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post #1 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Room Dimensions Advice

Hello Everyone,

We're in the process of the framing of our basement and the new theater room. As with most projects I'm running into an issue that was not foreseen until we actually got things laid out. I was hoping to have a room setup at 19'L X 14'W X 9'H but we had to shrink the width in order to get some posts into the wall. So now my dimensions are 19'L X 12' 9"W X 9'H. I'm trying to use a couple of calculators on here to determine if this room is going to sound okay, but I don't understand the numbers and the simple ones use a lot of colors which is fine if you're not colorblind and have problems seeing red and green. So all that to say this, does anyone see a problem with these dimensions? The length of the room is the only dimension that I can move so any suggestions on that end would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 11:16 AM
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did you explore putting the support poles in columns inside the room to gain width?
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
did you explore putting the support poles in columns inside the room to gain width?
Thanks for the response BigMouth, I have a bathroom across the hall way that can't be shrunk any further. Code has a minimum space of 36" from one side to the next. So I'm locked into that width dimension.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 04:59 PM
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I think you're good. From a speaker building standpoint an optimal enclosure ratio is 1.68:1:.68 This is to minimize standing waves inside the box. I figure it should hold some merit for dedicated HT builds too. This is just my theory, YMMV.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post
I'm trying to use a couple of calculators on here to determine if this room is going to sound okay, but I don't understand the numbers and the simple ones use a lot of colors which is fine if you're not colorblind and have problems seeing red and green.
Can you post the graphs that you're having trouble understanding?

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post #6 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 09:15 PM
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It isn't so much about the dimensions but what you are trying to put in it. How many seats/rows you want?

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Last edited by SierraMikeBravo; 10-16-2014 at 09:53 PM.
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post #7 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 09:26 PM
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How many seats/rows you want?
Shouldn't you be asking the OP?

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post #8 of 28 Old 10-16-2014, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Shouldn't you be asking the OP?
Oops! Sorry Sanjay didnt mean to hit the quote button. Long day.

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post #9 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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At this point I'm looking at putting a row of two recliners, then a couch on a riser behind it. I was planning on following the design from this site for the riser.

http://www.audioholics.com/diy-audio...ter-seat-riser

Once I get into the room and have a listen I will probably add bass traps, as well as building some DIY acoustical panels at the primary reflection points. I'm just trying to minimize the modal issues.

@Sanjay here is a screen capture of my report. I am also using a calculator found at

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm

It's to large to capture in a screen capture though. However if you plug in 19H x 12W x 9H you will see what I see which is mostly green from what I can tell.


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post #10 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post
At this point I'm looking at putting a row of two recliners, then a couch on a riser behind it. I was planning on following the design from this site for the riser.

http://www.audioholics.com/diy-audio...ter-seat-riser

Once I get into the room and have a listen I will probably add bass traps, as well as building some DIY acoustical panels at the primary reflection points. I'm just trying to minimize the modal issues.

@Sanjay here is a screen capture of my report. I am also using a calculator found at

http://www.bobgolds.com/Mode/RoomModes.htm

It's to large to capture in a screen capture though. However if you plug in 19H x 12W x 9H you will see what I see which is mostly green from what I can tell.


That graph is pretty useless. You will have to tune the room anyway once you build it. Your ideas about dealing with first reflections are good. Standing waves will only be a problem if you listen to a lot of pink noise. You will never hear them using normal program material. If you want to kill some of the front to back wall reflections just build the back wall to be absorptive. For example put Owens Corning 703 between the studs and then cover them with fabric. (no drywall)
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 06:03 PM
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Uh, yes you will hear "standing waves" also referred to as mud or mudiness to the bass. Dealing with low frequencies is as imperative as dealing with any other frequency. Definitive smooth bass does not happen naturally in a small room.
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 06:06 PM
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And you'll likely have a small issue with your local building inspector if you do as Mr. Bowden suggests. And just throwing up 703 is not the answer.
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post #13 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo View Post
Uh, yes you will hear "standing waves" also referred to as mud or mudiness to the bass. Dealing with low frequencies is as imperative as dealing with any other frequency. Definitive smooth bass does not happen naturally in a small room.
I think you are confusing decay time with modes "standing waves". The two are related, you need a long decay time or a steady signal to develop a standing wave. I have worked in concrete basketball arenas with decay times on the order of many seconds and they make mud but notching out the offending frequency takes care of that since you cannot acoustically treat a arena. People, upholstered furniture, books, pillows, etc, will absorb a lot of low frequency energy and keep the decay time low.

Now there are common mistakes people make when testing a room (especially if they are selling "bass traps")

If you are testing a room by yourself or leaving the room while tones are being used you will likely over treat the room. Especially if you are using pink noise. Pink noise being a steady signal will amplify very small issues into something that you will not notice with program material. You have to use transient signals to come close to approximating program material. I suggest using a RTA with instrumental music and talk radio like Prairie Home Companion to tune a room. Garrison Keillor's voice is very good for integrating sub-woofers as well. The real trick is to keep the room live enough to sound natural while still using enough absorptive material to keep decay times below ~600ms (in the bass region) with people in the room.

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Definitive smooth bass does not happen naturally in a small room.
I'm not sure what Definitive smooth bass is. Instead of guessing I'll ask that you clarify that statement.
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post #14 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo View Post
And you'll likely have a small issue with your local building inspector if you do as Mr. Boden suggests. And just throwing up 703 is not the answer.
I am aware of the national building codes. As long as the wall is not load bearing, he uses a flame retardant material and especially if there are no electrical circuits running through it he should have no problems. This type of dead wall is very common in home recording studios. A large surface area of 3" 703 is much more effective than corner traps.

I would recommend to the OP that he research how recording studios design percussion rooms.
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post #15 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 08:06 PM
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Noticed this in the calculator:

Room Dimensions: Length=19 ft, Width=12 ft, Height=9 ft
Room Ratio: 1 : 1.33 : 2.11
R. Walker BBC 1996:
- 1.1w / h < l / h < ((4.5w / h) - 4): Fail

I'm not smart enough to tell you why though
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post #16 of 28 Old 10-17-2014, 08:21 PM
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a tgeater is not a recording room. This seems to be this sites mantra lately of trying to apply recording room strategies to a theater. What we are looking for is transcend the boundaries of the room. Make the room feel bigger. You cannot do that with absorption alone, and recording studios are about recording the instruments without the effects of the room...most of the time. We want the effects of the room but only on our terms. Having a rear wall of just absorption without drywall will also significantly increase noise floor within the room. Further, that is a lot of caviats to make sure they aren't in the wall. There are much better and effective ways to reduce bass anomalies. Yes, you are correct about decay time, but you can also have prolonged frequency amplitudes that excite the corners helping to contribute to that decay time.
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post #17 of 28 Old 10-18-2014, 08:39 AM
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I only suggested that if the op was worried about front to back reflections a dead wall is one option.

"transcend the boundaries of the room" umm... Have you tried mushrooms.

To the OP,

I should clarify why that chart is not really relevant. It assumes a empty room worst case scenario because it does not allow you to add how much stuff will be in the room, what those things dimensions are, what they are made of, how many people will be in the room, etc. The programs that do all those things you will not find online.

I'd suggest you build the room to be nice, then like a speaker box, if you notice problems add fluff.
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post #18 of 28 Old 10-18-2014, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post
@Sanjay here is a screen capture of my report.
Thanx, that helps. If you blow across the mouth of an empty Coke bottle, you can get that small chamber to resonate (make that boooooh sound). If you expand that small chamber to a 12x19x9 space, it will still resonate (of course at different frequencies than the Coke bottle, but you get the idea).

According to the chart you posted, the width dimension of your room will result in resonances (aka standing waves or room modes) at 47Hz, 94Hz, 141Hz, 188Hz, 235Hz, etc. Centering the woofers of your L/R speakers 2 feet in from the side walls should help minimize the peaks & dips associated with the first five of these width modes. If your speakers don't go down to 47Hz, then centering a subwoofer at the midpoint of room width (below the centre speaker) will help.

The chart shows that your room's length modes will be at 30Hz, 59Hz, 89Hz, 119Hz, etc. You can reduce the first and third modes by using a second sub, placed at the midpoint of the back wall. If you're willing to spring for four subs, you can get even smoother bass and better seat-to-seat consistency. If not, I would budget for 2 subs at a minimum.

Room modes create nulls (cancellations) at even divisions of room dimensions: halves, quarters, sixths, etc. So avoid those locations! Instead, place your main row of seating at an odd division of room length: one of the thirds or fifths. BTW, when I say seats, I mean the listeners' ears (if you watch movies reclined, take that into consideration).

That's a good starting point for reducing modal problems in your room; will certainly give the room correction system in your AV receiver a head start. Since you're going to be spending time, effort and money on a dedicated home theatre, I would recommend investing a relatively small amount of it in measuring gear. Finally, you mentioned that your room length could be changed. How much space do you have to work with?

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post #19 of 28 Old 10-19-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help on this Sanjay.

My fronts are Def Tech BP 7004 that run from 16 hz-30 khz. I was planning on getting a single SB-2000 from SVS. But if you think I need two I will probably have to do down to the SB-1000's. They run 24-260 hz and 19-220 hz respectively. Four subs is out of my budget at this point.

Positioning the speakers where you have specified will not be a problem. I'm building a false wall for my speakers to be hidden behind. Good to know about seating positions as well. I will have to consider that when building the riser. The front wall where the speakers will be positioned from has an unfinished section that goes a full 15 feet further. That's where my homerun and AV Rack will be positioned. I can invade that space if you think it will help out. What are you thinking?

@Quill That makes two of us.

@Billy Boden : Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of placing 3" or 4" 703 corning in the corners cut into triangles floor to ceiling. Although I think I will make sure that there is some space between the wall and the insulation. Something similar to what you see below.

http://www.radford.edu/~shelm/acoust...html#BassTraps

@sierra Mike Bravo: With the riser being filled with insulation and the basstraps in the corner will that help to reduce the standing waves?

Thanks to everyone for the responses.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Thanx, that helps. If you blow across the mouth of an empty Coke bottle, you can get that small chamber to resonate (make that boooooh sound). If you expand that small chamber to a 12x19x9 space, it will still resonate (of course at different frequencies than the Coke bottle, but you get the idea).

According to the chart you posted, the width dimension of your room will result in resonances (aka standing waves or room modes) at 47Hz, 94Hz, 141Hz, 188Hz, 235Hz, etc. Centering the woofers of your L/R speakers 2 feet in from the side walls should help minimize the peaks & dips associated with the first five of these width modes. If your speakers don't go down to 47Hz, then centering a subwoofer at the midpoint of room width (below the centre speaker) will help.

The chart shows that your room's length modes will be at 30Hz, 59Hz, 89Hz, 119Hz, etc. You can reduce the first and third modes by using a second sub, placed at the midpoint of the back wall. If you're willing to spring for four subs, you can get even smoother bass and better seat-to-seat consistency. If not, I would budget for 2 subs at a minimum.

Room modes create nulls (cancellations) at even divisions of room dimensions: halves, quarters, sixths, etc. So avoid those locations! Instead, place your main row of seating at an odd division of room length: one of the thirds or fifths. BTW, when I say seats, I mean the listeners' ears (if you watch movies reclined, take that into consideration).

That's a good starting point for reducing modal problems in your room; will certainly give the room correction system in your AV receiver a head start. Since you're going to be spending time, effort and money on a dedicated home theatre, I would recommend investing a relatively small amount of it in measuring gear. Finally, you mentioned that your room length could be changed. How much space do you have to work with?
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-19-2014, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post

@Billy Boden : Thanks for the advice. I was thinking of placing 3" or 4" 703 corning in the corners cut into triangles floor to ceiling. Although I think I will make sure that there is some space between the wall and the insulation. Something similar to what you see below.

http://www.radford.edu/~shelm/acoust...html#BassTraps
Those should help with low frequency decay times. Have fun

That's a good price, via your link: http://www.insulationworld.com/prodV...?idproduct=631
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-19-2014, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post
My fronts are Def Tech BP 7004 that run from 16 hz-30 khz. I was planning on getting a single SB-2000 from SVS. But if you think I need two I will probably have to do down to the SB-1000's. They run 24-260 hz and 19-220 hz respectively. Four subs is out of my budget at this point.
Since your speakers have built-in powered subs with their own RCA line-level jack, I would feed them via the subwoofer output of your receiver. That would free up the two SB-1000 subs for placement on the opposite (back) wall to help with length modes. Looks like four subs is in your budget after all.
Quote:
The front wall where the speakers will be positioned from has an unfinished section that goes a full 15 feet further. That's where my homerun and AV Rack will be positioned. I can invade that space if you think it will help out. What are you thinking?
I was thinking that you could take advantage of the room length by having a small, ventilated equipment room cum projection booth behind the back wall. A luxury, not a necessity; especially since you've already got the equipment rack location scoped out behind the screen wall. Still, something to keep in mind IF you're willing to flip the room plan 180 degrees.

BTW, before committing to a room length and deciding not to invade the unfinished space, you should decide how far you want to sit from the speakers and how much space you want between the two rows (no fun when listeners in the second row keep inadvertently kicking the back of the recliner).
Quote:
I was thinking of placing 3" or 4" 703 corning in the corners cut into triangles floor to ceiling. Although I think I will make sure that there is some space between the wall and the insulation.
The deeper the absorber, the less dense it needs to be in order to let air through. To that end, corner/chunk traps will be more effective at lower frequencies if you use pink fluffy fiberglass instead of OC703.


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post #22 of 28 Old 10-19-2014, 05:43 PM
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I am going to disagree with Sanjay on using the subs in the def tech fronts. The problem here is the locations of the front speakers in relation to best location of subs to achieve the best low frequency reproduction are not the same. In other words, the best locations for your L/R speakers is not the best lications for your subs. I would not use the built in subs at all.

For Billy Bowden...mushrooms huh? Hmmmm. Yes transcend the boundaries. Is there any reason as to why the room must sound as large as it is? Could it be possible to create the illusion that the room is larger than its walls, or perhaps create the illusion that they are not even there. Approaching it your way will not achieve this by any means. Is that where I now place a smiley face
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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@sdurani Sanjay: Do you think that having the traps in the front corners will be enough or should I put them in all four corners? Along the rear wall behind the riser I was thinking putting some Velour drapes. They seem to have some sound absorption to them as well. The more I think about this though I guess I won't know until I get in there and start listening. As far as flipping the room, that part I can't do because of the hallway design.

http://www.rosebrand.com/product1201...elour%2bFabric
@SierraMikeBravo If I'm going to be putting a second sub along the back wall in line with front sub. Should I build my riser around that sub or can I place the sub on top of the riser and just fill the cavities below it with sand?
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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Do you think that having the traps in the front corners will be enough or should I put them in all four corners?
IF you can put them in all 4 corners, then that would be better.

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post #25 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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IF you can put them in all 4 corners, then that would be better.
Thanks Sanjay. Four corners of the pink stuff. Any suggestions on where to put the subwoofer for the rear then? Build the riser around it, or place it on top of the riser?
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
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Any suggestions on where to put the subwoofer for the rear then? Build the riser around it, or place it on top of the riser?
I don't have any experience with risers, so maybe someone else will advise appropriately. As for the subs themselves, I would place them with their drivers centered 3 feet from the side walls (quarter points of room width).

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post #27 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six172 View Post
Any suggestions on where to put the subwoofer for the rear then? Build the riser around it, or place it on top of the riser?

For multiple subs you crawl for the first placement then once that sub is in place take the second sub place it in your seat and while playing music through the placed sub and the one in your seat, crawl around looking for the placement of the second. Once the second sub has a home put the third sub in your seat, play music with all subs active and crawl around looking for a home for the third.

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post #28 of 28 Old 10-20-2014, 10:26 PM
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If you plan to build a riser, there isn't a need to use corner traps provided a few basic rules are observed. One of which, you don't use sand in the riser. There is a mathematical way to figure multiple sub placement with out using crawl methods. We use a model, so I haven't used the formula for awhile, but I'll dig it out. Keep in mind though, you'll need the ability to independently control them, as well as control them as one.

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