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post #1 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Ponderosa Theater

Quite a few years ago I purchased a two acre lot on a hill about 15 miles northwest of Omaha, Nebraska. On June 1, 2018, I broke ground on my new house and theater. It is a post and beam house from Sand Creek Post & Beam in Wayne, Nebraska. I'm calling the house Big Elk Lodge. Big Elk was a chief of the Omaha Indian tribe in the early 1800's.

The house is built from Ponderosa Pine from the Black Hills of South Dakota. I will also be using some rough cut Ponderosa Pine in the theater so I decided to call it Ponderosa Theater.

Dimensions (before walls)
28' 11" long, 18' 9" wide, 10' 10" high.

Video System
JVC DLA-NX7 or NX9
Lumagen Radiance Pro
Panamorph Paladan DCR
Seymour Screen Excellence 2.40 Enlightor-Neo Acoustically Transparent, 150" wide x 62" high

Audio System
Isolation Transformer- Torus Power RM100 Balanced
Source - HTPC with JRiver Media Center
Processor - Storm Audio ISP 3D.20 Elite with Dirac Live 2.0

Speakers
Left, Center, Right Speakers: (3 ea) JTR Speakers Noesis 215RM
Rear Surrounds: (2 ea) JTR Speakers Noesis 215RM
Side Surrounds: (4 ea) JTR Speakers Single 8HT
Front Height/Top Front: (3 ea) JTR Speakers Pro 8
Surround Height/Top Rear: (2 ea) JTR Speakers Pro 8
VOG/Top Middle: (2 ea) JTR Speakers Single 8HT-LP
Subwoofers
(2 ea) JTR Speakers Captivator S2 (front of room)
Infinite Baffle subwoofer system, 2 manifolds, 4 ea Acoustic Elegance IB15 woofers/manifold (rear of room in riser)

Amplifiers
Base Layer
3 ea - Digital Amp Company MEGAschino Monoblocks with 1500 watt transformers
1 ea - Digital Amp Company MEGAschino Stereo amp with 1800 watt transformer
1 ea - Digital Amp Company MEGAschino Stereo amp with 1500 watt transformer
2 ea - Digital Amp Company Maraschino mono amps, 60V power supply

Height/Top Layer
7 ea - Digital Amp Company Maraschino mono amps, 60V power supply

Bass testing options
  • 5.1 Fullrange system with subs for LFE
  • LFE routed just to front subwoofers
  • LFE routed to front subwoofers and rear IB system
  • LFE routed just to rear IB system
  • LFE routed to front subwoofers and all 5 Noesis 215RM speakers
  • LFE routed to front subwoofers, IB system, and all 5 Noesis 215RM speakers
  • LFE routed just to 215RM speakers
  • Redirected bass routed to front subwoofers
  • Redirected bass routed to front subwoofers and rear IB system
  • Redirected bass routed just to rear IB system
  • Redirected bass routed to front subwoofers, IB system, and all 5 Noesis 215RM speakers
  • Redirected bass routed to closest Noesis 215RM speaker
  • Double bass array for music (rear 215RM speakers out of phase and with delay)
  • Single bass array for movies (24"+ of absorption at rear of room)
  • Nearfield bass testing using IB system
  • Tactile testing with a 30 Hz low pass on IB system in riser

Seating
Front Row - TBD
Second Row - (5) Irwin #71 Signature rocker seats, 44" backs, with Cabernet vinyl
Third Row - (5) Irwin #71 Signature rocker seats, 44" backs, with Cabernet vinyl
- Irwin seats have arms and cupholders and are very similar to those at The Alamo Drafthouse in Omaha, NE

HVAC
Separately zoned geothermal heat pump with 4 supplies

Front of the house


South elevation


View to the south


Footings for theater two feet deeper than the rest of the basement


Foundation for the theater - dirt was dug out later


Basement poured, walk out basement wall finished, TJI joists and decking installed (note: heavy rains of 7"+ filled the theater with water before the rest of the basement floor was poured)


Post & Beam frame starting to be erected (7/30/2018)

Ponderosa Theater
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Last edited by desertdome; 12-21-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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post #5 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 09:33 AM
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Although this will be inferior to the Savoy in every way, I’m looking forward to your progress DD! 😉 Should be a great journey…let me know when you need my help.
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post #6 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 09:33 AM
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post #7 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 10:12 AM
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Awesome Michael! I look forward to watching it all come together.

What was your reasoning behind using full range for your rear surrounds and not just match the rest of the surrounds?
Was it to give you more options for all of your bass routing option experiments?
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post #8 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 11:08 AM
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Subscribed. I look forward to fallowing your build to the end. You will more then likely beat me done and have and AWESOME theater in the end.

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post #9 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 11:19 AM
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Subscribed! Looks like it will be a great one, looking forward to it.


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post #10 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post
Awesome Michael! I look forward to watching it all come together.

What was your reasoning behind using full range for your rear surrounds and not just match the rest of the surrounds?
Was it to give you more options for all of your bass routing option experiments?
Because of how I'm designing my rear wall, I have room for the 215RM's without them intruding into the room. I wanted the 60 degree horn for coverage of the seating area without too much dispersion. It should be a little easier to provide even sound at all three rows than with the JTR Single 8. I can also have a two channel system from the other end of the room and use the IB subs as separate left/right subwoofers for the "mains".

Yes, I did want more options for bass routing experiments. The 215RM 15" woofers have ~26% more excursion than the 15" woofers in the Submersive. The cabinet in the 215RM's is also larger than the Submersive for greater efficiency at low frequencies. One can think of the 215RMs as 5 identical sealed "subwoofers" that I have in the room. I can also add a Linkwitz Transform in JRiver Media Center to each 215RM. I'm very interested in trying out a double bass array and this setup gives me the means to try that.
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post #11 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 12:48 PM
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Do you have a plan of you layout that you could post? Looks like you may be coming to the theater from the side back a the rear row?

Klipsch KPS-400’s FR/FL with built in 15” 300 watt side firing subs, RC-7 Center, RS-3 Surrounds.
Integra DHC-60.5, 5- Marantz MA700 Mono Blocks, Pioneer DV-F727 301 Disk DVD CD Changer, Pioneer DVL-909 Laserdisc/DVD/CD Player, Sony PS3.
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post #12 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm the general contractor for the project and this is my first house. I designed my house within certain parameters or pre-existing conditions that are used by Sand Creek Post and Beam and then made changes. They usually use wood beams to support the TJI joists. After discussing with my framer I decided to change to the a steel beam and extend the first post to 24' ft (see picture below). This allowed for the beam to completely span the theater. I could have made a load bearing wall for the theater and no beam, but my joists would have ran horizontally in the theater. This wouldn't have worked as well for HVAC. Sand Creek also preferred the house engineered with the steel beam under the entire house.

In hindsight, I would have had the TJI joists evenly centered in the room by narrowing the space between the first two joists. Since I was using 11' walls, I had to increase the rebar from #4 to #5 for the entire basement per my engineer. Fortunately, I could still use 8" walls instead of 10" walls.

The theater was poured 26" deeper for several reasons:
  1. I left 2" for flooring (rigid foam/OSB)
  2. I can possibly incorporate the first row of seating into the riser (tactile effect from IB subwoofer system for all 3 rows)
  3. I can have two riser levels for seating and can walk in to the theater at the riser height
  4. The poured concrete pad is decoupled from the rest of the basement
  5. The extra room height allows for better placement of 3D audio speakers
  6. The extra room height allows for more acoustic treatment on the ceiling

The extra concrete vertical "beams" that you see are extra supports for the fireplace in the living room above the theater. These carry the weight down to a large footing underneath the theater floor. I have a "walk out" side and a completely under grade side to the theater. Ideally, I would have had the "walk out" side at the rear of the theater to reflect less bass back into the theater (a more lossy system). However, due to where I wanted my steps I decided to have the "walk out" side as the front of the theater.


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post #13 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladeback View Post
Do you have a plan of you layout that you could post? Looks like you may be coming to the theater from the side back a the rear row?
Here is an initial layout:



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post #14 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post
Because of how I'm designing my rear wall, I have room for the 215RM's without them intruding into the room. I wanted the 60 degree horn for coverage of the seating area without too much dispersion. It should be a little easier to provide even sound at all three rows than with the JTR Single 8. I can also have a two channel system from the other end of the room and use the IB subs as separate left/right subwoofers for the "mains".

Yes, I did want more options for bass routing experiments. The 215RM 15" woofers have ~26% more excursion than the 15" woofers in the Submersive. The cabinet in the 215RM's is also larger than the Submersive for greater efficiency at low frequencies. One can think of the 215RMs as 5 identical sealed "subwoofers" that I have in the room. I can also add a Linkwitz Transform in JRiver Media Center to each 215RM. I'm very interested in trying out a double bass array and this setup gives me the means to try that.
Love it - all good reasons to do it that way, especially the part about the ability to try out double bass array. I have never actually heard a 215 RM, I didn't realize they had more output than a Submersive.
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post #15 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post
Here is an initial layout:




Any thoughts of curved rows or does that make the aisles to cramped for your liking?
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post #16 of 32 Old 12-21-2018, 03:16 PM
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Dang this is gonna be a fun one. Subscribed.
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This is gonna be cool. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. I watch a YouTube channel called pure living for life where a couple is building a timber frame house with SIPs. Both are unknown building methods to me so it’s interesting to watch. I bet that fireplace with those big windows flanking it will be an awesome feature upstairs. And down below will be even better.
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post #18 of 32 Old 12-22-2018, 05:30 AM
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Subbed indeed. Happy x-mas
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post #19 of 32 Old 12-22-2018, 06:33 AM
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Can't wait to see how you incorporate the timber into the theater. This is going to be a great build to follow! Best of luck!

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post #20 of 32 Old 12-22-2018, 08:30 AM
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Looks like a great space and well thought out plan!

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But now I can't get the Bonanza theme song out of my head...
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-22-2018, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdome View Post
I'm very interested in trying out a double bass array and this setup gives me the means to try that.
Ten foot ceiling and a double bass array...this is going to be good! Don't forget that with a DBA, you will still need to account for the bass resonant modes above the DBA cutoff frequency.

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Looks like its going to be awesome. Are the sub drivers located as required for a SBA/DBA, 1/4 spacing horizontal and vertical assuming 4 drivers per front/rear wall?

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post #24 of 32 Old 12-22-2018, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pradeep2 View Post
Are the sub drivers located as required for a SBA/DBA, 1/4 spacing horizontal and vertical assuming 4 drivers per front/rear wall?
Given the width of the room, he will likely need 6 drivers (2 rows of 3) spaced similarly to what I did on my SBA.

Last edited by mikela; 12-22-2018 at 11:06 AM. Reason: changed DBA to SBA
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post #26 of 32 Old 12-24-2018, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post
Any thoughts of curved rows or does that make the aisles too cramped for your liking?
With a straight row, the length modes are identical for each seat in that row. I will still have some length modes to deal with in the room and a straight row allows for a single PEQ filter to work for all seats in the row. This is true if the bass comes from the front or rear of the room. I've sat in a theater with the same size screen and seating distance and to me the straight rows are fine from a viewing perspective.

With a coaxial surround speaker it is easier to get similar volume levels at each seat with a straight row than with a curved row. With other speaker types, a curved row can minimize horizontal frequency variations if the speaker is aimed along the curve toward the center seat. However, you still get more uneven volume levels than with a coaxial speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikela View Post
Ten foot ceiling and a double bass array...this is going to be good! Don't forget that with a DBA, you will still need to account for the bass resonant modes above the DBA cutoff frequency.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pradeep2 View Post
Looks like its going to be awesome. Are the sub drivers located as required for a SBA/DBA, 1/4 spacing horizontal and vertical assuming 4 drivers per front/rear wall?
The double bass array will only work with two channel playback. I would use the front center 215RM as another "subwoofer" for the front of the room. With the three 215RM speakers in the front, I should get a bass wave that travels evenly from front to back since there will be 6 woofers spaced fairly evenly. With two speakers in the rear wall at the 1/4 points I hope to get cancellation of the front wave. You can almost think of it as 6 subwoofers in the front of the room and 4 subwoofers in the rear of the room due to the woofer spacing.

Since I'm using identical fullrange speakers for the DBA, I hope that I get good results to a higher frequency than if I was crossing over to subwoofers.
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post #27 of 32 Old 12-25-2018, 02:02 PM
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Awesome. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.
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post #28 of 32 Old 12-28-2018, 09:13 AM
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Very Impressive Desertdome!!!! Reference level for sure.

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post #29 of 32 Old 01-01-2019, 12:41 PM
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Reserving my seat now for the theater debut. I'll be there.

This is going to be good fun to follow. The downside is that it will be next to impossible to get Michael's attention till sometime in late 2020!
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post #30 of 32 Old 01-19-2019, 06:52 AM
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Ponderosa Theater

I love the idea of incorporating the riser into the first row.

All three seating rows getting tactile effect!

I have a unproven/untested suspicion that you may not need that front riser to be 2’. I bet it could be 2” yet a connected part of the full airspace with the rear riser and still get the same or fairly similar tactile effect across the whole surface of the big riser. If I was building something like that I’d put all the seating on one big three tiered subwoofer box riser with upward firing high excursion subs beneath the seating — as depth allowed. At least in the middle and rear tiers. Sort of like a huge subwooferbox/infinite baffle. I think the entire wooded riser structure would be very enjoyably tactile since it’d all be acting as one surface? You probably know more than me on the matter though. Looking forward to the invite over when it’s all done!
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