Would curtains help? HT schematic inside...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Josh~H, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's a link to a .pdf file that shows the dimensions of my home theater: Josh's Home Theater

    As you can see, there is a bar on one side of the theater, and a hallway leading to the rear. Since my floors are concrete, there's already a lot of reflection going on. I don't think the odd shape of the room really helps this much either. However, if I install thick curtains in the two places noted in the schematic, my room will be a 16x13 (1.23:1) rectangle.

    If the curtains are sufficiently thick, do you think this will be a worthwhile improvement? Other than an overall sound that's a little too live at the moment due to the reflections, my biggest problem is that I can't hear the surround speakers on my DVD's. I just bought my speakers yesterday, and the L/R surrounds are ADP-170's. They're dipole, and that should create a diffuse, non-localized rear...but I can hardly hear it. Will curtains possibly help this out?
     
  2. Terry Montlick

    Terry Montlick Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Josh,

    Putting heavy curtains across otherwise open areas (like your hallway) will help deaden the room if you are blocking a reflective surface, such as a wall at the end of the hallway. Otherwise, the open area can actually act as an absorber, somewhat like an open window (which is a perfect absorber).

    You might consider putting thick curtains over any hard, reflective wall surfaces. Have the curtains bunched up for a lot fullness (100% is good).

    The heavier and thicker the curtain, the better. I once used some super-heavy, 32-ounce velour - old-fashioned stage curtain material that was terrific.

    Regards,
    Terry
     
  3. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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    Terry -

    I think my rear hallway is deadening some of the sound from the rear-firing end of my ADP-170 dipole. That could be part of the reason why my rear stage sounds so weak.

    As far as putting curtains over hard, reflective wall surfaces...all my walls are painted drywall. Ceiling is the same. Floor is polyurethaned concrete. Basically hard, reflective surfaces everywhere you look. Maybe I need to get a carpet, and perhaps put absorbing material in strategic places along the wall/ceiling. Perfect...my wife would absolutely hate that. [​IMG]
     
  4. JeffHayes

    JeffHayes Stunt Coordinator

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    Josh,

    I think you're on the right track with the curtains idea. Sounds like you have a pretty hard and reflective room from your description. Other things to think of... perhaps a nice thick area rub in the center of the room. If you have an Ikea near you, they have some nice stuff that is not too exorbitantly priced. Also, perhaps some bookshelves with different sized books placed randomly on the side walls. You can also get some nice area rugs and mount them to all the walls as part of the overall decor of the room. Try to use your wife as a sounding board and ask her for her decorating ideas as well. Sometimes S.O.'s actually surprise you and will tend to be more accepting of YOUR ideas if they feel like they were a part of the process. Who knows, maybe she will suggest using that black velvet painting of Elvis that you have had stuck in that old trunk in the garage since college as part of the wall decor. [​IMG]

    Let us know if you need more input.

    Later,
    Jeff
     
  5. Terry Montlick

    Terry Montlick Stunt Coordinator

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    Josh,

    I agree with Jeff about everything - definitely try to enlist your wife for ideas. If you have the money to spend, a great aesthetic choice is to cover at least part of some hard wall surfaces with stretch fabric placed over an inch of absorbing material. You can't tell properly installed stretch fabric from a solid wall unless you touch it. Professional installation is recommended, because the fabric must be carefully stretched on tracks to prevent wrinkles.

    As for the dipole, I think your diagnosis is correct. Dipoles need a rear wall to bounce sound off of, and ironically, that's just where you don't have a wall on the right side. Perhaps the correct piece of upright furniture - a narrow bookshelf or folding wooden screen - would provide some surface area to "catch" some of the rear fire from this speaker without blocking the entrance? Just an idea.

    Regards,
    Terry
     

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