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post #1 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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larger room possibilities

After spending the last few weeks with an AV overload of "education" I fear I have more questions now than when I started! I am building a house that is not your usual style. Part of my construction originally included a large shop space that was going to be used for general use and could be used for a drive-through bay for an RV. Consequently, it has been framed with high ceilings and large bay doors. Plans have changed and I have decided to include the space as part of the actual living square footage. The area is 20' wide and 40' long with a concrete slab floor and 20' ceiling height.

On one of the longer sides, there are stairs going up to a landing and entryway into living space on the second floor. It is an open area and looking down from the landing, it is quite an open space. My plan is to build another bedroom/office out from the landing creating a loft above the the lower 20x40 footprint. This will give me an open space 20x40 with 20' ceilings until it meets the enclosed loft which will be the same 20' in width and covering about 16' of the the 40' below.

The idea of a home theater has prompted the creative juices and I have the space obviously, but I am wondering if there is an advantage acoustically and visually by locating the screen on the large wall (since there will be no bay door) or against the wall underneath the loft room. The ceiling height undernearth this loft is about 10 or 11 feet depending on the the type of floor joists I end up using.

My goal is to have a retractable or fixed screen about 175" diagonally and position a projector underneath the loft floor either shooting to the short wall about 15' away one side or the larger wall about 25' feet away. My limited understanding thinks that the short wall would be create a darker space, but on the other hand the taller wall would be an easier install. Since I havent decided on a projector just yet, I want to give myself more options. Any thoughts? This will be a general fun room not just media, so it won't be a purely cinema/theater room. I know there will be compromises but I am looking minimize those compromises by planning ahead.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 02:11 PM
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My thoughts are what speaker and amp budget you have, to get good audio, in such a large room with large volume?

My second thought is that's at least four good sized rooms.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 02:44 PM
 
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Tedd is right, it's going to take some large high quality speakers to fill that space. Especially in the subwoofer department. A theater that large will fit ALOT of people. Do you really need that? If not, consider building a wall down the middle and make a couple of rooms. A nice bar or a game room depending on your hobbies.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Tedd is right, it's going to take some large high quality speakers to fill that space. Especially in the subwoofer department. A theater that large will fit ALOT of people. Do you really need that? If not, consider building a wall down the middle and make a couple of rooms. A nice bar or a game room depending on your hobbies.
This is actually a good possibility. I could bisect the room and have a 20 x 20 space with a 10' ceiling. It would give me an easier go of it money wise
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 06:47 PM
 
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Dont divide it exactly in half though. A perfectly square room is the worst for acoustics. Some of the experts could better advise you on dimensions.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 07:34 PM
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I'd say keep the 24 x 20 space that isn't under the loft for the theater. That isn't terribly large. The other 20 x 16 space gets two rooms, one each floor.

The 20' ceiling is certainly well above normal but look to the rob Hahn build thread ie home theater of the month to see what can be done with high ceilings. Not that you need a million dollar budget to put it to use. For one, you can do good tall risers without worrying about ceiling height. Second, I like the idea of acoustically transparent ceiling to hide a combination of proper ceiling/height channel speakers (not wimpy in ceiling designs) and acoustic treatments. Plenty of room for a nice coffered look too if you like that. You could devote 3' above an acoustically transparent "false ceiling", have a 3' riser, and deep 1' coffered beams and still have roomy 14' ceiling at the back. Another idea to consider is a stepped ceiling, usually somewhat following risers, but I'm not sure the 24' length would be enough to do that full justice. But you have the height to play with some interesting design ideas at least.

Most people here would say they'd really love to have a little more ceiling height. Not sure if I've seen someone complain about having too much.

Also, you may be able to use a couple of feet under the 16 x 20 loft for an acoustically transparent screen. Doubt the top of the screen would be above that 10' height so the recess behind the screen need not be the full 20' height.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 07:39 PM
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Another possibility if you're afraid of the 20' ceilings is to divide the space vertically so bottom floor has 11' or so ceilings, upper floor 8' (going to lose a foot or more to the floor structure).

Upper floor could be 20 x 20 and 20 x 20, or three smaller rooms, or whatever. I'd consider keeping plenty of length in the theater for acoustically transparent screen wall. Maybe 28 x 20 and 12 x 20 or similar.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 07:51 PM
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I would figure the max people you plan on being in the theater and do room based on that, it might be smaller than you would think.


The performance boost in a dedicated room is HUGE, compared to a multi use room.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Another possibility if you're afraid of the 20' ceilings is to divide the space vertically so bottom floor has 11' or so ceilings, upper floor 8' (going to lose a foot or more to the floor structure).

Upper floor could be 20 x 20 and 20 x 20, or three smaller rooms, or whatever. I'd consider keeping plenty of length in the theater for acoustically transparent screen wall. Maybe 28 x 20 and 12 x 20 or similar.
@Bigus ....In the scenario of the 20' high ceiling area (roughly 20x24), I pretty much have an open canvas to work with. As far as the acoustics are concerned, I have a professional coming out hopefully this week, and I should get some more input.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-26-2018, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I would figure the max people you plan on being in the theater and do room based on that, it might be smaller than you would think.


The performance boost in a dedicated room is HUGE, compared to a multi use room.
This may be the root of my issue. I need to decide upon an actual dedicated theater room or a multipurpose room.
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 04:25 AM
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The multipurpose room won't be able to match the performance of a properly executed room. You will loose the opportunity to
go for a low noise floor.

You should be starting by defining how many people you actually need to accommodate. You have a nice big space that should be
designed outwards from the seating.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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The multipurpose room won't be able to match the performance of a properly executed room. You will loose the opportunity to
go for a low noise floor.

You should be starting by defining how many people you actually need to accommodate. You have a nice big space that should be
designed outwards from the seating
.
This is very helpful. My paradigm has shifted recently with regard to projection based AV (totally consumed with gaining knowledge about the subject) and having so many options with this space is actually compounding my issues. I am not complaining! I like the opportunity to create a unique space; however, my creative designs need to be congruent with the principles of physics of sound and light. This may be a long term, working project, but there are some basic layouts the need to be hammered out in the short term.

I would like to keep that open area intact as the building has been built with a Western-rustic barn style. All my lumber has been reclaimed (by me!) and the other finishes compliment that look: large moss rock masonry, old brick, plaster like stucco, custom electrical fixtures that will re-task various copper, brass, and other older looking patinas. I have had thoughts of creating an open area like that of an Old West Theater (think of the Birdcage from Tombstone) I have the space,materials and ability to incorporate balcony seating. I may be more artistic rather than truly 100% functional in the modern sense.



If I can get the basic design layout (so I can rough in my electrical and other wiring) I can keep rolling with the rest of the construction. There will be some tweaks and changes but lucky for me I am the builder and won't have much drama there.

I know this won't be a true "theater", but I would like a space that could be social as well as having a functioning higher end av experience. Compromises will be a constant going forward. And if those compromises are for the short term, then they can always be addressed later as time and budget allow.
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 08:13 AM
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Nothing wrong with compromising audio and/or video performance. Its all about identying what are priorities for you, and making sure the design addresses them in order as best as you can.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bigus. I guess this is my first written post of many as learn more. I look forward to engaging the knowledge that exists in the forum. As I do with any subject, I will be diving headfirst and be totally consumed with learning more. I have a couple of forums I visit on a regular basis, and this one will probably rise to prominence in my evening readings! Look forward to gleaning as much as I can.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 10:14 AM
 
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I have a couple of forums I visit on a regular basis, and this one will probably rise to prominence in my evening readings!
Oh you're not going anywhere lol! Just look at some of the join dates on people who have participated in this thread. AVS is like a black hole, once you get sucked in there is no escape!
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-27-2018, 11:49 AM
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They are long threads but there is a decade + of wisdom each in the stickied acoustic treatments and soundproofing threads. Worth the time reading. You may not incporate many of the soundproofing concepts in a more open multipurpose space, but it helps to give perspective to exactly what issues and compromises you'll face in doing so.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-05-2018, 05:27 AM
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Nothing wrong with compromising audio and/or video performance. Its all about identifying what are priorities for you, and making sure the design addresses them in order as best as you can.
I basically agree with you, sometimes the social room is a bigger priority. But it also might be worthwhile to point out that few people every experience a dedicated room,
with a low noise floor. Most have no idea what that means, and if you happen to not need to seat a lot of people, a smaller dedicated room can have many significant
advantages as a viewing environment.

I have been in a number of budget rooms that punch way above their investment, and I've been in many a higher end room, where design choices impact so much,
that the gear choices could have been downgraded by tens of thousands of dollars, without any performance hit at all.
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