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post #1 of 35 Old 09-13-2019, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Help newbies build our home theatre

Hi everyone,

We just purchased a home with a decent sized family room in the basement and have decided to take the plunge and build a dedicated home theatre! All we currently have is the projector: JVC DLA-X790R (was on sale and we couldn't resist), but we need everything else: speakers, receiver, subs, media player, screen, acoustic treatments, room design, furniture, etc. We essentially need advice on everything, and we are both very new to this.

The room dimensions are a bit tricky although we more or less have the traditional rectangular shape (roughly 11'9" x 16') with some funny angles and jogs in the back of the room. We also have to deal with ductwork running along one side of the room (1'8" wide, 7" drop), a low dropped ceiling (ceiling is about 6'5" high), and a bump near the back of the room that houses the staircase leading to the basement.

We both love the idea of a seamless viewing area with speakers concealed behind an acoustically transparent screen. A false wall may be overly ambitious for us, but we may still be able to create that effect with clever use of curtains and cabinetry. We'd also like a screen as large as possible to fill the front wall and provide screen immersion (we are fine sitting closer than the THX recommendations), but not so close as to create the "front row of the movie theatre" experience . We are also thinking of doing a 7.2 setup for speakers, or maybe 7.2.2 (with in ceiling speakers) provided that we have enough height to appreciate the ATMOS effect.

Our budget is about 5-7K (not counting furniture). We have not been able to audition many speakers, unfortunately, but a few that have caught our eye based on reviews are the Klipsch RP8000F and the Paradigm Premier 800F. Also interested in KEF, B&W, SVS. For speakers, we want a neutral, natural sound that will easily fill the room with sound for movies and give us very clear, crisp dialogue from the centre channel (not opposed to using another tower here if we go with an AT screen). As for receiver, again, based purely on reviews, the Denon X4500H or X6400H look good.

I've included images that should give you a good sense of the dimensions and shape of the room we are dealing with. Any and all recommendations about any aspect of this project would be most welcome!

Cheers,

Alan and Amanda
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Last edited by Alan Bernard; 09-14-2019 at 07:35 AM. Reason: clarified room measurements
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-13-2019, 11:53 AM
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I'll go ahead with some of the usual questions that people here will ask:

1) What are your sound isolation goals? Do you want as little sound to escape the room as possible or is it more about the in-room performance?

If you'll be watching when others are sleeping it's wise to look into sound isolation methods - this also works to keep sounds out of the room allowing you to hear the softest part of soundtracks without the volume being up so high that the loud sounds blow your ears out. However, these methods can become quite expensive - doubling your drywall, adding clips and channel, Green Glue, etc. For a primer check out https://www.soundproofingcompany.com/

2) Is the 6'5" ceiling height just under the HVAC? What is the height in the rest of the room?

The HVAC can be integrated into a soffit depending on what the rest of the room is like.

3) A good bit of money can be saved on your receiver by going to Accessories For Less - they have remanufactured items from Denon - and are an authorized dealer.

4) If you are a bit handy (don't have to be anywhere near an expert) then the best bang for your buck is very likely to be DIY Sound Group. You order the speakers and a pre-cut flat pack and put them together yourself. 3 HTM-12's and 7-8 Volt 6's can be had for $1500 or less - and these will sound MUCH better than any Klipsch you'll get from Best Buy. They are also able to be driven to extreme volume by even lightly powered receivers - the Denons you mentioned will easily blow you out of the room attached to these speakers, with very high sound quality.

If you're $1500 in on all your speakers, $1000 at accessories for less on the Denon - that leaves $3000-5000 for subwoofers (again I'd go DIY), a screen, wiring, etc. With those speakers and receiver along with a pair of DIY subwoofers, I guarantee your audio chain would blow anything Best Buy would sell you away.

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/avreceiver/home-audio/receivers-amps/home-theater-receivers/1.html?r=5482f6d5&brand_f[]=DENON

https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-t...-monitors.html
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-13-2019, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3bham View Post
I'll go ahead with some of the usual questions that people here will ask:

1) What are your sound isolation goals? Do you want as little sound to escape the room as possible or is it more about the in-room performance?

If you'll be watching when others are sleeping it's wise to look into sound isolation methods - this also works to keep sounds out of the room allowing you to hear the softest part of soundtracks without the volume being up so high that the loud sounds blow your ears out. However, these methods can become quite expensive - doubling your drywall, adding clips and channel, Green Glue, etc. For a primer check out https://www.soundproofingcompany.com/

2) Is the 6'5" ceiling height just under the HVAC? What is the height in the rest of the room?

The HVAC can be integrated into a soffit depending on what the rest of the room is like.

3) A good bit of money can be saved on your receiver by going to Accessories For Less - they have remanufactured items from Denon - and are an authorized dealer.

4) If you are a bit handy (don't have to be anywhere near an expert) then the best bang for your buck is very likely to be DIY Sound Group. You order the speakers and a pre-cut flat pack and put them together yourself. 3 HTM-12's and 7-8 Volt 6's can be had for $1500 or less - and these will sound MUCH better than any Klipsch you'll get from Best Buy. They are also able to be driven to extreme volume by even lightly powered receivers - the Denons you mentioned will easily blow you out of the room attached to these speakers, with very high sound quality.

If you're $1500 in on all your speakers, $1000 at accessories for less on the Denon - that leaves $3000-5000 for subwoofers (again I'd go DIY), a screen, wiring, etc. With those speakers and receiver along with a pair of DIY subwoofers, I guarantee your audio chain would blow anything Best Buy would sell you away.

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/category/avreceiver/home-audio/receivers-amps/home-theater-receivers/1.html?r=5482f6d5&brand_f[]=DENON

https://www.diysoundgroup.com/home-t...-monitors.html
I can second this. I was completely in your shoes about 3 months ago, with my mind on Klipsch for several years and now completely switched to DIY. Also ordered 3x HTM-12's and 2x Volt-8's this week, and will be building also 2x 21" subwoofers and a 128" scope screen, with a false wall. All for a lot less money then my Klipsch + SVS plan, with most probably a lot more quality and power. Start reading !!
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post #4 of 35 Old 09-13-2019, 02:21 PM
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The first priority is to choose the directional layout afforded by the Floor Plan.

Just considering the current layout, and the absolute impossibility of having 2 Rows, I feel the most effective route to consider would be placing the Screen on the Wall opposite the Couch, and expanding the Front Sound Stage to encompass the 16' of width.

Ceiling Tiles will have to get a color treatment, and considerable additional Insulation added to plenum above the Ceiling. Also, if any REAL degree of SPLs are going to be produced (...as many on here will suggest...), the Tiles will have to be secured inside the Grid with Flexible Adhesive Caulk.

A 5.2.2 System should be you only really sensible choice if you choose the Long axis for the Screen Wall.

Sitting with eyes at 10', and allowing for the Screen to reside below the Casement Window, a 100" 2.39:1 C.I.H. (constant image height) Spandex Screen is possible. Even 16:9 would still be 106" at center of the Screen. That closer seating amounts to a viewed perception of having a much larger screen.

Now for the big switch-up. That room just simply doesn't require Speakers capable of 115 db. The ultra low ceiling....the material the ceiling is made of...and a few other things just don't add up together to suggest spending any amount of cash for any choice that is not suited for the situation.

If you went with the room situated "length-wise" you'd have to deal with that HVAC Plenum running down one side. Bleah. It will be better suited to being over your Heads and slightly behind when seated with you new chairs set at a 1:1 ratio, screen "width" to "Eyes distance". That would be 13' That also will allow the x790 to be mounted directly under the Plenum, to the rear of the seating.

The last part of it is the Tonally matched Speaker system...Plainly put, if judicious choices are make on all other points, there will be enough left to outfit your Room with near esoteric In-Walls such as KEFs. The Right & Left mains need not be contained within the Screen's border. Just the Center. I'm a big proponent of Acoustic Screen Walls and their Construction....but they are not everything to all people, even those wishing for AT Screen set-ups. For instance, if you went "lengthwise and built out the end of the room 36", your "total" usable depth would be just 13'-4". Throw distance is the also affected, resulting in just as small a screen as going with the room on the wider axis.

Acoustic treatments will be / are limited to Wall Surface mounted Panels.

Now if I read the situation wrong and you want true "ear bleed" performance...well again I state that the room itself just isn't suited for db levels exceeding 105-108db.

I don't need any metered measurements to know that of a certain....it's kinda obvious, and should be except for anyone who simply wants you to go out beyond sensible guidelines. In truth, the video presentation is what will make your Theater special. The Sound is just a integral part of the equation....but not No.#1


note: a revision in available throw / screen size was edited in....to avoid abject embarrassment.
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Last edited by MississippiMan; 09-14-2019 at 04:28 AM.
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-13-2019, 03:03 PM
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Here is a quickly assembled take on what would be my best solution if faced with your circumstances...and budget.


On that subject....$7K will reap you results far exceeding your expectations if the buying choices are chosen.....wisely.


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post #6 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 04:05 AM
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Hmmmm...I had the measurements right under my eyes and misread them.
Re-adjusting the usable Throw distance, since including the area under the Plenum adds 1'-8" to the 11'-9" forward of that point, that's a total of 13'-5" however all of that is not in fact usable Throw.



The x790r is 18.5" deep, and one needs at least 6" space behind it for cabling connections. Adding those figures together is, that leaves us with 24.5" off the rear wall to the Front of the PJ, and a remaining Throw of 11'-4.5" ...............11' if one allows for a slight error in measurement and the 3" depth of a AT Screen.


11' throw allows a maximum screen at 2.39:1 of 39" x 92" (100" diagonal) and a 16:9 image of 52" x 92" (106"diagonal)


Now while those re-adjusted Screen sizes seem small, the Wall Height is somewhat compensatory. and if one follows the 1:1 seating ratio, that would allow one to move the "eye distance to the Screen" up to 9' or even 8'.


Sitting closer to a smaller screen amounts to the same perceived screen immersive factor that sitting further back from a larger screen provides. Image resolution won't be a limiting factor, and if the screen doesn't interject visible artifacts, it will be "all good".



But now we must consider the available depth of going length-wise if In-Walls Speakers were used instead of building out the Wall. Of course there is the Plenum on the Left to allow for, and that is a limiting factor as far as available screen height / width, so any gains in screen size must also consider screen placement. But the ability of having a larger screen would be the offshoot.


@p3bham asked an important question..."Is the 6'5" ceiling height just under the HVAC? What is the height in the rest of the room?"


I'm still preferring the room set to the wider axis, and moving the seating forward to compensate for the reduced Screen size. The room can never accommodate 2 rows of seats, and with just 11" of practical width to use for seating, the highest number of 1st row seating one can have would be a row of five (130" in Sofa config.) or 4 as separate Chairs (120" wide) And those are "Space Saver designs. Anyway it's sliced, 4 Arm Chair style seats would be the very most allowable with any style.



Additional "seating" could be created by building a Bar to be directly behind the row of seats...adding up to 4 more places.


But that is another whole new diagram to make up.

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MM, I wonder what might be next door and if they could put a portal in the wall and gain a couple of feet of throw distance?
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 04:54 AM
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MM, I wonder what might be next door and if they could put a portal in the wall and gain a couple of feet of throw distance?

That was on my agenda to ask.....and if so that would address several other concerns and considerations. PJ proximity over seating...noise...and it would certainly smack of a custom-look. I would love to restore the potential of the OP having a 140" 2.39:1 image.

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post #9 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by p3bham View Post
I'll go ahead with some of the usual questions that people here will ask:

1) What are your sound isolation goals? Do you want as little sound to escape the room as possible or is it more about the in-room performance?

Performance, performance, performance. No kids, no pets, no in laws, and the two of us will be watching together 90% of the time 🙂


2) Is the 6'5" ceiling height just under the HVAC? What is the height in the rest of the room?

The room is 6'5", but about 5'10" under the duct work. The ceiling height is already maximized, unfortunately, and the duct work looks like it has to stay.


3) A good bit of money can be saved on your receiver by going to Accessories For Less - they have remanufactured items from Denon - and are an authorized dealer.

Excellent tip! Will be checking it out for sure!

4) If you are a bit handy (don't have to be anywhere near an expert) then the best bang for your buck is very likely to be DIY Sound Group. You order the speakers and a pre-cut flat pack and put them together yourself. 3 HTM-12's and 7-8 Volt 6's can be had for $1500 or less - and these will sound MUCH better than any Klipsch you'll get from Best Buy. They are also able to be driven to extreme volume by even lightly powered receivers - the Denons you mentioned will easily blow you out of the room attached to these speakers, with very high sound quality.

This is a very interesting option. What kind of work is involved, just basic gluing and fitting together components? Do these speakers really sound as good or better than Paradigm Premier 800F, for example? I might feel more confident with this as a solution for the surrounds. But my GF loves DIY projects and I saw her eyes light up when she read this lol
Great suggestions. Hope this helps to clarify.
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post #10 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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The first priority is to choose the directional layout afforded by the Floor Plan.

Ceiling Tiles will have to get a color treatment, and considerable additional Insulation added to plenum above the Ceiling. Also, if any REAL degree of SPLs are going to be produced (...as many on here will suggest...), the Tiles will have to be secured inside the Grid with Flexible Adhesive Caulk.

Yeah, we are thinking of either spray painting or replacing them. Is the insulation needed for enhancing performance or sound-proofing? If the latter, we're not too worried as it's just the two of us and the majority of the time we'll be down there together.

A 5.2.2 System should be you only really sensible choice if you choose the Long axis for the Screen Wall.

Sitting with eyes at 10', and allowing for the Screen to reside below the Casement Window, a 100" 2.39:1 C.I.H. (constant image height) Spandex Screen is possible. Even 16:9 would still be 106" at center of the Screen. That closer seating amounts to a viewed perception of having a much larger screen.

I realize that sitting closer to a smaller screen yields the same big screen effect but...we were really hoping for a bigger screen! lol We've leaned into the idea of creating a home cinema "look" to the basement.

Now for the big switch-up. That room just simply doesn't require Speakers capable of 115 db. The ultra low ceiling....the material the ceiling is made of...and a few other things just don't add up together to suggest spending any amount of cash for any choice that is not suited for the situation.

This is helpful - do more powerful speakers in a room this size actually cause problems in terms of audio performance? Or are they simply overkill?


Acoustic treatments will be / are limited to Wall Surface mounted Panels.

Any suggestions in terms of how we should be placing dispersion type materials vs absorption type stuff? We've seen some cool vids about DIY treatments that would be fun to experiment with!


Now if I read the situation wrong and you want true "ear bleed" performance...well again I state that the room itself just isn't suited for db levels exceeding 105-108db.

Naw, we've both passed the ear-bleed age, lol. We are looking for a true cinema experience - sound that is rich, powerful, articulate and room-filling without breaking our ear drums.

I don't need any metered measurements to know that of a certain....it's kinda obvious, and should be except for anyone who simply wants you to go out beyond sensible guidelines. In truth, the video presentation is what will make your Theater special. The Sound is just a integral part of the equation....but not No.#1


note: a revision in available throw / screen size was edited in....to avoid abject embarrassment.
ha ha - noted! Many thanks for the time and care put into your message :-)
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post #11 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
Here is a quickly assembled take on what would be my best solution if faced with your circumstances...and budget.


On that subject....$7K will reap you results far exceeding your expectations if the buying choices are chosen.....wisely.


Love the visual - thank you! As noted, I realize projecting on the short wall may not be ideal, but we are (perhaps irrationally) really drawn to the idea of a bigger screen.
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post #12 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmmm...I had the measurements right under my eyes and misread them.
Re-adjusting the usable Throw distance, since including the area under the Plenum adds 1'-8" to the 11'-9" forward of that point, that's a total of 13'-5" however all of that is not in fact usable Throw.

My fault - I threw the diagram together quickly and realize now the dimensions as listed look misleading. The short wall is 11'9", total. The ductwork juts into that space. If we say the lens of the projector starts roughly 24" from the wall it's placed on, that only gives a throw of about 9'9"

But now we must consider the available depth of going length-wise if In-Walls Speakers were used instead of building out the Wall. Of course there is the Plenum on the Left to allow for, and that is a limiting factor as far as available screen height / width, so any gains in screen size must also consider screen placement. But the ability of having a larger screen would be the offshoot.

That plenum is about 7" deep - we are wondering how close the screen can be to the ceiling and the floor and still be a comfortable viewing experience. Not know much about this stuff, we assume that we determine whatever point represents "eye-height" on the wall and that then should be the exact centre of the screen. Are we thinking about it correctly?


@p3bham asked an important question..."Is the 6'5" ceiling height just under the HVAC? What is the height in the rest of the room?"


The height from the floor to the bottom of the plenum is about 70". The ceiling height is 77". We've been told that this is as high as the ceiling can go.

I'm still preferring the room set to the wider axis, and moving the seating forward to compensate for the reduced Screen size. The room can never accommodate 2 rows of seats, and with just 11" of practical width to use for seating, the highest number of 1st row seating one can have would be a row of five (130" in Sofa config.) or 4 as separate Chairs (120" wide) And those are "Space Saver designs. Anyway it's sliced, 4 Arm Chair style seats would be the very most allowable with any style.

As far as seating, we are inclined to go with a small sofa, maybe a chair or two. Cuddling is not optimized in a theatre seat, you see ;-)

Additional "seating" could be created by building a Bar to be directly behind the row of seats...adding up to 4 more places.

My GF also had this idea! She's going to love this comment ha ha


But that is another whole new diagram to make up.
See below!
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post #13 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan Bernard View Post
See below!

Show off.






That's a slightly different but essentially the same take on the "Center Only" concept.

If the furniture size & placement and PJ location is to actual scale, (...doesn't seem so...) to get that 140" 16:9 the JVC would need to be set so it's Lens is 15'-4"

That would be just into the room over the entry.

I like the idea of a Bar as a 2nd Row. How'd She come up with that?









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See below!

I'll respond to each of your "highlighted in bold" responses after bit.....Company just showed.


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Love the visual - thank you! As noted, I realize projecting on the short wall may not be ideal, but we are (perhaps irrationally) really drawn to the idea of a bigger screen.
Well....as I see things, your gain in size is not going to be enough to outweigh the potential issues that crop up.

As stated previously, if you try to go with a Acoustic Transparent screen that would set out far enough to allow for most Cabinet speakers, the available throw distance will sharply cut into your available Screen size. Viewing down the long & narrow axis would essentially make the room almost identical in respect to available Throw, but you'd lose the dynamic "sweep" of a wider spaced Sound Field. The only solution would be to paint on a Screen by painting the entire front wall, and go with a Non-Restricted Format / Variable Size Screen application...something ideally suited to your circumstances and the abilities of the x790r.



Using a exposed Center Channel (...and R&L Main Speakers...) would make everything more effective toward your optimizing every aspect of the Build, in a room such as yours. But Hey! You still have not related how high the Drop Ceiling is...(...and the Plenum...) and those are very important factoids that will also determine how big your image can be / will be as relates to where it will be positioned on the Short wall or the Long wall.



Ya know.....

It's almost crazy to have someone state that 100"s is to be considered small. Almost. I've been advocating much larger screens a shorter viewing distances for years, and every inch counts. But PJ limitations had to be taken into account, and the Room, and personal preferences...and a lot more people were choosing 100" screens that were choosing 130"ers. Nowadays, it seems that 130" in either Format is the "new normal", and 140"-160" a "move up" choice.


Then there are the 170"+ crazies. God Bless 'em.
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post #14 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 09:34 AM
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Tossin' this in at the last moment.....


77" high Ceiling? I tell ya, some seriously different ideas will need to be developed if that Root Cellar is to be anything close to a True Theater experience.


Oh...it's doable...and will be done. But only if done right. Example? The Projector will have to be ahead of the Bar....or directly behind thier shoulders, mounted damn near flush against the Ceiling. More on that later...I'm getting the Evil Eye.

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I wonder how much of a drop they used for the drop ceiling and if it is purposely lowered to clear an isolated object that is only in a portion of the ceiling. I would investigate the opportunity to raise the ceiling before doing anything else in the room.
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post #16 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I wonder how much of a drop they used for the drop ceiling and if it is purposely lowered to clear an isolated object that is only in a portion of the ceiling. I would investigate the opportunity to raise the ceiling before doing anything else in the room.

I would tend to agree, but the OP already stated that he'd been told there was "No Way" the Drop Ceiling could be raised. Probably covering a mess of suspended Pipes and Stapled Wiring exposed on the Stud Faces. (yeow!)


And if some height gain could be made, it's doubtful it would amount to enough to make an appreciable difference....as relates to the expense of doing so.


............................but we can hope, can we not?

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I never believe what I've been told when it comes to previous construction or what is hidden behind a ceiling or soffit. Drywalling the ceiling is a relatively cheap DIY project if you have the skills, skip the drop. Removing a few ceiling tiles and looking to satisfy your curiosity is easy. When the ceiling height is less than current building codes I fight for every inch.

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post #18 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 02:40 PM
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I never believe what I've been told when it comes to previous construction or what is hidden behind a ceiling or soffit.

Tru Dat..........and the OP certainly should take a peek and report back.(...it's not like he can't just get a step stool to get up that high... ) In the least I want to know what can be done to deaden the plenum area between the Drop Ceiling and Floor Joists. Especially toward the rear of the room.



But somehow I sense there is a distinct limit as to how much and what can be justified in this case. Say...create the distinctive Theater look & feel, and have immersive sound and visuals, but not aspire to even a quasi-esoteric level.



Time will tell.....

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post #19 of 35 Old 09-14-2019, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I never believe what I've been told when it comes to previous construction or what is hidden behind a ceiling or soffit. Drywalling the ceiling is a relatively cheap DIY project if you have the skills, skip the drop. Removing a few ceiling tiles and looking to satisfy your curiosity is easy. When the ceiling height is less than current building codes I fight for every inch.
Sorry guys - it's a worthwhile idea but unfortunately the ceiling tiles are right up against the 1st floor joists. There are pockets of up to 10" where there are no joists, but for a uniform ceiling, 6'5" is all we have to work with. The ductwork drops an additional 7".

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Show off.






That's a slightly different but essentially the same take on the "Center Only" concept.

If the furniture size & placement and PJ location is to actual scale, (...doesn't seem so...) to get that 140" 16:9 the JVC would need to be set so it's Lens is 15'-4"

That would be just into the room over the entry.

Again, that's my bad in terms of how the dimensions are labeled in the drawing (I should have just done it free hand). After the initial 16' wall, there is a closet that extends into the room 4 feet, then another wall that extends towards the back another 5'2". Assuming horizontal lens shift gives us an adequate adjustment, that's about 21'2" of throw space (maybe 24'4" if we can go all the way back).

I like the idea of a Bar as a 2nd Row. How'd She come up with that?



She's a genius. I try not to question it ;-)


I'll respond to each of your "highlighted in bold" responses after bit.....Company just showed.

Yeah, my apologies for that - can't quite get the hang of moving in and out of quote space - suggestions welcome!


Well....as I see things, your gain in size is not going to be enough to outweigh the potential issues that crop up.

As stated previously, if you try to go with a Acoustic Transparent screen that would set out far enough to allow for most Cabinet speakers, the available throw distance will sharply cut into your available Screen size. Viewing down the long & narrow axis would essentially make the room almost identical in respect to available Throw, but you'd lose the dynamic "sweep" of a wider spaced Sound Field. The only solution would be to paint on a Screen by painting the entire front wall, and go with a Non-Restricted Format / Variable Size Screen application...something ideally suited to your circumstances and the abilities of the x790r.

Would you say these restrictions still apply with the measurements I've provided? Even if I had an acoustic screen three feet from the wall, that still gives me at least 16'2" throw for a 120" screen, no? (More if I place the screen closer to the wall or am able to mount the projector further back)

Using a exposed Center Channel (...and R&L Main Speakers...) would make everything more effective toward your optimizing every aspect of the Build, in a room such as yours. But Hey! You still have not related how high the Drop Ceiling is...(...and the Plenum...) and those are very important factoids that will also determine how big your image can be / will be as relates to where it will be positioned on the Short wall or the Long wall.

For the record, the drop ceiling is 77" high. The plenum drops 7 more inches. Not completely opposed to exposed channels, but worried that a 60" high screen (120" diagonal) in this 77" tall room would place my centre speaker either too low or too high (under 17" from floor or ceiling). I guess I could always shrink the screen and sit closer, as you suggested, but then I feel I'm losing my grand home cinema experience (or, as grand as it can be with these limitations) I also love the idea of the sound coming directly from the screen, just like in the movie theatre.

On that point, any feedback on how much the sound performance is impacted by a woven acoustic screen (assuming room calibration to assist?)


Ya know.....

It's almost crazy to have someone state that 100"s is to be considered small. Almost. I've been advocating much larger screens a shorter viewing distances for years, and every inch counts. But PJ limitations had to be taken into account, and the Room, and personal preferences...and a lot more people were choosing 100" screens that were choosing 130"ers. Nowadays, it seems that 130" in either Format is the "new normal", and 140"-160" a "move up" choice.


Then there are the 170"+ crazies. God Bless 'em.
lol
If I could be one of those, I would be!

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post #21 of 35 Old 09-15-2019, 09:12 AM
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Sorry guys - it's a worthwhile idea but unfortunately the ceiling tiles are right up against the 1st floor joists. There are pockets of up to 10" where there are no joists, but for a uniform ceiling, 6'5" is all we have to work with. The ductwork drops an additional 7".

I guessed as much.


Working on a revised plan of attack. Stay tuned.
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post #22 of 35 Old 09-16-2019, 01:59 PM
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This is a very interesting option. What kind of work is involved, just basic gluing and fitting together components? Do these speakers really sound as good or better than Paradigm Premier 800F, for example? I might feel more confident with this as a solution for the surrounds. But my GF loves DIY projects and I saw her eyes light up when she read this lol
Just basic gluing of pieces together and some very basic wiring. They can sometimes require you to solder the components of the crossovers - however many of their designs have as an option a fully assembled crossover - meaning your DIY efforts are limited to gluing the box together, screwing in the components, and wiring from the crossover to the drivers themselves. They have been designed from the ground up to be VERY easy to assemble (many many videos and threads on here showing step by step how to) and to use the absolute best available components while keeping the costs down as much as is possible. They are truly very good speakers. I haven't heard the Titans but have heard pretty much every other offering they have and they are clear and powerful - and importantly, are able to be driven easily by even low powered receivers - no extra amps required.

That being said, I think MM makes a very good point in this room. Given your room height and other limitations combined with the overall size of the room, these might be overkill. Additionally, they can in some models be deeper than perhaps would be ideal in your room - forcing your AT space to be larger for instance. However, MM makes a good point on putting only your center behind the screen - this can easily be done and gets you a bit more flexibility.

I agree with him - I would go with the screen on the long wall and one row of seats. It's VERY important that you get your primary seats away from the walls and speakers so that you have good imaging. I also would look hard as to whether a 7.x.x setup in this room is going to help you. Maybe wire for 7.2.4 but try out the 5.2.4 first - since the rear surrounds will be quite close to you.

As to the video portion MM and Big are far more knowledgeable than I. But you'll need to watch what type of screen material you use since you'll be sitting that close at which distance any kind of weave in the fabric can be more noticeable. And follow MM's advice about the screen size. While I prefer a larger screen, a "small" 100" screen viewed from a shorter distance can be very engaging and give you relatively the same immersive feeling as a larger one from farther away.

Roll Tide.
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post #23 of 35 Old 09-16-2019, 03:13 PM
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At this height Atmos is probably not going to work. Even 8 feet is considered low for ceiling speakers. At least you will have the option to recess them into the joist space, but you may have to consider VERY low seating. Perhaps you just need to go with an Asian-inspired design and get comfortable mats!

Methinks it is time to buy a pickaxe and shovel.
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post #24 of 35 Old 09-17-2019, 09:43 AM
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Here is a revised Diagram.


For Atmos effects to be correctly positioned with such a low Ceiling, they must crowd in over the proposed seating area. You have no distance for the dispersal of the effects, so to be predominant as far as setting up seamless imagery, they must be grouped together so that the distance between them is proportional to what would be prevalent in a larger / higher room. Or as Scott sez.....omit them altogether and save on both the Atmos Speakers and the required 9 Channel Multi-Channel Receiver it would take to drive them.





Now you bet, in the least you must stuff the spaces between the Floor Joists with R19 (or R30) Batts of Insulation...preferably Kraft Faced (Paper) with the Paper toward the Flooring above.



Of course there will be / is more to be examined and factored in,but not so much as to be intractable or expensive.
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post #25 of 35 Old 09-17-2019, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Just basic gluing of pieces together and some very basic wiring. They can sometimes require you to solder the components of the crossovers - however many of their designs have as an option a fully assembled crossover - meaning your DIY efforts are limited to gluing the box together, screwing in the components, and wiring from the crossover to the drivers themselves. They have been designed from the ground up to be VERY easy to assemble (many many videos and threads on here showing step by step how to) and to use the absolute best available components while keeping the costs down as much as is possible. They are truly very good speakers. I haven't heard the Titans but have heard pretty much every other offering they have and they are clear and powerful - and importantly, are able to be driven easily by even low powered receivers - no extra amps required.
Well that is all kinds of intriguing. I haven't done any soldering since shop class many, many moons ago, but basic assembly sounds easy enough. I guess I just don't get why people pay a premium for a name speaker like B&W or Paradigm if they can get equal or better sound from a DIY kit. What the heck is all that craftsmanship, patents and technological advances from the name companies accomplishing?

Quote:
That being said, I think MM makes a very good point in this room. Given your room height and other limitations combined with the overall size of the room, these might be overkill. Additionally, they can in some models be deeper than perhaps would be ideal in your room - forcing your AT space to be larger for instance. However, MM makes a good point on putting only your center behind the screen - this can easily be done and gets you a bit more flexibility.
This is something I am still learning about - are there certain size speakers we should stay away from because of the size of the room? I've only had a chance to audition the Paradigm Premier 800F and the B&W 603 floorstanding speakers and I will confess, they both sounded amazing but quite different from one another. Would these, for example, be too big? The entire room is about 1500 cubic feet (including the small areas at the back). Also, if we went the DIY route, what speaker brand do the final products "sound" like?

Quote:
I agree with him - I would go with the screen on the long wall and one row of seats. It's VERY important that you get your primary seats away from the walls and speakers so that you have good imaging. I also would look hard as to whether a 7.x.x setup in this room is going to help you. Maybe wire for 7.2.4 but try out the 5.2.4 first - since the rear surrounds will be quite close to you.
How far away should seating be from side walls? Or is the issue more with distance from speakers? Also, is the rule of thumb to have the surrounds and the mains equidistant from the listening position? Does room correction overcome situations where surrounds are a lot closer? Sorry, I'm sure these are very basic questions and I really should be doing more research before asking them, but...I'm lazy lol

Quote:
As to the video portion MM and Big are far more knowledgeable than I. But you'll need to watch what type of screen material you use since you'll be sitting that close at which distance any kind of weave in the fabric can be more noticeable. And follow MM's advice about the screen size. While I prefer a larger screen, a "small" 100" screen viewed from a shorter distance can be very engaging and give you relatively the same immersive feeling as a larger one from farther away.
I've wondered at what distance the weave will be apparent. Has anyone on this site ever posted distance measurements for various types of screens? I totally get the idea that increasing visual angle to a "small" screen can give the impression of a larger image (it's why my couch is so close to my big screen TV currently), but I want the room to look and feel as much like a cinema as possible. Perhaps this can be done just as well with a 100" screen. I mean, it's still bigger than an 85" TV right? I'll have to think about it. Once I'm able to project onto the walls in the room I'll probably get a better sense of it. I've been reading that as long as the visual angle to the top and bottom is no more than 15 degrees, and to the sides no more than 50 degrees total, you won't get eye strain or have to be moving your head to follow the action. Would you say that's accurate?

Again, thanks a ton for the feedback.
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post #26 of 35 Old 09-17-2019, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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At this height Atmos is probably not going to work. Even 8 feet is considered low for ceiling speakers. At least you will have the option to recess them into the joist space, but you may have to consider VERY low seating. Perhaps you just need to go with an Asian-inspired design and get comfortable mats!

Methinks it is time to buy a pickaxe and shovel.
Ha ha ha. If I keep obsessing about this, my significant other may decide to use those implements for other purposes

I've been reading that 2x the listening height is the minimum height recommendation, but is that for "perfect" atmos sound? Maybe an atmos setup might still sound good to my ears having no reference point for comparison? I definitely don't want to spend money for something that will sound like garbage, but I'm heartened by this man's journey:

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/com...-costs.347353/


Appreciate the feedback!
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post #27 of 35 Old 09-18-2019, 08:14 AM
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Well that is all kinds of intriguing. I haven't done any soldering since shop class many, many moons ago, but basic assembly sounds easy enough. I guess I just don't get why people pay a premium for a name speaker like B&W or Paradigm if they can get equal or better sound from a DIY kit. What the heck is all that craftsmanship, patents and technological advances from the name companies accomplishing?
Well it certainly depends on the brand. But I would suggest that a lot of that is in the name of accomplishing massive profit - and you can't blame them that's what they are in business for. I think the difference is in what they're trying to make. A company like Klipsch or Polk is trying to make a decent speaker that will sell in HUGE numbers, appeal to the most number of consumers, and look good. Paradigm and B&W are a step up from those - but at the price point we are discussing the components in name brand speakers will be of less quality than those of DIYSG. The main reason for this is that DIYSG isn't really in the game for huge profits - the guys that founded it did so solely on providing higher quality components in their designs basically to AVS forum members. They work on very thin margins where nearly all of the money you pay is going into the parts of the speakers themselves - as opposed to one of the name brand companies where I would hazard to say that only 10-15% of what you pay is in the components, the rest being in marketing and profit. These DIYSG speakers will obliterate any speaker you can get at Best Buy and frankly it's not close.

Quote:
This is something I am still learning about - are there certain size speakers we should stay away from because of the size of the room? I've only had a chance to audition the Paradigm Premier 800F and the B&W 603 floorstanding speakers and I will confess, they both sounded amazing but quite different from one another. Would these, for example, be too big? The entire room is about 1500 cubic feet (including the small areas at the back). Also, if we went the DIY route, what speaker brand do the final products "sound" like?
Being that they are "compression driver" speakers they don't really compare to any of the ones you mentioned. I think the closest comparison would be to Klipsch, but it's not a great comparison bc they don't sound anything like Klipsch speakers and are FAR more detailed. Additionally, Klipsch is pretty well known for having speakers that you would think would be easy to drive with a receiver but really aren't - whereas the DIYSG speakers are very very easy to drive. That's less of a concern in your room as you're so close to the the speakers that any volume where your receiver would be pushed hard would be way too much for you to listen to comfortably.

As to the sizing of the speakers, what MM and I are referring to is twofold. Firstly, since you are in a relatively smaller room, you don't need huge tower speakers (the DIYSG Titans or 1099's for instance). Bookshelf size speakers along with proper subwoofers will easily give you room filling sound. The second, and perhaps more pressing concern is that if you are planning an acoustically transparent screen (which you 100% should) then you have to consider how much room the speakers you choose will need behind that screen - potentially taking away length from your room that is at a premium.

Due to these factors and the budget DIYSG is the only thing I would put in that room. Depending on how it looks with the space you have I would either use three HTM-8 for your L/C/R and Volt 6's for all other surround and height speakers or I would use Volt 6's for ALL channels. Due to their dispersion characteristics the Volts are going to give you the best bang for your buck - helping your atmos make up for the low ceiling as they have a very wide sweet spot. If you get the Denon you were looking at and Volts on every channel then put one or two truly good subwoofers (I would either do DIY subs or get a pair of SVS SB 1000's), you will have a system that's better than anything you've heard at your local theater I assure you.

Quote:
How far away should seating be from side walls? Or is the issue more with distance from speakers? Also, is the rule of thumb to have the surrounds and the mains equidistant from the listening position? Does room correction overcome situations where surrounds are a lot closer? Sorry, I'm sure these are very basic questions and I really should be doing more research before asking them, but...I'm lazy lol
Lol it's about both. Sound reflects off of side walls. But it's also about being far enough away from your speakers so that no one single speaker overwhelms you and ruins the soundfield. It's also about more technical things such as the dispersion characteristics of your speakers and making sure the angles from your ears to the speakers fall within the Dolby Atmos recommendations. But a good rule would be to stay 4-5 feet away from any speaker - including the ones on your back wall. That's why Atmos speakers will be problematic for you with the low ceiling. That being said, I'd still 100% put them in lol.

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I've wondered at what distance the weave will be apparent. Has anyone on this site ever posted distance measurements for various types of screens? I totally get the idea that increasing visual angle to a "small" screen can give the impression of a larger image (it's why my couch is so close to my big screen TV currently), but I want the room to look and feel as much like a cinema as possible. Perhaps this can be done just as well with a 100" screen. I mean, it's still bigger than an 85" TV right? I'll have to think about it. Once I'm able to project onto the walls in the room I'll probably get a better sense of it. I've been reading that as long as the visual angle to the top and bottom is no more than 15 degrees, and to the sides no more than 50 degrees total, you won't get eye strain or have to be moving your head to follow the action. Would you say that's accurate?
The audio part is more where my knowledge lies. I'm still learning about the video side of it. However, you definitely don't want to get into a situation where you're having to turn your head to see the whole screen or where it's giving you a headache or something. I will refer you to MississippiMan and Big for those questions as they are both very knowledgeable and far more experienced than I.

Roll Tide.
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post #28 of 35 Old 09-18-2019, 10:50 AM
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These DIYSG speakers will obliterate any speaker you can get at Best Buy and frankly it's not close.

As to the sizing of the speakers, what MM and I are referring to is twofold. Firstly, since you are in a relatively smaller room, you don't need huge tower speakers (the DIYSG Titans or 1099's for instance). Bookshelf size speakers along with proper subwoofers will easily give you room filling sound. The second, and perhaps more pressing concern is that if you are planning an acoustically transparent screen (which you 100% should) then you have to consider how much room the speakers you choose will need behind that screen - potentially taking away length from your room that is at a premium.
While DIYSG speakers are rightfully acknowledged as "value added" choices that outperform for the dollar spent, their simplistic design elements are not really applicable in this "Basement Crawl Space Theater" ( I like that designation! ) The Volt 6's are great for rooms that have some space (distance) that lets their disbursement characteristics do their magic...but size and distance here are sadly lacking...especially the Ceiling height and the depth the Front (Screen) Wall can be brought out. Even 12" would impact both Screen size and PJ placement, not to mention that any sized screen small enough to deal with the available Throw distance would be just too small "width-wise" to allow for a decently expansive Sound Stage with defined separation.

Saying all that....I can see the possibility of inserting 2 Volt-6 (Ported) Flat Packs side-by-side into 2 -16" o.c. cut-outs in the Wall behind the Screen for a robust Center Channel. They are only 6.75" deep including the Front Plate, so a 1x4 Framed Spandex Screen would cover such inserts just right, giving up only 3.5" room depth at Center

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Due to these factors and the budget DIYSG is the only thing I would put in that room. Depending on how it looks with the space you have I would either use three HTM-8 for your L/C/R
Excepting the Center Channel, the HTM-8 's would serve great duty as Front Mains. And recessed Volt 6 Ported for the Side Surrounds

However that is where any possibility of using DIYSG speakers stop. Except................

Quote:
I would do DIY subs , you will have a system that's better than anything you've heard at your local theater I assure you.
Awwwww...........now that's kinda stretchin' things a bit thin there. But it would be a safe bet sayin' he'd get a lot more performance for his dollars spent
I'll second the DIYSG Subs idea...if the right selection can be made.

Quote:
...... being far enough away from your speakers so that no one single speaker overwhelms you and ruins the soundfield. It's also about more technical things such as the dispersion characteristics of your speakers and making sure the angles from your ears to the speakers fall within the Dolby Atmos recommendations. But a good rule would be to stay 4-5 feet away from any speaker - including the ones on your back wall. That's why Atmos speakers will be problematic for you with the low ceiling. That being said, I'd still 100% put them in lol.
All well said.....but for Atmos he will need Ceiling Speakers with Positional Woofers / Tweeters so as to direct the Atmos effects into the specific listening area. He's working with a extremely low Drop Ceiling and limited width so his best route is to directional-ize the Atmos effects lest they plummet straight down from their position. I suppose there is the remotest chance that if the Ceiling Joists run across the Room from side to side, opposite the Screen Wall, that Angled Volt 6 Ported units could be inset with only the "wedge" below the Drop Ceiling, set in place to direct the Atmos effects into the listening area. But Murphy is slinking about, waiting to disrupt our plans so no small amount of reconnoitering must be done before too much else is related about what would / should be his ideal speaker choices.

Quote:
The audio part is more where my knowledge lies. I'm still learning about the video side of it. However, you definitely don't want to get into a situation where you're having to turn your head to see the whole screen or where it's giving you a headache or something. I will refer you to MississippiMan and Big for those questions as they are both very knowledgeable and far more experienced than I.
Well..., I certainly tread heavily on your domain above...but for the right reasons I hope...and in the end I did try to see how DIYSG could be incorporated in a working design.

The screen sizes he can consider, and if he goes with...say...a Epson 5050, he's going to be in for a superb Audio & Visual experience using Spandex for a AT Screen






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Well that is all kinds of intriguing. I haven't done any soldering since shop class many, many moons ago, but basic assembly sounds easy enough. I guess I just don't get why people pay a premium for a name speaker like B&W or Paradigm if they can get equal or better sound from a DIY kit.
Either ignorance of the availability of such....or simply because they lack the desire / time / or skill set to consider DIY over a "Bring it home and set it up" purchase. Hells Bell! Some go so far as to buy at the Big Box Store and then have a "Geek" come and do their handi-work for them. Pitiful.

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What the heck is all that craftsmanship, patents and technological advances from the name companies accomplishing?
The appearance of desirable quality.....and justified by inflated prices. Now some do excel at their stated purpose, but to make that determination takes some effort if one isn't buying into the Ad Hype.

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How far away should seating be from side walls? Or is the issue more with distance from speakers? Also, is the rule of thumb to have the surrounds and the mains equidistant from the listening position? Does room correction overcome situations where surrounds are a lot closer? Sorry, I'm sure these are very basic questions and I really should be doing more research before asking them, but...I'm lazy lol
Yeah...ya shud......but don't beat yourself up about it....it's nothing we haven't had to put up with before.....repeatedly.

Toss out all the Dolby diagrams and standard equations....you room will require special consideration from front to back& side to side.

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I've wondered at what distance the weave will be apparent. Has anyone on this site ever posted distance measurements for various types of screens?
With Spandex, you must crowd up to within 3' to start to even begin to see any trace of a weave. Put that worry out of your mind.

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I totally get the idea that increasing visual angle to a "small" screen can give the impression of a larger image (it's why my couch is so close to my big screen TV currently), but I want the room to look and feel as much like a cinema as possible. Perhaps this can be done just as well with a 100" screen. I mean, it's still bigger than an 85" TV right? I'll have to think about it. Once I'm able to project onto the walls in the room I'll probably get a better sense of it. I've been reading that as long as the visual angle to the top and bottom is no more than 15 degrees, and to the sides no more than 50 degrees total, you won't get eye strain or have to be moving your head to follow the action. Would you say that's accurate?
You will be given the screen size / PJ Placement, and how both relate to the seating choices and location. Stop reading about rooms and circumstances that in no way relate to what you / we are dealing with here....with a Basement Crawl Space Theater.
....and don't worry, your Screen will be every bit as big as possible...I'll see to that if allowed.



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Again, thanks a ton for the feedback.
Sorta like something is screechin' in your ear, I suppose.

"They said it couldn't be done. Well, we sure showed 'em otherwise!"
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post #29 of 35 Old 09-18-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan Bernard View Post
I've been reading that 2x the listening height is the minimum height recommendation, but is that for "perfect" atmos sound? Maybe an atmos setup might still sound good to my ears having no reference point for comparison?
The main point of Atmos is to separate sounds around you versus sounds above you. No problem getting that effect with a 6.5' ceiling, since the speakers in the height layer will be well above the speakers in the base layer (which will be closer to seated ear height).

IF the screen ends up on the 11'9" wall, then you can place the seating away from the back wall, making you an ideal candidate for two pairs of surrounds: one pair along your sides and the other pair well behind you. This will give you side-vs-rear separation AND wrap-around envelopment in the surround field that is simply not possible with a single pair of surrounds.

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post #30 of 35 Old 09-18-2019, 12:19 PM
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Well..., I certainly tread heavily on your domain above...but for the right reasons I hope...and in the end I did try to see how DIYSG could be incorporated in a working design.

The screen sizes he can consider, and if he goes with...say...a Epson 5050, he's going to be in for a superb Audio & Visual experience using Spandex for a AT Screen
Haha not at all. I agree with most of what you said - and there are many here who are far more knowledgeable than I am - this is merely a longstanding hobby with me - I've put together theaters for multiple friends and helped with their choices but nothing like what you and Big have done. The main reason I would trend towards the DIYSG speakers here is the budget. If I could throw some Procella or Alcons in-walls at the problem or something similar I'd do it in a heartbeat. So to me it comes down to what's going to give the most bang for the buck - and in any case we're going to have trouble getting a perfect solution in this size space. And the all Volts idea was more of looking at it from a standpoint of cheapest. I would much prefer to see the HTM's as L/C/R. And since they're only 2" or so thicker than the Volts they should be a good option.

Yeahhhh the local theater thing may have been a TOUCH hyperbolic lol. But neither do I consider it too far off course when you consider the prevalent method of LOUD = BEST at most theaters these days. I for one, prefer the sound of my home system to any of our local theaters - especially the IMAX ones....

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