Alright, time for an update...
Is that Bruce Willis on my Skype screen? Nope, it is
. Jeff has given me awesome advice and was even willing to Skype from a sunny beach in Mexico when I needed some help. If you have any questions he is the man to ask.
I am now going with staggered studs on all walls with double 5/8" drywall with green glue. Jeff advised doing hat channels on the ceiling, and I may do this depending on whether the dry wall guy can do it at a reasonable cost. If he cannot, I will do double 5/8" drywall with green glue just like the walls. You can see in the picture below that there is a "strongback" along the ceiling to keep it straight and support the heavier ceiling. Ceiling height is 10' in the theater area and 9' at the bar.
Bar area Before and After
I am also installing a 1.5 ton mini-split to heat and cool the space. It is a vented mini-split made by Gree so the vents can run through the soffit. Jeff recommended keeping the flow rate down to around 200, and so we are running 4 outlets and 2 returns; it should be whisper-quiet.
I also found an equipment rack on Craigslist for $250, it is an ERK Series by Middle Atlantic. Seems very solid. Looking forward to setting it up!
I also decided to go with columns without the acoustic panels so that I can have a speaker in the back 4 columns. I will likely go with the RSL CG3 bookshelf speakers to match the RSL atmos speakers.
Here are the latest plans for the bar from PrimoCraft, a custom bar maker in MN.
It should be ready in about 6-8 weeks. Just need to decide on a stain, leaning towards a dark cherry.
That's all folks! Should be ready in about 8 weeks
I will keep you posted