Originally Posted by DonH50
Unless the TV is huge the couch is too far for proper viewing; the rule of thumb is something like 2.5 to 3 times the screen diagonal to the viewing position. If this is the basement can you convince her to make it into a media area? The couch really needs to be closer to the TV, but I guess if 12" is all you can get take what you can.
Ethan sells absorbers and stands that can be placed behind the couch in front of the windows. There are special acoustic blinds you could get (the ones I have seen are either pleated and filled, or look like padded roller blinds; both cost a lot more than regular blinds, natch). There are also black-out blinds that are coated to block light. Ethan probably has other, better, suggestions. Cardboard will not do anything significant for the sound, though will block the light.
You are going to have a hard time getting a good image with the LF open on the side and RF having a wall on the side. Adding absorption at the first reflection points (wall, ceiling, floor) will help. If the ceiling is absorbent, and floor (rug -- you could add a heavy throw rug to help), then all you need is a panel on the right wall.
If you could pull the couch out 4' so the back is even with the wall it might help.
Is the mech room (HVAC) sealed? If it has a louvered door for air flow instead of outside ducting you won't be able to kill the noise... If it has a solid door and a hi/lo duct (or whatever) inside the HVAC room you may be able to use an exterior door with weather sealing and a threshold/seal at the bottom to deaden the HVAC a bit.
HTH - Don (waiting to see what else Ethan suggests)
I think I am OK on the TV distance. The diagram is not EXACT. Let me explain. The TV is a 55" LCD. The front wall to the back wall is 16'8". The viewers head is physically probably about 2 feet off the back wall so now you are down to 14'8". Now, the TV is also mounted on a full swivel mount and pulled out about 3 feet off the wall, so we are down to 11'8". 55" x 3 is 165" which is roughly 13.75 Feet. Sounds pretty close.
I will definitely look into the absorbers and blackout blinds for the windows. Anybody know of a good place to get the blackout blinds? The imaging seems suprisingly OK to my ears so far. Since the front right is close to the right wall, I decided on toe-in. I was listening to some early Dylan and Beatles mono records last night and you would swear the sound is coming out of the center channel. Is that considered "good imaging"?
4' out will be completely out of the question, as that puts the front of the couch 7' in which is basically in the middle of the room unfortunately. The HVAC room has two wooden doors almost like a closet. There is of course some sound when then AC or Furnace is kicking but overall it is not too too bad.
The floor is carpeted and the ceiling is a half and half thing...the front half is dropped drywall at about 7' from the ground. That part is almost like a popcorn type drywall texture. The other half from the middle to the back is dropped ceiling tile at about 8'. The ceiling tile I believe does have some good qualities for absorbing sound.
After reading Ethan's material, it is quite apparent that my biggest problem has been bass response. I am convinced my ceiling might have something to do with this. Allow me to explain. Remember I said part of the ceiling is 7ft popcorn drywall, and the other part is 8 ft. dropped ceiling tile? So basically if you start from the front of the room at some point near the couch the ceiling gets a foot higher...now once it gets higher up to 8 feet, that goes for probably 3 more feet towards the rear wall and at that point there is a large horizontal structural beam that hangs down to about 7 feet, equal with the front. That support beam is almost directly above the couch. So essentially there is a little rectangle of "sound hole" happening there between where the ceiling goes from 7 to 8 feet and where the support beam hangs down What I THINK may be happening is that the bass is hitting that horizontal beam, being reflected back and giving me some standing bass waves that cancel each other...that is in addition to whatever is happening off my largely reflective rear wall. What can I do for the horizontal beam if that indeed is a concern?
Here is what I have gathered I might be able to do based on Ethan's knowledge and everybody's feedback so far.
1) Move the couch up as much as I can get away with and keep my marriage happy
2) Blackout blinds for the rear windows. I'm glad you guys said that because even with the cardboard and blinds, light is still a minor issue as well.
3) Traps for the rear walls. I would probably need 3 panels -- One for each window and one in the middle where it is just bare drywall
4) Hi/mid trap on the right wall at first reflection point of the front right speaker
5) Bass traps for the front / rear right corners and the rear left corner
6) Something for this horizontal support beam.
Thanks for all your time and expertise!