volume control is still pointing to the "v" in "volume" which is where I always put it. High-five! Bass (or the lack of) has been one of my biggest complaints. It would either be lacking or boomy, I could never get it just right.
    Lack of decay in the time domain in the bass/lower mid region could be the cause of lack of bass and smearing. If low frequency waves are allowed to propagate in your room, it could result in more cancellation and thus less bass. This is a big problem with smaller rooms where waves would bounce around your room and not decay for an extended amount of time, doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Visibly in REW, it could be seen as larger dips/peaks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermitism View Post
    I don't have room for a 2 foot wide trap in each corner. Would I get any benefit if I built panels that were one foot wide for the corners?
    It really depends on what you're trying to treat. The thicker the trap in the corner the lower the frequency the panel would absorb. If you take a look at GIK acoustics, or another acoustics website there are absorption numbers. IIRC, their 2ft wide corner bass trap absorbs to about ~50-60hz. Before venturing on, I would highly recommend investing in a calibrated mic to see what's going on before spending more money and potentially causing more problems.
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