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Focus on soundproofing or acoustic treatments

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of renovating my home theater room. I live alone and I live on a quiet road and the neighbors arent close enough to be bothered by my audio so Im wondering if I need to be that concerned about soundproofing. The room is brick on all four sides that have studs mounted on them. I will be going back on top of that with sheetrock or cork. There is one standard sized, doorway entrance into the room that I would consider getting a door for if you guys tell me that soundproofing would still be important for my situation. There are two double paned, argon sealed windows but they will be behind my screen. Im planning to build an outside deck and connect it to this room and I will have a single or possible a double glass paned door leading out to that. If I need to I would mount a heavy curtain that could be drawn over this door during a movie, but I wonder if it would still be enough leakage to render all the other soundproofing efforts wasted. My ceiling was some sort of tile when I moved in and I had it sheetrocked over and it has blow in insulation over that, so Im hoping my STC value in the ceiling may be ok (even though I did just install four can lights). Im going to get new carpet so I can go back with something with good dampening qualities.

Bottom line is, I have about $1500 approximately I would be willing to spend for improving my sound. Ive been reading on this forum a lot today and have realized that soundproofing a room can be very involved and expensive and supposedly is only as effective as its weakest link since sound is like water and will leak out anything that hasnt been sealed. Since I'm mainly worried about acoustical quality, I was hoping maybe I could just focus on acoustical treatments and not be concerned with soundproofing...or is there still a few basics toward that end I should do...or is any I do at all a total waste if I'm not willing to go the whole way with it. Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 10
It sounds like you dont really care if the room is isolated or not but if you want it isolated then you will need to go all out. I dont know how the door will react with the rest of the house/structure but I would imagine that it will hinder what enters and exits through that space. If youre trying to keep road noise, dogs barking, conversations from the deck out then I would think it would be pointless. But I'm just an average Joe and skipped sound proofing all together. I'd put the money towards treatments since there will be two points of sound escaping through glass/construction materials.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really don't have a problem with outside noise. I'm curious if the fact that sound can escape the theater will adversely affect the quality of the sound experience even if there is no ambient noise coming in from outside.
post #4 of 10
I have a fairly extensive room with no sound isolation but do have acoustic treatments.

My thinking was similar to yours. We're 3 acres of woods with a thousand feet of driveway out to the nearest road. In other words...there are no outside sounds.

We have kids, but our lifestyle is such that if everyone's awake, we chose movies that we are all watching. If the kids want to sleep, well, they've been raised on sleeping through anything.

I anticipate some years where they are teenagers and will use the theater with friends when I'm not in there. That's fine. I'll deal with it.

One thing I wish I had done though is to have put more mass on the walls. Cheapest form of that would have been double drywall. Not for sound isolation, but in effort to quiet the room down. My subs can get the room going like its own orchestra.

Acoustic treatment was never an option, and shouldn't be for anyone. The performance of the room is night and day with it in place.
post #5 of 10
One thing I notice as I work on soundproofing rooms is just how noisy a quiet room really is. When you start eliminating sources of background noise in a house your start to hear other sources of noise in your listening room, like the sound of air rushing into the room through a duct. When you use your theater space you just turn up the volume to compensate for the background noises. The quieter the room, the easier it will be to hear the soundtrack and you will start hearing things that you never new were there.

Having said that achieving that level of quiet is not an easy journey and perhaps you are not at that level if interest in this pastime. You can easily add acoustical treatments to a room for well under $1000 if you DIY. As mentioned Adding another layer of drywall to stiffen the room is also a cheap way of taming a room.

If you would show us pictures of your theater space we might be able to help you prioritize your efforts.
post #6 of 10
I will caveat my response with the fact that I have had limited experience (second build just about done). My view is that if you have $1,500 to spend then treatments wins by a long shot. It takes a lot of effort to make a quiet room with DD, GG, SS (and many other 2 letter acronyms I don't understand) and as you rightly point out a couple of holes in the fish tank will make it a bit of a wasted effort. I think it is worth isolating subs from the screen wall and as an earlier poster stated sufficient solidity to avoid the walls joining in...

There are some notable AVS posters who might be able to help with treatments including Dennis Erskine, bpape and so on and of course tons of posts on the subject!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmm, "isolating subs from the screen wall". Now here is a whole new can of worms I haven't read anything about. Can you share with me how to do this and why its important?
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

One thing I notice as I work on soundproofing rooms is just how noisy a quiet room really is. When you start eliminating sources of background noise in a house your start to hear other sources of noise in your listening room, like the sound of air rushing into the room through a duct.

So true! For me it was a buzzing coming from the incandescent filaments in the sconces (had to switch from cheap Philips bulbs to those pricey GE ones! ), and hum from a transformer in a garage door opener from below the theater...

To the OP - yes, as BIG and Tony said, you'll absolutely want some treatments in the room. How much will depend on a lot of factors.

Jeff
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofjay817 View Post

Hmm, "isolating subs from the screen wall". Now here is a whole new can of worms I haven't read anything about. Can you share with me how to do this and why its important?

The subs will vibrate and if they are not dampened or are too close and connected to your screen you might see it on the screen fabric. Other wiser posters can comment on how likely this is but it is more likely to occur if you have a stage and the sub is on (or in) the stage. You can fill the stage with sand and/or separate the stage from the wall that the screen is on. I think there are lots of ways to make sure this doesn't happen. I used Triad subs attached with RSIC clips to the wall in my last build.
post #10 of 10
notice how my framing goes around where the sub enclosures will be located.

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