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#161597 - 12/02/08 09:01 PM Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
Psalm45:8b Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 15
Loc: Whittier, CA
(I inadvertently posted this first on the tech forum. My apologies for the double post. Let's post responses here.)

Good news:
We were able to move our family Yamaha C7 to our new construction home living room with a 2-story vaulted ceiling.

Bad news:
The room is unbelievably boomy. I think the builder used very little wall insulation. Slap echo is severe with parallel walls. The piano is on fairly thick carpet, which I would have expected would help. There is wood on the walkway nearby (from the front door to the dining room and kitchen).

Other than voicing down a piano with new, softer hammers (which we'll consider), what other solutions have you found for softening a loud piano in a crazy loud living room?

Any acoustical panel or ceiling solutions that don't look like Auralex foam in a recording studio? (My wife will NOT go for that)

Anyone have a real-world testimonial on using Sound Reduction kits from Edwards String covers?

Many thanks!
"...from palaces adorned with ivory, the music of the strings makes you glad"

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#161598 - 12/02/08 09:13 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Check this out from Sweetwater:

Auralex Sonic Print

Rather expensive, but they look nice to me.

Sweetwater, if you're not familiar with them, is a GREAT company. I bought a guitar from them and their service is some of the best you'll find anywhere.
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#161599 - 12/02/08 09:57 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Have you tried playing with the lid down and lid hinge folded back?

#161600 - 12/02/08 11:47 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2011
Loc: Belgium

I haven't tried out any of their products you may want to read the lots of useful information on room acoustics on this site and especially plya around with the usefull room acoustics calculators[/b] that are provided:



#161601 - 12/03/08 11:24 AM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2629
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
As I've posted many times the issue is a need to control coherent reflections with absorption and/or diffusion. Too much absorption and your room will sound dead, but it seems you're a long way from that. The more stuff you have in your room the more random reflections you'll get. I usually suggest bookshelves as the poor man's diffusor, but that may be inappropriate for a living room. Pictures on the wall, a tapestry or two, scupltures, curtains and window treatments will provide either absorption or diffusion of sound. I'm guessing the room is a bit sparse now, as stuff gets added you'll find the room sound will improve.

#161602 - 12/03/08 04:33 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
Psalm45:8b Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 15
Loc: Whittier, CA
Thanks for guidance so far...

Yes, the lid is down and piano closed for most playing at this point. The room is the issue. It's quite boomy for normal living.

Can anyone recommend any particular whole ceiling approach that is aesthetically pleasing for a living room?

Anyone have a perspective on whether it is possible to re-insulate the walls with acoustical insulation? Or whether it is advisable to pull up the carpet and pad and put down acoustical flooring pad on top of the concrete?

Thanks for any other advice.
"...from palaces adorned with ivory, the music of the strings makes you glad"

#161603 - 12/03/08 06:00 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Also see: PW thread on using acoustic panels in living room

or Lively acoustics

I found this helpful but have not yet purchased any of their products. esoundproof

#161604 - 12/03/08 11:36 PM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
Kevin G. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Pekin, Illinois
Hi! New I'm to the Forums, but I was just thinking, you didn't mention in your post whether you had the option of moving the piano around the room; you might try that....it can make a huge difference! Maybe some acoustic material on the wall behind the piano too? It would be nice to have such a large open room for a piano like that...good luck, hope it works out for you!

#161605 - 12/06/08 02:34 AM Re: Boomy Living Room - acoustical options
jproppe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
By boomy I assume you mean very thick boomy low end.

Carpet is usually not a good idea,..it will contribute to the 'boominess' by removing the treble frequencies, and do nothing for the bass, what you are left with is a boomy room. You want to be able to absorb all frequencies, or in the case of a boomy room, more of the bass.

This could be achieved by bass traps in the corners, as the corners are the most effective place to control bass. Very thick curtains with very deep pleats might help.

My first suggestion would be to take the carpet out, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Then just add some absorbent panels on the walls to control slap echoes and tame the room decay a bit.

You can make these out of dense insulation (rockwool) covered with some nice cloth, or buy some ready made,..I would build them to match the decor.

I have a recording studio, and there is very little carpet in it.


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