The Theater- design advice, and build thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, I have been reading on the forum for quite some time, and would appreciate some advice/input on building out my home theater. Currently the room is used as a media room, but I would like to start the build out this summer with completion anticipated by September. The budget is $15,000-$18,000 including equipment and contracting the buildout.


The Design:

I know I am not a very good sketchup designer, but this is what I was able to produce. The room is 24'L x 15'W.








Speaker placement will be:
  • in the front- L and R in behind the mesh near the screen.
  • Center either placed behind the screen or on the shelf in front of the screen.
  • Surrounds: in the side columns (2 rows of L & R), and a L & R rear surround

The riser will be ~8" high.

The idea and final product I hope to look similar (though with differences) to:



as shown in the first picture, there will be acoustic panels placed on the walls.

The Equipment:
  • Projector: Sharp 30k (bought)
  • Screen: that is where I could use some help. I am looking at a SI or Stewart, but do not want to spend more than 1500-1700.
  • Speakers: Currently have B&W for the LCR, going to add B&W 686's for the side and ? for rear surround. I have a yamaha powered sub that is more than sufficient
  • Receiver: AVR-3313CI
  • Rack: Omnimount RE27. Placed either on front wall (to right of screen behind a false door) or alone right wall, by second row of seats.
  • Remote: Harmony 1100 or Ultimate & iPad.



It will be mostly for sports, TV, movies. TV broadcast from Directv Genie, Movies from BluRay, HTPC, and Netflix.


Critiques, Comments, Questions- Please, I would LOVE some feedback.
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post #2 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 09:35 AM
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My room is a very similar size and layout. A couple of things, and I'm assuming you're not going to do much in the way of soundproofing if the room is already a finished space:
  • What is your HVAC plan? 11 people plus equipment will place quite a heat load.
  • Move the equipment rack elsewhere (underneath the screen or somewhere else) and center the screen in the room. This will look better and get the speakers out of the corners.
  • If you're going with an AT screen, the L/R can go behind the screen, too.
  • Seating against the side walls (no 2nd aisle) is non-ideal, and therefore will be the "least favorite" seats.
  • Will you really fill up the theater with 11 people? Less seating and a more balanced seating plan is a tradeoff... I originally planned for 15, and for a lot of good reasons backed that down - and very glad I did.
  • Your budget with contractor involvement is tight. I'm afraid it won't get you to the images you've shown. You'll have ~$4-5k in seating alone. You've got most of the equipment, but the remaining ~$10k for a full room remodel with theater-level trim, lighting and HVAC is going to be a struggle.
  • Budget should include a reasonable sum for acoustic treatments.

That's a start...

Jeff

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post #3 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 09:58 AM
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Interested in your sub situation. For a room that size, I have a hard time believing Yamaha makes a sub that will be "more than sufficient". Usually 2 - 4 subs are needed to produce fairly even/uniform response for most listeners.

Might want to structure your budget for a couple more subs.
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post #4 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

My room is a very similar size and layout. A couple of things, and I'm assuming you're not going to do much in the way of soundproofing if the room is already a finished space:
  • What is your HVAC plan? 11 people plus equipment will place quite a heat load.
  • Move the equipment rack elsewhere (underneath the screen or somewhere else) and center the screen in the room. This will look better and get the speakers out of the corners.
  • If you're going with an AT screen, the L/R can go behind the screen, too.
  • Seating against the side walls (no 2nd aisle) is non-ideal, and therefore will be the "least favorite" seats.
  • Will you really fill up the theater with 11 people? Less seating and a more balanced seating plan is a tradeoff... I originally planned for 15, and for a lot of good reasons backed that down - and very glad I did.
  • Your budget with contractor involvement is tight. I'm afraid it won't get you to the images you've shown. You'll have ~$4-5k in seating alone. You've got most of the equipment, but the remaining ~$10k for a full room remodel with theater-level trim, lighting and HVAC is going to be a struggle.
  • Budget should include a reasonable sum for acoustic treatments.

That's a start...

Jeff

I should say, the seating is already in the room, so it is a non-issue. I should have also added, again I apologize, we are doing the seating as follows: backrow 4 seats ( -:--:- ); front row ( -:-:- ) so a total of 7 seats, plus 2-3 bar stools. Realistically we will have 4 people in the theater, unless the kids invite friends or we have people over for sporting events.

In regards to centering the screen, I would love to, but the wall in the front right corner cannot be knocked down, believe part of it is load bearing, and it only is 24"x24".

Could you expand on the HVAC and acoustics sentiment, I planned on purchasing a bunch of panels, but what else.

Thanks so much for your input- this is what makes this site so great!
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post #5 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkest View Post

Interested in your sub situation. For a room that size, I have a hard time believing Yamaha makes a sub that will be "more than sufficient". Usually 2 - 4 subs are needed to produce fairly even/uniform response for most listeners.

Might want to structure your budget for a couple more subs.
Interesting, that will be taken into advisement. I can still get a good deal on the second matching sub, so after the theater is set up, I may add it if it feels unbalanced. Though, I can tell you, as it sits currently the sub is 1/3 range and is MORE than enough...
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post #6 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 10:14 AM
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I would build out a false wall flush with that bumpout in the right corner, use an acoustically transparent screen (DIY the frame or use Jamestown + Seymour CenterStage XD material), center it, put the LCR and one or two subs behind the screen.

Edit: oh, and either reverse the entry door swing so the doorknob doesn't poke a hole in the screen, or add a fixed doorstop.
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post #7 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCann0n View Post

I should say, the seating is already in the room, so it is a non-issue. I should have also added, again I apologize, we are doing the seating as follows: backrow 4 seats ( -:--:- ); front row ( -:-:- ) so a total of 7 seats, plus 2-3 bar stools. Realistically we will have 4 people in the theater, unless the kids invite friends or we have people over for sporting events.

A "before" picture would be helpful for all of your questions. If the room is already 'finished' and the seating in place, that changes your budget allocation considerably, so we need to know exactly what the scope of the project is. Knowing what the real starting conditions are will get you better advice. Is the bar existing? Are the walls block paneled already with columns? Are you changing the carpet and paint?
Quote:
Could you expand on the HVAC and acoustics sentiment, I planned on purchasing a bunch of panels, but what else.

9-10 people plus projector plus equipment plus lighting makes for a much larger heat load than what is normally sized for a bedroom. If the room was intended as a media room, sized more like a kitchen plus a return (since the door will be closed), you're in better shape.

Purchasing "a bunch of panels" isn't much detail. This is an area you'll want to do a lot of reading about...

Rock Creek Theater -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
Theater build photos: http://photobucket.com/autor-ht

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post #8 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCann0n View Post

Interesting, that will be taken into advisement. I can still get a good deal on the second matching sub, so after the theater is set up, I may add it if it feels unbalanced. Though, I can tell you, as it sits currently the sub is 1/3 range and is MORE than enough...

What sub? The gain isn't really a volume control, just FYI. Where is your current sub playing?
Also one thing you'll notice is that a lot of times your bass reponse when you are sitting in the middle of the room will be a lot less than when you are sitting close to a wall.

Most commercial ported subs don't actually play that LOW, but they sound LOUD because they have an emphasis on upper bass frequencies. If the tuning frequency is 35 or 40 Hz (pretty common) then it won't be playing anything below about 30 Hz. Which may be fine for some people, but you have B&W speakers so you know what quality is about.

Lastly, having 2 subs isn't about louder, it's about accuracy. A single sub cannot ever produce an even reponse all around the room. It's just not physically possible. In fact 2 may not be significantly louder than 1.
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-24-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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I agree with djkest, in a room that size a single sub will not cut it, especially a general box store one like a Yamaha. I'd advise DIY two 18" subs, it won't add that much cost, like 1200 for the drivers, cabinets and amp, and it will be a HUGE improvement over what you're used to. It'll go much lower in frequency and be a much more balanced sound overall. If you can't do DIY or don't want to, look at some 15" internet direct from manufacturers such as HSU or rythmik.
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-25-2013, 11:45 AM
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What drivers are good value subs ?

I've got a spare crown 402 amplifier and could build enclosures easily ... I've built a few before out of MDF.

-


"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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I would also flush the bump-out or reverse the room so you can get a 2.35 screen in there, with or without speakers behind the screen. I prefer not to see anything but the image when watching movies, so an AT screen with speakers behind and equipment behind the seats or in another room, and black material so you don;t see the walls and ceiling. If you don't want a completely black room, at least try to have the screen wall and floor/ceiling and sidewalls black as far out as you can. 5 or 6 feet at least IMHO to prevent light reflections affecting the image and/or providing a distraction.

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post #12 of 24 Old 08-15-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Everyone,

Thanks for the insightful replies. I have a carpenter coming this afternoon to sketch a design and give a prelim quote on the cost of the build out. I'm also working on completing a spreadsheet of the a/v equipment and will post that along with the sketch.

A quick question- is it worth it for the URC TRC 1280 remote? Are there competitors that are as good or better (ProControl/Harmony/others?)

How much should calibration/optimization of projector/receiver/speakers cost?

Is the Dragonfly 106" Matte White with Velvet (non-AT) an adequate screen?


Thanks,

D
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-22-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Just received the drawings back from the carpenter. Here is what the new design will look like. Wood will be a dark cherry with a merlot colored wall (paint is still to be decided).









Equipment:

Screen: 106" Dragonfly Matte
Projector: Sharp Z30000 (purchased)
Receiver: Marantz SR5007 (purchased)
LCR: B&W 600 series (purchased)
Side Surrounds: Episode® 500 Series In-Wall LCR Speaker with Dual 4 in. Woofers
Rear Surrounds: B&W 685B
Subwoofer: (TWO) Episode® 12 in. Ported, Powered Subwoofer (300 Watt | Matte Black)
Remote: Deciding between URC TRC-1280 and the RTI T3V+

Will be going with a 2nd row of three and front row consisting of a loveseat movie seats to match what we currently have.

Hoping for some input into the equipment and design.

Thanks
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-22-2013, 09:19 AM
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Those sketches look awesome. I think if your carpenter can build as well as he can draw, you are in great shape.

Nice to see you are going with 2 subs. I don't think you'll regret spending the extra money.
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-16-2013, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a status update.

We have picked out the carpet color and wood stain as well as paint.

Walls will be painted http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/bewitched with the ceiling painted a dark navy to match the carpet.

Carpet, for the carpet we went ahead and chose this:

Wood stain, this is the wood stain we have chosen. **NOTE, none of those are the carpets we chose, rather they were some of the early stage designs we were considering***.


A render of what the room should look like, albeit in low detail (did not have time to create the crown molding or properly make the wood work. Walls will also be darker IRL.)

-if anyone has a REAL render program that would be willing to render it for me, I would be greatly appreciative, and can email the .skp file.

The carpenter- a trusted woodworker- is at work building the units. We have around 2.5 weeks until he is ready to install them. A/V products are either in my possession, or will be ordered very shortly. Expected completion date: ~Nov 11.

Trying to find an electrician to do some minor electrical and wiring of the speakers for my installer.

Thanks guys! Can't wait to upload pictures as the buildout commences.
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-24-2013, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

Need some quick advice. Theater is t-minus 2 weeks from install and ~3 weeks until finished. Looking at purchasing the equipment and my main concerns are the speakers.


This is what I was quoted and recommended by my installer:

Front: B&W 600 series (already owned)

Side: Episode 700 in wall

Rear: Source Technologies OW-233-2

Sub: Episode 12" Ported 300W (http://www.snapav.com/p-954-es-sub-12-300-mb.aspx)

Now, I went for a second opinion, and the second guy said the rears and sides were POS and to get paradigm. He recommended:

Sides: http://paradigm.com/products/type=inwall/model=ams-150sq-sm/page=overview (around 300 more than prior quote) but said
Quote:
The Episode 700 series speaker is a standard in wall 2-way speaker design, which radiates sound straight forward from it's mounted location. The Paradigm speaker I referenced is a dual voice coil design that greatly disperses the sound - which is ideal for surround sound speaker duties. Either design will work, but theater designers would usually pick the dual voice coil (bi-pole) design.

Rear: http://paradigm.com/products/type=surround/model=surround-3/page=overview. Are those good rears? I was looking at replacing the Source Tech's with B&W DS3, but these are a tad cheaper and the installer claims are "better quality."


Please help!
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-24-2013, 04:09 PM
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Paradigm makes great gear, and bi-pole / di-poles are made for surround channels... But you've got a lot of different speaker brands going on there - I'd first get all the surround side/rears to the same model or at least to similar models / construction from a single vendor, hopefully with some thought to pairing with your existing B&W's in the front...

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post #18 of 24 Old 10-24-2013, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Paradigm makes great gear, and bi-pole / di-poles are made for surround channels... But you've got a lot of different speaker brands going on there - I'd first get all the surround side/rears to the same model or at least to similar models / construction from a single vendor, hopefully with some thought to pairing with your existing B&W's in the front...

Completely agree. Going to go w/ the DS3's for the rear, but I am unsure of a solid inwall for the side surrounds...
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-25-2013, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCann0n View Post

Completely agree. Going to go w/ the DS3's for the rear, but I am unsure of a solid inwall for the side surrounds...

From my understanding front facing speakers are best for the rears in a 7.1 setup. The bi/di-poles are best for the sides. I personally went with B&W 686s for my rears. I should have gone with the 805s as my fronts are 804s but couldn't justify the cost at this time. My sides are still Polks from my old rig but will change those to DS3s at some point soon.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-10-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the lack of updates. Things have progressed quite well...

So I picked up a Rack, and the DS3's. All the equipment has arrived and is taking up nearly my entire home office.

Carpenter finished fabrication, and prewire is complete.

Carpet is here and waiting for room to be complete before install...now the problems:

Had an electrician in to do some electrical during pre-wire. Walked off the job with an entire section of outlets not working and hallway lights not working either. Called one of the electricans I got a quote from, he came and fixed the idiots issue in 30m and finished the rest of the electrical work.

Now the big issue. The column we were using to house the FR speaker has an electrical line (stud) running vertically through it. Speaker only goes ~ 3" in. That leaves ~8" of the B&W hanging out. Trying to figure out how to adjust and in the future will look for a triad/comparable inwall that in narrow to fit in the cavity. Thinking of just placing the center console (not hidden) until I can find an inwall for the front that I am pleased with (suggestions?)

I have a TON of pictures that I will upload this weekend. Theater should be completed within 10-12 days.

Thanks for following this thread.
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post #21 of 24 Old 01-20-2014, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the lack of updates. I have a TON of build pictures that I need to sort through and upload…but for now….the finished result.

But before the picture. First company I had do the install of the equipment could not figure out how to load the program on the TRC-1280 and told me it was broken. I called in a second company who did it with ease, and the remote is working great. Carpet has been laid. Sound and video optimized for room. Second row's 4 seats (0-00-0) is on order, so we have the first row sitting up there for now (0-0-0). Lights are all LED. Plan is to add sound panels shortly on the walls and a rear bar (4-6mo) with a granite countertop for 4 extra seats.

Without further ado:






I will post the build photos either tomorrow or Wednesday night along with a list of equipment.

Thanks for your patience and help throughout the process. Now to watch some movies!
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post #22 of 24 Old 01-20-2014, 06:14 PM
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Congrats! Looks awesome.

Epson Pro Cinema 6030 | OPPO BDP - 103 | Pioneer Elite VSX 70 | Definitive Technology PM 1000 (L/R) | PC 2000 (C) | SR8040BP's (7.1) | Rythmik LV12R | Carada Criterion Brilliant White 118" | URC MX 780 & MRF 350 | ATS Acoustic Panels | Sanus AV Rack | DirecTv | Roku 2 | Monoprice 12AWG |
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post #23 of 24 Old 01-20-2014, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Loving it so far. And as always, as the build progresses you realize things that you would have/should have done differently. But that is what V2 is for right?biggrin.gif
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post #24 of 24 Old 01-21-2014, 06:22 AM
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