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post #1 of 161 Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

It's finally time to start a build thread.

Some History

The house was new construction and I took possession in December 2007. I had always had in mind that I wanted a dedicated theater in the basement; I realize now that I didn’t do near enough planning when the house was being built.
As with Audixium, the biggest problem I have for a prefect theater is a support pole. I wrestled (danced?) with this issue for a long time; take the pole out or leave it in and design around it. In the end, and after reading Audixium’s Zen Garden HT thread, I decided to leave it in and design around it. I think the money spent removing it could be better spent on other things. I’m still kicking myself for the fact that for very little in the house building this problem could have been non-existent.

So, after over 2 years of planning construction is finally under way. This will be a complete basement build so it’s not likely going to move quickly. 

The Basement and Theater Plan


Here is the basement plan showing the general layout and sizes of the rooms followed by a more detailed theater plan.



Sorry there isn’t a lot of detail in this one yet. Basically, the boxes on the sides are the column bases, the projector is shown, the circle is my head and the small square behind my head is my pole.


Current Plan


Inspiration
The following threads are providing me with inspiration and a ton of ideas.
Audixium - Zen Garden HT
SWithey – Home Theater Construction
indygreg – Big Red theater
Moggie – Saga of the “Old Vic”
KNKKNK – Yes Dear, I’m down here working on your craft room!!
Hed - Lakeside Theater
Damelon - Making the "Bacon Race" Theater

Reference Threads - I'll update these as I go along and find new ones.
Dead Venting
OSB vs Drywall
Riser Calculator
Cooling for Equipment room

Room and Construction Info:
The room is 25'11"x16'6" in an unfinished basement. From the concrete to the under side of the beam is 8'8"; to the under side of the joists is 8'. This will allow me to have over 8’ ceilings for most of the room.

The Aquarium: Three of the walls are concrete and exterior (to the cement) 2x4 walls were framed and insulated by the builder. The fourth wall will be staggered stud with a 36” door. All walls in the basement will be insulated with Roxul. The theater will be DD + GG, all other walls will just be drywall. For the ceiling I will be using clips and hat channel, DD + GG. The rest of the Basement will get a single layer of drywall.
Floor: I will be putting DriCore sub-flooring through-out the entire basement, this will be covered with either carpet or cork flooring depending on the room.
The Insides:
False wall with a 55”x132” 2.4 CIH acoustically transparent screen.
Riser for a second set of seating. Riser built with 2x12's
Stage built with 2x10's
Star Ceiling
Soffits for lights
Wet bar at the back
Fabric walls

Equipment Room:
Will be located under the stairs and I’m running a 100amp sub panel to the location for everything to run off. I will also be moving all the networking gear to the same location. There will be other TV’s in the house and all of their associated equipment will be kept here as well. DVD storage will also be here.

Other Equipment: For speakers I will be using DIY for the front 3; the rear and surround will be from Triad (changed to DIY). Other than the speakers all of the equipment is to be determined.

An Aspen Woods Theater - Under Construction

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post #2 of 161 Old 03-22-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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This is what it was like before I started

Looking towards the rear.


Looking towards the front.


As you can see, that pole is almost in the center of the room

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post #3 of 161 Old 03-22-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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And this is what I have done so far.

From the rear corner looking toward the screen


Looking from outside the theater across the screen wall


Close up of the framing around the door opening in the staggered stud wall. I used my table saw to trim the lumber up to give me a space between the members.


Equipment closet



Anyone know where that red wire would go to? I think it's firewire. There is a wall above it but all it has is the doorbell and thermostat on it.

Over the next few weeks I will be finishing the framing and then starting the electrical.

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post #4 of 161 Old 03-22-2010, 08:03 PM
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Hey, I'm on your "inspiration" list, cool! I'll be watching your build now...

My "Old Vic" Theater Build
My 8 year old daughter: "are contractors the people that mess up your house for money?"
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post #5 of 161 Old 04-18-2010, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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So, over the past few weeks I have been working on the basement. When we built the house a 3 piece rough in was included in the basement. For a shower/tub drain this is what I was given.



So I marked everything out and using an old skill saw with a diamond blade I cut through the concrete.



Then, using a jack-hammer I rented from Home Depot, broke up the floor, and ran the plumbing. For anyone that hasn't ever used a jack-hammer, I highly recommend it, it is quite a bit of fun.



the finished product.



After that was all said and done I put DriCore down underneath where the bathroom was to go and framed the walls on top.



I still have a few soffits to frame and a dropped ceiling but the majority of the framing for the basement is now done. I will be moving on to electrical, plumbing and hvac next.

I have some questions, and need some advice on what to do about the electrical. I have figured out I need the following circuits for the theater:

2 circuits for general plugs (12 plugs) This includes an outlet for the star ceiling illuminator and one for the rope light
3 circuit for lights (16 3" halogen lights @ 50 watt, 8 sconces @ 100 watt, 1 pot light @ 125 watt)
1 circuit for projector, 3 TV boxes 2 DVD players and network things needing power (switches, routers etc.), 2 multi-chanel amplifiers and media storage device
These next amps are the biggest I would ever consider, however, I would like to be prepared for them in-case I do go with them.
2 20 amp circuits for Anthem P5
2 20 amp circuits Anthem P2 and a pro amp for the sub

So here are the questions:
1. Do I have enough circuits? am I missing anything?
2. Should I run all of this off a sub-panel that will be located in the equipment room or would it be easier to just run everything from the main panel? Would a 60 amp sub-panel be big enough?

Thanks for the help

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post #6 of 161 Old 04-19-2010, 07:57 AM
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10 circuits for the HT is a lot and I can't imagine you would need more. For comparison I have 5x20A and 1x15A in my build. You will likely want to feed the projector from a UPS (to allow bulb cool down in event of power outage) so may want to wire that up with a power bridge near your rack. As far as the sub panel or main panel question, it doesn't really matter so long as you have room for 10 circuit breakers and you don't overload it. Even if you use the double breakers you still need 5 cutouts -- do you have this much space left in the main panel? I'd go with a separate 125A sub panel.

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post #7 of 161 Old 04-19-2010, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Moggie, thanks for the reply,

I do have the room on in the panel. I think I'm going to forgo the sub-panel and just go off the main one. It's turing out to be more trouble than it's worth to go with the sub. At the moment I have a 100amp main panel, however, I have 200amp service from the curb. So if needed, I could always upgrade the main panel.

10 circuits does seem like a lot. I'll have to go through your thread again to see how you have your circuits run.

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post #8 of 161 Old 04-19-2010, 08:42 AM
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Basically I have 4x20A circuits to supply all the equipment in the rack (two off each phase), 1x15A circuit for the misc outlets in the theater and 1x20A circuit for all the lights (except star ceiling). I've put in a DIY powerbridge which will supply UPS power to the projector. Note that I don't have powered speakers/subs so didn't need significant power inside the theater itself. Also my lighting circuit will be pretty much maxed out with all lights at 100%. But when all is said and done it is probably better to overbuild at this stage since you are unlikely to want to rip down drywall in the future to add power.

Cheers!

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post #9 of 161 Old 04-20-2010, 06:31 AM
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Looks like a good build. I'll be watching, so keep the posts and especially the pics coming!
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post #10 of 161 Old 04-20-2010, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks sgolko, I will do my best. Just took a look at your thread, very nicely done. Do you find the DriCore Made a big difference to the temperature down there?

Figuring this electrical out is proving more challenging than I thought. I was planing out some circuits last night. I have 12 available slots on my main panel. I need 3 slots for 3 new circuits in the basement, outside the Home theater. I need 2 slots for the whole house surge protector. 1 slot for landscape lighting and 1 slot for future A/C. That's 7 of the 12 used for things other than the Home Theater so now I'm back to the decision of either using the half size breakers or running a sub-panel.

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post #11 of 161 Old 04-20-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie View Post

Hey, I'm on your "inspiration" list, cool! I'll be watching your build now...

+1

Me too!

The Zen Garden HT - Move Along...There is Nothing To See Here.
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post #12 of 161 Old 04-20-2010, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesB77 View Post

Thanks sgolko, I will do my best. Just took a look at your thread, very nicely done. Do you find the DriCore Made a big difference to the temperature down there?

Figuring this electrical out is proving more challenging than I thought. I was planing out some circuits last night. I have 12 available slots on my main panel. I need 3 slots for 3 new circuits in the basement, outside the Home theater. I need 2 slots for the whole house surge protector. 1 slot for landscape lighting and 1 slot for future A/C. That's 7 of the 12 used for things other than the Home Theater so now I'm back to the decision of either using the half size breakers or running a sub-panel.

Dricor definitely does make a difference. It is still quite a bit cooler down there than it is in the rest of the house (which isn't a bad thing necessarily). I am lacking enough heating vents down there though, and could really use a separate thermostat for the basement, but the dricor rooms are a lot warmer than the unfinished rooms without.

As for circuits, I think i only used 2, maybe 3 in the HT room. That being said, I should have used more, and I am not running amps for the speakers, just the AVR.
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post #13 of 161 Old 05-02-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Not a heck of a lot going on at the moment.
Finished securing the DriCore under where the bathroom is and started doing some electrical. I've also been finishing up the framing odds and ends.

I have also been working on a plan for the LV wiring. This is what I've come up with so far:

• Office - 40 ft length
o 2 Coax
o 2 Voice (Cat5e)
o 6 Data (Cat6)

• Living Room - 50 ft length
o 2 Coax
o 3 Data (Cat6)
o 1 IR (Cat6)
o 2 Speaker wire
o HDMI (1 HDMI + 2 Cat6)

• Family room 50 ft length
o 2 Coax
o 4 Data (Cat6)
o HDMI (4 Cat6 + 2 HDMI)
o Wire for 5.1
o 1 Data and 1 Voice near couch
o Run Conduit

• Spare Room 40 ft length
o 1 Voice
o 1 Data (Cat6)

• Theater
@ projector location
o 2 Coax
o 2 Data (Cat6)
o HDMI (4 Cat6 + 2 HDMI)
o Run Conduit

o Wire for 7.1
o 1 Voice
o 1 IR (Cat6)
o 1 Data
o Run Conduit

Is there anything I've missed?

In theaters like this where do people generally put their gaming systems (Wii, xbox, etc.) ?

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post #14 of 161 Old 05-08-2010, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I need some design help/ideas

I've been working on the layout of the room.



I think I have everything for the front part figured out but I just cant figure out what to do with the space behind the pole. It will be roughly 7'10" between the pole and the cabinets for the wet bar

I think I have 4 options:

Option 1: Table height counter on a riser with office chairs. Similar to what indygreg has done and Audixium has planned. This is the wife's least favorite option

Option 2: Bar height counter with bar stools

Option 3: Riser with additional seating. Only problems with this will be placing the seating so as not to have the view impeded by the pole. I will also have a very narrow space to walk behind the seats unless I put the wet bar on the riser as well.

Option 4: My wife suggested to just leave it open.

So, what do you guys think? Which is the best option?

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post #15 of 161 Old 05-08-2010, 12:21 PM
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I actually switched to "Option 2: Bar height counter with bar stools". Given that my ceilings are only 8' unfinished I figured a riser just wouldn't cut it for me. That area in my room is going to be more about the mingling anyway as opposed to four more people sitting down for an entire movie. Most of the use back there will be for sports (up for food/drink, mingle, down when a chair is open, etc).

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post #16 of 161 Old 05-09-2010, 08:24 AM
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Nice work so far. Keep up the good work!

In my theater, I am adding a low voltage outlet near the seating area for gaming systems or anything else I may want to plug in there in the future. It includes
1 HDMI cable
3 coax runs
2 cat 5 runs

I think you will have to decide whether or not this is important to you or not.

Also, that red wire that was posted in a photo I believe is for your doorbell drop for your basement. Depending upon the electrician that wired your house,they will do that during rough in, so it doesn't have to be fished in later.
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post #17 of 161 Old 05-09-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audixium View Post

I actually switched to "Option 2: Bar height counter with bar stools". Given that my ceilings are only 8' unfinished I figured a riser just wouldn't cut it for me. That area in my room is going to be more about the mingling anyway as opposed to four more people sitting down for an entire movie. Most of the use back there will be for sports (up for food/drink, mingle, down when a chair is open, etc).

I think this is the way I'm leaning as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davedavel View Post

Nice work so far. Keep up the good work!

In my theater, I am adding a low voltage outlet near the seating area for gaming systems or anything else I may want to plug in there in the future. It includes
1 HDMI cable
3 coax runs
2 cat 5 runs

I think you will have to decide whether or not this is important to you or not.

Also, that red wire that was posted in a photo I believe is for your doorbell drop for your basement. Depending upon the electrician that wired your house,they will do that during rough in, so it doesn't have to be fished in later.

Thanks. I think I will add something similar at the bottom of the pole. I will also add some computer hook-ups on the bar ledge.

Good to know about the doorbell. The existing one upstairs is right above this one.

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post #18 of 161 Old 07-14-2010, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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It has been a while since I updated this thread. Since it has been nice out time and money have both been diverted into the landscaping. The wife was tired of looking at dirt.

As such, not a lot has been going on in the basement. However, I was able to get in touch with bpape and had him do a room analysis for me. To get the acoustics right I need to do a few minor changes.



The biggest one is to make the length of the room shorter so that the inside drywall to drywall distance is 25'. So I have to build a new front wall 5" in front of the wall that is already there. Because I have that pole in the way I am going to lose some viewing distance. You may be wondering why I took the length off the front of the theater and not the back. There were a couple of reasons:
-I still need to maintain access to the electrical panel in the back corner of the room.
-I still need to have a door to access the equipment closet at the back of the room. Pulling this door forward a foot would make it really cramped in there.
So, to minimize the impact on the viewing distance I have reduced the room behind the screen from 30" to 24". This now gives me 12'9" from the screen to the pole and a viewing distance of about 11'9". I also may have to re-visit the size of my screen and check if it is too big.
The other small change is to move the door to the equipment room in by 4 inches.

Hopefully I can get going on this again soon.

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post #19 of 161 Old 07-19-2010, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I started this thread in the DIY section to get ideas for subs. From that came the following changes





The subs will be IB. In the first picture the red hatching represents the area for the IB. I have pushed the front wall in by 1 foot making the room now 24' long instead of 25' long. This now gives me more than enough room behind the screen for 4 15" drivers. I am right at the limit for being able to use 6 drivers so I think I will stick with 4 in-case things change when I'm building it and also because I was thinking of running the subs in stereo.

Since I have moved the wall forward I will now be placing my speakers in alcoves and will need to re-build the left and right speakers to a square version so that I can eliminate any gaps in the alcove. I'm kind of disappointed because I really liked the curved version but no-one will ever see them and it will give me a better end product, so it has to be done. Moving the wall forward has also allowed me to push the false wall back a bit and get my viewing distance back to about 12'.

I also started building the center channel

Stack of wood all cut


Mocked up

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post #20 of 161 Old 07-19-2010, 05:28 PM
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Oooh IB, should be fun. I wired for one, but had second thoughts, now thinking of a low profile THT instead to keep the neighbors from killing me. Someday maybe though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesB77 View Post

False wall with a 55x132 2.4 CIH acoustically transparent screen.

Did you mention what projector you're planning on using? The screen size made me wonder, since a lot of the current crop of projectors would have trouble filling that big a screen with an acceptable light output / image quality, but maybe you've found a good solution.
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post #21 of 161 Old 07-19-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't completely chosen one as of yet because I figure it will take about 2 years to build the room. If I was choosing one today I think I would go with the Panny AE-4000 with a lens.

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post #22 of 161 Old 08-22-2010, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I have started getting things ready to build the new front wall.



New speaker cabinets are being built as are the alcoves for them. You can also see a side for one of the manifolds here. In order to be able to get the recess routed I laminated the MDF and OSB of the sides together first. Then it was just a matter of cutting them to size and getting to work with the router.



Here are the 2 manifolds sitting on top of each other. Before I can build the new front wall I have to finish putting a layer of OSB on 3 sides of the manifolds and all the sides of the alcoves.

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post #23 of 161 Old 09-14-2010, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I need to start thinking about the HVAC for the HT, both in terms of sound isolation and what the theater needs to keep warm/cool. I have two main areas I need to seal with, the HT and the equipment closet.

I think the equipment closet is pretty straight forward with what it needs -- cooling. What I'm not quite sure about is how to accomplish this. Is it as simple as hooking up a fan to blow the air into the return air duct?

Here is what is currently in what will be the HT area:

Looking at the right sice of the screen wall, one supply here, there is also one opposit this on the left side that extends into the IB space.


Back left


Back right


Here was my plan;

Two supplies, one in the front left and one in the front right. I will keep them in the ceiling cavity until they get to the beam, then bring them inside acquarium with flexible duct which will be run inside soffits. The basement can get quite cool in the winter and I've always been under the impression that I should have the outlet close to the floor. Is this correct?

At the back of the room I have quite a bit going on. There is another supply, which I think will be removed, some of the joists are boxed in with metalic faced cardboard, I have a main supply trunk and a main return trunk and finally there are about six supplies running to the upper areas of the house.

The main supply and return trunks will be enclosed in a soffit and insulated and then the dd/gg added. Is this the best way to deal with the other supplies? Should I be looking for a specific duct liner or will the pink stuff do?

What about the silver cardboard return? Should I replace that with something that may reduce the sound transmission?

Finally, where would be the best place for the return for this room, and the best way to construct it so that I don't have sound escaping?

Thanks for the help.

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post #24 of 161 Old 11-28-2010, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Boy this is going slowly. I was able to make a bit more progress over the last few weeks.

I started by tearing down the front wall framing and insulation that was put in by the builder. This is what it looked like before. At the left is where it goes into the bay on the plans



Somehow I managed to lose a bunch of the construction photos. Anyway, I re-framed the front wall and cut the closet that was in the bay down to about half. Here is a look at the new space behind the front wall.



I have built alcoves to take the L/C/R so that I could recess them into the IB space a bit. This is what the new front wall looked like with the CC alcove mounted as well. The alcoves for the L/R are just sitting there, as are the IB manifolds.



Here is a pic test fitting the new speakers to get the heights right. It turns out I had set the CC height too low so had to re-frame that.



The new speakers all finished



And set in place with all the alcoves/manifolds on their bases:



I borrowed an idea from Moggie and set the alcoves and manifolds on mini stages. Each one is filled with sand.



I have also decided that I'm going to get rid of the pole that is in the middle of my room. I had an engineer come round and look at it and suggest a couple of options about how I could get rid of it. It Shouldn't be too difficult and in the end will open the room up and give me much more flexibility.

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post #25 of 161 Old 01-19-2011, 11:52 AM
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Those speakers look great.

Any updates?

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Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #26 of 161 Old 11-06-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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After about a year break I think it's time I started working on this again.

This is where the room stands now:



I've been in touch with Ted and a shipment of Green Glue, Whisper clips, Silentseal and DC04 clips is on it's way to me. My goal is to be hanging sheet-rock the first week in the new year.

A major decision I have taken over the last year is to take out that post. I would never have been happy with the room if I left it in. I had an engineer come out and spec out the size of channel needed to be able to support the load of the above two floors.
This is what I was needed.


Those are C21x20.7 at about 17'. I figure each one is about 360lbs. Getting them into the basement should be interesting.

Before I can put the channels up I need to get some things moved around the beam.


On the right is a main drain, on the left a gas line. I have plumbers coming tomorrow to move each of them 6" away from the beam as well as do the other plumbing and HVAC in the basement.

An Aspen Woods Theater - Under Construction

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post #27 of 161 Old 11-06-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesB77 View Post

A major decision I have taken over the last year is to take out that post. I would never have been happy with the room if I left it in. I had an engineer come out and spec out the size of channel needed to be able to support the load of the above two floors.
This is what I was needed.

Best move thus far.

-----------------------------------------------
Chase "Fetch"


Current Theater Build
 

New House Build

 

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post #28 of 161 Old 11-08-2011, 12:31 PM
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Looking great - Those speakers look great - the Seas Excel are nice drivers. What drivers are you using for the IB's?
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post #29 of 161 Old 11-08-2011, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'm using the same as you I think. 4 of the Fi Audio 18" IB3's. I meant to aks you - are there any rooms above your theater? Can you hear anything from the IB?

An Aspen Woods Theater - Under Construction

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post #30 of 161 Old 11-08-2011, 12:49 PM
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Yes I have a family room and kitchen area above the theater. You can hear the subwoofer outside the theater but I do still have some soundproofing things left to do. If I really crank up the subwoofer it will vibrate tables, chairs and anything else on the main floor that isn't nailed down and no amount of soundproofing is going to stop all the bass from 4 18" subs. That being said, I have been working down in the theater late into the night with music playing quite loud and have not had any complaints or requests to turn it down. The bedrooms are all separated by the main floor, so I do not think I am going to have any problems with noise reaching the sleeping kids. I am very happy with the results of the soundproofing I have taken so far.
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