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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here begins the tale of Ambrosio's Unaplex II...

Yes, this is my second theater build. My first build was in a single level ranch with the biggest room becoming my dedicated theater. Unfortunately, when the HT wasn't being used, the house became very small. Also at the time of my build, my budget did not allow for any real sound isolation. At first my wife could tolerate my movie parties but when I added two large 18" DIY subs behind the AT screen, I must admit, it was pretty loud and rattled the entire house. My neighbor said I actually rattled a picture frame off HER wall.

So, we sold the house and now I have a full basement. My wife has given up rights to the right half (and portion of the left) of the basement for my "man cave". The only stipulation was that she had to have unfettered access to the laundry room and storage rooms in the back of the basement. You see, in the last house, I killed the pantry, hall closet and the family room. So her request was not unreasonable to me. :D The basement was completely finished before I got my grubby paws on it.

**Note**: This basement layout has changed. Look below for the latest layout...or click here
Here is my current vision:



Note that the red walls and hot water heater are to be removed. The blue walls, hot water heater, and separate HVAC are to be added. The yellow circles are my lolicolumns.

If that's too much color, here's the same layout with just the finished "blue" items: Ambrosio's Unaplex 2 layout

I have made initial contact with BPape and he will be on board to hopefully stop me from making any major snafus. I am planning a room within a room with the theater's new ceiling joists nestled in between the current joists. I am going with 3 layers of 5/8" DW with GG. I plan on building an IB chamber ala Cathan and the walls will be finished with fabric frames ala GPowers. I already have my dricore but I cannot put it down until I convert my finished basement into an unfinished basement.

Here's what the room looked like prior to me picking up a hammer and pry bar:

The walls with X's on them is the bedroom wall that will be removed. The IB chamber and AT screen will be back here. The room does look a bit long in the layout and can be adjusted somewhat by making the IB chamber bigger if necessary.

The door by the CO detector is the only entrance to the back rooms and I will be sealing it off as it is on the left wall of the theater not far from where the screen will be.

To make this happen, the water heater in the laundry/sump room was moved near the mechanical room and a new door is to go directly from the lobby/arcade to the laundry room and other back rooms.

To my surprise, here's what I found when I removed the paneling to make way for the new door:


Looks like I'm not the only one who thought a door should go there...

One more before shot:


This is the future lobby/arcade. The back closets will be removed and note the "blue" doorway by the popcorn machine. That is roughly where the new entrance will go. That 200amp electrical panel you see on the closet wall is now gone...thanks Dad! It's not the original panel either. The house was built in '65 and had 100A service. The original box is in the room under the stairs which is just a couple of feet to the left of the panel. It is currently just a junction box and was fed by the new 200A panel. Why they didn't put the new panel in the room under the stairs is beyond me. There was plenty of room to do so. Fortunately, when they removed the old 100A aerial service to the house and installed 200A underground service they spent a few extra bucks and installed a 200A breaker below the power company's meter so we could disconnect the house from the grid and move the 200A panel back under the stairs. This allows me to take the rest of that closet wall out and the driving Xbox 360 cabinet that is mostly finished can be located closer to the wall. The driving cabinet is a blast and will provide stress relief to me when I get burnt out from theater planning/building. If you look close, my previous theater's HTPC is sticking out the front of the cabinet...and do you see the cat6 cable going to it? Yep, that driving cabinet is also a personal hi-def (.mkv files stored on a Unraid server) theater... Yes, I have my own "Drive In Theater" complete with DD/DTS 5.1 surround. A little sub sits behind the 2005 Neon seat. :p

And here is the room as of now looking toward the IB chamber:

You can see my old sub boxes standing upright behind the 2x4 wall. I killed myself getting these things down the basement (no walkout) and now I am just going to pitch them in favor of an IB chamber...it's Cathan's fault! ;) If anyone near Evansville IN wants them, they're yours...
 

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Looks like it's going to be quite a project..
Your finished room dimensions look to be 12'4"x 26'..That's almost identical to my first theatre size..
I found that size to be almost like a hallway, and not particularly good acoustically..
Unless you're planning on having three rows of seating, I would suggest making it slightly shorter..say 23' long and increase the size of the IB room..
I think both rooms would benefit with the changes in dimensions..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looks like it's going to be quite a project..
Your finished room dimensions look to be 12'4"x 26'..That's almost identical to my first theatre size..
I found that size to be almost like a hallway, and not particularly good acoustically..
Unless you're planning on having three rows of seating, I would suggest making it slightly shorter..say 23' long and increase the size of the IB room..
I think both rooms would benefit with the changes in dimensions..
Yes, I am a little worried about the dimensions. It looks long and skinny in the diagram doesn't it? It doesn't look as bad in person but I know sound waves don't care what I think it looks like. :R I am planning on 3 rows of real theater rockers but I still think I could maybe increase the IB chamber or perhaps the sound lock room. Things are still fairly flexible, thanks for your comments.

-Tom A.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a rough diagram of my current HVAC trunks and runs. The runs are all metal and will need to be converted to flex. I am thinking of installing a totally separate unit for the theater to help with sound isolation...and comfort.



-Tom A.
 

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Yes, I am a little worried about the dimensions. It looks long and skinny in the diagram doesn't it? It doesn't look as bad in person but I know sound waves don't care what I think it looks like. :R I am planning on 3 rows of real theater rockers but I still think I could maybe increase the IB chamber or perhaps the sound lock room. Things are still fairly flexible, thanks for your comments.

-Tom A.
Hmm...three rows of seating eh!..
Then you will need to calculate your first row position in relation to the screen size you'll be using..and then work back from there for the other rows and spacings..
This will show you how much length you will have left..bearing in mind that you'll need to leave about 2' at least behind the back row..
Whatever you have left in length (If any) I would definately add it to the IB chamber...
Generally speaking..the bigger the chamber, the better..
 

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Wow. This has a great potential. Looking forward to following the building process, learning more about what I could have done...
 

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Looks like a great project. Are you leaving the paneling up or replacing it with some material that is more acoustically friendly? Looking forward to seeing your progress.:T
 

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Yeah - Unfortunately, that breaks a couple of 'rules' about design. Length will be more than 3x the height. Length will be almost exactly double the length.

If we could shorten it a bit, give you more IB space, and shift to 2 rows of 3 seats, I think that might work out a bit better for you acoustically. It would also give you better viewing angles for both rows. Doing 3 rows makes it harder to get a good field of view included angle for all of them without either the back being kinda small and/or the front being really big.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks like a great project. Are you leaving the paneling up or replacing it with some material that is more acoustically friendly? Looking forward to seeing your progress.:T
In a couple of months I won't even remember what the paneling looked like....yep, it's all going bye bye. The theater walls will have 3 layers of 5/8" drywall with green glue and then have sound treatments over the drywall all covered by cloth frames for a (hopefully) clean look.

-Tom A.
 

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Seems like you have a good grip on what to do and the consequences of compromises.
Personally I don't have much against 3 rows. I guess optimising sound and view for 3 rows is difficult, but if you need the seats, I guess you need it. :bigsmile:

Are you going for a totally black bat cave, or will the cloth be a somewhat lighter color?
 

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It's more a video thing with the 3 rows.

Also, with a finished height of 7'8", getting the 2nd riser in there for proper viewing angles will end up with a head height (assuming 10-12" risers) of approx 5'6-5'8".

2 rows of 3 allows more realistic ceiling heights over the last row and also gives better video field of view and an easier time optimizing the lower room mode interaction of the length dimension.

Bryan
 

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Yes...If your ceiling height is only 7'8".(.which is the same as mine)..then 3 rows is not really going to be practical..
The benefit of course will be that you will have more leeway to get your angles right..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Are you going for a totally black bat cave, or will the cloth be a somewhat lighter color?
No, not totally but there will be no light colored walls. I will probably go with a medium to dark blue cloth for the walls, the columns and total screenwall will be black. The soffits will also most likely be black. If I do a star ceiling it will be....yep....black, but if I don't do the star ceiling, I'll probably paint it midnight blue or something like that.

-Tom A.
 

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Yes...If your ceiling height is only 7'8".(.which is the same as mine)..then 3 rows is not really going to be practical..
The benefit of course will be that you will have more leeway to get your angles right..
Ok, ok, you guys have convinced me to go with 2 rows of 3 instead of 3x3. I knew the back row would cause potential problems with height but to be honest I really didn't consider viewing angles all that much. In my previous room, I had a 8'6" ceiling which isn't high by any means but dropping another foot would make a difference. You guys also convinced me to shorten the room length also. I knew the diagram did look odd and I had a hunch this wouldn't be good acoustically but I was hoping it could be worked out. But now only going with 2 rows due to height, there's really no reason to make the room that long anyway. So more space will go to the IB chamber and some to the soundlock room also. I'll update the diagram and post a few more pictures of the construction mayhem in a couple of days.


-Tom A.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It's more a video thing with the 3 rows.

Also, with a finished height of 7'8", getting the 2nd riser in there for proper viewing angles will end up with a head height (assuming 10-12" risers) of approx 5'6-5'8".

Bryan
Actually it's worse than that. The 7'8" is not finished height, it is the height from my tile floor to the bottom of the new ceiling joists I plan on installing assuming I place the joists 1" below the current joists. I still need to add dri-core and 3 layers of 5/8" drywall.

-Tom A.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well this weekend was not a very good week for room deconstruction. I was loading up the Redneck Ranger (see post below) Friday nite and I was getting very, very weak so I went to bed early. I woke up in the night with the shivers and my wife said I was burning up. So, the room was put on hold and I pretty much slept all weekend. I did manage to make it to the dump but that was it.

-Tom A.
 

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Redneck Ranger **CONTEST**

Some people track how much money they spend on their room. Some track trips to HD/Lowes. I'm gonna track pounds taken to the dump....er Sanitary Landfill...

To kick things off, I am starting a contest. Below you will find a picture of "The Redneck Ranger" all loaded up to go to the dump. Since my "Sanitary Landfill" uses a scale to determine how much to charge, I know exactly how much was dumped each time I go.

One and only one "Major Award" will be given to the poster who comes closest to the weight loaded up on the Redneck Ranger in the photo below. The Major Award will be given on Dec. 22nd (just in time for Christmas) and may be delivered to you personally in the back of the Redneck Ranger...

Good Luck!



There are no tricks here. There are not 3 tons of lead hidden under the wood you can see. The contents of the Redneck Ranger are typical of basement remodels including wood paneling (using the most exquisite exotic veneers possible), drywall and 2x4s. Nothing more, nothing less.

On a side note, I bought the Redneck Ranger a few years back while living in my previous house with the intention of using it to haul sand and gravel for a large brick patio I built and sell it after I was done. It ran so good (much better than it looks!) I decided to keep it. Glad I did!

-Tom A.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Smaller Room

It's official...the compromises have begun...

Here's the new smaller room:



It would have been nice to have the longer room to have 3 rows of 3 chairs but due to width and height constraints I will go with 2 rows of 3 instead.

In addition to the smaller theater area you will notice the IB chamber got bigger :devil: as well as the soundlock area. The soundlock area will be a bit funny shaped due to the fact that I want to enclose that lollicolumn (yellow circle) within the wall structure. I think the funky nook may be a good place to put my equipment rack, no?

Also, bpape suggested that I move the communicating doors to the soundlock entrance instead of by the theater entrance which at first seemed counter intuitive but actually does make sense so that's what I will do. Also, since I was planning on temporarily removing the bathroom vanity and closet to add 2 more layers of drywall to the existing layer, I will now put the closet on the other side of the vanity and seal off the current bathroom door and replace it with a new door that connects directly to the lobby/arcade area. This will keep the laundry/sump pump room off limits to guests. The vanity drain pipe currently runs through the wall where the new door will go so that will have to be relocated to the wall where the current door is. This will create a bit of extra work but I think it will be worth it in the end. I plan on having a bathroom sign on the new door and a "Employees Only" sign for the door that leads to the laundry room.

Yesterday I removed several 6" flex lines that supplied the half of the basement that the theater will occupy. I capped the ends and now I need to start working on removing all the metal 6" lines that feed the main floor and replace them with flex. Bpape suggested that no tin should be above the theater area even though there will be 3 layers of drywall.

-Tom A.
 

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I am not sure what your plans are for a front screen wall/stage/enclosure for speakers/such but if it were me I would get at least 24' length out of your room. You want to avoid as much as you can the possibility of a square room. There is a link or document somewhere that talks about "ideal" room dimensions to avoid certain room "mods"

Maybe bpape can chime in here and disuse it with you, beings though you are in the beginning stages you can maybe avoid the issues that others have encountered with room dimensions.
 
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