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  1. #1
    Bill L
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    Accidental Sound Panels?

    After getting new speakers, SACD player, etc., I was redecorating the family room. While dismembering the old sofa, which was rectangular in shape, I discovered that the sides were actually in panel form.

    The material is fairly nice looking and I was wondering if they would work as sound panels in the room. The backs even have ready made thingies that I can put small hooks into and hang on the wall. There is no foam or anything between the cloth and the wood backing. I'm not sure how important foam is, but all the room treatment vendors always quote 3 to 4 inches of high or low frequency sound absorbing foam in their sales pitch.

    Room dimensions are 24' long by 17' wide with fireplace and stairwell on one of the long sides. Half carpeted. Wood paneling on the walls. The panels are about 28" by 15".

    Any thoughts?

    tx,
    Bill



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  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    As far as freebie goes, that's as good as it gets. I believe the most important placement would be behind your listening position, assuming speakers are facing directly at you. You room sounds pretty big so I'm not sure how much one panel is going to do. Better than nothing for sure. If you had 2 of them, they might be great behind your Maggies.

  3. #3
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    They won't do squat for the bass, but they may help make the room slightly less "live" if your room is too live.

    There's a couple things you can do to make these even better:

    - sand, lead, or fiberglass -- put it on the backside somewhow, like lead sheets or something -- fiberglass can be dangerous, so I wouldn't work with that unless you know what you're doing; and sand only if you can keep it (the sandbag) from leaking.

    - put it in the first reflection points (mid way between you and the speakers [or behind you, or behind the speakers], at about the place where you would place a mirror to see the speakers, on the wall or ceiling).
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  4. #4
    Bill L
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    As far as freebie goes, that's as good as it gets. I believe the most important placement would be behind your listening position, assuming speakers are facing directly at you. You room sounds pretty big so I'm not sure how much one panel is going to do. Better than nothing for sure. If you had 2 of them, they might be great behind your Maggies.

    Actually I have 7 panels from the sofa, so I could play around with positioning them, or double up on a pair or two either horizontally or vertically. I would be hesitant to place any behind the Maggies. Wouldn't that reduce the dipole effectiveness of the speakers? Have to agree, for freebies they aren't bad.

  5. #5
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Ideally what you want behind any dipole is a combination of absorption, diffusion and reflection. If your room is symmetrical the treatments should symmetrically placed. You could temporarily place them on milk crates and move them around and listen for good or bad results. Placing them on the side walls or ceiling at the point of first reflection will tend to increase the soundstage width although the effect is not as pronounced as with boxes. Dipoles usually don't have as much lateral spread in their dispersion pattern. What the hell, they are free so experiment.
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  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Most furniture grade foam/insulation stuffing is low density, and not great for absorbing sound - but it would probably absorb 500 Hz and above by anything substantial...better than nothing at least. Up to you if you want to use it. I would only use it on reflection points to help eliminate a bit of higher-frequency echo.

    there are other options that would be much better and not very expensive if you wanted to do a bit of DIY-ing - might look better too.

    A roll of pink Fiberglass with a roll of cotton batting does wonders though. Maybe you could rig something up with these...put a bit of pink stuff in the back, cover with cotton to keep particles from getting out, and presto....

  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    When we lived in the large apartment and the speakers were set up in front of a large glass area (with drapes), I found that putting up a 7' artifical Christmas tree between my Magie 1'6s, the sound improved. More definition, spaciousness and just an overall sweetening of the experience.

  8. #8
    Bill L
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    Useful Info

    Very useful information. Thank you to all. Will take some pictures if I ever get the stupid room finished. Still have most of the floor (laminated wood), then some rugs, then some listening chairs or sofa, then a low stand for equipment, then a flat screen on the wall.

    Still have to get the makeshift sofa sound panels past the WAF. Even though I always claimed it was my room, I have found that that's not exactly true.

    Bill

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