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post #1 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Hawaii Home Theater Construction Finally Complete!

Opening remarks: After years of planning and reading, this is my first attempt at a real
home theater. I have no construction experience whatsoever. As much as I adopted a mentality of "measure 6 times and cut once", I probably wasted a lot more materials in building this room than any professional would have due to trial and error at times (at least I would hope). My purpose in this build thread was twofold; it would keep the pressure on myself not to waste time or give up and secondly show everyone that anyone can create a wonderful home theater if they truly wanted to. On a technical standpoint, even though I had completed years of research, it would have been impossible to get this done without the advice on numerous occasions from a good friend, Jim Goodrich at Cinelife. My family and I are in his debt for helping make this dream come true. I want to also thank my wife for putting up with me (and the large bills) while I muddled along at times aimlessly during this build. She knows how much this meant to me and supported me along the way and I love her even more for it. I am a very lucky person to have the family I do. Without further ado.....

The following equipment list has been modified with the most current information on 21 September 2015

Equipment:
Aerial Acoustics 20T Mains in birds-eye-maple
Aerial Acoustics CC5 center speaker in Birds-eye-maple
Aerial Acoustics LR5 (Wides)
Aerial Acoustics 5B (Heights)
Aerial Acoustics SW12 subwoofer X 4 in Birds-eye-maple (1 in each corner)
Aerial Acoustics SR3 surrounds
Aerial Acoustics 5T ceiling surrounds X 3 pair

Definitive Technology BPVX (rear surrounds- left over from my previous system)

Kaleidescape 3U Movie server
Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault

Sony VPL-VW1000ES 4K Projector (upgraded to VPL-VW1100ES standard)

ISCO Anamorphic Lens on a Cineslide

Stewart Filmscreen, 2.35 aspect, 11.5 ft width with side masking

Bryston 6BSST2 500W (three channel) in 4 ohms (Mains)
Bryston 4BSST2 500W (two channel) into 4 ohms (wides)
Bryston 4BSST2 500W (two channel) into 4 ohms (heights)
Bryston 9BSST2 200W (five channel) into 4 ohms (surrounds)
Parasound 5250 250W (five channel) into 8 ohms (on standby for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X upgrade)

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Pre/Pro (will be upgraded soon)

Control4 Automation, controlling and integrating everything within the theater

Torus Power CS 25 AVR power conditioner

Panamax MB1500 UPS power conditioner and projector battery backup

Directv HD DVR

Oppo 103 Blu ray

Pakedge C36 Controller, W7 Waps x 2, Pakedge Gig router and switcher

Lumagen Scaler (not used often)

Fortress Palladium Seating, two rows in stadium seating (9 total seats)

Kinetics IsoMAX wall and ceiling sound isolation

FOSI Star Ceiling

Real Traps- Mega traps (corner bass traps in all 4corners)

Lutron Serena motorized and color matched shade

Middle Atlantic racks x 2

Sapele Wood: all wood trim made my hand, full Sapele paneling

Theater: LxWxH 25' x 18.5' x 9'

Some photos I've taken of one of my racks (professional photos will be taken soon of both racks and the home theater):


Future upgrades: Either Trinnov Altitude or other that can do 9.4.8 Dolby Atomos/ DTS:X

Before Photos: back yard portion of the house and tiny kitchen, dining room, and living room





This is the very back room of the back yard. It was destroyed in the house addition. It is now part of the large dining room that is open to the kitchen. Where that person is standing(realtor that helped us buy this house in 2006) is now part of the home theater.



This used to be the back door to the largest portion of the back yard, it's now the entrance into my home theater!! :)









Yikes all of those photos are ugly.... Makes me wonder what I was looking at when I bought it. It could have been just the outrageous prices of anything else better.






AFTER Construction pics:






A quick photo of the home theater walls and how thick they are not counting the Sapele wood that went on top of the MDF, double 5/8" drywall, green glue sandwich.









This picturewas taken from the double mahogany doors, right in front of the two racks





The ceiling speakers are Aerial Acoustic 5B's (2) at the rear of the room and the new Aerial Acoustics 5T (6) clearly visible on the ceiling







The double, gasket sealed, Mahogany doors are both shown in the background




ISCO Anamorphic lens on a Cineslide






Please remember, the wide angle lens makes the screen look small, it's actually pretty big (11.5 ft wide)




Aerial Acoustics CC5 center channel, Aerial Acoustics SW12 subs (absolutely amazing, deep bass), and the Aerial Acoustics flagship speaker 20T... those ribbon tweeters are simply amazing!







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Last edited by psychdoc; 03-07-2016 at 10:19 AM. Reason: update initial entry
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post #2 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is a zoomed in look at the plans

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post #3 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are some pics of the construction process. If anyone knows how to add pics beyond thumbnails please let me know. Thanks.
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post #4 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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second try

That concrete step will be the riser (it saved a lot of time and money just making it this way) for the second row of seats. That small section on that platform that sticks out will be demolished to ensure maximum space for the room. Tomorrow the demolition kicks off in earnest.





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post #5 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 04:36 AM
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Welcome to the madness of theater building. Do you have a plan for the layout of the room? Stage and Riser? Air Conditioning? Sound proofing? Location of the speakers and acoustical treatments? Interior design and decor? You can't feed us too much information

In the one picture I can see how close your house is to your neighbors and looking at the plans for the media room I think I see two big windows? If that is the HVAC plan then you may not be able to use those 4 subs very often.
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post #6 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 05:15 AM
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What's done is done; but, I'm not in favor of pouring seating risers in concrete. First, it eliminates the opportunity to use the riser as a bass trap and; second, if your seating distances/platform size haven't been well thought out making changes later is a non-starter.

I also find 240V step down transformers a better choice for power management/conditioning. Devices such as http://www.exactpower.com/products/rmpcore/rmpcore.aspx allow all devices including the projector to be protected with the same ground reference among other benefits. If your home has a generator or is subject to dips/sags in power, a 5 to 10 kva battery backup is worthwhile. The object is not to keep the system up over an extended period of time but long enough to (a) allow the generator power to stabilize or (b) allow an orderly shutdown (say after 2 to 5 minutes) and keep the projector fan running for upwards of 15 minutes.

Just FWIW

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post #7 of 973 Old 04-22-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

DC- yes, lots of plans for all of that. Riser is in concrete due to costs (digging deep in Hawaii is very expensive and having it level at that area solved a lot of problems cheaply as far at joining the new structure into the old (cost is a factor always). As far as the other portions, when they go up I'm sure we will encounter some difficulties but I will talk about it when the time comes up.

Yes, there are windows in the plans but they will be blacked out with insulation and a wall, via kinetics ISOMax wall clip, will be in front of it. Basically, if I ever want to sell the house I can pull down (or the next owner can) the inner wall for another bedroom with windows.

Thankfully I sill have some yard space on the other side but in Hawaii, yards are sold in sq ft (not acres) as they are so small. This is another reason for sound isolation. More pics and problems to follow......

Dennis- thanks for your input. That is what is so much fun about this hobby, we all can have fun with different approaches and compare final results, learning from each other as we go.
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post #8 of 973 Old 04-24-2012, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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and it continues... The walls of the HT go up. The rain FINALLY stopped (for the moment) and Koolau rushed in to put up the walls. Strong work from a great guy! I'm still bugging him to let me jump in and join the construction team on the weekend (being a medical doc doesn't provide many opportunities to build anything, let alone a big house addition).

HT inner walls: I put in an order for the Isomax wall/ceiling clips from Kinetics after talking at length with Doug at Kinetics (super friendly guy who stuck around after his workday was over to talk at length about the pros and cons of the clips in various different conditions) as well as after talking to Jim (same person mentioned in first post). There is so much information out there and it's often a case of "you don't know what you don't know". Still, it's been a lot of fun learning as I go. I can't thank Jim enough (Cinelife). He's been willing to talk at length almost daily about various HT topics just for the simple fun of sharing his hobby.

Seating: It looks like Fortress Palladium will be the seat of choice. Two rows, one of 5 and one of 4. Thats it for now.

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post #9 of 973 Old 04-24-2012, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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post #10 of 973 Old 04-27-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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With help from Jim I locked in my seating; Palladium from Fortress (a pic can be seen here in gallery #2; http://www.fortresseating.com/produc...php?prod_id=31 ). Also, my order from Kinetics was placed for their ISOMAX wall clips for building a floating wall within a wall on all four walls and ceiling of my HT. As you can see, the house is now pretty close to the back left corner of the property (generally speaking, everyone's yard here in Hawaii is pretty darn small, it takes a while to get used to that when moving here from the mainland). That makes HT soundproofing a priority for our master bedroom which will be above the HT and the neighbors to our sides.

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post #11 of 973 Old 04-27-2012, 05:13 PM
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I imagined seeing a lot more steel. Isn't Hawaii in a high seismic region and high termite region?
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post #12 of 973 Old 04-27-2012, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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There are lots of small tremors, only one time did I feel anything in the total of 10 yrs I've been here and that was very mild. Yes, there are termites and code requires the ground to be treated prior to construction. It's a good idea to have it treated in the future as well. I don't know anyone that has had a hard time with termites other than in buildings that have no upkeep although I'm sure they do exist. On a different note, don't get me started on cockroaches, they are huge out here!!!!!
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post #13 of 973 Old 04-28-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychdoc View Post

HT inner walls: I put in an order for the Isomax wall/ceiling clips from Kinetics after talking at length with Doug at Kinetics (super friendly guy who stuck around after his workday was over to talk at length about the pros and cons of the clips in various different conditions) as well as after talking to Jim (same person mentioned in first post). There is so much information out there and it's often a case of "you don't know what you don't know".

For ceiling did you discuss the ICW hangers? http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/icw/index.aspx

They have better specs, but nothing as industrial strength for the walls. So maybe if you're doing walls as well, using the ISO Max's everywhere makes more sense?

Do you compare the ISO Max with other clips. Whisper clips are an AVS favorite. There are a lot of different manufactures and I don't know know who makes the best clip.

The nice thing about the ISO Max and especially the ICW is it looks difficult to short circuit by hitting the stud. I've seen construction shows where the "pros" recommend sinking 1 or 2 extra long screws at the top of each sheet of drywall into the studs to make sure the drywall is secure.

 

 

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post #14 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 05:35 AM
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Matt,

I am very excited for you, and I see that your new HT build is finally under way. Hope you had a great vacation, looks like you have some work ahead of you.

I will be following along on your build. Wishing you the best with your new HT!

Cheers,
Jim

P.S. Got my new speakers and they are awesome!
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post #15 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 05:39 AM
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If you are going with those Fortress chairs that are off yellow cool. That theater is owned by Ivan up at the Cape... Very nice HT!
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post #16 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Jim,

Great to hear your Aerials are working out well for you. I'm really excited to hear how my setup sings once the room is fully completed. I still look at your room as a great example of what to shoot for, especially for the wood trim work. We'll see if I get close.

The seats will be a darker shade of brown on the Palladium model. They should be great.

Stopped by the job site today. It was raining (the usual lately). The framing is moving quickly and should be moving to the second floor soon. The view to the mountains is going to be amazing.
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post #17 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 10:09 PM
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Is there any particular reason that you chose the iso max clips over a product such as whisper clips? Consider the information here in which whisper clips were independently tested to perform better than iso max.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...8NufiGDqRKmS3A

I haven't priced them out but I think I remember seeing somewhere that the whisper clips are even a little bit cheaper.

Also what are you planning to hang from these clips? I hope a double layer of drywall with a dampening compound such as Green Glue between them?

Don't forget about penetrations in your walls and ceiling for lights, outlets, etc. They will have to be sealed to prevent sound from escaping through them and flanking around your other barriers.

Isolation from your home's HVAC system is also an important part of soundproofing to prevent the noise from traveling through your ductwork.

Lastly, don't forget about a nice heavy solid core door sealed with weatherstripping all the way around.

Since you mentioned that soundproofing was important to you I thought that I'd point these things out.

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post #18 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi aaustin,

I can't speak for the whisper clips or the stats presented in your link but the kinetics has different configurations. My version of construction will yield 61 STC. Their website shows everything in detail. Of course that number drops with every hole you drill, at least by a little and varies at different frequencies. Cost is also a huge factor. For me I weighed my cost vs the possible benefits and there wasn't much contemplation needed- it's a fantastic solution for me.

It sounds like you are debating which way to go in your project. It will be great to see the final results of your final decision.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychdoc View Post

Hi aaustin,

I can't speak for the whisper clips or the stats presented in your link but the kinetics has different configurations. My version of construction will yield 61 STC. Their website shows everything in detail. Of course that number drops with every hole you drill, at least by a little and varies at different frequencies. Cost is also a huge factor. For me I weighed my cost vs the possible benefits and there wasn't much contemplation needed- it's a fantastic solution for me.

It sounds like you are debating which way to go in your project. It will be great to see the final results of your final decision.

I'm glad that you've had a good experience so far with the kinetics products and I'll be interested to see how they work out for you.

I have actually gotten past the wall construction phase of my room. I used whisper clips on the ceiling, staggered stud walls, and a double layer of drywall with green glue and am very happy with the results. That is why I recommended the whisper clips.

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post #20 of 973 Old 04-29-2012, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Aaustin,

Great to hear. Did you make a thread, I'd love to check out your final product.



First issue that seems to be coming up over and over in different ways; the length of the theater. I've done everything to squeeze every inch out of the project to provide a good length but so many items would be easier if I could make the room 3 or 4 more feet longer. Right now the room will be roughly 24x18x9. Instead, 28x18x9 would be perfect if I had more space to work with. I still think the end results are going to be amazing but having those few extra feet would make my life less stressful.
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post #21 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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A couple more thumbnails. If anyone knows how to add pics directly to the thread please let me know (using thumbnails isn't much fun for anyone)



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post #22 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
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Aaustin,

Great to hear. Did you make a thread, I'd love to check out your final product.

There's a link in my signature at the bottom of my posts. It's not done yet but getting very close.

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post #23 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Exactly like that! Thanks DC.... will do!
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post #24 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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One more try......



pic of my 3 yr old boy william near the back left corner of the HT being built, wife and baby Sarah talking to Koolau at the front of the HT where my screen will come down in front of a large tv.


SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!! Finally, no more darn thumbnails!
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post #25 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 01:06 PM
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You might want to re-think the TV-Behind-the-Screen thing. I was thinking along the same lines and went to the trouble of making an electric AT screen. I don't have the TV (65" Mits) behind the screen yet, and don't think I'm going to do it. Once you see the projector, you'll wonder why you would want to watch the TV instead.

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post #26 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I know exactly what you mean. At the same time, I don't want to waste bulb life watching some silly reality show that is playing in the background while I'm on the computer, or worse yet, have my wife waste a lot of blub life on something like the bachelorette (no offense to those that love that show). At the same time, I want this room used a lot, by everyone, especially my family together. So in the long run, I think the cost effective way of doing this is having a large thin panel tv against the wall (70"-80") and have the 11.5 ft wide Stewart screen come down for the big Sports events or high quality movies in my Kaleidescape server.

I agree with you in this; if I had a free never ending supply of bulbs for my projector I wouldn't bother with a tv.
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post #27 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 01:22 PM
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Have you compared the cost of a couple of bulbs vs. the cost of a 70-80" thin panel TV?

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post #28 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, they are the same (actually cheaper for the 70" tv). I plan to change the bulb out before the brightness is substanially reduced. When that will occur, I don't know.

I've seen the same projector model on my screen and it looked great and had some punch to it but it was clearly not as bright as the projector I was comparing it to, a Sim2 HT5000E. Of course, most projectors are not as bright as that light cannon.
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post #29 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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roof is getting peeled off for the second story master bedroom that will be over the HT

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post #30 of 973 Old 04-30-2012, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The second floor is about to start. Very nice rainbow in the background (very common here in Hawaii)....



My new view out of my master bedroom now that I'll have a large second floor. The picture doesn't do the mountains justice.

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