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Renovation Project in Florida - Page 4

post #91 of 143
Love the build. It makes me want to redo mine and I havent even finished yet. I wish I had the technical know how to calculate all the placement for the acoustics. Although the setup that I paid very little for has given me tremendous increases in performance all around.

Keep up the fantastic work!!
post #92 of 143
Thread Starter 
Man...I'm not doing any of the manual labor. I'm just posting the pictures.
post #93 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Man...I'm not doing any of the manual labor. I'm just posting the pictures.

Unless you are using some type of voice recognition software to do it...
that is manual labor!!!
post #94 of 143
Thread Starter 
you got me.
post #95 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by whumpf View Post

That didn’t sound right, so a quick Google turned up http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/..._to_Ground.pdf, scroll down to the second page, lightning flash density, and Colorado is 31st. The southeast is tops, with Florida being first

Hmmm... well, I guess our local weathermen/women are a bit overzealous in their statements of lightning activity for the state.

I do know first hand what a close-quarter/direct lightning strike will do to electronics, TV's, phones, microwaves, etc. etc. without any protection. This happened at one of my friends' house right in front of my eyes. It ain't pretty. Lots o' smokin' going on!

Usually, it's a drawn out bout with small voltage sags and surges (especially during bad weather) that helps shorten electronics' lives besides excessive heat build up.
post #96 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

I have not used a step down transformer for a whole house distributed system. However, given adequate capacity, everything in the rack, the projector, and amps for the primary room will be on the 240V system. A lot of potential issues are eliminated this way. Typically, non-dedicated spaces will not have a low enough noise floor to see a benefit; however, other issues such as having the sources on the main equipment power and the family room display on a different leg with a different path to ground could develop...but that is rare (60hz "hum bars" for example). I do suggest a TVSS for the whole house, and that all low voltage items external to the house (phone lines, cable, gate intercoms, etc.) be brought into the house via a grounded surge supression system.

In general, the only items placed on battery backup systems would be things like the network switch in the rack, the control processor (Control4, Crestron, etc.) and perhaps a DVR. Where power is unreliable with frequent outages or brown outs, there are 10 and 15 kva battery back up units available from several sources. When used, I plan on 15 minutes of power for the system, upon power failure detection, the control processor goes into a 5 minute delay before shutting down the entire system. The primary purpose is to provide an orderly shutdown of digital equipment and a proper cooling cycle for the projector. We do see an inordinate amount of component failures in areas where power failures are relatively frequent and the home has a back up generator. Those can be really nasty from time to time.

The EquiTech in this installation has surge and GFCI in the box.

In the end, your best protection is a good homeowner's policy.

Thanks for the info., Dennis!

I was just thinking that if all the components for command and control of the home network/automation/internet, Control4, satellite or cable boxes, amps and pre-amps for the theater and zoned A/V were in a central location in a couple of MA racks it might just be easier to power it all from one sub panel, that panel being something like an EquiTech wall transformer with surge and filtration built in.

It's going into a new loft construction.

The thought I was mulling around being that I'd be isolating all this sensitive electronics from the main panel so potential noise from dimmers (etc.) and grounding issues wouldn't occur. So much of this stuff seems to get tied together these days anyway. Many pre-amps seem to have internet and automation control wired in, for example, besides game and Blu-ray consoles.

However, you made the point that grounding problems like a TV in another room associated with the sources being on a different leg shouldn't usually pose a problem. Would that be the same for outside zones' audio system picking up humming or buzzing as well?

Is there a particular whole house Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor you would recommend?
post #97 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Yup...all that wood bending is done by us in house or on site. We have a really great crew and they are fun to be around.

I can attest to the neat wood bending abilities they have. The 2 curved wood panels in the front corners of my theater that dennis just did look great. (search for KC Cinema)
post #98 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc View Post

Dennis:

I am amazed at the speed of the construction / project...I am particularly impressed given the time it is taking to complete my build...that said, how many guys do you have working on the project?

Joel,
they just completed my room a few months ago and I told em they could work whatever hours they wanted. They were routinely there until 10pm after arriveing around 8-9am and my project had 3 guys most of the time and a 4th to come and do the trim/mouldings. That does not count sherman who comes in only for the accoustic treatments/fabric. He was able to pre-build a lot of my fabic panels to go over the QuestAI wall treatments so he only had to be here a few days vs few weeks which really cut down on the hotel and per diem charge vs what i was originally quoted for the fabic part of the install.
post #99 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Higher level mathematics.

Dennis,
is this room using a quest lens system like mine did?
post #100 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonedoc2be View Post

Joel,

they just completed my room a few months ago and I told em they could work whatever hours they wanted. They were routinely there until 10pm after arriveing around 8-9am and my project had 3 guys most of the time and a 4th to come and do the trim/mouldings. That does not count sherman who comes in only for the accoustic treatments/fabric. He was able to pre-build a lot of my fabic panels to go over the QuestAI wall treatments so he only had to be here a few days vs few weeks which really cut down on the hotel and per diem charge vs what i was originally quoted for the fabic part of the install.

I am totally impressed in that what my builders have accomplished in 48 days appears to be daoble in 1/3 or less time...simply incredible...
post #101 of 143
Thread Starter 
We had a delay due to a new vendor not understanding shipping and delivery requirements. Argh. No pictures of the racks being installed and rewired into the home distribution system. I'll get you some of those after the 810 projector is reinstalled.
So...we were back running yesterday.
LL
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post #102 of 143
Thread Starter 
OK .... As of Tuesday evening (I hate vendor induced delays) the fabric and acoustic treatments are up. The hidden media cabinets are ready for installation. Now the trim, battens, coves with lighting, and carpet ... then movies. I'll get pictures of the equipment area for y'all once the projector is back in place. (The projector port was cut in yesterday...see photo).
LL
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LL
post #103 of 143
Nice looking fabric that - in terms of weave/texture (rather lack of), what is it?
post #104 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elill View Post

Nice looking fabric

I'm not feeling the love quite yet, but I'm sure it will look different fully dressed.
post #105 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I'm not feeling the love quite yet, but I'm sure it will look different fully dressed.

Brown and contemporary are not two words I'd generally use in the same sentance either, but hey its not my house.

The fabric just looks nice and smooth thats all, perhaps its the photo
post #106 of 143
Thread Starter 
I'll see if I can get you a close up of the fabric. I believe it is from Knoll. It has does have a very obvious texture and is a two tone weave of a gold color and black. The color fidelity of the pictures (and your monitor) are not doing the fabric justice.
post #107 of 143
Thread Starter 
...as a clue as to how off the colors are (due to lighting color and low light), the trim that looks black is actually aubergine.
post #108 of 143
Had to look that one up.

post #109 of 143
Thread Starter 
I'll get pictures up later today. The carpet people cannot install the carpet until Monday. We'll go back next week and get the chairs in place and calibrate.
post #110 of 143
Incredible work Dennis, real professional.
post #111 of 143
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

Now, while we wait for the photos, I want to provide some insight as to why this room was torn apart and totally rebuilt. You don't put fabric over styrofoam sheets and claim to have acoustic treatments in the room. You don't put fiberglass in the walls or blow "stuff" into the floor and claim you have sound isolation. There were some very nice speakers for LCR's (not cheap, I might add) but they had 1" dome tweeters. You don't reach reference at 10' to 12' with 1" dome tweeters without distortion or blowing the tweeters. The original ambient noise level in the room was over 30dB. With the softest sound at 22dB, you can expect to need 6 - 8 times the amplifier power to overcome the noise floor ... did I say something about tweeters? Oh, originally the projector was hanging from the ceiling, in the room, not in a hush box. You don't put three (very good) subwoofers in the front of the room and expect to get smooth bass response in the room. As good as those subs are, they fell way, way short of reference in a room of that volume. So now, good acoustics, good bass response, reference can be obtained, dialog intelligibility is up and excellent decay times. So now, the room is done right, speakers have the required capability for the room volume and seating distances, in room ANSI is going to be greatly improved and you won't hear the airconditioning. Did I mention the original room was done by someone that had done studio, concert and large venue sound things? That experience doesn't translate into small rooms. A pro?! The kind of "pro" that doesn't help the reputation of this industry.

There's another individual somewhere in the world that paid a "turn key" design company to do his room. For over $100K they put fabric and fuzzy stuff on the walls, columns with sconces and delivered a pretty room assuming you can overlook the fact that none of the wood and stain on the trim matched. There was no sound isolation...the theater came in a box and was tacked to the walls. The adjacent room had all the air handlers for the house (very noisy) and there was one supply and no return in the room. Over $100K. From a "pro" design company. To completely tear out the room, pull the drywall down, install proper HVAC, properly sound isolate the room, fix the noise from the mechanical room, put in the proper combination of absorbers and diffusers ... $80K. Imagine how much money would have been saved by doing right in the first place. Frankly guys, I've seen some of you DIYer's do a far better job than some of the pro outfits around.

My advice...do your research. Get educated. Set your expectations correctly ... you're not going to spend a year reading these forums (and books) and expect to have the chops to do a project like this correctly. On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet you'll do it better than many "pros"s. Ask the "pro" real questions. Whether you hire a real pro or not is up to you; but, it just a whole bunch cheaper to do it right the first time around. Be careful. Many "pros" are not and pretty doesn't equal good results. How about this ... tell your "pro" you're going to have a third party come in a measure your room once they are done and if it doesn't fall into spec, you get all your money back.
post #112 of 143
Can you elaborate a little more about the tweeters and 3 subwoofers in the front comments? What kind of subwoofer arrangement do you prefer? I know every room is different, but let's just assume a plain ole rectangular symmetric room with 2 rows of seats (back row on riser) and a stage. Also, what size tweeters? I'm curious about this stuff, because I'd like to understand why speaker manufacturers make the decisions they make.

I'm a mechanical engineer, and my experience tells me that devices that have ranges (e.g. torque wrenches, hydraulic pumps, heat exchangers) have optimal points. Most of the time you can use the rule of thumb, 25% to 75%. Meaning devices are most accurate/sensitive between 25% and 75% of full scale. I assume speakers behave this way as well, but maybe I'm wrong. Large speakers have low resonant frequencies and small speakers have high resonant frequencies. So each speaker has certain frequency ranges at which it can vibrate with high accuracy. So why do I see companies selling speakers with such huge differences in driver sizes? Polk for example sells some floor standing speakers with multiple 6.5" drivers and a single 1" tweeter. Why such a gap? Is it because it's cheaper to mass produce a single driver size and keep the circuitry simple?

Maybe I'm getting way out of my element hear, but it always confused me. Your comments provoked me to ask these questions because you obviously know your stuff.
post #113 of 143
Dennis, I assume the "fixation" of the industry on 1" domes is due to cost? or ignorance? or both?......no reference levels for me then.

What do you think about AMTs?
post #114 of 143
Thread Starter 
This will likely be long; but, first, there isn't anything wrong with the use of 1" dome tweeters. They are like any other "tool" ... they must be appropriate to the task. One other preface ... pro speaker companies publish the polar radiation plots of their speakers. Pros must know the radiation characteristics of any speaker so it can be used in an appropriate application for the specific speaker. Consumer speaker companies do not, will not, or simply have never done the measurements...scary thought eh? (I think they rely on marketing hype and a lack of consumer education to sell their stuff ... there are still some very excellent consumer speaker manufacturers who really do care.)

Here are some basic principles. Sound will decay in air. Generally, you can figure on a six dB loss for each doubling of the distance between the listener and the speaker. That being said, high frequencies decay faster than low frequencies...by a lot.

Given that, as you move further from the speaker, you'll experience a decrease in SPL. In addition, you'll experience a greater loss in the high frequencies than the mids and lows. What are then some of the practical considerations?

First, when you have multiple rows of seating, you want a greater distance between the first row and the speakers than with a single row of seating. The reason is that overall loss of 6dB for every doubling of the distance ... the purpose is to reduce, as much as possible the difference in SPL between each row. Second, we have the problem that as we move further from the source, the high frequency loss is greater than in the mid and low frequencies. For accurate reproduction we therefore need to increase the high frequency output of the speakers to compensate such that when given a flat 20Hz to 20kHz input signal, you get a flat response at the seating location.

Let's look at a fundamental difference between a true studio monitor and a typical consumer grade speaker. The designer of the studio monitor has very specifically designed that speaker with the expectation the listener (mix/sound engineer) will be listening in the near field of the speaker. If you were to measure the FR of a true studio monitor at 1 meter (maybe less for some monitors), you should see bascially a flat response to 20kHz. If you were to do the same with a speaker designed for consumer use, you should see not a flat response; but, a rise in output above 10kHz to 20kHz. The amount of this rise would tell you what the speaker designer thought would be the typical listening distance by consumers purchasing that speaker. Because of that rise in high frequency response, if you were seated closer than expected, the speaker would sound overly 'bright' and you're likely not going to like it.

So now, let's consider speakers designed for large rooms. You'll find they use any number of techniques to compensate for the HF rolloff in air. These would be in the form of wave guides, compression drivers, and horns. All of which have the singular purpose of increasing HF energy from the speaker. In this case, if you were seated closer to the speaker than its designed intent, you'd find it harsh and bright (this is one reason I suspect many dislike horns ... ala Klipsch and others ... simply because they are too close to the speaker). Have you ever had a consumer electronics sales person tell you not to buy the Klipsch speaker because your seating distance is six feet? Nah. In fact, they'll try and sell you the bigger one because it is totally awesome, dude.

So, how does this align with 1" dome tweeters? There are very, very good 1" dome tweeters on the market and they do an excellent job of accurately reproducing high frequencies; but, within the physical constraints of the tweeter and its engineering design. When over driven, they will distort, overheat, and blow out (as would any other driver when driven beyond its design limits). Unaided, they are not high output devices.

Once you get beyond 8 to 10 feet that tweeter cannot keep up with the mid/lf drivers, to overcome the in air decay over distance. Your solution ... turn up the volume. The response is distortion and blown drivers. It really isn't the 1" dome tweeter's problem, it's the problem with the sales person's lack of knowledge and the fact the speaker selected doesn't match the application it is being asked to accomplish.

In the end, with multiple rows we need:
1. more distance between the speakers and the first row to reduce row to row SPL differences;
2. we need to overcome the loss in energy over distance (which is now greater) to compensate for that greater distance; and,
3. we need even more HF energy to compensate for its high decay rate over distance.
We're talking about some serious output/amplification/speaker out put issues here.

The designed capabilities of the speaker(s) must be matched to the engineering requirements of the space and seating distances and once you get beyond about 10' and you have more than one row of seating, that 1" dome tweeter (and the speaker you were sold *before* the room was designed) simply won't cut it. There's nothing wrong with the tweeter. The problem is you (and/or your HT 'expert') are trying to move a ton of coal with a wooden tea spoon.

How many times have we seen: "Hey guys I just bought the following gear (list of "stuff") and will be building a home theater in my basement. I have two difference places I could put it ... need your help." At this point, he is likely beyond help. How many times have you seen an "experienced, we know our s**t" home theater company with here's the list of stuff, let's design and build this thing?.

Oh, well. There's more to this room design thing than dimensions, isolation clips, and fuzzy stuff on the walls.
post #115 of 143
Dennis, I greatly enjoyed reading post #114. Thank you. So, the seating distance from the speakers is usually approximately defined by the viewing decision of the theater (e.g. 1.5x screen width or there about). So, projector ability, screen size, etc., HT owner's ability to see (vision), etc. all play into where the one row, or first row, is from the LCR.

That being said, the design and engineering parameters (not limitations or constraints, but purposed boundaries of said driver) of the tweeters are the first things to come under potential conflict for audio reproduction for a HT when a decision about the video is being made.

Recently, I forward a question to a friend (we are both going through our 2nd DIY theaters) regarding what makes a speaker appropriate for HT use vs. a speaker manufacturer taking an audio product (meant for listening to music), adding surrounds and a center channel and calling it a HT speaker package.

For instance, my HT is for me (ok, me and the wife). I do not care about ornateness of a HT, and really focus on the function. I have fairly good correct vision, wish to be seated as such to be immersed in the projected image, and as such my seating distance can be predicted.

That prediction defines my needs in a driver to handle the deliver of the HF, and also accommodate the HF roll off. Mind you I know nothing of audio, but I have a basic understanding of the physics involved--if I force myself to act like one of those analytical types, which is hard to do in my hobby.

Anyway, nice post and good information that I am sure it will arm folks here and bewilder sales folks for a long time. Consumers are often cowsumers in this aspect.
post #116 of 143
Ugh...TMI. Now I have to go get new speakers
post #117 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18628239 View Post

Dennis, I greatly enjoyed reading post #114. Thank you. So, the seating distance from the speakers is usually approximately defined by the viewing decision of the theater (e.g. 1.5x screen width or there about). So, projector ability, screen size, etc., HT owner's ability to see (vision), etc. all play into where the one row, or first row, is from the LCR.

Several factors go into the decision of where to place the first row...but video isn't one of them, at least not for me. Video can be customized to virtually anything you want. Your primary concern with where the first is placed is acoustics. The next factor is limitations of the room. Time to compromise. Choosing between the lesser of two evils is where experience comes into play. As Dennis mentioned, there is more to this stuff than buying equipment and throwing fuzzy stuff on the walls. Best wishes!

Quote:


tell your "pro" you're going to have a third party come in a measure your room once they are done and if it doesn't fall into spec, you get all your money back.

Scaaaarey!
post #118 of 143
Insightful as always, thanks for the long post Dennis.

Good thing my first row will be at about 8-10ft, the second I dont care about pesky visitors
post #119 of 143
Elill,

Sometimes, the second row turns out to be the "best" row.
post #120 of 143
LOL, not when jammed against the rear wall with limited headspace due to a hushbox and soffit and a sign saying you're lucky to be here
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