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-   -   The Little Theater Build (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-dedicated-theater-design-construction/1322991-little-theater-build.html)

DavidK442 03-20-2011 07:56 AM

9 Attachment(s)
In the spring of 2011 I upgraded our little family room in the corner of the basement to more of a dedicated home theater. Nothing major; some absorptive sound treatment, built in surround speakers and painted it all black. Between the kids and their video games and the wife and I with movies the room is used daily. The equipment is nothing special, but performs well from a value standpoint.

(Ah, how things change. Fast forward 5 years to 2016. Though the wife and I still use the theater nightly the kids only use it now and then as a post-party crash pad for their drunk friends. I will be glad when these transition years are over.)

Aug 07, 2017 update: Due to a kid moving back home after college I temporarily gave up my theater room in January and have been watching on a make shift system in my upstairs living room until today. Tomorrow my youngest heads off to university so my theater is free of children once again.
What is the most cost effective theater upgrade you can make? Just close the door for 7 months. I was afraid that abstinence would reset my ear, allowing me to hear coloration that I had become accustomed to during the evolution of my system. Or worse yet, perhaps I would think "What's the big deal?" and move back to the convenience of the upstairs system. Not a chance! For the reopening I chose World War Z which the wife and I have seen a dozen times. Right from the opening sequence I was grinning ear to ear. The impact of bass, the 3-dimensional sound, the accuracy of the front stage and the dynamics. Not to mention the image size and contrast provided by my blacked out room. It was sad to give up my room in January, even sadder that my baby is moving across the country, but I am looking forward to renewed enjoyment of my favorite hobby.

Total cost for room modifications and all equipment = approx $5000

Screen: 114"X55" constant area white over black spandex. ($100)
Source: Sony PS3 ($300)
Projector: BenQ W1070 - Great colors but poor blacks. Noisy. ($850)
Receiver: Pioneer 7.1 receiver ($400)
Speakers: As of July 2016 3 X Behringer B215XL across the front ($700) and decent hi-fi speakers I have collected over the years for side and rear surrounds.
Subwoofers: 4 X DIY Infinity 1262W in 6 cuft boxes (4.5 net) tuned to 18 Hz. One in each corner of the room. ($500)
Sub amp: Behringer NU3000DSP as of August 2016 ($400)
Seating: Reclining leather sofa and a couple comfy chairs.

Original screen setup. 16X9 106" diagonal Accuscreen AT recessed about 6" with room on either side for my angled left and right speakers. Aesthetically pleasing but I wanted more screen.

Screen Upgrade: Pulled forward 6" and increased by 18" in width, from 96 to 114". Went with white over black spandex to improve black level for the DLP projector.

A 6 cuft ported sub in each corner of the room. MAJOR upgrade from my original 10" Paradigm DSP3100.

Yes, the light colored couch has been replaced with a dark one.

I need to update this picture with my new trio of Behringer's. Ugly but imposing.

Custom angled cabinets built for side and rear surrounds.

Subs - Four DIY 6.0cuft (4.5cuft net) tuned to 18Hz and loaded with Infinity 1260W 12" drivers.

Maximum output. Gold trace - dead center of room. Green trace - center seat against back wall.

Look what my wonderful wife bought for our main bathroom! (Feb 2015)

xzener 03-20-2011 06:47 PM


Your room is looking great! Keep up the awesome work. I too have a small theater build in the works. My room dimentions are 11X13.

Latinoheat 03-20-2011 08:47 PM

Hey another BC'er, Welcome! I'm really impressed with all the work you have done so far. The progress looks good so far. I can't wait to see the outcome, keep us posted with your progress, thanks for sharing.

ohotos 03-21-2011 07:34 AM

Looks really nice and cozy so far! Saving for the RS-40 should make you really happy, it will be plenty bright on a 106" screen!

dc_pilgrim 03-21-2011 02:09 PM

Nice stuff. Great to see a creative approach to a small room with lots of obstacles. Keep at it. Dimensions are similar to the room I bailed on and turned into a gym. Makes me think what could have been. . . .

Make sure you add your thread to the small builds thread (linked in the "show me" sticky).

victor-eyd 03-21-2011 06:24 PM

Very nice room! It's only slightly larger than mine but I dig the color choices.


xzener 03-22-2011 07:04 PM

How did you go about blacking out your window?

rader 03-23-2011 02:50 PM

Awesome build, I really like the way the woodwork came out and the way you mounted your speakers. Now dump that horrid in-law handme down couch!

hanesian 03-23-2011 05:16 PM

Originally Posted by rader View Post
Awesome build, I really like the way the woodwork came out and the way you mounted your speakers. Now dump that horrid in-law handme down couch!
I think the couch looks very comfy, assuming at least the ends recline. And once the lights go out to watch a movie, who notices the color of the couch?

Well done. Looks very nice, IMO.

stockmonkey2000 03-28-2011 11:08 PM

Looks great especially for the small space. Really like how you integrated your speakers. B.C. is one of my favorite places. I've spent some time up there, but it has been a while since i have been up there and I'd like to get up there soon.

stockmonkey2000 03-29-2011 11:58 AM

The airport in Salt Lake City leaves a lot to be desired. When I was living up there people were always telling me how beautiful Utah was. I was always surprised since to me BC is so beautiful.

There are some really fantastic sights in Utah - but without question the most beautiful place I have ever been is up near Whistler on a hike to Garibaldi Lake. We hiked up to the top of a mountain overlooking Garibaldi Lake and it was an incredible sight.

stockmonkey2000 04-04-2011 02:53 PM

Looks really nice - the woodwork turned out great - What projector are you considering?

tbraden32 04-04-2011 03:04 PM

Good looking room. Love the color choices and the angled closures for the side and rear speakers....almost done.

Elill 04-15-2011 10:16 PM

Looks great! I like the timber trim.

How does the surround sound sitting right up against the wall?

Brad Horstkotte 04-15-2011 11:19 PM

Looking really good, the trim really works well with the black.

Iusteve 04-16-2011 06:37 AM

Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post
Looking really good, the trim really works well with the black.
My thinking exactly which leads me to ask...what color stain did you use?

xzener 04-16-2011 02:44 PM

Did you say you could live with the image not fitting the screen?!?! Please tell me your joking... Are you going to build a masking system?? That would drive me crazy.

cdika17 06-30-2011 09:11 PM

looking awesome!

legierk 07-01-2011 05:39 AM

Love that old gear!

Todd Lee 07-01-2011 07:38 AM

Looks fantastic! I'll be referring to this thread as I work on my room in the future.

b_scott 07-22-2011 12:34 PM

AMAZING, especially for what little space you have. Very encouraging

tony123 08-14-2011 04:55 AM

David, I saw yesterday's post of yours and had to come check out your room. Don't know how I missed it?

I agree with the comments on the trim and black. Looks fantastic.

Daily use! Great to hear!

hanesian 08-14-2011 09:34 AM

Ouch! That's going to leave a mark, eh Tony?!

pokekevin 09-23-2011 03:35 AM

Its incredible what you were able to do in such a "small" space. I really like those wood panels, they go pretty darn well with the black. The room just looks so cozy! No wonder why your family spends most of the their time there!

tony123 09-23-2011 04:25 AM

I'm going to read that as a compliment.

Dingaling2004 09-23-2011 04:47 AM

Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

I'm going to read that as a compliment.

Your delusion is complete Tony!

hamptonht48 01-01-2012 02:41 PM

Great use of a smaller space! It looks very cozy and I bet it sounds terrific!

Great work!

drriddhish 01-01-2012 04:23 PM

quite impressive for the size and budget...I am very new to all these but how are you accessing back panels of your gear? I see many people have closets with easy access..looking at your drawings I dont think you have direct easy access...do the trays pull out with equipment on it?

drriddhish 01-02-2012 07:26 PM

Thank you for your answer. Your theater proves that when done right, even a modest budget and smaller spaces can be converted into dedicated theater that family would enjoy.
It certainly going to be big factor in our first house (that we plan to buy this summer). Thank you for sharing...

martyrmaker 03-23-2012 12:26 PM

Building my 2nd theater now and on the same budget as you. It is inspiring to see how professional your theater turned out with a "limited budget". I can only hope...

Great job!

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