Dedicated HT/Game room basement build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I started my basement HT in fall of 2008 and have recently started working on making it nicer. Mainly something to cover the concrete block walls and put down carpet. I will be adding a bar for third row seating as well as a serving area for food and a place for the popcorn machine. I am looking for design ideas/suggestions on how to make it look the best possible.

Room size:
17',8" wide
36' deep including stairs
8',2" ceiling (to the bottom of the floor joist)

Klipsch RF3 II's front
Klipsch RC3 center
Klipsch S-2 surrounds
Mackie Active Series SRS1500
Epson 8350

Da-Light 100" screen
PS3 Blu-Ray
XBOX 360

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post #2 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 06:32 AM
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Welcome to the forums bro. Glad to see you finally start a build thread! Your theater has come along ways since you first started it. Wish you would have started one from the beginning but I'm sure you will probably share some before/after pics.

I appreciate your friendship and willingness to drive from Alabama to Florida just to help me build my riser and appreciate you building my custom speaker mount for my Klipsch RS-52's. I've seen your handiwork and am looking forward to seeing how the bar/serving area turns out.
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post #3 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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This is what the HT/Game room looks like now. I will post some build pictures also. I plan to cover all the block walls with wood or sheetrock. I want to build the screen wall with more of a cabinet/entertainment center with nice crown molding.









I built this little half pub table out of Red Oak. It is great place for drinks and a plate of Rotel dip.
I routed out cue holders on both sides.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I thought I would add some pics to show the progress.










I am in the process of adding the wood on the walls now. It is Birch Plywood with Minwax Red Mahogany stain and 2 coats of Satin Spar Polyurethane. EDIT: I used wood conditioner to prevent blotches. It looks alot better than my first test peice.

I added 1/2 inch foam insulation pannels before adding the Birch. I planed down a 1x6 to match the thickness of the foam.





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post #5 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for ideas for my bar to replace the hightop table behind the theater seats. Family of 4 and we spend Friday Movie Night down there.
Get a pizza and all sit down for a movie. I want it wide enough for the 4 stools to comfortably face the screen. I am limited on space to the left side due to the foozball table. if the bar is to deep you won't be able to use the foozball. I have a few ideas...looking for feedback.









I found this unbelieveable oak....8' 6" long 17" wide rough cut, kiln dried, and no knots.
Came from a local 100+ year old tree that was uprooted in a storm.


Flat and straight.

Can added for scale:
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 02:22 PM
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Wish I could offer advice but you are quite aware of my lack of "Handyman" skills. Hopefully others will offer some great suggestions.

Did you ever install dimmer switches for your lights? Can't remember. I used a Lutron Maestro for my room and works really great. If you don't, I have some Control4 Dimmer Switches I can probably hook you up with.

What are you thinking for the front wall? Are you wanting to add a false wall, or more of a custom cabinet with shelves?
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 02:24 PM
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I know your ceiling rafters and beanbag help out acoustically but down the road, if you felt you needed more after the carpet is installed, you could always add a few acoustic panels to the walls too. I really need to get some or make some for my room. I have a pretty bad slap echo.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I have Lutron dimmers but not the remote control type. I would like to have the lights on the screen wall on a remote. I would like to throw some light into the room when the movie ends without getting up.

The echo in the room is not bad at all. Considering it has a concrete floor it is better than expected. The ceiling joist act like a baffle. The 8 foot beanbag is my saving grace acoustically. I will get carpet before I worry about panels.
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the wall I am trying to design now. It would be all wood to match the new wall i just added. i am concerned about the amount of light that could be reflected by the wood ceiling. It would be a satin varnish. It is currently pained flat black. Any experience to share or design ideas for the wall/cabinet?



Here is the Google Sketchup file:
http://www.soleproductions.com/shaun/AVS/screenwall.skp
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post #10 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 07:46 PM
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I was concerned about that with my false wall as well but with it being a dark grey, I get no reflections from it. My screen is counter sunk into the false wall a few inches. Not sure if that helps or not. My ceiling is flat black so no reflections there.

One thing about the size of your room, you have tons of space to add a sweet false wall if you wanted to. Not sure you are wanting to go that route or not.
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post #11 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I do have a large room, but it gets small quick when you add foozball pool and a third row bar. I can't move the screen off the back wall more than a few inches or the folks on the beanbag would be uncomfortably to close. I thought about a cabinet that went all the way across the bottom to house the sub and center channel. Taller cabinets on the sides for the RF-3 towers. Does it really matter which direction the sub faces? I could gain about 6 inches if I turn it sideways, but I not willing to sacrifice sound quality.
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post #12 of 41 Old 01-27-2012, 08:36 PM
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Just have to be careful how you "enclose" the main speakers or it might alter the way they sound. You have a lot more width than I do and because of my limited width, I believe the space that my mains are enclosed in hinders the SQ, mostly for 2ch listening. Something about the acoustics of it being behind that false wall. Maybe my RF-83's are just scared of the dark. LOL

Best thing to do with your sub is to move it around and see what sounds best to you. Many have suggested the "Sub Crawl". Basically placing your sub on your beanbag chair (primary listening position) and then crawl around your room to see where you get the smoothest bass response. The location of the best bass response is where you should place your sub. It's basically reverse engineering.
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post #13 of 41 Old 01-30-2012, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I am still looking for help with the screen wall.
All speaker wires will be in the wall, but I am leaving the speakers outside any cabinet to prevent sound quality loss.


I am still concerned about light reflecting off the woodwork on the ceiling.


Anybody have some input?
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post #14 of 41 Old 01-30-2012, 07:00 PM
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I really like the way that looks. I agree with the SQ of the mains being hindered if you were to put them inside an enclosed space. I know mine did.

Anyone else got any advice for my friend? Anyone?
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post #15 of 41 Old 01-31-2012, 08:33 AM
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I really like the look. I would explore your render with the center panel black, as well as the center soffit section, and top of the av rack. (Or at least, a black velvet runner on top of the av cabinet.) These would help perserve your projector's contrast ratio.
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post #16 of 41 Old 01-31-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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The screen is electric retractable so i want the area behind the screen to look nice also. I wish it were a fixed frame. I cant think of a reason why i would let it up, but since it can i dont want it to look weird if i do.
I think your idea of blacking out the area above the screen would work.



The cabinet below the screen will no longer be an AV cabinet. I am moving that to the wall so it will only be wide enough to set the center channel on.
The shelves will be mostly for games and Blu-ray.



The area above the screen is what i was worried about.
I didn't even think about the area surrounding the screen.
If i leave the area behind the screen wood will it reflect to much light?
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-01-2012, 03:54 PM
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I expect your screen has a black backing so light won't pass through it. Wouldn't hurt to do a test to make sure. The advantage of the bigger blacked out panel is the image "floats" in space. If that panel isn't painted/stained black, then maybe some alternative finish might be an option.

The gear not below the screen is an improvement. No distracting electronic displays.
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post #18 of 41 Old 02-01-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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The excitement is building....I just picked up the sink for the wet bar i got off Craigs List. Black Kohler 15x15x7 with brushed nickel delta faucet. Unfortunately i am healing from rotator cuff surgery so it will be a slow go. Not to mention I will also be starting a Bathroom build. Any suggestions on what to/not to add to the wet bar would be great.
I don't drink alcohol, so the kegarator is a no go. I'm thinking about adding an ice drawer. no ice maker unless craigs list is extra friendly. An insulated drawer with a drain I can dump ice in and serve from. I have never seen one, just seemed like a good idea.
I'd kill a kindergartener for a soda fountain machine, but that is way out of the budget.

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post #19 of 41 Old 02-01-2012, 07:27 PM
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I too like the idea of having the electronics on the side. Since the back opens into the unfinished part of your basement, it will be really convenient to be able to easily get to the back of your equipment rack. Do you think you should enclose the back side to keep dust out? If so, you'll probably want to add some fans and maybe an exhaust to discipate the heat.

I agree that adding a black velvet border around your screen will really help increase the contrast of your image. I believe mine is a 2" velvet border.

Cool sink bro! Gotta luv Craigslist.
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post #20 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I will definitely close the back. It will have a door to access the rear of the electronics.
I have not decided if it will be open shelves or a rack and faceplates. I am not paying $150 each for faceplates. I have several rack shelves already. I would cut out faceplates with an air nibbler and use the MIG welder to fabricate custom shelves for the PS3 and XBOX 360. I really need a rack mount IPhone dock if I do that. I prefer the rack over shelves. I figured venting the top and bottom, and space things out well in it and it wouldn't get very hot. I would put the Xbox on the bottom since it is probably the most heat sensitive. I would love to hear from some experience with the rack idea.
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post #21 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 06:42 AM
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I think your plan of enclosing the rack is a good idea.

I've seen your welding skills with my own theater so I'm sure you could make some sweet custom faceplates for the rack on your own. I had no idea they cost $150 each. That's crazy.
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:


I'd kill a kindergartener for a soda fountain machine

for some reason, that really cracked me up.

that wood looks beautiful. i think if you went with a dark enough stain on it, you'd still see the character of the wood in the a/v wall, but minimize the potential negative impact on picture quality and presentation. i prefer projector screens against a dark background, but that's a matter of taste i suppose. my custom made a/v stand is stained black, looks awesome to me, but i have no wife acceptance factor to stand in the way of my color choices.

i know i'll be committing avs blasphemy by saying this, but it's actually kind of refreshing to see a build thread that's about making the room more comfortable for the family experience, as opposed to getting mired down in the technical details of hat channels, green glue, and REW measurements. i love reading that stuff, don't get me wrong! it's just nice to see a little less of that for once.

you should definitely, at a minimum, try the "sub crawl" method. as weird as it sounds, moving a sub even a few inches can mean the difference between something sounding awesome, and something getting swallowed up in a null, never to be heard again. my room has a HORRIBLE null right in the center (where my couch is, no less). i had to move and rotate the sub several times, as well as moving the couch, to finally find a balance i could live with, until i get up the courage to try building a bass trap.

looking forward to seeing how things turn out. i have no building skill at all, i can't even hammer a nail in straight, so i live vicariously through those of you who CAN do it.

Chimpuat

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post #23 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the complement Chimpuat, i am very happy with the way the wall stained out.
Youthman also mentioned the sub-crawl. I am basically sitting in a bass trap. 8ft diameter beanbag 3ft thick. Full of shredded foam. Should I actually put the speaker in my seat? My arm will have to heal some before I attempt to move that beast. Any suggestions on tracks to use to test this? Seems like something with pretty consistant bass would be ideal or alot of "play it again"
As far as priority, you nailed it. Family experience. I don't care how loud it is in the rest of the house. Everyone in the house is in that room when we crank it up. The "Nicer" I make it the more my wife will like being down there, which turns into the more I get to be down there. A room like this is great, but not by myself.
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post #24 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Not really part of the thread, but just an alert for those in the Huntsville AL area.
Alot of people use these theater style seats as back row. Huntsville Habitat for Humanity ReStore has real Auditorium theater seats in good shape 4 in a connected row for $100. Padded seats and backs. They had plenty as of today.

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post #25 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 11:42 AM
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i don't think you have to put it IN the seat, just on the floor where the main listening position ordinarily is. i have yet to try this in my house, because i have a THT sub, and it's not fun to move it around. additionally, if i were to discover that it sounded good anywhere other than where i already have it, it would open up new 'opportunities' for me to have to crawl around in the attic again and pull wires to accomodate the change.

you mentioned rotating the sub, turning it to the side to free up room, so i'd say just try doing that with your current setup, and see if you can live with the results. i turned my whole room 90 degrees, and even with my adjustments, i can still tell the bass impact in the new couch position isn't as commanding as it was before. it still rocks, and no one but me would probably notice, but you get accustomed to how something sounds and it becomes easier to notice when it's not quite right.

i would think those birch walls would wreak havoc on reflecting sound. i have a problem with that due to hardwood floors (i have 2 hairy dogs, carpet is not an option at this time). ultimately, my opinion is that if it sounds good to your ears, it doesn't matter if it's "right" or proper.

do a google search for 'test tones', you should find some wav files at various frequencies. i know my sub rolls off a cliff below 20Hz, so i generally test about 4 or 5 frequencies between 20 and 60. you feel more than hear the 20Hz stuff, but above that should do the trick (i do the 20Hz just for fun to hear the windows and walls rattle). my tones are in a folder on my pc, i use my ps3 or 360 to play them through the system.

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post #26 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I found my Bar BuffBakerGA has an amaizing thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=buff+baker

Buff...You are the man! I am going to build this bar.....


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post #27 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimpuat View Post

do a google search for 'test tones', you should find some wav files at various frequencies. i know my sub rolls off a cliff below 20Hz, so i generally test about 4 or 5 frequencies between 20 and 60. you feel more than hear the 20Hz stuff, but above that should do the trick (i do the 20Hz just for fun to hear the windows and walls rattle). my tones are in a folder on my pc, i use my ps3 or 360 to play them through the system.

I will give that a shot. The wood seems better than concrete for some reason. I really don't have a terible echo at all. The wood floor joist really seem to break it up. Even with that it echoed BAD before the beanbag. NOTHING gets through that thing, best accoustic treatment ever in my opinion. Anybody else have 150 cubic feet of accoustic treatments in your room? Yeah...that will kill an echo.
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post #28 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 12:17 PM
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Buff's bar design would look great in your space. That is an amazing piece of oak you have to work with and I'm looking forward to see the pics.
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post #29 of 41 Old 02-02-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javatime View Post

Buff's bar design would look great in your space. That is an amazing piece of oak you have to work with and I'm looking forward to see the pics.

I just finished reading your thread. That is a FINE piece of work. I will be stealing ideas from you for a while. I am inspired by the Etex finish on your bar. I was thinking this would be great for my wet bar. I have 5 pieces of that 17" wide oak. One is the third row bar. I will also be building a food serving area recessed into the wall and then of course the wet bar. The bar will only be accessable from one side so it won't be a sit at/serve bar. More of a place to fix drinks and serve food from. I plan to build it so it could be sat at, just not as likely as yours. How are you liking the Etex? Does it scratch easy? I really like the fireplace. That is another item on my Crailgslist autosearch. I need a vent free LP unit.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1178137&page=3
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post #30 of 41 Old 02-03-2012, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youthman View Post

Wish I could offer advice but you are quite aware of my lack of "Handyman" skills. Hopefully others will offer some great suggestions.

Did you ever install dimmer switches for your lights? Can't remember. I used a Lutron Maestro for my room and works really great. If you don't, I have some Control4 Dimmer Switches I can probably hook you up with.

What are you thinking for the front wall? Are you wanting to add a false wall, or more of a custom cabinet with shelves?

Talk to me about the Control4 dimmers when you get a chance. I was just reading back through and missed this part somehow. I would LOVE to swap to something with a remote. Right now it is "hey Amber, turn off the lights."
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