"Trapped"

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ejspain

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"Oh-wo-is-me!" Just spent a small fortune (to me) on bass traps for my HT....where the new 11A's are. Since there's not much of a first reflection from the 11As, I placed cyclical diffusers at second reflections, flanked with some abfusers. Same abfusers in the rear of the room. And although ML don't project much upward, I still have a little absorption in the ceiling for Atmos reflections. Anything I tried behind the 11A's sucked the life out of them so its bare sheetrock wall. Granted I'm still in the break-in stage of the 11A's but I'm able to distinguish enough to determine acoustical placements. So far the room sounds pretty balanced, live, not dead, and good staging. So I'm thinking, this is lovely, can it really get any better? Ok so here's where the "Oh-wo-is-me" comes in. Every freakin thing I've read says "YOU MUST HAVE BASS TRAPS TO GET CONSISTENT BASS IN YOUR ROOM!" So yesterday, in comes my beautiful GIK 4" thick Impression bass traps but something told me, before going into this major installation operation, stage them first and see how it sounds. I was already overjoyed with the bass from the 11A's but with the traps in, they seemed to make the bass stronger (not better), a little deeper, more surrounding but artificial, not precise or believable. But most disappointing, the traps TOTALLY sucked the mids and highs life out of the room. Properly toed in, its nearly impossible to kill the almost perfect phantom center MLs are known for. The traps aggressively attacked that staging, stealing the openess, and liveliness of the room...almost feeling anechoic. So one by one I began removing (8 total - 2 stacked for each 4 corners). With only one trap in each corner, it got a little better. Tried traps just in the front, then just in the back...YUCK! Granted I still haven't done any calibrations but ARC isn't going to correct for mids/highs decay. Now in no way am I suggesting not to use bass traps but "in my room", for "my ears", they didn't work. So I have $800 worth of bass traps I have no use for and can't return them because they were custom. :cry::cry::cry: Next move - once break-in is complete, I'll run ARC and rely on it, my dual subs, and a little tweaking to dial in the bass to sweetness. I guess the moral of the story is, trust the science; to a degree. You ears are the ultimate judge.
 

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Lightloopy

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Do not despair. Just park the traps for now and trust your ears. You can try them later.

As I recall, you're 11A's are essentially new. I would not pass any judgement for at least 3-4 mos ( or longer) to settle in.
I almost sold the 11's and glad I didn't. They are amazing now and doing all the ML things beautifully.
I had a good friend over who had heard them initially and now more recently and completely agrees. Night and day.
For now, play the heck out of them and don't spend one more penny for a good while...
Good luck.
 

ejspain

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Do not despair. Just park the traps for now and trust your ears. You can try them later.

As I recall, you're 11A's are essentially new. I would not pass any judgement for at least 3-4 mos ( or longer) to settle in.
I almost sold the 11's and glad I didn't. They are amazing now and doing all the ML things beautifully.
I had a good friend over who had heard them initially and now more recently and completely agrees. Night and day.
For now, play the heck out of them and don't spend one more penny for a good while...
Good luck.
Great advice. Thanks bud. That's exactly my plan.
 

MisterB

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I somewhat impulsively bought floor to ceiling corner bass traps with scatter plates from GIK for just the front corners after I got my 11A’s. I ended up taking them out and now they’re just sitting in the corners of one of my bedrooms doing nothing. I wouldn’t say they made things sound worse, but they didn’t really address much of the issue I was having and they took up too much real estate in my fairly small room. So instead I played around with placement off the front wall (pulled them way out so that the front of the panel is 5’ off the front wall), and moved my main listening position forward and back to find the smoothest bass response, then ran ARC for the finishing touch.
 

ejspain

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I somewhat impulsively bought floor to ceiling corner bass traps with scatter plates from GIK for just the front corners after I got my 11A’s. I ended up taking them out and now they’re just sitting in the corners of one of my bedrooms doing nothing. I wouldn’t say they made things sound worse, but they didn’t really address much of the issue I was having and they took up too much real estate in my fairly small room. So instead I played around with placement off the front wall (pulled them way out so that the front of the panel is 5’ off the front wall), and moved my main listening position forward and back to find the smoothest bass response, then ran ARC for the finishing touch.
How long have you had your 11A's? What size is your room? Have you acoustically treated any other surfaces? You may be in the same boat as me...just give the 11A's a little more time to spread their wings before blaming the room for poor perfomance.
 

ejspain

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Where did you get these from? If in a few months you still don't want them, let me know. I'm in the area and will need some around that time.
Mine are 4" GIK Impression traps with scatter plates. The plan is to give the 11A's more time to break-in and see what happens.
 

JETHRO

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I somewhat impulsively bought floor to ceiling corner bass traps with scatter plates from GIK for just the front corners after I got my 11A’s. I ended up taking them out and now they’re just sitting in the corners of one of my bedrooms doing nothing. I wouldn’t say they made things sound worse, but they didn’t really address much of the issue I was having and they took up too much real estate in my fairly small room. So instead I played around with placement off the front wall (pulled them way out so that the front of the panel is 5’ off the front wall), and moved my main listening position forward and back to find the smoothest bass response, then ran ARC for the finishing touch.
I am running 13a’s in a 14x 22’ room (14’ speaker and equipment wall.). I was disappointed until I positioned speakers per ML directions with me listening at the top of the triangle. I turns out to be a very small triangle, but wow! Since I am now so close to the speakers, I am tinkering with the vertical panel angle. With no adjustment they point a little bit toward the ceiling. Tilting the panels more towards me, closer to 90 degrees to the ceiling improved soundstage a lot! Next I’ll think about deadening the rear wall behind me and maybe deflectors on side walls, but at this point I’m not really convinced the improvements would be significant. I believe the world off advice out there is not very good for electrostatic speakers and small listening triangles. ML has a nice YouTube video on placement as well. Good luck on your journey and enjoy!
 

MisterB

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How long have you had your 11A's? What size is your room? Have you acoustically treated any other surfaces? You may be in the same boat as me...just give the 11A's a little more time to spread their wings before blaming the room for poor perfomance.
I've had my 11A's for about a year and a half. They're fully broken in at this point and sound fantastic. I didn't mean to imply I had any major room issues now. Careful placement and ARC has helped a lot. But I definitely don't have the perfect room. It's hard to describe the layout. It sort of an "L" shaped room in that there is a main section that's 11' wide by 13' deep with a doorway to a parallel hallway at the back left corner, and then the room extends back along that hallway about another 7' deep by 6.5' wide.

My system is dual-duty 2-channel music and multi-channel HT. The front half of the room has heavy drapery on the front and side walls. Purpose is two-fold - first, it darkens the room and reduces light reflections from the projector screen; second, it tames some of the reflection from the back wave of the ESL panels on the side walls and corners behind the 11A's.
 

GW1800

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For what it’s worth I was under the impression that bass traps are always always needed. However I have a completely different opinion now.

I’ve had a person at my place to professionally set up my speakers costing mid 4 digits each time. Long story short he does not believe in bass traps. I was skeptical but after he got done I’m a believer. Not only does my bass sound great I never did like the look of them so now they are gone.

On a bit of a different subject I’m not seeing any signatures yet I have it selected in the setup? I find them useful to understand a person’s system and comments.
 

ejspain

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For what it’s worth I was under the impression that bass traps are always always needed. However I have a completely different opinion now.

I’ve had a person at my place to professionally set up my speakers costing mid 4 digits each time. Long story short he does not believe in bass traps. I was skeptical but after he got done I’m a believer. Not only does my bass sound great I never did like the look of them so now they are gone.

On a bit of a different subject I’m not seeing any signatures yet I have it selected in the setup? I find them useful to understand a person’s system and comments.
Yea I think at the end of the day, trust in the science but believe in your ears. My room is multi-purpose (HT / 2 channel music). I'll admit...I'm a bass head. Although my 11A's are brand new, I am totally satisfied with their bass in 2 channel and if I need more (depending on the recording), the 2 - 1100X does the job. As for movies, the subs and center does most of the heavy lifting. Like someone else suggested, I'll give the 11A'a more time to break-in before deciding if the traps will come back or stay out. Honestly I don't think the Masterpiece series needs all the room cosmetics UNLESS it's really bad acoustically.
 

ejspain

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I am running 13a’s in a 14x 22’ room (14’ speaker and equipment wall.). I was disappointed until I positioned speakers per ML directions with me listening at the top of the triangle. I turns out to be a very small triangle, but wow! Since I am now so close to the speakers, I am tinkering with the vertical panel angle. With no adjustment they point a little bit toward the ceiling. Tilting the panels more towards me, closer to 90 degrees to the ceiling improved soundstage a lot! Next I’ll think about deadening the rear wall behind me and maybe deflectors on side walls, but at this point I’m not really convinced the improvements would be significant. I believe the world off advice out there is not very good for electrostatic speakers and small listening triangles. ML has a nice YouTube video on placement as well. Good luck on your journey and enjoy!
WOW! The 13A's...Nice! I came so close to getting the 13A's but had the same challenge of space (13' x 18'). I didn't want to be forced into near-field listening but coming from listening to the Aeon i's for 20 years, I was afraid the dual 8s in the 11A's weren't going to be much of a "bass" upgrade. Boy was I wrong...the ML electrostats speaks for themselves but the bass is truly world class (now) and perfect for my sized room. And you're correct, this forum has been the most informational resource I've found for "our kind" lol. I also tilted mine forward a little and added Gaia II isolation feet (instead of the spikes)...BOY OH BOY...WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I tried absorption and diffusion behind the speaker...it significantly dulled the sound, narrowed the soundstage, and sucked the life out the speaker so I took it out. Because of their linear curve, there's not much first reflection so I put diffusion at second reflection and abfusers in the rear of the room. So far that seems to be a great balance (for my ears, in my room...key point). The ML don't project much upward but because my room is also a HT, I put a little absorption in the ceiling to help with surround and atmos reflections.
 
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