Vric's Theater: The slow project of a guy that doesn't really have a clue - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-30-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

My name is Eric and I'm the new owner of my first home. (Yea!) For the past few months, every day of construction, I try to plan my dedicated Theater the best I can using all the information available on this great forum. Now the construction is done, upstairs is finally ready and time for the basement to get a physical!

For the HT, I have quite a small room. Even if I moved a wall on the plan to make more space, I had to think about the rest of the basement and not "build a basement around the HT". Already comprising...

Here's the plan for the part of the basement I will use



The final dimension are a bit lower (the contractor was probably drunk that day... )

Room is 15'9" x 12'9" and ceiling is 7'7". Floor is isolated under the concrete, so I shouldn't loose much more height. Seating should be at around 11'. I aim for an 112" or 116" DIY screen.

Using this space, this is what I'm thinking:






It will be a budget theater, but I should end with something not too shabby. Here's what I already have and should be in this room:
  • Amp: Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH
  • Front: Polk RTi8
  • Sides: Polk RTi6
  • Rears: Polk RTi4
  • Center: Polk CSi3 (will probably be upgraded)
  • Sub: Klipsch Sub-10
  • Power: Belkin PureAV PF60 console
  • Media: HTPC on Ubuntu with 4Tb of storage (expendable up to 10Tb) in a Silverstone LC10B-E case.
  • BluRay: Samsung BD-P3600 (Or Sony S350, still haven't tested performance difference)
  • Tuner: scientific Atlantic 8300HD PVR
  • Seat: 3 places leather reclined
  • Rack: 76" Glass/Wood media rack large enough for future expansion.
  • Screen: Wilsonart designer white laminate for the DIY screen

To this, all I need is a buttkicker and a projector. I currently aim for an Epson 8100, but won't buy before 2-3 months, so time will tell! But because of the ceiling that is low and the screen size, I think I will have to go with LCD projector.

This will be a slow project. Right now I need idea, tips and recommendation.. Idea of what should be changed if needed, of what you would do if it was your project. Any idea is welcomed!

Construction already started. I re-framed the right (back) wall to accommodate my Media rack and speakers (picture to fallow, drywall still isn't installed back)

Thanks for your time!
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-30-2009, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vric View Post

Hi,

My name is Eric and I'm the new owner of my first home. (Yea!) For the past few months, every day of construction, I try to plan my dedicated Theater the best I can using all the information available on this great forum. Now the construction is done, upstairs is finally ready and time for the basement to get a physical!

For the HT, I have quite a small room. Even if I moved a wall on the plan to make more space, I had to think about the rest of the basement and not "build a basement around the HT". Already comprising...

Here's the plan for the part of the basement I will use



The final dimension are a bit lower (the contractor was probably drunk that day... )

Room is 15'9" x 12'9" and ceiling is 7'7". Floor is isolated under the concrete, so I shouldn't loose much more height. Seating should be at around 11'. I aim for an 112" or 116" DIY screen.

Using this space, this is what I'm thinking:






It will be a budget theater, but I should end with something not too shabby. Here's what I already have and should be in this room:
  • Amp: Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH
  • Front: Polk RTi8
  • Sides: Polk RTi6
  • Rears: Polk RTi4
  • Center: Polk CSi3 (will probably be upgraded)
  • Sub: Klipsch Sub-10
  • Power: Belkin PureAV PF60 console
  • Media: HTPC on Ubuntu with 4Tb of storage (expendable up to 10Tb) in a Silverstone LC10B-E case.
  • BluRay: Samsung BD-P3600 (Or Sony S350, still haven't tested performance difference)
  • Tuner: scientific Atlantic 8300HD PVR
  • Seat: 3 places leather reclined
  • Rack: 76" Glass/Wood media rack large enough for future expansion.
  • Screen: Wilsonart designer white laminate for the DIY screen

To this, all I need is a buttkicker and a projector. I currently aim for an Epson 8100, but won't buy before 2-3 months, so time will tell! But because of the ceiling that is low and the screen size, I think I will have to go with LCD projector.

This will be a slow project. Right now I need idea, tips and recommendation.. Idea of what should be changed if needed, of what you would do if it was your project. Any idea is welcomed!

Construction already started. I re-framed the right (back) wall to accommodate my Media rack and speakers (picture to fallow, drywall still isn't installed back)

Thanks for your time!

I have been working on mine for sometime now.. just about to the place that i can start painting.. one more layer of mudd and sanding in the game room area ... theater will be covered with some sort of fabric... still running through some options... good luck with yours.. take your time and make sure you get all you want in there... and most importantly have fun...I'll be watching....

Let a Nation of Black & Gold rise up.
Go forth and proclaim "YOUR IN STEELERS COUNTRY!!"
Go Steelers!!!

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post #3 of 27 Old 12-02-2009, 08:08 PM
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Welcome to the cess pool!! I'm sure you'll be very happy with your theater - you've already got some nice equipment to start with!

If yu want opinions to consider, I'm wondering if your rear wall plan will leave you the room you'd like for seating. What seating are you planning? Between the angled door and the columns on the walls, it looks like it might be a pretty tight fit at the rear of the room. Or perhaps that is just the way it looks in the floorplan rendering?

It's hard to tell what you other options are for the entry door - is there any other possible location for the door on the back or side wall?

Bon chance, mon ami!

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post #4 of 27 Old 12-03-2009, 04:07 AM
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Looks like you are only planning on one row of 3 seats. If so, I would consider doing an AT screen set-up. You could have 2' behind screen for speakers, then around 11' or so to first row eyes, and have 2' or better left behind seats to rear wall which is recommended for 7.1.

Like hanesian said, the door and columns at the rear look like it will be tight with your seating. You could solve one issue with just making the door open outwards vs. inwards. Do you need to keep that angled corner where the door is? Maybe just square it off and you'd have more options on the entry space.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-03-2009, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi

Thanks for the replies.

I don't have a lot of option for the door. It has to be there. All my basement (and house) is open floor with angle walls and rooms in the "corners". I could square it, but the rest of the basement (the door is on the family room) would look a bit awkward and I'm not sure the extra room in the corner of the HT would be that useful. (maybe acoustically?)

I plan for 1 row of 3 seats. The seating is 98" wide. Eyes would be exactly at 11' which leave me 42" behind the seats (also 42" from speaker-columns to ear) so I think it's fine for surround and eye distance.

My main problem right now are the sides speakers/column. You are right, it's a tight fit if I center the seats, leaving only 18" free on each side to walk! I have to off-center the seats to get 24", which is still tight.

Sadly, even if I can put the speaker inwall on the left side (it's the laundry room) I can't do the same for the right speaker since it's an external wall. I have max 2-3" to work with.

Since I already have all 7 speakers (I collected a lot of gear in the last 3 years), I would like to use them in a 7.1 config.. But I'm still trying to find a way to make it work and I don't exclude going back to 5.1 if it's too tight. I like the idea of column, but the footprint is a few inch too much..

AT screen is something I considered too, but being on a budget and not in the US, it was hard to find one. This is why I plan to go with a DIY Wilsonart screen (for under $250, it's the best option I think)
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-17-2010, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I received a lot of good info by PM from member here after posting my plan and since then, I have changed quite a bit of idea.

I'm now doing something a bit easier and more "cosy".

New Plan:


I simply added a foot on the left side of the room so now I have enough space with the seat in place.

Here's a basic 3D render (damsn software don't give me much option)



So yes, I'm going for a stone wall, which should be near catastrophic sound wise, but sometime you have to listen to the lady

I plan to use fabric panel on wall which should help. The rest is basically the same equipment as the first post.
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-17-2010, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So this week I started the work.

Starting with a room half finished by the contractor (new house) I will build around that.



One challenging part was to remake the back wall. This is a wall that sustain house floor, so I had to be careful with my modification



Since I'm trying to keep the build under 5000$, I found this at a local liquidator store. I think it will work great my needs. AV gear already in there for the rest of the house.

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post #8 of 27 Old 02-17-2010, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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For the SubFloor, I used DriCore 2x2 panel. It's expensive, but fairly easy and quick to install. I did the room in less than 2 hours.





For the front stage, I got inspired by RonnieJackson
It was much easier than I was thinking. Took about 5 hours to do the front stage and soffit.





Using sound insulation and closing this thing up.

Tomorrow will be drywall and I will adjust the height of the front soffit. The building process is going nicely I think. I did all this in 4 days with the help of my father (which is quite handsome ) and I should continue all week long working on this.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-18-2010, 02:27 PM
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Pull the speakers out of the front corners and scratch the brick wall up front.
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-18-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Pull the speakers out of the front corners and scratch the brick wall up front.

Well I was thinking the wall had to go as well...BUT then I thought pretty much everyone has hard walls with panels on them here? Tile, drywall? what's it matter?

As for the speakers just do the listen test. always works.
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post #11 of 27 Old 02-19-2010, 04:56 AM
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Brick screen wall?

BRICK?!?

Nice find on that equipment cabinet, though ... and good luck!!

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post #12 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually I got the stone idea on this forum. Few member did it with some great result.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1106559&page=4
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post15533844
http://hacknmod.com/wp-content/old/pics/2160-2.jpg

I will do some wall treatment to minimize the effect of this wall. I don't think it will be too much trouble. Right now the room isn't as "echoish" as other room in the house. It can get only better with wall treatment.




I haven't put stone on the center since the screen will cover a good 4-5" more on each size.


With the lights in, it look quite nice I think.



I also finished the ceiling.. Boy it's hard job to paint ceiling tiles with texture.
I used Behr Mouse ear (Disney) paint that I mixed with 1 part of water for 2 part of paint. With a very tick roller, I was able to cover 95% of the tile in about 20min each 4x2 panel. Still a lot of work.

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post #13 of 27 Old 03-16-2010, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I also did the first column as a test, but I think the result is good enough.
I got inspired by Ella HT which have a stunning theater. It's not as good as his, but for DIY work, I'm quite pleased. Still have some finishing to do.



I'm using stratified red oak wood to do this. Much cheaper than real oak (about 4 time cheaper, one column cost about $75 do to) and when cut correctly, it look just like real wood.

I also installed the Graphik Eye unit I got from ebay ($200, wasn't too bad for a 3004)

And I couldn't wait and I had to try the projector (well, I had to cut a hole in the ceiling, so.. I had too install it )



Just for fun I tested with digital cable to see if everything was working and up to plans.



Then the projector when back to the box waiting for some more progress.

I also received the Buttkicker kit that I will use on the seating and the Oppo BDP-83 BluRay I ordered 2 weeks ago. Waiting to do less dust to install those on the cabinet.
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-18-2010, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few updates.

I ended all the columns. They turn out quite good I think for the price (~$75 each big ones and $40 for the rear ones) Using stratified oak with 2 coat of stain/varnish. Still have the speaker grills to make + molding at the top and bottom (using real oak for this)




Carpet guy did a basic job. Nothing fancy (after all, it's a budget carpet) but the guys were impressed/curious about that room since they clearly never done a dedicated HT room before. They didn't charge me any extra for the stage or the stone wall (they really spend time to fit the carpet under it, which wasn't easy since I didn't planed enought space for the padding + carpet) The speaker cable for the butt kicker was grooved in the plywood, so nothing is showing beside the cable once out. I'm quite happy. I went with light color since the wall will be covered with dark fabric (black and red)



Once the carpet in, columns and seating were installed. I modified the seat to install a central buttkicker. Pretty straight forward since the seat had plenty of room for it under.

And I got to say, the buttkicker really do shake thing's up! I tuned it at about 40% and we sometime laugh ourself out in some action scene Really happy I got this (full kit for ~$400 on ebay)

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post #15 of 27 Old 04-18-2010, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Then I did the screen. I use WillsonArt Designer white laminate for this. I wasn't really confident for this part since I didn't want to mess the laminate (after all, it's $170 here) but I'm quite happy finally.

I did a frame using 1x4" pine. Quite sturdy and straight + it's light. Since the screen goes over the stones, I had to place 2x4 on the wall to give me the space needed.

Horror story short, the wall is awfully curved and wavy! Bad contractor (since I didn't made that wall) or the stone weight really stressed the wall, no idea. Took few minute to level all this using shimming wood and ended up with a pretty straight screen. I'm glad everything behind is hiden!



I installed the laminate directly on the wall using a laser level. so If the frame wasn't 100% level, the screen would be. I cut the laminate using a buffer. Not the best idea for smell, smoke and dust, but it's safe and I was sure it wouldn't crack where I didn't want it to.



And I used 3"1/2 door molding velvet to the the border. Once cut at 2"1/2, it's perfect I think.



This is where I am right now. Currently doing wall panel / treatment. It consume a lot of time and boy it's hard to find wood that doesn't look like an hockey stick. I use 2x2 which I cut in angle to give a bevel. Not quite sure how it will turn out yet, but.. will see soon enough.





The bottom will be covered with black fabric in one part (no bevel/panel) and the top will be a dark red. This part will be 33"x45" panels.
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-18-2010, 09:43 AM
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Very nice. You are going to have a great space. I like the look of your screen wall, the stone is a unique look.

I'm surprised you went with 7.1 and not 5.1 with the size of your room. From your pictures you rears look really close to the side surrounds. Can you hear much distinction between the sides and the rears?

Your stage looks nice and is a good fit to the room. What type of insulation did you use? From the pics it looks like standard insulation, but is somewhat hard to tell.

Keep the progress and pics coming.

Regards,

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-18-2010, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I already had the 7.1 speakers, so I went with this since it wasn't costing any extra. From the middle seat (calibration point) side speakers and rear ones are at 6.3-6.5'. So it's nearly at the same distance. Picture are lying a bit, wide angle lens do strange things sometime. The rear is ~3' from the side wall (I just did the panel that go at this place today)

I can't really distinct the sound from one side to the rear, but the sound is very "surrounding". Things that goes from left to right sound smoother than it was before (I've been using these speakers in 5.1 setup for 2years+ before) and so far, the sound is very "enveloping", which is a good thing I think. 7.1 do have a positive effect, but not sure it's optimal thought.

As for the "insulation", I used Roxul Safe’n’Sound in the stand, column and walls. It's specially designed for soundproofing and not thermal insulation. It's also fairly cheap.

I wish I did the front stage with sand since a bit of vibration still occur, mainly from the center channel. I hope it get solved once I do the small stand for the speakers (I won't leave it on the ground like that) Sand sounded overkill when I seen it in this forum, but guess it was a good idea after all
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Few updates. The end is near !

Fabric Panels are done and I have passed the last few days doing small finishing works (speaker grills, trims, fabric, more fabric, still more fabric )

Pic from the rear. Still have the bottom speaker grill do make. I'm not 100% happy with the grill, but if I don't want to make customs one for a few hundreds of bucks, I don't think there's a better way to do them





Front is done. I have to make a stand for the center channel and to fix the sconce. I received them damaged and the glass are barely holding, but they look great!





And just for fun, a composition image from Avatar (boy it looked great!)

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post #19 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vric View Post

Few updates. The end is near !



love this shot...i hope i will finish my theatre before Avatar sequel comes..hehe..just started my build...decided that my first movie will b avatar..

My First DIY Screen 120" Laminate Screen

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post #20 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 02:19 PM
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VERY NICE. I like the theater. Your title says slow but I think your moving alot faster than you think. I would recommend painting or doing something with the baseboard heater though. Kind of stands out IMHO.

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post #21 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. I guess it's good a for 4 month or work

Not a bad idea about the baseboard heater. I will have to paint the wall plates anyway (white on black stands out a lot) I will try to find paint that is resistant enough for heat and scratch (fabric panel fit tight!) Hopefully, it's not very obvious. You don't see in when you enter the theater and once seated, you don't see it neither (I use a wide angle lens for picture)
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post #22 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 02:41 PM
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This thread totally misrepresents the subject I may have to report it. The work is too high quality and you are moving too fast. I may have to make a theater in my basement at some point to show you what slow and clueless really looks like.

Jokes aside, looks amazing! Gratz!
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 07:18 PM
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Great space and I LOVE the screen wall!! I have 2 questions...

1) What is the product you used for the stone wall and where did you purchase it? A link if you have one would be awesome.

2) Any details on how you created the curve for the front stage? It looks great!

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post #24 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

1) It's decorative stone. I got it from Costco at quite low price, but it's not available anymore. This is random "brick" that are about 2" thick, 4" wide and 7 to 19" long. You install them just like you would do with simple tiles. Fairly easy to install and look great (even if people here told me it was a very bad idea)

You can see the product here, but about all hardware stores have their own. (and for records, this is the highest price I have seen for it. I paid half of that.)
http://www.rona.ca/shop/~stone-renai...53_!stone_shop

2) If you take a look at my post #8 you see how I made it. Fairly simple. I used 1/4" plywood and 2x6". Plywood is flexible enough for the curve I wanted to give it (but not much more)

For the finish, I used a stratified red oak sheets made by Cedan (www.cedan.com)

This is a 1/8" thick wood strip that have an adhesive side you install using an iron. Just like melamine, but it's made from real wood. It's available from 1" to 4 foots wide and you can stain and varnish it easily.
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-26-2010, 08:17 PM
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Wow!! Vric!! Fantastic job! Looks great!! When are you gonna come over and finish mine?

"Nick, what did your dad get done in the movie room tonight?" "Nothin', he just went down there and stared again".
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post #26 of 27 Old 04-27-2010, 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vric View Post

Thanks.

1) It's decorative stone. I got it from Costco at quite low price, but it's not available anymore. This is random "brick" that are about 2" thick, 4" wide and 7 to 19" long. You install them just like you would do with simple tiles. Fairly easy to install and look great (even if people here told me it was a very bad idea)

You can see the product here, but about all hardware stores have their own. (and for records, this is the highest price I have seen for it. I paid half of that.)
http://www.rona.ca/shop/~stone-renai...53_!stone_shop

2) If you take a look at my post #8 you see how I made it. Fairly simple. I used 1/4" plywood and 2x6". Plywood is flexible enough for the curve I wanted to give it (but not much more)

For the finish, I used a stratified red oak sheets made by Cedan (www.cedan.com)

This is a 1/8" thick wood strip that have an adhesive side you install using an iron. Just like melamine, but it's made from real wood. It's available from 1" to 4 foots wide and you can stain and varnish it easily.

Thanks for the help but I still am unsure how you created the curve as far as figuring the angles for the 2x6's is the front. How did you figure them? Was there a trick you used for layout/design?

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post #27 of 27 Old 04-27-2010, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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It's nothing fancy or hard to do.

I did the main curve in 2 parts. I started with 6" long 2x6" in the center of the stage because it's the deep I wanted (you can do whatever you want here) then I screwed the plywood on the center. I then took the other end of the plywood and put it where it should be. Take the measurement and cut the plywood if it's too long. (if it's too short, well start again )

The plywood doesn't bend easily, so when you do it, it will do his own curve by itself. I took measurement at different place to add support (stud?). Look if you need to make them longer to make your front "rounder" if needed (sometime a 1/4" will help). Once one half was done, I took the measurement to do the other side the same way.

I didn't made any fancy plan for it. I just tried and it worked. Sometime the easiest way is just trying it. Not like you have much to loose. It took me 2 tries to have the good length for the plywood and the curve was done in about an half hour. (whole stage took me less than 2 hours)

I would lie to say it's 100% perfect. When I was varnishing it, I could feel where the stud supporting the plywood was, but it's now something you see even if you look closely.


Edit: For those wondering about the stone wall and reverb, with the wall treatment I did, the 100hz and more are very good. I don't think the stone is affecting that much the room acoustic. For the 65hz and lower, well that's a problem. I have no bass trap and reverberation is a bit out of control. The Amp is doing his job to minimize it, but I will see if I can't add a bass trap somewhere to help.
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