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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, perfect for one person isn't perfect to the next:)


I've scanned about 500 threads trying to brainstorm what I should do, I've really come to information overload and would like some direction. I have a contractor coming tonight simply for some preliminary conversation.


Let me lay out my scenario, ask a few questions, and you tell me what you'd do. I have a 25' x 32' garage that I could convert now, ceiling is 11'. I also have an area that will add-on to my house off this garage that will be 18' x 25' with any ceiling height I want.(Hoping to make this a phase 2, 1 year later) I'll try to get a nice theater size, your direction here, and a small play room and game room out of this space conversion/add-on. I'd like the theater to be about 4 seats wide, 2 rows deep. I'd love to do something around the 140" 2.35 screen with masking for 16 x 9. I don't care if the screen has the speakers behind or to the side, I have room to go in any direction I want with the space.


1.) What size room would you build and why that size?

2.) If you simply didn't care if the speakers were behind the screen on AT, or to the side, which would you go with?

3.) Important for my talks tonight, what type walls would you build for sound deadening in a neighborhood where the homes are very close.(35' maybe)

4.) There are THX type drywalls out there, there are high end mass loaded vinyl, there are wall designs, etc. Which should I talk to the contractor about in a ranking order?

5.) If the wall is done RIGHT, the airtight box is created, does a cosmetic package like those from 4seating.com work fine in an airtight box? Is it simply piece together cosmetics that are fine for looks, so long as your walls behind were fixed for the sound/acoustics?

6.) Any other suggestions or things to think about would be great. This place is great, but can be information overload as you read every thread trying to pull out the pieces you need. Thanks for any help.


Mike
 

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#1 divide the space in 2 would be fine 25 X 16 for theater finished space after #3


#2 for a 14" screen make it a AT screen ... more realistic that all the sound comes from there ( I had to compromise
)


#3 room within a room is the most effective way to soundproof ... be careful on ventilation though as that can be the achilles heal ( how are you going to heat/cool that space ? )


#4 see #3 + DD/GG on all walls and ceiling


#5 yes ... although there are some excellent DIY here


#6 A 140" screen is pretty big to light up so have you looked at screen material or projectors yet ?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedj /forum/post/15415824


....


1.) What size room would you build and why that size?

2.) If you simply didn't care if the speakers were behind the screen on AT, or to the side, which would you go with?

3.) Important for my talks tonight, what type walls would you build for sound deadening in a neighborhood where the homes are very close.(35' maybe)

4.) There are THX type drywalls out there, there are high end mass loaded vinyl, there are wall designs, etc. Which should I talk to the contractor about in a ranking order?

5.) If the wall is done RIGHT, the airtight box is created, does a cosmetic package like those from 4seating.com work fine in an airtight box? Is it simply piece together cosmetics that are fine for looks, so long as your walls behind were fixed for the sound/acoustics?

6.) Any other suggestions or things to think about would be great. This place is great, but can be information overload as you read every thread trying to pull out the pieces you need. Thanks for any help.


Mike

1) Depends on how you want to use the space. For a dedicated theater, start with asking yourself how many seats you want. If you want, say two rows of four, that gives you a different theater than three rows of five. Related to that, what kind of seats do you want, the full sized recliners or the traditional theater seat? Once you know how many rows, and main style, then you can start with dimensions.


2) AT, speakers behind. Sound coming from the screen is the best choice, IMHO.


3) Room within a room, with as much air space between the walls as you can afford.


4) Double drywall with Green Glue in between, using two sheets of 5/8 drywall.


5) Not sure I follow exactly. Acoustics and the wall construction, while related, aren't the same thing. If you build your walls with room in a room, that can give you great isolation, then you need to address the acoustics inside the isolated room.


6) Proper planning is critical. Working with a designer is only a plus, and working with someone who can render your room design in 3D before you start to build is as well. Otherwise, here (this forum) is first, the build threads are great. The sticky thread about things to do differently next time is worth a full read through as well.
 

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1.) Using a Banello chart helps in this realm. There is no perfect room size, but it has to do with the proximity of modal waves and how they help each other given a particular size.


2.)Using AT screens will attenuate the sound ALWAYS. But, to remain acoustically transparent which is usually defined as no more than 3 db down, you need to strategically place the screen based on the perforation ratio and perforation size.


3.)The primary goal of sound isolation is not to keep sound in. Ask your contractor if he knows this.


4.)Depends on just how much you want to spend on sound isolation.


5.)If you have an airtight box, you will literally suffocate. You need to make sure you have proper ventialtion or the equipment will roast you out. The next trick is treating the HVAC so it does not contribute to resonance in the room.



Warren, your number 5 reasoning is not accurate. Wall construction has a very large element in acoustics. Standard walls play a significant role in overall sound qaulity. You'd be surprised just how important an element a simple gypsum wall is.


6.)Unless your contractor places getting the room right above all else drop him quick...you're heading into disaster.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo /forum/post/15417206


... Warren, your number 5 reasoning is not accurate. Wall construction has a very large element in acoustics. Standard walls play a significant role in overall sound qaulity. You'd be surprised just how important an element a simple gypsum wall is. ...
I didn't reason anything, only commented that wall construction and acoustics, while related, aren't the same thing.
 

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Originally Posted by SierraMikeBravo /forum/post/15417426


Didn't mean to call you out
, but walls, what they are made of and how they are contructed, is actually VERY important. No harm no foul.

Of course they're important... I think we're talking about two different things. Oh well, as they say... onwards and upwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The meeting with the contractor went as expected, it was simply to introduce him to my house and come up with a plan/layout/3D Rendering that we can sign off on sometime in Spring. I really want to take my time on this and get it correct. He's done some great residential, only 2 theaters, and does killer commercial construction for my family business. I really like his pace and focus on making sure he understands what you want.


I'll try to bold a few comment and reply.


Scruffy - A 140" screen is pretty big to light up so have you looked at screen material or projectors yet ?


Reply - Of course it's give or take 10" either way. I'd like to be in this thing late next year as a target. I'd probably buy the best projector on the market for this size at that time in the $5k to 7K range. We're talking year end 2009, so that is another year of model turn from all the projector brands. I'm sure that 2 years after that, a projector will be out that can handle the screen if it were in the 150" range. I'd purchase again, then pass first projector off to my father at 100% recoup to pay for the model at that time:)


WarrenP - Depends on how you want to use the space. For a dedicated theater, start with asking yourself how many seats you want.


Reply - 2 rows of 4, theater style. I like the center look, not the offset against one wall. I know it wouldn't look good from the floor, but I wouldn't mind throwing something in the floor for small kids in front of the first theater row. Small kids would not care about the light dropoff laying down there, but I'd want the option to throw that down there for sub-5 year olds.(They'd hate theater seating)


SierraMikeBravo - In reference to my question on THX Drywall/Mass Load Vinyls - Depends on just how much you want to spend on sound isolation.


Reply - Reading the story on THX drywall, I'm like wow and ouch. Expensive, but if it does what the specs say, wouldn't it's expense be the same as this room-in-a-room everyone is answering with, especially if you put a value on lost space on a r.i.a.r? I guess it would be nice if a contractor here could say, "You can build 4 walls twice on a room in a room setup at 25x16 for roughly $10K." "If you went the THX Double Drywall setup, it's about 25% higher and a great solution." "If you go Mass Load Vinyl, it's results are in between the 2 options before, but only $7,500 when paired with a single wall."


Also, the contractor will simply leave it up to me to tell him what I want to get the room right. It will be his main focus, but I'll be picking the construction answer from these boards. And as a simple office type with no construction experience, I turn here to point him in the right direction that I'll be happy with:) And I'm VERY rural, 1 hour to a grocery store. The words 'dedicated home theater' will get a "huh" from about 99% here.


___________________________________________________________


Below is a link to one of the panel packages I'm looking at.

http://www.4seating.com/images/CPE-3980a.jpg


This in the internal look we want, and mos def the PRICE we want. But is this stuff junk? When reading the panel specs on this website, they mention nothing from the acoustics standpoint. Will using a cheap package like this, to get the awesome inside look I want, in any way hurt my sound?(Specifically if I end up spending the money to get the structure wall behind this decor correct)


I appreciate you guys for helping out, I really did spend some time reading hundreds of other threads and many thousands of replies. Besides information overload, it simply isn't easy to form an opinion from all of it as a newbie. Thanks for trying to help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedj /forum/post/15420227



Reading the story on THX drywall, I'm like wow and ouch. Expensive, but if it does what the specs say, wouldn't it's expense be the same as this room-in-a-room everyone is answering with, especially if you put a value on lost space on a r.i.a.r?

You can spend quite a bit on that thx drywall and still not get the performance of a room within a rooom with DD/GG ... there are threads here that have done the cost comparison between the 2 and depending on who installs it the latter solution is cheaper and better performing ... especially in the sub frequency range


As to that panel package you posted it does not have any acoustic treatment ... if your contractor is as good as you say he can make it look pretty if you show him what you want ... but if acoustics of the room are important to you then why not hire Dennis, Terry, Ethan, bpape, etc to plan out the room for you and then they can instruct the contractor on the construction and acoustics


Some of these guys will even do the room up in 3D drawings so that you have a very good idea what you want and the contracator cant misinterpret anything
 

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Quote:
1.) What size room would you build and why that size?

What's your budget? That's a big consideration. You don't want to find yourself with a room requiring 800 wpc and a budget for 200 wpc. Define your tolerance for cost and how many people you want to seat in the room. There's your size (for the room). Think of additional requirements OUTSIDE the room ... bar, lobby, whatever. Focus your size efforts based on function ... number of seats ... desired screen size ... adequate aisle space. Don't be making size decisions based upon "magic" room ratios. They're not that magical and they don't eliminate modal problems in any case.
Quote:
2.) If you simply didn't care if the speakers were behind the screen on AT, or to the side, which would you go with?

No one would have a clue until the room is designed (other than that the center channel will be in the center behind the screen). Until seating distances, screen sizes, view angles, etc. are known (at least roughly), any answer to that question is nothing more than a big guess based upon nothing in reality.
Quote:
3.) Important for my talks tonight, what type walls would you build for sound deadening in a neighborhood where the homes are very close.(35' maybe)

More important for your talks tonight would be to first consult with someone who can (a) determine what TL is required and then (b) describe the appropriate construction technique to meet this requirement. The vast majority of contractors have little experience in this area. Double wall is very good; but, other forms of mass + mechanical isolation + absorption may meet the requirement at less $$$.
Quote:
4.) There are THX type drywalls out there, there are high end mass loaded vinyl, there are wall designs, etc. Which should I talk to the contractor about in a ranking order?

Would your contractor even know? If they are making decisions based upon STC values, that's the wrong metric to be using. The QR45 is a very good product. Bloody expense to buy and install. Most mass loaded vinyl products are improperly installed and increase the amount of LF passing through a barrier. Look at the cost of MLV per square foot against the cost per square foot of 5/8" drywall. The drywall has more mass at less cost. MLV has some very specified (and rare) cases where it can be justified. Understand, as well, the PRIMARY reason for sound isolation is to keep the interior of the room very quiet (between 20 and 22 NC) so the noise level in the room (from outside the room sources and inside the room sources) is below the lowest sound on a sound track (22dB).
Quote:
5.) If the wall is done RIGHT, the airtight box is created, does a cosmetic package like those from 4seating.com work fine in an airtight box? Is it simply piece together cosmetics that are fine for looks, so long as your walls behind were fixed for the sound/acoustics?

Wall construction (or shell construction) addresses sound isolation. Products typically installed on the walls in the room are for in room acoustics. I'm not familiar with the cited company; but, I can tell you that one size does not fit all. You're not going to get excellent results from a "room in box" delivered by UPS.
Quote:
6.) Any other suggestions or things to think about would be great. This place is great, but can be information overload as you read every thread trying to pull out the pieces you need. Thanks for any help.

Sure. Don't go to a plumber for an appendictomy. Get the appropriate expert advise on the front end, then involve the other trades (electronics suppliers, installers, contractors, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Scruffy, they call them acoustical panels on their website, but list no specs. I figured as much, but thanks for clearing it up.


Dennis, that was a very helpful reply. I'll try to get some facts in order and make a reply. If I wanted to contact you about the services you offer, is PM fine, or do you prefer contact through your website?
 
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