ZR Quantum Acoustics

All about acoustics. This is your new home if you already have a studio or other acoustic space, but it isn't working out for you, sounds bad, and you need to fix it...
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Wheresthedug
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ZR Quantum Acoustics

#1

Postby Wheresthedug » Mon, 2020-May-18, 14:25

I stumbled across a Warren Huart video on youtube yesterday where he interviewed Hanson Hsu of DHDI about acoustic treatment.

https://youtu.be/xRe-Lx8yepU

In the video Hanson talks about all sort of amazing sounding stuff but is REALLY short on detail which always sets my BS monitor buzzing. He makes it sound like he has discovered a way to completely overcome the laws of physics :o

He claims to be able to completely eradicate room modes without sacrificing space for absorption.

The guy has a real pedigree and has clearly designed some very impressive rooms but what is the deal with his claims about controlling sound at a molecular level?

I figured that if anything was this big there must be a patent on it so I checked. There is. Which makes it even more strange why he would insist on people signing non disclosure agreements before getting to demo his products.

The US Patent number is 10240347B2

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis ... 240347.pdf

Reading it and looking at the diagrams it just looks like a diffuser but claims to be able to act on frequencies where the “nodules” are les than a quarter wavelength.

This stuff has been around since he designed Mike Shipley’s mix room back in 2006 so someone must have had a chance to analyse it by now.

What’s the scoop?



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Soundman2020
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ZR Quantum Acoustics

#2

Postby Soundman2020 » Thu, 2020-May-28, 01:09

Welcome to the forum! :thu:

There's a few threads on GS about these guys, and their mystical devices that seemingly defy the laws of physics, and don't even make much sense at all. In fact, you'll find that not one single reputable acoustician or studio designer thinks anything good about most of those products, and several of them rip into them pretty badly, pointing out all the reasons why they cannot possible work as advertised. Quantum effects? On sound waves? I mean... SERIOUSLY???

To put it mildly: there is no supporting acoustic theory to back up anything they claim about the magical devices, and no published reports from independent laboratory testing either. All they have is marketing hype, and and a few "clients" that they drag around on rotation, to provide "testimonials" about how they used the products in their rooms... but once again, no actual usable test results from real rooms. They do publish a few graphs that don't show anything at all, and clearly aren't even valid, but probably do fool the unsuspecting.

The only "testing" you'll see is completely wacky stuff that they post from time to time, but is pretty much devoid of any salvageable characteristics or saving graces. Mostly it is heavily edited video, blurry, shot without any any explanation, and voice-overs saying that "this" sounds better than "that", with nothing to back it up.

In the video Hanson talks about all sort of amazing sounding stuff but is REALLY short on detail which always sets my BS monitor buzzing.
Yup. Hitting far into the red end of the scale, I would imagine! You are not alone.... :) They should probably also try to patent the phrase "Pretty Short on Detail", as that seems to be their corporate motto.... :)

He claims to be able to completely eradicate room modes without sacrificing space for absorption.
Riiight! And if you buy that, then there's this bridge I own in the north-eastern part of the USA, that I'd love to sell you, real cheap! :D

Strangely enough, there's not one shred of real acoustics testing, or even theoretical prediction, to back up those claims. The maddening thing is, they do sell some valid conventional devices as well as the ones made from pixie-dust, so you cant trash ALL of their products: some likely do work, as they are made using normal acoustic methods and materials. It's the ones built from woven Unicorn hair that are the "questionable" ones, and are never tested.

The guy has a real pedigree and has clearly designed some very impressive rooms but what is the deal with his claims about controlling sound at a molecular level?
As you said: your meter already figured that out for you! There's also some question as to who really designed and treated some of the rooms claimed... Plus a scarcity of testing evidence, that shows how any of those rooms actually perform.

Just because a room looks good, doesn't mean it sounds good! :) There's also the issue of psychological effect of spending a lot of money: if you build a studio, and spend big money treating it, but never test it, then of course you will convince yourself that it sounds great! And you'll only ever say that to anyone who asks... especially if you had to sign an NDA with the guy who designed it... Sort of like the audiophile who spent US$ 10,000 on a couple of meters of speaker wire: he will absolutely swear that it makes a huge difference to the way his gear sounds, that he can clearly hear it (even though nobody else can... and even though the most sensitive laboratory instruments on the planet detect zero difference between that wire and a piece of coat-hanger....) Same effect here: spend big money, lose objective judgement, bigly. That's why specs and testing are so important with acoustics. If you are going to get a studio designed by someone, make sure you get the predicted specs in writing in advance, then test after the place is finished to make sure the specs are met! That's objective judgement. That's the "proof of the pudding", as the saying goes. Any acoustician or designer worth his salt should be happy to share results of rooms he has designed/treated/tuned in the past, and most customers don't mind sharing the specs of their rooms when they are good! But might not be so keen on sharing them when they are not so good....

In short: no testing? No published results? Only secrecy and hype? That's a sure sign you should turn and run, really fast! Get out the door quick, before they can get at your wallet.... Reputable businesses don't mind proving that their products perform well, with real test data from independent testing.

I figured that if anything was this big there must be a patent on it so I checked. There is. Which makes it even more strange why he would insist on people signing non disclosure agreements before getting to demo his products. The US Patent number is 10240347B2
You can actually get a patent for pretty much anything, as long as you file all the right paperwork and pay the fees (and as long as it isn't a perpetual motion device....). You don't need to prove that your patented device actually works, or that your claims are valid, nor do you have to show the theory behind it. Patents are pretty meaningless as proof that something does what the inventor claims. All they really do, is legally protect the design from being copied by others, to a certain extent.

Reading it and looking at the diagrams it just looks like a diffuser but claims to be able to act on frequencies where the “nodules” are les than a quarter wavelength.
In theory, that isn't so far fetched: it is possible for some treatment devices to have an effect at considerably less than 1/4 wave. Good quality porous absorption, for example, can have a usable effect down to about 1/16 wavelength for randomly incident sound. Diffusers are a bit different, though! Affecting things with tiny little modeuls that are way less than a 1/4 wave is rather ... umm... "questionable", shall we say, to be kind?

In more realistic terms: There's no way in hell that something like that can have the effect it claims to have! I'd love to see real testing of that device in a reputable independent acoustic lab, to see how it actually performs ... and I'd bet good money that it does not even come close to "eliminating all the modes"! Manfred Schroeder, Trevor Cox, and Peter D'Antonio must be having a really good laugh at that claim! Since when do you treat modes with tiny diffusers? Modes are RESONANT problems.... Hmmm....

At best, those things might help a bit with flutter echo, but even that is questionable since they use repeating patterns for the "nodule" rotation...

This stuff has been around since he designed Mike Shipley’s mix room back in 2006 so someone must have had a chance to analyse it by now.
... and that's why you have to sign an NDA if you are silly enough to buy those devices! So you can never actually analyse it, and certainly not publish the REAL test results that you get after testing your room... because they don't want the truth to leak out.

I wonder why?

PS. I just watched a few minutes of the video... and was rather unimpressed with the sound! Take a careful listen to the hollow sound of the voices in that room.... Also take a look at how the speakers are set up.... the mix position is waaayyyy off axis, just for starters! Ummmm..... Some of the comments on that video are pretty harsh! And very truthful. Gotta love he first few right at the top, from 3 and 4 years ago....


- Stuart -




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