Gear reviews

GIK – Acoustic traps

Generally speaking

Those traps are made either in the US or by GIK Europe based in the UK. My traps were special ordered from the UK (they use a special cotton which is fire-resistant).

From the website:

The GIK 244 Bass Trap is professionally manufactured for a sharp and crisp appearance. Most acoustic products are merely a fabric wrapped piece of acoustic material or foam that is not only unattractive but is not very effective below 125 Hz. All GIK panels are manufactured with a wood frame to not only give it a professional look but making mounting extremely easy and durable to stand the test of time. An air gap is built into the design to provide performance well below 80Hz while still providing the clean look when flush mounting on the wall. GIK’s design of the 244 (and The GIK Monster Trap) is to allow it to be used in quantity, to absorb as much bass as possible without over absorbing the high end, which leaves life inside of the room. Cymbals are crisp and clear while bass kicks!

Most studio engineers compensate for inaccurate room bass levels by guessing, because they feel their monitors are not giving a true response. In reality it is not the monitors, but an untreated room that creates the unbalanced sound. After installing GIK 244 Bass Traps you will be able to hear and engineer bass properly. As a sound engineer from LA put it after installing GIK 244 in his studio: “I never knew that you could get so much bass out of NS-10 monitors. Now what I hear in the studio is what is heard in every other stereo. No more guessing on the low end.”

Well in my case, I had a 120HZ, 100 HZ and some midrange problems. The ceiling was reflecting too much, the front wall was reflecting too much (not only high-frequencies, also lower orders sounds and midrange ). As a result, my stereo image was wired and I always had problems with translation (listening in my car ends up beeing the mix boomy and usually too clicky or too poppy but not right). That’s why I changed several stuff in my studio, starting with ceiling panels, then front panels and some corner traps (corner traps home made).

If you take a closer look it’s a wooden frame, compressed rockwool inside and a nice looking fabric/cotton on the outside which is available in different colors. Pretty solid construction.

Problems & Technicalities

The panels look and feel good. Really, the fabric is looking great (I have black and sand colored ones). Most panels are square and if not you apply some force to adjust the wooden frame (due to shipping the frames sometimes get out of shape).

It was pretty easy to mount on the wall. I use something like a clamp on the wall to hang the panels and a small fixation thingy down the absorber (to make sure all the panels hang equal from the wall). I bought a special toolset to fix the steel wire which comes delivered with the panels.


Sound improvment

So after measuring my room I decided to go for some 244 (the thicker ones) and some 242. I hooked them up on the front wall and ceiling and dang: sound image improved, the lowend tamed, the early reflections were not annyoing anymore.

Because my room was in a such an extraordinary bad lowend condition, I bought some more rockwool and put them inside my room (backwall). I even built custom made frames to put the rock wool in. (you can read about those adventures on gearslutz). I could have bought some monster traps, but because I am not after perfect look I decided to install the “non-tasty-version” of absorption.

After hanging them up I had to readjust my speakers, put the speakers decoupled from the floor and use something with a mass to improve the transient response of the speakers (only discovered that after using the GIK panels). I also changed my studio desk to a smaller one and now I can really feel and hear the difference.

Conclusion

Besides those wonderful looking and solid built panels the customer support is extraordinary. Glenn Kuras (the CEO and owner of GIK) got me in touch with one of the acoustic guys (Bryan Pape) and Bryan told me what I need. I showed him some measurements and we went trough it. I think he spent 6hours with me… For free. Show me another company who does that.. I am still impressed.

After kickin in with the panel things, my room improved dramatically. I heard stuff I never heard and the most important thing: I started to change stuff in my room (like installing additional lowend absorption and a new desk) because I could really hear the difference. Before it was a huge mess if I am honest and I didn’t even know where to start.

Ok. Now go and buy the traps. If you order over 1000 euros shipping is free. The traps are shipped from the UK. It took them 7 days to build the traps after placing my order.

Great stuff, great service, great company.

The GIK 244 Bass Trap is professionally manufactured for a sharp and crisp appearance. Most acoustic products are merely a fabric wrapped piece of acoustic material or foam that is not only unattractive but is not very effective below 125 Hz. All GIK panels are manufactured with a wood frame to not only give it a professional look but making mounting extremely easy and durable to stand the test of time. An air gap is built into the design to provide performance well below 80Hz while still providing the clean look when flush mounting on the wall. GIK’s design of the 244 (and The GIK Monster Trap) is to allow it to be used in quantity, to absorb as much bass as possible without over absorbing the high end, which leaves life inside of the room. Cymbals are crisp and clear while bass kicks!

Most studio engineers compensate for inaccurate room bass levels by guessing, because they feel their monitors are not giving a true response. In reality it is not the monitors, but an untreated room that creates the unbalanced sound. After installing GIK 244 Bass Traps you will be able to hear and engineer bass properly. As a sound engineer from LA put it after installing GIK 244 in his studio: “I never knew that you could get so much bass out of NS-10 monitors. Now what I hear in the studio is what is heard in every other stereo. No more guessing on the low end.”

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