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New House Build, Help With Cost Effective Home Theatre


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Hello brahs

 

Sorry about the long post, I have done a lot of reading. but that has lead to more questions.

 

[Preamble]

I am at very beginning of planning and getting costings of a house build. The block is ~11*40m, I want to have a home theatre, but I am not a rich nor poor man but would like to make a cost effective design. I am certainly not enthusiast level,  I just want a good bang for buck system, I only watch the odd movie/sporting event. I do however work night shifts, so a dark and silent room will have other benefits. Currently I have a second hand 5.1 system, which I plan to upgrade to 5.2 with 2 SVS subs before I move in. I will set up (have wired) the room for 5.2.4. I'm unlikely to use a projector, can't justify the cost. I currently have a 60" plasma which when it dies will be replaced with a 1.5-2k (75-85" these days) TV. I will also upgrade my speakers, spending roughly the same down the track in several years (most likely second hand). I believe this a modest budget and will satisfy my needs. I'm after some advice on what to aim for.

 

[What I believe are the] Design goals/essentials

The goal for Home theatre is to make a  dark sealed unit with lots of sound cushioning.

Paint in a dark colour.

Room carpeted, plus I'll add a rug. I will make my own diffussers/sound traps for the back wall, corners.

The room will have windows on the western side, made as small as I can get away with. I will likely cover these in.

Thick heavy curtains, with as many 'ripples' as possible to absorb sound.

External/heavy doors, with seals on each side, opening outwards.

Inlet + outlet for AC. As it should be a sealed room.

 

[Now onto the build details]

The room will be approximately 3.6X4.5X2.7, Depth isn't a problem, so I can add more if needed. I recognise that 'long and skinny' is ideal. Should I make the room narrower and add shelving to the outside? leaving 3M X4.5?

I would like to have two rows of seating (with riser), using 1/3 or 66%, the first row would be about 3M back, giving 1.5m for the back row plus speakers. Is that enough?

considering the above, its a small TV so  one row of seats, and bean bags in front (of the 3M seating) may be better?

Currently for rears I have bookshelves on stands, but this may be a little unpractical in the new room. I don't see to many people wall mounting speakers?
Can I simply get extra studs placed in the walls to mount the speakers (calculating there position based upon dolbys recommendations).

As above, I would like to mount the TV and centre speaker (most likely above the TV). However the centre speaker weighs around 20kgs, but again I just get two studs placed in the wall to mount them correct?

The room will back onto the laundry, so I can make a cabinet to keep all the gear outside the room. How does one approach IR/BT remotes needing line of sight??

I will get everything wired (again according to Dolby recommendations). However I can't find a 5.2 set up. Is it correct that I should want subs in diagonal corners? Do 15m RCA cables lose efficiency?

Is it cost effective to get a room double layers with gyp-rock/plaster board, does it add a notable sound reduction, this is without adding green glue, as I likely can't justify the cost.

What other cost effective practices can I implement??

 

I hope someone understands my ramblings and can help point out any oversights. I will update with a drawing of the house/room later on.

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18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

The room will be approximately 3.6X4.5X2.7, Depth isn't a problem, so I can add more if needed.

I would.   It is ideal to have a lot of space behind the listeners.   Sitting with a wall close behind you is one of the biggest problems in domestic audio reproduction.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

I recognise that 'long and skinny' is ideal. Should I make the room narrower and add shelving to the outside? leaving 3M X4.5?

I would not, the room is already quite narrow.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

I would like to have two rows of seating (with riser), using 1/3 or 66%, the first row would be about 3M back, giving 1.5m for the back row plus speakers. Is that enough?

considering the above, its a small TV so  one row of seats, and bean bags in front (of the 3M seating) may be better?

Currently for rears I have bookshelves on stands, but this may be a little unpractical in the new room. I don't see to many people wall mounting speakers?
Can I simply get extra studs placed in the walls to mount the speakers (calculating there position based upon dolbys recommendations).

Yes.  Wall mounting is quite common ..... but it sounds like the rear speakers will be extreme close to the listeners.   Make the room as wide and as deep as you can (ie. get the side walls and (especially) rear walls as far away from the listeners as possible.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

As above, I would like to mount the TV and centre speaker (most likely above the TV). However the centre speaker weighs around 20kgs, but again I just get two studs placed in the wall to mount them correct?

This might be ok (especially if you don't mount your TV too high) .... it might be also good to try calibrating your system without a centre speaker (so the centre channel is rediredcted to the L+R), if your planned location of the C speaker is too high/low.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

The room will back onto the laundry, so I can make a cabinet to keep all the gear outside the room.

This is a very good move.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

How does one approach IR/BT remotes needing line of sight??

IR repeater

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

I will get everything wired (again according to Dolby recommendations). However I can't find a 5.2 set up. Is it correct that I should want subs in diagonal corners?

Not necessarily, although that will likely be fine.

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

Do 15m RCA cables lose efficiency?

No

 

18 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

What other cost effective practices can I implement??

Sound proofing rooms is a huge topic.... can be expensive to have somone else do it, and heaps can be saved by DIYing aspects of it.   Tightly sealing all gaps in the room is probably most underrated (and overlooked) aspect.

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19 hours ago, speakerbrah said:

Is it cost effective to get a room double layers with gyp-rock/plaster board, does it add a notable sound reduction, this is without adding green glue, as I likely can't justify the cost.

What other cost effective practices can I implement??

 

I hope someone understands my ramblings and can help point out any oversights. I will update with a drawing of the house/room later on.

 

I went with 2x plaster board with green glue and the rubber mounted clips (on the studs) that 'hat rails' (they go by all sorts of names) fix into that the plaster is nailed to. 

I don't thick the green glue was overly expensive, but understand your position. More so if you want to mount things to them. 

 

My suggestion would be the "staggered stud" approach. every 2nd stud is off-set by 10mm (or so) such that a stud with the plaster of one room fixed to it does not have the plaster from the adjacent room also attached to it. the sound energy picked up by one wall is not transferred directly via the stud to the other.

 

there is the option to get thicker or specialist fire or acoustic rated plaster. But I think 2x normal is OK when you consider the premium $$ they attached to these. or look at 2 of the cheaper non-specific sheets but of different thickness - 10mm + 13mm (which is for commercial purposes I think and readily available).  Something about they'll retard a wider freq range.

 

regarding fluffy wall insulation. unless you/family are super sensitive with allergies you can get away with rockwall/fibre glass (which is now not so irritable these days) verse more costly polyester based stuff. also anything branded "acoustic" has marginal improvement over the bog standard. In my research I found the old PinkBat had the better on paper performance, 2.5R HD (at 90mm thick if I recall). I also recommend get bats throughout all internal walls. It's pretty cheap in the scheme of things. and while on paper performance looks marginal, my thinking the is labs measure a single sound impulse but in real life that impulse may actually pass thru a few walls, bounce  around, etc. so any edge taken off is applied multiple times not just once. I wish we did more than just a few select additional internal walls. 

 

Also consider a heavier solid external door for any internal doors for the room. I forgot to spec this in the build and it's the most significant leakage point atm. You can also (DIY) apply seals into the framing for a bit more isolation - you find these at Bunnings. 

 

For power points and light switches - try not have these at the exact location as those in the adjacent room to avoid a double weak point in those walls you're trying to beef up.  

 

good luck! 

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One rather limiting parameter is the 8' (2.4m) ceiling height for a 'listening/sound room' - there's no easy way around this limitation with dsp, passive trapping, etc so if it's at all possible in your design, see if a much higher ceiling can be managed, maybe even 11ft+ (3.3m) - this can possibly be accomplished by using the space inside the roof cavity without incurring much more expense (ie vaulted ceiling, for example).

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  • 1 month later...
On 26/05/2023 at 12:00 PM, wasabijim said:

 

I went with 2x plaster board with green glue and the rubber mounted clips (on the studs) that 'hat rails' (they go by all sorts of names) fix into that the plaster is nailed to. 

I don't thick the green glue was overly expensive, but understand your position. More so if you want to mount things to them. 

 

My suggestion would be the "staggered stud" approach. every 2nd stud is off-set by 10mm (or so) such that a stud with the plaster of one room fixed to it does not have the plaster from the adjacent room also attached to it. the sound energy picked up by one wall is not transferred directly via the stud to the other.

 

there is the option to get thicker or specialist fire or acoustic rated plaster. But I think 2x normal is OK when you consider the premium $$ they attached to these. or look at 2 of the cheaper non-specific sheets but of different thickness - 10mm + 13mm (which is for commercial purposes I think and readily available).  Something about they'll retard a wider freq range.

 

regarding fluffy wall insulation. unless you/family are super sensitive with allergies you can get away with rockwall/fibre glass (which is now not so irritable these days) verse more costly polyester based stuff. also anything branded "acoustic" has marginal improvement over the bog standard. In my research I found the old PinkBat had the better on paper performance, 2.5R HD (at 90mm thick if I recall). I also recommend get bats throughout all internal walls. It's pretty cheap in the scheme of things. and while on paper performance looks marginal, my thinking the is labs measure a single sound impulse but in real life that impulse may actually pass thru a few walls, bounce  around, etc. so any edge taken off is applied multiple times not just once. I wish we did more than just a few select additional internal walls. 

 

Also consider a heavier solid external door for any internal doors for the room. I forgot to spec this in the build and it's the most significant leakage point atm. You can also (DIY) apply seals into the framing for a bit more isolation - you find these at Bunnings. 

 

For power points and light switches - try not have these at the exact location as those in the adjacent room to avoid a double weak point in those walls you're trying to beef up.  

 

good luck! 

  

 

On 26/05/2023 at 12:00 PM, wasabijim said:

 

I went with 2x plaster board with green glue and the rubber mounted clips (on the studs) that 'hat rails' (they go by all sorts of names) fix into that the plaster is nailed to. 

I don't thick the green glue was overly expensive, but understand your position. More so if you want to mount things to them. 

 

My suggestion would be the "staggered stud" approach. every 2nd stud is off-set by 10mm (or so) such that a stud with the plaster of one room fixed to it does not have the plaster from the adjacent room also attached to it. the sound energy picked up by one wall is not transferred directly via the stud to the other.

 

there is the option to get thicker or specialist fire or acoustic rated plaster. But I think 2x normal is OK when you consider the premium $$ they attached to these. or look at 2 of the cheaper non-specific sheets but of different thickness - 10mm + 13mm (which is for commercial purposes I think and readily available).  Something about they'll retard a wider freq range.

 

regarding fluffy wall insulation. unless you/family are super sensitive with allergies you can get away with rockwall/fibre glass (which is now not so irritable these days) verse more costly polyester based stuff. also anything branded "acoustic" has marginal improvement over the bog standard. In my research I found the old PinkBat had the better on paper performance, 2.5R HD (at 90mm thick if I recall). I also recommend get bats throughout all internal walls. It's pretty cheap in the scheme of things. and while on paper performance looks marginal, my thinking the is labs measure a single sound impulse but in real life that impulse may actually pass thru a few walls, bounce  around, etc. so any edge taken off is applied multiple times not just once. I wish we did more than just a few select additional internal walls. 

 

Also consider a heavier solid external door for any internal doors for the room. I forgot to spec this in the build and it's the most significant leakage point atm. You can also (DIY) apply seals into the framing for a bit more isolation - you find these at Bunnings. 

 

For power points and light switches - try not have these at the exact location as those in the adjacent room to avoid a double weak point in those walls you're trying to beef up.  

 

good luck! 

Hi,   Did you look at using CSR Soundcheck plasterboards ,  i am currently doing a build in a large shed and was recommended this board. It is 2,5 times the price however.  So for my build is 7800 instead of 2700 for normal 13 mil board.  

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yes, there is even a firecheck option as well and maybe others. my understanding is they are not much more than a thicker product with fancy name and extra $ tag.  you should be able to find the lab specs for the performance of each ref sound reduction to understand the cost-benefits. 

 

Pretty sure it's CSR (or one of the big players) does this chunky industry report as a pdf (100s of pages i think).  deep in it's pages they cover the options and acoustic performance from single 10mm, double maybe even triple layers, the different fire or sound rated options, the different stud mounting arrangements, etc.

 

if I recall, yes the thicker options had measurable benefits, but they were on the slim side unless you combined them with other measures - staggered stud and fluffy batts.  

 

$5K / 200(odd) % is a lot at play - I would consider a shift away from outright material costs to labour costs - just banging up an extra layer of std board might be only be a little more labour$ but a lot less than soundcheck.

 

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On 25/05/2023 at 3:17 PM, speakerbrah said:

The block is ~11*40m, I want to have a home theatre, but I am not a rich nor poor man but would like to make a cost effective design. I am certainly not enthusiast level,  I just want a good bang for buck system, I only watch the odd movie/sporting event.

I will go against the tide and suggest NOT having a dedicated room.  It will be rarely used (and many here with a dedicated room will not even admit to that!). While you say you are not on the enthusiast level, you are planning like one!

 

A much more cost effective way is to use the family room as the home theatre as well. With some planning, the room can be good enough for the odd movie or sporting event. However, the room will be used most of the time.

 

If you want a dark, silent room, you can always add heavy curtains to the room.

 

P/s am on enthusiast level, but chose to use family room in a new house build.

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10 hours ago, Evette68 said:

  

 

Hi,   Did you look at using CSR Soundcheck plasterboards ,  i am currently doing a build in a large shed and was recommended this board. It is 2,5 times the price however.  So for my build is 7800 instead of 2700 for normal 13 mil board.  

If you are doing a room fit out in a large shed already built, if you have sufficient space, consider hay bale inner liner construction with a lathe plaster render. Acoustically brilliant, thermally stunning and cost effective if you have the time. 

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3 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

I will go against the tide and suggest NOT having a dedicated room.  It will be rarely used (and many here with a dedicated room will not even admit to that!). While you say you are not on the enthusiast level, you are planning like one!

 

A much more cost effective way is to use the family room as the home theatre as well. With some planning, the room can be good enough for the odd movie or sporting event. However, the room will be used most of the time.

 

If you want a dark, silent room, you can always add heavy curtains to the room.

 

P/s am on enthusiast level, but chose to use family room in a new house build.

 

I agree to some degree. in our build it was more the old "Rumpus room" that was added to the design mix to double as the listening room (or the "dancing room" as our little fella calls it when the music gets pumped up).  

we saw many designs with a "media room" but this was more a token marketing move targeting men - particularly those with one side completely open to a hall way backing onto either a hi-noise utility space (open plan kitchen-dinning-lounge) or quiet bedroom, sometimes both. 

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