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I'm in the process of upgrading a room in my house to be a combination den and home theater. It will be used for both everyday TV watching and as a home theater. I would like to apply some of the acoustic treatments I've read about in this forum, but at a reasonable level (both price and construction efforts). I would like everyone's input on a couple of questions:


1) Are there low cost alternatives to acoustic panels? For example, Home depot sells a sounding proofing panel (I realize that it is for a different purpose, but perhaps it would also provide some benefit). I would be happy with modest improvements.


2) I have read Dennis Erskine recommendation to treat the wall behind the front speakers and the side/back walls from ear level and below. My question - Does this treatment need to be a continuous covering (ex: acoustic foam covering all the area) or can I place panels onto the surface for a 3d look (more like hanging posters...)?


Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Mike Mass, I read somewhere that you could make inexpensive sound absorbing panels using fiberglass based drop ceiling tiles.


My plan was to purchase 2' x 4' tiles from Home Depot. Cut them down to 2' x 2'. Cover them w/ dacron batting (bonded being the best) and then cover them w/ muslin or a similar light cloth. However very recently someone recommending that instead of using a light cloth for the final cover, I could use a wallpaper - opening the door for more styles/colors.


I was also planning on simply putting these 2' x 2' panels in strategic locations - so not covering the entire lower half of the wall. I heard you can use a mirror technique for determining first refelections.


If you come up with a more mathematical formula for positioning the panels, do let me know.


-Funboy
 

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Mike,


Lots of ways to approach acoustical treatment. If this is an after-construction endeavor, then I recommend you check Jon Risch's site for instruction/ ideas as best how to treat a room. Keep in mind that WAF may hinder such an excercize.


I guess you need to decide just what it is you are trying to correct when you start to treat a room. You can easily create a problem if you don't know exactly just what it is you are trying to tame.


Anyway.... see www.geocities.com/jonrisch/a1.htm


Good Luck,


BOK
 

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Funboy, don't you think that wallpaper would be a little too, well, hard? When I say hard, I mean that most of the high frequencies would bounce right off the wallpaper and not even touch the acoustic treatments behind it. That is why there is acoustically transparent fabric. Even regular fabric is not acoustically transparent. Some will be better than others, but....


Mike, I used the sound-board that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes and have determined that if I was to do it again, for ease of installation, I would pay more and get the insul-shield. The Insul-shield can be cut with scissors when being applied, instead of a utility knife on the garage floor. It is more expensive and probably is better suited for home theater, but I found out about it after I had already committed to the thinner sound-board.

If you want to do some panels such that you can place them where you feel they should go, I would probably use ceiling tiles, but leave them 2x4 feet, and cover them as-is. My reasoning for this is that you will have nicer edges on the material when you are done.


Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with my theater, and the sound quality I have in it, but, I would do things differently.
 
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