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post #1 of 30 Old 07-27-2014, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Help with a floor plan

Hey All,


New to the forum here. It has been extremely educational reading all of the great info on this site. I am so excited to have dedicated theater room. Although I am pretty far out from starting my build I am already anxious to get going. We are building a new home here right outside Charlotte, NC. I am thrilled to be getting a basement. I got the basement plans from the architect and came up with an idea on how I want to eventually finish the area. The basement is pretty big with about 2700sq ft of unfinished space. It is an unfinished walk out. The main function of the area is a family and adult fun center; pool table, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, wet bar, hang out area. We will have a dedicated Fitness room on the second floor, but the plan is to move it to the basement when it is complete, so I have marked off an are for that. The builder is also going to be roughing in a full bathroom. My plan is to back up the wet bar to the bathroom to simplify my plumbing work. So with all that said I have come up with what I think is a good area for a dedicated theater. My biggest issue is with the width of the space. It is 12'6 at its narrowest. I have widened the area as best as I could, turning at each lally column. This is not a completely custom builder (Toll Brothers), so I am pretty sure moving columns is out of the question. And frankly, I don't want to spend the extra $ to have them moved after the fact. So I need to incorporate them into my design. Other than that consider this a blank slate for anyone willing to help me come up with a better solution. Also I don't have a single piece of equipment, so all that will have to come later as well. They haven't even started on the house yet. Settlement will probably be in June or July 2015. So we are a ways away from this, but I have been having fun (and losing sleep) planning big plans. I know it won't be cheap, but my budget for the theater area is 30-35k. I am good at building stuff and plan to do the overwhelming majority of the work; with the help of my (then)13 yr old son. So without further adieu. My workup attachment for the whole basement and an attachment for the theater. I appreciate all feedback. My first time trying to upload a file, hopefully it works and isn't too big.
Dave
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-27-2014, 11:20 AM
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I am not sure what your question is and I am trying to understand your dimensions. Is your width appx 14.5 between the entry door and the wall leading to the equipment room? Also, does the length of almost 20 feet include the wall behind the screen wall, or from the screen? My room is appx 21x12.5 so you can see what you can do.


A couple of observations though. If the round circles in front and behind your seats are speakers, those would not be the recommended locations. The sides should be at about 90 degrees from the back of the first row and the rear should be centered on your seats about 4-6 feet apart. The wall to the equipment room could give you some sound issues too if you don't have some sort of sound control plan for echoes.


I don't know how much play you have with design right now, but what if you made the space where you show your front sound stage the equip room and took out the current wall to your equip room? What would the length be from the entry door to the opposite wall?

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post #3 of 30 Old 07-27-2014, 11:54 AM
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I think this is a smart use of the space, if it can be done this way. There will be plenty of time to nudge seats and speakers this way and that once you actually have a building to get into. In the mean time, I think this is a great start.

I think the opposite corner where you've positioned the fitness room also deserves serious consideration. The window on that wall provides some challenges, but it's wide enough, IMO, and you could go back to around 21' to the columns for the depth you'd want for two rows.

There's a couple major aspects that we don't know anything about yet. First, is your expected use for the space. It looks like you want a fairly "traditional" dedicated theater, which I assume means soundproofing and acoustic treatments and the full deal, as opposed to a reconsidered family room with a projector, or a party room for watching sports with the guys - it seems like you have other spaces for those. So how many people do you really need to accommodate? Is six seats enough or do you really need eight?

The second thing that will be unknown until it's too late, most likely, is the overhead utilities the subcontractors will put in that space. I suspect that there will be air handler or other machinery in the utility area behind your proposed theater. The plumbing and ducting that is likely to originate there can wreak havoc on your design. There's a good chance there's a bathroom or kitchen above that space too, so the plumbing has to come down through that area. If the builder has other finished homes of this type that you could visit, it would be very much worth your while to go see how that all gets put together.


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post #4 of 30 Old 07-27-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LowellG View Post
I am not sure what your question is and I am trying to understand your dimensions. Is your width appx 14.5 between the entry door and the wall leading to the equipment room? Also, does the length of almost 20 feet include the wall behind the screen wall, or from the screen? My room is appx 21x12.5 so you can see what you can do.


A couple of observations though. If the round circles in front and behind your seats are speakers, those would not be the recommended locations. The sides should be at about 90 degrees from the back of the first row and the rear should be centered on your seats about 4-6 feet apart. The wall to the equipment room could give you some sound issues too if you don't have some sort of sound control plan for echoes.


I don't know how much play you have with design right now, but what if you made the space where you show your front sound stage the equip room and took out the current wall to your equip room? What would the length be from the entry door to the opposite wall?

Lowell,
Thanks for the reply. I am sorry, I guess I should have better explained my dimensions. The front screen wall is 12'6". It then steps wider to 14'7", and then again to 17'5". The room depth is 19'11" from the screen wall to the back. The area behind the screen is 2'. Those circles are where the lally columns are. My plan is to box those into columns which would allow me to keep those to the inside and give about a foot more width in each "step." I would love to rotate the room 90 degrees and like you suggest, (box the window in) but that doggone column is right in the way. That whole right side has been an issue. In one iteration of my plan I had just mimicked the right side as the left side and that space would have been just unfinished storage, but it seemed like such a waste. So this is the best I could come up with. Surely there has to be a better design. I welcome any and all. I have so much to learn from you guys.
Dave
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-27-2014, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post
I think this is a smart use of the space, if it can be done this way. There will be plenty of time to nudge seats and speakers this way and that once you actually have a building to get into. In the mean time, I think this is a great start.

I think the opposite corner where you've positioned the fitness room also deserves serious consideration. The window on that wall provides some challenges, but it's wide enough, IMO, and you could go back to around 21' to the columns for the depth you'd want for two rows.

There's a couple major aspects that we don't know anything about yet. First, is your expected use for the space. It looks like you want a fairly "traditional" dedicated theater, which I assume means soundproofing and acoustic treatments and the full deal, as opposed to a reconsidered family room with a projector, or a party room for watching sports with the guys - it seems like you have other spaces for those. So how many people do you really need to accommodate? Is six seats enough or do you really need eight?

The second thing that will be unknown until it's too late, most likely, is the overhead utilities the subcontractors will put in that space. I suspect that there will be air handler or other machinery in the utility area behind your proposed theater. The plumbing and ducting that is likely to originate there can wreak havoc on your design. There's a good chance there's a bathroom or kitchen above that space too, so the plumbing has to come down through that area. If the builder has other finished homes of this type that you could visit, it would be very much worth your while to go see how that all gets put together.
Thanks Fred. That window was also one of my issues with moving it to that side. Also I don't want to cut into the pool table area too much. I only have a 7ft table now, but would love to get at least an 8'. Yes the theater space is just to be a traditional theater, with soundproofing and acoustic treatment. My family does lots of family movie nights so a special place would be outstanding! My kids are getting older and I want this to be the house they want to hang out at. That way I can keep an eye on them and the going on of teenagers! So the entire basement is geared to that (bar is off limits ;-) The theater seating isn't too critical. Would love to have 8 but I could do with 6. The wife saw a inspirational theater that had the bar in the back, but there is no way with the limited depth we have. And the space behind the back wall is where they are putting the air handlers. They are tucked close to the stairs, but there are two pretty big units. I couldn't find a symbol for it on Home Essentials so I just threw a water heater symbol in there. Overhead ducts will likely run along the steel beams as I have seen in other homes not necessarily our model, but further along. They do keep it pretty clean looking down there though, nothing hanging below the joists. The ceiling at the lowest point below the steel beam is at least 8'. Then probably 10-12" above that is the floor joists. But dude, you are right on the money that is where the kitchen is, directly above the seating area. First floor bathrooms are not above it though. My biggest design issue is what to do with that right side? Also, I am not sure how the staggered walls will sound and look. So any input is greatly appreciated.
Oh yeah. We are upgrading our electrical service to 400amps. The plan is to have two 100 amp sub panels in the basement. One strictly for the basement electrical needs including having a separate air unit for the basement. And one to run my Christmas lights. I have nearly 100,000 lights programmed to Christmas music. It is off the hook!!
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 03:14 AM
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Whatever your decision is, it’ll always be a compromise. Your current plan is acceptable, I think, but I’d consider two alternatives:

1. Rotating your theater 180 degrees
Acoustically it’d be a bit problematic, but it’d look much better IMO. Much bigger screen wall, the entrance would be in the front, and it’d simplify the riser issue. On top of that, two of the columns would be hidden behind the screen wall, and the two remaining ones wouldn't be so obtrusive visually.

2. Using the fitness room
It’s smaller, but it’d avoid several problems you have on the other room.


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post #7 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 05:46 AM
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break out of the square mindset.
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
break out of the square mindset.

I likey! But I just got a framing headache! Sorry, but I can't read your notes. What do they say?
What would you do with the opposite side of those angled walls? Like the side with the Family Rec area. Would you square those off and then just leave a void? I guess that would help with the room in a room concept. How about that dreaded right side? Just leave that unfinished with the exception of the AV room? Maybe accessible only from the utility room. It seems to be a difficult little space to do anything with. And it would seem counter productive to put a door to the av room through the theater.


It is nearly impossible to get Home Designer to properly angle the walls. So I penciled this in. Thoughts?
Thank you so much for all the input. From everyone!
Dave
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 11:07 AM
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I'm insanely jealous of your floor space.


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post #10 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Just had another thought. What if rather than walling off the AV room, I left it open to the unfinished area? My main concern was light seepage from the little half window, but I bet a dark curtain would suffice. Plus would leaving the AV equipment open to a larger space minimize the need for specifically cooling the equipment?


Dave
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post #11 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 12:20 PM
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Your current design will not work well. Your lateral reflections will end up reflecting into the back wall. This will not result in a pleasing spatial distribution for your listening position. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. Designs of this type often result in a hollow sound and not one of full body. The only way you can get a design of this type to work is if the ceiling is stepped such that vertical reflections angle down towards the listening area. However with THX speakers the elliptical waveguides force high frequencies into more lateral distributions. The only way to make this really work, is if you splay the sidewalls so that they are parallel with the opposite wall and the listening position. However fanned rooms that get Narrower as you go further back work well. Hope this helps.

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post #12 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Your current design will not work well. Your lateral reflections will end up reflecting into the back wall. This will not result in a pleasing spatial distribution for your listening position. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection. Designs of this type often result in a hollow sound and not one of full body. The only way you can get a design of this type to work is if the ceiling is stepped such that vertical reflections angle down towards the listening area. However with THX speakers the elliptical waveguides force high frequencies into more lateral distributions. The only way to make this really work, is if you splay the sidewalls so that they are parallel with the opposite wall and the listening position. However fanned rooms that get Narrower as you go further back work well. Hope this helps.

Ah yes the old I=R. I remember that from high school physics classes, which I still love to use when playing a seriously mean game of billiards. But everything you said after that was like when Charlie Brown's parents are talking. (just trying to be funny) I am not an audiophile, but can appreciate a good sound and good experience. So I guess the question is should I rotate the theater 180 degrees like Silva741 suggested and keep the fanned walls? Depending on exactly where they put the air handlers I could bump that wall back a foot or two. I would still have those lally columns to deal with on the screen wall. And what I didn't mention is those are actually double columns with one shown in the my drawing and the other "in the wall". Or do I go back to my original design with parallel side walls that step wider at the columns?
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post #13 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Man, I am more confused now than ever before. I searched "splayed walls" and I get a variety of opinions from experts in the field of acoustics. Ughhh! This is gonna be a two beer evening trying to decipher what is one person finds great vs. what someone else equally finds great. Personally, I am not a sophisticated listener. I just want a theater my family, friends and I enjoy. But who is to be my plumb line? The audiophile who can detect the slightest variance in acoustics. Or the kid who hooks up his Peavey amp and just cranks it. I am probably smack dab in between those folks. I am just your average Joe movie guy. I personally only go to the theater to see movies if it is an action movie with lots of effects (you know get my $50 worth for a family of 4). Chick flicks can wait until they hit BluRay and we watch in our 5.1, non acoustically treated family room. This new house is going to afford us a great opportunity to enhance our movie watching. The kids are always asking if we can have family movie night. I don't want it to sound like a cave, but dang, I am also not recording the London Symphony in there. Anyone other newbies have problems trying to decide just how far to go with this theater thing?


Beer and ibuprofen time. Peace out.
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post #14 of 30 Old 07-28-2014, 06:03 PM
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You're drinking from the proverbial fire hose now. The learning curve is steep at this point. If I may make a suggestion to help simplify things...this is what you need to decide now.

1. What's my budget?
2. Do I want to spend a lot of time learning or do I want professional help to cut learning time by a large margin? There are lots of resources, but all require a significant time investment.
3. What's important to me?

Decide these things and formulate a plan from there.

Hope this helps

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post #15 of 30 Old 07-29-2014, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo View Post
You're drinking from the proverbial fire hose now. The learning curve is steep at this point. If I may make a suggestion to help simplify things...this is what you need to decide now.

1. What's my budget?
2. Do I want to spend a lot of time learning or do I want professional help to cut learning time by a large margin? There are lots of resources, but all require a significant time investment.
3. What's important to me?

Decide these things and formulate a plan from there.

Hope this helps
Thanks, for the suggestions.


1. I am planning to spend around 30k for everything regarding the theater. (framing, soundproofing, acoustic treatment, projector, speakers etc...) . Not all at once, 30k over the duration of the project. So a chunk of change here and there as the project moves along. As I said on the phone, the theater will be the last part of my basement build. Wife wants the main hang out area done before I start spending money making the theater room. But I want to go ahead and frame the entire basement at the same time, as well as get the whole thing drywall and mudded. Which would probably include whatever soundproofing I decide to do. It is a new community so I am expecting dry wall crews to be all over the place. I plan to probably hang the drywall myself but hire out the mud and finishing. Get all that nasty stuff done at the same time. It may be 2 years until I get to the guts of the theater. But I just want the shell to be built correctly and ready to go. I plan to spend at least 30k finishing and furnishing the rest of the basement.
2. I don't mind spending the time doing the learning. I have taken on huge projects in the past where I didn't know a single thing. I spent 3 years learning and gathering supplies in order to DIY electronic controllers to animate my 100,000 light Christmas display. A shout out to my boys at doityourselfchristmas.com So I think I am capable. But the biggest difference I see is that acoustics seems so subjective. What one person likes another hates. What one user enjoys another finds pedestrian. There seems to be a huge difference even among experts. I realized this when I did a forum search on splayed walls. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on anything or at least very little. When you throw numbers around to quantify acoustics, even then, those are interpreted differently depending on who is experiencing the sound. My dad, who is slightly hard of hearing, certainly can't tell the difference between my Epicure speakers downstairs and my kids little tiny Yamaha set upstairs. Even my wife says, "they both sound fine to her." It is like wine for me, it all tastes the same. That is what I find frustrating I have no idea which direction to head. There is no black or white, just grey.
3. What is important to me... that is a tougher question. I am not really sure how to answer that. I want a nice looking theater with a decent sound. I want to close the door and it to be quiet, not necessarily pin drop quiet. A place where my family wants to go to enjoy family movie night. I am not looking for perfection,... does that even exist.


I had such a headache last night reading, but the two beers helped. A lot. I think I fixed my room problem. Here is my solution. Sorry honey, 6 seats not 8. That right there will save me probably $1200. Straight walls, no slants, no angles, no curves. It will even be easier to build the soffits. Bang! Done! My epiphany came while listening to Detroit Rock City. KISS baby!


Thanks for hearing me whine,
Dave
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post #16 of 30 Old 07-29-2014, 01:36 PM
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Thanks, for the suggestions.


1. I am planning to spend around 30k for everything regarding the theater. (framing, soundproofing, acoustic treatment, projector, speakers etc...) . Not all at once, 30k over the duration of the project. So a chunk of change here and there as the project moves along. As I said on the phone, the theater will be the last part of my basement build. Wife wants the main hang out area done before I start spending money making the theater room. But I want to go ahead and frame the entire basement at the same time, as well as get the whole thing drywall and mudded. Which would probably include whatever soundproofing I decide to do. It is a new community so I am expecting dry wall crews to be all over the place. I plan to probably hang the drywall myself but hire out the mud and finishing. Get all that nasty stuff done at the same time. It may be 2 years until I get to the guts of the theater. But I just want the shell to be built correctly and ready to go. I plan to spend at least 30k finishing and furnishing the rest of the basement.
2. I don't mind spending the time doing the learning. I have taken on huge projects in the past where I didn't know a single thing. I spent 3 years learning and gathering supplies in order to DIY electronic controllers to animate my 100,000 light Christmas display. A shout out to my boys at doityourselfchristmas.com So I think I am capable. But the biggest difference I see is that acoustics seems so subjective. What one person likes another hates. What one user enjoys another finds pedestrian. There seems to be a huge difference even among experts. I realized this when I did a forum search on splayed walls. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on anything or at least very little. When you throw numbers around to quantify acoustics, even then, those are interpreted differently depending on who is experiencing the sound. My dad, who is slightly hard of hearing, certainly can't tell the difference between my Epicure speakers downstairs and my kids little tiny Yamaha set upstairs. Even my wife says, "they both sound fine to her." It is like wine for me, it all tastes the same. That is what I find frustrating I have no idea which direction to head. There is no black or white, just grey.
3. What is important to me... that is a tougher question. I am not really sure how to answer that. I want a nice looking theater with a decent sound. I want to close the door and it to be quiet, not necessarily pin drop quiet. A place where my family wants to go to enjoy family movie night. I am not looking for perfection,... does that even exist.


I had such a headache last night reading, but the two beers helped. A lot. I think I fixed my room problem. Here is my solution. Sorry honey, 6 seats not 8. That right there will save me probably $1200. Straight walls, no slants, no angles, no curves. It will even be easier to build the soffits. Bang! Done! My epiphany came while listening to Detroit Rock City. KISS baby!


Thanks for hearing me whine,
Dave
As I said, the splayed wall designs are extremely complex, and probably not the easiest thing to tackle first time out. We have done three or four so far ourselves with great success. It all depends on how you approach it. Acoustics are extremely subjective. Every room is entirely different not only in design, but in equipment used. There is a tremendous amount of art that goes into dealing with it. The entire room is the system. Greater than the individual parts. One of the reasons for the myriad of opinions and one of the more difficult concepts to grasp. It will take time to grasp the concepts as you discover what is important to you. Good luck Dave! The journey can be rewarding!

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
CEDIA Certified Professional EST II - HAA Level III Certified -THX Certified Professional


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post #17 of 30 Old 07-29-2014, 04:30 PM
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When I read your first post I didn’t realize you could still change the walls without extra costs, but if you do, then this seems like a great solution. It certainly avoid many acoustic potential problems. I’d still rotate it 180 degrees. because I prefer to enter directly to the front of the theater (and it’d have a wider front wall, and so on), but even if not, I think it’ll work well.


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post #18 of 30 Old 07-30-2014, 05:33 AM
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Hey All,


New to the forum here. It has been extremely educational reading all of the great info on this site. I am so excited to have dedicated theater room. Although I am pretty far out from starting my build I am already anxious to get going. We are building a new home here right outside Charlotte, NC. I am thrilled to be getting a basement. I got the basement plans from the architect and came up with an idea on how I want to eventually finish the area. The basement is pretty big with about 2700sq ft of unfinished space. It is an unfinished walk out. The main function of the area is a family and adult fun center; pool table, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, wet bar, hang out area. We will have a dedicated Fitness room on the second floor, but the plan is to move it to the basement when it is complete, so I have marked off an are for that. The builder is also going to be roughing in a full bathroom. My plan is to back up the wet bar to the bathroom to simplify my plumbing work. So with all that said I have come up with what I think is a good area for a dedicated theater. My biggest issue is with the width of the space. It is 12'6 at its narrowest. I have widened the area as best as I could, turning at each lally column. This is not a completely custom builder (Toll Brothers), so I am pretty sure moving columns is out of the question. And frankly, I don't want to spend the extra $ to have them moved after the fact. So I need to incorporate them into my design. Other than that consider this a blank slate for anyone willing to help me come up with a better solution. Also I don't have a single piece of equipment, so all that will have to come later as well. They haven't even started on the house yet. Settlement will probably be in June or July 2015. So we are a ways away from this, but I have been having fun (and losing sleep) planning big plans. I know it won't be cheap, but my budget for the theater area is 30-35k. I am good at building stuff and plan to do the overwhelming majority of the work; with the help of my (then)13 yr old son. So without further adieu. My workup attachment for the whole basement and an attachment for the theater. I appreciate all feedback. My first time trying to upload a file, hopefully it works and isn't too big.
Dave
Hi Dave,

My colleague included your question in my Google hangout yesterday so I could answer in full. Here's the video on my thoughts on your room.

I hope it helps.

Thanks
Dennis Foley
Acoustic Engineer
AcousticFields.com
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post #19 of 30 Old 07-30-2014, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Dave,

Thanks a lot for that video. That was a pretty slick way to reply. A few things I learned from your video response was move my back row of seating away from the wall. How far away from that back wall would you suggest? Also you wanted to see about moving the back wall farther back into the utility room, but unfortunately that is where the air handlers are going. I may be able to squeeze a few extra feet, but no way to get all 6'. You were correct those green circles are the columns. And yes there seem to be more than usual.
Also what about the way the wall with the screen "pinches" in? I know it is not ideal, but I either a)bring the wall out and lose 4', b) flip the theater 180 degrees and have the rear speakers on that pinched in wall, or c) live with it as is. Thanks for the advice.
Dave
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post #20 of 30 Old 08-05-2014, 03:29 PM
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Thanks a lot for that video. That was a pretty slick way to reply. A few things I learned from your video response was move my back row of seating away from the wall. How far away from that back wall would you suggest? Also you wanted to see about moving the back wall farther back into the utility room, but unfortunately that is where the air handlers are going. I may be able to squeeze a few extra feet, but no way to get all 6'. You were correct those green circles are the columns. And yes there seem to be more than usual.
Also what about the way the wall with the screen "pinches" in? I know it is not ideal, but I either a)bring the wall out and lose 4', b) flip the theater 180 degrees and have the rear speakers on that pinched in wall, or c) live with it as is. Thanks for the advice.
Dave
My pleasure Dave,

Here are my answers to your questions.

Thanks
Dennis

Chief Acoustic Engineer at Acousticfields.com. Listen to your music...without hearing your room!
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My pleasure Dave,

Thanks
Dennis

Dennis, Thank you. It is interesting how this plan is evolving with the more I learn. Attached you will find my latest iteration. I have taken you and Silva's suggestion of flipping the theater 180 degrees. So now my seat will face away from the irregular wall. Also, now the screen wall will be in front of the HVAC units. After listening to your video response, I gather this is the better solution though still not ideal. My thinking is that I can do a lot of soundproofing along that wall, plus the speakers will help to "block" (not sure if that is the appropriate term for you audiophiles. LOL! Drown out, inhibit..) the sound coming from the HVAC. At least those units will not be directly behind the seating area now. I know in a perfect audio world we wouldn't have these intrusions anywhere near the theater, but that is a necessary evil. One of the disadvantages to shoehorning a theater into a predefined space. It is always going to be a give and take. Also flipping the theater makes my riser design a lot simpler, so that is a plus. Once again thanks for the advice and information. Good thing this build is a year or so away and I have plenty of time to learn and adapt. Who knows what it will look like when the house is finally built?


PS. Love the English accent of the guy asking you the questions. Why is it that an English accent always makes a person sound so knowledgeable?


Cheers,
Dave
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-06-2014, 10:54 AM
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Now you're getting somewhere Dave. I'm totally with Silva on this one. I think the 180 degree flip works much better.

I'll admit I didn't read every word of this thread, but I'm curious, did you ever mention how you saw your basement being used? You have what looks like a family gathering area outside of the theater. So am I to assume the theater is basically for movies only?

I'm just throwing these questions out there because I do remember reading that you are not an audiophile. You might consider removing the left side wall altogether. Unless you really want a dedicated room to blast the sound for movies.

My build thread:

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post #23 of 30 Old 08-06-2014, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Now you're getting somewhere Dave. I'm totally with Silva on this one. I think the 180 degree flip works much better.

I'll admit I didn't read every word of this thread, but I'm curious, did you ever mention how you saw your basement being used? You have what looks like a family gathering area outside of the theater. So am I to assume the theater is basically for movies only?

I'm just throwing these questions out there because I do remember reading that you are not an audiophile. You might consider removing the left side wall altogether. Unless you really want a dedicated room to blast the sound for movies.
Yeah, Thanks Crash. It is pretty wild to see the evolution of this idea. Quite frankly, I never even considered a theater room until a few months ago. I have always wanted a house with a basement so I can have a killer man cave. When we had the opportunity to upscale in a new community literally 3 miles from our current home we jumped on it. Even more fortunate was there was an incredible lot with the option for a basement. The house was already almost twice the size as the one we are in now, but for only 59k more we could have a 2700 sq ft unfinished basement. Way more house than we would need, but dang, basements are rare and highly valued in the Charlotte area. So we stretched a bit and signed. The builder is Toll and they wanted to know placement of windows in the basement. So a friend of mine who happens to be a custom home builder in the area helped me out with the basement design. In his napkin sketch he had a dedicated theater room. I was like, BAM!! That is awesome! You can see in my first post the overall layout of the basement. There is already a lot of open space. Room enough for a pool table, ping pong table, foosball, air hockey, bar and nice size family room area; all basically opened with a few columns to box in. Where he sketched the theater room was a lot more columns in closer proximity to each other, so that virtually had to become a room of some sort. The basement will be an adult/teen hang out area. My kids are 12 and 14 and they still absolutely love family movie night. We pick one of our 450 movies (literally 450!), pop popcorn, turn the lights down, rearrange ottomans, and enjoy. The theater room, I hope, will be a huge upgrade to that type of family time. It won't take much to enhance our current experience. Currently we watch movies in a very open family room. I only have a 5.1 with a decent pair of front speakers, so so bookshelf rears, and average sub. So that is where I struggle; how far to take this "upgrade". My wife is a huge planner. She is already thinking this is our forever house. So even our future grandkids have come up when discussing this basement. The other thing she wants me to figure out is how to have a larger stage in front of the screen complete with a curtain. For shows!!! From our Grandkids!! Did I mention our kids are 12 and 14? The woman has watched the Sound of Music way too many times. But anything to get momma on board. Stay tuned for the stage/curtain discussion. It will probably get interesting when they tell me the amount of sand I will need to fill that thing.


Anyway thanks for encouraging me and give me validation this is going in the right direction. Also I would welcome any other suggestions including speaker discussions. That is a whole other ballgame.


Dave
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-06-2014, 03:12 PM
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Looking good, Dave. Just one question about those triangles, are they bass traps? If yes, I think bass traps can (and should) be placed behind the screen wall. Better looks and better efficiency. But Dennis surely can give a much better insight regarding this.

Great to see this evolution. Congrats.


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post #25 of 30 Old 08-06-2014, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking good, Dave. Just one question about those triangles, are they bass traps? If yes, I think bass traps can (and should) be placed behind the screen wall. Better looks and better efficiency. But Dennis surely can give a much better insight regarding this.

Great to see this evolution. Congrats.
Thanks Silva. Work in progress for sure. Those triangles could be bass traps if that was the proper place for them. The green circles are the steel columns. I honestly just boxed those in. The issue is they are actually double columns; one behind the other. I had planned to frame one in the screen wall and leave the one in front only to give me the extra 6-8 inches. I could always move the screen wall forward, frame the front column in and have the back column behind the screen. See the attachment. Or move the screen forward of all of the columns, but that will shorten the room over a foot. Thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Dave
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Dennis, Thank you. It is interesting how this plan is evolving with the more I learn. Attached you will find my latest iteration. I have taken you and Silva's suggestion of flipping the theater 180 degrees. So now my seat will face away from the irregular wall. Also, now the screen wall will be in front of the HVAC units. After listening to your video response, I gather this is the better solution though still not ideal. My thinking is that I can do a lot of soundproofing along that wall, plus the speakers will help to "block" (not sure if that is the appropriate term for you audiophiles. LOL! Drown out, inhibit..) the sound coming from the HVAC. At least those units will not be directly behind the seating area now. I know in a perfect audio world we wouldn't have these intrusions anywhere near the theater, but that is a necessary evil. One of the disadvantages to shoehorning a theater into a predefined space. It is always going to be a give and take. Also flipping the theater makes my riser design a lot simpler, so that is a plus. Once again thanks for the advice and information. Good thing this build is a year or so away and I have plenty of time to learn and adapt. Who knows what it will look like when the house is finally built?


PS. Love the English accent of the guy asking you the questions. Why is it that an English accent always makes a person sound so knowledgeable?


Cheers,
Dave
Hi Dave,

Here's some follow up on the questions you posed:

Hope it helps.

Thanks
Dennis

Chief Acoustic Engineer at Acousticfields.com. Listen to your music...without hearing your room!
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Thanks Silva. Work in progress for sure. Those triangles could be bass traps if that was the proper place for them. The green circles are the steel columns. I honestly just boxed those in. The issue is they are actually double columns; one behind the other. I had planned to frame one in the screen wall and leave the one in front only to give me the extra 6-8 inches. I could always move the screen wall forward, frame the front column in and have the back column behind the screen. See the attachment. Or move the screen forward of all of the columns, but that will shorten the room over a foot. Thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Dave
Ok here's another suggestion regarding the screenwall. Just put the false wall 2' forward, and if your posts are exposed.....build a couple short walls coming off the sidewalls to hide the posts. This gives you an empty void to retract your curtains (which you said your wife was requesting). So you're building little walls that are about 12"-18" long (whatever it takes to hide the amount of curtain you'd have.

My build thread:

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post #28 of 30 Old 08-07-2014, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok here's another suggestion regarding the screenwall. Just put the false wall 2' forward, and if your posts are exposed.....build a couple short walls coming off the sidewalls to hide the posts. This gives you an empty void to retract your curtains (which you said your wife was requesting). So you're building little walls that are about 12"-18" long (whatever it takes to hide the amount of curtain you'd have.

Crash, If I am understanding your suggestion correctly. It would mean moving the screen wall essentially behind those columns? The problem then is that I would lose a significant amount of space for LCR speakers. I am not able to push the "real" wall back any further due to the HVAC. So I would have to use in walls for the LCR and find a place to put subs. The other issue is that this "show" curtain my wife wants built needs to be around 4' away from the screen. So the larger stage is essentially behind the curtains. Cue big dramatic curtain draw for puppet show! Oy!


But that does give me an idea to please the Mrs. What if I built that little wall just inside the entrance door? That could give me a 4' deep stage. Or that wall could be a decorative column to match the other columns that I need to build in order to box in the steel lolly columns. I'll work on a sketch of what I am thinking a little later. As I am sure there will be some acoustical issues with the design.


Thanks for taking the time to help me brainstorm this crazy awesome build.
Dave
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post #29 of 30 Old 08-08-2014, 05:23 AM
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Crash, If I am understanding your suggestion correctly. It would mean moving the screen wall essentially behind those columns? The problem then is that I would lose a significant amount of space for LCR speakers. I am not able to push the "real" wall back any further due to the HVAC. So I would have to use in walls for the LCR and find a place to put subs. The other issue is that this "show" curtain my wife wants built needs to be around 4' away from the screen. So the larger stage is essentially behind the curtains. Cue big dramatic curtain draw for puppet show! Oy!


But that does give me an idea to please the Mrs. What if I built that little wall just inside the entrance door? That could give me a 4' deep stage. Or that wall could be a decorative column to match the other columns that I need to build in order to box in the steel lolly columns. I'll work on a sketch of what I am thinking a little later. As I am sure there will be some acoustical issues with the design.


Thanks for taking the time to help me brainstorm this crazy awesome build.
Dave
Actually what I meant was, put your false wall 2' from the real wall no matter what. Wherever that lands you in relation to the posts...it doesn't matter because I was suggesting two short walls with about a 6" gap in front of the false wall so when the curtain was retracted it would be hidden. However, all of that is moot if you want to hide the stage. Most theaters I've seen have a curtain just a few inches in front of the screen for looks.

You might want to show your wife some pictures of theaters with curtains and see if she just wants the look, or if she wants a functioning curtain.

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post #30 of 30 Old 08-08-2014, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually what I meant was, put your false wall 2' from the real wall no matter what. Wherever that lands you in relation to the posts...it doesn't matter because I was suggesting two short walls with about a 6" gap in front of the false wall so when the curtain was retracted it would be hidden. However, all of that is moot if you want to hide the stage. Most theaters I've seen have a curtain just a few inches in front of the screen for looks.

You might want to show your wife some pictures of theaters with curtains and see if she just wants the look, or if she wants a functioning curtain.

Ah! I got it! I think you are on to something, the seed is planted. She does want it to be a functioning curtain. Just have the proscenium 3-4' from the screen wall. Like this photo, but picture the screen further back when the curtains open. http://www.houzz.com/photos/592872/H...ater-las-vegas Of course on a much smaller and less ornate scale, but that is the general idea. Again, I am not sold on the concept myself. I am just exploring and fishing for opinions. Do you think that would work? Or would the screen be too far back that the curtains/proscenium would be a distraction; just from an aesthetic point of view. I am not even far enough along to think about acoustical effects. I just want to know if you think this will look totally stupid.
Dave
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