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IM3CPO 01-31-2019 01:19 AM

Advice for new home theater room
I am having a new home built and am looking for some advice on the dedicated theater room its going to have. As I am sure everyone here knows, no home builder takes these home theater rooms as seriously as they should and mine is no exception. I actually had them remove the wall sconces, etc., from the plans. I didn't even want them to install drywall (as I wanted to use purple) but apparently the house wont pass inspection if they don't install carpet, drywall, etc. so the minimum I could have them do is build a room with drywall and basic carpet installed. So- that is what I am starting with here... :)

The room is 18' x 13'. I would have liked to get it a little bigger, but that is as big as I could get. Ceilings are 10'. The existing drywall will be 5/8" and there will be insulation in all the walls and ceilings of this room. All the amps will have dedicated circuits. Entry to the room is from the back through an externally hung 3' solid wood barn door.

Here is a little diagram of the room:

(I couldn't seem to insert it as a picture)

My current equipment I can reuse is as follows:

2x JL Audio F-113's with sound anchor stands
3x McIntosh 601's (Center, and Fronts)
1x McIntosh 452 (for rear)
84" LG 4K TV (Wife insisted on this; this is leftover from other room we have)
Surround Processor: Datasat RS20i & McIntosh MX-151. Have both; can use whatever..

Front speakers: Sonus Faber Amati Futura's.
Center: Sonus Faber Amati Homage VOX
Rear Speakers: Sonus Faber Auditor Elipsa
*Not ideal, but these are left overs for when this used to be a different setup

I would like ideas from everyone as to how you would modify and configure this room for best acoustics and movie/TV enjoyment. Its only my wife and I, so we only need to fit 2 people. So I am not looking for equipment advice; I merely included some of the items as they affect the amount of space left in the room.

My initial plan was to implement a "room inside a room" but not sure I want to lose the amount of space I would lose if I did it within the whole room. I also don't necessarily have a budget. I want it to look and sound nice and be an enjoyable experience for technically as reasonably priced as possible but I could see spending as much as $25K - $30K+ if circumstances dictated.

What would you do/recommend?

JMD 01-31-2019 01:32 AM

As far as gear is concerned if you are good with 5:2 then all that seems to be missing is a top level processor from Marantz or Anthem. For acoustic treatments you can go to the GIK website and see what your wife will agree on in terms of finish and then contact them and they will guide you on pieces.

IM3CPO 01-31-2019 01:37 AM

Arg! Forgot to add that..
Sorry- I forgot to add the processor. I have a DataSat RS20i as well as a McIntosh MX-151. I was more looking for what to do with the room acoustics than anything else (which is part of the reason I forgot my processor).. I will try to update my original post to reflect this..

doggiehowser 01-31-2019 02:03 AM

PS Audio recently moved factories - and as a result, Paul has been (like a kid in a candy store) designing his best music room.

Have a look at some of his planning videos on YouTube which he talks about simple things to do when building a room.

45 angled corners (in place of expensive bass traps), slightly tapering walls (preventing parallel walls/ceilings), and using crown mouldings (?) at the edges where the ceiling/walls meet.

I would also add
- instead of a thick, plush carpet, go for a more regular (easy to maintain) carpet but fit a really thick underlay underneath that gives you a bit of bounce for sound deadening.

I don't know about the Futura Amatis but the Amati Traditions need a fair bit of space from the walls (side and behind them) so be prepared to have them fairly into the room. I also use a fair bit of toe in (almost firing to the sides of my ears in the main listening room)

Putting them in the room does affect the path of a projector (and size of the screen) - if you are still considering it ... I know you mentioned the 84" TV

Once you have placed the speakers, you kinda have to sit at least as far back as the two speakers are apart (if not more.. I prefer long isosceles) and still have enough room behind the listening position.

As for the room within a room - i think the penalty isn't that much maybe about 6" on each wall but I'd only do it so as not to affect the rest of the house (or neighbours if they are really close). Otherwise, I would just worry about room acoustics.

Also - seems a shame not to use Atmos if you have an RS20 from DataSat!

I'd definitely do 5.2.4 over 7.2 or 7.2.2

IM3CPO 01-31-2019 02:08 AM

Thanks for the information! Extremely helpful!

My old home did have an Atmos setup, but I had to leave some of that stuff when I sold the house so I basically have what I have as a starting point, but can easily add more. And I agree! If you have the Datasat, you kinda *have* to do Atmos.. :)

So I guess that leads to another question. What would be a good speaker to match the exist Sonus Faber speakers I have for the added Atmos speakers?

W9TR 01-31-2019 07:59 PM

That’s quite an equipment list! Pretty much the same as my current setup except I traded out my 601’s for 2301’s and have a dedicated 2 channel setup that bypasses all the HT stuff.

My previous theater was 11’ x 17’ so pretty close to your current space.

I would treat the area around the screen with light absorbing material, including the ceiling. It could be sound absorbing as well. Placing acoustic treatments behind and at the side first reflection points of the speakers will help immensely.

Run a 3” PVC pipe up to the projector from your equipment rack to avoid cable obsolescence issues.

Keep all the equipment away from the front of the room - it is visually distracting.

Avoid putting your seating in the exact physical middle of the room - you’ll get an untreatable bass issue.


IM3CPO 01-31-2019 08:07 PM


Thanks for the suggestions!

And your sig gave me the clue I needed to remember the name of the center channel speaker I have! ;) I have a separate two channel setup with McIntosh 1.2KW's and Wilson Audio Alexia 2's off in another room with a McIntosh C2600 (along with some other stuff).

W9TR 01-31-2019 09:24 PM

Very cool! Also, add acoustic treatment slowly and experiment a bit as it is easy to ‘overdamp’ a small room. (Ask me how I know this. ;) ) If I think of anything else I’ll let you know.

nicoff 01-31-2019 09:39 PM

18 x 13 x 10 seems like good dimensions from the acoustics point of view.
You can spend tons of money on acoustics treatments or just get a good A/V processor with room correction (that's what I would do).
Datasat used to be SOTA years ago. But from what I have read Trinnov is the one to beat today.
As far as room within a room, that's great if you are able to do it. More isolation from outside noises and less sound waves going out.

nicoff 02-01-2019 12:01 PM

Have you tried posting these questions in the AVS forums? Very knowledgeable people there when it comes to home theater construction and home theater in general.

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