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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


ROOM DIMENSIONS & MEASUREMENTS
  • BEFORE WALLS: 16’8” deep x 12’2” wide x 8’9” high
  • FINISHED ROOM AFTER SOUND PROOFING: TBD
  • Main Listening Position: 11’ 10’ from screen to seat back
  • Projector: 12’11" from Lens to Screen
  • Screen: 100" Wide 16:9

SOUND PROOFING
  • 5/8” OSB, Green glue, 5/8” Firecode X drywall
  • IB-1 clips, 20 Gauge channel
  • Zero Adjustable Jambs (Part 770 AA) and Zero Automatic Door Bottom (Part 365 AA)

SPEAKERS
  • CENTER: Triad Silver
  • FRONT LEFT/RIGHT: Triad Silver, custom size
  • SURROUND LEFT/RIGHT: Triad Inwall Surround Bronze
  • REAR LEFT/RIGHT: Triad Inceiling Bronze/8 LCR
  • MAIN SUB: Triad Cinema Plus sub
  • BALANCING SUB: Triad Bronze Inwall/6 Sub

EQUIPMENT
  • PROJECTOR: JVC DLA-RS57
  • SCREEN: Falcon Vision Horizon
  • RECEIVER: Denon AVR-4520ci
  • MAIN SUB AMP: Rackamp 600 DSP
  • BALANCING SUB AMP: Rackamp 350 DSP
  • BLU-RAY PLAYER: Oppo 103D
  • MEDIA STREAMING: Apple TV
  • POWER CONDITIONER: TBD
  • REMOTE CONTROL: TBD
  • LIGHTING CONTROL: TBD

SEATING
  • Jaymar Jesse Sectional, 2 seats with power recline

CARPET
  • Masland Collaboration in Indigo

PAINT
  • TRIM: Benjamin Moore Abyss
  • CEILING: Benjamin Moore Bold Blue
  • STAGE: Red oak dyed with Transtint black dye

STAR CEILING
  • Blacklight star ceiling hand painted by Night Sky Murals

FABRIC
  • ACOUSTIC PANELS: Guilford of Maine, Anchorage in Wolf
  • REAR ACOUSTIC PANEL: Custom picture from Spoonflower.com
  • SPEAKERS: Guilford of Maine, Sensa in Black
  • COLUMNS: Guilford of Maine, Sensa in Black
  • BELOW SCREEN: Guilford of Maine, Anchorage in Onyx

SOUND ABSORPTION / DIFFUSION
  • WALLS: OC703 and OC705 with DIY diffusion
  • FRONT WALL: 2 layers of 1” Linacoustic with plastic membrane in between

LIGHTING
  • 10 Halo 4” housings (H99ICAT) with Cree CR4 recessed lights painted to match trim
  • LED strips: 5050 LEDs, 60 LEDs per meter from SIRS-E
  • SCREEN WASH LIGHTS: 5 High Intensity LED spotlights from Oznium.com
  • BLACK LIGHTS: 4 x 48” Blacklight Fixtures from SpencersOnline.com



First post:
Finally, finally, finally... I'm starting my very own dedicated theater thread. I say finally because I'm waaaay overdue. I've been lurking for a few years and have spent more than a few nights and weekend days reading threads from start to finish (or nearly finished in most cases).

This will be a DIY and DIFM build. I suggested DIY. My wife laughed. Her friends laughed. They all said, "Be realistic." They weren't laughing at my capabilities. I can find my way around. But, a DIY theater would take me 5 years or more.

I plan to use this thread to document the build and ask a lot of questions. Absolutely, no reason to reinvent the wheel.

So, what's my deal?
My home is about 6 years old. We have a finished dedicated theater in the basement. The dimensions are 16'8" x 12' 2" -- relatively small. The builder built and had the theater wired before we bought the house. If I had never found this site, I would have had the builder's A/V guy complete the theater as soon as we moved in. But, thanks to many of you, I knew enough to realize that I wouldn't be satisfied.

The extent of the soundproffing is R-13 insulation in the most of the walls. That's not nearly enough since our nanny's bedroom shares a wall with the theater. Can you imagine, I get the kids to bed, then head to the basement to grab a beer, put a blueray in the player and sit in the money seat. Two seconds after the first car crash, there would be a knock on the theater room door. "Could you turn that down?!!?"

So six years in, the theater has never been used. Well it hasn't been used to watch movies. Let's say that it has become nothing more than a random storage area.



Criminal, I know. I've seen how much time and money have been spent by people in this forum to create a theater space.

This is the layout of our basement.




The vision
We want a dedicated family theater with a hidden door entrance. The kids are pretty excited about the hidden door. After much deliberation and conversations with my wife, we decided against theater seats. We're going with a contemporary but comfortable sectional where the family can lounge. No riser.

Here are a couple theaters that peaked our interest.


Contemporary Media Room by London Architects & Designers Hill Mitchell Berry Architects



Contemporary Media Room by Birmingham Interior Designers & Decorators Jeffrey King Interiors


Yes - planning to put the screen on the long wall. I haven't seen much of that on AVS. We'll install a stage. There are way too many beautiful stages on AVS to not build one.

We're planning on DD/GG with hat channel, probably on all walls and ceiling. Given the small space I have to work with, no staggered walls. I'd like to build dead vents for positive and negative air flow - may not need both.

I'm starting with a clean slate on equipment. Very dangerous, I know. I'm leaning towards a 7.1 or 7.2 system. The equipment rack will be outside the theater likely installing it under the stairs which is adjacent to the theater. The projector will be 3D capable. I want the screen to be at least 110". Given the space, the screen will not be AT - don't want to waste the space to put speakers behind the screen.

Thinking about 4 lighting zones - 1) Sconces, 2) small cans in the soffits along the side and back walls, 3) small cans to light the screen, 4) Hidden LEDs / rope to light the tray ceiling.

This first post is long enough... I'll post a few questions below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ISSUE #1: Theater orientation and door location.




We really struggled with the typical theater orientation. Recall that the theater is 16'8" x 12'2".


The theater room is the front center room in the picture above. The theater is currently wired to have the screen on the short wall adjacent to the bedroom. This has a couple major issues. We would not be able to build a stage or have floor standing speakers because of the door location. And, I could not have in-wall LCR speakers adjacent to the nanny's bedroom.


We considered flipping the room around to put the screen on the opposite short wall adjacent to the large family room. That would solve the screen wall problems, but entry and exit could be a bit tricky depending on the size of the sectional which would be near the door. Workable, but not great


Current thinking: Put the screen on the long wall with the foundation behind it. In the picture below, the screen would be on the left wall.




Concerns: This would limit my projector choices and screen size due to seating distance. The projector throw would have to be 11 feet or less. But, there are a few short throw projectors that could work. With an 11 foot distance between the seats and the screen, I think I could do a 110" to 120" screen.


Benefits: Lots of room for the stage and floor standing speakers. The sub and LCR would not be on a wall adjacent to any living space.


We're also planning to relocate the door to the theater. We would move it to the short wall adjacent to the family room - the wall at the bottom of the picture above. This would allow us to move between the family room and the theater pretty easily. We would have a wet bar with small fridge and dishwasher in the family room just outside that relocated theater door.


What major issues does this create? Thoughts? Advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After a few conversations with theater pros. I've ditched the idea of putting the screen on one of the long walls. That option would have created a few major issues:

1) Reduce the ideal screen size based on THX guidelines

2) Limit projector options since the max throw would have been 10-11 feet

3) Complicate surround speaker placement - with seating against the back wall to maximize viewing distance, could not realistically have side and back surround speakers


With the screen on the short wall, I have 16' 8" to play with. Allows me to consider an AT screen, but would need very shallow LCR speakers.


I've also decided to go the DIFM route on the theater design. The Erskine layout service option was too hard to pass up. My theater layout is #3 in the queue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I decided to burn the bridge last weekend - no turning back


Here's what my theater room looked like around 7pm on Saturday after I removed all of the valuable family possessions (in other words, random stuff we haven't used for years) stored in the theater.










Let the demo begin. I started by removing trim from the opening that the builder created for the equipment rack. I also removed trim around the theater entrance.






Then the real work started. Tearing out drywall was pretty fun. I even had the kids (5 and 7) come downstairs to take a few swings at the wall. They really got into it.


The room got pretty warm with the door closed to prevent drywall dust from drifting into the basement. I'll have to increase airflow into and out of the room.



About 3 1/2 hours later...







At this point, I had a decision to make. Go upstairs, grab a beer and call it a night. Or, I could carry that pile of drywall upstairs to the garage - ouch my back
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I sucked it up. How bad could it be carrying a few contractor bags up one flight of stairs and over to the garage?


Two hours and 20 contractor bags of drywall later, my back was killing me, but the room looked like this:



Wall adjacent to the bedroom. You can see three white wires hanging. These were installed by the builder for the LCR speakers. You can see some big gaps in insulation in the soffit.




Wall adjacent to the foundation and wall adjacent to rec room




Wall adjacent to the rec room. You can see two white wires hanging. These were for the rear surround speakers




Wall adjacent to the stairs and wall adjacent to rec room. The right side surround wire is hanging just right of the opening for the rack.




Wall adjacent to the stairs and wall adjacent to bedroom




A bit painful, but I was happy with how much got done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few issues that I will have to figure out...



Two fire sprinklers pipes will need to be extended to accommodate the resilient channel and double dry wall. Here's a picture of one:




There are five, yes five, HVAC ducts running above the theater. One feeds the theater. Four feed rooms on the main floor upstairs. One joist cavity with a duct is poorly insulated:




Insulation between the rest of the joists wasn't bad. I could stuff a bit more beside some of the HVAC ducts




Below is a picture of the area that the builder wired for the projector. Not a bad starting point.




Next task: figure out how many clips and how much resilient channel I need.
 

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Ahhhh, a fresh start! Such a glorious thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Quote:Originally Posted by Mr. Electric Wiz 

So are you going to put the projector on the opposite wall from the adjacent to the bedroom?


No great solution, honestly. Yes, I'm leaning towards putting the projector near the wall adjacent to the family room. The screen would be near the wall adjacent to the bedroom.

If I do that, the door has to be moved to make space for the stage. Also, I don't want to enter the room at the front. The only other place where I can put the door is the wall adjacent to the rec room.

The room could look something like this:




One major downside is that the LCR and maybe the sub would be very close to the bedroom. The big positive is that we could easily move between the theater and family room where I'll have a refrigerator, popcorn maker, etc.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is a nice looking room. But, I was talked out of putting my screen on the long wall. That would have limited my projector choices a bit too much.

I'm still planning to have a hidden door to the theater similar to dlbeck's Savoy theater:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...nstruction/1498786-savoy-17.html#post24487719
 

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Our showroom is roughly that size room - 12'x17' before sound isolation.



If you use Procella Audio speakers then you only lose 8" to a baffle / false wall.

Your main issue is going to be fitting the seats in, not sure how many people you want to fit, but that would be the first thing I would look at. Fortress do sectional style couches that incorporate recliners. Take a look at this post - home theater seating layout.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! Pay close attention to acoustic design. In small sound isolated rooms standing waves are a real issue. You can't just do the standard AVS 1" Linacoustic or 2" Quest panels and think it will work out great. Speaking from experience, if you want it to sound very good, you'll need to build in some proper bass traps (which is hard in small rooms, because most bass traps take up a lot of space and aren't that effective - we used four RPG Modex Plates), use multiple subwoofers and equalization to get the bass right. We specialize in acoustical consulting work (check out the Savoy which we did the acoustics for), and getting our showroom to sound good was challenging, 'nuff said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Our showroom is roughly that size room - 12'x17' before sound isolation.

If you use Procella Audio speakers then you only lose 8" to a baffle / false wall.

Your main issue is going to be fitting the seats in, not sure how many people you want to fit, but that would be the first thing I would look at. Fortress do sectional style couches that incorporate recliners. Take a look at this post - home theater seating layout.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! Pay close attention to acoustic design. In small sound isolated rooms standing waves are a real issue. You can't just do the standard AVS 1" Linacoustic or 2" Quest panels and think it will work out great. Speaking from experience, if you want it to sound very good, you'll need to build in some proper bass traps (which is hard in small rooms, because most bass traps take up a lot of space and aren't that effective - we used four RPG Modex Plates), use multiple subwoofers and equalization to get the bass right. We specialize in acoustical consulting work (check out the Savoy which we did the acoustics for), and getting our showroom to sound good was challenging, 'nuff said.
Nyal, thanks for the input and the watch outs. I spent an hour reading through your website last night. Your demo room is very similar in size. You have an impressive equipment list - Four Parasound Amps, 7.2 Procella audio plus 2 JL Audio subs. I can't even imagine the audio in that room. That said, a setup like yours is way above my budget, unfortunately. I suspect that I'll be in the Triad Silver/Gold range for speakers with probably 2 amps and a pre/pro.

Shawn with Erksine Design is doing my theater layout. I'm waiting to receive the design before moving forward with my build. I expect he will spec at least 2 subs. They are supposed to spec acoustical treatments. I notice that you offer similar services. Are the two services complementary?

I saw in your theater design documentation that the demo room has a baffle wall. I had not thought about a baffle wall for mine.. Truthfully, I don't know what the functional benefits are. Could you tell me why you designed that into your demo room?

Given the space and young kids, we decided not to buy HT recliners. I like the Fortress sectional couch. Something like that could work pretty well for the family if I can find one that fits in the room with adequate aisle space.
 

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Nyal, thanks for the input and the watch outs. I spent an hour reading through your website last night. Your demo room is very similar in size. You have an impressive equipment list - Four Parasound Amps, 7.2 Procella audio plus 2 JL Audio subs. I can't even imagine the audio in that room. That said, a setup like yours is way above my budget, unfortunately. I suspect that I'll be in the Triad Silver/Gold range for speakers with probably 2 amps and a pre/pro.

Shawn with Erksine Design is doing my theater layout. I'm waiting to receive the design before moving forward with my build. I expect he will spec at least 2 subs. They are supposed to spec acoustical treatments. I notice that you offer similar services. Are the two services complementary?

I saw in your theater design documentation that the demo room has a baffle wall. I had not thought about a baffle wall for mine.. Truthfully, I don't know what the functional benefits are. Could you tell me why you designed that into your demo room?
Of course a showroom needs to be stunning from an audio and video quality, especially since our client base is mostly enthusiasts, who are generally very picky and well educated as to what good sound and pictures look like. There are plenty of ways to go down the equipment ladder, of course you sacrifice some in terms of performance but it's surprising the performance level you can get with lower end equipment if it's designed right. For example with the Procella's you can use a nice AVR like a Yamaha because they are easy to drive. The Triads need some amplifier beef behind them due to their 4 ohm rating so that generally means separate power amps. Instead of using Procella subs you can use SVS. We just became a dealer for SVS, and have specced four of their SB-2000s into a room we are doing in Kansas City. The cost of all those subs is less than one JL F112! But the design is right, since we have multiple subs and we did the appropriate low frequency optimization work (building a computer model of the space to understand low frequencies in the room, think room mode calculator ++++) to ensure seat to seat bass consistency will be good. Basically, design comes first.

As to the baffle wall, see this blog article for baffle wall benefits.

I'm not sure what goes into an Erskine layout. To me layout is only one part of the whole performance design. There are five pieces:

  • Audio design: determining the speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers to enable the theater to perform at cinema sound pressure levels (SPLs)
  • Video design: selecting the projector and screen to provide appropriate image brightness and contrast for varying theater usages
  • Acoustic design: specifying the number, type, and location of acoustic treatments to meet targets for sound decay and frequency response
  • Low frequency optimization: minimizing seat-to-seat variance in low bass SPL by optimizing seat and subwoofer placement
  • Home theater layout: placing audio and video components within the room and determining seating placement

And that's just the basics excluding noise isolation, electrical, HVAC, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Getting some help

I've made some progress over the last month, but the update pictures won't show as much progress as I'd like. First, I've had a lot of help...

Layout is done
I received my Erskine layout from SierraMikeBravo a couple weeks ago. The entire process was pretty easy with one exception. I was ready to see my layout about an hour after I emailed my room measurements and pictures. But, it was worth the wait. Now, I have one less excuse to not make progress.

I'm getting some help to get the build done right
I'm lucky that BIGmouthinDC lives close by. BIG stopped by for a couple hours to share some wisdom and answer what felt like a hundred questions about the room, build techniques, equipment options, lighting control, room orientation, and more. Great stuff. He will save me a ton of time and I hope to avoid a ton of first timer mistakes.

Our electrician (my wife's cousin) came by on Saturday. We spent an hour figuring out how to run two new circuits from the circuit breaker panels in the garage. We'll have to rip into drywall in the garage and the kids playroom to get the romex down to the basement and over to the home theater. The HT has one 15A circuit. We'll add one 20A and one 15A. I'm thinking the existing 15A will be for lighting, the 20A for the rack, and the 15A for the projector. I have to figure out which circuit to put the 2 Fantech fans on.

I also talked to Ted White last week. He gave me some tips and he's pulling together the list of sound proofing materials. I hope to get my order in this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A few update pictures from this weekend

Saturday's task list started with some more demo to create an opening for the new door to the theater. The door will be in the back wall of the theater. Here is the before picture from the Rec Room. The theater is on the other side of the wall:



A couple hours later, I had opened the wall, removed and capped the hot and cold water pipes that fed the wet bar, and capped the drain. Next weekend, I'll reroute the existing electrical and frame the rough opening for the new door



There was a mishap. While cutting the CPVC, I drew first blood
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
A bit of progress

On Sunday, I had to do some unscheduled prep work. My wife asked me to cover the stair treads that I was starting to beat up with countless trips up and down the stairs. I bought some Ramboard from Big Orange, cut the pieces to size, taped them together with duct tap and taped them in place with some scotch blue tape (for hardwood floors.

That detour took about two hours including an unexpected run to Big Orange to buy more blue tape.



Then, it was back into the theater to do some real work. My 5 year-old son asked me if he could help me in the theater. He made me smile. We put on his work gloves, and I showed him how to remove a drywall nail from a stud. Then, we got to work. He got the hang of it pretty quickly. He pulled nails from the bottom 3-4 feet of the wall. I took care of the top half, the ceiling and all of the dry wall screws.

After the nail pulling, I took all of the R-13 insulation out of the room to make it easier to see the wiring



You'll see that I demo'd the old soffit around the A/C duct. When BIG visited, he showed me how to build a smaller soffit that will be connected to the clips and channel. More on that design later. You'll see the fire sprinkler connected to the orange PVC. I need to have a plumber move that fire sprinkler about 2 inches closer to the duct and extend it down about 2 1/2 inches.



Next weekend, I plan to rewire the high voltage wiring in the room. I will move this existing switch from near the old door opening to the back wall of the theater.



The work will continue later this week
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Clip and channel plan - feedback please

Did some thinking tonight about how I will install clips and channel. I created a few diagrams to layout the clip locations. I'll also use this to confirm the materials that I will order from Ted (IB-1 clips) and Allied (25 gauge hat channel)

All studs and joists are 16 inches on center. For the walls, I'm planning to install channels 24" OC with clips 48" on center. This should be adequate for OSB/GG/DW on the walls. For the ceiling, I'm planning to install channels 16" OC with clips 48" on center. That will provide a bit more holding capacity for soffits and lighting that will hang from the ceiling.

I'd love feedback from the expert theater builders. Do you see any issues with these diagrams?

Right wall clips and channel diagram
http://s872.photobucket.com/user/plinton/media/Ceiling-Clips-Channel.jpg.html


Rear wall clips and channel diagram. Does this approach work for a wall with a door? Do I have too many clips to the right of the door opening?



Ceiling clips and channel diagram



For the room, I've calculated ~160 IB-1 clips. Does that sound right?
 
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