Yet another basement HT: Surround Placement, beams, etc.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rick Mostaert, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Thanks to all of the great information here I have finally started my basement this winter after 6 years of thinking about it. I have finished framing and running conduit for the electrical in just two months time working mostly by myself and only on weekends. Plan to complete in August due to upcoming boating season. Don't watch much TV in the summer.



    First some quick advice...

    If you are framing with wood and own a compressor, invest in a framing nail gun. Incredible time saver! Well worth $200.

    Conduit bending is not that hard and leaves options open for future for additional circuits or lighting. I live in the Chicago area and it is required for all wiring.



    Now for my questions. Here is the layout for the Home Theater, pool table area and wet bar. Questions and explantion below. (Hope this works, if not here is the link http://www.enteract.com/~mostaert/basement.html



    Explanation
    • The TV is at the bottom with the equipment rack to the right in the recess
    • The prime 5.1 speaker locations are in solid blue boxes.
    • Alternate speaker locations are in blue outline boxes for the sides.
    • The red solid boxes are a possible location for rear surrounds mounted to a soffit
    • The red outline boxes are another possible location on the rear wall.
    • The green box is a support pole framed 12" square
    • The light blue wall in the middle will be a half wall/bookcase
    • Sub placement is up in the air but most likely in the corner by equipment rack or by the half wall
    • The beam and soffit have a 6'8" height from floor and the ceiling is a drop ceiling at 7'3"
    • Wet bar sink is under stairs, bar will move mostly under stairs to make room for 8ft table.
    Questions
    • Would bipolar speakers work in the prime locations or would it be better if they were back further?
    • Since I will be upgrading my receiver, would a 6.1 or 7.1 layout work in this room and which speaker location would work best?
    • My main question is will that half wall or support pole mess up the sound? Not much I can do about the pole but maybe speaker location my make a difference?
    • Will that recess mess up the sound? If so, what are my options?
    • Check out my current equipment below. Should I consider larger mains? I have until November to take advantage of the Paradigm 1 year upgrade deal. In my current living room I listen at about 10dB below reference.
    • Feel free to comment on anything else.[/list=1]

      Current equipment
      • 2 Paradigm Mini Monitors upfront, CC370 for center, Titans for rears, PDR10 sub
      • Tosh 4700 DVD player
      • Sony DE945
      • DirecTV non-5.1, non-HDTV
      Upgrades
      • At least 55" 16x9 RPTV
      • New receiver
      • Sub with more lower extension
      • ADP170s for sides
      • DirecTV HDTV and OTA HDTV receiver
      • Possible rear surrounds
      I will have the TV and new A/V receiver and HDTV receiver by August when basement is done. The other stuff is possible depending on bang for buck.



      Thanks in advance for any advice or comments.

      Rick
     
  2. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick, I know your post is mainly concerning the HT aspects of your plan but I have one question/concern. I have a billiard table in my entertainment area also. Make sure you leave enough room around the play surface for level stroke of the balls. I would suggest 65" from the inside of the rails in each direction. A standard cue is 58" long. You will find recommended room sizes on most pool table sites. Try www.olhausenbilliards.com
    As for the rest of the room layout, the only other thing I might consider is to make the front wall even all the way across. You could make the recess area accessable through a door or other means and have all of the equipment recessed into the front wall. Use the space in the cavity for wiring and giving your equipment some breathing / cooling space.
     
  3. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Kerry,
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Not having to play with a short stick on the table is important to me. (That sounds a little funny [​IMG] ) In my neighbors setup, you have to get the short stick out too often. Without the bar in the picture there is enough room all around for an 8' table according to a sheet I got from a local place. The bar poses a problem. Luckily a guy I work with makes custom bars on the side. I am going to work with him and the shop he sells through to push the bar back enough to completely eliminate the short stick or at least that it would be no shorter than 54".
    That recessed area is what I am least happy about with my design. Unfortunately the waste pipe and water supply enter there which is why I walled it the way I did. If they were not there I would build a custom TV cabinet to recess the whole TV making it flush with the front wall. I consider building a cabinet anyway but that would make it difficult to access my water shut off. The area with a door is interesting and not something I considered before. Will have to take another look.
    Rick
     
  4. Mike_Scar

    Mike_Scar Auditioning

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    Take it for what its worth, but in my opinion, the size of your room probably does not warrant a full-blown 7.1 system. I've been told that it actually hinder the performance of your system if your room is not large enough to accommodate a smooth transition from front to side to rear. I'm actually in the same phase of my basement and the layout is surprisingly similar (although my main water shutoff and main outakes are in a side wall position).
    Have you considered sound treatments yet? It seems to me that now is the time for you to consider it. It doesn't appear as though you have constructed your walls for soundproofing (and structurally, neither have I), but you can do some things to limit the sound transfer throughout the rest of your house. The cheapest and easiest thing that you can do is to hang your drywall with the use of resilient channels. These are aluminum forms which nail right to your studs in a horizontal fashion. You then attache the dry wall to the channels ensuring that your screws do not contact the studs. This design allows for sound dispersion along the aluminum channel and so that it is not transferred to the structure of the house.
    The other thing that I have been spending some time on is the manner in which I will mount my rear surrounds. I think that I have settled on the ceiling suspension method which I think would work nicely for you as well. The reason I've chosen this method is that it makes it easy to place the speakers at around 2ft above the listening position and it also allows for secure positioning. Given that your pool table is near by, placing your surrounds on stands could be prone to being knocked over with a cue stick (I'm also worried about children). There is a great site with incredible consumer and commercial products - www.omnimount.com. I am leaning toward the product that allows to secure a threaded pipe to the ceiling with a ballmount for tilting the speaker into optimum angles. If your speaker does not have pre-fabricated hanging mounts, then you will need to contact the manufacturer to ensure there is no problem with screwing into the speaker structure. I've already contacted my manufacturer who ensured me that as long as the 1/2" wood casing is fully penetrated, there are absolutely no risks (and they were actually the ones that referred me to Omnimount.
    Good luck with the project.
     
  5. Steve Kramzer

    Steve Kramzer Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just wondering if you have considered front projection instead of an hdtv. You state that you want "at least a 55 in tv", even at 55 in and then anything larger, it might be difficult to bring such a large tv down into the basement. You wouldn't have to worry about this with front projection, plus you would have a MUCH larger picture. Plus I'm guessing you have total light control in the basement, so there is another plus for front projection.
     
  6. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Mike,

    The only thing I was doing for sound would be to insulate the interior walls. I was also considering insulating the ceiling. How much do these sound channels go for? Also, are you just doing your interior walls? I would guess they wouldn't buy me much on the exterior walls because of all of that concrete and dirt on the outside.

    I have not yet figured out how to insulate the ceiling. I do not have standard joists or I-beams in the ceiling. I have these trusses built out of 2x4s. This gives me about 18" of dead air between the ceiling and the floor. They are also great for routing conduit or pipes because no drilling is requiremed. I was thinking of using faced insulation up against the floor stapled to the trusses. The only problem would be sagging because you are limited to the amount of staple points due to the structure of the truss.

    As far as the speakers are concerned, they will be mounted to the wall or the soffit created for the heating ducts. I have lots of options without stands it is just a matter of figuring out where the best spot is and how many speakers I need. Interesting comment on the 7.1 stuff. I would certainly demo that setup before buying.

    Thanks for the feedback,

    Rick
     
  7. Rick Mostaert

    Rick Mostaert Auditioning

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    Steve,

    I have not ruled out front projection. That beam is a nice place to mount a projector and getting a dedicated circuit to it would also not be a problem. My stairwell is 4' wide which is wider than most stairwells. the double door at the bottom will be 56" wide. A 55incher won't be a problem, but a 65incher will be a challenge. I will create a mockup frame of any TV I am considering and test it out before trying with the real thing. White glove delivery service may also be in order.

    I am in no hurry on buying the TV. The type of TV won't impact equipment or speaker placement so I don't have to decide now. That will be the last thing purchased and won't be until Aug/Sept. I am hoping that prices are cheaper and I will also have more time to evaluate FPTV versus RPTV. My wife loves the projection setups in the stores so that won't be a problem. Price, features, and operability will be the main determining factors.

    Rick
     

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