wood paneling vs. drywall/sheetrock

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wood paneling vs. drywall/sheetrock
« on: 6 Jun 2007, 06:40 pm »
Acoustic treatment Newbie questions here.

I recently moved my system from my wood paneled semi-carpeted basement into the living room of my brother's house which has sheetrock and wall-to-wall. It's also quite a bit bigger and I was able to move the speakers out about 2' from the rear wall with corners being at least 6' away from either speaker. The bass response and imagaing was amazing. I want to replicate it as much as I can!

I won't have the flat walls to put the speakers up against, but I plan on using corner traps to smooth out the corners. However, my main concern is the reflectiveness of the painted wood paneling (with nothing behind it) than anything else. Acoustically, they seem much poorer and reflective as a surface than sheetrock with insulation behind. And maybe the ceiling corners as well.

When the wife moves out, I will be able to  "do whatever I want" with the basement space. The layout is a lot like the picture on this thread:


The difference is: no closets behind the speakers (still wood tho), a sliding glass door on one side instead of windows, and a opening to a hallway about 15' back, right around where my chair/couch will be. I plan on having plush wall-to-wall carpeting.

Given these variables, any general recommendations to deal with improved bass and imaging/ I would assume 1st order (or primary?) reflections would be addressed by panels at the respective reflection points? The new post-wife speakers will be Focals with front ports if that helps. Thanks for any input.


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Re: wood paneling vs. drywall/sheetrock
« Reply #1 on: 6 Jun 2007, 07:04 pm »
Well, first of all be realistic.  A bigger room helps a lot by allowing you to get seating and speakers away from boundaries.  Next, paneling with nothing behind it, is a very narrow absorber and at a much higher frequency than drywall over an insulated cavity - not to mention resonating on their own adding to the issues.  Think of a bass drum without a pillow in it vs one with a pillow - that's what you're getting.

For the time being, put down a rug between you and the speakers, listen in the nearfield, put up some temporary bass absorbers in the front corners and a couple of 2x4x2" reflection panels on each side wall. 

Later, when you can 'do what you want', tear down the paneling and insualte the cavities with fiberglass insulation and cover with drywall.  That'll shift the absorbtion down lower to the mid bass through lower mids and also provide you with a quieter ambeint noise level to start with.



Re: wood paneling vs. drywall/sheetrock
« Reply #2 on: 7 Jun 2007, 01:00 pm »
Thank you.