‘It all begins and ends with the Room’

The performance of every single Hifi system is fundamentally underpinned by the room and the acoustical properties of that room. Inherent room modes, standing waves, flutter echo, specular reflections, the short lag time of early  secondary reflections; it is a highly complex subject and almost every space conspires to give an uneven frequency response and to deteriorate imaging location, image focus and time coherency.

Thankfully, a room’s “sound” and any more sinister problems that it may have, can be addressed very effectively with physical acoustical treatments. We have found that tackling this quite involved subject though involves a little more than just signing up to the nearest and most common solutions found in the marketplace.

To this end we have carefully assembled a five pronged attack on this most important facet of our hobby, combining absorption and reflection products from Transparent Acoustics, RW Acoustics and Stillpoints, with high quality 1d and 2d QRD Diffusion products from Acoustic Manufacture in Poland, and finally taking advantage of the exemplary and well established DaaD bass trap tuning system from Acustica Applicata. Offering a wide range of solutions also has the added benefit of a bigger range of aesthetics; if it is indeed even possible to install acoustic treatments in our rooms, then the whole family will likely want them to blend in and be visually acceptable.

We feel that all of these products in their respective roles represent the zenith of what is achievable in a domestic environment and even employing just one or two product types will likely have very transformative effects on your system, a sonic improvement bigger than a major box swap but at less money than the cost of a cartridge or a set of modest speaker cables.

TRANSPARENT ACOUSTICS / RW ACOUSTICS

We were first introduced to Transparent Acoustics by our friends at Tidal Audio in Germany. Transparent were responsible for managing the room acoustics of  Tidal’s ‘new for 2018’ factory demonstration room. The sound there in Koln was more than sufficient to convince me of Transparent’s claims, namely that they produce the best measuring full range absorption panels on the market. Along with their 3d reflector panels and ceiling mouted absorber ‘Clouds’, they today also represent the backbone of the Lotus Hifi demo room acoustical design.

RW acoustics from Slovenia have been treating the rooms at Munich Highend for some of our favourite manufacturers for some years now. Their range of high performing absorption panels is exhaustive with 3 price bands and in each price tier, a plethora of sizing options, frames in differing wood finishes, varying colours, custom print options and even a backlighting option. Pricing starts at a very modest level and each order can be customised exactly to suit.

ACOUSTIC MANUFACTURE

Acoustic Manufacture’s beautiful diffusion products were also first introduced to us at the Tidal factory. Cezary from Poland hand builds a wonderful range of 1d and 2d quadratic residue filters in an exhaustive range of woods, colours and finishes. There are various sizing options and different operating frequency ranges to choose from. They are also able to accomodate custom orders and combine different panels into a single unit.

ACCUSTICA APPLICATA

Accustica Applicata’s DaaD system (diffusion absorption acoustical device) is no newcomer to the world of Highend hifi. The power of their solution  is very well established across the world and conveniently for us, they have a long association with Avalon Loudspeakers.

The DaaD system is essentially a range of floorstanding bass traps with additional diffusion properties. They function by primarily removing excess levels of bass energy, particularly in the corners and first reflection points of the room. They are extremely light and can be rotated to tune the way in which their various properties interact with the room. The result is a larger soundstage with much better imaging and holographics, better tonality and more naturalness.

Accustica Applicata also make a number of variable resonator products, namely the Volcano, Halifax and Polifemo. These ingenious floorstanding devices sit between the speakers, tackling the large amount of turbulence that is known to exist there. In conjunction with the DaaD’s they offer further dramatic improvements on transparency, imaging and soundstage holography.

STILLPOINTS APERTURES

We have been successfully selling Stillpoints Aperture acoustic panels for many years now. They are small, elegant and relatively inconspicous and offer a one stop combined solution of absorption, resonator and diffusion. With a system of internal chambers and a mix of internal materials, they are designed to adapt dynamically to amplitude and frequency changes in the music. This results in a powerful single solution that has a greater effect for a small given surface area than traditional acoustical treatment products. They can be ordered with or without frames and in plain colours or with printed artwork or graphics.