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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently purchased a house with a large area in the basement that serves as both a home theater and a family room. The house was built in 1973 and the space is quite dated, featuring wood paneled walls and a drop ceiling with florescent fixtures. I've seen good ideas presented on this site and thought I would throw a few ideas out there in case anyone has suggestions before we get started. Here are photos of how it looks now:














I am quite happy with the electronics (65" Mitsubishi DLP, classic Teledyne AR-9 front speakers, Definitive Technology side and rear surround speakers, B&K Reference 30 Pre-Pro, Adcom GFA-585 front and GFA-2535 surround amps) so the budget will primarily be for room treatment (acoustics, lighting, furniture, etc.). I'm envisioning a more attractive acoustic tile throughout the room with the area above the theater slightly raised with recessed lights on a dimmer (could also frame the area with track lighting, LED rope lighting, etc.). The wall behind the screen should be dark (a heavy pleated curtain would be effective acoustically as well) and the equipment should be in a proper rack. It would be neat to have motorized light-blocking curtains across the wall of windows (there is room on either side to accommodate them without obscuring any of the glass when open).


Dipole side surrounds (firing front/rear) and traditional rear surrounds will have to be installed in the ceiling (the rears could go in the back wall, but that is not an option for the sides), perhaps angled where the ceiling height changes as mentioned above.




I used Room EQ Wizard to produce the following measurements.






























Bass blockers and diffusers may do the trick, but since the wood paneled walls are also in need of attention, perhaps there are options other than surface treatments worth considering. If too expensive, perhaps the walls can simply be painted and corners treated with OC703 (or similar) panels covered with attractive fabric. The sectional in the photos has been removed (it was not present during measurements above) and will likely be replaced with an upholstered sofa and loveseat for the area in front of the fireplace and a matching third recliner for the theater (they swivel and can be turned that direction when in "family room mode"), though I'm admittedly troubled by reflections from the leather headrests.


Since it's free, I submitted a drawing to Auralex and received the following Personalized Room Analysis:






I hope that's enough food for thought. Input would be most appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Perhaps the Acoustical Treatments Master Thread provides all of the guidance I should expect to get without hiring a professional acoustician. It seems that even heavy drapes provide insufficient absorption at lower frequencies so I will instead build panels for the front wall, too. I just picked up 48 sheets of 2'x4'x2" Roxul SAFE®:




It remains unclear to me if I want absorption or diffusion behind the listening position, which is ~17' from the front wall and ~12' from the back wall. The front speakers are placed according to AR's guidance:












I have all three level controls flat on both speakers.

Other relevant info from the manual:













 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So far I've built three corner traps and one panel, and while they (and the two new sofas!) have made a difference (I'll fire up REW once the new curtains are hung and the new ceiling tiles installed), surely they have little effect on lower mode frequencies (well under 100Hz) represented in the charts above.









I'd like to tackle the front wall next but am confused by what I've read about LEDE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/2176723


In multi-channel, the entire wall behind the front speakers is treated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape /forum/post/13745367


The front wall should be 100% dead.


This makes sense:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer /forum/post/10740248


I think we can all agree that most of what comes out the back of a loudspeaker is below the midrange - let's say from about 300 Hz and lower. And for that you need more than the typical 1 to 2 inch thick absorbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer /forum/post/10761077


more is almost always better.


I have just enough Roxul left to cover my 16' x 7'8" front wall at a depth of 4", but:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/2177054


I would not use the 2" material...it will very likely be too absorptive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape /forum/post/0


"The full wall in 2" would likely be too much down further into the upper bass/lower mids.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape /forum/post/10247838


If we could get by with just 4" on the front wall and that was all that was needed, you'd be correct - assuming that you're not making the SBIR issues worse. You may in fact not WANT to deal with the really lower frequencies as they're already relatively flat in which case we'd go thinner. Also, the corners provide better efficiency over a number of different axial, tangential, and oblique modes where the front wall is going to deal with less of those and less efficiently.


Why is too much material a concern when striving for 100% absorption?




For the back wall, I'm considering an array of small broadband panels or a central panel flanked by diffusers. I was intrigued by the following post in support of Mio Acoustic Weave panels (acoustical analysis posted here ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven /forum/post/0


I'm also playing around with some of this 3D wallpaper. This stuff actually diffuses noticeably, and not in a bad way at all. I just pinned it up where the OmniFusers will go whenever I get them done, just for grins.







 

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Very nice TV - we have the Mits 60in model - a lot of people think RP TVs can't compete but we - and you! - know differently.


I just had to throw down that your focus on satisfying your ears and all that technical attention to sound is great but you call the project "HT" so I just wanted to suggest that even the 83in Mits RPTV just can't deliver a Theater in the Home viewing exerience - you might want to consider keeping upgrade options for "theater" in your planning so you can add a projector and screen.


If I had to choose - I'd make that a priority and keep the old stype drop ceiling and paneled walls - we will upgrade our old paneled walls and drop ceiling with the fluorescent fixtures (looks a lot like yours) and be glad of the investment in the visual experience upgrade we made - when the lights go down and it's "movie time" screen real estate and what you do for your eyeballs is maybe even a bit more important than what your ears experience.

Best of Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I may consider a projector down the road, but for now I'm quite happy with the WD65C9. I just replaced those fluorescent fixtures with recessed lighting and am preparing to order new ceiling tiles ( 1728ABL for the theater area and Sahara 271 for the rest of the room). Now I'm off to JCPenny to order heavy curtains for the wall of windows (176" x 82"). But what about the front and rear walls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Framed and filled with 2" Roxul AFB. Lots of pink stuff will go in that corner above the ceiling tiles.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wall covered with 2'x4'x1" sheets of acoustic foam.





 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·




Last weekend we painted all of the fake wood paneling in the room (except beneath and to the right of the acoustic wall) and this weekend we ripped out the old ceiling tiles, primed and painted the ceiling grid and installed new black ceiling tile in the theater area with 6" of Roxul AFB above the front row.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThiessen /forum/post/19882909


So how is the sound - inside and out?

It sounds good (no need to soundproof), but I still need to install the rest of the ceiling tiles (more Roxul AFB will go above the back row) and the surround speakers (sides in ceiling and backs in rear wall) before rerunning REW to determine a strategy for treatment behind the listening position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThiessen /forum/post/19882909


BTW, I think 900 of IMJAY's posts have said the same thing "its not considered a HT if it doesn't have a pj..."...

Well, he has a point... that wall just begs for an AT screen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ceiling tile is in (except for ducts) with 2'x4'x6" Roxul AFB above front and rear walls. Those Eclipse blackout curtains are really effective!










Red trace is before, blue trace is after. Measurements taken with blackout curtains closed, rear wall untreated.











 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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WOW!!


Nice to see that you got a chance to go with a projector set up. It seemed like it happened over night for me as well when I upgraded to a projector. Knowing what a difference it is, I will never go back to big TV's



The room is looking very good. I'm sure you are spending every minute you can down there.


Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmsam
An HDMI wall plate , Composite and S-Video to HDMI Converter and HDMI switch (to send all signals across the single HDMI cable I ran through the ceiling) are on the way from Monoprice to finish off this build. Woo-hoo!
Just so you know you are never done
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update

The PVC screen that came with the aforementioned package defeated much of the front wall acoustic treatment, at least in the mid and high frequency ranges. This morning I removed the PVC material from the frame and replaced it with acoustically transparent white over black Milliskin Spandex ordered on Amazon for $50 delivered and am very pleased with the improvement.

3 of Lycra Matte Milliskin Nylon Spandex Fabric 4 Way Stretch 58" wide Sold By The Yard Many Colors (White)
3 of Lycra Matte Milliskin Nylon Spandex Fabric 4 Way Stretch 58" wide Sold By The Yard Many Colors (Black)

Spandex screen:


RT60 comparison:
 
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