Repooc's Dedicated Home Theater Build
Interior wall dimensions (after wall treatments): 10'4" wide x 18'4" long
Projector: Sony VPL-VW1100ES Native 4K
Screen: Silver Ticket 128" 2.35:1 cinemascope, acoustically transparent
A/V Receiver Amp: Anthem MRX1120
Speakers: 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos (speakers and subwoofers will likely be D.I.Y.)
Seating: 7 Octane Diesel XS950 full grain, motorized reclining seats, 4 on a riser and 3 on level ground (2 rows)
Sound Dampening: decoupled walls/ceiling "room in a room" using safe n sound insulation, clips, resilient channel, double drywall, green glue caulk and sealant
You may recall my thread from a while back where I was asking for recommendations for local HT designers. Well, after MONTHS of research and interviews with different companies; I've realized that when it comes to HT design, there are 3 paths one can venture down...
1) Local Boutique AV/Hi-Fi store: I found these shops to be of little help, if any (you probably know the ones I'm talking about). I even paid one shop $100 to come out to my house to review the space and present a quote; and all I got was a big sales pitch for the products that gave them the biggest margin. Even the "render" they sent me was nowhere near what I asked for. They were up front in saying that they don't actually do the build but would supply my contractor with drawings and they would only pull the cables and install the equipment... Really? That's the best/fun part... why the heck am I paying you then? At the end of the day, I think these guys are just there to push products (personal opinion).
2) HT "designers": I'll give credit where credit is due. Some of these folks do know what they're doing. My main drive for this dedicated HT was for sound dampening to other parts of my house and trying to stay "within spec" for certain theater dimensions/configurations (ie: THX, Dolby, etc). I could really care less about the "design" of adding a star ceiling, velvet curtains, or movie posters on the wall, I wanted the room to perform well visually and acoustically given my modest equipment. When you tell these "designers" that you only want a completely black room, you're quickly dismissed because this isn't a project they can show off to receive a future award/trophy for... ok, whatever.
3) D.I.Y.: If you really put your mind to it and invest the time to read, there's such a wealth of information out there on the net. Especially if you frequent AVS Forum as much as I do. There are so many "build threads" or "what would I do different threads" that are worth their weight in gold. ESPECIALLY when you have well-regarded industry experts posting and providing their insight for FREE! Between AVS Forum and the SoundProofingCompany.com.
As you can probably guess... I went the D.I.Y route. Doing the design myself and hiring a VERY detailed-oriented contractor to build it. I'll be pulling all the low voltage cabling (speaker, HDMI, RG6, cat-6, etc) myself, and of course installing and setting up all the hardware and furniture myself. I may end up hiring someone to colour-calibrate my projector, as I really don't want to invest in that equipment for what may be a 1-time setup.... we'll see.
Dedicated HT Room Specs
This is newly constructed room carved out of a section of my basement that has no windows and will be COMPLETELY light controlled. One of the long walls runs along the side my poured concrete foundation while the other 3 will be interior partitions to adjacent areas in my basement. There is one HVAC supply trunk that runs the length of the room along the ceiling and a 3" plumbing drain that will be located in the corner behind a baffle wall... both will be fully encased with sound proofing treatment. Other than that all other services are relocated out of the ceiling and wall spaces.
My main goal is to reduce sound traveling up through the ceiling of the HT to the floor of my first floor above where the kitchen is. Also, to mitigate sound travelling through pipes (HVAC/plumbing) to other areas of the house (especially bedrooms on the second floor). There is no such thing as "sound proof" so, I'm doing my best (within reason/budget) to dampen the sound. I'm sure this setup is better than 95% of most HTs out there anyways.
Ceiling: will have an array of rubber-backed sound isolation clips affixed to the joists, and RC2 resilient channel placed inside the clips. 1 layer of 1/2 " drywall affixed to the res channel, then green glue caulk, and another layer of 5/8" drywall applied on top of that. All drywall edges, corners, etc will be staggered and the gaps filled with green glue sealent. The joist cavities will be filled with rockwool's safe n sound insulation.
Exterior Foundation Wall: the 2x4 studs spaced 24" O.C. will be spaced 1" away from the foundation wall... effectively decoupling it from the foundation. No Res channel used, however the same treatment of double drywall using green glue caulk and sealent will be applied and safe n sound installed in the studs.
3 Interior Partitions: Again, 2x4 studs spaced 24" O.C. with RC1 res channel and the same treatment of double drywall. green glue and insulation. The exterior walls of the partitions (for the adjacent spaces) will be covered in 1 layer of 5/8" drywall. So I effectively have 3 layers of drywall between the interior of the HT and adjacent spaces in the basement.
Existing HVAC: will be covered in sound-dampening compound, encased in a bulk heads and the bulkhead filled with safe n sound insulation. The bulkheads will be covered in the same manner of double drywall and green glue, as above.
New HVAC: I've designed a "dead vent" system on opposite ends of the room, whereby each dead vent will have a 6" Fantech linear fan ducted to insulated/flexible duct. This will supply and exhaust fresh air into/out of the HT using the conditioned air in the adjacent spaces of my basement. All while effectively isolating the sound from propagating through the central ducts of my entire house.
The AV Equipment rack will be housed in a newly-constructed AV closet (also containing all my network and security gear) about 25 feet outside of the HT and controlled by a wireless remote. This was done to mitigate adding another heat source to the enclosed HT. The only equipment within the HT will be the projector and speakers. I plan to run all of my speakers, to start, using my integrated AV receiver (Anthem MRX1120) which has discrete amplifications for 11 speakers (7 surround and 4 height speakers for Dolby Atmos). Also, to start, I will be running 2 active subwoofers. The room will be pre-wired to allow for future upgrades/capability to run the speakers with separate amplification and passive subwoofers.
The LCR speakers (and probably subwoofers, if they fit) will be placed in a baffle wall/space behind an acoustically transparent screen. Giving the true "cinema experience" of having voices/sounds come naturally through the image. Speaker details will be forthcoming in a future post. But will likely go the D.I.Y. route buying the cones, crossover boards, and flat packs from vendors in the states and then building them myself. The bang-for-buck going D.I.Y. is about 10-fold over buying a branded product.
Seating: I was fortunate enough to land a killer deal on full grain leather seats from a Best Buy boxing day sale. So, I bought 2 sets, a 4-row and a 3-row. The 4-row will be placed on a constructed riser. The seats are motorized for reclining, have built-in cup holders and blue accent lighting under the seats.
Flooring: will be carpet to help with some of the sound absorption and reflection
Ceiling: will feature a light cove that has a LED light strip to provide ambiance when seating guests. Probably the only "design"-like feature I've added.
Concession Area: I've carved out an area beside my wet bar, opposite of the HT to have a popcorn cart (the old style kind on wheels) and a wall of clear plexiglass tubes (as I envision it) that will dispense candy
So, stay tuned... I'll try to update this thread often with progress notes and before/during/after pics.
As of today, 2 of the 4 walls have been framed.
Some pictures to whet your pallet, never mind the colour scheme in the renders, needed to use light colours to visualize the space. In reality, it will be virtually black.....
Rough layout showing baffle/false wall, and speakers placed behind. Never mind the graphic used for the seats... they won't look like they're from the 70's.
Render of the front, trying to get placement of surround speakers and scale the actual screen size to the room.
Render of the back, trying to get throw distance for the projector and understand the headroom above the second row on the riser. Also, to get nail down the placement of the surround and atmos (ceiling speakers) relative to wall sconces, riser, seating, etc.