Hiding acoustic treatments? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hiding acoustic treatments?

I'm following Floyd Toole's treatment recommendations and struggling with designing my home theater not to look like Frankenstein's recording studio. My plan was to conceal the treatments behind acoustically transparent fabric panels, and to try to figure a place to squeeze in some wall sconces in a pleasing fashion. Ideally I'd have columns but I don't think I have the space to fit them in sensibly along with the treatments on my 12' side walls, each of which will have one surround speaker (differing from the two shown in Toole's diagram.)

I can't find anyone who's built and wrote about a home theater using his recommendations in the first place, let alone how they turned it into something appealing. I'd appreciate any thoughts and examples.

Toole's diagram with suggested treatments:



Proposed design for my room:

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post #2 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually found what seems to be a perfect concealed design including flush but attractive columns, which I think I could emulate except using acoustically transparent fabric over the columns instead of what appears to be drywall. I found it on this Sound and Vision page.



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post #3 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:01 AM
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that is tan fabric

You may want to look at Brolic Beast's project (beast unleashed) as the fabric hid a 6 inch allowance for all manner of acoustical treatments. Hard to see in the pictures because it was so dark.

Mounting the fabric 1-2 inches off the drywall is really pretty common in a lot of the projects documented here. Allowing for 4-6 inches is really no different you just have to design a support structure capable of holding the fabric.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:14 AM
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here is a wall with 2 inch treatments, some absorption, some with a degree of diffustion (stripes) and some with reflection (paper scrim)
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
that is tan fabric

You may want to look at Brolic Beast's project (beast unleashed) as the fabric hid a 6 inch allowance for all manner of acoustical treatments. Hard to see in the pictures because it was so dark.

Mounting the fabric 1-2 inches off the drywall is really pretty common in a lot of the projects documented here. Allowing for 4-6 inches is really no different you just have to design a support structure capable of holding the fabric.
Thanks for the pointer to beast's project. Sorry, I worded my comment about the drywall poorly (subsequently edited.) I meant that the columns appear to have drywall in the mid section, and given that they are mostly flush with the rest of the wall surface I could accomplish the same look by using acoustically transparent cloth over similarly styled columns.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:41 AM
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just because there is a light fixture don't assume it is drywall, all you need to do is put a piece of wood the thickness of the treatments in the location of a fixture. Once the fabric is in place mount the fixture through the fabric. It looks like black fabric to me, the column on the rear wall probably has a rear speaker up top.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Any pointers to the construction of the fabric panels, particularly with different approaches to fastening them to the walls? I found a YouTube video showing a mounting solution that uses a bracket; I recognize that these are for mounting individual panels, but I think brackets could also work for wall-covering panels. I assume there are other solutions? I'm looking for something removable yet not so fragile that it might fall off if someone brushes against it.

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post #8 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
just because there is a light fixture don't assume it is drywall, all you need to do is put a piece of wood the thickness of the treatments in the location of a fixture. Once the fabric is in place mount the fixture through the fabric. It looks like black fabric to me, the column on the rear wall probably has a rear speaker up top.
Yes, that's exactly how I was thinking I could do it; I was only assuming it was drywall because of the appearance of the finish (it looked like drywall painted navy blue to me.) Either way it doesn't matter, it would be easy enough to do as you suggested. Thanks for confirmation about how to get a light fixture over the otherwise transparent fabric.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 10:02 AM
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here are 1000 posts on the subject of making and hanging fabric panels, Zclips in the video assume you have a horizontal mounting surface which isn't always the case.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...ic-frames.html
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
that is tan fabric

You may want to look at Brolic Beast's project (beast unleashed) as the fabric hid a 6 inch allowance for all manner of acoustical treatments. Hard to see in the pictures because it was so dark.

Mounting the fabric 1-2 inches off the drywall is really pretty common in a lot of the projects documented here. Allowing for 4-6 inches is really no different you just have to design a support structure capable of holding the fabric.

Yup--fabric panels are a great way to hide treatments. My rear wall called for something like 16" of treatments and, as BIG mentioned above, side walls are 6" to where the fabric frames meet the wall supports, and about 8" behind the fabric-only sections (estimating added depth of fjp frames to 6" wall support).....here's a shot, courtesy of @DougUSMC behind the camera, where we were about to wrap-up the fabric-framing party. You'll see, the fabric panels hide not only treatments, but speakers as well. OP, if you're thinking about doing it, definitely go for it!


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post #11 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 10:40 AM
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Also, here is a 40 second close up video of a fabric panel as I started to strip the fabric from it for re-wrapping because I wrapped it the wrong color (gray, not black).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BH0RIzygNJO/

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post #12 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question: to clarify, the hemi-cylinder diffusers are 12" deep per Toole's recommendation. I'd plan to install the surrounds flush with the outermost edge of the diffusers, so this would effectively need to be a 12" deep false wall per as shown in my chicken-scratch drawing.

Do you know of any example installations (hopefully with pictures) of door on such a deep wall? Is it going to look/feel ridiculous trying to install a door in such a wall?

Thanks for all of the great advice.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 01:14 PM
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you could do two doors one that is flush with the inside fabric wall treatments. The other back with the normal opening. Create a tunnel and you effectively have an air lock communicating door setup which is a superior sound isolation strategy.
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 01:21 PM
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As for those big Monstrous cylinders in your theater space you might want to keep in mind Dr Toole's own personal theater setup. There are plenty of theater designers with excellent audio credentials that don't feel the need for stacked barrels.



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post #15 of 20 Old 04-17-2018, 01:36 PM
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You say you don't have space for columns, but you have the half cylinder diffusers that are 12" deep and 24" wide. Why not make them as columns as shown in the example below? They incorporate speakers, but you could certainly make columns without speakers.


From https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...er-smx-theater
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-18-2018, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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As for those big Monstrous cylinders in your theater space you might want to keep in mind Dr Toole's own personal theater setup. There are plenty of theater designers with excellent audio credentials that don't feel the need for stacked barrels.
Thanks Jeff, yes I'd seen his personal theater setup. His setup (and his general philosophy in the book) is pragmatic; not every listening space has to be optimal, and our brains are quite forgiving of the signals we receive. That doesn't mean that in a dedicated theater we should necessarily set a low bar if it's feasible to improve spaciousness etc. with treatments. He makes a strong case for properly placed diffusers and absorbers, and as you see in his living room photos he does have some of them (bookshelves as diffusers.) You should also note that he describes the importance of adequate depth of the diffusers, whether they be from bookshelves, engineered diffusers, or polys.

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post #17 of 20 Old 04-18-2018, 02:41 PM
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I stand by my early statement. There is no need for 12 x 24 inch half rounds sucking up valuable space if your available space is width constrained. And I have taken his class, you learn that there is more than one acceptable solution.
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-18-2018, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I stand by my early statement. There is no need for 12 x 24 inch half rounds sucking up valuable space if your available space is width constrained. And I have taken his class, you learn that there is more than one acceptable solution.
The room is going to be 12 1/2' x 18 1/4' where the screen will be on the 18 1/4' wall, giving me plenty of lateral space. Toole writes that even engineered diffusers need to be 8" deep to reflect down to the transition frequency, which would only save me 4" of depth on each wall.

I didn't know about Toole's class--just googled and found a Cedia class. How was it? Had you already read the book? Any new information? The class description sounds like it's misleading (using room shape and dimensions to predict acoustics.) I swear I remember the book underscoring how trying to predict acoustics that way is mostly fruitless.

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post #19 of 20 Old 04-18-2018, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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You say you don't have space for columns, but you have the half cylinder diffusers that are 12" deep and 24" wide. Why not make them as columns as shown in the example below? They incorporate speakers, but you could certainly make columns without speakers.
Dave, aesthetics aside, if you look at my chickenscratch drawing, the surround speakers are butted up directly against the diffusers. If I wanted to hide the surrounds behind the false wall, the column would then occlude a good portion of the horizontally dispersed speaker output. My plan was to have the driver flush with the inner edge of the cylinder as Toole shows in his diagrams.

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post #20 of 20 Old 04-18-2018, 07:29 PM
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The room is going to be 12 1/2' x 18 1/4' where the screen will be on the 18 1/4' wall, giving me plenty of lateral space. Toole writes that even engineered diffusers need to be 8" deep to reflect down to the transition frequency, which would only save me 4" of depth on each wall.

I didn't know about Toole's class--just googled and found a Cedia class. How was it? Had you already read the book? Any new information? The class description sounds like it's misleading (using room shape and dimensions to predict acoustics.) I swear I remember the book underscoring how trying to predict acoustics that way is mostly fruitless.
If you've read and studied the book skip the class IMHO it is overpriced. Of the Home Theater related training classes I've taken this is the most valuable and unfortunately the most expensive.

https://homeacoustics.org/events/thx...-san-diego-ca/
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