Subs in the ceiling? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-28-2019, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Subs in the ceiling?

Given the attached picture, would it be worthwhile putting some 10 or 12 inch subs in the ceiling running IB? There is approx 10" of space above the top of the joists and I would be running the subs over the MLP-ish as mid-bass modules.
So, outside the need for additional bracing, changing out the AC vents, etc... is this idea even worth considering?
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-28-2019, 11:30 AM
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I had 4 18” subs in the attic of my old house firing through the ceiling and it ruled!
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-28-2019, 12:39 PM
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That's what I love about this forum. No place is safe as far as subs are concerned. Put them in the ceiling? Sure, go for it!
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-28-2019, 01:27 PM
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What’s funny is that I did it this way for WAF. The only thing you could see were two white grills near the peak of the vaulted ceiling. When we went to sell the house that was the most negative feedback we got. I was like, really???, that’s bass, man! What’s not to like. And it’s not even noticeable..
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-28-2019, 07:05 PM
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Take a look at this thread. You might find something you like there..

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...af-factor.html
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Take a look at this thread. You might find something you like there..

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...af-factor.html
@Will P
Funny, I was reading that thread earlier. I gather from the pics that the room is not dedicated, hence the WAF? I am fortunate in that my space is dedicated and located beneath the garage, so I have a bit of leeway with what I can do. Now I just need to figure out what I can do...
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles60 View Post
Given the attached picture, would it be worthwhile putting some 10 or 12 inch subs in the ceiling running IB? There is approx 10" of space above the top of the joists and I would be running the subs over the MLP-ish as mid-bass modules.
So, outside the need for additional bracing, changing out the AC vents, etc... is this idea even worth considering?
If you have the air space for it definitely go for this. Infinite baffle will destroy whatever your other subs are for quality so you may consider just ditching them. These wont be mid-bass modules they'll dig low in to the single digits hz range. How much air space can be dedicated to a single sub in this situation? 10" of depth isn't too much I take it there's no attic here?

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post #8 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 05:58 AM
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Subs in the ceiling always reminds me of @d_c

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post #9 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 06:26 AM
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Subs in the ceiling always reminds me of @d_c
He was the one who put 2 massive horns in to his ceiling correct.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 06:37 AM
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Take a look at Triad's InCeiling subs:

https://www.triadspeakers.com/produc.../ic-mini8-sub/

https://www.triadspeakers.com/produc...-bronze10-sub/

They are available with a RackAmp specifically designed to power them. Triad will also paint the grills to match your ceiling.

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post #11 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peniku8 View Post
Subs in the ceiling always reminds me of @d_c
I love the subs in the ceiling! I'm surprised more people don't do it. The floor subs posted in the WAF thread yesterday is pretty awesome. That would be great for the OP if he can't go beyond the space above the ceiling. You'd have to be within the limits of joist dimensions though, so it would be easier to just build them in to the wall if you don't have space beyond the joists like an attic or room next to it. Can you build the sub below and run it up through the floor?

I built my tiny subs on the ground and then lifted them in to the ceiling with a hoist. Moving them to up there was actually very easy to do physically. Prep work took some thought. Check out my media room build for pics that explain it better than words. Ah the memories. That was my favorite build of anything, ever.

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post #12 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for the replies so far! A bit more info about the room... It is essentially a bunker, a 14.5'W x 22'L x 9.5'H (finished dimensions) concrete room below our garage... so the floor, ceiling & all four walls a concrete. The walls & ceiling are roughed in by the builder and as stated earlier, there is 10" of clearance above the joists. But, by building the sub face at the bottom of the joists I'd add another 3.5" to that clearance. Taking joist size and HVAC ducting into account, the volume available for a ceiling mounted enclosure is roughly 300 cu ft.

The idea for this came from the $29 JBL speaker thread, using cheap speakers in what would otherwise be wasted space. I don't know if I'm sold on the JBL's as of yet... The space will be a dedicated HT and used 75% movies / 25% music. I'm looking for a good combination of sub-bass and mid-bass impact. I also know there is no "wonder" sub and I suppose the smartest thing to do would be to buy some "less expensive" subs and see what the overall response is like when placed in the ceiling... if it doesn't pan out, I can always throw some larger, more expensive subs behind the AT screen.

I'm open to additional thoughts and opinions...
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 12:37 PM
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I am using those JBL's for an IB set up with two manifolds of 6 each. The manifold will open into my living room from above. Although they aren't designed for IB, they model decently well when enough are used.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-29-2019, 01:20 PM
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Where and how are you planning to exhaust the IB subs to? Ducting through garage floor and use the garage air; ducting to the attic or ducting to the outside?
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-30-2019, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Where and how are you planning to exhaust the IB subs to? Ducting through garage floor and use the garage air; ducting to the attic or ducting to the outside?
In the area above the joists, the HVAC ducts run through the concrete walls and aren't sealed up, so the area will be lossy to the rest of the basement.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-30-2019, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mumbles60 View Post
Given the attached picture, would it be worthwhile putting some 10 or 12 inch subs in the ceiling running IB? There is approx 10" of space above the top of the joists and I would be running the subs over the MLP-ish as mid-bass modules.
So, outside the need for additional bracing, changing out the AC vents, etc... is this idea even worth considering?
You can create a grid of subwoofers for perfect even SPL. That's a lot easier to do in the ceiling than on the floor.

I would space them 5ft apart. 3 rows x 4 columns. Or 7 ft apart - 2 rows x 3 columns.
I would also go with opposing drivers to cancel any vibrations.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-30-2019, 01:58 PM
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I have Two Jl F112v2 subs and wanted to put 2 of their 8" in ceiling subs in my place for near field bass right at 90 degrees above the couch in between my top front and top rear Atmos speakers. The wife ousted my idea because we live in a condo, in a house she would be cool with it. In a house I would have 4 F112v2's and the two 8" subs in the ceiling. I am glad to read that I am not the only one crazy enough to do this. I think the OP should do it.

https://www.jlaudio.com/ics-sys-208-...woofer-systems
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P View Post
You can create a grid of subwoofers for perfect even SPL. That's a lot easier to do in the ceiling than on the floor.

I would space them 5ft apart. 3 rows x 4 columns. Or 7 ft apart - 2 rows x 3 columns.
I would also go with opposing drivers to cancel any vibrations.
I like this idea... wonder what a good driver would be for this situation? I spotted these at $44 a piece with a sensitivity of 96db; https://www.sonicelectronix.com/item...-TS-W126M.html
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-T View Post
I have Two Jl F112v2 subs and wanted to put 2 of their 8" in ceiling subs in my place for near field bass right at 90 degrees above the couch in between my top front and top rear Atmos speakers. The wife ousted my idea because we live in a condo, in a house she would be cool with it. In a house I would have 4 F112v2's and the two 8" subs in the ceiling. I am glad to read that I am not the only one crazy enough to do this. I think the OP should do it.

https://www.jlaudio.com/ics-sys-208-...woofer-systems
I have to say that even though my wife is ultra-supportive, she would have probably vetoed this idea if we were in a condo
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 04:30 AM
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Some companies used to make infinite baffle subwoofer drivers. Maybe they are still available? But if the JBL's have moderate excursion, say 12mm XMAX, they would probably be fine.

Before you do that, you may want to consider trying a near-field subwoofer.

The infinite baffle sub will dig deeper.

But a near-field sub will have less rattling in the house, and won't disturb the neighbors. Plus, on top of SPL, you get tactile response.

The only drawback to the near-field subwoofer is, it only plays down to 27HZ. But that 27HZ and up is epic.
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post #21 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 09:33 AM
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There are a few things that you MUST do to that room, otherwise it will have potentially horrible acoustics.

1) First, is install a plywood floor on rubber mats, otherwise your vibs will be zero. Then you build the wood frames onto the plywood, this will help with soundproofing. Concrete transmits impact noise with zero loss, as if it were paper thin.
You'll have to place rubber mating or iso clips on all points contacting the concrete (all joists etc).

It's important that no concrete nailers or screws are used to that aren't isolated.

2) Secondly, is not putting up any drywall in the ceiling and upper half of the walls. It's a waste of space and is weak.
This should all be OSB and it should be in a checkerboard pattern. 50% raw insulation and 50% OSB in standard-width squares. This should then be covered with black fabric (think acoustically-transparent speaker fabric.)
This will help tame the strong modes you'll have throughout the entire frequency band from 20hz up. It also means you won't be wasting additional money and space on acoustical panels later on.

OSB is great because you don't need to seek for stud alignment when mounting stuff onto it.

3) The projector screen and mount must be directly attached to the concrete. If you are like the rest of the members here, the bass will vibrate a wood frame to pieces, which will blur the screen.
My room being an all-wood design has this problem. Don't make the mistakes I did.

4) Run all cables through flex pipe or PVC. Overtime cables oxidize and will need replacing, and new cabling technology (like optical data, which may or may not be HDMI anymore) will be required.

5) I'm not sure if that duct will act in an IB-like fashion. It will behave like ported-IB. I would still put subwoofers up there though... Place them on the OSB squares, and then you'd have to build OSB insets for the absorbing sections obviously, as IB requires containment. A lot of work, but probably well worth it.

I'd also shorten those air vents to the smallest possible length on the HT-side. Build the muffling box on the outside. That will increase inefficiency and reduce rattling and wasted ceiling space that could be used for IB air or impact-noise isolation.

The PA-460 loves large IB-sized boxes, and they are dirt-cheap and ultra-high efficiency. Several people are tuning them to 20hz. Another option would be FI IB-18's, depending on mounting-depth you may have to lower the ceiling a few inches.
As long as it is higher than 6'8" I don't think anyone other than basketball players will be banging their heads, obviously a full 8 feet would be best.

6) The projector and lights and low-power rack equipment can share a dedicated breaker and it should be on online-UPS puresine powered to avoid blinking lights every time the bass hits, and to avoid burning out the projector bulb during any given inevitable power-outage, and to keep your sources on (to avoid sudden turn-off popping sounds), and to keep you from being in the dark during exiting.

I recommend these line-interactive units, they are cheap and they work:
https://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP.../dp/B000QZ3UG0

SurgeX for advanced surge and continuous-overvoltage protection:
https://www.amazon.com/ESP-Digital-P...dp/B00I3HLPII/
https://www.amazon.com/ESP-Digital-P...dp/B074XFQTFB/


I know all of this is highly unconventional, but regular rooms don't take acoustics and HT requirements into consideration, especially ones gear for extreme-systems, and 99.999% of contractors have no experience building such rooms (and even fewer, "living with" the results of their work forever...)

Somethings to consider anyway, it might already be "too-late..."
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 08-31-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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post #22 of 26 Old 08-31-2019, 10:10 AM
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If you look at an anechoic chamber for example. They don't use just concrete.

The outter shell is concrete to reduce outside noise from penitrating inward, and then to avoid impact-noise contamination they build a second inner room floating on car springs every few feet, and then build another thinner concrete shell on that with a 3ft air gap (or as big as they can make it); and then install gaint 4ft thick foam wedges on the innerside of that, and then additionally float the walkable surface and mics and targets.

Obviously an extreme example, as they are aiming to KILL all sound in-and-out.
But the same theories apply. Concrete alone isn't enough.

A playback-geared system and a measurement-geared system differ obviously.
You'll want/need only mild amounts of absorption and diffusion.

What you DON'T want is flat parallel surfaces and a cubed-shaped room with 100% reflectivity, that's how you get severe echos and room-nulls. (As I'm sure you have noticed during the construction phase just by talking or clapping in such a space.)

The key is to add only as much absorption as necessary, inverted-opposed checkboard patterns maximize absorption per unit-area of panel, and thus cost too; while avoiding the effects of opposed-parallel surfaces.

You want it so that claps sound like claps, not totally dead but not echoy either.
To save the skin on your hands I'd recommend using two pieces of wood, or two hammers.
You want a natural decay, not too sharp but not too long.

Trust me you'll know when it sounds right or when not enough or too far; ya don't need a measurement mic to determine that-much.
The goldilocks zone is somewhere in-between these two extremes:

In any case...
At least 50% of the sound you hear is from/caused by the room. Not the speakers or wires or amps.

50% room
40% speakers (drivers/box/tuning)
9.99% dsp/eq/xo's and electronics
0.01% everything else

Spend accordingly...
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 08-31-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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post #23 of 26 Old 09-02-2019, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex JL Rep View Post
Some companies used to make infinite baffle subwoofer drivers. Maybe they are still available? But if the JBL's have moderate excursion, say 12mm XMAX, they would probably be fine.

Before you do that, you may want to consider trying a near-field subwoofer.

The infinite baffle sub will dig deeper.

But a near-field sub will have less rattling in the house, and won't disturb the neighbors. Plus, on top of SPL, you get tactile response.

The only drawback to the near-field subwoofer is, it only plays down to 27HZ. But that 27HZ and up is epic.
Since the room is concrete on 6 sides, my only concern for rattling is the ceiling where they would be mounted.
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-02-2019, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
There are a few things that you MUST do to that room, otherwise it will have potentially horrible acoustics.

1) First, is install a plywood floor on rubber mats, otherwise your vibs will be zero. Then you build the wood frames onto the plywood, this will help with soundproofing. Concrete transmits impact noise with zero loss, as if it were paper thin.
You'll have to place rubber mating or iso clips on all points contacting the concrete (all joists etc).

It's important that no concrete nailers or screws are used to that aren't isolated.

2) Secondly, is not putting up any drywall in the ceiling and upper half of the walls. It's a waste of space and is weak.
This should all be OSB and it should be in a checkerboard pattern. 50% raw insulation and 50% OSB in standard-width squares. This should then be covered with black fabric (think acoustically-transparent speaker fabric.)
This will help tame the strong modes you'll have throughout the entire frequency band from 20hz up. It also means you won't be wasting additional money and space on acoustical panels later on.

OSB is great because you don't need to seek for stud alignment when mounting stuff onto it.

3) The projector screen and mount must be directly attached to the concrete. If you are like the rest of the members here, the bass will vibrate a wood frame to pieces, which will blur the screen.
My room being an all-wood design has this problem. Don't make the mistakes I did.

4) Run all cables through flex pipe or PVC. Overtime cables oxidize and will need replacing, and new cabling technology (like optical data, which may or may not be HDMI anymore) will be required.

5) I'm not sure if that duct will act in an IB-like fashion. It will behave like ported-IB. I would still put subwoofers up there though... Place them on the OSB squares, and then you'd have to build OSB insets for the absorbing sections obviously, as IB requires containment. A lot of work, but probably well worth it.

I'd also shorten those air vents to the smallest possible length on the HT-side. Build the muffling box on the outside. That will increase inefficiency and reduce rattling and wasted ceiling space that could be used for IB air or impact-noise isolation.

The PA-460 loves large IB-sized boxes, and they are dirt-cheap and ultra-high efficiency. Several people are tuning them to 20hz. Another option would be FI IB-18's, depending on mounting-depth you may have to lower the ceiling a few inches.
As long as it is higher than 6'8" I don't think anyone other than basketball players will be banging their heads, obviously a full 8 feet would be best.

6) The projector and lights and low-power rack equipment can share a dedicated breaker and it should be on online-UPS puresine powered to avoid blinking lights every time the bass hits, and to avoid burning out the projector bulb during any given inevitable power-outage, and to keep your sources on (to avoid sudden turn-off popping sounds), and to keep you from being in the dark during exiting.

I recommend these line-interactive units, they are cheap and they work:
https://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP.../dp/B000QZ3UG0

SurgeX for advanced surge and continuous-overvoltage protection:
https://www.amazon.com/ESP-Digital-P...dp/B00I3HLPII/
https://www.amazon.com/ESP-Digital-P...dp/B074XFQTFB/


I know all of this is highly unconventional, but regular rooms don't take acoustics and HT requirements into consideration, especially ones gear for extreme-systems, and 99.999% of contractors have no experience building such rooms (and even fewer, "living with" the results of their work forever...)

Somethings to consider anyway, it might already be "too-late..."
First off, I appreciate your input! I'll try to address your points below and any comments are also appreciated;

1) My thought was to build a wooden grid from 1x material that would sit on rubber mat strips, and then attach a plywood floor to the grid... that should transfer vibration while keeping the plywood even and level.

2) For walls, I going with a certain amount of painted surface, so... I had planned on OSB on all walls and ceiling and covering that with a layer sheetrock. That would give a smooth paintable surface while still being to mount things without hunting for studs.

3) I've been struggling with the idea of screen vibration. Unfortunately, I can't mount the screen to the concrete because the front wall is not flat... I thought of flipping to the back wall, but can't make the riser work with the door locations. So, going to put up a AT minimalist type wall and would cut out areas of the floor so the posts contact the concrete rather than the raised floor.

4) Definitely going to install wire chases... great idea!

5) Still not settled on a final sub design yet but if I need to I can certainly lower the ceiling.

6) I had planned for 3 or 4 separate circuits for the equipment, but the idea of the room lights being on a UPS for exit purposes in a power outage never crossed my mind! Good call!!!

Again, thanks for the input!
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-02-2019, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
If you look at an anechoic chamber for example. They don't use just concrete.

The outter shell is concrete to reduce outside noise from penitrating inward, and then to avoid impact-noise contamination they build a second inner room floating on car springs every few feet, and then build another thinner concrete shell on that with a 3ft air gap (or as big as they can make it); and then install gaint 4ft thick foam wedges on the innerside of that, and then additionally float the walkable surface and mics and targets.

Obviously an extreme example, as they are aiming to KILL all sound in-and-out.
But the same theories apply. Concrete alone isn't enough.

A playback-geared system and a measurement-geared system differ obviously.
You'll want/need only mild amounts of absorption and diffusion.

What you DON'T want is flat parallel surfaces and a cubed-shaped room with 100% reflectivity, that's how you get severe echos and room-nulls. (As I'm sure you have noticed during the construction phase just by talking or clapping in such a space.)

The key is to add only as much absorption as necessary, inverted-opposed checkboard patterns maximize absorption per unit-area of panel, and thus cost too; while avoiding the effects of opposed-parallel surfaces.

You want it so that claps sound like claps, not totally dead but not echoy either.
To save the skin on your hands I'd recommend using two pieces of wood, or two hammers.
You want a natural decay, not too sharp but not too long.

Trust me you'll know when it sounds right or when not enough or too far; ya don't need a measurement mic to determine that-much.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ssGj65U2F8
The goldilocks zone is somewhere in-between these two extremes:

In any case...
At least 50% of the sound you hear is from/caused by the room. Not the speakers or wires or amps.

50% room
40% speakers (drivers/box/tuning)
9.99% dsp/eq/xo's and electronics
0.01% everything else

Spend accordingly...
I feel like this room is going to take a lot of trial and error attempts to get the sound right, but I'm going over the room treatment threads trying to pick out what would apply.
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post #26 of 26 Old 09-02-2019, 11:42 AM
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Not only lighting, but you may want a unified fire-alarm system, otherwise you may not hear the alarm, especially with loud music pumping. It probably only has one exit and who knows how far to an external exit.

Generally it is easier to just do a 100a subpanel, and then not fully load it. You'll thank yourself later.

Also, concrete reflects bass with almost zero loss. So I'd expect the room-nulls to be severe and the room-gain to be high (higher than an above-ground wall which is far-more transparent to bass frequencies.)

Being concrete you should probably use treated lumber to avoid mold. Also Roxul SS is supposedly far more mold resistant then regular insulation, and should absorb bass better than foam or foam-spray insulation. It's basically spun metal with anti-mold agents added. It's also fire-resistant and self-extinguishing, unfortunately the same cannot be said for 2x4's and plywood so it's advantages are almost entirely lost, as per usual.

Padded carpet also helps absorb reflections vs un-padded, and it's nicer to walk on. Definitely a must.

The ideal color for a HT room is all-black, but I understand that that doesn't have much sex appeal.
White and neon-green being the two worst colors because of how the human eye works.
You want a fairly dark color like: midnight-blue, dark-red, ebony, dark-eggplant, fnord, dark-plum, charcoal etc otherwise you'll be distracted by the wall reflections, which will suck you out of the movie. The exact opposite of immersion.
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