Ideal listening room size for new structure?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Jerry James, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    One mort thing:

    Use Simpson Strong ties to secure all rough construction. If you get stormy weather in your area, it takes not all that much wind to lift an eave.

    When that is loose the roof comes up and the walls collapse.

    Get the ties. Build to Florida storm code standard and you won’t need to worry.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  2. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    Yes, very important. Its special property is that it stays elastic, which helps deaden sound. I would use two different thicknesses of sheetrock, if practical. An alternative is to use something like QuietRock -- already fabricated of two layers with a resilient core.

    Sound travels through openings. When you install the sheetrock, you should put acoustic caulk around the edges and put putty pads around outlets. A brief instruction sheet can be found here. Make sure there are no gaps or holes that are not filled. I suggest you try to read as much as you can about proper installation of QuietRock, because those tips will apply to your construction, too.

    I built a sound room in our basement, using QuietRock and all its accessories. The noise level in it is about 25 dBA -- really quiet! One can't hear the HVAC system in the next room when the doors are closed.
  3. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    +1 to that. Hospital grade are good enough IMO. Fancy outlets beyond that are an extravagance.

    A few other things I learned.
    • If possible, have the main door of the room open OUTWARDS. Otherwise, you may find the best listening position is infeasible because it blocks the door.
    • Run plenty of Ethernet lines. Again, easy to do when you're at studs.
    • Likewise, on't skimp on AC outlets, even in areas where you don't expect to need them. You may, someday.
    • For best sound insulation in the ceiling, don't use ceiling lighting fixtures, especially cans. Instead, use freestanding lamps.
  4. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Westfield, IN USA
    I'm not familiar with the climate control unit you're planning to use, but you might look into a de-humidifier at some point if the Mitsubishi unit doesn't keep it dry enough. The problem with de-humidifiers is they are noisy so you'd need to turn it off during listening.

    I'd love to come take a look during the building process. I'll get with you once construction is underway. In the meantime, anytime you're in the Westfield area you're welcome to come have a listen here. My room is 24x27x8, a far cry from the 12x12 room you heard my system in last.

    Curious if you are planning on getting your hands in on the build process?
  5. stonedhenge

    stonedhenge Forum Resident

    Will a de-humidifier potentially cause a problem with static buildup? Where I live, the air in winter especially is often very dry and static is a real pain, prompting many people with turntables to use humidifiers to overcome the issue.
  6. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Westfield, IN USA
    Good point. Here in central Indiana we have similar problem during winter months. During the summer months though, the humidity is very high and a dehumidifier is essential for personal comfort.
    My house has a partial basement and a crawl space over about 25% of the house. I use a dehumidifier in the crawl which is adjustable. I would consider the noise made by the dehumidifier's compressor more of a problem. But the unit has an on/off switch.
  7. Snova

    Snova Active Member

    This is a nice project. Please post pictures of your construction if you can. It will be interesting to see. :)
    Vinyl Archaeologist likes this.
  8. enmanueleffre

    enmanueleffre Active Member

    You might contact Cardas for more info and let them know.
  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I know that things are changing from reading your thread. But I think that having a 20' x 20' room or larger is excellent for audio.

    I like not having all parallel walls. The wall behind the TV is 6' back from the wall /corner to the right, out of the frame.

    It is about the size of a normal 20' x 20' garage, but for the increased square footage of having this rear wall on an angle that takes it back 6' over a 20' length.


    I like the ability to have a furniture grouping in the center of the room and combining stereo and HT together. My guests like to come over for dinner, movies, music and socializing.


    I installed a split AC/Heat system and can highly recommend you doing so. They are very powerful and can heat and cool down the room quickly and efficiently. They are also extremely QUIET!


    This is directly to the left of the walls, which are fixed windows on the back left of the above photos. To the left of the photo is the front door. For the first 6', the wall indents 3' deeper that the window wall in the above photos. All this helps in not having a square or rectangular room with standing waves.


    Quiet Rock is nice but is too expensive. You are not building a recording studio. Just use two pieces of sheetrock and forgo the Green Glue, for regular drywall glue.

    I would stay away from skylights in favor of fixed windows in the walls, for two reasons. I like to avoid cutting holes in any roof and skylights are very noisy in rain. In heavy rain, they create a LOT of racket!

    I would make room for a small kitchen for entertaining and a half bath, for convenience sake. This room I found to be a very workable all purpose room for my needs.


    Even if you don't build out the kitchen and half bath at this time, you can always rough in the electric and plumbing and have it inspected and in place, for build out at a future date.
  10. Jerry James

    Jerry James Rorum Fesident Thread Starter

    Wheels are finally starting to turn! After waiting, waiting and waiting on a drainage permit for weeks, I found out that it had gotten lost in the shuffle and was just sitting there waiting to be reviewed, which took them all of about 20 minutes :realmad::rolleyes:. So now, after all that, the footer and insulated slab are scheduled to begin Monday or Tuesday with framing to follow quickly after. Still pulling my hair out over this Green Glue stuff though. It seems that most of the reviews are praising it for it's soundproofing qualities. I am not so concerned about that, as this room will be far enough away from anything/body that I really doubt that it will be an issue (I also don't blast the music when playing, usually). What I do not want to over look though is if it offers a fair amount of sound improvement overall making it worth the additional cost?

    Also, there are several different ratings/products for the Roxul; which one is considered the one to get for this purpose? I'll likely order from Amazon, so if anyone could send a link to the recommended product, that would be great!

    Finally, one more question on my mind - do I want a smooth ceiling, a slightly stippled/knock-down or a more heavily textured one?

    Thanks all - photos coming as stuff starts happening!
  11. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Here is something that I discovered, quite accidentally.

    Back in 2008 the Motel's investors did an interior restoration of the property. The motel had been built back in 1957 and was all cement block and concrete, with a poured cement floor. There are a lot of plate glass windows and the interior walls and ceiling were plastered.

    At the time of the restoration, this room was completely empty and I would stand there and think that there was no way on Earth that you could ever set up eaen a half decent sound system in this 450 sq. ft. room, with hard surfaces and echo everywhere.

    My goal for this room initially was to set up some kind of basic surround sound system so that we could watch movies on the 60" rear projection TV that I bought from a friend for $200.

    I bought a small home-theater-in-a-box unit, because I needed something to decode that surround sound and basic amplification. There were some workers doing interior construction in a condo across the street, they left so discarded speakers that they had been discarded from the construction project. Since the were better than the ones in the "box", I used them.

    This is after the crew had finished with out interior restoration. I had to say, that I was quite surprised, the sound in the otherwise empty room was not as bad as I had imagined that it would be.

    Here is the room as it looked back in 2012, early when becoming an audio-visual room.

    As my thoughts were turning as to why the room didn't echo like a canyon, I realised the reason why.

    While the original walls and ceiling were hard plaster, during the restoration, they had sprayed "knockdown" on the walls and ceiling, before painting them.

    While the knockdown is textured and looks like plaster, it is not, it is some sort of a soft vinyl type product with much lower density than plaster. On top of this, the paint is vinyl based.

    There were two factors which came into play here.

    First, was the with the textured surface, the surface area of the walls and ceiling are greatly increased.

    Secondly, the soft vinyls would absorb some of the sound, with the texturing trapping some of the sound and also acting as a diffuser for first reflections, making the "impossible" room very possible for audio.

    The first photo in my post above is from early in 2014 with the newly acquired Klipsch La Scala's and a second (tan) sofa in place.

    By 2018, you can see that the green sofa was replaced with a heavier more plush teal sofa and there were more drapes on the walls.

    You can see the drapes on the front office windows to the left of the left rear corner speaker, in the above photos.


    But this all probably would not have been possible if the knockdown had not been first applied over top of the existing plaster.

    Hope this helps save you from later additional and unnecessary room, expensive room treatments.
    Jerry James likes this.
  12. Jerry James

    Jerry James Rorum Fesident Thread Starter

    We've encountered a few days of weather delays, but here is the progress so far. Expected to lay remaining blocks and slab by the weeks end, hopefully.[​IMG]
  13. Piotrek1988

    Piotrek1988 New Member

    Hello everyone, especially builder of his music room ;)
    I'm dreaming about own listening room since i was 20YO, so 11 years already...
    In the next year i plan to build a house, rather music room+kitchen and toilet :D
    I'm really excited to see progress of your build, and of course what will be final results!

    I would like to ask for your advice too, what size of listening room will be perfect?
    I consider 40m, 60m, or 100m, in golden ratio of course, but don't want to build too much, because it can also make a problem i cant handle acoustically with normal budget.
    I'm closest to 4 x 6.4 x 9.32/10.4m (1:1.6:2.33/2.6).
    You can answer if you have any idea/advice on private message.
    I consider golden trapagon of cardas idea, with wider, and higher wall behind listaning spot, and side walls spreads and ceiling goes up, as well round corners.

    Good luck! ;)
  14. Jerry James

    Jerry James Rorum Fesident Thread Starter

    Quick question - is there anything to be gained (or hampered) by caulking around all the edges/seams where the studs meet the OSB to help seal cup the walls?
  15. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    For sound isolation, it's helpful to seal (with acoustic caulk) area where otherwise there would be an open crack.
  16. mds

    mds Forum Resident

    Typically no one goes that OCD, however if you are in a cold or extremely hot climate it might help with air leak since no matter how well you think you have filled the stud cavity with batt insulation there will always be air leaks. This however will not help with sound in my opinion.

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