where do i start?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by mustangwally, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    finally have gotten the bug to finish my HT. i have an area in the basement approx. 10' x 23' with 7' 6" ceiling height. i have looked over numerous thread on this forum and am a little confused with where to start. i know i need to enclose the space and use a solid core door, but that is the end of my thoughts. what should i do for the cement floor? how about the walls, what goes on for best sound? i am not wanting to break the bank, and am going to be doing most of the work myself with the help of my friends.

    i am hoping to get a front projector(another thread to figure out what i need!)
    and building a built in rack

    my main concern right now is the wall construction, ceiling insulation and finishing(tile or drywall), and ventilation

    any thoughts from your projects would be greatly appreciated!!

    thanks

    wally
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Do not tile under any circumstances! It’s hard and therefore very reflective – your room will be an echo chamber!

    If you’re concerned about sound disturbing the upstairs, you might double up on the sheetrock for the ceiling (and use 5/8” instead of 1/2”), and use some soundproofing material between the floor and ceiling. Regular insulation is just so-so for soundproofing.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for the help!!

    i will probably contiue to ask questions as the work progress, but for now i know to build the wall, dont tile the ceiling and drywall the walls.

    that should keep me busy for a while[​IMG]
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Oh, sorry, I thought you meant ceramic tilie on the floor!

    Ceiling tiles, that’s another story. No echo issue there. They can vibrate a little with heavy bass passages (assuming you’re going to have a mundo subwoofer). Not good at all for soundproofing, if you’re wanting to keep the upstairs quiet.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    no i dont even want to ceramic tile the ceiling!![​IMG]

    i have a paradigm ps1200 sub and it sounds great(an upgrade is always possible)
    but i dont think i will have a problem with ceiling tile rattling. i have already stuffed quiet zone insulation into all the rafters to quiet the upstairs, but seeing how it is only the two of us in the house, usually when i am watching a movie she is besides hiding under a blanket(she loves/hates horror movies!![​IMG] )

    i have matching paradigm monitor 9v2 for fronts and a CC350 center. found a nice set of paradigm surrounds on this forum in my hometown and am searching for a set of rears(for the excuse that once i have them i NEED to upgrade to 7.1! [​IMG] ) cuurently i have a sony ES30 5.1 receiver that i am very pleased with.

    thanks for all the help so far!![​IMG]
     
  6. DelRay

    DelRay Stunt Coordinator

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    A few more things to think about. Pre wiring before drywall. Inc. wires for projector. Maybe a dedicated circuit or 2. Sconce lighting maybe. Speaker runs for 7.1. And having easy access to the rear of the AV rack is real handy.
    Heat/ac runs and returns. Plenty of stuff to think about.
     
  7. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    I would start with determining a budget and possibly a priority list of what you need now and what you eventually want. Most of us do not have unlimited budgets so priorities will have to be made.

    Try to keep a more balanced budget. It is great to have a kick butt display or speaker system but if you do not budget for acoustic treatment, seating, light control, cabling, power/surge protection, etc. it can really kill the party or at least make it less than ideal.

    Carpet is inexpensive and is better than bare concrete but really is not as sound absorbing as many might think. It would take a pretty thick shag carpet to make large changes in absorbtion or diffusion and I doubt you are willing to wait for it to be back in style.

    I too had a concrete floor and since using a lot of acoustic treatments was not going to fly with the boss, I spent an inordinate amount of money floating and isolating the floor. It is not too expensive but is very labor intensive and will raise the floor height considerably relative to the concrete. A net search will show you how it is done and what materials to use if you are interested.

    Light control can also be expensive unless you have no windows so put it high on the list if you have a lot of windows.

    I would start looking at display technologies and determine what fits for your family. Some people like me and my wife can't handle DLP color wheels in projection systems so make sure you view the different technologies before investing a lot of money. All displays have their strengths and weaknesses so decide what you are willing to live with and go from there.

    I could write a book on this topic and so I will stop here and if you are interested in any other rantings, just ask.

    Good Luck and plan, plan, and plan.
     
  8. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    again thanks for all the suggestions.

    i have no windows in the room, i have HVAC piping already laid out. my ex roommate (and wife's cousin) is an electrician so wiring is covered, including ceiling pot lites for basically nothing!

    wiring for 7.1 for sure, circuits for the projectors, the AV rack is going to be wall mounted and accessible from the outside of the HT with its own HVAC cooling system.

    i am sure i will encounter more problems, but the carpet issue is not really a problem, a heavy shag is totally possible after i show my wife the difference in sound that it is suppose to make. her requirements for the HT is that: i am happy, it sounds/looks as good as the store, and she can watch as much hockey on it as she can!! life is tough!
     
  9. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    One of the first things I would determine in designing your room is your own priorities when it comes to the following:

    1- Sound isolation (this is commonly known as "soundproofing"). Ask if it is important to you, and your lifestyle, and also the others who must live in this house.

    2 - Sound quality. This is a completely separate issue from the item above. It is quite different from the above. In a few cases, the things that will lead to the very best soundproofing can also cause you to end up with some sound deficiencies, unless you are willing to spend the time and money to properly TREAT the room at the end of your build. As an example, drop-in ceiling tiles may be better for a high audio quality, but a drywall ceiling will almost always be better when it comes to true soundproofing. Sealing up a room so it is an airtight chamber offers better soundproofing, but the echoes it introduces and the high frequency reverberations mean it can be awful if left untreated. Then, of course, there are smaller priorities to consider ("If I use drywall, I cannot access the wiring and utilities and other stuff as easily as if I put up a drop ceiling.")

    3 - Image quality and image size. These things (and the priorities you assign to them) can also dictate a lot of the design elements. It can dictate overall room size, distances from projector to screen, color schemes, etc.

    4 - Seating. Specifically, the types and numbers of seats you hope to achieve, and the comfort level of those seats. You may believe that 8 seats arranged in two rows is a high priority, and you may find that the physical size will only allow this if you make one of the rows a type of seating which does not fully recline. Or, you might find that your ceiling height does not lend itself to a tall riser platform where you can place that second row. There are many, many rooms where the seating priorities has dictated much of the remaining design. Home theater reclining seats take up a lot of real estate. Sofas tend to take up a bit less. True "theatrical seating" like one might find in a movie theater or a live theater tend to take up much less room. Bar stools, and similar set-ups, tend to take up very little room. However, two hours on a bar stool may not be the ideal for everyone.

    I know this answer seems short on specifics, but I believe your end product will be better if you first take some time to truly think about what your own goals are, and how this room will be used, and let those things prescribe the rest of the decisions.

    As an example, Sound proofing was VERY important to me. Comfort in seating was also a VERY high priority. My wife badly wanted 8 seats. We fought to keep all of this, and finally ended up with a very high degree of soundproofing in the build, but only 7 seats, all of which are true home theater recliners. (The soundproofing actually cost us a lot of room width, but we refused to compromise on that). The audio quality needs a lot of work, after the fact, but fortunately it is possible to do this "after the fact." Sound treatments can easily be installed after the room is complete. I was able to keep the video quality high, but that desire did mean stepping down slightly in the original screen size.

    -Bruce
     
  10. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    soundproofing is going to be done for the room not the house, that is i dont want anything rattle when the bass hits, but not too woorried if the rest of the house can hear what i am watching(in fact i strive for that![​IMG] )

    screen size will be determined obviously by the phyiscal size of the wall, 10' and the room i need to put the front speakers

    seating arrangement is fairly easily (i think let me know if i am wrong), my wife and i will be primary viewers and possibly 2-3 other viewers max. i am thinking about two theater seats in front and a raised seating for 3 in the rear.

    i think the wall is going up next week as i have cleaned out the area except for the HT equipment, but man does the sound ever sound different in an empty room!![​IMG] unbelievable!!
     
  11. Brian Osborne

    Brian Osborne Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are going to do a raised floor, you have to consider doing a TST (shaker). I don't care what type of sub you have or how good you think it is, there is nothing, I mean nothing like feeling your bones rattle from the shaker and your chest thump from your sub. You can only have both, if you buy and install both.
    Consider placement for your projector, your throw distance, wall size, seating placement and speaker placement before you start building. You will be so pissed if you get half done and realize you can't put your projector where you need to in order to get the screen size you want.
     
  12. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    It might be a good idea to start a cable list and run it by the group. Their is always a need for more than you initially plan for, especially when running wire through walls, floors, or ceilings.

    Things like phone, 12 V trigger lines, and ethernet often are forgotten until too late.
     
  13. mustangwally

    mustangwally Stunt Coordinator

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    should i be thinking about a stage for the front, center and sub? this is done mostly for sound and secondly for looks? i like the look of a slightly raised stage in front? and secondly do i use sand or insulation?
     
  14. Quiet Zone

    Quiet Zone Auditioning

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    Quiet Zone Acoustic Insulation is awesome. I also used Quiet Zone to insulate my home theater. I used it in addition to Quiet Glue between two staggered thicknesses of 5/8" gypsum. Of course, none of this can go into place until every little crack is filled with foam and/or silicone! I have a ton of Quiet Zone Batts left over (enough for 3 home theatres- misordered and can't return). If you're in the market, let me know![​IMG]
     

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