About Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories

Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories (RAL) was built by Colonel George Fabyan for Wallace Clement Sabine in 1918. The test chamber dimensions, construction materials, and isolation specifications were carefully engineered by Mr. Sabine.

After Wallace Clement Sabine passed away in 1919, the task of managing laboratory operations was granted to Paul Sabine, who refined the test methods and developed RAL into a successful business. After Paul retired, the lab operations were handed to the Armour Research Foundation (ARF) of the Illinois Institute of Technology. The ARF was renamed Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IITRI) in 1963. IITRI funded a large enhancement to the RAL operation in the 1960s, which included a new Transmission Loss facility.

Today, RAL maintains a NVLAP accredited testing operation in the Riverbank facility for prominent acoustical material manufacturers and government agencies.

With a staff of experts and advanced equipment, including five reverberation chambers as well as a fully equipped machine and tool shop, our team provides certified testing and analysis for sound transmission, absorption, and intensity for all kinds of building materials and consumer items, ranging from engines to hair dryers.  We also perform a variety of environmental and building acoustics testing in remote field locations.

The principal tests performed in the reverberation chambers involve sound absorption, sound transmission loss, impact sound transmission, sound power, sound pressure, and dB(A) measurements — all of which are monitored in a central control room. Whether NRC tests, E90 testing, STC tests, or other acoustical testing, we provide clients with printouts, including both data and graphical presentations, immediately following the completion of each test.

1932 Paul Sabine & George Fabyan


Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories (RAL) is accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP Lab Code 100227) for selected acoustical testing services conducted in accordance with established standards.

We maintain an extensive Quality Management System (QMS), in strict conformance to the requirements of ISO 17025:2017. The QMS includes our Quality Manual, business policies, General Operating Procedures (management procedures), Standard Operating Procedures (test methods), root cause analysis reports for non-conformities, and other critical records.

RAL also maintains scheduled testing of standard reference specimens and keeps current control charts for each of our accredited test standards. These control charts give us confidence in the statistical certainty of our test results across the frequency range and throughout time. In addition, RAL is accredited by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Data Acceptance Program and the City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety.

Novelty Test Report VI - Gym Crash Pads

We tested a set of conventional gymnasium crash pads, aiming to ascertain their sound absorption coefficients across a range of frequencies, resembling children's voices. Check out our latest novelty test report to gain insights into the actual absorptive capabilities of these pads.