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  • Overthinking a Room Build

    We have all seen people spend large sums of money hiring firms to design and build a stereo room of their dreams only to find their dream turns into an acoustical nightmare and their money wasted. If you were going to build a new stereo room today, how would you tackle it? That is the dilemma I will be faced with soon as I move into my new house and start making plans for my new room. In the meantime, I'm lucky to have a temporary room in my new house that I think has potential for being a good sounding room so I won't be in big hurry to build the new room.

    I also won't be hiring an acoustician for my new room and I won't be spending megabucks for the build. Why? Because I have owned a series of dedicated rooms that I have built myself over the years and they have all sounded good. This will be the first time I will have as much space to work with for my new room. It should be the biggest room I have ever had which also presents its own challenges. I have the opportunity to do all sorts of things with the new room due to its size and the fact that I'm starting from scratch. However, my first job will be to setup my temporary room and make it work until I decide how I want to proceed and actually finish the build. The good news is that I won't be pressured to build a room quickly because I don't have a space to call my own for my system.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the room that I will be using as my temporary room:

    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

  • #2
    The above pictures were taken while the original owners of the house were still there. All the stuff you see in the pictures is now gone. It's a good sized room that is broken up by different angles. The room is above the garage (referred to as a "bonus room") which I hope helps isolate it from the main part of the house acoustically. It also has it's own HVAC system and a half bath. If anything will drive me to want to hurry up the build of my new room downstairs in the basement, it will be because I can't listen at the levels I want to without disturbing my wife. I have been spoiled since 2005 by my current room being isolated acoustically from the main part of the house and no matter what levels I listen to, it simply can't be heard in the main part of the house. That for me has been priceless.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thats a great space Mark, congrats. since you're on a suspended floor, this has probably crossed your mind but isolating your 'table from foot falls will be a project unto itself. If your garage ceiling is unfinished you can double-up the floor joists and there's other ways to brace your rack so the vertical component from the floor flex can be reduced where your 'table will sit. Your subs will also do their part to excite the subfloor...I'm living it now for the time being.

      Comment


      • #4
        That looks like a great space!

        What are the general dimensions of the room?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rob View Post
          Thats a great space Mark, congrats. since you're on a suspended floor, this has probably crossed your mind but isolating your 'table from foot falls will be a project unto itself. If your garage ceiling is unfinished you can double-up the floor joists and there's other ways to brace your rack so the vertical component from the floor flex can be reduced where your 'table will sit. Your subs will also do their part to excite the subfloor...I'm living it now for the time being.
          Rob-The garage is completely finished so I don't have access to the floor joists. My table sits on an SRA Rack and I hope that footfalls won't be an issue. We will see...
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


          • mep
            mep commented
            Editing a comment
            Tell my wife that Rob!

          • Per Sundell
            Per Sundell commented
            Editing a comment
            Dont walk while listening = footfall problem solved!
            No seriously a wallmounted solution for your TT is one way to go. If you dont have flimsy walls that is.

          • bonzo75
            bonzo75 commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow superb room

        • #6
          Originally posted by RonR View Post
          That looks like a great space!

          What are the general dimensions of the room?
          I know the room is over 20' feet in width an depth, but I don't have the exact dimensions. I will give the exact dimensions after I move.
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


          • #7
            Congratulations on the new room . It looks great.

            One of your biggest challenges will be the springy floor.

            I have a similar room in my house, in anticipation of the floor being cold in winter and for "springyness" I dropped the level of this floor by 4" from the rest of the upper level tightened joist spacing to 12"OC and poured light weight concrete over the floor to raise the level and embed in floor hydronic heating. This along with 10lb spray foam encapsulating the room makes it sound proof and pretty solid. I added some steel structure underneath to help as well. I have a secondary system in there.

            Living in a geography that allows for basements I would migrate down there when you are able. You can't beat a solid slab and poured concrete foundation in the end. That is where I ended up. It took me 3 years to decide though.

            You have the luxury of a nice space so take your time. If you decide to stay in the bonus room there are ways to stiffen the floor under your rack - at least- but it will involve situating it strategically and some surgery to the finished garage below.

            Good luck.



            Phono: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
            Brinkmann Balance & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas Lamda, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
            Amps: Custom Direct Drive, Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2. Bedini 25/25
            Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
            Speakers: Beveridge Model 3 Direct Drive amps, REL S/2 x 2, Quad ESL pair
            Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

            Comment


            • #8
              I have a bonus room of sorts down south we ended up using it as storage. Here in ny my room is built on concrete as there is no basement. Are you going to gut the room ? If you do you can increase floor beams from up there. Odds are it's rug over one layer of flake board anyway. Even if you leave the walls the floor is kind of a must to keep it warm in the winter even though I don't know what state your in. If you put a layer of homosoat
              the 5/8 insul baord. It's what I did and the floor is not cold. Do beams then insul board then 3/4 full fill plywood then hardwood it will be fine. You don't need to remove beams just add or sister them depending on what they are. One thing to consider is the garage may have a support beam in the middle as mine does. It allowed for the floor beams to be less than 12 feet in length. I forget the formula but I think most states need a 300 pound per square pound floor support load or something like that. That relates to floor beams span.

              Walls and ceilings can be built on unless they are bouncing too lol.
              Gooduck and I am happy for you. Bet yours is done before mine is.
              Last edited by Alrainbow; 08-13-2017, 06:43 PM. Reason: Adding on thoughts.
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #9
                Al-I doubt I will be making any structural modifications to my temporary listening room. I will be spending enough money to build my new room in the basement.
                Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Mep I am so sorry I did read the femp part hahaha I really have to pay more attention.
                  analog stuff.
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                  sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                  new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                  thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                  thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                  kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                  phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                  speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                  mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                  digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                  Dacs lampi various

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Mark- the room shown in the photos at the top is the bonus room above the garage? And that's where you'll temporarily house the system until you do a build-out in the basement?

                    If I have that right, let me add a few other questions, which always concerned me about basement rooms:

                    ceiling height- unless you dig down;
                    water- having lived back East for most of my life, water is always a concern;
                    humidity- see above re water;
                    air conditioning- most basements, unless finished, aren't air conditioned. Is yours part of the central system?
                    most utilities are in the basement; furnaces, air conditioning handling, sometimes washer/dryer, whatever. In addition to being unsightly, they can be noisy. I assume you'd partition those off, but there's another soundproofing exercise too.

                    Some of what you are talking about is more about "soundproofing" than acoustics. I've learned a little about that, the materials can be costly and the devil can get through the smallest aperture, including the ductwork.
                    When the old house we are in now was restored, they used recycled denim (which I assume is Levi's shredded and chopped to the size of packing material). It is held in place by mesh. This stuff is so dense that you can't hear a person speaking from an adjoining room. I doubt it was intended as soundproofing, but man it is quiet as a tomb.
                    If you are in a basement, you are on a slab, so you shouldn't have to worry about footfalls. I gather that is only an issue for your temporary space above the garage?
                    Although I felt it necessary to buy the Minus K, I also reinforced the floor from above, without having to tear apart ceilings or floors. I did this first under the washer/dryer on the second floor, and then with a few refinements, created a similar platform underneath the turntable/front end: two sheets of marine grade plywood, with mass loaded vinyl in between, glued and screwed together, and then screwed into the floor joints. The top surface is a barn stall mat of the type seen in gym free weight rooms- dense, not very compliant, rubber. Trim of the un-stylized type around the edges, painted flat black. You almost don't notice it against a stained wooden floor. I didn't see if it would do the job without the Minus K, but I know it basically killed 90% of the vibration from a front loading washer on the 2nd floor.
                    It took me a few months to get everything set up in the main house, including the electrical.
                    One thing I learned from Jim Smith is to figure out placement and positioning of components before you decide where to install the outlets.
                    Are you going to pull dedicated lines for the temporary room?
                    Sorry for the interrogation- really meant to provoke thought, since I just went through this process.
                    I am still contemplating a build out, but want to live here without construction for a while, to get a better feel for exactly what we want to change about the main house, before I consider a separate building.
                    I've also been told by a couple sources that even with a separate building, and separately metered service path, the juice will still come from the same feed and share ground. I had the impression I could have completely separate service, including grounding, by doing an outbuilding. Never got that far in NY, though I had some outbuildings, b/c the electrical company basically refused my request for an additional 100 amps of power.

                    PS: I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking and re-thinking this stuff. I get the idea of overdoing room treatments, or just buying stuff without really knowing how well it will accomplish a goal, but the thinking in advance part can save time, money and effort.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Bill-All good comments and I appreciate them.


                      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
                      Mark- the room shown in the photos at the top is the bonus room above the garage? And that's where you'll temporarily house the system until you do a build-out in the basement?
                      Yes, the bonus room is above the garage and that will be my temporary room.

                      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
                      If I have that right, let me add a few other questions, which always concerned me about basement rooms:

                      ceiling height- unless you dig down; My rough ceiling height in the basement (meaning unfinished) is 11' which should be plenty.
                      water- having lived back East for most of my life, water is always a concern; I assume you mean water intrusion. If so, this basement has never been wet and due to the slope of the land, I doubt it ever will be.
                      humidity- see above re water; Humidity can be an issue in a basement, but normally AC will take care of it.
                      air conditioning- most basements, unless finished, aren't air conditioned. Is yours part of the central system? The basement isn't currently air conditioned, but it should be relatively easy to add the necessary ductwork for my room.
                      most utilities are in the basement; furnaces, air conditioning handling, sometimes washer/dryer, whatever. In addition to being unsightly, they can be noisy. I assume you'd partition those off, but there's another soundproofing exercise too. The house has two heat pumps and 2 air handlers. One heat pump and air handler for the main part of the house and the other heat pump and air handler for the bonus room. Both heat pumps are outside of the house of course and the air handler for the main house is in the basement. The other air handler for the bonus room is upstairs in an attic space outside of the bonus room. The washer and dryer/laundry room is upstairs in the main part of the house.

                      Some of what you are talking about is more about "soundproofing" than acoustics. I've learned a little about that, the materials can be costly and the devil can get through the smallest aperture, including the ductwork.
                      When the old house we are in now was restored, they used recycled denim (which I assume is Levi's shredded and chopped to the size of packing material). It is held in place by mesh. This stuff is so dense that you can't hear a person speaking from an adjoining room. I doubt it was intended as soundproofing, but man it is quiet as a tomb.
                      If you are in a basement, you are on a slab, so you shouldn't have to worry about footfalls. I gather that is only an issue for your temporary space above the garage?
                      Although I felt it necessary to buy the Minus K, I also reinforced the floor from above, without having to tear apart ceilings or floors. I did this first under the washer/dryer on the second floor, and then with a few refinements, created a similar platform underneath the turntable/front end: two sheets of marine grade plywood, with mass loaded vinyl in between, glued and screwed together, and then screwed into the floor joints. The top surface is a barn stall mat of the type seen in gym free weight rooms- dense, not very compliant, rubber. Trim of the un-stylized type around the edges, painted flat black. You almost don't notice it against a stained wooden floor. I didn't see if it would do the job without the Minus K, but I know it basically killed 90% of the vibration from a front loading washer on the 2nd floor.
                      It took me a few months to get everything set up in the main house, including the electrical.
                      One thing I learned from Jim Smith is to figure out placement and positioning of components before you decide where to install the outlets.
                      Are you going to pull dedicated lines for the temporary room? I will have to make that decision after we move and I figure out where everything is going to fit.
                      Sorry for the interrogation- really meant to provoke thought, since I just went through this process.
                      I am still contemplating a build out, but want to live here without construction for a while, to get a better feel for exactly what we want to change about the main house, before I consider a separate building.
                      I've also been told by a couple sources that even with a separate building, and separately metered service path, the juice will still come from the same feed and share ground. I had the impression I could have completely separate service, including grounding, by doing an outbuilding. Never got that far in NY, though I had some outbuildings, b/c the electrical company basically refused my request for an additional 100 amps of power.

                      PS: I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking and re-thinking this stuff. I get the idea of overdoing room treatments, or just buying stuff without really knowing how well it will accomplish a goal, but the thinking in advance part can save time, money and effort.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        My only comment is that you shouldn't do too good a set up job. You might never get started on the basement. LOL

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by JackD201 View Post
                          My only comment is that you shouldn't do too good a set up job. You might never get started on the basement. LOL
                          That is true Jack! If my temporary room turns out to sound stunning and I can listen at the levels I want without disturbing the peace, there won't be much motivation to build another room.
                          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Congratulations on the new home Mark! Looks like great space. I'm sure you'll figure things out, as before.

                            BTW, I'm building a home in FL. I will finally have a dedicated stereo room (20X15X11) with concrete floors, 3 walls will be block/concrete, insulation in all walls and foam in insulation under the roof with 4 dedicated 20A lines. Move date is about 3 months out. I've had my system in storage for 3+ months!

                            Anyway, I hope you move goes smoothly. Enjoy your new home with the temp space and, eventually, that dedicated room.

                            Comment


                            • MylesBAstor
                              MylesBAstor commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Have you officially retired Mike?
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