Owen's pre-build thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 20 Old 04-14-16, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Owen's pre-build thread

Alright. The time has finally (FINALLY!) come. After starting to plan and collecting ideas... then having 2 kids instead, we’re starting work on getting the basement finished, and we’re a step closer to building the theatre room. This is just a pre-build thread to get my head in the right place, and float my plans out in case anyone sees critical mistakes.

The plan is something like this:
  1. Clean out the hoarder’s nightmare that has become our basement.
  2. Finalize the basic layout for the theatre (see below for details).
  3. Have framing done. (contractor)
  4. Have electrical done. (electrician friend)
  5. Add a few runs of smurf tube on exterior theatre wall just in case I need it down the road.
  6. Do low voltage wiring for theatre myself (speaker, HDMI to projector location, etc.)
  7. Have any plumbing/gas done, mostly just around relocating washer/dryer and hot water tank. (contractor)
  8. Minor HVAC, likely a fan controlled soffit vent for projector, and possibly a dead vent for equipment area.
  9. Planning on DIY diffuser panels set into rear wall (to save space).
  10. Install boxes for surround speakers.
  11. Have the outside walls spray foamed. (pro insulation company)
  12. Complete any low voltage wiring needed.
  13. Drywall, mud & tape. (contractor)
  14. Floor throughout basement (leaning toward luxury vinyl plank).
  15. Trim and doors. (contractor)
  16. Build speakers, subs, and screen.
  17. Acoustic treatment behind screen (bass traps and front wall)
  18. Set up equipment and enjoy!

Equipment Details
  • New 11.2 receiver
  • Oppo BDP
  • Bell Fibe cable box
  • Roku 2
  • Xbox 360
  • iNuke 6000 sub amp
  • Projector
  • DIY AT 2.4:1 screen

Speakers
  • DIY Sound Group Cinema 88 Special (front L/C/R)
  • DIY Sound Group Volt 6 (surround side, back, and Atmos)
  • Dual sealed 18” subwoofers (SI or Dayton)
  • Buttkicker LFE transducers (2) on rear couch
  • Buttkicker Mini transducers for (2) front seats

Theatre Layout

The room I’m planning around is admittedly small for what I’m hoping to cram into it. But I think if done carefully, I can make it all work. Right now my biggest concern is fitting in 2 rows, which is kind of important (2 of us, plus 2 kids, plus guests means we’ll need to seat at least 4 – 8 at times). The plan is to use a slim couch right against the back wall, which isn’t ideal, but acceptable for secondary seats. That will be raised (maybe 6-8”), which means low headroom for me at 6’3” but should be OK for kids and shorter people.

I’m hoping to mount the projector in a rear soffit to keep a clean look and help with noise, venting directly to the room next door. Height, beam path, and throw are all issues I need to sort out, and will be modeling the room in sketchup to make sure I’m not setting myself up for failure.

I had originally planned for a false screen wall, 2’ from the wall, where I would mount the AT screen and put all the equipment. I have since thought to modify that to a 2-stage false wall, with the lower half coming out the full 2’, but the screen section only 1’ or so, to allow just enough room for the speakers. That would give me a little more room for throw distance and viewing distance.

The screen itself I haven’t given a ton of thought to yet, but it seems that SeymourAV are the go-to in DIY (AT) material providers. I think I’m convinced about building 2.4:1 CIH screen, because I can go full width and not have to worry about the bottom of the screen taking up component space or being too low to see. Also, I kind of feel that those extra wide format movies will feel the most “special” if I maximize for them, but I’ll still be totally happy viewing 16:9 content on the slightly smaller area. We’ll be sitting close enough that it won’t feel tiny.

The projector I have in mind is the Pannasonic ae8000u, which is popular. I really like that it handles switching between aspect ratios well automatically.

The main LCR speakers I’m strongly leaning toward are DIY Sound Group’s 88 Special. I like the large waveguide for great dispersion, and they will play loudly and efficiently beyond anything I’ll need in this size room. One of the things I’ve heard a lot about them is that the clarity is top notch, which is very important for me. I really want a big step up in the quality of dialogue in this theatre. I’m looking forward to 3 identical LCRs right behind the screen where they should be. My current CC is a Paradigm CC370 (not exactly small) and I find myself wanting to turn it up often, or straining to hear quiet conversations. I’ve already increased the level, but it still isn’t great. These will be located behind the screen, and the 9” depth is nice. I’m hoping that a 12” screen wall upper section will give me whatever room I need for placement, including toe adjustments and possibly treatment on the rear wall (if not I’ll just treat directly around them).

Surround speakers will be Volt 6 coaxial speakers, mounted in-wall on sides and back. Atmos speakers (either 2 or 4) will also be Volt 6 mounted flush to the ceiling.

Subs will be on the front wall, below the screen, flanking the equipment cabinet. Placement isn’t ideal, but it maximizes space and I’m sure the output of two 18” subs will be adequate, especially with Buttkickers to augment the tactile low end.

Floorplan
Here’s a basic, probably almost to scale and almost accurately measured plan of the basement, with the planned theatre layout. I’ll confirm the measurements and height and get the room done in sketchup when I have a chance. That’s what I’ll use to model the projector and seating stuff in more detail. I know it’s tight, and I know the 2nd row will be far from ideal. The upside is that kids or casual guests don’t care.

SEE ATTACHED PLAN

*Edit: Sorry, on the plan, the projector and screen are bright green, if that wasn't self evident.

I think that’s it for now. We’ve been meeting with contractors, and hope to start framing in the next month or so. Which means I’ll need to finalize my room plan at least. I’ve done a bunch of other layouts, tried the screen on the long wall and making it a big open living room type theatre, but I think I really prefer the feel of a closed in space. I’m still open to suggestions though, for now!
Attached Thumbnails
Owen's pre-build thread-rough-theatre-layout.jpg  


- OJ -

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Last edited by Owen Bartley; 04-14-16 at 01:20 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-14-16, 02:19 PM
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

Looking forward to seeing the progress on this. One note on the furniture placement make sure you have the rear sofa pulled away from the rear wall. Sound refection will be an issue for anyone sitting there. Another option is to put sound dampening on that wall where your heads are above the backrest on the sofa.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-14-16, 03:17 PM
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

Hey Owen, congrads on getting the build back in gear. I'm almost ready to complete mine as well. I know space is always at a premium (my room is a converted bedroom, 12X21), is there any way to rotate it 90 degrees & utilize more of that basement? I'd like to see more room behind the screen to allow for pulling the speakers out away form the wall. Would also allow that rear seating to be pulled out as well. I totally understand if the space isn't available...it's just jumping out at me in the pic.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-14-16, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
Looking forward to seeing the progress on this. One note on the furniture placement make sure you have the rear sofa pulled away from the rear wall. Sound refection will be an issue for anyone sitting there. Another option is to put sound dampening on that wall where your heads are above the backrest on the sofa.
Thanks Tony! I'd love to put more distance between the rear seats and the wall, but I don't think I have the room. I do plan to build a couple of diffusers into the rear wall, and likely some absorption as well.

Quote:
Tonto wrote: View Post
Hey Owen, congrads on getting the build back in gear. I'm almost ready to complete mine as well. I know space is always at a premium (my room is a converted bedroom, 12X21), is there any way to rotate it 90 degrees & utilize more of that basement? I'd like to see more room behind the screen to allow for pulling the speakers out away form the wall. Would also allow that rear seating to be pulled out as well. I totally understand if the space isn't available...it's just jumping out at me in the pic.
Thanks Tonto. I'll need to check your progress! I thought about rotating and having it open to the larger area, but we decided that it would be better to keep a small enclosed theatre, and an open play area for the kids (5 months and 2 1/2 - lots of time left for running around like little crazy people). I'm pushing the screen back as far as possible to get a little more distance to the main viewing seats, and I'm planning to treat the whole front wall (except cutouts for the speakers if required) with 2" or more of absorption material. That SHOULD help to minimize the negative effects of being close to the wall. I'll also have corner traps back there, anywhere I can squeeze them in.

Oh, and what you don't see in that plan is that to the left of the other support pole is the furnace, water heater, and laundry, which is going to be enclosed as well.

- OJ -

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post #5 of 20 Old 04-14-16, 06:06 PM
 
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

Quote:
Owen Bartley wrote: View Post
Thanks Tony! I'd love to put more distance between the rear seats and the wall, but I don't think I have the room. I do plan to build a couple of diffusers into the rear wall, and likely some absorption as well.
Wait until Bryan sees your thread, as I am pretty sure he will say you need around 5' to your seats from the rear wall if you are going to use diffusers. We went with absorption for the rear wall, even though I wanted to go with diffusers again. The new panels they make that absorb , and reflect might work, but Bryan can tell you.

Ron

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Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Oppo UDP-203

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-15-16, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post

Wait until Bryan sees your thread, as I am pretty sure he will say you need around 5' to your seats from the rear wall if you are going to use diffusers. We went with absorption for the rear wall, even though I wanted to go with diffusers again. The new panels they make that absorb , and reflect might work, but Bryan can tell you.
Haha! I was actually already worried that Bryan would find a million problems with this plan. As always though, I'm very happy to have the benefit of his expertise, at least to know what compromises I've made and what the effects will be.

I was thinking a mix of treatment on the rear wall would have benefits to the back row (some absorption) as well as the MLP (a pair of diffusers).

Might as well get it all out there while I'm on it... I'm planning to do 2" of spray foam on the exterior walls, and filling the rest of the leftover cavities with safe n sound. Interior walls will be filled with safe n sound. I know the spray foam does virtually nothing for sound, but I want the security of knowing this place is sealed up tight. I plan to fill all available front wall Corners with traps, and blanket the rest of the wall with absorption. First reflection points will get panels, and the rear wall will have a mix of diffusion and absorption. That's about as far as I've gotten.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-15-16, 11:48 AM
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

Please post REW graphs of the finished room without any treatments. It would be real nice to see how the different treatments tame the rooms performance.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-15-16, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

I'd like to try to do that, but the equipment will be the last thing in the room, probably. I'll have to build all the speakers, and buy a new AVR and sub amp, and that will all come after construction. I'll see how much I can leave out, but some of it will just make sense to do in line with the construction work. I can leave the 1st reflection panels till last... and I can try to leave the bass traps and front wall treatment too. Might have some integrated soffit traps built during construction. If I have a raised back row, the riser will also be used as a trap.

I know ideally the mantra is "measure first, then treat problem areas" so I will try my best to stick to that. I might go for 2 broadband diffusion panels on the rear wall to break up as much as I can, because they'll have to be sunken into the stud bay to save room. I guess I could just figure out a size and frame out a hole...

You should be ashamed of yourself, Tonto. Making me do things the proper, logical way.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-15-16, 03:05 PM
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

I'm sorry, don't mean to be causing any trouble!!! I just don't think I've actually seen a short/sweet build thread on just treatments. Maybe I can talk Brian into to working with me when I do my room. I should have everything in place before the treatments start.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-15-16, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Owen's pre-build thread

I don't think Short & sweet and treatments exists... lol

I've been doing some reading on and off for years, and the more you read, the more comprehensive it gets. I think I'll try to work in a simple approach when I have the room built, if I'm able. I won't be doing comprehensive treatments, but first level stuff, maybe some standard bass traps and if there's a serious problem I'll try to address it. We'll see how things go.

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