Product Review (September 2001) - Echo Busters
Decorative Acoustical Room Treatments
Tweaks in the high-end audio business are about as common as weight loss programs in California. While some can be effective, many leave you disappointed. There are plenty of costly enhancements that have the ability to affect the sound quality of an audio system. The trick is to make the most effective use of your dollar when setting it up. Surprisingly, room acoustics are often overlooked and yet thousands will be spent on the electronics and speakers to try and get the most out of a system.
Echo Busters, located in Deer Park, New York has a line of decorative acoustical room treatments that can significantly improve the sound quality of your listening environment. Various widths (12", 18" or 24") and lengths (4, 5 or 6 foot) are available for the panels, which measure approximately 2.5" thick. The bass absorbing towers come in 4, 5, or 6 foot heights. For this review we had four 18" x 4-foot Echo Buster panels, one 18" x 4-foot Double Buster panel, two 4-foot Bass Buster towers and four Corner Busters for the areas where the ceiling meets two walls. We had to spend a reasonable amount time optimizing our placement of panels to get the right sound. Our current home theater setup is less than ideal with significant amounts of glass on the walls and hardwood floors.
The aesthetic value of the Echo Buster products is first rate. Several people have commented on the installed panels, asking if they were some type of modern artwork. We appreciate any product that can improve the sound of our listing room while contributing to the decor. Echo Busters offers a wide selection of colors to match practically any room. Check out the website (www.echobusters.com) to see a complete selection of available colors. Good looks were just one of the attributes of these products. Sonically speaking, these panels were highly effective in our room.
We measured RT60 times in our room using the Sencore SP295 Audio Analyzer. Measuring differences before and after removed any doubt that the changes were real. A noticeable reduction in reverberation time was measured with the analyzer both before and after the Echo Busters were installed. During our review of the room treatments, we heard an improvement in the sound emanating from our M&K S-125 speakers. The imaging improved and we noticed a change in the details of complex instruments and vocals. In addition, the soundstage became more precise in our opinion. We attribute many of these sonic improvements to the decrease or elimination of early reflections that our room exhibited once the Echo Buster products were installed. By eliminating mirror points in the room, we were able to improve the intelligibility of the sound coming directly from the speakers. Secondary reflections encountered without the room treatments seemed to blur our soundstage. We also found the Bass Busters worked well with our M&K MX-350 Mk II THX subwoofer. Deep bass tightened up with the bass-absorbing tower placed in the front corners of the listening space.
a price on any improvement is a difficult task when it comes to components
not directly in the audio or video chain. We feel the sonic improvements
made with the installation of Echo Buster's room treatment were significant
enough to justify the cost. Some rooms are better than others and in our
case we were quite happy with the results.
|Review - At a glance|
Buster Decorative Acoustical Room Treaments
Echo Buster Panels
Panels with stands
Panels with stands
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