Notes From My Listening Chair...
\Article By Jim Goulding of DiffractionBeGone.com
This is meant to introduce an affordable after market audio device along with my experience in developing and listening that I think will find a home with some of your readers for whom it is intended.
I wanted some tweeter surrounds for my personal use for my box
speakers so went to several large fabric stores in my area (metropolitan Houston) looking for wool felt. What I found was very thin and composed of wool plus synthetic fibers. Too thin, I thought, to do the work that needed to be done and, itself, reflective. One sample was
60 percent rayon. Bought some anyway and fashioned some doughnuts. This replaced neoprene tracts around my tweeters that came with the speakers. I couldn't hear a discernible difference between the two so
kept looking. Wound up buying a couple of linear yards of high grade all wool felt with a thickness of
3/8-inch from an industrial supplier. Thought I would use the rest to make some wall treatments.
Then had a local machinist make me a template for a 2.5-inch cutout for my tweeters and stamp and deliver to me a
4 by 6 inch rectangular pair to fit the width of my speakers. I listen with a pair of two way active monitors with over and under mid/bass drivers and a
1.25-inch dome tweeter.
After auditioning for a week or so I decided that there was less need to treat my side walls in my
12 x15 x 8 foot room. What did I hear? There was noted improvements in focus and instruments having more character and expression, things sounding more natural and real. My speakers became less obvious as sources in my room. Communication at some level was and is improved. I can listen at higher volume. Things are cleaner sounding and more luxuriant. My purpose in doing this in the first place was to quiet the audibility of waveforms being reflected to my listening position behind the primary signal in time by damping as best I could the culpable surface adjacent to my tweeters where the wavelengths are shortest and most at risk. I think this is precisely what's happening and why I'm a happier camper. It occurred to me in the process that every component upstream of my speakers was being compromised to some extent to include the quality of my recordings. After all, our speakers are the voice of our systems, right? The characteristic sound of my speakers has not changed, only my temperament has. I'm more relaxed and beholden to the music.
Since its release, I have encountered some dubious feedback from DIYer's and listeners on a tight budget, I expect, who say that this can be done for ten bucks. What I use and what
is offered commercially — I do have a surplus of material and the means to custom
fit — is a product of evolution. Started with lesser material and smaller shapes.
Rather doubt that very many people have actually made a comparison, though do
have note about comparisons and you can contact me for them. I submit that this is a more effective device of its type than anything that has preceded it and that the quality of improvement and fit and finish can't be found for less than fifty bucks anywhere else.
I challenge anyone to hear for themselves.
That's been the general consensus of all who have auditioned and purchased thus far.
Thank you, Steven, for allowing me this space. Enjoy The Music, everyone.
603 Glen Haven Drive
Conroe, TX, 77385
Voice: (281) 468-3133
$49.95 per pair