Greetings. I have acoustic problems in my basement home theater, and I am hoping I can get some advice on how to best correct given an extremely limited budget.
I have cobbled together the components of my home theater over a number of years, and several years ago we were fortunate enough to purchase a house with a basement that I could use a portion of to be a dedicated home theater. My basement is unfinished, with poured concrete walls and open joists and ductwork in the ceiling. Someday I want to finish at least this portion of the basement, but there is no budget to do that for at least a few years. I did build a partition that I filled with Roxul to minimize the sound from the furnace and hot water tank when I am watching a movie, and it does the job I built it for. Most of the furnace and hot water tank sounds that still come through is via the cold air return duct that has its opening on the HT side of the partition.
Front L/R – Genesis I’s (from Genesis Physics Corp)
Center – PSB 200c
Surround L/R – PSB Alpha Mini’s
Surround Back L/R – PSB Alpha Mini’s
Subwoofer – Yamaha YST-SW100 (there is no LFE input, so the sound is obtained by routing the L/R mains through it; I believe this limits some of the AVR crossover functions I have available)
This is my first post, so I am hoping I will be able to upload some pictures to help visualize my situation.
As you may have already identified by looking at the pictures/diagrams, there definitely are some acoustic issues. I have problems hearing dialogue and to temporarily compensate, I’ve bumped up the level on the center channel. I also find I need to have the level on the receiver set far louder than I would like. (Don’t get me wrong, at the higher volume it sounds good with no noticeable distortion that I detect, but I would like to be able to hear clearly at lower volume levels.) I have slightly angled the center up toward where the audience head would be, but am thinking I should build a better stand with some scrap 2x4’s that will raise the height of the center to just under the screen, as well as angle it more accurately toward the heads.
My budget is currently pretty tight, so I don’t have the funds to bring in a pro to analyze and recommend. I’ve been trying to search the various forums and articles, and have found a lot of useful information, but have not had the time to review in the depth required to truly understand.
I have 9 pieces of leftover 15.25” Roxul that I’m intending to build some acoustic panels with, and enough 1x3 to make 4 panels. I know they won’t be the 2x4 panels that seem to be most prevalent, but from the posts and articles I have found/read, I thought they would still be beneficial.
1) Am I correct in thinking I would benefit from using this 15.25” Roxul, or should I hold off until I can purchase and build panels with 24” Roxul or OX-703?
2) If I should use what I have, would I be better off with 2 panels of 1 piece/ea (3” thick) and 2 panels of 2 piece/ea (6” thick), or 4 panels of 2 piece/ea (6” thick)?
3) Where should I position? I’ve read about finding the first reflection point using a mirror parallel to the walls.
4) What would the next incremental improvements I should work toward implementing, prior to being able to being able to finish with drywall/drop ceiling, as funding permits? e.g. Build more acoustic panels and put “x”? Build bass traps to put in the ceiling “corners”? Put Roxul in “strategic” ceiling joist cavities, perhaps held in place by some muslin? Etc.
Thanks everyone in advance for taking the time to read my post and offering your advice.