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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to start by saying that I have been reading this forum for years... not only have a researched equipment I was going to buy, I also have dreamed and lived vicariously through many of you buying equipment I could only dream of... and building theaters in your basement that would make me never want to leave home!!!


I recently moved to Atlanta GA, and have decided to start finishing my basement and build a theater and game room (one big room). This thread will document my build although it will span a long period of time, because I am building what I can afford when I can afford it.


I started framing out my office that will hold my equipment and HTPC. This room will be nothing special... a box with some soffits, and will serve as my learning how to frame... (basic walls are easy, figuring out how to connect a soffit to the wall and have the proper place for drywall gave me some trouble
I will post pictures when I can get home and begin to officially document my slow progress.


The entire project is permitted (I want to be able to sleep at night... for safety and for following the law) So I will also surely be asking questions like... is this code
I am having the HVAC installed Tuesday... I am not even going to attempt to do that myself!



Along with posting progress I hope to also be able to ask my many questions in this thread... the first of which is:

I am going to build a false wall about three feet inside the end of the room for an acoustically transparent screen, and put my Klipsch RF-83 / RC-64 front sound stage behind that. If I build a stage, can I focus on building the stage only in front of the false wall / screen and place the speakers directly on concrete behind the screen (unfinshed space will be full of bass traps, etc)(on speaker spikes). Will that have any negatative side effects to the sound? If the speakers are too low, could I build small boxes (think speaker platform) behind the false wall as speaker stands and only fill those up with sand... and the stage with insulation??? I am sure pictures would help explain this... I will try to get my idea documented and post it up.


Thanks for everyone's help over the years... you have given me great ideas and the encouragement to try and tackle this myself!
 

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Looking forward to it. Get some pics up so we can track the progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK... sorry for the delay, here are some pictures of the space I am working with. I got really lucky with the house, the basement layout is almost perfect for a theater / game room. I have always wanted a dedicated theater, but this space lends itself better to a more open feel



This picture is looking from where the pool table will be, into where the theater will be built. The room is about 17' x 50'... it is really long.



Here is the reverse view. You can see that I am going to have to build a soffit around the entire basement (other side will have the new HVAC installed on Tuesday).





This room is directly to the right of the theater screen wall. I am going to turn this into an office with my HTPC and all of my equipment. It will be rack mounted in the wall... with all of the connection in the area behind the screen wall. You can see where I have temporary equipment hung... image that pushed into the wall. (That is controlling my TV and 5.1 system upstairs with an RF remote... pretty slick, no wires upstairs) You can also see the I have started "practicing" framing walls and soffits here.



This view is standing inside the office, looking down the hallway... the big theater / game room is on the other side of the wall on the right. (BTW I know the issue with the soffit on the left not having a bottom brace for the lookouts. I made that first... looked at it and said... crap
I will fix that this weekend... easy fix when you screw your framing together!



Here is a close up the screen wall, you can see the wood laying on the floor where the false wall will be. It is about 3' out from the wall... plenty of room for speakers, subs, bass traps, and the back of the equipment... this is where I am asking about the speakers directly on concrete (not finishing the space...)



This will be a game room with poker table and dart board (this is next to the pool table area of the big room. To the left of that will eventually be a bathroom (phase two)




View from bathroom into the utility room... there will be another heat pump in there. You can see the stairs just to the left there. On the right is my workshop, you can see the plastic I put up to get the saw dust in there... not working since I am now finishing the basement and cutting all my wood in the middle of the space





Finally standing in the game room, you can see the full layout... theater / pool table on the left... hallway to my office and the stairs to go up. bath and everything else is to the right.




I would love to hear everyone's thoughts and recommendations. Also looking for anyone to speak up if they see a code violation (I am doing this legally).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am stuck on an area and would love to hear people's thoughts. Running down the right side of the theater is a bunch of duct work, drainage piping, and a gas line. If I were to build a soffit around that area, it would measure a good 32" into the room and about 17" tall.


What should I do?


Options...


1 drop ceiling under everything... not a good option

2 build the soffit around the stuff and that is it.

3 build the soffit around the stuff and mimick the same design on the other side and make it looked balance... and like a really big trey ceiling.

4 build the soffit around the duct work and then drop the ceiling to cover up the gas line (would lose about 4" inches of ceiling height)

5 build the soffit on an angle ___/ that would cover everything up and make it seem like the soffit was smaller... but that would be alot more work!



Any other options / thoughts... please help, I am a bit stuck!!!
 

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Matching soffets and a tray ceiling would probobly be the most asthetically pleasing and give you some nice lighting options like cove uplighting for ambiance. Since you are building a false wall, i'll confine my comments to that area and speaker placement....


I'd build a stage/platform across the front from end to end reaching the bottom of the screen area in height, allowing the screen to be attatched directly to it for structural support....but i'd take advantage of that huge 'box' which would be perfect for a multi driver DIY subwoofer. Depending on the volume of the box which seems to be about 150 cuft, several 18" drivers with a pro audio power amp will give staggering results at a fraction of the cost of commercial subs. Dump the Klipschs on Ebay or audiogon and replace with some quality MTMs allowing 3 vertical alignment behind the screen. In the area behind the screen on top of the stage, i'd frame a concave 'cove' deepest in the center and moving shallower out to either and and skin with 3 layers of 1/4 sheetrock. The curved profile behind the screen will greatly help smooth in room response. If building a DIY subwoofer is something your interested in...let me know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennektj /forum/post/15136193



Options...


1 drop ceiling under everything... not a good option

2 build the soffit around the stuff and that is it.

3 build the soffit around the stuff and mimick the same design on the other side and make it looked balance... and like a really big trey ceiling.

4 build the soffit around the duct work and then drop the ceiling to cover up the gas line (would lose about 4" inches of ceiling height)

5 build the soffit on an angle ___/ that would cover everything up and make it seem like the soffit was smaller... but that would be alot more work!



Any other options / thoughts... please help, I am a bit stuck!!!

3 or 5 - they would give a classy look IMHO, and style is what you want!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBoomRoom /forum/post/15137156


3 or 5 - they would give a classy look IMHO, and style is what you want!

I agree that matching soffit would look good, I am just concerned at the overall size of the soffit and then to replicate it on each side... it is really tough to picture. I will try to get a better picture of exactly how big the soffit would be.




Mayhem, as for building a DIY sub... I have gone that route once before and was happy with the results, but I think that I am leaning towards the HSU VTF3 MK3... potentially two of them.


What would the concave dome behind the screen do? I was planning on installing bass traps in behind the screen and completely insulating the wall behind the screen... never considered building a concave back there. I will get some more pictures of the progress up soon, I start the skeleton of the screen wall yesterday and the HVAC is going in tomorrow, so I will know exactly what soffits I will need to build to cover up this ugly duct work!
 

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Two Maelstrom 18's and a Behringer EP2500 will cost about as much as one Hsu and outperform 2 Hsu's given the available space to DIY an enclosure. Here's the freq response given 1000w to each driver.

Attachment 125083


The concave surface behind the screen will alleviate the need for bass traps-no more corners to resonate. You can line the entire surface with acoustic material..sonnex or whatever is dark gray or black in color just don't use fiberglass in open living spaces..even behind a false wall. it's find it's way into the living space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
what sort of footprint would the two 18" s have? I have slightly redesigned my screen wall... and the subs would have to be split (one in each corner behind the false wall).


Are there plans out there that detail the build so I can get an idea of what I would be in for. I built the Adire Tempest sub and was happy with it, but it wasn't the most musical... it felt a bit slow and not very punchy (like my HSU I have now). How would the 18" s compare. Are they punchy / OK for music... or only good for explosions
I really watch mostly movies... but also enjoy watching live concerts / jazz on TV too. Thanks again for your advice
 

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Sealed, they would have all the response of the most musical subs out there and with eQ they'll hit 10hz material with authority. Go to the DIY speaker section and check on some of the designs...NeoDan and a couple of others. You really want to keep those Klipsch's don't you! LOL


Be aware of the shiny metal cones behind an AT screen and hotspotting.You'll have to eQ the system a bit higher due to the screen and the Klipsch horns may start to beam a little. Just a thought.


As for the footprint, as i said before i'd build one big box under the screen.
 

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Looks like it's going to be a nice place and fun project; I'd go with option 2. Having symmetry is nice, but really not necessary unless you want to go the extra step. I have 4-5 different soffit areas in the basement in various spaces (game room, bar, media room, etc) and none of them are identical and it looks great. I think they add extra character to a space so design it to your liking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For those who might be following this thread.


The HVAC got installed today... at least all of the duct work did. I went with Reliant Heating and Air... great people, great price and a very clean install!!! I can't recommend them enough if you are in the Atlanta area...


As for the soffit, I figured out the plan after searching a bunch of pictures and trying a few things out, I have decided to try and make the soffit look like a trey ceiling. Once I made a template for the dimensions, I went to work cutting the 100's of individual pieces and putting them together. Having the wife as a helper made the production much easier!!! This picture makes my ceilings look really low... but I am 6'7" and was fully stretched out...



I am sure there are easier / faster methods to build a trey ceiling... but this is how I felt comfortable doing it. First I set up a stop block on my chop saw and ran through the 400 cuts to cut the 3 different length pieces I needed.


Then I assemble the two differnt "7" pieces together using a little jig to hold the pieces tight and square. You can see the little area I left open so I could screw the pieces together. (If you can't tell I am pretty proud of this... took the time to make a setup to make the overall assembly easier... I normally "rush" things, I am learning taking your time actually speeds things up!



Here is about a quarter of the pieces



Then I created another jig to hold the two assembled pieces together



Here is a picture with the pieces inserted ready to be fastened together.



And a stack of the end result



Once this part was complete, the first three section of the trey went together so quickly it was almost scary... unfortunately the wife and I ran out of steam... I fly to Cincinnati for the rest of the week for holiday with the family... so progress will stay here until after Thanksgiving...


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also... here is a picture of the new screen wall design. Actually the wifes idea to push the screen in a little bit and have some angles on the wall to give it some character. I am very lucky to have a wife who is into this stuff, willing to help, and understands that sometimes it is worth spending money in order to get the "experience".





As for getting rid of the Klipsch... not going to happen anytime soon, I really like them, I don't find them to be harsh / bright with my NAD equipment... so for now they are staying... however the DIY sub route (dual Maelstom's) is a real option... you can see my first DIY sub (adire tempest) is being used as my work area (rebuilt and finished it in a nicer box later on)
 

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Very nice! Are you doing the other side?


Lucky guy - I wish my wife was a helper - but she is taking care of the baby, so I shouldn't complain.
 

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I am enjoying seeing how you framed everything. The construction of a jig was ingenious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBoomRoom /forum/post/15153321


Very nice! Are you doing the other side?


Lucky guy - I wish my wife was a helper - but she is taking care of the baby, so I shouldn't complain.

I am going to do the other side and the back as well. After seeing the first side up we really don't lose that much space, and I think the balanced look will be worth it.


We don't have kids yet... I am sure the Mrs. wouldn't be as helpful or as accepting of the noise if we did. That is why I want to get the basement done quickly...


I will keep posting pictures of the progres... hopefully I can help one person with their builds... then I will feel like I gave something back after the years and years of benefit I have gained from the forums.
 

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Hey, where did your wife go?




I could understand why you guys ran out of steam, I made a soffit that was super small and hate every bit, it sucks trying to make everything even . Looks like you figured out a smart way of doing it and things look really good as a result.


Also, somebody is cheating, already got a tv hooked up. No dont be gettin gloganed because you start watching movies on that bad boy and get distracted. Everyone knows that the smartest thing to do is use a radio, or is that for the wife and her shows? I bet it is the only way she agreed to help. My wife stayed out of the basement the last 8 months, but now all she talks about is the bathroom and how she wants that to be the first thing done.


What is this thing in the back corner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The wife waving was because she was going to get her nails done... a little break from the action. The funny part was, right after she got her nails done, she came back and got right back to work... I thought that was funny.


As for the TV down there, I hooked that up to watch the OSU / Michigan game while I worked (I am from Cincy)... and then after that is has been on HGTV for her... non stop. Funny to see people complete entire projects in 30 minutes while you make cut after cut after cut...


The stuff in the corner is actually the receiver, cable box and PS3 for upstairs in the living room. I had this set up really nice, but had to take down all the shelves to frame the wall... so now it is just quickly set back up so we can use it again. One of the things we wanted to have upstairs was a nice clean install, and still have good sound and picture... So the result is here:



So it is so far away, but it is the only picture I have of the room finished right now. You can see that the TV has no wires showing and the speakers are in the wall, the only thing left to hide is the sub. I then control everything with the Harmony 890 and it works like a champ! This stuff was done the first week I moved into the house


If you are referring to the white box and blue light on the floor, that is the wireless router that fell off the shelf, that I haven't picked up yet. It is amazing how lazy I can get when I am focused on something else.
 

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I think you will like the look of the symmetrical soffit. That is what we did on our basement too and I love it. It helps to keep the ceiling higher instead of just doing a drop ceiling everywhere.


Can't wait to keep up with the progress. This looks like a great place to build!
 

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Excellent work on the soffits... a little crown moulding and drop in an LED rope..instant uplighting!!


Tip..build a temp screen with a cotton bed sheet (threadcount 300-500) over cheap pine 1x2 and mount your pj now temporarily to fix screen size and pj location. You can build the AT screen later and affix to the resulted position. Two Maelsroms under the screen would be geat.


Following this thread.....good luck!
 
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