Basement listening room. Best type of ceiling ?

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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Looking for recommendations. I’m buying a new home. The basement listening room is 19’x28’x9.5’
The ceiling has flimsy drop tile. What are some beneficial options for redoing the ceiling. I am assuming drop tile type ceilings are bad for sound ?
 

mullard88

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Jun 5, 2010
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How about just building a room inside the basement (a room inside a room) since there is a lot of space in every direction?
 

ddk

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May 19, 2013
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I'd just go with sheetrock and basic insulation.

david
 

rockitman

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Sep 20, 2011
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I'd just go with sheetrock and basic insulation.

david

That makes me happy. I might be able to gain a half a foot or so going a tighter gap between floor joists, insulation and Sheetrock. The home has a walkout basement via a garage. No stairs to lug equipment down. Fortunately I can remain in my current place until the new place is tweaked....meaning I don’t move their full time until stereo is ready to go over. 30 minute drive between both places.
 

ddk

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That makes me happy. I might be able to gain a half a foot or so going a tighter gap between floor joists, insulation and Sheetrock. The home has a walkout basement via a garage. No stairs to lug equipment down. Fortunately I can remain in my current place until the new place is tweaked....meaning I don’t move their full time until stereo is ready to go over. 30 minute drive between both places.

Ceiling height is important, keep as much as possible.

david
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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I'd just go with sheetrock and basic insulation.

david

+1

That is what I am doing.

(But I think I like the blue jeans insulation.)

Those are great dimensions, Christian!
 

JackD201

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Apr 21, 2010
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Plus ones for both of David's posts

The extra height will also help should you require clouds
 

BruceD

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How about just building a room inside the basement (a room inside a room) since there is a lot of space in every direction?

Neil Sinclair( Ex Theta) built his LA Listening and Drum room this way.

BruceD
 

ddk

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It’s possible. Is the current foot print too large ? 19x28. I plan to store the many racks of LP’s and tape in there.
It’s only average size for your speakers Chris, retain every inch. I’ve spent time in room within room mastering studios, some quite elaborate with decoupled walls, ceiling and floor and I really hated them but was exactly what the mastering engineer wanted. Just walking into a couple really dead ones was physically disorienting.

david
 

DaveyF

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Aug 1, 2010
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I would want to keep the 9.5’ ceiling, or as much height as possible. Room volume seems to be a major factor in SQ.
I think that it is a much much easier problem to deal with if you have too big a room vs. too small a room.
The small room, like the one I listen to, is a serious challenge to any a’phile...
Give me too big a room any day.
 

Rodney Gold

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Jan 29, 2014
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I would keep the drop in panels and just stuff the cavity with insulation .. the only problem with a dropped tile ceiling is that the individual panels can cause buzzes etc , easy enough to fix using some mastic or blutak ... depends on how loud you play...
 

Bruce B

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Apr 26, 2010
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It’s only average size for your speakers Chris, retain every inch. I’ve spent time in room within room mastering studios, some quite elaborate with decoupled walls, ceiling and floor and I really hated them but was exactly what the mastering engineer wanted.

This is what my 2 room are.
 

ddk

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This is what my 2 room are.

And you are a mastering engineer! The room and system are a unified analytical tool for engineers to take things apart, balance, add, subtract and come up with a product that's not what the end user needs or frankly can live with. This isn't a knock against the engineer or anything just a fact about the difference in approach to music, the consumer has mostly passive involvement while the recording artist & engineer have a deliberate active approach to music.

david
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Wow great size, congrats.
 

slcaudiophile

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Nov 6, 2014
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Um ... SLC?
agreed. i’m struggling with the same issue. low frequency issues are making my life difficult. i’m trying to make a 7.5 ceiling work. ultimately, going to have to move my new listening room.
 

Kcin

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Mar 27, 2016
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I have a room in a basement that is about 18 x 40 x 9' 6"

I built the room within a room as suggested above. I added 2x6 studs around the existing 2x4 - you loose a bit of space- I added commercial rated 5/8 " drywall. My goal was not to sound proof it really did not matter to me. I just wanted a solid space impervious to leakage with reasonable tactics.Reality is if you have a door entering the room, subfloors meeting ceiling joists and mechanicals- you can't have a sound proof outer environment without much work and expense and then you have to ask is it even important based on how you listen and live.

The ceiling is an issue. if you completely drywall it with multilayers it you will loose access to mechanicals and the opportunity to make repairs or modifications that inevitably crop up in home ownership. Moreover, if you have HVAC or pipes running through that ceiling they will transfer sound easily regardless of what you do to mitigate it without a lot of work and it still won't completely get there.

It's a compromise.. do you want a ceiling to come down in a finished basement because you need a plumbing repair? or ... run another wire or vent a new HVAC system? - or do you want to run it through a planned bulk head with access.

I compromised and did both. 90% of the ceiling was dropped with z channel for decoupling and double drywalled- but - I left 2 bulk heads for access with commercial ceiling tile where mechanicals go through and where I could have access.

A completely dead or engineered room is over-rated IMO. I've seen guys spend 100's of thousands and go back an modify the rooms on their own to gain a little life back. Good solid engineering advice is fine- but you may not like the result. Dimensions for standing waves and the biggest space possible is probably most important.

Your contractor can give you advice- good luck
 

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