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Renovating my Home Theater Room - Need your guidance

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santhosh

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Amazing range of products Anutone has. But IMO, their website structure is very complex and requires better organising. Thanks to your post, I came across this product. I require some diffusors and was planning to make them myself using wood. Guess, I will use the Serge series to make them now, cost-permitting ofcourse.

Two bass traps
Why two and not four? I am assuming, one in each corner of the room. Or are you having bass traps only at the rear?
 

manishk13

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Santosh, Sharad

I also closed my long discussion with Praveen yesterday. Will post it some time. There is some variance from Sharad's plans so will discuss with him before finalizing. The main difference is in doing the treatment till 7 feet with alternating Autone (absorption) and ply (reflection ) every feet. Sharad will PM you to meet up very soon

Regards
Manish
 

manishk13

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Sharad

Pls check your PM. Pls send me your number asap as I need to visit to discuss

1. Conduiting
2. Anutone

Since I just finalized mine with Praveen and want to discuss with you to understand what your approach was and also share mine

I am using Anutone on walls (alternating with ply) and Autones ceiling tiles too.

Thx
Manish
 

Electrify

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Hi,
Way to go Sharad. I have a dedicated home theater setup where I managed acoustics primarily with the modelling the civil structure approrpiately. Basically I used an acoustic modeling software to design the room. Ofcourse you cannot handle all the acoustic imbalances with this approach but you know where to expect highs and lows of each frequency and handle them specifically instead of padding everything with panels and carpets. My suggestion is , it is worth finding what the areas that you need to focus and if it is possible build some civil work to enable mitigating some effects.
regards
Shankar
 

smedhavi

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Hi Shankar,

If you look at the pictures on the previous page, I am handling some of the frequency management issues through civil work. For instance, I converted a 16'x16'x8' room to 17'x15'8"x8'5" (7'9" at the rear seat) which took care of the extreme frequency nodes. There is a limit to how much we can manage through civil work. There is no such alternative to a carpet and treating the first reflection points. No matter what we do with civil work if you clap or talk in a completely empty room you can hear the echo and reverberation.

My old dedicated HT/music room, which I used for 6 years, had acoustic issues handled through conventional acoustic products, such as a thick carpet, heavy curtains, thick cotton wall hangings at the right places, large wooden CD racks, artificial plants and a lot of soft furnishings. Right now I am looking for a higher absorption 'silent' sounding room. This needs about 70% absorption and 30% reflection/diffusion.

Some pictures from the old room:





Thanks,
Sharad
 

Electrify

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Sharad,
I agree with you absolutely.hmmm.... this is going to be a long one. You always need acoustics treatment to have a clean room or atleast close to it in order to bring out the best of your system. I still believe that acoustics can single handedly have a more profound effect on the performance than any single upgrade one can do. After all, at some point (very early in this hobby) we all have experienced the "let down" feeling when the gear does not sound the same way at your home compared to how it sounded when you auditioned it at the showroom.

Now where do you start or rather where do you stop? Each room has it own characteristics. To equalize this it may not be necessary to cover the complete room with acoustics treatment, it is doable but may not be necessary. If I assume that you dont want to spend a lot of money or you would prefer to have as much space in the room as possible without packing every empty areas with panels, then find what the characteristics of the room are. when I mean characteristics I dont mean, boomy or bright or wobbly or whatever, but the second order details.

Typically, when we are setting up the system initially we do it by trial and error, adjust toe-in, speaker position or listening position etc in this way one can establish a relative sweet spot where the sounds is better. Alternatively you could ensure that most of the sound is absorbed example 70 % and remaining is reflected still giving good sound. Now where do you want to put that 70% absorption? In the picture you posted, if one coud say that it is been better if the wall hanging and the CD rack is interchanged? Would it sound better if you move the drawer behind the speaker by about 90 degrees? If you know where you want to but what to mitigate which frequency for a given listening position that you could save on some cost and perhaps get better sound altogether. Obviously in a 2channel setup you will find the effects clearly in comparison to the HT setup where you have multiple listeners. Here are the things that I would consider first although you may know this...still...

1. Dimension of the room for reverberation and resonance
2. 2ch or 5.1 or 7.1
3. listening position
4. Identify the problematic frequencies, this will help you in placing the right acoustic panel with required coefficient. Example if treble is the problem an inexpensive rug can do the job instead or 40 rs /Sft panel :)
5. Locate where the problems occurs and at what intensity, this will enable you to place the panel where it is required.

There are atleast 3 ways you can go about doing it
1. Create an almost anechoic room
2. Use acoustic treatment at different places with trial and error or based on feeling or general know how
3. Use some tools Hardware/Software to identify where and what needs to be fixed. This is both in terms of reverberation time and frequency compensation.

Normally, this level of detail may not be necessary, Since you are investing in this nice project it may be worth-a-while. If you want to go down this path and if you need some suggestion I can help you in finding some problems with an acoustic software I have. But you will have to me the exact dimensions of the room, material used for construction in different part of the room, brick wall, 4.5 inches or 9 inches what type of brick hollow, or regular, do you plaster the wall, paint perhaps and also brand of speakers that you use. Then I could try plotting it and see where the anomalies are and you could try those areas specifically or more elaborately.

Regards,
Shankar
 

smedhavi

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Guess, I will use the Serge series to make them now, cost-permitting ofcourse.
I am sure you will come up with a great product based on your great DIY skills.
These structures look a bit like my CD rack above ;)
Unfortunately I have decided not to move it to the HT room under design.


Why two and not four? I am assuming, one in each corner of the room. Or are you having bass traps only at the rear?
I could always add two more later on, but it looks difficult to manage four in my room. The rear side has windows with one double glass shutter and one mesh shutters. This would be hidden behind another tough board panel covered with Anutone Slim boards. I could place small bass traps below if needed. Praveen from Anutone thought that I need only two but at the rear only, not in the front. He said he could give me removable ones. Bass traps are the last things to install so I am not worried too much right now.

Thanks,
Sharad
 

smedhavi

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In the picture you posted, if one coud say that it is been better if the wall hanging and the CD rack is interchanged?
You are right, but a CD rack behind the sofa would have been a bit difficult to operate :)

Would it sound better if you move the drawer behind the speaker by about 90 degrees?
I don't think I understand this correctly. I don't think I could have turned either the speakers or the drawer. The speakers were about 1.5 feet away from the drawer and the rear port fired above the drawer (port is located behind the tweeter).
I did have the speakers one more foot into the room for a long time but I realized later on that they actually sound better when pushed back to this position.
By the way, that room is being remodeled now and the wall has been demolished. So this is just for my learning.

Thanks for offering to help. Here are some details you wanted...

1. Dimension of the room for reverberation and resonance
- Length: Curved 17'6" max, 16' min (need to verify)
- Width: 16' except front left corner where I have 1 foot less from ground to 3' height, for 4' length (This would house the inverter batteries from the outside of the room).
- Height: 8'5" in most of the room, 7'9" at the rear seat and isle
- All walls are made of 9" solid cement blocks and concrete beams, except the curved rear wall which is made of 4.5" red brick
2. 2ch or 5.1 or 7.1
- 2 Ch & 7.1 Ch
3. listening position
- Seat 1 (main): Ears at 11" from the front wall
- Seat 2: Ears at 16'
4. Identify the problematic frequencies, this will help you in placing the right acoustic panel with required coefficient. Example if treble is the problem an inexpensive rug can do the job instead or 40 rs /Sft panel :)
Most of the Anutone stuff is at least 3 or 4 times more expensive than that :)


Equipment:
- Sources: Panasonic BD30 Blu-ray, NAD C542 CD player, Project Debut III Turntable+NAD PP2, Denon DRW-585 Cassette Deck, WD TV HD, WD TV Live, BigTV HD (Need to give off the Onida 4 head VCR as I have captured all my old home videos now :)
- Amps: Denon AVR 2809, NAD C372, NAD C270x2
- Speakers: Monitor Audio RS6, Definitive Technology Supercube II subwoofer, Jamo SW 1008 Sub
Would be buying other stuff including a new projector.

In the past I was using Audyssey Multi-XT to find out frequency peaks and dips at various positions. Audyssey tries to reverse equalize the frequencies and shows us the graph which is pretty informative. Your method is great, as it works even before the room is constructed! Thanks for your help.

regards,
Sharad
 
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Electrify

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Hi Sharad,
This basically what I see when I do first level of simulation. The dark yellow/brown areas are peaks of low frequency. These are prominent in the fornt and behind the listener as it usually is. Since you have a curved wall, this is adds additional reverberation and intensity and that is what you have to take care the most. Not surprisingly mid and high frequencies are quiet clean ie. frequency above 3 KHz. The base problem starts for frequency below 320 Hz which is also expected, where the reverberation is very high in order of seconds. more interesting is the frequencies between 30 and 60 Hz the trickiest to handle here you need attenuation of 18 dB because it is resonating in this area (the curved surface). The reverberation will obviously come down once u included any furniture, that would definitely help you. If you can slope the intersection between the curved and the ceiling you could get rid of some LF issues.Obviously you need the paneling over most of the curved area. As you see from the figure the next big problem is behind the listener 1.5 mts on either side. you can relax on the side wall paneling (only immediately next to the speakers). finally the are above the listener also needs treatment. The basic anutone wood wool models barely does anything for the areas of interest, you need to look for primarily too areas 30 to 60 high absorption and 30 to 320 medium. Remaining should be taken care by furnishing. One more thing, I have assumed you will go for carpet for the flooring which is included in the calculation.
From civil part of view if you could slope the area between ceiling and curved wall it would help, you could always treat it separately later if you dont want to do that,either way it needs attention. This is only preliminary data for 2ch based on optimum positioning of the front speakers and not taking any SW. Once you are through the civil work and have clear location of furnitures we could see how this evolves.
Regards
Shankar
 

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pdhanwada

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shankar,

I am also planning to do room treatment. This software analysis seems interesting. Can you point me to any website or can you do the same kind of analysis with my room dimensions. Do you need any autocad drawing, I can send it to you.

My Ht room is 17X13X10. 17 being the length, 13 being the width and 10 ft height of the room.

I too have similar ideas. I have spent a lot on the equipment, will not get permission from my home minister if it is too much.

Thanks
Pandu
 

smedhavi

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Hi,

Some updates...

The civil work is done. The plaster has finally dried up, and we have applied the wall primer. Praveen from Anutone would be installing the false roof channels tomorrow. So after that the carpenters would start with the pillars around the screen and the cornice/soffit would be installed. The next thing would be the AC inner unit plate.

I ran an experiment last night with my family and relatives to figure out the screen size. So they were seated at the right places when I projected an image on the wall using my old projector. The unanimous opinion was that 9 feet wide picture was too small for the new 2:35 movies. I had to go up to 9'9" to satisfy the audience. I have not been successful in procuring even a 115" diagonal 2:35 Grandview screen, and now I need an even bigger one! The Hansa Pic, Bangalore guy said that he could import that for me but could not even get a quote :(
So I have decided to go in for a DIY gypsum screen, which would be 117" wide not including the frame. This also means no paneling behind the screen now.

I am planning to construct the pillars like bass traps. These would be empty plywood structures with big holes, to be filled with glass wool or polyester fiber and finally covered with a fabric.

The side walls would have 5mm synthetic fiber sheets behind porous boards covered with fabric or acoustic wallpaper.

Looking forward to suggestions...

Thanks,
Sharad
 

smedhavi

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Hi,

My work was stalled for a month due to poor work by the Anutone installers. All the nice pictures of cables and leveling clips used to suspended the ceilings are for the brochures. Here is what I got.

Crudely put wires:



Thinnest and totally rusted:


No support for many many feet around:


Apparently, most of the people do not bother as long as the tiles hide this all. Finally I got all this re-done a few days back.

So the train starts again now...

Thanks,
Sharad
 

jeevabobby26

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Hi Sharad,

Try this type Joining method for the false ceiling Channel and the Concrete ceiling for better and stronger joint. It will not let any thing down. I used it in my Demo Room. It works well, you may consider this b'coz your making an dedicated Home Theatre Room.


cheers.
 

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smedhavi

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Thanks Jeevabobby, but this won't work for me as I am planning to hang absorptive tiles and do not want to fix the ceiling. Anyway, the ceiling has been done properly now.
So let me move on.

Thanks,
Sharad
 

santhosh

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Hi,

My work was stalled for a month due to poor work by the Anutone installers. All the nice pictures of cables and leveling clips used to suspended the ceilings are for the brochures. Here is what I got.

Crudely put wires:



Thinnest and totally rusted:

No support for many many feet around:


Apparently, most of the people do not bother as long as the tiles hide this all. Finally I got all this re-done a few days back.

So the train starts again now...
Really sorry to hear about your sad saga Sharad:(. I think you should escalate this to Anutone, they need to get their act together. I am disappointed to see the shoddy job.

Hi Sharad,

Try this type Joining method for the false ceiling Channel and the Concrete ceiling for better and stronger joint. It will not let any thing down. I used it in my Demo Room. It works well, you may consider this b'coz your making an dedicated Home Theatre Room.
I have done the same thing in my HT. I did not use aluminium channels, made the entire framework is wood.

So let me move on.
Appreciate your spirit mate:thumbsup:.
 

smedhavi

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Hi,

While I was waiting for Anutone to mend things, I did some designing and went through a lot of demos.

Let me begin with the Front Stage.
I started with a pillared look with my existing speakers and an exting chest of drawers for the media (DVD, Blu-ray, LP record etc.):



The design looked too cluttered so I considered a few other options, like a pair of speakers hidden in the pillars (for movie purpose only). I auditioned some speakers, and narrowed down to Klipsch RB81.


The sound was too petty, and the design still too overwhelming.
So I moved on to a bigger set (Klipsch RF63), and even got a home demo by the dealer at my friend's HT room (as you know my new room is still not in a shape for a demo). The Cinebels folks have a new showroom for Klpisch. They have some great demo HT rooms and are more customer friendly than many older dealers.
I also simplified the design to something more elegant. The pillars gave way to sleeker vertical pelmets with hidden lights. The POP/gypsum cornice(soffit) was replaced with more elegant wooden stuff.


These speakers were good for movies, but a bit harsh for music. The towers are too high and have a narrow vertical dispersion. So I could not get much of the effortless high frequencies the horns were capable of while I was sitting down, but these were surely better than their RF82 family. Unfortunately they got a bad sub-woofer for the demo (from the X series), and spent more time selling us the sub than the speakers.

Then I thought if I am doing this only for movies then why not go all the way and get the THX-Ultra 2 system?


This was high impact but too tiring on the ears. Not something you can relax with. I also also auditioned Usher, Dali and a few more brands, before I went back to Monitor Audio. The RS6s did not sound bad at all when I went back home and checked them again (along with the DefTech Supercube II). Unfortunately ARN Systems could not help me with more/better MA speakers. I later found out that they have lost the MA dealership now. We figured out that Audio Planet is the new dealer for MA. Palani was kind enough to let us spend hours auditioning all the MA combinations. He even threw in some great ATC speakers into the mix. The powered ATCs were great but my friend ended up buying the MA Gold series. I bought the MA Gold center speaker (GSLCR) and Silver surrounds to compete the 7.1 setup for now. The plan is to upgrade to GS20 fronts in the future (the advent of GX series might bring down the prices of GS in a few months time). The MA Gold series is really great, it sounds quite similar to the RS and RX range, but with a lot more clarity, texture, body and realism to the sound.

Here is the final design as of now.


Or, I might retain the chest of drawers.


The GSLCR in walnut finish looks much better than the picture above. I need to take a picture sometime. The above drawing is a doctored version of a black speaker.


Thanks,
Sharad

Coming soon... "The story of the rear wall".
 

smedhavi

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The wood work is going on well.

Finalized on the AC. To be installed on this Fri/Sat. Decided on a 1.5T Diakin split AC with inverter technology and 410A gas. In addition to being eco frendly, it is also the quitest model in the market. Compare 22dB on Daikin to 42dB from LG. That could make the LG more than 100 times noiser in their quite modes! [every 3dB doubles the sound level so 20dB means 2 Power(20/3)]

Thanks,
Sharad
 
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