Rockbridge Cinema (AKA Big Frank's Basement Theater) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 96 Old 11-29-2010, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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*Update*  The theater is nearly complete and is only waiting on a couple of items before I consider it finished.  These include the permanent mounting of the surround speakers (they are currently sitting on TV tables) and the finishing touches on the screen wall.  


Here is a shot of the theater in its current state:

700

 

*Older text follows*

 

I originally started this thread about 2 years ago. Since then, almost no work on the basement has been done.  My SO and I *significantly* underestimated the amount of time two very young children take up.  

 

Since we really want the spaces we've planned for the basement and want them before our kids our in college, any ideas about DIYing this build have been put aside in favor of hiring someone to do it.  So we've talked to a bunch of contractors and settled one one.    Things are now in progress - and are actually moving a bit faster than I intended!  I'm having trouble figuring everything I need to know so I can ensure they do the right things.   

 

For the HT part of things, they've never done a soundproofing job (at least not to the extent we're dealing with) so I had them talk to John Hile and Ted White.  They did so and they seem to have a decent grasp of things. 

 

I'm going to start updating this thread regularly with new stuff (theres alot to share) but I wont bore you too much with the other basement stuff (its all fairly standard remodel) but the HT stuff will get documented here.

 

 

Current Specs for home theater:

 

HT is in a fully light controlled basement area.  No windows (they've been covered over with wall).  The HT area is about 12'x21' after DD and a false wall for the AT screen

 

Room within a room construction (walls separate from foundation on exterior and double wall where shared with the rest of the basement)  with DD, GG, IB3 clips and Whisper Clips for ceiling.    Two dead vents - one for intake and one for return.

 

Screen is a 120" wide CIH AT screen from Jamestown Home Theater using Seymour Centerstage XD material, 7.1 speaker system (with wiring to support 11.2 in future)

I want to have 2 rows of 3 seats each  with a stage and riser.

 

Equipment:

 

Receiver:       Denon 4311CI 

Blu-Ray:        Oppo BDP-93

Projector:      Panasonic AE8000U

Speakers      MFW-15 subwoofer (already acquired)

                     7 x Chase SHO-10

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------------

***** Original Thread Start Follows *****

 

Okay, so I just bought a new house with a large unfinished basement. My significant other & I have plans to turn this unfinished area into additional living area for the house. This will be comprised of 4 basic elements.

1) a walkup egress
2) a woodworking workshop
3) a recreational area for the kids/family
4) a Dedicated Home theater.

I've got measured drawings of the basement with the workshop location pretty much set in stone (its location was necessitated by where the walkup could be placed) the recreational area (which is going to be a kids play area for many years to come) is laid out more or less and I am now at the point where I have to start deciding on the design elements of the theater area. I am planning to try and do as much of the work myself as possible in order to save money. The end-goal being the best performing theater and as much sound isolation as monetarily reasonable.

My thoughts so far are that the screen will be on the north wall (to the right of the foyer). I am thinking that the screen will be a 2.35:1 fixed frame AT screen hung on a false wall of AT black material. There will be a stage with at least one step.
Seating will consist of two rows of seats, the rear row will be on a riser.
I would like to go for Berkline seating I think.... Preferrably 4 seats with a loveseat configuration in the center for the front row and either 3 or 4 seats in the second row.

Note that there are 2 circuit boxes (one is for a back-up generator) in the south west corner (see the images). There is ducting etc on the cieling which I doubt can be re-routed along with a I beam which definitely CANNOT be re-routed. Luckily the basement is a relatively luxurious 13 course (about 8.5 feet). Unfortunately this probably brings the finished ceiling down to somewhere between 7 - 7'8".

I am thinking that sound isolation will consist of the east wall being stagger studded. All walls in the theater will have DD/GG with RSIC clips and channel for the ceiling.

I will try to upload some photos of the theater area ASAP.

I'm starting out with some equipment that I plan on reusing:

2x Definitive BP20's speakers for the fronts
1 Definitive C1 center channel speaker
2 Definitive BP1X surround speakers
(probably I'll purchase 2 more of these)
1 AV123 MFW-15 subwoofer

I have a receiver and blu-ray player in use upstairs which I will probably leave so I will need to acquire new ones.

I am currently leaning towards the Panasonic AE4000U projector and an AT 2.35:1 screen.


I'm definitely looking for suggestions and help here. This will hopefully not be a multi-year project as my significant other is expecting quick execution! ;-)
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post #2 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are a couple of photos showing the Home Theater area as it is now.
You can see the electrical box, the beam and the ducting.

The walls have blanket insulation on that I will be removing.
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post #3 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 06:03 AM
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Hi Frank,

So the framing next to the foundation will be 1" from the foundation? Fill with R13

The framing between the theater and other areas can be sraggered, but a double stud wall really will isolate better. Virtually the same material count as the staggered wall. Only 2.5" deeper than staggered.

Clips and Channel on the ceiling with R19 fiberglass.

You might want to make sure that the door (you doi plan to have a door?) and ventilation are designed before too much framing happens.

The stairwell wall will be an issue, as stairwells are connected to virtually everything else in the building. This wall especially would benefit from a double wall structure.

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post #4 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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hey Ted,

Yeah - I agree. I think that east wall (right next to the stairs) will be a double stud wall instead of the stagger studs. I think that will be best.

I'm going to do something a little different around the basement walls though - my architect recommended I put 2" polystyrene foam board right up against all the exterior walls after removing the blanket insulation and then framing tight up against that. That should prevent mold and provide alot of insulation value.

The one thing I'm still concerned about though is that circuit box. I don't want to move it, but I'm worried that it will destroy all my sound isolation efforts. There's a gas valve directly above the circuit box on top of the block wall as well...
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post #5 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcaico View Post

- my architect recommended I put 2" polystyrene foam board right up against all the exterior walls after removing the blanket insulation and then framing tight up against that.

If the framed walls are actually tight to the foam, you'll seriously limit the decoupling effect. Not advised at all. Instead, consider leaving a 1" gap between foam and new stud to maintain decoupling.

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post #6 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh... thats a good point! I'll make sure I do that.

As for the door - the only entry to the room will be through the foyer. One door into the theater and another door into the foyer. (I'll have cabinets, popcorn machine and decorations in the foyer). I figure the foyer will also act like a sort of airlock for sounds leaking from the theater door as well.

Ventilation design is still TBD.
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post #7 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Are my BP20's going to be OK behind an AT screen? They are bipolar so I'm wondering what thats going to be like....

They sounded great in my old room tho...
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post #8 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcaico View Post

As for the door - the only entry to the room will be through the foyer. One door into the theater and another door into the foyer... I figure the foyer will also act like a sort of airlock for sounds leaking from the theater door as well.

That's a fabulous asset. You would want to sound isolate / treat the foyer walls, ceiling and floors also. If you can.

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Originally Posted by fcaico View Post


Ventilation design is still TBD.

Do you intend to tap into the main HVAC? Or maybe a stand-alone HVAC? Or maybe just exchange air with the cooler air of the rest of the basement.

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post #9 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was pretty excited about the layout of this basement - its basically what sold this house for me. You see I also needed to sneak in a woodworking workshop and a rec-room kids could play in and somehow this basement seems to satisfy all 3 things!

HVAC right now is a mystery to me. I have alot more research to do on this. Right now I'm thinking im going to tap into the main HVAC or exchange with the rest of the basement, but that might all change tomorrow! ;-) I do plan on trying to put in a dead vent or some sort of baffling for the vents to minimize sound transmission.
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post #10 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 02:31 PM
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Ventilation is one area where design time is well spent before framing gets too far along.

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post #11 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

Ventilation is one area where design time is well spent before framing gets too far along.

+1....like first thing before you nail a stud.
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post #12 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

Ventilation is one area where design time is well spent before framing gets too far along.

+2 .. I learned the hard way .. a PJ can put out some heat, especially if there are warm bodies around as well .. and if not done right, summer and winter can get a bit uncomfortable ..

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post #13 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 03:11 PM
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I can't seem to find how tall your ceiling is from floor to joist .. ?? Maybe I missed it ..

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post #14 of 96 Old 11-30-2010, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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From floor to joists its about 8'6". However there are ducts and a beam running under the joists by about another 10 inches.

I'm nowhere near framing yet so thats not a concern. I still have a bit of planning to do.
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post #15 of 96 Old 12-02-2010, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm wondering - and this is probably premature - but with the Christmas season here *now* should I consider buying my electronic equipment ASAP to take advantage? as opposed to waiting until I actually need them? Are prices better now than the rest of the year? or worse?

I need a new AV Receiver,
blu-ray player,
projector (I'm leaning towards the Panasonic AE-4000U).

your thoughts?
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post #16 of 96 Old 12-02-2010, 04:47 PM
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Just buy gear when you're actually ready to use it - it only gets cheaper / better over time, so no need to lock something in. Unless of course its *really* a steal that you can't pass up.

Case in point: I created my first build thread in 2006 - if I had bought my projector then...well, I think you know the rest - I wouldn't have nearly the nice options / prices that exist now.
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post #17 of 96 Old 12-07-2010, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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OK. I am *really* loving this theater design and it is *very* close to my room dimensions.

http://home.comcast.net/~kirkk/uptownparadiso.html

My only preference would be (I think) a 2.35:1 screen...

Is Kirk still active on these forums?
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post #18 of 96 Old 08-19-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pictrures of the Basement walkup being put in:

Before:



During construction:









Final touches:

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post #19 of 96 Old 08-19-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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One of the great things about being way behind is that I've got tons of catch-up to show you.
Here is the basic design of the home theater room:

Finished dimensions are roughly 12' x 21 (with another ~2.5' behind AT screen wall) Exact dimensions available if interested.
The finished ceiling on the front part of the room by screen will be 7'2" from floor (because of lots of ducting that couldnt really be relocated)
and ceiling in the back part of the room will be roughly 8'4" from floor.

The Speaker columns are still a bit up-in-the air, but I have to decide their rough location REAL SOON as they are coming close to framing this area and I need to know where to run wire for the speakers.

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post #20 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is a better view with some dimensions.
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post #21 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few shots of the theater area of the basement before any construction:










You can see some of the problem areas: I have my electrical panels in what will be the back corner of the room:



And appart from the immovable mass of ducts at the front of the room, there's this one at the back:

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post #22 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Framing is coming along.
Here are a few shots of the framing in the theater room thus far:

A look at the front wall. Note that the front half of the room will be a foot lower than the rear half because of all that ducting.


A look at the right rear of the room where the opening will be closed off with a double wall:


A look at the right side of the room
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post #23 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a shot of them breaking the floor for the bathroom drainage:

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post #24 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmm. There doesn't seem to be alot of interest in this thread...

Anyhow, this shot is looking towards where the bathroom will be framed. It will be a small powder room. The general area around it will be a craft area for the wife... She's very excited.


Another shot looking at the craft area from the other side:


Here are some shots of the progress in my workshop:


And the subpanel in the workshop:
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post #25 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Back to the theater.

the guys have more or less finished the framing of the theater room and I can start to string AV wire.

Here are some shots of the speaker wire being strung. I put in blocking where appropriate to make sure that the wires will come out of the drywall at the right spots for my columns. Note that I decided not to bother with conduit... Its expensive, a pain to run and I can't imagine wanting to upgrade from the 12 gauge speaker wire i'm stringing. I know I won't bi-wire and I highly doubt that there will be some cosmic shift in the technology of speaker sound transmission. Hopefully I won't regret this decision. Most of the wire is just clipped to the back of the wall since there is plenty of space due to the decoupled walls.











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post #26 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Note that all the wires go to this equipment closet right outside of the theater room:


I DID decide to run conduit to the projector and the front of the room for AV wires that might change quickly. I'm going to run one HDMI to the projector for now (I'm actually leaving that in the conduit - its so easy to pull it out and replace it as needed). to the front of the room I've got an HDMI cable (in conduit) and a component cable with audio (outside of conduit) -- these will be inputs to the AV receiver for conveniences like game consoles etc.









I've got an extra 50' of the 2" conduit if someone wants to buy it from me...
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post #27 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the sconces for the theater room. They look real nice:



Sconces are going to be the only fixed lighting I have in the room. I realize with only 4 of them the room wont be brightly lit, but for anything other than cleaning it, it should be fine.
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post #28 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall getting dropped off:

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post #29 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
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Drywall getting dropped off:

Jeez, tell him to stay at the lumber yard next time, he can just boom it in from there.

Seriously, could he get any further away? hehe
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post #30 of 96 Old 09-03-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
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Here are a few shots of the theater area of the basement before any construction:
...
And appart from the immovable mass of ducts at the front of the room, there's this one at the back:

Well, no ductwork is immovable smile.gif True, the ducts in the front are a undertaking to move, but did you consider moving the duct in the rear?

Since this will be above your riser, head height will be important. You could get some elbows and move the duct adjacent to the steel beam, then just build a wider soffit there.

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I put in blocking where appropriate to make sure that the wires will come out of the drywall at the right spots for my columns.

Great idea!

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