Sorry for the lack of updates. Honestly, I got so busy putting the theater together that I forgot to post Pics. The theater was completed in mid-January.
Overall, thanks to this forum, the build went pretty much as expected and the theater turned out remakably close to the renderings I did originally.
I am extremely happy with the result of Dennis's equipment suggestions, layout and acoustic treatments. There were a few changes along the way. For example, the Silver LCRs just did not keep up with the volume levels I wanted. Terrific, clean sounding speakers, but I blew a tweeter less than two weeks after the theater was done and often would play them at volumes where they sounded harsh and I had to turn it down. While this was in no way the fault of the speakers, Dennis worked with me and we ended up upgrading them to Gold LCRs. These speakers deliver in spades. Loud, uncompromising and effortless reproduction of movie sound tracks. Can't go wrong with Triad. And, given they are a 45 minute drive from my home, I was able to go by the factory for help when I had speaker issues. The guys were great and gave me a tour of the place. Very nice operation they have there.
I also had an issue with the Mini-Split system design. Several of you had warned me here and in other threads about mounting the Mini-Split behind the screen wall. My installer was sure the fabric of the front wall would distribute air just fine. Well, he was totally wrong and you all, as usual, were right. The mini-split did nothing but cool/heat the air behind the screen wall when it was running. Very little air made it into the room. So I, reluctantly put a large black vent in the screen wall over the Mini-split. While this helped get the air out into the room, I had huge problems with lack of circulation. My second row is 18 inches higher than the front and there was literally a 10-15 degree difference in temperature. It was almost surreal to be sitting the front row freezing my buns off while my second row guest were sweating.
My solution, which works surprisingly well, was to put a second vent below the screen with 6 120mm silent case fans plugged into an Insteon controller. When the Mini-Split is on, it blows the air down and these fans push it out into the room while the Mini-Split pulls air in from the top. Now the temperature is consistent throughout the entire room. I was afraid I was going to have to tear into the soffits and run vents to circulate, so this saved me huge efforts. Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out and the Mini-Split is still hidden and, being behind the screen wall, is far enough away from people as to be basically silent after the initial cool or heat cycle.
I am pleased I went with Double-wall construction, 2 layers of 5/8" drywall, green glue and clips on the ceiling as, at reference volumes, the only sound you get from the theater to the outside of the house is a light bass rumble during hard hits. My neighbors have yet to complain. My next door neighbor said he can only tell I am watching a movie when he is outside on his driveway that is adjacent to the theater. The air lock doors with Sound Proofing Company's door seals are simply amazing, as well. Two people can stand on opposite sides of the closed doors and scream at the top of their lungs and still not hear each other well enough to carry on a conversation. And Ted was fantastic to work with. He provided excellent advice and his order estimates were nearly perfect...I had very little left over (which he would have let me return, but I did not). I also had a brain fart and cut one of the door seal kits wrong, resulting in two bad sides. I expected to pay $200 or more for replacement parts, but Ted sent them out for free. Whatever you do, work with SoundProofingCompany.com.
The Escape recliners from Roman are also extremely nice. I had used 3 of them in my family room while waiting for the theater to be done. The only issue I had once they were installed in the theater was with the blue LEDs on the controls. They were just too bright in a perfectly dark room and bugged me during low light scenes. Roman, however, came up with a new design that turns off the blue LEDs when the controls are locked. I upgraded my seats to these and they are as close to perfect as I can imagine now. Both myself and my guests love them.
/edit - I should also mention AVScience, where I bought the projector. Not only do these folks provide this awesome forum, but they also provide some of the best prices and the best support in the industry. Shortly after installing the projector, I had some issues. A simple e-mail to Mike and within a week, I had a new projector at my front door. Did not have to return the old one until the new one was installed and they paid to bring it back. Can't ask for better than that. If you are wavering on using AVS as your supplier, stop it and give Mike a call. You won't regret it.
Here is the final equipment list for the theater.
- JVC RS-66U projector
- Home built Media Center PC running Media Browser 3 Classic Beta (If you use MB2, get this now....much better. I have not had it stop working and require a restart since upgrading)
- Media ripped and stored on a Windows Home Server 2011 system with a 44TB FlexRAID array
- AudioControl Savoy G3 7x200Watt amp (400Watts into 4Ohms)
- Playstation 3
- XBox 360
- Onkyo PR-SC5509 Receiver
- 3 Triad Gold/6 In-Wall LCRs
- 4 Triad Bronze In-wall Surrounds
- 1 CinemaPlus Silver Sub and RackAmp 600
- 3 Bronze/6 In-wall Subs with individual RackAmp 350s each
And the finished pics. The first, without flash, is an accurate representation of how the room looks to my eyes:
I am completely happy with the result and want to thank Dennis, Ted and all of you fine folks on the forum for you help making my dream a reality. I highly recommend Dennis' expertise when designing your home theater and it is an absolute requirement to give Ted White at SoundProofingCompany.com a call during planning. Both of those guys have an unbelievable wealth of knowledge and experience you can tap into. Teds PDF instruction guides are excellent. The HomeTheater Book was also a nice help. The information in it is available on the forums for free, but getting it in one easy to read PDF package is worth three times the cost you pay.