August 30, 2011

Wedging Wall. Auralex Studiofoam Wedges.

After listening to my system, a senior audiophile of "sifu" status told me that I should consider re-doing rear wall treatment, consisting of commercial acoustic foam panels and Auralex MetroFusor diffusor panels. His comment was that my back wall didn't seem to disappear enough, i.e. there's still some 2nd or 3rd deflection points, reducing the imaging stability("tein wai" in Cantonese speak) of my sound stage!

He reckons that I should just get rid of all my diffuser panels and just use Auralex Studiofoam Wedges all over instead. I headed to Centre Circle Audio the very next day and came home with 2 pieces of 2 x 4 ft Studiofoam Wedges. I went straight ahead and ripped out all my previous panels in the rear wall and proceeded to trial the Auralex Wedges panels. I stuck them to my rear wall with temporary mounting tapes and had the 2 x 4 ft panels on the horizontal side by side, to form a 2 x 8 ft black panel right behind my listening throne(sofa).

Auralex Studiofoam Wedges.

I proceeded to play some music and noted a much more silent, blacker back ground within the sound stage. However, I also noted that my high frequencies were rolled off a whole lot more than I liked too, seemingly absorbed by the Wedges. Music was lifeless, dull and boring! I guess I had overdone the Wedges panels.

Next I used only one piece of the 2 x 4 ft Wedges panel, I stuck it right in the middle of the wall, right behind the listening throne, where my head would be if I were seated, then proceeded to introduced back the Auralex MetroFusor diffusor panels measuring 2 x 2 ft  at both ends of the Wedges panel. See picture below for the final configuration.

My final back wall treatment configuration Auralex MetroFusor-Auralex Studiofoam Wedges-Auralex MetroFusor.
 I proceeded to play music again, and this time it's bliss! I managed to get the silent, black back ground for stronger imaging properties within the sound stage, and yet, did not have to suffer much rolled off high frequencies. A bonus was that because of the improved staging stability, I could also perceive deeper in to the layers of the sound stage, something of a weakness in my system previously. I did not lose any musicality, or rhythm and pace as experience just before. I listened for a few more days, and well convinced about the improvements I heard with various recordings, I applied the wall adhesives to the Auralex panels and made this my permanent back wall treatment. By the way, in case you're wondering, a piece of 2 x 4 ft Auralex Studiofoam Wedges cost RM$190.00, small money for great results(for me at least)!

In case you're wondering if you should do the same, I can only say that you should at least give it a try!

Auralex Acoustics is sold by Centre Circle Audio, contact Sky, or Nelson at 03-77282686.

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