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GiK Tri-Trap Bass Trap Review

by April 29, 2009
GiK Tri-Trap Bass Trap

GiK Tri-Trap Bass Trap

  • Product Name: Tri-Trap Bass Trap
  • Manufacturer: GiK
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: April 29, 2009 04:00
  • MSRP: $ 258 (sold by the box, 2 Tri-Traps per box)
  • Buy Now

 

  • 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall
  • 6 Standard Colors
  • Upgrade with Guilford of Maine FR701 in 48 different as low as $20.00 per Tri-Trap
  • Come with plastic tops and bottoms that are colored - white tops on white Tri-Traps, black tops on all other standard colors

Pros

  • Convenient
  • Good size for most rooms
  • Effective
  • Price

Cons

  • Feel a little empty
  • No wall mounting system
  • Info on website hard to find/inaccurate

 

GiK Tri-Trap Bass Trap Introduction

I've talked so much about room acoustics lately that I'm starting to feel like a broken record (or like I'm on the campaign trail). Let's assume that you understand and believe (though belief isn't really required since it is so well documented) that the room makes a huge difference in the sound quality of your system. At this point, you're looking around your room and trying to figure out the best placement of your furniture and speakers to optimize the sound. Maybe you have even used Auralex's Room Analysis service to figure out what you need to do in your room. Perhaps you have just listened to the AV Rant podcast and made some changes based on what you heard? Regardless, you've done all you can and now it's time to go from the no-cost solutions to something that will give you the most bang for your buck.

In my interview with acoustical expert Gavin Haverstick, he stated that bass trapping, specifically corner bass trapping was the single best thing you can do in your room. Along with treating first reflections and a few other tips (check out our section on Acoustics for specifics), corner trapping is on the top of the list of suggestions for making your room sound better. Gavin went so far as to say that you can't over trap your room. While some experts might not agree with that statement, what they will agree with is that corner traps are important and effective.

One of the more traditional ways of treating the corner of a home theater is to place a normal flat rectangular trap and straddle it across a corner. While this works, it isn't as good as filling that corner up with material. This material generally takes the form of fiberglass or rockwool insulation or foam. Acoustical foam is well known to be the red-headed stepchild of the acoustical world - cheaper but less effective. Rockwool and fiberglass are similarly priced and perform the same. When you straddle a corner, you generally take up more real-estate (panels are generally 2 feet wide) than if you fill it up with material. All that for less effectiveness. The problem is that filling a corner consists of buying a bunch of insulation, cutting it into triangles, stuffing it in a corner floor to ceiling, and then constructing some sort of cover for it (you don't want bare insulation in your room no matter how hardcore an audiophile you are). What about those who can't or don't want to go the DIY route? Honestly, one of the few non-custom corner traps on the market is from GiK. The difference? Price. The GiK Tri-Traps are considerably less expensive.

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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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Recent Forum Posts:

Vaughan Odendaa posts on May 05, 2009 06:42
Can anyone offer their views on the tri-traps ? Impressions ? Measurements…before and after ?

I think it's way too early for this thread to die. Let's try to keep it alive.

Regards,
Vaughan Odendaa posts on May 02, 2009 18:08
Nice review. I ordered 4 tri-traps and should be getting them next week hopefully. Can't wait to test them out.

Regards,
Weasel9992 posts on April 30, 2009 15:31
FirstReflection, post: 559905
How do these compare to acoustic foam corner bass traps such as the Auralex LENRD bass traps? I found it a bit odd to praise the price of these GiK Tri-traps when the LENRD traps are the same size and about half the price?

Actually, just to remove the question of subjectivity from the discussion entirely, all you have to do is look at the lab results for both products. The numbers aren't even close.

Frank
bpape posts on April 30, 2009 15:23
First of all, thanks for taking the time to review our product. We feel it's an excellent performer at a reasonable price.

The purpose of bass control is to not only address frequency response anomalies, but also to bring the decay time in the room more into line. In many rooms, the time for bass to decay can be almost a factor of 8-10x the time for upper mid and high freuqencies. Not only does this cause muddy bass, but it can also mask dialog, cause issues with low level details, etc.

Having treatments in the corners has specific benefits:

- Cover the corner space to minimize ‘horn effect’

- Corners are at the ends of multiple room dimensions so they tend to help with problems in 2 or even 3 dimensions

From our unofficial testing, the Tri Traps are effective down to around 50Hz. They'll still do something below that but not as efficiently as 50Hz up. 50Hz down, the waves are just SO large that they're difficult to deal with.

One other clarification from the review - while we do have a membrane in the Tri Traps, it is not the type of tuned membrane that was described. It's a damped membrane that functions over a wide area while serving double duty as a semi-reflector for upper mid and high frequencies to minimize the probability of overdamping that part of the spectrum.

For a true tuned membrane, the observations in the review would be correct and one would need to be sure that they're matching the design frequency to match the area you're trying to deal with. Ours are broadband devices. Tuning is accomplished by a combination of membrane mass, depth of cavity, and size of the membrane. For instance, a 2'x4' membrane would have a different tuned resonance than a 1'x8' membrane with the same cavity depth and membrane material.

Again, many thanks for the review. I'll try to keep watch on this thread and answer any questions anyone might have

Bryan
Jeff R. posts on April 30, 2009 14:44
So is the improvement in sound from absorption of the sound waves and vibrations or is is it in the reduction of the 90 degree angle at the wall that is redirecting the longer sound waves associated with bass frequencies. I am curious, because my new HT room has 2 135 degree angles on the front wall to ceiling transition the that start about 5 feet up the wall and transition toward the listening postion to tie to the ceiling.

With my front sound stage on this wall I perceive a larger and more balanced sound stage with increased bass output from my sub and front speakers, I am wondering if this some how relates to the design premise of having them to make a normal 90 degree angle into 2 x 135 degree angles.

Jeff
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