Basment Family/HT room build thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 64 Old 04-19-2010, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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RTROSE

Thanks for the comments. I'll have to use a better camera when the room is done. The colors look so much nicer in person.

The Plasma and BluRay have been sitting unopened for about five or six weeks and we though it a good opportunity to make sure there were no issues with either. I will admit though, that the Plasma will be hung and used while the rest of the room is buttoned up over the next 2-3 months.

We really wanted a projector originally but, decided on a large plasma for ease of use (kid friendly). I did frame the ceiling and partially prewired to accomodate a motorized drop down screen and projector. Where I didn't run wires I left a few runs of string. Not sure I'll ever use it but it is there.

It will be a struggle not installing the receiver and speakers until the carpet is in (June/July?)

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post #32 of 64 Old 05-01-2010, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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We are back from vacation and working on the room a little.

If anyone has any suggestions on constructing a speaker cover for the hidden subwoofer, i would appreciate it, especially on fabric and sources - I only need about a 4' x 3' piece. I plan on installing an MDF panel painted black and then mount a removable speaker grill on that.

While installing the recessed light trim and electrical covers I'm finding that I need to fill in some gaps and not sure if I should use drywall compound or caulking. Any comments about either are welcome.

The plasma is on the wall. I used a $30 Monoprice mount and other than breaking two lag bolts even with the predrilled holes, it eneded up OK. I used an additional four steel lag bolts over the six that are recomended with all in 2 x 4's or 2 x 6's. It was a little nerve racking lifing the 135 lbs and hanging it on the wall. I've checked the mount a few times and it looks good, hasn't moved. And WOW! What a difference in opening up the space getting rid of the 60" RPTV. I didn't realize how big it actually was until the plasma was up and the box gone.

I hope to post a couple updated pictures later in the week.

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post #33 of 64 Old 05-01-2010, 11:12 AM
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I'm going to use fabric from Rockler. I haven't used it yet so I really can't speak to how it works.

They also have the little plug kits, I'm thinking about using the female parts and putting the cover that came with the sub right on the cabinet...
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post #34 of 64 Old 05-01-2010, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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The Rockler fabric and plugs look to be just what I need and the available size is pretty close to perfect. Thanks for the suggestion.

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post #35 of 64 Old 05-14-2010, 12:45 PM
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Just saw your thread after your comments in the NE thread. I have to say its a very impressive build you've been doing. I am looking fwd to seeing the final pictures, hope you manage to wrap it up soon. Do list all the brands/components you are planning to use. Will look fwd to meeting you if we guys manage to swing together a few area meets. I'm also in southern NH btw.

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post #36 of 64 Old 05-23-2010, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. While most of the hard work is completed, the room won't be finished for several months. We are determined to keep the expenses down, no loans or charging. This has slowed things considerably but when it's done, It will be paid in full. I've been doing some odds and ends with cable termination and small things. I still have work in the adjacent office that is more labor than cost so I'm spending time on those things. I expect in Aug/Sept we will be installing the four doors, carpeting and wood trim. Knowing this, we have been using the room as is to get a feel for it and how we might change things (like adding a dimmer with remote for the soffit lights).

Most of the equipment is older. When we moved I packed up a pretty expansive HT system and it sat for almost five years. The Plasma (TC-P65S1) and BluRay (Samsung C6500) are new and I hope to replace my Onkyo NR900 with a newer 1xxx series in a year. The speakers are Paradigm MKII series with a DefTech Powerfield 1500 Subwoofer and a Sealed 18" DIY Maelstrom set up in a 7.2 configuration but wired for 9.2. Everything is wired for legacy equipment and future proofed with added wiring or wire chases.

I'm looking forward to a local meet. I think we exchanged emails last year, and you are located only a couple miles from me.

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post #37 of 64 Old 10-30-2010, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Has it really been six months since I posted?

The room has changed little during this time but we have been enjoying movies while saving for the next steps.

The adjacent office has been sheetrocked and painted and an "L" shape desk built in. It is completely wired for network and phone. Next step here is build some shelving on the wall.

In the Family HT I have lots of wire organizing to do in the closet. I wired everyhting for legacy equipment and that was a major pain in the but. Once I was done, the RGB out on my NR900 started acting up, It may just be a lose internal connection on one of the jacks as the entire jack pack seems to move but, I decided to take advantage of some great sales and picked up a TX-NR1008. It is on its way from New Egg this week.

Now for the good part. We have finally decided on the flooring, it will be Bruce's Apple Spice floating wood floor in both the office and Family HT room. It has been ordered and will be here in two weeks. I also ordered the four custom six panel solid doors for the room and they will be here in three weeks. This week I hope to pick up the baseboard trim and crown molding. I will also order some dimmable rope light for behind the crown molding.

So after months of enjoying the room, and testing/living with everything from wiring, configuration to HVAC, we are back on track to have it completed before Christmas with everything but some final wood trim and minor details done before Thanksgiving. We will still need to figure out the stairs, we are going with wood but the trim will be a little challange for me with the "L" shaped stair case.

I've done a lot of research but will welcome any direct comments concerning:

1. Dimmable rope light. I am using a Lutron Dimmer and installed an outlet that will be behind the crown molding.

2. iRule remote application: I'll use several different iOs devices and have ordered the Global Cache gateway. Any suggestions or tips on configuring this to use with the TX-NR1008 and a niles IR system are appreciated.

3. Any tips on installing the floating floor, especially were the floor ends at the end of a room having no wall and bare concrete with carpeting over the concrete in the future. Also advice on floor prep and underlayment.

Thanks for reading and offering advice along the way.

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post #38 of 64 Old 10-31-2010, 01:58 PM
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Glued down hardwood is awesome if you have a dry basement. I finished my project in August this year. I did the job myself; hard work but I am pleased with the results.
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LL

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post #39 of 64 Old 11-01-2010, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Your room looks great. I love the floor in it. We originally planned on carpet for sound consideration even though we wanted wood flooring. But, having lived with the room for six months and bare concrete floors with an area rug, we found no issues with the sound and the way we are using the room. This is the forth time we have set up a hometheater system and so far, the best sounding. Seeing pictures with wood floors like yours reinforces our decision to go that route.

Thanks for sharing.

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post #40 of 64 Old 11-01-2010, 07:45 PM
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Thanks. We considered everything from carpets, stained concrete, tiles, etc. etc. but I was convinced I needed hardwood. A few more pictures added. The basement has been very cool in warm weather and warm now the weather is turning cold. Walking barefoot on the floor feels really good. I keep it spotless since even a grain of dust or fluff is too much for me to bear.
LL
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post #41 of 64 Old 11-08-2010, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I noticed my recent trend has been to post without adding any images. So, I grabbed some photos I had taken with my phone. They are not great and a little old but, something is better than nothing. I've already rearranged the front wall a bit, finished the wiring to the low voltage trim rings and numerous other, small items.

Here are a couple pictures of the room front and back with the general layout we will be using. We've been using the room and working out what we like and don't like about the set up. One thing we will do is raise the TV about 3-4 inches. The plywood over the subwoofer was there for a test fit.



The second subwoofer is between the back surrounds hidden by the sectional.



Here is the floor we selected, a floating floor from Bruce Flooring. The materials are due this Friday (11/12) so, with a little luck the floor will be competed by Sunday evening. This past weekend I filled in an unused sump pump hole that would accumulate 1-2 inches of ground water. I filled it with sand and capped it with 2" thick concrete.



Here are the doors we picked to match the ones through out the house. They are solid MDF, six panel colonial doors.



It looks like we have settled on cabinetry for the HT components. The room will have white trim and crown molding, so this should tie in nicely



The subwoofer speaker cover design has been evolving and is in progress. It will be covered in a chocolate brown colored speaker cloth that matches the wall pretty well.

The attached office is progressing too.



Here it is with a built in "L" shaped desk. I will be adding shelving that comes up the left side and across the top. This will have the same floor as the family Room/HT.



I should have some much improved images the middle of next week showing a finished floor. The following week should see the doors installed. Then it is just baseboard trim, the crown molding/rope light and trim out the column in the office and add the shelving.

...Oh, and finish the two closets.

Having to empty the room including the speakers and new receiver are going to be dissapointing only because we have been enjoying it so much. But, I can't wait for these next steps to be competed.

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post #42 of 64 Old 11-08-2010, 07:33 AM
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More progress - good job!

One observation that you may already have considered: raising your TV may allow you to fit in that huge cabinet underneath, but it really does leave you with your TV much higher than the recommended height for optimal, comfortable Viewing. Frankly, it already looks a tad high where it is. If it is to accommodate that tall cabinet, you could easily find something much shorter, as you no doubt know. I imagine this is a WAF issue, but just wanted to make sure you really wanted to go in that direction. It's your call, as lots of folks seem to be fine with a higher TV.

Good luck.

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post #43 of 64 Old 11-08-2010, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree on the tv height. We thought we would give it a try. Our other flatscreen is much lower and that works well. The reason for the increased height is to clear the console and center channel. We are also considering removing the "feet" on the console. That gains 4 1/2". I'm going to be removing the tv from the wall to make wiring changes and install a surge suppressor I already have so thought we'd give the height change a chance but, maybe it's not worth the extra trouble.

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post #44 of 64 Old 11-08-2010, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit View Post

The reason for the increased height is to clear the console and center channel.

If this is driven by the console height, isn't that a bit of the tail wagging the dog? The console looks great, but ...

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post #45 of 64 Old 11-14-2010, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally some progress with decent pictures!

Here are some pictures of the floor going in over the last few days. Total install time including emptying the room, prepping the room and moving everything back in (including the office) was about 15 hours.

The room was cleared out except for 1/2 of the sectional because we ran out of room to move it.

The floor was swept and vacuumed several times and the first boards layed down over a 3in1 system (moister/padding/vapor).





You might notice the rats nest of wiring in the closet of Cat5/RG6, there is a plan for that and it will all be sorted in a very organized manner.





Here is the family room just about completed. We carried through all the doorways without using thresholds for a more unified look.



Here is a shot with the furniture moved back in place. We have a new area rug picked out as well as a TV console and cocktail table that better fits with the room. Those will be coming January/February we hope.



Here is a quick picture of the office area. We will be adding hutch type shelving on the left and across the top of the front wall. This was my first test of my Cat5 wiring/switch installation this morning and I was pleased that it worked.



Here is the front wall



Two boxes of flooring were damaged in shipping so we ran out before finishing the floor in the office. Hopefully those will be in this week.

The doors are due in this coming Friday so, they should be up by Thanksgiving and the baseboard trim and crown molding will follow between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

More to come once the doors are in place...

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post #46 of 64 Old 11-14-2010, 11:57 AM
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Very nice progress. I really like the look of the flooring, adds a lot to the "warmth" of the room visually, nice choice.

Nice computer setup as well.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #47 of 64 Old 11-18-2010, 06:59 AM
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Wow - this is a great build thread. I'm glad you chimed in over on mine, otherwise I never would have run across it. Everything is looking good. I really like the floors, too.

Looks like you are almost to the finish line - keep it up.
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post #48 of 64 Old 11-18-2010, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. It has been a long, slow process as most of you know. It is nice to be so close to the end.

Console problem solved. We found this one at Jordan's Furniture and it works great with none of the height concern of our previous choice (pay no attention to the pile of cables in the closet).



and a cocktail table to match



My doors came in early and waiting to be installed this weekend



After that, things to do include:

Trim out subwoofer
Sheetrock the last closet after completing wiring to outdoor outlet
Install baseboard trim
Install crown molding in tray
Rope light behind Crown molding
Organize the low voltage wiring
Install my Niles IR distribution system
Add A Global Cache gateway and iRule app for control
Build the shelving over the office desk
New area rug
Find matching speakers for the height channels

Once the doors are up I am going to run through the Onkyo's room set up using the six seating positions.

Things are in full swing now and room enjoyment has really begun.

EDIT: I was looking at some older photos of the room and thought I would share one. This photo is a little bit into the framing phase. The basement was a catch all from when we moved and I was simply shifting everything one way or another a few feet in whatever direction I needed to put some framing up.



This is a picture of the same spot as of a few days ago.



There are many things I would do differently but, I'll always be glad I did it.

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post #49 of 64 Old 11-20-2010, 12:01 AM
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That picture shows that all your effort really payed off. Good job! Unfortunately my basement also became a "catch all" like yours. It was a lot of work just to get it ready to begin building.

Love the floor choice.
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post #50 of 64 Old 11-22-2010, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, the biggest challenge was working around everything. It wasn't until I started mudding and taping that I finally moved everything not related to the build out of the room. So, for two years I shuffled things around.

The biggest change I would make doing it over is take the time to clear out the area and set up a dedicated work area (and organize my tools). I can't begin to tell you how much time was wasted moving things and looking for tools or a place to work.

Now for the update:

So, the doors came in and went up. They are not perfect but, I think I am being too critical. The fourth door is the best, it is perfect. The other three doors having learning mistakes that kind of irritate me because they were easily avoidable if I had only known what to do. In the whole scope of the project, the issues with the doors are minor and a year down the road probably wont bother me.

I custom ordered the doors from homedepot and have a few complaints. One door is bowed so that the top corner sticks out almost 1/4". One door I had the trim deleted from the inside and the outside trim was provided uncut and not attached - not a big deal but they all had splits running along the length. I ended up having to purchase new trim. None of the recess areas for the door knob hardware were deep enough or large enough. Almost all of the trim on the doors that had it was pulled away from the door and the mitered corners pulled apart. These are probably not a big deal for experienced installers but, not being experienced, they were enough to slow me down and complicate installation.



Here are a few pictures showing the front and back of the room.









We picked up some basedboard molding and I thought most of it would be installed yesterday but I quickly found out my miter saw only cuts 5" wide boards and the baseboard is closer to 6" wide.

Now its time to find a saw that I can use for the molding...

...Looks like using a little extra force on the miter saw I can just about cut through all but about 1/16-1/8" of the modling. I'll be working on that this week and filling in over the finish nails on the door frames.

If anyone is starting their finish woodwork, Homedepot has a great deal on a Porter Cable Pancake compressor that comes with a 16 gauge finish nailer, 18 gauge finish nailer and an 18 gauge crown stapler. I needed all three and picked up the package deal for $259. It also comes with an air house and fasteners for each gun. Works great. I highly recomend it.

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post #51 of 64 Old 11-22-2010, 11:36 PM
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One trick you can do with the miter saw is to put some scrap underneath your work piece and raise it up a bit, that can give you a little more depth as you move the piece up towards the widest part of the blade. Just have it on both sides of the cut so your work piece is stable. Or buy a bigger saw.
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post #52 of 64 Old 11-23-2010, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Great idea! Problem solved. Thank you so much for that little bit of advice. I'm still shaking my head how simple and effective it is.

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post #53 of 64 Old 11-23-2010, 06:23 AM
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Wow - Sweet Build.

What did you make that desk out of? Solid Doors?

thanks
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post #54 of 64 Old 11-23-2010, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expertmech View Post

Wow - Sweet Build.

What did you make that desk out of? Solid Doors?

thanks

I used a piece of cabinet grade oak plywood, faced the edges with solid oak trim and bought arched, metal reinforced wood supports for a closet shelving system at lowes that matched the desktop stain. I used aluminum "angle iron" along the walls and about six inches back from the front edge for support and screwed into the top through that from the bottom side. Then I added three plastic cable grommets that have rotating slots to adjust the size of the opening for the cables. With the gluing, staining and trim, the whole thing only took three days.

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post #55 of 64 Old 11-27-2010, 04:36 PM
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What color code for your walls? Sorry if I missed it.
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post #56 of 64 Old 11-28-2010, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dchaves View Post

What color code for your walls? Sorry if I missed it.

We used Martha Stewart paint: The medium color on the walls is called twine, light color on the soffit ceiling is called cappacino and the dark on the tray and front wall is called Nutmeg.

Updates:

The front subwoofer speaker cover is in process, about halfway done.

2/3 of the baseboard is installed and the rest is waiting to be cut and installed.

We matched the crown molding in the rest of the house for the tray and it is waiting to be installed. I have an idea on how to put it up and allow for rope light but, I may look around the forums for others solutions. My plan is to rip 2 x 4's with a 45° face, attach them to the tray and then nail the crown molding to them.

Some minor Cat5 wiring completed and now the DirecTV DVR, Toshiba HD-DVD and Onkyo Rx are all connected and receiving various updates.

We slightly adjusted the placement of the sectional, chair and speakers and I redid the Onkyo's auto calibration using the six main seating locations. An intersteing find was that on the previous auto calibration, before the floor and doors, the subwoofer was calibrated at 75db. When I went to redo it after the floor and doors were done, it measured 88db.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #57 of 64 Old 12-05-2010, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Not much to update. It will be slow progress until after Christmas.

Here is what is being done:

1. Baseboard installation continues but is incomplete because of small details that include finishing the flooring in the office and adding a few filler pieces where a couple gaps are too big.

2. Crown molding is harder than I thought but, two pieces are up, two more to go to complete the tray ceiling. I started by ripping 45° nailers from 2 x 4's. I struggled with this on my table saw. It kept on binding up. When I nailed up the nailers, I was missing the framing behind the sheetrock by about a 1/4". Made adjustments and pushed through. I then attached the crown molding with crown staples but didn't pick a good spot to nail so had to go back and nail higher. Just means more filling of nail holes.

3. Revisited Cat5 cables that I ran five years ago. These go to the second floor bedrooms and living room. Based on bad advice I had wired the cables to carry phone and network or phone and IR. Based on what I know now, I've rewired these to be dedicated for either but not carry more than one.

4. Number 3 started because my Linksys EZXS16S switch burnt up and I decide to address some of the cat5 wiring when I swapped out switches When I say burnt up I mean smoke and uopn opening the case, the largest chip on the PCB had a round black spot and the soldered legs were curled away from the chip. The good news is I replaced that 16 port switch with two 24 port switches.

Once the holidays are over and I have some time I'll chip away at this list:

- Finish trimming out subwoofer
- Sheetrock the last closet after completing wiring to outdoor outlet
- Finish installing baseboard trim
- Add rope light behind Crown molding
- Continue to organize the low voltage wiring
- Install my Niles IR distribution system
- Add A Global Cache gateway and iRule app for control
- Build the shelving over the office desk
- Two new area rugs (one in each room)
- Find matching speakers for the height channels ( I recently lost out on some in an eBay auction)
- Complete shelf in stairway
- Install hardwood treads and trim out stairs (longterm project)

I'll post more pictures when the molding is done and office shelves are up.

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Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
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post #58 of 64 Old 01-16-2011, 08:24 AM
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Looks great. Curious how that front sub sounds behind the cabinet and front speakers. (Still cracking up about all of the drywall screws!) Nice job.
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post #59 of 64 Old 01-16-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks

The console sits about a foot out in front of it and overlaps it by about 6" so it doesn't really block anything. The front left speaker is about 32" out in front.

There is also a subwoofer on the opposite wall. With the two of them, it sounds better than in my previous room and fills the space with plenty of bass. I haven't noticed any peaks or boominess.

Well, now that the paint is up you'd never know that I used 4X the screws needed ;-).

I still have a list of things to wrap up in this room (and office) but, have been sidetracked on framing and insulating the other half of the basement...

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
Basement HT/Family Room | Status: 11.24.2010: 95% Complete, Working on trim and details
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°...
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post #60 of 64 Old 03-16-2011, 07:45 PM
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Warning...this thread is more than 60 days old.!!!

I just came across this post through your signature which I saw in another thread...nice progress...cant wait to see the trim up.

How does that SUB sound! That is cool how you used that space to your advantage...that room must rock!

Any other updates?
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