HDvids’s HT Thread – "Almost Finished" Edition - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I figure I’ve been watching a number of build threads around these parts long enough that I should at least contribute the (relatively small amount of) labor I’ve put in over the last 2 years to get to where I am now, which is…like everyone else, Almost Finished.

I happen to be one of those poor saps who just had to hang his projector before being 100% complete. Therefore, there are still plenty of things that need wrapping up and completed, but the room has been officially functional since Christmas day 2010. All I can say in my own defense is that after 2 1/2 years of searching, dreaming, planning, setting deadlines, building, tearing down, missing deadlines, building again, etc., I better prove to my girlfriend (affectionately known as GAF from here on out) that the basement can actually be used for watching movies instead of just being a cursing chamber I would frequently lose my voice in (the total amount of completely indecent and unspeakable expletives uttered during my construction phase has to be some kind or record).

As far as goals are concerned, I wanted an area I could comfortably watch movies, TV, and play video games, while the GAF just wanted “something that can seat 6.” She and I bought this house in March of 2008 for an absurdly low amount, and really only planned to stay here for 5 – 6 years until we could afford our next home upgrade. Since it’s just the 2 of us and I wanted to keep the costs down as much as possible no soundproofing was done, just a single 5/8” layer of drywall and insulation behind the walls and ceiling to cut down on vibrations. GAF thankfully sleeps like the dead, so I can still turn the volume up to a decent level at night without fear of reprisal. Next build will most certainly take soundproofing into account.

As much as I love the over-the-top, intricate theater builds around here, I know my own woodworking skills (or lack thereof) and that just wasn’t going to cut it on this build. Simplicity was what I was going for, so no columns, sconces, stage etc. this time around.

Finished Room Dimensions:
12’-6” x 22’-6” x 7’-4”

Equipment List:
APC S10 Power Conditioner with Battery Backup
APC H15 Power Conditioner
APC Smart-UPS 1500VA
Panasonic PT-AE4000
Denon AVR-3312CI UPDATED (from Onkyo TX-SR705)
Emotiva XPA-5 (5 x 200W @ 8 ohms, 300W @ 4 ohms) – L/C/R/SL/SR
Emotiva UPA-2 (2 x 120W @ 8 ohms, 185W @ 4 ohms) – Rear L/R Surrounds
BASH 500W plate amp (for bass shakers)
DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033s Subwoofer Equalizer
HTPC with DAS Enclosure (external SAS connections)
Rosewill 8-Bay eSATA Storage Enclosure (backups only)
Xbox360
PlayStation 3
Wii

Speakers:
Triad InWall Silver/6 LCR - 3
Triad OnWall Silver Surround - 2
Triad InRoom Gold Omni - 2
Epik Empire Subwoofers - 2
Aura Pro Bass Shakers – 6

DIY AT Screen: 120” wide, 2.40: 1 AR
SeymourAV Center Stage XD material
80/20 aluminum channel frame, 1 ½” x 3” members
Protostar flocked light trap material to block reflections from the aluminum


I’m sure I’ll ramble on later and fill in the blanks, but enough chatter already, let's get to some pictures!
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post #2 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 11:31 AM
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Sounds good... I'll be looking forward to how you built the screen out of the aluminum channel.
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post #3 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Heading down to the dungeon: This does not bode well for medium to large furnituremore on that later.


View from the bottom step. The back wall with the window is the rear of the theater. Sump pump is in the far corner.


From the front left corner.


View from sump location:


Existing water and drainage lines for a half bath. Not exactly in the perfect location.


Looking back toward the stairs from the sump. The far wall will be (or more accurately, is) the screen wall.

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post #4 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Obligatory 3 row shot of DRIcore installation. Cinder block has also been painted with DryLok, even though there were never any water issues.





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post #5 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Can't seem to find all of my framing pictures, have to check later tonight for where the strays wandered off to. Anyway, nothing all that special, 3/4" rigid foam glued to the cinder block, studs toenailed in...let me just say that building your walls like this is a total PITA. Lesson learned.


Half bath framing
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post #6 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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You definitely pay a premium for no itch insulation, but worth every penny IMHO. This is the left side of the room.
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post #7 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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These LCRs are actually intended for 6 framing, even though I'm using 4 studs. The plan is to have 2 of acoustic insulation behind the screen, which will line up perfectly with the speakers once everything is in place. ¾ smurf tube ran to all speaker and sub locations, as well as 1 extra spot in the ceiling for IR distribution. I swear I filled in the rest of those bays with insulation!



LCRs mounted with RSIC DC-04 clips, 1 in each corner. Somewhat of a stressful process, the last thing you want to do is hose 3 brand new speakers by being too aggressive with your mounting hardware.


Close-up of DC04 installation - top


Bottom
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post #8 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall delivered. Glad I didn't have to carry all that down the stairs...


Ceiling going up










Backside of rack
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post #9 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDvids4all View Post

You definitely pay a premium for no itch insulation, but worth every penny IMHO. This is the left side of the room.

Not sure I can see the value in such a thing. Having build my entire basement of about 1300sf I have never really had a problem with insulation. Your only really exposed to it for maybe 30 minutes a room. Maybe less. I guess it doesn't bother me at all. If someone was allergic to it then maybe. But I bet it is still cheaper to pay a buddy to come install it.

The build looks great. Looking forward to seeing the progress!
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post #10 of 55 Old 01-07-2011, 08:31 PM
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I like the use of the clips for mounting your in-wall speakers. Since I also have in-walls, I'm curious if this is something you came up with on your own or is it a common practice? I'm more than a little nervous about drilling holes in the sides of the enclosure.
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post #11 of 55 Old 01-08-2011, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edmove View Post

Not sure I can see the value in such a thing. Having build my entire basement of about 1300sf I have never really had a problem with insulation. Your only really exposed to it for maybe 30 minutes a room. Maybe less. I guess it doesn't bother me at all. If someone was allergic to it then maybe.

I have to confess to a certain amount of construction A.D.D. during this entire process. There were times I would switch to a different aspect of construction before finishing what I was doing for no apparent reason other than boredom. Because of this, I had the Safe Touch exposed in the room for a few months before drywall went up. We have 1 dog and 2 cats who get into everything, and I didn't feel comfortable having fiberglass laying around where they could possibly get into it (which they did).

Plus, I ended up crawling through fiberglass for a few days in the attic while I wired my entire house with CAT 5e. That experience was enough to convince me I didn't want to be around the stuff any more than I absolutely had to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

I like the use of the clips for mounting your in-wall speakers. Since I also have in-walls, I'm curious if this is something you came up with on your own or is it a common practice? I'm more than a little nervous about drilling holes in the sides of the enclosure.

The idea came to me when I was trying to figure out a way to mount the InWalls exactly 2 inches past the outside face of the drywall so I could install acoustic insulation flush with the speakers (like a baffle wall). Searching around showed signs that a few people had done it before, but the best example I found was over in JoelC's 'Pictorial Essay' build thread.
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post #12 of 55 Old 01-08-2011, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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post #13 of 55 Old 01-08-2011, 11:15 AM
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good progress, can't wait to send the end product.

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post #14 of 55 Old 01-08-2011, 01:30 PM
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Looking good so far! I agree on the insulation, I had to help my friend with his basement and I the inching was wayyy to much for me to handle.
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post #15 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I think I'm almost as slow posting about my build as I was actually building it! More updates on their way...
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post #16 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Carpet was installed in early December '10. , I was also ecstatic about finally getting rid of that hideous couch that has been doing double duty as a work table since day one.



Trying to find pictures without animals is much harder than I was expecting it to be.

Front of riser. The 2 outside boxes are power for berklines, and the center is a speaker connection for bass shakers that runs back to the BASH plate amp.


Same thing for the top
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post #17 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 06:28 AM
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I like the color choice.

Look at my "Fox Meadow Small and Cozy" thread and you'll see I'm almost the same. I just have black carpet.

Looks great so far.
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post #18 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viedit View Post

I like the color choice.

Look at my "Fox Meadow Small and Cozy" thread and you'll see I'm almost the same. I just have black carpet.

Great minds think alike. Your theater looks awesome, those superchunks really turned out great.
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post #19 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Probably one of the more interesting aspects of my build is the 80/20 aluminum screen frame. There are plenty of documented builds around using this stuff, but it always seemed to me that everyone had to have bracing members down the center of the screen to counteract bowing the structure when the screen material was applied. I'm sure this works just fine and there is no harm in having those extra pieces, but I wanted as large of an unobstructed area behind the screen as possible, so I ordered a slightly thicker dimension framing member than most do.

The frame is 80/20's 15 series t-slot lite, 1.5" x 3" profile with outside dimensions of 120 " x 50"


Here's a close-up of the corner bracing on the back side. I think you could probably get away with just the L brackets, but the small corner stiffeners made me feel a little better, and they're pretty cheep in the grand scheme of things.


Since I was using the outside dimensions for overall viewing size, I wanted to block reflections from the aluminum on the viewing side of the screen directly under the Seymour AV material. I used a product intended for light absorption in telescopes called Protostar flocked light trap material. It looks like black velvet on sticky-back paper, pretty cool stuff.




The fabric was hammered into the outside channel of the t-slot using wooden dowels and a rubber mallet. I cut the material back about an inch, wrapped around the edge and just taped the excess down with gaffers tape.


The screen sits on top of the framing and and is kept upright by just a few strips of velcro placed on the back.


Screen completed and in-place. It has a floating look right now without any border. I still need to treat the wall behind it and build AT panels to finish off the false wall. I've already purchased a thin black velvet from Jo-Ann's that I will use for the panels, which will also act as the screen border. The screen sits 4" in front of the LCR speaker faces, which was about the minimum I was told to plan for.




I will say this, that is one strong frame! After spending about an hour and a half getting the material in, there is no reason at all to worry about bowing the frame over a 10' width without additional center bracing. The dowels aren't going to budge at all either. Pricing for all the parts for the frame came out to be just over $400 including shipping (which was $50 since it had to go freight due to the 10' pieces). Total screen cost with fabric was about $600. There are ways to get that price down lower for other DIY'ers, but I'm pretty pleased with how the entire thing turned out for the costs involved.
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post #20 of 55 Old 01-09-2011, 08:54 AM
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Wow, nice, clean build. You'll have to give an update on two things:

1. Do the inwalls provide enough dynamics and impact to move air (thinking of mid-, to upper-bass here)? Or, would you feel towers would provide more impact?

2. How do you like the screen material? Miore issues?

3. Does the close proximity of the screen to the side walls create a light polution issue on the walls?
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post #21 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks mizedog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizedog View Post
1. Do the inwalls provide enough dynamics and impact to move air (thinking of mid-, to upper-bass here)? Or, would you feel towers would provide more impact?
The LCRs are intended to be crossed over at 80Hz and should be set to "small," so they intentionally don't put out much (if any) bass. With the speaker face only 4 inches from the screen, I really don't want them to move any air, that's what the 2 Epik Empires are for. They handle any material under 80Hz, and they do a fine job of that in my brief time with everything up and running.

As far as dynamics are concerned, the Triads sound wonderful with everything I've hit them with so far. They're fully enclosed InWalls, so they function more like a cabinet speaker than what you normally think of as InWall speakers. If you're used to large freestanding towers the sound is a little different, but you're certainly not losing anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizedog View Post
2. How do you like the screen material? Moire issues?
The Center Stage XD material is great, but I've never had a different screen to compare it to, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I opted to not get my material tilt cut since I'm using the AE4000, which (supposedly) doesn't suffer from moire with the Seymour AV material. I've never been able to detect it through any of the material I've already watched, so I think I'm pretty safe, at least as long as I have this projector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizedog View Post
3. Does the close proximity of the screen to the side walls create a light pollution issue on the walls?
I am a little close to the wall with my left LCR, which will eventually be addressed with room treatments and processing. Haven't taken any real measurements yet so I can't give any more detail then that.
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post #22 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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One row of seating is in. These are the Berkline 13175s I bought from Roman over the summer during the power buy at that time. My original plan was to have these as the front row, and a couch in the back row since I don't have enough room on the riser for full reclining HT seats (and the GAF wanted a regular style couch).

After trying (and failing miserably) to get a small couch down the stairs and around the corner, I ended up ordering another set of 3 Berkline 45013s without any armrests in the center. It'll still look and function like a regular couch (but with cup holders), but each seat will still be able to recline independently. Those are estimated to be delivered in early February.







1 Aura bass shaker in each. Followed this guide to installing them in the 13175s. Really no need to rehash since kevinjs123 did such a great job documenting his own installation.




Here's the wiring diagram I used for the shakers. I have the splice in the center box on the top of the riser, which also runs the "extra" pair to the front of the riser as well. The only difference in my wiring is that I run the 2nd leg of the 'sub out' to the Anti-Mode 8033s, which then splits out to each of the Empires in different phase.

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post #23 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a couple of close-ups of the surround speakers I'm using.

Omni Golds - Rear Surrounds







OnWall Silver Surrounds - Left & Right




Dual Epik Empires - Placed between the LCRs.




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post #24 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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This brings everything up to the current state of the theater. Still have plenty of work ahead of me before I go shouting "Finished!" from the hilltops, but I figure that'll keep me busy while it's still cold outside for the next few months.

View From Screen


Screen Wall - You can just see the 4 zone Graphic Eye on the right-hand side. No faceplate on it right now, so the lights are a bit bright.


Rack - I did splurge a bit on my hardware budget and opted for the RSH custom rackshelves. Couple of blanks and it'll be completely closed up (need to remove the Cisco tuning adapters at the top).


Storage drawer - Harmony One, diNovo Mini, controllers, games, and extra 2 TB HDD. I'm sure this is the cleanest it will ever be.


Business side of the rack (which is really just 2 rails purchased from Parts-Express). Need to put in a couple of other shelves on the left-hand side for routers and switches, cable terminations, etc. The 3 vertical power plugs are DIY PowerBridges, running to the projector and both subs up front.


This shows the BASH plate amp built into the wall. The large black tower with green lights is my hard drive enclosure for the HTPC (see my sig). Right now I have seven 2 TB drives in hardware RAID for my data/movie collection, and a separate 1 TB drive for TV recording through the HTPC.

Tiny "Refreshment Center" in the back. This was my bachelor pad microwave that's been wrapped up and stuffed in storage for the last 3 years. Right now all it does is popcorn for the GAF, I haven't come to a complete decision if I want to keep it here or not yet. Definitely need to box in the sump pumps in the corner too.

Half Bath - Still lots to do in here. Door has been painted black since this was taken, but not much else. The color is a light gray, although it looks like it has a blue tint in these pics.




That pretty much wraps it up at this point.

Things still to do (in no particular order):
- Treat screen wall & build panels
- build acoustic panels for sides and back
- IR distribution (have a Xantech kit, just haven't installed it yet)
- Install pocket door (I know, I know, don't even say it...)
- Box in sump
- finish off 'refreshment center' details
- Trim down door to storage area
- install door hardware
- Install all trim in theater
- Grout in half bath
- Install toilet, sink and mirror in half bath
- Install trim in half bath
- Touch-ups
- Other stuff I'm sure I forgot

Like I said, almost finished. I'll post updates as things move forward, thanks for tagging along.
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post #25 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 01:28 PM
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Nice to see your updated pics. Everything's looking great, well done! Would love to hear those two Epiks in action. I'm pretty sure I'll be adding a second SVS sometime in 2011.

I also didn't get any tilt on my Seymour screen (also using AE4000) and have same results as you...no moire.
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post #26 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Floyd! I haunt your thread on a pretty regular basis...actually got my beverage cooler after I saw yours (although mine is the slim 15" wide Avanti). The Epiks...yeah, they can thump pretty good, very pleased with that purchase.
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post #27 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 02:38 PM
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Great looking room. I will have some of the same setup, Triad fronts same silver surrounds.

Just curious on the cost of the HTPC. I looked at your build thread and didnt see any anything in there about cost.

I am currently running my Triads off just my Pio 07 AVR, I see you have seperates for your speakers. What AVR are you planning on getting? Not sure if I'm going to go seperates yet or not, looks great but not sure if it will give me better results yet....time will tell. Your thoughts?

Nice Job....Again

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post #28 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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2 thumbs up for the look of the room. It's right in line with what I've got planned. Nice job!
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post #29 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbraden32 View Post

Just curious on the cost of the HTPC. I looked at your build thread and didnt see any anything in there about cost.

With the HTPC, the majority of the components, disregarding the RAID controller and storage drives, are pretty standard. It's not unreasonable to say you could build a similar HTPC for roughly $600 - $700 in hardware. I just built a mini-ITX system for my bedroom for about $550, and that's with a discrete GPU and an SSD for the hard drive.

The cost starts ramping up when you look at my overall storage solution. As a disclaimer, I work in IT regarding storage and disaster recovery, so I configure my own systems to be much more robust than necessary. Cheaper solutions definitely exist!

The Areca RAID card is $700 alone, and the storage enclosure I built was another ~$500, not including drives. That's much cheaper than you'll ever find on a 12 drive hot swap SAS enclosure though. For hard drives, I always use drives on the Hardware Compatibility List of the controller manufacturer. At the time I started building, the Western Digital RE series drives were the largest support drive available (2 TB). At $250 each, they're certainly not the cheapest ones on the market, but they have the best warranty and they're designed for hardware RAID systems.

It's a pretty unique setup in that my storage is separate from the HTPC, but still directly attached and visible as local storage. Not for everyone, but it lets me keep the Silverstone case in the rack and the drives tucked away in the back without making any noise. The whole system is inaudible in the theater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbraden32 View Post

I am currently running my Triads off just my Pio 07 AVR, I see you have seperates for your speakers. What AVR are you planning on getting? Not sure if I'm going to go seperates yet or not, looks great but not sure if it will give me better results yet....time will tell. Your thoughts?

I've been eyeballing the Integra 40.2 preamp to replace my current Onkyo. The main reason I went with separates was the 4 ohm rating for the LCRs and Surrounds. The 705 can only do 6 ohms, and I also wanted more power than the Onkyo could provide. I picked up the Emotiva amps during their 4th of July sale, and the final price came out to be less than buying a higher end AVR, so I figured I'd just upgrade that later down the road too.
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post #30 of 55 Old 01-10-2011, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for the detailed response. Hope you enjoy your new room!!

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