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Old 07-18-2014, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Wink How much $$ is too much for a home theater?

It may be too direct of a question if I asked everybody how much they have invested into their theater so I'll word this a bit differently. I sat down and did some crunching on how much I've purchased so far and how much more I'll be spending on my home theater and came up with a staggering $20,000 total.. This includes me doing all the labor, building materials, AV electronics, speakers, dual subs, cables, wires, furniture, rack, sand, carpet, lighting.....EVERYTHING. Is this considered the average spending cost or is that way too much? Just need some comforting at this time LOL.

It will be a 7.2.2 using the Dolby Atmos technology.

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Old 07-18-2014, 02:55 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, i am already into our theater well over $50k.....
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjmeyer View Post
It may be too direct of a question if I asked everybody how much they have invested into their theater so I'll word this a bit differently. I sat down and did some crunching on how much I've purchased so far and how much more I'll be spending on my home theater and came up with a staggering $20,000 total.. This includes me doing all the labor, building materials, AV electronics, speakers, dual subs, cables, wires, furniture, rack, sand, carpet, lighting.....EVERYTHING. Is this considered the average spending cost or is that way too much? Just need some comforting at this time LOL.

It will be a 7.2.2 using the Dolby Atmos technology.
I did a lot of the structural building myself. I didn't need to use clips / green glue on my walls as it was a decoupled room within a room. The ceiling is decoupled and only needed GG between layers. The room with carpeting and wainscot and a bar counter etc is going to bring me in around $19k. Speakers were DIY including subs and that brings me to $4k for those. I bought the chairs last year but that was $2k and the receiver, project & screen is about another $2k. I'm wired for Atmos with two wires per speaker. and I'm 11.4.

Grand total will come in at $27k with the furniture, electronics and everything. I think my room is not done but it will come in at that price as everything is paid. The room is 17 x 27 and asthetically it will be very impressive. I'll have a fair number of Kinetic panels in the room as well so I should have the sound tamed nicely as well. If I had painted the wood instead of getting it stained and put them and installed it myself instead of paying a carpenter to make the oak pieces I could have saved $7k. With stained oak I needed the precision and if I was painting, I could fill and sand to fix any imperfections. So, in my opinion you could build what I have for $20k if you do it yourself.

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Old 07-18-2014, 03:46 PM
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I'm in at over $100k easily and nowhere near finished.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjmeyer View Post
It may be too direct of a question if I asked everybody how much they have invested into their theater so I'll word this a bit differently. I sat down and did some crunching on how much I've purchased so far and how much more I'll be spending on my home theater and came up with a staggering $20,000 total.. This includes me doing all the labor, building materials, AV electronics, speakers, dual subs, cables, wires, furniture, rack, sand, carpet, lighting.....EVERYTHING. Is this considered the average spending cost or is that way too much? Just need some comforting at this time LOL.

It will be a 7.2.2 using the Dolby Atmos technology.
You can put that into a decent stereo system or a motorcycle or 4 good mt bikes and some gear... . OTOH I wouldn't mind a million dollar dedicated
iMax home theater (or something like that ) either I will not have any guilt issues in that case anyway that would be
much more than I could prudently spend .

On the other hand there are a lot of hobbies you can sink more than 100 grand into such as boating or fast cars that are like throwing money down the drain .............. I've done both ,owned motorcycles and decent mountain bikes also !........
still have the bikes .

Boating is fun hobby you can share with others though when you are not working on it or paying someone to work on it ! Then there are reccuring taxes,insurance ,berthing fees ,annual haul outs for bottom paint,never ending maintenance and repairs oh and in the case of *some powerbots like the ones I had sometimes using fuel at 50 gallons per hour or sometimes much more . Imagine paying ~$ 200.00 - $ 250.00 per hour to sit in your home theater ! Oh (and depreciation when you go to sell it you never make money on them )

Only cars that make money are the kind you don't drive for the most part don't even think about restoring one and making money unless you are in the business even then it ain't easy .............Enjoy your theater and consider yourself lucky you got out for 20 grand

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Old 07-18-2014, 04:44 PM
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$20K to finish a room in your home that was not considered "finished", if you do it correctly with permits and inspections will add value to your property.... I see people liking the basement finished theater bar setup a lot more than they used to like the "game room" with a fold out bar and pool table... $20K doesn't sound bad at all, I was going to build a dedicated HT when we built this house, but just ended up with a larger gym... I don't know how much I would have used it, I have friends and family with dedicateds and they don't get as much use as I would want to justify $75K {which is what I came up with when I was considering one}.

My Brother spent over $85K {which was 90% of the equity he had in his house, {IMO super bad idea, my house is paid for and I couldn't justify it, now if I had to pay interest on an HT I would want to kill myself, but he enjoys it, and it did add some of that value back into the property}. He had 1600sq ft of basement, he turned that into a 200sq ft laundry/mechanical room {HVAC, well pump, panels, central vac, ect...} and the rest into his theater,
He did 2 half baths {swinging doors like a theater} one is boys and one is girls, they both have hand sinks the boys has a urinal the girls has a water closet {hes a master plumber so he did it all himself}, he built a bar with a keg refer that holds 4- 1/6 kegs, really classy bar with the professional popcorn machine, candy underneath behind the glass, granite counter, foot rests, ect.

The theater is behind a set of french doors, the seating is that basic theater seating you see everywhere, the sound system is always changing he started with some speakers he had now he has Wharfedale Opus 2-3 towers in the front and Opus surrounds everywhere... He has 4 VTF15 subs but is looking to have something built in the future, he wants 4 15" 4 ohm non active units so he can power them with 2 emo xpr2's {he already owns one of the amps in his music system}....
Ill admit its impressive and we did a ton of the work, I did the hvac for him{I own an hvac-r co}, my cousin did the plaster and ceilings {our uncle owns a plastering company}, he painted it, him and my father studded it all, and a good friend of ours did the electrical so there is no doubt in my mind if we didnt do it all and know everyone to get it done, it would have cost him much much more..
The hvac is all oversized registerless duct work with first co hydro air units {2- the theater is zoned by itself, then the bar hall and bathrooms are on the second}, 2- 18 seer 1 1/2 ton ac units with heatpumps, honeywell air exchanger with steam humid and power dehumid, prestige wifi thermostats, ect ect ect If I did that for a customer is would have been over $25K alone...

SO 20K doesn't sound bad at all, if you will get the use out of it, go for it, its a better investment than an inground pool, I spent over $100K on a gunite pool and spa that no one uses and it costs me money every year to open, close, and run to the tune of $3000 a season!!!!!!! I hate that pool...
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:58 PM
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The sky's the limit on this stuff. A lot depends on the available space and your expectations.

Hell, if you add a Prima Home Cinema Server to the thing, so you can watch brand-new Hollywood studio films at $500 each, that's another $50K just for the server, last I checked:

http://primacinema.com/
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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Simple.. anything over 20% of your yearly income is getting ridicules.. life has other priorities that shouldnt suffer..
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racing4funn View Post
Simple.. anything over 20% of your yearly income is getting ridicules.. life has other priorities that shouldnt suffer..
I would not agree with this at all. Someone who makes $150k a year, could easily drop 50k on a theater or more, and still have 100k of their income left. I do believe there is a very large range of incomes that visit this site. You would find that incomes over $100k have much more disposable income.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by racing4funn
Simple.. anything over 20% of your yearly income is getting ridicules.. life has other priorities that shouldnt
suffer..
re tubetwister

My sisters an accountant has her own office she would say 10% if that trust me or just tell you to go to Coscto and buy a Visio and a sound bar ....she never understood my Sony XBR or hifi thing either ! but she has no trouble with a 60K fish pond and much more landscaping her back yard and re landscaping it now and then when she gets bored with it !

She liked my boats though couldn't quite fathom the upkeep and fuel though ..... never got the car thing either and my brother in law was in the car business !

Quote:
robinsj wrote ,

I would not agree with this at all. Someone who makes $150k a year, could easily drop 50k on a theater or more, and still have 100k of their income left. I do believe there is a very large range of incomes that visit this site. You would find that incomes over $100k have much more disposable income.
re tubetwister

If you think that's bad you should see what some of my friends spend on the ponies especially the ones that own them ! way too much me I only go with theme like 3 -4 times a year and bet the $100.00 range while they bet thousands on a horse they handicap for me they know the horses parents and grandparents probably the horses cousins and in laws you name it won a few bucks that way !

Say robinsj,

Was that nice looking house included with your theater or was it extra ?

"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:09 AM
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I'd say over approximately $10 millions.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:17 AM
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consider priorities in life, Mortgage, Kids college fund, Daughter's braces and funding your retirement. As long as you've got those covered spend as much as you want.
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpjmeyer View Post
It may be too direct of a question if I asked everybody how much they have invested into their theater so I'll word this a bit differently. I sat down and did some crunching on how much I've purchased so far and how much more I'll be spending on my home theater and came up with a staggering $20,000 total.. This includes me doing all the labor, building materials, AV electronics, speakers, dual subs, cables, wires, furniture, rack, sand, carpet, lighting.....EVERYTHING. Is this considered the average spending cost or is that way too much? Just need some comforting at this time LOL.

It will be a 7.2.2 using the Dolby Atmos technology.
I'm not certain what question you are asking and I've not seen a clarification.

Are you asking?:

1) Is $20k way too much if you are attempting to build the room shell, apply solid soundproof techniques, build a riser, build a stage, purchase equipment (modest equipment) and furniture? Then no, $20k is not unreasonably high. I helped a friend do his recently and he spent nearly that but did not use clips, green glue etc. He spent $16k and it looks nice but it is not soundproof by any means and has very inexpensive speakers and no sound treatments. (nice Epson projector and Pioneer receiver though)

2) Is $20k way too much to put into a house and expect to get it out when selling? I'd go with the 10-15% rule here. Most people buying a house will not pay a premium for this. Women pick the house for couples. If your house is worth sub $200-$250k I'd not put that money into a theater and expect to increase the value of your house. If you plan on getting 10 years out of it, go for it. If you plan on selling in a couple years I'd realize that I'd probably not get the money out of it back.

3) If you are solid on your estimating you should be good to go. I had everything budgeted and put a bit of cushion on some items. I'm coming in at budget. (I gave up oak bullnose on my riser and on my stage to up my projector) There are some compromises to stay in budget. I've seen most builds go over for various reasons. My suggestion would be to keep a spreadsheet with all estimated and actual costs. As you move through, you need to see where you are +/- to budget and adjust or add cash. Otherwise you'll get near the end and run out.


My thoughts:

My wife was fine with my spending this money. I have friends with boats, collector cars, golf, etc. Those don't interest me. So, my theater is someone else's yearly golf membership, boat, yearly vegas trips, etc. Everyone has a hobby and for alot of us on here, this is ours. Just like when I go on a friends kick ass boat and go wow, people who come to my theater and see, say wow.

My suggestion would be that if you do go this route, that you follow the proper building techniques and visit Ted White's site and ask for advice here as you go. If you buy a boat and want a better one you take a bit of a loss to go up. On a theater, if you don't build the base/bones properly, it is a rip out to get back and do that upgrade which is not a "bit of a loss" but a complete loss. (I'd only buy the equipment as you need it as they can drop alot over the year it takes to build unless you get an amazing sale.)

Good luck on your build.

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Old 07-19-2014, 07:08 AM
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Really depends on how you look at this. Dedicated theater will not get the money back in resale unless you just do the bare minimum. If you don't look at this as an investment, and strictly as personal enjoyment/ passion, then the sky is the limit depending on what you can afford.

I personally would not build a dedicated theater if you are looking to recoup your money when you re-sell ... Not gonna happen.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:11 AM
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I view a theater expenditure as money that if it disappeared forever from my checking acct, I wouldn't miss it - like pocket change on steroids. No credit cards, no payment plans - must always pay in cash for any and all goods (from cars to furniture). Given that, the answer relative your situation should be pretty clear.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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We make a good living and priorities are in progress. Theater is extra money we have to play with, plus if we do ever move, all the electronics, furniture and anything else I can bring is coming with. New owner will have a nice room with wiring in place and carpet. No speakers or projector.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mpjmeyer View Post
We make a good living and priorities are in progress. Theater is extra money we have to play with, plus if we do ever move, all the electronics, furniture and anything else I can bring is coming with. New owner will have a nice room with wiring in place and carpet. No speakers or projector.
Well then its settled ............. Enjoy your new theater when you are done and don't forget to put some pictures up here !

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Old 07-19-2014, 09:17 AM
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I'd say over approximately $10 millions.
It doesn't look inexpensive by any means !

"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by robinsj View Post
I would not agree with this at all. Someone who makes $150k a year, could easily drop 50k on a theater or more, and still have 100k of their income left. I do believe there is a very large range of incomes that visit this site. You would find that incomes over $100k have much more disposable income.

What planet are you living on? Taxes?

Anyone who makes $150K a year and spent $50K on a theater is an idiot. After taxes, they'd have about $60K -$70K left before mortgage, bills, extra savings and food!

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Old 07-19-2014, 09:38 AM
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What planet are you living on? Taxes?

Anyone who makes $150K a year and spent $50K on a theater is an idiot. After taxes, they'd have about $60K -$70K left before mortgage, bills, extra savings and food!
I am living on Planet Earth. I do not think you need to be so rude in your comments. I make over $150k per year, own my own business, and in my mind, anyone who makes over $150k a year, and is paying that much in taxes is an idiot. My tax liability last year was only 4% of my income....
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Also didn't specify if the $150K was gross or net. Anyway that doesn't matter. What matters is as long as you can afford it comfortably, which we can, then go for it, which is what we are going to do. I'm the kind of guy who plans his chess game 5 moves in advance with a "what if" plan for every situation that will still get me out on top. I have a passion for home theater and respects everybody else who shares the same passion, but some members really irritate me. I understand you want great sound, but please stop asking what Hi End speakers and AV equipment we suggest for your apartment room and how to sound proof it. There are more important things in life to save for. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved home entertainment and my wife and I resided in an apartment, we had a decent HTIB which did the job at the time. But when it comes to budgeting, save up for a house, then ask us what the best speakers for $1000/pair would be for the theater. I also like it when people drive cars more expensive than the house their children sleep in, or sink more money into their cars than into a college fund.

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Old 07-19-2014, 10:09 AM
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But when it comes to budgeting, save up for a house, then ask us what the best speakers for $1000/pair would be for the theater. I also like it when people drive cars more expensive than the house their children sleep in, or sink more money into their cars than into a college fund.
I could not agree more with this statement. Everything we do personally, we pay for, we do not go into debt for. When I was referring to income, I was stating that, people spend there money on what they want. I was only stating that if someone makes a high income, they could spend more then 20% of their income, I was not stating they had to. Heck, I have friends that make a higher income then me, but they are always cash poor. Why, because they are always driving a new car, eating out 5 days a week for lunch, dinner, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:39 AM
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We make a good living and priorities are in progress. Theater is extra money we have to play with, plus if we do ever move, all the electronics, furniture and anything else I can bring is coming with. New owner will have a nice room with wiring in place and carpet. No speakers or projector.

You should not expect if you sell the house to get any of the electronics to bring with you. I have a 4800 sq ft house and there is no way that anyone who buys it will let us out of those. My friend sold his house for nearly $2 million and they had to provide all remotes, electronics, etc. I'm sure you have a nice house and there is no way anyone will spend that money and want to mess with anything. They will want it as they saw it when you sold them on it.

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Old 07-19-2014, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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When I said I would take everything with us, I only meant the AV components in the theater. Except the lighting, carpet, wiring, etc...that will all stay.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:13 PM
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It is all relative. A little more context for the question would be nice. But I think I know what you are getting at here.

First, I would just repeat Jeff in Canada's thoughts.

Then, I would say for 20K forget the Atmos stuff. It is potentially quite a bit of money in speakers and AVR that may or may not enhance the experience enough to justify the money you are putting into it relative to your total budget. Pre wire for it by all means but don't buy anything else for awhile.

I did not see if you listed soundproofing in your list so that is a big factor and would take a chunk of your budget.

Really need to consider how long you will be in your house. I NEVER would have spent around 30K on my dedicated and sound isolated room if I wasn't planning on staying there for the rest of my life. And I make a good living too. I have no other hobbies that eat up cash. I do like cars but I have a cheap/fun little GTI that does just enough to satisfy me most days.

I think that as far as return on investment.......with fun being the return........home theater does pretty well if you use it like we do. I bet we are down there at least 5-6 days a week after the kids go to bed. When they are older they will have a blast with it too I am sure. It was worth it to me because I will be enjoying it for the next 35-40 years or so and the room itself will never need to be rebuilt. I will only upgrade electronics for the most part.

Overall, I would say just consider your financial situation and do what is comfortable. It is just a hobby and not worth putting anyone under stress for. Take your time if you need to but this kinda depends on how patient you are. Since it is DIY this could potentially take years. At some point you need to just get it done so you can start enjoying it........even if it means giving up a few things in the theater to make the budget work.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:16 PM
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When I said I would take everything with us, I only meant the AV components in the theater. Except the lighting, carpet, wiring, etc...that will all stay.
You can agree with your buyer to any terms, but I will strongly suggest that anyone buying your house will insist it stay as is. Remote controls, receiver, projector, screen, ....everything.

If they are not an HT DIY enthusiast, they will want everything to work day 1 as it did when they made an offer on your house.

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Old 07-19-2014, 01:26 PM
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It is all relative. A little more context for the question would be nice. But I think I know what you are getting at here.

First, I would just repeat Jeff in Canada's thoughts.

Then, I would say for 20K forget the Atmos stuff. It is potentially quite a bit of money in speakers and AVR that may or may not enhance the experience enough to justify the money you are putting into it relative to your total budget. Pre wire for it by all means but don't buy anything else for awhile.

I did not see if you listed soundproofing in your list so that is a big factor and would take a chunk of your budget.

Really need to consider how long you will be in your house. I NEVER would have spent around 30K on my dedicated and sound isolated room if I wasn't planning on staying there for the rest of my life. And I make a good living too. I have no other hobbies that eat up cash. I do like cars but I have a cheap/fun little GTI that does just enough to satisfy me most days.

I think that as far as return on investment.......with fun being the return........home theater does pretty well if you use it like we do. I bet we are down there at least 5-6 days a week after the kids go to bed. When they are older they will have a blast with it too I am sure. It was worth it to me because I will be enjoying it for the next 35-40 years or so and the room itself will never need to be rebuilt. I will only upgrade electronics for the most part.

Overall, I would say just consider your financial situation and do what is comfortable. It is just a hobby and not worth putting anyone under stress for. Take your time if you need to but this kinda depends on how patient you are. Since it is DIY this could potentially take years. At some point you need to just get it done so you can start enjoying it........even if it means giving up a few things in the theater to make the budget work.

I completely agree and I'm in the same boat. Staying here for 30-40 more years, and have a very good double income.

Also, I LOVE movies but really hate going to see a movie in a theater with people kicking the seats, talking, etc, and pissing me off and wrecking my experience.

You can do things in pieces. I'm going to have my theater 95% functional in 3 weeks. I'll take a bit of time putting up sound treatments because I need to take measurements as I go. Once those are done the cloth will go up. That will take 4-8 weeks. But you can put your theater in, paint the walls and do sound treatment later or as you go. Then do cloth or add panels as time goes by.

I had a nice pair of paradigmns, but I wanted directional speakers because everything I've been seeing has shown that for HT those are the way to go. I went DIY for speakers and I'm glad I did. If the $20k is a bit of a sticker, you can go DIY on speakers or go cheap and upgrade later. As for Atmos, I'm wired for it by chance only (upgraded the wires on my rebuild but left the original ones. I have no interest in "ATMOS Enabled" speakers. If I go that route at some point, I"m certain there will be a DIY SEOS / Horn speaker at small volume and the good thing is that you can set the angle exactly for your room. The "Atmos Enabled" ones have a set angle so your seating position sweet spot is dictated by Pioneer or whomever builds your speakers.

I'm sure you will have a great speaker with nice equipment. I was skeptical of DIY speakers until I talked to Jeff Bagby about it. If your speakers are going to be out of sight, I'd highly recommend them. At a higher end, I like the Danley offerings and the ones from JTR.

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Old 07-19-2014, 01:33 PM
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Arrow $10 millions

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It doesn't look inexpensive by any means !
No, but neither my vision.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:35 PM
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What planet are you living on? Taxes?

Anyone who makes $150K a year and spent $50K on a theater is an idiot. After taxes, they'd have about $60K -$70K left before mortgage, bills, extra savings and food!
Mortgage? Some folks don't have to deal with that issue, hence the ability to play with disposable income......
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:40 PM
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It may be too direct of a question if I asked everybody how much they have invested into their theater so I'll word this a bit differently. I sat down and did some crunching on how much I've purchased so far and how much more I'll be spending on my home theater and came up with a staggering $20,000 total.. This includes me doing all the labor, building materials, AV electronics, speakers, dual subs, cables, wires, furniture, rack, sand, carpet, lighting.....EVERYTHING. Is this considered the average spending cost or is that way too much? Just need some comforting at this time LOL.

It will be a 7.2.2 using the Dolby Atmos technology.
In reading your post very carefully I don't think anyone can answer your question better than yourself.

The average is your own perspective.

Big cheers,
R
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