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Avcon Acoustic Grand panels review

Avcon Acoustic Grand panels



Room acoustics seems to becoming of more importance past few years. It's not a increasing trend, but more of a need for audiophiles.

We can touch many aspects of the sound with ether passive or active components. Preamplifiers, amplifiers, gain stages falls into first group while any passive components works within the group where acoustic treatments also play an important role.

There are two schools of thought, when it comes to room acoustics. The first one obeys the rules, yet other one more of the less neglects them.

So what is the the right path? I can speak of the optimum middle one. In my interview with Steve Hoffman, he said, that if recording is good well set system will play it great even without the help of a room treatment. I guess he spoke of balanced system with more or less enough room space and at least quite optimal listening room proportions.

This might also holds for strict studio monitoring, that is often conveying music directly into the close field of listener. When we move further from speakers, then everything becomes more complicated and sophisticated.


Reflections






Every room has to deal with reflections unless it's a complete silent room, but there start other problems. No matter what sort (first, front, etc.) they are, you'll have to deal with them if you want your system and room to be refined and fine tuned for true high end music reproduction.

These days almost everyone is thinking in a way of great bass, crystal clear highs, pin pointed definition of instruments etc. That's all fine, but not ultimate goal in high-end. What really is a great bass and is it important getting the right sounding one? Audiophiles strives for natural and what I prefer to say balanced sound. How to achieve it? Where are the borders to cross? Music lovers and audiophiles with trained ears demands a true open highs without harshness and too forced nature. Combining everything mentioned into a great balanced system take much more effort, that casual listener might think and dealing with mostly not perfect listening environments, you'll have to reach out to some room acoustic accessories.

What is then the best way to combine a great sounding system and listening space?Many logical rules, a bit of experience and helps of audiophile with enough audio mileage will lead to a true satisfied level of musical replay in your music room.

Being musician, music lover and audiophile and so to say seasoned trained listener led me through many different tools, accessories and specialized products that deals with room acoustics in one or another way. Basic laws of working with reflections and damping cannot be changed. More flexible is the way one approaches to the problems of a room and how one use different ways/materials, that shape the overall balance of bellowed listening space.


Avcon Grand Panel

There are few standard dimensions of Avcon panels and if needed you can purchase the specific and desired lenght. I love natural elements and wood is very high on  my scale desirabilities. When I unpacked the Grands's I was grinning. They were finished in very warm brown walnut colour. Avcon panels looked like match in heaven  with Maestoso 2.0 speakers and Solid Tech Rack Of Silence similar finish. It clearly shows, that they're made by a person who surley have both great taste and style. When it comes to the items associated with our favourite room in the house for, there is no such thing as over pamper. 

Innovation
Avcon created very thought out and interesting product with Grand series of panels. Acting as a panel in the basic core Grand is a stepin a further into semi passive treatment. Complicated? Let me elaborate. First of Grand panels are flexible as they can be used practical for any reflections and they also can be used as both absorbers and diffusers. This means practical application in front walls, side walls (first reflections) and if need also for ceiling installation.


So to go deeper in the matter and innovation. Acting as both absorber and panel Grand have additional innovative feature. You can set the level of absorption and diffusion with the special plastic made blades. Those are simply installed into the wooden holder and can cover up to 50 % of the whole panel. As far as I know this is industry first kind of product and really great feature. You practically get two products in one, that deals with most important behaviour of the room.


Going further into acoustic. Setting the right reverberation time is of top importance for both balanced sound and natural music reproduction. Avcon Grand's can take an important role in setting up the room for true high-end reproduction. I can easy see a whole dedicated room combined and balanced with the help of Avcon panels.






Balance


There is always only so much you can do with the given space. You cannot go beyond some point, but you can fine tune and refine the listening space to a great degree. I'll write about the biggest improvement in my room in the next paragraph. In few words I want to spoke about the difference, that Avcon Grand panels made to the overall sound.


In reproduction of any acoustic music, the top most importance is often given to the natural decays and attacks. It's the dynamics and so called acoustic delays, that create large portion of some specific musical event live experience and later it's musical reproduction. When you have your system more or less fine tuned you'll start recognising all the little nuances of improvements with investing in the room accessories.


You can always overdue in any situation so killing the room with over damping might also happen. It's not all about carpets, diffusors and panels. For the correct and balanced room you might also leave some wooden floor uncovered and room walls untouched. Getting the right highs is the same art as tuning the bass. Do take advice from someone experienced and let them help you with suggestions to avoid over frustration. 


Improvement





My room had a constant unbalanced sound on the right side. I tried to deal with it in many ways, but with little luck or too much active involvement. I don't like using magic or mystic therms, but Grand panels installed on both left and right side from Acoustic Preference Maestoso speakers cured the darn thing. I spend few days moving them in the matter of centimetres and according to calculations for the refined sound, but at the end ears were the judges. Placing  them half above the length of Maestoso's let the right unbalanced channel anomaly disappears. You should seen myself grinning after countless hours of setting things and moving everything in room in prior of Avcon Grand panels installing. 


Final thougts


For it's practical implementation, classical appearance, great value, the flexibility and called me affectionate by solving my acoustic problem, I can only highly recommend them. It's great and useful product for any listening room. 


www.avcon.com.pl


Technical specs:


There are 3 standard models available, differing from each other by size and
depth:


- GRAND-11 - dimensions 74/124/11cm
- GRAND-6 - dimensions 74/124/6cm
- PICO-5 - dimensions 56/56/6cm


These are standards. For special order other dimensions are available.


Product is available in many nice looking colors - fabric could be in 50
colors, wooden frame typically in 8 colors. Only thing which can't be changed are black
diffusers.


Installation of diffusers is very easy - initially they are straight, weneed to bent them, insert into the sockets and loosen the fingers. They will find the way to mount itself stable in the socket.


Panels can be installed at any kind of the wall (wooden, concrete,
carton-gypsum board). Once they will be placed on the mounting rack - it is
possible to move them +/- 15 cm left/right.


Efficient absorbing from around 300Hz, linear till highest audio
frequencies.


Panels can be cleaned as any wooden furniture you can meet at the
apartments.

Text: Matej Isak
Mono & Stereo, July 2011
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