Creating home theater in already finished basement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-06-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a finished basement that I am looking to put a in a home theater. (House bought with finished basement)

The room is 18.5 x 25.75 feet. there's a pole that spllits the room so The area for the home theater is 18.5 wide x 13 feet deep with the back open. Light control is good with only 2 small windows that are easily blockable.

A few questions:
1. If the theater area is open in the back is this sonically a bad thing. I was thinking about putting a retractable curtain/room divider to "wall off" the home theater. Is this needed?

2. Above the theater is my main living area (family/dining/living rooms). I'd like to soundproof the ceiling so sound does not travel upstairs (esp bass). This is important for the WAF. Would I have to rip out the ceiling to sound proof? There are a few open channels in the ceiling that are accessible from an unfinished room on the left side of the theater. Would there be a way to put some material in these channels to absorb the sound?

3. I'm not looking to go crazy in terms of the decor. I probably will repaint the walls and redo carpet. I think I have an idea of what components to get and was thinking about ordering them online. There is a general contractor we have used who says he does home theaters in basements. I was thinking about having him do the cable runs and have his electrician install the extra circuits outlets, mount projector and screen. Then I'll hook up all the speakers and components. Is this a reasonable approach? Is there an advantage to using a home theater installer if I want to buy the components myself. Which way is more cost effective?

4. I was thinking about having speaker terminals int he middle of the carpet and putting the 4 rears (goal of 7.1) around my seating. There is concrete under the carpet. Is this possible using flat speaker wire. Would they have to drill into the concrete?

5. If the walls are already finished is it possible to run conduit to future proof the room or is this destructive.

6. Given the size of the room do I need 1 sub or 2. The theater area is not large, but the whole room is big. Is it over kill to have 2 subs?

7. being 13 feet from the screen is 100 inches too big? I know by the room calculators I'm in good shape, but i'm curious if it works in the "real world".

8. Here's my tentative purchase list of components, (any comments good or bad):

speakers: Aperion Versus Grand towers, center, bookshelfs x 4 for rears
Subs: HSU VTHF-15H

Preamp: Marantz 7701
Amp: Outlaw 7700

Projector: Espon 5020UB ?E
Screen: Carada 100 inch Criterion

Blu-ray: Oppo 103

Belkin pure AV60 line conditioner.


I have been lurking around here awhile and now am starting to think about this seriously. Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-07-2013, 12:43 PM
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I've only done this once but maybe I'll at least give you some things to think about...

1. Assuming you would sit in the middle of the space you will lose a lot of bass. I think it will be OK, and there are more important things to think about. You haven't really stated if it's more important the whole room is open (like for parties and casual watching) or you'd consider running a wall down to have an isolated home theater. For me it was important it was open and I'm happy to compromise to make this a rec room that doubles as a theater and not the other way around.

2. If you can see, is it drywall screwed right to the joists with no insulation? It's probably not worth pulling all the drywall just to insulate and put in channels. You might consider putting in a second layer of drywall over the first with green glue in between, probably the easiest way to go from where you are now. Nothing will do a great job with bass, unfortunately.

3. If you're particular about it and don't mind the research, and you have a contractor you like to work with I'd go that route. Unfortunately you might have to be pretty specific about what you want if he's not familiar with some of these things.

4. You could try a flat cable under the carpet, I wouldn't drill into concrete, or maybe you'll wall mount the speakers instead?

5. It's hard to put conduit into a wall under the drywall if the ceiling is also finished since the hole in the top plate is difficult to drill. It might be possible with bendable conduit. It would probably be easier to just fish cable where you want it to go. If you do pull the ceiling then yes run conduit while your'e there.

6. I'd start with what you already have. This is more a personal preference than anything.

7. No, 13 feet from 100" screen is pretty ideal. I'm 12 feet and planning on 100".

Really I think you should figure out exactly how you want the space and work from there. I think I'd start with the ceiling soundproofing. I have insulation and resilient channel and it's not amazing but much better than before. I think having someone put in green glue and a second layer would be the first thing I took a look at, if it's not going to work for you now.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I think I'm going to not go with the wall. I'm curious with the "green glue" how much noise reduction do you get?
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 10:34 AM
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I don't know because I haven't used it. But people seem happy with it and it would be an easy upgrade for you now. I did resilient channel and fiberglass insulation which most people consider inferior to green glue and I'm happy with the results. Your contractor might have some ideas as well, if they do any apartments/condo's.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 10:58 AM
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As for #2 call The Soundproofing Company and talk to someone there. Without treating the entire space you won't be able to "soundproof" but they may have some Ideas on how to dampen the sound to make it less intrusive in other areas of the house. Typically soundproofing is an all-in venture which relies on treating all necessary surfaces and flanking paths properly. The gentlemen at The Soundproofing Company are relied on by most of the "dedicated theater" people on the forums here and they are active on that sub forum as well. My understanding is that even though they make money from the sale of soundproofing products, they won't talk you into anything if it won't have the desired effect. Thus, they can honestly tell you whether you are going to be wasting money or not. (800) 397-8791
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 11:04 AM
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If you are planning to soundproof the ceiling by removing drywall, that would be the time to run your speaker wire. I wouldn't run speaker wire where there is foot traffic. You can also remove trim along the baseboard and hide wire there.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-12-2013, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the input. A few other questions....

I looked at the soundproofing company's website. So they're not a contractor, but rather sell the soundproofing "raw materials" for you to either self install (or have someone else install?)
Also, are there any good theater installers in Nassau County Long Island, NY that anyone can recommend? I figure in addtion to my local guy I should see what "professional" installers have to offer. Will most professional installers have you go with their own prefered brands of equipment or will the let you buy the stuff and they install it?
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-15-2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCMo96 View Post

Thanks again for the input. A few other questions....

I looked at the soundproofing company's website. So they're not a contractor, but rather sell the soundproofing "raw materials" for you to either self install (or have someone else install?)


That is correct. Self-install or provide it to your contractor with instructions on how to install.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-15-2013, 08:05 AM
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Your situation sounds A LOT like mine, down to the room size and the pole in the middle of the room. Check out my build log thread here.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1437068/first-time-home-theater-build-log

It goes through all of the detail and process that I have done. it went from an empty yellow room to what it currently is now. This past weekend my buddy helped me do the in wall wiring (as oppose to you putting it under the carpet) and documents pretty much my entire process.

Maybe it will help you out a bit.
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