The Dobbs HT: Starting From Scratch

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Brian Dobbs, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. 1 of 183 Mar 31, 2011
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    Brian Dobbs

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    New home. Unfinished basement. Aspirations of constructing the ideal home theater. You know, the usual stuff.


    I'm looking forward to getting feedback along the way. I'm still in the conceptual phase at this point, trying to decide what lumber dimensions to use (2x4 vs. 2x6), calculating ideal room dimensions, techniques in sound isolation, etc.


    Right now I have this space to work with. Approximately 15 x 25 x 8.


    [​IMG]


    And here is a basic floor plan. As you can see, my plan is to have the AV racks outside of the theater. The theater is identified by the 7 rectangles that represent a 7.1 setup.

    [​IMG]

    My goal is to reduce as much noise as possible from HVAC, footsteps from above, and anything else I can't think of right now. I'm currently researching heavily into construction techniques for sound isolation, and plan on implementing some form of double-walled system with MLV and cellulose insulation, as well as some type of floating ceiling. I'll also be referencing the excellent "Things I wish I would have done differently..." thread.


    Completing this theater will probably take me a few years, but I hope to at least get all the construction done this year.


    Anyway, thanks for reading. Suggestions welcome!
     
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  2. johng316

    johng316 Agent

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    Wow, Brian, this looks like a great space.

    Are you planning to build seating risers for a second row? I've done this before with great success.

    Also, I'm curious about your plans for the floating ceiling. How would you accomplish this? I know you've seen my other thread about sheetrocking my ceiling, so I'm curious. Last HT I had was terrific, but I mounted my PJ directly to the sheetrocked ceiling already in place. This was a basement room, and anytime someone walked through the room above, the PJ would vibrate and the picture would shake! Very annoying to have to warn kids not to walk through the family room while I'm watching a film. Maybe a decoupled ceiling would help this, thought I thought about mounting something to the walls, then coming across the ceiling and mounting the PJ to THAT to decouple it from the ceiling. There must be a better way.

    I'd love to see your plans as they develop. Maybe we can encourage one another as we go along. I'd like to have my HT set up by Summer. I know it's ambitious!

    John
     
  3. johng316

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    QuietRock looks like an interesting soundproofing product. Thinking about this for my ceiling after doing just a little bit of reading. Have you considered this? Any word on whether this is actually good or just marketing?
    Here's a link with some "sales" information. http://www.quietrock.com/educational-resources/soundproofing-home-theaters-and-media-rooms.html
    I'm considering this because there are two bedrooms above my HT, so as long as I'm replacing the ceiling, maybe I should look into some soundproofing if the cost is not ridiculous.
    John
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

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    Looks like an exciting project Brian. For the walls in my theater I used a 2x6 sill plate and used staggered 2x4 studs so the two sides of the wall never touched. It was a poor man's "room within a room". I also used two layers of drywall (taped the first layer before I had the second installed)--this was before Quiet Rock and Green Glue. Keep intrusions throught the wall to a minimum.


    [​IMG]


    For the ceiling I used hat channel and risc clips which provide a gasket to prevent noise and vibrations from being transferred to the studs or joists:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. johng316

    johng316 Agent

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    Excellent and informative! I had been reading about offset studs but couldn't picture how this was actually done until I saw your pic.

    Thank you!

    John
     
  6. Brian Dobbs

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    I've been thinking about a second row, but I haven't quite figured out how to implement one without the rear surrounds being blocked. I'll have to think more creatively later. The floating ceiling idea isn't a conventional approach, but here's what I'm thinking.


    At all costs I need to somehow hang sheetrock on the ceiling without it physically connecting to the floor joists above. One approach is to use the resilient channel, which is probably the most easy to implement. My idea is to install new ceiling joists between the existing floor joists and to attach the sheetrock to them.


    The new ceiling joists will be supported on top of the newly framed walls that I'll construct, which will be slightly shorter than the concrete wall behind them. They need to be shorter just so the new ceiling joists hang below the existing floor joists, so that when the sheetrock is attached it doesn't come in contact with the floor joists.


    The framed walls will be anchored to the floor as usual and supported at the top by isolation decouplers attached to the concrete wall behind them. I'm definitely trying to avoid having kids/pets/random chaos put a veto on my HT experience.
     
  7. Brian Dobbs

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    I'll probably be using QuietRock. There is some truth to how some of these specialty products work. It all comes down to the STC rating. But at the end of the day, mechanically isolating one room from another is always the best place to start.
     
  8. 8 of 183 Apr 1, 2011
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    Brian Dobbs

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    Staggered studs are definitely a great way to go. Since I have the room I'll be going just one step further and constructing a double wall assembly. Most people don't have the room, or even the WAF ;-), but I guess I got lucky.
     
  9. Brian Dobbs

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    I'll be finished with the framing phase soon, and I'll be sure to post pics when I'm done.


    But right now I'm planning out the next phase which will be speaker wiring. Here's what I'm thinking...
    • 10/2
    • 14/4
    • Coaxial Cable (except to the height channels up front)
    I'm obviously running more cable than I could immediately use at the moment, but I keep hearing talk of height and wide channels being added in the future.


    What do you guys think? Am I running enough? Too much?
     
  10. 10 of 183 Oct 12, 2011
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    Brian Dobbs

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    Pictures update!

    Back of theater, showcasing double wall assembly.

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    Suspended Ceiling!

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    Walls secured with isolation clips

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    Room with Legolas

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  11. hometheatergear

    hometheatergear Auditioning

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    hometheateargear.com has everything I used...my room rocks. Literally. If you havent bought all that you need, you really should check this site out.
     
  12. 12 of 183 Mar 7, 2012
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    Brian Dobbs

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    Photo update! I'm wiring to 15 different speaker locations with the idea that I'll need to power the following...

    • Powered speakers for all channels (Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds. Looking at Golden Ear BTW.)
    • A few subs
    • lighting
    For the powered speakers, I'm running 6 circuits to divvy up the power load. Yes, I understand that all this is overkill. But hey, I'm only wiring once!



    Wiring


    [​IMG]


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  13. Brian Dobbs

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    40 Receptacles installed. (Mix between 15 amp and 20 amp.)
    :)
     
  14. Adam Gregorich

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    Nice job with isolating the inner walls. I would also suggest running some speaker wire to the ceiling (two pair one front, one back) and a third set of surrounds between the front speakers and the first set you have on the side walls. Should make you Atmos ready.
     
  15. John Fortino

    John Fortino Auditioning

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    WOW Dream situation with the unfinished basement! I we ever move I am looking for the same setup as yours!
    Excellent work on the framing and using the isolation clips. I have used the clips before on various projects (Garage door openers, HVAC suspension, etc) they REALLY work.
    Curious what you settled on about the drywall. I had looked into Quietrock as well, but it is expensive and not readily available without special order. My theater is upstairs over my garage, I recently wrestled with the drywall soundproofing on the common wall to the rest of the upstairs. The double wall assembly was not really an option because it would require too much demolition and reduce my interior space by just enough it would throw everything off (existing speakers, screen etc. ) What I did do was demo one side of the wall and use ROXUL bats, sound isolation tape on the studs and double drywall with QuietGlue in between the drywall sheets. I can hear NOTHING on the other side even with the movie raging in the next room.
    I believe QuietRock is solid tech, but you can achieve the same result with QuiteGlue for less $$$. The only trade off is you will have to hang the drywall twice (1st layer, Glue, 2nd layer) as opposed to QuietRock that you just slap up like normal drywall. FYI QuietRock is H E A V Y, have some help hangin it!
     
  16. 16 of 183 May 29, 2012
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    Brian Dobbs

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    Yes, I just read about ATMOS. Good thing I haven't put drywall up yet! I actually already added another set of surrounds on the R/L walls. Thanks BTW.
     
  17. Brian Dobbs

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    Haha, cool man.
    I'm leaning towards using Quietrock for my ceiling and rear wall. Everything else I'll just use regular drywall. Also keep in mind I will be blowing in insulation and adding MLV to the whole room.
    I'm glad to see you've had success with the Quiet Glue. Who knows, I may use both. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    Thank you HTF for highlighting my theater-in-progress as the Member Theater Of The Month.
    :)
     
  19. Adam Gregorich

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    You're welcome
     
  20. 20 of 183 Jun 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    Brian Dobbs

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    Currently considering 10 gauge speaker wire from Blue Jeans Cable as well as a specific coax wire for subwoofer pre-wires.


    Speaker Wire - Belden 5T00UP 10/2

    Subwoofer Wire - Belden 1694A Comments welcome.
     

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