Dixon's Jam Room Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am finally getting around to posting pics of my room. I can't really call this a build thread per se, as the room is essentially completed. That said, I will post the pics in a series that will hopefully provide some benefit to those who prefer seeing a project in chronological order.

Let me start by saying that I had been hesitant to post pics due to the incredible rooms (many professionally done) that are posted here every day. I am absolutely thrilled with my room, but it is not in the same league as the pro rooms (obviously), and falls well short of many of the better DIY projects. This forum is a lot of fun, but it is also humbling.

Finally, I want to give a big thank you to the many folks on this forum (especially the pros like Dennis and Ted) that offer their time and advice to all of us for free. I realize this forum may serve as a great business generator for them, but that doesn't diminish the fact that they freely provide advice to everyone on the board without reservation. My room benefited from substantial input from Ted and John at The Soundproofing Company, and I got a lot of other great tips from the participants on this forum, either directly, or by stealing ideas from their pics (it is for this last reason that I feel an obligation to share pics of my room). I started spending time on AVSForum back in 2001 when I was trying to decide on my first plasma television--I got great advice then from Rogo, RHarkness, RichB, MarkRubin and countless others over in the plasma area. Let's just say I have come a long way from that 42 Fujitsu.

The Room

My room was done as part of a whole house renovation (house was from the 20s). I can't call this a DIY project because my contractor did the construction work, but I did all the design of the theater space (with input from Ted and others around here). My contractor offered suggestions along the way, but figured out quickly that I was getting good advice from others, so he was always willing to follow my instructions.

I play and collect guitars (not high end vintage stuff by any means, but the guitars all mean something to me) and I wanted a room that would serve multiple purposes: (1) it needed to be a room where my family could watch movies and sporting events, (2) it needed to allow me a place to display and play my guitars and (3) it needed to be functional for having others over to play and record music.

I am still trying to decide on recording gear for the room, so that is not yet installed. I also need to acoustically treat the room, but decided to live in it for a bit and then bring in someone qualified to help me optimize the room based on how I was using the space.

The ceilings in the room were low, and the basement floor was uneven, so the first thing we did was bust out the existing concrete floor, dig down about 5 inches (we didn't want to push our luck on the footings) and pour a new level floor.

Here are a couple pics of the basement level during the floor removal. As you can see, it is a walkout basement in the back, and the entire back of the house was opened up for the renovation. That made the work much easier





The first shot below shows where they were digging out to place plumbing drain lines and underground HVAC ducts. The second shot is essentially the theater room space, taken from where the back of the room would be (looking toward the screen wall). The steel post and support beam on the right in the second shot mark where the side wall of the room will be.





Finally, here is a shot right after they poured the new floor (it wasn't yet smoothed out)




More to come soon
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post #2 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 01:16 PM
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Wow...cant wait to see how this one comes together.

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post #3 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Once we had the floor in place, we turned to the soundproofing. I used the classic room-within-a-room construction. We used double stud walls on the back and right side walls (since they were shared walls), and a single stud wall on the front and left sides where there was rock foundation. All the walls were installed/decoupled with DC04 clips from Ted. The ceiling was decoupled using whisper clips and hat channel.

This first pic shows the DC04 clips in action. You can also see where we have created blocking up in the joist cavities. This allowed us to plan for a level ceiling once the hat channel for the ceiling went up. It also allowed us to cheat the blocking up about an inch, and run the hat channel parallel to the joist. By doing this we saved about an inch of ceiling height we would have otherwise lost due to the whisper clips.



A wider shot (you can see one of the HVAC supplies coming up through the floor)



The hat channel starts to go up. Rest assured that when we were finished we made certain the hat channel was well clear of any part of the framing above.





One of the big challenges for the room was the HVAC. Because I planned to have my guitars in the room, humidity control was very important. At the same time, I wanted to limit flanking of sound through shared vents etc. I also became concerned, after reading several of Dennis' posts, about having enough air in the room.

Ultimately we decided to add a stand-alone dedicated zone for the room (originally the basement and half the first floor were going to share a zone). We used a large two-speed unit to allow for humidity/dehumidification control. We added a Honeywell whole house humidifier and we used a Honeywell VisionPro thermostat to maintain a fairly constant humidity level. The room is 23x13.5x7.5, so with three supplies the room manages to stay quite comfortable. None of the supplies or the return for the room is shared with any other room. Fortunately the mechanical room was directly on the other side of the rock foundation wall in the theater, so we did not have to address multiple flanking paths and could run everything straight in and out. I still need to replace some of the return duct with flexible acoustic duct (fortunately it is in the open in the mechanical room), as I sometimes hear our HEPA filter kick on.


More later
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post #4 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 04:40 PM
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Wow that looks like a big job! Can't wait to see the end result good luck!

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post #5 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Insulation going in. Notice the whisper clips and hat channel on the side of the support beams. Per Ted's suggestion, we used that approach to decouple the beams--the stud wall was set such that we will have a square wall when the drywall goes up. Although it is hard to tell in the pics, the stud wall sits about 1/2 below the beam itself, so there is no inadvertent contact there.

This view is looking at the right wall from the back toward the front. The closer of the two doors is the entrance to the room, while the far door is the entrance into the equipment/media storage room. I soundproofed the equipment room as well, but still used 1-3/4 solid core doors with weather seal in both places. The equipment room also has its own HVAC supply, so it keeps it reasonably cool in there (frankly, the door is open to that room most of the time anyway).



Looking from the front of the room toward the back. Again, we have the microlam decoupled with clips and hat channel. I decided to do three layers of 1/2 drywall on the ceiling and walls, so I used a 1/2 piece of plywood on the ceiling where the projector will mount.



Drywall is next
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post #6 of 79 Old 07-23-2010, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
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First layer of drywall up. As you can see, we used 1/2" plywood around the top of the side and back walls. Because we were going with three layers, we felt this would give us a good base for hanging speakers and the display cases going up on the walls. The black wires hanging down from the ceiling are for track lights. After a lot of back and forth I decided the mini track lights would be the best option as a soundproofing matter, and would also provide the most versatile lighting options for my wall cases



All three layers of drywall and green glue up--screenwall framing underway!! Obviously I stole from others.



This pic shows the framing detail. When I showed my carpenters how I was planning to do my beveled fabric frames (following GPowers' approach), they suggested that they mimic that same beveled look around the screenwall outer frame. This gave us a clean edge for the fabric panels to fit into, and created a great looking detail



As my carpenters started on shelves in the equipment room, we decided together to build a rack with adjustable shelves (I think my carpenters were more into the build than I was!!). They did a great job on the rack--I love having all that room to get behind it



Here is the screenwall fully framed out. The frames for my fabric frames are in place (with shims to allow for the fabric to come). We put duct liner on the back wall to tame reflections.



That's it for now. More tomorrow.
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post #7 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Choosing paint colors is always a challenge. I went with dark olive walls and a chocolate brown ceiling. The quality of the pic below is pretty poor--sorry, hadn't upgraded my camera at that point. The walls were done with a faux technique that gave the paint a bit of a textured look (although the walls are smooth). Future pics will show the color better. As you can see, I went with black mini track lights as opposed to recessed lights.



Now the real fun starts. Here is the frame for my 110 Studiotek 130 screen getting ready to go up. I may one day reconfigure my screenwall for an AT 2:35 screen, but for now I am really happy with the 16:9 Studiotek. As you can also see in the pic below, we went with a brown shag on the floor. My wife really wanted it (she loved 70's retro for that space and wanted a plush carpet for when the kids and their friends are laying on the floor watching movies). In fairness, I ended up liking it much more than I expected.



This is a shot of the HDMI/RCA plate I put on the front of the screenwall. Allows for quick and easy hook up of gaming consoles, computers, etc that we add to the room for a special event--otherwise the gaming is done in the kids playroom. I highly recommend having a plate like this on the screenwall, or in some other easy-access location. BTW--we did add another coat of paint to the screenwall



A quick shout out to GPowers to say thank you for your fabric frame theater thread. I loved the look of your beveled frames, and went with that clean look for my screenwall. Here is a shot of one of the frames I was about to staple up (using black 701 GM fabric).



A detail shot of the joint of the frame with the beveled trim on the screenwall.







I will try to get the rest of the pics posted today, since so far they are not gathering much interest
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post #8 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 07:44 AM
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Diggin' it ... keep those photos coming!

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post #9 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Will do. Pulling the next set together. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak at the fabric detail on the screenwall (and you can see my rack back in the equipment room). As this pic confirms, I basically ripped off everybody else's ideas


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post #10 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok thenmoving right along

This was a fun day at the job site--my new speakers arrived. I decided to go with the Niles StageFront Pro2770 for the L/C/R speakers, and the Pro770FX surrounds for the sides and back. I had a set of Energy AC300s and RVSS side surrounds that I was replacing. For the money, back in 1999 or so, those Energys were a great surround set. I had heard the Niles and, after hearing them demo'd in my room, decided they were a good option for me.





A close up of the 2770 and the 770FX







Hey, that packing material made a handy little stand for my center speaker location


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post #11 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I am doing acoustic treatments later, but I figured some bass trapping on the front wall was a good idea for now. For space reasons, we had these cut a bit smaller than the ideal size, but I think they helped. Here is a pic of one the guys cutting the 703 (a wonderful favor, as this wasn't really part of the reno)





A shot of the screen wall with the corners stuffed (you can also see we have hung the projector--a Panasonic 3000)





Another shot after tacking up some of the 701 fabric to keep the fibers in, and to make sure the lights in the room didn't shine through the fabric frames and reflect off that 703 back there. Obviously I wasn't too worried about appearance, since it is all behind the fabric panels.







Next up--the equipment room!!
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post #12 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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One of my favorite things in the entire space is the roomy equipment/media storage room that connects to the theater. The room was fully soundproofed with the same decoupling and three layers of drywall/GG as the theater. The simple rack that my carpenters built for me allows me ample space in front of the rack to walk in and load movies, etc, and just as easily walk around to the back to change a connection, etc. For those of us in the habit of tweaking our setup and changing out equipment, that is a real luxury.

Here is a shot of the rack (the lighting adjustment from the camera makes it look a bit rougher than it appears in person). It is very sleek in real life.





A view of the back after I hooked it all up for the first time--and before wire management cleanup. As you can see, I have a lot of unused wires coming out of the walls. These are future proof speaker homeruns from throughout the house, extra security camera wiring for additional camera locations, extra cat5 runs and extra HDMI runs. I was baffled as to how I was going to create a fairly neat hookup and neatly store these extra wires.





The Solution!!! These simple wiremate boxes were exactly what I needed. They allowed me to store the extra wiring neatly inside the box, and run what I needed out to my system. I highly recommend these for those of you (like me) that are just trying to tidy up the mess




Here is a shot (distorted a bit by my camera lens) of the equipment room media storage. I love having all this space






Taking a break--but the next set of pics will start taking the lid off the rest of the room. Let me know what you think so far!!
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post #13 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 10:37 AM
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Amazing transformation. That basement was ROUGH before. Everything looks great!
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post #14 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegetto View Post

Amazing transformation. That basement was ROUGH before. Everything looks great!

Thanks. The entire home renovation was a real lesson on what can be done with a good architect and a quality builder. Watching how they demo the house to the point that it looks like it is going to collapse on itself, and then bring it back better than ever, was amazing--and frankly, a lot of fun. Everyone told me that a gut renovation of the house would be the most painful thing we ever did. I actually had a blast doing it.

More pics this afternoon.
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post #15 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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As I mentioned in the first post, one of the primary uses of the space is as my guitar room. The pic below shows three of my cases going up on the wall.





Here is a full room shot after the guitar display cases went up, the lights were all in, and our Ekornes Jazz recliners arrived (please ignore the ugly tan chairs--those were temporary until we found small couches for the side walls). The Jazz chairs are perfect for our needs, as they are very comfortable for movie watching, can swivel around to face the music gear in the back, and have low enough arms to be used for playing guitar as well.






Our first movie in the room (also known as the obligatory screen shot)




Completed (well almost) photos next
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post #16 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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The following pics are current photos of the room. We went with the small couch and loveseat on the side walls rather than theater type seating. My family likes to crash on the couches or sprawl out with big pillows on the floor. The couches also create a nice space for having a few fellow guitar players over to sit around and play.

I still need to put a few more displays/guitar hangers up, but I am holding off until (1) I decide how I want to configure my recording space in the back and (2) I decide what acoustic treatments to add in the room.


Here is a shot of the room as you enter from the hallway






Same entrance view with the Jazz chairs spun around for a playing session in the back of the room





A couple shots of the back of the room, which is where the recording area eventually will be set up (and probably some back wall treatments added)







A view from the back of the room toward the screenwall


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post #17 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a view from the front of the room toward the back





Two final shots from the back to front, showing each side of the room







I had a great time putting this room together, and there is still much to do to optimize its performance. Again, a big shout out to Ted and John at the Soundproofing Company for all their input, and to all of you for sharing your ideas on this forum. The list of errors in my room is no doubt endless, but I am loving it and will continue to improve and share it.

Please let me know what you think--that is the whole point of sharing
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post #18 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 03:29 PM
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Bloody brilliant! Love it!

I'd love to hear the stories about some of the guitars you've got there. I bet with the right amp some of those axes can even get all the way up to "11"!





I'm sure there will be some great times to be had in that room!

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post #19 of 79 Old 07-24-2010, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanesian View Post

I'd love to hear the stories about some of the guitars you've got there. I bet with the right amp some of those axes can even get all the way up to "11"!

Thanks for the kind words Hanesian. There is most definitely a story with several of those guitars, and those pointy ones saw "11" more than a few times in my youth.
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post #20 of 79 Old 07-25-2010, 08:09 AM
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Fantastic build!
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post #21 of 79 Old 07-25-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic build!

Thanks Chadci. Appreciate the feedback.
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post #22 of 79 Old 07-26-2010, 07:01 AM
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Dixon the space is great! You are right it is not a dedicated area but that room works both ways! I would love to see some jam pictures.
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post #23 of 79 Old 07-26-2010, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment. It is the one room in the house that even my wife generally accepts as "Dad's room", so I guess you can call it "dedicated" in that way.
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post #24 of 79 Old 07-26-2010, 09:07 PM
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awesome build my friend now i am as motivated as ever to get my theater started

id you hire contractors? or did you do them on your own. if you did im in awe dude wish i can hire you as my contractor
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post #25 of 79 Old 07-26-2010, 09:50 PM
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Excellent multi-use space...does a little bit of a lot of things very well! A closer pic of the LP would have been nice.
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post #26 of 79 Old 07-27-2010, 05:47 AM
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Great space. Makes me want to pull my drums out of the closet.
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post #27 of 79 Old 07-27-2010, 06:01 AM
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Wow, nice - love the look

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post #28 of 79 Old 07-27-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammywantsya View Post

awesome build my friend now i am as motivated as ever to get my theater started

id you hire contractors? or did you do them on your own. if you did im in awe dude wish i can hire you as my contractor

Thanks. This was done as part of a gut reno of our entire house, so I had a contractor and some great subs doing all the construction work. I did all the design for this room--which essentially means I negotiated the size of the room with my wife during the reno design (versus the size of other rooms in the basement), worked out a sound proofing plan with Ted and John, designed the screenwall (copied from others), selected the lighting approach, selected the colors, set out the equipment room layout, etc. I wrapped the fabric panels and installed (with my AV guy) the screen, projector and other equipment. Just enough to feel like I did something (when I really didn't)

I had a blast doing it, and just accepted that I was making compromises given the multi-use approach.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Excellent multi-use space...does a little bit of a lot of things very well! A closer pic of the LP would have been nice.

Thanks for the comment--it definitely improves our room utilization since we have different ways to enjoy the space.

I was wondering when the guitar crowd was going to start asking for better pics of the guitars My photography skills are lacking, and I always manage to wash out the guitars in the pics. The lighting really isn't that severe--just reacts to the camera settings. I will see if I can get some improved shots.



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Great space. Makes me want to pull my drums out of the closet.

Get 'em out. Great stress reliever Then again, you have one of the nicest theaters I have seen, so put the drums somewhere else Thanks.


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Wow, nice - love the look

Thanks. Appreciate the comments.
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post #29 of 79 Old 07-28-2010, 12:15 PM
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Love the "theme" of the room! Nice to see a space that's so personalized. Makes me want to rethink the direction of my own room, but...alas, I'm not creative enough.

I played a little guitar myself until a tablesaw "modified" my fingers a bit. I switched over to piano, and actually have a P120 like the one in your photos. I can still do piano a bit, but the learning curve is too steep for an old dog I'm afraid.

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post #30 of 79 Old 07-29-2010, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tony. The great thing about playing an instrument is that you can enjoy it even if your chops aren't what they used to be--so keep at the piano.

Whether anyone else is enjoying my playing is another matter. Good thing the soundproofing worked out well
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