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post #1 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, we're building a new home shortly and have set aside the bonus on top the 3 car garage as a dedicated theater. I hope to get some feedback on anything that can make my build better without bringing the cost way up

The dimensions are 15'9"x21'8"x8' ceiling with side walls @ 7'2" slanting up to 8' rather quickly. I'm hoping to do a pretty low budget build because this is my first dedicated theater. This is what i have so far.




Sound isolation should pose a minor issue. The theater sits in a bonus room on top of the garage, the screen wall goes to the exterior, the side walls goes into the attic trusses. The problem is the back wall connects to a bedroom, i plan to stagger stud this wall and fill with insulation, hopefully that will be enough.

NOTE: That is master chief in my seats

There is also a small bonus area by the window that i plan to wall off and leave a hidden door. This will house my equipment and also be a fire escape.




My budget theater will consist of:
DIY 120" canvas screen (need to build)
Mitsu HC3800 (already own)
Onkyo rc260 (already own)
HTPC (already own)
Front LR - Boston Acoustic vr965 (already own)
Center and Surrounds - monoprice in-walls (need to buy)




I have small 12" bass traps in all 4 corners, the upper side corners are angled due to the attic truss. The black columns are 2" fiberglass panels.

A couple of questions:
Is it advisable to have the in-wall speakers inside the fiberglass panels?
The same goes for the wall sconces on the fiberglass panels?
Is 4 wall sconces enough lighting or do i need more?

Any advice would be much appreciated, I've been reading the forums for months now and i still feel like i know nothing lol. The house will probably be built in three months and the builders will allow us to go in to do the low voltage wiring before the drywall goes up.
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 03:25 AM
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Quote:


i plan to stagger stud this wall and fill with insulation, hopefully that will be enough.

Nope. Master Chief will not be happy. When the Master Chief is not happy, well, you know what happens then ... scraping rust and gray paint.

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post #3 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 04:31 AM
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Ahem. What Dennis means is that in addition to stagger studs and insulation you will need 2 layers of 5/8" sheetrock with Green Glue inbetween to get more sound isolation. You will also get some flanking sound leaking out because you're not treating the other walls.

Is that correct Dennis?

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 05:04 AM
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Any strategy to isolate the two rooms begins with how the two are connected at the floor and ceiling. If these two points are worst case scenerios (joists and basic subfloor continuous across the junction) then changing the partition wall structure will have no apparent effect on STC values. In that case the strategy needs to include a floor topping such as osb or concrete for any improved wall structure to have any effect. If the floor and ceiling have ideal separation from the shared wall (parallel joists, non-continuous sub-floor/ceiling) then a double insulated wall employing resilient channel and green glue would provide best isolation for little extra cost. Whether staggered or double wall is employed double layers of drywall on both sides sandwiched with green glue and attached to studs via a channel is paramount for best STC values.
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 10:00 AM
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DO NOT EVER EVER EVER AGAIN USE THE TERM "STC" IN THE CONTEXT OF A HOME THEATER!

Yelling over.

Quote:


Is that correct Dennis?

Aye, Captain that is correct, Aye, sir.

The current plan will have very close to no effect at all (except on the wallet).

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post #6 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 10:12 AM
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Little prickly around the edges I see, replace STC with increased levels of soundproofing if that's more suitable in a theater application.
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 10:20 AM
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I would recommend getting a closer match for you center speaker - not as important with the surrounds.
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

There is also a small bonus area by the window that i plan to wall off and leave a hidden door. This will house my equipment and also be a fire escape.

If it is a hidden door, it is NOT a fire escape (a fire escape needs to be well marked).

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post #9 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

Sound isolation should pose a minor issue.

You are missing a 'not' in this sentence. The phrases 'sound isolation' and 'minor issue' don't belong in the same sentence unless they are separated by the work 'not'. Just ask Dennis...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

The theater sits in a bonus room on top of the garage, the screen wall goes to the exterior, the side walls goes into the attic trusses. The problem is the back wall connects to a bedroom, i plan to stagger stud this wall and fill with insulation, hopefully that will be enough.

You'll need to do some research; sound isolation has to be addressed as a whole, you can't just look at one wall.

The way to think about sound isolation is to think of the sound in your room like the water in an aquarium. The six surfaces in your room (walls, floor, and ceiling) are like the 5 walls of the aquarium. If there is a leak in any of the walls in the aquarium the water will get out - the same applies to the sound in your room. Soundproofing one wall in your room as a means of isolation is like building an aquarium with only one wall.

If you are seriously concerned about sound isolation there are several build threads you can read here, as well as some web sites that explain the concepts at a high level. There are also a couple of companies that you can hire to come up with a plan that has enough information for a DIY person to follow and get good results. You don't need to hire someone, but hiring someone to create a plan for you will save you from doing A TON a research and several costly mistakes. If you want to go that route, there are several build threads that mention hiring someone to come up with a plan for them.

Just to give you an idea of what is involved - sound isolation isn't just about how you build the walls. You also have to consider the doors, ventilation, wiring and lighting.

Chris

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post #10 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the advice guys. i'm glad i posted here while the house is in planning stages, i can avoid costly change orders.

i'm on a pretty tight budget and when i said that sound isolation was a minor issue, i meant that there were no babies on top or below the theater and it is my own bedroom next door

i can probably get the drywall subcontractor to install hat channels on all 4 walls and the ceiling for minimal cost. the builder says the garage is "insulated", but i'm not sure if that includes fiberglass fill in the ceiling (the floor of the theater).
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post #11 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

thanks for all the advice guys. i'm glad i posted here while the house is in planning stages, i can avoid costly change orders.

i'm on a pretty tight budget and when i said that sound isolation was a minor issue, i meant that there were no babies on top or below the theater and it is my own bedroom next

i can probably get the drywall subcontractor to install hat channels on all 4 walls and the ceiling for minimal cost. the builder says the garage is "insulated", but i'm not sure if that includes fiberglass fill in the ceiling (the floor of the theater).

Since the garage isn't heated or cooled I would imagine you would have insulation in the floor. That will do little to prevent sound transmission. The Soundproofing Company suggest these solutions:

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/...oise_ceilings/

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #12 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 03:00 PM
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Hughman ... there was no evil intent intended ... sorry.

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post #13 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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i'm not too worried about sound transmission to the garage, only the transmission to the next room.

would having resilient channels all around the theater and the wall connecting from the bedroom help isolate 80% of the sound? i'm not looking for a perfect solution, just something cost effective.

also, what do you guys think of flipping the layout:




this throws the speakers and seats off center though, but it will allow me to hide my fronts behind the screen. this will also free up the "fire escape" and allow me to use my polk cs2 as a center which will probably match the boston's better.

again, thanks for all input. i'm still a newb lol

edit: oops, forgot to move the projector
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post #14 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

thanks for all the advice guys. i'm glad i posted here while the house is in planning stages, i can avoid costly change orders.

I trust my transgression into STC ratings didn't confuse things too much which, as far as I can tell, do not affect the hierarchy of effective sound isolation building techniques discussed. You can peruse many very informative sound isolation papers and recommendations on "National Research Council Canada" website. Graphs are sometimes used to depict effectiveness of products/configurations by assigning transmission loss data in dB vs frequency, sometimes a simple STC number is assigned, and sometimes both are used. You'll quickly note how a graph has the potential to offer more relevant information than the single STC number. One of the shortcomings of STC is that it does not test below 125hz which will likely be of concern for those interested in improving sound isolation in this frequency range.

As it turns out when I discussed isolating the Cinema (note the wording coercion has compelled me to use) from the rest of the house with my kids they informed me they really enjoyed hearing/feeling the bass when I played music at night as it helped them sleep better and to leave the bass as it is.

Here's a couple National Research Council papers you may find interesting/educational.

http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do...r761/ir761.pdf

http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do...r219/rr219.pdf
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post #15 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Hughman ... there was no evil intent intended ... sorry.

It's cooled, perhaps I was overly sensitive this morning due to nursing a mouse under my eye about the size of rat after being attacked by a tree last night.
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post #16 of 25 Old 11-01-2010, 04:48 PM
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A couple of things that I see, especially in the second rendition, is that your speakers are not seperated enough for that wide of a row. Also, your chairs closest to the wall are getting a bit too close, you'll end up picking up boundary gain. If you go with the secondary drawing, your treatment locations will change. Also, be careful of the treatment strategy behind the rear row. If you are going to bother dealing with sound isolation, then I would highly suggest paying attention to the way the room will sound inside as well. One thing I would like to say about sound isolation is that if you are going to do it, then it needs to be done right as there isn't an in beween. Also, I would be a bit concerned with where you are placing the rack, and what appears to be no barrier between the room and rack room. Is sound isolation about sound leaving the room, or is it about maintaining a quiet room? Hope this helps to some degree. BTW, the robots are cool! Best wishes!

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post #17 of 25 Old 11-02-2010, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Hughman for the links, i've read through some of that research and have come to a tentative plan.

For my needs, i'm not too worried about total sound isolation (right now i watch in a room by my furnace and anything will be quieter than that lol). i'm actually more worried about sound treatment within the room to get a flatter response. i've decided that the most cost effective way to get decent stc is to double layer drywall+hat channels. This won't cost me too much because i play golf with the drywall subcontractor that will be working on my house . See image:




Also i've thought of a different room orientation:




Using the room width-wise will give me a side entrance into the room and a side entrance into the equipment closet. This will also address the issue that SierraMikeBravo brought up about boundary gain. My fronts will also get 36" of space from the side walls. It will also simplify my seats because i won't need to build a riser. i've also replaced the wall height treatment with half wall height 1" around the side and back wall. The front wall with have 2" rigid fiberglass. The 4 corners also get to have bigger bass traps in this configuration.

Please tell me what u guys think
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post #18 of 25 Old 11-02-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunade2k4 View Post

...i've decided that the most cost effective way to get decent stc is to double layer drywall+hat channels.

I would suggest attaching the channel 24" OC

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post #19 of 25 Old 11-02-2010, 07:51 AM
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Hi tsunade,

I like the first rendition you had, but I would consider putting less seating. A good rule of thumb is to not try and fit 10 lbs. into a 5lb. box. Regarding treatment, there a multitude of ways to get a flat response (although we try and aim for more of a house curve). The way we do it is to use a combination of treatment and parametric EQ. There is the sterile scientific approach to treatment, and then there is the more artistic approach to get the sound we are trying to achieve while still addressing the problematic elements. You're on the right track...keep chugging along!! Best wishes!

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post #20 of 25 Old 11-02-2010, 02:31 PM
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It's looking a whole lot better. Don't forget the Green Glue between the layers of sheetrock. It is a product that gives you a whole lot of noise reduction for you money.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #21 of 25 Old 11-12-2010, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, haven't been able to update this thread lately, been working a lot. Finalizing some plans with my builder, I think we'll be able to break ground soon.

So I've layed out a new set up and gave the room some design. I'm hoping to get a japanese look by making my sound panels and bass traps look like shoji.

I've decided to keep it simple and have 2 zones of lights. 3 cans in front on one dimmer and 4 sconces on the side and rear on one dimmer.

Also, we plan to use this speaker as an in-wall center behind an AT screen (made of phifer4500)

http://store.audioholics.com/product...n-wall-speaker

Here are some new pictures





As always, any comments are welcome.
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post #22 of 25 Old 11-15-2010, 10:23 AM
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I like the 'wide' approach you are using, but this new layout has a potential problem with the floor standing speakers. With the door in it's currently location, when you enter the room you'll be walking straight towards the speaker. Also, in the new orientation you will need to treat the doors to address first reflection points.

What made you flip the room around from the previous version? Having the doors beside/behind the seats seemed like a much better plan to me.

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post #23 of 25 Old 11-17-2010, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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There was a few reasons why we decided to flip the room. First, with the seats in the doorway we felt that the room would look cramped when you first walked in, the new orientation makes it so that you walk into a wide open space. Second, the doors got in the way of where the side surround speakers need to be positioned. Third, not having the seats in the way also provided a clear path to the equipment closet.

Regarding the first reflection points, I believe it is most evident in the midpoint between the LCR and the listener, which would put it beyond the doorways.

For now we're trying to save some money by using the Boston Acoustic towers, but in the future we may put 2 more Atlantic Tech in-walls as the main left and rights along with a dedicated sub. We are just using the BA's powered 8" woofers to cover the low end right now.

Also, does 7.1 matter? It seems like 5.1 is plenty right now because most Blurays don't even have 8 channels of audio.
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post #24 of 25 Old 11-18-2010, 09:23 AM
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Sounds like you have good reason for the flip. At least you are thinking ahead.

As for the 5.1 vs. 7.1, I have never been in a 7.1 HT, so can't comment.

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post #25 of 25 Old 11-28-2010, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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So, we've decided to go with five AT IWCB 52's to cover the speakers in a 5.1 setup. We couldn't pass up the deal that they had on audioholics ($150 each with the grille).

Now we're stuck choosing a sub. I'm hoping to spend approximately $200. The BIC America F12 seems nice, but I would like some opinions. We probably would use our room for 70% movies, 30% music. Although I prefer tight bass over loud rumbling bass.

Thanks.
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