Taming the room

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William Shakespeare wanted to tame shrews while I am more interested in rooms.

Our plans for the construction of PS Audio’s new music rooms were to start with bare walls and minimal damping (in the form of thick carpeting) and deal with the reverberant results afterward. This is the same situation you might find yourself in when building or converting an existing room into a listening area.

This was not the way we built the original home for the Infinity IRS V.

In our original designs, we did as much as we could up front in anticipation of the sound: Helmholtz resonators in the corners, on-wall absorbers, and DAAD traps were givens before we even put in the speakers.

What we learned from the first room was it is better to start with a live room then tame it down step by step. The results speak for themselves. Our new music rooms sound far better than the older one.

One of the best methods of room taming for reverberation was from a company called Vicoustic. Vicoustic makes a number of on-wall acoustic products but the one we went with was called Wavewood. Wavewood is what I would call an abfuser: a combination absorber and diffuser. It’s a simple product, actually. On one side is sound absorbing foam rubber and on the other a tuned reflector of plastic.

Mounted to the wall at the point of first reflection (in one room) or the largest expanse of reverberant bare wall (in the other), these low cost panels worked miracles in our room. And, as a bonus, they look cool as well.

If you’re in need of taming your room, I can’t recommend another product more highly.