Choices for a difficult room

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Eric.D, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Eric.D

    Eric.D Auditioning

    Feb 4, 2004
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    I have a basic design question relating to a multi-purpose room. I have only one possible space in which to set up a home theatre, but I can't decide if it will work. The room is a loft space at the end of a cathedral ceiling great room. No matter how I try to set up a potential design, there will be a wall missing. I have a couple of questions.

    1. Can an effective theatre setup be designed with a missing wall?
    2. If so, should it be orientated with the rear or right wall missing?
    3. If not, would an acordian style, moveable wall provide enough acoustic similarities to the other 2x6 stud, drywall finished walls to be a possible solution?

    I know it is not optimum, but I am looking for advice on the lesser of two evils. The Panelfold door is an option to close off the loft from the great room, and that would provide a 4 walled space of approximately 20' x 14'.

    Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Eric. Welcome to HTF!

    I'll take a stab at your questions.

    No, I dont think so.

    Most people have problems with too-much reflection. Without a back wall, you solve that problem. A plastic panelfold door would likely reflect high-frequency sounds, but not low-frequency sounds which would be odd.

    My advice: Put your 3 rear speakers on stands behind your primary listening position. Follow all the guidelines and listen to it for a while. I think you will be happy with the results.

    Enjoy your stay.
  3. Kevin*Ha

    Kevin*Ha Agent

    Jan 5, 2004
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    Indeed - I constantly lament over my inability to move my rear surrounds back about 3 feet. With no rear wall you can place them wherever you like. I would look at the lack of a rear wall as a bonus! Bob has the right idea - try listening with the 3 rears behind you with no wall or barrier and see how it sounds, I have a feeling you'll love it. If not you can go from there.
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Aug 19, 2002
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    Certainly put the gap in the rear, as otherwise you'll have things skewed sideways for 2-channel in strange ways. I would also take some notice of echo from wherever the boundry of the connected room is. You might try to do some strategic placement of treatments or objects to diffuse the sound so you dont get a big slap echo from the back of the room. Try clapping in your room and see if you can hear a very distinct echo from wherever the back wall is, and try to minimize that as best you can.
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
    Real Name:

    I’ll second Bob’s motion to set the system up with the open wall to the rear. I disagree, however, that an accordion-styled movable wall would be detrimental to sound. A zig-zagged wall like that would not simply reflect sound back, it would break it up and disperse it.

    It would be a great way to go if say, you had to build a back wall, but I wouldn’t put it up just for the sake of acoustics – unless the goal is to save money by having a smaller space (you can bet by with a smaller sub, speakers, and less amplifier power). If that’s not the case, I’d just leave it open, as Bob recommended.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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