06S2k's Basement Media Room Project - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-05-2013, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Joined up recently after been browsing through here as a visitor for information and advice on building a media/gaming room in my basement.

We bought this house 4.5 years ago and it had an undeveloped basement. I thought to myself that I should put in a dedicated gaming and movie room down there, given the large expanse of empty space. Little did I know that motivation would slowly dwindle.. fast forward to today and I've hired a guy to help out with getting it done.

Here's a rough floor plan of the big room: Roughly, the dimensions are about 34'W x 13'6"L x 7'7"H


The TV will be on the wall on the left of the diagram, seating positions will be about 14-15' back.

Here's my gear list:
- B&W DM604 S2 Main Speakers
- B&W LCR6 S2 Centre Channel
- Monitor Audio RSW12 Subwoofer
- Definitive Technology ProCinema 200 Rears
- Samsung LN55A950 55" LEDTV
- Pioneer Elite SC05 HT Receiver
- Xbox360 Console
- Playstation3 Console
- Wii Console (for the Missus)

Initially my design was to put in a 7.1 system, so I wired it up for that. Then I have one of our local members (Zuluwalker) drop by, and he suggested I consider going all the way to 11.x.

Here's the pictures at that point, wired up and the front wall insulated with Roxul Safe&Sound. The front wall was originally a false wall as I didn't want to run conduit (as in PVC Vacuum Pipe) through an outside underground wall. There is another insulated wall (with air gap and vapor barrier) against the concrete basement foundation wall.




Now, having said that.. I started to wonder out loud if my room might be too small, and indeed a few members indicated that I should reposition my height speakers closer to my seating position.. I haven't moved them away from the front wall yet.. still debating whether or not I should relocate them, or just pull another run. I hate pulling apart Roxul.. that stuff makes me itch like there's ants in my pants.

Anyways, for the front wall I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to finish it with fabric, or a combination of drywall (mudded and painted) and fabric. Maybe drywall & fabric for easier resale of the home.. or maybe not. Thoughts?

Initially, I had planned for the closet off to the side with an open rack for my gear, but Zuluwalker suggested a few alternatives, one of which was to move the rack completely inside the closet space and build a "command centre." I like that idea, so I'm going with it. If only the Middle Atlantic 61" flatpack racks weren't so expensive. Local dealer Graybar quoted me $850.



Also, a picture of the PVC central vacuum lines I've ran as conduit. Pull strings yet to be implemented, but I don't think it'll be difficult.

Starts off in the closet:

Splits off into two lines, one in the ceiling for a projector:

One continuing through the bulkhead to the front of the room for the LCD:

Only thing I hadn't considered were the amount of bends.

I'm debating running another conduit to a spot about 8' back, in case future projector requires longer throw. Thoughts?

There's also 4 cat6e lines ran from my electrical panel to that closet.

Finished putting up Roxul on the side wall today:

May be blasphemous, but those Moritaka chef's knives make for excellent Roxul cutters.



Anyways, that's a lot to summarize in just one post.. please don't hesitate to make suggestions on improving the place.. it's my first major build of any kind, and I'm learning lots from what other people have done and also from what I'm doing.

I plan to finish Roxullin' the ceiling tomorrow. I have a buddy that deals with mobile audio, I'm picking up some Hushmat from him to somewhat deaden the tinny HVAC ducts before the drywallers come by.

Thanks for reading.. smile.gif

PS, in case anyone's wondering about my screen name.. my other hobby:

IMG_3155 by Grant.C, on Flickr

That's me in the drivers' seat.. had a passenger along for a ride.
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-06-2013, 06:34 AM
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Ahhh, building from scratch. You lucky dog. You are off to a great start. I will surely be following your journey here on AVS!

Regards,

Toby

A/V Gear: EPSON 5030UB | 100" Fixed Mount | Samsung UN46F5500 LED TV | Yamaha RX-A1010 | Emotiva XPA-3 | OPPO BDP-103 | Panamax M5300 | Pro-ject Carbon Debut | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk 65RT (L/R SUR) | Polk RC80i (L/R REAR SUR) | PSA XV-15 | Sonos


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post #3 of 40 Old 03-06-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Toby..

So for ceilings I have some choices. Because I subfloored everything with 1" XPS and 1/2" T&G Ply, my ceiling height is down to 7'7". I'm 6'4" tall, so I'd like as much headroom as possible.

1 - Double up 1/2" drywall (2 sheets sandwiched with QuietGlue
2 - Resilient Channel + 1/2" drywall
3 - Resilient Channel + 2 sheets 1/2" drywall

I also have potlights in the ceiling acting as sound leakage devices, so I think that will be my biggest source of sound leak.. there's no point going with the channel + 2 sheets so I'll probably just go with channel and 1 sheet of drywall.
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-06-2013, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Picked up some HushMat to help deaden the tinny-ness of the HVAC ducts running overhead.

IMG_3418_zps73be837f.jpg
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-07-2013, 08:39 AM
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Things look Great!

It is an exciting and tedious phase, but have faith in your hardwork. The more planning now, the less regret later.

My opinion on heights is to follow the guidelines set up by the companies that market the technology. And in theatre i have both power and access to hdmi for two projector positions.

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post #6 of 40 Old 03-13-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Pulled some more wire.. putting the Heights 8' closer to the seating area, because I have a lower ceiling than as per the Audessey site, and also suggested here. Was too lazy to pull the wire back since I put the Roxul back, so I said, what the heck.. pulled a new run. biggrin.gif

Not much going on.. just finishing up the Roxul and getting the place cleaned up so that the drywaller can come get started.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-13-2013, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06S2k View Post

Pulled some more wire.. putting the Heights 8' closer to the seating area, because I have a lower ceiling than as per the Audessey site, and also suggested here. Was too lazy to pull the wire back since I put the Roxul back, so I said, what the heck.. pulled a new run. biggrin.gif

Not much going on.. just finishing up the Roxul and getting the place cleaned up so that the drywaller can come get started.

It is always a wise move to follow guidelines with surround sound fields. But this is very exciting news, and I am very excited to hear it. Good work on taking a chance with new technologies, it sounds like you have done good research.

It never hurts to have more hard wire installation options anyways! smile.gif

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post #8 of 40 Old 03-13-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Completed another of your suggestions Zuluwalker.. dropped a bulkhead for the rear speakers. Now to decide what I want and how to mount them.

Currently the choices are B&W DS3 bipoles or B&W 686's.

686's are nice and compact, good for a rear speaker but they're rear ported.

I'm still undecided as to how I want to finish the front wall. Drywall + Cloth or just Cloth.
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-14-2013, 02:01 PM
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Have you tried practice pulling an hdmi through your conduit? I only ask because there seems to be more than two 90 degree bends in the same line - and they appear to be done using PVC vac pipe, rather than the gray electrical type. The radii seem pretty tight on those 90's, and depending on the cable, it can become very difficult to pull through >2 90's without an additional pullbox.

Would just hate to have you board everything and find out the hard way that you can't pull what you intend through your pipe.

good luck!


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post #10 of 40 Old 03-14-2013, 03:53 PM
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+1
and may I suggest some lubricant.
quit snickering

Just one guys opinion,but, if you know you want HDMI.....install the HDMI now, after pre-testing of course. (wouldn't hurt to put in a pair of cat5e or better too, if you have it available.) Leave the conduit for the future.
Still a good idea to test the run, though.....Steelkit is right on the money, after two 90s there will be a tremendous amount of friction in the path


I'm still waiting on reports from some of you........... I'm serious,......this is my job.......

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post #11 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, some good suggestions. I will have to try it out when I get home.. yeah there's 6 90's for the conduit to the front of the room.

I wasn't able to find any of the blue smurf tube my neck of the woods, and the corner radius of the grey electrical stuff was too high. Also, the stores here didn't stock anything bigger than 1", which is why I went with the white stuff.
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 04:45 PM
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SIX 90's! ? Do you already have a pull string in that knot? if "no", you could vacuum a line in,but I think it's time to cut your losses. Pulling anything through that will be a major challenge. Even with two people, lubricant, and decades of moral living.

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post #13 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 04:53 PM
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carlon flexible conduit is available from many online dealers.
just remember that the number of bends is still an issue.
you want to find a path that takes the minimum number of bends from point A to point B
http://www.amazon.com/Carlon-SCH4X1C-50-Resi-Gard-Raceway-1-5/dp/B004ZJF1A6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363391469&sr=8-3&keywords=carlon+conduit

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post #14 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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You're right.

Should have done the pull line as I was putting it all together.

Can't even run a ball of twine through there.. frown.gif

Guess it's gonna have to come out.. important lesson learned there.

*sigh*

Minimum amount of bends is to cut holes through all my joists.. I didn't want to do that, hence this spider web.
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post #15 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Would it work better if I changed some of those 90s to a pair of 45s?
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post #16 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06S2k View Post

Would it work better if I changed some of those 90s to a pair of 45s?

FWIW, before I gave up on your current setup I would try a couple of things. The first thing I would get is a big bottle of Ideal's Yellow wire pulling lubricant and use it liberally. Then I would try sending some steel wire down each end of your tube with a hook on each end. You might get lucky and catch the hooks from each end. If that fails try sending a fish tape down each end and try to hook them.

I once had a situation where I needed to send some Cat5 down a 3/4" tube that had 6, 90 degree bends in it. Two of the bends were about 10" apart and two were about 4" inches apart. This was between two 4' runs before two 90 degree corners. Picture a square "U" between two 4" runs before corners. I tried everything and couldn't get the Cat5 through. I came up with the idea of pushing some RG6 Quad Shield through. It was stiff enough to allow me to work it yet flexible enough to make the turns. To help it slide more easily I wrapped the end of it with black electrical tape and covered the shinny surface of the tape heavily with the wire pulling lubricant. It took some effort and some time, but I did get it through.

If you take your time I still think you can do this.
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post #17 of 40 Old 03-15-2013, 11:23 PM
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If you do decide to tear it out another thing I learned through experience is to never glue the turns in solid tubing. Pressure fit is plenty good enough as you are not trying to keep water out. If you have access to a turn though it can be a life saver if you can pull it apart if you need to get something through there. Kind of like a clean out in a plumbing trap.
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post #18 of 40 Old 03-16-2013, 04:34 AM
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2- 45"= 1 - 90"......., it's the total number of turns, you would be spreading the drag across two contact points instead of one, albeit at a slightly lower coefficient of friction at each angle, sum total would be virtually identical. It might help with the large end of an HDMI connector since it isn't such a steep curve, but it will still pull like a bear.
I would be very cautious with the idea of not gluing your angled joints inside a sealed wall or ceiling. You will see if you try pulling thru your existing path how much the conduit will move if not secured well. If a joint opens up and the two pieces get even a little out of line, that sharp leading edge of the joint will wreak havoc on any additional wires you may try to add, if you can get through it at all.
If you haven't tried it, use a shop vac to suck a baggie with a string tied to it thru your conduit, then use the string to pull a more robust pulling string into the conduit. That process alone should be a good indicator of how well pulling your wire bundle will go. Keep the head of whatever you are pulling as smoothly tapered as possible, spiral wrapping some paper towel around the joint between your pulling string and connectors then wrapping with electrical tape can help taper the joint smoothly and help protect the connector.
If you have to drill through multiple joists to create a more favorable path, it may be worth a trip to the rental store for a right angle drill and self feeding bit of appropriate diameter to keep the process short and sweet.(especially if it's the traditional 2x material, not the modern engineered truss with a 1/2" of OSB) Keep your holes in the center third of the joist. Triple check for other wires, ducts, and pipes on the other side of the board before drilling. Don't drill through laminated support beams.

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post #19 of 40 Old 03-16-2013, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's all modern 1/2" OSB Engineered Joists. Problem with going that route is that there are several joist spaces where the heating ducts and fresh outside air come through, there's not enough space above or below to snake the tubing through. There's also one of those laminated support beams in the way.. so much for that..

Looking back through it I think I can eliminate two of the 90s by going diagonally instead of right/up (think of a hypotenuse in a right angle triangle) - it's the front wall in those pictures above. However since it's all glued it's going to take some effort to cut. Fortunately I can plan my cuts so that there's the fewest of them and then just join them back together with aluminum heating tape or something similar. I decided on gluing it when I was putting it together because there were a few areas that seemed to work itself loose in the buikhead.

I tried the plastic bag thing but it didn't quite make it. I'll try a steel wool ball as suggested too, hope to have better luck with that.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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post #20 of 40 Old 03-16-2013, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaselfest View Post

If you haven't tried it, use a shop vac to suck a baggie with a string tied to it thru your conduit, then use the string to pull a more robust pulling string into the conduit. That process alone should be a good indicator of how well pulling your wire bundle will go.

This worked. I was able to pull through a tuft of Roxul tied to a string, then chased that with some Poly pull string. Didn't have long enough lengths and the Home Depot guy was eyeballing me as I contemplated asking for the whole spool near their tie and go section, so I bought this instead.

I'll leave the conduit empty save for the pull string and run a pair of Cat6 and a pair of HDMI outside along the run.

Thanks for the encouragement. smile.gif
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post #21 of 40 Old 03-19-2013, 09:16 PM
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Is the drywall all up yet?

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post #22 of 40 Old 03-19-2013, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Nope.. can't get a time slot down between them telling me they can come, actually showing up, and me being able to take time off work with such short notice. frown.gif

Some Roxul pieces aren't staying in the ceiling, trying to figure out another way...
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post #23 of 40 Old 03-20-2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06S2k View Post

Nope.. can't get a time slot down between them telling me they can come, actually showing up, and me being able to take time off work with such short notice. frown.gif

Some Roxul pieces aren't staying in the ceiling, trying to figure out another way...

I found placing some drywall screws that are only half screwed in is a great way to slightly anchor the roxulbthat slips out before drywalling.

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post #24 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
I found placing some drywall screws that are only half screwed in is a great way to slightly anchor the roxulbthat slips out before drywalling.

That, or small pieces of vapor barrier stapled to the studs will work.


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post #25 of 40 Old 03-24-2013, 06:18 PM
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Where did you get that hush mat stuff? I cant find a local supplier in Canada.

My home theatre build and basement development

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post #26 of 40 Old 04-05-2013, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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thehabs; I bought some from a local dealer here. I'll ask him tomorrow to see if he knows where you can get it - assume you're in Montreal?

Drywall is up.




The ceiling and the right wall all have resilient channel. Drywall guy did an excellent job.
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post #27 of 40 Old 04-05-2013, 06:33 AM
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I'm actually in Calgary, Alberta, canada.

Btw, your drywall looks great. My guy just finished hanging and there are gaps and uneven seems all over. He says it'll look amazing after. I sure hope so smile.gif

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post #28 of 40 Old 04-05-2013, 07:30 AM
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Looking good, great progress so far! (much quicker then mine!)

Nice car too! My father inlaw had 2 White 2005 S2ks (first one got wrapped around a tree on a particularly windy road), we had lots of fun at track days with that car, still sad that he sold it.
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post #29 of 40 Old 04-05-2013, 07:31 AM
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Awesome job!

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post #30 of 40 Old 04-05-2013, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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It just occured to me that I hadn't put in the MDF backing to screw the projector mount into, before the the drywaller put board over everything... and the screen.

Oops.. that was stupid. I'm going to have to find alternate means now.. probably going through the drywall, past the soundbars, into the joists above. Kinda defeats the purpose of offsetting the boards I guess.

Not cool.. not cool. frown.gif
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