Before The Beginning
Shortly after graduating in 1981 with a Masters in Engineering, Mr. Noxon had established a small acoustic engineering firm doing local projects in the Eugene, Oregon area. In the course of his work, he was hired to take care of a huge lecture hall at the University of Oregon. The lecture hall had a serious resonance problem at 125 Hz, not good for speech intelligibility. So he set out in search of a suitable bass trap.
Almost The First TubeTrap
Mr. Noxon searched for suitable materials for his bass trap, and knew he needed a porous walled cavity to experiment with. He found some 2" semi-rigid fiberglass duct board and experimented with it for a while. Then he found the circular fiberglass pipe wrap which became the basis for the familiar TubeTrap. The pipe wrap was easier to work with since the cavity didn't have to be made, it was already there. The problem was the resonance of the pipe wrap itself, the twang, would cause resonant dips at certain frequencies. After much experimentation, it was found that a wire mesh cage would muffle the twang, much like holding a bell muffles the ring.
The First TubeTrap
One day the phone rang and it was the local hi-fi shop getting ready for a remodel. They had Magneplanar speakers and they sounded awful in their demo room. The folks at Bradford's wanted something furniture-like, and Mr. Noxon figured maybe his TubeTrap might be the ticket. Sure enough, they made those Maggies sing, and Bradford's was thrilled. Now, 25 years later, Bradford's still uses TubeTraps in their demo room.
The first Tubes, sold as a set of 8 that were 9" x 36", featured mated pairs with a unique built-in diamond base similar in shape to a "home plate" used in baseball. This gave the stacked Tubes a nice finished look and contributed to the "furniture look" that Bradford's wanted.
These first TubeTraps didn't feature the classic reflectors that create the now familiar live side/dead side found on all subsequent TubeTraps. These were the only TubeTraps made by Mr. Noxon prior to the formation of ASC, and once they became ASC TubeTrap, the reflectors were included.
As with the TubeTraps of today, these did feature a wire cage to add strength as well as to help dampen twang. The fabric covering, much like today, was a sleeve stetched over the cage assembly. The end caps were 1/4" plywood, and the base units permanently attached. The stacking feature relied on three dowels to keep the two Traps properly lined up and prevent toppling.