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Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Tequila Slammer » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:28 pm

Wel, both (very good and important) points can be simply and cheaply addressed by aquiring the services of a handyman to do the work. There are plenty of jobbing carpenters and the like around who'd enjoy the challenge (and the money) and do a far better job than you, leaving you to do what you do best.

Make music.

I agree though - it's good to see more and more people aware of the importance of sound treatment.
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby olivier » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:29 pm

so Spy, basically you're saying that there's nothing wrong about spending more than a grand on basstrapping, when you can either :
* spend up to 10 times less (DIY) and still getting comparable results ?
* spend less (up to 30%) on something that's built in europe and therefore does not have a huge transport cost attached to its price tag ?

I've been thinking about sound treatment for a while now as I'm going to have my cellar converted into a studio next month, so believe me, I've conducted quite an extensive feasibility study about the sound treatment side of things.

I've sourced approximately 10 cheaper alternatives to Ethan's minitraps here in France (tube traps, helmoltz resonators, membrane traps, foam, etc.) , all nicely budgeted and compared to each other in an excel spreadsheet, and believe me if I had gone for a Real traps based solution it'd been 30% more expensive than its direct competitors.

my points are :

* looking at the theoretical results and hearing from satisfied customers, ideally I *WOULD* buy minitraps if I had the money or if I lived in the US. fact is I'm skint and the revenue I get from my music is not high enough to pay more than my bills.

* from what I can see there IS a market for minitraps in the UK thanks to the SOS article and other raving reviews.

* a large chunk of Ethan's Minitrap UK price tag is passed on to FedEx as shipping costs. that's where the rip-off is. if you don't have a problem with that, fine. Now don't come and say UK customers are being ripped-off after that.

* unless Ethan decides to have them manufactured in Europe/UK, minitraps are going to remain an expensive solution for european customers, at least 20-30% more expensive than any other membrane absorber here in France, and way more expensive than the DIY solution.

* I'm sure that if you do a tiny bit of research you can find specialist companies in the UK selling membrane absorbers. I found many here in France. with the advent of home cinemas and the likes there is a growing number of companies selling acoustic products.


Spy! wrote:Greetings All,

Anyway, the bottom line is if you can build them yourself then do so, if not buy Mini Traps or, if you can afford it, buy Mini Traps + foam absorbers and diffusers to tackle the mid and high frequencies.



I'd add that Minitraps are not the only way , it's kind of a luxury way. do you work for sonic distribution btw ?

I agree though, it's good to see people becoming aware of sound treatment :)

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:16 pm

olivier wrote:so Spy, basically you're saying that there's nothing wrong about spending more than a grand on basstrapping, when you can either :
* spend up to 10 times less (DIY) and still getting comparable results ?
* spend less (up to 30%) on something that's built in europe and therefore does not have a huge transport cost attached to its price tag ?

Whoa!!! This is getting a bit heated rather unnecessarily.

People can surely spend money on whatever they want. The thread started with a question about foam corner bass trapping, and I think we have all agreed that this is not a very effective solution, cheap and easy though it might be.

In contrast the Real Traps solution does work well, is easy to install, and requires no specialised analysis equipment to set it up properly...but it is relatively expensive.

Yes there are alternatives, and yes many of them are cheaper (in the UK/Europe). And there are plenty of DIY systems available too -- including from Ethan's own web site.

If money is tight and/or you like DIY, then use an alternative approach. If you happen to like the way the MiniTraps are put together and can afford them, you wont be disappointed in the results. That's all there is too it. No need for any bitterness!

I've sourced approximately 10 cheaper alternatives to Ethan's minitraps here in France (tube traps, helmoltz resonators, membrane traps, foam, etc.) , all nicely budgeted and compared to each other in an excel spreadsheet, and believe me if I had gone for a Real traps based solution it'd been 30% more expensive than its direct competitors.

I don't doubt it. However, some of the alternatives you mention require far more careful selection and placement to optimise their performance, some are much less versatile, and some won't look as attractive -- although that's obviously a subjective thing.

a large chunk of Ethan's Minitrap UK price tag is passed on to FedEx as shipping costs. that's where the rip-off is.

I don't think 'rip off' is an appropriate term here. The shipping/delivery charges certainly add to the cost and make the MiniTraps less cost-effective inthe UK/Europe than they might otherwise be, but in my opinion they still represent reasonable value for money by delivering professional quality results in an easy to use format.

Having said all that, we are on the lookout for alternative
acoustic treatment systems for project studio applications and will be reviewing them as and when they become available.

hugh
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Spy1 » Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:10 pm

Greetings Olivier,

olivier wrote:so Spy, basically you're saying that there's nothing wrong about spending more than a grand on basstrapping, when you can either :
* spend up to 10 times less (DIY) and still getting comparable results ?
* spend less (up to 30%) on something that's built in europe and therefore does not have a huge transport cost attached to its price tag ?
What I actually said was how a person chooses to spend their money is their own affair. However, I went on to say that if I could afford to shell out a grand on monitors it would be foolish of me not to consider the acoustics of the room in which I placed them. If my previous post didn't read that way to you then I apologize, but that is what I meant.

I'd add that Minitraps are not the only way , it's kind of a luxury way. do you work for sonic distribution btw ?

Olivier

Of course Minitraps are not the only way, however it's widely (though, obviously, not totally) accepted that they're the best (i.e. most efficient), non-custom product on the (UK) market at the moment. My point was why buy second (or third) best when you can get the best?

And no, I don't work for Sonic, but I'd be glad to if they've got any vacancies :D

However, I think Tequila Slammer made a very pertinent point about get a local chippie to do the work for you, which is a very good compromise between the two.

BTW, if you were to look at every post I've made (although, why you'd want to I don't know :roll:) on this and the V.2 forum, you'd see that I've never complained that "UK customers are being ripped-off".

Anyway, apologies all round if anyone took offence at what I said. I wasn't trying to rattle anyone's cage, just stating my opinion on Doezer's predicament.
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:34 pm

Digi,

> Apparently this Eric Desart guy has a hard on for bustin' Ethan's chops. <

Yes, and it amazes me that a 56 year old man (Eric) can devote so much of his time and energy to harrassing me. He literally Googles me every day to see where I post, then shows up and starts trouble. He poses as an objective scientist, but it's clear from all his name calling that he is anything but. 'Nuff said.

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:38 pm

DoeZer,

> theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff! <

Understand that the foam product shown in that comparison costs about the same as a MiniTrap, yet it's four times larger. This is not a typical piece of corner foam! You can see how effective typical sized corner foam is on the Product Data page of the RealTraps site.

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:48 pm

Olivier,

> the graph in the link below seems to say that minitraps are much more efficient in the bass department than they are in the mids <

Yes, and this is intentional! Bass traps made from foam or plain rigid fiberglass absorb too much at mid and high frequencies. So by the time you've installed enough of them to truly clean up the bass problems, the mids and highs are over-absorbed and the room is too dead sounding. A MiniTrap's fall-off in absorption from the low-mids and up is an important feature, not a liability.

> whereas auralex LENRDS and simple chunks of heavy rockwool stuck in the corners seem to have a much wider bandwidth. <

That's why the other day I was careful to say, "it may appear from the data at our site that they are tuned, but they are not." The curve is in fact a pair of "shelves" so to speak, and the seemingly peaky behavior around 100 Hz is a meeting of the two shelves, and also a function of the corner placement.

> to me what I say is consistent with the "resonating membrane" design you have chosen. am I wrong ? <

Yes, sorry, you are wrong. A wood panel membrane trap can be considered a tuned device because it has a center frequency where absorption is greatest, and which then falls off about half an octave on either side. Although MiniTraps and MondoTraps do employ a membrane, it is a "fully damped membrane" because it's solidly bonded to the rigid fiberglass. (We then bond a second layer to that to obtain a specific weight.) It does not vibrate freely in the air, and if it did its natural frequency would be well above the bass range. This is a very different principle from either plain fiberglass (or foam) and standard membrane traps. If our membrane really were resonant, the absorption would continue to decline as the frequency goes higher, rather than level off as it does.

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Guest » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:34 am

Ethan Winer:
More important, that data is invalid for a variety of technical reasons.

Would you care to expand on that?
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:11 pm

0VU,

> Would you care to expand on that? <

Sure, and much of this is explained in the article "Measuring Absorption" on my company's web site.

Acoustic materials are measured in a large and highly reverberant room. After establishing a steady temperature and humidity, the room is measured empty and again with the materials present. The Sabins of absorption are then computed based on the change in reverb time at each third octave band. In the US these tests are defined by the ASTM, which is a standards organization.

When acoustic panels are tested according to ASTM standards, at least 64 square feet of surface material is demanded to ensure a large enough change in reverb time in the test chamber. This is very important because small changes in measured reverb time occur even when nothing else changes. If you test the same pieces three times in a row you'll get three different results. The goal is for the tests to give results that are different enough from when the room was empty, to determine the absorption with some level of certainty.

The tests reported in that other forum used only one fourth the required sample size. This does not mean the data is completely useless, but it certainly means it's suspect. Especially at low frequencies where the variations from one test to another are inherently larger than at higher frequencies. Related, no acoustic labs in the US are certified to test below 100 Hz for this exact reason. Indeed, I've seen very low frequency absorption tests yield negative values, even when testing 64 square feet of material. Think about that! This is exactly why the difference in reverb time between tests must be minimal, and the difference between empty and full must be as large as possible. The requirement for 64 square feet is a minimum for a good reason.

This was posted by Eric Desart July 22, 2004 at that other forum, where he even admits the data is questionable:

The RAL lab didn't fail to give numbers [below 63 Hz] but failed to give sensible ones, and even 63 Hz itself is questionable.


Another rule was also violated, quoted from ASTM document C-423: "extreme aspect ratios, such as long narrow strips, shall be avoided." Those tests Auralex paid for placed the traps end to end creating - yup - a long narrow strip.

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether the Auralex tests are valid or not because MiniTraps held their own admirably. What looks like lower absorption above the high bass range is a big feature of MiniTraps, not a failing. Further, the only way Auralex could best a MiniTrap was by comparing it to a huge chunk of foam. That was not a standard LENRD they tested, it was a MegaLENRD, which is 34 inches across the face and has four times the volume of a MiniTrap. Likewise for the "super chunk" which also is 34 inches across the face and solid rigid fiberglass all the way through.

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby olivier » Sat Nov 20, 2004 9:47 pm

I'm sorry guys for all the fuss, my intention was clearly not to spread any bitterness or anything here, just to say that if money is tight like it is for me, there are still solutions for this kind of budget..
I think we've had the kind of answers and comments to make ourselves an opinion of how sound treatmnt can be done and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution , clearly the DIY route seems to be the most appropriate for me and I understand there are other people having their minds made up as to what is best etc.

after all, we all have here our little studio and think our way is the best.. fair enough !

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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:12 am

Having had an unexpected couple of days off I've been able to get up to date and I had some comments I wanted to add to this thread.

Btw, thanks for the reply Ethan.

This isn't intended as a direct assault on you or anyone else - though I'm aware that it might come across as such - I just want to catch up on a load of things that I would've posted as the thread developed, had I not been away for a few days. I should probably just let things lie as they seem to have reached a sort of logical conclusion in the thread but there are a number of things I want to query/comment on. There doesn't seem to be much point in starting a new thread as it all relates to this existing one but it is perhaps going off topic - for which I apologise.


Max:
however, there's NO such thing asa truly effective foam bass trap.

Until very recently I would've agreed 100% with that - it's a comment I've often made on this forum. More recently though, I've seen and heard some (not yet commercially available) foam corner traps that do work surprisingly well. And if the figures for the MegaLENRD are correct - and I've no reason to doubt them - there's another product that's really testing the accepted theory. Bums! So much for another of my accepted beliefs - wrong again! Though I still wouldn't say they're as efficient as most well built DIY glass/mineral wool corner traps and therefore perhaps represent limited value for money for anyone working on a tight budget. They would however be viable as a workable solution for someone to whom convenience is more important than ultimate cost, and who likes the appearance of sculpted foam (not really my taste). I guess they could always be hidden behind some fabric - but if you're going to do that, you might as well forget about the foam and save some money - assuming there's time.

Ethan Winer:

> [Quoting Olivier] the minitraps are tuned where corner traps are not <

That's not true at all. MiniTraps and our newer, larger MondoTraps are both broadband absorbers. They do have a huge amount of absorption at low frequencies, and it may appear from the data at our site that they are tuned, but they are not.


I don't think I follow the plot here. Looking at the figures on the comparative graph the behaviour of the Minitrap is more akin to that of a tuned trap than a broadband absorber. Whilst it does clearly absorb across a much wider bandwidth than many "tuned" traps, it does exhibit a marked and quite steep response peak - much more marked than any of the other products under test. You've stated that the reduced absorbtion higher up the spectrum is deliberate and that's fine. All the other products tested also exhibit some degree of "tuned" response in their absorption peak at around 100Hz but imo this is more likely to be a function of their, and the MiniTrap's, common test setup/application across a corner rather than anything specific about the materials used in the products themselves (though the addition of a membrane, even a well damped one, generally will create a tendancy to a more "tuned"/peaky/resonant behaviour). Ignoring the unreliable sub-100Hz figures (though this unreliability applies to all the products tested) the MiniTrap (I can't speak for MondoTraps as I've seen no comparable research on them) exhibits a much lower absorption above the peak frequency than the other products. Whilst the extended upper frequency absorption does give weight to the description of "broadband" I'd say that it's not a particularly efficient broadband absorber. I do understand that this is a deliberate design feature not an accident and I'm in no way implying that it's anything other than a deliberate choice, I also follow the thinking that led to it and can see applications where it's a good idea so this isn't really a criticism of it's performance. There are times when a reduced absorption in the higher spectrum can be desirable but whatever the method used to achieve the reduced absorption the result is a trap that's optimised to a specific frequency band/contour so in my book that optimisation makes it a tuned/hybrid rather than a true broadband trap.


Ethan Winer:
DoeZer,

> I read that the auralex stuff absorbs bass end + all frequencies BETTER than the realtraps stuff. <

Not in a million years.

The comparison I believe you're referring to was 1) sponsored by Auralex, and 2) used a slab of foam four times larger than a MiniTrap. And even with all that mass it was only a tiny bit more absorbent (5 percent) at 100 Hz than a MiniTrap. More important, that data is invalid for a variety of technical reasons. You can trust the independant magazine reviews that all came to the conclusion that RealTraps surpass foam in every way.


I don't see how you arrive at this. The graph clearly shows that the Auralex product in the test does absorb bass and all frequencies more efficiently than the MiniTrap. Whether this is always desirable is another matter. To be fair though, I'd say that DoeZer's comment can only really be applied to the two specific products under test not as a blanket remark covering all Auralex and RealTraps products.

Whilst it's true that the research was paid for by Auralex, the methodology and results are clearly given and appear to me at least to be reasonable and honestly stated. Whilst not explicit in your remark above, the implication that this somehow invalidates the research, I feel, is at best not relevant and at worst is rather disingenuous and does you few favours.


Thanks for replying to my request for an expansion on your comment about about the invalidity of the data, I appreciate it. It's thrown up some more questions for me. I take your point about flaws in the test methods but since these flaws apply uniformly to all the products under test I don't see how is this relevant to the *relative* effectiveness of the products under test (however much the absolute figures are flawed. My understanding/reading of the figures is that the tests were performed on real products set up so as to attempt to simulate their practical useage. I might be wrong but I don't read it as an attempt scientifically to evaluate the mechanical or acoustic properties of the materials from which the products are made or any other abstract test; rather the relative practical effectiveness of a number of actual products. I can see that comparing a MiniTrap to a physically larger product like a MegaLENRD is not comparing apples to apples but if I'm right, and the test is one of products not one of principles, that's irrelevant. I'd be interested to know whether the results shown were the product of multiple repeated tests on each product - I assume that the tests followed the standard routines and they were. This should reduce the stastical variation in results though I suspect that physically larger products would still have an advantage in terms of ultimate accuracy as well as ultimate absorption. Though as I've already said, I don't think that's relevant as that isn't what was being tested.

When acoustic panels are tested according to ASTM standards, at least 64 square feet of surface material is demanded to ensure a large enough change in reverb time in the test chamber.

Unless I'm missing something (and I've not yet read all pertinent the ASTM standards documents - I downloaded them but like most standards documents they're rather soporific ;)) In what I've read so far there doesn't seem to be a standard specification designed for measurement of corner mounted acoustic absorbers rather than flat/wall mounted absorbers. The detailed properties and (theoretical) behaviour of corner acoustics and absorption afaik still aren't fully understood so it's probably not yet actually possible to devise a foolproof/accurate standard for testing. (Though already I might well be wrong about this.)

Another rule was also violated, quoted from ASTM document C-423: "extreme aspect ratios, such as long narrow strips, shall be avoided." Those tests Auralex paid for placed the traps end to end creating - yup - a long narrow strip.

Surely the intended application for corner mounted absorbers produces long narrow strips of absorber and the probem is one of a lack of an appropriate test standard rather than anything for which Auralex is responsible. Imo, for comparison purposes, as long as all the products were tested in similar circumstances and along the lines of those recommended for their use the test still is a fair and valid comparison. The potential for inaccuracy in the testing of " long narrow strips" was there for all the products tested and whilst it could call into question the absolute values obtained by the tests, if the steup is as per the recommended use of the product, they should still be valid as a comparison of perfomance. I haven't seen any suggestion that the results shown for MiniTraps are incorrect but suggesting - if you're not, I apologise but that's how it appears - that the results are somehow biased/invalid because a, the products are different, b, the test methodology is flawed when none better exists, it was uniformly applied and not apparently chosen to bias the results, and c, Auralex paid for the tests, is itself not fair.

Max:
Point me to this "other forum", there are some heads that need bashing.

that is complete and utter bollox.


Ever the diplomat ;) :tongue:

Max:
TRUST ME, I do NOT work for Ethan , nor do i get a special rate or any backhanders..... but I have PERSONALLY installed more than 50 of his real traps "Mini traps" on client sites since they became available in the UK, and they are FAR more effective than ANY foam based product as currently available.

the corner wedge bass traps are all uniformly useless below @120-150 Hz, and even there they are less effective... they are quite capable above @200Hz, but that's it.

You know we all trust you darling ;) And I don't doubt that in your extensive experience of such things what you say is true. As I said above, I used to feel the same about foam "bass traps" (though I've never had reason to use a RealTraps product as I usualy have the option of implimenting something a bit more "custom"). However, in the context of this thread, i.e. most cost effective rather then convenient acoustic treatment I feel that there are possibly better options than MiniTraps - and Auralex - even though both are effective in their own way. To return to the original question, imo, carefully deployed MiniTraps would give a better result than the Auralex kit mentioned - especially at LF - but, with a bit of effort, there are DIY solutions which would yield better results than either. They just take more time, a modicum of skill/care in their construction and will be more messy to install.

DoeZer:
for me personally, the only reason I want to sway more towards the other products (not the real or mini traps is cos theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff!

does anyone have any opinions on these 'prima-kits' which also do the room-in-one kind of solution...
just more of the same I imagine?? heres a link...

It's obviously sensible to look for the most cost effective solution but as you point out very well in another post, that isn't always the cheapest. The foam in a box or MiniTraps solution is clean, quick and convenient but as has been pointed out several times in this thread there are more efficient and cost effective ways to treat a room.

DoeZer:
just one point though. i dont think its right to say that one product is better than the other given that its alot SMALLER. its down to cost. if you buy X trap and its more effective than Y trap and cheaper then X trap wins. Yes, Y trap may indeed be alot smaller and on a per cubic meter of material basis may win hands down, but most people are just interested in cost and effectiveness...

having said that!! all this positive talk on mini-traps is being noted and I certainly will check them out! like i say, all I want is as 'true' a monitoring environment as i can get! once I feel Im getting value for money I dont care who I go to!

Well said. :)


Despite how it might appear, I agree with the positive comments about RealTraps and defence of their UK pricing. The product is undoubtedly good and fills a market niche. (The same is true of the various foam products.) The pricing was explained with commendable candour by the UK distributor in a thread on the old Infopop forum and, whilst they're not cheap, it doesn't seem an unreasonable price to pay for the particular combination of effectiveness, convenience, expected longevity, and the level of service described in that thread.


Ethan Winer:
Digi,

> Apparently this Eric Desart guy has a hard on for bustin' Ethan's chops. <

Yes, and it amazes me that a 56 year old man (Eric) can devote so much of his time and energy to harrassing me. He literally Googles me every day to see where I post, then shows up and starts trouble. He poses as an objective scientist, but it's clear from all his name calling that he is anything but. 'Nuff said.

Not quite "'Nuff said".

Ethan, I don't know what is the problem between you and Eric and I don't particularly want to know. I'd just rather the squabbling didn't find it's way into this forum. Equally, I'd rather people on this forum didn't start having a go at Eric without him being here to defend himself.Your comments are rather one-sided and, without Eric being here to respond, rather un-called for. From what little I've read so far, Eric does seem rather annoyed about something though he does make some good points. Just for the record, and to balance the negative comments a little, though I don't know Eric Desart, I know his reputation and his work and imo he knows more about acoustics - both practical and theoretical - than anyone I've seen on this forum or a large number of people I've dealt with who call themselves acoustic designers/experts. I've never directly had any dealings with the man but I've worked in rooms he designed/consulted on and they are some of the best I've ever seen/heard anywhere in the world and certainly verify his qualification to comment on matters of acoustic design. I'm not taking sides and I'm not suggesting that he's always right - I doubt he'd claim that; neither am I suggesting that Ethan or anyone else is wrong or less qualified to make their point; I'm just saying that I have personal experience of Eric's work and I really don't think that it's fair to write him off in his absence with the implication that he's some kind of bitter nutter with a personal vendetta.

If what Ethan says about Eric "Googling" him every day in order to pick fights is true then it's a remarkably sad way for him to spend his time. I've not yet bothered to look up all these arguments - though I will spend some time on it - but in some of the few ...er...discussions I've seen between them, Ethan hasn't been above some name calling and frankly childish behaviour so perhaps Eric isn't the sole guilty party here. I would also say that, despite the ongoing spat, Eric does consistently produce some well reasoned and compelling arguments to explain his point of view and his technical standpoint and, despite numerous requests, I can't see where Ethan's really answered many if any of them. I don't doubt that there are rights and wrongs on both sides but with my Moderator hat on I don't want them aired here unless it can be done in a reasonable and fair way.


Ethan Winer:
DoeZer,

> theyre a DAMN sight cheaper over here than the realtraps stuff! <

Understand that the foam product shown in that comparison costs about the same as a MiniTrap, yet it's four times larger. This is not a typical piece of corner foam! You can see how effective typical sized corner foam is on the Product Data page of the RealTraps site.


Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether the Auralex tests are valid or not because MiniTraps held their own admirably. What looks like lower absorption above the high bass range is a big feature of MiniTraps, not a failing. Further, the only way Auralex could best a MiniTrap was by comparing it to a huge chunk of foam. That was not a standard LENRD they tested, it was a MegaLENRD, which is 34 inches across the face and has four times the volume of a MiniTrap. Likewise for the "super chunk" which also is 34 inches across the face and solid rigid fiberglass all the way through.

As I said above, in the context of those tests, this isn't really relevant. The test was put forward as a comparison of different products; if a duvet had produced the best results they'd still be valid! The foam trap may not be a typical piece of corner foam but no-one pretended it was. The pertinent data for the product is freely available and it was clearly stated to be a MegaLENRD rather than a LENRD. The fact the MiniTrap and the MegaLENRD cost about the same isn't really relevant either as I don't think anyone claimed that the test was of similarly priced products though it doesn't do any harm in a perceived VFM comparison that they're similarly priced. If all that matters is the sheer quantity of absorption offered by the two products then the MegaLENRD wins on bang for the buck. However what matters isn't just the numbers - it's how the products are deployed in a given design scenario. As pointed out above, one might not want the ultimate in broadband absorption in every circumstance. Perhaps it's better to look at them as two separate products designed to fulfill different roles and with different applications rather than seeing them as direct competitors.

(P.S. Ethan, I've had a look at the information you refer to on your website and can I ask, what was the corner foam product and test setup that you used to obtain the results shown - they're somewhat different from any data I've been able to find anywhere for foam corners? (Feel free to PM if you'd rather spare the blushes of it's manufacturer and not mention them openly in this forum - I promise not to use the information against them ;)))

Anyway, that's about it for thoughts on this one. Finally!

I think I'm starting to turn into Scott ;) :tongue:
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby cc. » Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:46 am

DoeZer wrote:
just one point though. i dont think its right to say that one product is better than the other given that its alot SMALLER.

I would say size does matter! Well, in my case anyway - maybe my room is a bit of an extreme case being made of huge chunks stone and concrete (essentially no bass escapes and all is reflected back). I've used 8 minitraps to tame the bass - if I was using something that needed even twice the space for the same performace I wouldn't have been able to fit it in the room (it's 3m by 4.5m).

As I say, this might be a bit of an extreme case...
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Ethan Winer » Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:47 pm

0VU,

> I should probably just let things lie <

I agree, mainly because you've brought up more stuff than I have time to "debunk," for lack of a better word. But I'll try anyway. :headbang:

> I've seen and heard some ... foam corner traps that do work surprisingly well <

There is no question that foam absorbs, and given enough of it you can get reasonable absorption at low frequencies. The key being "enough of it" because, again, a MegaLENRD has four times the mass/volume of a MiniTrap. As cc pointed out, most people are not willing or able to give up that much space to accommodate such an enormous trap.

> it [MiniTrap] does exhibit a marked and quite steep response peak <

Again, this is due more to corner mounting than anything else. As was already pointed out, look at the wall mounted data for MiniTraps on our site and you'll see no hint of resonance. If you looked at data for a wood panel trap, which is resonant, the peak will be clear whether mounted near a corner or flat on a wall. What seems like a peak is really just the low end falling off naturally, coupled with the "shelved down" mid/high response. As I already explained.

> Ignoring the unreliable sub-100Hz figures (though this unreliability applies to all the products tested) <

No, unreliable means unreliable! It does not mean you can apply a constant bias to all the test results to make them more reliable.

> Whilst the extended upper frequency absorption does give weight to the description of "broadband" I'd say that it's not a particularly efficient broadband absorber. <

You are missing something very important here. Look again at the corner data on our site for MiniTraps. A MiniTrap has a front surface area of 8 square feet, so at frequencies where it absorbs 8 Sabins or more it has an absorption coefficient of at least 1. Meaning it absorbs at least 100 percent. A MiniTrap in a corner absorbs 100 percent or more up to nearly 2 KHz, and it remains above 50 percent all the way to the 10 KHz limit. To my way of thinking this is very effective broadband absorption!

> since these flaws apply uniformly to all the products under test I don't see how is this relevant to the *relative* effectiveness <

Again, unreliable is unreliable, which is why I made the point earlier that you can get negative values at low frequencies from some tests but not others, even with the same materials half an hour apart in the same lab.

> I can see that comparing a MiniTrap to a physically larger product like a MegaLENRD is not comparing apples to apples but if I'm right, and the test is one of products not one of principles, that's irrelevant. <

Agreed. However, it would be much more useful and relevant had Auralex included data for standard LENRDs in a corner. I am certain they measured that.

> there doesn't seem to be a standard specification designed for measurement of corner mounted acoustic absorbers <

Yes, but that has no relevance. A minimum amount of material is demanded to ensure a large enough change in reverb times between the room empty and when the material is present. This has nothing to do with whether ASTM has developed a standard for corner testing.

> The detailed properties and (theoretical) behaviour of corner acoustics and absorption afaik still aren't fully understood <

Not fully understood by whom?

> the intended application for corner mounted absorbers produces long narrow strips <

No, and we have always told people to space their MiniTraps evenly between the floor and ceiling, or to leave a space between them when mounting several in a long ceiling corner. Auralex's test should have spaced the four-foot sections two to four feet apart to avoid that.

> there are DIY solutions which would yield better results than either <

Please email about this. I'll pay you a handsome commission if you can show me a way to make bass traps that are better than what we sell now. Yes, I am absolutely serious!

> he [Eric] knows more about acoustics <

I agree that denigrating Eric here is not necessary. If you care to email me we can discuss it further. I have plenty of evidence to the contrary.

> Ethan hasn't been above some name calling and frankly childish behaviour <

That's a serious charge that's neither true nor fair. I have always been cordial to Eric, even when he's insulted me personally and professionally. I have tried everything to get along with him, and all of the blame for our disputes falls on him, not me. If you can show examples of me calling names or being childish I'd love to see them.

> what was the corner foam product and test setup that you used to obtain the results shown <

The foam was from Foam by Mail, and photos of the tests are linked on our Product Data page.

BTW, who are you, besides "0VU?"

--Ethan
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:19 am

Greetings

1] Eric Desart is far more knowledgable about acoustics than Ethan. Despite vacuous claims by Ethan to the contrary.

Eric was one of the designers of Galaxy Studio, which has probably the best isaoltion spec in the worls, and certainly world class acoustics. http://www.galaxystudios.com/index_content.html

Ethan has even tried to play this down in the past.

In contrast Ethan has had NO Formal acoustical training. In comparison to Eric, Ethan is NOT an expert in acoustics.

Ethan always claims the 'victim' against some kind of crusade by Eric Desart. All Eric does is speak the truth about acoustics. Ethan get's upset becuase Erics writings showteh flaws in Ethan's products and knowledge.



2] The tests done for the Studiotips site are NOT flawed. Ethan's claims to the opposite are in fact flawed. The MegaLENRDS and DIY Rockwool Wedges perform far better than the Mini-Traps.

3] Ethan deliberately used the FOAM-BY-MAIL foam for comparisons to his Mini-Traps, becuase he KNEW the foam-by-mail foam is not made out of the correct material for acoustic treatment, and hence forth doesn't perform well at all.

Ethan should provide comparisons between his products and Auralex foam products on his RealTraps site if he is confident his products are better. Ask yourself why he doesn't do this/.

Foam-By-Mail Foam, and the similar stuff sold on E-Bay is pretty crap in comparison to the Auralex Products that have been, ripped off.

4] A Mini-Trap is NOT a broadband absorber. It is a panel absorber, which by definition is narrow band. And the test results at the Studiotips site bear this out.

5] Is my post biased? Yes, it is Biased. And for good reason. Ethan's Products are NOT crap by any means, but they are simply not as good as his rhetoric and misleading data show. All people like Eric Desart ( who actually DO know their stuff ) are trying to do is clean up the Internet of misleading imformation and people claiming they are experts when they are clearly not.

Anyone can quote stuff from books and from acoustic Lab standards, without knowing the background of it all.

For the layman it's all a matter of trust.

I trust someone who has ACTUALLY been in the acoustics business for many years, who has actually worked in acoustics labs, who has actually dseigned world class studio's such as Galaxy.

If anyone finds what I've written here to be suspect, then by all means come over to the StudioTips forum and interrogate Eric and the other experts. They have nothing to hide, and NO commercial agenda. You'll soon see who the REAL experts are.


cheers :)


Paul
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Re: Auralex Roominator Kits??? Any good??

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:56 am

Max The Mac wrote: I have PERSONALLY installed more than 50 of his real traps "Mini traps" on client sites since they became available in the UK, and they are FAR more effective than ANY foam based product as currently available.


0VU, Mate , with all due respect, The full "in Context" quote should read like this... and I would like to direct your attention to the last 3 words uttered in that phrase.

I will assess MegaLENRDS in the new year as soon as I can get my grubby mitts on some...

My Reference is to the commonly available "industry standard" sort of Corner wedge , of which I currently felt the best were probably the (new ish) Studiospares "own brand" , but Still would rather fit Real traps products for both practical results reasons as well as aesthetics.... and to those decrying the costs... I should seriously point out that the costs per unit come DOWN quite rapidly the more you fit....

Installing say 16 brings it down to something like £170 odd each..... which is a whole lot less per unit !

and it is quite reasonable to install that many in a single 2 room facility, 8 per room, one in each vertical corner, one in each horizontal ceiling/wall corner....


IMHO the results speak for themselves.... and in terms of a time/cost/effect ratio, the minitrap is still the best value product CURRENTLY available in the UK

Having used both Foam products, and more specialised DIY/craftsman built designs.... I have to say that the results and the overall value for money are undeniably good.


I feel I MUST add this, though I dislike where SOME of this thread is heading..... I actually have read threads elsewhere in the past where Eric HAS "gone after" Ethan in a highly personal and disturbing manner, frankly that behaviour at the time made me doubt his veracity, or indeed whether it was in reality Eric himself at all.......( It is not unknown for random cyber pillocks to impersonate people of some kind of stature)
Some Further investigation led me to conclude that Eric simply can't stand Ethan, for whatever reason, and his normally civilised knowledgeable and reasoned arguments and Data were perhaps suspect for subjective reasons.,..

I have no proof or evidence for that as such , and I would STILL acknowledge his expertise. But I basically "switch off" the moment he starts ranting again.,.. and switch back on when he's finished..... perhaps that is naive of me, but Life is too short to spend it sifting through other people's personal itches.

Ethan has publicly acknowledged his "self taught " status on many occasions, and I believe he does so in the articles posted on his site as well.... but that has no bearing on the usefulness of his products, or the validity and relevance of most of his advice........

I would also point out that his Minitraps and their brethren are being happily and successfully used in many many professional , possibly even "world class" studios........ possibly more than Eric has had a hand in..........

That neither invalidates Eric or Ethan as sources of knowledge on the subject, nor should it give either any greater "status" in interested parties eyes.....

But I would be very pleased if the interested "warring factions" could take it elsewhere, it isn't terribly productive within the context of this forum.




Ethan, to answer your last query to a small degree

0VU is an experienced, and highly respected member of the UK pro Audio community , with many credits, a CV that makes most people jealous, some high profile clients, and is also a personal friend of mine.... (In real life, not just here in Cyber-space) I'm not about to go bandying his personal details about , but I generally trust his opinion in many things, although we do sometimes differ in the minutiae and over certain subjective matters.
He is also Moderator of this particular bit of SOS territory, and rightly so......

Where he and I differ I suspect , right now, is that I've used your products quite a bit..... and he hasn't as yet......

But he DOES rather know what he's about.....

Best regards

Max

PS
Right, I'm off for a bit....... Have to go to Scotland..... and I'm not bloody posting from My PDA or Mobile phone......... ;) so I'm afraid I can't be dragged into any further argument or debate right now chaps.......

MTM
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