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GIK GridFusor Diffusion Tile First Look

By
GIK GridFusor

GIK GridFusor

Summary

  • Product Name: GridFusor
  • Manufacturer: GIK
  • Review Date: February 03, 2011 04:05
  • MSRP: $49.99 per unit (sold 4 per box $199.96)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • 2 foot square by 5 1/2" depth
  • 13 root QRD diffuser design
  • Easily paintable.  Painting will have no impact on diffusion characteristics.
  • Square shape allows for easy orientation changes to scatter in multiple axis.
  • Easy to install

Executive Overview

If you aren't thinking about room acoustics, you're on the wrong site. We love our speakers, our subs, our displays and our projectors. We love our media servers, our tablets, and our cans (headphones). But we realize that no amount of silver plating or cryogenically frozen copper is going to change how our rooms affect our experience of the sound. It is simple physics. Room effects can make or break your speakers. Your room can make the worst speakers sound decent or the best speakers sound horrible. If you don't believe it, well, we've got a bridge to sell you.

Since the inception of Audioholics, we've seen room acoustics go from an idea touted by scientists and derided by audiophiles to a well accepted fact. We've seen room treatments go from the province of the uber-rich and their installers to something that you can build in your garage or purchase at a very reasonable price. One of the big names in affordable room treatments is GiK.

GiK Acoustics offers not only affordable materials for DIY room treatments but pre-made panels for those that don't feel up to making their own. They've come up with all sorts of solutions from straight 4x2 foot panels to corner traps to panels that look like paintings. They cater to musicians and home theater buffs alike. Their offerings have always been well priced and well received. Now, for the first time, they've branched out into something that doesn't absorb sound. The GiK Gridfusor.

The Gridfusor is designed to be a drop-in replacement for a 2 x 2 ceiling tile. GiK also says that two of them will fill a 4 x 4 foot space. Now, either that means that they are 4x2 or they are 2x2 and they meant that four of them will fill a 4 x 4 foot space. We're guessing it is the former (even though the press picture above looks square). Either way, the Gridfusor is designed with a drop ceiling in mind. GiK has specified that they are a direct replacement which means no extra bracing and it is strong enough that you can add additional insulation above it to absorb bass.

The thing to remember is that one of the best points in any room for diffusion is at the first reflection point on the ceiling between the front speakers and the listening position. Additionally, depending on the room, we've seen diffusion used above the seated area. Regardless, the ceiling is usually reserved for diffusion. This can add to the sense of spaciousness to your sound by breaking up that zingy, slap echo in a room without deadening it too much.

The GiK Gridfusors incorporate a mirror imaged pair of 13 root diffusers. This provides excellent diffusion from 600Hz to 5000 Hz and additional scattering below and above the diffusion range. Since you don't have to worry about the absorptive characteristics, painting the Gridfusors is not a problem. We love the look of the all wood diffusers in the showroom but the often end up standing out in a room. And it seems a shame to paint them. With the Gridfusors, you won't have that problem.

Since they are designed to be light, you can use them even if you don't have a drop ceiling. They can be easily mounted with adhesive, double sided tape, or even pins depending on your situation and permanence desired. With a 5.5" depth, however, make sure you have enough headroom. In a typical eight foot room, you should be fine as long as you don't hang out with too many pro basketball players.

The pricing on the GiK Gridfusors is $50 a pop though they only come in boxes of four. This means you'll have to spend $200 minimum. For any room treatments, this isn't a bad price but it would be nice if GiK allowed you to mix and match absorptive and Gridfusor panels. Since the main reason for requiring four at a time is the size of the box, we're thinking you might be able to call them and work something out.

Conclusion

Room treatments may not be as sexy a topic as speakers or projectors, it is no less important. Bringing you affordable room treatments has been GiK's mission for years. Their new Gridfusors diffusion panels look to add to their already impressive lineup. While the Gridfusors may be designed with drop ceilings in mind, they can be used in nearly any application. For those that have plenty of absorption but are still suffering imaging problems, these should be a no brainer. We're sure these will start flying off the shelves at the $50 a pop price.

For more information, please visit www.gikacoustics.com.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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