SonoSuede Installation and Mounting
Installation of the panels went something like this. I would first measure where on the wall I wanted the panel to be, referring to the diagram and plans Auralex had given me for my room. I would then hold the panel against the wall in the position I wanted it to be mounted, and mark the wall with a pencil at the corners of the panel. I would then set the panel aside and screw the clips into the wall inside the boundary I had established with the corner marks, using Auralex's suggested 3 clips per panel. Once the clips are up, you just put the panel in place just above the clip, and then press towards the wall and down towards the floor. The teeth on the clip pierce the foam type material on the back of the panel, and once it is flush with the clip you are done. It was remarkably easy, and I was able to install most of the panels by myself. Every now and then I would have my wife come in to help line something up or hand me a panel when I was up high on the ladder.
For the corner traps, I used finish nails (that were provided by Auralex) to affix them to the corners of the room. I would measure out how high I wanted them and then hold the panel in place and drive the nail through the hardened top edge and the hardened side edge into the wall. I did not hammer them all the way in yet, per Auralex instructions.
The corner traps were one place in my installation that I had to deviate from the suggested treatment plan from Auralex. The trim around my windows, and a few electrical outlets combined to make it impossible for me to mount all four panels in the front right and left corners of the room. I instead chose to mount one panel in each of the four corners of the room, and it turned out fine. I was glad I had not hammered the nails all the way in, as I had to make a few adjustments in the height of the first panel I put up. Once all were in place, I went around with a nail set and sank all the nails, which literally disappeared into the suede fabric.
I was amazed at how easy and how quickly the installation of the panels went. They look great in the room, too. In my room, I had tons of memorabilia and posters and photos on the wall - even a few autographed guitars and a cymbal mounted. It was sad to take it all down, but the room has a serious look to it now with the SonoSuede panels. The brown panels look great in the room, but the tan panels are not quite right for the color of my wall - they are very close in color, but not exactly. In hindsight, I probably should have ordered a custom color to better blend with my wall, but it still looks pretty good.
I placed the SubDudes under both subwoofers and the left and right front tower speakers, and suddenly my room had transformed. Although I had yet to hang the SpaceCouplers, the room had already begun to take on a different sonic quality. I was anxious to get going with hanging the diffusers.
The SpaceCouplers were going to be a bit more challenging to install, in that I needed to hang them from the ceiling once assembled. I received six 2' x 2' x 3" panels that I was to assemble into two matching 6' x 2' x 3" grids that would be suspended from the ceiling. The popcorn sprayed ceiling of the room is vaulted, reaching a height of about 14', and it was going to be tough to find studs and measure it out. I decided I would hang it using fishing line or thin steel rope. After a trip to Home Depot, I came home with 1/16" stranded steel rope and some ferrule and stop sets to create easily adjustable lines with loops on the end to attach to the SpaceCouplers. I bought some knotting anchors for the ceiling, as I was not comfortable that I was going to find a stud to attach the hooks to.
To prepare the SpaceCouplers, I laid them out on my floor and used a provided template to mark drill hole positions on the three panels that would make up my grid. With a 1/4" bit, I drilled the holes and then used the included hex bolts, washers and tee nuts to assemble the grid. The tee nut had sharp teeth that dug into the soft wood frame, positioning it perfectly to receive the hex bolt from the other side. Auralex includes hangers that you insert between the panels and put the hex bolt through. They protrude from the top of the grid with a loop that will be used to suspend the assembly. It was tricky to join the panels and keep this loop standing up - I had someone hold it for me in order to keep it from falling back between the panels.
Once assembled and ready to hang, I found myself second-guessing my plan. For starters, my ladder is only 10 ft, and I was having trouble reaching the part of the ceiling that my measurements told me I needed to place the hooks. I actually called Sean at Auralex and began to discuss other options for hanging the grid, as I was not convinced I could create 4 hanging points per grid in the high ceiling that would be measured out correctly or that I could reach. Sean explained to me that the design of the two grids was only a suggestion, and that if another shape or array design would make hanging it easier, that I should certainly try that. We discussed the weight of the panels and bounced around some more ideas, and I went back to work.
After a bit more measuring and thought, I landed on a plan that ended up working out. First, I used rough measurements and drilled 4 holes in the ceiling using a 1/4" bit. I then put a plastic knotting anchor in the holes. I used a steel hook that screwed into the anchors and knotted them, creating a solid anchor that I felt would not pull out of the ceiling. Rather than having 4 separate steel rope lines that were going to be difficult to terminate in a way that would allow the grid to hang level, I decided to string two eight foot lengths of 60 lb. fishing line through the two loops on each side of the array. I used a fishing swivel on each end of the line, and then hung the swivel loops on the hooks I had installed in the ceiling. Once hung, I could easily adjust the grid as it hung to get it to level out. I did the same thing for the 2nd grid, and suddenly it was done! It worked out really well. The grids appear to float above the listening area - you have to look for the line to see it, and it disappears when the lights are dimmed for movies.
I bought the Sonosuede Panels, and the are great. They deffinately helped with my room acoustics and I as well as all of my friends think they look spectacular.
I also got fantastically built products ATS Acoustics. They are also beautiful looking and helped in my very live room. I know I need more room treatment but it has made a huge difference for me.
I also love the look of the Ready Acoustics stuff, Chameleon Acoustic Frames are a fantasic idea, and look great. With all the WAF problems around, its nice to see some companies stepping up to the plate to offer great ideas.
Thought you'd like a pic...
I don't doubt that room treatments help with the sound... to a certain degree... but the cost is nearly as much as some top quality speakers, etc, etc.
I find it really hard to justify the cost for what amounts to some foam rubber glued to the walls.
Room treatments are the best way to spend your money. Speakers & electronics are simply prisoners in their surrounding room. Unless your room is properly treated, you have no clue as to how good your present rig can sound. Start doing some research. I find it comical that folks will drop thousands on gear & speakers & never bother to factor in the room as the biggest contributer to sound quality.
My current JBL center will fit no problem because it is tiny in comparison.