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Changing Rooms Smurf Stylee - and acoustics questions

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Smurfin, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Well it's 3 weeks until I move, all my new kit should be ready and waiting (what a busy few weeks it's been:D, and I'm still not finished:rolleyes:).

    I'll be turning a garage into an AV room in the space of 48 hours (well thats the aim, gonna be fun:D ) - it's already been "converted" into a normal room, albeit with crappy strip lighting and even worse carpet.

    It's a typically standard garage - the dims are around 2500mm x 5000mm, so a small room for the amount of equipment thats going in.

    The plan is as follows:

    The screen will be an MDF sheet, painted with Dulux Icestorm 5/6, with half-round beading providing the necessary crisp black framing. Walls and ceiling will be painted with an orangey/red matt emulsion for maximum light absorption.

    A huge rug will do the honours for covering the cream (ugh) carpet and a black throw-over will sort out the cream sofa and washing machine (don't laugh, it has to stay there due to the plumbing being positioned in the garage, but I definately want it covered during "movie time").

    Lights will be on a remote dimmer, and the striplight will be replaced by 4 halogen spots on a simple track, to be mounted behind the projector.

    So thats got the basics sorted....the big question however is on acoustics. As you can see from the pics below, the room is pretty much a box: with 2 Servo 15s, and the M&K 1610s driving the front, I've got a feeling the room's going to be bright as hell with lots of problems.

    The throwovers should help, as will the carpet and the rug, and I'm also about to order 2 large black beanbags (room will basically be black and terracota/red) but what else can I look at cheaply to improve the acoustics?

    Things I have in mind and already have planned:

    The "screen wall" will obviously be dominated by the screen itself, but at lower level this will be blank wall. I'm thinking of buying some carpet tiles from B+Q (can get some deep red ones for £3 per tile) to cover the wall, completely surrounding the screen. Not sure how this will affect the sound, but I've heard this will help? (any idea what this does anyone?)

    The other thing I considered was hanging some large rugs from the side walls to help dampen the room a bit, but then in B+Q today I spotted some polystyrene coving which struck me a good idea for "fins".

    The big Q. is, how should fins be positioned, where in the room should they go? And would these be suitable? (I can't think why not). What should their orientation be?

    Forgive me if these questions sound daft, but I don't really understand acoustics to any large degree, and what treatments do what within a room.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  2. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Plan view....
     

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  3. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    And another....
     

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  4. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    ...
     

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  5. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    And yet another....
     

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  6. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    My first (and probably crappy) hit at positioning "fins".
     

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  7. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Please please please tell me where you get that program from...pretty please :D
     
  8. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    And this is the plan view of the same shot....

    Thoughts from the knowledgeable would be appreciated
    :D
     

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  9. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    www.roomarranger.com
     
  10. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Matt,

    I would suggest that you are going to encounter very similar problems that i have with solid stone walls. Stand in the room and have a conversation or clap your hands. This will give you an idea of how much the room reverbs the sound. You will need to find ways of controling or deadening that echo. The fins are an idea which i have tried along with thick foam at tweeter height on side walls. They did help a little but to fully deaden the room I am looking at about £500-900 in professional absorbsion materials from auralex. Expensive but many who have tried it say it has improved greatly previously live rooms.(just read some of the comments on their website)
    96square feet should be covered by a box of 2" pyramids or wedges which costs roughly £299-400, depending on the retailer, strangely one online retailer was the most expensive outlet;)

    There are also loads of useful sites out there with great suggestions on sound control, but i can't at this moment find my links folder (when i do I'll mail you the folder).

    The pictures look great, will have to arrange a visit for a bear sometime. (would love to hear those duel Servos).
     
  11. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Phil

    I'd love to shell out for the auralex, but with my recent expenditure :)eek:) I'm down to my last few pennies for spending on AV gear :(

    I worked out excluding the throws and beanbags, everything to convert the room should cost me in the region of £100 (thats paint, screen, carpet tiles, etc etc).

    I would do the clap test, but won't be able to do this properly until I move into the house.

    Welcome for a beer anytime, just don't bring any more bloody discs;)
     
  12. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    When I originally had varnished floorboards in my room the sound was very bright so I bought a rug similar to the one you mentioned. I'm sorry to say that it didn't change the sound at all, however when I fitted a nice thick carpet with underlay the sound was much warmer. My room is still on the bright side so I'm probably having Auralex treatments within the next 2 weeks, I'll of course feedback my results to anyone who's interested.
     
  13. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    The good news is that I have a reasonably thick carpet in the room anyway, it's just the walls that I need to come up with some kind of "treatment" for.

    Am I right in thinking that the "fins" should be level with ear-height? And not go above?
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    Why not buy some cheap carpet?- maybe some old second hand carpet or stuff that's being thrown away.. try cutting up & placing on the side walls.

    Gotta be cheaper than buying lots of different types- then finding out you've bought too much/carpet does the same thing (for cheaper) etc.

    And then when you've settled for how much carpet & where to put it- replace with some new carpet.
     
  15. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    The polystyrene coving is really cheap, £1.98 per section which can be cut into 2 x fins.

    But I take your point, some measure of experimentation will be required I think...
     
  16. EvilMudge

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    Matt,

    Fins are a great idea, actually absorbent coving is a good idea in any room you might listen in.
    Ideally you would put the fins at the point of reflection between the tweeters and your ears. You might need more than one set though.
     
  17. SanPedro

    SanPedro
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    Matt

    This US site looks interesting. Seems to ba all about the principles of sound absorption and suchlike.

    http://www.americanacoustictechnology.com

    Chris
     
  18. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Yeah, I've planned for several sets as per the last couple of pics.

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  19. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Cheers Chris, unfortunately it just seems to be a retail website....nothing there on the principles of it...
     
  20. EvilMudge

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    Doh, should have looked harder.:blush:

    If you can get away with it, do the same all over the rear wall :D
     
  21. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Mark

    How should the fins be orientated though?
     
  22. EvilMudge

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    That's a tough one. I'd go for column style if you can't get away with one's at a diagonal (say 45 degrees) to the floor. Vertical reflections are considered bad whilst horizontal ones are good. Of course the best would have all sorts of angles in it, a good compromise would be to aim the reflections above your head.
    The way our ears work means that one big echo is interpreted as a tiny space, whilst lot's of smaller ones are interpreted as a huge space.
     
  23. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    You mean like in one of the pics above, except they should be angled, instead of vertical? Which direction (towards or away from the front speakers) should they be?
     
  24. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Bookshelves are supposed to break up sound, try a couple of sets on the back wall you will need somewhere to put all of your DVD's anyway? and how about some heavy velvet curtains on back or side walls, try a charity shop they will be dirt cheap.
     
  25. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    I have almost 350 DVDs, I think I'll need more than a couple of bookshelves:eek:

    I intend to store all the DVDs in another room, it's going to be small enough without them....
     
  26. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    Anyone out there who can advise on specific positioning of fins etc?
     
  27. blue73

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    Hey Smurf,
    I'am after pretty much the same thing, OK not as top end as your set up but was wonderin, could you not make up panels for the walls and get some acoustic material from say acoustilay which sell it on a roll or by the tile. All you would have to do is get the timber from whoever then you could make the panels to what ever size you wanted?
     
  28. Phil Hinton

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    I looked at making tiles like you suggest, but it starts to get expensive when you add all the materials together. Lets face it you need to do things right and that costs money, so any approach will costs pennies. I believe Spectre covered his room in heavy duty curtains on runners, close them when watching a movie, open them when not. Maybe he could comment on how much that deadens his room.
     
  29. dunkyboy

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    I'd imagine curtains (good, thick, heavy ones) would be more effective than carpets or rugs as ideally you want some space between the dampening material and the wall, as the air behind it then becomes a sort of "springy buffer" which adds to the dampening ability. Or so somebody said sometime or other. :)

    Dunc
     
  30. Apocalypse

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    I'm getting Auralex 2" Pyramids this week and I have a bright room so it's a good test for them. My treble control is set below neutral atm to counter the bright sound. I'll feedback my views once I've installed it.

    Edit - Delivery is upto 3 weeks so ignore the above :blush:
     

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