Diffuser building question

Crash Manly

New member
Hey folks, sure love this forum, I just discovered it and am having lots of fun reading as many posts as I can but man it is a lot!

My questions is about diffusers... I was given a bunch of scrap wood... see attached pictures, and when it was offered to me my immediate thought was , hey I could build some great diffusers out of this stuff!

I have a couple hundred rectangular strips, about 7 feet long, about 1 and 7/8ths by 1 and 1/2, so not an exact square. Also each strip has a piece of hardwood ( some maple. some oak etc) glued to a piece of fiberboard type material.

I guess my question is, first, is this wood any good for diffusion and if so what design might be best for it?

I have read other posts by people wondering how important the mathematics are, and it sounds like the consensus is it is preferable to be mathematically correct for the most efficient and broad diffusion but some is usually better than none... I could just build some decorative random 3d wall coverings with it that don't exactly follow diffuser guidelines, just cover some of the exposed drywall in my room with it, but could that be worse than drywall in any cases? I just don't want to introduce new issues.

Finally, If this wood isn't practical for an effective diffuser, does anyone have any other ideas for it besides the burn pile? Preferably audio related but not necessary!

The last three pictures show my current acoustic treatment, but I have repositioned my monitors and added books to the bookcase. My room is pretty good, but can always be better!





A diffuser is anything that smashes the sound waves up and also may send them in all different directions. A common one used is perforated plywood/hardboard/mdf. (hundreds/thousands of holes punched in board material). Common as commonly used, but try and buy some. In small amounts forget it.

So you can make your own by drilling all those holes or use the strips of wood you have to make something which does same. Just a box full of strips of wood with gaps between them would be basic. Put them in front of your sound panels or just hang them around the room.

They will be effective to a degree. How effective, whether you need them and are they worth all the work is going to be all down to you.
There are some really attractive ones in the YouTube videos - especially the ones where they're made from 50x50mm end on sections with variable angles glued together into panels and stained different colours. I keep meaning to make one of these when I get a chance to experiment with. if you have a high surface area of parallel walls they really reduce that boxy sound these rooms have. getting the balance right between absorbing and reflecting sound is a somewhat random thing. The science is tough in the maths and measurement - so building and experimenting seems the usual way to go.
If you want to hear what a diffuser does vs absorption and a plain wall, Ethan Winer's web page has a nice video showing some different ones, and has some audio recordings of a guitar with each situation.