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New Member New Build Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RTrott01, Dec 30, 2017.

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  1. RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Howdy Folks-

    I have been an occasional lurker here and have decided to officially join as I am now building a ground up (slab up) dedicated media room/man cave/teen cave. Since I have not been on the forum much at all in recent years, I am a bit behind in my tech knowledge and thus have some questions and advice requests that I know many of you can assist me with. I am also going to try and attach photos of the current build status.

    In general, this is a 15ft by 15ft newly framed room with vaulted cathedral ceiling that is 11ft at its tallest point (along the pitch midpoint at the top of the main beam. I have an electrician coming next Wed or Thurs to start the rough-in. As far as equipment, I have a pair of 1980 Cornwall’s expertly updated by Bob Crites. These are going to be on the floor and used as my R/L Mains. For a center channel, I have an Axiom Audio VP-150 on-wall Center Channel (either 94 or 98dB) and for rear surrounds, I have a pair of Axiom Audio M-22 on-wall speakers. I do not yet have a subwoofer or subwoofers picked out. I also have a Vizio 65” UHD TV (can’t recall model) still in the box waiting for completion of the room.

    Things I am considering - Carpeting the concrete floor. I just think there are really no better choices for sound purposes. I love the idea of a cool reclaimed wood plank floor or something like that, but don’t think it would be very good for sound..? Also considering a large sectional spanning most of the back wall that also either has reclining portions or has a pull out sofa bed for occasional guests. Looking into some type of sound barrier prior to drywall like 2m Peacemaker by Audimute or Acoustiblok. I am told it must be installed to the studs/ceiling joists before drywall as it must remain flexible to work. I have read that the main issue in soundproofing is that the sound travels through the studs and not really the air, so excess batt insulation really doesnt help much. Nor does a double layer of drywall make much of a difference. I have read that the key is damping, that is reducing the vibration of the studs and joists. I have read about products like Quiet Rock but opinions seem to vary on it. The one thing I hear is quite effective is installing a vinyl barrier to the studs/joists before the drywall such as the two products referred to above. So, using a 1/8” mass loaded vinyl is all I am planning at this point. I know some people put 5/8” plywood on the studs, then the vinyl and then the 5/8” drywall. This adds mass and damping, but I don’t think it will stop much of the bass from making to the neighbors house. There is something called double framing that is supposedly good for corralling the bass by creating some type of air gap in the wall to dissipate the bass. Sounds complex. Any opinions or advice on soundproofing at this point in my project is greatly appreciated!

    I am also torn between 5.1, 5.2, 7.1, 7.2 and all the fancy speaker configurations even higher than those. Wondering if I should at least have wires run in preparation for the future while the walls are open. Any advice?

    Also, this room is quite a ways from where our router is in the main house, so I am thinking about having electrician run a direct hard line from the router to this new media room so I am not fully dependent upon WiFi. I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t know much about these types of cables outside of good old cat 5. I am sure there is much better technology for this type of cable run and I would appreciate anyone’s opinions as well.

    Things I am undecided on - Maybe a projector instead of the 65” LED TV...?? Also, AVR choice. Looking at Denon or Yamaha perhaps but open to anything. I also want the ability to easily switch over and listen to my Cornwall’s in pure 2 channel bliss with a good vinyl player (don’t have one of those yet, either).

    Ok, that is about all I can think of for now -please feel free to add any other advice anyone may have. Going to try and add photos next!

    Thanks most kindly to all.
    RTrott01
     

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  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I would carpet the floor. You are absolutely correct that wood floors look good, but are not good for HTs. Also, it's best not to have your seating position at the back wall, if you can avoid it. Surround sound works best with several feet behind the seating position. 5.1 or 7.1 is kind of up to you. With 5.1, the surround speakers are on the side. It's common to make the mistake of putting them in the back. With 7.1 you put a second pair in the back.

    As far as the network, it's not a bad idea to run ethernet into the room. You might as well use cat 6, since it's only slightly more expensive. I'm sure someone will chime in with all sorts of fancy wiring you can do, but just running wired internet into the room makes sense. You can then set up a second Wi-Fi network specifically for that room, if you want, or just use a switch to break out wired connections to any devices. Setting up a second wi-fi point will make it simple to add components.

    As far as sound proofing, the most effective way is with staggered studs, so there is no physical connection between the inner and outer walls. It makes the wall a couple inches thicker with the inner wall attached to one set of studs and the outer to a different set. It's a pretty fundamental design for sound proofing. You can easily find examples of it online. Double drywall in addition probably makes it even better.
     
  3. RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Great and thanks John. I am limited to 15ft from back wall to screen location. I was think the two surrounds mounted on the wall about 2ft above seated listening position and on either side of the ends of the sofa as far back as possible. If I am understanding you, the goal is to have those two surrounds slightly behind the listening position (as well as slightly above)?

    Just this morning, I am now really leaning toward a front projector. Does wa throw distance of 12-14ft leave me with decent options if I am looking for 4k? I may have my builder go ahead and rough in a box for the projector on the back wall attached to the open studs before drywall.

    Thanks again for any of your generous comments or advice.
     
  4. RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Also, I might add that the first photo is of the back wall where the sectional sofa will go and above which i will need a box made for a projector. The wall that has the door and two windows is to the left if you are seated on the imaginary sofa facing the imaginary screen. That small room to the right of the door/window wall will be a small bathroom. So, the amount of space i have for the front speakers/screen is from the right side of the bathroom door frame to the end of that wall - approx 10.5ft give or take. The Cornwall’s are 26” wide and i will have a custom counter-height cabinet between them. The center channel and the screen centered above that cabinet and between the Cornwall’s. So, if you can visualize this, the screen will be centered between the bathroom door and the far wall as opposed to centered on the entire 15ft length. Hope that doesn’t look too odd.
     
  5. RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Sorry folks, but also had another question. Should I have the electrician pre-wire for Dolby Atmos while walls are open? Would Atmos overhead ceiling mount speakers work very well with a pitched cathedral ceiling as you can see in the photos? I read on the Dolby site about the ability to add upfiring Atmos modules that literally sit on top of your traditional front-firing main speakers and direct the sound upward - and in some cases sound even better than overhead ceiling mounted Atmos speakers directing sound downward. Thanks again for any comments. Happy New Year to all.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Basically. And someone will say I'm wrong. It really is best to have as much distance as possible between the listening position and the surrounds, while keeping them to the side, slightly behind, and a couple feet above ear level. I don't have Atmos, but I understand the ideal height for the surrounds is closer to ear level, since you now have height sounds added into the mix. So, the lower surrounds make sense. The pitched ceiling is going to complicate things with Atmos. I've often seen suggestions that the reflecting Atmos speakers that sit in top of the fronts are better, since they have greater speaker to listener distance (same logic as I already explained with surrounds) which improves their immersive feel. With the pitched ceiling, sound from those will reflect differently. I really can't say if that will be a problem or not. Maybe someone else can.

    I can't help you with projectors at all. I don't like them for HTs. I prefer a smaller plasma or OLED instead.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    BTW, if you do 7.1 with the seating position at or near the back wall, try aiming the rear surrounds up and bouncing them off the ceiling. It's not ideal, but it's probably the best solution you have.
     
  8. xx Brian xx

    xx Brian xx Agent

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    It looks like John has you dialed in on the sound. As for the projector vs TV I would say that we love our projector for movies but never use it for regular TV watching. Projectors have a different feel to them when you watch a movie even though our TV has a better (4K HDR) picture. We are fortunate to have both but if I had to choose one it would be the TV.

    A lot of projectors on a 120" screen will be around your 12'-14' throw distance. The best way to know more precisely what the throw distance will be is to use the projector calculator on ProjectorCentral. Select you projector from the drop down list and then select your screen size.
     
  9. 9 Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Well, to update everyone, I am wiring for a projector in the future at the rear of the room but sticking with the 65” Vizio I already have for now. Have also decided on 5.1.4 speaker set up. My dilemma is where to place Atmos height speakers with sofa being along back wall and cathedral ceiling. I am thinking two pairs of Polk RC85i (rectangle) or RC80i (round) - cheap and good reviews. I am guessing my two rear Atmos speakers will have to be overhead of the sofa, but can place the two front Atmos speakers at the recommended 45deg angle in front and above the listener position. Does anyone have any comment or advice on this plan?

    Also looking at soundproofing insulation at Home Depot called Roxul or Quiet Batt - then use the rubber wrap mentioned above. Anyone have personal experience with either one? I really want to sound proof this room as much as possible so willing to spend extra funds to get best effect.

    Thanks!
     

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  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Speculating a bit here, since I don't have Atmos, but I suspect the approach you're taking, with 5.1.4, and the rear surrounds configured as Atmos, might be the best approach. That is, as opposed to the rear surrounds being traditional ones with a 7.1.2 setup. The upside is, you can probably simply change the speaker configuration in your receiver to switch the rear speakers between Atmos (5.1.4) and regular (7.1.2) to see which you like better.
     
  11. RTrott01

    RTrott01 Auditioning

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    Thanks John. I am now struggling through the soundproofing decisions. Was sold on Roxul Comfort Batt (building is separate from main house) with MLV then 5/8 Sheetrock, but reading more and more that normal R-13 Pink insulation will yield very similar result at a significantly lower cost. Also, there are multiple MLV vendors all touting their product as superior. Amazon even sells it. So much to decide.
     

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