Axpona 2019: Room Treatment, with Aaron Sherrick

My listening room is in my family room—no man cave here. While I have a spare bedroom and a basement where I could have a dedicated listening room, my wife and I have made the conscious decision not to do so. We want the hifi system to be more integral to daily life. One of the many challenges this creates is how to tastefully incorporate acoustic treatment without wrecking the décor. Consequently, I’m always on the lookout for acoustic treatment products that can double as décor or are completely stealth.

The demo of Synergistic Research’s products was once again convincing. Ted Denney, principal and lead designer, performed A/B comparisons of their gold and silver cable tuning ‘bullets’ as well as their non-conventional acoustic treatment products including the Atmosphere and HFT wide angles. It might seem like voodoo, but the changes in sound varied from noticeable to substantial. With their 30-day money-back guarantee I may have to give these stealth room treatments a try in my system.

In the expo hall GIK Acoustics setup a comprehensive display of their suite of acoustic treatment products. Pictured above is a 2’ square Impression Series Panel with the “Gatsby Arches” plate (grill) ($300 box of 4). GIK offers 12 different plate designs in five different finishes. If that isn’t enough, you can also choose the color of the panel fabric behind the plate to get your desired level of contrast. As acoustic panels go these were quite attractive. GIK was also showing a prototype cylindrical bass trap called a Turbo Trap (don’t call it a TubeTrap™!). It will be available in 12”, 17”, and 24” diameters and in 2’, 3’, and 4’ heights. Pricing has not yet been determined. Unfortunately, I did not snap a picture.

I poked my head into the Tri-Art Audio room and just as I was about to leave I noticed those tall, three-sided wood ‘screens’ in the front corners of the room. When I asked what they were I was told that they are a combination bass trap and room resonator. The room resonator treatment is handled by tweeters mounted on the edges—they’re active. The tweeters are driven by a special amplifier that you connect to the output of your preamp. Pricing has not yet been finalized.


By day Aaron manages a design, development, and marketing company that makes the web a better place to shop, one ecommerce site at a time. By night he enjoys listening to music with his very supportive and enthusiastic audiophile wife.