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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Within a year and a half I want to break ground on a new home. I am currently starting a list of wants and requirements. I definitely want to have a nice theater in the basement and I was looking for a list of considerations for new builds. I have not seen a thread that looks at all these considerations in one spot so I have been looking an individual builds. I know that HVAC runs, plumbing, electrical can cause issues with theater so I want to have nothing hanging below the joists. I want to have two level of seating so the basement will have 10'-12' ceilings.

So my questions are these:

1. What are some design factors that can really make or break a theater?
2. What would you do different if you had the option?
 

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I wish I would have had the room length to be able to do an AT screen - I personally think having all the speakers behind the screen and making the fron look so clean is the way to go.

Plan for numerous breakers for that area - I would put at least 3 dedicated breakers wherever you plan to locate equipment.

Since you are starting from scratch, I highly recommend staggered stud walls.

Be sure to attempt to keep the space as symmetrical as possible - also, check out room mode calculators and see if you can get a space that limits the number of room modes you have to deal with.

Try to keep the entry door from one of the edges - it limits your ability to do super chunks in the corners which is by far the easiest bass trapping you can do.

I am sure someone else has more! :bigsmile:
 

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Matt..The first requirement would be to use the correct type of construction and insulation of the walls and ceiling..
Depending on your environment and location, you may need to reduce sound levels as much as possible for both internal isolation or external isolation..although if your building a basement theatre, external isolation won't be much of a problem..There are experts here who can help you with this..

The next consideration will be controlling the acoustics of the room and this is an art in itself..Again there are very experienced people here who can assist you with this..But that will come further down the track..

One other thing to consider is..What size is the room going to be?
This will depend on a lot of things..How big a screen..How many seats..What budget you have overall including equipment..ect.

We would need to know a number of things before we can give you any definitive answers..and we would also need to see some plans of your proposed room..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great tips! Thanks.

I am currently playing with a room mode calculator


I really want to end up hiring a consultant for acoustic treatments and do it right from the beginning.

What are thoughts on staggered studs vs double wall construction? I am planning on doing double doors.

I do agree with the AT screen, and I am strongly considering an IB subwoofer or multiple placement of subwoofers.

As for electrical I was thinking of having a 100amp subfeed for the theater, if that is enough.
 

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A 100 Amps!!! :yikes: You could power half the street with that!! :D
All you need is a 20A. dedicated circuit for each.. audio.and lighting..
 

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If you're going to put in a bank of amplifiers, then you might need a bit more..but considering that a 20A. power line puts out 2200W. on your Mains supply, that should be ample..
Don't forget that if an Amp. is putting out a 1000 Watts..it's drawing a lot less than that from the mains..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For the screen I am thinking of a 140" wide 2.40:1 screen, maybe going for a curves screen cost depending.

No budget has been set at this point, really depends on the home cost. I want to put the cost into things that will not likely be upgraded, so construction, materials. The audio I can always upgrade later.

I am playing around with final dimensions and thinking of 10.5' x 16.5' x 26' but that is still pretty open.

Seats wise I was thinking 7-8 with a bar area behind the last seats.

The Small area to the right will a pass through between the double doors. The electronics, movies, and a display case will be here. That's the plan anyway.

 

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That's quite a big room..You're looking at a serious size theatre there!
A 12' wide scope screen would look very nice and with a screen wall and an AT screen, you would have a very nice set up..:T
The equipment room at the back would serve very nicely..
 

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If your screenwall is not a completely solid sealed wall and has cloth coverings, then you don't need to factor it in..Acoustically speaking the room will remain the same size..
You need to leave a space behind the screen wall of at least 2'.. more if possible..
 

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I seem to recall reading 3' is a good size - it allows for a bit of movement should you need to get in there.


And, yeah, I was thinking more dedicated outlets for amps. I have 3 in my closet - one is for the palladium mono blocks, one is for the xpa-2 and the xpa-5, and the last is for the rest of the equipment.
 

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There's actually three ways you can access the space behind the screen..
If you have a enough height below the screen and you have a removeable panel, you can crawl in through there..
With enough room at the sides of the screen, you can have a removeable panel to gain access..
Or as I do for my access..I can take down my scope screen by just lifting it up a little and then dropping it down..I use french cleats to hang the screen and it makes it very easy to remove it..
 

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Any suggestions on allowing room for subwoofers? I am considering 4 behind the screen or 2 behind the screen and two near the back. I already have a pair of the UXL-18's so i would either add two more or two other types?
I would personally allow for 4 that can be located in the 4 corners or the middle of each wall. If you have not had a chance, Welti's paper is an eye opener.
 

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In response to your desire to have no ductwork hanging down below the floor joists, google floor trusses, (I don't mean trusses or tgi floor joists with an Osborn center core) They look like roof trusses in that they have lumber zig zagging up and down between the lower and upper sections of the joists. The reason I suggest theses is because they can be designed with a box opening that you can have your main trunk lines of the duct work run in. The downside is that you must make sure that the boxes in the floor trusses are in perfect alignment. Try to get a carpenter that has used them before. I only built one house with them myself, but they are pretty straight forward after you figure how to install them properly.
 
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