Nucore Cathedral Sound Room Dampening Panels Too Good to be True?

My DIY acoustic panels and bass traps are a burden. They are too ugly (according to my wife, I think they're works of art) to keep in our listening room when not in use. So every time I want to begin or finish a listening session I am forced to drag the panels and traps between the utility room and the listening room. It's my cross to bear.

What if I could have the same effectiveness of the bass traps (wave absorption below 200 Hz) but in a much smaller and inconspicuous package?

The Cable Company's Ultra System carries Nucore's Cathedral Sound Room Dampening Panels. The small (11" x 16" x 2") panel pairs are placed near the ceiling in the four corners of your room (where harmful standing waves and room resonances are "horn-loaded"). According to their literature the panels smooth frequency amplitude by a few dBs and cut decay time by a few milliseconds. These acoustic effects at and below 200 Hz smooth low and mid bass and gives a solid foundation to the midrange and upper frequencies.

Positive Feedback (last mini-review on the page) gave the Dampening Panels a good review, the reviewer verifying he heard the same improvements Nucore measured while testing their panels' effectiveness.

The panels are $179 a pair. You'll need at least two pair to treat your front corners, so really $358. In the world of retail acoustic treatments these are reasonable prices, if the panels work as advertised. According to what I've read from Jon Risch and the Master Handbook of Acoustics these panels (because of their compact size) should have very little effect on frequencies below 200 Hz (but maybe Nucore bent the laws of physics). Plus $360 is three times what I spent on my DIY bass traps and acoustic panels. Depending on your room you may need to double that cost to treat all four corners.

I wish I had the resources and brains of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters so I could debunk some of the audiophile snake oil out there. If I could afford these panels I could at least listen and measure improvements if any, because their wife acceptance factor is so high in the realm of ugly and bulky room treatments.

For now I'm stuck with my wonderful burden of my DIY bass traps and acoustic panels.

Have you tried these panels? Do you think they should work (am I missing something)? Comment with your impressions.

2 thoughts on “Nucore Cathedral Sound Room Dampening Panels Too Good to be True?

  • November 6, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Well, guess what folks, for the past few years my company, R&T Enterprises, has manufactured the RDP(Room Dampening Panels) for Nucore.
    I have been in the audio industry for nearly 40 years, primarily the car stereo arena the last 20 years. The point is, I’ve seen lots of flim-flam, snake oil, gimicy products over the years, and I thought this was, yet, another……..Until I tried them.
    I am 60 yrs old, a little hard of hearing, but too vain to get hearing aids, yet. My office is about 20×20′ and we regularly have staff meetings there. The others have 1. Been irritated that I don’t see the benefits of the RDPs and 2. Been irritated
    by my constant “What did you say?” in our meetings. They counted my whats and then covertly hung 4 RDPs in the upper corners of my office. I didn’t even notice them and, you guessed it, my whats dropped by an incredible 2/3!
    I have since tried them at home and listening to music, the TV or just regular conversation has improved. The best part is that my wife doesn’t object to them hanging on the walls.
    It is hard to A-B these things, but they work and are not obtrusive looking.

  • July 4, 2007 at 3:07 am

    I own four of Nucore’s Cathedral Sound Room Dampening Panels and yes they do in fact work.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *