Tall Guy Theater
Also bad at coming up with creative names - but I am 6 foot 7......so I figured the name would at least stand out. And yes, I wish we had 9 foot ceiling in the basement. I had posted a conceptual design thread, but am ready now to start on the journey. I have started to order materials and pull some drywall down and moved some switches. After reading through these threads the last few months, I am excited to get started! Below are the basics of the build and some picture of the space.
The Design and Space
I currently have about 1000 sq ft finished basement, and a section that is about 800 sq ft that is unfinished. I plan on knocking down a wall and using about 100 sqft of the finished basement, and then finishing another 100 sq ft. The room will end up being about 13.5 by 18, with a ceiling of about 7.5 ft. There is a section of about 2 ft and the width of the room that has the steel support beam and some HVAC that causing the ceiling to drop another 9inches. I plan on going with 4k project 110in screen, 5.1.4 surround, 2 rows of 3 seats (second row will be partially under the section where the ceiling is lower), and an 8 inch riser.
Isolation Design Assumptions
-I'll be isolating the walls as best a possible within the design constraints and existing structures. 1 walls will be completely decoupled, 3 walls will have staggered studs, and the ceiling with have isolation clips. Also interested on hearing opinions on insulation in the walls (rockwool versus regular)
-Floor is concrete with a carpet pad (0.5 in), and carpet
-Riser will be insulated with fiberglass insulation
-First layer in the ceiling will be OSB for the project and soffit attachments. DD on the wall
-Drywall will be double 5/8s, with GG in the middle, acoustic caulk to seal
-There will be 2 doors, I plan on getting solid core door from a big box store, and then soundproof the jam and do soundproofing around the door. Would be open to hearing material and strategy for soundproof around and the bottom of the door.
-All outlet boxes and switches, using a backer box. I have seen a mix of opinion on material for the backer boxes (putty pad, or building with MDF, would like to hear additional input.
-There will be 1 supply and 1 return register. Still working on sizing of the ducts into the room with the HVAC contractor. Both ducts will come in through the unfinished portion of the basement. I plan on building silencer (founds some good design online) that will be between the inner and outer leaf and connect directly into the inner leaf. Yes this decoupled gap will be big, but I have that luxury with the unfinished side of the basement.
•I’ll be adding 4 soffits on each length of the theater room that will be inside the decoupled walls. The main uses will be lights and 4 Atmos speakers that will be aligned with L, R (current design is 5.5 height, 26in width). At 5.5in depth they will be at about 7 feet high from the ground (I know I should have gotten the 9 foot ceiling when I built the house)
•The ceiling - I’ll be adding the star night paint (still debating), and foam crown in the inner tray that has the led rope lighting platform. Running RGBW and blacklight LED (for star night)
•Adding in columns for speakers and sconce lights, and electrical boxes, along with sound panels (especially after watching soundproofing 101).
Well today I am going to kick off my theater build. I did some small preliminary work, moving a few switches and pulling some drywall, but today I am diving right into it. I have most of my soundproofing materials in hand, have a large shipment of wood and drywall coming, and will be doing demo and hopefully some wiring today!
Why not flip the room 180 degrees and put an AT screen under the lower section.
One thing to consider is how close to the seats that the surround and ASTMOS speakers are going to end up.
You also might want to look into the projector, it's throw distance and exactly where it ends up. 7.5' of height with a riser and the projector
eating up height, might be a design mess if the projector ends up in the circulation space between the seated rows.
Do you actually need two doors?
If you have questions on planning ahead for a star ceiling (it doesn't matter if you don't use me)... I'll be happy to answer any questions that might come up. You can ask here or email me at [email protected]
Glad you are considering a star ceiling. To me... every home ought to have a few. :)
Good luck with your build.
The flip 180 is actually a brilliant idea. I just walked down to the space and I think this move will greatly improve the layout of the room. And now I can build a stage! You will see in the picture the location of the second door which would have prevented the building of a stage in the previous layout. Any good basic/moderate stage designs on here to get inspiration from? Also remind me why the sand is needed in the stage.
The structural pole moves the center of the screen over about 2.5 feet, which is fine as riser will now be over about 2.5 feet and centered. The reason for 2 door, one for an entrance, and the other is into a closet that my wife wants to make into a snack and beverage room. I am kind of on the fence, but happy wife = happy life.
The Atmos in the soffits I agree are probably too low. As you can see from the picture I have alot of Ductwork going through the ceiling, which was my concern with trying to fit in backer boxes. I have 2 spaces about 42 inches in from the sides that I think I can make it happen. This will put the atmos centered to the room but a bit off center to the middle/prime seat. I can't imagine this is a huge deal, but open to thoughts.
On the topic of an AT screen, I had kind of shied away from it as I thought it would be adverse to the quality of the screen. However it seems like there are alot of good theaters on here built using AT screen. I am also open to hearing more.
I doubt I'd want ATMOS overhead speakers with a 7'5" ceiling with the riser and second row.
I'd suggest you'd be better off with no visual stage. You could recess the AT screen wall, and push the screen back, and treat the leading edge of the dropped
section of ceiling as the leading edge of a soffit.
Is there an opportunity to enter the theater via that closet area?
I'd suggest you do a side view, to scale, and start to look at how everything interacts. With an eye towards keeping speakers off seating. and making sure the second row seated
heads can see the bottom of the screen, over front row seated heads.
You also could frame the post differently, and reduce it's footprint.
Need six seats, or would four work for you? That would eliminate a riser and second row, but you could put in some narrower seating, and pull off a pretty good 5.1.4 ATMOS with that
layout. And likely pull off a bigger screen.
Have a floor plan?
I agree with you stage, with the soffit it will be too cramped. I am leaning toward 2 subs, and am debating 2 in the front corners versus 1 in the front and 1 in the back, open to thoughts.
No entrance through the closet, just a closet.
I have run the online riser calculator and land at 8-9inches.
I'd like 6 seats with 2 kids and a growing family:)
I have some hand drawn layouts. but need to clean them up before sharing.
Thanks for all your feedback.
My concern is the height + your seating needs, + your seated height. You are now fitting in "things" that the room won't support in a positive manner,
when you start to think about audio performance, creature comfort, and proper screen sightlines. This is a seriously challenging space, to design
so it performs well. If you have your seats, then you get seated eyes and ears measurements, and a side sightline diagram with the riser, soffit, screen,
and pick a projector and look at it's mounting height and throw distances, to support a screen size. You'll start to see just how challenging the want list
in that space, is.
You say you ran a calculator but did you use a given seat, that would produce a measured top of your 6'7" seated head, that needs to be seen over, and that the
second row gets to see the bottom of the screen? Was that a short throw projector by any chance?
I also don't see the obvious answer being a good solution as to putting you in the second row, because of creature comfort and the potential for poor audio back there.
I do wonder if the answer is bean bag chairs, out in front, for the little ones, for spaces like this? Basically that would be a non traditional theater look, but one that
might perform a whole lot better overall.
Those ATMOs speakers are in ceiling, correct? Otherwise those boxes that sit on top of a speaker, won't work with an AT screen, nor do well with the low ceiling being
treated as a soffit.
Two subs up front, ideally behind the AT screen and rotated 90 degrees, so they try to use the screen as a filter. I am a huge fan of an AT screen, as it can help "visually
eliminate" a fair amount of av gear, and work some WAF angles. In your case, it would also allow for some additional room volume, and possibly let you increase the depth
of the room, while also removing clutter. Also, why do the subs need to be in any corner, with an AT screen?
Thanks again for all the insight.
I have attached my current layout which does not take into consideration an AT screen. My LCR are in wall speakers that I plan on framing inside the DW. My subs are SVS PB2000 which are quite large, and even at 90 degrees will eat up around 20 inches. I am debating the value of hiding the subs versus having them in from the of the screen (but at least in the recessed area). AT will eat up 20-22 inches of depth in the room.
In the design the project is at 15.5, and behind the last row. This is the throw distance I am getting for most 4k projects (Sony, JVC).
The Atmos will be in the ceiling and layout for the front row. One set in front, the other in between the first and second row.
I have attached the riser calculation - I use my dad for my measurement, and landed at 46 inches high on normal couch.
So what's up front in that space, and could the front wall be pushed back, to get a deeper AT space?
I doubt your seating is to scale depth-wise, as it makes what is a 13.3' W x16' D room look rather spacious.
Not sure if I have the orientation of the room straight, but this picture shows the snack closet to the right of the support post, and the unfinished space straight ahead?
Less seats but it might be rather workable. We gave bean bag seating to the teen aged nieces and nephews years ago, and they
went over huge.
The ATMOS speakers might work by using shallow in-wall speakers, with shallow backer boxes, and maybe some
ceiling design that uses some layers of drywall and J channel edging, or even painted MDF, to drop the speakers a wee bit.
It's also a bit of a room that could be done very well, on a budget, by a DIY'er, while subscribing to good design standards, such as
symmetry, seating off walls and seat/speaker separation.
BTW, that's not a stage, but a soffit in front of the beam. That could create a design element, and maybe add some dimensional depth, while creating some
space for some screen wash 4" spot lighting at the same time.
You could also bring in two chairs when you need more seats, and put them in the aisle spaces. Compromised occasional seats, but thinking that way might simply mean
when there's no kids and no guests, could the majority of the rooms use, be 3 or less, or maybe Mom and Dad and two siblings sharing a recliner?
Made good progress the last 2 day, good all he demo done (luckily I am in a new construction development with a dumpster close to my house). I am about half way through framing. Decided to buy a new framing gun - well worth money, the old heavy framing gun from my father inlaw kept misfiring and was hard to control.
Now that I am framing it helps standing in the real and getting a feel of what it might be like. I think I am still leaning toward the 6 seat options, like a said we are a growing family :). I realize there are tradeoff, but I do really appreciate the additional options and I'll continue to evaluate through framing.
I would isolate the post and make it as small as possible.
Another option is you might look at SOWK's room and his single post. That strategy was used to create a wider room, by adding a symmetrical post, instead of
encasing it in a wall. It did have a trade off in that the room ended up shorter, with the seating on the back wall though.
One reason I was looking to lengthen the room was to shadowbox the screen, to suck up light coming off the screen, and encase the post while pushing the screen
wall back. Usually one gives an emphasis on planting any obstacles or non symmetrical features at the back, so often a room orientation flip of 180 is a design thought,
to see what that buys one design-wise.
Once you loose the open framing sight lines, the room will present substantially smaller.
I could then use the 2 post area (trim them out and cover most of the area with fabric) to hid my 2 subs and L and R speakers. The center speaker would be under the screw at about 22 inches. framed in and behind acoustically transparent fabric. I currently have an SVS PB2000, which will be tight in the area for near the jack post, so I was thinking about pairing it with the SVS SB2000, putting the smaller enclosure SB 2000 on the post side and the larger PB2000 on the additional post. As I think through this design (probably time to start sketching) I am drawn back to a small 4-5in stage under the recessed area as architectural feature. Tedd you seemed concerned with the stage concept, let me know what you were thinking.
I threw the idea at SOWK about going wider with adding a symmetrical post and he ran with that thought, and added the low stage, which I personally find to be a great look,
that has some value to help shadowbox the front and suck up light coming off the screen.
But I do have a room at 7'1" high with soffits at 80" above the AT screen. I hedged my gut feeling as I put in a sand filled stage in behind the AT screen wall
and then figured I would build a visual stage if I felt I had the space. I skipped the stage out front because it wouldn't have looked good. Just not enough height
in these sorts of theaters. The problem is one is bombarded by visually beautiful rooms that are big and tall enough to accommodate a bunch of features, but that's
not your space, nor mine.
Visually, I could see SOWK's stage emphasizing the low height in your room. But I could also see where it could simply be an arch seemed in carpet.
Audio-wise, I could see where you already have a low ceiling, so why make it even lower and bring room boundaries closer then they need to be? You simply end up with
earlier speaker reflections then need be, and shrink the room visually more, then you need to.
I would not worry about the subs and what goes where, post related, if behind an AT screen, beyond what gives you the smoothest audio response, and works for a
smooth crossover transition. I would make sure the subs don't fire at the screen by possibly rotating them to fire sideways.
The posts aren't ideal from an early first reflection point perspective either, but you are asking a lot of the room, with 2 rows in 16' of depth. It's a whole lot easier to
create a good looking room, then it is to create great sounding room. And that is far more challenging when you want 2 rows, which really start to dictate to you where
seating goes from a capacity angle and not smooth audio response angle. That's why I asked how many seats you need (which is often different from seats you want...)
On looking good versus optimal sound experience, I obviously want to optimize both however realize there are tradeoffs between the two. I would say my design guiding principals lean a bit more toward the looking good, with good but not audiophile level quality. My friends/family are exactly HT experts or sound audiophiles, so something that has good sound quality from a value perspective and looks good is kind of where I am leaning.
Could you clarify this point -
Audio-wise, I could see where you already have a low ceiling, so why make it even lower and bring room boundaries closer then they need to be? You simply end up with
earlier speaker reflections then need be, and shrink the room visually more, then you need to.
Also if my speaker are going to be around (left, right, and below) the screens do I really still need an AT screen? Are there other benefits?
I am still evaluating screens and projects, but am leaning towards the Sony 295, or JVC NX-5. I'd be open to hearing recommendation on project and also a good pairing screen.
Thanks again Tedd for all your input......
Why would you even want to place your center channel down low, where the front row can block the audio to the second row? There's also a lot of small
things in such a space that really start to add up, and if you draw the room to scale, and your seating, you might find that front row is close to the room's
mid point where audio is a mess. Maybe you all are not audiophiles but that's also a very common line people use to justify cramming stuff in, and not looking
at a room from an audio standpoint. But good design can be a very inexpensive tool, and why not aim higher in the first place? And at the very least, the reasoning
behind "stuff", allows one to make informed choices when it comes down to making decisions on the compromises one will have to make.
The second row without any additional room depth, kind of rules out an AT screen, due to seating distances, and one seeing screen weave.
An AT screen would be the first tool I would reach for, when you can have depth, and then hide speakers/subs/bass traps, and other stuff. That's simply a tool
I would consider, if I could grab some more room depth, as in under that lower soffit. I did notice later, that you are using in wall speakers up front, but how small
is that screen going to be, if you have symmetrical posts, and need the speakers to be outside the screen edges? I would be looking to ideally have the speakers in a
horizontal line for the tweeters, and inside an AT screen's edges, with the screen and seating) centrally located on the room's width.
Either of those projectors would be very nice choices. Screen choice would be about what gain I would need, for the screen size, and all about cost and quality.
For the false wall I do not need much space considering my LCR are Definitive 6.5 DI, which fit in a 3.5 frame. To match the columns on both sides, I'll need about 25 in on both sides, leaving me with 110 inches in the middle. Therefore I'd go with a 110, or 115 in screen (I realized the 115 might be a stretch). To create a uniform type shadow box, I would bump out the bottom section about 18-20 inches, which would also make room for the subs. The bump out would be framing, with trim and mostly fabric (in front of the bump out I am thinking a small stage look, with a stained wood look, to match the perimeter trim wood trim on my riser). This would give me 62 in of vertical space to support a 110-115in screen
With this approach I'd use around 6 inch for my false wall, thus landing my viewing distance from my first row around 12ft, and second row around 16.5 feet.
Moving this back a bit, and also reworking the riser calculator - I am going to up my riser to 10-11in. Which even at 6 foot 7 would leave me 2 inches after the ceiling is finished (which is about what I encounter in a portion in my basement with the bump down). Also it's not like anyone will be standing on the riser for long.
So with these new design assumptions:
-Do I eliminate weaver issue with an AT screen at these distance
-Are there any advantages to pushing my false wall out even more
-What are the guidelines for speaker placement behind the screen (tweeter at ear level of the best seat, and L and R as far to the left/right)?
Any other things to consider with this new design approach.
Regarding AT screens and weave/distance, I did some limited testing - by "limited" I mean I looked at materials from Silver Ticket and Seymour AV. My room is even smaller than yours and I am shoe-horning two rows into it with an AT screen and LCR in the wall behind it.
It is not easy to cram features in a usable fashion into a small space... but it seems to me AT is definitely doable in your space.
Seymour UF has an advertised 6 foot minimum viewing distance, while the spec for Seymour XD is 10 feet. In my testing they performed better than that, but one would not go wrong obeying those minimum distance specs. (Seymour also has Enlightor Neo in their "Screen Excellence" product line, which I didn't test due to price considerations- it is similar to UF but an even tighter weave pattern, for even closer distances than 6 feet.)
Silver Ticket WAB was not friendly to distances under 10 feet; I wouldn't consider it for your space.
Ultimately I'll be building a DIY spandex AT screen (matte white over matte black). It is a high value option, and if I end up not liking the spandex in the long run, it only cost me about $60 in spandex, plus a wooden frame that I could stretch some Seymour UF material on instead. I highly recommend checking out the DIY Screen forum for details on spandex AT.
Screen material discussion starts around post 43 in my build thread if you want to see pics and observations: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...l#post56190794
-Seymour XD AT screen - with around 115in diag. Pretty cool that Seymour make to custom sizes. Once I am framed, I'll get a more precise measurement on the actual size. I think I have landed on the 2.35/2.37.1 for the screen, which will allow my bottom bump out to house 2 SVS 2000 subs. The bump out will now be even with the columns, so no need for a stage accent anymore. Also with the slightly higher screen, my riser requirement is back down below 8in, so going with my original design. for the riser.
Any thoughts on 2.35 versus 2.37, I have read a few threads and am leaning toward the 2.37. I am thinking about going with the premium frame and adding in the masking panels for 16:9. Also will be adding 2 layers of this behind the AT screen with 3 mil plastics in between. https://www.buyinsulationproductstor...t-1-thickness/ . I'll be painting everything black behind the AT screen.
Definitely learning a-lot and adding value to my design, thanks everyone.
Framing is done - had a few minor changes, but was able to add 24 inches in the back and about 2 inches to the side! Definitely a learning experience as I go.
So I think I am finally bought into the DIY speaker route - and have the space not to support it. I bought my previous speakers (Definitive 6.5 LCR and SVS PB2000) during black Friday before going to far down the road of research. I plan on selling them, still new open box.
I am still researching on to what the best DIY Speakers are for my setup. I'd like to limit the space behind the speaker to 12-14 inches, but with a bump out below for subwoofers that can go out about 24in (can change and push out another few inches if needed), just need to change my upfront design a bit.
Any input would be helpful!
I would look to pair up with someone local and go www.gsgad.com cabinets flat pack shipped as 4 units, for the cheap shipping.
(And you can rotate subs ninety degrees behind an AT screen, and likely want to...)
Your room isn't overly big, but I'd like something that can move air and play reference levels to the second row.
SeymourAV also sells the fabric and you could actually frame the AT wall in, and lace in AT fabric and create the screen edge out of velvet covered boards.
I myself expect to do this next room and accommodate masking into all that. You could also create a curved screen, for the scope screen.
As for 2.35 or 2.37, you might see a strip of vertical bar with 2.35 on a 2.37 screen. Or you could simply have the screen frame absorb the tiny bit of
image when displaying 2.37 on a 2.35 screen. I think I'd take the 2.35 screen and not worry about losing a tiny silver of image at the very ends of the
screen, for simplicity sake.
I know I suggest a lot of DIY work and some engineering, but I do leverage that sort of thing, to expand my budget and get more features. (I'd rather build
something, enjoy a nice day outside, then spend several days at work paying for, something less turn key and less custom.)
As a fellow 6' 7" tall guy, I can sympathize with your pain. My theater is built in a bonus room with sloping ceilings from a 4' knee wall to 8' ceiling height. I have to lean over a bit to walk around the seats because of the slope. I managed to create angle mounted soffits to hold Atmos channels that sit at just over 7' off the floor. Two rows of seating with an 8" riser (second row is theater style seats which helped with seeing over the head height of the first row). There is definitely an impact of the lower than ideal Atmos channels, but as long as you get some that have a good aimable tweeter, they can manage enough separation to be noticed.
Alright - so working through some of the wiring. Hoping to get wiring and insulation, hat channels done by end of the week and then onto OSB and Drywall. A few key updates, and additional question:
- Thanks to Tedd I am now leaning towards a DIY Seymour screen, I have samples of the XD and XF on there way.
- I am visiting HDmarket this week to check out seating!
- I have re-evaluated my speaker set up and am leaning towards selling my Definitive LCR 6.5 DI, and Definitive 5.5 BPS support, and SVS PB2000 sub, still new and unused. Any suggestion on the best place to sell them?????.....I know I am going to take a hit (hopefully not too bad). My new set up with my Marantz 6012 will be 7.2.4 with the following set up:
-2 18 UM subs, in enclosed cabinets (don't have enough space for ported) built by parts.com, inuke6000 amp
-3 HTM - 12 for LCR (is the 6012 at 150 watts/channel) is the 6012 going to provide enough juice or do I need to amp.
-4 Volt - 10 for surrounds (thank Erich for suggesting them to keep a low profile on the columns with out a backer box
-4 Sonance MAGR6: I have these already, open to thoughts. I looked at Volt 6 but them seem like a challenge to ceiling mount, the following amp to go to 7.2.4 https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Source-.../dp/B00ZSEFU94
I am also leaning toward the JVC NX5. Any concerns that the FL may be too high on a 120 foot 2.35:1 screen. the projector will be about 17 feet back. The room is dark and with the XD ill be in the 30s, and XF closer to the 20s.
6’8” guy right here- following and facing a lot of similar decisions on the road of compromises. Keep up the good work!
PS- had to dig down my basement, and still facing 7’9” to joists.
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