Acoustics and Projector for $1500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-23-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I am turning two bedrooms in my finished basement into a home theater. I already have the speaker set-up, blu-ray player, and most of the electronics. All I need is a 1080P projector, a screen, and acoustic treatments (like absorber panels and bass traps), and soundproofing. Seeing as many of you in this thread are experienced in this aspect, can anybody give me a hand here?

Currently, I'm looking at a $799.99 Epson 8100 from The Projector Pros ($900 after tax), and Roxul Safe n' sound in one wall (The one that connects to my basement living room). Are these good choices?
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-23-2012, 07:52 AM
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Pink fluffy insulation does about as much as you can accomplish with insulation (not much).

You'll find more responses over at the projector forum on the Epson.

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post #3 of 35 Old 12-23-2012, 08:09 AM
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Insulation in the wall does almost nothing for in room acoustics, Get a roll of Linacoustic and do some research on how to use it properly.
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-23-2012, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Really? Someone that was building a budget theater here on the forums said that he used Roxul Safe n' Sound and it made a big difference. Oh well. Anyway, Linacoustic was said on many sites to be a perfect candidate for a diy acoustic panel. Can it also be used for soundproofing? How, exactly?
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-23-2012, 05:51 PM
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Insulation in walls is helpful (only in certain aspects) in containing sound, but you need not have any special product to achieve the benefits. Linacoustic is generally used to shape the acoustic response of the room itself - that's what BIG is talking about.
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, now for a budget recount. The projector + screen is going to cost me about $1000. That means I have about $500 left over for the other stuff. I'm planning to allocate $350 to my DIY panels and Bass Traps, and having $150 for the soundproofing. My best idea so far for the soundproofing is to install a new layer of drywall on the one wall that's connected to the rest of the house (I'm not going to bother with the ceiling for now, and the other walls are exterior walls that don't matter (neighbours are nice). Cover that with Green Glue, and I've got sort of a 12 STC boost. Problem here is that my parents refuse to install (or let me install) new drywall (In case you're wondering, I'm only 13, and I don't have complete decision rights in my family). Any good ways that you used to convince your uncooperative spouses to let you do this kind of thing? I have absolutely no idea when it comes to Bass Traps. I can't find much available here in Canada, so should I build my own? Now for the panels. Generally how much does a 2' x 4' sheet of Linacoustic cost and function in comparison to the Owens Corning 703 here ? I cannot go over my budget, as my parents are just going to get very very very very very very very very very very very annoyed with me.

Thanks,

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post #7 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 04:38 AM
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Wow, a 13 year old DIY'er, welcome to AVS.

IMO ditch the soundproofing efforts, you will not contain sound w/o extensive work.

For corner broadband bass traps, bigger is better, think triangle 24" x 24" x 34" (face side), using loose fiberglass, as big as you can make them in your corners.
I'd suggest make your own absorption acoustic panels from OC703 (or Equiv material in Canada), at least 2" thick + 2" air gap, there are examples here DIY Acoustic treatments for both side wall and corner treatments.
Use the mirror method to help guide placement of your side wall panels.

Have fun!
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post #8 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 05:33 AM
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One way to keep the parents happy. A really high quality set of HEADPHONES and a buttkicker for your chair.
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post #9 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Wow, a 13 year old DIY'er, welcome to AVS.
IMO ditch the soundproofing efforts, you will not contain sound w/o extensive work.
For corner broadband bass traps, bigger is better, think triangle 24" x 24" x 34" (face side), using loose fiberglass, as big as you can make them in your corners.
I'd suggest make your own absorption acoustic panels from OC703 (or Equiv material in Canada), at least 2" thick + 2" air gap, there are examples here DIY Acoustic treatments for both side wall and corner treatments.
Use the mirror method to help guide placement of your side wall panels.
Have fun!

+1. You can obtain varying degrees of (overall) soundproofing, e.g. sound leaking out of the space you are designing. However, truly designing a soundproof space (correctly) is not an easy task and is very expensive / labor intensive. Applying rock to one wall isn't going to soundproof your space. No two ways around it and I wouldn't focus too much on that aspect at this point with limited funds.

What you can do is improve the sound in the space you are designing with DIY broadband absorption, trapping etc.. Plenty of info around on that. Although sound design (acoustics) is no simple task either. Again, start out simple and grow from there.

If you really get into that engineering / acoustics side of things, start familiarizing yourself / researching psychoacoustics + acoustics design. You seem to show interest in this at such a young age and is the only reason I mention it smile.gif Again start out simple, get your hands dirty and grow from there. Kudos to you for attempting this at your age smile.gif
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Huh. Thanks. I actually never thought of going on the home theater path, but I just like messing with electronics, and this is where my new speaker set-up brought me. I actually can do much more when it comes to computers.

Anyway, I'll stop with my lame attempt at soundproofing and go work in another area. That thread really helps, with the DIY stuff. For the acoustic panels, I've been looking here, and I can probably find OC703, so that's that. I'm planning to put 3 panels on each side wall, 2 panels on the back, 2 on the ceiling, and 2 on the front wall. I will also make 2 diffusers from the instructions here, and mount them beside each acoustic panel on the back wall (I don't want to absorb, as that will defy the purpose of my dipole speakers). I'm now also planning to put as many Bass Traps into the corners as I possibly can (I've read that quantity is the best when it comes to these). Are there any detailed but easy to follow instructions for these (preferably with pictures)? This frees up roughly $150 with my budget. What else should I do to make my room more theater-like?

P.S. BIG, the purpose of having this theater room in the first place is for my family to watch movies and play Wii together, so headphones won't work for soundproofing:cool:
I do have JVC Xtreme Xplosives for my mp3, though:)
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 05:33 PM
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Hi ThunderBird,

First of all, welcome to AVS! I thought that I held the record as the youngest builder on the forum, but you've got me beat. biggrin.gif

I agree with what everyone else has contributed before me. Soundproofing a room takes quite a bit of time and resources, so I think you're on the right track by putting your budget into improving the room acoustics.

If you do have a little extra money, a fresh coat of paint in a dark color will do wonders in giving the room that "theater" feel as well as improving your projected image. You could also look into doing a two tone color scheme on the walls. That's what I did in my room and it adds a lot of visual interest without much extra money or time.

One question for you; what are you planning for your screen? There are some great DIY options that can be had on a budget.

Good luck with your project and have a happy holiday!

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post #12 of 35 Old 12-24-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, I already had the idea in mind to repaint the room. Since the fabric I bought to cover my panels are green, I was thinking of doing a Dark Green colour for the room.

For the screen, I actually was planning on using an Elite Screens 100" 16:9 screen that costs about $130 at Future Shop. What can I do for DIY, though? Can I get the materials here in Canada?

My Holiday's Happy Enough. Just ordered a 6-outlet surge protector and TV wall mount (for my 55" that will go in the family room) for $71. Pretty good deal, I say.
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-26-2012, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually, how would a piece of OC703 put diagonally in a corner work as a Bass Trap?

Diagram:

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post #14 of 35 Old 12-27-2012, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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What material would work for a DIY screen, and how much would it cost to make?
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-27-2012, 08:35 PM
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Hi ThunderBird,

I'm sorry that I missed your follow up question about the screen from a few days ago. It's a busy time during the holidays.

There are quite a few different DIY options available. You could go with a painted screen on a substrate of some kind, a laminate screen, or a spandex screen if you'd like something acoustically transparent.

I personally went with the laminate screen in my build. It was as easy as using contact cement to adhere a sheet of Wilsonart Designer White laminate to a piece of hardboard. Total cost was a little less than $100. I don't know anything about the screen that you're looking at, but some of the DIY options have been tested to perform almost as well as some more expensive screens.

Here's a few resources for you to take a look at.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/708240/laminate-screen-material-and-testing
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1428175/my-spandex-screen

I'd recommend checking out the DIY screen section and doing a search on the forum. There are quite a few different ideas that people have come up with.

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post #16 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 02:42 AM
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My screen is laminate also, my signature link has info. Use material for your frame that does not absorb humidity, like MDF/etc, real wood like pine will change shape with humidity and could cause warpage.
Also, straddling corner with 2'x4' acoustic material is one way to get more low freq absorption. Look at Ethan winer acoustic site for explain on 1/4 wavelength theory. For corners, if you have space best is using pink fluffy in big triangle config. In link I posted earlier there is example of that.


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post #17 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I'll go with the laminate, as I don't need acoustic transparency and I'll wager it costs more. Would it be better for me to build a DIY screen for around $100 or just get this. Your DIY solution is a Fixed-Frame screen, right? What Aspect Ratio is your screen? I want a 2.35:1 screen size, as the HT's mainly be used for movies. Anyway, are fixed-frame ones better, as they have a more "defined" black border than manual pull-downs like the one I'm considering?

For the Bass Trapping...

What if I was to Still leave the OC703 as shown above in the diagram, but instead stuff the pink fluffy insulation in the space between it and the corner? I think that should create a better solution, as that kind of increases the depth of the absorbing material? Also, how much will the pink fluffy cost, as the budget is the most limiting thing I have with this theater.

Finally, do any of you have a universal remote? They're quite expensive, but there are so many reviews saying that they are worth it. More specifically, the Logitech Harmony series. I can understand that it will make it much easier to operate all the devices, but is that really worth paying $100+ for one? Furthermore can they actually use all the features of the original remote? Some bad universal remotes (like the one that came with my Rogers Digital Box) can only use about half the features of the original remote. That makes it extremely hard for me, as I like to tweak settings on the go, and becomes annoying fast. Is it worth getting? (No. I will not try to squeeze one into my budget, but my Birthday's in February.)
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post #18 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 08:51 AM
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Blackout fabric as used in curtains makes a good screen. You can get it at fabric stores like JoAnns. Black velvet makes a good border. I've got some pictures of screen construction in my theater build (linked in signature)

Do you have an iPad or android tablet? iRule might be a good remote for you. Good learning opportunity too.

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post #19 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 09:09 AM
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My screen is a 92" 16:9.

The maximum size 16:9 screen that you could make with a 4'x8' sheet of laminate is 98". The maximum 2.35:1 screen is 104.375". If you wanted anything larger than that then you'd have to purchase a 5'x10' sheet.

I like the DIY solutions better than the screen that you linked to because, as you mentioned, the fixed frame screens look better on the wall and they allow you to construct a black velvet wrapped border to absorb any light spill around the edges.

I don't know how well the projector you are looking at will work with a 2.35:1 screen since it doesn't have any zoom memory for different aspect ratios. I'd try playing around with this calculator to see if you can make it work. http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-PowerLite_Home_Cinema_8100-projection-calculator-pro.htm

As for whether a universal remote is worth it; I'd say yes. You can of course get by without one, but it is very nice to be able to press "watch a movie" and have everything come on and automatically go to the right input. If your family isn't very tech-savvy it makes everything a lot easier.

The harmony remotes are programmed through your computer. This makes setting up devices and activities extremely easy. I have never had a problem with mine not carrying over all of the features of the original remote, but if there are special buttons-say to bring up a calibration screen-they will normally be listed on the screen of the remote. Sometimes it is easier to just use the receivers remote if you need to make adjustments.

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post #20 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 09:55 AM
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For DIY screens look in the DIY screen forum here.
Many examples and solutions, Mississippi Man is very helpful in that forum, better yet I bet he'd recommend a painted screen onto whatever base material, 6mm Sintra or even a 5'x10' sheet of drywall.

I use a BOC screen for my outdoor movie night, it's also a candidate.

Yes, putting pink fluffy behind a corner straddling acoustic bass trap will enhance its ability, pink fluffy is about as cheap as one can get for bass traps.

I've toyed with going to iRule, but my harmony 890 works fine and handles all my gear and most commands (99.99%) except some very special rs233 or specific direct which it could via some tricks batpig posted.

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post #21 of 35 Old 12-28-2012, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBird2678 View Post

Actually, how would a piece of OC703 put diagonally in a corner work as a Bass Trap?
Diagram:

Hi,

This is actually one of the best positions for bass trapping.

I would recommend going no less than 4" thick for any of the bass traps, and no less than 2" thick for your first reflection panels. The corners will be the best spots in the room for trapping bass. They will work really great if you could add standard pink fluffy insulation behind in the air cavity.

Whenever I'm experimenting with paint and fabric color choices, I usually draw the space up in Google Sketchup and check the visuals for different color & fabric schemes. If you haven't played with Sketchup yet, you can get the free version (which is all you need) and play around with it. I'm sure you'll pick it up quickly.

Alexander Reynolds
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post #22 of 35 Old 12-29-2012, 03:20 AM
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Being that you are 13 and this is your parents home, I'd suggest you make movable non-wall attaching corner bass traps.
Eric took my concept and applied it with pink fluffy, so this is my recommendation to you, a win-win with your parents.
He gives step-by-step instructions for you to follow.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1312693/diy-construction-methods-of-hang-able-acoustic-panels-not-fixed-frames/120#post_22131618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric2000 View Post

I followed a similar construction technique that Mike posted for his corner bass traps, but made mine from pink fluffy R-19 instead and wrapped the fabric around the outside of the threaded rod. Here is the photo journey:

My traps are 24x24x34 inch triangles, are about 3.5 feet tall, and probably weigh less than 10lbs each. Since I need access to one of the corners for a doorway, I made them stackable and moveable. I started by cutting triangles, drilling holes for the threaded rod, and inserting T-Nuts for the sides that stack on one another:
287

Then I cut 23" squares of insulation, cut them diagonally for triangles, and clipped off the corners so they fit snugly between the threaded rods:
390

A wire mesh made from separated Cat5 wire goes between each layer to keep the insulation from sagging over time. The numbered arrows indicate the direction of winding the wire to support the insulation. A bead of solder keeps the wire from unwinding. Each layer of insulation is about 5" thick.
400

Here is the first one all stacked up. You can see the supportive wire mesh wrapped around the threaded rod on each side:
516

And then with the Kraft paper glued to the front with spray adhesive:
529

Then, turn the trap upside down to affix the cloth wrapping - a two-pack of curtains from the giant W for $15. Each pack is enough for two traps.
400

The cloth is stapled to the underside of the top plate to prevent sagging over time:
291

When the fabric is fully secured to the top panel, turn the trap right side up again and pull the fabric around to the back. Trim off the excess and then just pull it tight and use a desk stapler to hold the fabric together in the back:
550

The staples produce a few ripples in the sides, but you won't see those once you put it in the corner. The front looks nice and clean:
528

Here is a closer shot of two of them stacked together:
600

And finally, the entire back half of the theater. With a few bean bag chairs up front, we can comfortably seat 10-12 people. The colors are a little off from a combination of CFL and flash lighting:
326

Below are the before and after REW plots. The purple trace is the original measurement with no traps and no EQ. The yellow trace is the difference made by the bass traps alone. The traps took 5dB off of the room-induced peak at 45Hz without sacrificing anything else in the audible range:
329

This is the original waterfall plot made by REW - no traps, no other corrections - just a mess with room modes at 45Hz and 90Hz:
443

And here is the waterfall plot after ONLY the traps are put in place. I was surprised by how much of a difference the traps made in the decay:
447

After several days of tweaking the parametric equalizer with the traps in place and a first order high-pass filter in place, here is my "final" room response curve - flat from 7Hz to 100Hz, plus/minus 3dB :'( The peak at 105Hz won't ever really happen because the preamp crosses the LFE channel at 60Hz.
449

And the "final" waterfall plot - nice and smooth. If I adjust the waterfall graphing limits in REW, the entire response curve is down by 20dB within the first 100-120ms with the exception of a 2-3dB narrow bump at about 23Hz. I am really pleased with this result:
443

It sounds great! The EQ and high-pass filter reduce (but don't eliminate) the incidence of amp clipping, but still provide enough punch to cause visitors to literally jump up from the couch :P

All of my other projects are on my web page, which I think is linked in my signature.

Eric
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post #23 of 35 Old 12-30-2012, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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@GIK acoustics. Do you carry inexpensive 4" panels, as well as inexpensive 2" panels? The OC703 on your site costs more than the better Roxul RockBoard 80 at ATS Acoustics. The only issue is that they don't ship to Canada, speaking of which, how much would it cost to ship about 12 OC703 Panels (AKA 2 of your packages) to Markham, Ontario?

@mtbdudex. How much would it cost to make one of those Bass Traps. My budget is servery limited as of now, and I might have to cut a bit and hope for the best on my Birthday. There are some really great projector deals in the classifeds, but my mom doesn't agree to buying them from online, as she doesn't trust doing it that way. So Epson 8100 - $950, DIY Screen - >$100, 12 DIY Acoustic Panels - $240.Add the Tax, and that leaves me with about $150 for the Bass Traps, cables, and other misc stuff. How many Bass Traps can I get done for about $100?
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post #24 of 35 Old 12-31-2012, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBird2678 View Post


@mtbdudex. How much would it cost to make one of those Bass Traps. My budget is servery limited as of now, and I might have to cut a bit and hope for the best on my Birthday. There are some really great projector deals in the classifeds, but my mom doesn't agree to buying them from online, as she doesn't trust doing it that way. So Epson 8100 - $950, DIY Screen - >$100, 12 DIY Acoustic Panels - $240.Add the Tax, and that leaves me with about $150 for the Bass Traps, cables, and other misc stuff. How many Bass Traps can I get done for about $100?

IMO I'd say handle your first reflection acoustic panels before bass traps, you will notice those benefits immediately; image clarity, wide soundstage, etc.
Then make your corner broadband bass traps.

As for budget for Bass Traps?
You need to make a BOM (bill of materials), and do some research yourself at local store.
Assuming 2 bass traps;
-qty 1 4' x 8' sheet plywood, 5/8" thick; have the big box store cut them for you
-threaded rod to appropriate length (I guess you can't cut threaded rod at home, the big box stores have them in various lengths)
-T-nuts and regular nuts
-black spray paint
-cloth to wrap your panels with
-pink fluffy fiberglass (calculate the volume of the triangles, the volume of pink fluffy un-rolled)
-staples for staple gun (exclude staple gun $ from price of making these as its capital equipment)
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post #25 of 35 Old 12-31-2012, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah. I was going to do the panels before anything else anyway. If I only have a limited amount of cash on hand, then which corners should I trap first? Some people say only the back, some say only the front, etc.

I should use sound-transparent cloth, right? I got a 1x12 square meter sheet of green burlap for my panels, so I'm guessing something similar should work for bass traps too then.
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually, what kind of alternate selections do I have for the absorbing material of my panels? There isn't much cheap stuff I can get here in Canada, and I'm not quite sure what to look for anyway. Is Linacoustic even available to me here?
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 11:27 AM
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To answer some of your questions:

Our 242 Acoustic Panel and 244 Bass Trap are pretty cheap when you compare them with other companies - especially since we actually put the money up to test our products at an independent lab. Many companies don't list the coefficients at all, or just give you the coefficients of the absorptive material, instead of what the actual end product results with. We've also tested most products in a J-mount configuration (in a corner) as well as the standard A-mount (flat on a wall) so you can get a feel for the differences.

I'm not sure of the shipping to Canada. If you shoot Bryan or Glenn an e-mail though, they should give you an exact price.

People give you different suggestions on placements of bass traps since each room is different. Sub position also makes a difference here. Trial and error (or testing) will be the most telling in this scenario.

There are many alternatives to Linacoustic. In Canada, the best bang for your buck and easy to come by material will be Safe'n'Sound. Plan to double up sheets for each panel (6" thick) if you want them to absorb a good amount of bass.

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post #28 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 12:38 PM
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Alexander....I have to set you straight. Your panels are not cheap ... they are inexpensive. smile.gif

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
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post #29 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I already got a lot of similar opinions from Bryan when I contacted your company. Right now, my main issue is my absorber panels. Roxul Safe N Sound isn't as rigit as OC703, but will it still work?

By cheap, how much do you mean? I would prefer under $20/each, and I don't even have the budget over $40/each.
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post #30 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Alexander....I have to set you straight. Your panels are not cheap ... they are inexpensive. smile.gif

Thanks for that, Dennis. cool.gif

I'm not the most articulate person I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBird2678 View Post

Well, I already got a lot of similar opinions from Bryan when I contacted your company. Right now, my main issue is my absorber panels. Roxul Safe N Sound isn't as rigit as OC703, but will it still work?
By cheap, how much do you mean? I would prefer under $20/each, and I don't even have the budget over $40/each.

Safe'n'Sound works great, though you need to build a wood frame for it as it is very floppy. OC703 is more expensive, but is much more rigid and therefore if it was necessary, could be built without a frame. I imagine the extra cost of the OC703 would be similar to the cost of the wood to build the frames. Thinking forward with Roxul, they come in bags of 6 batts (48 square feet) for somewhere around $50USD at Home Depot. If you double up the batts for 6" thick panels, that is three panels for 50 not including fabric, frame, and hardware, so they'll end up more expensive than $20 each DIY. If you made them 3" thick, then you would get 6 panels per $50, but you still need the same amount of fabric and wood (well, slightly less).

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