The Sculptured Listening Room

Published On: January 21, 2022Tags: , , , ,

Perfecting your listening room can be exciting yet daunting. How to improve? What’s most effective? How do I achieve a sonic sculptured listening room? Thankfully, ASC has decades of experience designing and constructing truly world-class listening room environments for clients worldwide.

This week ASC President and TubeTrap Inventor, Art Noxon, PE shares his extensive knowledge on the subject.

One time I was asked…

…to dial in a huge HiFi demo room at a high-end audio show in Newport, CA without using TubeTraps. The room was a large conference room, with a 12’ ceiling and the width and length were both in the 50 to 60’ range. It was a huge room and it would take a truck load of TubeTraps to try to get this room to play. It was running big Magico speakers, Spectral electronics and MIT cables and that package deserved to sound great. Needless to say, there was no truckload of TubeTraps available. Let’s discuss how to build a Sonic Sculptured Listening Room.

The only thing anyone could get their hands on was show curtains, not the lightweight ones but these were the more classy curtains, velour curtains hanging off of pipe stands 10’ tall. I could have as many of these pipe curtains as I wanted. And the pressure was on because the show was opening the next day.

The Sculptured Listening Room with tubetraps and ceiling soffits in brown

I studied the curtains. I felt their weight, a reasonable weight, well over one pound per square yard of limp mass. I put the curtain up to my lips held it tight and blew thru a small area of curtain. It was not sealed air-tight, it leaked air under pressure, which also was good. Next I held some curtain material flat, up in front of me and repeated the same old words as always: Check, check, check, testing; one, two, three…. There was a light splash back into my face and ears. And so, here’s what I knew.

The Listening Room

1) The curtain had enough weight or mass and it was not particularly acoustically transparent, therefore the curtain could load a sound wave, even in the bass. This means when bass sound wave impacted the curtain it would hold some of the bass pressure back. I could load, steer or channel a sound wave because the curtain could load a sound wave.

2) Because it was heavy enough to load even a bass wave and it also had some resistance to air flow, I figured that if I could get a pressure difference on either side of the curtain, air would flow through the flow resistive curtain and acoustic energy would be absorbed. I could turn the curtain into a bass trap.

The Sculptured Listening Room with red curtain backdrop and tubetraps in quartz

3) Finally, the curtain reflected treble, which meant that the curves and folds of the curtain could act as a treble range diffuser.

To absorb bass I figured I would intercept an expanding wavefront with a boat-shaped section of curtain: pointed in the front, close to the speaker and spreading apart as the wave expanded away from the speaker into the room. This would keep a pressure gradient or difference along the hull of the boat, which causes air to flow through the resistance of the curtain and energy would be absorbed. I couldn’t absorb all the wave on the first pass and so what hit the walls and bounced off ran into another boat-shaped set of curtain walls.

Continue reading the entire article and be sure to check out all the amazing acoustic treatment solutions ASC has to offer your Hifi Room or Recording/Mixing Studio.

The Sculptured Listening Room outfitted with tubetraps and soundplanks

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