DIY Home Theater build on a budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-18-2012, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I found this forum and have been browsing for a while now over the various projects. I've done some pretty extensive car audio builds with good success and I love the DIY aspect of making a quality system that sounds good. I'm a mechanical engineer and have access to 3d modeling tools and such.

I'll start of with what I currently have, which is basically a Samsung 46" LED tv.


Small, awkward room. This system will serve two purposes, movie watching and music listening.


I'm wanting to start off small, basically a receiver and some speakers to start me off. I'd like to keep the first stage around $500 if possible. I've been looking at receivers on Amazon. This Onkyo one has caught my eye. There's also some similar priced Pioneer's and Yamaha's but they're all pretty similar and have similar reviews. Can anyone give me some feedback on this unit or make a recommendation on another one that might fit my needs better?

Now, I'd like to move on to the front stage. I've seen some DIY speaker builds on here and it interest me. I've designed and built car audio sub boxes before and it's very rewarding for me. This is and example.

I'm wondering if home audio is similar to car audio in that if you build stuff yourself, it saves you a considerable amount?

Anyway, I was looking into building some speaker boxes for a front stage, either a center stage, or two front stage speakers to start off with. I found this site that has some Overnight Sensations my question is will these speakers be more bang for the buck over some speakers you can buy on amazon? I also have concerns about the application. I'm not really sure how these types of speakers would fit into a more complete system down the road.

Would the bookshelf speakers fit into a rear stage somewhere down the road?

Are there any other options that I could be looking at as far as some floor standing speakers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-19-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I just put in my order for 2 Overnight Sensations kits. I guess while I'm building them, I'll keep my eye out for the two recivers I've been looking at go on sale. I've pretty much narrowed it down to Pioneer VSX-1021-K or this Denon AVR-1712 A/V anyone have any experience with these?
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 01:16 PM
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i have the Denon 1610 (couple of years old), i've been very happy with the sound quality and features. i've been looking at this year's models while thinking about my ever-present upgrade-itis, but so far only the 2112 has piqued my interest.

i went back and forth between pioneer and denon for a long time before finally going with the denon (had seen MCACC calibration on my father's pioneer and wasn't impressed, so thought i'd try a receiver that used Audyssey instead).

i think you'd be happy with either of them, but browse the respective threads in the receiver section of the forums, and you'll get a much better grasp of the pros and cons for each one.

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post #4 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdRider View Post

Well, I just put in my order for 2 Overnight Sensations kits. I guess while I'm building them, I'll keep my eye out for the two recivers I've been looking at go on sale. I've pretty much narrowed it down to Pioneer VSX-1021-K or this Denon AVR-1712 A/V anyone have any experience with these?

I have the 1712 and I love it....it's a great budget receiver!!
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 02:10 PM
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Who built your house? The walls are really curved

The vsx-1021-k is onsale at newegg for $350 now, but it was at $300 a month ago if you wanna wait.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-22-2012, 03:56 PM
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Go with the 1712 unless you want to wait for the new 2012 models coming in a few months.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-26-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Ha this thread isn't dead after all. Well I went rouge and did some stuff for better or worse. I ended up going with the pioneer only because it was so much cheaper than the comparable Denon. I got it off Newegg and picked up a 3 year warranty just because of some of the power supply problems I've heard people having. I'm also building some Overnight Sensations this weekend. I was a little skeptical at first but now i'm really glad I went this way. The drivers look fantastic in person. Plus I love DIY because you can do it what ever way you want.

Xover's






I'm in the process of doing a two tone paint job right now. Staining the back and painting the faces flat black.

I'm thinking I might do a whole 7.1 setup like this.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-27-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished them up tonight. Loving the results. Nothing beats doing things exactly the way you want them to be.




Although my receiver hasn't arrived yet so I have no Idea how they will sound. As a starter kit, these were very rewarding. Granted, I've done a ton of car audio over the years so these came pretty easy.

Oh yeah, don't touch hot glue... Lesson learned with a 2nd degree burn.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 06:50 AM
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Very cool, love the DIY speakers, can't wait to hear how they sound.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-29-2012, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got them hooked up. Can't believe the sound these little things put out. They put out some good bass too which I wasn't expecting.

I've got cable issues now though. I'd like to ask your guy's opinion on HDMI cables and how to hook them up.

Are good quality HDMI cables really going to make that big of difference?

Also, do you guys run everything through your receiver before going to the TV? I know things like BR and xbox should probably be ran through the receiver but what about like Antenna TV? It would seem like a pain in the ass to turn on the receiver every time you want to watch TV.

Also it seems that the my Pioneer receiver will not fully connect to my 160gb ipod classic.
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 10:08 AM
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No, you should be able to use *any* HDMI cable. I mean you might have a bad one, but a cable is a cable.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 10:40 AM
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I run everything through my reciever its just easier for hdmi cables look at monoprice or bluejeanscable you dont need a 100 monster cable it will be no different than a 3 dollar monoprice cable

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post #13 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if you can play movies off a harddrive on the receiver? There are functions that my TV provides that I'm not sure I want to give up. For instance I can stream media (netfix and pandora), plus it plays movies right off a harddive I have. How do I accomplish this?
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 03:36 PM
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I just bought the Pioneer 1021 as well (haven't gotten to play with it yet), so I'll definitely be interested in your solution.

From simply reading about it, I was going to try to use either a hard drive we have attached to our router (Network Attached Storage) or a PS3 for saved movies.

For online sources, the 360 should be able to play Netflix, and to listen to Pandora, any Apple product should be able to send Pandora to the 1021 via Airplay.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your build!

Also, where did you get info on the DIY speakers?
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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The Xbox would be louder than the Pandora. The main reason I don't want to switch up my Pandora abilities is I just spent $50 for the wireless adapter on my tv. The interface on the tv is pretty nice.
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post #16 of 19 Old 03-01-2012, 10:23 PM
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Ah. Maybe check out pg 43 and 44 in the manual.

It seems that you should be able to get audio from the TV with the Audio return channel (assuming your HDMI cable and TV support it).
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-02-2012, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Joe billy.

I'm going to be looking at a building a center channel soon. I want to stay with the same mid drivers if practical. Paul's Website has some ideas on this but I'm not sure if they fit the bill exactly.

I was thinking of either a Overnight Sensations MTM or one of his center channels. The second one might be a little too much for my goals.

I don't want to use an external amplifier. I fear the Swope might be a little underpowered with just my receiver. I also don't want something that won't put out enough sound. I love the overnight sensations I built and wouldn't mind doing the MTM. I'm just wondering if I might be better off with something designed between these two? If so, I'd have no idea where to start on a design.
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-03-2012, 05:34 PM
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I'd get the larger center channel (it's the most important speaker) and then at some point use the smaller speakers you just built for surrounds and move up to the larger matching MTM fronts for the left and right.

If you're worried about having too little amp power, I'd consider boxing up your Pioneer and getting at least an Onkyo 709. It has full 7.2 channel pre-amp outputs so you could add a beefier separate power amp like an Emotiva, Outlaw, or Parasound at a later date.

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post #19 of 19 Old 03-04-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you calculate the power consumption on something like this? What about making a smaller center channel? I'm just not too sure that speaker fits my application. What about replacing the woofers with smaller woofers and the mid with a smaller mid? Honestly, I don't want to go with an external amp at this time.

On a side note, these overnight sensations sound amazing for their size. They sound about as good as any home theater system I've ever heard (which isn't very nice).
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