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And so it begins... Attic Reclaim

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by CyFactor, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 25 Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    Good morning, folks. New here, but I've been dabbling for more than a decade in the budget space. I am about to reclaim and re-purpose attic space to install a front projection system. Preliminary drawings show a finished room size of approximately 13.5' in width and 16-22' in length of usable space (ceiling height 9')

    The new space will be right above my existing office, so not too worried about sound proofing. I still plan to insulate below the floor, though. There are no rooms on either side of the proposed room since it's going into an existing dormer, but that right-hand wall is just above the wall of one of the bedrooms.

    Thoughts and questions:

    • Best size screen? I'm guessing 120" diagonal.
    • Should I use any special sound-absorption material in the walls?
      • This will be cross-functional as a bedroom for resale, so planning a full egress that the drop-down screen will cover when in use
    • Existing setup in my gameroom is 7.1.2 with speakers in the ceiling, but I plan to run 7.1.4 in the new space that I will pre-wire. My current receiver is a Marantz SR6012. I was hoping that I could run 7.2.4, but according to the specs, I'm maxed at 7.1.4 for independent channels.
    • Existing TV is a 75" Samsung Q7F from 2017. I may use this temporarily, but it doesn't do well without ambient light since it's edge lit (in retrospect, I should have gone full array - OLED was out of reach budget-wise at the time). I'll have fully-controlled lighting in the new space.
    I'll keep reading and researching. Meantime, if anyone who has been down this path has any thoughts as to what NOT to do, I am all ears. :)

    Thanks in advance.

    --Vince

     
  2. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Vince,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I would say that a 120" screen is definitely a good starting point size wise. Just make sure you have sufficient room width that your speakers can be at least 2' off the side walls, as otherwise you may sacrifice some imaging/audio quality.

    To answer your questions regarding sound isolation, you'll want to consider doing a 2nd layer of drywall with green glue between the layers at a minimum. It's cost effective, and works very well. You can learn a whole bunch about sound proofing at The Soundproofing Company: https://www.soundproofingcompany.com/ and they have experts on staff who can help you come up with an optimal setup.

    Regarding your question of Atmos channel limitations, it's possible to send a single sub channel to two subs and calibrate them as a single logical subwoofer. This is most often done by using a simple Y splitter and then level matching the two subs using an SPL meter before calibration. You also have the option of upgrading to a 7.2.4 receiver, which will let you get a better calibration of the subs, but this is purely a question of budget.

    Display wise, if you have a budget in mind, let us know. We can help suggest some good options for your room.
     
  3. Message #3 of 25 Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    Thanks! I love the fact that you're in Houston. I'm in Cypress. Perhaps I can buy you lunch and pick your brain sometime.

    Good feedback. Doing this project in stages. HVAC first (need to relocate stuff), framing second. Once it's framed, I'll pause to run all of the speaker and video wires while the electrician does his stuff. I'm looking at a good 3-4 months before closing up walls, so there's time to plan the wall materials.

    As for budget, I've had my eyes on some of the JVC projectors (somewhere between a DLA-X790 and a DLA-RS2000). Meantime, everything in my gameroom except the ceiling speakers will migrate (including the emitters and transceivers for the wireless VR) into the new space. I'm guessing by Black Friday 2020 I'll be ready to install the projector and screen, although I am considering an in-ceiling retractable screen, so that may happen along with the construction process.

    What I have now for sound system:

    Marantz SR6012 (as mentioned)
    2x Klipsch R28-F (Front Channel)
    Klipsch R25C (Center)
    SVS PB-2000 (Sub)
    2x Bowers and Wilkins CCM382 (Ceiling Atmos)
    4x Klipsch RSX-4 surrounds (I've had these for almost 15 years EDIT: Found them - RSX-4)


     
  4. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Sounds like you have a good idea of what you want. If you want to meet up and chat just PM me - always happy to nerd out over HT stuff.
     
  5. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    Well, I know what I'd like to achieve, but I'm still figuring out how to get there. :)
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Just at least audition speakers other than Klipsch. I suspect Dave will encourage you to do the same.
     
  7. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    I had Polk Audio for the longest time in my front and center channels. When I switched to 4K and bought the new Marantz receiver (I was using Onkyo previously, but it couldn't handle 4K switching), the Tron: Legacy bluray audio track blew the tweeter in my right-channel speaker, so that's how I ended up with the Klipsch. Most of what's in my signature is new as of 2017 when I upped to 4K and ditched my rear-projection Mitsubishi DLP. I bought those Klipsch surrounds when we built our house in 2005, and so far they've held up pretty well. These new speakers are a bit brighter than the Polk speakers were, though. I tried to compensate by playing with the crossovers. It's acceptable, but certainly not Audiophile quality.

    I didn't do enough research before pulling the trigger on these speakers because it was an immediate need. I am definitely open to suggestions for this new endeavor.
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Actually, adjusting the crossovers won't make much if any difference, but you can experiment with the EQ, which you can even adjust with a mobile device using the Marantz app. In my book, and I suspect Dave will second it again, while Klipsch is efficient and designed to sound impressive in the store, their imaging is poor, and they are a bit harsh sounding. They are designed to make you go "WOW", but at the cost of other characteristics I find to be more important. There are a lot of speaker manufacturers to choose from.
     
  9. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    Interesting. That's going to eat up a few hours now this weekend, playing with the EQ. Something else to add to the education bucket. :lol:
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    The harshness tends to be in the 2-4 kHz range. Try to tone that down a bit.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Some misc comments. Understand these aren't absolutes, just suggestions :)

    The "right" size for a screen is one that is no more larger diagonally than 1.15*Seating Distance. So if your front seats are 10 feet from the screen, an 11.5 foot (138") diagonal screen would be the max you'd want. (For those wanting math, I'm going by the old THX standard of no more than 45ยบ field of view from the front viewing spot. So if your front seat is 10 feet back from the screen, the widest screen you'd want would be W=10 feet wide. Doing the trig, diagonal of a 16:9 screen is D ~= 1.15*W.)

    Screen size might be limited by the projector's zoom and mount distance from the screen. You can nerd out here on those details:
    https://www.projectorscreen.com/projector-screen-calculators

    Finally, with 4K TVs affordably in the 65" and 75" size, and available at 85", I think there's no point going projection unless you're looking at 110" or larger screen. Otherwise, just buy the cheaper and easier and better direct view set.

    That harder decision will be what projector to get. 1080p HD projectors are great quality and affordable...but in 2019 setting up a new projection media room at HD is hard to recommend. But 4K projectors are only recently getting good enough and affordable enough, where affordable is under $10k for top performers, with some good options in the $3000 range with reasonable compromises. And like TVs, they're hard to find good demo's of.


    Your receiver power up to 9.2 channels. That gives you 5.2.4 or 7.2.2. But what's great is that it can *process* 11.2! Add a two channel amplifier and you can do 7.2.4! So consider wiring for 7.2.4. You can install and run 5.1.2 to start. Later you can upgrade, add some speakers a two-channel amp, a second sub, and have a complete 7.2.4 system.
    https://www.us.marantz.com/us/products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=AVReceivers&ProductId=SR6012
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    As Dave said, you can add a 2 channel amp to power 7.x.4. If you do that, I highly recommend going further, and getting a 5 channel amp, having it drive the main 5 channels, and let the receiver drive the Atmos speakers.

    Also, there is no such thing as 2 channel subwoofers. Those 2 "channels" are the same. The receiver just has volume controls for two of them. I mention this because people are obsessed with "Stereo" subwoofers, and that doesn't exist in this type of system. Why does that matter? Because then people buy, for example, two $500 subs instead of one $1,000 sub. The problem is, that single $1,000 sub will blow away two $500 ones in every conceivable way. It's usually not difficult to set up a single sub to distribute well through most rooms, but it's 10x as complicated to set up two subs properly. Nobody ever listens to my advice about dual subs, but I still try. There's a malfunction in the human brain that makes it impossible to understand the benefits of spending the sub budget on a single sub rather than splitting it on two. Science has no solution to this malfunction.
     
  13. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    Noted, and thanks. 5-Channel amp added to the wish list. I was tempted to add a second PB-2000, but it appears to be sufficient in my wide-open game room (it's open to the first floor via both stairs and a railed opening) that it may be okay in the enclosed space. I had to dial it down a bit to balance it. It replaced my Velodyne VRP-1200 that wasn't quite up to the task. I almost bought a second Velodyne, but it sounds like I made the right decision by simply getting a more powerful sub. I went from 130W RMS (195W peak) to 500W RMS (1100W peak).

    The floor in the new space will be tongue-in-groove secured with liquid nails. I want to FEEL that bass, but don't want to rattle the house apart.

    That Velodyne sub is still sitting in the back of my gameroom, unused. I thought about hooking it up in the back of the room just for the hell of it, but looking at the specs again, I forgot it was only 130W RMS. My old (like, 25+ years old) Polk Audio SDA 2 front channels were 3-way, so that made up for the weaker sub.
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Two really good, solid, value 5 channel amps are the Outlaw 5000 and Emotiva A-5175.
     
  15. Message #15 of 25 Dec 12, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Second Unit

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    You mentioned sound control and the location in the house. There's one additional consideration: sound transmitted through the house. One area this may occur through is your HVAC system. Most vents are connected to galvanized metal duct work that, after turning or being directed between rafters, floor joists or studs, goes straight. It may transmit sound from one room to another, either directly through the return or through the ducting from the main unit.

    There are a number of ways to mitigate this problem. The Soundproofing web site mentioned above has had a good discussion about this problem. If the area is not built out yet, you can use duct work that has sound insulating material inside. If it is the straight rectangular ducting, put several turns in it. If you are using flex duct, you can use ducting between floor joists that can be bent repeatedly in a serpentine configuration. Sound can also be transmitted through the wall and into duct work, which can be reduced by the insulation already in the duct as well as insulation in the wall around the duct. If the area is already built out and you don't want to tear it apart again (not unreasonable) another alternative would be to put covers over the ventilation grille while using the room if noise transmission is a problem, but this may not eliminate sound transmitted through the wall and into the duct. . Another solution is to use a dead vent system. This is a box built into the wall, with an inline fan blowing air through serpentine flex duct on either side in the box. The box should be packed with insulation, and I'd suggest a rheostat to control the fan speed. Mine use a three position switch (actually 4 with the "off" position) with the lower two speeds virtually inaudible during operation. Two dead vents are required, one for intake and one for exhaust. They also work in my space because the intake and exhaust both go into ventilated temperature controlled areas.

    All of these considerations are somewhat relative. If there aren't too many others in the house and they don't care, or you don't use much volume, it''s less of an issue. If there isn't much external noise that can be transmitted into the room (sound insulation works both ways) it's also less of a consideration.

    Check out the Soundproofing Company website.
     
  16. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    I'll definitely check that out. It's not too much of a concern since it's just the wife and me (no kids, but nieces and nephews sleep over on occasion), so what I'm doing is primarily for when we have guests and for consideration for resale. There's really only one wall that would matter aside from the floor because every other wall backs up to the attic or to the outside, and we aren't too close to the neighbors. The floor is above my office, not a bedroom.

    Nothing is built out yet. It's still in the drafting and quote stage. I need to see the preliminary cost estimates to know what the budget will be for building out other stuff and customizing the space. All of the ducting is flex tube and a long run away from the central unit, but there are two ducts that will be below the floor that go to the office, so I do need to be conscious of sound getting down there if I have guests and I'm on a conference call (which happens a lot).

    Either way, moving all of this to an isolated room will be good because as it stands now, my gamer guests (older nieces and nephews) need to keep the volume turned way down because it disrupts the TV downstairs (parades, football, Hallmark channel holiday crap) and any conversations the adults are trying to have. Our house is holiday central. There was one Christmas where my youngest nephew brought Gears of War. The word "M-Fer" came out at seemingly 80+ dB, and I about died when I saw the look on my mother-in-law's face. That was a fun Christmas. :)
     
  17. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Sorry John, I'm going to disagree with you vehemently on this one on the basis of science. As long as the receiver/processor in question has modern room correction like Audyssey, Dirac or ARC. These make dual sub integration totally seamless and "idiot proof". Dual subs of lower cost in multiple positions will always yield a smoother response at the listening position. Dr. Floyd Toole has done extensive work on this topic, and it's extremely compelling. If you want to read some of the evidence, check out this somewhat lengthy presentation: https://www.harman.com/sites/default/files/multsubs_0.pdf

    Most of the more expensive single subs will have more power, or play slightly deeper, but with the preponderance of room modes and nulls in most home theaters, there's just no way to get a truly flat response with a single sub.

    I've turned room measurements and system calibration into a bit of a specialty with my reviews over the years, and I've set up dozens of theaters for friends and coworkers. Most of them are amazed at what the addition of a single $300-500 subwoofer can do to improve the performance of even expensive systems.

    If you want to skip straight to the conclusions, here's a snip:

    upload_2019-12-12_15-51-50.
     
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Valid points, Dave, and I over simplified. The thing is, you know what you're doing. Most people just throw a couple subs into a room wherever they fit and expect miracles. I also think you're minimizing the improvement in extension and general benefits of better subs. I like that soul stirring extension, that just moves the air. That's just my priority and preference.
     
  19. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    I also like a sub that extends deep, so I started with a single Seaton Submersive HP in my room since I couldn't afford two. I added a second Submersive about a year later, and was absolutely floored at the results. By the way, ARC Genesis is really great at dialing in bass.
     
  20. CyFactor

    CyFactor Auditioning

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    You're pumping 8000W of LFE?!? :eek: I'm not worthy.
     

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