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Dedicated theater room build; suggestions?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Andy Pressman

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Posted June 15 2006 - 02:13 AM

I'm currently in the planning state for a theater room that will be built with a new home. We have the room dimensioned and drawn up(I'll post that as soon as I scan it). I need to know what else I'm going to need and if the equipment that I've chosen is the right stuff. I've already pruchased a Boston Acoustics Pre/Pro, and the rest is up for change.

Boston Sub10f (in-floor sub)
Boston Acoustics Vr3 (front left/right)
Boston Acoustics DSI453 Center
Boston Acoustics DSi460 (right/left surrounds)
I still need to find the matching speakers for the rear surrounds, but because of the room, this makes it kind of hard.

Boston Acoustics A7200AVP7 Power Amp/ Pre Amp
Sony VPLVW100 (Screen suggestions?)
Boston Acoustics SA1 Sub Amp
Belkin PureAV PF60 surge surpressor
The dvd player is up for grabs, as I have yet to see a decent review on hd dvd players

Any help is appreciated, Thanks in advance. -Andy.
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#2 of 8 OFFLINE   chris_everett


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Posted June 15 2006 - 05:34 AM

Looks very nice... Make sure that you consider accoustics and soundproofing in your design.
--Chris Everett

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Andy Pressman

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Posted June 15 2006 - 06:45 AM

That is one thing that I haven't been able grasp as much as I would have liked to. What's your recommendation for something like this?

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Don.l


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Posted June 15 2006 - 07:21 AM

As fars as acoustics are concerned you can make sound panels out of 1x3, some stuffing material (forget what it's called), and some fabric covering. I'm sure there are links on here that talk about that. Soundproofing? All I can say is that the major weakness will be the door or doors. You can do things to the walls and floor by making sure they are touching, and you can put two sheets of drywall up for the walls. There are a lot of options out there for this.


#5 of 8 OFFLINE   chris_everett


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Posted June 15 2006 - 09:46 AM

There are three keys to soundproofing

1. Airtight
2. Dense wall partitions
3. Accoustic Separation

Airtight is fairly obvious. If the room is not airtight, sound will escape. This is also the first step toward soundproofing.

Dense wall partitions can be accomplished with mass-loaded vinyl, multiple layers of drywall, and so forth. Heavier walls take more energy to vibrate, and are more soundproof as a result.

Accoustic separation is things like double wall construction and resilient channel. Be separating vibrating components from non-vibrating components, soundproofing increases.

An ideal room will utilize all of these techniques

As already pointed out, doors are the weak spot in most any soundproofing project. For those on a budget, I recommend a solid core wood exterior door, and a good threshold. This is reasonably inexpensive, and more effective than you might think. Make sure and caulk the heck out of the door jams, and make sure that the threshold is good.

Soundproofing is an incremental job. In my theater, my wall sandwitch is as follows

Inside of room
1/2" drywall
1/8" Mass loaded vinyl
5/8" drywall
Foam tape on studs
2x4 studs/Normal thermal insulation with mineral fiber insulation in room weak points
1/2" drywall(or plywood on exterior wall)
Outside of room.

My door is as I described above. In spaces immediately adjacent to my theater (outside, my garage, a closet and a bathroom) you can hear loud noises in movies. Beyond that, it's dead quiet. I have about a 45db reduction in volume, which is more than adequate for me. Depending on where your theater is located, you may need more or less.

A good resource is www.soundproofing.org.

Accoustics it tough. You don't have a simple room (square or rectange) so your off to a good start. If you can afford it, you may want help from a professional to help you design the accoustics of the space. There are a number of products on the market that you can put up to help your theater sound better, you will mostly want to pick what matches your decor. Honestly, I don't think there's a need for a great deal of science here, you just want to make sure your room is fairly "dead". In my theater I put a strip of accoustical foam at ear level, and also covered the ceiling. I used products from www.auralex.com. They also have a lot of information.

While this may seem like a waste of time/money, it's good to know that a soundproofed theater can be enjoyed at any time, and good accoustics can make a $5,000 system sound like a $50,000 one. Other side of the coin is a $50,000 system sounding like a $500 one in a lousy room.
--Chris Everett

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Bud Huey

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Posted June 19 2006 - 08:49 AM

Unless you are on a "Carte Blanc" budget I would suggest spending more time, money and effort on the acoustics of your room vs. soundproofing. Unless your mother-in-law lives right above your home theather room. But then again, if you don't like your mother-in-law this could be sweet revenge! Find a home theather store that offers solutions in your price range and ask for advice. I have been to several in my area and I found the suggestions from the $10-20K systems dealers a lot more "palatable" than the suggestions from the HT guy selling $50K+ systems. After that the sky is the limit, but you will get to a point where you have to spend a lot more time and money for minor improvements in the sound quality of your system. Also, make sure you read the "I wish I would have done this...." thread in the DIY section. There is a lot of good advice in there that is easy to implement before you hang any sheetrock. Good Luck, Bud

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Brian Osborne

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Posted June 19 2006 - 11:15 AM

Very nice room. As far as the screen goes, with a dedicated room like you have a DIY screen is not a bad idea. After all, you don't need to retract it, or hide it at all. There are several options for that and a quick search will get a lot of threads. For your surround/back speakers, have you considered in-wall? will give you a very nice look, can give you VERY nice sound and you don't have to worry about someone hitting their head on em... For your design, might look at sides in wall and rears in ceiling maybe? Think a lot about lighting before you do anything. Get it right the first time, it's quite an ordeal to undo something you don't like. Are you going to install shakers? I'm a HUGE fan. I don't care what kind of sub you have, the tactile sensation will REALLY put you into the movie or into the music. If you have the chance to demo them somewhere, do it, you will be sold... Layout looks good, but have you decided on seating? Your design can change drastically depending on what you want to plant your butt in. I had planned on doing something similar to yours with a bar and additional seating in the back. my room is 17x23. but, when i found the seating that I wanted I had to scrap that idea. recliners take up a lot more room than a couch does. How high is your ceiling? with 16" of step, it wont take long to have low clearance. this goes especially for wherever the projector is going to be. Soundproofing is something to be considered, but not by me. I'm selfish I guess. If I'm watching a movie, it doesn't matter whats happening just above me. Acoustics on the other hand is important. speaker placement, wall shape, curtains or not, carpet with 1/2" padding vs hardwood, your chairs, wall texture.... all these things can play a roll in how your room will sound. You've got a challenge with that back wall there. Sound absorbing/diffusion there especially will be very important. One bit of advise... after you test all your wiring, have your wife hide the power cord for your projector until you get EVERYTHING done. Good luck!
Keaton always said, "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him." Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.

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#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Don.l


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Posted June 19 2006 - 12:11 PM

That's very funny! Don


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