Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review

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cbj

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« on: 12 Apr 2006, 02:12 pm »
Review
I'm going to give this review thing a try and post my impressions of the Eighth Nerve Adapt treatments.  I'm not very experienced at this sort of thing so bear with me.

The system:
My system is what most audiophiles would call 'compromised' in terms of set-up and some of the components.  If you click on the hyperlink in my signature for the system you will see a list of the components which is dollar weighted about 40% speakers, 30% electronics, and 30% video.  I built up my system over the last four years and while I am happy with it I always like to see what improvements I could make.  

The set-up
My listening space is pretty far from ideal.  Multi-use room? Check- living, dining, TV and audio.  Irregular shaped? Check- Roughly L shaped. Hardwood floors? Check.  Lots of big windows? Check-two of them.  And to top it off the system is set up in a corner on a diagonal.  I know you folks that have dedicated listening spaces probably cringe at the description.  It is however the best space in my house for the system because 1) it is the room we spend the most time in and 2) it is fairly large.

The problem
After a fair amount of reading I decided the 'next step' on my system should be acoustical treatments.  I figured if I can't move the system to the 'ideal' room then I would at least try to minimize the effects of the room.  The normal recommendation that I saw was to put up bass traps in all the corners, most of the traps were variations on the 2x4 fiberglass panel.  Unfortunately I knew 2x4 panels wouldn't work because the way the room is set-up.  As I mentioned the room is basically L- shaped and I actually have six vertical corners because of a little foyer area.  Three of the corners will not work because of doors and hallways.  The next three corners were possibilities but two of them would have entailed moving furniture and in addition those two are in the dining room and then I would run into the WAF.  Below is a general diagram of the room.  Furniture and built-ins are brown boxes.  Speakers are red boxes (the two surrounds are in bookshelves).   The big windows are blue.  The purple is where I ended up putting treatments at first.  I have labeled the general dimensions and numbered the major walls 1-6.  The dimensions are what I wrote down when we bought the house, but I need to go back and measure them myself to verify.  Ceilings are 8 foot high.



The solution - part 1
When I saw that Nathan was selling some seconds of the new Adapt line I jumped on it and ordered some.  I figured they would fit the WAF (with judicious placement) and improve the sound.  I ordered five corners and five triangles.  The corners are placed as you can see in the diagram.  I originally thought I would place three of the rectangles in the vertical wall-wall corners between walls 4&5, 5&6, and 6&1. I planned to and put the other two in the seams to the left above the fireplace (wall 6) and right above the window (wall 1).  

When it comes to the treatment themselves they are very nice construction and most of the blemishes on the seconds are pretty minor, especially on the triangles.  The mounting of the treatments takes a little while at first but speeds up dramatically once you get the first couple under your belt.  It is very easy to make minute adjustments of both the rectangles and triangles.  If you put a triangle in the wrong place (like I did with my first one) it is very easy to take it down, move the screw, and put it back up.

Once I had them up the corners met a little resistance at first with comments like "They don't look too bad"  giving way to   "Those aren't as obtrusive as I thought they would be"  and finally "I like the way they look in the dining room".  The rectangle placement was a little more complicated.  The two vertical seams in the dining room worked fine (4&5 and 5&6).  In vertical seam directly in front of the viewing position (1&6) the rectangle does not fit because there is not enough room between the stacked subwoofers and the triangle.  I guess I should have measured that before hand.  The Left (wall 6) and Right (wall 1) seams don't work primarily because of WAF.   So I still have three rectangles left to place at this time.

Here are pictures of the room  from the direction of the listening area.  The photos are in clockwise order starting from corner 1&2.  Sorry about the image quality, I shrunk the files down a little too much before I uploaded them.






Measurements
These are taken with RoomEQ, RS digital meter, and no tripod - so they aren't perfect but it gives a pretty good idea what the FR is like.  The lines are drawn with 1/3 octave smoothing.  The speakers were all measured individually.  The purple line are subs. The blue line is the average of the Left & Right main speakers (ACI 25AE Sapphires).  I have a 80Hz crossover set on the receiver and the ports are plugged on the main speakers.   The listening position is about 10 feet from the speakers.

Prior to treatments & no EQ
I have highlighted a few key points: the nasty dip at 57Hz, the spike at 200Hz, and the multiple spikes at 1100-1300Hz.



After 5 triangles and 2 rectangles, still no EQ
The dip at 57HZ has decreased by about 2db, the spike at 200hz is down by about 3db, and the multiple spikes at 1100-1300Hz are decreased by a similar amount.  Overall the FR is flatter with more within 72+/-4db.  



Listening Impressions
Echoes and reflections from behind the listening position are much reduced and soundstage is wider. I find myself being able to hear the music and dialogue better both at low volumes as well as being able to crank the volume more when I want to.  If I stay up after my wife goes to bed and listen to classical like Scarlatti or acoustical like George Winston, I can play at lower levels and still hear the details better.  If I and my wife are the couch and decide to turn it up a little listening to Josh Rouse: Nashville or A Perfect Circle, we can turn it up more with out the feeling of a bunch of echoes and reflections coming from behind us and muddying the sound.  Surprisingly I haven't got around to a movie since I put them up, but have watched a little HDTV and the dialogue definitely is clearer.

Next step
I am looking at putting the remaining rectangles on the seams on walls 2, 3, and 4. I also would still like to do something about the vertical corner in the front (6&1) and may end up constructing some sort of DIY bass trap. I will continue to update this thread after I put up the last of the rectangles.  

I hope this has been helpful.  As I have said I am fairly new to this hobby and a rookie when it comes to trying to write up a review on something like this. If anyone has any suggestions about placement, wants more photos, or has any questions fire away.

murphy11

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #1 on: 12 Apr 2006, 03:12 pm »
Nicely done

JoshK

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #2 on: 12 Apr 2006, 03:17 pm »
If that is a rookie review, we should all be so newbie!  Very nicely written.  Love the graphs too!

Jason1

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #3 on: 13 Apr 2006, 03:31 pm »
I was skeptical about how much of a difference the "corners" and "seams" could make alone. After reading your review with actual real world measurements to back up what your hearing, I'm a believer.

carusoracer

Adapt Series Rectangles
« Reply #4 on: 17 Apr 2006, 01:29 pm »
Install complete over the weekend of 3 Adapt series Rectangles. Vaulted ceiling so I cannot really use Triangles.

I would say the pronounced effect was immediate after the install of the Lefthand Corner of my Unbalanced room configuration. The soundstage become more focused and larger. I traded my 15th row tickets in for the Front Row. The Right corner helped enhance details and lower some of the Boomyness that could be heard on Subterreanean tracks due to the close proximty of the Wall. The final Rectangle above simply helped snap the soundstage into better focus and limit more echoe slap.

I concur with many of the statements written above and the effects of having Room treatments. As a self professed albeit amateur audiophile, I can say honestly that I have no earthly reaons as to why I did not listen to the Choir about the effects of room treatments :banghead:  I think it finally sunk in when I read about the extremes that one dedicated audiophile went to in working with Rives Audio and a customized,exclusive,no holds barred Listening room.  The sheer amount of money spent had to account for something, Right?

I will say that installation is a breeze and the instrutions and pictures are very well laid out. The all important WAF was the limiting factor for my household :oops:  Once installed even she commented that the effects were immediately noticable while sitting in the overlooking Loft above. Conversation was much more atainble and the subsequent listening volume level has now been lowered and more details and dynamics are evident.

I do not have any scientific data,graphs or meter readings to display and compare before and after. We did have music playing the whole time to hear immediate differences during installation. I can only tell you that this product works. Are there other products out there that can do the same? Sure, but for this person the results were great and the price was competitive. The WAF, was met. They are not obtrusive to your everyday living space. Great clear instructions, and nicely packaged.

I can venture to say with one last parting shot. Do not buy another PC,IC, Gizmo, etc untill you treat your room envirmonment first :peek:
 The results of a properly designed,well engineered product are not subtle
Happy Listening :wink:

Hantra

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #5 on: 26 Apr 2006, 09:08 pm »
Agreed.  Great reviews guys!  Welcome to the Adapt Club. :dance:

hanguy

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #6 on: 26 Apr 2006, 10:41 pm »
I agree. As good as the Response treatments are for the money, the Adapt treatments are significant upgrades from the Responses. I only upgraded 4 corners and 4 rectangles in my room from response to adapt and the improvement is more than if the cost were spent on equipment upgrades. It truely transformed my system to another level.

Mike

MaxCast

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #7 on: 27 Apr 2006, 11:46 am »
Very nice review, cbj!!
actually the room does not look that bad to me.  You really don't have any first reflection points on the walls.

Heavy drapes on the windows by the speakers will help if not there allready.  You may want to try left over rectangles above those windows by your speakers.

You can also separate your subs if you have the space and see what that does to your bass FR.

JLM

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Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #8 on: 28 Apr 2006, 12:38 pm »
2 or 3 dB improvements at peaks and nulls don't impress me nearly as much as the descriptions of improved clarity and soundstaging.  Does that make me an odd duck?

I'm busy outside now, but have promised myself that the next upgrade will be acoustic room treatments.  Very fortunately I have my own 8 ft x 13 ft x 21 ft listening room, so no WAF.  The Adapt products intrigue me, but for the same price as (2) triangles plus (2) rectangles I can get (8) 2 ft x 4 ft x 4 inch GIK panels.  

Advice?

woodsyi

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Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #9 on: 28 Apr 2006, 02:03 pm »
Quote from: JLM
2 or 3 dB improvements at peaks and nulls don't impress me nearly as much as the descriptions of improved clarity and soundstaging.  Does that make me an odd duck?

I'm busy outside now, but have promised myself that the next upgrade will be acoustic room treatments.  Very fortunately I have my own 8 ft x 13 ft x 21 ft listening room, so no WAF.  The Adapt products intrigue me, but for the same price as (2) triangles plus (2) rectangles I can get (8) 2 ft x 4 ft x 4 inch GIK panels.  

Advice?


I have 4 GIK 4" panels.  I also have 4 Adapt corners as well as Mini, Mondo and Micro Real traps.  Don't ask me which one works better because they are all in there doing their things in harmony.  :mrgreen: I can tell you the difference in looks and ease of handling.  Adapt corner (I don't have the seams) is the easiest to install due to clever design (spring loaded) and small size -- very professional finish.  Real traps also are very professionally finished with efficient design that minimizes the size of the traps to the actual size of the compressed fiberglass used.  With the included drop ceiling adoptors, installation on the ceiling is as easy as hanging a picture -- you have to measure, attatch and adjust the hanging wire like you do with pictures.  On the wall corner, I put two screws on the stud on each side to hang the wire on.  GIK traps are bulkier.  The 4 inch traps are framed with 1x6 pine boards.  Burlap is neatly stapled but not as nicely finished as the other two.  I ended up stapling some colorful Batik not necessarilly to cover the GIK finish but to add some charactor to my room.  :wink: GIK panels are definitely the heaviest (due to the oversized wooden framing) and more efforts are needed to secure the wire to the frame.  They also leave the biggest footprint.  I hope that helps.

Hantra

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #10 on: 2 May 2006, 01:21 pm »
Quote from: JLM
2 or 3 dB improvements at peaks and nulls don't impress me nearly as much as the descriptions of improved clarity and soundstaging.  Does that make me an odd duck?

The Adapt products intrigue me, but for the same price as (2) triangles plus (2) rectangles I can get (8) 2 ft x 4 ft x 4 inch GIK panels.  

Advice?


3dB is quite a huge difference to the human ear.  All speakers are measured at their 3dB downpoint, and in theory, that's where they end.  In addition to the soundstaging and clarity, there is an etheral sense of space, removal of the room's boundaries, and sounds are razor sharp whether they are in front, or even behind you!  There is also a big difference in bass, and don't ask me why b/c I didn't expect it.

What's a GIK panel?  

As someone who previously had $3k or so in room treatments, I can tell you that 4 Triangles alone make a bigger improvement than my entire $3k treatment package.  Add in a few rectangles, and no system really has the right to sound that good.

JLM

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Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #11 on: 3 May 2006, 01:16 am »
Hantra,

Here's the link to GIK:  http://www.gikacoustics.com/

(They've updated products/pricing since I looked last.)

BTW my comparison was for eight 244 panels.

Hantra

Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #12 on: 3 May 2006, 11:23 am »
Quote from: JLM
Hantra,

Here's the link to GIK:  http://www.gikacoustics.com/


The sheer amount of absorption potential there is scary.  I've been a victim of too much absorption with room treatments, and it really sucks the life out of the music in a horrible way.  

My approach to treatment is now the same as my approach to polishing a car.  Start with the LEAST destructive (abrasive, absorptive) and work your way up until you get the results you're looking for.  If you go the opposite way, you have the potential to damage the paint/music beyond repair.

JLM

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Eighth Nerve Adapt Treatments - a rookie review
« Reply #13 on: 6 May 2006, 12:41 pm »
Hantra,

Agreed that room treatments could be overdone.  I've been inside a couple of anechoic chambers, but not in any listening rooms I'd consider overdone.  I suppose one could just start with (4) GIK 244 panels and go from there.  Besides the favorable pricing, another aspect of the panels concept I like is the ability to use them at first reflection points, something that the 8th Nerve products aren't designed to do.