Eighth Nerve - Response Controller
Room acoustics play an important role on the sound quality of any audio system. Windows, hardwood floors and other highly reflective surfaces cause secondary reflections and echoes that tend to defocus and blur the sonic image we try so hard to create. Surprisingly, simple room treatments help reduce these problems by absorbing sound which would otherwise be reflected back into the room. Sonic improvements can be made by treating the room at specific locations to reduce unwanted reflections. This not only applies to home theater sound, but also the more traditional two channel systems as well. A company called Eighth Nerve, located in Nashville, Tennessee, has introduced a series of Response Controller specifically addressing these problems.
Bill Laurent, President of Eighth Nerve, sent us a set of Ivory colored acoustic response controllers to try out in our listening space. They are available in Ivory or Black. They included Corners, Echoes and Seams. Corners are used where the two walls meet the ceiling, so four of them are needed in a typical room. Echoes are placed on flat surfaces to help reduce "Slap echo" locations caused by two parallel walls facing each other. A simple test to hear the effects of the echo is to clap your hands while standing between the two parallel surfaces. You should hear the slow decay of sound as a result of the sound bouncing back and forth. This is a common problem in most listening environments. The Echo controllers are usually mounted on the front and back walls as well as the side walls to reduce the echo problems. They are also used to reduce "mirror points" in the room where sound is reflected off the side wall and hits the listener slightly later than the direct sound from the speaker. Imagine the wall being a mirror and you look at it and see your speaker. This is the location of the "mirror point" that reflects the sound. This causes blurring and imaging problems in many setups. The Seams are used to control energy traveling along the wall surface. They are mounted equal distance from the floor and ceiling. All of the products we received use push-pin tacks to hold the controllers in place. This is a better approach than the double sided tape since adhesives tend to ultimately fail over time.
Controllers can make a significant difference in how your audio system
performs. What we liked about the Eighth Nerve product was the great performance
we got for the relatively low price. For under $270 you can pickup a Roompack
that includes four Corners, four Seams and 2 Echo
products. Additional controllers are available for your specific needs.
Eighth Nerve also has framed response controllers designed for higher
sound pressure levels, but we didn't have any for this review. If you
take your room acoustics seriously, you should set aside part of your
budget for some affordable Eighth Nerve Response Controller products.
Depending on your room acoustics, you may be surprised at what a difference
it can make.
Display - SharpVision™
XV-Z10000U High-Definition DLP™ Front Projector
|Review at a glance|
Eighth Nerve - Response Controller
Corners should be installed in a room's upper corners, where two walls meet the ceiling. They control horn-loading effects and will make an immediate difference in the sound quality and harmonic structure of music. The Corners should elegantly straddle the corner area so that sound pressure can build behind the unit.
Size: 16" x 16"
Size: 16" x 10"
Size: 48" x 7"
MSRP $269.95 (4 - Corner, 4 - Seam, 2 - Echo)
Size: 36" x 7" x 5"
Size: 48" x 12" x 3.5"
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