AVS Forum banner

21 - 40 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
All that money being spent on audio, and all those large reflective surfaces, plus the volume, means you won't be getting great value from the substantial dollar investment.
That's a stunning room from an architectural viewpoint, but a lot of your choices are planting you miles away from the performance levels of Rob Hahn's room.
Thanks for the feedback. One part of the appeal of the Steinway Lyngdorf system is that it handles large reflective surfaces very well, and doesn't require much (if any) acoustic treatment to sound perfect. The showrooms at Gecko have no acoustic room treatment at all, are largely rectangular (like my room will be) and they sound better than the acoustically designed room next door (with 9.6.6 MK 300 system and Lyngdorf amps). I agree, however, that this room will never reach the performance levels of a dedicated home theater. Especially not one as epic as Rob's. But that's OK - and it's not my intention. This is intended to be an extension of living space. Homely, inviting, inclusive. I do not want it to feel like a separate space and I'm OK with compromising performance slightly to achieve that. Hence the sectional sofa rather than rows of cinema seats, for example.

What I do want to do, however, within the constraints of 'homely' and 'not isolated from the rest of the house', is to achieve the best audio/visual performance I can. I would love to hear suggestions as to which choices I am making which harm performance. I am a complete rookie here - and any insight you can give me to maximise the end result would be greatly appreciated :)

That light well is awesome, BTW. :)
Cheers... half of it is cut out of the pic ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
Confession time: I had to look up CIA and read up on the IMAX approach and discussion about it. I'm still not crystal clear how I would go about incorporating it and what it all means (despite going to IMAX cinemas regularly over the past few years, and even hosting a customer conference on the largest in Europe).
I think your assessment of CIH+IMAX is fairly correct and it is something easier said than done. It seems for me anyway the more variable the presentation method the better I like it but then it also becomes more complex.

I have brought the topic up to the CIH community here and it is not very well received. I recently brought the subject up in the dedicated HT forum and there was not any real interest in the subject despite IMAX announcements of the IMAX Enhanced program taking hold. The threads started about IMAX Enhanced are primarily interested in the audio changes in the IMAX format with new AVRs coded and certified to play the IMAX audio. The AR/immersion part isn’t really being talked about.

The majority of the CIH community are fine with cropping IMAX content down to Scope framing saying that is legitimate because that is how it is shown in Scope theaters. Some say they will show it under immersive framing it in the flat area of their screens. Of course the vast number of people in the world will be happy as they have flat panel TV sets and they will finally fill their screens with blockbuster movies doing the only thing they can do CIW presentation. Folks with the new 70-80” screens will really love IMAX Enhanced even though the majority don’t sit nowhere close to cinema level immersion let alone intended IMAX immersion levels.

The problem isn’t in Scope or IMAX it is in TV and Flat 1.85:1 movies when you do cinema level immersion they are overly immersive based on how the cinematography is intended. That was a blanket statement that IMO doesn’t always hold true. The newer prestige TV Game of Thrones and some Flat movies like Avatar as examples are framed and directed somewhat like IMAX and screen fine more immersive. In addition with a room like yours that has primary theater seating distance could also benefit when sports viewed from deep in the room as the IMAX sized screen. Even if your couch trimmed off the bottom of the image IMO.

The way you described the relationship between the different types of content is correct for how most understand IMAX at home. In a real IMAX the immersion of say a scope movie will be greater than the immersion of the same scope movie in a regular theater because of the enhancement IMAX puts the film thru. So I guess it is up for debate still how people will display this new content coming out.

I solved the problem for myself over the last 3 or 4 years with a method that works for me but might not be for others. Four years ago I started thinking about variable image sizing for a bunch of reasons IMAX being one. I purposely set my projector backwards and reflected the image off a mirror so I could do a simple 4way masking at the mirror rather than the screen. I have long liked the entire wall stealth screen concept and I’m also a fan of DIY painted dark gray screens. My current screen is a simple neutral gray .5 gain. With 50% projected light attenuation that I make up for by doubling the lumen output needed. The screen also attenuates 50% of any unwanted ambient light. I like you have a mixed usage room.

About a year ago I was showing a bunch of the Christopher Nolan expanding movies where they bounce between Scope and IMAX and when they do that it is imposable to set the masking to do both so you leave it sized to IMAX and live with the slight dark black bars. I asked all my guests how bad that bothered them. No one knew what I was talking about and in fact regular people don’t even notice the image changing size. A few I had to go back and prove it to them even by showing some of the clips where it changed. I began to think only people like us that think about this stuff are bothered by it. About a year ago I upgraded projectors to one that even had better blacks and decided to shoot straight to the gray screen and eliminate all masking. No one but me cared and I didn’t care that much. the freedom of not messing around setting masking made me want to adjust to optimal sizes more and when I watched Dunkirk for the first time I totally forgot about presentation and completely enjoyed a movie 100% in a long time. For me it was a trade off and the benefits outweighed the negatives. One more happy note for me and my stealth screen besides being able to change sizes at will is also using vertical offset at will. Lowering a Scope or smaller sized image for viewing is nice and in your case maybe being able to raise the sports image when viewing from your whole room would help.

I go beyond CIH+IMAX. I diminish some content if it is of lower resolution or of some matter that isn’t made better being as immersive. I will still watch DVD even and sized down to 70-80% and then scaled to projector resolution is very enjoyable. I also use my scaling as I have some friends and family members that don’t enjoy the full on Immersion I do. It is no different than if we all went to the theater together and I tried to duck into row 10 and they all wanted to sit in row 20 I would move back with them to be social. I want people to enjoy our theater with us and when alone I want to enjoy it the way I like best.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,339 Posts
I have a velvet room, that is how much I hate ambient light. lol But a compromise for you might be to install black velvet curtains behind the seating area for critical viewing, the darker the better, especially at that size of screen. You will need all the light and darkness you can get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
I have a velvet room, that is how much I hate ambient light. lol But a compromise for you might be to install black velvet curtains behind the seating area for critical viewing, the darker the better, especially at that size of screen. You will need all the light and darkness you can get.
Haha :D

Cheers. If it helps, the windows at the back have automated full black-out blinds. All the other lighting can be turned off when cinema mode is on. That does leave some possible light from the stairs. I am considering a black-out curtain there to give light no way to come in :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,339 Posts
Haha :D

Cheers. If it helps, the windows at the back have automated full black-out blinds. All the other lighting can be turned off when cinema mode is on. That does leave some possible light from the stairs. I am considering a black-out curtain there to give light no way to come in :)
Check out this thread, but be careful you do not want to underestimate the power of the Darkside....




https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-digital-hi-end-projectors-3-000-usd-msrp/1465053-blacker-theater-better-image.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Check out this thread, but be careful you do not want to underestimate the power of the Darkside....




https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-digital-hi-end-projectors-3-000-usd-msrp/1465053-blacker-theater-better-image.html
:)

I have checked that thread out actually. Immediate wife alert!!!

I was surprised when it was agreed by the powers that be that I could darken the room at all, so I think I will quit while I'm ahead.

I have no imagination. So when I see something that I like, I replicate it..... Attached what I'm going to attempt. I know the fabric looks fairly light, but with the LED's in the wall and behind the screen off, it should look completely black. The angled walls should also reduce screen reflections (as well as audio reflections), and I have no rear wall for light to reflect off :D. I've also had a fully black starscape ceiling signed off :eek:. Probably nowhere near dark enough for you, right?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
:)

I have checked that thread out actually. Immediate wife alert!!!

I was surprised when it was agreed by the powers that be that I could darken the room at all, so I think I will quit while I'm ahead.

I have no imagination. So when I see something that I like, I replicate it..... Attached what I'm going to attempt. I know the fabric looks fairly light, but with the LED's in the wall and behind the screen off, it should look completely black. The angled walls should also reduce screen reflections (as well as audio reflections), and I have no rear wall for light to reflect off :D. I've also had a fully black starscape ceiling signed off :eek:. Probably nowhere near dark enough for you, right?
I have LED being the screen, when I'm doign serious watching. I have it off but I like it for kid movies. It looks really cool. I'm curious how you plan to do that wall, if i could go back in time I would do the same thing. If its a fabric panel that goes over the existing wall, maybe I can still do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
Thanks for the feedback. One part of the appeal of the Steinway Lyngdorf system is that it handles large reflective surfaces very well, and doesn't require much (if any) acoustic treatment to sound perfect. The showrooms at Gecko have no acoustic room treatment at all, are largely rectangular (like my room will be) and they sound better than the acoustically designed room next door (with 9.6.6 MK 300 system and Lyngdorf amps). I agree, however, that this room will never reach the performance levels of a dedicated home theater. Especially not one as epic as Rob's. But that's OK - and it's not my intention. This is intended to be an extension of living space. Homely, inviting, inclusive. I do not want it to feel like a separate space and I'm OK with compromising performance slightly to achieve that. Hence the sectional sofa rather than rows of cinema seats, for example.

What I do want to do, however, within the constraints of 'homely' and 'not isolated from the rest of the house', is to achieve the best audio/visual performance I can. I would love to hear suggestions as to which choices I am making which harm performance. I am a complete rookie here - and any insight you can give me to maximise the end result would be greatly appreciated :)

I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?


How exactly does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with getting around physics and wave science anyways? And how does it stop those large panes of glass, acting like a low bandpass filter? I expect it
will have the output to maybe deal with the higher noise floor, but that will also reduce the dynamic range, by dumping SPL at the top end.

It comes down to open concept versus dedicated, for me. I fully get the desire for an open concept space, but I also understand the significant penalties that imposes. The poor surround sound speaker
layout, the additional volume, and the increased noise floor, the large amounts of highly reflective surfaces, are all significantly impacting on the audio. I do look at all that open concept space, and wonder if
a single row dedicated, really messes with all the rest of the open concept space?

The noise floor is a "biggie" issue. You are reducing the dynamic range of the audio side of things, and now you are not hearing what was intended to be heard. Are these negatives starting to add up, for you now?
If they aren't adding up, then maybe they simply are good arguments for you, that the look and larger open concept space is more important. Either that, or maybe it just points out that maybe you need
some more reference factors like some seat time in a dedicated mid range room?

I don't have an issue with the single row. That's pretty much my next home theater. :)

No imagination???! If those are your renders, well you certainly do.... Maybe what you are lacking, is some seat time in a well designed, dedicated mid range home theater? That should give you a broader perspective.

Prewiring is cheap, but will 9.6.6 ever be needed, with a single row? That pool table is also a highly reflective horizontal slab so I would be thinking why would I ever want (or even need) all of those speakers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?


How exactly does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with getting around physics and wave science anyways? And how does it stop those large panes of glass, acting like a low bandpass filter? I expect it
will have the output to maybe deal with the higher noise floor, but that will also reduce the dynamic range, by dumping SPL at the top end.

It comes down to open concept versus dedicated, for me. I fully get the desire for an open concept space, but I also understand the significant penalties that imposes. The poor surround sound speaker
layout, the additional volume, and the increased noise floor, the large amounts of highly reflective surfaces, are all significantly impacting on the audio. I do look at all that open concept space, and wonder if
a single row dedicated, really messes with all the rest of the open concept space?

The noise floor is a "biggie" issue. You are reducing the dynamic range of the audio side of things, and now you are not hearing what was intended to be heard. Are these negatives starting to add up, for you now?
If they aren't adding up, then maybe they simply are good arguments for you, that the look and larger open concept space is more important. Either that, or maybe it just points out that maybe you need
some more reference factors like some seat time in a dedicated mid range room?

I don't have an issue with the single row. That's pretty much my next home theater. :)

No imagination???! If those are your renders, well you certainly do.... Maybe what you are lacking, is some seat time in a well designed, dedicated mid range home theater? That should give you a broader perspective.

Prewiring is cheap, but will 9.6.6 ever be needed, with a single row? That pool table is also a highly reflective horizontal slab so I would be thinking why would I ever want (or even need) all of those speakers?
Thanks very much for replying to me. Your previous comments have been eating away at me! I do value the open space. Very highly. However, I have always been obsessed with audio - and high quality audio is critical. I do have the option to close the space. I also have the option to have a hybrid, with an open-able sound proof wall (sound proofed to 60db - which is better than a typical interior wall). But if I can have my cake and eat it too, I will :)

I will explain my thoughts on your points - but please don't interpret this as me arguing with you. Think of it more as me explaining where I had been going wrong, or some things that I'm not sure on. I am a complete novice, and I'm saying these things as much for you to shoot me down as anything. Not to try and be right...

So, how does the Steinway Lyngdorf deal with the physics? The main thing I guess is the 'Roomperfect' system. It's widely regarded as the best 'room correction' system, the subject of 50+ patents I believe. Because the whole flow from source to amp output is entirely (and uniquely) digital, digital corrections are made to the audio sent to all of the speakers after calibrating by doing a 3D map of the room (via placing the microphone in different positions). It's some kind of wizardry, but the end result is that the individual speakers' timing and output, and EQ adjustments take into account the dynamics of your room. So rather than adjust the room to match the speakers, the processor is adapting the speakers to match the room. Then there are boundary woofers which get around reflections by relying on being placed in the corners of the room (and use the reflections to their benefit). There are some nice Youtube videos on both of these things:



All of the above sounds like marketing speak, but I've visited 5 different home theater showrooms now (including those with MK Sound, JBL and B&W), and the Gecko cinema with this system sound the best to me. Their showroom cinemas, like my future room, have no rear wall (the two SL surround setups anyway - they are on opposite walls of a huge dedicated space), and they have no acoustic treatment. The whole space is probably larger than my basement will be - and they just sound untouchable. We turned the Model S system to +10 above reference, and the IW-66 to +15, and the sound just didn't change. I had absolutely no fatigue at all, and the response of the bass and dynamics were just ridiculous. To put it into context, I believe Steinway demonstrated the quality by switching over from a live pianist to the speakers mid-way through a concert, and the audience were only told at the end (nobody noticed). Interestingly, these are the speakers that Nigel (Arrow AV) went with after auditioning all the high end players (JBL Synthesis, Wisdom Audio, etc) - and plans in his 'super cinema' which sounds like it'll be one of the best in the world. I believe lots of forum users have visited the end result of his first cinema. I also think the general feedback on Steinway systems heard elsewhere (such as in the hallway at CEDIA recently) have been very favorable.

Regarding range and noise floor: the other characteristic of the Steinway speakers is that because they are fully digital, no sound means no sound. In other words, you can turn the speakers up to +10, +15, whatever, and if there's no audio, you hear nothing. No hum whatsoever. The signal to noise ratio is ridiculously high. The power, however, of the IW-66's is incredible. Steinway claim it's capable of reference levels at a distance of 15m (they are 120db speakers with 95 sensitivity, I believe)! I have no idea if that's true, but they felt like they had massive headroom above where we dared take them :)

Regarding speaker layout - with the exception of the rear surrounds (which I would ideally place on a wall parallel to the screen), all of the speakers are in exactly the same place I would have them in a dedicated room. And in line with Dolby recommendations/angles (including the rear surrounds). I actually think that by adding a rear wall I would be adding an additional reflective surface that would need handling.

Regarding the noise floor - this one is interesting to me. Because this is a basement, I actually think it'll be the quietest room in the house. The windows are triple glazed security panes (ones where it has to take more than 5 minutes to break into with a crowbar), with acoustic black out blinds in front of them - and all of the electrical equipment will be in the adjacent room (with the door closed). The other unique thing about Steinway amplifiers is they generate absolutely no heat (because it's simply digital processing). I imagine the only audible items from MLP will be the aircon (when on, which will be unusual due to it being a basement), the projector (probably the loudest) - and maybe the fridge from the bar. I am going to try and make sure the aircon is quiet - but it's already designed in that all the aircon units themselves are in the technical room.

So - there's my (naive?) thoughts. And hopes. You make a good point in that while I've witnessed some home theaters, I haven't visited enough, yet.

Finally - attached pic of security on floating stairs :)

Please - if you're going to destroy my hopes and dreams, do it gently!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
We're not arguing but the fact that some of my comments are eating away at you, simply means you are better informed. Which simply might mean a more informed final
open concept decision.


We all tend to think of the typical 55 db noise floor of a home, as quiet. Except that just means to hear the quiet passages of a movie, the volume needs to go up 30+ db.
That's all fine and dandy, until a loud explosion has you jumping for the volume key of the remote. The sub 55 db passages being heard, means loud events now
want to hit 140 db. Kind of a rude awakening and that means you end up surrounding dynamic range. Not only is that punishing on your hearing, that can be brutal
on speakers, where maybe you fry "av stuff". That also won't play well with the Mrs, because her hearing is better then yours, and women don't exactly have the same
response as men where we tend to embrace stupid loud far more easily. It might even get worse, because when you want to listen to, and fully experience the latest bombastic
movie, that the Mrs doesn't care to watch, you run the risk of the dreaded "Can you turn it down?". Someone isn't going to be happy, and there's a decent good chance, two people
aren't going to be happy.

Heh, I love your hopes and dreams (and budget ;) )! I so look forward to hopefully seeing more of this home, as it is truly inspirational. (Less so, home theater audio-wise though...
The visual side of things does work for me, except for light colored seating.)

That marketing isn't exactly selling me. I'd actually prefer the first video three seat wide, because I don't really care about sound, where ears are not. It also looks like
they are averaging the room if that is but two seats, they have dispensed with a center time aligned money seat, isn't always a design goal, since there are two camps of design
thinking here. I also would respectful

That room is also dedicated (except being that large pane of glass), and is pretty luxurious from a "very limited seating count" positioned well, and off wall boundaries.
Now that is a concept I can get my head around, because limited seat rooms, designed from a knowledgeable stand point, can push big expensive rooms from a performance
stand point.

Digital is great when it comes to pushing the signal path further to the speakers, when you actually need DSP. Otherwise, who cares, beyond great sound, when things are done right,
in either realm? Digital sources have a bit of an advantage, because analog sources need to go digital to be eq'ed, so that how well that is done, can be important.

I'm actually making a lot of good points. ;) :) They just don't mesh all that well, with the open concept room option.

O db is reference levels with a 22 db sound floor. If you turn it up 15 db, peaks are now 122 db, and too much of that over an extended period, can damage hearing.



I didn't even touch on the bar refrigerator. I think of that as one of the "Been there, made that mistake." side of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
I will weigh in on the audio discussion as a totally non-expert in any field of home entertainment including sound systems. I am a student of human nature and have built several media rooms, one for myself as well as a dedicated theater for myself in a previous home. I haven’t been an active poster in the two forums here until lately but it is nice there is a division somewhat between general home theater/ media and dedicated theater.

First and most importantly is any entertainment area is only good if people use it. I have thought about this aspect more than any other when deciding what I wanted for myself. We used to go out for dinner and then to a movie theater and maybe then go out for a drink and it was all part of the social process of entertainment. When we had the home theater in the old house it was a destination spot similar to going out to the movie theater. It wasn’t a organic part of daily living and as such at first while there was a newness it was used daily and after a while it was more weekly. We would buy a new movie or rent one and then the room was a perfect place to watch it without the distraction of people on cell phones or someone kicking my seat from behind. It was much more spacious and comfortable the audio was perfect and the visual was as good if not better than a commercial theater except maybe IMAX. The greatest feature of all was having a pause button. It was equally as social a setting as going to the movie and equally not a place we would spend a whole evening even when with friends. We would watch a movie and then return to a social area in the house to sit and talk or eat or drink.

What makes a room perfect for movies, Dark, Acoustically perfect, Seating in tiered rows, etc are best but are not best socially many times. I used to often watch movies alone in the theater and as much as I loved the perfection it was a somewhat lonely way to watch IMHO.

I learned enough that I knew the compromises were very much weighted against me staying with FP and attempting to not loose more than I gained if I selected a open plan media room over a dedicated theater. The reason so many large flat panel TVs are being sold I guess. The FP goal is not imposable though. But IMO much has to be rethought differently than what you would do in a dedicated HT as I talked about in my above post.

From an audio perspective is no different also. I think about what were some of the most memorable sound experiences of my life and many happened at live concerts that were in some of the worst acoustical settings you could imagine. Every summer we cant wait to go to our towns open air concerts and the open air jazz festival. Media room audio is a little the same and why I feel 5.1 fills my needs. Sound like video can be amazing and wonderful without being perfect for me.

Because I wanted my room to be truly dual purpose and as close to dedicated HT when I wanted it I designed it as an extension of the living room a separate room but free flowing with the living room thru a large archway that can be closed off by closing black theater curtains. With them closed it is a private space and open an extension of the room. Very similar to what the OP is thinking of doing. With the archway there is wall still to help sound reflection at the screen end of the room. I’m fine with less than perfect audio as a compromise. I even have my AVR set up with zones that engage the “B” speakers outside the room. Something I would suggest for the OP as he plans on watching from other areas besides the theater seating. I sometime use the “B” only and let the AVR be the sound system for the living room without the theater or projector being used at all.
:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?
In my area you can get away with nothing below the steps if thats what you are referring to. I didn't do that but I did do floor to ceiling 1/2 thick glass panels, I believe like you said, they have to be safety glass. That wasn't a big deal, I don't recall it being overly expensive.

It is hard to replicate the looks he is finding online, I tried to do it but didn't have attention to detail these houses have. Most of these pictures are from homes that are north of $2 million dollars and have interior designers that are getting every detail right.

You can do it, just don't count on your home builder to get all of the details right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
We're not arguing but the fact that some of my comments are eating away at you, simply means you are better informed. Which simply might mean a more informed final
open concept decision.


We all tend to think of the typical 55 db noise floor of a home, as quiet. Except that just means to hear the quiet passages of a movie, the volume needs to go up 30+ db.
That's all fine and dandy, until a loud explosion has you jumping for the volume key of the remote. The sub 55 db passages being heard, means loud events now
want to hit 140 db. Kind of a rude awakening and that means you end up surrounding dynamic range. Not only is that punishing on your hearing, that can be brutal
on speakers, where maybe you fry "av stuff". That also won't play well with the Mrs, because her hearing is better then yours, and women don't exactly have the same
response as men where we tend to embrace stupid loud far more easily. It might even get worse, because when you want to listen to, and fully experience the latest bombastic
movie, that the Mrs doesn't care to watch, you run the risk of the dreaded "Can you turn it down?". Someone isn't going to be happy, and there's a decent good chance, two people
aren't going to be happy.

Heh, I love your hopes and dreams (and budget ;) )! I so look forward to hopefully seeing more of this home, as it is truly inspirational. (Less so, home theater audio-wise though...
The visual side of things does work for me, except for light colored seating.)

That marketing isn't exactly selling me. I'd actually prefer the first video three seat wide, because I don't really care about sound, where ears are not. It also looks like
they are averaging the room if that is but two seats, they have dispensed with a center time aligned money seat, isn't always a design goal, since there are two camps of design
thinking here. I also would respectful

That room is also dedicated (except being that large pane of glass), and is pretty luxurious from a "very limited seating count" positioned well, and off wall boundaries.
Now that is a concept I can get my head around, because limited seat rooms, designed from a knowledgeable stand point, can push big expensive rooms from a performance
stand point.

Digital is great when it comes to pushing the signal path further to the speakers, when you actually need DSP. Otherwise, who cares, beyond great sound, when things are done right,
in either realm? Digital sources have a bit of an advantage, because analog sources need to go digital to be eq'ed, so that how well that is done, can be important.

I'm actually making a lot of good points. ;) :) They just don't mesh all that well, with the open concept room option.

O db is reference levels with a 22 db sound floor. If you turn it up 15 db, peaks are now 122 db, and too much of that over an extended period, can damage hearing.



I didn't even touch on the bar refrigerator. I think of that as one of the "Been there, made that mistake." side of things.
Thanks for your thoughts. You're definitely helping me make better choices.

I'm looking at isolating the ceilings and walls with noise isolating clips (the whole basement). I can section off the stairway area with a retractable wall (automated), which offers sound insulation up to 60db (better than a wall) but also opens fully and rests next to the bar. I'm also looking at ways to incorporate the air con with the projector to allow me to silence the projector behind a hush box & glass (may not be possible), and I'm checking that the vents are large enough so that the aircon wont be audible when on. The windows at the far end are also quite well insulated (to ~50db) not including the blinds.

Regarding the fridge, I'm now looking at absorption fridges which are 100% silent.

I've long been obsessed with sound floor, building many silent PC's and silent fans - so for me 55db is incredibly loud. When I was building these things, I was using components rated 15db or less (still audible) and was a long time user of silentpcreview.com. If anything is so noisy that it generates 55db of noise, then I've failed. I'm aiming for 20dBA or less.

The nice thing about reinforced concrete, especially this thick, with underfloor heating, screed, natural stone on top and the dropped ceiling) is that you don't hear noise from upstairs, other than very very soft thuds (which I'm hoping the isolation will resolve). Right now we have the same structure but with neighbors above - and we never hear anything.

Regarding the Steinway system, you can set different seating positions during the calibration, and optimize the audio for MLP, or for a combined set of seating positions. You can switch between those modes.

Regarding the sofa, we actually already have the one we're going to use (minus a couple of additional modules - it's sectional). It's dark grey, and it'll seat 5 people with their feet up. I'll try to find a picture.

All in all - I think your thoughts are going to dramatically improve the end result, so thank you! I was not focusing on the sound floor at all, but the double benefit of better sound and disturbing the rest of the house less is definitely the way to go.

Edit: added sofa pic (extra modules will make it 'U' shaped rather than 'L' shaped, with a foot rest to match):
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
I will weigh in on the audio discussion as a totally non-expert in any field of home entertainment including sound systems. I am a student of human nature and have built several media rooms, one for myself as well as a dedicated theater for myself in a previous home. I haven’t been an active poster in the two forums here until lately but it is nice there is a division somewhat between general home theater/ media and dedicated theater.

First and most importantly is any entertainment area is only good if people use it. I have thought about this aspect more than any other when deciding what I wanted for myself. We used to go out for dinner and then to a movie theater and maybe then go out for a drink and it was all part of the social process of entertainment. When we had the home theater in the old house it was a destination spot similar to going out to the movie theater. It wasn’t a organic part of daily living and as such at first while there was a newness it was used daily and after a while it was more weekly. We would buy a new movie or rent one and then the room was a perfect place to watch it without the distraction of people on cell phones or someone kicking my seat from behind. It was much more spacious and comfortable the audio was perfect and the visual was as good if not better than a commercial theater except maybe IMAX. The greatest feature of all was having a pause button. It was equally as social a setting as going to the movie and equally not a place we would spend a whole evening even when with friends. We would watch a movie and then return to a social area in the house to sit and talk or eat or drink.

What makes a room perfect for movies, Dark, Acoustically perfect, Seating in tiered rows, etc are best but are not best socially many times. I used to often watch movies alone in the theater and as much as I loved the perfection it was a somewhat lonely way to watch IMHO.

I learned enough that I knew the compromises were very much weighted against me staying with FP and attempting to not loose more than I gained if I selected a open plan media room over a dedicated theater. The reason so many large flat panel TVs are being sold I guess. The FP goal is not imposable though. But IMO much has to be rethought differently than what you would do in a dedicated HT as I talked about in my above post.

From an audio perspective is no different also. I think about what were some of the most memorable sound experiences of my life and many happened at live concerts that were in some of the worst acoustical settings you could imagine. Every summer we cant wait to go to our towns open air concerts and the open air jazz festival. Media room audio is a little the same and why I feel 5.1 fills my needs. Sound like video can be amazing and wonderful without being perfect for me.

Because I wanted my room to be truly dual purpose and as close to dedicated HT when I wanted it I designed it as an extension of the living room a separate room but free flowing with the living room thru a large archway that can be closed off by closing black theater curtains. With them closed it is a private space and open an extension of the room. Very similar to what the OP is thinking of doing. With the archway there is wall still to help sound reflection at the screen end of the room. I’m fine with less than perfect audio as a compromise. I even have my AVR set up with zones that engage the “B” speakers outside the room. Something I would suggest for the OP as he plans on watching from other areas besides the theater seating. I sometime use the “B” only and let the AVR be the sound system for the living room without the theater or projector being used at all.
:)
Great points here. You describe precisely why I didn't set out to build a 'dedicated home cinema'. I want to use this space all of the time. As we discussed in another thread, digital consumption is moving from films, to online streaming (eg Netflix). Look at Game of Thrones, or even Breaking Bad as good examples. Most people have watched series or sports in the last week, certainly more than have watched movies. I have a young family, and this room will essentially be our entertainment area. That means Peppa Pig & Paw Patrol, as well as all the football / F1 / boxing I like to watch - and then later gaming. Films too, of course, but that'll be the exception rather than the norm (maybe once a week). The whole space will also be a social play area, music being very important.

You're completely right that if this became a classic dedicated cinema room, I'd sit there on my own in the dark.

That being said, we do watch films, and when watching things on Netflix / Apple TV I do want the best possible cinematic sound & experience. I've always been massively musical too, so I'm going to love re-listening to all my music on this system. I've picked the speakers I did because I think they manage to be unaffected by a less-than-ideal acoustical space.

The end goal, therefore, is to get as much of the benefits of a dedicated cinema room as possible (the epic audio, the cinematic visuals) without losing the inclusion and usefulness of the space. Ideas like increasing the sound proofing are perfect - they have no negative consequence on the space, but help dramatically with the audio side. I like your idea of the 'zones'. There are in ceiling speakers in the rest of the basement which it'll be possible to join up to this system for more casual listening.

I'm probably more concerned with the video than the audio. I've witnessed the audio working in the setup I plan on using, but I think screen size / material and projector choices are going to be more problematic - to get something which looks decent with some ambient light in particular. Right now I'm thinking of waiting until actually living there to decide on those 3 aspects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Update:

- The general contractor has been instructed to use noise isolation clips throughout the basement (which actually is their standard anyway) on top of high quality sound proof plasterboard and isolation in-between.

- I have confirmed that I will have a dedicated air conditioning loop for the projector enclosure, which will allow it to be isolated from the room and hopefully silence it. I'll use Edmund glass for this. I am looking into embedding this projector enclosure into the dropped ceiling for a seamless look. All associated fans will sit outside the basement area.

- I have been working on the design and style of the cinema area - and will be sharing more pictures of that soon (this has been really exciting).

- Still unsure on combination of screen / screen size / projector. Throw distance will be approx 5.5m. I'm pretty set on 162-180" 2.40 CIH setup with automatic masking.

- Awaiting quote for sound proof movable wall to partition off the entire basement area and completely isolate it (noise wise)

- Found suitable absorption fridge for bar area (100% silent)

- I've decided to seat the sofa further back, with single surround speakers in the home cinema area, with potential additional rear surrounds (turned in) further back by the bar, as a future enhancement. This broadens the overall size of the cinema room.

- I'm likely to have a 35cm deep false wall at the front, in which will sit the LCR speakers, stacked subwoofers & screen. This means dropping the LED lights surrounding the screen (but this had happened anyway due to the design process).

- I've moved the door from the cinema area to around the corner, to allow more options for speaker placement, reduce the sound floor (as all the air conditioners and amps / processor / other equipment are in that adjacent room) and to improve aesthetics. Incidentally, as part of this, also knocked down another part of wall to create an in-built set of shelves further back. Will use this area to surface any equipment I actually need to interact with, such as a blu-ray player.

- I've confirmed from people who have installed multiple Steinway cinema's that the lack of a back wall will be an advantage, if anything, from an acoustic perspective (reduced 'slap' from the back wall), and that audio will not be compromised by not having absorption on the side walls.

- I'm still planning on using 3 x IW-66 for the front LCR, with 2-6 LS Boundary Woofers (1-3 each side), and I will be using IW-26V for the surrounds.

- In general, the build is moving quickly so updates should start to come on this thread more frequently

 

Attachments

21 - 40 of 86 Posts
Top