Review: Ecco Busters Bass Busters, E.B., corner busters Tweak

Category: Accessories

This is a review of acoustical treatment products from Eco Buster.
After I had finished assembling my system, I thought that the last
step was to do something to improve the room. I thought about ACS,
but there web site and other sources showed rooms with tube traps all
over the place, and my wife, who mistakenly calls our listening room
the living room, would not put up with this. Ditto Rives audio. I
had talked with Rives when I purchased his test CD calibrated for the
radio shack SPL meter, but again all the examples shown involved
modifications of the room that my wife would never go for. So, I
contacted Music Direct, since they carried a number of different
companies acoustical treatment products. I sent them a diagram of my
listening room, and a detailed description of my set up, and they
recommended an all eco buster set up.

I need to point out, that the final "solution", consisting of 4
corner reflectors, two bass buster, and four eco buster panels, was
dictated by the existing placement of furniture and hanging artwork.
I do not doubt that a further improvement could have been had by
optimizing the Eco Buster products to the room with no regard to
preexisting spaces and arrangement, but my wife would never had stood
for that.

So, what did I find? I listened to three recordings: Rachmaninoff
Symphonic Dances, the much ballyhooed Reference recording, track 3 of
Rendezvous, the Jerome Harris Sterophile recording, and track 1,
Stolen Moments, from the Oliver Nelson CD. Listened at fairly high
volume with no distracting noise (i.e. the house was mine alone!).
On the classical piece, at the 9 and 10 minute mark, there are loud
passages with horns and drums. At the 10:50 mark, there are cymbals
doing their thing. Without the Eco buster products in place, the
sound on the loud passages was a bit strained, with some shrillness
on the brass. The cymbals sounded good, but could have had more
shimmer. The Rendezvous album was the most revealing, as I expected
since it is so well recorded. The opening background cymbals on
track three without Eco buster were a bit too "static" sounding, and
the wonderful horn solo was rough when it hit the high notes. The
soundstage on this CD is great, and my system did it justice, or so I
thought. \The xylophone was nice and clear, but again the highest
frequency notes sounded just less than perfect, with a touch of
grain. Likewise, the trombone was a bit rough when the intensity
peaked. Stolen moments, a personnel favorite, sounded great without
Eco busters, but the flute solo was a bit strident at times, and the
imaging could have been better. Bill Evans piano sounded a
little "digital" (sorry, I do not know how else to describe it).

Then I place the Ecco Busters in the room. I had done all the prep
work earlier, so that the total time span was only a few minutes, so
that I could remember how things had sounded. On the classical
music, the drums, a big burst comes in early on, were much more
focused and distinct. The horns were sharper and had more bite,
without being too "gritty". In general, all the music seemed a bit
more transparent and had better focus. Imaging was subtly improved
too. The cymbals had more sparkle, they sounded more like cymbals.
On the Rendezvous cut, the cymbals were much better, with more
realistic sound and better reverberation. The soundstage had more
depth, width remained about the same. The biggest difference was the
high and loud notes hit by the flute and the horns, they were far
less strident and more detailed, a big improvement. On the Nelson
CD, I still found Hubbard's horn solo a bit shrill, but less so. The
imaging was perhaps a bit better, but this is not this album's strong
point. I did note that the sax now was not right on top of the
drum. On Dolphy's flute solo, I could hear more low-level detail,
including his breath as he blew into the instrument.

So, overall, I am very pleased. Any downsides? One, the Eco busters
come in many colors. Since our walls are white, my wife said get
white, and that what I ordered. However, the white is a dull white,
almost gray. I think this is a necessity dictated by the need for an
open weave cloth, presumably to minimize audio reflection, but it is
something to be aware of. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I
would say that when I upgraded my speakers that was a 10 (even my
wife, as she walked over to turn down the volume, noted that they
sounded much better!). The MF amp was an 8, the speaker cables a 4,
the vibration damping device a 3, and the Eco buster a 4 to 5.

Associated gear
MF A3cr amp, pre, DAC, PS 600 power, B&W n803, Sony 555es, Nordost Silver Shadow, PS lab cable, CST1 biwire speaker, HT prosillway II
I have been very happy with my Echobuster products I treated my first and second point reflections and bought a pair of Bass Busters for my front corners and my system is very open and detailed with no annoying artifacts thanks to echobusters. The whole key IMHO when it comes to sound treatments is the less the better you just want to treat the problems not the whole room
I wanted to correct some of the information (or mis-information) you may have received from us or our website, and apologize for any unclear or misleading information. We design rooms to ALL clients specifications. We have done rooms that have only superficial treatment to rooms that have blended in traditional coffered ceilings (but obviously this is fairly expensive and requires significant construction). The problem may have stemmed from the majority of the designs on our website do use built in acoustical treatments as these are the most effective sonically, but we are not in any way limited to this. We express to all clients that there are three attributes that need to be considered in designing a listening room: sonic benefit, aesthetics, and budget. You can often have 2 of these, but can't get all three. We try to acheive the optimum balance within our client's requirements.

I will say that I am glad that you did continue and do some work on the room. The worst thing you could possibly do is ignore or not deal with the room. There was a cartoon I saw on the web that said something to the effect: "Frequency response, reverberation time, absorbers, diffusors, traps--it's no wonder I spent my money on a power cable." The confusion of room acoustics often leads people to shy away from it all together.
I have the new Phase 4 Echo Busters and 4 Echo buster 2x4 wall treatments....
the Phase 4 treatments are excellent... they are basically an advanced version of the Bass Busters... only they have 4 surfaces to let the user trim the room the best way possible. Two sides have absorbtion and the other two have diffusion.. or you can use 1 side of each...
I have the Phase 4s behind my Mirage M5si which are about 4 feet from the back wall... the Phase 4s need a little dialing in, but definately focus the soundstage and improve the bass definition and clarity. The Mid bass is more accurate and the drums have more presence. The Echo Busters I have behind the speakers on the wall at listening level and up and then at the first echo point to take away the slap echo. These at first I had in front and back, but this made the room too dead sounding.. Moving the rear busters to the front position opened up the room and actually made the soundstage deeper and the highs more crisp. I am very happy with the overall improvements from the package I purchased. Thanks to Mike at Echobusters for steering me in the right direction! Definately an affordable solution to tweeking the room to the next level.
Happy listening,
Custom Audio LLC