All untreated listening rooms suffer from comb filtering, a particular type of frequency response error that creates a series of many peaks and deep nulls. Comb filtering is a problem in smaller rooms especially, because of the proximity of the listening position to the rear wall behind. Numerous peaks and nulls occur at predictable quarter wavelength distances from that wall, badly skewing what you hear. For audiophiles and other critical listeners the result is a colored, often boxy and congested sound. For mix engineers comb filtering is even more troublesome - if you can't hear the music as it really sounds, it's much more difficult to achieve an excellent mix.
When placed on the rear wall behind the listening position the RealTraps Diffusor scatters mid and high frequencies, while low frequencies pass through the reflecting well membranes to be absorbed by rigid fiberglass behind. The membranes also increase bass absorption beyond what fiberglass alone could provide. Thus, comb filtering artifacts are reduced dramatically over the entire effective range.
The RealTraps Diffusor is 24 inches wide by 48 inches high by 6 inches deep, and is offered in both "far" and near" versions. The far version has diffusion wells 6 inches deep, and is recommended for rooms where the rear wall is at least six feet behind the listener's ears. For smaller rooms where the listener is closer to the rear wall, the near model is more appropriate. The near model has wells 3 inches deep, and the bass trap portion is correspondingly thicker. Price for either model is $499.99 each, and they will begin shipping in November. The new diffusor will also be on display in the RealTraps booth #121 at the San Francisco AES show October 5-8.
According to RealTraps co-owner Ethan Winer, "In the overall scheme of acoustic treatment, diffusion is more like icing on the cake compared to the staples of absorption and bass trapping. However, good diffusion can add a nice sense of spaciousness not possible with absorption alone. Unfortunately, truly excellent diffusors are complex to design and build, and thus cost more than absorption which is simpler to manufacture. Even the best diffusors are ineffective below around 800 Hz, so absorption is still needed for those lower frequencies. We have developed what we believe is the ultimate diffusor because it offers the best of both treatment types. Indeed, two or more RealTraps Diffusors adjacent will create the ideal 'rear wall' treatment for listening rooms and mixing suites of any size."
Complete information is on the RealTraps web site:
The RealTraps site also contains educational videos, magazine articles, extensive advice on all aspects of room treatment, as well as showcasing their high-performance solutions for rooms of every size and purpose.
RealTraps is owned by Ethan Winer and Doug Ferrara. Ethan is known throughout the industry for his many technical articles in audio and computer magazines, and he has engineered and produced several classical music CDs including a recording of his own cello concerto. Doug is a professional musician and has owned a recording studio for more than twenty years. Besides his interests in audio and recording, Doug holds an advanced degree in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic, and has been a systems engineer for Intel and Motorola.
Product and contact information: www.realtraps.com
Phone, toll-free: 866-RealTraps (866-732-5872)