Now that the new speaker system was up and running, I turned my attention to the room, greatly in need of some acoustic treatment.
It wasn’t that big a room, so I didn’t want to fill it up with furniture – but since the walls were hard plaster, something had to be done to minimize standing waves and undesirable reflections.
One wall, I did in inch-thick rough cork. Another with thick drapes. The floor, with rubber underlay and a thick wall-to wall carpet. There wasn’t room for a drop ceiling, but I tried something a bit daring..
I obtained several cases of 30-egg flats, and carefully cut the edges off on a table saw so that they would fit together like ceiling tiles, hopefully with the joints disappearing (the secret is in cutting just the right amount off each edge, so that it mates with the next “tile”). They end up about 9 1/2″ x 11″ when cut.
I made up a “cutting jig”, with one of the flats glued to a plywood base, and then stacked six or eight flats on top to cut them all identically. I sprayed the resulting “tiles” flat white, and let them dry, then contact cemented them up – bottoms (rough side) showing, pressing the joints tightly together. It worked, not only aesthetically, but acoustically. At first glance, you would not know that they were egg cartons, it just looked like a heavily sculptured ceiling. The acoustic benefits were enormous. It was one of the best sounding listening rooms I had ever been in.
I looked at it for a long time, realizing that there was just one thing missing. I took an egg, and carefully removed the contents through a small hole in one end, then glued the intact, empty shell up into the “golden section” of the ceiling. Most people didn’t notice it there, the ones who did, would either burst out laughing, or say “whatcha do that for?” – the ones that laughed, already knew.
One such was my long-time friend Bruce Crawford, a celebrated Canadian artist now living in Summerland BC. Rod Ptak (now practicing medicine in Comox) had brought Bruce over to meet me. Bruce walked in, immediately saw the egg, burst out laughing, and said “I like this guy already!” We’ve been best of friends ever since.