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New HT design
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Curt Palme
CRT Tech


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23662
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: New HT design Reply with quote


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So I'm back from Cliff's and Craig's, and am yet inspired one more time to put my own HT together...again... which may never happen. Still, this time I've got a pair of 919s, a bunch of tubes, so in theory I can do this.

I think what's prevented me from doing this is the thought of gutting the room and starting from scratch, and also the fact that the room sounds like crap.

I posted pix a couple of years ago, and can again, but here's some basics:

-rectangular room, about 14' wide, 26' long.
-two racks at the back of the room, one for the HT, one for the multiroom sound system that I put in 12 years ago.
-one ugly fireplace in the middle of one side of the room.
-one glass patio style sliding door to the right of the fireplace, next to one rack.
-teak wall unit about 12' long across from the fireplace, full of DVDs and CDs (and VHS and Beta tapes!!)

I have had this room as an HT with a 6X 8 screen, and a 9500, until the 9500's power supply blew about 4 years ago. It took me 3 years to grab another LVPS and install it (yes, 30 seconds worth of work, go figure!), and then found that the blue glycol had turned deep yellow, so it sat again for a year.

I hung the aluminum frame screen from the ceiling, about 3' out from the back wall. I've got commercial grade EAW speakers under and beside the screen for LCR, and double 15" EAW subwoofers L and R as well. I wasn't getting a pile of bass out of them, so I snagged a triple Tannoy 12" subwoofer. An obscure model, it handles 1000 watts RMS, and the only image I could find online was a pair of them in some 2200 seat theater. That made it sound better, but once I went into the kitchen upstairs, I realized that it was shaking itself to bits with the bass, yet I heard nothing much in the HT room.. still.

So, to me, that was discouraging. The room sounded bad, I needed an acoustically transparent screen (ideally), and for the last 5 years the rest of the house needed work, some of which I got done last year, so very slowly I can look at the HT again. I have a feeling that by Christmas I can do this, and take a part of a week off to do some work in there.

Another thing discouraging me was the fact that my ex installer buddy cut a channel into the drywall ceiling, front to back of the room to run wires. It was less practical running them along the perimeter of the room, and we had to get RGB cables into the ceiling anyway. We put the cut drywall back up, but there's still drywall missing from the ceiling. So I figured it would be $$ to repair the ceiling, since it was textured. I didn't know what else I'd want to run in the ceiling, so again, nothing was done. So it fell into disrepair overall.

So, to today. I took some time to look at Cliff's room along with Craigs, and a few things were very apparent. Both rooms are acoustically dead. Perfect. Craig turned me onto his bass traps, and we talked a bit about room acoustics and how his home made bass traps were 'the best thing I ever did in that room', to quote him.

Also to note, the JBL Synthesis room at CEDIA was amazing, it also had a crapload of sound absorbing material in it. So it got me to thinking: Rather than repair the drywall, why not cover the whole ceiling in dark sound absorbing panels that are homemade? I could build some 2X4' panels covered in matte black fabric. Doing this would solve a bunch of problems:
-no drywall repair needed
-no ceiling paint needed
-would leave the drywall open to allow other cabling to be installed down the road if need be.
-should solve my room acoustics
-should be cheap to do, which excites me. Smile

So the question is: can a room be too dead? Craig has maybe 15-20 2x4 absorbing panels in his room along with good carpet and thick seats that absorb sound. What if I covered every piece of white drywall? That would leave the fireplace and teak wall unit as hard exposed surfaces. Ideally I'd get rid of the teak wall unit, but that would be a royal pain, plus I'd need somewhere to put my DVDs.

Also, I'd pull in a new wall where the screen is hung now. It wouldn't be a supporting wall, it's only there to give framework for the screen, and to hide the speakers behind. I'd put more sound panels to cover the wall frame, and also behind the screen. I want a 10 or 11' wide screen that's acoustically transparent. What's the current standard in transparent screen material? I haven't been keeping up.

The room needs more power, that's easy to do, as the semi unfinished part of the basement that serves as my parts area is right behind the wall where my rack is. I've already run 2 runs of 12/3 wire, it just needs to be wired into the panel.

Any input is appreciated.
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barclay66



Joined: 27 Jun 2011
Posts: 1250
Location: Germany

TV/Projector: Marquee 9500 Ultra


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: New HT design Reply with quote

Curt Palme wrote:
So the question is: can a room be too dead?

Well,

I don't think so. But it might depend on what You want and what You have:

- If You're looking for the most natural (=linear) sound and have high quality gear & speakers, then the dead room approach is the right one for You. A dead room will act like kinda open field where there's neither reflection nor resonance.

- If You're looking for a bit of effect (Super-Bass etc.), You could be using the room's properties in order to achieve the desired result. A specific degree of reflection and/or resonance can be used for amplification of the desired frequency band(s).

Regards,
barclay66
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A room can most definitely be too dead. I see and hear that all the time on AVS, actually. People read the build threads, and do floor-to-ceiling absorption, the room ends up over-treated, and sounds completely lifeless. It's especially likely if you like to to listen to music and live concert Blu-rays. There was just some discussion amongst my Iowa AVS guys on this very subject, in fact.

The good thing is that you can do room treatments a little at a time and see how it sounds along the way. Start out with a couple of bass traps in the corners, absorptive panels strategically-placed to tame first reflections, and perhaps a little diffusion in the right spots if necessary, then go from there. If done right, with some help, you can probably get to a 90% solution without too much time or money.

Screen... Craig will say Stewart, to which you'll say, "Great - way too expensive", and I'd concur. If you'd like to stay in the DIY budget realm, but still have an excellent screen, take a look at Seymour Screen Excellence Enlightor 2 material. 1.1 gain, AT, well-respected, and the weave isn't visible unless you're standing pretty near the screen. Seymour is right up the road from me in Iowa. I could have told you to stop there, as it's right on the way if you'd come through Iowa instead of Minnesota on the way to South Dakota like I told you to... Wink Twisted Evil

SC
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zaphod



Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2002
Location: Cloverdale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep, i've built two different rooms that ended up too dead.

if i ever start considering "live end dead end" again - someone shoot me.

the trick is to use a combination of reflection (skyline diffusers) and absorption, and in the right places. For example - super chunks in the corners are going to do a lot more for good sound than the same about of roxul scattered about.

check out ethan winer's pages on the subject.

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fragzero



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 344



PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are standardized ways of measuring room response and desired roomresponse curves, i can only assume that "too dead rooms" divert too much from what you want!
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Curt Palme
CRT Tech


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23662
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seymour.. that's the ticket!

you're right, I'll start with partial room treatment, probably the whole ceiling once I reinforce the drywall to accommodate the stacked 919s. I think once I see a clean ceiling, I'll be more motivated to do the rest of the room. Eventually the teak wall unit has to come out once the carpet goes in, but that's a long ways off. Personally, I do like the sound of a dead room, but I do get the 'too dead' thing.

Yeah, I could have taken many routes, but with the threat of snow, I wanted to get the heck out of Dodge. I did hit snow flurries in Mn.

Will do some more debating on this, but will need to sell some projectors first.Smile
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fragzero



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 344



PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will you be using stacked 919's + manakin lenses + Curved screen?
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Nashou66



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16167
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah if it is too dead soft dialog is gone.

You need diffusion and absorption but you need to find the characteristics of the room with some software.

REW is a free acoustic software and it works really well.

Hometheatershack is where it can be found.

But run a test for your room in your main sitting position and REW does a tone sweep and you use a mic( I use for now a radio shack sound level meter) to measure the response of the room at your sitting location. I have only done it for the sub channel
but that is the one that usually gives the most problems. it will show you where the nulls and peaks are.

Athanasios

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"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15." --- President Reagan

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Curt Palme
CRT Tech


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PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys, I'm getting stoked!
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to make some changes to my room this winter, too. Not looking forward to tearing stuff apart, but it's the only way to do what I want to do. MMMM... New DIY speakers... MMMMM.... Scope... MMMMM.... AT.... Can't wait!

Pick up the place a little and post pics, Curt. All four walls, and the ceiling, along with rough dimensions. People can start giving you some input on where to focus your efforts, and give you ideas and such.

Stoke, stoke, stoke...

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5634
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will disagree with Crabb on the Seymour material. I am not a big fan of the 2k material. It is ok, if you are on a budget and don't want to DIY. If you want the best at a good price, then look at the 4k material.

Crabb,
You keep saying Chris is right up the road from you. Have you ever invited him to a HT meet? Have you met him?
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
I will disagree with Crabb on the Seymour material. I am not a big fan of the 2k material. It is ok, if you are on a budget and don't want to DIY. If you want the best at a good price, then look at the 4k material.

OK, I misspoke and linked to the wrong site. I was thinking of the Centerstage XD material. I don't know that I've even seen the Enlightor 2K, or if I did, I wasn't paying attention to what it is.

The problem with the 4K material for CRT is that it's .98 gain vs. the Centerstage material at 1.2 gain. From what I've read at AVS, some guys said they could see Centerstage XD weave even at 12 feet, while others said it was fine at 10. Apparently, the visibility of the weave is highly dependent on the individual, and how the material is rotated. When I asked Chris about it, and told him I sit about 10 feet from my 8-foot-wide screen, he said I'd definitely want the 4k material. I took it as very honest feedback, and not just wanting to up-sell me.

This is why Craig recommends the Stewart 130 material... 1.3 gain. Of course, it's between double and triple the price of the Chris' 4k material, so certainly not in my budget. Based on his comments, I doubt it's in Curt's, either.

Maybe if Curt's going to stack, he can get by with the 4k material if he doesn't get too carried away with size. I think Cliffy's SmX was only 1.1 gain, so Curt can probably just knock a few inches off Cliffy's 10-foot width and be right in the same brightness ballpark.

Spanky Ham wrote:
You keep saying Chris is right up the road from you. Have you ever invited him to a HT meet? Have you met him?

Yeah, absolutely! He's been to several of our Iowa get-togethers, and even made the crawl that ended up in my basement. He seems like a genuine, good guy, and very knowledgable. I haven't seen or heard anything negative about the products or service.

BTW, he was showing a really neat ambient-light-rejecting screen at CEDIA. Similar to Black Diamond, I suppose. He was talking about the physical properties on a microscopic scale, and it seemed like pretty awesome technology.

Cheers,
SC
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Curt Palme
CRT Tech


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23662
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, One of Cliff's g90s on his 10' wide perforated screen is PLENTY bright. I'd most likely go for a 20-30% increase in overall brightness with a stack to extend the tube life.
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5634
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like the 2k and Centerstage material are the same from the pics I saw. If so, then I think it is ok and good for an inexpensive AT screen. Of course, you could just buy Shearweave 4500. I think some guys on AVS have found some other suitable and inexpensive alternatives. As for the 4k, that is the bomb. Steve Smith and I walked up to the screen at Cedia and thought it was a solid screen. It has lower gain, but there is no spoon..... I mean texture, grain or whatever.

I know Craig likes the Stewart, but I am not a big fan of perf screens. Honestly, if I was going AT, then it would be one of the DIY experiments on AVS or HTshack but most likely the Chris's 4k.

That is cool that he has hung out with you guys. I like Chris and think he is a straight forward guy.
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, Curt... With a stack, and a 10-foot wide screen, you'd probably have brightness to burn - even with a .98-gain material.

It may be that the Enlightor 2 and Centerstage XD are the same material for different markets, one for DIYers and one for the CEDIA channel. I don't know, so I won't try to speculate any more than that that.

I also love the 4k material. You have to put your nose right up on it to see that it's cloth and not a flat screen material.

I'm not aware of the DIY AT alternatives - I'll check them out. My only problem with DIY screens is how expensive it usually is just to try it (both money and time)... It may be cheap compared to a commercial screen, but I'm not to keen on spending a day or two of my time and $300 with the risk of throwing it away if I don't like it. At least a commercial screen has resale value. I was only comfortable with the Wilsonart screen back when I built it because it was tested, well-regarded, and the screen itself probably only cost me about $150 or so.

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Nashou66



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16167
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm the 4k sounds like it be perfect for Blending as well. My theater room has the Screen wall exposed to the rest of my Basement and I actually have not finished off that side so I can easily cut out between the studs and make shelves to hold my LCR speakers.

The Hurley Screen I got has an imperfection in it and I think moving the LCR behind the screen will work really well for me as I can then have more placement options for my subs and possibly make a retro system for Vinyl and RTR with some older speakers I have
and my Tube amp some time or just leave the nice clean look with only the subs and Amp up front on the floor.

You Guys got me thinking..... Damn It!!!

Athanasios

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, scope AT is so frickin' awesome... If you have an easy way to mount the speakers flush, then you're really cooking with gas. I so wish I had room for a false wall...

Check out this article, Athanasios...
http://www.synaudcon.com/site/author/pat-brown/how-boundaries-affect-loudspeakers/

After you get the overview, scroll down and pay special attention to the bottom section labeled Boundary Interference Solutions.

I was going build DIY speakers, but after reading the article, I'm seriously considering building the same DIY speakers, but with big baffles and tall cabinets to nearly flush-mount in the wall. Then, the screen will sit out 3-4 inches from the wall like it does now. I'll start a separate thread.

SC
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Nashou66



Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16167
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Dude, scope AT is so frickin' awesome... If you have an easy way to mount the speakers flush, then you're really cooking with gas. I so wish I had room for a false wall...

Check out this article, Athanasios...
http://www.synaudcon.com/site/author/pat-brown/how-boundaries-affect-loudspeakers/

After you get the overview, scroll down and pay special attention to the bottom section labeled Boundary Interference Solutions.

I was going build DIY speakers, but after reading the article, I'm seriously considering building the same DIY speakers, but with big baffles and tall cabinets to nearly flush-mount in the wall. Then, the screen will sit out 3-4 inches from the wall like it does now. I'll start a separate thread.

SC


Do it!!

My screen is about 2-3 inches away from the wall now.

Damn hobby!!! Wink

Curt your going to have fun and frustration soon ! Wink

Nashou

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"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15." --- President Reagan

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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm back! Here's some pix of my crappy room the way it is right now. Don't laugh... too hard. Laughing

Posting a series of pix to give you an idea of the room. My buddy and I came up with a few ideas while pulling down my 9500. Then his shoulder gave out, and while we got the 909 bracket up, the poor set sits on the floor...Sad

OK, pictures. this is a view of the front of the room. About 14' wide. Yes, it's a 6 X 8' aluminum frame screen, hung about 3' out from the back wall with wire ties. Hey, I never said I was a good installer.

Mr. Green

Also, aside from the tacky 80s light fixtures, you can see the channel we cut into the drywall to get wiring from the back to the front of the room. Studs in the ceiling run left-right, that's why we had to cut the channel.

I'll rotate clockwise around the room...



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Curt Palme
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right side of the screen, showing that 3' distance between the back wall and the hanging screen. There are 2 windows with blinds over them on the back wall. They'll be covered up completely.

There's also a larger window on the right wall as shown in this pix. Where the screen is hanging now, it's right about 1/2 way left/right of the window.



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