Home > Dina's Blog > Public apology to my husband…

Public apology to my husband…

May 21st, 2007

As much as it pains me to say, I do owe him one. J. has been installing Auralex Acoustics wall treatments ALL OVER the walls of the theatre. First of all, the theatre is only 14 feet by 15 feet. ALL the cool movie posters have come down and no less than 22!!! panels are now lining the walls. TWENTY-TWO, PEOPLE!!! That is one panel for every 2.6 feet of wall, for those of you interested in the math. Aurlex should include a straight jacket for the wife in the purchase price because it is SOOOOOOOOOO padded cell. Don’t get me started on the six honey-comb-wooden contraptions that will be suspended by wires from the ceiling!!! And don’t even ask me what purpose THEY serve. THEY HAVE HOLES IN THEM!!!

Now, admittedly I don’t give my husband a lot of grief about the theatre, but I have almost gotten my eyes stuck in the back of my skull from all the eye rolling I have done over this. Mainly, because I couldn’t image it would make that much of a difference for all the work and the look.

Then, a couple of days ago I was walking through the house and yelling my son’s name in an attempt to locate him as mother’s often do. I walked into the theatre to pick something up and shouted my son’s name.


It was just plain weird. No echo. No echo AT ALL. Just my voice, then nothing. I stood there yelling things until my ten-year-old rounded the corner with furrowed brow, full of concern asking, “Mom, are you O.K?”

I answered, “No, I am not. Your dad was right and I am wrong and that makes me decidedly NOT O.K.”

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  1. May 21st, 2007 at 11:53 | #1

    So do you like the sound of the theater room better with post Auralex treatment? What differences have you noticed?

  2. May 21st, 2007 at 12:12 | #2

    The “honeycomb” on the ceiling is a diffuser that spreads sound around. The stuff on the walls absorbs sound. With all the absorption, obviously you need some diffusion. Duh.

  3. May 21st, 2007 at 15:54 | #3

    Wow – a practical experience that verifies the point of an acoustical installation in a home theater room… how cool is that! I’m also guessing that it’s not completely dead, but that you have a rather reverberant home otherwise (and who wouldn’t want that, why – your voice carries further so your children can hear you in the next room!

  4. May 21st, 2007 at 15:59 | #4

    To Gene: I’m not sure I have been able to tell a difference during movie viewing. We have watched mostly dialouge driven movies lately, what that make a difference? Hard for me to tell without being able to A/B it. Does this answer make you mad?

    To Tom: If the point of having absorption is to counter that with diffusion, wouldn’t they cancel each other out? Seems to me you could just leave the room as it was if that was the point. Duh.

    To Clint: ?????

  5. May 21st, 2007 at 19:28 | #5

    Room acoustics are a lot more complex than you may think. There are certain areas of the room that you want to absorb reflections so that you get a more direct soundfield arriving at the listening position. Adding diffusion above you helps open up the sound and gives the perception that your listening space is phstically larger than it really is.

    So no adding absorption and diffusion doesn’t “cancel” each other out. You are adding different types of products to specific areas of the room where it is needed. I could give a more involving answer, but I know you’re not into the tech talk so from your prespective all that matters is how it sounds.

    Oh and how it looks too 🙂

  6. May 21st, 2007 at 20:53 | #6

    “To Tom: If the point of having absorption is to counter that with diffusion, wouldn’t they cancel each other out? Seems to me you could just leave the room as it was if that was the point. Duh.”

    Absolutely classic.

  7. lea
    May 22nd, 2007 at 07:48 | #7

    20 years ago i predicted that dina would be in a padded room someday, crying out for help (or some chocolate cake) and no one would hear her…

  8. May 23rd, 2007 at 08:23 | #8

    Oh this is far worse than any padded cell.. at least there you get some peace and quiet – Dina has to contend with The Tom!

  9. May 23rd, 2007 at 09:49 | #9


  10. May 23rd, 2007 at 09:55 | #10

    Pissing me off right before we record the podcast may not be the best decision you ever made.

  11. lea
    May 23rd, 2007 at 14:59 | #11

    oh believe me, i have a running mental list of ALL her bad decisions and pissing you off is not even in the top 5,877.

    watching ALL those episodes of Webster with me instead of attending classes in college, that is even above the pissing you off before the podcast decision…

    i am waiting for the moment when dina realizes that is was HER decision to tell me about this website and her podcasting. i believe that i will hear the moans of regret all the way here in florida (unless she is in the padded room, and then i will hear only blessed silence).

  12. June 8th, 2007 at 15:33 | #12

    Acoustics is the great undiscovered frontier in HT. At HES, Rives set up two identical rooms, one treated and EQed and one not. The difference was remarkable. And the speakers they had were $25k a pair, so it proved that more expensive speakers aren’t the answer to the best sound.

    As for whether or not you’ll notice it, dialogue is the most notable area in my opinion, after bass smoothness. How many times have you been watching a movie and couldn’t quite understand a line? That’s because the sound is being masked by reflections bouncing off the wall a split second later than the sound that comes directly from the speaker. This same masking, or smearing, hides small, quiet sound cues that provide atmosphere in a movie (perfect for dialogue driven films.)

    If you want to get on J’s case for something, ask him why he didn’t go with a fiberglass panel/fabric wall approach. It would have been less expensive, and looked better, though it would have been more work. (Hate to do it J, but someone’s got to give Dina a little ammo.)

    If J hasn’t eq-ed his subs yet, suggest that to him as the next step. Google “Room EQ Wizard” or listen to my next podcast for a good, inexpensive solution similar to the $600 Velodyne SMS tom menioned a few shows ago.

    Enjoy the room. I’ll be in my small apartment seething with jealousy.

    The Real HT Info Podcast

  13. June 8th, 2007 at 15:57 | #13

    Lol. Somebody’s got a one-track mind… Been talking to Richard Bird lately? Great guy and he certainly knows a lot. If you knew more about J’s room then you’d know that fabric panels over fiberglas would have been a bit overkill and destroyed the look, not to mention you never want to over dampen a room. Gene’s room took the fabric approach but they were careful to mix diffusion with absorption so that his room isn’t dead and music sounds good.

    EQing subs is a good next step, but we’ll probably get J another sub first so that he has more to work with. in almost all cases it’s easier to smooth bass response with 2 subs.

  14. June 8th, 2007 at 20:19 | #14

    If you’re accusing me of drinking the Kool-Aid, I’ll have no choice but to sit here silently with my stained lips, hands shaking from the ensuing sugar high.

    I don’t have a dime to spare with my HT (which I why I do the show that I do), so you’d better believe that the first time I heard someone say that $1000 in foam would really help out my room, I brushed them off. But after months of research, and many annoying questions to experts, I some how convinced myself to spend $200 on some DIY panels, and I’ve never looked back.

    I would of course warn about over dampening, and certainly wouldn’t do an entire room out of fiberglass, but that shouldn’t stop you from flushmounting a fiberglass section in part of a wall. And fiberglass at 1/5th the price of auralex, and with more even absorption accross the audible spectrum, sure appeals to me.

    I’m certainly no Richard Bird, but I’ve just never seen anything from Richard, Auralex, or anyone else that goes against that.

    “Destroy the look”…more than foam? To each their own, but I think Dina’s padded wall comment speaks to that. My better half like to pretend my panels are modern art, and I won’t have a choice but to build in fiberglass if she gets her way next time.

    So J, how about some pics of that newly treated room?

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