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"The dreaded ceiling"

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Hi All,

I've been studying the wonderful 2004 "Premium Home Theater" book (cheers Dr Gedlee for making it freely available) while preparing to convert a free standing 6m x 9m x 3m high steel shed to a home theater (that's metres not miles).

One question - why not CLD on the ceiling?

I have no ceiling in the shed so I'm considering constructing the ceiling using method I (pages 212-213), sitting it on inner isolated stud walls. I intend to install 2 double layers (of 2 x rock wall sheets and liquid nails), furrings etc. on the walls; one double layer on the inside of the outer steel wall, and another double layer on the isolated inner timber stud walls. Shouldn't I try to replicate this somehow for the ceiling? My main concern is airborne sound transmission to nearby neighbors (about 6m way).

Suggestions please!
This is a long post, and sort-of on topic.

Back in the day we had our store and sound room in a theatre building. The theatre entrance was on the same street as our entrance, right beside our front door, then there was a record store, long and somewhat narrow, and at the back we were.

The actual theatre ran above the record store and us, went past our space and over the city laneway, and on to the next half-block where the actual theatre seats and screen was.

So, if you can imagine, our door and the theatre's front door was on 2nd Avenue, and the back of the theatre where the screen was would be on 1st Avenue. If you went out the exits on each side of the screen, you exited on 1st avenue pretty much right on the street.

To accommodate traffic in the alley ... you could drive tractor-trailers or a bus under it easily ... the walkway over the alley was quite high. Our back door exited into the alley.

So we had this super high ceiling, maybe 25 feet or so, sloped east to west at maybe a 10 or 15 degree angle. Above us, if you went to watch a movie or a play, you would be walking on the sloped, carpeted floor of the theatre, that was in effect almost a half city block long (there were a few stairs first, after the flat floor for the concession stand right at the front). We never heard any traffic above us.

The sound "room" (really just an open area that comprised half of our space) was basically a D-shape, but with no walls behind the speakers. Our components and tables were arranged on the north wall racks, and the speakers were all arranged in a semi-circle [ the ) part of the "D")] with an opening in the middle that you would walk through to get to the sound room.

That room sounded absolutely fantastic. When we moved to more conventional retail space, it was never as good sounding as that room. A Bank bought the property and tore down the theatre, built a mall where we were with a bank tower, and where that great theatre was, put up a parking garage. Isn't it always that way.

It was such a shame, that was easily the most elaborate theatre in the city, built for plays and concerts as well as movies (all the trap doors for the actors to appear and disappear into and out of, and an orchestra pit in front of the stage, which was in front of the screen). Naturally there was the upper deck with the balconies to the sides, and the rear balcony above the projector room where you went if you wanted to smoke (which you could do everywhere then; on the plane, in the hospital, wherever).

The other thing about that building was it was built early in the days of the city, when it was pretty much just a town of maybe 10,000 people. So the infrastructure was just getting built out. Because of that, the water for our building (and the theatre) came from a well, right downtown and right below us. Apparently the well was like 80 feet deep, and we were only about six blocks from the river.

That was the coldest, most delicious water you've ever tasted; we still have great water from the municipal system, but it's not 40 degrees F (about +5 C) all summer long like that water was. Of course, being a public space, it was regularly tested and they had filters they would change out, but I don't think it was chlorinated (you can't get away with that today, clean water or no clean water).

They would take samples for a lab and use this meter of some kind on site. It always came out at a few PPM of a few salts and minerals, "safe for infant formula" the water guy always used to mutter, tapping his meter.
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