DaBarge Design Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. First time to post but have been perusing these boards for a couple years now. It is finally time for me to start down the road to a home theater and looking for ideas, nudges, kicks in the butts to reality, etc.

My wife and I built a house about 18 months ago and had them add a framed unfinished space for the theater on the second floor. Live in Oklahoma so not many basements here with the water table. The main dimensions are approximately 19'8" X 12' on a 9 foot plate. See simple diagram below.



The overall goal is a Dedicated Movie Room only. I have a 450 square foot gameroom for sports and consoles with a multitude of TVs, pool table, poker table and wet bar which is about 10 foot away. Budget is TBD, as I have so many unknowns such as equipment, most of my AV equipment is a little old. I will sacrifice the equipment to get the bones correct and use my HK AVR630 temporarily if the budget goes a little wild. I would like to do a lot of it myself but with time constraints will probably farm out some items to speed up progress.

Right now I am working on the following so any help is appreciated:

1) Soundproofing. I have read articles upon articles on this and gleamed a lot of insight. I plan to call The Soundproofing Company to discuss in the next day or two. The only sketchy part I have is the inclusion of a second wall for the screen so I can hide the front speakers. I currently have Axiom M60 Fronts and a VPS 150 center channel. How deep should this be, hows the best way to hide access point?

2) AV Rack - To begin the framing on this part, need to choose a rack. I am looking at the Middle Atlantic Slim 5 29U as it will be sitting on a 3-4 foot ledge of the adjoining attic (bottom 3 foot is Living room cieling and then the trusses). I dont think I need anymore then that size wise as I have a central AV room for the house which holds all the gear for the whole home audio and video setups and NASs. Looked like CustomerAVRack had good pricing on this but havent seen them mentioned does anyone use them?

3) Snack Bar - I havent seen it, but I may have missed it, but thinking of doing a hidden snack area as I dont want to impact the design. Plan is to mount a Movie Picture trimmed out on hinges to cover a fridge and microwave, etc. and have a matching one on the opposite wall.

4) Seating - I really like the idea of 2 rows plus a bar height section. Will this fit, I havent researched the exact chair I want, but want the HT reclining models. I believe on some of the build threads, people were doing 20 foot deep theatres with the 3 rows, but not sure what screen size they were looking at.

5) I like the tray ceiling with the accent lighting, but with the ceiling framing done, is it recommended to do on a 9 foot plate especially when I need to do some major soundproofing below which might eat up height? Doubt I would want to undertake raising the ceiling joists that are in place.

6) Plan is for 2 sconces on each side at 1/3rds which could become columns if the space is there after the soundproofing, so is TBD.

7) HVAC: have the cpacity for this room, but no ducting ran at this point. Any pointers on what to watch for besides making to cool the AV rack appropriately with vent.

8) Where would you all see placing the projector. Not sure if I could center it in the back wall or not, which would then need to be cooled I would guess. I have no idea on projector, want 1080P, no 3D, mid level I guess. There are no windows.

9) Professional Design, something most definately will look into as I havent the slightest on placements of the speakers and so forth.

10) Curtains/Diffusers/Treatment Panels



I will add pictures of the space when I get home, forgot to bring them with me.


Any design elements I have missed in my research? Mostly at the point of just budgeting out the framing, soundproofing, HVAC and getting pieces laid out.

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post #2 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 01:15 PM
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Welcome! Nice space you have to work with. Kudos for wanting to get the room construction right first. You can always upgrade equipment later, but tough to tear down walls to re-do. A couple thoughts for you.

1. Definitely talk with Ted and John. They won't steer you wrong.

2. No experience with MA racks (DIYing mine), but I know many on here use them. Someone will chime in on that.

3. Cool idea for the hidden snack bar. I'm planning the same thing to hide my rack behind a movie poster on hinges.

4. This one will be really tough. My HT was about 22' before the false wall, so about 20' after. With HT recliners, there is no way I could get 3 rows in my room. Even with a bar being the 3rd row. You might be able to do it if you use actual theater seats though.

5. No problem doing the tray ceiling with a 9' starting height. You will most likely have a soffit to run HVAC and cables, so plan for that to go all the way around the room. A little crown, rope light and viola. No need to raise the ceiling.

6. My layout originally had sconces, but I did away with them. Personal choice. There are many great looking HTs on here that use them.

7. Biggest thing here is to make sure your system is sized to effectively cool the room. Most likely in winter too as it is on the 2nd floor and you are farther south. There are some really good HVAC guys on here that can help you out.

8. You should be able to center it on the back wall. You may consider placing it in a hush box instead of just ceiling mounting if you are concerned about it being too close to the door.

I'll add a 9. for you. I would definitely consider a layout service for your space. The Erskine Group has one, as well as AVS. I did the Pro Layout Service from EG, and I couldn't be happier. Worth checking out.

Looking forward to following your progress!
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input.

1) Just got off the phone with John, a very informative discussion, waiting on him to shoot me over some more information on things and start doing the calculations. Really helped with my concerns in the floor and sounds like a lot of pieces but will make my wife happy. Happy wife, happy life.

4) Ya was wondering, thinking it is either going to have to be 1 row of seats and the bar or 2 rows of seats, but once I get all the other things nailed down and final dimensions of the room, I will get a little better picture I think. I looked at your build thread and coming along nicely, question is how are you going to access behind the screen in the long run, didnt see any mention of that.

5) Ya I have full access to above the joists, so dont necissarily need a soffit, but have thought, might be best bet though for the lighting I see in a lot of the theaters on here that I like and if I build it, might as well use the space and not clog up above it.

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post #4 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabarge View Post

4) Ya was wondering, thinking it is either going to have to be 1 row of seats and the bar or 2 rows of seats, but once I get all the other things nailed down and final dimensions of the room, I will get a little better picture I think. I looked at your build thread and coming along nicely, question is how are you going to access behind the screen in the long run, didnt see any mention of that.
Couple of ways to get back there depending on what I may need to do. All of the panels that will cover the open spots will be removable. Also, the screen is hung with french cleats, so if i really need to get back there for anything major it's a simple lift and move of the screen.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 02:33 PM
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1) As someone who used to wire/construct recording studios, and advise studio designers, I would say immediately that anything 90 degrees is going to be your worst nightmare. From there, parallel surfaces are your next problem. To eliminate the 90 degree angles, you can purchase good bass traps online from sound proofing companies, and to reduce the amount of reflection in the room buy a bunch of heavy curtains to go around the room.

If you are not wanting to go crazy with curtains, you can also use diffusers on the wall to dissipate the sound, or have smaller sound proofing panels (these can be decorative as well).

A good DIY technique for placing diffusion panels/smaller sound proofing panels:
1) put mirrors on your speakers
2) sit where you are going to be watching and shine a laser pointer back at the mirrors from ear level.
3) the laser pointer will shine on the walls, this is where you want to place your diffusion or absorption. (this will at least get rid of 1st reflections, which is the most notable)

Another thing you may want to consider is a cloud that breaks up the sound waves traveling from the ceiling to the floor. There are many different designs for this online as well.

Everything else, good luck, I would think that you may want a separate unit cooling your gear in the equipment room if you have one, just so you can maintain the equipment at a good operating temperature.

All the best, and enjoy your cinema!!!
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 04:35 PM
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7) HVAC: You definitely want to make sure that the supply duct is far enough away from the return that you are not "short-ciruiting" your supply air.

You also want to make sure you are doing this as logically as possible, i.e. keep the supply duct low and the return duct high, heat rises.

I might advise using a separate smaller wall unit for the gear room as well, if you have equipment that gets really hot, you may not be supplying enough air to keep it cool, especially since your thermostat (which is detecting the temperature) is in the living area; if the thermostat gets put in the gear room, it will keep running, trying to cool off the gear room, which may take much longer to cool than the living area, leaving you frozen in the living area, so that's another one to avoid as well.

Good luck with your project!

Wade Rusk
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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That makes sense GWCR.

Thanks Jon, ya I need to do some more research on the curtains/diffusers/treatments to the walls so will add that to the list. Updated list with recomendations so far.

2) On the AV rack I have looked at some of the Middle Atlantic add-ons for temp control sensors and so forth. Middle Atlantic Cooling Options Have been looking for something I can mount in the wall at the top along with the main AC vent at the bottom which can temp control itself and vent to the attic, my only concern would be it not drawing enough air out and instead if the attic is hot it pulls it seeps back in so might have to vent it to the room and let its return and AC take care of it. Also looked at the rack cooling products to draw in air in the bottom U and out the top U, but would rather have it all on one of the 3 attic facing walls snd not pump more hot air into the room.

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-28-2013, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Entry into theater. The places with the blue underlayment are living areas. The left side would be where the recessed snack bar will be.



Back wall. One of the temporary doors the builder left in the house. Can see the back of the sub electrical panel I had them place to allow for easy wiring.



Left wall to the exterior. Only impediment I really have which is really good is the one single gas line running down into the kitchen.



Right wall can see the elevated attic space next too.



Screen Wall, which has a 45 degree angle on the top I forgot to mention before.



To top it off a picture of the ceiling and the 45 degree drop at the front of the theater.


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