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Case Study: DIY Home Theater Acoustics

ASC Acoustics for DIY Home Theater Enthusiasts
For years, Jeff had dreamed of building a home theater that could rival the best ones out there. It would have the best possible surround system, the best possible projector, the best of everything. Jeff went online, studied blogs, magazine articles, he learned everything he could. Being the sort who enjoyed doing it himself, he decided early on not to go with a "pre-packaged" option, or any of the many "kits" available online.

So he went to his local AV Dealer and put together his own package of the best gear available. In his research, he found a lot of information about home theater acoustics. Reading on forums and blogs, he discovered that the acoustics can make or break a whole project. They have to be done right, or the expensive gear will not sound good.

Jeff worked in stages, making an addition, listening to the result, then adding something else. By the time he reached Acoustic Sciences, he had added a fair amount of treble control with simple flat panels. He was ready for some more sophisticated acoustics.

Jeff needed some serious full-range control in the front of the room, and wanted to de-couple his main speakers from the front wall. He also needed something that fit to the scale of his high ceilings. His choice was the TowerTrap. The standard height of 78” looked perfect, and the ability to control excess sound pressure down to 40Hz matched the dynamics and high performance of his system.

Jeff also wanted to reduce the strength of midrange and treble energy in the rear of the theater. The newly-introduced CoolTrap would do that, with the added bonus of providing pleasant diffusion. Surround sound thrives on diffusion, the scattering of sound energy. Jeff also liked the idea of being able to create his own geometric pattern.
How did it turn out? Here is what Jeff told us:

“WOW! I played some stereo music and on some tracks, you think that some rear speakers are playing.”

“My choice of positioning the CoolTrap is simple ... I do not hear the echo of a hand clap, just perfect millisecond timing! Music listening (2 channels) is simply fabulous! And often, I'm sure the rear speakers are playing, sound is diffusing so much, I always see myself turning the head to be sure rear speaker aren't playing! Piano, guitar's strings. It's just.. WOW! It added so much depth and wide.“

“Now for the movie ... Indeed my hardware is excellent, transition from back to front is simply hallucinating! But with the CoolTrap, I can hear more details, it's less "sound coming from the back", it's more enveloping, YOU ARE in the movie.”

“About the TowerTrap, at the place I put them, right behind the front speakers, even vocal is simply crisp and clear, bass is tight and really precise! Since English is not our native language, my girlfriend and I had few difficulties to hear voice but now.. Wow! I understand even better!”

The Acoustic Sciences “treasure chest” of advanced acoustics products is open to everyone. If you like doing your own work like Jeff, we can offer advice for how to get the most from our standard items. Are you more adventurous? Staff engineers and the factory can design and build nearly anything you can dream of. And of course, we're always ready to create a reference listening space.

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