Home Theater
Isolated Home Theater Still Roars
Soundproofing proved to be a challenge for homeowners turning their basement into a dedicated home theater on a $70,000 budget.
A 120-inch perforated Stewart Filmscreen display allows audio from three Energy Veritas in-wall speakers to sound through from behind.
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October 29, 2007 by Steven Castle

The owners of this home theater had one in a previous house, but for their new one they wanted something better.

Gregg Schwartz of Trage Brothers Electronics & Appliances of Forest Park, IL, had already consulted with the builder about the best location for the home theater. That was in the basement. The homeowners experienced a similar system in Trage’s showroom, heard Schwartz’s pitch to isolate the room for sound as much as possible, and gave the go-ahead.

“We needed to prevent the sound in the room from permeating into other areas of the house,” Schwartz says. The homeowners were particularly concerned about people playing cards in an adjacent area being distracted by the home theater sounds, so Trage unrolled a 1-pound-per-square-foot sound barrier material behind each of the walls, built out double walls—or a wall within a wall—on the two sides not abutting the foundation, and insulated the walls and isolated them with isolation brackets. These clips connect the wall to the floor but also have rubber between to absorb or deaden sound from traveling through.

In addition, a “floating floor” was constructed by rolling out the sound barrier and then placing plywood on top of that. “The reason we do the floating floor is to get the low-frequency vibration from the subwoofer through your butt,” says Schwartz. In other words, the floor has some flex that enhances bass-level special effects in movies.

A Sim2 Domino30 single-chip DLP projector shines on a fixed and perforated Stewart Filmscreen display, with Energy Veritas speakers placed behind it. There are two inches of mineral fiber sound insulation behind the screen, with cutouts for the three speakers. A Denon AVR-5805 10-channel receiver pumps 140 watts per channel to the speakers, providing plenty of juice. “It’s not the pinnacle of home theater, but bang for its buck it gives you as much as you need,” says Schwartz.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.


System Design & Installation
Trage Brothers Electronics & Appliances
Forest Park, IL

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