Ok, the more I try and work with that Yahoo site the more I think it is crap, so I am going to try and transfer all of it to here and then just update here.... let's see how this works out.... below is the 1st page - Intro:
Home Theater Build
Background: Ok, I started building my home theater roughly in 1997 or 1998 (I will revise when I can confirm). It started when I bought a Mitsibishi 70" rear projectrion TV. When I got it home, (I had had 50 inchers before but this was a different animal), even though I was able to take it apart into two pieces, I brought it into my 2 car drive under garage and decided that was a good place for it. I then decided to build a theater around it. I have loved movies since I was a kid (even worked in them for a bit when I got older) and this was the new dream. I decided it wasn't much of a theater with just a big screen TV in my garage, no matter how big the screen was. On the back side of the garage was a wall, on the other side of that wall was my basement and in that particular room my workout area/gym, so I cut a whole in the wall into the gym area, big enough so only the screen would be visible from the garage/theater. I then built a platform in the gym for the TV to sit on and proceded to move the TV there. It was pretty cool... I had a couple of couches in their, put in a decent surround sound system that I had originally purchased with my last 50" Mitisibishi TV. At the time Dolby Pro Logic was the latest and greatest, so I had my Denon processor/amp, my bose front speakers (full size bose speakers, not the mini ones, these are actually really nice and I still have them in my bedroom with the Denon.
Anyway, I had a Pioneer center and some matching rears and a Klipsh subwoofer (still have the sub in my theater and the center and surrounds are in the bedroom too).
I thought this was very cool for awhile, the envy of my friends. Home theater was kind of a newer concept (I am sure there were people that had full theaters in their homes, like Hugh Heffner and some advanced enthusiasts as well, but not really anyone I knew well, and you didn't hear much about them). I am sure there were more stages to this than I am listing, but for now here is how I remember it.... Eventually I ran a wall up the middle of the two car garage, and made the other room a gaming room, I then upgraded to a Sony VPL-400q front projector (one of the 1st true 16:9 high def capable projectors at the time - at least in a reasonable price range - I think it was around $5,000 new) and a 110" diagonal 16:9 da-lite manual pull down screen. Eventually this led to my purchase from a friend of a pair of Altec Voice of the Theater speakers for my fronts (he had restored them and they were big honking collectible beauties to me, still are, as these are still my front mains). These were the speakers that they use to use in actual movie theaters, stadiums, recording studios etc.... back in the day. They have horns instead of tweaters (they are so clean sounding) and I believe they have 18" woofers. They still sound incredible to me. On the advice of a friend I bought a pair of Optimus di-pole speakers (don't ever trust my spelling on any of this, I am writing this in one long thought process and not double checking anything), with Linieum mylar. I bought them from Radio Shack of all places. This friend that recommended them, designs and builds recording studios for the actual studios and celebs, and he said it's not always about the money you spend, but the quality you get, and he said these sounded great, and now owning them (still use as my rears), I have to agree they sound great. Also, on the recommendation of the same friend I got some Bazooka subs (these are usually used in hi-end car audio systems, and I put these under the rear riser. Oh, yeah, I built a rear riser so I could add multiple rows of seats. From the same friend I got the Altec VOT speakers I got 5 monoblock Altec amps and he built me a custom rack out of wood, and painted it and mounted everything - I think it looks really trick. Very nice and custom - he is a pro and it looks it. The two amps that ran the rear surround speakers are bi-amp, so they split the highs and lows out of two sets of wires. So the highs go the the di-pole speakers and the lows to the bazookas. When an explosion blows towards the back of the room, it rattles the riser - in a good way! Also, the Altec stuff was all originally gray, we painted it all black - just looked cooler.
I bought a bunch of expensive speaker wire and connectors and a Pre-Amp/Processor called an ACT 3 made by Mondial Designs. This was new tech for me then - Dolby Digital and DTS and was high end to me. I know it wasn't Lexicon or B&K, but at the time it was getting rave reviews and highly rated bang for your buck at a little under $2,000. Which for something that started out by buying a TV seemed pretty pricey to me at the time (I still have this pre-pro and use it in my theater with the same rack, amps, cables etc...). I have since listened to a lot of systems and I am sure others would argue with me, but this system sounds so clean and nice and I can't even get half way up volume wise before my ears hurt, with no distortion. So until something else comes along that blows me away, this is where I'll stay. Oh, and my uncle had a Klipsh center, he was replacing with something else, that had a horn for the tweeter and matched my big altecs in clean sound qulality, and for a physically small speaker, had an impressive build quality weighing what feels like 50 pounds (probably less, but it's stout) - still my center speaker - one day I may see if I can get another matching VOT speaker for my center, but this sounds nice). I also took down the garage door opener and hardware, reversed the room so the projector would be mounted in the gym room and speakers would be facing in towards the house.
I then took steel plates/bars and screwed them into the garage door at the joints, making it a solid door. Then I put large hinges on one side of the door and cut notches in the bottom of the door and put on some small caster wheels. I added a handle and some locking latches and made it into one big door so that I could still bring large items in and out.... sometimes I would bring my motorcyclye in to work on or to store (still had concrete floors) or my 1975 corvette - I even used it as a drive-in theater on occasion, but that wasn't that practical and was more for laughs. I then built a large set of swinging doors that met in the middle and were inside, in front of the garage door, and I purchased large pieces of styrofoam insulation (two big pieces) that I would put in between the doors to try and muffle the sound as well as stapling fiberglass insulation to back of garage door. I then put the screen in front of those doors. Of course I made the classic mistake of having all of the equipment working and in place and really never got much futher than that.... occasionally over the years doing a little something here and there, but mainly just watching movies and drinking beer with friends. I did put in 4 columns (two hiding the center garage poles and then matching them on the other side) and 4 matching sconces and a lutron remote controlled lighting system. I eventually got a touch screen Pronto universal remote and programmed everything, inluding the lights (I put some x-10 lighting controls in the hallway and stairs leading up, so you could light your way in and out automatically, like with my shut down macros etc... This stayed basically the same unitl last year when we (I have since gotten married - about 3 years ago and now have a 3 month old son), finally yanked out both garage doors (I had built a false wall in front of the one in the pool table/gaming room) put actual walls in, added a 3 car garage on the other side of that with a 1000 sq. ft. addition above the new garage. That inspired me to start again on the project. I have been working on it since and have documented it with some pictures. I know I have some older pictures somewhere, of my original build, but I am not sure where right now, so my description will have to do. Although I do have some pictures of the theater as it was before I started again here recently (though I know I have some earlier build pics somewhere) - oh, and at some point a girl friend of mine (friend that is a girl, not girlfriend), made me some crimson curtains for the side walls. I recently found a little outline picture I made when I started the main theater project (when I got the Sony 400q).... it's a simple outline I made in Microsoft Paint on the computer, and I am not an artist. Funny though my main idea has not changed much.