Dedicated audio room build thread aka The Big Dig

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
43
34
18
58
#1
Some my find this interesting, some may say other things but I think this site is in the formers camp.

I got frustrated when my search for a speaker upgrade led me to the realization that my small room would not work for what i liked at AXPONA this year. I was at a cross roads. I wanted a big performance increase but I either jump into the deep end, give up the hobby or be content with a descent but never a great system. At 61 years and seeing friends pass already, my wife and i decided this is our forever home so we.. jumped. And we jumped big for speakers. Our initial short list of speakers were ML Neoliths, Avantgarde Duo Mezzo XD and Rockport Cygnus. However the Best of Show choice for us at AXPONA was Gryphon Trident II. Much more money than the latter's but in the end I wanted a forever speaker, no more what ifs, no more searching, so we bought them. They are sitting in crates at my house waiting for Joseph Cali to install when the next phase is ready.

I call this the Big Dig project, somewhat tongue in cheek. It already feels overwhelming but in the end i think will be as SOTA as i can afford. Right after AXPONA we decided to erect a steel building and build a dedicated room within it. We live in the country on 5 acres so have the space. The Building is 25'W x 40'L x 15.7'H. I engaged the services of Dennis Foley of AcousticFields to guide the room design. Please let me say now that I will not divulge exact particulars for two reasons. Dennis is a small business owner as myself. His consultation, product and the application of is his intellectual property and lively hood. However I will certainly say in the end if i am happy or not.

The room dimension will be 21W x 31FL x 13H. The stud wall depth is 12" to accomodate active carbon bass attenuation. I will be building those myself from his calculations. The application is varied. I am blessed with another 40x40 shop for staging and have more tools than I care to remember. Yes the 13' wall stud space will be filled on all 4 walls. A lot of work and a lot of carbon. Both end walls will be completely faced with his QRD-17 diffusion kits (still carbon behind). Yes a lot of those too. The door will be made from the wall and 12" thick. I think I will need 2 hvac systems with feeds through the long walls of the building. I worry that mini-splits (4 of them) would not be enough for the GA heat. I will be doing dedicated circuits with good wiring to good outlets. But I am not going to go to insane lengths as some threads here have done with what I discern as limited success to costs.

Attached are some pictures of progress so far. I am hoping to be live by the end of the year. Will post as things progress.
Cheers, Hugh
 

Attachments

Jul 5, 2014
670
19
18
Salem, OR
#2
Some my find this interesting, some may say other things but I think this site is in the formers camp.

I got frustrated when my search for a speaker upgrade led me to the realization that my small room would not work for what i liked at AXPONA this year. I was at a cross roads. I wanted a big performance increase but I either jump into the deep end, give up the hobby or be content with a descent but never a great system. At 61 years and seeing friends pass already, my wife and i decided this is our forever home so we.. jumped. And we jumped big for speakers. Our initial short list of speakers were ML Neoliths, Avantgarde Duo Mezzo XD and Rockport Cygnus. However the Best of Show choice for us at AXPONA was Gryphon Trident II. Much more money than the latter's but in the end I wanted a forever speaker, no more what ifs, no more searching, so we bought them. They are sitting in crates at my house waiting for Joseph Cali to install when the next phase is ready.

I call this the Big Dig project, somewhat tongue in cheek. It already feels overwhelming but in the end i think will be as SOTA as i can afford. Right after AXPONA we decided to erect a steel building and build a dedicated room within it. We live in the country on 5 acres so have the space. The Building is 25'W x 40'L x 15.7'H. I engaged the services of Dennis Foley of AcousticFields to guide the room design. Please let me say now that I will not divulge exact particulars for two reasons. Dennis is a small business owner as myself. His consultation, product and the application of is his intellectual property and lively hood. However I will certainly say in the end if i am happy or not.

The room dimension will be 21W x 31FL x 13H. The stud wall depth is 12" to accomodate active carbon bass attenuation. I will be building those myself from his calculations. The application is varied. I am blessed with another 40x40 shop for staging and have more tools than I care to remember. Yes the 13' wall stud space will be filled on all 4 walls. A lot of work and a lot of carbon. Both end walls will be completely faced with his QRD-17 diffusion kits (still carbon behind). Yes a lot of those too. The door will be made from the wall and 12" thick. I think I will need 2 hvac systems with feeds through the long walls of the building. I worry that mini-splits (4 of them) would not be enough for the GA heat. I will be doing dedicated circuits with good wiring to good outlets. But I am not going to go to insane lengths as some threads here have done with what I discern as limited success to costs.

Attached are some pictures of progress so far. I am hoping to be live by the end of the year. Will post as things progress.
Cheers, Hugh
Too cool. Well, maybe. I’m gonna’ get dinged for my comments here but somebody has to say it and it seems nobody else will.

You said you’re not gonna’ go insane on some things. I think I understand what you're saying but really?

I see you’re into auto racing. If nothing else, has not F1 and Top Fuel drag racing taught us that extreme results can only come from extreme efforts and never by token or half-assed efforts? And I assure you high-end audio is already overwhelmed with token and half-assed efforts.

Here you are spending what $200k - $300k on a dedicated room / building and $100k on speakers plus you hired some acoustic engineering guru, but now you’re gonna’ hold back on other things cuz you don’t wanna’ go insane? Surely you’re not thinking that performance starts and stops with speakers and the room, do you? In fact, I could argue your speaker selection and the performance benefits of a superior room but won’t.

More importantly, why would you choose at this juncture to put the brakes on and conform to the mindset of the masses? Did you not say, you could jump into the deep end, give up the hobby, or be content with mediocrity? Or was your goal only to acquire what you consider a “forever speaker”?

Unless you think such a mindset is just reserved for other performance-oriented industries, I’d highly suggest developing a balls-to-the-walls, pedal-to-the-metal mentality for this effort beginning to end. Otherwise, you surely will be disappointed when you someday compare what you've assembled to a truly musical playback system.

BTW, I’m not talking spending hardly any more than you already have. I’m talking about being extremely thorough by performing due diligence across the entire vineyard that makes up your playback system. Not just the tires and transmission. :)
 

steve williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#3
It looks like a wonderful project Hugh

We would all like to watch your progress with updates and pictures here
 
Likes: HughP3

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
2,549
423
83
#4
Looks good!

I'd consider something like a Torus in-wall unit located as close to the electronics as possible and Furutech GTX NCF receptacles. Not sure if that crosses into insanity for you ;) but I think AC power is very important and I am always amazed at how much effect it can have, both positive when things are good and negative when they are not.

Sounds like you have a comprehensive plan for physical construction, layout, acoustics, etc... Good luck and I look forward to seeing it come together! :)
 

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
43
34
18
58
#5
Too cool. Well, maybe. I’m gonna’ get dinged for my comments here but somebody has to say it and it seems nobody else will.

You said you’re not gonna’ go insane on some things. I think I understand what you're saying but really?

I see you’re into auto racing. If nothing else, has not F1 and Top Fuel drag racing taught us that extreme results can only come from extreme efforts and never by token or half-assed efforts? And I assure you high-end audio is already overwhelmed with token and half-assed efforts.

Here you are spending what $200k - $300k on a dedicated room / building and $100k on speakers plus you hired some acoustic engineering guru, but now you’re gonna’ hold back on other things cuz you don’t wanna’ go insane? Surely you’re not thinking that performance starts and stops with speakers and the room, do you? In fact, I could argue your speaker selection and the performance benefits of a superior room but won’t.

More importantly, why would you choose at this juncture to put the brakes on and conform to the mindset of the masses? Did you not say, you could jump into the deep end, give up the hobby, or be content with mediocrity? Or was your goal only to acquire what you consider a “forever speaker”?

Unless you think such a mindset is just reserved for other performance-oriented industries, I’d highly suggest developing a balls-to-the-walls, pedal-to-the-metal mentality for this effort beginning to end. Otherwise, you surely will be disappointed when you someday compare what you've assembled to a truly musical playback system.

BTW, I’m not talking spending hardly any more than you already have. I’m talking about being extremely thorough by performing due diligence across the entire vineyard that makes up your playback system. Not just the tires and transmission. :)

Hello Stenho,
Point taken and thanks for your input. I was referring to efforts i have read like digging 30' trench for grounding and keeping it in some type of fluid state and I if recall the end provided no benefit. Like in racing, a lot of money can be spent with no benefit. That said, there is a wonderful thread on this site about electrical that I have read and will re-read. Will be taking many points into account. https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/my-clean-power-adventures.28053/

Hugh
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
255
4
18
Houston area
#6
From my own experience building a detached purpose built room :
1) High quality grounding is both inexpensive and effective
2) Having a small bathroom, mini-fridge and bar/sink area makes the space a lot more enjoyable for extended listening sessions.
3) Creating “channels” or “conduits” for routing wiring is cheap and easy at the build stage and materially improves the end esthetic

Looking forward to your progress!
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,814
961
113
E. England
#7
Bruce, re point 2 above.
I wonder what the wives think about that?
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
888
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#8
I can dig it
 
Likes: KeithR

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
43
34
18
58
#9
From my own experience building a detached purpose built room :
1) High quality grounding is both inexpensive and effective
2) Having a small bathroom, mini-fridge and bar/sink area makes the space a lot more enjoyable for extended listening sessions.
3) Creating “channels” or “conduits” for routing wiring is cheap and easy at the build stage and materially improves the end esthetic

Looking forward to your progress!
Thank you Bruce,

What you don't see in the picture is 10 feet away is my other shop which has the restroom. I may tie the two building together at some point. The County did not want me putting in or tying into the current septic system due to a stream nearby. 20 years ago was not an issue, it is now tho.
I will certainly do a self contained beverage center!

I considered pre-cut channels for wiring. But, I wont know the placement of speakers and sitting position until the setup. The room will be carpeted so pulling and cutting will likely not happen unless there is a better way?
 
#10
What is this “carbon” wall stuffing you speak of? I’m a water treatment professional, we use granular activated carbon to reduce impurities in water, and it is used in industry for purifying water, gasses, different liquids. You could stuff your walls with it and one thing for sure, you’d have the freshest air in your music room. It isn’t terribly dense, so perhaps you could account its properties and acoustical performance...

I say the above tongue-in-cheek, so please describe a little more what this use of carbon has to do with acoustics.
 

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
43
34
18
58
#11
What is this “carbon” wall stuffing you speak of? I’m a water treatment professional, we use granular activated carbon to reduce impurities in water, and it is used in industry for purifying water, gasses, different liquids. You could stuff your walls with it and one thing for sure, you’d have the freshest air in your music room. It isn’t terribly dense, so perhaps you could account its properties and acoustical performance...

I say the above tongue-in-cheek, so please describe a little more what this use of carbon has to do with acoustics.
hello Bob, yes sounds like a big fish tank but it works. Take a look here. https://www.acousticfields.com/carbon-hammer/ also search the site for
Diaphragmatic.
 
May 30, 2010
15,435
668
113
Portugal
#12
What is this “carbon” wall stuffing you speak of? I’m a water treatment professional, we use granular activated carbon to reduce impurities in water, and it is used in industry for purifying water, gasses, different liquids. You could stuff your walls with it and one thing for sure, you’d have the freshest air in your music room. It isn’t terribly dense, so perhaps you could account its properties and acoustical performance...

I say the above tongue-in-cheek, so please describe a little more what this use of carbon has to do with acoustics.
See this thread https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/building-a-dedicated-audio-room-from-ground-up.28219/
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
255
4
18
Houston area
#13
The room will be carpeted so pulling and cutting will likely not happen unless there is a better way?
I did two things: (1) created space behind baseboards so that I could easily use that space, and (2) ran 3" PVC conduits under the floor so that I could pull wires later if necessary. I had two going the long way and three going the short way in approximate places I might want wiring later. For the conduit it's important to mount it so that you don't create a rattle under the floor. I accessed the conduit via a hole saw when the time came.
 
#14
very cool. I like very much how the approach is tailored to room nodes/locations. very promising approach.
 
Likes: HughP3

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
43
34
18
58
#15
I did two things: (1) created space behind baseboards so that I could easily use that space, and (2) ran 3" PVC conduits under the floor so that I could pull wires later if necessary. I had two going the long way and three going the short way in approximate places I might want wiring later. For the conduit it's important to mount it so that you don't create a rattle under the floor. I accessed the conduit via a hole saw when the time came.
Thanks Bruce. The floor is concrete in this case. I found kits that can be used but slab must be channeled - which is very doable, its not a big concern for me but I will ponder it a bit more. Otoh Every high end room i have seen has running cable. with mood lighting it will not be easily seen.
 

Elliot G.

Industry Expert
#16
If its a dedicated listening room and you are planning on putting the amplifier/amplifiers near the speakers a long balanced cable takes very little space and can be runaround the side of the room easily with very little visibility and can be hidden easily if needed.
I have a question I looked at the site of the people you are using and have they ever built "listening rooms" before or only studios for recording?
They are certainly not the same thing. I am not saying it won't be excellent just asking the question.
I will certainly suggest to you that when you are finished that you get someone to professionally set up your system and spend the time to give you the desired result. Good luck and I hope you get an amazing result. The room is always IMHO overlooked and its imperative to GREAT sound. 2019-06-19 15.16.19.jpg
 
Feb 11, 2011
332
6
18
Florida
#17
I was fortunate to be able to build an acoustically designed media room in 2015 as part of a house addition. Actually it was the main reason for the addition since I had been disinvited from further listening in our FR! The acoustic design was based on stereo listening although we watch movies on weekends. It's turned out to be a wonderful room for both purposes. I spend many hours enjoying music each week. The room was easily the most important upgrade to my stereo system. I look forward to watching your exciting build.
 
Likes: christoph
Nov 19, 2015
1,499
151
63
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
#18
Subscribed! Very happy another vote of confidence for Dennis as he has been #1 choice for the past few years whenever I get around to my custom installation.

Good Luck!
 
Likes: HughP3

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,905
117
63
#19
I did two things: (1) created space behind baseboards so that I could easily use that space, and (2) ran 3" PVC conduits under the floor so that I could pull wires later if necessary. I had two going the long way and three going the short way in approximate places I might want wiring later. For the conduit it's important to mount it so that you don't create a rattle under the floor. I accessed the conduit via a hole saw when the time came.
We did something similar... conduits for cables completely under the floorboards...but the access points where they come up are obviously determined in advance and fixed. Works really well, and allowed us to lay out our living room the way we wanted and not worry about cables.
 
Likes: HughP3
Nov 22, 2018
31
3
8
75
#20
Some my find this interesting, some may say other things but I think this site is in the formers camp.

I got frustrated when my search for a speaker upgrade led me to the realization that my small room would not work for what i liked at AXPONA this year. I was at a cross roads. I wanted a big performance increase but I either jump into the deep end, give up the hobby or be content with a descent but never a great system. At 61 years and seeing friends pass already, my wife and i decided this is our forever home so we.. jumped. And we jumped big for speakers. Our initial short list of speakers were ML Neoliths, Avantgarde Duo Mezzo XD and Rockport Cygnus. However the Best of Show choice for us at AXPONA was Gryphon Trident II. Much more money than the latter's but in the end I wanted a forever speaker, no more what ifs, no more searching, so we bought them. They are sitting in crates at my house waiting for Joseph Cali to install when the next phase is ready.

I call this the Big Dig project, somewhat tongue in cheek. It already feels overwhelming but in the end i think will be as SOTA as i can afford. Right after AXPONA we decided to erect a steel building and build a dedicated room within it. We live in the country on 5 acres so have the space. The Building is 25'W x 40'L x 15.7'H. I engaged the services of Dennis Foley of AcousticFields to guide the room design. Please let me say now that I will not divulge exact particulars for two reasons. Dennis is a small business owner as myself. His consultation, product and the application of is his intellectual property and lively hood. However I will certainly say in the end if i am happy or not.

The room dimension will be 21W x 31FL x 13H. The stud wall depth is 12" to accomodate active carbon bass attenuation. I will be building those myself from his calculations. The application is varied. I am blessed with another 40x40 shop for staging and have more tools than I care to remember. Yes the 13' wall stud space will be filled on all 4 walls. A lot of work and a lot of carbon. Both end walls will be completely faced with his QRD-17 diffusion kits (still carbon behind). Yes a lot of those too. The door will be made from the wall and 12" thick. I think I will need 2 hvac systems with feeds through the long walls of the building. I worry that mini-splits (4 of them) would not be enough for the GA heat. I will be doing dedicated circuits with good wiring to good outlets. But I am not going to go to insane lengths as some threads here have done with what I discern as limited success to costs.

Attached are some pictures of progress so far. I am hoping to be live by the end of the year. Will post as things progress.
Cheers, Hugh
What a great project. Your room's finished dimensions will be almost identical to Magico's listening room. They used 5" of QuietRock all the way around since they were concerned about isolating the room from a factory full of machine tools. Plenty of absorption and diffusion too. The best recorded sound I've heard in forty years in the hobby. Listening to M3's and $200k of electronics driving them didn't hurt either. Google Magico listening room for some pics. Good luck with your project.
 
Likes: mountainjoe

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