DIY Acoustic Panels

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by DustinDavis, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    Anybody had success making your own here? What did you do? What materials? What process? What web site or other resource did you learn it from? I want to make my own frames and fill it with some sort of reasonably priced but effective material, to keep the cost down.
     
  2. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Some one will speak up, I remember a number of threads on this. I don't know if it saves much money, I recall kind of coming to that conclusion before. Burlap, wood frame, roxul I think was the quick and dirty version. I think it was Dave Yohn that kind of had some info on this. I went through this, and was just going to order some for a dedicated theater, but then I sold the house so it never happened.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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  4. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I had great success making my own back in the HTT days and there was probably a thread with photos.
    1. I got 1x6x lumber and made 2x4 frames.
    2. I used basic hardware from lowes for corner braces so it wouldn't go from a rectangle to a rombus.
    3. Then I just got 6" rock wool from a local supplier. I cut loose knit fabric to size and laid the frames face down on the fabric.
    4. I loaded in the rock wool which was cut to length using a utility knife.
    5. I stretched the fabric the same way I've seen for DIY projection screens to get no wrinkles
      1. Start by stapling the center of the long sides to the back of the frame. This way the front and sides are covered.
      2. Do a few inches of the long sides and then switch to the short sides.
      3. Alternate back and forth, working your way to the corners. If you do it right you will have no wrinkles.
      4. When you get to the corners, its just like wrapping a present or doing hospital corners making a bed.
    6. After the front and sides were covered, I cut landscape fabric to size and covered the back for a fairly professional looking finish.
    7. Use heavy duty picture wire to hang.
    As far as savings, GIK 242s are $50 a piece. You can do it cheaper, but not much.
     
  5. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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  6. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I edited my thread to name names too. Don't forget GIK. They have great looking and performing products for low cost and will look at videos, photos, and REW measurements of your room and advise for no cost.

    Also be sensitive to what materials you're using for what purposes. A DIY panel on the wall might not be that big a deal but trying to hang something you made yourself from the ceiling could be a whole 'nother thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  7. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    GIK is a great company. I posted ATS mainly because that's where I bought my last set of traps.
     
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  8. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    OK peeps, sorry I went off the grid for a bit. Definitely appreciate the feedback. So let me tell you what I've been up to. This is a pic of my room when I moved into the house. I didn't even take this pic, it's the stock photo from Zillow when we were shopping. Setting aside the audio gear, the things worth noting about the room are:
    • Stick-on channel for speaker wire from wire ports on wall to speaker location.
    • Burgundy color on wall.
    • Glaring floodlights.
    • 2 steps, each 12 inches tall.
    • Carpet on steps does not match floor.
    • Windows covered by black velvet curtains at back of room.
    • You don't see it in this picture, but because I took down those old Realistic speakers, and the channels running the wire to them, the walls were a mess of slightly off-kilter paint patching since we couldn't quite match the color or finish. Like the room had a bad complexion.
    IS62xktjzqm8rn1000000000.jpg

    It had merits, but I never liked it. For example, the chairs are actually at a good height relative to the screen. But--why have it all up so high? Why not just move the screen down and get rid of the first step? The back row was up so high, you could reach the projector over your head. It also brought the floor right up to the bottom of the window sill. Just weird. So I did something I've been wanting to do for a while--rip out one of those steps and make only the back row raised.

    Here's a pic after having done so. Took me and a friend about 5 hours to rip it out. Luckily my hunch was right--we'd either be able to rip off the back, or rip off the bottom, and be left with a single 12" step. The back came off. I felt a little bad while tearing it apart. This thing was built SOLID. Excellent wood, excellent construction. Flipping thing was very difficult to break down. And now I have an entire parking space in my garage full of wood, plus the insulation which was stuffed into it.

    IMG_9149.JPG

    Now, scooting that front step back was no easy task either. It was half the size of the back step and still weighed hundreds of pounds. Before moving it, I realized--now is the perfect time to change that color in the room. So I tried about half a dozen colors, and eventually settled on Behr "Night Flight". A dark rich blue color, darker than Navy but in that vein, in Flat. I also updated the floods to Cree LED recessed floods with built-in trim. Painting the room was a bear. It's around 16 x 20 with 11- or 12-foot ceilings, I forget. And, because the old color was so prominent, we had to prime the whole thing before painting. My wife helped a lot. In any case, it's done, and now the room is back in at least the operating condition it was before I started this whole thing. But I would say a lot better looking.

    IMG_9169.JPG

    IMG_9171.JPG

    I gained about 24" more distance from the screen by moving the front row back. Plus that whole step in the front is gone, along with 12" of height in the back row, making the room look much bigger. The deep blue is really great; looks basically black when the lights are out. The mismatched carpeting is far less prominent now. It's a huge difference. I started out with $0 budget but ended spending a few hundred on paint and supplies. Next steps are:
    • Dimmer on the LED floodlights.
    • Bringing us back to the topic--DIY acoustic panels. I did look at GIK Acoustics and I like their stuff. But the back windows are wider than their standard size. They quoted me $169 per panel for custom size, but then they'd also have to ship it on a pallet...I bet it would cost me $500 for those two panels, and I want more on the side walls. So I'm going the DIY route. The suggestions you all had will come in handy. When I make some choices about materials and construction I will share more.
    Thanks for joining me on this journey. It's been a while since I made any meaningful changes and I'm really enjoying it.
     
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  9. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    Wow. Huge improvement to that room. Like my room, having the entrance up front is limiting.

    Room is very clean with no gear up front. Would love to have that setup. I think when/if we build our next house I’d like to have a hidden rack. I kinda had that when we first moved into this house but it was 40 feet away which is tough.
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Well-Known Member Top Poster

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  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    Roxul also makes a product called rockboard 60. It's the same mineral wool stuff just a lot more dense making it semi rigid. It's acoustic absorbtion properties for a 2" thick piece are better than the 4" thick regular wall insulation.
     
  12. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Very nice job.
     
  13. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Great improvement!
     
  14. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    I considered switching the room front/back. However, the back wall with the windows only goes up to about 8', then it hits a 45-degree angle up to the ceiling. So I'd have to drop the top of the screen. And--the back of the room has an inward-opening door as well, which would be nearest the right front speaker if one were to flip the room. And, the riser is designed to go into the right-rear corner, which would not work if I flipped the room. It's not out of the question, but I'd certainly create some problems by flipping it.

    Now that you mention it, I do have some other things in mind for the front. E.g. I would like to:
    • Move that 3-gang switch to the left wall.
    • Lower the screen. Having removed one row of risers, all viewers are 12 inches lower than they were. I will lower the screen something < 12 inches.
    • Reuse the lumber and carpet from that step we destroyed, to build a stage in the front, to raise all of the speakers. Especially the mains. Maybe I can get those up higher than the center/sub. I wouldn't be able to raise it more than 6-8 inches. Above that you'd be running the top of the stage into the outlets on the wall. Or, you'd be running the top of the center speaker into the bottom of the screen (depending on how much I lower the screen).
    • Install IR receiver and run it up through the attic to the equipment cabinet. I already bought the IR receiver, already had an IR hub left over from prior projects. Just need to run it.
    And, I don't know if you noticed, but the back of the room has no surrounds. Crazy to think I have lived like this for 2 years since moving into the house. So I need to get those mounted. No easy task--3 of the surrounds are on exterior walls. So I have to figure out how to get low voltage wiring there, and I am *not* going to run channels on the walls to accomplish it.
     
  15. Denton

    Denton Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    Challenges ahead.

    BTW, I really prefer the blue to the previous color.
     
  16. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    I had the same requirement in my room. Everyone was like "get some stick on wire molding". Hell no! Fish them through the ceiling.
     
  17. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    73709267-BD23-4D0D-B2EB-2DBF46DF8F1A.jpeg

    Rockboard 60 arrived.
     
  18. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    YAY
     
  19. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    OK peeps. The first two are in place. These are the most difficult ones. They are 61.5" H x 37.5" W and double as window treatment. This site was my main inspiration although I did not follow it exactly:



    They are a bit more than 2" thick. Roxul Rockboard 60. 3/4" MDF frame. 1/8" Eucaboard backing. Guilford FR701 fabric. Did well on materials, I have a lot of fabric left over, probably 2 more panels @ 24" x 48", whereas I purchased what I thought was only enough to make these first two. So that's ~$35 upside when FR701 is ~$17.50/yd shipped or whatever I paid.

    They are sitting on the sill, and the top is held to the blinds, which are still in the windows so from the outside it looks normal, by magnets glued to the panel, which then adhere to the metal housing at the top of the blinds. There is foam window weather seal around the window frame. So when you put the panel in place it just goes "vvvvwhup" and seals all around. When the lights are out--it is pitch dark, not a single ray is getting in. Not gonna lie, flawless execution on my part.

    IMG_9235.JPG IMG_9236.JPG
     
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  20. Dustin B

    Dustin B Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty slick. Not easy to make something fit so well and serve it's purpose and still be easily removable with little evidence it was ever there.
     

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