Is soundproofing 160db of bass possible? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Is soundproofing 160db of bass possible?

I already have Hann-level soundproofing, and it's not enough.

I listen loud.

TLDR:
I need beefier soundproofing. Budget is unlimited in term of soundproofing. I'm starting from zero. Bare lot.

What I have:
I have 32 subwoofers with 100kW of FP14k's pushing them.

My current room is a dedicated building, 75ft away from the main house, on a 3ft thick reinforced concrete slab.
Room-in-room design consisting of 1inch thick painted cedar, two 5/8's OSB, 2x4 with pink insulation, 1" air gap, 2x4 with SnS, vb, hat track, soundboard, two layers of 5/8's FR DW with GG.
3.5" average acoustical treatments (SnS and acoustical foam behind AT fabric on all 5 boundaries.)
No windows. Dual exterior doors both with weather stripping.
No ducts/fresh air supply (on purpose).

This is STILL not enough.
This blocks all of the treble, and pretty much all frequencies above 200hz are blocked.
Even some of the bass is blocked.

But I have to keep my SPL to THX level in order to not disturb the entire block.
When I turn it up to half-power my backyard STILL sounds like a train is passing by (all ULF).

Current noisefloor is somewhere around -15 and -6db.
Getting about 115db of attenuation above 200hz, and a whole lot less in the 1-30hz region.

To make your task harder, since I will also have more space in HT v2 I will be making bigger/beefier speakers and subs too, beyond what I already have! (More 24" subs etc.)





Lots and lots of bass!



What I need:
I don't know! (That's why I'm here, asking this...)
All I know, is that it needs to be beefier/more.

As mentioned the soundproofing budget this time will be unlimited because this will be my 2nd and final HT.

I'm thinking 15ft deep underground bunker, 1ft thick concrete on all 6 sides. (12ft height inside.)

Using the entire width of the theater to separate the doors (solid metal bunker doors? 500lbs, 2000lbs? Multi-layer composite?)
Projector-booth/amp-rack/popcorn-maker also contained in this walk way.

This forms the outer shell.
Inner shell: undecided.

Two rows, 5 seats each.
Exact dimensions are undecided but height will be 9-12ft.
Screen size: undecided

I would like fresh air intake/exhaust this time (who wouldn't? ), but I specifically excluded it last time because I already knew that soundproofing would be a limiting factor; and STILL was.

Basically I want to put my system in Hann's garage, but bury it underground, and well away from the house!


TLDR:
Starting from zero/bare lot.
What do I have to do to block 194db of bass?
Soundproofing-budget is unlimited (whatever it takes, I will do!)
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post #2 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 12:24 PM
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either underground or build it such that you can create a vacuum between the walls of a room within a room. In my youth, my scout troop took a trip to a sound proofed lab and it was two steel spheres one inside the other, the inner sphere had a ton of absorption. Once we were inside they closed the two doors and pumped the air out of the gap. It was dead quiet.
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post #3 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 12:37 PM
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It's doable but; yes, mucho $$$


Jeff...also done with maglev but not a typical environmental (ie fresh air, etc) control issue...environment controls more like what you'd expect on the space station.
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post #4 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 02:48 PM
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All I was thinking through this whole thing is.... it sounds like you know how to soundproof higher frequencies but not sub-sonic frequencies. you even said it, it sounds like a train. So do you hear or feel a train (?), and would earthquakes make noise? Probably not but everything on earth will resonate to some degree, right?

What about putting the entire slab on springs?

Dual opposed sub-sonic slab?

I know it is pretty far out there but so is your plan..... just a thought.
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post #5 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 05:03 PM
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Move to open country. Its pretty hard to annoy your neighbors when the closest one is ~5mi away.

I grew up in that situation, and the only two things I don’t miss are 1.5hr 1-way trip to town, and not being able to get cable.

Chris
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post #6 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 07:39 PM
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A concrete box within a concrete box and supported on springs / dampeners.

Can't wait to follow this build !!

Cheers,
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post #7 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 07:47 PM
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I know a great Audiologist........


It won't be long at all until you need him. Or an Internist to remove your various collapsed Organs.


Have you researched the deleterious effects you system will create physically?



Your proposed system's db levels would be patently illegal anywhere on Earth where jurisdictional sanity prevails.


............by a mile.

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post #8 of 136 Old 01-01-2020, 08:16 PM
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post #9 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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One requirement will be that I want my screen anchored-to / floating-from the concrete shell because right now my subwoofers literally make the GG'ed DW breathe several mm's per cycle, which induces visible blurring of the video (same for the projector in my current HT). In the new HT, the projector would be on the non-SPL partition but still anchored to concrete as well.

I think that should solve that, no?
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post #10 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
either underground or build it such that you can create a vacuum between the walls of a room within a room. In my youth, my scout troop took a trip to a sound proofed lab and it was two steel spheres one inside the other, the inner sphere had a ton of absorption. Once we were inside they closed the two doors and pumped the air out of the gap. It was dead quiet.
A partial vacuum at-scale probably isn't practical, that would require active pumping and welding on all 6 sides, and if there were any leaks I'd be SOL.

A concrete outer shell resting on insulating foam/MLV, with the inner shell (OSB+GG+DW) floating on iso-clips mounted to the outer shell might be the practical "compromise", while maximizing the useable space per $ of spend.

That would provide several layers of high-frequency isolation + air gap, also a fair bit of thermal insulation too.

I was hoping to avoid 2x4 framing the inner shell to save space on WxLxH if-possible.

Any recommendations on specific iso-pads products or MLV or iso thermal insulating foam or heavy duty springs for isolating the inner sub-floor? (Ideally something that both insulates and isolates.)
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post #11 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Another thing I was thinking of doing for some time now, is making a false front wall of say 26inches deep, and then placing my center at screen-middle, and building a scaled down version of my LR for behind an AT screen on the same plane.

Keeping a beefier second LR set dedicated to 2-ch music outside the AT screen but still in the false wall and being behind AT fabric; just because I couldn't imagine an AT screen being ideal for hifi reproduction of music.
I'm 85% music, 10% movies and 5% gaming.

Like Hann's theater and many others, I had already done the front of mine in all-black, that will be maintained in HT v2...

The lights, projector and low-wattage rack equipment will be ran entirely off of solar panels (that's the goal anyway...)
I "might" be able to add the heating and AC off of solar too if there is enough capacity left over.
Putting FP amps on solar panels just ain't practical, too much strain.

For seating I was thinking of doing ultra lush lazyboy power recliners and building separate inter-chair cup holders, phone charging etc. I just never liked the comfort level that the HT-specific seating provides (not from the local vendors around here at least...)

In v1 I forewent conduit and forgot to add IR detectors/repeaters at the screen, which i now regret!
It was also a pre-atmos construction, so that just adds to the frustration.
I also forgot to run power in the foundation for the seating and HTPC screen.
I also had to forego thermostatic controls and automated lighting and racking/PDU's in v1.

All of that will be resolved in HT v2.
Sometimes it is the small details that can really make a BIG difference. The devil is in the details.
Live and learn!
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post #12 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
either underground or build it such that you can create a vacuum between the walls of a room within a room. In my youth, my scout troop took a trip to a sound proofed lab and it was two steel spheres one inside the other, the inner sphere had a ton of absorption. Once we were inside they closed the two doors and pumped the air out of the gap. It was dead quiet.
How was the inner sphere isolated from the outer?
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post #13 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 06:50 AM
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Would there be a way to double up your subs one inside and one outside and adjust the phase to actually actively cancel the sound waves?

Video: JVC RS4500 135" screen in pure black room no light, htpc nvidia 1080ti.
Audio: Anthem mrx720 running 7.1.4, McIntosh MC-303, MC-152, B&W 802d3 LR, B&W HTM1D3 center, B&W 805d3 surround, B&W 702S2 rear, B&W 706s2 x 4 shelf mounted for atmos, 2 sub arrays both infinite baffle: 4x15 fi audio running on behringer ep4000 + 4x12 fi audio running on 2nd ep4000.
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post #14 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 07:27 AM
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Easy....move to the country and then do what you want! That's what I did...

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Source: HTPC w/madVR, Video: Epson 5040, 150" 16:9, Audio: Onkyo RZ 830 avr, 5.1.4 Atmos setup. 5 speaker Energy C Series: L/R C300's, C C-C100, SR/SL C50's, 4 in-ceiling Micca R-8c. Subwoofers: 1 MiniMarty um18 w/NX3000D. 2 VBSS 18" Subs w/NX3000D.
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post #15 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 07:45 AM
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With the amount of ULF your trying to contain the only thing I can think of is mass and a LOT of it. Maybe double thick block pumped full of concrete, air gap, and another double thick block and filled wall, underground. Maybe built on top of some isolation mats or springs like some buildings use in earthquake zones. Then the problem left is the door, or doors in and out. Again I would try and find the heaviest doors you can find and double or triple them up. ULF is just a beast to contain as you already know and I think the ONLY surefire solutions are a vacuum, which as you said is difficult to impossible in your situation, or mass LOTS AND LOTS of mass.
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post #16 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Is it only mass, or is it also stiffness?
Should I brace the concrete into the dirt? If so, how...

How thick should the concrete be?
I'm thinking 1ft minimum...

I'm trying to avoid needing concrete-in-concrete on springs, that just gets stupid-expensive fast
Doubling the outer shell thickness is much more practical.

It will definitely have at-least two doors each being 1ft thick.
I'm literally building a bank vault here.

A normal door has like what, 3 latches?
I'm thinking a continuous stream of barn latches all the way down!

The goal is to reduce at least 140db, all the way down to 0db, within say 100-250ft of dirt & air.
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post #17 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Is it only mass, or is it also stiffness?
Should I brace the concrete into the dirt? If so, how...

How thick should the concrete be?
I'm thinking 1ft minimum...

I'm trying to avoid needing concrete-in-concrete on springs, that just gets stupid-expensive fast
Doubling the outer shell thickness is much more practical.

It will definitely have at-least two doors each being 1ft thick.
I'm literally building a bank vault here.

A normal door has like what, 3 latches?
I'm thinking a continuous stream of barn latches all the way down!

The goal is to reduce at least 140db, all the way down to 0db, within say 100-250ft of dirt & air.
I would think mass alone with earth should be enough but how much of each is another story. I think if you fully went underground like a couple feet of earth on top, with room in a room of double thick cinder block pumped full of concrete or maybe a layer of filled cinder block, a gap or solid concrete, then another cinder wall, twice with an air gap, should probably survive and block anything. doing a little google search a 30' x 14' cinder block wall if you filled the core with concrete would be about 8.4 tons per wall. Below from Quora so take it with a grain of salt lol

"Most Architects or Engineers use a weight of Pounds per Square Feet (PSF) when designing. You have to know the type of block to determine the total weight. They can weigh from 10 to 50 psf with fully filled cores. Generally speaking they would weigh 30–35 pounds."

Once filled even a single layer is a lot of mass, doubled up, or quadrupled up, room in a room, that's what almost 34 tons per set of exterior walls. That would probably survive a bomb blast lol. And that's not counting the earth from there out. You might give a call to the engineers who Rob Hahn worked with and see if they have any ideas. I mean, you sir are easily in a league of your own
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post #18 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking of making the air exchange system the ENTIRE width of the theater.
Fresh air in on one side, bad air out on the other side.

The air will go from the riser box to the non-SPL side via a pair of muffler boxes,
and then vent outside via another pair of muffler boxes. Not farting around!

What is the best design for such a box? zig-zag transmission line made of concrete with acoustical foam lining, or what?

I really need/want to overkill everything.
I want a nuclear blast to occur on the inside, and nothing to be heard on the outside all the way to 1hz.
As I mentioned my current HT doesn't even have any ventilation, it's basically a tomb, and the bass STILL escapes.

I was thinking one-way Tesla valves, but that probably isn't practical to build without an industrial sized 3D printer and awesome CAD skills, which I don't have...

The theater will be at-least 26ft wide.
Currently I'm at 20ft and it isn't enough for 3 recliners + full-range side speakers on each side.

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post #19 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
I was thinking of making the air exchange system the ENTIRE width of the theater.
Fresh air in on one side, bad air out on the other side.

The air will go from the riser box to the non-SPL side via a pair of muffler boxes,
and then vent outside via another pair of muffler boxes. Not farting around!

What is the best design for such a box? zig-zag transmission line made of concrete with acoustical foam lining, or what?

I really need/want to overkill everything.
I want a nuclear blast to occur on the inside, and nothing to be heard on the outside all the way to 1hz.
As I mentioned my current HT doesn't even have any ventilation, it's basically a tomb, and the bass STILL escapes.

I was thinking one-way Tesla valves, but that probably isn't practical to build without an industrial sized 3D printer and awesome CAD skills, which I don't have...

The theater will be at-least 26ft wide.
Currently I'm at 20ft and it isn't enough for 3 recliners + full-range side speakers on each side.
You're about to spend a lot of money on a very daunting task. If you continue down your current path, that money will be wasted along with the time you spent on the project. This is not a DIY, figure it out myself, self satisfying effort. Find a pro, hire the pro and get on with it. There's a bunch a stuff in this thread that's be thrown against the wall ... virtually none of it will produce the results you originally specify.

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post #20 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:37 PM
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I really think you need to find a consultant that does industrial projects utilizing the Kinetics Noise RIM system or a variation of that system who has experience in controlling low frequency vibration. Think semiconductor fab facilities. I think you need a concrete cube inside a buried concrete cube with a 1-2 foot air gap between all walls and the roof and probably at least a foot between the floors. The air gap ill probably be half filled with mineral wool. The supporting KIPs (Kinetic Isolation Pads) will likely need to be 3-4” thick and will likely need to support heavy stringers to increase the air gap beneath the internal cube. Alternatively, you may need metal springs if the KIPs can not cope with the weight (they specify up to 500psi for their standard KIPs). This space will also be filled or nearly filled with mineral wool. Unfortunately, this still results in a natural frequency around 10Hz, so you may need to go the steel springs route.

Take a look at a recent NRC Research Report RR-333, “Apparent Sound Insulation in Precast Concrete Buildings” for some of the most recent literature on the topic. Unfortunately, their data stops at 50Hz, and the trend is not encouraging. Neither 8” solid concrete nor 8” precast hollow concrete could do better than a 40dB Transmission Loss (“TL”) at 50 Hz, and they both show a drop to 35dB TL at a coincidence frequency around 125Hz. The good news is that is just a single wall/floor and with room-in-room construction, you should see substantially better results. But even if you saw another 40dB TL from the room-in-room design (an overall TL at 50Hz of 80dB which is pretty astounding), that still means your theater is exciting the surrounding ground with 80dB bass energy.

And then there is the problem of 100-200cfm of makeup air and introducing this into the interior shell without compromising the room integrity or lowering the overall TL. You might be better off with CO2 scrubbers and oxygen cylinders!

Or you could turn the volume down to merely the threshold of pain....

It’s a fun mental exercise, good luck with achieving your goals. Maybe you should hire Keith Yates for one of his Black Label projects.

Mike

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post #21 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:47 PM
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"I really think you need to find a consultant that does industrial projects utilizing the Kinetics Noise RIM system or a variation of that system who has experience in controlling low frequency vibration."


Clearly a professional is required here; but, let's not start out by limiting choices to only Kinetics products ... there's a broad spectrum of materials, devices, etc. and not all of them are Kinetics products (and the RIM system would not meet this projects requirements).

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post #22 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:49 PM
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Not to sound snarky, but maybe call the US Navy to see how they soundproof their nuclear sub(woofer)marines?
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post #23 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 12:55 PM
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"Not to sound snarky, but maybe call the US Navy to see how they soundproof their nuclear sub(woofer)marines?"


Recognizing that is physically impossible, the trick is to make any sound generated appear to be a biologic. Equally to the point, sound transmission in salt water is rather different than sound transmission in air (or from underground bunkers ).

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post #24 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post
"I really think you need to find a consultant that does industrial projects utilizing the Kinetics Noise RIM system or a variation of that system who has experience in controlling low frequency vibration."


Clearly a professional is required here; but, let's not start out by limiting choices to only Kinetics products ... there's a broad spectrum of materials, devices, etc. and not all of them are Kinetics products (and the RIM system would not meet this projects requirements).
Of Course you are right, Dennis. This merely reflects my knowledge limitations and not the only or best solution. In fact, I think we both agree it is not the right solution as I elaborated later in my ramblings. Similarly, Keith Yates Design is not the only engineering group capable of achieving such a goal, if it is in fact achievable for less than a 7 figure budget. I imagine the Erskine Group has the chops to take on such a project as well.

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post #25 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 01:16 PM
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My HT is partially underground. Its walls are maybe 10" thick and made from concrete hollow blocks, like most houses here in Europe.
With the windows (2) closed, my SKHorn at max level is basically inaudible outside.

You say that your current construction barely helps below 200Hz, yet I see you saying that you'll do the same again?
The best vibration killer is sand. A concrete wall is good for soundproofing, but as soon as you fill it with sand and bury it, theres nothing escaping that room.
As soon as the side walls are under ground, I wouldn't worry much about these anymore. It's the ceiling that will leak. You could make the side walls from paper and they'd be isolating well because the escaping sound will travel straight into an incredible mass of dirt and be absorbed.

As for the ceiling... I'd recommend building another room on top of the HT. The sound that will leak through the ceiling will then have to travel through another outer wall, which could be a sand filled brick wall again.

The cost of this might be around 100 grand if you don't do it yourself.
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post #26 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 02:04 PM
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? Keith Yates Design Black Label project ?

An interesting engineering / thought experiment.

We have all seen varieties of this.
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/tf4173

Quote:
80–89 (sounds above 85 dB are harmful)
At some level extremely powerful systems can be used as weapons (military applications) or act as local earthquakes with subsequent structural damage predictable.

Where did 160 db figure come from?

I would definitely get a room designing firm as you may spend a lot of money on things that don't accomplish all objectives.
Long ago (~2008) I used Rives Audio (see my signature for link), but they are no longer around.
This may recent article may interest you: 12/26/19 - "Home Theater of the Decade: The Hahn Theater"
https://www.avsforum.com/home-theate...-hahn-theater/

(bold added)
Quote:
This no-holds-barred theater is well known to AVS Forum regulars who frequent the site and follow the Home Theater of the Month series… it sets the standard for performance.
The theater’s owner, Rob Hahn is a retired Hollywood cinematographer with A-list credentials, which helps explain where the inspiration—as well as the resources—to build this epic theater came from.
...
Quote:
In case you are wondering what a Black Label project is… here’s the scoop according to Keith Yates Design: “Few magnificent projects present themselves as candidates for our Black Label Service.
At the core of each theater is a unique R&D science project to solve performance-limiting challenge with no known solution. In fact, these projects have resulted in a number of our industry-first inventions.”
Not for the “faint of heart” or “light of wallet” but as always, there’s much that can be gleaned from an exercise such as this.
Which is to say, the Hahn Theater was chosen for Home Theater of the Decade not merely because it it is an awesome theater, but also because it pushed boundaries and influenced others in this hobby with their home theater builds.
And that would not be possible if this project were not shared here on AVS Forum.

That sounds like you.
I would put in HVAC. There are various strategies including increased bends (less efficient, but attenuate sound propagation)

Good luck.
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EDIT:
I missed that Keith Yates Design was mentioned before (and nearly at same time as I was formulating post)

HT: Oppo UDP-203 -> Lumagen RadiancePro 4446 {18 GHz input x2 & 18 GHz output x1 cards} - "new (112818 FW)" 18 GHz microcode - parallel outs to --> [Audio: Denon 5308CI] --> [Video: JVC RS520 FW v30.1]
HT Details: link

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post #27 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Two mentions of scrubbers and oxygen tanks, space shuttles/submarines and vacuum chambers... I like where this thread is going!!!

How much do those beasts cost I wonder? and what is the maintenance schedule/price on something like that?
(Sounds expensive and impractical.)

Then again, every aspect of my system has always been impractical

No matter what, I will definitely be buying O2 & CO2 alarms/monitoring, because this thing will be almost submarine tight.
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post #28 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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It definitely won't be a repeat.
My current HT is only made of wood and drywall, and is 100% above ground.

So even in a worst-case scenario: HT v2 should easily beat that level of soundproofing.

I'll definitely have to consult a structural engineer for the concrete shell, specifically the ceiling.
I'd imagine multiple metal I-beams will be required, in addition to rebar everywhere.
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post #29 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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"I'd imagine multiple metal I-beams will be required, in addition to rebar everywhere."


Yes indeed. Just finished exactly such a project a few months ago. Described by some as the "Best Demo Room in the World". (I was hoping for best in the galaxy; but, I guess we fell short.)
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post #30 of 136 Old 01-02-2020, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I took some actual measurements so that I can get a sense of my soundproofing.

All were taken at the same level and only a few minutes apart from each other.
CSL calibrated UMIK-1, SPL level was double checked with a CM-140 handheld.

Here is Hailee Steinfeld - Rock Bottom played at THX level at the golden seat:
I chose this song because it has bass from 15hz up, with deep/heavy synth dance bass.


Inside the air lock, ground level (single digits might be skewed do to air lock seal pressure.)


and again at 3m/9ft away from the HT, ground level


and again at the main house, ground level, 61ft away as per google maps.


outside background SPL with birds chirping away (a level that shouldn't disturb anyone.)


and me walking on hard snow within 1-10ft of the mic (a level that shouldn't disturb anyone.)


from 2hz to 25hz it looks like I'm knocking the SPL down 20-25db.
and from 100hz up, pretty much eliminating the sound.

Pretty much just the power-bass frequencies that make it through! Only a ~10-30db reduction.

95db @ 61 feet in the power-bass region, you can see why that is an issue. Pitchforks and cops with swat gear! Shoot first, ask question later.

That was only 5% power and 5mm's of excursion.
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