"Xzener's Dedicated Theater" Construction Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 322 Old 07-10-2010, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Well guys, I finally bought a house!! I'm so excited and fortunate, I owe it all to my late Father, may he rest in peace.

I have to admit, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The house is gorgeous, way more house than I ever would have imagined myself in. Although the soon to be dedicated theater room isn't as big as I had hoped. I will be using the formal dining room for my theater.

The room dimensions are roughly 11X13ft... Obviously not big enough to go all out, but its what I have to work with. I'm hoping to construct a small stage, screen wall, and riser... Do you think I can squeeze 4 berkline chairs into a room this size??

I intend on using in-wall speakers (5.1) with the sub woofer on the floor somewhere... Maybe a custom built one built into a small table between chairs or something.

My projector is an Optoma HD20, hoping to construct a 110" screen, which is as big as I can go with a 12ft distance.

So my initial question for you guys is, will a small stage and riser be possible in a room that small, or should I stick with no riser and less seating??
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post #2 of 322 Old 07-10-2010, 10:29 AM
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4 Berklines will be at least 10' wide. If you don't need to walk around the chairs, then you should be able to fit them in the 11 foot width.

I'd say a screen size of 110" is as big as you want to go. It'll look huge in that room.

No need for a riser with one row of seats. You can't do two rows of seats in that small of a room.

Again, unless you're going all out, I'd forget the stage as well. In a room that size, it would look cramped.

If it were me, I'd forget the Berklines and go with a nice couch along the back wall for seating. In a room that size, it would be a bit more cozy.

--Drew


My basement theater build thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1243820

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post #3 of 322 Old 07-10-2010, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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How about a sectional, would that be better? I'd like to have it seat 4 to 5 people comfortably.

So if I do without a stage, I'd like to have some cabinets underneath the screen to house my equipment. Maybe a HUGE built in entertainment center, allowing me to use bookshelf size speakers on either side of the screen, and a center channel too.

I would like to go as "all out" as possible. LandShark's theater build is a good inspiration for me. I've always liked his modest build.

I'm using Sketchup right now, designing a couple mockups.
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post #4 of 322 Old 07-10-2010, 01:59 PM
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Look online or go shopping in a furniture store for the dimensions of some sectionals that you like, see if they fit in your room. I would have no idea.

There are a few places out there that make pretty large home theater cabinets just as you described. In fact, one of the AVS Forums advertisements at the top of the page is always showing those cabinets.... it says "Nothing but Wood".

If you're going "all out", then I'd think you would want to skip the bookshelf speakers and go with towers. Bookshelves aren't bad for a room that size, but they're certainly not "all out".

--Drew


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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1243820

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post #5 of 322 Old 07-11-2010, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still clinging on to the Berkline's. I think I will end up buying 3 chairs at first, to get a feel for arrangement.

@Drew- Why is two rows out of the question?? Is that because they recline?? What if I were to buy a couch for the back row (on a riser) and had 3 berkline recliners in the front row??

Is there another program out there, besides Google Sketchup, that I can draw up my room with??

Another question I have... I have an Optoma HD20, the air flow exits the front of the projector. Would it be safe to install the projector inside my soffit with enough room for it to breathe?? I'd like to hide it as much as possible.
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post #6 of 322 Old 07-11-2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzener View Post

I'm still clinging on to the Berkline's. I think I will end up buying 3 chairs at first, to get a feel for arrangement.

@Drew- Why is two rows out of the question?? Is that because they recline?? What if I were to buy a couch for the back row (on a riser) and had 3 berkline recliners in the front row??


Berklines need at least 6 feet for the back row (yes, because they recline).

Even if you put a couch in the back row, it would take up probably 4 feet worth of space (couch + legroom), leaving you only 9 feet to the front wall. Sitting in the Berklines, your eyes will be around 6 or 7 inches ahead of the seat back, so that puts you around 8.5 feet from the screen. That's very close for 110" diagonal. In that case, you would probably have to reduce your screen size. I'm not sure what your goals are, so I can't tell you which is best. You're going to have to weigh the options.

Regarding your projector, you also have to consider where the air INTAKE is located. You can't just worry about the exhaust. So putting it up into the soffit would require some thought as to how you are going to ventilate the projector both IN and OUT.

--Drew


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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1243820

Started: 2/20/10
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post #7 of 322 Old 07-11-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, as it is now, I have a 120" screen... I sit approximately 10ft from it during movies and gaming. My wife usually sits (at an angle) about 9ft from the screen. With a smaller screen (about 109") I think 8.5ft would be ok theoretically.

So, when I get to that point... I plan on buying 3 Berklines and build a riser to do some testing. But thats a ways off... As soon as I can get some good drawings done, trying to learn Sketchup, we'll have a better idea of what my options are.

My wife just suggested a bar, so that opens up even more possibilities. (In one wall, not inside the 11X13 room)

Now, the projector... If I box it in with enough air all the way around it that should be fine right?? A rectangular opening in the soffit about 18X6 inches by 18 inches deep should be enough room.
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post #8 of 322 Old 07-12-2010, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a mock-up using Sketchup...



The door to the kitchen is a slider. The double doors will be locked, a good access point for my equipment wiring (equipment cabinet not in drawing). The screen as shown, is a bit larger (scale) than planned. Still debating on an AT screen with speakers behind.

I plan on building a plug for the window to block any light entering the room.

What do you guys think??
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post #9 of 322 Old 07-12-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzener View Post

How about a sectional, would that be better? I'd like to have it seat 4 to 5 people comfortably.

So if I do without a stage, I'd like to have some cabinets underneath the screen to house my equipment. Maybe a HUGE built in entertainment center, allowing me to use bookshelf size speakers on either side of the screen, and a center channel too.

I would like to go as "all out" as possible. LandShark's theater build is a good inspiration for me. I've always liked his modest build.

I'm using Sketchup right now, designing a couple mockups.

I agree. In that size room your choices are very limited. You can use a coach or you can get actual cinema chairs. Four cinema chairs will fit fairly well. My room is 11.5' x 13.5' and I was able to fit a 106" AT masking screen along with four subwoofers. I use a couch 2.5' off the back wall. My room is also sound treated. With careful planing you can do a lot with a small room.
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post #10 of 322 Old 07-12-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew_V View Post

Look online or go shopping in a furniture store for the dimensions of some sectionals that you like, see if they fit in your room. I would have no idea.

There are a few places out there that make pretty large home theater cabinets just as you described. In fact, one of the AVS Forums advertisements at the top of the page is always showing those cabinets.... it says "Nothing but Wood".

If you're going "all out", then I'd think you would want to skip the bookshelf speakers and go with towers. Bookshelves aren't bad for a room that size, but they're certainly not "all out".

I highly disagree. If you want to go all out on a budget. Then you need to look at speakers that are designed for HT. Any good sub will do better than a tower speaker for 100hz and down. I am not recommending a book shelf speaker. You need a speaker with a larger driver for good coverage of 80hz to 1,200hz +/-. Typical book shelf speakers do not have large enough drivers. Good HT speakers have the following traits:

High sensitivity
High power handling
Directivity

I use JTR T8's in my small HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/triple-8ht/. These are fairly expensive, but there is a new speaker that is coming out that meets the design goals needed for a reference level theater. I would wait for the Tweak City Audio Pro-10's. The Pro-10's are designed to be able to provide reference level sound at 10' to 12' using a 100 watt per channel AVR. Reference level is 105db peaks at the listening position per speaker. If the speaker is 12' away you need a speaker that can produce about 115db peaks so that you get 105db peaks at the listening position. If you want clean reference level, then You need a speaker that can provide an additional 3db to 6db of headroom above that. This is what is needed to provide the dynamics required of HT. The Pro-10's are 96db sensitive, 300 watt power handling. The speakers use a 10" pro driver and a 1" compression driver mounted to a horn. Like most of the good specifically designed HT speakers (JTR, Seaton Sound, Danley and JBL Pro they are designed to be crossed over to a sub/subs around 80hz. I would plan on using multiple subs. I do not like to use a single sub, no matter how good a sub it is.

If you can get 8" behind your screen you can go with an AT screen & the Pro-10's and have a real performance HT. You would need to recess the Pro-10's into your wall 3" and place sound panels around the speakers creating a THX baffle wall http://extranet.thx.com/cinema/builtTHX/baffle.html. If you do not have the room, then you would need to locate the center below a conventional screen.

Also I would not locate the equipment at the front of the room. The lights are distracting and it creates other problems. Either place in the back of the room or place in another room. Another room (vented closet) would be best. I have all of my equipment Pre/pro, four pro amps, HT amp, pre amp, BD player, PEQ and QAM tuner located in another room. Saves space, reduces noise and it keeps the HT room cooler. You will be surprised at how much heat all the equipment generates.
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post #11 of 322 Old 07-12-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your responses MJG100... You make me feel as though this room is going to ROCK!! I can't wait to get started, and would like to have a deffinative idea of what HT speakers I'm gonna go with.

I think I may have been misleading you guys when I say "all out"... Yes, I'd like to have a HT worthy of a magazine article as some of you have created. But, a HT in my budget that is "all out" is what I'm really after. At first I was thinking of good quality in-wall speakers, but after looking at a couple of your responses... maybe I should look into something else. Plus, I don't want sound to travel to the next room and flatten my wifes souffle... HAHA!

As far as the equipent goes, I was going to design a cabinet that opens to the back of the false wall, allowing the heat to disipate properly... I dont have a large amount of equipment, just a HTPC, an AVR, a PS3... as you can see, not an "all out" setup by no means.

The false wall will most likely be comprised of speaker fabric mesh, to allow sound through, as well as heat disipation.

I have been looking into Klipsch speakers, I'd like to find a decent 5.1 setup for under $1500. I found a set on ebay for $1250 shipped. Can you guys recommend a Klipsch 5.1 set??

So how does my drawing look so far??
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post #12 of 322 Old 07-12-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Can ou stretch your budget to $1,600 for the speakers? http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...ead.php?t=2856 Here is info on them. http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/...ead.php?t=2579 Should be able to get some listening reports from users in two or three weeks. At the current price point I do not know of any other speaker that will be able to compete against the Pro-10's if they do what I have been told they can do.
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post #13 of 322 Old 07-13-2010, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, without final production pictures, I'm a bit leery buying a no-name speaker. At that price, I would expect a beautiful looking speaker. Those prototypes are... Well, not pretty.

Although I assume looks isn't what we're going for here... Sound is what we're talking about. So, if these get rave reviews... I may decide otherwise.

These dont include a subwoofer either.

Anyone else have any recommendations in a $1500 range??
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post #14 of 322 Old 07-13-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzener View Post

Well, without final production pictures, I'm a bit leery buying a no-name speaker. At that price, I would expect a beautiful looking speaker. Those prototypes are... Well, not pretty.

Although I assume looks isn't what we're going for here... Sound is what we're talking about. So, if these get rave reviews... I may decide otherwise.

These dont include a subwoofer either.

Anyone else have any recommendations in a $1500 range??

That is the cheapest new speaker that I know of that has high sensitivity, high power handling, directivity and can provide a clean reference level theater experience at 10' to 12' with head room. Most audiophile speakers can't provide clean reference levels at 3'.

I saw pictures of the finished cabinets and they are much better than the prototypes. The cabinets are being built by a USA cabinet shop. The cabinets are made from a Maple plywood with a black paint finish and a clear coat over the painted finish. Should look good. I tried to find the pictures, but I do not remember which thread had them.
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post #15 of 322 Old 07-13-2010, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked out their other speakers and am very impressed. For the price, I cant beat them... I agree. They look as though they should be twice that amount. Thanks for giving me the heads up on those... I just wish I could buy 5, they only sell sets of two. Maybe you can recommend a nice center channel speaker that would work well with those. Or should I just buy 6 and keep one as a backup??

I have come a long way with the Skethcup mockup... I will post it up tomorrow. I wanna show you guys my riser idea.
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post #16 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 05:31 AM
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Welcome to the swamp! Couple questions for you:

1. Given where your door is and the size of the room, your riser idea looks challenging, as it appears you'll either have to immediately step up into the room or make the riser narrower than the room, which is already borderline width for the seating you want. Can you elaborate on your riser plan and show it in Sketchup?

2. A siding door will leak a lot of sound to the house in what seems like a central location. You good with that?

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post #17 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hanesian,

1) I plan on angling the riser at the slider entry way. Still debating on the riser with a couch on it for the back row.

2) I'm hoping to replace the slider (cheap hollow) door with a solid wood slider, not sure if thats been done, or is possible. That should help keep the sound from entering the kitchen... Where I really dont mind sound entering anyway.

Here is a link to download my theater (you need Google Sketchup to view). Please have a look, mainly at the riser area and give me some insight. Will it be possible for a riser there?? Any help/criticism will be greatly appreciated.

Here is my most recent build, what do you guys think??



And here is the view with the riser from the kitchen, would somethingg like this work??

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post #18 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 01:46 PM
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I think a small stage with an AT screen and good in-walls would save space and still look fantastic. The stage wouldn't need to be but a couple feet deep (if that depending on the style you want) with in-wall speakers on an AT screen.

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post #19 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 02:13 PM
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xzener,

I'm having a hard time visualizing how you will fit two rows, a stage & a riser which will have to be angled to accommodate the doorway in a room that is 11' x 13', especially with that door location. I can't access the sketchup file from my work computer - does it show exact dimensions for your riser & seating plan? It kind of seems to me that you're trying to fit the proverbial 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag, but it is your bag to fill as you see fit!

Secondly, I don't think any sliding door will contain sound well at all, even if it's solid wood, because of the way they are constructed with a pocket in the wall itself. There could be a lot of sound escaping from that dining room/HT.

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post #20 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post

I think a small stage with an AT screen and good in-walls would save space and still look fantastic. The stage wouldn't need to be but a couple feet deep (if that depending on the style you want) with in-wall speakers on an AT screen.


I agree, the stage size will be less than 2ft, the screen will be 106"... is that wide enough to put a center, right and left speakers behind?? But, I've almost been talked out of in-wall speakers.

I think a set of the Pro-10's is going to be the way to go. With a very narrow false wall, hiding the center behind the screen and left/rights behind black AT panels.

Anyone have any feedback on the Sketchup drawing??
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post #21 of 322 Old 07-14-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanesian View Post

xzener,

I'm having a hard time visualizing how you will fit two rows, a stage & a riser which will have to be angled to accommodate the doorway in a room that is 11' x 13', especially with that door location. I can't access the sketchup file from my work computer - does it show exact dimensions for your riser & seating plan? It kind of seems to me that you're trying to fit the proverbial 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag, but it is your bag to fill as you see fit!

Secondly, I don't think any sliding door will contain sound well at all, even if it's solid wood, because of the way they are constructed with a pocket in the wall itself. There could be a lot of sound escaping from that dining room/HT.

I know, that is alot of stuff I'm trying to cram in there... Just trying to make it seem as a "real" dedicated home theater, and not a room with a projector. I assure you, when complete, it will not be goddy.

I understand the sound "will" escape unless I go the extra yard. I just think another layer of sheet rock with green glue is to much effort for such a small room. I dont think sound escaping will be much of an issue. The whole family will be in there watching a movie... My wife agrees too.

Although my occasional gaming session might be a problem... May have to keep the volume to a minimum there.

The link of my sketchup drawing is a 3D replica of the room I'm designing. Use can view it from any angle. The picture above isn't a good representation of the riser... There is more walking room than appears.
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post #22 of 322 Old 08-04-2010, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Why are in-wall speakers so expensive?? Can anyone recommend a decent set of in-wall speakers that wont break the bank.
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post #23 of 322 Old 08-04-2010, 08:22 PM
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If in-walls are too expensive, then why not find a set of towers or bookshelf speakers you like, remove them from the cabinet and build your your own in-wall speakers with the components? You would probably want to box them out with a similar volume airspace that the original cabinet held. The only issue I can think of might be the fact that they are going to be mounted onto a different face. Some manufacturers design their speakers/cabinets to be complimentary acoustically, and rather than having two inches of cabinet face on each side of the speaker, you would now have eight feet of flat wall as the cabinet face. This might introduce some acoustical anomalies, but you would need to consult an speaker/cabinet designer to glean some more insight.

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post #24 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 07:46 AM
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I recently made some suggestions for in-wall speakers in another thread, I'll quote it here for your reference...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDvids4all View Post


For HT use, if going with InWalls, you really want to find a speaker that is completely self-contained inside it's own sealed enclosure. This will give you consistent sound quality regardless of placement inside the wall cavity. You could also build your own backer boxes if you want to go that route.

I recently finished up researching InWalls for my front LCR speakers, and I ended up going with the Triad InWall Silver/6 LCRs for all 3. Depending on your budget, Triad has a range of models available, and are one of the most highly recommended brands to go to for InWall speakers. You can pop over to the Triad Owners Thread for more information. Paul Scarpelli, who works for Triad, is very quick to respond to questions over there.

Other companies to look at would be (in no particular order):

Definitive Technology

Totem Acoustic

Atlantic Technology

Klipsh

Paradigm

Good luck!

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post #25 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 01:12 PM
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Have you looked into the heat issue? I had a guest bedroom about your size that I put the projector in. With the projector, and receiver running, the room got very hot fast. I also had bookshelve speakers with small sub and inside that small room, it was pretty loud so you may not need expensive speakers to pressurize that small room. I have since moved everything to our bigger family room, and had to upgrade everything.
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post #26 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 02:21 PM
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If you fit 2 rows in the room and it doesnt look cramped I will be VERY impressed

Also if you arent concerned about sound isolation then I wouldnt do anything. If you have pocket doors and arent going to do anything other than what there leave everything else be. I think its a waste but to each their own. Be absolutely sure you will not want isolation before writing it off. Maybe set up a simple demo setup and crank it to see if people will be able to sleep or are not bothered.

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post #27 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies everyone...

@HDvids4all thanks for the speaker info. I'd like to find in-wall self contained speakers, but they are a bit expensive. I think I'm gonna go with a Klipsch speaker set, towers and book shelves. More bang for the buck... No pun.

@qthai99 Im no HVAC guy thats for sure. I am worried about heat, the PJ is like a mini heater for sure. I'm gonna set everything up (temporarily) and see if heat will be an issue. Then I might look into adding an extra duct/return if needed. Heat is a big issue for me, I like it cool.

@adammb I will see about two rows but I highly doubt I will go that route. Space is definably an issue. I know that one row of 3 Berklines will fit nicely. And maybe a couple of the gaming chairs for the kids. They will love that.

I just received my down payment for my house!! I will be closing later this month. Can't wait to get started on my home theater.
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post #28 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 04:34 PM
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Congrats! Now how about some pics of the house!?!
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post #29 of 322 Old 08-05-2010, 04:57 PM
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If it was my space, I'd be tempted to flip it 90 degrees (put the screen over the window), and use one row of 4 seats.

Similar to:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post17354174 (see the last draft of dc_pilgrim's plan).
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post #30 of 322 Old 08-13-2010, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I hit a snag with the closing of my house. I signed all the documents so far, wired the down payment... And am now waiting for the seller to come up with the last bit of money so we can close this thing.

So I decided to go shopping. I've been looking like crazy (online) for in-wall speakers and have found some. They are reasonably priced, and have good reviews. Here is a link to the speaker I may go with.

My question is, can I build enclosures for these, or do they need to be free air sort of speak??

I also found a great gang box for a 7.2 setup. Would a 7.2 be to much for a room this small?? I'd like to upgrade my AVR to one with preouts so I can get amplifiers eventually.

What gauge wire do you guys recommend to run through the walls?? Monoprice has 100' speaker wire for sale. I'd like to go ahead and order all the cables, gang boxes, and speakers in preparation for my build. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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