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post #1 of 198 Old 02-03-2013, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been a lurker here for the last several months and have been trying to soak up as much information as possible regarding home theater design and construction.  I'm continually impressed by the depth and breadth of very informed opinions here.  And it is hard not to appreciate the (generally) very friendly, helpful and constructive (pun intended) attitude of the participants here.  The downside to all this variety of expertise and opinion is that it is often times difficult to separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality.  But what is even more difficult is trying to figure out when enough-is-enough.  It seems that you can reiteratively apply tweak after tweak in pursuit of that last fractional percent of perfection and bliss.

 

At this point, I'm getting towards the final design stages of my basement renovation here near Washington, DC which will include a dedicated theater area.  An exciting project for sure and one I have dreamed about ever since moving to this house 15 years ago.  As part of the lead up to making this dream happen, I expanded the house a couple of years ago in conjunction with a kitchen/upstairs renovation which included an area I pre-designated in the basement as a theater.  I built the new foundation 16" lower than the existing foundation and opened up a big hole in the old foundation wall to connect the new space with the existing basement.  And it has sat collecting dust and junk for the last couple of years.  Now it is time to finish the basement and my theater.

 

There have been, and still continue to be, design challenges and I still flip flop between a couple of big, initial decisions that will help finalize the rest of the design.  I would like to kindly ask of the collective wisdom for some of your thought and consideration and am happy to accept constructive criticism.  I hope that I can make this a great product at the end of the day despite all of the competing interests and constraints involved.  

 

I will post plans and pictures (junk-filled and all) of the existing space and if there is interest, pictures of the space as it evolves into a fully constructed theater.

 

First, the plans:

 

 

 

And the detail of the theater:

 

 

Ignore the placement of the furniture.  They are just placeholders and are obviously not in the proper positions.

 

Next, pictures of the existing space.....


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post #2 of 198 Old 02-03-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Lot of pictures of the existing space (junk and all).  Gotta get around to cleaning this area up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next:  Design Goals


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post #3 of 198 Old 02-03-2013, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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My picture post is being held for the moderator.

 

I'll describe my design goals and hopefully the pictures will show up at some point.

 

The theater has a height of 9'0 to the bottom of the joists.  The lobby has a height of 7.5' to the bottom of the joists.

 

Given the dimensions of the space, I believe the largest screen I can go with is 120" wide 1.78 aspect ratio.  Given that my viewing will be perhaps 40% movies, 40% HDTV/sports, and 20% games, I'm opting for the 1.78 screen.  Up until very recently, I was planning on putting in a 120"-130" wide 2.35/2.4 screen in there because that aspect ratio is sexy as hell.  But then I realized that with a mixture of movies and TV/sports that I was shortchanging myself for the TV/sports.  Working backwards, I'm width constrained because I'm depth constrained for the seating.  If I had infinite space to work with front-to-back, I could put a much wider screen in the room.  But it is what it is.  So given a fixed width, the image projected for a 2.35/2.4 source is going to be 120" wide by 51" tall whether it is on a 2.35 (120"x51") screen or a 1.78 (120"x68") screen.  However, once I switch on the "big game" (isn't there a big game tonight?) on the 1.78 screen it will be 120"x68" (138" diag) whereas on the 2.35 screen it will be 90"x51" (103" diag), about a 40% difference.  Pretty significant.  While I understand the argument that I'll lose resolution when viewing 2.35/2.4 source material, it is the tradeoff that I think makes the most sense for me at this time.  It is my understanding that if I were to get an anamorphic lens and a projector with a memory powered zoom, I could recapture that resolution (albeit at a somewhat increased dollar and complexity cost).

 

I really would like to get 3 rows of seating in this space.  Only one needs to be theater seats, but ideally that row would be at the best spot visually and acoustically.  I know that the third row subjects me to several extra compromises and I waffle back and forth every day.  With the 2 row version, I end up with the first row of 4 or 5 seats in a curved array with eyes about 15' from the screen wall.  The second row would be behind a countertop/bartop with stools about 3 feet behind.

 
With a 120" wide screen that gives me a horizontal viewing angle of 37 degrees.  The vertical viewing angle will would be about 20 degrees.  All pretty good.  With a 130" wide screen, they go to about 40 degrees and 23 degrees.  Also not too bad, maybe even better than the 120" option, but a bit big on the vertical viewing angle.
 
If I try to squeeze 3 rows in there, I end up with the first row eyes about 10' back from the screen wall.  With my 120" screen option, this gives me angles of 53 degrees and 32 degrees which seems to be around headache-provoking size.  Interestingly, when viewing 2.35 material on this screen, the vertical viewing angle drops to 24 degrees.  We actually tested out almost this exact setup at a local Magnolia today and found the picture large but not intolerable. But I don't see how viewing 1.78 material at this distance works.  Maybe I'm wrong.   The second row would be pushed back to 16' from the screen wall with the counter and its seating behind yet again.
 
A way that I could squeeze 3 rows in there without such a harsh compromise to the first rows' viewing angles would be to put fixed (non-reclining) seats in the second row at 16' and that would give me the first row of theater seats at about 13' from the screen wall.  Those view angles would then be 42 degrees and 25 degrees which is large but not obscene.  I can make this work if 3' is a reasonable distance eyeball-eyeball with some sort of skinny sofa.  I haven't seen a setup where I could get a demo of this size/distance locally.
 
Also, as I move the seating back past the 15-16' range, the speaker placement becomes funky.  Side speakers will end up forward of the seating position if they are mounted in the side walls.  I could get ceiling mounted speakers pretty close to head distance.  Rear speakers would end up in-ceiling because I don't really have a back wall of the theater.  I'm also debating between direct radiating and dipolar speaker designs for the surrounds.  I'm almost tempted to just go with a 5 channel setup to avoid the side speaker dilemma but wonder if there will be adequate filling of the front/back space when the speakers will be about 21-22 feet apart.
 
So this is the first design dilemma.  More to come.

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post #4 of 198 Old 02-03-2013, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Screen and speaker choices:

 

My preference is to have the speakers located behind an acoustically transparent screen.

 

I've been enamored by the openness of dynamics of the "ribbon sound" as popularized by Martin Logan.  I've been told that they are not the best kinds of speakers for theaters, but the ones that I've heard have sounded pretty awesome to my ears and I really do love the clarity and openness of the soundstage.  Of course these are all subjective factors so it is hard to be able to say one is better than another.

 

In any case, I want to put in-walls behind the screen.  3 identical speakers.  I'm going with BG Radia speakers.  I'll have 3 SA500's up front and two sides and two rears.  I flip flop back and forth between direct radiating vs. diploar designs.  BG has both types as in-walls and inceilings.  Because the the bizarre interface between the old basement and the new addition and all the ducting that goes through that area, speakers become a little bit of a compromise.  The best setup I can think of at this time is sides around ear level about 14' from the screen wall in the walls.  The rears would end up in the ceiling at about 19-20' from the screen wall since I don't really have a back wall to the theater.  I think that this gives me a pretty good sound field if I use the setup where the theater seats are at 13' from the screen wall and the sofa is 16' from the screen wall.  If I just go with the 2 rows, with the first row at about 15', the side speakers would end up in front of the prime row.  Intellectually, this doesn't seem to make sense, but does it make much of a difference?  My understanding is that not much material is truly 7 channels and that the side channels are just matrixed from the rear channel information.  What would be a lot simpler and avoid this issue is to just go with a 5 channel setup which may be the right solution for me.

 

Regarding subwoofers, I'm planning on starting with 2.  One along the front stage somewhere behind the screenwall and one in the rear near the electrical closet area.  The primary reason for the multiple subs is to even out the room modes with its attendant peaks and valleys.  Secondarily, I'm curious if it makes more sense to get two identical subs or go for two different subs, each of which is optimized for a different frequency range -- one smaller sub for the upper bass which should theoretically be quicker and more accurate in that range, and one larger sub for the low, low, low stuff which can be crossed over at a lower frequency to avoid muddying up the upper bass.  I could always add a third along the front wall if beneficial.  I've been counselled to look at JL Audio at stores, but here there seems to be some great products from some internet-distributed companies as well.  I don't need the big brand name, just a great product that works well in my setup.

 

As far as screen, I'm thinking about the Screen Excellence Enlightor 4K material in their standard frame.  Does anyone have experience with this screen material?

 

As far as projector, I was originally going to go with one of the JVC's or the Panasonic 8000 unit when I was fixated on the 2.35/2.4 screen setup.  This was due to the motorized zoom feature which would allow me to switch between the aspect ratios seamless (albeit with the same loss of resolution in scope material).  But now that I'm leaning towards a 1.78 screen, I'm leaning towards the JVC or the Sony 50ES -- the JVC for its contrast, and the Sony for its brightness, reality creation, and 3D brightness.  I was able to see the JVC on a 120" diagonal Black Diamond screen in a partially light controlled room and it was plenty bright for me.  Even in the cinema modes there was plenty of light.  I realize that the screen I'm thinking about is 25% bigger.  But I also realize that the projector is going to be one of the less expensive parts of the theater and that in a couple of years the projectors will be twice as bright and half the price!  (An exaggeration, but the trend is clearly in that direction).

 

Next up:  Acoustics and Sound Isolation Issues


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post #5 of 198 Old 02-03-2013, 01:52 PM
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post #6 of 198 Old 02-10-2013, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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sightlines.pdf 684k .pdf file

 

 

 

My first sightline analysis.  

 

Based on this, it looks like I should have two steps between the 2nd and 1st rows for a total of 16" and I should raise the screen a couple of inches.  Miscellaneous dimensions that don't really matter (sofa depth, recliner seat depth) not to scale.  The only thing that I guess I should consider instead of getting rid of the first riser is that people in the first row will most likely be reclined and the sight lines for the second row are fine for looking over unoccupied seats.  I don't want the first seat to have to crane their neck to look up to see the image.  The optimized row will be the first row.  Perhaps just raising the screen a couple of inches will be good enough?

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File Type: pdf sightlines.pdf (684.3 KB, 29 views)

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post #7 of 198 Old 02-10-2013, 09:10 AM
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I think if you use 42 inches for the top of the head first row and 36 to the eyes for the second you will be closer to reality. This assumes you use theater reclining seats. I see you used 50 inches for the eyes in the first row My eyes are at 47 inches sitting upright in an office chair. I'm 5-11.
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post #8 of 198 Old 02-10-2013, 09:26 AM
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I'll apologize first, as I had to skim through your first posts. However, a couple things jumped out at me. You seem to be having a lot of trouble deciding on the number of rows. How many people do you expect to have in there REGULARLY? I wouldn't try to cram in a 3rd row if it's only going to be used once a year for the Super Bowl. Particularly if that 3rd row causes you to make significant compromises for the other seats. Secondly, TMcG has finally bludgeoned me to the point that I finally accept that I need to design my theater around a prime row. Let the others fall where they may. Why? Well, you and possibly your wife will be in there the most. Why should you compromise those seats for people that are only going to be in there occasionally. Why not have superb seats for you and your wife year round and your guests can still have good-to-great seats when they visit?

With regard to your screen size, have you considered getting the largest screen that will comfortably fit in your room (with no regard to aspect ratio) and then mask it down when changing between material in different aspects? Something like 130" x 68". Then you can have the best of both worlds without sacrificing for one AR or the other.

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post #9 of 198 Old 02-10-2013, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Big,  Perhaps you're longer in the legs and shorter in the torso than I.  Sitting down, I got measured at 30" chair to eyes sitting up.  I'm only 5' 8".  At least I was when I was younger!  But I didn't get measured reclining until just now.  I got 27".  It was a slight to moderate recline.  According to the Palliser web site, the chair I'm looking at has a seat 20" off the floor.  That's how I got my initial 50", but 47" is still well above your rule of thumb.  I'll have to find a way to get myself into a more realistic recline and have someone measure.  But with your numbers, I would guess my sight lines would be unobstructed.
 

J_P_A, Thanks for your thoughts.  I've been browsing your build thread and your analytical nature shines through at full volume!  It is both a blessing and a curse, this perfectionism gene.  I'm sure I'll spend the next couple of days finishing your thread. 

 

I believe the reason I'm having trouble with figuring out the seating is two fold.  You are absolutely correct that 90% of the time it will be me and a couple of others in the family, tops.  And that's only when I can't slip down and enjoy the space in peace and quiet!  :-)  But I anticipate having people over at least once or twice a month to watch a game or a flick.  And with the kids getting to be teenagers, I'm encouraging them and the friends to hang out at our home rather than have them lord-only-knows-where doing lord-only-knows-what all around town at everyone elses' houses.  Thus, the full basement renovation with lots of space for teen recreational activities.  So I want to have capacity such that I'm not constantly dragging extra chairs in and out of there.

 

But I think the primary reason I'm having problems is the shape of the room.  Because of the octagonal shape around the screen wall, I'm hexed (pun intended) by the contrary reality that in order to optimize the viewing angles at the seating distances available for the 3 rows, I have to push the screen wall farther back towards the rear wall which is narrower and thus will only support a smaller screen for which I don't need the vertical distance.  Viewed from the opposite perspective, as I try to get a bigger and bigger screen in there (I've often heard that the most common thing people wish they did differently was put a bigger screen in the room, and conversely, nobody every complains that their screen is too big!) I have to pull the screen wall forward into the theater thus shortening the available distance from the front row of seating to the screen and making the viewing angles untenable. 

 

This dilemma is further compounded by the fact that I was flip flopping between 2.35 and 1.78 screens and I was trying to get a sense of how close I could get the family to sit to the screen by sitting them various screen width ratios away from our 55" (diagonal) Samsung LED TV.  I really wanted a 2.35 screen as I figured that was really the way to get impact, but I came to the conclusion that a 2.35 image on an identical width 1.78 screen would be the exact same sq. footage of image as that image on a 2.35 screen.  But 1.78 images are significantly bigger on the same width 1.78 screen vs. on a 2.35 screen.  While playing 2.35 material on the Samsung, I was getting complaints that only started to diminish at 1.2 screen widths and became tolerable at about 1.4 screen widths.  Watching 1.78 material needed 1.5 screen widths to be acceptable and she really likes closer to 1.8 screen widths.  So 1.78 would have been intolerable at anywhere near the distance I have available (if I went with 3 rows) for the front row.  So I was resigning myself to two rows.  With a two row room design, I figured I could get 14'-15' of depth so I settled on a 10' screen width.  At that width/distance, it seems you are more limited by the height of the image than the width.  But it is what it is.

 

I think I've come to some peace with my current seating arrangement primarily as a result of actually sitting in a theater and watching part of a movie with my wife (in a Magnolia of all places) that had a 10' wide 2.35 screen with the first row of seating at 10' and a second row of seating at 13' on a riser.  I was astounded when my wife found the image to be acceptable at 1 x screen width.  Large, but acceptable.  Now we were talking.  I think I calculated viewing angles with their setup (10' away from 10' wide 2.35 screen) at 53 degrees horizontal and 24 degrees vertical.  So as long as I stayed underneath those boundaries, I should be OK.  At this point, my analysis starts with the fact that I found a 120" diagonal 1.78 image at another local AV store very satisfyingly big even at a distance of 15' and that sort of jives with the limits of my wife's tolerance.  A 120" diagonal 1.78 image has a height of 59".  So I worked backwards from there to find out that a 2.35 screen with a height of 59" has a width of 139" (or about 11.5').  This, I figured, would be the good enough size.  A screen that I was looking at adds 7" to the width of the viewing area so I'd be at 146".  I'm budgeting a maximum of 13.5' for the screen wall (or 162") which still gives me a little more than 12' to the first row eyes.  So now I'm at less than a 1:1 ratio of screen width to viewing distance so I should be all set with viewing angles of 52 degrees and 23 degrees - just under what was experimentally found to be acceptable under real life conditions.  Once reclined, the viewing distance will increase a few inches as well to make things even better! 

 

The only "drawback" is that the second row must be a non-reclining sofa as I will only be able to budget about 4.5' for that row. 

 

Another positive for getting the front row up a little closer to the screen than under my 2-row scenario (where the seating would be at 14-15' from the screen), is that my side surrounds can realistically only go back to about 14' without getting too close to a corner.  With this arrangement, I can put the sides at about 13.5', so just behind the plane of the first (prime) row seats. 

 

So what helped me finally come to peace with a seating/screen combination was actually being able to sit in a theater to watch a movie and discovering that 1 x screen width viewing distance was acceptable combined with deciding that a 120" diagonal 1.78 image is good enough.  Yes, the 120" wide 1.78 screen is taller (68") but even at 59", the screen is at the upper limits of where I need to be to get my sight lines acceptable.  A taller screen would make the sight lines that much worse.

 

It seems that once those two factors were set (screen size/mounting height and viewing distance), everything else is falling together much more easily.  I'm encouraged by Big's assessment that my height estimates are generous as my sight lines were the other primary factor under consideration.

 

Now I have to figure out what projectors will light up that screen well.  Another reason for going with the wider aspect ratio is that I have a niggling suspicion that native 2.35 panels will be more widely available and more affordable as time goes on.  That would then get rid of this whole anamorphic stretch vs. zoom debate where there seems to be no right answer.


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post #10 of 198 Old 02-13-2013, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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So, what did you do this weekend?

 

The demolition begins....  View of the future lobby and bar areas...

 

    


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post #11 of 198 Old 02-13-2013, 07:42 AM
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No turning back now! Just remember to keep that camera handy and take lots of pictures!

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post #12 of 198 Old 02-13-2013, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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View through the lobby....

 

 

   


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post #13 of 198 Old 02-13-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Old fireplace....  To be new family room....

 

 

      


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post #14 of 198 Old 02-22-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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A little more progress.  Should see a lot of progress soon.  Going to get the professional demo team in here next.  But on a down note, I tried to get Mr. Big to help me out with the build but he is too busy!  Good for him.  Bad for me.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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post #15 of 198 Old 03-01-2013, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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This is what you get when the demo guys come with the power tools.

 

The old fireplace and hearth reduced to a pile of rubble:

 

 

 

The little concrete pillar that was getting in the way of everything coming down:

 

 


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post #16 of 198 Old 03-01-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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More demo work today.  Unfortunately, they over-filled the dumpster.  Need to get a second dumpster in here tomorrow and do the load balancing thing.  Who knew there would be so much trash?

 

The pillar is gone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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post #17 of 198 Old 03-04-2013, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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The room is emptying out nicely.  Other than the cancerous looking mound of growing fiberglass, things are starting to be ready for construction.  The last details have been communicated with the architect and contractors are being interviewed.  Hopefully have permit by later this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta take those ducts down next.


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post #18 of 198 Old 03-04-2013, 06:28 AM
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But I anticipate having people over at least once or twice a month to watch a game or a flick.

Maybe during football season or whatever season you and your buddies are really into, but I think you'll find that after the inital excitement, you won't be having people over as often as you think. And not becasue you haven't offered. My room is small anyway, but I've decided that I'm building it for me and my wife. When there is a game or party, then people will crowd in. And during a party people are not going to be paying full attention to the screen anyway.

I've seen some anecdotal evidence across some of the threads and I've noticed that attendance at my deck theater is pretty much down to my wife and I. So I have no expectation that there will be more than 3 or 4 in the theater. So, I have an open concept with one row, a back bar (for eating and watching), and a bar for parties.

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post #19 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm at the point now where I'm ready to talk to the framers about how to build this room.  After conversations with the soundproofing guys, it appears that I have two options on how to frame this thing in a somewhat soundproofed manner.

 

First option:  Build the shell in a soundproofed way.  This would involve framing the walls traditionally, but attach them to the ceiling joists with sound isolation clips.  Then the ceiling would be hung off of clips of some sort and resilient channel.  The sheathing would be a layer of plywood followed by a layer of drywall.  After this soundproofed shell is built, I would hang all my other details off of the plywood, all within the shell.  This would include some soffits along the sides of the room, a couple of curved tiers along the front of the room over the screen, and a big bulkhead at the rear of the room as well.  

 

My concern here is the weight of all of this "trim" hanging off the ceiling clips.  The two concerns would be a) the clips/channel/drywall screws failing and dropping the ceiling onto the floor and b) the weight preloading the clips/channel enough to decrease or eliminate the soundproofing capabilities of the system.  

 

Second option:  Frame the whole room traditionally with the soffits and ceiling details/bulkheads at one time.  Then use clips/channel along all these irregular surfaces to isolate the drywall from the framing.  

 

This option eliminates the concern of the extra weight, as the clips/channels will just be supporting the double layer sheathing it was designed to carry.  But I've been told that the quality of the soundproofing will be decreased because of all the joints and cuts in the "shell" now.

 

One company is confident that by increasing the density of the clips that they will still be within design parameters and not have a risk of failing.  A different company is hesitant to endorse the same.  I will investigate with the manufacturers a little more.

 

Any voices of experience?


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post #20 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 07:03 AM
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Dennis has posted in the past that some of his elaborate (extremely elaborate IMHO) are supported by nothing more than clips and channel. However, once you move beyond the standard DD+GG, you have to look at the actual loading on each clip as well as the loading on the channel. There is a safety factor built in there as well (it seems like 2 or 2.5 is used for the ceilings). As far as I know, there have been no reported cases of ceiling collapse on this forum. I can certainly understand your reservations, but the alternative is to accurately estimate the weight of your proposed ceiling, and then determine the corresponding clip and channel requirements based on the rated capacity of each, again keeping in mind to add a safety factor. Outside of that, it's just a guessing game as to whether you are within the rated limits or not.

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post #21 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 07:47 AM
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After conversations with the soundproofing guys
... which "soundproofing guys"?
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some sort and resilient channel
Remove this term from your lexicon. You want Hat Firring Channel. If you use the term "resilient channel" in any conversation with any builder, you'll end up with the wrong stuff, no sound isolation and potentially an unfortunate disaster (don't go to a plumber for an appendectomy).
Option 1 is the best option and the more forgiving of a framer/contractor/builder who hasn't done this before. The clips/channel can easily support the weight you're talking about *if* the contractor either has a good set of detailed plans or has done this before.

In the attached photos, both rooms were built according to option 1. (NO PLYWOOD WAS USED!). The entire weight of the millwork (in the millwork heavy room) is supported by clips/channel ... all of that millwork is inside the isolation shell. In the picture of the room with the stacked ceiling ... all the framing and drywall creating the stacked ceiling was installed after the shell and is supported by clips and channel.

Last piece of advice ... don't spent a dime on any of this sound isolation stuff *unless* you have detailed guidance from www.soundproofingcompany.com, or you are using a builder who has done this more than once before. Otherwise, you have a 90% chance of spending money on materials and labor which, in the end, due to installation errors, didn't sound isolate anything. When I say "www.soundproofingcompany.com", I mean exactly that company ... no one else.




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post #22 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Agreed about the guessing game.  And I like to reserve my guessing for 80's music trivia contests.  

 

I guess at the end of the day, I'm most comfortable with framing everything ahead of time and then isolating the drywall, despite the fact that it will lead to a potentially lesser soundproofing standard.  But my question is how much of a decrease in performance can I expect?  

 

One other technique that I thought about is to frame the soffit with 2x2's.  Then attach it to the ceiling with the same IB3 clips used at the top of the walls.  The attachment at the walls isn't of concern because the wall is already decoupled from the ceiling joists with IB3 clips.  This will completely decouple the soffit framing from the ceiling.  Then I could just use standard double drywall secured directly to the 2x2's.  I just have to figure out what the rating is of something like an IB3 clip.


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post #23 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 07:54 AM
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Yep, that's the ceiling I was referring to (the first pic). Thanks for posting those, Dennis! I'm always impressed by that ceiling.

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post #24 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 08:06 AM
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despite the fact that it will lead to a potentially lesser soundproofing standard.

More likely result in no sound isolation.

I have followed this thread and much of the advice you have been given by those with over 20 years of experience and/or have been there/done than. As is your right (it is your room and your money), in most cases you've pushed back against that advice in preference for your own approach/solutions. I would encourage you to take advantage of the advice provided by the likes of Tom Logan, Ted White, Bigmouth and a few others so you don't end up with 4 digits of performance after expending 5 to 6 digits of money. Just my two pence.

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post #25 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 09:42 AM
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I'd go with option one and follow Ted White's advice on clip density and stop being influenced by anyone else. Just do what Dennis and Ted recommend. Frankly, with a pass through fireplace in your theater envelope you shouldn't set your sound containment expectations very high. You might as well take all the other construction shortcuts recommended by your builder who is interested in the quickest method.

This is a demonstration of three layers of 5/8 hanging from clips and channel and some initial framing for the soffit.

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post #26 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 10:19 AM
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I should clarify what I meant by my previous post. John and Ted have a lot of experience with this. Unless you want to go through the effort of verifying what they already know, you should just accept their advice.

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post #27 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have spoken with Ted at The Soundproofing Company and have found him to be very helpful in planning my little adventure.  In fact, it is Ted who has expressed reservations about hanging all of my ceiling trim details from the clips/firing channel.  So I tried finding a manufacturer who could give me some guidance.  I found out that their clips are engineered to provide about 8-10# of extra load carrying capacity per clip.  This ends up being about a 20% performance safety factor.  But he also mentioned that they are designed for 2-2.5x rated capacity failure safety factor which would be an extra 40-60# per clip.  

 

Increasing the density of clips in my particular installation appears to give me an extra 18 clips to cover the area I'm concerned about all the extra weight loading.  Conservatively, at 44#/clip, I should have about 800# of extra capacity to work with.  I believe that the extra framing and drywall should be less than this, but then I have an extra 8# per clip safety margin before getting to the point of spending all the money for naught.

 

I must say that I do take a minor amount of offense at the "push-back" characterization.  I would rather consider it a matter of "trust but verify".

 

I do admit that the curved-tier picture above along with this picture have inspired me in my ceiling trim detail:

 

 

And I am suitably impressed at the picture of Big hanging off the ceiling!  But unless he consumes some more Big Macs, he's not quite at the 800# that needs to be added to my ceiling!  (I know that he is concentrating the weight on just a couple clips/channels.).  My question regarding this picture is what secures the soffit framing to the drywall?  Are they screwed into firing channel or glued/screwed just to the drywall and/or plywood backer?

 

While I wouldn't ask a plumber to do my appendectomy, I would consider asking a home theater constructor to advise me on some health care economics issues!


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post #28 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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This is the final design we've settled upon.  So I have shrunk the lobby down a little bit.  Changed the angled entrance wall.  Went from a 60" double door to a 36" single door.  Took out the door from the lobby into the mechanical room.  Have seating a little more than 1x screen width away from the screen.  Going with a 2.35 screen.  I am going to shrink down the bulkhead between the theater and the lobby.  Most of it is there just to be decorative.  Its primary purpose is to provide a finite rear end for the starfield ceiling which, on a per sq. ft. basis, will probably be the most expensive part of the room!

 

The two sided fireplace remains.  I was able to find a venting solution for it.  So I do expect there to be sound leakage through there into the adjacent family room.  But my major concern with sound transmission is through the ceiling between the theater and the kitchen above.

 

I have found two engineering trains of thought with respect to the sheathing on a wall or ceiling.  The first is espoused by Ted at The Soundproofing Company and seems to rely on two layers of drywall with a layer of "green glue" between them - the green glue being an engineered substance that converts the mechanical energy of the two layers of drywall moving against each other into thermal energy.  The other engineering line of thinking relies more on the damped mass of the double drywall using the clips as a leaf spring to allow movement of the whole assembly without transferring the movement into the joists.  In this case, they actually are not concerned with any movement between the drywall layers as the leaf spring mechanism can absorb significantly more excursion than the drywall would be expected to move.  They actually specify thicker firring channels to prevent the flexing of the drywall.


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post #29 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 12:37 PM
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I hate to see pictures like that (not to be critical of RossoD). That room looks pretty but very obviously has some serious flaws. Among them are the ceiling steps in the wrong direction, the ambient cove lights (usually dimmed, but on for movie viewing) will kill the contrast ratio on the screen (I do note the double stack of LED projectors). The speakers are below the screen preventing the second row from getting any of the direct sound from the speakers, that is a 5.1 layout with the surround speakers in the wrong place, and zero acoustic treatments.

Now I realize there are very likely bugetary and physical constraints which dictated many decisions for that room; but, none-the-less, it could have been way better with some minor changes for the same $$$. So why do I so dislike such pictures? Because at some point someone, not knowing better, is going to show that picture to a builder and say "I want that". argh!

As to leaf springs...ie, soft walls. Be careful here ... you do not want so much flex as to turn the walls into speakers. I've seen that happen and the results are really ugly.

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post #30 of 198 Old 03-15-2013, 12:37 PM
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Seems like Ted's approach is the best of both worlds, right?

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