GiK Tri-Trap Build Quality
The GiK Tri-Traps are, as you might expect, triangular. They are also shipped in large boxes of two. You must buy them in pairs so their quoted price of $129 each is a little misleading. From a shipping standpoint, this makes a lot of sense as there are a lot more rectangular boxes rather than there are triangular. For all I know, the shipping companies might charge extra for an oddly shaped box like that. Regardless, I ordered six tri-traps for my room, all in black. They arrived in three large boxes. Each was wrapped in a thin plastic bag and was tightly packed. There was no protection other than the box and bag though they didn't really need it. The boxes (and traps) were quite light and arrived without damage.
I ordered six traps because I was in the middle of the Auralex Room Analysis Plus review and their suggestion was additional trapping in all the corners (for a more detailed description please see the review). Well, I felt this was an excellent opportunity to review a product I'd long been intrigued by - the Tri-Traps. The triangular traps are meant to be placed in the corners of a room and are filled with insulation. The Auralex analysis said that I could use as much bass trapping as possible. Well, six was the most I could accommodate at the time - I could probably get four more in here now. Two stacked on top of each other placed in the back corners and two lying on the floor behind the couch. I was a bit concerned about one thing, however, the height.
According to the GiK website, the Tri-Traps are four feet tall. My room is technically 8 feet high so they should fit but if you factor in the popcorn ceiling and medium pile carpet, it is a bit less than that. I didn't want to get them in just to find out they wouldn't fit. So, like I often do, I called them and asked about custom sizes not telling them I was a reviewer. I do this so I get the real deal and not some wink-wink-nudge-nudge thing. For a custom size, it is a $25 premium for the first trap and $15 each for every other trap of the same size. This, of course, is for a trap that is smaller than normal. You can't ask for a custom 7.5 foot trap. Those charges seem just fine to me and perfectly reasonable. I especially like the fact that they charge less for the additional traps of the same size. In reality, the first one tacks on most of the extra work with the additionals not really adding that much. It smacks of business ethics that GiK is recognizing that in their pricing.
What is a bit weird, however, is that regardless of what it says on the GiK site, the Tri-Traps are not four feet tall. They are about an inch and a quarter shy of that. When I spoke to them about it, they said that it was because they wanted to take into account ceilings and carpets just like mine. While I was relieved that I wasn't going to need custom sizes, it did make me wonder why they don't just list the actual size on the website. On top of that, info on the website is sometimes hard to find or missing. You really have to look on the Tri-Trap page to find that the traps are four feet tall and two feet wide (both incorrect as mine were 46.75" tall and 23.5" wide). And what is wide anyhow? Well, it is the hypotenuse (the part that faces the inside of the room for those that are having horrible geometry class flashbacks). But what isn't on the website at all is the length of the other two sides (the ones that would run against the walls of the corner). Now, I could bust out my Pythagorean Theorem and assume that the squares of the two sides added together would equal 552.25 (23.5 squared) but hey, I don't really need to do math do I? These sides are the most important because they will determine how far into your room the traps will go and whether they will cover any outlets or vents. It is a serious omission from the info on the website.
By the way, they said they were 17 inches (I measured them a hair more but close enough).
I, like probably most customers, ordered the Tri-Traps in black. Home theaters are supposed to be dark, corners most of all. If anything is going to blend, black is. They use the well known Guilford of Maine acoustically transparent material for their coverings. You can order black, off-white, bright red, bright blue, hunter green, or coffee at the standard prices. They allow custom colors (any offered from Guilford of Maine) at a minimum of $20 premium. Just make sure you get a swatch from someone first - don't trust what you see on the screen. The top and bottom of the Tri-Traps have a thin plastic plate glued to them. For the white Tri-Traps it is white, for all other colors it is black. This seems to be a vanity item to cover any staples or other adherence methods. For probably 99% of the installations, you'll never see it. The only time you do is when you stack them. Personally, I'd prefer if the plastic plates were removable or if there was another option so that the two sat fabric to fabric creating a more unified look.
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I think it's way too early for this thread to die. Let's try to keep it alive.
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.
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
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.