Clean sheet build on a Dedicated 2 channel room.

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#1
I have only recently joined this site and came across your section of the site, from your obvious experience i would greatly appreciate your ideas on the best direction to go with a dedicated sound room build from scratch.

Currently there is a concrete slab 600mm thick with an available area 11 meters x 9 meters x 3.5m high although this is not an issue just allows me to conceal all the aircon and filter system above the ceiling area and still maintain the 3.3m ceiling height.

My current thoughts ( and I am very open to suggestions ) are for walls external in solid brick with a 300mm cavity then internal solid brick or split block textured face masonary approximately 150mm thick. The cavity once all the services are run would either be sand filled of rammed earth filled to provide the density for a fully sound proofed room.

I have a number of speakers in mind the top of my list would be the Rockport Arrakis but I would ideally like the room not to be the limiting factor in whatever I select now or in the future. I do have the option of making the end of the room one half of an Ocatgon shape as this would match the style of the rest of the house but I am unsure if this would be an acoustic advantage.

Obviously the room would require further treatment from this finish point to obtain the best neuteral overall match, I am currently installing a 10-15KW solar system so I don't have to feel guilty about the power I consume along with dedicated high grade supply into the room so power won't be an issue.

Any comments or suggentions based on your experience would be welcome, I thank you in anticipation of your reply.
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,812
215
560
Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#2
You are thinking correctly in planning this far out. The last thing you should think about is equipment now.

Things to think about:
Do you want to keep sound out/in? What STC rating?
Doors and ventilation are your weakest links.
Air and mass are your friends.
I would suggest a room within a room. I left an air gap between the walls of about 4". Use batt insulation.
If you are having contractors build, tell them to build an aquarium/submarine. If air/water can get in or escape, so can sound.
The use of "sound proofing" is a pet peeve. Nothing is soundproof except a vacuum or outer space. Use the term "sound resistance"
Get the advice of or hire an acoustician. Money well spent.
Read... read... read.....
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#3
Thankyou Bruce for your comments, answers to your questions.
Do I want to keep sound in or out? Ideally the design would encompass both as I am thinking the density of the cavity filling would absorb both the internally generated sound and perform the same function for any externally generated sound as a result.
Doors would be stainless steel trimmed canterlever design matching the full wall thickness ( usually as two separate doors sets ) filled with acoustic high density Rockwool insulation in layers with perforated metal cladding and the internal face matching the interior of the room, we have used this same design on aircraft component test cell doors rated at 145dbA levels with excellent results.

The door frame we press from 3mm stainless steel fix in place and as the walls are being built pour grout to both seal and fix in place this as a result insures an airtight seal. The airconditioning system would use internally dampened distribution heads and perforated metal diffusers in the ducting to trap any sound traveling either direction in the ducting, large size ducting with laminar smooth air flow equals a quiet efficient system that does not intrude into or out of the room.

In your experience do you believe the insulation and maybe double layer 16mm Firecheck plaster board would be a better solution to the split face masonary and sand filled cavity with further sound traps at critical positions to attenuate the room to a flat overall response?

With regards to a consultant for the overall design I would have to look into that and find someone with the right qualifications that I had the confidence in as the discussion on the subject so far has seen varying trains of thought on the subject.

Thankyou for your comment.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
6
255
#4
Loco57

You are right to be planning so far ahead. I have no doubts the results wil be great. I would advise you to hire an acoustician. Some of them frequent this forum. This will be money well spent. I am not affiliated with any particular one but I like the approach of people like Terry Montlick, who worked on Jeff Fritz of Ultra Audio and Keith Yates who has worked with one of the founder of this very site, Amir...and of course namesake of this particular section of the forum Mark Seaton. These guys have more than information they have knowledge and the practice of this knowledge... There are others but these came to my mind first ..
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#5
Thank you Frantz, can this really be done remotely with an all up design as I am not situated in the US and this appears to be my biggest problem with finding an experienced adviser in Australia unless some of those you mention reside on my side of the World? While I am definaly no expert I am not a complete idiot either and believe in a number of principals that should be followed in relation to a build, attention to detail, measure twice cut once!

Any recommendations based on experience would be welcome. Thank you.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
6
255
#6
Loco57

I don't know if that can be done remotely. it should be possible IMO. I din't want to infer either that you wouldn't know what to do. I did go a different route. I played around with absorption (Tubes Traps) and diffusion (RPG) and did get reasonably good results. Subsequent exposure to well designed listening rooms has convinced me that a professional acoustician or firm is the best way when one is building a for-the-purpose room from scratch... Such services including travel and accommodations may cost less than a good pair of High End speakers so .. I think it is wise to consider the room and its built as part of your system design.. A road you have clearly taken
Good Luck with your project. Keep us inform and if I swing by down under I would love to hear the system
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#7
Frantz,
have no fear the thought you may have been infering anything at all never entered my mind just in my experience some people tend to think if you are not in the business you know nothing and get treated accordingly or taken for a ride. I know that it is the little things, the attention to detail that really bring a project to the right conclusion and there is no doubt I like things to be done a certain way with regards to quality near enough is never good enough in my opinion.

Am I right in thinking that if the room is 95% right ( whatever that is ) you are at least giving the speakers a fighting chance to perform to their very best or if you try for a neutral room do you then handicap the speaker performance or potential selection or is it just a matter of how far you are prepared to compromise for a particular setup? This is the area I am struggling with in how to go about the overall design, my idea of the ideal listening environment is a near dark room with absolutely no interuptions as for me this breaks the mood and I usually just go and do somthing else in disgust.

Is one persons idea and concept of what is correct the right way to go? Surely no two people hear or percieve sound the same way otherwise we would only have one brand of anything to listen to with that generic sound. I have had advice that building top class room with all the particular qualities is regarded as a waste of money and that all you require is room correction equipment and software to address the shortfalls?

For me these days less is better the source, preamp, power amp's speakers is the way to go digital trickery is just plastering over the cracks. A top class system is for me one that allows you to get lost in the sound to hear things you never dreamed of on a disc you have played a thousand times before and after many hours leave refreshed not drained as a result. In reality isn't that what we are all trying to achieve as a final goal or am I dreaming there is no such thing?
 
Last edited:

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
6
255
#8
Loco

Read you understood you . I actually think you are approaching this the right way. My position about hiring acoustician come from the utter complexity of room acoustics. One can read quite a bit learn a lot and become informed.. Experience is another matter IMO. it comes with a fair amount of successes and failures, something that only practitioners of a given craft can accumulate
I want to stress that many here have had good results working themselves on their rooms .. The best results seem to have been obtained under the guidance of a professional acoustic firm.

I prefer the best room possible but do not reject the idea of Digital Room Correction by the way. As in many things the least correction applied the better the results
 

Mark Seaton

WBF Technical Expert (Speaker & Acoustics)
May 21, 2010
355
74
435
44
Chicago, IL
www.seatonsound.net
#9
I have only recently joined this site and came across your section of the site, from your obvious experience i would greatly appreciate your ideas on the best direction to go with a dedicated sound room build from scratch.

Currently there is a concrete slab 600mm thick with an available area 11 meters x 9 meters x 3.5m high although this is not an issue just allows me to conceal all the aircon and filter system above the ceiling area and still maintain the 3.3m ceiling height.

My current thoughts ( and I am very open to suggestions ) are for walls external in solid brick with a 300mm cavity then internal solid brick or split block textured face masonary approximately 150mm thick. The cavity once all the services are run would either be sand filled of rammed earth filled to provide the density for a fully sound proofed room.

I have a number of speakers in mind the top of my list would be the Rockport Arrakis but I would ideally like the room not to be the limiting factor in whatever I select now or in the future. I do have the option of making the end of the room one half of an Ocatgon shape as this would match the style of the rest of the house but I am unsure if this would be an acoustic advantage.

Obviously the room would require further treatment from this finish point to obtain the best neuteral overall match, I am currently installing a 10-15KW solar system so I don't have to feel guilty about the power I consume along with dedicated high grade supply into the room so power won't be an issue.

Any comments or suggentions based on your experience would be welcome, I thank you in anticipation of your reply.
You are thinking correctly in planning this far out. The last thing you should think about is equipment now.

Things to think about:
Do you want to keep sound out/in? What STC rating?
Doors and ventilation are your weakest links.
Air and mass are your friends.
I would suggest a room within a room. I left an air gap between the walls of about 4". Use batt insulation.
If you are having contractors build, tell them to build an aquarium/submarine. If air/water can get in or escape, so can sound.
The use of "sound proofing" is a pet peeve. Nothing is soundproof except a vacuum or outer space. Use the term "sound resistance"
Get the advice of or hire an acoustician. Money well spent.
Read... read... read.....
Hi Loco57,

Bruce zeroed in on some of the same questions that came to my mind.

In my experience it's best to do some serious thinking on the use, goals and reality of what you want to create in your space, and be careful to not get stuck on how you achieve it. Getting too stuck on the means and methods tends to obscure options which should be considered.

Let's start on the outer shell and remember what it does and doesn't affect or do.

This is all about noise isolation as it relates to the sound of your system getting out of the room to the rest of the house or neighbors, as well as environmental noise (ie road or HVAC) getting into your room. The latter affects the noise floor of your system, which is by far the best way to maintain great dynamic range. Some go way over the top in this regard, and some don't give it enough attention. At some point the electronics and speakers set the limit of the noise floor, but this is where you can do really well with a purpose build room from scratch.

Understand that sound isolation does not directly improve the room acoustics, and in some cases, can make room modes even stronger (brick reflects more back than drywall). This is where the inner walls and treatments on them become important in controlling the sound you have now trapped in the room.

As ambitious as your plans sound, I would definitely drop a line to Keith Yates Design Group and be clear in what you have in mind for the use. Get input from others for contrast in the approaches. Keith's team is hardly the only option, but they do lots of work internationally, and IMO offer a very high confidence and correlation to the end results when starting from a blank sheet.
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#10
Thank you once again for the informative reply. In this instance the surrounding noise is not an issue the room will be situated on a sepoarate concrete slab ( already in place ) from the house separated by approximately 10 meters in distance. Residual background noise is also not a problem as the house is situated essentially in the middle of a 24 acre property with the nearest neighbour over 500meters away.

The HVAC system would be a totally stand alone unit from the house also remotely housed in the same but separate building and this build will incorporate a four car garage and separate work room adjacent to the main sound room.

I take your point about deciding on exactly what parameters this room is to ultimately serve will it be a total 2 channel only room? I have considered and had already in anticipation purchased 4 Rotel RB-1090 power amps that I intended to form the basis of an 8.2 surround system totally separate from my 2 channel rig with a projector screen ect.

This is actually associated with my guilt on being so self indulgent where as my whole family could enjoy an AV room as believe me I have no delusions on what this project will ultimately cost. Assuming it will unltimatley be required to handle both duties how would this influence the build/design as on this point I am totally ignorant?

Woundn't a correctly designed attenuated room of sufficient size perform both duties essentially barring equipment, wiring, furniture ect. I accept that tuning the room with the additional equipment in it may present an issue in gaining the last 10% out of the 2 channel setup and as a result it may not meet my expectations.

Am I showing my bias or ignorance that IMO a multi channel system could never approach the same emotional involvment as a top class 2 channel rig can? They may be out there but I have as yet to hear one that provides that same level of enjoyment.

Reading back through my posts and your replies am I over complicating a relatively logical process to achieve my end goal? Surely there are some ground rules to follow along with common sense that would get me 90% of the way there and with professional setup for the balance and fine tuning?

Looks to me like I have some decisions to make one way or the other first up.

Thank you everyone for your time and comments please continue to enlighten me!
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
6,812
215
560
Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#11
That's another question. You are not going to be able to build a 2-channel listening room and a surround listening room that equally sound great. It's either/or.
The acoustics for theatre and 2 channel listening are totally different. That's why I have 2 seperate rooms/systems.
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#12
Bruce,
thanks for the clarification I do believe I am begining to feel like the Blind Squirrel looking for that proverbial Nut! So in essence I need to decide if I am to be selfish or compromise and share....mmmmmmm. I do already have an AV room in the lounge that has a rear projection unit and full M&K 5.2 system installed and considered a 65" plasma to do the replacment vision duty along with a HDMI compliant amplifier upgrade this should fit the bill.

After all the original post title was " Clean sheet build on Dedicated 2 channel room" and more importantly my better half while she doesn't share my music passion is fully behind whatever decision I make in regard to this project so I thank you Bruce for clarifying that point you have helped me make my decision to continue down the original path to a dedicated room.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,464
6
255
#13
Hi

One more thing ... I used to have 2 separated room one for HT and one for 2-ch. I do however believe that it is possible to have an excellent rom for 2-Ch that doubles duty as an HT ... Results in multi-channel will be sub-optimal but good enough for movies. That is what Steve Williams here has done in his room; Essentially a 2-ch room with an HT thrown in .. It sounds "good enouugh" in HT but it optimized for 2-ch...
 

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#14
Started the ball rolling yesterday with a preliminary meeting to map out the design of the new room, the person involved works very closely with an audio shop that I have known the owner of for more than 30 years and it was by his personal recommendation. After a couple of hours discussion and booking a time mid next month to complete a site inspection this will get the design down and the direction for the best outcome that I am confident he will be able to provide.

It apprears he is in the same line of business as you are Bruce having just completed a new studio complex to what I understand were rave reviews by all who have attended the complexs opening, it also appears that the basic design principals you enlightened me to are what he recommends and static room reading in the 16-18db range were mentioned and this will entail multiple walls of varying materials of around 800+mm thickness it seems.

I am quite excited about the whole project to be honest it will be a slow process as I don't want to have any regrets after ( if that is possible ) that something was overlooked I would anticipate the build will take most of next year and set me back around the $250,000.00. to $300,000.00. mark when it is finished.
At least the slab is down and cured but town planning and permits will probably take 2-3 months who knows but at least I have made a start and for this I thank everyone who has commented on this post it has been a great help in finding my direction as nothing is ever as simple as it seems!
 
Last edited:

Loco57

Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2011
33
0
346
Melbourne Australia
#15
Frantz,
still an option on the dual purpose with considerable bias towards the 2 channel setup you are completely right, the visual plays a large part in the AV setup so the audio become secondary by nature so I might still end up with the best of both worlds who knows.

Thanks for your comments and if you are ever on my side of the world by all means give me a yell would be only to happy to give you a tour.
 

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