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Thread: "Playroom Renovation"

  1. #1
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    "Playroom Renovation"

    Hi Guys, hope everyone is keeping cool and enjoying the weekend.

    I am in the just starting a "full gut" of the playroom/audio room, this room is a converted garage that had painted wood paneling, it was always very cold in winter and I suspected that the insulation needed to be updated while back. I re-did the attic insulation last year and now its time to do the rest of the room. I will be setting up a dedicated circuit specifically for the audio but since I have the walls open I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable fellow forumites might have some suggestions that I might be overlooking, this would be the time to consider such things. I will also be installing separate grounding rods just for this circuit, the TV/Surround will go on separate outlets?? (using commercial outlets as I could not find "Hospitall" quality ones at the electrical shop.
    I will be setting up a surround system in the near furture but not right away and was thinking of running some speaker cables for that purpose at this time as well.

    As for the insulation I decided to use this new material called UltraTouch (link below) has the same R-value as regular insulation without the beloved formaldehyde but most importantly it offers sound attenuation qualities that are not found in regular fiberglass insulation. Sound attenuation is paramount to me since am looking to isolate this room from the rest of the living areas of the house and I think this stuff will go a long way in helping me achieve a level of isolation.

    I am not a big subscriber of all the "Green" stuff that is popular now but this stuff is nice and very user friendly, if I was a Freegan I would love a comforter made out of this stuff, it really has a great touch.

    All suggestions & comments are as always welcomed and I thank you all in advanced for them. Please excuse me if I do not reply right away to posts as things are moving along at a good pace over here.

    Will post more pictures as time allows, thanks guys!

    (insulation link)
    http://marjam.com/products/detailed.asp?pcategory=22

    Pitures are clockwise.

    Sorry Guys! PDF file is a floor plan file, I thought it would show the plan itself, will edit that as I figure it out, if ever
    (anyone know how I can move the PDF to the top of the list before the first picture?)

    audio sustem & speakers will be situated where between the two small windows below (where the sloped ceiling occurrs) anyone know what how the ceiling might affect the sound + - ? The wall is 6'-2" high then it slopes to 8'-0".
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    Here's the rest of the pictures.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    The rear wall (where in wall AC is presently) opposite the speaker will be all glass 15' +- so I am sure this will present some interesting sound "qualities" to say the least
    Just Play Music.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunchy View Post
    The rear wall (where in wall AC is presently) opposite the speaker will be all glass 15' +- so I am sure this will present some interesting sound "qualities" to say the least
    Heavy drapes will do wonders for something like that.

    John

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hoerninger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunchy View Post
    ... am looking to isolate this room from the rest of the living areas of the house ...
    Krunchy,
    do you go as far as to build a room in the room for isolation?
    You might consider to take the speakers more off the front wall for better imaging.
    And a good start for planning you find right here:
    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...t=16794&page=5
    Cable ducts (?) instead of fixed cables? Just an idea.
    __________
    Peter

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Krunchy- we should probably talk on the phone some time about this, easier to get it all together smoothly. I'll take a look at the .pdf in the meantime.

    Looks like a project, good luck!

    je

  7. #7
    Senior Member SMKSoundPro's Avatar
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    Dear Krunchy,

    Here is something to read from this site:
    http://www.tangible-technology.com/power/POWER_1.html

    I don't know if you need this information, but am including that I have been involved in alot of dedicated technically clean power runs for audio stuff for a long time.

    If you cannot get isolated ground outlets, don't bother running a separate grounding rod. Find the IGO outlets, in 20 amp ratings, and do your best wiring techniques. I have found many times where the AC lines voltage and current availability can be crucial to good audio. (And yes, you can read that I have fought with the Lighting Directors at times)

    Looks great!! Can Lisa and I come and help? We're a great remodeling team.

    Scott.

    ISOLATED GROUND and BALANCED POWER

    Is it worth the added expense?
    Consider the following
    An Isolated Ground (IG) can be worth the added expense, but ONLY when approached in a very specific and consistent way. Otherwise the benefits will be nominal at best. Almost all new systems are sonically clean, so don't kid yourself into thinking you got what you paid for (IG) or got away with not paying for (IG).
    Assuming a New Installation
    If everything is connected to the same noise source there will be no noise. The problem with most systems is that, over time, connections become loose. Inconsistent noises are the result of changes in temperature, moisture and current demand over TIME.
    FOR EXAMPLE
    It is also important to consider the habit of electricians. Most do house and commercial wiring, few have the sensitivity to do audio installtions. It is quite common, for example, for outlet boxes to be run in series RATHER THAN running a fresh wire back to the breaker box. Consider strings of "holiday" lights where, if one bulb is pulled, the others go out.
    In power distribution, daisy-chaining outlet boxes puts a potential noise-maker at every juntion: hot, neutral and ground. Again, the tightness of each connection is important, because the lack of same generates heat, causing expansion (and contraction), which, over time, generates intermittent noises into the system wiring. Power hungry appliances and audio gear could potentially heat up every weak junction.
    An Isolated Ground system requires the following:
    1.) three wires: hot, neutral and insulated ground to the IG outlet.
    PLUS
    2.) To be legal, a metal jacketed cable securely connected to a metal outlet box (if used). When metal studs and metal boxes are used, there will be multiple ground connections. The isolated and INSULATED ground wire can not be used for, nor can it touch, the metal box or metal stud.
    HOWEVER
    Using the spike-in-the-ground approach, there is still the problem tht results when all of the wires are in the same jacket. Consider that even audio gear generates noise. The proximity of the ground wire -- isolated or not -- to the hot and neutral means that gear noise will be induced from the power lines into the ground wire.
    To legally take full advantage of an true IG system, balanced power distribution (BPD) is required. Yet another expense, BPD requires a power transformer with 120 volt windings, precision center-tapped at the mid-point to yield 60 volts (60-0-60) to both the former NEUTRAL and the somewhat less HOT. With balanced power, minimal, if any. noise will be generated into the ground wire, isolated or not.
    IG sans BPD
    To keep the ground wire clean, it should be run away from -- and not parallel to -- the power lines. This is not "to code," but for the moment, consider this:
    In additon to the legal requirement of the standard hot-neutral-ground cable to the outlet box, run a separate ground wire -- that is not paralllel to any of the power lines -- to the isolated-ground outlets. ALL of the ground wires -- legal and clean -- will go back to the same ground bar in the breaker box. Assuming the same clean, tight connection for every wire, the system should remain clean. NOISE will occur if you join a clean system to a noisy system as might occur when connecting to a guitar or bas amp via direct box. Of course, ALL potential audio outlets should have their own ground wire and a straight return to the breaker box.
    One step above: "Two Tin Cans and a String!"
    Longtime Alaskan Low-Fi Guy - E=MC▓ ▒3db

  8. #8
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoerninger View Post
    Krunchy,
    do you go as far as to build a room in the room for isolation?
    You might consider to take the speakers more off the front wall for better imaging.Peter
    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for the suggestions, due to space constraints I cannot afford to sacrifice space within a space for a propper and more efficient space isolation hence my cousrse of action. The speaker locaatio in the PDF is just a reference point and will be explored extensively when the room is done.
    Thanks for the link as well, I have been delved into it before and am very grateful to Ian for starting it, a great thread to be sure.

    Je!, give me a ring when you get a chance my friend.


    Hi Scott, if you and Lisa are ever in the east coast you are more than wolcome to come by. Thank you for all the info you have provided me with, I read it once but I am sure I will have some questions for you once I have had a chance to digest some of it.
    Thank you Sir
    Just Play Music.

  9. #9
    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
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    My 2c worth

    Here is a cut and paste excerpt from an E mail to Fred a few days ago.

    I have a suggestion for you. since you have all your walls open it might be an idea to use some of the damping properties of the insulation 'bays' as an acoustic treatment.
    I occasionally do some work for an outfit in Glasgow that builds Radio studios. The use a similar method where all the stud frame is filled with Rockwool batts and then the whole is covered with a nice fabric. Once the studio is populated with racks tables etc there is a nice combination of live v dead surface.
    You could do this on an ad hoc basis by rigging up your audio in the un sheeted room and by experimentally covering area by area. Once you achieve a satisfactory balance you can stitch up your sheets properly and make fabric covered frames for the deadening areas.
    Typically the corners are where you want to do this ( bass traps ) but a good rule of thumb is to have a live wall opposite a dead wall.
    Better idea still is to fire a thread up on the forum with some piccies. There are at least three guys regular there who work in this area.
    The rockwool is not expensive but is much more solid than Dow Glass and will not slump.
    You have an opportunity here to make your room outstanding, IMHO its worth an investigation

    I am no acoustician but there are some lurking here. I reckon Fred can do some worthwhile treatment for low $$ since he is at this stage.
    The Rockwool Batts are great deadeners thats for sure.

  10. #10
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    I think that low ceiling (8ft) is really going to limit your acoustic success in there.

    While you're ripping everything else out, can you raise it...Seriously. Nothing beats a nice coffered ceiling in a listening room. It adds height and more importantly diffusion - remember, the ceiling is the largest "bare" surface in that room.

    Keep the absorptive treatments in balance. Thick sound absorptive treatments behind the speakers would make sense (100mm foam). You have a glazed rear wall but you listening position is well forward of it so the reflections should not be too "hot" by the time they reach you. Agree with previous post that heavy drapes would be ideal and these offer useful absorption even when gathered up at either side of the window.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    Hello everybody!

    Been having some real summer action over here, including some power outages and the air cooling device kinda stopped working this afternoon while I was at work, gotta love it.

    Hi Mac, I wish I had the time to really investigate what you are proposing but I dont think it is something that I can do at the moment. Though to me it makes perfect sense and do not doubt that it would work amazingly well. Besides the time constraints the room is fundamentally the family/playroom, I have merely encroached upon it but feel that there is plenty of room for everyone. I also think that for your suggestion to be fairly investigated I would need some pretty serious RTA and other similar room measurement devices which I do not own and cannot seriously consider purchasing at the time. If I did it "by ear" I fear that it wouldnt be very accurate and would just as likely set up the "panels" differently on a second listen of the same track it wouldnt surprise me.
    That being said I am not oposed to doing fabric covered panels & will seriously consider them once the room is set up with furniture, childeren's table and desk. I was planing on building some bass traps on for the corners and (now) also behind the speakers as per Andy's suggestion.
    Its a cool idea but I dont think I can implement it in this particular room Mac. Its definitely a funny room, the wall where the speakers are going and the one to the right are the only true walls, the rest are mostly glass the fireplace, not to mention that sloped clg. Until (if ever) I can afford a designated audio room I will have to make some concessions but I think a happy medium is not too much to ask for either.
    Thank you Mac.



    Hello Andy!
    Nothing would make me happier than to lift the wall plate another 12-18" that would be fantabulous, Im afraid its just not in the old budget my friend. If my wish to move to the country is ever realized I'll start from scratch and give the audio room a propper clg. ht. The bass traps behind the speakers I can certainly do thoug and was actually thinking of using the isulation itself and mounting it on a panel and apply some fabric of course.
    Once the room is more or less finished I will also consider some ceiling treatment options, I know they have been discussed in a couple of threads that I've come across. Measuring the room's acoustics will play a major role in determinig what needs to be addressed and, in a way I am working kind of backwards but I really dont have too many choices on that end. The room needs to be functional first and I have to work around that to a large extent, at least for now.
    Thanks Andy



    Hi John, I agree, heavy drapes are a must, especially in that room, the sun blasts in there in the afternoon.
    They should market some sort of "Audio Drapes" anyone know how to sew

    Thanks guys, I'll post some more pictures soon
    Just Play Music.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunchy View Post
    Nothing would make me happier than to lift the wall plate another 12-18" that would be fantabulous,
    Thought you would say that. Anyway, don't take your eye off how important the ceiling is. We often see people go over the top with wall treatments but they forget to look above them at that large ceiling layer above.

    If you ceiling was a bit higher, I would suggest attaching "fake" timber beams (thick chunky profiles) as even that helps add diffusion.

    We have been working on a little venue (120 capacity!) here in Ireland that they want to extend http://www.spiritstore.ie/. The room is all hard finishes and fairly reverberent. But they have a wonderful old coffered ceiling and the diffusion from that saves the room acoustically, i.e. it would be verging on the "harsh" without it. Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze is doing a solo gig there (don't know if Squeeze were big in the US) and seeing him there is like being in someones large living room.

  13. #13
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyoz View Post
    We have been working on a little venue (120 capacity!) here in Ireland that they want to extend http://www.spiritstore.ie/. The room is all hard finishes and fairly reverberent. But they have a wonderful old coffered ceiling and the diffusion from that saves the room acoustically, i.e. it would be verging on the "harsh" without it. Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze is doing a solo gig there (don't know if Squeeze were big in the US) and seeing him there is like being in someones large living room.
    Difford and Tilbrook weren't HUGE in the US, but they certainly had fans in the day! Thanks for the info and update ... sounds like a nice club to hear such music!
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    Senior Member Akira's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents...

    IMO the single biggest difference can be attained by soffit mounting your speakers. I realize very little is said here in the forum about this topic, but talk to anyone who has a soffit mounted system...the box disappears, the walls disappear, the system floats and is musically effortless.
    Of course that depends on the design of the speakers, but big box JBL's really benefit from in wall mounting.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyoz View Post
    Thought you would say that. Anyway, don't take your eye off how important the ceiling is. (don't know if Squeeze were big in the US) and seeing him there is like being in someones large living room.
    Hi Andy, Yeah that was inevitable I guess, although anything is do-able that would not be a simple or inexpensive little project and would be quite involved. Even if I were to just raise the ceiling withoug raising the wall plate, raising the ceiling joists and all that it would entail would be well beyond the budget at the moment. I would consider doing some sort of ceiling treatments if it wouldnt project into the room say... more than three inches, do you know of something that would fit that bill, a two inch projection would be even better. Again I think that is something I would seriously look into once I was able to do some sort of RTA/room acoustics evaluation. Thanks in advanced for any suggestions you might have on that front.
    As for Squeeze, they were pretty big here in, I always liked them, it should be a really good show especially in a small venue, thanks for the link (that looks like really good place, how's Creedence Clearwater Recovered?)


    Hello Akira, I suppose they could be soffit mounted (somehow) but the 4345's would present quite a challenge in that light. If this was strictly my listening room I wouldnt hold back and would give it a whirl but for now I think they'll just get some lifts
    Thank you all the same

    Here are some recent pictures, moving forward!

    TTFN!
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