How should I stuff this custom drop ceiling?

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How should I stuff this custom drop ceiling?

Postby Lee Liebner » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:17 am

Hi guys,

Inspired by Paul the "Bombshelter Builder" Woodlock, I came up with a custom drop ceiling design that I'm finally in the process of building. The idea was twofold: how do I put tons of insulation up on the ceiling in some easy, simple manner, but not have it look like a standard ceiling grid? Phase I is in the pics below. Phase II should be up in a couple weeks.

Left (below). The board on the left is a 2x6, and on the right there's a 2x8 since it has more weight to carry. Both are supported from the sidewalls by Simpson hangers, with some scrap mass-loaded vinyl between the hangers and the wall.


Center. Speakers will sit to the left and right of that thing that looks like a bookcase. Only it's not a bookcase. It's an I'm-going-to-decide-at-the-last-minute-exactly-how-to-finish-it brand of variable acoustic treament:



I'm shooting for a sloping ceiling grid. In these pics, however, you only see the upper level so far. The lower level, which will slope from 6.5" below the ceiling in the middle of the room down to 15" below the ceiling in the front of the room (where the speakers will be). The lower level will consist of 2" of black insulation (with properties like OC 703) cut up in a ray pattern and supported by long black Armstrong Prelude main T-bars.  It's a little easier to get a sense of the two levels in this picture:

You may be wondering why I just didn't hang a standard suspension grid from the ceiling. It certainly would have been easier. Two reasons: I didn't want to add more load to the overhead floor joists than the double-layer of 5/8" gypsum panels that are already there, and secondly, the ceiling is hanging from Kinetics Isolation Hangers, and I'd rather the ceiling has slightly more freedom of movement than if I loaded it down even more.

So to my question. For the sake of obtaining the most even bass response in the room, which combination of Owens Corning 70x panels and fluffy insulation batt should I stuff this upper level grid with? There's room for roughly six 2'x4'  panels from left to right in the first row between the front wall and the 2x8, and six more 2'x4' panels in the second row between the 2x8 and the 2x6.

I'm thinking of doing the following. Does this sound like a good idea, or how would you change it, and why:

From left to right, all 2" thick:
1st row:  703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain + 6.5" of plain R-19 fluffy stuff on top
2nd row: 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain, 703 plain + 1 or 2" of plain 701 on top

Then in Phase II comes the lower level, consisting of a slight air gap first, then 2" thick black insulation, equivalent to plain 703. To bring back a little brightness to the room, I plan to attach some 1/4" inch plywood in clear-finished maple veneer to the underside of the 2x6, covering some of the black insulation. I've got a particular pattern in mind, but it's hard to describe, or maybe it's not: the plywood will be cut in a curve on a 7.5' radius, and the two HVAC air feeds will poke their heads through it. I'll post some pics when I'm done, as I'm hoping it will look sharp with the contrast between the glossy light maple and the matte black insulation.

My goal is to have as even a bass and broadband response as possible.  Should I be using FRK panels anywhere in this ceiling grid? (My guess is no.)

Lee Liebner
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:47 pm
Location: Philadelphia

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