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post #1 of 6 Old 10-15-2017, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Basement Finishing - Looking for Design Assistance

Hey guys,

I'm hoping to get some input in regards to soundproofing and multi-zone speaker placement for my basement. We just hired a contractor to finish our basement and we're just starting the design phase. The basement is already partially finished, but that part will be ripped out and re-done. So, basically the entire basement will be a complete build-out. I'll probably need to have all the design elements decided on by December 1st.

Here's some basic information on what I currently have planned and what I'm looking to achieve:
  • Images attached showing the basement layout as currently designed. One image shows the area dimensions, the other shows the ceiling heights. I-Beams are shown in yellow to denote where to expect lowered frameouts in the ceiling, since this will be relevant for in-ceiling speaker placement.
  • The Home Theater section of the basement will have 7.1/Dolby Atmos audio using Zone 1 of my receiver. I'm a big fan of Klipsch, and previously had a 5.1 setup using Reference series speakers. I'm most likely going to go with a current generation of Reference, or possibly Reference Premiere. That's to be decided later.
  • The arcade and pool table areas of the basement will have in-ceiling speakers wired to an amp connected to Zone 2 of my receiver. These speakers will be used for music. Currently planning on using Klipsch CDT-5800-C II throughout. I'd like to have 1 volume control per area (2 total - 1 for arcade and 1 for pool). This will allow me to adjust the volume or turn off the sound completely in each area.
  • The speaker zones are denoted by color in the attached images. Blue speakers are Zone 1 for the Home Theater room. Red speakers are in-ceiling for Zone 2 music listening.
  • The living room is located directly above the Home Theater section, so I'm looking to do some basic soundproofing (or should I say sound-reducing?). I basically want to reduce sound bleeding between the 2 spaces. I'm looking for solutions that make both practical and financial sense. I'm willing to spend money to do it the right way, but I don't see value in doubling or tripling the cost to get an extra 5-10% in reduction.
  • The utility room contains the furnace, so I want to reduce/prevent sound bleeding into the Home Theater area.
  • For the flooring, I'm planning on doing carpeting in the Home Theater area and hardware (laminate) through the rest of the basement.
Hopefully that provides all the relevant background information for what I need input on at this point. If not, let me know and I'll update this post as I go. Now, on to my questions:


Sound-Reduction:
1) What's the best way to reduce sound bleed between floors? Note that the sub for the Home Theater is shown in the southwest corner of the room in the attached drawing. This may change for obvious reasons, but I'd like to keep it in that corner or at least the west wall. The sub in the living room (floor above) is located directly above the sump pump. In talking to my designer and researching the forums, we're looking at using whisper clips and 2 layers of drywall with green glue damping compound in between for the ceiling. I figured this would only be needed in the Home Theater section between the west wall and the I-Beam. Should I extend into the bar area behind it?

2) What's the best way to reduce sound bleed between the utility room and the Home Theater? I'm currently thinking 2 layers of drywall with green glue damping compound in between. Is the green glue even necessary here? I'm just concerned about the hum from the utility room getting into the Home Theater. Is the north wall of the utility room sufficient? Should I also do the wall between the utility room and the bathroom? Also unsure about the door itself.

3) Any additional sound-reducing needed? Should I be doing 2 layers of drywall with green glue damping compound on the west wall? Will this help in any way in regards to sound bleed into the upper floor? Are whisper clips recommended or needed on walls, or just ceiling?
In-Ceiling Speaker Placement:
4) How many in-ceiling speakers should I get for proper coverage of the arcade and pool table areas? I figure 2 should be sufficient in the arcade area, but for the pool area I'm wondering if 4 will be enough or if I should use 6. I think I'll be using them for music fairly frequently. The primary factor that tells me I may need more than 4 is the location of the I-Beams where there will be frameouts expected to hide them, as well as the difference in ceiling heights. The house is a split-level, so the north side has higher ceilings than the south.

5) Where would be the optimal placement of the in-ceiling speakers? The I-Beam locations pushed me towards locating the speakers where they're currently located in the attached diagram. If I go with 6 for the pool table area, I figure the additional 2 will go in between the current pairs, with the south-most pair being pushed farther south to be centered between the wall and I-Beam.

6) Should Zone 2 music be mono or stereo? I have never setup a secondary audio zone before, so I'm charting new waters here. It seems to me that stereo would be pointless given this layout, since you're never facing one direction.

7) Should I be concerned with sound-reducing the ceiling in the arcade and pool table areas? I'm planning on using Klipsch ME-800-C speaker enclosures for this reason. Should this be sufficient on its own for the non-Home Theater areas?
Dolby-Atmos:
8) Given the ceiling height in the Home Theater area, are Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers even an option? I've read that the ceiling needs to be at least 8 ft high for the upward firing speakers. My plan is to use floorstanding speakers for the front with integrated Atmos speakers firing upwards. If the height is an issue, I could use in-ceiling speakers, but I would have to make sure they're located west of the ceiling where the ducts are.

9) My plan was only to use upward firing Atmos speakers in the fronts. Do I need Atmos speakers in the rear? I'm planning on using in-ceiling speakers for the back surrounds, so Atmos isn't really an option back there. That makes me wonder if I'll be losing the effect.
General Room:
10)I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but I figure I'll put this up for discussion anyways. From a price/consistency standpoint, it would be nice to have hardwood flooring throughout the basement, but from what I've read the audio in the Home Theater area will sound better if the floor is carpeted. At this point I think I'm set on carpeting just the Home Theater area. What's the general consensus on this? And if I go the carpet route, does it matter how thick/plush the carpet is?
Hopefully this isn't too much to throw into one thread. If anyone suggests splitting this out, please let me know. I just figured a lot of this directly relates to each other. Looking forward to hearing your input, so if you could provide any help on any or all of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-16-2017, 05:48 AM
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I'll answer what I can...

4 speakers is plenty in the pool table area. I have 2 in mine and 2 in my bar and have had party's with ~30 people and nobody complained about hearing what was on TV. I have mine set up in stereo, I've never noticed an issue with my choice of music/tv.

For your Dolby Atmos, the naming convention goes surrounds.subs.overhead, so you're looking for a 7.1.2 system based on your pics and description. I'm not sure what you're planning for your wet bar in terms of appearance, but I might put the rears on the wet bar wall and go with overhead Atmos speakers.

What are you planning to use to run the zone speakers? I understand zone 2 on the receiver will proved the source, but you still have to amplify it for each speaker. With a 7.1.2 setup, you're looking at needing an 11 channel receiver 9 for the theater and 2 for the zone 2 L/R. Those aren't uncommon, just making sure you understand what you're asking the equipment to do.

I have carpet in my theater area. It makes sense to thing that the more plush the carpet the less reflective it will be, but I'm not 100% sure of that. You could also put down a nice area rug if you want to stay consistent throughout the basement.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-16-2017, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Aberk,

Thanks for the input. Responses below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberk View Post
I'll answer what I can...

4 speakers is plenty in the pool table area. I have 2 in mine and 2 in my bar and have had party's with ~30 people and nobody complained about hearing what was on TV. I have mine set up in stereo, I've never noticed an issue with my choice of music/tv.

For your Dolby Atmos, the naming convention goes surrounds.subs.overhead, so you're looking for a 7.1.2 system based on your pics and description. I'm not sure what you're planning for your wet bar in terms of appearance, but I might put the rears on the wet bar wall and go with overhead Atmos speakers.
The wet bar is going to be pretty far back from the listening position, so I think that's going to be too far for the back surrounds. Not to mention I'm planning on having cabinets up to the ceiling. Since there's an I-Beam right behind the listening position, I wanted to make sure any speakers placed in the ceiling are between the I-Beam and the listening position. Otherwise, there's going to be a frameout that might block some of the sound.

Quote:
What are you planning to use to run the zone speakers? I understand zone 2 on the receiver will proved the source, but you still have to amplify it for each speaker. With a 7.1.2 setup, you're looking at needing an 11 channel receiver 9 for the theater and 2 for the zone 2 L/R. Those aren't uncommon, just making sure you understand what you're asking the equipment to do.
Multi-zone audio is new to me, so I just recently started doing research on that. I know I'll need a receiver and a separate amp for zone 2, since I won't be able to drive that many speakers off one receiver. I'm presently considering a Denon AVR-X4400H as the 7.1.2 receiver and an AudioSource AD5012 for the amp driving zone 2. I haven't done much research regarding the amp, but that was the first one I found that would support the number of speakers I want at the power I need. I'm definitely open to suggestions for the zone 2 amp if you or anyone else has any recommendations.

Quote:
I have carpet in my theater area. It makes sense to thing that the more plush the carpet the less reflective it will be, but I'm not 100% sure of that. You could also put down a nice area rug if you want to stay consistent throughout the basement.
Do you think an area rug on hardwood would work as well as a fully carpeted floor? I'm not sure if I've ever listened to a system in a room without carpeted floors.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-17-2017, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slizzap View Post
The wet bar is going to be pretty far back from the listening position, so I think that's going to be too far for the back surrounds. Not to mention I'm planning on having cabinets up to the ceiling. Since there's an I-Beam right behind the listening position, I wanted to make sure any speakers placed in the ceiling are between the I-Beam and the listening position. Otherwise, there's going to be a frameout that might block some of the sound.
I was afraid of the cabinets blocking any options on that wall. With open concept theaters, sacrifices are common. I have several of my own just so I could get the seating numbers I wanted.

The framing comment gave me an idea. You could put a set of columns in and put a bar top between them behind the couch. Put the rears in the columns and the Atmos overhead. See drawing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by slizzap View Post
Multi-zone audio is new to me, so I just recently started doing research on that. I know I'll need a receiver and a separate amp for zone 2, since I won't be able to drive that many speakers off one receiver. I'm presently considering a Denon AVR-X4400H as the 7.1.2 receiver and an AudioSource AD5012 for the amp driving zone 2. I haven't done much research regarding the amp, but that was the first one I found that would support the number of speakers I want at the power I need. I'm definitely open to suggestions for the zone 2 amp if you or anyone else has any recommendations.
That looks like a good option. Especially if you want to play the same thing on all speakers. I had a hard time finding something like that, that would play the same thing on all channels. In the end, I wanted the option to play music in one area or tv audio in another and ended up getting one of these. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10761 It does require you to install all of the in wall controllers, but that was ideal for my situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by slizzap View Post
Do you think an area rug on hardwood would work as well as a fully carpeted floor? I'm not sure if I've ever listened to a system in a room without carpeted floors.
I don't think it will be as good, but I have heard it suggested before and heard people do notice a difference. I think it depends on your budget. My budget wasn't unlimited, but I was more of the mindset that I will spend what it takes to get what I want, it may just take longer. My brother, who was working on more of a budget and shorter time table, found a crazy deal on laminate flooring that he could install himself instead of having to install carpet himself. He threw an area rug down and couldn't be happier.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-08-2017, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Aberk,

Thanks for the input. You've given me some interesting food for thought. I like your idea of the bar top between the columns. I hadn't thought about that, and it's an easy way to add additional seating/area for watching the TV.

Did you choose that multizone controller because it has the included in-wall controls? Being able to control audio volume and light in each area is very important to me. I haven't done much research regarding the volume controls yet, but I assumed I'd just be able to find any wall-mounted control and run the speaker wire through it, but maybe there's a better way to do it.

I think I'm pretty set on using carpet in that area, so that would save me from having that discussion. I was circling back around to possibly doing hardwood simply from the standpoint of it being consistent throughout the basement and might be better when it comes time to sell. However, given the layout of the basement, the area where I'm putting the home theater is really the only logical choice, and I should probably just stop looking at it from a perspective what potential buyers would prefer when we sell...who knows how far off into the future that would be. I am doing this for "us" after all.

Lastly, I'm still looking for some recommendations on the sound reducing...specifically what/how much, and the location (ceiling only? walls?) We may end up just doing the green glue after looking at the overall cost of everything. Doing the full whisper clips might add a lot of cost and in the end if someone can still hear anything upstairs and be annoyed then it would be a waste.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-08-2017, 10:03 AM
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I did choose that controller because it has the in wall controls. I wanted that so people didn't have to come find me to change the volume/source (nobody but me knows how to use it though). Each wall plate has an IR sensor and there is a remote that you can use to control each wall plate too, but having to wall controllers next to each other would likely receive the same signal. I think the wall controls that just run speaker wire only control volume, I dont know how they control source selection, bass, treble, etc.

I cant give you much help with sound control. I didn't worry too much about it beyond putting insulation between the joists and 5/8" drywall in my theater vs 1/2" in the rest of the basement. All my bedrooms are on the second floor, its just my wife and I and we really don't entertain THAT much.
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