Theater For Hobbits 2.0 - Mini 2.35 CIH Build in a 10x10 Alcove - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 139 Old 06-14-2013, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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After a four-year break from the HT scene, I'm ready for a new build.

Wow, things have changed around here - the size, complexity, and quality of rooms have really shot to the next level. What used to be wild - full decoupling, green glue everywhere, 2.35 - has become the norm. Price tags seem to have gone up too, and the modest build community doesn't seem as active as it used to be. No lack of inspiration though!

Well, I've got a tiny space and budget, so like my last build - Theater For Hobbits 1.0 - the goal is to steal some of the great ideas from your amazing projects and miniaturize/cheapify them while still aspiring to a quality feel. Here's the plan....


The Space

A semi-open basement alcove that measures approximately 10x12x8, adjoining a small office, and an under-stair storage room that offers some extra space to recess an equipment rack and subwoofer. The original plan was a more "normal" configuration with the screen on the short wall, but after hours of sitting on the floor and staring at blue tape, we decided that rotating 90 degrees opened up the room, allowed more space for the office area, and just felt right.











Theater Design

Until last week, this was to be a 16:9 build - hence the blue tape. Then I discovered the Panamorph CineVista lens for $1K, and that opened up a can of worms. So Hobbit 2.0 will now be a short-throw 2.35 CIH setup with a 106" wide scope screen (115" diagonal), curved to partially compensate for the nasty 2% pincushion that this setup will create. After mocking up both 1.78 and 2.35 screens, I can't believe how narrow the former looks.

For now, seating will be the same cheap couch that travelled across the continent with us from Hobbit 1.0. Eyeballs will be just over 9' back, providing a nice 2.5x screen height, 42 degree field of view. Based on the blue tape, it feels perfect. If I scoot the couch forward a few inches, I can just get the surrounds to 100 degrees from center, per Dolby standards. I'm sticking with 5.1 - there's not much point going further with this room layout.

Everyone loved the miniature curved stage in my last room, so I'm going to do another one. In classic AVS fashion, there will be fabric panels over acoustic treatments, and little integrated corner columns to conceal the surrounds and bass traps. One thing that I really wanted to do in the last build - but couldn't because of the 6 3/4' height - was a tray ceiling with rope light, so l'm hell bent on doing it this time.









AV Considerations

I'm a wuss and don't listen at reference levels, so to keep the budget down, we will not go the fully monty with isolation. That said, the far wall is shared since we live in a duplex. It's already decoupled with two stud walls, insulation, and 5/8" sheetrock, but to make it better, I will do another layer of 5/8" drywall with GG, as well as relocating and sealing off any holes in this wall.

Inside our unit, the only consideration is that sound not travel to the second floor bedrooms. I ran some tests, and with the main floor acting as a buffer, the biggest issue is noise leaking through and around the cheap door that closes off the basement. I will replace this with a Safe n' Sound plus seals and an automatic bottom, which hopefully improve things.

Street noise and light comes through the large window in the rear wall, so I'll seal that off with two layers of 5/8" + GG and fabric panels to match, turning it into a little shelf and alcove for the projector. Since I need every inch of throw, this bumpout is actually quite welcome.

Like Hobbit 1.0, I don't have enough length for an AT screen setup, so I'll be using shadowboxes again. I scored 2 very nice pairs of Paradigm On-Wall Mini Monitors on Craigslist last month, which will allow me to design a very shallow screen wall. Coupled with the depth of the curved screen, I think the boxes will almost disappear. The screen backs onto a closet, from which I will steal space from for a small equipment rack and a sub alcove, both concealed in the lower box. This will force the LCRs to go above the screen, where they will be mounted and angled to the listening position. It's the most compact setup I can think of.


Equipment List

Small, humble, and tight is the name of the game. Everything that I don't already own, I'm trying to get used, refurbished, or on clearance.

  • Epson 8350 projector
  • Panamorph CineVista anamorphic lens with homebrew mount
  • Elite Screens Lunette 115" curved 2.35:1,106"x45" viewable, CineWhite 1.1 gain, 40' radius
  • Onkyo TX-NR818 AVR - world's cheapest Audyssey XT32 + HQV Reon unit
  • Darbee Darblet processor
  • 3 x Paradigm Mini Monitor-OW v3 LCR
  • 2 x Paradigm Atom Monitor v3 SL, SR (5.1 setup)
  • SVS SB-12NSD 12" powered sub
  • Sony PlayStation 4 preordered!! - for gaming and BD
  • AppleTV - for streaming and music library
  • Cisco CIS430 PVR - for broadcast
  • Belkin PureAV PF60 power controller and conditioner
  • Harmony 900RF universal remote
  • Smarthome Insteon lighting controllers, tied into PC-based home system
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Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #2 of 139 Old 06-14-2013, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Update, three months later. Done!

*
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Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #3 of 139 Old 06-14-2013, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Updated the blue tape to reflect a 106" wide scope screen. I can't believe the difference that 2.35 makes.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #4 of 139 Old 06-15-2013, 06:12 PM
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Certainly the most complex blue tape layout job I've ever seen on the Forum!! biggrin.gif

My only suggestion is that your screen looks a bit high considering your viewing distance. It would be wise to run through your calculations again so you aren't looking up at the screen all the time. This can be compensated for by slouching on that nice, big couch of course! tongue.gif

Looking forward to following along.
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post #5 of 139 Old 06-16-2013, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

I think the photos are distorting the perspective a bit, as the screen is actually at a very comfortable height for low seating.

I'm using the blue tape to help me visualize the layout of the shadow boxes and fabric frames. smile.gif

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #6 of 139 Old 06-16-2013, 04:06 PM
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Looking forward to seeing the progress. The design looks sweet.
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post #7 of 139 Old 06-18-2013, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Really appreciate the encouragement and PMs.

I've been spending all my free time marveling at - and trying to learn a bit from - the incredible builds that have happened since I was last active here. Amazing stuff from KBLaw, Moggie, Landshark, Spaceman, Big (of course), and countless others. I'm in awe - and hope that one day I'll be in a position to do an Erskine-Procella-Stewart-GG Bomb Shelter bucket list build. smile.gif

Until then I'm bargain hunting on discount sites and trying to read up on Audyssey, REW, and all the stuff that literally did not exist last time around.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #8 of 139 Old 06-19-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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DavidK, I just went through your thread for the first time and was struck by how similar your configuration is, right down to the corner trap design. How deep are those, and did you find them to be effective? Especially since you removed a big portion to make space for your new subs.

Really cozy space btw.

Thanks from a fellow BCer.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #9 of 139 Old 06-19-2013, 01:19 PM
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Loved the first build and looking forward to this one. I remember saying to myself "Self, if he can fit a theater in that little space then so can you!"

The MacBeth Theater (flood resilient build)
 

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post #10 of 139 Old 06-20-2013, 09:00 AM
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Won't a 106" Screen be really huge with a less than 9' viewing distance? Seems really, really big. That would be like a 140" screen at 12'.
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post #11 of 139 Old 06-20-2013, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

One thing that I believe made a huge difference to the sound in general is the 2 foot wide band of absorption at head height around much of the room. There is still plenty of reflective surface area which prevents that eerie dead sound, but yet direct reflections are kept to a minimum. Certainly not a professionally engineered sound treatment solution but I am very happy with the results.

Free/cheap tools like REW seem to have revolutionized this process in the last few years - even for budget builders. My design calls for full fabric frames, and I was originally just going to use the old rule of thumb (1-2 inches of treatment front and back, along the sides at estimated first reflection points, etcetera) and be done with it. But I've learned a lot from recent threads. At least I think I have - I'm dangerous that way. My plan is now to get a cheap measurement mic, put up furring strips that can hold various absorption panels, and then experiment with REW and moving stuff around before putting up the final fabric. I'm pretty sure this will help more than hurt. I also went to the library and picked up the Master Handbook of Acoustics and Floyd Toole's book. Might as well learn something in the process.

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Loved the first build and looking forward to this one. I remember saying to myself "Self, if he can fit a theater in that little space then so can you!"

Thank you. Your space turned out amazing.

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Won't a 106" Screen be really huge with a less than 9' viewing distance? Seems really, really big. That would be like a 140" screen at 12'.

It's 106" wide only when viewing 2.35, so 16:9 is a very tame 80" wide by 45" high. Nine feet back (it will probably be a little more in reality) gives about a 40-42 degree angle, or a viewing distance that is 2.4-2.5x the screen height - very close to the THX and SMPTE ideal. I don't have my a-lens yet to see what scope looks like, but 1.78 content shot on the wall looks just about perfect to me. My last build had about the same size/distance (but only in 720p and 16:9) and I could easily have gone bigger.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #12 of 139 Old 06-20-2013, 12:07 PM
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Just for reference the distance to eyes in my first row is about 9' 6" and my screen is 120". 106" will be just fine.

The MacBeth Theater (flood resilient build)
 

Play like a Raven

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post #13 of 139 Old 06-20-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

I guess it is the stretch of the Anamorphic lens that allows you to fill a 106" wide screen from such a short distance. I checked into this briefly but it seemed like a throw distance of 12 feet or greater was recommended by the lens manufacturer, I guess for focus reasons?? Besides the "pincushion" which you mentioned do you have any concerns using the lens in such a small space? I ended up going with the BenQ W1070 primarily because it is the only home theaterish projector with a reduced throw distance.

Yes, an a-lens is the only way to get more size from that distance without a short-throw projector.

Most lenses do need at least 12 feet to get into their focal range. I spoke at length (nyuk nyuk) with the guys from Panamorph, and they told me that the brand-new CineVista was specifically designed for budget HTs, which to them also means modest room sizes. So that model specifically focuses down to 8 feet. With a-lenses it's all about the ratio of throw distance to 16:9 width or screen height, and they recommended a minimum installation distance of 2.5 x screen height. For me, that is 112.5", and I have somewhere between 115-120" to work with. Their only concern was the pincushioning, and hopefully the curved screen will help to control that.

I will have the lens in a week or so, and can't wait to "just see if it works..." smile.gif

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #14 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Toys in the house!








If I learned one lesson from my first build - it's to keep these boxed up until the real work is done. biggrin.gif

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #15 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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No small room project would be complete without the requisite schlepping of materials down a narrow flight of stairs. The lumber and insulation weren't too bad - it was carrying the 5/8" drywall and 55lb bags of sand by myself that did me in. There's literally 1/2" of clearance on that landing to turn a 4x8 sheet around.






The Roxul Comfortboard IS insulation in the second picture seemed like a good alternative to OC703, which can be expensive and tough to find in Canada. Very similar absorption coefficients, comes in 1.5" so you don't have to decide between 1" or 2" in your panels, and the big orange place was happy to deliver it along with my other materials.

Quote:
ASTM C423
CO-EFFICIENTS AT FREQUENCIES
Thickness 125Hz 250Hz 500Hz 1000Hz 2000Hz 4000Hz NRC
1.5” 0.21 0.64 0.92 1.00 0.95 1.01 0.90

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #16 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Dropsheets down, materials delivered, tools out, ready to roll...




The far wall is shared with my neighbor, but is reasonably well constructed. A concrete foundation rises up about 2 1/2 feet, and there are two decoupled stud walls with fiberglass insulation and 5/8" drywall. However, when my side is silent, I can just barely make out their home theater going full tilt. Further investigation revealed that much of this sound was leaking through the outlets, especially a low voltage one which was just a hole plus mud ring and vapor barrier.

So I retired the branch circuit going to this wall, relocated the RG6 which carries MoCa ethernet up to where the soffit will be, patched the holes, and then sealed everything up with Green Glue sealant. Added another layer of 5/8" drywall on top with two tubes of Green Glue per sheet:



So far the extra mass alone seems to be working. I expect that once the GG cures, and the soffits and panels go up, I can be quite confident that noise transfer will not be a big problem.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #17 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 01:30 PM
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post #18 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I got a 115" Elite Lunette 2.35, which is a curved radius screen. 115" diagonal = 106" wide for 2.35. It's built with the same 1.1 gain matte white material.

http://www.elitescreens.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=486&lang=en

It's quite a jump from their entry-level products, but I did get a great deal on Wayfair.com. I didn't really have much choice - the combination of short throw and anamorphic lens gives me very bad distortion on a flat surface, and a good DIY curved screen wouldn't have been much cheaper.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #19 of 139 Old 07-17-2013, 07:43 PM
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Looking forward to following along. I thought 1.0 turned out great and from your renderings, 2.0 should be even better.
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post #20 of 139 Old 07-19-2013, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Goodbye window. Hello soffit. Existing 5" cans relocated to line up with the screen wall.



Trying out configurations for the light tray.


Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #21 of 139 Old 07-23-2013, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Soffits framed up, wiring getting done. I've decided that I hate building odd angles.



New work boxes for outlets and the lighting controller stand proud of the existing drywall by 1.5 inches to meet the fabric panels:



I'm going to staple the fabric into the furring around each box under the cover plates rather than try to keep those frames removable. Unless someone has a better, easier suggestion.

Color scheme selected and on order:



Classic GOM FR701 black for the screenwall, FR701 pearl for the rear speaker columns which will be away from the sight lines, and Spinel smoky quartz for the other walls. Farrow & Ball off-black for the trim, soffit, and light tray. Dove Tale (awesome name) which is a medium warm gray - 3rd from left - for the recessed part of the ceiling. It's darker than the chip when painted in large areas away from light, and will hopefully be flat and far enough from the projection beam to not be distracting.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #22 of 139 Old 07-23-2013, 09:35 AM
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Moving along nicely. Any splashes of color planned or staying monochromatic?

The MacBeth Theater (flood resilient build)
 

Play like a Raven

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post #23 of 139 Old 07-23-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowkarver View Post

Yes, an a-lens is the only way to get more size from that distance without a short-throw projector.

Most lenses do need at least 12 feet to get into their focal range. I spoke at length (nyuk nyuk) with the guys from Panamorph, and they told me that the brand-new CineVista was specifically designed for budget HTs, which to them also means modest room sizes. So that model specifically focuses down to 8 feet. With a-lenses it's all about the ratio of throw distance to 16:9 width or screen height, and they recommended a minimum installation distance of 2.5 x screen height. For me, that is 112.5", and I have somewhere between 115-120" to work with. Their only concern was the pincushioning, and hopefully the curved screen will help to control that.

I will have the lens in a week or so, and can't wait to "just see if it works..." smile.gif

Nice to know someone is building a HT with cinema scope near my region. That's best way to enjoy your videos in style.
Base on your curved screen size and make of PJ and throw distance, you may fix the pincushion display but how you treat the CA ?
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post #24 of 139 Old 07-23-2013, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post

Moving along nicely. Any splashes of color planned or staying monochromatic?

Thanks. Our couch is purple, and additional seating for the kids will probably be colorful too. I'm a big fan of the permanent bits being neutral.

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Nice to know someone is building a HT with cinema scope near my region. That's best way to enjoy your videos in style.
Base on your curved screen size and make of PJ and throw distance, you may fix the pincushion display but how you treat the CA ?

Cool, thanks. I will live with the CA for now since this is a budget build. When the time comes for a projector upgrade - I consider them more "disposable" than other components - I will get one with electronic CA correction like Panamorph recommends.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #25 of 139 Old 07-25-2013, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Random small project.



Built a power inlet using a blank nylon plate, IEC C13 socket from eBay, and a couple of bolts - total cost $5. This will connect the power conditioner in my rack to a dedicated switched line that feeds the projector outlet.

Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #26 of 139 Old 07-30-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quietzone pink fluffy and Roxul Comfortboard IS in the soffits. I'm going to cover the rear vertical face with GOM instead of drywall to see if it works as a bass trap:



Sheetrock up, and soffit recessed cans installed. Hopefully they are centered over the fabric panel locations.




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Theater for Hobbits 2.0 - AVS HT of the Month - This time it's 2.35 CIH in a 10' x 10' alcove!

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post #27 of 139 Old 07-30-2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowkarver View Post

Quietzone pink fluffy and Roxul Comfortboard IS in the soffits. I'm going to cover the rear vertical face with GOM instead of drywall to see if it works as a bass trap:

Nice to see you progressing very well.
Have you thought of adding a layer of QuietRock drywall for the rear wall and cover it with the GOM ?
As I used them for my HT side and rear wall and as well the angle down soffit to reduce the bass reflection .
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post #28 of 139 Old 07-31-2013, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kis3dhc View Post

Nice to see you progressing very well.
Have you thought of adding a layer of QuietRock drywall for the rear wall and cover it with the GOM ?
As I used them for my HT side and rear wall and as well the angle down soffit to reduce the bass reflection .

Thanks. There will be 2" GOM fabric frames on the rear wall, concealing some kind of acoustic treatment. I'll figure out exactly what to put there after measuring the room (just received my miniDSP measurement mic!)

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post #29 of 139 Old 07-31-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Future home of the back half of a SVS SB12.





From the "equipment closet" side. A layer of 3/4" ply still to go over two layers of Roxul board.



Next up, stage framing...

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Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

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post #30 of 139 Old 08-10-2013, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Tape and mud mostly done (yuck). Luckily most of the joints will be covered by fabric, so just one layer on those.



Stage deck cut but not yet filled and sealed. Rack carcass built and passthrough framed. I made a stupid mistake calculating the vertical space taken up by the stage, cabinet, and screen - so ran out of room under the soffit for the front speakers. Going to have to make adjustments to the design.



Nailers for the corner bass traps/rear speaker columns. Just stacked up - today's job is to build them.


Theater for Hobbits 1.0 - One of the smallest-ever (13' x 8' x 6'8") AVS builds!

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