You can't have too many bass traps...


I've read that you can't have too many bass traps. Is that really true? 
Good advise given already.

First you have to define what a bass trap is, to answer the question. If a "bass trap" reduces 60hz by 5% of what's needed but reduces 30% of 2k level, then what would happen to your sound after installing the 20 bass traps you need for the 60hz? "Bass trap" is a tool. Use the right tool for the job.
Bass traps are actually not the right tool for 60 Hz. The right tool for 60 Hz is a Helmholtz resonator. A big one. I built a fifteen foot long S-shaped Helmholtz resonator from 6” diameter PVC for a stubborn 60 Hz standing wave. That’s the way you get rid of a 60 Hz standing wave. 🤗
Bass traps are actually not the right tool for 60 Hz.

Well, that's why in my original post I said one needs to define what a bass trap is. Generally speaking, people buy "Bass traps" to tame all that low  bass output. Whether they are right or wrong, that's what people do..... 
Bass traps are actually not the right tool for 60 Hz.

Maybe not the best tool given infinite money and space, but I disagree they are not a very good tool. First, some specs:

As you can see, these traps are very effective in the range of 40 to 100 Hz, and plenty effective at 60-ish.

Mind you, a Helmholtz resonator is certainly the most effective at specific frequencies, but a bass trap doesn’t have to be perfect to work. All it has to do is tamp down the ringing a little (like placing your finger on the side of a bell). You only need it to be partially effective, and then you can EQ the rest. I think that bass traps can be a lot easier to install and move with you than a HR.  The combination of bass trap + EQ is a room mode assassin.

This is what the pros say. De-energize the room modes just a little and EQ can suddenly become effective, and I’ve proven it in my own spaces repeatedly.

The big/thick bass traps can help some, but they still do not absorb much down low (such as 50-60hz).  Also, since they are broadband, they will tend to suck the life out of the room if too many are implemented.  I have actually found that Owens 703 FRK panels work very well down to about 85 hz.  And they are not huge (only 2 " thick).  Very light.   The have a metal foil that covers the front surface and acts like a tuned-membrane bass trap, but still reflects the upper mids/highs.  The foil resonates with the bass frequencies and the fiberglass behind it will absorb that resonate energy.  You just have to be careful not to put too many in your room because it can start getting to bright/harsh.  They are excellent for handling the upper bass and midbass.

Tuned membrane bass traps or limp mass bass traps are the only ones that I have found effective for lower frequencies.  I tried a variation of helmholtz resonators and it was a pain and didn't do anything.  I didn't do the 6" / 15foot design, though.

You can build your own tuned membrane (but don't use dense panels for the inside):

Or you can get GIK's version, which are the Scopus bass traps.

I have also tried the GIK bass traps with the FlexRange limiter.  They are okay, but don't work as well as the 703 FRK panels.  The FlexRange limiter is really just a 1/8" piece of cheap wood that is loosely held in front of the acoustic material.