It's about to begin... ideas/suggestions?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tony Loewen, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everyone,

    I went down to our new house yesterday and took a few measurements and made up a little sketch. I was wondering if I could get some input from some of you guys out there with a little more experience as this is my first project like this. Here's what I have to work with:

    [​IMG]

    Part of the bar is already there, but I want to extend it and put an "L" into it. I am putting in a couple of beer taps with lines going into a fridge in the adjoining room. The speakers are just there for placement, nothing is there yet. Would I benefit from closing off the bar from the theater (ie accoustics and stuff) and how would I do this? Could I use a good, heavy curtain? Also, I plan on having the stage both for sub placement and in case the band ever wants to set up and jam out a couple of tunes.

    Another question, what would be a good starting point for a budget? I have a Sony catalog I was using for pricing, just sort of a base plan: 150W x 7 ES Home Theatre Receiver (STR-DA3000ES) $1699.99 cdn, M-series speakers (3-way floor 200W SS-MF750H for the fronts $479.99/pr, 2-way bookshelf 120W SS-MB250H for the center surrounds $179.99/pr, 3-way floor 150W SS-MF550H for rear surrounds $299.99/pr, 250W RMS dual 10" subwoofer SA-WX700 $599.99, 150W Center Channel SS-CN550H for center $149.99). My plan is to use a ceiling mount projector along the lines of a X1 or something, and then run the system off of my already-in-the-process-of-building HTPC. I had kinda told my wife it would likely be in the $12K range by the time decorating and furniture had been finished, is this about right? What have some other projects similar to this set-up run as far as final price is concerned?

    Also, any suggestions on the receiver/speaker combo? Like I had said, all I had was a Sony catalog lying around to price some of this stuff out, do these look like good choices, or does anyone have any comments?

    I am getting ready to start doing the construction work, we will be moving in in about a month, we are just waiting for the new carpet and linoleum to be installed upstairs before we can move in.

    One other question. The basement walls are already finished, and I'm not crazy about ripping everything out and packing it with accoustical insulation, is there anything I could do for the sound that would leave the drywall up? I have read that a double layer of drywall, sealed well, can do the job nicely. Also, the ceiling is open beams, which I plan on finishing. I have done some overhead drywalling, and I do not want to do it again if I don't have to. Any other suggestions about that?

    I really look forward to hearing what you guys have to say, and I can't wait until I can get rolling on this new project. Thanks alot guys.

    Tony Loewen
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Tony, Geocities wont allow you to link to a picture. So, I took the liberty of loading it to my netscape account. Hope you don't mind:

    [​IMG]

    Everything looks fine to me... except, you might consider moving the sub to the left corner.

    Enclosing off the bar might give you better acoustics, however, personally, I'd leave it as is. There's a point where asthetics rule... plus, I would want easy access to those beer taps!


    Do you know if the builder has put anything back there already? I'm not sure insulation will make a big enough difference to warrant tearing it all down. A second layer would help, but can be a PITA because you'd have to adjust all the outlets and such. Do you know how far the studs are from each other in those walls? The narrower the better, I'd say if they're 16"-18" on center, you'd probably be okay just leaving them.

    As far as the ceiling goes, a drop ceiling could work. I'm pretty satisfied with my Armstrong acoustical tiles. Coupled with the carpeting, they really deaden the space. However, if you're a "reference level" type of guy, they kind of "shift" during big bass scenes. Not really a rattle, per se, sounds more like a settling noise. Spend the extra $ and get the heavy duty framing if you go this route.

    Keep us posted.
     
  3. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, thanks alot for the image move, I tried it in the testing area and it worked fine, but I guess they pulled it on me, the rotten scoundrels!! I really don't know what is behind the walls, but this is in Gillam Manitoba, about 1200 kilometers north of the canada/us border, so I would image that there is some insulation in it already. I didn't even think of a dropped ceiling... duh! I will definitely check into it. Thanks. What about carpeting the walls? Would that deaden things too much? Has anyone done anything like that?

    Anyway, thanks again Dave.

    Anyone look into that receiver/speaker set up? What are the majority of you putting in for sound?

    Tony
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    I’ll concur with Dave on the sub placement and the prospect of tearing out the walls.

    It all depends on what the goal of doing all that is.

    If it’s for “improved acoustics,” save your time, money and efforts. Insulation inside the wall or double sheet rock will not affect acoustics at all – i.e., cut down on reflections, reverberation, etc.

    If it’s for soundproofing, you can probably save your time, money and efforts there, too. In-wall insulation and double sheet rock will cut down on what’s being transferred to other rooms, but it will not come close to near-total bleed-through, especially for the low frequencies, which is the most difficult to stop. For that you will have to go the distance and build a room-in-a-room, like they do in recording studios. Naturally, if the basement walls are not shared by other rooms, the extra work and expense becomes even more unnecessary.

    Dave’s recommendation for the drop ceiling is novel, but from an acoustical standpoint I would expect that the more random surface patters of the exposed beams will do much better diffusion of soundwaves than a continuous horizontal surface, be it a drop ceiling or (especially) a sheet rock ceiling. The latter especially will be highly reflective.

    Regarding the soundproofing aspects of a drop ceiling, for the upper floor will be minimal at best, for the same reasons stated above.

    If maximized soundproofing is the goal, the best way to achieve that is with a ceiling that is structurally decoupled from the floor above. This would involve spanning new beams across the room below the existing ones. The new ceiling would be double-layered sheet rock, sealed air-tight, with heavy insulation between the ceiling and floor.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. John Sayers

    John Sayers Auditioning

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    with a ceiling like yours you have a few options.

    One is to fill the space between the joists with a quality absorber and cover the ceiling with a cloth finish. This would in fact make the ceiling acoustically neutral as it would become a very efficient absorber.

    If on the other hand you wish to isolate the room from the upstairs I suggest you add a new drywall ceilng mounted on RC (resilient channel) These a metal channels that you attach at 90 degrees to the joists and then attach the drywall to it. It in effect lifts the drywall off the joists decreasing the sound transfer to the joists and thus increases the STC significantly.

    cheers
    john
     

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