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 Post subject: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:54 pm 
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Location: The 208.
Hey, y'all.
I don't know if anyone around here has checked out Foam For You, but they have really cheap acoustic foam (~$.80 USD/sq ft.) in a variety of colors, sizes and styles (pyramid, wedge, flat sheets, etc.) Colors cost a few cents more than plain charcoal. They even have bass blocks for the corners of rooms that could be easily modified to occupy empty drive bays and such. I'm not sure if they ship internationally, though.

I'm sure people here have made purchases there before, but I just wanted it to be out there for everyone to see.

Newbies remember, though, that use of acoustic foam/dampening should be the last thing you focus on when building a quiet system (unless you have an obviously flimsy case). Just a reminder to make sure that you're eliminating noise at the source, rather than trying to cover it up. On the other hand, if high RPM fans and HDDs are your thing and you have no desire to switch out components, then maybe foam and mass loading is what you need to bring things down a few dBs.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:53 pm 
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if this isn't what the inside of your case looks like you don't belong on this forum
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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:49 pm 
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I think I can accept that.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Location: new york
That's not for you that's for everyone. We all need to step up our dollar sign foam game.

I don't know a lot abotu acoustical foam. and everythign I know I learned in the foam kit reviews here and some OLD threads about them here. from what I understand these lighter foams help more with the higher frequency sounds, but we need more dense foams to deal with the lower frequency sounds that the fans and hard drives create.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:32 am 
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goatsandmonkeys wrote:
That's not for you that's for everyone. We all need to step up our dollar sign foam game.

I don't know a lot abotu acoustical foam. and everythign I know I learned in the foam kit reviews here and some OLD threads about them here. from what I understand these lighter foams help more with the higher frequency sounds, but we need more dense foams to deal with the lower frequency sounds that the fans and hard drives create.


There are some old threads on foam. Some very very good old threads. Is there someone working on a project that needs that information who would be willing to compile them?

I went looking for them and I just couldn't find what I was looking for... including someone who had found a very good low cost source of high quality foam.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:04 am 
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Location: new york
ces wrote:
I went looking for them and I just couldn't find what I was looking for... including someone who had found a very good low cost source of high quality foam.

And most importantly low quantities! most places I had found want to sell you large kits to fill a room. From what I understand the denser base layer foams deaden sound and the lighter top layers absorb sound.


foam for you has a lot of
F4Y: specs http://www.foamforyou.com/Foam_Specs.htm#Open Cell Foam Specs

this site sells a good base layer http://www.foambymail.com/VolaraSP.html

relevant foam links from this site:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article71-page1.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article270-page1.html

forum posts:
this thread is GREAT: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10514
Once people stop talking about shipping problems a discussion over different materials and even re purposing store bought foams.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=20148


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:33 pm 
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Location: The 208.
goatsandmonkeys wrote:
we need more dense foams to deal with the lower frequency sounds that the fans and hard drives create.


Foam For You sells Volara as well. In fact, they'll add a layer of it to any foam you buy for an extra $1/sq. foot. Beyond that, various fan noises can most certainly range beyond just low frequencies.

goatsandmonkeys wrote:
And most importantly low quantities! most places I had found want to sell you large kits to fill a room.


This is exactly what I liked about the site. They'll sell you anything by the foot, so you don't have to worry about having enough (and paying for enough) to fill a room when you only need enough to fill a computer case or two.

I placed an order with them a couple of years ago and they were very accomodating and understanding of my desire to only buy ~3 sq. ft. of foam. They replied to my inquiries quickly and even sent me samples of everything I had questions about. All in all, a pretty solid retailer, though their website could use a little freshening up.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Location: new york
hillkitler wrote:
goatsandmonkeys wrote:
we need more dense foams to deal with the lower frequency sounds that the fans and hard drives create.

Foam For You sells Volara as well. In fact, they'll add a layer of it to any foam you buy for an extra $1/sq. foot. Beyond that, various fan noises can most certainly range beyond just low frequencies.


holy moly. I can't find it on the site. had to google it. this is the link for future use
http://www.foamforyou.com/volara_foam.htm

they also offer custom cut foam so you could conceivably measure your case and send in an order and have them do the work for you.
http://www.foamforyou.com/CustomCutFoam.htm

Do they have acoustic foam that is thinner than an inch? I am curious about your setup, what you used and what it looks like.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:19 am 
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goatsandmonkeys wrote:
Do they have acoustic foam that is thinner than an inch?


http://www.foamforyou.com/charcoal_foam.htm#Charcoal%20Firm

goatsandmonkeys wrote:
I am curious about your setup, what you used and what it looks like.


I had a 6x6x6" foam block cut down and shoved into my extra drive bays (P180B). Along the dividing tray between the PSU and main chambers, below my video card I had a layer of 3" pyramid foam. 1" pyramid foam lining the top of the case and a 1/4" layer of that flat charcoal foam lining the entire PSU chamber, the side panels, outer sides of drive bays and the rear wall of the case. The side panels are also lined with a layer of eDead v.2. http://www.edesignaudio.com/product_info.php?t=2&products_id=51

Unfortunately I removed most of it about a year and a half ago while I was going through a few hardware upgrades. All that remains now is the 1/4" lining the bottom of the PSU chamber and the sides of the 5.25" bays. The double-sided tape I was using ripped some pretty big chunks out of the foam, so I just tossed it.

I'm probably going to make another order soon, hence digging up the site again (and posting for others, this time). Once I've got that all figured out, I'll probably throw up some pics in the gallery.

Also, the shipping costs aren't as bad as they seem in that link I posted. They combine shipping for everything, so it's really not too bad. IIRC, it was only about $12-15 shipping for that first order I made.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:33 am 
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For use in a PC to reduce noise, foam w/o a mass damping layer has minimal effect. None of the foam sold by this vendor -- foam for you? -- has this, so all it can do is reduce the higher frequency standing waves inside the case. Probably completely ineffective below ~500Hz, with absorption increasing with frequency. Back in the day when there were lots of high pitches noises from ball bearing hard drives and small high speed fans, foam by itself would have had more impact. Today, in any PC where components have been selected for lower noise, these kinds of noises simply don't exist, so foam by itself does very little.

For airborne noise reduction, you want blocking and absorption. Blocking generally requires lots of mass... and thickness. Which is why "premiere" PC acoustic damping material such as Acoustipack has a heavier vinyl layer close to the panel -- this helps reduce panel vibration (a big deal if there is any vibration in the case from HDDs & fans) -- as well as a top layer of soft dense foam.

I would be surprised if anyone who uses these foam-only products inside a PC actually hears much noise reduction. Just remember that there are fans and HDDs mounted at or near holes in the case. No amount of foam is going to stop the noise from coming out through those holes... though it can reduce volume and change the freq spectrum.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:04 am 
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Location: ontario
MikeC wrote:
For use in a PC to reduce noise, foam w/o a mass damping layer has minimal effect.


what about people with cases from the antec p100 series? these side panels already have a fair bit of mass, so would adding a layer of foam on top of that (like puget systems does) make much difference? they use acoustipack, but is it the foam layer or that little bit of added mass that makes the difference if you've already got heavy panels?

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:30 am 
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fumino wrote:
what about people with cases from the antec p100 series? these side panels already have a fair bit of mass, so would adding a layer of foam on top of that (like puget systems does) make much difference? they use acoustipack, but is it the foam layer or that little bit of added mass that makes the difference if you've already got heavy panels?

Yeah, it's probably a bit overkill... but the proof is in the pudding. I mean, those systems are incredibly quiet, though much of the low noise comes from using really quiet components to start with... the acoustic foam treatment has to have a cumulative effect.

It's not that little btw, at least compared to ordinary foam -- a 7mm thick acoustipack sheet for the side weighs around 1.5 kg. Coincidentally, I bought a huge bag of scrap foam from a nearby foam/mattress shop last week... for various experimental purposes (including selective damping for my TV room). Among the pieces, one of the densest, with about the same volume (about 15x15x45cm) as the acoustipack piece, weighs just 0.25 kg -- 1/6 of the acoustipack weight. When it comes to sound damping, there is simply no substitute for sheer weight/mass. There is some 600 lbs of fiberglass substitute in my hemi-anechoic chamber, in case you were not aware. In LinearX's full-anechoic chamber, over 1000 lbs of fiberglass was used.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:58 am 
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MikeC wrote:
foam w/o a mass damping layer has minimal effect.


Very good point, Mike. I don't mean to spread what could be construed as misinformation. I just know that some people (like me) are going to want to buy foam whether we tell them to or not. It's just simply not as effective as buying quieter parts or good mass loading. This is why I never bothered to reapply all of my foam after my system upgrades; the new parts were so much quieter that the foam was (almost) completely unnecessary.

MikeC wrote:
For use in a PC to reduce noise, foam w/o a mass damping layer has minimal effect. None of the foam sold by this vendor -- foam for you? -- has this, so all it can do is reduce the higher frequency standing waves inside the case.


The vendor also sells mass damping Volara layers as thin as 1/8". They'll even adhere a layer of it to the bottom of any other foam you purchase. I think a thicker layer of the Volara topped with a thin layer of open-celled foam would be most effective. I also recommend eDead for mass damping, which I know a few people around these parts have used. It's cheap, dense and effective. Maybe not as cheap or convenient as window flashing from your local hardware store, but it also doesn't stink to high hell.

MikeC wrote:
I bought a huge bag of scrap foam from a nearby foam/mattress shop last week


While I'm tooting their horn, I'd also like to point out that Foam For You sells massive bags of scrap foam by the lb. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Location: new york
is there a way we can test foams noise proofing properties? like build a 6"x6"x6" box and put a speaker in it with full frequency white noise and measure what comes out?

it looks like the highest density (pounds per cubic foot) products they have are (in order of cost) Multi/Rebounded-Mixed Foam(6), neoprene(6), neoprene high quality (10)

Volara is only 2.

Multi rebound mixed foam looks like the stuff you put under carpets. It's only available in half inch and up sizes. my guess is high quality neoprene with acoustic foam over it pre-cut and preglued would be the top of the line option.

I want to get a fractal design case when they become available. I'm kinda tempted to rip out the dampening material on the side panel and get better, thicker foam to replace it and on the top and bottom of the case including a triangular wedge in between the PSU and the hard drives to make the intake fans air move more smoothly up to the motherboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:45 pm 
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goatsandmonkeys wrote:
is there a way we can test foams noise proofing properties? like build a 6"x6"x6" box and put a speaker in it with full frequency white noise and measure what comes out?

There are many ways... but you want something relevant to the application -- on the inside panels of PC cases.
Quote:
I want to get a fractal design case when they become available. I'm kinda tempted to rip out the dampening material on the side panel...

Do not do it. It is bituminous felt, which is not that great for your health to mess with. It is very heavy, a good panel dampener. If you feel compelled to add acoustic damping, a layer of high density foam atop the bituminous felt is all you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:43 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Do not do it. It is bituminous felt, which is not that great for your health to mess with. It is very heavy, a good panel dampener. If you feel compelled to add acoustic damping, a layer of high density foam atop the bituminous felt is all you need.

what material(s) at what thicknesses do you think would be best?


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 Post subject: Re: Cheap Acoustic Foam
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:07 am 
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well dont have much idea about it..but you can visit here this might help you

south-pak.com


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