My recent experience with spandex as a screen and some questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 06-18-2012, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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So I've got a few yards of this Moleskin Matte Silver from Spandex World and I started to throw together a quicky test with it but I'm a little lost at the moment. First off, the material is much thicker than I expected but oddly, the stuff just stretches and STRETCHES seemingly forever. No joke. I'm doing a 16:9-ish 120" screen (I say "ish" because I'm using this to see how the different screen sizes work in the room so not being totally accurate at this point.)

So, I start by doing the top of the screen and then start pulling the fabric to the bottom of the screen but it just keeps stretching so I got curious and cut off a 24" wide strip and sure enough, I can pretty easily stretch it to 60" and I'm thinking "that can't be right" and decided to move my half built test screen in front of the PJ to see what the picture quality is looking like.

It looks pretty darned good and more importantly, the speakers behind the screen still sound bright and lively to me. Then it dawns on me to do the old "light up the speakers behind the screen trick" to see how thin I've got this stuff stretched and I'm shocked to say that I can't see my speakers sitting about 8" behind the screen..

So I'm confused. Am I stretching it too much? Not enough? I swear I could put a little muscle into it and get it stretched plenty more but I'm not sure if there's any point. I think it would be kind of neat to light up the speakers behind the screen but maybe that doesn't work with spandex?

Any advice from those who've gone down this road?
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post #2 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 06:26 AM
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You took the words out of my mouth. I didn't purchase that spandex (bright white for Joann's, not very good) and I think I stretched mine too much. Lots of light gets through and the picture is very washed out. I'm going to try the Moleskin Matte Silver, but before I do, I wanted the "how far to stretch" question answered. Thanks.
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post #3 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 10:44 AM
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Does it stretch in both directions? I was looking to make a 108"-120" wide screen in a 16:9 ratio and then use panels to cover the top and bottom for different ratios, but I didn't think that the Spandex would stretch to the 61" (or 68" height if it's a 120" wide screen) and I was going to be more limited to closer to 50-54" high.
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post #4 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by perpetual98 View Post

Does it stretch in both directions? I was looking to make a 108"-120" wide screen in a 16:9 ratio and then use panels to cover the top and bottom for different ratios, but I didn't think that the Spandex would stretch to the 61" (or 68" height if it's a 120" wide screen) and I was going to be more limited to closer to 50-54" high.

Oh yeah.

It's comes in 58 to 60" width (by however many yards long you want) and stretches 4 ways. In my limited time playing with it the other day, you can easily stretch it to double its size. Here's what I'm working with specifically...

Moleskin Matte Silver
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post #5 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Unacceptable View Post

Oh yeah.
It's comes in 58 to 60" width (by however many yards long you want) and stretches 4 ways. In my limited time playing with it the other day, you can easily stretch it to double its size. Here's what I'm working with specifically...
Moleskin Matte Silver

Ordered some for myself. The cheap stuff from Joann's wasn't very good. Way too much light getting through. When you stretched yours the first time, did you use one or two layers?
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post #6 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PanteraGSTK View Post

Ordered some for myself. The cheap stuff from Joann's wasn't very good. Way too much light getting through. When you stretched yours the first time, did you use one or two layers?

I just did one layer because my screen will sit about 9" in front of a wall painted Mouse Ears black and I have total light control.
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post #7 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Unacceptable View Post

I just did one layer because my screen will sit about 9" in front of a wall painted Mouse Ears black and I have total light control.

Thanks. I plan to put some black felt on the back wall, side walls, floor and ceiling to try to trap some of the reflected light. What PJ are you using?
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post #8 of 60 Old 06-19-2012, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanteraGSTK View Post

Thanks. I plan to put some black felt on the back wall, side walls, floor and ceiling to try to trap some of the reflected light. What PJ are you using?

Optoma HD3300
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post #9 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 11:52 AM
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The World could suffer through having more Spandex around. Why, just the other day in the Park, some Spandex trimmed with a long Red Ponytail ran by........eek.gif

For some reason, DIY Screen making was the last thing on my mind. cool.gif

But to the point in hand, the Moleskin Spandex is considered as being a heavier variety. It's also a "4-way Stretch" so than does mean maximum "stretchability"

If a screen needs up to 90" height, the Moleskin is just the ticket. One cannot be afraid to stretch it until it's taunt, almost to a Drum-head point. When you go too far, you can see the material separating, and feel it starting to "pop". Don't go there. Just figure stretching it to 50% more than it's original width, and length (equally) should be about perfect.

As for the audio characteristics, it's been proven to be better than many extremely expensive AT materials, and if the color/shade of the Spandex is well matched to the PJ and the environment, it's reflective performance can be "as good as" or even "better than" even the high gain Mfg AT materials that cost literally several hundreds of dollars. This is to the lament of such Mfg of AT materials, and to the wholesome advantage of Cheap-arse DIY'ers expecting the biggest "Bang for the Buck" they possible can get...while sacrificing not one bit of performance getting there.

So let's get some Screen shots up on here and make this endeavor respectable!

:edited: for content because the "Auto Editor" failed miserably.

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post #10 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

One cannot be afraid to stretch it until it's taunt, almost to a Drum-head point.

That's all you had to say. In fact, I was thinking of a drumhead when I was stretching it. Sounds like I've got a ways to go with my pulling. I'll report back but I can already say I'll be stretching it well more than 50% it's width. This 24" wide strip is currently stretched out to around 60" (that's a 250% stretch!) already and more to go.

Stay tuned...

EDIT: I just noticed I said "width" and really I mean "height". Haven't gotten to stretching it horizontally yet.
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post #11 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

So let's get some Screen shits up on here and make this endeavor respectable!

By the way, I almost spit out my Sprite when I read this. Yes, I've a juvenile sense of humor. biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unacceptable View Post

That's all you had to say. In fact, I was thinking of a drumhead when I was stretching it. Sounds like I've got a ways to go with my pulling. I'll report back but I can already say I'll be stretching it well more than 50% it's width. This 24" wide strip is currently stretched out to around 60" (that's a 250% stretch!) already and more to go.
Stay tuned...
EDIT: I just noticed I said "width" and really I mean "height". Haven't gotten to stretching it horizontally yet.

I would be cautious enough to err by being conservative. A ultra tight stretch isn't necessary, just one that does not waver or wrinkle in any way. Sounds like your already there to me.
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By the way, I almost spit out my Sprite when I read this. Yes, I've a juvenile sense of humor. biggrin.gif

On my Keyboard (...and everyone else's the "I" sits ensconced beside the "O", so a mere slop of the finger and "Presto".......you have Sprite dribbling down your trim. biggrin.gif

In my case....Guinness Black Lager cool.gif

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post #13 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 01:50 PM
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How visible is the weave pattern on Spandex? Because of my tower speakers, I really want to try a ceiling-hanging AT screen to get maximum image width for 'scope in my height-challenged basement. I'd be sitting about 11 feet away from a 100"-wide scope picture (using an Epson 8350 and the basement is light-controlled). Currently using a cheap Elite pull-down behind the speakers, but I can see the vinyl pattern easily from 12 feet away and the height of the speakers restricts the picture to only 84" wide.

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post #14 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NJPete View Post

How visible is the weave pattern on Spandex? Because of my tower speakers, I really want to try a ceiling-hanging AT screen to get maximum image width for 'scope in my height-challenged basement. I'd be sitting about 11 feet away from a 100"-wide scope picture (using an Epson 8350 and the basement is light-controlled). Currently using a cheap Elite pull-down behind the speakers, but I can see the vinyl pattern easily from 12 feet away and the height of the speakers restricts the picture to only 84" wide.

I don't require vision correction and I lose sight of the "weave" at about a foot away. It's hard to describe but it's like a layer of liquid that gets thinner as you stretch it out. There's really no weave to speak of but I CAN start to make it out up close (12" away) with the lights on. Up to this point, it looks (and sounds) VERY promising and I plan to acquire various screen samples to compare with it once I'm up and rolling.
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post #15 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a pic from my iPhone but it shows what I'm talking about. I've got the spandex stretched in my fingers to about double it's actual size.

450
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post #16 of 60 Old 06-20-2012, 06:33 PM
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Thanks for the information! I'll have to order some of it and see what kind of results I get, it's cheap enough to experiment.

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post #17 of 60 Old 06-21-2012, 07:53 AM
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I get mine on Saturday. Thanks for posting the shot of it stretched over your hand. I think this material will work pretty well for me. I'm happy with the image projected on the small amount of blackout cloth I have with the exception of the lackluster black levels. Brightness of the hc4000 seems to be good enough to where a material this color should improve my picture. I'll report my findings once I get it stretched over the screen.
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post #18 of 60 Old 06-25-2012, 09:55 PM
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has anyone tried the white spandex of the same make? it was my understanding that the grey or silver was only really for black levels and depending on your projector white may be better??? does this sound reasonable or is silver the way to go. i want to build a 120 inch with a new epson projector. 8350 or the 5350 epson.
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post #19 of 60 Old 06-29-2012, 11:38 AM
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I have the white on my screen, and while bright, it doesn't have quite as impressive black levels as my previous BOC screen did. I've been thinking about switching to either the silver or the gray to see if black levels improve. My projector is a BenQ 710ST.
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post #20 of 60 Old 06-29-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldman812 View Post

has anyone tried the white spandex of the same make? it was my understanding that the grey or silver was only really for black levels and depending on your projector white may be better??? does this sound reasonable or is silver the way to go. i want to build a 120 inch with a new epson projector. 8350 or the 5350 epson.

Check out the comparison between white and silver in post #15 of this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1387673/spandex-at-screen

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post #21 of 60 Old 06-30-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldman812 View Post

has anyone tried the white spandex of the same make? it was my understanding that the grey or silver was only really for black levels and depending on your projector white may be better??? does this sound reasonable or is silver the way to go. i want to build a 120 inch with a new epson projector. 8350 or the 5350 epson.

i use a layer of white over black. i was not worried about black level since i have a jvc rs45. i have been supremely impressed with black levels in the dark and with ambient light performance during the daytime with this combination.
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post #22 of 60 Old 07-02-2012, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

i use a layer of white over black. i was not worried about black level since i have a jvc rs45. i have been supremely impressed with black levels in the dark and with ambient light performance during the daytime with this combination.

That's what we are talkin' about!

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post #23 of 60 Old 07-02-2012, 07:18 AM
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so what is the thought for epson 3010??? i have read silver is good and black and white is good. is there really a difference that can be seen??
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post #24 of 60 Old 07-02-2012, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

i use a layer of white over black. i was not worried about black level since i have a jvc rs45. i have been supremely impressed with black levels in the dark and with ambient light performance during the daytime with this combination.

Rukus,

Can you offer your experience on how tightly you stretched it? Also, if you put a light behind the screen, can you see your speakers at all?

Thanks!
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post #25 of 60 Old 07-03-2012, 04:20 PM
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i cant remember how much i stretched it, but i certainly did not pull it as tight as you seem to be. i probably stretched it about what MMan mentioned, about 50%. Basically, I pulled it until I got a nice, taught pull, but it was not as tight as a drum's head. it has more give than that if i push in on it. i pulled the white top layer a bit tighter than the black backing.

as for light behind it, i havent tried shinning something directly through. what i have tried though is leaving a room light on in the room BEHIND the screen and have not had any noticeable issue with light bleeding through or being able to see the speakers (i have not tried this for reference qwuality stuff, only things like sporting events where i dont want to sit in the dark). that said, when i turn all lights off and stand behind the screen, i can see some of the image bleed through onto the black backing. my guess is if i tried lighting up the speakers behind the screen, it would not work very well at all.
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post #26 of 60 Old 07-06-2012, 07:48 AM
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I've been using mine for about a week. I stretched it pretty tight, but not tight enough to show the thread pattern. I must say that I'm impressed that it turned out as good as it did. The only down side is that light still gets through so I need a layer of something behind the spandex. I can also sometimes see my two supports that keep the screen straight. I was thinking of either getting some speaker grille cloth or maybe black spandex to go behind the current screen.

Thoughts?
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post #27 of 60 Old 07-07-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

.
As for the audio characteristics, it's been proven to be better than many extremely expensive AT materials, and if the color/shade of the Spandex is well matched to the PJ and the environment, it's reflective performance can be "as good as" or even "better than" even the high gain Mfg AT materials that cost literally several hundreds of dollars.
I've been loooking for any info about acoustic properties of spandex compared to other commonly used AT material. Can you give me some pointers?
Thank you.
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post #28 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 08:08 AM
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As stated in my quote above,
"As for the audio characteristics, it's been proven to be better than many extremely expensive AT materials, and if the color/shade of the Spandex is well matched to the PJ and the environment, it's reflective performance can be "as good as" or even "better than" even the high gain Mfg AT materials that cost literally several hundreds of dollars."


This of course isn't good news for those who Mfg / sell AT material. But what has driven many such Mfg to use specific materials that cannot be easily obtained by the rank-and-file DIY'er is the desire to keep such away from such easy acquisition. This can ....and has backfired on them, leastwise to the degree of losing the true DIY'ers business. Obviously if any suitable material can easily be found elsewhere...for quite a bit less....where is the motive to pay more?

Simply put....there are always those who just plain do not want to bother with anything but a quick link to a location to order, be it a complete AT Screen or the Mfg. AT Screen Material for some degree of DIY construction.
That is the market they cater to, and as you might know, even the less expensive AT Screen Mfgs. still make quite a bit. They could see the market expanding, and that's why the less expensive AT Material Mfg have pushed to make their offerings become more widely known as well.

It's not that Spandex is a new application, it's just that as Dedicated Theater A/V plows onward and acquires a more effusive following, there is / has been a big increase in those wanting to hide the R & L & Center speakers....especially the Center, and allow the latter to be optimally positioned in the Center of the Screen. We know we have provided a excellent alternative, one that by nature has far less restrictiveness acoustically and yet provides substantial levels of Gain and reflectivity without the unfortunate texture or Morie issues that woven or perforated Vinyl materials present.

Testimonials abound on this Thread and other related Threads. I don't think there is much as far as published Tests, simply because it's usually the people who make such materials / Screens to sell, and those who buy them and wind up spending more...a lot more, who conduct such tests to .....

A. Justify the price the charged for such Screens / materials because they inherently know that such Customers want something the majority does not / cannot embrace. That makes it a "Specialty Demand" product.

B. Buyers do their own tests for their own personal justification as far as to what expense they had to go to to get what they wanted.

It's a self-feeding circle that has been going on for quite a while. DIY Screen making, when truly kept to a point where NO Mfg Screen materials are used, be it for AT or Conventional use, allows for such a drastic reduction in costs that it makes the Home Theater concept more feasible for a great many more people than would otherwise consider such expense. That is / has been our goal on this Forum for years, and I can see no immediate end in sight due to the ever increasing need out there.

So do some extra research, and make a wise decision based on what you learn, ascertain, and can apply to your own circumstance.

Get'ter Dun.

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post #29 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanteraGSTK View Post

I've been using mine for about a week. I stretched it pretty tight, but not tight enough to show the thread pattern. I must say that I'm impressed that it turned out as good as it did. The only down side is that light still gets through so I need a layer of something behind the spandex. I can also sometimes see my two supports that keep the screen straight. I was thinking of either getting some speaker grille cloth or maybe black spandex to go behind the current screen.
Thoughts?

Yeah....get the Black Spandex and stretch it as tight as you can without distorting the Frame. Visible weave isn't an issue here, and it only take a wee bit of extra light blocking to offset and light leakage.

Black will, BTW, enhnace contrast. If you use another layer of White stretched tight, you maintain gain die to the Light not being Absorbed..

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post #30 of 60 Old 07-08-2012, 04:21 PM
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Should the black be stacked right behind the white or offset a little bit? In other words: frame, black, white?

I'm probably going to try a silver version with my 8350.

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