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Transforming an Unfinished Basement into a High Performance Multi-Media Room

by Nyal Mellor July 13, 2023

Transforming an Unfinished Basement into a High Performance Multi-Media Room

COMPLETION YEAR 2021

CLIENT PROFILE

Andrew B, an avid home theater enthusiast, lives in Alabama.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

When Andrew approached Acoustic Frontiers, he had a clear vision for transforming his unfinished basement into a functional and stylish room that could be enjoyed by friends and family with some lights on, rather than a seldom-used "bat cave." His goal was to create an inviting, open-concept game room/media room where he could watch major sporting events, TV shows, and movies, and occasionally indulge in music listening. Andrew also desired a high-quality audio/visual system to provide an immersive experience as well as good sound isolation and a low internal noise floor. All with a hard budget of $50k for equipment and consulting!

Acoustic Frontiers Solutions

To accomplish Andrew’s project vision and plan, we provided a custom home theater design package based on our CORE design package with the addition of sound isolation, HVAC, electrical and lighting design.

One atypical requirement we delivered on for the client was being able to watch content with lights on. We did this by combining a Christie 4k7-HS commercial grade, high brightness projector in a custom-designed, ducted hush box with a grey ambient light rejecting and acoustically transparent screen micro-perforated screen from Severtson.

Commercial projectors are seldom used in residential projects due to higher than normal black levels and lack of compatibility with high dynamic range (HDR) content. The HDR compatibility issue was ameliorated by using a Lumagen video processor.

Another interesting feature of this project were the subwoofers. After careful subwoofer number and placement design work, we specified three 21” ported subwoofers. The client utlilized the GSG BTS enclosures at the front and a custom-designed in-the-riser enclosure from a local car audio company at the rear. The rear subwoofer fires through a custom metal grate.

The acoustic treatment utilized our exclusive WAVE diffuser and POLY absorber, like most of our projects. We coupled these to a custom-designed bass absorber on the front wall.

Other notable equipment included the: JBL M2 speakers and Monoprice HTP-1 pre-processor.

Our lighting design for the space was based on a perimeter soffit of Nora 4” can lights, Flexfire LED tape light installed in the soffit, and monopoint spots from WAC above seats. Control was via Lutron Caseta.

Room Dimensions

 

 

 

Audio plan



Video plan

Sub number and placement analysis

Note a four sub layout was more optimal in terms of seat-to-seat variability but Andrew was happy with the cost/benefit of three subwoofer option.

 

GET THE RESULTS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR WITH ACOUSTIC FRONTIERS

  • You'll have a system you love.
  • You'll experience audio-video like never before.
  • You'll have no doubt you got the best performing system for your budget.

REQUEST A QUOTE

 

Acoustic treatment design

Custom subwoofer enclosure 

Custom metal rear subwoofer grille



Results

Before

After

 

 

Check out the video below as Andrew provides a walk-through and overview of the room:


IN THE CLIENT’S WORDS

"Building a high-performance home theater/media space is not something that most contractors have any experience with and mine was no exception. I wanted an expert on my side to help design and implement a plan that would allow my vision to come to life. After considering the services of several acoustic consultants/theater designers across the country, I felt like Acoustic Frontiers was the best combination of experience/knowledge/value for money and the ability to approach the project with an engineering mindset/ brand agnostic point of view which is something that I appreciated.

The extensively detailed project document/plan set provided by Acoustic Frontiers  (in my case about 16 pages), was really critical to have when the contractor or subcontractors had questions about how to do something or where to put something. Or when my projector got "lost" by the postal service… I had to go back to square one in selecting a new projector, but with the plan document in hand, I knew exactly how many BTU of heat it shouldn't exceed, lens shift requirements, throw ratio, weight, exterior dimensions, etc., which helped immensely in selecting a new projector for the project which delivers stunning results.

The final results are phenomenal with detail and dynamics that are stunning. To be honest, I often forget about how good everything looks and sounds when watching movies or shows because it sucks you into the story so well you forget you're watching a movie!"

AVS FORUM THREAD

Build Thread is here.

 

GET THE RESULTS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR WITH ACOUSTIC FRONTIERS

  • You'll have a system you love.
  • You'll experience audio-video like never before.
  • You'll have no doubt you got the best performing system for your budget.

REQUEST A QUOTE




Nyal Mellor
Nyal Mellor

Author



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Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers

  • (415) 524-8741
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  • Fairfax, Northern California, USA

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