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Thread: GIK acoustics versus RealTrap?

  1. #1

    Default GIK acoustics versus RealTrap?

    Hi folks:

    I am finally going to invest some time in the coming months putting some creative room treatments in my family room, which doubles as a HT and 2-ch listening room. Since it is in the family room, I plan to be highly creative in how I make the room treatments effective, yet impossible to tell that they are room treatments. I have decided that a budget of more than $2k would probably be excessive. Here's my plan, and then my question....

    My Room
    26' x 23' x 11' (l, w, h). The 2 Summit main speakers have their back to the 23' wide wall. That wall also has a Stage center channel on a stand, a 60" plasma and a 110" inch projector screen that drops down in front of the plasma. The stage is below the plasma about 2' of the floor. There are 4 Scripts on the side and back walls. The family room is almost entirely open on one side to the kitchen and the rest of the home. It is also partially open on another side to another room. So a very open, airy room which is probably not a bad thing since standing waves have lots of room to escape.
    I will post pictures this weekend.

    My plan
    1. Behind each Summit, place a 2x4' HF absorbing panel
    2. Behind the Stage, and above the plasma, place two more 2x4' panels, symetrically, but make these Bass abosrbing panels that also absorb some HF
    3. Behind each Script, place a 2x2' HF absorbing panel
    4. Place ~ 2 additional 2 x 4' Bass absorbing panels in the room, probably on the back wall
    5. Place 2-3 of the decor-friendly room treatment "plants" sold by RealTraps and GIK e.g. Planter Bass Trap, table bass trap etc.
    6. ALL panels will be "art" panels. I will either buy the art panels from the manufacturers or I will buy sound transparent speaker cloth and have it printed with interesting art e.g. modern art prints; pictures of my children "modded" into modern art etc.

    My questions
    1. Does the plan sound roughly right?
    2. Has anyone ever actually tested or compared the performance of GIK versus RealTrap. By my estimation, the RealTraps are almost double the cost of GIKs. If these were speakers, we would have a hundred reviews that one could use.
    Being a new comer to room treatments, my gut tells me that two reputed manufacturers such as GIK and RT must be making roughly similar quality panels. I have read through the web sites of both the manufacturers and am aware of their different assertions, and have read many of the threads on this and other forums

    would love your insights

    thanks
    adanny

  2. #2

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    as long as they are using the right material they should be equally effective.

    i would be sure use 4" thick bass traps, and if you dont corner mount them then a 1" gap(or more) off the wall will maximize their effectiveness.

    this is the best money you can spend to get the most out of the investment you already have made, enjoy!
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  3. #3
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    I do not own any GIK so I can't comment. I do have 10 different RT traps in my room. RT provides some good info on trapping and it appears you've read it and some of the suggestions here

    The RT are much more pricey than GIK and I believe there is a reason for that. The metal frames add much more rigidity to the panel and in your case, a finer edge in which to stretch your art work over. My wife has experimented but has not found anything she likes yet. I honestly believe the metal edge will give you a more finished appearance.

    Gordon
    ML Spire,McIntosh C1000 Tube Pre Amp, 2 MC501 Amps, MCD/MDA Transport/DAC Richard Gray RGPC 600 & Pole Pig,WireWorld Eclipse 6 Squared Speaker, Eclipse 5 Squared Balanced ICs, Silver Eclipse Power Cords (5)2 JL Audio Fathom F112 subs

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    GIK uses Mineral Wool and RT uses Fiberglass if I am not mistaken. Both have very similar absorption coefficients.

    GIK has nice edges but they are under the fabric, not over like RT's are.

    I have made my own traps with Bonded Acoustical Cotton (2" reflection and 4" bass) along with the GIK traps I purchased. I now have 23 traps in my room. I had tried some foam-type products, but the Acoustical Cotton was far superior IMO.
    .............

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    Sounds like a pretty good plan. I would offer the following suggestions, based on my experience. Make the traps that you put behind your Stage and your Summits identical in type and placement. This will give you a seamless presentation across the front. Also, these traps really need to evenly absorb from the highs all the way down to about 250 Hz, as that is the frequency range that the panels emit. If you don't absorb the midrange, you will get reflections in the 250 to 500 Hz. range that will affect your imaging and soundstage. Also, if you can, mount these traps a few inches off the wall and they will provide even better absorption (Ethan has a tutorial on how to do that on the RealTraps website).

    I use the Real Traps HF Mini Trap behind my Summits and my Stage and have been very satisfied with their performance, but I am sure there is a GIK product that is similar. I don't have experience with GIK, but have only heard and read good things about them. So I don't think you can go wrong with either company.

    I would try to use less absorption in the rear of the room, except for the bass traps. Generally, you want a little more reflection back there to provide a diffuse surround sound field. I use diffusion behind my rear speakers rather than absorption.

    Finally, I would put in as many bass traps as you can stand/afford, and locate as many of them in the corners of the room as possible. That is where they will be most effective. Also, be sure and call the company you plan to purchase from and give them all of this information and they will have some very good recommendations specific to your plan that will be based on lots of knowledge and experience. Good luck with it.
    Rich

    This comment is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as conveying any express or implied warranty of fitness for any other purpose. Said comment constitutes merely the humble opinion of its maker and does not reflect the views of the MLOC or of ML, Ltd. YMMV. Trust your own ears.

  6. #6

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    Assuming fabric covered mineral wool based panels will do the job, check out ATS Acoustics and save yourself a boat load of money.

    GG

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Gray View Post
    Assuming fabric covered mineral wool based panels will do the job, check out ATS Acoustics and save yourself a boat load of money.
    $10 per panel (4" 2x4) is the difference. I don't consider that a boat load, but some people may. DIY can save you even more if you want to spend the time making them - easy to do, but time consuming.

    GIK is great to deal with - Glenn and Bryan are very helpful both on the phone and on forums.
    .............

  8. #8

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    I don't own either of their products at this time though I have been in contact with them for advise.

    Ethan Winer has this site at Music Players Forum and will answer questions about acoustics.
    http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthr...oard/24/page/1

    Both Ethan and Bryan Pape (from GIK) frequent this forum on Audio Asylum and offer advise.
    http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/etv.mpl?forum=rives

    The Owen Corning 703 and 705 fiberglass is easily available if you are handy and interested in DIY.

  9. #9

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    Depends on the number of panels. At $10 less, that's a 17% savings per panel.

    Sounds like the individual who started the thread is looking a buying quite a few.

    For me and in these current economic times, I would consider that significant.

    And yes, the folks at ATS are also great to deal with.

  10. #10

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    When I bought my panels, I did a massive amount of reserach and settled on this company:

    http://www.acoustimac.com/

    I asked for pictures of the front and back of the panels from ATS, GIK and several others. The Acoustimac looked like they were the nicest made. They had more colors available for no extra charge, like some of the others.

    I bought just a few to try. Once I received them and found that they were really nice, I ordered quite a few more.

    Count me as a very satisfied customer...
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  11. #11
    Senior Member churchill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Gray View Post
    Assuming fabric covered mineral wool based panels will do the job, check out ATS Acoustics and save yourself a boat load of money.

    GG
    +1, I also used ATS Panels in my room.
    My ML CLS IIz/Pass Labs/JL Audio system here: http://www.martinloganowners.com/for...ead.php?t=9676

  12. #12
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    Will all of these companies mentioned assist you by looking at response graphs for frequency, waterfall, etc. to help you get the right panels?

    Do they all offer the Guilford's fabric? If not is their fabric fire proof/retardant like Guilfords?

    Are the panels wood base, metal based, etc.

    What product are they using for absorption/diffusion? What are the absorption/diffusion coefficients? Are the results on "their" specific product or just a report on the fiberglass, Mineral Wool, Acoustical Cotton?

    Does the company offer picture fabric either from their library or a picture you send them?

    Many questions should come up and be researched and not just price.
    Last edited by DTB300; 02-21-2010 at 05:00 AM.
    .............

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    Highly agree with Dan here. Many factors to consider other than price, and most important among them are acoustic measurements of the absorption/diffusion coefficients of the actual products you are considering, and knowledgeable advice to help you choose the correct products for your particular application.

    With all due respect to FoxMulder, the panels you show in your picture appear to be no more than two inches thick and mounted directly on the wall. As such, they will probably only be useful at dampening high frequencies. While that helps to dampen some sidewall reflections, it does nothing for comb filtering caused by midrange reflections from the sound waves coming off both the front and the back of your CLS speakers. Also, it does absolutely nothing for bass trapping, which is essential for proper bass sound.
    Rich

    This comment is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as conveying any express or implied warranty of fitness for any other purpose. Said comment constitutes merely the humble opinion of its maker and does not reflect the views of the MLOC or of ML, Ltd. YMMV. Trust your own ears.

  14. #14

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    Addanny, great project to embark on, it will make a substantial difference in the quality of your system.

    Regarding vendors, well, I've used most, and I feel the quality of the design, product and service from RealTraps is tops. But the others are quite good as well.

    I'll give you specific feedback on each of your proposals below:

    Quote Originally Posted by adanny View Post
    ...

    My plan
    1. Behind each Summit, place a 2x4' HF absorbing panel
    As Rich points out, use RealTraps Mini HF behind these.

    Be wary of others, as often they will have a reflective component in them that will reflect highs and mids.

    I have a boatload of them, have done extensive measurements (comparing to other brands and styles) and am very satisfied, and it's the only product I recommend to put behind a front channel speaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by adanny View Post
    2. Behind the Stage, and above the plasma, place two more 2x4' panels, symetrically, but make these Bass abosrbing panels that also absorb some HF
    Likewise, a MiniTrap HF behind the Stage.

    For the one above the plasma, use a regular MiniTrap (for improved LF absorption)

    Quote Originally Posted by adanny View Post
    3. Behind each Script, place a 2x2' HF absorbing panel
    Also use a RealTraps HF version for this, or if other brands, ensure it's a multilayer design with a cotton batting facing over the fiberglass, with no internal 'limp-mass' elements.

    Quote Originally Posted by adanny View Post
    4. Place ~ 2 additional 2 x 4' Bass absorbing panels in the room, probably on the back wall
    If only doing 2 more, then go for the biggest and use the Realtraps Mondo traps (6" thick).
    Also, these should go in the Corners, but since you say you have one open end, then stacking both Mondos in the one corner might do.

    Another place to put traps is on the wall / ceiling junctions. They are out of the way, and depending on colors and other things can disappear.

    Quote Originally Posted by adanny View Post
    5. Place 2-3 of the decor-friendly room treatment "plants" sold by RealTraps and GIK e.g. Planter Bass Trap, table bass trap etc.
    Good idea.


    My final thoughts are to ask about the lateral reflectivity balance in the room, as you indicate one wall is 'open' to another part of the house.
    any openings need to be balanced with absorption on the opposite wall, otherwise, the sound-field balance skews towards the reflective wall.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  15. #15

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    Oh, the back wall, if sufficiently behind the listeners (> 4'), then you could consider diffusion.
    Products like the RealTraps Abfussors are great. But there are others that works as well, such as products from RPG Acoustics.

    If the listeners are less than 3' of it, then go for absorption. Mostly HF is what's important, so it does not have to be too thick, and can be done as an art project.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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