Home > Podcast > AVRant #126: Interview with Auralex

AVRant #126: Interview with Auralex

April 27th, 2009

Tom interviews Gavin Haverstick of Auralex Acoustics about getting the most out of your room. You had questions and Gavin is one of the best in the business. Topics covered included:

  • Differences between soundproofing and treating.
  • Can you soundproof an existing space?
  • Why use diffusion and where you should place it.
  • What’s the target response for a room?
  • Are room treatments forever?
  • Gavin’s suggestions for no/low cost room treatments.
  • Are room treatments subjective?
  • Active versus passive absorbers and how they work.
  • What is decoupling and why would you want it?
  • Soundproofing – what can you do to an existing room?
  • STC – what it is and how to read it.
  • What Gavin does when he works on a room.
  • What is Auralex doing to make room treatment easier?

Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley.


Some of the products/sites mentioned:

Other sources for room treatments/information:

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  1. Rob
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:47 | #1

    Outstanding! This is a phenomenal interview and ought to be “required listening” for any home theatre or music enthusiast!

    I am so pleased that information of this quality has finally been made available to a large, public audience. While a ~1 hour podcast cannot be exhaustive on the subjects of soundproofing and room treatments, this interview is considerably more comprehensive than most of the discussions found in forums or articles.

    I am extremely impressed with Gavin’s knowledge and willingness and ability to explain these rather complex ideas in plain and understandable terms. That is the mark of a true expert with a commanding grasp of his field. So many so-called “Audiophiles” cannot clearly explain their arguments to a layperson because they do no truly understand acoustics! So while the “high end Audiophiles” pontificate about the “night and day” difference made by $20,000 speaker wire, they rarely talk about the factual difference made by moving the seat 6 inches further away from the wall!

    I sincerely hope this will not be the last expert interview ever heard on AVRant! This was thoroughly enjoyable, highly educational and a wonderful example of how a truly knowledgable expert can impart so much valuable information in such a relatively short amount of time!

    Superb job, Tom! And please be sure to thank Gavin again on behalf of myself and I’m sure the many other listeners who feel the same as I!

  2. Rob
    April 29th, 2009 at 13:26 | #2

    Where are all the other comments? 😕

    Anyway, I’ve listened to this interview about 3 times through now and there is one particular question/answer that I would love to hear expanded into another interview.

    Tom asked about adding specific products for soundproofing such as: soundproof drywall (QuietRock), GreenGlue, SheetBlock, etc. Gavin avoided talking specifically about name brand products, but gave general advice to research not just STC but actual Sound Transmission Loss measurements at specific frequencies (particularly bass frequencies). Gavin warned that “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” and I really think we could benefit from further discussion about that comment.

    In particular, QuietRock from Quiet Solution may seem “too good to be true”. QuietRock is patented, specialized drywall that uses a viscoelastic layer to create high Sound Transmission Loss with a relatively thin (5/8 inch) drywall product. It is definitely tested and measured for Sound Transmission Loss – so it meets that part of Gavin’s recommendation. But there is still a lot of skepticism because it does seem “too good to be true”.

    GreenGlue receives similar skepticism. It too is a viscoelastic product and while tested and measured, also seems “too good to be true”. Tom did specifically mention GreenGlue, but Gavin did not specifically mention GreenGlue in his answer.

    So…I would very much like to hear discussion about QuietRock and GreenGlue specifically! These are relatively new products using a new method (viscoelastic substances) to address soundproofing. These are not the traditional “mass and air space” methods, but the measurements and claims are impressive! I think it is really important to explore these products in greater detail!

    So is there any chance that you could reach out to Quiet Solution and the company that makes GreenGlue

  3. April 29th, 2009 at 15:45 | #3

    I could try. Like I said at the end, I’m open to additonal interviews on the topic.

  4. Rob
    April 29th, 2009 at 16:19 | #4

    Cool 🙂 I really hope some reps will reply to your requests, Tom! I think that greater exposure can only help companies selling newer products and technologies, so I’m hopeful they will see it that way.

    I’m certainly more inclined to purchase Auralex products and services after hearing Gavin 😉

    I know that Clint and Tom got a bit of a laugh over the “THX approved” drywall and door products. Those are both from Quiet Solution, so that might be a particularly interesting discussion for AVRant! 😀

  5. Jon
    April 29th, 2009 at 21:38 | #5

    I’m still here Rob! Just been very busy at work this week.

    Tom: Thanks for doing this interview. I’ve only listened once so far, but I’m pondering how to sneak in corner traps into my living room and make them unnoticed by the Aesthetics Committee. Perhaps a creative paint job to make them look like the real wall?

    And thanks to Tom’s reprimand, I need to get moving on sending in my dimensions to Auralex for analysis. I’m also toying with the DIY software for measuring room response: Room EQ Wizard. I just need the right cables to connect my laptop and SPL meter to my AVR. And of course the time to play with it all uninterrupted. I should have that cranked out in another five years at the rate I’m going.

    So thanks, Tom, for doing this interview. (Rob-note correct comma usage!) I like these technical focus podcasts, and would love to hear more about display calibration. Painfully in-depth, please!

  6. Rob
    April 29th, 2009 at 22:47 | #6

    Tom, very sorry to hear about your fender bender 🙁 Always a suck-y experience. Definitely glad to hear that you are ok though – that is certainly the most important thing!

    Come Friday, I should be able to chip some more dollar bills into the PS3 Fund, so hopefully that will ease the pain of the wallet just a little bit 🙂

    Regarding bass traps: I read Tom’s review of the GiK Tri-Traps and it raised a question – how do acoustic foam corner traps such as the Auralex LENRD Traps compare? Your review mentions that acoustic foam is not as effective, yet at roughly half the price, would the LENRD Traps still provide higher value, perhaps?

  7. leitweight
    April 29th, 2009 at 23:27 | #7

    Bravo Tom and Gavin! What a great no-nonsense conversation about an endlessly complex subject. I was surprised that Gavin seemed so willing to discuss isolation techniques as it seems to me that Auralex’s primary business (at least in profits) is room treatments. Tom has always done a great job defining the difference between isolation and room treatments – it’s probably the topic least understood by newbies. Thanks to both of you for spending an entire episode chatting about the subject matched in importance only by speakers in quality sound reproduction.

  8. Jon
    May 4th, 2009 at 23:16 | #8

    Holy Cow!! Tom is in sight of the PS3! One more podcast should put him over the edge. Excellent teamwork everyone, and a great way to show our appreciation. I can’t wait to hear him talk to Dina about playing the Star Wars game…

  9. Rob
    May 5th, 2009 at 00:25 | #9

    Indeed, Jon! I’ve been looking around online and $350 could definitely net Tom a PS3 if he’s willing to go something other than 80GB model, brand new from a brick & mortar store.

    The question is whether or not it is worth while to take the slight risk on a refurbished unit, an ebay auction or a discontinued 40GB model. Those are basically the options for under $399 😉

  10. Jon
    May 5th, 2009 at 07:20 | #10

    I think Tom’s wife should kick in the $50. Surely she appreciates the podcast as much as we do! Plus, think of all the fun she’ll have playing Resistance.

    • May 5th, 2009 at 11:09 | #11

      I’m thinking I should be able to find something for $350, I just haven’t had the time to look. I’ll get on that… probably tomorrow as I’m working on my Cinco de Mayo dinner today. I think I can still surf the internet for deals with a hangover 🙂

  11. May 6th, 2009 at 12:54 | #12

    Found a new unit from Dell with a coupon – $362. Putting in the order now.

  12. Rob
    May 6th, 2009 at 14:10 | #13

    lol ! Love the new graphic where the thermometer used to be 😀 Congrats on the order, Tom! And excellent job to all of us who made donations! Not bad at all, if I do say so myself. I dare say that idea worked pretty darn well and it really didn’t take all that long when you think about it 🙂

    We better watch out though – after that success, can “Dina’s Shoe Fund” be far behind? 😮

  13. Jon
    May 6th, 2009 at 22:23 | #14

    Jeremy: Please create the graphic for Dina’s Shoe Fund!


  14. Rob
    May 7th, 2009 at 20:39 | #15

    Maybe we should create another Fund to buy Tom a Wii!

    Of course, even though Nintendo’s fiscal 2008 sales rose 9.9 percent and their NET PROFIT was 2.8 billion (with a ‘B’) dollars, they did fail to hit their target sales numbers for the Wii. They had predicted they would sell 26.5 million Wii consoles, but they ONLY sold 25.95 million!

    So CLEARLY, Wii is a fad and everyone is starting to hate it as much as Tom 😉

  15. Raul in HD
    June 3rd, 2009 at 16:41 | #16

    Oh yeah!!! More tips for my DYI

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