Several weeks later, he showed me his acoustic treatments in the custom home theater room that he’d built in his house, and following his suggestions, I planned, purchased fabric, Dacron Fiberfill batting and other supplies, made and placed acoustic absorption panels about my listening (AKA man cave) room. The sound improved, but some sibilance issues still remained.
Reasoning that my wife’s curved glass curio cabinet reflected high frequencies at the right rear corner of the room, I felt that I should balance it with diffusion at the rear left.
That’s when I discovered the Mio Culture Acoustic Weave Paperform Tiles. At $54 a pack of 12 one foot by one foot tiles, they were attractive, inexpensive and easy to mount on a temporary basis with double sided tape or permanently with a stronger adhesive. Their PDF brochure said “they diffuse sound and improve a room’s acoustic performance in the high frequency range.” And they are green as well; they are manufactured from 100 percent recycled paper.
Examining them after arrival, I realized that they were no thicker than egg carton, which was maligned in the audiophile world as being ineffectual for acoustic treatment. I wondered if they would really work. Guess we’ll find out, I thought.
I taped up an array of six on the left rear corner of the room and turned up the music. It didn’t sound right. My wife confirmed my observations: where previously the music enveloped us, now the music was pushed forward and away from us a good ten feet into the left half of the room. Whoa. The tiles came down pronto.
Weeks went by and, as I posted photos of my listening space in audiophile pages on Facebook, members began chiding me to cover the TV in my entertainment center with a blanket. “Why?” I asked. The large glass surface on the flatscreen monitor sent back harsh, high frequency reflections, they claimed. I tried their idea, which helped, but looked ugly. Man cave or not, I didn’t want it looking like a hovel.
Then it dawned on me: why not place the Mio Acoustic Weave Paperform tiles on a piece of foam core board in front of the TV? In addition to diffusing higher frequency sound, they might push the soundstage closer to us, I reasoned.
I was right. To our delight, my wife and I discovered that the soundstage was more intimate, clearer and less sibilant. Eventually, I mounted the tiles onto a leftover fiberboard panel from my wall panels project and painted it. Later, I added fluted door casing, decorative moulding and five inch thick recycled denim insulation on the backside to absorb lower frequency signals passing through the panel. My room never sounded better!
About a month later, I invited my friend, Dan, who oversees media and sound at a large church in the western suburbs of Chicago over for dinner and music.
“Great job!” he said. He had heard my room a year earlier prior to treatment. “The slap echo was the first thing I noticed before,” he effused. “But, you’ve improved the sound of the room by a good 60 to 70 percent!”
When I had a friend from the high end audio industry come over to demo his preamplifier in my system, We listened to it first without the Mio Acoustic Weave diffuser on. He asked me to replace it. Listening carefully, he said, “That’s good!” I later ended up demoing his huge, world class horn loudspeakers out of my home for four months.
Then, my friend, Chris, from Foster Electric came over to listen to these robust horns. He was impressed. However, in addition to expressing admiration for the speakers, he remarked how much better my room sounded. “You’ve done a great job,” he congratulated.
I felt vindicated. After months of research and hard work, I had succeeded in putting together a great sounding listening room. And Mio Acoustic Weave Paperform tiles played a central role in making it happen.
They are very effective in diffusing high frequencies and diminishing slap echo. Combined with other acoustic treatments, they can enable you to set up a formidable listening and media room. At $54 a pack of 12 one foot by one foot tiles, they are a bargain. I highly recommend them.
For more information on Mio Culture products, go to mioculture.com/