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RE: "extending the lower bass of the panels" ...

The room reinforcement from early front wall reflections would reinforce the bass by 3 dB at half a wavelength path length difference, so if the speakers are 5' from the front wall you'd get cancellation at 100 Hz (10' wavelength and path length) and reinforcement at about 50 Hz (20' wavelength and 10' path length) rather than the bottom octave. At 20 Hz you're talking a 50' wavelength so you'll get a fair degree of cancellation from a 108 degree net phase shift. So it seems to me that a very effective bass trap could potentially increase bottom octave response, though of course it will ultimately be limited by the woofer's resonance.

I didn't see much bottom octave bass when I measured my IVA's but there are two important caveats -- I've moved them and there's delam on the lowest frequency resonant sections. So the measurements probably aren't meaningful and since I'm in the middle of some long-overdue Ebay selling it's going to be a few days before I have a chance to take some new measurements (as a matter of curiosity, I want to compare the response before and after the delamination is repaired).

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