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post #1 of 27 Old 01-03-2015, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Mini-Minnesota build

hi there,

well, the time has come to start figuring out what I'm doing. I've been lurking here for years and am finally getting the time and budget to setup my theater in my little 15.5 x 14.5 room.

I attached a couple pics of my first draft. First row of seats are the 'money' seats. the row up against the wall (yeah, yeah I know ) are for overflow when I just have to fit those extra people in there. they won't be able to recline because the riser isn't deep enough, but if they don't like it they can go watch the movie in their own HT, right

the column locations along the sides and rear corners are not negotiable as I've got a pipe hiding in some of them. this will put my side surrounds slightly in front of the first row, but I'm going to just have to live with it, I guess.

the plan is for a 7.1 (plus wired for Atmos) setup with a screen between 9 and 10 feet, depending on what my wife and I like from test viewings. will be going with AT screen, with a nice clear front wall. I'll have kind of an odd "false wall" set up in that I'm actually furring out a load bearing wall into the room behind it to create cavities for my speakers. Plus side is, I can decouple the walls that way. Downside is available room for speakers, but I made a bigger open section in the wall for a sub and the LRC don't need to be big in my tiny room anyway.

currently planning on Berkline 45088 which will allow a loveseat and two single seats in the front row with 2 feet + aisles on either side. these should also fit in the single/loveseat/single configuration I've got for the back row.


questions for all you helpful folks here:
1. Do I have room for a soffit with my 10 inch riser and 8 foot ceiling? I was hoping to do one, but I think it's just not going to work.
2. where should I put my sconces? in my draft I have 4 of them, but I also thought about just having two of them on the pillars, above the speakers. How high off the ground should I mount them?

here's some pics! Colors are subject to change.


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post #2 of 27 Old 01-04-2015, 03:50 PM
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How wide and how deep, is the room?




And these cavities are going to house the speakers?
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-04-2015, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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the room is 15 feet 7 inches deep and 14 feet 8 inches wide.

the cavities in the wall will be 8 inches deep and 15 inches wide as it sits right now. I figure that should house plenty enough speaker for that small a room. I have also blocked out a bigger area for a sub. Given that my wife and I are the type that think the movie theater could turn down the sound when we go, I'm not too worried about being constrained on speaker size.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-04-2015, 07:32 PM
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Two rows of seating is tough for that length. You might have to dial back your screen size a bit for comfortable viewing in the first row. Is your screen going to be 16:9?

Another thing you might consider is going with a 5.1 setup. Acoustics already won't be great in the back row right against the wall. However, speaking from experience, having a rear speaker right next to your head will turn a pleasant experience annoying. For me at least, the small benefit of 7.1 for the main listening position is outweighed by the sound degradation in the back row.

If you really don't care how things look/sound in the back row, you mind as well go with a single row at 13 feet. You could then run a screen size that you were hoping for. For overflow, throw some beanbags or gaming chair in front.
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-04-2015, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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screen will be 2.35:1.

I had considered going 5.1, maybe I'll to circle back around to that. I'd really like to be able to get that 2nd row comfortably in there rather than a temp thing.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-05-2015, 03:57 AM
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I like the room as a single row of seating also.


Two rows of three would at least get two seats out of the back corners, but your front row looks to
be centered on the length, where you don't want it audio-wise. And you might start to see the AT's
screen weave. And if a woven AT screen fabric is right on top of the front speakers, they will
timbre shift unless the screen is 6" off the face of the speakers. Now if you are thinking of
recessing those speakers, now you mess with their imaging. So you are close to having all seats
compromised. And then your seating is right on top of the surround speakers. How do you propose
to set their levels, so speakers don't jump out of the surround mix at the nearest seats?


Now if you went with some quality in wall speakers up front, can you bring the screen forward six
inches?


You also are going to have to watch carefully where the projector lands, with the riser, and a 7' 2" height.
You don't want it competing with headroom space on the riser.


Do you have any gear right now, that will be used in this space, or are you starting from scratch?
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-05-2015, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I will reconsider getting rid of the second row of seats. I wouldn't mind not having to build a riser.

I'm getting more concerned about my screen wall though. Right now, all I've done is furred out a load bearing wall, which means that I have studs every 16 inches, between which I would have to place my speakers. The wall is only 9 inches deep right now, which doesn't give me the six inches between the front of the speaker and the screen.

right now, the door into the room sits 3 inches from my screen wall, so I'd have to move the door in order to build out the false wall further. Which would be a PITA due to some wiring issues, but not impossible if I need to do it in order to avoid massive issues.

I do have a decent home theater in a box that has served well enough to keep my happy so far, but I was hoping to upgrade it some time down the line.

the thought comes to mind of rotating the theater 180 degrees, putting the door in the back left corner, since I'd no longer have a 2nd row in the way. this would give me as much room as I want at the front of the room for building a purpose-built false wall. It shortens the room further, but with only one row, that's maybe not an issue. it also pushes my side wall's columns more towards the back of the room and closer to being directly beside my seating.

does that seem worth considering?
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-05-2015, 12:00 PM
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I like where you are heading!


There are shallow depth in wall speakers out there.


Sent you a personal message...
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-05-2015, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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another attempt.

pros:
gained ~2 feet between screen and setting.
flipping the theater 180 degrees lets me build a stage and proscenium.
without the riser, I can add a soffit, which I like.

cons:
while the unmovable surround pillar is further back, it's still in front of the row of seating.
only 4 good seats in the house - the centered loveseat and one seat to each side.
putting an 8-inch deep or so false wall makes my room very close to a square, which I've read is bad.

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post #10 of 27 Old 01-06-2015, 01:30 AM
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I'd suggest the four good seats is better then your eight audio compromised seats. And you now have a more
open space, with better circulation, and the opportunity for a larger screen.


The false wall needn't make your room square, as it could be acoustically transparent.


Ever consider some stadium style rockers? They would narrow the seating further. Even if you have two rows, then
you should reach for one main listening row with good audio and let the second row be compromised. And you can take
advantage of it being simpler to treat first reflections with one row.


Everyone sees the obvious loss of four seats. But few really stop to think about the big advantages that also come with
less seating.


And are you tied to a more traditional look? That problematic post or drain, could be hidden in other manners, such as
splayed fabric walls. Do you have a floor plan with measurements with the problem post located on it?
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-06-2015, 01:44 AM
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You could disguise the entry door, by using fabric panels.


And those fabric panels could also work in additional lighting zones, and hide acoustical treatments.
And something like a Lutron GE can bring in zoned lighting and some nice lighting effects that can
take a simple room and give it some pizzazz.


I think a wide/shallow room could be a pretty awesome (and quite affordable) space. Four stadium style
rocker seats and simple fabric walls, Seymour XD DIY screen, manual side masking magnetic panels,
and spend the majority on an anamorphic lens, pj and lighting controller.
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-06-2015, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I am pretty tied to the traditional look - I did check out those two theaters you sent me in that PM, they were neat, but I think not really my style.

good point about the acoustically transparent false wall. that is my plan, I just forgot that it doesn't count for making the room square!

Also, stadium seats were vetoed by my wife. she says there must be a way to snuggle! hence the continued presence of the centrally located loveseat.

I'm tempted to just fur out the wall to hide the pipe so I can put my columns where I please, but again, am leary of losing width on my room - it would be about 7 inches less.

here are the dimensions of the room.
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-09-2015, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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After even more deliberation, I think what I'm going to do is rotate the theater 90 degrees from my original plan, rather than 180. then I can just stick the troublesome pipe behind the false wall.

I'm going to optimize the theater for one row and, once that's done, see if I don't have enough room for perhaps a bar with stools type setup or a row of the stadium-type seats which take up less space.

I'll be ending up with a room that's wider than it is deep, but a foot and a half or so, but with probably only one row of seating, I think that's not going to be a big deal....er... right?
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-11-2015, 04:53 AM
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Just a random late,to the party thought. You can have decorative columns and mount your speakers in recessed backer boxes in the walls. Cover with a fabric panel. Basically hidden speakers. That allows you to position them where you want them.
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-11-2015, 08:36 AM
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Widen the side columns, recess the speakers, and then do fabric side walls
to hide acoustical treatments. The room will be fractionally smaller, but the
visual space given up, could be hard working.

You also could do splayed walls, to hide that pipe, and hide speakers. Or go with
a new creative loom and do various depth vertical fabric panels.
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-11-2015, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the thoughts Jeff and Tedd. I'm still pondering

The post/pipe that is causing me so much angst actually is just a clean out that is less than a foot tall. I'm toying with the idea of just building a box around it and calling it good. it's starting to seem a little silly to let this little, 1 foot tall, 6 inch square space dictate the design of my theater.
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-11-2015, 04:59 PM
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You can let a little square footage go, even in a small room. And ideally you want acoustical treatments, so that actually shrinks the impact of the pipe.


And you will need an access hatch for that clean out.
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post #18 of 27 Old 06-02-2015, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not usually much for sharing, but I figure with all the questions I've been asking, I owed a progress picture or two

here's the screen wall with a bit of my minimalist stage. Bass traps incoming.



and here's a picture of the back left corner of the room, with an opening for where the projector will live. can also see a speaker wire for left surround and an opening for one of the 4 atmos speakers.

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post #19 of 27 Old 06-03-2015, 03:29 AM
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Looking very nice. Looks like you are well on your way to nailing this build!
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post #20 of 27 Old 06-21-2015, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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here's another progress report. Screen wall and bass traps are almost done. the horizontal rails are there so I can attach the in wall LCR speakers I got. the long 'slot' gives me nice flexibility to move the left and right if I decide to end up making the screen a little smaller.

Initial setup is a 108" 2.35:1 AT screen. we'll be sitting ~9.5 feet from that, so it will be large. Hence the options for making it smaller and moving speaker.

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post #21 of 27 Old 07-08-2015, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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paint and carpet are done!

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post #22 of 27 Old 07-09-2015, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB_IN_MN View Post
paint and carpet are done!

Love the carpet choice! How did you ultimately decide to handle the pipe/column situation?
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post #23 of 27 Old 07-09-2015, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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on that particular wall, i built a false wall that was 6-ish inches from the actual wall. this was enough to hide the pipe, which is actually just a clean out. you can see the access panel at the very edge of the right side of the picture.

there's another clean out hidden in the left front bass trap.
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post #24 of 27 Unread Yesterday, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I can't make up my mind on panels for the side walls. anyone got an opinion on 1 panel vs 3?
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post #25 of 27 Unread Yesterday, 03:42 PM
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Hello Rob... Many have done the single panel idea. Might be time to mix things up a little. The 3 panel is more attention grabbing. Room is coming along nicely. Keep rocking it.
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post #26 of 27 Unread Today, 07:39 AM
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Here is example of the one panel look from another MN build. Though I like this theater a lot, I think the three panels would be a nice look. One panel is easier though.


-




Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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post #27 of 27 Unread Today, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I hadn't seen Steve's theater before. it looks great. I was concerned about the walls being too busy, but his walls certainly look great with all those panels and pillars.

I think I will go with 3
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