The Learning Curve - 9.1.4 New Construction - Feedback Needed - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Question The Learning Curve - 9.4.4 New Construction - Feedback Needed

Hi All,

First post here, but I've been haunting the forums for a few years now as this project has progressed (steady by jerks!). I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge and I've tried to incorporate best practices from here in a way to meet design needs and minimize compromises. Whether or not I've managed to execute the project in that way I can't yet say.

My father and I started construction on my house way back in spring of 2014. The theater was finally functional about a month ago. I have been collecting movies to watch "some day", so I now have a 2-year catalog of movies I wanted to see but didn't in anticipation of finishing this. Since then it has been a thrill-a-minute experience, but I recognize there is some room for improvement and was hoping for some sage advice/suggestions from this community. Thanks in advance!

When I did the drawings for the room back in 2014, the Atmos specification was pretty new and I decided on a 9.1.4 configuration that would be biased toward the 2nd row of seating. The space I had to work with was within the second level of the house, over a portion of the garage. I tried to follow the "golden rule" in dimensions, with the room coming in at 12Wx16Lx8H. The goal was to build something that has an authentic theater feel and didn't try to double as a lounge/living room. I have a rec room for general media use, this is mainly for movies. At the design time, I followed Dolby's guidelines for speaker placement as I planned to use all architectural speakers. I used some of the calculators on this forum to determine speaker/seat placement. The front row is compromised a bit as it is near the minimum distance from the screen, but I like occasionally viewing from the front row as it reminds me of that "big" feeling of sitting near the front row in a commercial theater. I've biased the sound field for the 2nd row of seating, but the front row is also good from my experience, but this is one reason I'm here. I'd like to understand how to balance the room better for both rows, but from what I can find the consensus is to create a most used "best spot" and accept the compromise elsewhere.

I have always liked how Klipsch speakers sound, so that part was an easy choice for me personally (I was thankful to be able to make a decision like this without too much consternation!). I hoped that AVRs would support this format by the time I was ready, but that didn't happen. I was surprised how long mid-level units even supported 11 channels. A 13.2 preamp and a pair of 7-channel amps was just not in the budget, and Denon released the x6300h the same month I installed speakers, so I settled on a 7.1.4 configuration until a mythical 13.2 AVR arrives (or I make the jump to preamp/amp setup).

The speakers are:
FR, FL, C - R-5502-W II
Front Wide, Surround - R-5650-W II
Rear Surround - R-5650-S II (wider sound field bi-directional horns)
Ceiling - CDT-5650-C II (Can pivot in the assembly, they are "aimed" ~45* to the listening position)
Sub - R-112SW (I also have an R-115SW that is in the rec room)

The AVR, as mentioned, is the Denon x6300h (which, unfortunately has a date with Denon service). When is enabled I can hear a buzzing noise through all speakers at >-10db volume. I think I know what might be contributing this, but I will post a reply with the Audyssey curves later.

I settled on a 120" 16:9 Carada Criteron screen and projection is from an Epson 5040ub. I have nothing to compare these to, but I am continually impressed how good "enhanced" 1080p content looks and "downsampled" "faux-K" is excellent at my viewing distances (8' and 12'). Response time seems good for gaming, too.

For seating, I went back and forth between lounge type chairs and something more "authentic". I settled on Dolphin Star seats from Midwest Theater Seating. I've been very happy with them and people seem to like them as well. Every once in a while I get that authentic "this cushion is a little to hard" real theater feel! I've got some memory foam foot rests to add a little "lounging comfort", but overall I'm happy with these.

The original plan was to have rows of 4, but I felt it placed the end seats too close to the side surrounds. My family of 3 is the primary user and we have enough space to have some friends over, so capacity fits our needs.

Anyways, I could write a book on the machinations I went through to get to this point. The rest of the house has met my every expectation and I'm blessed to be able to have had the experience with my father and to enjoy a space designed exactly how I wanted it. Can't ask for much more in life.

Without further ado, I was hoping to get some feedback/critiques and some suggestions about how to:

Approach sound dampening
I really don't notice a lot of reflection/echo in the room. I found two spots where a clap makes a strong reflection and this is on either side of the room between the rows of seating. A clap if followed by a strong reflection/snap back. The rest of the room (walking around clapping like an idiot) doesn't produce any strong feedback. I also noticed that I have quite a bit of diagonal reflection from the front left/right channels in the opposite rear corners. When listening to pink noise from the front left or right, I get enough reflection from the opposite rear corner to make it sound like there is an active driver in the right or left rear corner, respectively...this can't be good.

Configure Unused Front Wide Channel as Side Surround for Front Row
I'd like to repurpose the unused front wide channel to act as a side surround for the front row of seating. I understand combing is an issue with driving these side surrounds in duplication. I have a 2-channel amp I can connect to the preout for this channel, but balancing the power between the AVR driven pair and the external amp pair would be difficult. Should I drive all four speakers using an external amp? What about running them in series or parallel from the AVR (assuming the resulting 4 or 16 ohm load doesn't cause issues)?

General Calibration Tips / Subwoofer Optimization
I knew placing the subwoofer in the wall would create some issues, and, overall, the bass is good, but I think there is some perceivable imaging to its location and it is much stronger in the rear left seat than any other seat. Would bass traps in rear corners help here? I am considering adding a second identical subwoofer to the left front. Any other ideas for bass management in this room? As mentioned above, I also have an R-115SW 15" sub that I could use, but I thought this might be a bit "big" for the room and a 12" driver (or 2) would be "tighter".

I see I'm asking a lot, firstly just to read the wall of text above, but I do appreciate the advice/experience here and look forward to a continuous improvement process until I hit a 95% good enough level (maybe 98%!).
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Last edited by VETDRMS; 01-17-2017 at 08:55 PM.
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post #2 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 12:48 PM
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What is up with the two doors up front?

If it were me I would make the front section all one color and a matte sheen. Like where the doors start make a shadow box for the entire section and even place some cheap acoustic panels on the walls where the first reflection points are located. If the reflection points overlap the line of the shadow box you could move it back towards the seats so that it's all symmetrical.

You would be surprised how much that little bit would help your room! May cost you $100 max but get tons in return. Then can focus more on the sound issues again after that is completed.


It's a very nice looking room and it might take a little encouragement to the wife to paint that front section black but once you get the flat paint surrounding the entire section up there it will make the screen pop and the panels look like they will go on the doors which will be fine.

If want to even take it a step further you could get some fabric track and cover the front wall with some absorption then place black fabric over it. Or could just build black panels to go all around the screen and where they aren't at have the black paint on the wall so they mix together.

You are getting quit a few reflections messing with your brain off the front and rear walls along with some on the side walls and ceiling. But I'd start with the biggest bang for buck and do the shadow box up front with flat paint and as much absorption as you can unless want to put some BAD or TAD panels on the first reflection points. They come in any color so not a problem. But a cheap start would be absorb.

The reflections coming off the back wall and bouncing back to the front then returning back to the seating can be addressed in quite a few ways. Most people like a dead front wall in theaters since there really isn't much to gain by putting any other type of treatment there with speakers already pushed up close to the wall.

Placing absorption and diffusion on the back wall could make it so that only very small sections of absorption on the front wall will ever be needed since reflections from other speakers will eventually make it back to the front but not straight on like the LCRs.

Hope some of that made sense and gave you some options to try.

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post #3 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 01:02 PM
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I'd cover both the front doors with acoustical panels wrapped in dark colored fabric, Then large panels between your side surrounds, lastly the entire section of the angled rear wall. Maybe the door.

Ideally you want absorption on the entire front wall but there isn't much room left.
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post #4 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
What is up with the two doors up front?

If it were me I would make the front section all one color and a matte sheen. Like where the doors start make a shadow box on for the entire section and even place some cheap acoustic panels on the walls where the first reflection points are located. If the reflection points overlap the line of the shadow box you could move it back towards the seats so that it's all symmetrical.

You would be surprised how much that little bit would help your room! May cost you $100 max but get tons in return. Then can focus more on the sound issues again after that is completed.
Thanks! The two front doors lead into the main house on left and into the garage loft on the right. It is the main passageway for hauling stuff upstairs, so that's why the big 3-0 doors. The red paint and ceiling is a matte sheen, though it does look fairly reflective in the pictures. The doors, though, are a bit "bright". I added some pictures of the adjacent hallway. Is it worth buying premade acoustic panels, or do the framed fiberboard ones work the same? I have a large wood shop next door, so I don't mind building things if there is no functional difference.
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post #5 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VETDRMS View Post
Thanks! The two front doors lead into the main house on left and into the garage loft on the right. It is the main passageway for hauling stuff upstairs, so that's why the big 3-0 doors. The red paint and ceiling is a matte sheen, though it does look fairly reflective in the pictures. The doors, though, are a bit "bright". I added some pictures of the adjacent hallway. Is it worth buying premade acoustic panels, or do the framed fiberboard ones work the same? I have a large wood shop next door, so I don't mind building things if there is no functional difference.
Na no need to buy anything unless want hybrid panel done the easy way.

Get the mirror out just to make sure only covering the door will be enough. If it needs to come towards the seats then just make a second smaller one that will line up with the one placed on the door.

Don't underestimate the power of a black front wall. It's one of the biggest gains a theater can have for the price! And deadening it or treating the back wall should come after treating the first reflection points. Just do it in steps. If you like the sound of hybrid panels those could be best on the doors and move the absorption to the rear.


Here are some hybrid panels that work really great

http://www.gikacoustics.com/product-.../alpha-series/

http://arqen.com/store/rpg-bad-panel-flat1-298-2/

http://www.kineticsnoise.com/interiors/tad.html


Those are only some but will give you an idea of how they work, look, and function. Some professionals really like to use these at reflection points that are to close to the listeners to use QRD diffusers and would rather not deaden the sound from the room. Some absorption is great and needed but it can be overdone. And sometimes it's just about the cost or the individual's preference. I will say that I don't recall seeing any professional plans that called for 100% absorption on the first reflection points in a very long but it's still far far far greater than sound reflecting off of there and going straight to your ears confusing your brain. It will obviously correct the issues one's brain has with compensating for hearing the same thing multiple times in a very quick time span. It's just not the best and a lot of us do not need the best to be happy. Getting 80% of the way there is far better than not getting any of the way ;-).

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post #6 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't seem to edit my posts, so sorry for carrying it on in this way (new member issue?).

Attached are picture of the adjacent hall / concession area / bathroom. Classy posters, I know.

audiovideoholic,

Is the "shadow box" matte-out of the front wall purely for light reflection? I haven't noticed it to be distracting, but is it more a matter of reflection back on the screen affecting contrast? It is a 1.4 gain screen.

Jeff,

Regarding panels on the doors, would a 1" material suffice here? I wondered how the angled portion of the rear wall would affect things. Seems like getting most of this area covered is a priority. What about the ceiling? I initially wanted to put in a starfield, but I think it would just be a novel distraction. The horns pivot in the speakers, and I've angled them to the main listening position if that matters.

Thanks!

Travis
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post #7 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 01:34 PM
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Can't edit until like so many posts. No worries 😉
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Ah ha, good to know.

I need to find a delicate way to convince my wife that this is an evolving project. As such, I'm considering upgrading the Center, FR/FL to the Klipsch PRO-6504-L-THX. Also, considering changing to a preamp/amp setup using a Marantz AV8802A and a pair of MM8077 amps.

Any thoughts to adding a 2nd subwoofer, or, as you've advised, should I really get the absorption squared away first and then start back down that path?

Thanks!

Travis
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post #9 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by VETDRMS View Post
I can't seem to edit my posts, so sorry for carrying it on in this way (new member issue?).

Attached are picture of the adjacent hall / concession area / bathroom. Classy posters, I know.

audiovideoholic,

Is the "shadow box" matte-out of the front wall purely for light reflection? I haven't noticed it to be distracting, but is it more a matter of reflection back on the screen affecting contrast? It is a 1.4 gain screen.

Jeff,
Yes and no. The shadow box regarding the color is for both contrast and light reflections onto the walls. But it it's done with absorption then it's 3 fold. There are many many ways to absorb the entire front wall. There are black foams, black Acoustical clouds, black wedges of all sorts. Then there is the option of using fabric to cover which ever non black material one uses or even cover a black material that doesn't look aesthetically good


Regarding panels on the doors, would a 1" material suffice here? I wondered how the angled portion of the rear wall would affect things. Seems like getting most of this area covered is a priority. What about the ceiling? I initially wanted to put in a starfield, but I think it would just be a novel distraction. The horns pivot in the speakers, and I've angled them to the main listening position if that matters.

Thanks!

Travis
I would use something that is purposely built for this application if you go with foam on the doors. It will be thicker than 1". It will most likely be 2"-3" I would think. User "Big" will know exactly what to recommend for such situation. And there is an easy way of using some tape strips on the foam that are separated by a certain amount of space before wrapping them that will help turn them into a hybrid sort of abfusser of sorts. It it absorb and scatter. You could make two of each before putting fabric on them and see which you like best then decide what would like to do with the other two. You could do many things as it's almost endless lol ;-)

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post #10 of 216 Old 12-17-2016, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by VETDRMS View Post
Ah ha, good to know.

I need to find a delicate way to convince my wife that this is an evolving project. As such, I'm considering upgrading the Center, FR/FL to the Klipsch PRO-6504-L-THX. Also, considering changing to a preamp/amp setup using a Marantz AV8802A and a pair of MM8077 amps.

Any thoughts to adding a 2nd subwoofer, or, as you've advised, should I really get the absorption squared away first and then start back down that path?

Thanks!

Travis
Yes a second or 5th sub ;-) would be great! Out to grab some grub but will finish where I left off up above this evening. Things are not as lively around here on weekends compared to weekdays.

Alex

The thing about adding more subs is that the room will still need treatments regardless of how many subs you place in there without actually placing a crap ton of them in the exact locations which the room needs them to be located at.

See the thing is, the room is the actual EQ so to speak for what your speakers/subs will sound like unlike their natural frequency response since there are so so many objects in play which makes all the sounds reach the listener in an unintended way. Some speaker companies try to build their products so that they sound correct when placed in a room rather than when they are placed in open space but no two rooms are the same and far too many people don't understand the need for room treatments so everything is all jumbled together in some cases.

The majority of the time the best most correct speakers will sound inferior to a cheap set if the cheap set is in a proper treated room and the best speakers are in a non treated room.

There are many good videos on how to go about treating a room that are in general terms for everyone to understand and the ones I'm linking are great for beginners all the way to the more educated.

YouTube - Home Theater Geeks 177 and Home Theater Geeks 178




But in general treat the first reflection points with one's choice (or price range of treatments) panels. If want to use fabric covered specific foam and plan on upgrading later that would be a good start because there are plenty of areas the panels could be moved to after upgrading.

Treating the front or rear wall (IMO) should be second because they reflect the third most sound (after first reflection points of side walls, ceiling/floor, front/rear walls, and secondary reflections from the front speakers. A lot of people around here choose to treat the rear wall first because it also helps with the sub's frequency response so can tackle two birds with one stone. Thicker panels are generally used because of how large the wavelengths are from the subs. And some even allocate entire corners to place chunks of foam cut into triangles that are stacked on top of one another all the way from the floor to the ceiling. They call them bass traps but in reality they do not trap the bass but help greatly with uneven bass frequency response in general. It takes great efforts to actually turn the back wall into an object that is 90% effective so compromises have to be made. There are some pricey bass traps from major acoustical companies that aren't really thick and can be any color that work really well too (they aren't foam based per se) but you're paying for the space savings in these products but they are also wife friendly since they are just panels that blend into the rest of the wall.

Bass is most likely the most important part of the audio in a home theater then the main LCR speakers. You want the bass to be capable of over 115dbs in all locations of the room all the way down to the enclosures tuning point. Two to four subs are generally recommended for two reasons- even frequency response throughout the room and to be able to play at the SPL levels needed for proper audio playback at the subs tuning point. Most around here like to have around 10hz-15hz minimum and some like me like to have as low as the electronic chain will allow. Like my system has 10 21" sealed enclosure subs that could theoretically reach down to 1hz-2hz but my largest sub amplifier starts rolling the signal off at 7hz and some other pieces of my equipment roll off at other cycles below that so I barely have any output at 4hz even though I have full output at 7hz.

Continuing with subs- 1/4 Wall locations are generally great places to start placing them or can always do the sub walk/crawl. Place your sub in the main listening position and go around the room with an SPL meter to find where it is the loudes throughout the frequency response or just the loudest sometimes works for us crazies that just need it loud even if it's lacking at some other cycles lol. The videos will go over some of the most common practices regarding the placements and advantages of multiple subs too. But in general I would say 2 18" ported subs would be the smallest sub system I would ever consider in a super small room just because they are the "most important" part of the audio in Home Theaters. One could get the same output as two ported 18" subs in many different ways but that's just the least displacement I personally would ever suggest even to the most limited budget minded person. I would tell them to save or spend money allocated towards other things and just have patience to save for the other items later. Until one has actually heard a treated system that can play at reference levels cleanly they don't really understand how amazing everything just naturally synchronizes together in harmony.

Watch those two vids and figure out what you want to do about the front portion of the room whether it's just treating the first reflections or also doing the shadow box then listen to the differences it made. After understanding how much of a difference it made you will be more capable of choosing what to do next.

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post #11 of 216 Old 12-18-2016, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VETDRMS View Post
Ah ha, good to know.

I need to find a delicate way to convince my wife that this is an evolving project. As such, I'm considering upgrading the Center, FR/FL to the Klipsch PRO-6504-L-THX. Also, considering changing to a preamp/amp setup using a Marantz AV8802A and a pair of MM8077 amps.

Any thoughts to adding a 2nd subwoofer, or, as you've advised, should I really get the absorption squared away first and then start back down that path?

Thanks!

Travis
I didn't notice this before but there is great pricing on the Anthem AV60 which is known for its room correction and processing. It also has high output voltage on all of its balanced outputs which is nice and helped sway me towards it. I bought one a few months ago and like it much better than my previous Denon and Yamahas so far.
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post #12 of 216 Old 12-18-2016, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for the detailed response. I will take a look at those videos. I am limited for sub placement in the front wall, which I understand creates some challenges. I have a Klipsch R-115SW I can place in the corner for now. Would you recommend another one of those as a compromise? It seems like even a pair of the R-112SWs would be too "small" based on what you're saying. I am not sure where I could place the size of sub you are recommending in the current configuration.
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post #13 of 216 Old 12-18-2016, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this over in the amp/avr section, but I think it applies to this thread as well:

I'm considering the following options for preamps:

Marantz 7703 or 8802a

The room was originally set up for a 9.2.4 configuration, with the front wide channel in the same location to the front row as the side surround are to the back row. This met the spec and gave me the option of duplicating side surrounds if I wanted to. However, I think due to the limited directional adjustment of the tweeter assembly (15*) where the front wides are located, I wouldn't get very good imaging from this channel configured as a front wide. The 8802a would let me at least try this configuration, though. I don't plan to use the room to listen to music much, so the "musicality" advantage of the 8802a might not justify the expense in this case.

Regarding using the two pairs of side surrounds as such for each row, could I get away with just duplicating the side surround pre-out and driving them together? I have heard that the combing issue is somewhat resolved by location/relative power to the listener of the nearest driver. In this case, the side surrounds are directly to the side of each row, separated by ~4'.

For amplifiers, I'm considering a few options, and this has me the most confused / unsure of what direction to take. I need two 7-channel amps to power everything.

Marantz MM8077
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3
Monoprice Monolith
Outlaw 7140
Emotiva BasX A-700

All but the last two options are what I would consider very powerful relative to the speakers in the room. Each of the surrounds has a RMS power handling of 50 watts and a "recommended amplifier power" of 100 watts. The fronts and center are 75 watts / 130 watts, respectively. The Klipsch speakers are quite efficient, at ~93db. Would I gain much in this installation from the higher powered Emotiva/Monoprice/Outlaw amps? The Marantz are the highest priced option and offer less power than the "bigger" amps in the list.

Presently, I think the Marantz 7703 and a pair of Emotiva BasX A-700 amps offers the most value, and should be a material step-up from the x6300h AVR. Another reason the x6300h is being returned is the one I have is emitting a high-pitch buzz that is amplified by the Audyssey settings. Will the BasX amp be "quiet" in this respect. I can not stand any buzz/noise when volume is up but signal should be flat or off (quiet scenes or menus). From what I can find the MM8077 is very good in this regard.
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I didn't notice this before but there is great pricing on the Anthem AV60 which is known for its room correction and processing. It also has high output voltage on all of its balanced outputs which is nice and helped sway me towards it. I bought one a few months ago and like it much better than my previous Denon and Yamahas so far.
Where is the sale pricing on the AV60? I only see it available from Anthem at the standard price ($2999).
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The 8802a would let me at least try this configuration, though.
Keep in mind that the 8802A can only process 11 channels at a time, so you can do 9.1.2 or 7.1.4 but not 9.1.4 (which would require 13 channels of processing).

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Where is the sale pricing on the AV60? I only see it available from Anthem at the standard price ($2999).
Well I guess they are sold out right now. There is a dealer that sells on eBay that is legit. I'm sure he will have more at some point. He even shipped mine same day overnight since I needed it right then.
It was around $2400.
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Thanks for all the great tips! I've been busy plotting my next moves, and your input has been a great help.

Firstly, I tried out the 15" sub in the room and its way better. The 12" was chuffing on a fair bit of the real deep stuff in movies. To get a better balance in the room (the seats on the same side of the sub have much lower bass than the far side seats), I ordered a second 15" sub.

I would like to place these in the wall as far as possible. Am I causing many issues by having the drivers nearly flush with the wall? I can project maybe 6-10" into the room without door clearance issues if that will help. With the large 15" projecting the full 25" or so into the room I noticed the bass is pretty weak in the front row and I am hoping that moving them back will help with that some.

Also, would (1) one sub in each corner or (2) placed 1/3 from each end be best for this setup?

Second, I ordered all the bits to replace the x6300h. A Marantz 7703 will be the pre/pro and a pair of the Emotiva XPA-7s are on the way for power. I also ordered some XLR cables from Emotiva and rack ears for everything. One more thing sorted, I hope. I talked with someone at Emotiva who said a new chassis is coming for the XMC that will allow 11 channels, or, you can upgrade existing XMCs by sending them back in. Dirac looks interesting, but I will likely take another look at that later. I got a good deal on the 7703, so it won't hurt too bad to replace if I want to try someting else in 3-4 months. Also, Emotiva is coming out with stereo boards for the amps, so you can get 14 channels from one XPA-7, which would have worked pretty good for this setup, but having the extra power on tap won't hurt (and, those aren't due out until later this spring, too). My wife caught on to my sheepishness as to what was going on as I was reading, measuring, planning and I spilled the beans on the re-do. I offered a few choices, and her response was to just do it once more, right.

Lastly, I've been reading and watching as much as I can on dampening/diffusing to improve the room acoustics. I get a fair bit of fatigue from long sessions, which is likely due do the reflection issue. Audovideoholic, the videos above were great. I am thinking of replicating the "standard room" setup mentioned in the first video above by Anthony using a combination of absorption and diffusion.

I placed an order for 4 cases of the Applegate cotton acoustic batting (2") and 20 yards of Guilford of Maine Onyx acoustic cloth. I have some friends that will likely want to try these out and I have a shop and don't mind making a few extra. Also, the vaulted section of my car-shop is very noisy, but fixing that is a whole different topic. It will be nice to have some materials on hand. I will build the frames from 1x material and plywood. I liked the idea of a stink and fiber free material, and it seems to perform well, too.

I plan to build the diffusers from 2x2 balsa wood following plans from: http://tapeop.com/tutorials/83/diy-diffusors/ I am going to paint the blocks in shades of black/grey by length, which I think will look attractive with the rest of the room.

Below are a couple crude sketches of where I plan to place panels, bass traps, and diffusers. Diffusers are hatched and absorption panels are squiggle lines. Rectangles are presumed to be 2'x4' and squares are either 2'x2' for absoprtion or 18"x18" for diffusion. It's hard to tell, but the diffusers are placed over the front row seats and then between the back row seats.

Placement reflects the first-order reflection that were identified with the mirror walk (what fun!).

This feels like a mighty stab in the dark at fixing a problem I likely barely understand, so any criticism/suggestions otherwise is very welcome. The weather is supposed to stay pretty dismal, so I am very much looking forward to rewiring/building the rack and spending time in the wood shop building frames. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Thanks!

Travis
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Also, would (1) one sub in each corner or (2) placed 1/3 from each end be best for this setup?
Of those two choices, one sub in each corner would result in greater seat to seat consistency (similar peaks & dips in all seats). The consistency will make it easier for the room correction in your receiver to smoothen out the bass response (since it will measure similar peaks & dips in all seats).
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Of those two choices, one sub in each corner would result in greater seat to seat consistency (similar peaks & dips in all seats). The consistency will make it easier for the room correction in your receiver to smoothen out the bass response (since it will measure similar peaks & dips in all seats).
This! It will help in more ways than you would think. You won't have to turn the gains, volume, and EQ points up to the max in order to have seat to seat performance. Stacking (in the future when wife will allow minor upgrades ;-) )is always an option if end up needing more spl but have the seat to seat corrected.
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You won't have to turn the gains, volume, and EQ points up to the max in order to have seat to seat performance.
Doh, forgot to mention other benefits of corner loading. Like getting double the amp power for free.

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Thanks for all the great tips! I've been busy plotting my next moves, and your input has been a great help.

Firstly, I tried out the 15" sub in the room and its way better. The 12" was chuffing on a fair bit of the real deep stuff in movies. To get a better balance in the room (the seats on the same side of the sub have much lower bass than the far side seats), I ordered a second 15" sub.

I would like to place these in the wall as far as possible. Am I causing many issues by having the drivers nearly flush with the wall? I can project maybe 6-10" into the room without door clearance issues if that will help. With the large 15" projecting the full 25" or so into the room I noticed the bass is pretty weak in the front row and I am hoping that moving them back will help with that some.

Also, would (1) one sub in each corner or (2) placed 1/3 from each end be best for this setup?

Second, I ordered all the bits to replace the x6300h. A Marantz 7703 will be the pre/pro and a pair of the Emotiva XPA-7s are on the way for power. I also ordered some XLR cables from Emotiva and rack ears for everything. One more thing sorted, I hope. I talked with someone at Emotiva who said a new chassis is coming for the XMC that will allow 11 channels, or, you can upgrade existing XMCs by sending them back in. Dirac looks interesting, but I will likely take another look at that later. I got a good deal on the 7703, so it won't hurt too bad to replace if I want to try someting else in 3-4 months. Also, Emotiva is coming out with stereo boards for the amps, so you can get 14 channels from one XPA-7, which would have worked pretty good for this setup, but having the extra power on tap won't hurt (and, those aren't due out until later this spring, too). My wife caught on to my sheepishness as to what was going on as I was reading, measuring, planning and I spilled the beans on the re-do. I offered a few choices, and her response was to just do it once more, right.

Lastly, I've been reading and watching as much as I can on dampening/diffusing to improve the room acoustics. I get a fair bit of fatigue from long sessions, which is likely due do the reflection issue. Audovideoholic, the videos above were great. I am thinking of replicating the "standard room" setup mentioned in the first video above by Anthony using a combination of absorption and diffusion.

I placed an order for 4 cases of the Applegate cotton acoustic batting (2") and 20 yards of Guilford of Maine Onyx acoustic cloth. I have some friends that will likely want to try these out and I have a shop and don't mind making a few extra. Also, the vaulted section of my car-shop is very noisy, but fixing that is a whole different topic. It will be nice to have some materials on hand. I will build the frames from 1x material and plywood. I liked the idea of a stink and fiber free material, and it seems to perform well, too.

I plan to build the diffusers from 2x2 balsa wood following plans from: http://tapeop.com/tutorials/83/diy-diffusors/ I am going to paint the blocks in shades of black/grey by length, which I think will look attractive with the rest of the room.

Below are a couple crude sketches of where I plan to place panels, bass traps, and diffusers. Diffusers are hatched and absorption panels are squiggle lines. Rectangles are presumed to be 2'x4' and squares are either 2'x2' for absoprtion or 18"x18" for diffusion. It's hard to tell, but the diffusers are placed over the front row seats and then between the back row seats.

Placement reflects the first-order reflection that were identified with the mirror walk (what fun!).

This feels like a mighty stab in the dark at fixing a problem I likely barely understand, so any criticism/suggestions otherwise is very welcome. The weather is supposed to stay pretty dismal, so I am very much looking forward to rewiring/building the rack and spending time in the wood shop building frames. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Thanks!

Travis
Glad to see you are taking a stab at using the most you can for your room. It will thank you later! Always happy to have been of some help around here as it sometimes seems like I'm just repeating myself but I'll continue to repeat what I do know/believe for those that do need it or will use the information. It's always nice when a workshop is very close by that can make the process that much easier.

There are plans for very simple folded QRD panels on GearSlutz forum that model rather well and are extremely light weight. I would imagine only take a few minutes to cut all the parts too which is a plus. Might want to check those out.
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Never mind lol

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I just got theater seats similar to yours for my new house build. I was happy to see someone else go this route too.

Love the carpet. Where did you find it?

Also, did you do any sound isolation during the build?

Do you get a lot of sound bleed to the first floor?

What did you use to communicate to your rack in the rear room?

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sudurani, audiovideoholic,

Thanks for the suggestion on the subwoofer. I read on Klipsch's blog about maintaining a certain distance from the wall to prevent port air noises from reflecting off the wall. Their guideline was 2x the port diameter, though the R-115SW has a wide flat port. Do you think 8" would be suffice? How far away from the wall can you be and still get some of the room gain effect? I understand this particular sub is very effective down to 18hz, but really drops off below that. There is ample "wave feel" in the seat/floor currently for the low frequency stuff, but I imagine it can't quite dip down for all the intended "reference" effects. The opening of Edge of Tomorrow is probably a good example of limits on the lower frequency. What a strange opening sequence. It made the 12" sub chuff hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
Glad to see you are taking a stab at using the most you can for your room. It will thank you later! Always happy to have been of some help around here as it sometimes seems like I'm just repeating myself but I'll continue to repeat what I do know/believe for those that do need it or will use the information. It's always nice when a workshop is very close by that can make the process that much easier.

There are plans for very simple folded QRD panels on GearSlutz forum that model rather well and are extremely light weight. I would imagine only take a few minutes to cut all the parts too which is a plus. Might want to check those out.
I looked around a bit, but could only find old posts from 2010 or so. Do you have a link handy? I've tried my hand at being an advisor to forums in areas I have developed some expertise and it hasn't been fruitless, but it is a lot of energy in for what seems like little return. I've found the process of educating others to be the best learning tool for oneself, though. I constantly advise friends/relatives, and their inability to take sound advice always amazes.

Any thoughts to panel placement? It seemed to me that diffusion above and adjacent to the listener can give some spaciousness to the room. Do you know if some of the denser foams/plastics are reflective enough? I haven't yet made my balsa calls, but I can get some bulk/custom gatorfoam (extruded polystyrene).

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I just got theater seats similar to yours for my new house build. I was happy to see someone else go this route too.

Love the carpet. Where did you find it?

Also, did you do any sound isolation during the build?

Do you get a lot of sound bleed to the first floor?

What did you use to communicate to your rack in the rear room?
Thanks! I'm pretty happy with the seats. I recognize more lounging comfort is available, but I wanted some of the feel of a real theater, and these definitely fit that. I may need to send one seat back as it is undersized compared to the others (the middle back is shorter).

The carpet is called "Amusing" from Platinum Plus in Nightshade. I searched high and low and it is only offered by Home Depot. Cost is reasonable and they did a pretty good job installing it. We originally were going to try to keep with the real theater theme by getting some of the patterned carpet (reels, popcorn, etc.), but we waned it to look a little more refined.

The side walls are double-stud walls with insulation. The front/back walls are insulated. The front wall has a storage area and roof behind it, so transmission isn't a problem. Also, the room is entirely located over the first parking bay in the garage so there is R38 insulation in the floor, too. All of the sound leakage into the house occurs at the door. Even then, at full blast it just sounds like someone is watching TV somewhere else in the house. No bass really leaves the room into the rest of the house, which is nice! Once I get the door absorption panels on and seal the bottom/sides of the door I expect it to quiet down. Overall I'm pretty happy with the sound isolation result.

We watch action movies at "reference" levels and music as loud as our ears can take while my 3-year old son sleeps in his room undisturbed. I think that says it all!

I am using a Bafx IR repeater, with the IR receiver in the FR speaker. I have emitters in the rack and one at the projector. Also, you can plug the output directly into the remote in on your receiver/equipment. I mostly use a Logitech Harmony remote, though, which I have programmed to suit my needs.

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Quote:
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sudurani, audiovideoholic,

Thanks for the suggestion on the subwoofer. I read on Klipsch's blog about maintaining a certain distance from the wall to prevent port air noises from reflecting off the wall. Their guideline was 2x the port diameter, though the R-115SW has a wide flat port. Do you think 8" would be suffice? How far away from the wall can you be and still get some of the room gain effect? I understand this particular sub is very effective down to 18hz, but really drops off below that. There is ample "wave feel" in the seat/floor currently for the low frequency stuff, but I imagine it can't quite dip down for all the intended "reference" effects. The opening of Edge of Tomorrow is probably a good example of limits on the lower frequency. What a strange opening sequence. It made the 12" sub chuff hard.



I looked around a bit, but could only find old posts from 2010 or so. Do you have a link handy? I've tried my hand at being an advisor to forums in areas I have developed some expertise and it hasn't been fruitless, but it is a lot of energy in for what seems like little return. I've found the process of educating others to be the best learning tool for oneself, though. I constantly advise friends/relatives, and their inability to take sound advice always amazes.

Any thoughts to panel placement? It seemed to me that diffusion above and adjacent to the listener can give some spaciousness to the room. Do you know if some of the denser foams/plastics are reflective enough? I haven't yet made my balsa calls, but I can get some bulk/custom gatorfoam (extruded polystyrene).



Thanks! I'm pretty happy with the seats. I recognize more lounging comfort is available, but I wanted some of the feel of a real theater, and these definitely fit that. I may need to send one seat back as it is undersized compared to the others (the middle back is shorter).

The carpet is called "Amusing" from Platinum Plus in Nightshade. I searched high and low and it is only offered by Home Depot. Cost is reasonable and they did a pretty good job installing it. We originally were going to try to keep with the real theater theme by getting some of the patterned carpet (reels, popcorn, etc.), but we waned it to look a little more refined.

The side walls are double-stud walls with insulation. The front/back walls are insulated. The front wall has a storage area and roof behind it, so transmission isn't a problem. Also, the room is entirely located over the first parking bay in the garage so there is R38 insulation in the floor, too. All of the sound leakage into the house occurs at the door. Even then, at full blast it just sounds like someone is watching TV somewhere else in the house. No bass really leaves the room into the rest of the house, which is nice! Once I get the door absorption panels on and seal the bottom/sides of the door I expect it to quiet down. Overall I'm pretty happy with the sound isolation result.

We watch action movies at "reference" levels and music as loud as our ears can take while my 3-year old son sleeps in his room undisturbed. I think that says it all!

I am using a Bafx IR repeater, with the IR receiver in the FR speaker. I have emitters in the rack and one at the projector. Also, you can plug the output directly into the remote in on your receiver/equipment. I mostly use a Logitech Harmony remote, though, which I have programmed to suit my needs.


That is a huge relief to me. I was really worried about how mine would sound being on the second floor.

It seems like we have very similar tastes. I also want to go very traditional this time around.

Thanks for responding.
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The folded QRD is just not quite as efficient as an equal realized depth panel but one saves a bunch of depth while going this route. Even though the thread is old there is nothing new really to be added to the theory as the theory itself is old too. If one wanted to create their own folded QRD they could do so in the QRD calculator. They are very easy to create and not too touchy as far as design. It's a free download and may want to check it out since you have wood working shop.

Here is a good link for a lot of good info plus other links within it.

http://www.subwoofer-builder.com/qrdude.htm

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That is a huge relief to me. I was really worried about how mine would sound being on the second floor.
It seems like we have very similar tastes. I also want to go very traditional this time around.
Thanks for responding.
I've never gone into the garage to see what it sounds like underneath, but I will make it a point to do so next time I get a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
The folded QRD is just not quite as efficient as an equal realized depth panel but one saves a bunch of depth while going this route. Even though the thread is old there is nothing new really to be added to the theory as the theory itself is old too. If one wanted to create their own folded QRD they could do so in the QRD calculator. They are very easy to create and not too touchy as far as design. It's a free download and may want to check it out since you have wood working shop.

Here is a good link for a lot of good info plus other links within it.

http://www.subwoofer-builder.com/qrdude.htm
Are the boxed QRDs mostly for front/rear placement? I have almost no room on the back wall for something like that. I prefer the look of the stacked/column diffusers if they will be similarly effective. I will check out the program. Looks neat. I've been trying to source some 2x2 Balsa wood, but I'm finding it to be a bit pricey for building 5 panels (roughly $100 per 18" panels). I think I will practice on pine, maybe poplar. Are there any composite materials that work well for these?

I finally have shipping information for the various "upgrades", and it looks like next weekend will have to be the overhaul weekend. I'll be building subwoofer enclosures over the weekend, but the receiver has to go back Friday, so no testing for at least a week or two. Darn. I planned to build the enclosures with enough space to fill the void between the MDF and the sub cabinet with the cotton batting.

I asked this before, but is it ok to have the sub flush with the front wall? I had it like this before and the front wall seemed to be absorbing a lot of the bass/vibration. Will the enclosures work better with the driver projecting 6-8" from the wall?

Thanks!

Travis
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Quote:
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I've never gone into the garage to see what it sounds like underneath, but I will make it a point to do so next time I get a chance.



Are the boxed QRDs mostly for front/rear placement? I have almost no room on the back wall for something like that. I prefer the look of the stacked/column diffusers if they will be similarly effective. I will check out the program. Looks neat. I've been trying to source some 2x2 Balsa wood, but I'm finding it to be a bit pricey for building 5 panels (roughly $100 per 18" panels). I think I will practice on pine, maybe poplar. Are there any composite materials that work well for these?

I finally have shipping information for the various "upgrades", and it looks like next weekend will have to be the overhaul weekend. I'll be building subwoofer enclosures over the weekend, but the receiver has to go back Friday, so no testing for at least a week or two. Darn. I planned to build the enclosures with enough space to fill the void between the MDF and the sub cabinet with the cotton batting.

I asked this before, but is it ok to have the sub flush with the front wall? I had it like this before and the front wall seemed to be absorbing a lot of the bass/vibration. Will the enclosures work better with the driver projecting 6-8" from the wall?

Thanks!

Travis

Boxed QRD? I don't know which you are referring to. The ones that are folded are basic 1D N7 QRD and most all that look like that are just based on a N(insert number of wells that make up the depth of the panel) either running vertical or horizontal. They scatter/diffuse sound "either" vertically or horizontally based on which way they are mounted.

Stacked/column I assume you mean the ones that look like a skyline. These scatter sound in both directions. You can model a 1D standard panel in the calculator then hit the 2D button and it will transform the N7 into the skyline type which will show you exactly how high each block needs to be built and where it goes. These are built without fins since it's very very complicated to incorporate the fins; although, a true 2D QRD would have them. The trade off just isn't worth it for the most part since the "Skyline" product by RPG and all the other various products made by other manufactures work great. And yes these can work on the back wall and will work much better when close to listeners when compared to the 1D panels. 1D panels need to be aprox 1 foot away per each inch of depth of the panel. It's really more complicated than that but that's a good place to start.

Here is a link to the best two from my knowledge. The DC2 and the Skyline.

http://store.acousticfrontiers.com/A.../2D-Diffusers/

Many people have also built them out of foam using a foam cutting wire but I have no idea how the data compares to the two products linked above. The time and price of wood makes it kind of hard to pass up buying the lightweight commercial products if the actual look isn't important. I will be using them on my ceiling for sure but most likely will have some wooden ones on the walls to match the other wood products.

Check out the Grid diffusers as well if concerned about depth or even check out these. http://arqen.com/sound-diffusers/

I honestly have no idea about your sub enclosure concerns. I would just place it there and take measurements to see what difference it makes. The omnimic kit is a great little tool if you don't have a mic and know how to use REW. I don't use REW only because I'm CPU ignorant and couldn't figure it out fast enough before p*ssing me off and ordering omnimic. But measurements aren't always the be all end all either. Treating your room is going to change a lot of things and EQ is your friend in moderation so if your ears are telling you they will work then work with what you can would be my suggestion. i have all by subs flush with my baffle wall but this is a wall that is actually heavily treated and the entire area behind my baffle wall (4' deep x 10' high x 18' wide) is also very heavily treated. The front wall treatment is very common like mentioned earlier and can't say what that would do as far as flush vs 6"-8" out away. Maybe someone will chime in that can help.
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post #29 of 216 Old 12-29-2016, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
Boxed QRD? I don't know which you are referring to. The ones that are folded are basic 1D N7 QRD and most all that look like that are just based on a N(insert number of wells that make up the depth of the panel) either running vertical or horizontal. They scatter/diffuse sound "either" vertically or horizontally based on which way they are mounted.

Stacked/column I assume you mean the ones that look like a skyline. These scatter sound in both directions. You can model a 1D standard panel in the calculator then hit the 2D button and it will transform the N7 into the skyline type which will show you exactly how high each block needs to be built and where it goes. These are built without fins since it's very very complicated to incorporate the fins; although, a true 2D QRD would have them. The trade off just isn't worth it for the most part since the "Skyline" product by RPG and all the other various products made by other manufactures work great. And yes these can work on the back wall and will work much better when close to listeners when compared to the 1D panels. 1D panels need to be aprox 1 foot away per each inch of depth of the panel. It's really more complicated than that but that's a good place to start.

Here is a link to the best two from my knowledge. The DC2 and the Skyline.

http://store.acousticfrontiers.com/A.../2D-Diffusers/

Many people have also built them out of foam using a foam cutting wire but I have no idea how the data compares to the two products linked above. The time and price of wood makes it kind of hard to pass up buying the lightweight commercial products if the actual look isn't important. I will be using them on my ceiling for sure but most likely will have some wooden ones on the walls to match the other wood products.

Check out the Grid diffusers as well if concerned about depth or even check out these. http://arqen.com/sound-diffusers/

I honestly have no idea about your sub enclosure concerns. I would just place it there and take measurements to see what difference it makes. The omnimic kit is a great little tool if you don't have a mic and know how to use REW. I don't use REW only because I'm CPU ignorant and couldn't figure it out fast enough before p*ssing me off and ordering omnimic. But measurements aren't always the be all end all either. Treating your room is going to change a lot of things and EQ is your friend in moderation so if your ears are telling you they will work then work with what you can would be my suggestion. i have all by subs flush with my baffle wall but this is a wall that is actually heavily treated and the entire area behind my baffle wall (4' deep x 10' high x 18' wide) is also very heavily treated. The front wall treatment is very common like mentioned earlier and can't say what that would do as far as flush vs 6"-8" out away. Maybe someone will chime in that can help.
Wow, great info. Thanks!

I don't think I have room for folded QRDs. I was referring to the skyline style for my room.

I picked up 2 sheets of 1" MDF, 6 sheets of 1/4 oak plywood, 24 8' sticks of 1x2s, and 24 8' sticks of 2x2s today. I'm just not that happy with the quality of the 2x2s. I certainly wouldn't want to present a skyline diffuser built from these on the walls, but for the ceilings, painted flat black, it will probably work. The corners are rounded as they are dimensional lumber, but it isn't consistent. Would this have much impact on performance? Also, can these be covered in acoustic cloth once constructed? That might be an option for the ceiling ones made from the dimensional lumber.

I am going to first build one or two and see how they do and decide on the material for the ones on the walls. I am thinking it will be best to get some S2S poplar and mill it to the proper size. I am planning to paint the different sizes starting in black and transitioning to a medium grey. I think it will look good this way.

As far as the sub enclosure is concerned, what do you think of building the enclosure with ~1.5" of clearance on each side and filling this void with the acoustic cotton batts? I'd like to be able to access the back easier than the current closed box, would this allow me to use a thinner material "door" on the back, or possibly leave the back open to the room behind the wall? The 2nd sub got here today, so I will hopefully have them installed over the weekend.

I have room behind the front wall to do whatever I want. I could even remove the existing wall and move it back if needed. Boy, I don't really feel like doing that, though! Should I put any absorption material on the front wall where space allows? Would it be worth putting small bass-traps in the corners? I am considering removing the front light fixtures. I am going to build full-door framed absorption panels for the doors.

UPS has lost one of the Emotiva amps and can't say where it is other than to wait until next Thursday and see if it shows up (was supposed to be here tomorrow). lol! I like the REW/Minidsp combo. I have an IT background, though its all hobby for me anymore (e.g. its still fun).

Lots of work ahead. It's going to be fun. Thanks again!

Travis
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post #30 of 216 Old 01-02-2017, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, again, for posting those videos. I re-watched the first one and finished the second and they have certainly motivated me to apply some multiple to the divorce factor of the "learning curve".

My wife and I sat in the theater and discussed the whole thing and she was very interested to hear my argument. And, had some great ideas! Her primary response was "It's already amazing, I don't hear/see any the things you are talking about. I just enjoy the movie." To which I respond "Yes, but, I can tell it can be even better."

Seemed to work.

Anyways, attached is a photo of the layout design for my 2D QRDs and a color scheme I picked that is going to really pop, but not be too distracting in the space. Getting Excel to "model" it was fun... Also attached is a photo of the painted product. Fir-ing/lumber-grade 2x2s are really garbage. I was surprised to find these clear pine sticks at Home Depot with such a great finish and perfect dimensions. This vastly speeds up production time as there is no sanding/planing! Cost is the tradeoff, but I will gladly pay to not plane/sand material. And, no knots/imperfections is a bonus. Each 18" panel using 5" as max height uses a little over 4 sticks, so material cost is ~$45 per panel.

I have to say, also, that the Behr Marquee one-coat paint is incredible. Picture says enough for a single coat on bare wood.

Regarding other plans, they are numerous. We were playing with seat placement last night and I am going to switch to a 4-seat back row and 2-seat front row, with the middle seat removed in the front. This gets the listening positions out of the nulls due to room dimensions and staggers the viewing. It also finally gives me a place to put a table/stand to put things on (cupholders can only hold so much!). The plan is to build a custom stand/shelf with a remote holding drawer or pocket on the back. I plan to use materials in a way to match the grey gradient of the QRDs.

Also, I'm building N7 5" well 1D QRDs to go on the walls behind the doors. They will be flat black, with the plates in the same grey gradient.

Now, onto the big stuff, to which I can credit my wife.

Most of the movies I like are in cinemascope format. I have a big 1.78:1 screen because I want to play some games and watch TV, too, but all my critical viewing is cinemescope format. I'm not a fan of horizontal black bars, but I like the full look of the filled 120" 16:9 screen for that content. Therefore, I am considering switching to a 138" 2.35:1 screen. This will let me fill the screen for the content I watch the most, and my 1.78:1 content will not get any smaller. The downside is throw distance of the projector for that large of image and that large of screen for the front row (and arguably for the back row). It certainly would be immersive.

My wife asked me, "why can't we move that wall back to gain distance". Huh, I can't move the whole thing back as it is to the farthest point it can go due to roof constraints, but I CAN move the screen back! There is a full room behind that space that can be utilized in any way I want.

The front wall has obvious problems. I think this is an opportunity to cure them. I am considering moving the screen back into the wall 12-18" and building a baffle wall in that room. I can then use the rest of that back room for bass trapping. I am working on a preliminary drawing, but the bottom wall to about 20" would stay, there would be about 5" of the side walls that would stay, and the top existing wall would stay down to about 10". This would create a frame, and all the moldings in the room wouldn't need to be modified. The subs would recess into each lower corner in their own sarcophagus. This would create a "stage" effect at the front of the room.

Also, I can build the transition wall at a vanishing angle so the screen would appear to float in the recessed box....cool!

The unknown for me is how to handle sound behind the baffle wall. Any thoughts?

Otherwise, I got a semi-green light to upgrade the FCRs. I am a Klipsch fan, and am looking at the THX-650s presently to build into the baffle wall. Other ideas?

Almost forgot. I put the 2nd 15" sub in and WOW, what a difference. It improved the bass EVERYWHERE and all the obnoxious noises from the bass (weird flutters/vibration like sounds) are gone with 2 of them. It even improved the clarity of the rest of the sound in the room.

I can't say it enough, thanks for the help/info and kickstart on this. I've been having a blast on the roller coaster ride that is the learning curve. Mistakes to come, but learning is fun.

Travis
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