AT (Acoustically Transparent) Theater build thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
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AT (Acoustically Transparent) Theater build thread

Folks - it is my please to start my own theater build out thread. I am hoping to share progress as well as seek clarifications and guidance as I move forward with this.

To provide a background I am finishing my basement and assigning one room as a theater room. The room has a dimension of approx. 15.5 X 13 sq.ft. I will post exact measurements later. I have attached a layout of the basement as it stands now.

On the area where you see a door in the theater room, that is actually the door that goes under the stairs. I have asked the crew to flatten that area out and put the door on the opposite side of where it is shown in the picture. The reason for why it is shown this way is that there was an existing partially finished basement with this structure which we have now ripped out. My plan is to have the AT screen in front of it.

In terms of equipment, I already have a few things that I have purchased. I am planning maybe a 5.1 system although I may prewire for a 7.2. I am perhaps not inclined to do Atmos at this time given the small size of the room. Equipment inventory is as follows.
1. LCR - three JBL studio 590s (purchased)
2. Rear - two JBL studio 580s (purchased)
3. Receiver - Denon 4400h (purchased)
4. Subwoofer - to be purchased
5. Projector - need a short throw projector
6. Screen - leaning towards a silver ticket AT screen

The current phase of construction is that all demo work has been completed and framing planned to start on Aug 15th. I am using a basement company who has their own materials they are using for the job. Any changes would lead to an increase in cost. Regular insulation will be used, not any specific sound proof one. I am hoping this should be fine because I have no need to soundproof the theater at this time given that I have a lot of space between me and my neighbors and this should not be an issue.

I have also attached some pics of how the basement stands now. More to come.

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post #2 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 03:46 AM
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Good luck with the build. I love my AT screen, and my x4300, an earlier x4400.
Wire for 7.1.4 so add ons are easier, dont skimp on subwoofer(s) they can be the heart of most movies !

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post #3 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 04:49 AM
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I hope you plan on moving the combustion grills, any wall except the theater wall. You need to consider that sound proofing is also about creating the quietest theater space possible.
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post #4 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I hope you plan on moving the combustion grills, any wall except the theater wall. You need to consider that sound proofing is also about creating the quietest theater space possible.
Hello - thank you. If you look at the plan I posted, it has an unfinished areas with a door. That wall will have the combustion grill, not the theater wall to my knowledge. I can reconfirm. Also about soundproofing, are you recommending something additional I should do?

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post #5 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 04:59 AM
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There is only one true short throw 4k pj that I am aware of. If you can make the BenQ ht3550 (1.13 throw, check the measurements on projector central dot com) work that what I would go with.

Otherwise you are looking at USTs or 1080p PJs.


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post #6 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Given that there is going to be standard drywall and standard ceiling is there anything I need to add from a soundproofing perspective. I just learnt that the contractors are not adding any insulation to ceiling. I have some extra r13 insulation I can request if they can tuck it in for the ceiling. Is there anything I need to do for better sound dispersion and absorption? Not looking for a super professional theater but just a home use one which is good for watching movies with kids or listening to music. I am also open to things I could do on my own on top of the drywalls after the contractors are done.

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post #7 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 06:39 PM
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Ask them to use 5/8 drywall instead of the current norm of ultra lightweight 1/2 inch. Same labor, a few dollars a sheet more in materials. I’m assuming that the inside of the utility space will be left unfinished you could add some Roxul insulation between the studs after your contractor leaves.
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post #9 of 71 Old 08-05-2019, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Ask them to use 5/8 drywall instead of the current norm of ultra lightweight 1/2 inch. Same labor, a few dollars a sheet more in materials. I’m assuming that the inside of the utility space will be left unfinished you could add some Roxul insulation between the studs after your contractor leaves.
Jeff - when you say utility space are you referring to the closet in the attached picture? I am planning to use that space for my av equipment. Insulation between the frames in the theater room will be done by the contractor. They are using mold resistant insulation with water protection. Are you asking me to add roxul insulation between the studs on top of their insulation and before they put drywall?



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post #10 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 07:17 AM
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Upper left unfinished room. Where your noisy HVAC will reside. I doubt they will insulate that space.
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post #11 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Upper left unfinished room. Where your noisy HVAC will reside. I doubt they will insulate that space.
Yes that will be unfinished. I can add roxul insulation between studs ONLY in that space unless you feel the theater room between studs needs an additional layer of Roxul insulation. Also I assume you want me to do 5/8in drywall for the theater room.

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post #12 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Jeff - when you say utility space are you referring to the closet in the attached picture? I am planning to use that space for my av equipment. Insulation between the frames in the theater room will be done by the contractor. They are using mold resistant insulation with water protection. Are you asking me to add roxul insulation between the studs on top of their insulation and before they put drywall?



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Spoke to contractor. He has an option to upgrade the 1/2 inch drywall to 5/8 inch. His message was as follows. Should I do it? Is it necessary?

We offer sound resistant drywall at an additional cost. Its 2 layers of 5/8s with a sound resistant green glue in between.Its 4$ per sq ft.

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post #13 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 11:04 AM
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That would be better than standard but ideally attached to a up/channel isolation system.
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post #14 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genaccmiller View Post
Spoke to contractor. He has an option to upgrade the 1/2 inch drywall to 5/8 inch. His message was as follows. Should I do it? Is it necessary?

We offer sound resistant drywall at an additional cost. Its 2 layers of 5/8s with a sound resistant green glue in between.Its 4$ per sq ft.

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Depending on how much GG they apply that is not a terrible installed cost..
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post #15 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 04:35 PM
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Does anyone have a break down of the cost if you do it yourself? (Green glue with double 5/8)

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post #16 of 71 Old 08-06-2019, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a break down of the cost if you do it yourself? (Green glue with double 5/8)

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I cant do by myself since my contract is for the basement company to finish my basement.

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post #17 of 71 Old 08-08-2019, 08:09 AM
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I used a silverticket 155" AT screen (pretty sure thats the size its 15x) and its been great. Easy enough to put together and its held up just fine with my 7 ported 18's behind it. I compared it to a few other screen materials and it was my favorite in person and I found no real difference with it for sound. For the price its hard to beat IMO and Prime.

I know you said you didnt want to do atmos but I would suggest running lines for it just in case you change your mind down the line. $100 or less of wire would save you a big headake later.

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post #18 of 71 Old 08-14-2019, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Folks - framing is starting tomorrow. I have a couple of questions.

1. Contractor is willing to upgrade the sheet rock for the theater room from thin sheet rock to 5/8 inch double layer with green glue in-between for $4/sq ft. I will know exact cost when they measure. Is it worthwhile getting this upgrade.

2. The existing ceiling has insulation at places. The contractor will not be installing ceiling insulation. If I want them to put it then that is extra. Do basements need ceiling insulation?

3. The room currently has no door to enter. Contractor is willing to upgrade to double doors for $275. Should I do it for the theater room? Also this will be regular doors not French doors. French doors are around $700. Is there a reason to choose one over the other?

Regards
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post #19 of 71 Old 08-14-2019, 05:25 PM
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1) looks like it will be a $2600 item and IMHO is not worth it unless you hang the drywall on a clip and channel isolation system which should run about $600 in materials.
2) Every cavity adjacent to theater walls and ceilings should have insulation.
3) A double door will be the weakest link in sound isolation, I assume you mean a french door with glass panels. See my next comment.

In my opinion your approach to introduce sound isolation at this late stage is too little planning too late in the game. For sound isolation to be effective the duct work that may connect this room with others needs to be addressed so sound doesn't travel using the duct work. Every hole cut for lights, outlets, switches speakers in the drywall needs a backer box or putty pads to seal the holes otherwise you have Swiss cheese, The door should be a single solid core 1 3/4 thick door with airtight perimeter door seals. Given that the room will be airtight a dedicated HVAC return in addition to whatever supplies are planed needs to be installed, I suspect that is not in the plan. If you do all that then hanging two layers of 5/8 on clips and channel you will have a high performance room.
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post #20 of 71 Old 08-14-2019, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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1) looks like it will be a $2600 item and IMHO is not worth it unless you hang the drywall on a clip and channel isolation system which should run about $600 in materials.
2) Every cavity adjacent to theater walls and ceilings should have insulation.
3) A double door will be the weakest link in sound isolation, I assume you mean a french door with glass panels. See my next comment.

In my opinion your approach to introduce sound isolation at this late stage is too little planning too late in the game. For sound isolation to be effective the duct work that may connect this room with others needs to be addressed so sound doesn't travel using the duct work. Every hole cut for lights, outlets, switches speakers in the drywall needs a backer box or putty pads to seal the holes otherwise you have Swiss cheese, The door should be a single solid core 1 3/4 thick door with airtight perimeter door seals. Given that the room will be airtight a dedicated HVAC return in addition to whatever supplies are planed needs to be installed, I suspect that is not in the plan. If you do all that then hanging two layers of 5/8 on clips and channel you will have a high performance room.
Thanks. The intent of the doors was just to carve this out as a room, not for sound insulation. There will not be any duct work in this room too.

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post #21 of 71 Old 08-14-2019, 10:36 PM
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If you aren’t going for 99% soundproof theater, then i recommend the double doors. They look much nicer and allow you to move equipment and seats in/out much easier.
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post #22 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:02 AM
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There will not be any duct work in this room too.

you may regret that in the future.
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post #23 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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you may regret that in the future.
Jeff - I have attached some pictures of the current layout. As you see the theater room does not have any ducts, just some pipes running around. I have also attached a picture showing the front to back duct work in the other area of the basement where they will be installing vents. Can you review and let me know if you are suggesting something different?

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post #24 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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If you aren’t going for 99% soundproof theater, then i recommend the double doors. They look much nicer and allow you to move equipment and seats in/out much easier.
Yes definitely double doors would make sense. The doors included in the $275 is the standard white double doors, not the fancy one you have shown.

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post #25 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone heard of greenboard? The basement company says they could install water resistant greenboard instead of regular drywall for an extra $390 for the walls. Does it make sense doing this?

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post #26 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:43 AM
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Is your basement damp? Has it ever leaked?
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post #27 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Is your basement damp?
No it's not. If you remember in one of the earlier threads I had talked about how on tearing down the old basement we found a few water spots on the wall. Since then I have taken several external and internal actions. Basement is very dry. No flooding on floors etc.

If water does come from a couple of small weep holes i drilled at the bottom of the wall in two to three places it will go to the 3 inch channel that exists all around the basement. It will not come to the floor. I was just asking if green board would be an additional layer of protection.

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post #28 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
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The contract does not include ceiling insulation. Is there a reason to spend on installing insulation in ceiling? The contractor says that's not standard.

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post #29 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:51 AM
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Jeff - I have attached some pictures of the current layout. As you see the theater room does not have any ducts, just some pipes running around. I have also attached a picture showing the front to back duct work in the other area of the basement where they will be installing vents. Can you review and let me know if you are suggesting something different?

how many people do you plan on inviting into your theater space and what equipment will you be using? when you close the doors how will you address the build up of heat and what happens when the CO2 level reaches and uncomfortable level? Yes you need a HVAC supply duct in the theater, and at least a passive return like a gap under the door. I'm frankly baffled why your contractor didn't discuss this with you. Are they doing any HVAC for the basement finishing project or do they just expect you to crack a window?
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post #30 of 71 Old 08-15-2019, 05:58 AM
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No it's not. If you remember in one of the earlier threads I had talked about how on tearing down the old basement we found a few water spots on the wall. Since then I have taken several external and internal actions. Basement is very dry. No flooding on floors etc.

If water does come from a couple of small weep holes i drilled at the bottom of the wall in two to three places it will go to the 3 inch channel that exists all around the basement. It will not come to the floor. I was just asking if green board would be an additional layer of protection.

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You might use it in the 2-3 areas where you have the weep holes, just a few sheets not the entire basement.
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