“The Bentonite” Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 63 Old 02-25-2020, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The “Bentonite” Cinema

I have been wanting to start this thread for about 7 years! This theater is now on version 3 and will be the final rendition. I have been researching for many years and am trying to put everything I have learned to use. Thank you to all who have been brave enough to document your builds. It is very useful and I hope that my build will help someone. Here it goes!

History:
We moved into this house in 2012. I had no idea what a home theater was. Someone gave me a huge projector and the rest is history after finding this site. Here is version 1:


After this, the 100 year flood hit and out basement took on water. We had to rip out all the drywall from one side of the basement and then found we had severe foundation issues. That led to jacking the house up to level and install a French drain. This was horrible.


I had to move the theater upstairs into a mother-in-law suite that was a converted garage. I continued to buy more theater stuff and plan as I knew that the MIL would be converted to rooms and a bathroom. Here is the MIL theater wall.


At the beginning of last year the demo happened over in the MIL and the theater went into storage. So I tried to start working on it and got drywall in between the rafters and that was it before I had to work on the MIL conversion. Here’s the theater room when I started working on it last year.




I finished the MIL conversion in September and frankly needed a break. Then, I realized I really missed the theater but that I needed to do it right so that my wife would not rush in and tell me it was too loud. So I started to design and am still in that process but will be doing DD GG DD decoupled walls, etc. This room is in the basement and I don’t have any forced air in my house so I had to design a ventilation system. I ran an infinity fan through a closet next to the room and then into the room.




I then built a return back into the basement under the staircase.





Then I had to build a couple of new walls and then started hanging clips and channel. I had a sub panel installed and ran all the electrical and cat lines. I will get a picture soon of where I am at.

Dimensions:
13'6" wide
22'8" deep
7'6" tall

This is NOT going to be an extravagant build. The plan is for a riser, equipment closet in the back with no door, screen wall with no stage. I will have soffits for lights only. I have decided to use backer boxes for the ATMOS speakers and those will the only holes in the DD besides the outlets. Everything else will be contained in the room. I will also have to build a removable window plug due to the wife wanting it to be accessible in case of an emergency.

Equipment:
Panasonic AE8000
DIY 120” spandex screen
Marantz 7010
2 Cyclops running off iNuke
3 JBL 4722
4 DIYSG surrounds
4 rls speakers for ATMOS
Cheap Sony Blu-ray
Raspberry Pi

Name:
“The Bentonite” - the soil on our property is Bentonite Clay and expands and contracts which caused the foundation problems which caused the water to enter during the flood which caused version 2 which caused the MIL conversion which moved to version 3. And my name is Clay so it seemed fitting! So, here we go! More to come...


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post #2 of 63 Old 02-25-2020, 09:08 PM
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[/quote]Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to following this thread.

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post #3 of 63 Old 02-26-2020, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Thank you for quoting his entire post including the pictures, I didn’t see them in the original post.
You are welcome.

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post #4 of 63 Old 02-26-2020, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is where I am at as of today.



I hope to get more hat channel installed this weekend. I know the joists are uneven. How do you guys even them out? Do you shim under the clips or just put up the clips and shim the drywall out?


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post #5 of 63 Old 02-26-2020, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claybe View Post
I hope to get more hat channel installed this weekend. I know the joists are uneven. How do you guys even them out? Do you shim under the clips or just put up the clips and shim the drywall out?
If you have to, I would shim between the joist and the clips...but don't use cedar shims - use something that is a consistent thickness.

You can try screwing in one row of hat channel and see if you can tell if it is uneven.

I installed hat channel on my ceiling and then noticed that the last joist that ran along one wall was very obviously pulling the channel up. I cut 1.25"x4" pieces of 1/8" or 1/4" MDF board, which was just the right size in my case, and put that between the joist and the clip. I was using Kinetics Isomax clips which have a flat back that is approx 1"x4", so I just cut the shim to fit that profile.

If it is really truly bad, you could run long 1/4" furring strips across and shim those (cedar shims) and use a straight edge/level to check that you've got even joists in both directions. You'll lose maybe 1/2" in height though. Sounds like a PITA to be honest. Putting in 6 shims for me was an annoying tangent.
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post #6 of 63 Old 02-27-2020, 08:37 AM
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I'd use a laser level set just below the lowest joist, and then use that as a guide to shim each clip. If an entire stud is out by over a quarter inch, use strips of wood to get it closer, then still shim each clip to make it perfect (within 1/8")

Nothing is worse that sitting at one end of the room seeing light reflected off the screen at a severe angle and seeing that the ceiling is like a roller coaster. Take the time to make it VERY flat and VERY level or you will regret it later. I went so far as to hide the whole ceiling, which even in brand new construction was out by upwards of 3/4" across 30 feet, corner to corner. I knew that even if it were perfect, the drywall mud at the seams would be visible if looking across the whole ceiling with angled light, so I took the time to hide the whole thing, and the coffers I used to cover it are within 1/8" (the thickness of the laser) across the whole thing.

The alternative is just get it as close as you can without much effort, then place "cloud" treatments all over the ceiling so that you are never able to look across the entire span of flat ceiling without your eye running into an obstacle. You want some diffusion or absorption on the ceiling anyway, so breaking up the big flat surface will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Paint it all flat black and you will really only notice the first few feet of the ceiling and the rest will just fade away.
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post #7 of 63 Old 02-29-2020, 04:58 AM
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There are clips that attach to the side of joists so using a laser you attach them at different positions relative to the bottom edge of the joist. See PAC international site. Been there done that. See Tom Logan’s Yellow dog theater, I don’t think any details on how we did it are documented.

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post #8 of 63 Old 03-03-2020, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I hung all the clips and channel on the walls with #6 1 5/8” coarse thread drywall screws. In the info it says to use #8 1” screws. I needed to use longer screws to go through the spacer boards and into the 2x4s and these were what I had around at the time. Will I be okay or should I take it all down and use #8 2” screws?

I used #10 2 1/2” screws for the ceiling so I am sure I will be good there (this was in order to level the ceiling which was off by up to an inch in places - I used drywall shims under the clips to level them).
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post #9 of 63 Old 03-05-2020, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I went ahead and took everything down and used the #10 screws and redid it all. I feel better now!
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post #10 of 63 Old 03-08-2020, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Got all the channel up today. Had to figure out how to put drywall around the door and added a piece of 2x4 around it so I could attach a piece of drywall to it to create a corner around the door. I plan on using quarter round to frame the door.



What does everyone do about the gap between the door frame and the 2x4 frame around the door to seal it and sound proof it?



Here is where I am at today. Feels like it is taking forever! I hope to drywall in 2 weeks. We’ll see...




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post #11 of 63 Old 03-11-2020, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaker Boxes

I need to build backer boxes for my ATMOS speakers. I only have 14 1/2” between rafters to do this. If I use 2x4s and 3/4” MDF the box will only be 10” wide and the install guide says I need 10 1/8” for the mounting hole and that the box should be a minimum of 1 cubic foot (meaning it will have to be 7 1/2” deep and 24” long). My question is this, can I just put DD and GG up between the rafters and “make” a box with drywall and not make it decoupled? Has anyone done this for ATMOS? Or are there any other options?
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post #12 of 63 Old 03-11-2020, 07:49 PM
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what speaker is this? One I know that requires 1 cu ft is the RSL, if you contact them they will tell you that for Atmos the cutoff frequency of the Atmos standard is much higher than the frequency range of their speaker in a cu ft box. bottom line you can often go smaller than the speaker spec for full range performance.
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post #13 of 63 Old 03-11-2020, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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ATMOS Speaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
what speaker is this? One I know that requires 1 cu ft is the RSL, if you contact them they will tell you that for Atmos the cutoff frequency of the Atmos standard is much higher than the frequency range of their speaker in a cu ft box. bottom line you can often go smaller than the speaker spec for full range performance.
Thanks Big, yes it is the RSL. Should I build the box out of a thinner material than 3/4” MDF so that it will clear the inside of the box?
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post #14 of 63 Old 03-12-2020, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claybe View Post
Thanks Big, yes it is the RSL. Should I build the box out of a thinner material than 3/4” MDF so that it will clear the inside of the box?
not sure of your design but you have 14 1/2 inches between joists, you said you were using 2x4s for your box which I don't understand. There should be plenty of room for 3/4 MDF.
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post #15 of 63 Old 03-12-2020, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, using 2x4s on either side of the box to attach it to the hat channel like this.

I think I will use 5/8s MDF and that will give me the 1/4” clearance I need to mount the RSL. Also I will line the inside with DD and GG but not down to the opening of the box so that the speaker can fit into it. Then stuff with insulation. Let me know if this all seems right?
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post #16 of 63 Old 03-12-2020, 08:02 AM
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That is my design and you don't need to use 2x4s and they don't have to be mounted on the side, you could mount them on the ends, Do a U shaped set of legs for each end.
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Quote:
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What does everyone do about the gap between the door frame and the 2x4 frame around the door to seal it and sound proof it?
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I used drywall where I could then insulation in any cracks followed by backer rod and acoustical sealant.
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How come I keep working at least 1-2 days a week and it still looks like nothing is getting done??? Aaaahhhh. Today I put in 5 more packs of insulation and figured out the closet and the door minus the bottom of the door. Thanks to the virus, I have the next two weeks off and plan to be in the theater everyday! Stay safe and healthy and WASH YOUR HANDS!






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post #19 of 63 Old 03-15-2020, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claybe View Post
How come I keep working at least 1-2 days a week and it still looks like nothing is getting done??? Aaaahhhh. Today I put in 5 more packs of insulation and figured out the closet and the door minus the bottom of the door. Thanks to the virus, I have the next two weeks off and plan to be in the theater everyday! Stay safe and healthy and WASH YOUR HANDS!






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It won't really look like you have accomplished anything until 2 weeks before you finish after drywall is hung, taped and then painted. But you have made significant progress. Just look at your first photos. Coming along very nicely. Just keep swimming just keep swimming.

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post #20 of 63 Old 03-15-2020, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
what speaker is this? One I know that requires 1 cu ft is the RSL, if you contact them they will tell you that for Atmos the cutoff frequency of the Atmos standard is much higher than the frequency range of their speaker in a cu ft box. bottom line you can often go smaller than the speaker spec for full range performance.
You always seem to have the knowledge or someone who does. You give away a ton of valuable insight and experience for free. I hope you know how many people's theater turned out much better because of your free advice. It does not go unnoticed. I hope it is appreciated. Thanks for being an asset to this community.

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post #21 of 63 Old 03-15-2020, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylarlove1999 View Post
It won't really look like you have accomplished anything until 2 weeks before you finish after drywall is hung, taped and then painted. But you have made significant progress. Just look at your first photos. Coming along very nicely. Just keep swimming just keep swimming.

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Thanks for the reality check! I just went back and looked at the date of when I built the air exchanger system and that was February 1st! I did the DD GG between the rafters a year ago, but just started working on it again after the new year. Hope to have all the drywall up by the end of the week. Need to assemble the drywall lift and build the backer boxes for the ATMOS speakers. Lots to do!
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Also, just an FYI, for the space around the door frame, I sprayed in the fire block foam, then shoved in some 5/8” backer rod, and then used green glue sound proof caulk all around the door. Didn’t get any pictures sorry.
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post #23 of 63 Old 03-15-2020, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claybe View Post
Thanks for the reality check! I just went back and looked at the date of when I built the air exchanger system and that was February 1st! I did the DD GG between the rafters a year ago, but just started working on it again after the new year. Hope to have all the drywall up by the end of the week. Need to assemble the drywall lift and build the backer boxes for the ATMOS speakers. Lots to do!
Remember you created a mother in law suite in the time you "took a break" . You need to be kinder on yourself. You are also working full time and fulfilling your obligations to family and friends. You are also doing it all right the first time. You seem to be a bit OCD and a perfectionist. Takes one to know one. LOL. So of course you could a crap job and be finished already. But that isn't you. It will all be worth it in the end.

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post #24 of 63 Old 03-16-2020, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Where might you find this material for the soffits?

Like the metal channel used here from the Lions Lair theater:




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post #25 of 63 Old 03-16-2020, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Found this material at a drywall supply place today. Also spent about 5 hours running around gathering all the materials I would need to almost complete the theater since everything will probably shut down tomorrow! Was able to make the ATMOS speaker boxes today. This Kreg tool made things go pretty quickly but it isn’t super accurate. I hope to hang these up tomorrow and finish all the insulation. Then onto drywall!




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Good work Clay - really bet you are looking forward to the finish line.
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post #27 of 63 Old 03-17-2020, 08:54 AM
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Nice work so far!

FWIW In case you haven’t bought your RSL inceiling speakers yet, these are the ones I used. No backer box required. And they perform real well. Frequency response is better than most.

http://www.beale-streetaudio.com/pro...ofers/ics6-mb/


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Backer Boxes

Is it required or recommended to line backer boxes with DD and GG? Or will sealing the seams with acoustical caulk do the trick? Should they be stuffed with insulation too? Kind of at a stand still until I can figure this out!
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post #29 of 63 Old 03-17-2020, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Is it required or recommended to line backer boxes with DD and GG? Or will sealing the seams with acoustical caulk do the trick? Should they be stuffed with insulation too? Kind of at a stand still until I can figure this out!


Seems like I like to answer my own questions. I put 1 layer of drywall screwed to the MDF with green glue in between. Then I sealed everything with the acoustical caulk. These things were heavy!


Got them all hung and leveled too.


It wasn’t pretty today but it got done. I hate days like this but you have to push through. I also created another issue with an internet pipe that I ran earlier. Need to figure out where that is going to go now....tomorrow!


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post #30 of 63 Old 03-19-2020, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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“The Bentonite” Theater

Am I forgetting anything? Do I need anything else?

So you all know what this means:


I hope to start getting drywall up tomorrow or Saturday and am worried I forgot to do something behind drywall. ATMOS boxes are in. I actually ran gray electrical pipe from box to box in case I ever needed to upgrade wires or??? Insulation is up. Internet wires are run in gray electrical pipe. All speaker wires will run through the soffits. HDMI and PJ power will run through the soffit. No PJ box at this time planned. All lights will be in the soffits. Trying to keep the holes in the walls and ceilings minimal. Is there anything else that I am missing??? I am nervous to put up drywall and have forgot to do something!!!


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