$1,000 to spend on room treatment....

My new room 21*13*7 has very bad acoustic: flutter echo of hell (a solid 2 seconds of metallic echo for each clapping of hands), bass resonance and probably more that hides being the first 2 but that will become noticeable later on. I have a max of $1,000 to spend to treat it and already own 4 fiberglass panels 2*4 that I can use to treat mids and diffuse. What do you suggest - price when new to be consistent? There are some room kits that seem to fit the bill (www.primacoustic.com) but I need guidance on this. Tks.
Found it! This is a great site for acoustics info:

Hi, uppermidfi. Overdampening especially for $1000 should not be a concern. There's already most likely plenty of reflection and liveliness off the walls and ceiling. But the first point of reflection should always be the floor.

Any glass frames, lamps, wooden or glass tabletops, and leather furnishings only makes things worse.

I'm not advocating he carpet his walls or anything like that. Simply to remove or cover any potentially reflective furnishings and accessories in the front half of his listening room. Especially on the floor. And with a 7ft high ceiling it may be even more important to do so.

Several years ago, in a similar room size, I replaced some very nice leather furniture with a overly stuffed cloth furniture and was impressed with the audible improvements.

Perhaps the point I really want to get across is that for the 10 years industry insiders fed us the line that 80% of our systems' sonics are the result of room acoustics and we needed these room treatments.

And of course we all bought into that and there are still a few that cling to that myth verbally while many others cling to it in mind and spirit.

When in fact, I think the room's acoustics account for perhaps 20 to 30 percent at most and the speaker placement within the room far exceeds the benefits of addressing room acoustics and room treatments only.

My experience is rather limited, but about 3 years ago I had a reviewer/columnist out to my home evaluating my system. At the end of 3 hours I informed him that we were relocating to another part of the country, he said, "good luck trying to find a listening room like this one." And I agreed.

My new listening rooms' acoustics are horrific in comparison to the old room. And yet after several months of moving the speakers around, I was able to extract even greater sonics from this poor room that the previous room.

Essentially the only thing missing is a couple of the lowest Hertz in the 25-28 Hz range because of the taller ceilings. Everything else simply sounds better.

So while some members of the industry swung the pendelum so far toward the rooms' acoustics, I just want to say hey, maybe what they've been feeding us isn't quite so accurate.

And if that is true, it wouldn't be the first nor the last time industry insiders have done so.

And when I see how much people are spending on room treatments and on new rooms, it's rather surprising. Especially since it is often these very same people who've done nothing toward installing proper line conditioning and proper vibration control both of which in many case may offer far more improvement over the room's acoustics and treatments.

One thing you may notice is that these days there seems to be fewer and fewer people that cling to the "the room (and its acoustics) make up 80% of the sound of your system." claim anymore. That's a good sign.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

John, thanks for responding. I see where you're coming from and that makes more sense.

I don't know that I would subscribe to the 80% crowd, but I do think that the room is as imporant as the gear. You are right in saying (IMO) that people who do not address power conditioning and isolation should not spend a ton of money on their room. It's hard to know where to start, and how tightly to focus when dealing with the system/room/isolation/power conditioning.

I guess part of being an audiophile is obsessing about everything, even the music.

I think when you talk about glass in relation to room treatment, you're talking about the point of first reflection. I have a number of pictures up in my room, but I have treated the POFR, on the wall, floor and ceiling.

It's not through any attempt to be dishonest, or lie, but whenever a company makes a product they seem to think their product is the most important link in the chain. That's just human nature, which my explain the 80% room thing.

BUT I do think putting $1000 into the room is money well spent. Maybe he should save up a little more and buy one of the racks you make :) !

Thanks again

Dr R. C. Brockhaus
While I am gathering cost/option info for treatment, I must say that Stehno's comments start making sense.
- I moved my speakers only a foot / half a foot in both directions and moved my listening position about 2 feet as well and adjusted my existing panels for reflection points. 30% improvement right there. The room may be twice longer than the old one, I do not need to seat 13 ft away from speakers or 18ft away from front wall.
- My carpet is thin and synthetic so it is pretty much the concrete floor that shows (sounds). I borrowed our living room thick cotton rug and the difference was substantial, 10%
- I have about no furniture at all in this room beside an Ikea wood-frame chair, not much absorption. I moved in our guest room sofa and it did reduce the echo quite a bit, another 10%.
At this point, it is an OK room, no more but no less (heard audio show rooms that sounded worse).

So, I think I am opting for the following way of spending my $1,000:
- a thick cotton rug + a sofa for $500(yes, it won't be top quality but it is a dedicated room so who cares)
- $350 in prefinished bass treatment + a few more panels for ceiling/wall intersection *4 - Bryan at sensiblesoundsolutuions.com is very helpful.
- $150 of fabric to make this pretty(ier)

I guess it is all in balancing money between treatment and furniture. Placement is free!
Beheme, you should not consider this the end but the beginning.

Personally, I'm a little slow at making adjustments in my own system as it took me 9 months to find the 'ideal' speaker location. I've not moved them in almost two years and I'm sure I still don't have the optimum placement.

It takes me a bit longer because my speakers are sitting on Star Sound's Audio Points and my speakers are about 145 lbs. each. And believe it or not, there is a very real and very audible difference every time I move my speakers as it literally take 6 to 8 days for the Audio Points to properly settle back in or break in all over again with their connection to the floor. So with these 3 things, I'm always hesitant to move my speakers or my racking system.

Again, you only have a 7 ft ceiling, hence the greater the opportunity to reflect off the floor, then to the ceiling.

I'd like to suggest the thickest carpet pad underneath the thickest rug/carpet.

Keep moving the speakers around a few inches every few days to find an even more optimal location.

I don't know what speakers you have, but if your open to placement suggestions, I'd like to recommend this as a starting point:

Locate the speakers 5 1/2 ft. from the wall behind them and
2 1/2 ft. from the side walls. (All measurements are from the front/dead center of the woofer driver).

This should give you about 8 ft between the left and right tweeters.

Move your chair so that your ears are no further than 9 1/2 ft from either tweeter. This will give you a slight nearfield listen which usually is ideal anyway.

Toe the speaker in toward the center so that the tweeter axis crosses right in front of your nose.

If your rug leaves bare floor exposed anywhere in the front half of the room, throw some big cushions on the floor in the corners behind the speakers, and throw some cushions, pillows, or comforters/blankets (throw not folded) on the other exposed bare floor spots in the front half of the listening area (from the chair to behind the speakers).

You might even loosely spread out some thicker blankets on the floor to assimulate a thicker pad/carpet between the speakers and listening chair triangle.

Uppermidfi may consider this overdampening and he'd be right. But I'm just trying to offer a suggestion to demonstrate what your room might sound like if you had thick wall-to-wall carpeting and carpet padding.

Who knows, if you try these things and post saying this experiment brought a dramatic improvement, maybe uppermidfi will buy one of my racking systems. :)

One clarification I should make regarding my previous post. When I stated that the room's acoustics and treatments only account for perhaps 20 - 30 at most for a system's sonics, I also made that statement with certain assumptions or givens. Thick carpet padding and wall-to-wall carpeting is one of those givens.

Hope this helps,