Home

Spendor Home

AV Room 1

AV Room 2

Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. As mentioned previously I wanted our Audiofix dem room / listening room / home theatre room (there I said it...Home Theatre! erghhh!), whatever you want to call it, to be as 'normal' as possible and yet deliver a stunning av presentation and offer neutral acoustics and a very quiet environment for serious 2 channel listening. Even though Audiofix is situated in an industrial area it is realitively quiet most of the time, but next door do run around with the fork lift from time to time and you can bet that will be moving carpet around (its a carpet warehouse) when I want to demonstrate some gear so isolation from noise coming through the block dividing wall was an important issue.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. The other key issue rattling around in my head was how to make this room sound as good as other rooms I had designed or built that had quite a lot of proper diffusor panels in them but not look like it was "acoustically treated" or for that matter not even have too many treatments. Well I'm guessing that it won't sound as good as an absolute state of the art attempt at perfect acoustics, but in an attempt to get as close as possible I thought a tricky looking curved ceiling would offer a nice amount of 'wank factor' coulpled with the real benefit of it acting as a diffusor, albeit one with linited performance. Mind you anything is better than a flat ceiling.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. So work started with getting the basics right first. 90mm studs, 10mm Soundcheck cladding, insulation of various kinds in the cavity and generous quantities of blue glue holding the baord to the frames. The two adjoining walls (one to next door and one to my electronic workshop area) consisted of framing with cladding both sides (the Gyprock product on the inside and craftwood on the adjoining side) and insulation both in the internal wall cavity and between the existing and new complete wall. The room may not be fully sealed yet but I cannot hear anymore carpet fork lifts! Step into the workshop a few feet away and they are as audible as ever.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. It is important to make sure that the celing design does not compromise this excellent isolation. Most folk put wool in the walls of their 'media room' (BTW, media room is building code for really crap acoustics, 50" plasma and a $800 "surround sound" system, well at least thats what most of the ones I have seen consist of) but do nothing more than lay some more wool on top of the ceiling. They then also make the ceiling nice and leaky by sticking down lights everywhere so sound can travel up through/around the lights and down through the lights of the next room. We have gone to some trouble to avoid that problem here.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. The downlights will have boxes over them to stop leakage but still allow enough air for cooling and the flooring above will give us the extra layer of cladding. When coupled with a ceiling cavity full of Soundscreen or similar insulation the isolation will be similar to the walls if not greater. A further step towards isolation is the "air lock". This ante room acts as a filter and absorber to reduce sound that sneaks passed the first door. The acoustic qualities of the air lock need to be very dead to absorb this extraneous noise and also absorb sound created by the AV equipment that is located in this area. Putting a DVD or Bluray player in the actual listening area is a no no.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. In fact serious effort needs to be made to make sure the quiet passages of the film or music are not destrpyed by background noise that suddenly becomes audable. Having gone to the trouble of "tuning out" the neighbours by way of excellent isolation, there is no point making a feature of your own racket. Air con, projector and amplification and source equipment needs careful selection and installation to avoid its operation from being distracting. Lighting control and its associated buzzes and hums can be an issue too. Remember this room will be very quiet. Think middle of the night quiet. Mention before was made of air conditioning and oversized ducting etc. This is a subject all of its own and is not my area of expertise so I wont go on about it.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. I on the other hand have been trying to make projector installations as quiet as possible for many years. No longer is this the drama it used to be. The Mitsubishi range are almost inaudable. In fact in a 'normal' room they are inaudable, in our 'quiet' room though the whisper quiet does make a bit of a racket so the projector box will be lined with acoustic foam. This will help quite a bit as will the oversized box or even the fact that it is in a box rather than just bolted to the ceiling. The box is of course open at the front to let the fans pump out the hot air. Epson and Optoma projectors are also quiet but not whisper quiet like the Mits.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction. Now back to the actual acoustics of the room. How to make it sound great and look like a living room. I mentioned the curved ceiling. This ceiling also acts as a bit of a bass absorber. Important in a small room. There will be a thin drape on the front wall. There will be bookcase / cube storage unit / diffusor on the back wall. What to do with the side walls? Good question! There will be pictures and artwork hung initially. The artwork will really be a diffusor in disguise. If it doesn't quite cut it I will add some proper high performance diffusor panels and disguise them a bit with some fabric covering but I am hoping not to need to do this. Chairs and a sofa or two will act as absorbers.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction.
And its done! More info coming soon...
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction.
Click for bigger image of Audiofix home theatre and demo room construction.
This page was last updated 02-04-2011
All images, text and information on this web site are copyright to Audiofix and Andrew Hutchison.