Acoustic panels

I believe Michael Fremer of Sterophile likes it and it is quite expensive but I expect you already know this.

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Hi Alan,

No, these are not skyline diffusers.
Here is an older post with my room treatment details.
–> System Pics 2020

Regardless of the sound in your room, which I’m sure is wonderful, it is simply beautiful.

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Yes, I started with one Stillpoints Aperture panel, and now have a total of four in my mid-sized listening room. Fremer’s description of the effects is spot-on, in my opinion. They suck up room noise but don’t alter frequency response, as far as I can tell. A whole new level of realism and focus for my SL2s with a minimum of fuss.

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And where did you place them in the room?
At the first points of return - side walls, ceiling, back wall, front wall? So where have you heard the best improvement?
After all, these are large and heavy boards …

Perhaps the following thread might be of some help.
–> Don’t buy new speakers – The listening room reality

As for the Stillpoint Aperture panels, I certainly wouldn’t buy those absorbers. They are ridiculously expensive. And what they advertise sounds like… magic :wink:

If you’re planning to treat your room, GIK Acoustics or Vicoustic are better and more serious choices.

What are they better than Stillpoint?
Just because of the price?
Here is a quote from the product website

The Stillpoints Aperture acoustic panels represent a whole new form of acoustical treatment. The Stillpoints Aperture is actually three products in one: an absorber, a diffuser, and a resonator. Due to its revolutionary design, it is impossible to directly compare the performance parameters of the Stillpoints Aperture to a conventional acoustic panel made of fiberglass. The performance specifications of the Stillpoints Aperture continually adapt to the dynamic changes in amplitude and frequency of the audio/video system generating the wave forms within the acoustical environment. At any given amplitude and frequency a “snapshot” measurement of performance could be taken, but, that static measurement does not explain the reality of how the Stillpoints Aperture actually performs.

Of course not. Price isn’t the problem :wink:

That marketing blurb is just that and nothing more…
It makes no sense what so ever.

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Got you. :ok_hand:

I haven’t yet looked at their website: do they publish test results proving performance at various frequencies? If not I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole unless offered for home trial with full refund of anything spent.

Are they active (powered) devices? I am aware of a couple, that I believe can do very well for their size, but are very expensive?

40 HZ to 40K HZ (sic)* (claimed - but with no supporting evidence or even claims to the efficacy of the absorption at any specified frequency).

No they’re just passive absorbers.

*. They mean 40Hz to 40kHz, they couldn’t even get that right!

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Exactly, considering the thickness of the those panels that sounds… unexpected! :smile:

The funny thing, or not so funny…, is the HiFi+ review.

Quote: “They will treat standing waves”.

As I said, it’s magic! :laughing:

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Instant alarm bells, telling us they are so wonderful but providing no actual information other than their dimensions and that they both absorb and diffuse. Regarding which some other manufacturers could challenge them on the false claim The Stillpoints Aperture is the only acoustical product that will give you both absorption and diffusion at the first reflection points of a system, e.g GIK’s panels with the optional scatterplates, that can certainly be mounted at those positions.

Decent manufacturers provide test data showing the quantitative absorbance at given frequencies. Of course the claim that even such a thin panel can absorb across such a wide bandwidth may be factually correct - but by how much? For all the buyer knows at the bottom end it might take 100 panels to make an audible difference!

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My first panel was placed on the floor against the front wall, in between the SL2s (which of course are also flush to the front wall). That made a major improvement, and I could have stopped there. The next two panels were also placed on the floor against the front wall, about a foot away from the corners. The last panel is against the back wall, behind the listening position. This final touch was quite effective.

Hey, I agree, the explanation provided by the manufacturer is vague and not terribly convincing, but that’s okay with me, the proof is in the pudding. Prior to this I had no interest in going down the rabbit hole of room treatment–too much trouble, too intrusive. It was the Fremer review that caught my attention; his recommendations have been very useful over the years.

Since the panels are in wood frames that can stand on the floor, installation and tweaking is easy (of course they can be hung on walls as well). Still, I wouldn’t say they are always beneficial. I tried one panel against the back wall in a smaller room, in between a pair of small Harbeth standmounts which were about two feet out from the wall. The result was a slight flattening of stage depth and a weird, phasey effect.

Sure they’re expensive, but my four panels still cost less than my set of SL speaker cables. YMMV. In the US you can try risk-free from a well known internet retailer that offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on almost everything they sell.

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You might have found similarly sized panels from other manufacturers to be similarly effective. Or might not. But if these have done something you like and you are happy with the cost then that is great.

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stunning @Thomas

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I agree with your position that at least one laboratory test data about the product should be published. But-
Have you purchased audio products, according to online reports / magazines / forums, based on its technical data tests?
It is likely that you have performed a listening in your listening space environment, after which you have decided, to purchase or not.
Unfortunately, acoustics is not absolute math. It just came to help us get the most out of our listening environment and nothing more.
From reading in the Israeli forum, I see that the product is praised, from a number of friends who use it and it arouses my curiosity,
I may try to examine the “miraculous” panel in my home, even though I do not have the results of audio tests and laboratory data, only hearsay evidence.

Guiding my initial decision to try, yes.

But unless it is an active device a sound treatment box I would argue this is very different, not what I consider an audio product, but a physical device absorbing, dispersing or resonating, using purely the physics associated with acoustics. As I intimated, without test data (and good manufacturers in this field have their products tested by independent test laboratories), I wouldn’t touch them without certainty of money back - and without test data I would feel I have to compare in the room against other products, whereas with independent test data testing against other products would only be necessary if the effectiveness in the room is wrong, whereby the test data of whatever I tried and of other products would guide as to what is probably better in practice. Otherwise it is just like playing roulette: you are lucky you find something that makes a positive difference - but whether you are getting value for money compared to something else, or a greater or lesser benefit, you have no idea. If you have taken a punt, like the effect, and are not interested in whether it is the best effect you could have, or the best value for money, then you are lucky!

Acoustic room treatment is used professionally in recording studios and auditoriums amongst other places, with considerable background to it, which is why products independent test laboratories exist and are used by pukka manufacturers wishing to sell their wares. It appears to me that Stillpoints are jumping on the high end hifi gravytrain, rather than trying to provide the best acoustic treatment for people - but of course that is because there is such a market.

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Actually it is; it’s based on a few relatively simple equations.

The perceived effect of room interactions is a different though: that is a matter of human perception.