Artnovion Acoustic Treatment (Absorbers and Bass Traps)
Sometimes you need to get the sound under control …
by Chris Loeffler
Acoustic room treatment has come a long way from the “staple a rug to the wall” garage aesthetic of the 60s, thanks to our continually evolving understanding of acoustic science. That said, even in recent years there has been little that fills the price gap between black acoustic foam squares and the expensive, fine-wood rooms created on a custom basis. Artnovion of Portugal has filled that gap be providing a mid-priced acoustic treatment that is as visually appealing as it is sonically sound.
For the purposes of this overview and to touch on the different types of technology, I chose to review the Artnovion Azteca and Petra absorbers and the Agad bass traps.
Artnovion Agad Bass Traps
Artnovion foam solutions (the Agad family) are affixed via Artnovion’s GluArt adhesive system, while the rest of their products use either the FixArt Tube or FixArt Metal mounting systems. The FixArt Tube system involves installing tubes running horizontal on the walls for the length of sound treatment needed, which makes for easy flexibility for fine tuning or panel swapping over the run of a wall. The FixArt Metal system, by contrast, is a bracket system for individual panels, making for a superior “once and done” experience, but offering less flexibility in easy panel relocation.
Artnovion Agad Bass Trap Frequency Specs
The Agad bass traps are similar to other foam manufacturers in style; lightweight, black foam wedges that affix via glue adhesive to corners. They reduce sonic energy in the 70 Hz and 350 Hz frequency range to tame the lox end flub of a room. Typically placed between walls or between the wall and the ceiling, the Agad bass traps dampen low frequency sound energy that tends to gather and amplify in 90 degree angles.
Artnovion Azteka Absorber Panel in Cerise and Frequency Chart
The Petra and Azteka absorbers I reviewed were both the W models in Cerise, meaning they’re made of furniture-grade wood with foam insets, along with a light Cherrywood hued stain. Other color options include Blanc (white), Marron (blonde), Noir (flat black), Rouge (red), and Wenge (black with grain), and all colors are available in furniture grade or FR+ (class 1 fire retardant for commercial facilities) woods. Besides the visual differences, the Petra offers slightly more pronounced mids and more attenuation in the 4-5K area as compared to the Azteka. Even on paper, the differences are slight, but as you introduce more treatment to the walls (Artnovion owner/designer Jorge Castro believes 50% coverage is almost always optimal) it becomes more pronounced.
Artnovion Petra Absorber in Cerise with Frequency Chart
While not necessarily a feature that would matter to most people beyond opening and mounting, it’s worth mentioning how economically packaged the absorbers were. Because they’re larger, heavier items it’s understandable that getting efficient in the space they occupy would be important for retailers, but the way the pieces stack and interlock in their factory packaging is no small feat of engineering.
With such a large assortment of colors, styles, and acoustic specificities, selecting the right solutions for an individual user could be a little daunting. Suggesting some standard room kits might be helpful for neophytes who want to have a starting place before fine-tuning with an a la carte menu.
The modular mounting system is a fantastic concept for people who want to tune their rooms in different ways to accommodate specific recording settings, and even the once-and-done static system is easy and requires minimal wall perforation. I didn’t get a chance to check out their tunable bass trap lines, but their application and value is easy to imagine when you’re really a stickler or you have a dicey room. Artnovion acoustic treatments are undeniably eye catching, and it’s hard to imagine someone not finding a configuration that fits their aesthetic and sonic needs once they get their heads around the entire lineup.
Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer.