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Use Metal Studs in my build? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 7th August 2008
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naethoven's Avatar

Use Metal Studs in my build?

I know this is not the right forum, but I am in a time crunch and I already posted this question in the building/acoustics forum. All 6 people read it and I got very little feed back...

I'm wondering what are the benefits of using metal studs instead of wood studs in building my studio? I have read several places that they are better (for LF transmission loss maybe??) but I don't know how/why/in what way they are better. I need to purchase materials ASAP and I'm trying to search this out and maybe gain a little more TL.

Old 7th August 2008
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In the "real" studio builds I have seen over the years I have never seen metal studs used except in one case.

There could have been other factors, but the wall was quite resonant.
You could hit it with your hand and it would resonate more than a wall with wood studs.

I'd say you should use wood studs for that reason alone.
Old 7th August 2008
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar

I prefer wood...
Old 7th August 2008
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In our case, this was in a studio used for radio/TV production and the walls were part of an iso booth that could have been a V.O. booth.
I don't know if it was solely due to the metal studs, but the room was WAY too resonant to use for V.O. work.
The same sized room had been a small drum booth earlier and it had wood studs.
It worked fine with wood.
Old 7th August 2008
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Jamz's Avatar
Commercial building or residence?
In my area code required metal studs for a commercial build to pass inspection.
I have 2 walls inches from each other with double 5/8 sheet rock on the outer sides.
R19 insulation in between. That passed inspection.
After inspection I then treated portions of the inner walls with wood studs filled with R19, wired, then stretched fabric with stained wood slates covering the seams.
Old 7th August 2008
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In most places metal studs ARE NOT required by code (I don't know about Philly.)

Here in Dallas, Texas and Texas in general wood studs meet code in commercial construction.
I know this because I have seen it done in many, many commercial builds.
This includes everything from studios to warehouses/office space.

My dad was big in commercial construction, so I have seen a lot of it.

Commercial construction prefers metal studs because they go up quicker than wood.

Check your local code, but I'll bet that wood framing is fine.
Old 7th August 2008

If you use metal studs, you'll want to use resilient channel to mount the gypsum.

You will want double 5/8" gypsum board - and that Green Glue stuff looks worth a try.


Old 7th August 2008
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stuntbutt's Avatar

According to Rod Gervais in Home Recording Studio-Build It Like The Pros, light gauge steel framing will result in a wall with a higher STC rating than wood or heavy gauge steel framing.

The downside is that light gauge steel can't be used to support the ceiling in a room inside a room build.
Old 7th August 2008
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numrologst's Avatar
Hey Danny I think all of the DFW area has moved to metal studs for commercial buildings. I know code required it for us and the build was in 2008.

The 2 key concepts have been mentioned though:

1)Commercial code typically requires metal studs. It depends on what version of the code book each city has adopted, and if they are up to recent years.

2)Lighter gauge metal studs will improve the stc rating of a wall. It allows the studs to flex and absorb. Although we had to use some heavy gauge, building-type steel studs to support the massive amounts of drywall. Transmission loss is phenomenal, but we do have 8 layers of rock in the equation.

Wood studs are much cheaper and for the residential project can be much easier.
Old 7th August 2008
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Vum's Avatar

I'm in the DFW area, do you know who may be selling metal studs? You wouldn't believe what I had to filter through on my google search...

BTW - double metal studs combined with quiet rock THX45 can create a combined STC rating of 80 to 85. Of course, one sheet of 4x8 QuietRock THX is about $230.

How much do metal studs cost?
Old 7th August 2008
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Metal in NY

In NYC..... all metal studs have to be used in commercial building
Old 7th August 2008
I dont know about the studs but Quietrock is awesome. use that if you can.
Old 7th August 2008
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Originally Posted by naethoven View Post
I'm wondering what are the benefits of using metal studs instead of wood studs in building my studio?
In addition to those already mentioned, don't forget that the steel will be perfectly straight. The wood studs wouldn't be off that much, but when you add them all up, it could be significant. The metal studs and joists will not warp at all.

My sound rooms are all metal studs, double wall construction. But the framing of the outer "shell" of the building is all wood. I can look down the side hallway and see the straightness of the inner walls, and the (subtle) warped-ness of the opposing outer wall in contrast. It's kinda funny, actually.

I don't have any resonance problems in my rooms.

Man, if you go with steel, be sure to use hearing protection when that metal is being cut
Old 7th August 2008
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Funny how things are different at this side of the Atlantic.

OVer here houses are built with bricks and concrete and gypsum is held together with metal studs.

I've started doing the inside of my studio build yesterday doing metal studs and gypsum-roofing-gypsum.

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