First Major House project goes to.... Home Theater! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-18-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone! I have been reading through this forum a lot in the past couple of months as I am currently building my dedicated Home Theater Room. I figured I should finally join the community on here and show what I have done so far. Bare with me as I am brand new to posting on this forum.
I bought my house back in July and have since then been slowly putting together a theater room with my roommate. Luckily over the past few years I have acquired most of the electronics so my costs are pretty spread out. I am going for the most cost efficient theater I can since owning a house is expensive.
The area I picked to build my room is about 11'x20'. A little bit on the narrow side but my basement has relatively high ceilings of 8' which is what sold me on the house. Here is some photos of what I have done so far:




Pretty rough so far but it is coming along.
Here is what I know so far:
Seating-
Two rows of three seats (maybe couch for one row but defiantly want some nice theater seats for the other) in the third row I plan to have a few bar stools for overflow / an area for the girlfriend to grade papers and such while we watch a movie. The riser is 8" high with wiring for bass shakers all ready to go.
Audio/Video-
Pioneer VSX 1021K 7.1 receiver
Pioneer SP-FS51-LR floor standing speakers for left/right
Pioneer SP-BS21-LR (x4) for the surrounds
Pioneer SP-C21 center
Pioneer SW-8 sub
Epson Home Cinema 8350 projector
Elite screen electric 125" screen.
First movies to watch when completed-
Lord of the Rings Extended edition Blu-ray marathon (almost 12 hours total for all three movies)

Here is what I don't know for sure and would love suggestions/ tips on:
Lighting- I have bought some rope LED light with a dimmer to run under the lip of the riser but I still don't know about lighting in the ceiling.
Bass shakers- Best bang for buck
Sound proofing the room- I want a drop ceiling so that I can easily gain access to piping/ducts/electrical. I have read a lot about acoustical tiles but I would like some suggestions of where to buy what to get. For the walls is the Green Glue with double drywall worth it? What about a resilient channel is that worth it? I do plan on putting insulation everywhere I can but I don't want to spend money on something that will only net me a slight increase in sound control.
Anything else that I should be thinking about before I get any farther?

I would like to pre-thank anyone who takes the time to read this post and comment. I am super excited about this project and can not wait to enjoy it when its finished.

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post #2 of 25 Old 12-30-2012, 12:38 PM
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looks good so far
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-30-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paco2k4 View Post

Two rows of three seats (maybe couch for one row but defiantly want some nice theater seats for the other) in the third row I plan to have a few bar stools for overflow / an area for the girlfriend to grade papers and such while we watch a movie. The riser is 8" high with wiring for bass shakers all ready to go.

How deep is your riser in front of the bar? It doesn't look deep enough for theater recliners from the image. By "theater seats" do you mean recliners, or "theater style" row seats? You'll have room for the latter. But getting three rows of seating into a 20' deep room can be a challenge. Two rows of theater seats you can do - but look at the seating distances.
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Elite screen electric 125" screen.

That's a big screen for the room, check your seating distances and sight lines before deciding. Why an electric screen instead of a mounted one? You'll get better performance from a fixed screen.
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Sound proofing the room- I want a drop ceiling so that I can easily gain access to piping/ducts/electrical. I have read a lot about acoustical tiles but I would like some suggestions of where to buy what to get. For the walls is the Green Glue with double drywall worth it? What about a resilient channel is that worth it? I do plan on putting insulation everywhere I can but I don't want to spend money on something that will only net me a slight increase in sound control.

Channels, double drywall and green glue won't do much for you if you have a drop ceiling. Pink insulation everywhere is helpful, just don't expect miracles there. What's directly above the theater?
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Anything else that I should be thinking about before I get any farther?

HVAC. Seating for 9 people plus equipment in an enclosed space always presents cooling issues. Even in basements.
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I would like to pre-thank anyone who takes the time to read this post and comment. I am super excited about this project and can not wait to enjoy it when its finished.

Welcome to the forum - my advice - read a bunch here before going much further. Diagrams of the room with dimensions are very helpful to get better advice here.

Jeff

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

How deep is your riser in front of the bar? It doesn't look deep enough for theater recliners from the image. By "theater seats" do you mean recliners, or "theater style" row seats? You'll have room for the latter. But getting three rows of seating into a 20' deep room can be a challenge. Two rows of theater seats you can do - but look at the seating distances.
That's a big screen for the room, check your seating distances and sight lines before deciding. Why an electric screen instead of a mounted one? You'll get better performance from a fixed screen.

Channels, double drywall and green glue won't do much for you if you have a drop ceiling. Pink insulation everywhere is helpful, just don't expect miracles there. What's directly above the theater?
HVAC. Seating for 9 people plus equipment in an enclosed space always presents cooling issues. Even in basements.
Welcome to the forum - my advice - read a bunch here before going much further. Diagrams of the room with dimensions are very helpful to get better advice here.
Jeff

I don't remember off the top of my head what the length of the riser is in front of the bar but you are right it would be hard to get recliners in there. So I think I am going to do a couch on the riser and some recliner theater seats in the front row. (Found some on Craigslist). I did check sight lines with a handy rope and nail. Everything "should" clear. I have an electric screen because at my previous house I had to be able to retract it. Now I do plan on in the future going to a fixed screen but at the moment funds need to go into the room build. I have read on some high STC rated drop ceiling tiles. I thought packing the joists with insulation and these would be good. Directly above the theater is two bathrooms and parts of two bedrooms. Since my post I had two HVAC lines moved out of the room. Here is a bad picture of where they were. Even though I am the only one that is tall enough (6'4") for this to be an issue I still didn't like it.

So at the same time I had a return and a supply integrated into the room. I also did the entire basement in Google's sketch up (which is awesome). Here is a pic:

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post #5 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 08:13 AM
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From Young Frankenstein....

"Put. The. HVAC BACK!"

Quote:
I want a drop ceiling so that I can easily gain access to piping/ducts/electrical.
Drywall the ceiling. What happens when you have to "gain access to piping/ducts/electrical" throughout the REST of the house? You have to cut and repair drywall, that's what. Trust me. I know from when an upstairs bathroom leaked into the kitchen ceiling. You really gain nothing by using a drop cieling and lose all "soundproofing" you may have done.

And remember, "soundproofing" as we know it here, is to lower the noise floor INSIDE the room. That is, it is meant to keep outside noise from getting in. The fact that it helps keep noise IN the room is only a happy side effect.

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post #6 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

From Young Frankenstein....
"Put. The. HVAC BACK!"
Drywall the ceiling. What happens when you have to "gain access to piping/ducts/electrical" throughout the REST of the house? You have to cut and repair drywall, that's what. Trust me. I know from when an upstairs bathroom leaked into the kitchen ceiling. You really gain nothing by using a drop cieling and lose all "soundproofing" you may have done.
And remember, "soundproofing" as we know it here, is to lower the noise floor INSIDE the room. That is, it is meant to keep outside noise from getting in. The fact that it helps keep noise IN the room is only a happy side effect.

What do you mean put the HVAC back? All I did was move it so it runs up between the joist area instead of in the room.

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post #7 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 10:32 AM
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Sorry, I misunderstood this .....
Quote:
Since my post I had two HVAC lines moved out of the room. Here is a bad picture of where they were.

I assumed you removed them. You know what happens when you assume.

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post #8 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I misunderstood this .....
I assumed you removed them. You know what happens when you assume.

Yeah I worded that bad.

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post #9 of 25 Old 12-31-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

And remember, "soundproofing" as we know it here, is to lower the noise floor INSIDE the room. That is, it is meant to keep outside noise from getting in. The fact that it helps keep noise IN the room is only a happy side effect.

So then how do you suppose the level of outside noise compares to the fan level of the Epson Home Cinema 8350 projector he intends to use, as measured at the listening seat?

I suspect he'd have to be living over a subway line for the former to outweigh the latter!
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 06:19 AM
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Not sure what you're getting at. The 22db fan noise of that projector should be inaudible.

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post #11 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

Not sure what you're getting at. The 22db fan noise of that projector should be inaudible.

Yeah I am confused as well. Plus nothing compares to the PS3 noise.

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post #12 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 08:55 AM
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If you turn on the projector (and the PS3) with the room completely silent and you don't hear it, then great! I suspect that won't be the case however. My RS1 is rated for 27dB fan noise (granted, approx 3X louder) and its clearly audible in an otherwise silent room. Not objectionable, but obviously noticeable.

I guess what I'm saying is that I disagree that the primary goal of soundproofing is to prevent external sounds from entering the room - in a residential setting it's going to be very rare indeed. The loudest constant sound (if any) is likely to be from your HVAC vents (not soundproofed by drywall/GG/clip techniques). The next most loudest constant sound is likely to be from your equipment. After that, way down the list, will be external sounds impacting your theater space.
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post #13 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 10:20 AM
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I'm only the messenger here, repeating what both Dennis Erskine and Ted White have said/confirmed.
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The loudest constant sound (if any) is likely to be from your HVAC vents (not soundproofed by drywall/GG/clip techniques). The next most loudest constant sound is likely to be from your equipment. After that, way down the list, will be external sounds impacting your theater space.

That would be provided EVERYONE in the house is in the room with you. Are there other TV/stereos/ gaming system going? Kids playing? Cars going by? If you can hear a TV from another room IN the room, then they SURE can hear whatever is playing IN the room.

I know in my case, the family room is right above the theater area. I could CLEARLY know what was being played on the stereo upstairs (speakers are on the floor). I could hear the TV, though not as clearly. I could hear the doorbell, the phone. Dishes being washed, toilet being flushed, showers running. All those daily living noises. Now, I hear almost NOTHING. My wife has to stand at the top of the stairs and yell down. I had to install a second doorbell so that I COULD hear a doorbell when I'm alone down there and put one of the wireless phone done there.

I'm just speaking from my experience.

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post #14 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 11:51 AM
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Even putting insulation in your walls/ceiling is going to take care of the sound of people/activities in the next room - no need for elaborate construction techniques if that is your only goal.

The sounds of people walking around upstairs (if your room is in the basement) is not likely to be mitigated even with DD/GG/clips - impact noise is a different problem and needs to be handled differently. For example, even in my room where it's impossible to hear anything non-bass outside of the room when playing at reference level, it's still pretty easy to hear my dog walking around upstairs on the hardwood! smile.gif

I understand Dennis' opinion, but I think it requires treating the whole system to be effective (such as putting the equipment in a separate room entirely - not an option for most people)
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post #15 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 12:34 PM
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Can you hear noise (tlaking, TV, stereos, readios, etc) between adjacent bedrooms in your house? There's a perfect example of only putting a little insulation in the walls and using no other elborate constructon techniques. And, yes, both Dennis and Ted will tell you that you have to treat the entire space (the fish tank theory, better known as flanking). The idea is to build the room the best it can be, understanding what the limitations are.

Impact noise is whole other issue.

I think we need to agree to disagree.

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post #16 of 25 Old 01-02-2013, 01:10 PM
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Typically there is *no* insulation between regular walls in standard construction....
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post #17 of 25 Old 01-03-2013, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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So what if my goal is to also minimize the sound traveling up into the bedrooms?

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post #18 of 25 Old 01-03-2013, 10:45 AM
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Then soundproofing should definitely be part of your design. tlogan is correct - you need to tackle the ceiling and walls, not just the ceiling. Sound will travel through wherever your weak spot is.
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post #19 of 25 Old 01-03-2013, 10:55 AM
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I would say regular pink insulation in the joist cavities (full but not compacted - r19, usually), clips and channel, double 5/8s drywall and Green Glue. Since your stud walls appear to already be up and you probably don't want to redo them, then the same clips, channel and DD+GG on the walls.

Once the drywall is up you really can't go back and do the clips and channel. Build the room as good as it can be and the rest will take care of itself (that is, adding treatments, upgrading equipment, etc is MUCH easier than tearing out drywall).

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post #20 of 25 Old 01-03-2013, 12:58 PM
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If you do lighting in the ceiling (ie. potlights) you need to build backer boxes behind them to keep the space soundproofed. IMO, you might want to consider wall sconces instead and have them surface mounted using surface electrical boxes. That way the only penetration through the drywall is a small hole for the wire.

Also, IMO, bass shakers are a somewhat poor substitute for real bass. Have you ever experienced them?
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-03-2013, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Also, IMO, bass shakers are a somewhat poor substitute for real bass. Have you ever experienced them?

Just to add to this, bass shakers can be an excellent addition to augment the tactical feel from LFE, but I have found that they certainly aren't a substitute for a good subwoofer.

Just because I was curious, I turned off my sub and watched some movie clips with just the bass shakers. The best way I can describe the experience was like holding a vibrating video game controller. It was very fake without the "thump in your chest" feeling that you get from a sub.

IMO, a decent sub paired with some bass shakers can give you a better home theater experience than just one subwoofer for the same price; especially on concrete floors where it's harder to get tactical feedback from the sub. A really cheap sub with bass shakers, however, may not give you what you're looking for.

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post #22 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 09:01 AM
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First thing I would do is cover up that pool table,unless of course your not going to use it again. Good luck with the build.
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

If you do lighting in the ceiling (ie. potlights) you need to build backer boxes behind them to keep the space soundproofed. IMO, you might want to consider wall sconces instead and have them surface mounted using surface electrical boxes. That way the only penetration through the drywall is a small hole for the wire.
Also, IMO, bass shakers are a somewhat poor substitute for real bass. Have you ever experienced them?

That is good to know. And I did end up getting a 25 watt aura shaker on ebay for like 15 bucks and hooked it up to a chair in my living room to see how it felt. I gotta say that after the initial "woah" feeling, it got kinda annoying. I do have all my A/V stuff hooked up there until the room is ready so I was using a sub. I only really liked the shaking when there was explosions or loud gunfire and not when standard background music was playing. Maybe I need to mess with the gain and freq before I make final Judgement. I did build a pretty powerful Sub for my car a year ago and I am now thinking about building something similar for my home theater. The Pioneer SW-8 is not enough for me and I believe something is wrong with it as it makes some horrible buzzing (probably not the right descriptive word) when there is a hard bass hit.

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post #24 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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First thing I would do is cover up that pool table,unless of course your not going to use it again. Good luck with the build.

Actually that pool table is gone now. It was pretty bad. Luckily my girl friend being a bar tender and knowing a lot of people hooked me up with a guy who gave me a super nice table. All I had to do was get it out of his house. And I have my car cover over it while I do building.

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post #25 of 25 Old 01-04-2013, 01:26 PM
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Sorry to say it sounds like a blown driver. I am going through this with my SVS sub. Replacement driver was just delivered today. Can't wait to get home and install it! I miss my sub.

And, yes, you want to cut down the crossover on the shakers to only fire on the lowest bass frequencies.

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