Building bass traps into the ceiling?

heihei

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
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#1
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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#2
Heihei, please keep me posted on this.

I've been investigating Acustica Applicata panels, and one use is to install EcoDaads on my descending eaves R and L at 0.6m gaps.

That would be up to 40 in my room at £250 each.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,262
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Manila, Philippines
#3
Go for it if you've got the airspace between ceiling and slab. I've got tuned resonators on the rear ceiling of my listening room. It's a great way to save precious floor space.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
#4
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.
How high is your ceiling?
Unless you have a very high ceiling AND are willig to sacrifice a LOT from that height, you will never be able to tame a 50 Hz Peak with the ceiling alone.
Sorry to be the party pooper in this :oops:
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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London
#5
Marty has got helmholtz resonators in his ceilings, PM him if he doesn't read this
 

heihei

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
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39
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#6
How high is your ceiling?
Unless you have a very high ceiling AND are willig to sacrifice a LOT fro that height, you will never be able to tame a 50 Hz Peak with the ceiling alone.
Sorry to be the party pooper in this :oops:
Yep recognise this, but it may help the overall room acoustics to have some broader bass damping in the ceiling, and then address the specific nodes with dedicated solutions elsewhere. Am intrigued by the new Artnovion Eiger bass traps, which can be tuned down to those levels, for example.
 
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christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
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Principality of Liechtenstein
#7
Yep recognise this, but it may help the overall room acoustics to have some broader bass damping in the ceiling, and then address the specific nodes with dedicated solutions elsewhere. Am intrigued by the new Artnovion Eiger bass traps, which can be tuned down to those levels, for example.
That is certainly a good idea.
The acoustic ceiling in my cinema room brought down the reverb time immensely :cool:
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,099
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E. England
#8
Can we broaden to discussion to ceiling treatments as a whole. There's plenty of discussion of diffusion on front wall, cnr bass traps, addressing side walls reflection points. But next to nothing on ceiling-mounted treatments.

My 5.5m x 14.5m room is pretty natural sounding, but my ceiling could be a challenge w midline apex ht above my head of 3m sweeping down R and L at 30° to meet at side walls 1.3m high (over the 5.5m total width).

A provider of treatments is convinced these eaves can only be bad for sound, and his solution is to treat at 0.6m seperation w absorbers/diffusors, amounting to 30-40 1.3m x 0.25m panels.
 

tcdk

New Member
Oct 25, 2010
4
1
3
#10
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.

I have built 1/4 wave bass traps into the ceiling of my listening room (which is in my basement). There is a reasonably solid floor above the joists and the joists run the long length of the room. Merely block between the joists to form appropriate length "tubes" when the ceiling is installed, add some loose absorbing materials, install the ceiling except for openings at the ends of the formed "tubes". If you block in the middle and leave openings at each end of the room you end up with absorption at the room longitudinal resonant modes. I used low density fibreglass panels to cover the ends. Also you should add absorbers at the ceiling first reflection areas.
Tony
 
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marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,301
178
63
Far Hills, NJ
#11
Marty has got helmholtz resonators in his ceilings, PM him if he doesn't read this
I installed 4 Helmholtz bass traps into my ceiling. I looked at the physics for weeks before I did the construction and realized that no matter what I was planning to do, there was no way to do it correctly, which is namely, to measure the room resonance frequency first, and then plan a device to eliminate the resonance according to as specific set of calculations regarding the volume and port sizes of the device. Unfortunately, what I was left with as the only pragmatic solution was basically to build them when I built the room, pray, and hope like hell they would work. I got lucky. Very lucky. But that was only because I had some experience with the nearly identical room I built in Dallas prior to moving to New Jersey where I built a replica of the Dallas room. Obviously I would not recommend my approach in general. However, in researching commercially available Helmholtz resonators, I did find a product that I think offers some tremendous advantages in that they can be tuned easily for a particular room. This seems like a reasonable and cost effective approach to consider.

http://arqen.com/store/vicoustic-vari-bass-helmholtz-resonator/
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,380
833
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Beverly Hills, CA
#12
Marty, do you happen to know
how the efficacy of this Arqen device compares to the efficacy of the SMT Varitune?
 

heihei

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
108
39
28
#14
The Vicoustics website suggests I would need 16 of these for a room 55m2!!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,472
514
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#15
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.
my whole drop ceiling was one huge bass trap. pictures of my room show inset chambers and then dropped areas. the walls of those drops were open behind the fabric coverings.

over a 7-8 year period i slowly closed up all the openings.

the last step was 3 years ago when my speaker designer measured the room and found a narrow 10db suckout around 30hz, his opinion was that it's cause was the remaining ceiling openings mid room. 6 months later my son and i closed those openings and magically the 10db suckout was gone. which forced me to completely re-adjust my active bass towers.

so careful what you wish for.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,099
724
113
E. England
#16
The Vicoustics website suggests I would need 16 of these for a room 55m2!!
Heihei, the Acustica Applicata dealer advice is to install 40 EcoDaads absorber/diffusers on my eaves at total cost of £10k!!!

That's in addition to the ones on the walls totalling £15k
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,262
237
63
Manila, Philippines
#17
my whole drop ceiling was one huge bass trap. pictures of my room show inset chambers and then dropped areas. the walls of those drops were open behind the fabric coverings.

over a 7-8 year period i slowly closed up all the openings.

the last step was 3 years ago when my speaker designer measured the room and found a narrow 10db suckout around 30hz, his opinion was that it's cause was the remaining ceiling openings mid room. 6 months later my son and i closed those openings and magically the 10db suckout was gone. which forced me to completely re-adjust my active bass towers.

so careful what you wish for.
Early Rives room Mike? Haven't heard about them for a while. I wonder if they are still overdoing the trapping these days.

Personally I really opted for a bass, tail up RT60. It is something I would recommend to every home/non-pro listener.
 

Mark Seaton

WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics)
May 21, 2010
328
11
18
42
Chicago, IL
www.seatonsound.net
#18
Has anyone got experience of building bass traps into the ceiling? We're about to replace our listening room ceiling (that is also our living room), and wondering if I should consider integrating some sound treatment at the same time. Am specifically looking at treating a 50Hz peak in a room ~11m x 5m.
my whole drop ceiling was one huge bass trap. pictures of my room show inset chambers and then dropped areas. the walls of those drops were open behind the fabric coverings.

over a 7-8 year period i slowly closed up all the openings.

the last step was 3 years ago when my speaker designer measured the room and found a narrow 10db suckout around 30hz, his opinion was that it's cause was the remaining ceiling openings mid room. 6 months later my son and i closed those openings and magically the 10db suckout was gone. which forced me to completely re-adjust my active bass towers.

so careful what you wish for.
Very good advice here. I've seen many efforts to attack one room problem with tuned traps, and more than 1/2 the time they create as many issues as they solve, and many times they don't end up in a useful place. Unless someone doing the modeling of your room has verified their model with measurements in your room, I would always suggest looking for more broad absorption which is focused in this range, where it most often becomes diffusive or reflective at high frequencies. Companies market under different names, but the general concept is to use some size perforation vs area with absorption behind the perforated layer.

Pegboard over absorption is the most basic example, where the thickness of the board, area of the holes, and trapped air volume determine the absorption vs frequency. To get low in frequency, you will most likely need a bit thicker board to lengthen the openings (similar to longer port length), larger and less area of holes to admit more low frequency, and more distance to the hard boundary behind the perforated layer.

One example of this would be say a pattern of wider spaced 3-5" diameter holes in a 1/2" thick sheet of plywood or MDF with 6-12" space behind the plywood stuffed with rockwool, fiberglass, or cotton insulation. There are calculators online and some programs will model such assemblies/cavities. There are a few limited range products that aren't resonant devices which are focused at lower frequencies using related concepts. GIKAcoustic has items like the Soffit Trap with added Range Limiter, or their Scopus Tuned Traps which are more targeted in frequency, but still broader in effect than a Helmholtz resonator.
 
Apr 3, 2017
45
6
8
Hong Kong
#19
I recognized the importance of bass pressure alleviation, and wanted to utilize my ceiling space to install bass traps into the ceiling of my listening space in my apartment. Down below to the L is the front wall which is treated with P-17 Quadratic diffusors, and down below to the R is where the listening sofa is located. Thankfully, my ceiling is 10ft. high, which allows installation of these large and extremely heavy modules - closest to the L are five diaphragmatic bass absorbers (16" deep x 27" square) tuned to deeply absorb between 30-50Hz; next are 5 pcs. of diaphragmatic bass absorbers (14" deep x 27" square), tuned to broadly (but less deeply) absorb frequencies between 50-200Hz; then a row of five Prime-13 quadratic diffusors which horizontally scatter frequencies between 285 Hz. and 3,450 Hz. These are installed in a lattice of steel frames (visible through the dark voids), criss-crossing and anchored to the structural columns and beams of my apartment building to provide stability and solidity. These were all built to custom specifications and sizes at great cost and required herculean effort to install. Please PM me if you'd like to find out more information. IMG_5729.JPG
 
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bpape

New Member
Mar 28, 2019
7
3
3
60
#20
While many of the things above can help in terms of decay time, the first thing is to determine where that 50Hz issue is coming from. If it's a width mode for instance, treating the ceiling and/or corners isn't going to help with frequency response.
 

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