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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been on AVS for several years now but I never started a build thread. I've learned a lot from everyone else's threads and the questions I have posted, so now that we have emptied out our theater room to work on the HT 2.0 renovation (which is a polite way to say "actually finish the first one"), it's time I started a thread to track the progress, beg for yet more information from all of you experienced theater builders, provide a kick in the pants to me to keep moving forward, and give back the many great pieces of advice folks have already given me thus far. So without any (more) obsessing:

Welcome to the Infinitieth Detail Theater Build

Someday we will give a real name to our theater, but for now the name reflects my insane attention to detail and resulting analysis/paralysis I've been in for the last year, and the theater's former progress reality. Namely:



But my dad is coming to visit in mid-February and I'm taking the week off work so we can get it on like Donkey Kong that week and really make progress. All existing equipment has been moved into the gameroom so we have an unobstructed work area and no excuses!

Advance thanks to some folks that have been really helpful thus far to get me to this point: @BIGmouthinDC for the expertise he gives to EVERYONE here (can't say enough about him), @Peter M for the many question and answer posts about his awesome ceiling baffle, @KBlaw2010, @Moggie, @Brad Horstkotte, @dlbeck, @RedStripe88, @auburnu008, and @Aareses (among many others) for the details they have shared in their builds that have been both inspiring and informative.

Room Dimensions:
Length 18' 9"
Width 15' 8"
Height 11' 4" (due to tray ceiling in adjacent gameroom, didn't catch during the homebuild)

Existing Equipment:
Panasonic PT-AE8000U projector

Carada (R.I.P.) 110" 16:9 (1.78:1) Screen
- hoping to retrofit to Falcon Horizon HD Acoustically Transparent fabric
- hoping @dlinsley will finish his retrofit first so I can learn from his efforts

7.2 speaker arrangement:
GoldenEar Triton Two Mains (each has integrated 1200W subwoofers)
GoldenEar SuperSat 60C Center
GoldenEar SuperSat 3 surround speakers (4)

Denon AVR-X4000
Frontier FiOS DVR
Sony BDP-S790 Bluray Player
Apple TV (3rd and 4th generations)
URC MX-890 Programmable Remote

Basics
Columns: the homebuilder built the columns using built-up 2x6s, so they are staying where they are and I'm designing things around them.

Soundproofing: We are not worried about soundproofing as we have run the theater as-is for several years and it has not been an issue based on our home layout and the fact that we are on a 1 acre lot (no real worry about annoying the neighbors). Three of the theater walls are exterior and the one room adjacent to the theater is our gameroom. The kids' bedrooms are on the complete opposite side of our home separated by many other rooms. We can put the kids to bed then go watch an action movie and they have no idea.

Risers: The front and rear seating risers are already built and in place. I still need to do a little bit more sheeting in a couple of places, the hardwood edging, the access panels for the edge and step lighting it will have. It is stuffed with insulation and will serve as a bass absorber; the front and side faces are "opened up" (pics coming in the riser build post), and the rear corner will have a 24" across triangle (or so) cut out from the decking to open it up as a bass absorber. I'll put Ultratouch in the wall corner up to the soffit with an air gap behind it, with some kind of a riser-to-soffit frame covered by fabric. I'll post the riser build pics as a set of updates with the details. The front is 8" tall and the rear 18.5" tall. Why two levels? Read on ...

One thing I seriously wish I had done during the house build would have been to allocate space for an equipment room. For the 3 years we used the theater we had a media credenza at the front for the equipment with the center channel speaker on top of it -- the credenza has been moved to the gameroom and there it will stay. In its place I will build a lower profile built-in to house the equipment. The rear of the cabinet will be a mostly open-framed design to ensure adequate airflow to cool the equipment.

I would LOVE to do a little more renovation and build an equipment cabinet in the gameroom next door to the theater, but I'm worried about the WMK factor (Wife Might Killme). She wasn't happy at all when I told her the media credenza was being transferred to the gameroom permanently and that I would build its replacement ... mainly because she thinks it will take too much time given my overly exacting standards LOL

What's Not In The Renders
I haven't worked on the framing yet for the screen mounting framing which will bring the screen out 9" away from the screen wall to provide clearance for the center channel speaker mounting and screen wall absorption. The front face of the framing will be covered with open fabric frames.

Also, I'm not great with SketchUp so I've only done the fabric frame panels and basic wainscoting on the left wall to show my wife what it will look like (kind of, they dont't even have rounded corners because I've found that once they are rounded, I can't resize them in SketchUp ... grrrr ...). I tried to do the wainscot trim moulding but, well, screw that! Way too hard for me, even though I found a sketchup component for the WindsorOne moulding I really like, I just couldn't figure out how to make it work.

Looking forward to everyone's feedback!

Draft Renders
Screen Wall: looking at the screen wall from the back wall. It shows the overall screen size (110") and "corner fabric frames" (framing only at this point, haven't made fabric "covers" for them in SketchUp yet) that will house the main speakers and corner bass absorption. Equipment cabinet is below the screen, each of the four sections have one full-extension slide-out shelf with the bottom shelf fixed. Center section panel will be removable with just one fixed shelf on the bottom.


The screen is just floating in the model at this point, as I haven't worked out the framing yet that it will mount to, and that will provide a place to attach fabric frames as a "false wall" at the back of the screen
Screen Wall X-Ray


Top View


Ceiling Baffle Bass Absorber
This is all @Peter M's doing, as once I saw this in his amazing Another Downunder Theatre, I decided we had to have one like it to both serve its purpose (looking awesome, absorbing some bass, and providing some diffusion on the ceiling) and to help address the huge ceiling height which is out of proportion with the room size.

Plan Left


Door Entry: this really shows the ceiling baffle bass absorber (using a really wide camera angle in SketchUp, so it's nasty distorted but I'm not great at doing viewports in SketchUp).


Screen Wall Right Rear Corner View


Right View shows the projector hush box and ceiling baffle.


Left wall panels draft is a basic example of the 3-high fabric-covered frames that will have acoustic diffsorbers behind approximately the first two, and diffusors for the last 24" of wall before the soffit.
 

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Ceiling Baffle Bass Absorber
This is all @Peter M's doing, as once I saw this in his amazing Another Downunder Theatre, I decided we had to have one like it to both serve its purpose (looking awesome, absorbing some bass, and providing some diffusion on the ceiling) and to help address the huge ceiling height which is out of proportion with the room size.
Hi Terry,

Glad to have been of some help and delighted to see this underway !!

I'd just like to clarify one thing - whilst I would love to take all the credit for the ceiling absorber in my room, it actually belongs to the amazing Dennis Erskine who did my entire acoustic design.

I'm also happy to help out with Sketchup tips and tricks for anything you need to do.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Forgot to mention, the back wall will also have columns for the rear surround speakers, just haven't gotten them in the model yet. They will also protrude enough to serve to create somewhat of an alcove/section in between them for a balancing subwoofer with a fabric frame covering it. Thinking of a shallow design model such as a Procella P10.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I'm glad my thread was helpful. My way of giving back for all the free information I gathered here.


A few bits of advice:
1) Detailed planning will help you to avoid rework later in the build, so taking time to plan is time well spent
2) Don't get paralyzed in the planning phase trying to plan every detail and contingency out before pickup up a hammer or drill. For example, you can decide you want a chair rail molding without deciding the specific profile before starting
3) Since you are detail oriented, don't let your timeline or fatigue result in taking shortcuts. I took a few, all added more work than the time I saved
4) You can cover a lot of ground by committing to a regular build schedule. I worked on my room most nights even for 30 minutes or an hour after work. That was easier for me than trying to carve out full days.


Good luck with your build and reach out if I can answer questions along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Riser Build Dec 2015

Here's the theater as we were using it before I started on the riser. I built a quick little platform to test the front row height for a comfortable viewing position. We auditioned a LOT of movies this way, switching from the "king's chair" to lower chairs and such.




We wound up preferring an 8" front riser to raise the viewpoint and reduce the "looking up" at the screen due to its installed height above the media cabinet and amp (sitting on top of it at this time).

Again, if I had it to do again, I'd build an equipment cabinet/room, even eating into the gameroom to do so. But at this point, my wife would kill me if I even suggested such a thing. A happy wife is a happy life ...

The goal with the riser was as much of an open-framed design as possible for bass absorption.

For the rear riser, I needed to move a couple of power outlets up else they'd be lost. Ran an additional outlet from here as well using proper romex right-angle connector and steel plate.


Test fit of a vertical edge frame using 1/2" plywood spacer blocks to ensure clearance from the wall to decouple riser from walls.


Oops. Frame blocks the outlet I need to run another line from ...


Give the frame a notch to ensure access to power.


Some of my 2x4s really SUCKED. Warped, shrunken 1/8" undersized, it was a nightmare. Needed some clamp strength to persuade this one into position to secure the angle brackets. Again, my goal was open frame construction. Also shows the roofing paper to ensure the lumber doesn't absorb moisture through the concrete slab.


Framing for the front of the rear riser.


My son Diego helping me attach the first stringer jointing front and rear frames!


More stringers. Note the chairs still in place ... and the speakers ... the projector's still hanging in place too ... and the screen, and equipment ... It is all of these things that resulted in the riser taking forever to finish ...


Build it, then slide into place -- only way to have access to the rear frame to screw through the stringers.



Bennie photobomb. I couldn't resist, we had to re-home him as something in his lab/hound coat was almost the death of me and my allergies ...



Conduit for under edge lighting for the lower step.


Front riser end section glue up.


Front riser middle section pieces. My take on maximum open framing design for an 8" height after 2 layers of OSB.


Front riser taking shape, figuring out the front edge framing.


Conduit for riser edge lighting from front to the cavity in the rear by the step.


That notch worked out well.


Figuring out the step ... switched/dimmed power outlet for riser underedge lighting ... it gets replaced later on ...


Pink fluffy going in the front. Hate this stuff. Cut a strip in half to stuff both sides around the conduit.


This is how I got a sheet of OSB in place propped up so I could get liquid nails on the stringers before lowering it down and screwing it into place. If I had help, no biggie. But working solo, this did the trick.


Conduit up to the front riser with notch for cabling. That little square will be a carpeted removable panel held on with magnets. Or velcro. The notch on the right is another oops.


Rear riser with pink fluffy. Ran out of the roll of it and THANK GOD. It was SO much easier to stuff the rest of the rear riser with Johns Manville batts rather than rolls. I hardly had to make any cuts with the batts at all, where with the roll, every piece was at least one cut ... I hate this stuff.


Also note the blue painters tape marking the locations of studs ... I marked the front framing with a Sharpie as well. Made screwing both layers of the sheeting easier, but especially the 2nd layer.

Second layer of OSB going down perpendicular to the first. Don't want Green Glue everywhere ... what to do?


Lay out the sheet and trace it with a Sharpie.


Now add Green Glue inside the lines, just like gradeschool. But more fun.


I didn't take any pics of applying the Green Glue, but I used two tubes per 4x8 sheet of OSB.

The embarrassing part? I didn't finish up the rear riser until July 2016! Fumbled forever with the riser underedge lighting ... analysis paralysis kept me from making progress. And actually, I still don't really know what I'm going to use for it. But, it's not in the way at the moment, and with conduit in place, I know I can get what I need where I need it once I decide to focus on it.

If I did it over again:
1. I would NOT use the tongue and groove OSB. I was very tough squeezing sheets together to close up the gap. Straight-edged sheets would have been MUCH easier.

2. Honestly, I hated working with OSB, as it chips out easily and gives off tons of splinters and snags. I would rather have used just construction grade plywood over OSB.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Terry,
Glad to have been of some help and delighted to see this underway!!

I'd just like to clarify one thing - whilst I would love to take all the credit for the ceiling absorber in my room, it actually belongs to the amazing Dennis Erskine who did my entire acoustic design.

I'm also happy to help out with Sketchup tips and tricks for anything you need to do.
Hi @Peter M,
Of course Dennis gets all the credit for the design of the ceiling baffle/bass absorber (and I don't mean to minimize that aspect of it at all, he's brilliant), but you get the credit for saying "Yeah, that looks awesome, let's do it!" and thus having it in your theater for me and everyone else to see! Haven't seen one like it anywhere else, and I just love it.

And thanks for the offer on Sketchup tips! Your model has already been a great learning tool for me, so many thanks again for that.

One thing I ran into and wanted to double check with you -- once you smooth a surface edge, or do a roundover or chamfer on an edge, you cannot resize it any longer? That's a total drag, as I'd like to try different roundover edge treatments to see how they look, but it seems like that will be a total time sapper to try and do that as my wall sections are all different and thus so are the widths of my panel frames ... any ideas or tips on how to try showing different roundover sizes efficiently? Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm not aware of an easy way to change the radius of a roundover, but here's a couple of things to think over.

Assuming you have a rectangular panel with roundovers on the front and sharp edges on the back, and you want to double the radius of the roundovers, then -

1. Select the whole panel and scale about diagonal corners by a factor of 2.

2. Select one end of the panel and move it inwards by half the panel length.

3. Select top of the panel and move it downwards by half the height.

4. Push the back of the panel by half the thickness.

The panel is then back at the original size but with double size roundovers.

This -



to this -



takes about 10 secs.

As for panels of different sizes - once you have one panel with the desired roundover, it's very easy to duplicate the panel and then change the panel size.

Cheers,
 

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Great start on your build! You held true to your word that you'd start a thread before 2/1. Nice job in meeting your self-imposed deadline...


Looking forward to see this build move forward.




.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not aware of an easy way to change the radius of a roundover, but here's a couple of things to think over.

Assuming you have a rectangular panel with roundovers on the front and sharp edges on the back, and you want to double the radius of the roundovers, then -

1. Select the whole panel and scale about diagonal corners by a factor of 2.
2. Select one end of the panel and move it inwards by half the panel length.
3. Select top of the panel and move it downwards by half the height.
4. Push the back of the panel by half the thickness.

The panel is then back at the original size but with double size roundovers. Takes about 10 secs.

As for panels of different sizes - once you have one panel with the desired roundover, it's very easy to duplicate the panel and then change the panel size.
Thanks Peter, I never would have figured that out on my own! I'll try this over the weekend and see if I can make it work. It will be great to see how different roundover profiles will look, so thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great start on your build! You held true to your word that you'd start a thread before 2/1. Nice job in meeting your self-imposed deadline...

Looking forward to see this build move forward.
Thanks! Work is killing me, and this past weekend was overbooked, but the light is coming when my dad arrives Fri 2/17 and I'll have the whole next week off with him here. Can't wait to make serious progress -- dad will be a serious free-er of blockages due to analysis/paralysis!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We've got a winner!

Off topic diversion ... One thing that has kept me busy outside the theater planning was my youngest son Mateo's Pinewood Derby. Mateo loved being in the shop with me and we had a great time building it together.

But it's even more fun when you WIN! And while he didn't get first, he was overjoyed to have gotten a 2nd place trophy in his very first Pinewood Derby! Fun times.

Mateo excited to start the racing!


Mateo with his 2nd place trophy and his Papi (me)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
How to install a Procella P10si

So Tim ( @TMcG ) is buying Kris' ( @KBlaw2010 ) old Procella speakers (congrats to them both on their upgrades!) and I'm looking at his two P10si subs for sale. At just 5.9" deep, the P10si is even narrower than the P10-AMP by 1.2" and that might make it work for me as a balancing sub both in both the rear wall center (as I was planning on), as well as on the left wall. I'll have to do a fabric frame for the wainscot rather than a wood facade, but that isn't too big of a deal. Heck, I might just do full wall fabric frames and forego the wainscot entirely.

Some factors on the install question:
1. I am not doing clips and channels nor DD+GG
2. Left wall is a 4" exterior wall with pink fluffy insulation
3. Rear wall is a 6" interior wall, no insulation, abuts the gameroom

My front main GoldenEar speakers with their integrated subs will be on 12" risers (sand-filled? sand-and-sawdust filled? Just pink fluffy? Haha, going to do all three and take measurements to reignite that debate), decoupled from the walls, and on isolator feet so I'm not too worried about rattles. But for these balancing subs, I can't do that.

So, questions:
1. How much clearance do I realistically need to install this sub in the wainscot area of a wall?
2. How should I install them?
  • For the side sub, it could be on a mini-narrow riser of just stacked mdf or plywood with GG in between layers, sitting on the foundation (on Isomat maybe?). But my concern is how far out I'll have to make the lower wainscot to fit it in. Should I cut into the drywall to create an alcove for it? Maybe out of double MDF with GG to help keep the bass in? How to install that yet isolate all that from the wall to prevent rattles? With my front mains installed as they are I just haven't had to think about this yet and haven't researched much in this area.
  • For the rear sub, it will be on the riser (which is decoupled from the wall). I'm assuming an MDF alcove would be best there as well? But again, how to install while isolating it?
Planning for a rear wall balancing sub was always my plan, but clearly I hadn't really thought it all the way through. But the side wall sub is a surprise I'm not prepared for! Any help and advice would be appreciated.
 

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1. How much clearance do I realistically need to install this sub in the wainscot area of a wall?
As little as possible, fit should be tight to eliminate any potential sonic effects of a speaker box inside another box.

2. How should I install them?
  • For the side sub, it could be on a mini-narrow riser of just stacked mdf or plywood with GG in between layers, sitting on the foundation (on Isomat maybe?). But my concern is how far out I'll have to make the lower wainscot to fit it in. Should I cut into the drywall to create an alcove for it? Maybe out of double MDF with GG to help keep the bass in? How to install that yet isolate all that from the wall to prevent rattles? With my front mains installed as they are I just haven't had to think about this yet and haven't researched much in this area.
  • For the rear sub, it will be on the riser (which is decoupled from the wall). I'm assuming an MDF alcove would be best there as well? But again, how to install while isolating it?
They can be installed horizontally or vertically. Procella includes a set of four high-quality isolation feet which you place under the sub at the bottom of the back box / alcove. This eliminates virtually all vibrations from entering your structure. The sub is also not touching the back box in any way, so no concerns there as well.

These are the most shallow subs you can get, so you would have to entertain a very slight bump-out to cover any protruding depth for the side wall sub. With your sheet material added to the 2x6 studding at the rear, the sub *could* fit flush with the front face of the wall, but I would still encourage you to use the back boxes I have already built and accommodate the slightly extra depth with a bump-out or hide this additional depth within the plane of a 1" or 2" acoustic panel with fabric facing if at all possible. If you had columns of the appropriate width, the sub could be located completely inside the theater but within a section of the column, as flush with the column face as-possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What thickness for soffit face material?

All right gang, my dad is here on his visit from California and we getting set to make a huge dent in my theater this week! Right now we are finalizing our sheet goods shopping list for tomorrow and I have a question.

The soffits will be 30" deep x 20" tall. I'm planning on doing the underside of the soffit with fabric frames to both facilitate future access (e.g. cabling upgrade to the projector someday) as well as maximize its effectiveness for bass absorption, but I'm trying to decide on what thickness/material to use for the front face of the soffit.

If my soffits are stuffed with pink fluffy or Ultratouch, what thickness material should I use for the soffit face? Would using something as thin as 1/4" furniture grade plywood (so it will prime and paint smooth) be better than something denser like 1/2" MDF? Would the thinner material allow bass waves to penetrate it and get absorbed, rather than reflecting it back into the room as thicker MDF would?

The idea comes from an old Ethan Winer article Building a better bass trap that used 1/4" and 1/8" plywood for the front faces.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
 

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All right gang, my dad is here on his visit from California and we getting set to make a huge dent in my theater this week! Right now we are finalizing our sheet goods shopping list for tomorrow and I have a question.

The soffits will be 30" deep x 20" tall. I'm planning on doing the underside of the soffit with fabric frames to both facilitate future access (e.g. cabling upgrade to the projector someday) as well as maximize its effectiveness for bass absorption, but I'm trying to decide on what thickness/material to use for the front face of the soffit.

If my soffits are stuffed with pink fluffy or Ultratouch, what thickness material should I use for the soffit face? Would using something as thin as 1/4" furniture grade plywood (so it will prime and paint smooth) be better than something denser like 1/2" MDF? Would the thinner material allow bass waves to penetrate it and get absorbed, rather than reflecting it back into the room as thicker MDF would?

The idea comes from an old Ethan Winer article Building a better bass trap that used 1/4" and 1/8" plywood for the front faces.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
With the 30" face left mostly open, I don't think the material used to cover the 20" face will matter. I personally might be inclined to leave it open. Run a strip of fabric all the way around, stapling only to the bottom and top of your soffit framing which would be hidden by top trim and your fabric panels on the bottom. Maximum absorption of sound and light and would also prevent any weird reflections from forming in the hollow of your deep tray ceiling. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
With the 30" face left mostly open, I don't think the material used to cover the 20" face will matter. I personally might be inclined to leave it open. Run a strip of fabric all the way around, stapling only to the bottom and top of your soffit framing which would be hidden by top trim and your fabric panels on the bottom. Maximum absorption of sound and light and would also prevent any weird reflections from forming in the hollow of your deep tray ceiling. Just my two cents.
Thanks for the feedback David. I was toying with making the front face fabric but didn't want to deal with yet more fabric ... but your idea has a lot of merit to avoid any potential reflections which was a minor concern of mine. But my initial thought was the slatted ceiling diffusor would ultimately help curb any reflections (ping pong until dissipated if you will), but I didn't exactly do any ray tracing to ensure that was the case. I might wind up doing that to be sure I'm not creating a problem. Thanks again.
 
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