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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to put together my final design before I get too far with my new theater, and one of the critical choices right now is the design of the screen wall.

Depth:
I will be running Titan 615LX's for the front stage, and plan to place 4 of the 18" subs up there as well. I need at least 16" depth for the subs, so I can do the narrow titan design since I already need that much depth. If I figure for 6 inches between speakers and screen, that means my bare minimum depth would be around 24" when accounting for framing. But is 24" enough? Should I leave room for some absorption behind the speakers?

Baffle wall:
That brings me to the next question, whether to do a full baffle wall or not. If I choose to do a full baffle wall, would it be best to frame it out floor to ceiling and just leave openings for the speakers and face it with a layer of drywall, and then fill the rest of the space behind it with fiberglass insulation? That doesn't really leave room for corner bass traps, and then the next question would be how to treat the front of the baffle wall. What other alternatives are there? I have been searching and reading stuff, but I don't see any definitive information on best practice today.

A couple pieces of information here: Room (framed) is 26' deep and 17'3" wide. Doing sub-spkr-sub-spkr-sub-spkr-sub, I am at around 13.5 feet of width right there, leaving only about 18-20" left on each side (after clips, channel, and drywall). I can't help thinking I would be better served by filling that space on either side with roxul or rigid fiberglass for bass traps, but then that still leaves the space above the speakers (9 foot ceiling) to deal with as well.

So I can do deeper, like 30" deep to give me more room if need be, but it starts cutting into the rest of the theater design, and I am not sure I want to compromise the rest of the layout, so I think I only want to go more than 24" if I have to.

Here is a rough drawing from sketchup showing the basic layout. This is to scale with 24" for the screen wall.


 

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If you do a full rigid baffle wall, you wouldnt need absorption behind the speakers on the front wall, as there shouldnt be any initial reflections behind them. You may still want corner absorption for reflections from other speakers in the room.

If depth is tight, a baffle wall is prob your best option.
 

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Do you have a tops down view/plan with measurements, so one can see the false wall depth proposed, the screen size and distance to the main row, and how far the back seats are off the wall, and speaker placement? I think all those will impact this decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If depth is tight, a baffle wall is prob your best option.
I wouldn't say depth is tight necessarily, but if I am better off with more room behind the screen wall, I might need to make adjustments to the seating situation.

What would be a standard depth behind a screen wall without a baffle wall?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Do you have a tops down view/plan with measurements, so one can see the false wall depth proposed, the screen size and distance to the main row, and how far the back seats are off the wall, and speaker placement? I think all those will impact this decision.
I don't yet. Every time I sit down to draw it up I get sidetracked or bored with it. Now that I am in the house, I just want to start building, not draw plans, lol. I can't help it, it's how I write my books too - no outline, no notes, just start typing. I DO intend to work up some drawings before I get too far though...

Here is why I should take the time to draw this out:
When I planned the room out with the builder, I arbitrarily gave the room 27' of depth. I measured it yesterday and found it is 26' deep - the framing was not accounted for in my floorplan to the builders. Oops.

So my room is 26' deep framed, and if you figure you lose around 5-6" total from clips, channel, and double drywall, then figure the back wall will have treatments that lose another ~6". let's say I will have 25' to work with. If I have a 2' screen wall, then 14' to the back of the front row of seats (putting ears at around 13' from the 155" 2.39:1 screen (diag), that leaves only 9' for the riser. The seats I was originally planning, the Palliser Media, are 65" reclined. If I leave 12" extra to allow for people to walk around fully reclined back row viewers, that puts the back of the second row only 2'7" from the back wall. That really isn't enough room for a bar...

I have options of course, but it all depends on this screen wall.

For example: I could squeeze another 2 inches depth away from the subs, and build the Titans to the same 14" depth, so if I pinned the speakers against the back wall (I can still toe in the mid and CD on the titan's), then my screen can be 20" from the wall, given 6" between CD and AT screen, which I understand is the minimum you want between them. That picks up 4". Now push the front row forward a foot and I have plenty of room for a bar in back.

But I don't know the best practice for the area behind the screen. Not sure if I need treatment behind the speakers, if I should do the baffle wall, etc.

Once I have that settled, I can decide if I want to move the front row, change up the back row seating, or just throw out the bar altogether. I like the idea of it, but then I also liked the idea of building a 4 player arcade cabinet when the fact is I have only actually had 4 players using it at once about 3 times in as many years, lol. And the simple fact is I have spent about $25k more than I anticipated while building the house, so my budget is a bit tighter, and I am not even sure I want to spend $12k on seats to begin with, especially when half of them will almost never get used at all, lol. I drove all the way to California to sit in every seat in the 4seating showroom before deciding the ones I like most are the Palliser Media, but that was when I wanted 3 seats, not 8...
 

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pretty good set of detailed plans for a baffle wall here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/1498937-beast-unleashed.html#post23932830

there are plenty of openings at the floor, ceiling and walls that the area behind the baffle wall becomes an effective bass absorber if you fill it with insulation.

One of four pages of the plans:


This diagram surprises me a little. I thought the general consensus was to cover the entire front wall with two layers of 1" linacoustic (with conflicting posts about whether to add a sheet a plastic in between them). The diagram calls for only 1" and only in limited areas. What everyone's recommendation on this issue?
 

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Nyal at Acoustic Frontiers, has his own methods and does not tend to subscribe to the general building principles propagated by the Erskine Group. Dennis Erskine was the moderator of this forum many years ago and a lot of what is passed around as construction advice originated from his shop. When it comes to acoustic design there are many opinions on nearly every subject. It is not a science with one correct answer. You also need to realize that acoustic treatments are a function of the room characteristics, speaker selection and placement. You can't simply take the recommendations from one project and shoehorn into an entirely different situation.

The two inches and plastic is the recommendation for the entire front wall without a baffle wall. When you add a baffle wall, recommendations get modified for the face of the baffle and the area behind.
 

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I don?t know a general recommendation for depth behind a false screen wall, but mine is 4 feet. From what I see on here, most people do less, like 2 feet. Less than 4 would cause me problems though, as my electronic equipment is in a rack behind the screen in addition to the speakers and subs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's a modified layout after considering scrapping the bar. I could still do it with minor adjustments, I am just unsure it is worth the effort at this point. In this drawing I have a little over 3 feet to the back wall, but I have to consider I will have upwards of 6" of acoustic treatments on that back wall...

I don't have the surrounds in here of course, this is just to give me an idea of scale. This drawing has 24" to the screen from the front wall, with about 21.5" drywall to screen wall frame. It allows for over 6" between the speakers and screen.

If I am going to completely dump the bar idea, I could do 30" quite easily, but I am not 100" sold on that idea yet.

Sounds like 24" with a baffle wall is doable, with approximately 16" from front wall to front of baffle wall.

The only downside is I didn't bring enough drywall down for a baffle wall, and my stairs have a 90 degree turn... gonna suck to haul some sheets down. Ugh.
 

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With a 153" 2 :40:1 screen you should only need to be 11' back from Screen Innovations calculator. Two more inch's shouldn't make that much difference. That would give you about a 1.5' more to work with. The room I am thinking of building is about won't wake size and am looking at this as well. My dimensions are 16'-9" x26'-2" x8'-10" I am planning.

Check here.
https://www.screeninnovations.com/tools/screen-size-calculator/
 

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Here's a modified layout after considering scrapping the bar. I could still do it with minor adjustments, I am just unsure it is worth the effort at this point. In this drawing I have a little over 3 feet to the back wall, but I have to consider I will have upwards of 6" of acoustic treatments on that back wall...

I don't have the surrounds in here of course, this is just to give me an idea of scale. This drawing has 24" to the screen from the front wall, with about 21.5" drywall to screen wall frame. It allows for over 6" between the speakers and screen.

If I am going to completely dump the bar idea, I could do 30" quite easily, but I am not 100" sold on that idea yet.

Sounds like 24" with a baffle wall is doable, with approximately 16" from front wall to front of baffle wall.

The only downside is I didn't bring enough drywall down for a baffle wall, and my stairs have a 90 degree turn... gonna suck to haul some sheets down. Ugh.
Bars in my opinion is NOT suited for placing inside a HT. Too much a compromise re acoustics, space, light, spilling drinks on the carpet etc. Just...don't. Keep the two functions in separate rooms.
 

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Bars in my opinion is NOT suited for placing inside a HT. Too much a compromise re acoustics, space, light, spilling drinks on the carpet etc. Just...don't. Keep the two functions in separate rooms.
The bar is for overflow for when you are having a party for a sporting event maybe or want a third row when you are height limited and want to get more people in the theater. I like the look, but it is not for everyone. I have done designs of both for what I want to build and keep coming back to having a bad counter and chairs in the theater.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The bar is for overflow for when you are having a party for a sporting event maybe or want a third row when you are height limited and want to get more people in the theater. I like the look, but it is not for everyone. I have done designs of both for what I want to build and keep coming back to having a bad counter and chairs in the theater.
This.

My typical usage is about 94% just me and my girlfriend. 3% of the time I will have another couple over, or one or more of my adult children will want to sit and watch a movie with me. Another 2% of the time I will have more than 4 watchers, which means a second row. And 1% of the time, maybe less, I will have more than 8 who want to be in the room at once. I get that most people would look at that and build for what they do most. I had a theater that was excellent for 2 people, and could accommodate a couple more. But over 2 people and all that was left was poor seats with bad sound and not a great view of the screen. And not having room for more meant gatherings of more than 5 were completely out. If two couples showed up on a night, we had to change our plans because watching in the theater was out. And while expanding to 2 rows of 4 means I can accommodate those two couples, it still locks me out of having larger gatherings once or twice a year. I built a house that could accommodate a large theater, and if I can build it to accommodate more than 8 without compromising on the two money seats significantly, I will. It's the whole reason I built the house.

What I need to do is get the projector, move the drywall out of the room, and set up seating at 14' and see if I like it. But that is unrealistic, if I did that I would end up wanting the projector to stay, lol. Once drywall is up, speaker positions will be set, and moving seating will no longer be a good option... So maybe picking up the projector is a good idea after all... Doesn't look like CES brought any new options to the table so the only problem buying right now is warranty...
 

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This.

My typical usage is about 94% just me and my girlfriend. 3% of the time I will have another couple over, or one or more of my adult children will want to sit and watch a movie with me. Another 2% of the time I will have more than 4 watchers, which means a second row. And 1% of the time, maybe less, I will have more than 8 who want to be in the room at once. I get that most people would look at that and build for what they do most. I had a theater that was excellent for 2 people, and could accommodate a couple more. But over 2 people and all that was left was poor seats with bad sound and not a great view of the screen. And not having room for more meant gatherings of more than 5 were completely out. If two couples showed up on a night, we had to change our plans because watching in the theater was out. And while expanding to 2 rows of 4 means I can accommodate those two couples, it still locks me out of having larger gatherings once or twice a year. I built a house that could accommodate a large theater, and if I can build it to accommodate more than 8 without compromising on the two money seats significantly, I will. It's the whole reason I built the house.

What I need to do is get the projector, move the drywall out of the room, and set up seating at 14' and see if I like it. But that is unrealistic, if I did that I would end up wanting the projector to stay, lol. Once drywall is up, speaker positions will be set, and moving seating will no longer be a good option... So maybe picking up the projector is a good idea after all... Doesn't look like CES brought any new options to the table so the only problem buying right now is warranty...

I have three basic variations on the theater I want to build and one of them is close to size of yours at 16'-8"x25'-5"x9'10" and I have attached what I am thinking for layout on it. I have column to work around, but I think this could work. Right now it is framed to 14' wide so I would just have to move a stud wall I framed under one of the beams running the length off my house. My wife would like it to be open at the back so people in the bar could see the scene, but I think this would be better for soundproofing.

As for our current usage it is just me and my wife and sometimes my 8 year old son. I have had people in the room when we have a super bowl party, but I bet if it was finished I would have more.
 

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Sounds like two rows and a bar is ideal for your situation and you can make it work, knowing that the compromises are worth it for the goal.

Given your scenario, I might make the second row at the "perfect distance" knowing that the front row would feel like an imax theater -- and that the bar would have lots of room...

This.

My typical usage is about 94% just me and my girlfriend. 3% of the time I will have another couple over, or one or more of my adult children will want to sit and watch a movie with me. Another 2% of the time I will have more than 4 watchers, which means a second row. And 1% of the time, maybe less, I will have more than 8 who want to be in the room at once. I get that most people would look at that and build for what they do most. I had a theater that was excellent for 2 people, and could accommodate a couple more. But over 2 people and all that was left was poor seats with bad sound and not a great view of the screen. And not having room for more meant gatherings of more than 5 were completely out. If two couples showed up on a night, we had to change our plans because watching in the theater was out. And while expanding to 2 rows of 4 means I can accommodate those two couples, it still locks me out of having larger gatherings once or twice a year. I built a house that could accommodate a large theater, and if I can build it to accommodate more than 8 without compromising on the two money seats significantly, I will. It's the whole reason I built the house.

What I need to do is get the projector, move the drywall out of the room, and set up seating at 14' and see if I like it. But that is unrealistic, if I did that I would end up wanting the projector to stay, lol. Once drywall is up, speaker positions will be set, and moving seating will no longer be a good option... So maybe picking up the projector is a good idea after all... Doesn't look like CES brought any new options to the table so the only problem buying right now is warranty...
 

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I am trying to put together my final design before I get too far with my new theater, and one of the critical choices right now is the design of the screen wall.

Depth:
I will be running Titan 615LX's for the front stage, and plan to place 4 of the 18" subs up there as well. I need at least 16" depth for the subs, so I can do the narrow titan design since I already need that much depth. If I figure for 6 inches between speakers and screen, that means my bare minimum depth would be around 24" when accounting for framing. But is 24" enough? Should I leave room for some absorption behind the speakers?

Baffle wall:
That brings me to the next question, whether to do a full baffle wall or not. If I choose to do a full baffle wall, would it be best to frame it out floor to ceiling and just leave openings for the speakers and face it with a layer of drywall, and then fill the rest of the space behind it with fiberglass insulation? That doesn't really leave room for corner bass traps, and then the next question would be how to treat the front of the baffle wall. What other alternatives are there? I have been searching and reading stuff, but I don't see any definitive information on best practice today.

A couple pieces of information here: Room (framed) is 26' deep and 17'3" wide. Doing sub-spkr-sub-spkr-sub-spkr-sub, I am at around 13.5 feet of width right there, leaving only about 18-20" left on each side (after clips, channel, and drywall). I can't help thinking I would be better served by filling that space on either side with roxul or rigid fiberglass for bass traps, but then that still leaves the space above the speakers (9 foot ceiling) to deal with as well.

So I can do deeper, like 30" deep to give me more room if need be, but it starts cutting into the rest of the theater design, and I am not sure I want to compromise the rest of the layout, so I think I only want to go more than 24" if I have to.

Here is a rough drawing from sketchup showing the basic layout. This is to scale with 24" for the screen wall.


How did this all go? I have a house being built with a 26'x17x9' (unfinished) that is pretty similar!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It went very well. I wouldn't change anything about the front wall design. I went with a baffle wall design and filled the area above and to the sides with pink fluffy to work as a bass trap. I then used 1" OC703 across the highs section of the speakers to help with my highs reflecting off the screen and muddying up the sound. In back I have large 3'x3' sections in each corner for bass traps and the center section has a lot of diffusion (eventually I will add more).
 

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I’m a noob, but I’d do spkr-sub-sub-spkr-sub-sub-spkr since you’re not giving yourself a lot of room to toe-in the L&R to make the soundstage a little more enveloping. Try to get those L&R out to 60* (I think I’ve read) otherwise it’s all coming from the middle of the screen. Not sure if you’re worried about the screen moving at all with 4 subs blading on it, but maybe worth considering, maybe not.
 
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