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post #1 of 30 Old 09-26-2012, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently moved into a new house and the basement is a finished room that is basically 20' x 26'6". My wife has given me the OK to turn it into an entertainment room.

My goal is to turn it into a theater room, but in the long run I will eventually have a pool table and possibly a mini-bar down there as well, on the other side of where I want the projector and seating area to be.

Below is a pretty accurate drawing of my basement from a top plan layout. You will see there are 2 other ceiling heights, which are labeled as A and B. They are lower than the normal ceiling. It will make more sense when you see the actual pictures below as well. There is also a pole that is in the middle of the room and is depicted in the drawing. And if you couldn't tell, the things in the wall are windows. Here is the drawing:



There is also a closet to the right of the stairs, but it is a moot point for what I am looking to do.

Initially I wanted to put the screen on the Wall Side A to the right of the window. I wanted to probably go with a 120" screen but am not 100% set on it. I plan to put the seating area back pretty much up against the pole. I had anticipated on mounting the projector in the ceiling along Ceiling Section B, which would probably be right overhead of the seating area.

I then thought I could possibly put the projector on Wall Side D to the left of the stairs, and arrange the seating back behind that area.

I am just 100% noob to this and have never done anything like this before, so I want to try and get it done as best as possible my first try. To the right side of that room is where I eventually may put a pool table and/or mini-bar.

One of the things I'm concerned about is the sound and how it will work in the basement.

I don't have a set of speakers yet, but I tried out some B&W speakers, I think the CM9's and the matching center, and I plan on demo'ing the Klipsch R7's and RC 64II center as well. That is the range of speakers I'm looking at. I am planning on getting a Denon 4311ci or the 4520. I do plan on only going 5.1 or possibly 5.2 initially, but if people think I would benefit from 7.x then possibly I would consider that.

Projector wise I plan on most likely getting the Panasonic 8000, but still not 100%.

I am also concerned/noob to how I can run wires since the basement is already 100% finished.

So I'm basically looking for opinions/suggestions on what I'm thinking, and what you would ideally do in my situation. I am unsure exactly where I can even mount the rear/side speakers regardless of where I put the projector screen. I'm also concerned that the sound could be kind of weird since the screen is not going to be dead center in the room. I'm also wondering if the paint color will be an issue (I will include the pics below).

Additionally, the lights are all recessed down there and have brightness control. But I plan on keeping them off when I do eventually watch things on a projector down there.

The windows are all window wells and 1 of them is totally blacked out. The other 2, not much light comes in during the day, and I could easily black them out as well.

Here are the pictures of my basement. It is basically me taking pics starting at Wall Side D, then panning around to Wall Side A, to Wall Side B, to Wall Side C, then finally back to Wall Side D.












Again, I am 100% noob to all of this, so all suggestions/advice/recommendations/opinions on what to do is greatly appreciated.

I have also attached a higher resolution PDF file of the drawing of the room, if it helps anybody.

basement.pdf 74k .pdf file

If there is anything else needed to form an opinion, please let me know and I will respond.
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File Type: pdf basement.pdf (74.1 KB, 4 views)
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Bumping for some feedback!
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 11:52 AM
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Hi purbeast

Looks like a nice basement you got there!

You might need to provide a little more information to help with respones.

1. Seating 1 row? 2? More?
2. Open concept? Dedicated room? Are you building walls or leaving it as is?
3. Pool Tables are great but take a good amount of real estate in a basement. I am pretty sure you need at least 12-15 feet length and width wise for one.


Other things, if you keep it open, you can maybe put in ceiling speakers for rears. I know there are even "on ceiling" type speakers that are more directional. You would have to run wire though the ceiling and if you are not sure of the joists it could be a bit of a task but not impossible. There are optioins to run wires along walls or behind trim or panels if you were to go that route.

First start with where you want to put the screen, seating, and the other things you wish to have down there placed and it will be easier to help.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexMan View Post

Hi purbeast
Looks like a nice basement you got there!
You might need to provide a little more information to help with respones.
1. Seating 1 row? 2? More?
2. Open concept? Dedicated room? Are you building walls or leaving it as is?
3. Pool Tables are great but take a good amount of real estate in a basement. I am pretty sure you need at least 12-15 feet length and width wise for one.
Other things, if you keep it open, you can maybe put in ceiling speakers for rears. I know there are even "on ceiling" type speakers that are more directional. You would have to run wire though the ceiling and if you are not sure of the joists it could be a bit of a task but not impossible. There are optioins to run wires along walls or behind trim or panels if you were to go that route.
First start with where you want to put the screen, seating, and the other things you wish to have down there placed and it will be easier to help.
Good luck!

Thanks for the reply.

1. Seating is going to be 1 row. I'm either going to get a sectional, actual theater seats, or just some other type of couch. But it will be one row.

2. I plan on doing this with the open room as it is.

3. The pool table is not 100%, but I planned to measure the area to the right of the pole, putting the table parallel to Wall Side C if I were to get one. But I haven't measured the area yet, and would rather have the HT down there over a pool table, as would my wife.

As far as the other comments, screen location is one thing I'm asking for advice on here about. The main reason I'm not sure if I should put it on Wall Side A or Wall Side D is due to the acoustics. That is one of the area's I am looking at getting some feedback on as well, with the 2 options I am interested in that I presented in the original post.

I also would prefer to have the more "directional speakers on ceiling" over "in ceiling" speakers.
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 04:33 PM
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Beast,

I highly recommend electric theater seats. I was thinking of going with a couch but then I tried the seats out in the store. I am so glad that I went with the electric adjustable seats as they can adjust to any position very easily.

Here are mine (They are Playback made by Palliser):


I can definitely help with soundproofing questions but my theater room is a second story room and not a basement so I sound proofed all walls, floor and ceiling. Depending on who else lives in the house (kids?) you may not need to worry too much about anything but the ceiling and door.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 04:36 PM
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I would highly recommend that you demo some Sonus Faber Liuto speakers as they use a silk dome tweater which makes the sound very smooth and not harsh. Many of the dolby and dts mixes have highs that are a big harsh. Audyssey and other acoustic processing can also add harshness. I can play the Sonus Faber very, very loud without any fatigue.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farsider3000 View Post

Depending on who else lives in the house (kids?) you may not need to worry too much about anything but the ceiling and door.

That's not the best plan as sound will easily flank through your walls. If you're going to go through the effort of soundproofing then it is best to do it right. Treat all surfaces. That means all four walls and the ceiling in a basement theater.

Beast, just a note that if you are considering soundproofing you will have to treat the whole area due to the open concept design of your space. This has been done successfully by other members, namely tlogan6797 who treated his entire basement. With a closed off theater it is obviously easier since you can prevent sound from entering/leaving a smaller space.

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post #8 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farsider3000 View Post

Beast,
I highly recommend electric theater seats. I was thinking of going with a couch but then I tried the seats out in the store. I am so glad that I went with the electric adjustable seats as they can adjust to any position very easily.
Here are mine (They are Playback made by Palliser):

I can definitely help with soundproofing questions but my theater room is a second story room and not a basement so I sound proofed all walls, floor and ceiling. Depending on who else lives in the house (kids?) you may not need to worry too much about anything but the ceiling and door.

I'm not 100% set on a couch at all, it is just what I was assuming. To be honest, the seating area is probably the last thing I will worry about. Your HT is awesome though, I'm pretty sure I saw it in the 8000 thread.

As far as sound proofing goes, I did not plan on doing anything like that. This is a split level 4 level home, and this is the basement basement with concrete around it behind the walls. And while it's not in the picture, there is a door at the top of the stairs. It probably doesn't matter much, but I thought I would mention it. We have no kids yet either so noise is not a concern or anything at this point. My wife and I like watching our stuff LOUD!

As far as the speakers go, I am definitely open to suggestions. I have demo'd the B&W CM9's at a store and they were awesome. I'm going to be demo'ing a Klipsch RF7 setup in the not to distant future as well, and those will really be my only 2 things I've listened to up to that point. I have found another local place that has a lot out on display that I will definitely check out too once I get to the point that I'm ready to purchase.

I'm pretty set on the receiver I want though, which will be one of the 2 mentioned in my OP.

I'm also open to suggestions on where to layout everything though, to get the best sound, with the layout that I have in my basement.

I also came across this today, http://shop.avscience.com/AVS-Consulting-Service_p_446.html , which I am wondering if that would be a good idea to spend $125 on to have someone come in and actually see the room and tell me what the best setup would be.
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 06:00 PM
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Austin.... This is a different "beast" for lack of a better word since it is a cincrete basement . But you are probably right that some sound could flank through the walls... Depends on the details.

I suggest another door at bottom of the stairs as well since sound will pass through that interior door at the top of the stairs quite easily.

I used double walls and two layers of 5/8 drywall with green glue in between on each interior wall. My suggestion is to try your system at reference level with no sound proofing and see if it is acceptable to you and your family.

I would really try to get two seating rows with the rear on a 12 inch riser if at all possible.
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-27-2012, 06:09 PM
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Actually, it isn't a different "beast".

When you finish a basement you build standard 2x4 stud walls a few inches away from the concrete. These walls are then covered in drywall. Imagine punching a hole in one of those walls and then sticking your head in and looking up. What do you see? The floor joists above. Sound will easily come down through the floor, go behind the walls, and then flood into the room through the single layer of drywall on the walls. This is why all surfaces must be treated equally. This is conventional knowledge throughout this forum.

Not that this pertains to beasts's situation very much since he seems to be leaning away from soundproofing, but I want to make sure all of the facts are straight since others might come to seek this information.

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post #11 of 30 Old 09-29-2012, 07:15 AM
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Sound Isolation - The primary purpose is to lower the noise floor IN your room to below 22dB in order to get the full dynamic range of the sound track without increasing amplifier output by a factor between 6 and 8 times (which would clip your amplifier in (any) Denon and blow the tweeters in the CM9's). The secondary purpose (and more expensive to build) is to prevent sounds from the theater from annoying those outside the theater (criteria for this is to NOT increase the ambient noise in adjacent spaces by more than 3dB).

Equipment - Don't do this backwards. First you design your space (seating distances, screen sizes, room dimensions, entry/exit points, etc.). Then based upon that information you determine the required capabilities of the equipment necessary for that specific space. With that in hand, you find equipment that will meet, or exceed, those requirements. Auditioning speakers in any space other than in your room, is a mostly worthless effort (upwards of 80% of the sound you hear from speakers in a room actually come from the room, not directly from the speakers). What sounds good to you in one room may sound horrid in your room.

In Room Acoustics - Speakers cannot violate the laws of physics (unfortunately); therefore, since 80% of the sound quality is based upon the interaction of the room with the speakers, you need to budget for proper acoustic treatments. It is less expensive to upgrade equipment at some point in the future than to rebuild the room. smile.gif

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post #12 of 30 Old 09-30-2012, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Sound Isolation - The primary purpose is to lower the noise floor IN your room to below 22dB in order to get the full dynamic range of the sound track without increasing amplifier output by a factor between 6 and 8 times (which would clip your amplifier in (any) Denon and blow the tweeters in the CM9's). The secondary purpose (and more expensive to build) is to prevent sounds from the theater from annoying those outside the theater (criteria for this is to NOT increase the ambient noise in adjacent spaces by more than 3dB).
Equipment - Don't do this backwards. First you design your space (seating distances, screen sizes, room dimensions, entry/exit points, etc.). Then based upon that information you determine the required capabilities of the equipment necessary for that specific space. With that in hand, you find equipment that will meet, or exceed, those requirements. Auditioning speakers in any space other than in your room, is a mostly worthless effort (upwards of 80% of the sound you hear from speakers in a room actually come from the room, not directly from the speakers). What sounds good to you in one room may sound horrid in your room.
In Room Acoustics - Speakers cannot violate the laws of physics (unfortunately); therefore, since 80% of the sound quality is based upon the interaction of the room with the speakers, you need to budget for proper acoustic treatments. It is less expensive to upgrade equipment at some point in the future than to rebuild the room. smile.gif

Thanks for the input.

As far as the equipment goes, that is kind of why I am posting this thread as well, to try and get some recommended feedback on where to position stuff based on my situation of the room. I have an idea of what I wanted to do but it is just my initial thoughts, before really getting any feedback from those who are more experienced. I'm pretty sure that I want to get the Panasonic 8000 as far as projectors go however. But the receiver was one I was pretty sure about because it had a lot of features I liked and had a pretty good set of power in it. Additionally, down the road I may get some external amps such as an Emotiva or something to power the fronts. But this would be if I wanted more power after hearing how it initially sounds.

So I guess what I am asking people is, based on my current room setup, what would YOU do with this area if you were going to setup a theater down there?

And this is based on some of the requirements I have, such as keeping the room open as it is, not caring about how loud it is outside of the room, and I think that is pretty much it.

Additionally will keeping the walls painted white make a big difference for the projector?
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post #13 of 30 Old 10-01-2012, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purbeast View Post

I'm pretty sure that I want to get the Panasonic 8000 as far as projectors go however.
Why?
Quote:
Additionally will keeping the walls painted white make a big difference for the projector?
Yes smile.gif
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post #14 of 30 Old 10-01-2012, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Why?
Yes smile.gif

One of the major reasons I want the 8000 is due to the input lag being one of the lowest as far as projectors go. I want to game on my projector for sure and I'm extremely sensitive to input lag, so that was one of the major points. I was initially going to get the 7000 when I ventured into the projector world, but this was a month or so ago when the 8000 was right around the corner. Initial reports are that the 8000 is pretty much a better version of the 7000, with more brightness in 2D/3D, less crosstalk (hopefully), and less input lag. All in all it seems like a great projector at the price range I'm looking to spend. I am however waiting to hear some real world feedback this week and through next, before I make a decision.

As far as the screen wall being painted a darker color, if I were to paint that wall a darker color, but keep the ceiling light as well as keeping the carpet, will that also detract significantly from the picture?
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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Got it.

Regarding light colors, it doesn't have to be cave dark, but you gain a lot by at least choosing a mid-tone color. The problem is that the light bouncing off the screen will light up the walls and reduce overall contrast (and be distracting). You can mitigate this somewhat by a deep shadowbox around the screen - but the effect will still be pronounced.
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post #16 of 30 Old 10-01-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Got it.
Regarding light colors, it doesn't have to be cave dark, but you gain a lot by at least choosing a mid-tone color. The problem is that the light bouncing off the screen will light up the walls and reduce overall contrast (and be distracting). You can mitigate this somewhat by a deep shadowbox around the screen - but the effect will still be pronounced.

I gotcha. Well I'm thinking of possibly painting that one wall a darker brown color maybe. I think I read somewhere on these forums that a matte finished paint is also what you want.

Maybe I could also paint part of the ceiling brown as well, until one of the "other height" areas on the ceiling.

Thanks for the feedback though, because that is exactly why I posted this thread to get some help smile.gif
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post #17 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 07:38 AM
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I have subbed to your thread because I too am an extreme N00b and am setting up a space myself. One thing I have learned from this forum... Listen to Dennis... he knows of which he speaks!
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post #18 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 11:15 AM
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Is there any reason why you want to keep the room open other than being able to possibly watch the pj while playing pool or while at a bar? Putting a wall up to make a dedicated room would be easy to do and would help your other situations be more manageable.
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there any reason why you want to keep the room open other than being able to possibly watch the pj while playing pool or while at a bar? Putting a wall up to make a dedicated room would be easy to do and would help your other situations be more manageable.
''

Wife and I simply don't want to do that. We like the openness down there and just want to keep it that way.

So I'm trying to work with what I have smile.gif

Although, I may somewhat take a look down there and see what it would actually be like if we did put a wall up that runs from wall B to D that is to the right of the pole and just left of the stairs. That could make a nice room the size that would be about 20x18 and then I could put the screen on the Wall D side.

Hmmmm now you have me thinking.

In a ballpark range, how much would a wall cost to put up there, if I were to pay a professional to do it?
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Beast, just a note that if you are considering soundproofing you will have to treat the whole area due to the open concept design of your space. This has been done successfully by other members, namely tlogan6797 who treated his entire basement. With a closed off theater it is obviously easier since you can prevent sound from entering/leaving a smaller space.

Did I hear my name? Nothing bad, I hope. But I wouldn't be surprised...bad news travels fast.

I did indeed treat my entire open concept basement. One thing to keep in mind, is that my entire basement is only about 600sf, so treating the entire room was not outrageously expensive. And by doing it myself, the extra added cost was really for materials only. I will say though, that last night I was running the BD LFE Demo trying to tune my Buttkickers (which I FINALLY got around to setting up). I told LOGANESS that I was going downstairs and that I was going to be making some noise and that she may hear it. She was on the phone the whole time and when I finished and came back upstairs, she said "I hardly heard anything." For reference, I was running the Master and Commander, Iron Man and Pearl Harbor LFE demos, so I know the sub was kicking (as well as the Buttkickers).

And I haven't done anything to the door at the top of the stairs yet (no door at bottom) and we just replaced the carpet with hardwood in the room directly above the theater.

I am VERY pleased with the results.

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post #21 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purbeast View Post

''
Wife and I simply don't want to do that. We like the openness down there and just want to keep it that way.
So I'm trying to work with what I have smile.gif
Although, I may somewhat take a look down there and see what it would actually be like if we did put a wall up that runs from wall B to D that is to the right of the pole and just left of the stairs. That could make a nice room the size that would be about 20x18 and then I could put the screen on the Wall D side.
Hmmmm now you have me thinking.
In a ballpark range, how much would a wall cost to put up there, if I were to pay a professional to do it?

Just the wall and finished drywall wouldnt be bad at all. A framer could do the wall in a couple of hours max. Drywall would be cheap, just depends on how much they charge in your area. I wouldnt think more than a couple hundred total materials included max.

Now the electrical would be the highest and still not too bad. Most electricians have a minimum on something like that so would guess off top of head maybe $250.

It wouldnt be all that much really and would be a simple DIY except electrical unless can do that too. Sheetrock goes for like $0.27/sqft here on hang and finish on new construction for the good crews and can be had much cheaper.

Framer would charge by hour or job on something that small. Lumber would be around $100 I would guess if not a lot cheaper. Nails and gas may cost more than lumber lol.

It is def worth thinking about seriously for sure.
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 09:54 PM
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oops
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post #23 of 30 Old 10-02-2012, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
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Although, I may somewhat take a look down there and see what it would actually be like if we did put a wall up that runs from wall B to D that is to the right of the pole and just left of the stairs. That could make a nice room the size that would be about 20x18 and then I could put the screen on the Wall D side.
Hmmmm now you have me thinking.

You could always lay down some tape with the idea to get a small feel for how it would end up working out wink.gif

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post #24 of 30 Old 10-03-2012, 08:23 AM
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You could always lay down some tape with the idea to get a small feel for how it would end up working out wink.gif

I found some cheap blackout curtains and used these to curtain off the theater area. The intent was to see if I liked the dimensions and then build a permanent wall. As it turned out, I really liked the flexibility, so the curtains remain and are slowly being enhanced with counter space and column treatments.

I don't think that tape marks on the floor give an honest impression on the finished room. You need some sort of 'wall', even if it is just taped up bedsheets.
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post #25 of 30 Old 10-03-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I found some cheap blackout curtains and used these to curtain off the theater area. The intent was to see if I liked the dimensions and then build a permanent wall. As it turned out, I really liked the flexibility, so the curtains remain and are slowly being enhanced with counter space and column treatments.
I don't think that tape marks on the floor give an honest impression on the finished room. You need some sort of 'wall', even if it is just taped up bedsheets.

Yea I went downstairs yesterday and did a mental vision of how it would look. The side with the theater would definitely be a nice size and doable, however it is the other side that will seem to be smaller and a bit claustrophobic.

So as of this point, I'm going to be planning on the open floor plan.

So does anyone have any suggestions/opinions on where they would put the screen, seating, and projector if they were in my situation? For the best video and audio performance?

Would something like the B&W CM9 or the Klipsch R7 speakers paired with their respected centers, powered with a Denon 4311 be powerful enough to make that open area sound really good when watching movies down there?
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post #26 of 30 Old 10-03-2012, 12:08 PM
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I think I remember reading the word loud somewhere (maybe dreamed it) but the horns of the Klipsch speakers will fill the room a lot better. So, I would say it ultimately depends on which sound you like. I have the Klipsch FR82s and the 64 II center (which havent hooked up yet) in my bar room. I've always liked the horns but many will choose the tweeter over them.
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post #27 of 30 Old 10-03-2012, 12:42 PM
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I am a Klipsch fan myself, so I try to avoid getting into that sort of religious discussion. I find the Klipsch horn tweeters to be ideal for theater use, but I am using older KG-4 speakers for mains. I believe they give a fuller, more balanced sound. Be aware though that Klipsch's are a love/hate sort of thing and the number of fans is about equal to the number of detractors. Find a good listening room (not Best Buy) and decide for yourself.

The main reason I am responding is that an open plan like yours will need to carefully consider the bass in order to fill the space. You need a pretty serious subwoofer to get a balanced sound. Many folks these days will use 1 or 2 of the larger Hsu subs. I have a system I have built up over a long time, so my sub is a Velodyne SPL-1200.
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post #28 of 30 Old 10-03-2012, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to be demo'ing the Klipsch setup at a local guy's house in the next few weeks. He has a dedicated theater room though so it will sound different in there.

He has the RF7's for mains and RC64 II for center.

I already plan on getting at least 1 good sub, possibly 2 in the long run.

Will hearing his Kilpsch setup, even though it is in a totally different environment, at least let me know if I'm a fan or not of the Klipsch horns?
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-04-2012, 09:26 AM
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Posted a more complete response earlier, but the board ate it and spit it out. mad.gif

Don't worry too much about the space being different. Nothing sounds like your room, except your room, and it will change every time you move the furniture or the speakers. I said to avoid Best Buy because nothing sounds right on the crowded floor with those 30' ceilings. Your friend's room should be more realistic.

People who criticize Klipsch mostly complain that the horns are harsh and too bright in the upper midrange to highs. Personally, I think they add clarity to dialog which is why I like them for HT use. They are also very efficient so you don't drive the amplifiers so hard. I also think the Klipsch's have good imaging - meaning you can place sounds between speakers and make it sound correct.

The friend will probably try to blow you away with action adventure titles that have lots of subwoofer. After the initial demo, try to get him to turn down the sub. You aren't auditioning that. Listen to quiet passages as well as loud ones. Listen to dialog. Try to find scenes where there is background noise. Try to find stuff where the sound pans across the fronts, and where sound comes out of the surrounds. Early Lucas is good for that, such as the recent Raiders of the Lost Ark BR release. See if you can get lost in the sound where it becomes part of the picture, and where it makes it better. Go off axis and see how wide the sweet spot is. A home theater should be able to accomodate 3-4 people per row without the sound turning to junk.

After that experiment, have the guy turn the sub back up. Listen whether the mains blend smoothly with the sub. The Klipsch towers should have bass right down to where the sub starts working and the transition should be seamless.

All of that should give you a good set of things to look for and do a fair evaluation. As for the horns, you will likely form your opinion in the first few minutes. Good luck.
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post #30 of 30 Old 10-08-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post

Posted a more complete response earlier, but the board ate it and spit it out. mad.gif
Don't worry too much about the space being different. Nothing sounds like your room, except your room, and it will change every time you move the furniture or the speakers. I said to avoid Best Buy because nothing sounds right on the crowded floor with those 30' ceilings. Your friend's room should be more realistic.
People who criticize Klipsch mostly complain that the horns are harsh and too bright in the upper midrange to highs. Personally, I think they add clarity to dialog which is why I like them for HT use. They are also very efficient so you don't drive the amplifiers so hard. I also think the Klipsch's have good imaging - meaning you can place sounds between speakers and make it sound correct.
The friend will probably try to blow you away with action adventure titles that have lots of subwoofer. After the initial demo, try to get him to turn down the sub. You aren't auditioning that. Listen to quiet passages as well as loud ones. Listen to dialog. Try to find scenes where there is background noise. Try to find stuff where the sound pans across the fronts, and where sound comes out of the surrounds. Early Lucas is good for that, such as the recent Raiders of the Lost Ark BR release. See if you can get lost in the sound where it becomes part of the picture, and where it makes it better. Go off axis and see how wide the sweet spot is. A home theater should be able to accomodate 3-4 people per row without the sound turning to junk.
After that experiment, have the guy turn the sub back up. Listen whether the mains blend smoothly with the sub. The Klipsch towers should have bass right down to where the sub starts working and the transition should be seamless.
All of that should give you a good set of things to look for and do a fair evaluation. As for the horns, you will likely form your opinion in the first few minutes. Good luck.

Cool thanks for the response.

I'm hoping to eventually get around to hearing the Klipsch speakers this weekend. I may also be demo'ing the Panasonic 8000 projector at someone elses house as well.

When hearing the speakers I plan to bring my copy of Saving Private Ryan blu-ray to watch a few scenes in it. Obviously the opening scene will be one to watch. As far as the quiet scenes go, someone once recommended to listen to the scene where it's night time and they are chatting it up in the building, so I think I may check that scene out as well.
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