PDXRealtor's Theater Room Build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 67 Old 05-13-2013, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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EDIT* I ditched the first set of subs and went with six SI 18s in sonotube - build thread is here- SI 18s- 6 in Sono Tubes - Build is done

Edit* I ditched the six SI subs and went with four Fi Audio subs each in their own sono tube enclosure. Build thread here-

FI SP4 18" x4 Sonosub Build


I've attached some pictures for reference. At this point I am at very beginning stages, haven't even cleared out the couches / old TV / and other junk.

Just got the Pioneer 1522 from Costco as my first piece for this dedicated project. We've gutted and remodeled our entire house and my HTR is the last on the list. It's time.......!!!! .....

I've sketched out two sketches -

1) a base floor sketch

2) some added detail of the room, as it's not as simple as base floor. I have 10" ledges that stick out at 3'10" high. This is the foundation; it's a split level home.

SO... half the room is under dirt. To make it more difficult I have an "alcove" area where a wood stove used to be. See pictures, and sketch. AND a little 8x12 room off to the side that is an art/slash computer room for my wife.

At this point I would like to know what direction to setup seating. (Seating will be a 3-4 single row theater seat w/ temp seating in the front for overflow crowds.)

Main room for theater is 16x12. Questions at this point -- (see sketch and pictures)

1) Should I place my screen/ Front sound stage in the alcove area or the wall with the door? ( I know we're going length and not width here, for viewing.)

2)Should I wall off the side 8x12 room? I'd like to keep it open for social reasons but anything is doable at this point.

These are preliminary questions only and more will follow depending on the answers. I need to know what way to start, at this point.

I was thinking that the alcove area would be perfect for a popcorn machine and a beer cooler/Keg. That would mean setting up with seating facing the door wall, and using a simple audio rack from a Best Buy or a custom built one placed under the screen.

Some info on my plans. I've decided at this point against a pitch black man cave. I can have whatever I want, but I want something with white ceilings and the already painted light blue walls. Our blinds block out most light during the day, and our can lights are on an electronic remote control dimmer. I like a dark room when the tv is on, the wife likes some light when it's time to eat.

Speaker placement can be absolutely anywhere at this point. I can run wires wherever.


Again, the goal at this point is where to setup the viewing direction, and any details that might accompany that.

I'm really liking the idea of screen/front sound stage on the door wall, and popcorn machine/beer fridge behind seating. This way sound would be mostly firing at the dirt also. Not reverberating off the hollow door and wall.

Open to any and all suggestions. The only I won't do is include the art room in the equation.







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post #2 of 67 Old 05-14-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a hand sketch - It's very hard to include the 3' 10" foundation as well as the alcove. I hope this helps you help me.

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post #3 of 67 Old 05-14-2013, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I could also reverse the seating and the screen etc..... HELP!

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post #4 of 67 Old 05-15-2013, 03:45 AM
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I think you have set realistic goals for the room. One row of seating should be very easy to accommodate. How wide of a screen are you looking to install? Is the 12' dimension to the door, or is that the entire width of the room?

The desk area will present a challenge for surround speaker locations.

Having the screen on the wall with the door will offset the screen to one side; the seating will also be offset, making one seat pretty close to the wall. If you flipped it, the seating would be further from the side wall, which would be better acoustically.

I would also frame a wall on top of the ledge so the wall was straight to the ceiling. Then use that space to conceal acoustic treatments and cover the entire top half with fabric.

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post #5 of 67 Old 05-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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Have you thought about building a wall w/solid core door to separate the two spaces, set up a projector on the wall with the windows and put the screen on the "new" wall.
I was thinking you will then have an easier time mounting surrounds & rears on the walls and you can put in a L-shaped sectional or two rows to split seating (think HS auditorium).

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post #6 of 67 Old 05-15-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

I think you have set realistic goals for the room. One row of seating should be very easy to accommodate. How wide of a screen are you looking to install? Is the 12' dimension to the door, or is that the entire width of the room?

The 12' is to the door, it does not include the door space. However the ledge that goes around the room is 10" out, and on that 12' wall the ledge intrudes 3'4" per drawing. So I only have 12' from in front of the ledge.

100-120" screen-- hopefully more towards the 120"


The desk area will present a challenge for surround speaker locations.

I am in such the beginning stages I'm not even sure on ideal surround placement. There is a drop down in the ceiling (see picture) where I was thinking the surrounds would go. Is it better to have them more level with your ear vs. mounted high and angled down?

Having the screen on the wall with the door will offset the screen to one side; the seating will also be offset, making one seat pretty close to the wall. If you flipped it, the seating would be further from the side wall, which would be better acoustically.

The room for Theater is 12' wide whether on the door wall or the opposite wall. So seating will remain the same no matter the direction of the screen. The plus about flipping things around is the alcove area would make a perfect component rack. It's also wired for cable and power. But I'm prepared to run wires where needed.

Basically the walk way as marked in the sketch and in the picture on this post is 3' and goes from the 12' wall to other side of the room (wall with the alcove).


I would also frame a wall on top of the ledge so the wall was straight to the ceiling. Then use that space to conceal acoustic treatments and cover the entire top half with fabric.

Listening - liking - questions- would I frame with 2x4 and then plug with acoustic material and cover with material? No sheet rock?? I hate sheet rock.

This would cover our three windows as well as electrical panel so we'd have to have some kind of access, at the least for the electrical panel.


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post #7 of 67 Old 05-15-2013, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer_Elte View Post

Have you thought about building a wall w/solid core door to separate the two spaces, set up a projector on the wall with the windows and put the screen on the "new" wall.
I was thinking you will then have an easier time mounting surrounds & rears on the walls and you can put in a L-shaped sectional or two rows to split seating (think HS auditorium).

I was starting out with screen on the window wall, seating at the 12' mark to leave room for my walk way. I got away from this idea because I've read you want your screen/sound stage going the length of the room, not the width. And... let's face it, 12' isn't much room for seats, overflow bean bags or the like, possible media rack, etc.

I like your idea as I could utilize the 3ft walkway with a flat screen and speakers that would intrude very little on our walk way. Hmmmmmm....... plus the walk way would be extended towards the window wall because the seating would not be that close to the screen. You..... might be onto something. This would essentially create a 15x16' room.

The only down side would be walling off the art room. It could cut the wife out from conversation if I'm watching Pulp Fiction and she's doing crafts or shopping on the internet.

Here is a picture to show what I'd end up with going off your idea. I'd still have the roughly 16" of heater duct hanging into the room, but I don't see that being an issue on the front screen/sound stage wall.


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post #8 of 67 Old 05-15-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxrealtor View Post

Listening - liking - questions- would I frame with 2x4 and then plug with acoustic material and cover with material? No sheet rock?? I hate sheet rock.

This would cover our three windows as well as electrical panel so we'd have to have some kind of access, at the least for the electrical panel.

Correct, no sheetrock. You can build the fabric panels however you like-- on hinges, on hangers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxrealtor View Post

I was starting out with screen on the window wall, seating at the 12' mark to leave room for my walk way. I got away from this idea because I've read you want your screen/sound stage going the length of the room, not the width. And... let's face it, 12' isn't much room for seats, overflow bean bags or the like, possible media rack, etc.

Actually that's not a rule. It is often the practice (to get more seating), but I don't know that it is actually better to have it laid out like that.

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post #9 of 67 Old 05-16-2013, 08:42 AM
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I would agree with Mr. Tim.

I feel that laying out the room lenghtwise vs. widthwise is not as important as having a proper room layout.

- are seats at a comfortable distance from the screen (size of the screen now & possible future upgrades)?
- if using a projector, can you mount it such that you get the desired screen size?
- is there room to get in/out/around the seating?
- is there leg room while sitting (nothing worse than cramming the seating so tight that you'd have more room traveling inside a suitcase)?
- are the speakers spread out across the room to give a proper soundstage (all of the speakers are not bunched within a small diam. circle)?
...

The most important thing to keep in mind is, will you be happy with it. Because you're the one who's going to be utilizing and enjoying this room.
By all means, listen to suggestions and tips from others who are knowledgeable. Just don't be dismissive of an idea you have because someone said lengthwise is better with no reasoning why it's better.

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post #10 of 67 Old 05-16-2013, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, for info. I have a lot to think about simply based on what you both have said.


EDIT- researching to come up with a better starting point for you guys to help me with.

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post #11 of 67 Old 06-21-2013, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK... we are going with above floor plan minus a couple speaker adjustments.

Tonight I boarded up the windows (screen wall) and removed the framing around the concrete foundation on the viewer right side of the room.

L/C/R + Surrounds show up Monday. The L/C/R is going on the foundation ledge upside down ( tweeter ~51" high). The surrounds are going as pictured in the sketch.

Speakers are JBL Pro 3677 for L/C/R, and 8320 for SS and RS.

Subs are Power Sound Audio (PSA) XV30f x 2! They will arrive towards the end of next week.

Until then I will pick up some Owens Corning 703. The front screen wall will have bass traps in the corner from floor to ceiling, and the entire wall above the ledge will be treated with 3-4" of the same.

See signature for equipment to date.

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post #12 of 67 Old 06-21-2013, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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post #13 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thought I'd update this thread, as a lot has been done. Nothing is up in the air for decision making at this point....well nothing major anyways.

I decided against the no black ceiling. It's officially a man cave.

Going to paint the walls a burgundy color.

7/23/2013 *EDIT* Was going to use crown molding to hide the wires, but cut and fished the sheet rock instead.

And yes.... that's my wife painting the ceiling black. Can't complain......wink.gif





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post #14 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I got the L/C/R installed. The center is dead center and the left and right are spaced 10'6" a part.

As you can see they are placed upside down to keep the tweeter close to ear level. This was done to place the speakers on my foundation ledge which got me an extra foot of viewing distance.

I read for a few hours on the internet and then finally called JBL PRO tech support. They confirmed what I had been reading and that is I would have no ill affect having them upside down.

I used a laser device to align the tweeter angle at ear level and listened for a while. Toed in and no toe in. They sounded harsh (is 'bright' the word you use?). So I decided to take away most of the downward angle and give them a shot. Night and day difference. Much smoother sounding, yet still articulate.

In the end they are toed in as much as possible with my situation, the back side is measured at 5" off the back wall and both speakers are precisely aimed and the exact distance to the LP is the same for both L/R speakers.

***Tip***- to angle them forward I used composite shims found at Home Depot. These are what you use when install door jams, windows, etc. Get the composite ones, they are all identical where the wood ones vary in thickness.

Here's a picture of one tilted forward so tweeter aimed directly at ear level. As I said above, I ended up taking 99% of this angle out.






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post #15 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally got some subs.

Tom from PSA (formerly SVS) has been outstanding with customer service. I got to XV 30f cabinets which have two 15" drivers and 750 watts of power each.

Played around with REW for a few days. I moved the speakers all over the place, played with phase settings on both and single cabinets, trying to get rid of a nasty couple of nulls.

In the end all it took was moving the seat back one foot and the left cabinet with a phase setting 1/4 turn from 0. It has to do with the L shape room I'm dealing with.

I have a little peak to EQ out, and I picked up a Rane PE-17 for that, and I should have a pretty flat response. Been busy with other areas of the theater so very fine tuning of the subs has not happened yet.





REW Measurement - Subs Only - Best, worst (tons of measures with different sub locations), and average. The average is three measures across the two seating locations after moved one foot back.




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post #16 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Time for some acoustic treatment. 4" across the entire front, upper wall. And corner traps on the front.

The shorter half of the back wall will have 4" behind the seats. And I will hit the side reflections for L/C/R, most likely with 2"

I've been working with a well known acoustic guru, but I'm not sure if he wants his name disclosed here so I won't mention it. He's been, like Tom at PSA, excellent!






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post #17 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Took a break for few days. My head was starting to hurt from theater stuff.

Made some progress in the decisions area.

  1. Screen size will be 110" 16:9 diagnol
  2. I'm going to hang two surrounds from the ceiling (to keep things symmetrical)
  3. I'm going to use the alcove area for equipment
  4. I'm going to completely wall off the upper alcove area.
  5. The lower alcove area will have doors for equipment access
  6. I'm going to paint the walls. (burgundy color)
  7. Two dedicated 20 amp circuits will be installed for subs and equipment.
  8. I'll be using crown molding to hide most of the wires that need to go around the room.

I was considering framing posts and columns to hang the left rear and left side surrounds, but found some nice short adjustable mounts from Zach at Full Compass. Much easier and not much trade off in sound, if any.


Originally the goal was to hide everything (treatments, wires, etc) with the false walls. Easy easy....
but when I started looking at things like doors and light switches I realized it would get a bit more difficult than just throwing up some 1x4's wrapped in GOM.

So instead I'm just doing a false front wall and AT screen.

I ordered a DIY Seymour screen, cut at the 20* angle, for 299.00.

Does anyone know of a solution for remotes through doors? I could use glass (although not preferred) would that work?


Most of my controls will be from a dedicated iPad mini, but there are some things I'll need to resort to the specific remote for. Ex. ordering a Comcast on demand event.

You can see in these pics why I have to hang two left surrounds from the ceiling. I will lose a bit of sensitivity from not having them mounted on the wall, and they won't be identical to the right surrounds but I think the AVR will make up for it.

Also shows final plans for alcove area.



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post #18 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Got started on the false wall. I have one side to go. I'll also cover the subs with the same framing/speaker cloth.

I used 2x2s with 2" brads and glue for the side walls.

If you frame your false walls just a hair lower than your ceiling the 2x2/Velcro attachment method mentioned below works great.

For the screen wall I used 1x4s and brackets. It's sturdy.

I then leveled everything up and put 2x2 in the ceiling with Velcro on them. Everything is held in place by this system. Works great.

I still need to cover up some areas behind the false wall on the left, it's a minor thing though.










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post #19 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I just updated all the above in one sitting, but it's been work in progress for a while. I've just slacked on keeping my online diary here up to date.

If anyone has any input, good or bad, I'm all ears.

A lot of the decisions have been made and some are not easily reversible. But if there is one thing I've learned in the last 3 months of obsessing on home theater it's that there is always a trade off.

More as it develops.

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post #20 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 07:00 PM
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Looks solid. And looks like you've taken care of all the performance details - should be great.

Did you do anything to secure the JBLs on that shelf? They're probably a lot more stable than they look, but they make me nervous.

What about the transparency of that side panel? I know you won't be watching movies with the lights like that, but are you going to do anything to obscure the yellow OC703 back there? Were your graphs made after the traps were installed?

An about your remote situation, have you looked into iRule? I don't know a lot about it, and I assume for most of your stuff you'll lack direct IP control and still require IR repeaters or something, but it should be a pretty complete solution for you.


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post #21 of 67 Old 07-14-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks solid. And looks like you've taken care of all the performance details - should be great.

Did you do anything to secure the JBLs on that shelf? They're probably a lot more stable than they look, but they make me nervous.

What about the transparency of that side panel? I know you won't be watching movies with the lights like that, but are you going to do anything to obscure the yellow OC703 back there? Were your graphs made after the traps were installed?

An about your remote situation, have you looked into iRule? I don't know a lot about it, and I assume for most of your stuff you'll lack direct IP control and still require IR repeaters or something, but it should be a pretty complete solution for you.

Thanks.

Oh yes, the speakers are anchored with multiple heavy gauge angle brackets both to the shelf they sit on and the wall behind them. They have a very slight forward angle on them (one wedge under each speaker) and even if they didn't I'd still have anchored them.

Yes definitely going to cover that insulation and paint that side wall black. I was talking with the acoustics guy about a light dusting of flat black paint on the 703 and he didn't see any issue. However i want to double check with him and see if speaker grill cloth might be a better option.

Whats the direct IP control you talk about? Does that have to do with being connected to The internet? If so i just ran cat 6 to the theater room and added an 8 port switch.

I will look into the iRule now. Never heard of it. All of my gear has iPad apps, but I'm afraid those reare moment of needing the actual remote will haunt me.

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post #22 of 67 Old 07-15-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Looked into iRule, not impressed. Thanks for the suggestion though!

Today we changed plans a little bit and ended up fishing all the wires behind the sheet rock. By the time we were into what couldn't be done behind crown molding it just made better sense (and CENTS) to cut and fish.

A lot of patch work to do, but all the pieces were cut out nicely and saved so it will be a simple patch and skim coat.

Added a 15 and 20 amp circuit, 20 amp for the subs and 15 for the equipment.

Separated the wife's 'craft/computer' rooms light from the cans in the theater area.

Got the surround speakers wires installed. The back surrounds ended up 6ft apart, about 75* from the main LP. I hope this is going to sound OK.

The side surrounds are a straight 90*.

And finally, got the projector power/HDMI added.

Long day. !





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post #23 of 67 Old 07-15-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I need some opinions on this area..... the alcove area.

I was going to wall off the top portion, but there is a lot of wires that end up terminating there. In fact, all wires power and low voltage. Plus that's a perfect space for a pop corn machine and beverage fridge. Or reverse and put the equipment on the top section and the food/beverage on the lower section.

I was thinking about light weight cedar 'louver' style doors on top and bottom. But I don't know how that would be for acoustics. I do know it would allow more air into the mix.

Another option I'd like would be to match the walls and mill work. In other words make it look like a door isn't there.

In any event they will need to open from the center and swing out.

Any input on my above ideas, and/or suggestions on some fresh ideas for closing off that area? The goal is to make the walls symmetrical for acoustics.

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post #24 of 67 Old 07-16-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished up some the last bits of wiring first thing today, and then started the patch work.

I hate sheet rock.




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post #25 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got my Seymour XD screen today. 1.5 weeks a head of schedule. Can't complain about that!

However I've been sick with this looming chest cold for 5 days now. The most I've been able to accomplish is sanding the 2nd layer of mud over the drywall patches. But that's good it's a done deal. Ready for texture and paint.

I think that I am going build built-ins in the lower alcove area. One side will house the equipment and the other dvd/blu-ray disks. The top half will house a popcorn machine and mini fridge for soda/beer.

If my wife doesn't get her ass in gear and utilize her 12x8 craft room, the L in my theater space, then I'll take it over and make a nice little bar. biggrin.gif

More as it develops.

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post #26 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 07:54 PM
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Lots of progress! I like your approach, the JBL and PSA are both bargains for the performance they bring. I bet your HT sounds awesome! I tried to find one of the Rane PEQs, American made non digital is hard to find. Based on your graphs not much eq should be required, just knocking down the one large peak.

Nice job so far, not over the top expensive and thus obtainable. The full monty builds we often see are very cool (and I will have one once I retire), but they can scare "normal" people away from having a great HT room as they assume they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get in the game.

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post #27 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Lots of progress! I like your approach, the JBL and PSA are both bargains for the performance they bring. I bet your HT sounds awesome! I tried to find one of the Rane PEQs, American made non digital is hard to find. Based on your graphs not much eq should be required, just knocking down the one large peak.

Nice job so far, not over the top expensive and thus obtainable. The full monty builds we often see are very cool (and I will have one once I retire), but they can scare "normal" people away from having a great HT room as they assume they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get in the game.

Thanks for you compliments. !

The goal for a long time (since 2006 when we bought our house) was to simply replace the 52" DLP TV with a good TV and surround system, but it turns out we had the resources to go a bit bigger. So your analysis is very in tune and representative of our situation and end result. Good eye. !

It is very value oriented all things considered, as you mentioned. But..... it's is much larger than we anticipated.

And I feel a month and a half of all day research has paid off.

Now if I could just shake this cold cool.gif

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post #28 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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PS- if you need help getting a Rane PE-17 shipped over seas let me know. I don't have any leads but I'm willing to help with shipping from the states.

I got mine for 199.00 US, which seems to be 50.00 USD under the asking price. It's got a hum to it, but I Have not tried grounding the unit to the main plug screw yet.

I've also thought about going with a BFD but as you mention I should only need one to two filters max.

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post #29 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 10:01 PM
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^^Thanks for the kind offer but I am good. I am moving back to the US in about two weeks, after two years in Cambodia. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif Looking forward to seasons, other than hot-rainy and hot-dry.

I currently have both the miniDSP and the Behringer BFD DSP1124. Both are okay, but I am not enamored with either one.

I have a HT in Maryland in an L shaped basement (small part of the L) and am thinking about putting in a screen wall. As I move quite a bit I have to make everything removable with minimal repair work, our townhome will be up for sale the second I retire from the navy (5 yrs) and move far away from oceans.

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post #30 of 67 Old 07-23-2013, 10:38 PM
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Have you settled on a remote yet? I picked up harmony 900 on ebay that we love. It is RF so walls and doors are not an issue.

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