This is a look, not a review as such, and some conversation about some acoustic panels from GIK Acoustics that I have been sent to enhance my listening space here at hifiandmusicsource.com. First of all I met David Shevyn of GIK in the queue at the Bristol Hifi Show and we got talking about acoustic panels. A very interesting subject for me, having just installed a professional acoustic solution for our Village Hall that has made a profound difference.
I’m a believer in acoustic treatment and the Impression Series only reinforces my belief
I had a long empty room that I have been fortunate to be able to develop into a listening space and indeed hifiandmusicsource.com came from this. However, my space was always very resonant and echoey. I first installed an acoustic mat underlay (rubber) before putting a carpet down, this made the first significant contribution to quietening down the space. After this, as the site grew and I bought stuff(!), I ended up with more and more cardboard boxes that I was advised were better suited to the corners of he room, reducing reflections. This worked too but was not the answer. Next, as I alluded, I (we) have installed an acoustic solution for our village hall using ‘Echofon’ ceiling tiles. There were three off cuts from this process that I retained and I have installed them (propped them up), two behind me, as I sit, and one behind my equipment set-up, to reduce reflection. These tiles are frosted white and not aesthetic in any way, however they did further enhance my listening space.
GIK Impression Series
…these panels are a really nice looking compliment to the listening room
GIK has a huge range of acoustic products including bass traps, acoustic panels, diffusion products and others in an array of styles from functional, artistic, to bespoke art that you can upload. GIK offers to sort out your listening space in a consultation service. I’ve been sent two large Impression Series panels. They are large, heavy (about 5 kilos) but stylish and the ones I have feature the Bubbles and Gatsby Arches design, though there are many others.
The panels are very aesthetic and generally good looking. The days of eggs boxes and styro-foam for acoustic enhancement (a myth by the way if you read David’s essay on the website) are long gone as these panels are a really nice looking compliment to the listening room. The panels I have are large being: 600mm wide x 1200mm high x 50mm think.
There is an increased softness and a more relaxed feel in the room
I was advised to place the panels either side of my room at the “first reflection point”. Having read around a bit, I have moved them around and I’ve ended up with them either side, and just to the side ahead of my Jern 14 Speakers (I’m using B&W CM7 speaker stands in the main picture!). As I alluded, I do have two left over panels from the village hall scheme and I swapped them with the Impression Panels but I ended up preferring the Impression Panels front and to the side of my main speakers (The Jern 14 speakers are supported by a REL 5i sub woofer, that is else where).
In performance terms the panels make a big difference to the sound of the room. There is an increased softness and a more relaxed feel in the room. They are very good looking and certainly add to the room.
As we consider buying super fast cables, expensive power leads and similar for hundred of pounds, I’m of a view that spending a bit of time and money on these complex acoustic solutions can add more value to a room than many other options. We are always going to need a better source and more amplifier power but a tuned room must be a base from which to start. I would start slowly and build up the treatment, just in case your room radically affects the equipment’s sound. Or get a consultation going and think about your budget. Overall I’m a believer in acoustic treatment and the Impression Series only reinforces my belief.
The panels you can see cost £150 plus VAT, each.