Basement MAN-CAVE theatre, hockey sanctuary, & saloon (updated) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently finished the basement in my family home and now finally had the space to resurrect my olde school home theatre (with a few 21st century additions naturally). Since 2008 up until this past Christmas (2012) we made due with our main floor 46” XBR LCD, Sony BD player, and the Boxee box. Although I missed watching movies on a big screen with big sound I simply didn’t have the space or time (with 2 small children) to dust off and set up the old gear. My wife and I are not big TV watchers; I don’t even pay for cable or satellite – since we moved into this (our first) house we’ve been living off the OTA waves. Our home is completely Bell and Rogers free and it is such a satisfying feeling (fellow Canucks will know what I’m talking about). Anyways, on to the meat and potatoes of my setup…





DISPLAY SCREEN
•65” Panasonic GT50 plasma – 3D, THX, Viera Connect (dual-core) web navigator

A/V COMPONENTS
•Panasonic BDT220 3D Blu Ray player
•Pioneer VSX-90TX 5 channel (5 x 100w) THX, Dolby Digital, Pro Logic receiver
•Pioneer DVL-91 Laserdisc/DVD combination player
•JVC S-VHS player (will confirm model # but does it really matter?)
•PS3

SPEAKERS
•FRONT (L/C/R – THX reference): Post Audio DM 16 floor standing 3-way speakers (yes those are dual 12’s)
•REAR (L/R): BIC America 5.25” in ceiling speakers
•SUBWOOFER: PSB Subsonic 3i – 15” driver, 350w RMS BASH amp (700w peak), crossover dial set to 80 Hz (THX reference)

Note: I wired my room for 7.1 surround and have speaker wire buried inside the left and right walls on either side for when I finally upgrade my receiver.

I'm sure you can tell which items were Christmas presents for 2012 and which ones are relics of 20th century HI-FI lol. I realise its nothing special compared to what's available today from even a low-end perspective but for my needs they suffice, and then some.

Wiring all those A/V components together proved to be tricky. My old Pioneer 09TX amp is a great unit (made in Japan) which I was happy to keep for the time being, however being a relic of the late 90's it is absolutely STARVED for inputs. I'll detail how I managed to wire everything up later and include some additional pics of the finished, furnished space.

My unfinished basement was basically an open “L” shape. I think its about 13 feet at its widest points which is great because there were NO vertical support beams anywhere in the middle; we were able to frame and built the walls around all the beams, drain pipes, etc. I chose the end where my theatre went because the walls there (left, right, center as well as the two on 45s) were all concrete foundation walls. I used a suspended ceiling above the equipment location and packed Roxul sound insulation up in the ceiling joists. The electrical and A/V cabling was wired in wall precisely to where I had spec’d out my component locations. I regret not taking a picture of my finished wall now before all the gear went up, but here’s what’s BEHIND those components:






•Each front speaker has a banana plug wall plate – I wired the front L/C/R’s with equal length 12 gauge wire in wall, and they are connected to their wall plates with equal length 12 gauge cable
•The subwoofer has its own RCA audio wall plate (wired with shielded RG6 in wall) and a 20 amp (black) receptacle*
•The TV has its own AC receptacle, a coax wall plate (feeding OTA), and a dual HDMI wall plate (I buried two high speed HDMI + Ethernet cables in wall, and connected two of the same from the TV to the wall plate)
•The component rack location has the other end of that dual HDMI wall plate, a coax wall plate (hooked to the home’s inactive cable TV/internet infrastructure), a 7.1 central speaker wall plate including sub channel, 3 AC receptacles (6 outlets), and a separate 20 amp (black) receptacle* for the receiver
•I also buried a PVC conduit behind the component rack up to the left side of the TV.

* I wired the two 20 amp receptacles (for sub & receiver) with 12/2 electrical cable to a new dedicated 20 amp breaker in the circuit board. There’s more than enough available (and clean) power on tap at these outlets... I'm thinking ahead to that flagship NAD amp I envision down there one day wink.gif

You can see I’ve left one HDMI input in the wall plate behind the system rack open on purpose – that’s available in case I ever want/need to add an additional HDMI driven device to the TV (either permanently or temporarily).
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-29-2013, 12:57 PM
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Looks great. Very well done and I am kind of digging the angle on the walls with the tv and center channel sitting back a little bit. Can't help with the hockey..not my thang smile.gif
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-30-2013, 05:20 AM
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Very nice setup eh! Love the L/C/R towers. I also do that. Very clean and balanced. I like the framed picture above the sub to balance the front stage visual. Nice work!

cheers
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-30-2013, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post

Looks great. Very well done and I am kind of digging the angle on the walls with the tv and center channel sitting back a little bit. Can't help with the hockey..not my thang smile.gif

Thanks dude. Those 45 degree walls were not by choice (they are concrete behind); I'd have preferred a straight wall to be honest but everything seemed to work out best in the end. The equipment is just a little crowded. BTW I originally had the center tower speaker almost (not quiet) as far out as the two L&R's, but it sounded like garbage. Right now the center channel is less than a foot away from the back wall and it sounds great.

RE: hockey - now is actually a great time give this game a shot. Shortened season, all teams desperate for playoff points, LOTS of young players (farm team call ups) in the lineups, and there have been TONS of fights so far. The games this post-lockout season are much rougher and meaner, the way hockey is meant to be played wink.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

Very nice setup eh! Love the L/C/R towers. I also do that. Very clean and balanced. I like the framed picture above the sub to balance the front stage visual. Nice work!

cheers

I've been envisioning an L/C/R tower setup for a long time... I had over 5 years to scour kijiji, craigslist, etc for a second pair of Post Audio DM16 speakers... I bought my original pair (the L&R channel) 20 years ago, back in 1993 just before the Leafs began their memorable Stanley Cup run. Those Canadian made DM16's were the best $600 I ever spent. I bought them from Majestic Electronics (remember the yellow and black signage with the tiger?) near Dundas & Dixie in Mississauga. The manufacturer at the time was already out of business and those two speakers were the last floor models if I recall. About 1-2 years ago I finally came across a used pair and snatched them up. So I have a spare channel in storage for spare parts when needed.

Thanks for the compliment. I figured what better picture to hang up next to my bruising 15" sub than the Hanson Bros! Now I just need to get my bar installed down there and get the beer fridge rockin wink.gif
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-30-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's some current pictures of the space:

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I have a little 60" wide wet-bar spec'd out for this space. It will have a mini beer fridge below and a display up top for my scotch, Canadian rye, and Polski wodka collection. You should have seen this little Costco table during Christmas time wink.gif
Na zdrowie!

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Haven't had a chance to bring down the rest of my 200+ DVD & BD collection yet (need to determine where they will go) but my LD collection is nicely enshrined in this Ikea storage cabinet:




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... and the wife was even able to sneak in her precious Disney VHS collection for the kiddies :S (At least she's buying them on 3D Blu Ray now)

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More of my hockey shrine...





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Here are my towers of power. As olde school as you get. These babies pound!


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That 09TX may not look like much but it was Pioneer's flagship A/V receiver back circa 1998. I bought that amp when I was 22 years old. Although today is starved for inputs (no useful video switching and only 3 digital inputs - 2 coax and 1 optic) and lacks 5.1 inputs (TOTAL DRAG!) its still a decent amp. When you pop off those veneered particle board side panels and lift up the unit you realise how beefy the chassis is. Its got a fair sized power supply too. I thought it deserved a more glorified image: lol

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My old S-VHS JVC player is such a silver eye sore in my rack but my wife insisted I retain this legacy component for her Disney tapes... its like the adopted bastard child. Although, it does provide a means to watch my Blue Jays world series VHS's and of course, The Passion Returns. Above it is the Panny 3D BD player.

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Had Panasonic made an affordable plasma larger than 65" I would have been on board. My original plan for the basement was to throw a cheap, older model 50" panny on the wall and have a motorized 110" projector screen buried up in the ceiling for movie night or big game night... unfortunately once the framing went up and the space/seating was defined, I didn't think there was enough seating distance to go the projector route. Those 45 degree walls are really what killed it... in order to fit such a large screen I'd need to have it come down in front of those 45's - basically almost 3 feet away from the wall. The 65" GT50 is a marvelous set. An LED/LCD was never an option down here, but I do regret not going with a slightly larger screen (a 70" or 80" plasma would have been perfect.

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My old 15" Canadian bruiser.




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post #6 of 21 Old 01-30-2013, 02:09 PM
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wow!!! super nice, all was going well and then, I saw the M.L. logo...tongue.gif
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-30-2013, 07:43 PM
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This is one heck of a man cave.. Job extremely well done.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-31-2013, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

...all was going well and then, I saw the M.L. logo...

That's why I NEEEEED that bar down there ASAP!!! :S
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-08-2013, 01:55 PM
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nice

B&W cm5
Pioneer Elite SC-27
Panasonic 50" GT50
HTPC - i5, ATI 7790
Crappy Klipsch sub
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-09-2013, 02:31 PM
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You have a great room there and even though those are vintage units it doesn't mean they don't still have life in them! I have an old Pioneer Elite AVR from the 1999 that is still in my son's play room and sounds great. You did a great job of laying out the room and prewiring for future use. I would make one suggestion to get a power management unit to protect your equipment from power spike and surges. I almost lost my equipment when the power company had a bad transformer and they sent higher than normal voltage to all the homes in my neighborhood. Great Job. Look forward to your future updates.
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-11-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

wow!!! super nice, all was going well and then, I saw the M.L. logo...tongue.gif

Lol...agreed, Go Sens Go!!

Nice setup, I'm liking the "vintage" gear and all the Canadian content, eh?
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-12-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all,

And you make a good point indeed Jnnt29 about surge protection. I was reading another thread recently (GT50 owners forum I think) that mentioned line conditioners and surge protectors. Got me thinking. Problem is there'd be no place to install one behind the plasma - its AC outlet is right behind there - unless I ran its power cord down through the wall conduit. On the other hand, I've been toying with the idea of taking the panel & mount off the wall and installing some lumber so that the plasma can mount further away from the wall - sole purpose of this would be to reduce seating distance which at the center/sweet spot is currently 14' from panel surface to viewer's head. On full 16:9 content the screen size looks fine, but when I watch the 2.35:1 films (as most are) the big screen no longer matches the big sound. I also think aesthetically it looks a bit strange now that the main sound-stage takes up 3' at the front of the room, yet the plasma is only a few inches off the wall. It might not look all that bad if I brought the plasma out an extra 3.5 or even 5 inches. IF I were to do something like this I would then have enough room to fasten a surge protector/line conditioner back there. I probably should at least for the TVs considering they are directly hooked up to a lightning rod atop my roof smile.gif
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-12-2013, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Lol...agreed, Go Sens Go!!

Nice setup, I'm liking the "vintage" gear and all the Canadian content, eh?

I've got April 12th in my calendar as the approx date when my bar cabinets will be ready for pickup. With any luck I'll have my little bar installed in time to drown my sorrows as the Leafs miss the playoffs for what the 8th consecutive year in a row now? lol (WTF). Its ok. I grew up during the miserable Ballard years so buds fans like me no longer have functioning tear ducts.

As much as I loved hating the sens and relishing AAAALL those Leaf playoff victories in the Battle of Ontario (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) I've always rooted for the Sens ever since during playoffs. I can't stand the habs or Canucks. Any other Canadian team has got my support during playoffs. I HATE Boston with a passion but after the first 2 games in the finals I really wanted them to win and were so happy to watch the Canucks implode and then burn their city. Montreal will NEVER even get that close ever again - don't let their performance thus far make you bet otherwise! wink.gif Mark my word.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-12-2013, 12:18 PM
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...Montreal will NEVER even get that close ever again - don't let their performance thus far make you bet otherwise! wink.gif Mark my word.

Ok, I'm marking your words:D Click me! Click me!
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE: picking up the bar cabinets next week. There's a dozen or less regular season games left before the NHL playoffs start... need to still source a counter top, glass & mirror panels, lighting, etc. but if I'm lucky I might be able to get the bar installed and drinks flowing just as the Maple Leafs choke and miss the playoffs yet again :S

Blue Jays won their first game last night wink.gif
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-13-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Ok, I'm marking your words:D Click me! Click me!

Well, I won't gloat b/c the Leafs may very well be joining the Habs on the golf links after tonight's game, but I happen to know many die hard fans of Les Canadiens - including those from La Belle Provence - who will be cheering for the Leafs tonight to knock off the hated Bruins wink.gif

Let's see & hope that 2 Canadian teams can make it to the second round!
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-17-2013, 06:15 AM
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What kind of cost did you have finishing your basement, excluding equipment and seating.

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post #18 of 21 Old 05-29-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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What kind of cost did you have finishing your basement, excluding equipment and seating.

$10-11k CAD. Do it yourself, part-time, 7 months. Near the end we sub'd out a few things, namely the mudding & sanding ($1,100 cash) and drop ceiling track installation ($1,600 cash including all the tiles installed by us). Single biggest expense was the carpeting - $3k for approx 800+ sq/ft. Drywall cost under $600, lumber I think would have been less than that. Paint was a few hundred bucks. All the wiring, electrical outlets, light fixtures, and fancy home theatre wall plates and dimmers rounded out the rest.

Contractor would have easily billed $20 grand for the same job. Money we saved basically went towards furniture, TV, my little bar, etc.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-27-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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5' x 3' nook BEFORE:
LL

... and NOW:
LL

Only a sneak peak. Just needs mirror panels on the back wall and glass shelves. It is several months overdue but just in time for the start of the new 2013/2014 NHL hockey season! GO LEAFS GO!!
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-10-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hockey season is back and finally the room is rockin with the new bar! Should be a fun season - GO LEAFS GO! Here's a few new pics with a slight re-arrangement of the seating which actually works nice to open up the space and provide a quicker/easier path to and from the bar.

LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-03-2014, 12:55 PM
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I was just reading the comments on this and saw your concern for surge protection and you saying that you did not have room for it basically. I wanted to point out that there are several companies including Leviton that offer whole house surge protection products. you can mount them at the meter as well as on the load side of the electric panel. In the images I did not see your electric panel so I think it is probably located in a room other then your home theater setup.

 

It is just a thought if you really wanted surge protection. 

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