Why haven’t I heard of a Bass Trap or High Frequency Panel and what is the difference between the two?
A BASS trap is simply a device designed to absorb low frequency sound and enhance your overall sound experience.
Ready Traps use mineral fiber to capture sound waves. The core of a Ready Trap is a panel of compressed fiberglass that is made of inert fibers [glass – which is of course made of sand]. These panels are an assembly of such fibers formed into a dense mat. The panel is riddled throughout with many little gaps and holes [interstices]. The air that fills these little gaps and holes has a vibrational connection to the air in the room – but this connection is attenuated by the matrix of fibers that makes up the panel.
When a sound hits the Ready Trap, the air inside the panel is caused to vibrate – like a spring – and all this wiggling around turns the vibrational energy of the sound into a small amount of heat. If the panel is of proper size and density – and properly placed in your room – it will absorb sound at all frequencies. This is called a broadband absorber because it is effective on all frequencies in the audible range.
Broadband absorbers such as the RT424 are called BASS Traps because they are big enough [4″ thick] and made of a material of proper density and structure such that if mounted near a room boundary [a wall, floor, or ceiling] they will provide absorption of low frequencies [bass]. Here is a graphic that flashes 12 pages consecutively – over and over. Each page is a graph showing the measured reverberations of a low frequency sound in small room as twelve RT424 Bass Traps are added, one at a time. Note how the low frequencies resonances are smoothed out as the cumulative effect of adding panels is achieved. READ MORE HERE ON THIS CASE STUDY ON HOW BASS TRAPS CAN HELP THE SOUND IN YOUR ROOM.
Thinner panels such as the RT422 at 2″ thick are not thick enough to have a significant effect at lower frequencies. Thus these are called High Frequency Panels because their absorptive properties are limited to higher frequencies.
Use of the 4″ RT424 Ready Trap is appropriate when you want to include low frequencies in the sound absorbed by the device – and the 2″ RT422 panel is for when you don’t want to capture low frequencies. Many rooms and applications will benefit from the exclusive use of the thicker RT424 panel for all of the treatment locations, but there are special cases where the 2″ RT422 are all that is desired. Some of those places may involve voice over booths, voice only studios or places where light acoustic instrumentation is being played or recorded.