Doug's Stealthy living room HT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I remodel one room of my 1975 home per year and this year it is the living room on the main floor, which is the primary room we use to relax, watch TV and movies, listen to music, entertain guests. My goal in the remodel of this room is to put as much of the good stuff from a dedicated HT into the main room of our home without it looking any different than a "normal" room - stealthy, if you will. I have some decent gear that I have put together so far that sounds pretty nice. This gear is copious and huge, which represents the first challenge of this project, which is to make it inconspicuous. I have finished the first part of this project, building it. Now it's time to finish and dial in the a/v gear, automation, room treatments.

The main goals and needs for this room are:
1) WAF
2) reference 9.2 audio with "stealth" integration
3) hardwood floors
4) family functional


Challenges
1) reflections from the new hardwoods
2) vaulted ceilings
3) large bass-traps, diffusers, ect. are not wife approved
4) multiple openings into the room.
5) rattles
6) cost

Before:



This wall gets removed, an island goes where the subs are


This will be the new screen wall with the a/v rack built in to the wall on the right




The fireplace gets covered in stone veneer


Now
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post #2 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Equipment:
Onkyo 818 a/v receiver
DIYsoundgroup Volt V8 ported surrounds
Bwaslo's AE TD12M and SEOS/DNA-360 mains
2 Gjallarhorn subs with TC Sounds LMS-U 5400
MiniDSP
Sanway fp14000 sub amp
Vizeo 60 LCD
Insteon lighting control
LED lighting
Jrule integration
JRiver audio and video files

Future additions:
tab tensioned 120" motorized PJ screen
TBD projector
OPPO 103



So far we have two of these


In two of these




6 of these


in 6 of these
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post #3 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I had already decided to put the giant subs in the attic, firing down into the room. Where in the attic was the issue. I thought that the corners would be the natural place, but turns out not.

One of the very first things I did was to do a reverse "sub crawl," where I put a sub in the proposed LP and moved the mic around the room to find the best response. I also used REW's Room Simulator to find the best positions in relation to my LP. The open floorplan makes things tricky, and so does trying to simulate two subs that are in the air on an angle. I put the subs on the floor in the proposed positions and they sounded and measured pretty nice. So I began demo.







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post #4 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided the wall between the two doors in the above photo needed to go to open up the kitchen. This would require a long header to support the ceiling in part of the kitchen on the other side of the wall. The ceiling only has 24" center 2x6 studs and 1/2" drywall, so I researched and found that I could make it instead of using expensive microlam since the weight is light and is not a weight-bearing floor above - only attic space.

The kitchen ceiling rests on this beam, so my new beam will have to support this one. It currently sets on the wall I'm removing.
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post #5 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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The kitchen beam was supported by some ceiling jacks and then the wall between the rooms was removed. I cut out a space for the new beam.




Then I built my new one out of two 2x14 with OSB sandwiched between with glue and about a million nails





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post #6 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The new beam was lifted to place and secured to the other beam with something that resembles a heavy duty joist-hanger. Ceiling jacks removed and on to the sub placement. My wife was very happy with the new wide open space. We do a lot of entertaining, so this will hopefully facilitate people not having the need to all jam in to the kitchen when we have parties.



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post #7 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The next step was to get the 350 pound subs into the attic and then scoot them back and forth until I find the smoothest response in a room that is not drywalled. I used the rough cedar beams that I tore down from the ceiling and built a ramp to the attic. I used another and built another beam in the attic to attach an engine winch to. Thank you Archaea for loaning me this!!!

I ran several 2x6 across the top of the ceiling joists where the subs would sit. These also serve the purpose of sliding the subs back and forth for placement.

I strapped the sub to a furniture dolly and used climbing webbing and gear to get these heavy beast up safely. Luckily I had a few friends to help, but 99% of the work was done by the winch. It was a breeze!









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post #8 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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One of the goals is to keep the audio gear hidden, yet be reference capable from 15hz up flat. One thing I am worried about is my lack of options for room treatments. Building some open top soffits is a good way to add 4 rolls of R16 (pink fluffy) to help trap some bass and ease reflections. I decided on using metal stud channel and 2x4 to build this floating soffit around the room, and for the peak as a cloud to add some more treatment area and to cover an ugly rough cedar beam. I spent a lot of time getting these things level, and I'm so glad that I did. Every step after is much easier if the foundation pieces are square. I'm within 1/8" all the way around, btw smile.gif





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post #9 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Next up is installing the surrounds. I'll add a link to the build and discussion above, but in a nutshell, I decided on the DIYSG V8 ported coaxial design because of it's relatively small enclosure for the ported alignment, wide axis, and incredible sound for a ridiculous price. I followed the THX charts for surround placement for rears, sides, front wides, and LCR. Each enclosure uses a different angled front baffle to aim the speaker just over the head of the MLP, which means that I had to design 3 different boxes for each location. Once finished, I cut away a section of the metal channel and slid them in their place in the soffit. The boxes were designed and built before the soffit, so the installation was fairly easy fastening them in to place.











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post #10 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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The ceiling joists received some more bracing and some Baltic Birch wrap on the inside of the joists. These give support and are the backing for some speaker grills that will be flush with the wall.




This is the back of the a/v cabinet freshly framed in. This is over the stairs that go down to our basement so, free real estate gained there. I installed 4 outlets on a 20 amp line, dedicated 30 amp line, cat5, coax, and every other wire I thought I could ever need. Also 16g wire to all of the surrounds, 12g wire to the two subs directly overhead, and 3 additional sub runs for rear corners and near field.

IMG_4356_zps4670f132.jpg
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post #11 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I broke down and paid the man to hang the drywall for me. They were not impressed with all of the angles and such, and charged accordingly. I'm picky about finish work, so I opted to finish it myself and save some dough. They did an OK job and hung it all in a day and installed the outside corners.









the a/v closet didn't fit in the budget, so I did this myself with the leftovers
IMG_2233_zps2f0f1f74.jpg
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post #12 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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After countless hours of finishing all of these angles and corners, I rolled on PVA primer, then sprayed on two coats of ceiling white with my airless sprayer.



I had to install the surrounds to make sure they sound good - they do. So I hooked up the subs too. These will all be covered with an L-shaped grill so that they disappear in to the soffit.

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post #13 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided to use the pros again for flooring and the guy came out and installed white oak in this room and in the hallway. We chose Provincial as the stain.

IMG_2298_zps07ac02ad.jpg



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post #14 of 121 Old 05-28-2014, 08:33 PM
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Wow, nice job so far.

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post #15 of 121 Old 05-29-2014, 06:30 AM
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Heavy duty stuff DC. Looks great so far.

I'm confused too.

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post #16 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys - notice the photo quality gets worse as I progress since I lost the SD card for the 5d.

I stuffed a roll of R16 in each side of the soffit. It is amazing how the echoes disappeared with just a couple of hours of work. The one at the vault is also stuffed with about a half a roll.


I used some maple ply for the a/v rack and iron-on veneer for the edges. The blue around it will be the color of the screen wall.









IMG_2336_zpsa4d715c3.jpg
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post #17 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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The next big project for the room is to rock veneer over the fireplace and cover the top with drywall. We don't care for the inverted V, so that gets covered up. I wanted to do a granite hearth, but we decided on poured concrete since I could do that on the cheap and it would be better a hiding dust when we are feeling lazy.







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post #18 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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post #19 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I did the hearth next because the stone sits on top of it. The forms are from http://concretecountertopsolutions.com/ and are very easy to work with. Cut them to fit with your mitre say and screw them in to a concrete board base with 1/2" screws, duct tape the corners, fill 'er up. They just snap off once the concrete cures.



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post #20 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Fill it 1/3 of the way up with mortar mix with acrylic fortifier and insert some wire mesh or rebar






I used a diamond pad to take some of the shine off of this after it cured up for a few days
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post #21 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Playing Tetris
IMG_2360_zps44adb7d4.jpg

IMG_2361_zps35570e74.jpg

IMG_2367_zpsaba89098.jpg

IMG_2368_zps93aaae63.jpg

The mantle gets reworked with 4 different pieces of trim and a pine plank top
IMG_2400_zps8a4f7c6f.jpg

The front door gets a new round of trim
IMG_2401_zps6ad057d4.jpg

Crown for the soffit
IMG_2409_zps44345374.jpg
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post #22 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I use Kilz oil through my airless sprayer for all of the woodwork. I also installed base all the way around and sanded down 9 solid panel doors to paint at the same time. My house looked like one of Dexter's kill rooms.



Yesterday I hit a major benchmark: spraying the top coat of enamel. It's all easy stuff from here on out. I spent 14 hours sanding, filling holes that weren't quite flat, and caulking. My wife helped me with some caulking at the end of the night and then finished 6 sides of the doors while I was at work for the next two days, which really helped me out. It is VERY tedious work to do right. She wouldn't let me take a photo of her working on them to put of Facebook that says, "Mary sure knows her way around the caulk." She did a great job and I wanted to brag, so what's the big deal? wink.gif

I use Sherwin Williams 50% Vellum ProClassic semi-gloss enamel for all my trim. It lays down awesome with the airless. I am very happy with how it turned out - zero runs, which is a near-miracle for me with this much product
IMG_2430_zpsa369c776.jpg

My glass for the a/v rack door was delivered as I was spraying, so I installed this after I cleaned everything up and recovered from the vapors. I can't wait to get the good gear all loaded up in the rack and watch some movies!
IMG_2432_zpsaa683f65.jpg

IMG_2431_zps6ab15421.jpg

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I bought this today and will be here in 7 days, so I have some painting of walls to do

GetPhoto_zps7dac53e2.jpg
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post #23 of 121 Old 05-31-2014, 10:00 PM
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Some phenomenal work in here. Great job!
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post #25 of 121 Old 06-03-2014, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Lots of painting going on this week. The floor guy is buffing and adding the final coat right now. We were up late getting the paint finished so I could get the paper off the floor.

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post #26 of 121 Old 06-03-2014, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_c View Post

Lots of painting going on this week. The floor guy is buffing and adding the final coat right now. We were up late getting the paint finished so I could get the paper off the floor.


Amazing job on that fireplace.

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post #27 of 121 Old 06-04-2014, 12:09 PM
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Is that a sanway I see tucked in that cabinet??
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post #28 of 121 Old 06-04-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_c View Post


With the wall gone, how are you planning to vent the stove? I can see the original hole for the vent in this picture, but I have not seen a picture from this angle since.

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post #29 of 121 Old 06-04-2014, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeybutts View Post

Is that a sanway I see tucked in that cabinet??

It sure is. I had a bridged ep4000 for each Gjallarhorn while I was building the room, but I had to try out the clone once the surrounds were in. I'm glad I did. The bigger amp is a game changer for those monsters.
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post #30 of 121 Old 06-04-2014, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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With the wall gone, how are you planning to vent the stove? I can see the original hole for the vent in this picture, but I have not seen a picture from this angle since.

Nope, no vent. Not yet. If it causes an issue, I will install a vent directly above and assign a switch with the Insteon system, but I don't think we will need it. We aren't greasy cooks, unless we are talking about meat candy (bacon).
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