GIK Acoustic’s Alpha Panel series offers two types of sound treatment, but are they jack of all trades and master of none? Alex Holmes is on the panel…
Details – Alpha Panel Diffusor/Absorber
Manufacturer GIK Acoustics
Price 595×595 (2A £75) (4A £84) (6A £114)
595×1205 (2A £120) (4A £138) (6A £180)
Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap (£180)
Contact 0203 815 8608
If you’ve got a room that’s been over-treated to sound dull, or you have high frequencies pinging off hard surfaces and creating comb-filtering, then a little diffusion could possibly go a long way to improving your studio.
The Alpha Panel series from GIK Acoustics looks to combine the absorptive characteristics of its acoustic panels, with a front-mounted scatter plate, offering a space-saving solution in a single, attractive package.
Rocked to the Core
The Alpha Panel series is available as both square and rectangular versions, and in three thicknesses. There’s also a corner bass-trap version that absorbs from 50Hz upwards, and you can stack two on top of each other to get floor-to-ceiling coverage.
The wood-framed panels themselves are filled with rigid 100-per-cent recycled rockwool, wrapped in fabric and finished with a plate of mathematical slots for one-dimensional scattering and diffusion above 1,000Hz.
You have plenty of options, with the scatter plates available in beech wood veneer, black rigid vinyl, or white rigid vinyl, and the panels themselves in an extensive choice of fabric colours.
The rockwool core provides twice the low-end absorption of similar foam-based products, while the scatter plate can help to control mid- and high-frequency chaos by spreading it evenly across the room, by keeping things sounding lively, and by helping to achieve an even decay time from low to high frequencies.
If you’re just after diffusion, then GIK also offers the Q7d panel (£270), or smaller Demi Q7d (£145). There aren’t a great deal of combined options out there, but RPG also offers an absorption and diffusion panel at 1200mm x 600mm (£128) but at a thickness of 54mm, you won’t get the same low-end absorption as the 4A and 6A GIK panels.
Both sizes of Alpha panel are wall mountable via an included sawtooth hanger. However, for the larger 595mm x 1205mm panels, there are also optional metal feet that can be drilled into the bottom of the panels to sit them on the floor.
The beauty of having the Alpha panels freestanding like this is that they’re easily movable to catch early reflections or to straddle corners as bass traps, and you can simply turn them around to change between diffusion, and pure absorption.
Although the slats on the panels are one-dimensional, GIK has also announced a two-dimensional scatter plate option; it’s currently only available in North America, but should be available worldwide soon.
We had two of the 6A panels for review, and after reading up on some placement tips courtesy of the highly educational GIK website, we went with the classic application of placing both diffusors side by side at the rear wall of the studio.
After some extensive listening and room testing using FuzzMeasure, we found a very subtle lift to the liveliness of the top end in our tracks, and the graphs indicated an equally subtle increase in the decay times above 1kHz.
Unless you’re a skilled acoustician, the results and the perfect placement may take some time to get right and truly appreciate, but if you’re looking to breath a little life and high-end balance back into your room and are limited for space, then these Alpha panels are one of the finest options currently available.
Alpha Panel – Key Features
● Acoustic panels offering absorption and diffusion
● Fabric-covered wooden frame filled with rigid rockwool
● Front 1D scatter plate
● 50mm, 100mm and 152mm thicknesses
● Sawtooth wall hanger or optional metal feet for floor standing
● Made from Greensafe eco-friendly materials