Anyone built a DIY Acoustically Transparent Screen?

}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
I'm looking to get one for my HT room. I'm a carpenter by trade, so I started looking into DIY ATS. Doesn't seem too difficult, but just looking for helpful tips, hints and information from anyone that may have done this.

Cheers.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Yep. Two layers of spandex. Works wonderfully for my current projector. Two layers for me. One white, one black to get a slight grey screen. My PJ doesn't have the best contrast so that can help. No issue with white at all. Sounds fantastic too.

Now, will I use the same screen when I buy a true 4k projector? Probably not, but I'll still try it to see how it looks.

If you don't want to go the spandex route and get an actual AT screen material, I've heard nothing but good things about Seymour AV. That's where I'm going to look if my current DIY on the cheap screen doesn't cut it for a fancy new projector.
 
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}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
Yep. Two layers of spandex. Works wonderfully for my current projector. Two layers for me. One white, one black to get a slight grey screen. My PJ doesn't have the best contrast so that can help. No issue with white at all. Sounds fantastic too.

Now, will I use the same screen when I buy a true 4k projector? Probably not, but I'll still try it to see how it looks.

If you don't want to go the spandex route and get an actual AT screen material, I've heard nothing but good things about Seymour AV. That's where I'm going to look if my current DIY on the cheap screen doesn't cut it for a fancy new projector.
Nice.

Where did you order the spandex from, and how much was the cost? What size screen did you build?

I was actually looking at the Seymour AV material as well.

Any tips, or lessons you learned from the process? How long did it take you to build?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just keen/eager about the possibility of doing it.

Cheers.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Nice.

Where did you order the spandex from, and how much was the cost? What size screen did you build?

I was actually looking at the Seymour AV material as well.

Any tips, or lessons you learned from the process? How long did it take you to build?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just keen/eager about the possibility of doing it.

Cheers.
No worries. Questions is why we're here.

I've built two so far and both were 120" 16x9 screens.

I got my spandex from spandexworld. Good quality stuff is important.

This line is what's recommended for AT screen use. Color depends on what type of screen you may need. Specifically the moleskin matte is what you want to get.

https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/6409

Stretching is a pain. There is a product called screen tight that is used for stretching cloth outdoor screens for windows/porches and such, but it supposedly works great for this too. Would recommend.

Buy a good staple gun and go slow and be patient if you don't go the screen tight route. Don't want to over/under stretch. Everything HAS to be uniform.

Building a frame is easy. Get the straightest poplar or any other wood that will hold it's shape well and use pocket holes if you can. If not, use corner brackets of some sort meant for frames.

My speakers are behind my screen, but are in-wall so I opted for a french cleat when hanging it. If you are doing cabinet speakers, that probably won't work for you.
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
No worries. Questions is why we're here.

I've built two so far and both were 120" 16x9 screens.

I got my spandex from spandexworld. Good quality stuff is important.

This line is what's recommended for AT screen use. Color depends on what type of screen you may need. Specifically the moleskin matte is what you want to get.

https://spandexworld.com/c3/catalog/product/6409

Stretching is a pain. There is a product called screen tight that is used for stretching cloth outdoor screens for windows/porches and such, but it supposedly works great for this too. Would recommend.

Buy a good staple gun and go slow and be patient if you don't go the screen tight route. Don't want to over/under stretch. Everything HAS to be uniform.

Building a frame is easy. Get the straightest poplar or any other wood that will hold it's shape well and use pocket holes if you can. If not, use corner brackets of some sort meant for frames.

My speakers are behind my screen, but are in-wall so I opted for a french cleat when hanging it. If you are doing cabinet speakers, that probably won't work for you.
Awesome.

What was the approximate cost and time to build if you don't mindme asking?

Thanks again for the information.

Cheers.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Awesome.

What was the approximate cost and time to build if you don't mindme asking?

Thanks again for the information.

Cheers.
TIme is skill based. Your skills may be higher or lower than mine. You may have different tools. Don't worry about the time. It takes as long as it takes to do it properly.

Cost was something like $150 or so. It's been a long time.

You'll need black felt, two layers of spandex, enough poplar 1x3 or 1x4 to make your frame, staples(screen tight), pocket hole screws, drill, pocket hole jig, tape measure, and a saw. You can use a miter box if you don't have a full on miter saw, but it takes longer.

Cost will depend on how much of that stuff is in your garage. I have all of it so I think I could probably make another screen from what I have left.

Have fun!
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
TIme is skill based. Your skills may be higher or lower than mine. You may have different tools. Don't worry about the time. It takes as long as it takes to do it properly.

Cost was something like $150 or so. It's been a long time.

You'll need black felt, two layers of spandex, enough poplar 1x3 or 1x4 to make your frame, staples(screen tight), pocket hole screws, drill, pocket hole jig, tape measure, and a saw. You can use a miter box if you don't have a full on miter saw, but it takes longer.

Cost will depend on how much of that stuff is in your garage. I have all of it so I think I could probably make another screen from what I have left.

Have fun!
I'm a carpenter by trade, so tools and skills shouldn't be a problem ;)

Thanks again for the information/advice.

Cheers.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I'm a carpenter by trade, so tools and skills shouldn't be a problem ;)

Thanks again for the information/advice.

Cheers.
Oh then you're good. Just build the most sturdy frame you can because that screen is going to try to pull it any direction it can. That's honestly the difficult part. Not letting the screen get warped.

You have to start a DIY thread so we can see how you do everything. :)
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I would certainly lean towards Seymour AV material over spandex, but I do know that there are a lot of people who have used spandex as their AT material.

Seymour works very well in my experience.

This is a fun project if you have the time and patience to do it properly. Keep in mind that the screen border, as a light soaking black material, can be something that is often overlooked by DiY screen builders. IMO, this is one of the most important parts of putting together a top-shelf screen system. As well, you will have to consider your time and if you have the free time to build the screen. It took me about 8 hours to fully put together and stretch the canvas, and put together a high quality frame wrapped in velvet material. On top of that, there was about $200 cost in decent materials.

In retrospect, I would not do that anymore. Instead I opt for a Silver Ticket screen. The time and materials cost was too much for the quality. Plus, if I ever need to break down a Silver Ticket screen I can do so to move or store it for a bit.
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
I would certainly lean towards Seymour AV material over spandex, but I do know that there are a lot of people who have used spandex as their AT material.

Seymour works very well in my experience.

This is a fun project if you have the time and patience to do it properly. Keep in mind that the screen border, as a light soaking black material, can be something that is often overlooked by DiY screen builders. IMO, this is one of the most important parts of putting together a top-shelf screen system. As well, you will have to consider your time and if you have the free time to build the screen. It took me about 8 hours to fully put together and stretch the canvas, and put together a high quality frame wrapped in velvet material. On top of that, there was about $200 cost in decent materials.

In retrospect, I would not do that anymore. Instead I opt for a Silver Ticket screen. The time and materials cost was too much for the quality. Plus, if I ever need to break down a Silver Ticket screen I can do so to move or store it for a bit.
What is the minimum amount I should be looking to spend to get a decent quality ATS if I decide to buy one? I'm looking at 120~130" screen size (currently I'm at 110" with a wall screen).

Just for reference my HT room is:

18.5' long
10.5' wide
7.5' ceiling height (under the garage slab)

2 rows of seating, with the back row being 16" higher via risers I built. Front row is currently ~9' from the screen, back row is ~14' from the screen. No option of moving the seating back any further due to where the door is in the room.

Cheers.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Typical screen size would be 90" to 160". So much is personal preference. If you have a projector already, I would hold off on any screen decision until you've sat down and just viewed it on the wall at some different sizes first. I would likely go with about a 135" diagonal. It would be a bit large from the front row, but good for the second row viewing. For those who really like the immersion, they would be very happy in the front row. I have a client who is using a AT screen at 135" in size with a 9' eyes to screen distance and they are quite happy with things.

There is no specific amount you should pay for a screen. You just want to get a quality image for whatever price you pay and halfway decent build construction. The 135" woven screen with a standard frame from Silver Ticket is about $520.


I would say spending a lot more than that doesn't make a ton of sense unless you have a high dollar projector, like a JVC or Sony. I'm also not suggesting you do NOT build a screen yourself. I'm just saying that you need to measure your willingness to give up time building a screen properly and give up your free time to do so, against the cost of a pre-fab screen.

Oh, and it still takes a couple of hours to put a screen together, build it up, and hang it. So, there is still some time involved no matter what.
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
Typical screen size would be 90" to 160". So much is personal preference. If you have a projector already, I would hold off on any screen decision until you've sat down and just viewed it on the wall at some different sizes first. I would likely go with about a 135" diagonal. It would be a bit large from the front row, but good for the second row viewing. For those who really like the immersion, they would be very happy in the front row. I have a client who is using a AT screen at 135" in size with a 9' eyes to screen distance and they are quite happy with things.

There is no specific amount you should pay for a screen. You just want to get a quality image for whatever price you pay and halfway decent build construction. The 135" woven screen with a standard frame from Silver Ticket is about $520.


I would say spending a lot more than that doesn't make a ton of sense unless you have a high dollar projector, like a JVC or Sony. I'm also not suggesting you do NOT build a screen yourself. I'm just saying that you need to measure your willingness to give up time building a screen properly and give up your free time to do so, against the cost of a pre-fab screen.

Oh, and it still takes a couple of hours to put a screen together, build it up, and hang it. So, there is still some time involved no matter what.
I think 135" might be just a tad too big based on the overall dimensions. The total width is 122.25", and my room is only 126" wide. On top of that, since I'm getting it to put the speakers behind, the distance to the front row seating will now be at least 12"/1' less.

And yeah, time VS cost is always a consideration.

Thanks for the advice.

Cheers.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Typical screen size would be 90" to 160". So much is personal preference. If you have a projector already, I would hold off on any screen decision until you've sat down and just viewed it on the wall at some different sizes first. I would likely go with about a 135" diagonal. It would be a bit large from the front row, but good for the second row viewing. For those who really like the immersion, they would be very happy in the front row. I have a client who is using a AT screen at 135" in size with a 9' eyes to screen distance and they are quite happy with things.
Geeze. I thought my 120" screen at ~9' was close.
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
Typical screen size would be 90" to 160". So much is personal preference. If you have a projector already, I would hold off on any screen decision until you've sat down and just viewed it on the wall at some different sizes first. I would likely go with about a 135" diagonal. It would be a bit large from the front row, but good for the second row viewing. For those who really like the immersion, they would be very happy in the front row. I have a client who is using a AT screen at 135" in size with a 9' eyes to screen distance and they are quite happy with things.

There is no specific amount you should pay for a screen. You just want to get a quality image for whatever price you pay and halfway decent build construction. The 135" woven screen with a standard frame from Silver Ticket is about $520.


I would say spending a lot more than that doesn't make a ton of sense unless you have a high dollar projector, like a JVC or Sony. I'm also not suggesting you do NOT build a screen yourself. I'm just saying that you need to measure your willingness to give up time building a screen properly and give up your free time to do so, against the cost of a pre-fab screen.

Oh, and it still takes a couple of hours to put a screen together, build it up, and hang it. So, there is still some time involved no matter what.
Looked them up on Amazon.ca 1700$

Then looked them up direct from Silver Ticket. With shipping and currency conversion, about 770$.

I'll probably just end up ordering one from Silver Ticket. Not that I don't want to, or can't build one, just seems much easier (and it'll be better quality) ordering one.
 
D

DavidK442

Audiophyte
Great advice on diy AT screens provided above. I will add my two cents.
First; I believe the current recommended spandex is called milliskin. Moleskin was the initial spandex screen material but was too restrictive to audio.
I would second the suggestion to skip spandex and go to a Seymour product. My white over black spandex screen is perfectly fine, but a sample of Seymour UF material in direct comparison was very slightly brighter and has tested to be colour accurate. I don’t notice, but apparently spandex can give a very slight tint. The UF fabric can be purchased for a diy frame. Their XD material is the brightest AT available but requires about 12’ viewing distance due to a strong weave pattern. I appreciate the flexibility to make any size and aspect ratio that diy provides. Mine is a 2.0 “constant area” screen, 114 inches wide. The price of wood right now is off-putting but even so I am sure it is still cheaper then even the Silver Ticket option.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
Geeze. I thought my 120" screen at ~9' was close.
9' to anything over 92" would feel too large to me. But, the client was happy with the size, and I tested the size prior to final drywall work or framing with the client directly. He's using a Sony 40ES. So, not even 4K. But, he's still very happy with things and even though we are now like 10 years down the road, it is all still working well for him.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
9' to anything over 92" would feel too large to me. But, the client was happy with the size, and I tested the size prior to final drywall work or framing with the client directly. He's using a Sony 40ES. So, not even 4K. But, he's still very happy with things and even though we are now like 10 years down the road, it is all still working well for him.
That's pretty much where I'm at with my Mitsubishi HC4000. Told my wife if the bulb dies, it'll be new PJ time.

When that happens, I'll be doing the same as the OP and building a new AT screen. I'll probably use the same frame and just remove the current material. That'll get replaced with some Seymour stuff and I'm sure it'll be an improvement.
 
}Fear_Inoculum{

}Fear_Inoculum{

Audioholic
Contacted Seymor about getting some UF DIY fabric shipped to Canada. For the amount of fabric I need to build a 128" screen, it's about 154$ US (189$ Canadian Pesos). Which isn't too bad. The Kick in the teeth (so to speak) is the shipping cost, which is another 80$ US (98$ Canadian Pesos). Then I'm sure I'll get charged duties and taxes on top of that, probably making it close to 400$ just for the fabric alone, plus the cost of the rest of the materials added on as well.

The more I look into it, the less cost effective it seems to be compared to just buying a decent pre made one.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Contacted Seymor about getting some UF DIY fabric shipped to Canada. For the amount of fabric I need to build a 128" screen, it's about 154$ US (189$ Canadian Pesos). Which isn't too bad. The Kick in the teeth (so to speak) is the shipping cost, which is another 80$ US (98$ Canadian Pesos). Then I'm sure I'll get charged duties and taxes on top of that, probably making it close to 400$ just for the fabric alone, plus the cost of the rest of the materials added on as well.

The more I look into it, the less cost effective it seems to be compared to just buying a decent pre made one.
From what I've read, $400 will get you a screen, but it probably won't be as good as the Seymour that you're looking at.
 

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