Well it took 6 months of weekends and 1 week off work but it's finally done.
This is my 4th dedicated theater... being that I moved 4 times within the last 6 years! 1st one started out lame and each progressive theater got better. This time round, I wanted to build a theater that was convertable back into a normal room in case I moved yet again, so I didn't want anything too permanent. I also didn't want a black cave (my previous 2 theaters) or look too theater-like so it could double up as a family room if necessary. So no dark colors or visible speakers. Sound isolation was not a priority as there is no door for the theater space nor did I want to put one in. So given that there was no door, there was no point in going through the pain of soundproofing.
120" Carada BW 2.35 Criterion screen w/ Seymour AT fabric retrofit
Mackie HR824 (front channels x 3)
JM Lab Cache SR400 sealed bipolar inwalls (side surrounds x2)
Dual Avalanche 15 ported subs tuned to 18hz
The theater is on the lower level of a 1960's split level. Half the room is below ground. The rectangular portion of the room measures roughly 12.5' by 22'. Equipment is stored in the adjacent laundry room.
Front of the room. Framing and electric complete. Insulation in progress.
Closer look at the projector mount. I'll be running an Infocus 7210 and a Panamorph UH380 lens. I created a recessed cavity for the cables and outlet since I do not like the look of an outlet flush with the ceiling.
Drywall, tape, and mud complete. Looking into the room from the entrance.
Closer look at the windows.
Look towards the back of the room where the entrance will be.
An infinite baffle sub will go in the in lower portion of the wall at the far right.
Hole for the projector outlet and cables
Paint and trim installed. Projector and surrounds mounted. A view from the entrance.
Towards the front of the room
Towards the back of the room/entrance
Right surround installed. It is a JM LAB Cache SR400 bipolar sealed inwall. Sounds great.
Left surround. You can see the crawlspace entrance where the infinite baffle will go.
Carpet installed. At the poor advice of my carpet installer, I installed the baseboards a half inch off the floor. By the time the carpet was installed, there was a slight gap between the carpet and baseboards. So I had to rip out the baseboards and start all over. UGH... That explains why the paint is all messed up by the baseboards.
I wanted a minimalist "stage" with clean modern lines. Also, I wanted the stage to be easily removed, so I installed it over the carpet. Started out with the framing. The floor bowed up in the center so I had to cut out a notch in the center of the framing so the stage would be level. Then I purchased solid oak stair treads. I cut a portion of the stair tread to serve as the stage's baseboard. The rest of the stair tread was used as the stage floor. The oak stair treads were stained with ebony dye, ebony stain, and then finished with lacquer. The stage is not covered completely. This was to avoid resonance issues and the need for sand filling.
Screen wall is framed.
The screen wall will be covered by the screen (duh!?!?) and GOM covered frames. Here are the naked frames. Took a full day to measure, dry fit and build these frames.
Kreg jig was worth every penny.
Wrapped the frames with GOM.
Screen frame attached. Screen is a 120" Carada BW 2.35 Criterion screen. Top fabric frame installed. Window covered with blackout cloth.
Left and right frames attached. Frames are held in place by friction fit but reinforced with velcro.
Screen wall complete. I don't have pictures but the entire screenwall is lined with 4" thick mineral wool and covered with GOM. The window cavity was stuffed with an additional 4" of mineral wool so it is 8" thick at that spot.
Onto the infinite baffle. The baffle is a MDF/OSB sandwich. It was veneered with Black Ash. Ebony Dye and Stain applied and finished with lacquer.
Avalanche 15's mounted to the baffle.
IB mount framed and caulked.
IB install complete. It isn't recommended to install an IB in the rear of the room but I had no choice as I didn't want a big sub in the room. After testing, I don't detect any issues. Still have to tweak later on.
Anamorphic Lens installed.
Here's the finished room. Still have to do the finishing touches like blackout blinds, decor, etc.. but done for the most part.
Curious about your carpet comment though. Almost every carpet install I have ever seen puts the tack strips just in front of the baseboard, stretches that carpet onto the tack strip and then tucks it under the baseboard. I would think that 1/2 inch would of been okay for this. I put mine about 3/8 inches up. They are installing next week so I should find out soon enough!
Again excellent job so far.
I originally wanted to do some kind of motorize blackout rollers for the windows but it quickly got out of budget. The lutron solutions are very nice but WAY too expensive. So I'm going to install manual cellular black out blinds and possible install some side channels to fully block out light. Still have to work on that.
My floor was not entirely level. In some spots, it was okay, but other spots, I was off by 1/8 of an inch. Very ugly. I hope yours goes well. My carpet was a little thinner berber so you'll probably be okay with 3/8 depending on your carpet/pad thickness.
I had this same problem in some areas with my baseboard on top of my tile. We have a thick pad and a plush carpet being installed so we should be ok.
Motorized shades would of been cool as all heck. I looked into at one time too and the price just jumps up and punches you in the face .
In terms of output, I was afraid that 2 drivers weren't going to cut it as the general rule is that you need multiple drivers to match a single ported sub. But 2 drivers have more than enough output that I'm not tempted to add 2 more. Once it starts cooking, my walls start shaking like crazy and I start doubting my carpentry skills. As a frame of reference, these drivers were in enclosures with dual 18" PR's and the IB has slightly less output to my ears but still plenty of punch. Mind you, the IB is not even corner loaded and the output is still good.
In terms of SQ... not sure I can comment yet. It sounds nice and clean and integrated with my mains and I don't have any complaints, but I don't do much critical listening with these. I mostly pop in a movie and feel the bass. Lots of good tonality, clarity and punch to my ears. I would definitely do IB if I had to do it again vs. going with a boxed sub. The best part about it is that it takes up zero real estate.
Can you tell us more about that IB you built? I am not that familiar with these kinds of "subs" It looks like you simply mounted a couple of speakers to a board and fastened it to the wall. Isnt there any enclosure in the rear of that mount? How are you powering that sub? Any information would be great.
An IB sub is essentially a sealed sub with an infinitely large enclosure. Practically speaking, "infinite" = 10x the Vas of all your drivers. People typically use basements, adjacent rooms, crawlspaces, closets, attics, etc. as the "infinite" enclosure, so there is no box behind the drivers... just the "infinite" space. The benefits of an IB sub is low distortion (good SQ), deep extension and high efficiency so you don't need a lot of amp power. The tradeoff of an IB is lower output. That's why most IB's employ multiple drivers. My dual Avalanche 15" are powered by a Samson S1000, 500watts for each driver. That's probably overkill for an IB but that's the amp that I have and I don't have the gain turned all the way up anyways.
Go here for more info than you'd ever want to know about IB's.
I think there are quite a few IB's in the DIY subs section in this forum as well.
The seating is 12' away from the screen. That's approx 1.7x screen width away if using 16:9 as the frame of reference. I can't imagine sitting any closer. I just had some friends over watch Cloverfield and we all got sick after 15 minutes and moved it upstairs to the plasma.
As I'm also doing a semi-dedicated room and am dealing with windows and ambient light, have you come up with any plans for the windows in the room?
Having all all the pictures at once like that makes it look easy, (though we all know it's not). Enjoy.
Yes, for the windows, blackout cellular blinds are the plan. I'm also going to experiment with some some side channels along the perimeter of each blind to fully seal out the light... similar to Lutron's QED/Sivoia blackout roller system. We'll see how that goes.
That's awesome, that's when you know that it's done right.
Paint is Benjamin Moore "Silver Fox"
Regarding the carpet; I'm just about at that stage and was told my my installer to allow 1/4" between the baseboard and the subfloor.
Where did you place your equipment?
Enjoy your hard work. Fire up the popcorn...
Dalite Contour HighPower Manual Pull Down
B&W CDM-7NT Speakers
The equipment rack is located in the laundry room adjacent to the theater. As you can see, it's quite fancy and cost a pretty penny This will get upgraded once we redo the laundry room.
From the top... Panny S97 DVD player (Pio BDP-05FD on order), Comcast Cable box, Rane Parametric EQ, Integra DTC 9.4, QSC RMX850 amp, Samson S1000 amp. All controlled by a Xantech IR repeater system and Universal Remote MX-700.
I occasionally connect temporary equipment to the theater and to make that easier, an auxiliary i/o panel was installed on the back wall.