Hybrid damping designs with active piezoelectric materials and passive viscoelastic materials (VEMs) combine the advantages of both active and passive constrained layer damping (ACLD/PCLD) treatments. Researchers have established the standards for the extent and placement of the PCLD treatment for common structures. However for ACLD treatment, such detailed studies are not available. This study is aimed to examine, the effect of parametric variation of active constrained layer on the vibration control of the beams treated with optimally placed active or passive constrained layer damping patches. Finite element model is developed to model the open-loop and close-loop dynamics of active/passive constrained layer damping treated beam. The placement strategies of ACLD patches are devised using the modal strain energy (MSE) approach. Extensive experimentation studies are conducted by making twenty one separate samples of ACLD/PCLD treated beams with variations in viscoelastic material layer thickness, ACLD/PCLD patch coverage and location of the patch. Effects of key parameters, such as control gain, viscoelastic material thickness, coverage and location variation of ACLD patch on the system loss factor have been investigated. The careful analysis of results from partially covered ACLD treated beam suggests that the maximum damping of the first mode can be achieved by attaching the ACLD patch only up to 50% coverage. It also reveals that with proper choice of the control voltage and thickness, the effective loss factor can be almost doubled. The present study suggests the potential use of parametric studies that establish some guide lines for the extent and placement of the ACLD patches on the cantilevered beam. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.