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#3069081 01/14/21 01:30 PM
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MH1963 Offline OP
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I'm not sure if this the right forum for this question, but if not, I'll be happy to repost in the right place.

I see a lot of questions about resolving issues with sound transmission to other rooms or neighboring apartments. Transmission isn't the problem I'm having, my problem is with ECHO due to being in a room with a lot of hard surfaces and glass doors.

I have a 5'8" M&H.

My room has a wood floor. It is 15'x22' (8' ceiling) and it has openings on three sides. Two open to rooms that are 15x8 (hard floor, not much furniture, and a pair of French doors) and 15x10 (office, lots of stuff). The third wall is four French doors, two of which are stationary and two that open to a 24'x25' room. The fourth wall is an external wall that has two windows. Adjoining rooms have tile floors. So, the room sounds like playing piano in a gymnasium. And the open floor plan means that there is hardly any wall space to work with to put sound deadening stuff on. Looks great. Sounds awful.

I finally broke down and bought a 9'x12' rug with a thick pad. Pad is here, rug arrives soon.

I also plan to purchase a 3'x5' acoustic wall panel for the one and only place I can actually put one (other than the ceiling).

With the pad in the room, I can tell a difference. It's still a problem, but a step in the right direction.

long winded, but.... Do rugs and acoustic panels reduce echo problems across the spectrum? Right now, I hear less of the lower end echo but still a lot of high end.

existing window treatments preclude use of drapes.

once it's all here, I'll call my RPT but I don't want a tuning/voicing till I have these items in place.


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I _think_ rugs and pads will be more effective at high frequencies, than at low frequencies. They're certainly worth trying.

Can you install acoustical tiles on the ceiling? That would give you a _great_ improvement.

Can you install acoustical panels -- even small ones -- on the doors?


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MH1963,

Have you searched through all the previous threads on this subject? They are numerous and I believe you will find your answers there.

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you just need stuff in that room, like furniture, table, shelfs with books etc. alternatively "acoustic diffusers" not just "acoustic panels" made of some soft materials

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Thanks for the responses.

I can’t attach anything on the doors, they’re clear glass, would look strange.

I can put something on the ceiling, though I prefer to try other things first. If the big rug and the acoustic panel aren’t enough, I can put a rug in the 15x8 adjoining area, which is a foyer. Foyer has a pair of glass doors which stay closed, and if I open them, it adds another 15x10 adjoining room, and that room has a lot of stuff in it. So plenty of space.

I have looked through many of the previous threads, as I’ve been mulling this for a while. But it seems that most threads have to do with loudness, or preventing sound transmission to adjoining rooms. I don’t know if those problems are treated the same way as ‘echo’ would be. If so, then yes, no shortage of info. This is more a ‘quality of sound’ issue - the sound is muddy, and I think that’s due to echo. Acoustics being a bit complicated, I want to be sure that I’m doing the right things to address this particular ’flavor’ of problem.

The piano isn’t too large for the room, it’s a good sized room, and with the adjoining areas included it’s quite large for a residence.

I hope to have the rug down in a couple of weeks. I’ll have it tomorrow, but it will need to sit and flatten out. I can put it in the room, just can’t get it under the piano till I arrange for help.


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Higher frequencies are much easier to dampen than the lower frequencies.
But it's also the higher frequencies that are the most apparent. They cause those nasty flutter echos and sharpness in sounds. If you take out the echos at higher frequencies, you will also find you need less bass to start with, further reducing problems at the bass side.

In my experience, the walls are easiest and most effective to work with. Get some curtains or whatever, and cover most of the walls with it. No need to cover 100%, but if you can get at say 70% this will do a lot. Thicker fabric is better but thin fabric (like bed linen thickness) already does a lot. Draping it like a curtain works gives you much more effective thickness but it may more fit your taste to keep the fabric straight hanging instead of draped and it might still be enough acoustic effect for you. Such treatment captures sound in a pretty even manner so you get usually a pretty decent sounding room

The floor, get some carpets, but if you like wood you probably are not going to cover a significant part of the floor.

If fabric or curtains on the walls and some carpet both give not enough effect then the next step up is something like acoustic tiles. There are tiles that capture specific frequencies, so this becomes really critical to get the right tiles and right damping to get an even sounding room. I think a specialist will be needed at this point unless you read and understand the literature, but probably you would not be posting here then.

It's difficult to treat the ceiling unless you have a lowered ceiling already in which case you can use acoustic tiles there. Again probably expert work.


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BTW as was mentioned books and furniture with thick fabric like benches are indeed good damping material. But as I said, what's important is that you cover a lot of the walls with it.
As you apparently prefer to keep the rooms more empty, the fabric is probably a better option for you.

BTW I had part of my walls covered with black fabric for some time, which has also a good function to darken my home theater corner. Just some suggestion


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The rug and the rug pad are here. Just having it in the room has been helpful, though it’s not yet under the piano.

I will order the acoustic dampening panel this week, It will take about 10 days to receive. Hope to have some help with wrestling the rug under the piano in early February. I’m probably going to get the piano mover in to do it and they’re evidently swamped. This thing weighs a lot, and I have friends but they’re not young, so having someone who knows what they’re doing makes sense. Pros can do it quickly and we can keep a safe distance instead of trying to manage it with rookies, all way too close for comfort. It’s got wheels but my RPT already warned me they’d make ruts in the (low grade) wood floor if I try to move it around on the bare floor. I also have a small piece of upholstered furniture that I think I can bring in.

Once the stuff is in the room, I’ll have the RPT in for a tuning & voicing.

So, I’ll report back after this happens. I’m sure the room will sound better but I’ll still be a poor player!


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Sounds like you're on your way. BTW, there are curtain rod arrangements that you can attach to the doors, top and bottom with material stretched between. Plenty of decorating people know how to do this. Just a tip (my wife is an interior decorator...).

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Here's an update on my efforts, and a list of the things I've done.

Piano room is approx 15'x22' with an 8' ceiling. One wall is an outside wall, with a couple windows. The other three sides open to other rooms - an office with lots of stuff, a foyer with a table and a family room. The family room is separated from the room with the piano by four French doors, which is a lot of (reflective) glass. All floors are hard, either wood or tile. The echo was unbearable but due to allergies I avoided adding rugs as long as I could. My RPT had voiced the piano down but the room still needed help.

Actions taken...

1. Added 4" upholstery foam to the bottom of the piano (with room for air circulation). My RPT thought it was fine. There's a thread on here somewhere with photos of this process. This reduced the loudness but didn't help with the echo.
2. Replaced a bamboo mat in the adjoining family room with a thick 8x10 rug and thick rug pad. No noticeable difference from the piano, but walking through the room with hard soled shoes was quieter even though the walk path doesn't have rug on it.
3. Added a thick 9x12 rug and rug pad under the piano. (the obvious solution, but one I was hoping to avoid, as I like the wood floor)
4. Added a thick 5x8 rug and rug pad in the adjoining foyer.
5. Added a 3' x 4' acoustic panel (2" thick) on the wall that is an outside wall. This is the wall on the treble side of the piano.
6. Removed the foam under the piano.
7. Had the piano tuned and voiced.

I did these over the course of time and it has certainly helped. As expected the rug and rug pad under the piano made a huge difference in overall loudness but room was still echo-ey (is that a word?).

The acoustic panel helped a LOT. Since it's on the wall that faces the open side of the piano, a lot of sound that used to hit that wall and then slam against the French doors on the other side of the room has been stopped. The panel has a photo printed on it, so it just looks like a large piece of art. It's not very heavy and the hanging hardware made it easy to ensure it's level. (source: Acoustimac.com)

The rugs were from esalerugs.com. Lots of places have rugs but their rug pad is thicker than I've seen elsewhere.

I try to keep the French doors open, which gives the sound a lot further to travel and dissipate before bouncing back. Adding curtains to the doors wouldn't be very desirable visually, but keeping the doors open reduces the amount of glass exposed from four doors to two (since they're doubled up). It also makes the glass surface be at an angle rather than the same plane as the wall, which seems like it should help.

There is still some echo and I would like to add another acoustic panel but there is not a good place for one. Open floor plans just don't leave much to work with in terms of wall space.

There's room for improvement, but I think I can live with what I've got, at least for a while. Thanks for all the suggestions here.

Last edited by MH1963; 04/09/21 04:40 PM. Reason: typo

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