I've tried to read as much as I can on acoustics for a home theater and, quite frankly, it makes my brain hurt. I've spent most of my life learning everything I can on a variety of topics from electronics to automotive to string theory, and I am always willing to try and learn more, but there is just too much information on acoustics and it all seems to be experience based and laced with too much opinion for me to get a firm grasp on. So, I'm defaulting the experience of the people here for some general guidance on building my next theater, cause from what I read, I got it COMPLETELY wrong when building my dad's theater, and I think it sounds pretty damn decent for being a few years old now.
1) primary acoustic treatment should be done from the floor to ear height on the side walls, and likely on the rear wall? What should be done above that treatment? I was thinking 2" acoustic treatment to ~48" with a chair rail then loose curtains above to the ceiling for a smooth and consistent look throughout the room, AT curtains around the screen on the false front wall. I'll likely have a 12-14" riser for the rear row and angle the lower wall treatment up at the stairs then level it off at the riser again to maintain the ~48" height from the top of the riser. What about carpet, just nice, pretty plush carpet?
2) the entire front wall should be acoustically treated including bass traps? I'm not sure I've actually grasped how a bass trap functions, or why it's necessary, but I've concluded it is, so I'll install them, I figure 1' squares of insulation cut diagonally and stacked in the corners behind my screen wall should suffice? Then the same insulation installed on the wall itself, R19 fiberglass? Other options? I've read foam = bad.
3) speaker location, THX 7.1 is outdated and not used, we went a little crazy in my dad's theater, but it sounds good so I'm thinking of emulating it, with some improvements. LCR will have two speakers per channel, just below and above the non-AT screen set just behind AT material on the false screen wall. Two speakers for the surrounds, one placed ~18" in front of each row of seating at ~7' from the ground, finally two speakers per channel of rear surround, two placed at the rear row of seating firing slightly forward and two ~6' apart in a 10' wide room on the rear wall. Subwoofers will be dual 12" at the front, ~6' apart behind the false screen wall and two 10" subs behind the rear row of seats roughly the same distance apart. Sound about right?
4)I'll be doing a 12" soffit around the room at the ceiling for running speaker wires and because I think they look nice, I'm hoping to mount the projector inside the rear soffit, but I was considering doing and angled soffit to look like a tray ceiling instead of a square one, any advantages or disadvantages of this style?
5) I don't mind the sound bleeding out into the entire rest of the house, or even outside a little, so long as it doesn't make it into my neighbors houses or piss anyone off, I just want to make sure it sounds good from inside the room.