My Ridiculously Inexpensive Dedicated KICK*** Home Theater! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 771 Old 09-02-2006, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that was quite a dramatic title to kick off my dedicated HT thread. I will chronicle my experience in this thread in creating my dedicated HT. The key differences between my HT and most are:

-I am going to do it for an insanely small amount of money. Think $3000 give or take $500
-Evertything will be brand new, no refurbs or used gear.
-My room is small at 10 x 12.
-My HT is going to KICK *** and chew bubble gum, and I am all out of gum.

So not only will it be cheap, but watching and listening to it you would never know.

This HT is going in a 10 x 12 den on the lower floor of my new house. So far I have acquired the following:

Speakers ($219): Advent center and a pair of Advent H300 for the front
2 pairs of Advent H100 for the rears to complete the 7.1 system

Seating ($629): A set of 3 coaster Matinee recliners.

Edit: The coaster Matinees went back to the dealer due to creaking and just being plain uncomfortable. They are being replaced by a set of Coaster Showtime recliners in black leather match.

That's it for now but much more to come and photos to follow once I move in the new house in about a month. Next items on the agenda are the subwoofer and receiver to be followed closely by the projector once the Cedia wave hits.

My Ridiculously Inexpensive Dedicated Kick *** Home Theaters!

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post #2 of 771 Old 09-02-2006, 08:28 PM
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I'm interested in this thread and topic in particular. Good luck!


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post #3 of 771 Old 09-02-2006, 08:43 PM
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$3000!! Man Mine is going to kick**** and chew bubble gum for even less than that! Ok who knows maybe not, but I'm gonna give it a hellofa shot!


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post #4 of 771 Old 09-02-2006, 09:51 PM
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$3000 is doable for a kick-a ht. I would know.

Victor

Free cake! Free cake!
- Mordecai and Rigby


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post #5 of 771 Old 09-02-2006, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it can be done even cheaper but this one will have that authentic theater feel. I could have saved a ton(as far as a $3000 budget goes) by using my current recliners. But they lack cupholders and are not the style I was after.

The attached pic shows the new seats I bought.
LL

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post #6 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 03:56 AM
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Docprego, your post just beat me to it - I too, have a 10' x 12' room and plan on seeing what I can do on a tighter-than-a-bull's-arse-in-fly-season budget.

I have a Sammy 42" plasma and the rest of the requisite equipment, plus 2 Lazyboy recliners. Other than that, the room is an open palatte. Currently, the plasma and equipment reside in a corner TV cabinet I built a few years ago.

Due to the small size of the room and the fact I now have tower speakers for the front array, I have to replace that corner unit and figured I would build a fireplace surround. This non-functioning fireplace will be constructed out of 3/4" plywood, veneered with bird's eye maple and wenge. The plasma will sit on the mantle, the centre channel will sit behind a cloth "grill" on a shelf tucked under the mantle and the opening in the fireplace will house the equipment on 2 shelves (DVD player, HDMI 2-1 switching box, STB, A/V receiver and older VCR).

A glass spark arrester mounted in front of the opening will allow me to operate the equipment, unless I'm inserting a DVD in the player.

I have enough of the bird's eye maple to also veneer the speakers (2 towers, 2 bookshelfs and centre channel) so that everything matches.

DVD storage MAY be accomplished by hiding them in the front columns on either side of the opening - not 100% sure about that, yet.

The main reason for this design is the fact that I have a plaster and lathe wall and cannot mount the plasma on it, without causing me endless sleepless nights. worrying about the sturdiness of the install.

The house is well over 100 years old and has these massive 10 inch baseboards. I might install ropelighting in a channel to run the length, giving a muted lighting effect when the rest of the lights are turned off for viewing.

I confess I'm more than a litle nervous about how all this will turn out, but your post has given me a short shot in the arm, in that I now know there is someone else who is also willing to tackle a project like this one.

Once again, thanks for the added incentive! Best of luck to us both in our separate endeavours, eh?

Take care.

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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post #7 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 04:22 AM
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Alright, all you arse-kickers. You are talking a big game. Let's see some pictures

Gonzo


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post #8 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:34 AM
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ok mbgonzomd, I can start off the pic-fest, but it'll have to be a snap of that TV cabinet I mentioned that I built - the corner unit that will now be replaced with the non-functioning fireplace.

The TV is a JVC 32" CRT that was sold to help make way for the Sammy.

Gentlemen, start your draughting pencils! Let the games (room) begin!

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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post #9 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I can't offer much in the way of pics yet, but here are my Advent speakers sitting patiently waiting to KICK *** in their boxes.
LL

My Ridiculously Inexpensive Dedicated Kick *** Home Theaters!

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post #10 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 10:02 AM
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Lol.
Frost, that is nice work. I expect big things from the fireplace surround.

Doc, you better let those bad boys breath a little (and take a few pics). Otherwise, they are about as good as a one legged man in an arse-kicking contest.

Gonzo


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post #11 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 01:25 PM
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mbgonzomd, that compliment re: the TV cabinet is very much appreciated, but I can't take the credit for its' design. My deceased father drew up the plans and I just executed it. It was the last bit of draughting he did before he fell ill and I worked like a banshee to get it built and finished before he passed on, so he could see it to it's completion.


Geez Docprego, you're already ahead of the game with those Advents - my new speakers are also still clad in cardboard for the time being - figured there wasn't much point in hooking them up if I was going to be veneering their stained-black ash enclosures with that bird's eye maple.

Regardless, I know those Advents would bring my Studio Acoustics to their knees in defeat - couldn't beat the price, though. They listed for 799.00 for the twin towers, bookshelfs and centre channel - and I ended up only paying 298.00. The 5 bills saved from them will go towards an OPPO 971D and to partially cover a professional calibration.

But enough of my yakkin'! There's forums to be flipped through and threads to be read!

I only have a scant 6 weeks to get this all done before the Calibrator comes knocking on my door and Wifey just threw in the need for a complete repaint of the walls.ceiling and those damn 10" baseboards.

As if I didn't have enough pressure,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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post #12 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Frost147 you do realize I got the Advents for a (as Mike Tyson would say) ludacrisp price, right? I have a hunch they will be one of the most outstanding aspects of my HT.

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post #13 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Headed over to Fry's today to check out the Polk subwoofer they have on sale for $99, model PSW-10. It does not have an LFE input so I passed. The price was inline with the budget so this was a let down. The search for a sub and receiver continues, any suggestions?

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post #14 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 05:20 PM
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thats easy - for a sub pick up an Athena AS-P4000. Look around and you can find for less than 2 bills. Receiver, try out the Panasonic Xr-55. I have one which I am using temporarily in place of my Yamaha RXV-2500, and let me tell you, the Panny can hold its own. You can prob get that for less than 2 bills too.
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post #15 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice suggestions! I had the Panny on my short list but honestly I was trying to find something for a bit less if possible. I am finding the XR55 for about $220 which is about $70 higher than my budgeted goal. I realize this may not be realistic because I am finding NO 7.1 receivers for $150. I think the XR55 is the answer but I have my eye on the Pioneer VSX-516 too. Frankly at about the same price as the XR55 I would much rather go with the Panasonic for the digital amplification.

Once again the sub you mentioned comes in about $50-$70 higher than my budgeted goal.
And once again I am not finding much in the $150 range. There is an assortment of subs out ther for $100-$150, some even less. But I know that in this case I will definitely get what I pay for.

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post #16 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Headed over to Fry's today to check out the Polk subwoofer they have on sale for $99, model PSW-10. It does not have an LFE input so I passed. The price was inline with the budget so this was a let down. The search for a sub and receiver continues, any suggestions?

Not willing to pay the Piper, eh??

Sorry, couldn't resist... that movie still has one of the best fight scenes ever!
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post #17 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:12 PM
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Wow Doc - $219 for all those Advents? Your 7.1 will fill that room and have the sound bursting at the seams. I was thinking of using the speaker array that came with the Sammy (they're located along the bottom of the plasma) as an adjunct to the centre channel. Would this be one of those BAD IDEAS that is best left unexplored?

I'm retaining the JVC subwoofer that came with the A/V receiver - at least for now. A quick run through with my abacus tells me I need to find around 2 bills for all the material needed for that fireplace.

And I already have the veneer!!

Ottawa Ontario Canada
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post #18 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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RedBelly; You lost me, what movie aree you talking about and where did I reference it?

Frost147: Definitely not a good idea. The speakers in your Sammy will not match the others tonally so they will stick out like a sore thumb. Also they just can't compare sound quality wise to even a lousy stand alone speaker. I wouldn't bother.

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post #19 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:44 PM
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hmm... buy used? Could look at the Onkyo 503 refurb too. I've never heard the Athena, but I have heard great things about it. Although, I don't really know if I believe the specs that it reaches 23 Hz. What are you saving the money for, the projector? Are you making your own screen?
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post #20 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to buy everything new, completely avoiding refurbs. I should have mentioned that in the first message when I started this thread and will edit it to reflect that.

Yes I think the projector will take up a huge chunk of my budget. Right now I am thinking of either the Panasonic 900 or Sanyo Z4. The main reason these 2 are at the top of my list is that my throw distance is only 10.5 feet. I could get a MUCH less expensive projector which would work great such as the Optoma H31 for half the price but then my maximum diagonal image size would be about 90 inches at full zoom. If I could accept an 84 inch image the H31 would be perfect. I just don't want to regreat my PJ purchase thinking "If I only would have gone bigger". Seating will be at 8-9 feet.

I am building the screen. I built my first and it was easy and worked great. Photos of it are in my gallery.

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post #21 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:06 PM
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I'm thinking of doing a similar thing in a spare bedroom. Room is slightly larger. I have most of the equipment and chairs, although I would like to update a few items. I may even run the wires in the attic above, if it is accessible.
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post #22 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish I had an accessible attic, this is a den on the lower floor of a 2 floor house. I am going to have to get real creative with the wiring to keep it looking clean. I am thinking about using the closet in the room for equipment storage, subwoofer, and other miscalleanous things. Only worry is if the sub rattles the closet doors I might have to remove them permanently.

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post #23 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:27 PM
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Doc, you have ridiculously-inexpensive-dedicated-kick-a$$-home-theater builders coming out of the woodwork. You apparently have inspired a nation of big dreamers with tight budgets. I think you could turn this into a celebrity death match. That way we can see who's ridiculously inexpensive theater truly kicks the most a$$!

Gonzo


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post #24 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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mbgonzomd please click on my user name to see the link to my gallery. I am glad to see this topic finally being discussed, I knew there were others out there. :-)

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post #25 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:34 PM
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I found it! Sweet!

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post #26 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Note those pics in my gallery are all of my 1st ridiculously inexpensive home theater. It will be interesting to see how this one compares, the budget on that one was almost half of the current one. Inflation!

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post #27 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Well it can be done even cheaper but this one will have that authentic theater feel. I could have saved a ton(as far as a $3000 budget goes) by using my current recliners. But they lack cupholders and are not the style I was after.


Are those the seats your getting for $629 ? Where from, please?
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post #28 of 771 Old 09-03-2006, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes! These seats sell normally for $699 retail. They are just an amazing bargain. I got them for that price because I ordered a whole house of furniture through a local dealer including those seats so they gave me 15% off the entire order.

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post #29 of 771 Old 09-04-2006, 06:54 AM
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Doc. Good luck with your project. I too am one of those whom are planning a smaller HT in a 11 x 13 bedroom. I am having a home built and the dedicated room will be located on the second floor. Although I won the compromise with the wife over having my kick %#$ ridiculously Inexpensive Dedicated HT (gotta luv it!), her restrictions to me were to not change any wall / closet space and work with the room as is. My plans include:
1) Using current A/V equipment.
2) Upgrade to an HD widescreen monitor 52". With the limitations of keeping the closet space as is I dont think I'll be able to go with the projector.
3) Look for bargins on classic theater seating. Place two rows on a riser.

I'll be checking on your progress and look forward to see how it goes.
LL
LL
LL

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"What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law" Sheriff Buford T. Justice
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post #30 of 771 Old 09-04-2006, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docprego View Post

Once again the sub you mentioned comes in about $50-$70 higher than my budgeted goal.
And once again I am not finding much in the $150 range. There is an assortment of subs out ther for $100-$150, some even less. But I know that in this case I will definitely get what I pay for.

My understanding is that the best subs under or around $150, if you can't swing the athena, are the dayton audio ones; they seem to come up pretty often in the HTIB killers and similar threads over in the audio section.

Good thread -- and good luck!
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