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post #1 of 16 Old 08-26-2014, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Skrill's Bargain Basement Theater

Below I have added information and pictures of my newly completed dedicated theater. This theater was built out as part of a our new construction home (a knock-down rebuild) here in beautiful Vienna VA.

The room measures 23' long x 19' wide x 8'8" tall. At 15' 6" back from the screen wall, there is a 16" riser. The paint colors are Benjamin Moore - Racoon Fur walls and ceiling (a very deep, dark navy blue - near black), with Vanilla Milkshake (creamy white) doors and trim. Carpet is a medium grey. I did a good deal of sound proofing -- although I did it on a budget, so it is effective but not 100% sound tight (I get some low volume vibrations in the upstairs when there is a lot of low frequency action).

If there is one theme for this theater -- it's that I love a good value. So almost all of my stuff was gotten for substantially below retail (and usually below market for the used/refurb equipment). Please PM me with any questions about where I obtained my items and deals, I am happy to share further information.

Theater Seats:
Quantum II Full Powered Leather Sectional (HTL Manufacturer) - from Bob's Discount Furniture <-- Yes, these are as comfy as they look!

Video:
Sony VPL-HW55ES - from Florida-based custom installer
VAPEX 120" 16:9 unity gain fixed frame screen - from Visual Apex
Darbee Darblet DVP5000 (between 4520 and Sony PJ) - from Solid Signal on one of their sales
Peerless PRGS-UNV Mount - Amazon
Redmere 30' HDMI cabling - Monoprice

Speakers:
B&W Nautilus 803 L/R -- from Craigslist
B&W HTM3S Center - from local private seller
VTI Center Stand - Amazon
Definitive Tech BPX surrounds -- eBay
Definitive Tech BP2X surround backs -- USAudiomart.com
Speaker cabling (non in-wall) - 12 gauge Monoprice
In-wall speaker cabling - 12 gauge wire supplied by subcontractor
Wall plates - Monoprice

Subwoofer:
Seaton Submersive HP+ Master & Slave -- Seaton Sound

A/V Equipment:
Denon AVR-4520Ci (used as a pre/pro only) - from Best Buy (on the recent deal)
Sherbourn PA 7-350 power amp - from Emotiva (bought during Sherbourn sell off)
Velodyne SMS-1 sub EQ - from AVS Classifieds
Playstation 3 fatty (blu ray/SACD/gaming)
Playstation 4 (gaming)
Xbox 360 (gaming)
Toshiba HD-XA2 <-- still purple
DirecTV DVR HR21-200
Cabling from Monoprice

Remote:
Logitech Harmony Ultimate - Amazon

Rack and Cooling:
Royal Racks 42U (eBay)
Various vented shelves (eBay)
Cool Components venting system (installed by subcontractor) -- vents into adjacent storage room, thermostat controlled

Here are the images (I am a crap photographer):























I know ... I know ... I really need to spend some time on cable management (and I will). But for now I just enjoy spending time watching movies and TV, and playing games.

I would enjoy hearing everyone's thoughts, feedback and constructive criticism.

_____________________________________________

My Bargain Basement Theater

Last edited by Skrill; 10-07-2014 at 03:53 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-26-2014, 11:59 PM
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That looks like a horrible place to spend hours and hours watching blockbuster movies and gaming...

But seriously, that is one of the cleanest looking theaters I have seen lately. And you have some amazing quality gear in it too. Congrats mate. Looks awesome!

How do the Seaton's sound?
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 05:43 AM
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First, that is one sweet looking room. A nice large space to work with. Second, you may have acquired the gear at bargain prices but all that gear is top notch. Just a few other questions. How do the def tech surrounds blend with the B&W front speakers(which are awesome by the way). Also, did you have any plans for room treatments? If you can, I would really think about it because it will make a really big impact on the sound in the room. And of course I like your choice of subs . Great job on a nice clean looking setup.

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post #4 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIkeDuke View Post
First, that is one sweet looking room. A nice large space to work with. Second, you may have acquired the gear at bargain prices but all that gear is top notch. Just a few other questions. How do the def tech surrounds blend with the B&W front speakers(which are awesome by the way). Also, did you have any plans for room treatments? If you can, I would really think about it because it will make a really big impact on the sound in the room. And of course I like your choice of subs . Great job on a nice clean looking setup.
Thanks Mike.

1. Regarding treatments. That is top on my list for future improvements, and hopefully in the near term. I would like to try and do DIY bass traps and acoustic treatments - but my time is very stretched with work and two young boys (2 year old and 2 month old). So I may end up just buying some from GIK (maybe the bass traps first as those would seem to be a more difficult build). I also would like to treat and deaden the front wall (likely with treatments behind the front stage). I would also plan to added treatments to the rear wall. Not sure about the sides, but I would love to do some treatments using the image prints on the material (so I could have combo acoustic treatments and decoration).

I have done a lot of measurements with REW (focusing on the 5hz to 200hz area), and I am able to get pretty flat response (using Audyssey XT32 seasoned with the SMS-1) with acceptable levels of ringing. But I agree -- treatments will improve the acoustics.

2. Regarding Surrounds. Yes - it all blends really well. I had great success in my old house with some DefTech BP1.2Xs. I really like the bipolars for surrounds, something that B&W does not do. I love my B&W front stage (the center is brand new to me - but I have had the N803s for a while). B&W makes excellent sounding speakers for both music and movies, and I do like to use this for two-channel and multi-channel music as well. But I never was wowed by their surrounds. I found them lacking in performance and expensive for that they are.

A great test is the lightning strike scene in War of the Worlds (where Cruise and Fanning are in the backyard). At one point the lighting bolts are hitting in the surround channels, the sub is blowing hard, and the characters are speaking in the front stage. In my setup -- that blends seamlessly. Gravity has a lot of surround effects, as does Tron Legacy (for example Recognizer flyby early in the film), and again -- it all blends very nicely, and really envelopes the room in clear sound, with the proper amount of directional audio.

_____________________________________________

My Bargain Basement Theater

Last edited by Skrill; 08-27-2014 at 07:49 AM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 07:43 AM
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I bought my treatments from GIK and they are great. Plus they are really good to work with. It should make a difference. My jaw was on the floor the first time I watched a movie with my treatments installed. Don't neglect the ceiling either. I was told by Bryan P and GIK that it is very important to also treat the ceiling.

That's great that you could get the B&W and def tech to play nice together. I have no doubt that it sounds great.

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post #6 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post
That looks like a horrible place to spend hours and hours watching blockbuster movies and gaming...

But seriously, that is one of the cleanest looking theaters I have seen lately. And you have some amazing quality gear in it too. Congrats mate. Looks awesome!

How do the Seaton's sound?
I have not really heard many other high-end sub systems -- but the Seaton master+slave setup sounds (and measures) extremely well in my room. Once EQ'ed -- I get a nice flat response from 80hz down through 15hz (and below). In terms of sound, I get deep, beefy and tactile bass deep into the subsonic range ... and solid accurate and punchy mid-bass. It also handles music extremely well.

One of the things I was most surprised at was how distortion/resonance free the units are. It's just nice clean bass with nothing (that I can hear) unwanted.

It was a magnificent step up from my old sub -- a single Elemental Design A3-300.

_____________________________________________

My Bargain Basement Theater

Last edited by Skrill; 08-27-2014 at 05:33 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 01:53 PM
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The Seaton subs are nice indeed. I love my single HP.

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post #8 of 16 Old 08-27-2014, 08:46 PM
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Nice room!!!

I was about to mention "constructive criticism" about room theatment but several member beat me to it.

Just start with the Basics.
Bass trap are nice, but you should start with the first reflection and maybe second, just a few foam panel or pro-panel.

The easy way to do it is;
Have someone with a mirror going accross your side wall and ceiling if you chouse, and make a mark on the walls/ceiling, and those are your first reflection points wherever you can see the tweeter from any of your front 3 speakers.

Those are the spot where the foam panel should go, and if you decide to do Bass trap, someone else might be of better help.

Trying to help a little

In my room, I did the basics and let Audyssey take care of the Bass department.

Ray

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post #9 of 16 Old 08-28-2014, 09:14 AM
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Fantastic room and you have lots of space for room treatments!! And maybe a bigger screen down the line



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post #10 of 16 Old 08-28-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks - I thought about doing 130" 16:9 screen, but felt it would be too tight. Ceiling height is my limiting factor. I have to keep the screen below those nice 4" moldings and above the center channel. And I have to think about second row viewing angles. I decided to do 120" because it fits without issue -- whereas I think 130" may end up looking odd, compromising 2nd row viewing angles, etc.

I did leave space to allow for a false front wall and acoustically transparent screen setup -- but right now -- I like the speakers being in the open (they are beautiful pieces after all).

Thanks again though for the positive feedback.

_____________________________________________

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Last edited by Skrill; 09-17-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-29-2014, 09:43 PM
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Really nice job! But man on man that room screams stage/false wall/AT screen!....lol

I only say that because you room reminds me exactly of my old room. Where I finished it like you, but then said "ah screw it" and went over board with a stage, false wall and AT screen. IMHO it just adds another total dimension to the whole home theater thing. Everyone of my friends that had watched movies with the old setup always mention how cool it is to have a wall of sound coming through the screen.

Jealous at how wide your room side, nice work.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-02-2014, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrown15 View Post
Really nice job! But man on man that room screams stage/false wall/AT screen!....lol

I only say that because you room reminds me exactly of my old room. Where I finished it like you, but then said "ah screw it" and went over board with a stage, false wall and AT screen. IMHO it just adds another total dimension to the whole home theater thing. Everyone of my friends that had watched movies with the old setup always mention how cool it is to have a wall of sound coming through the screen.

Jealous at how wide your room side, nice work.
Thanks. I intentionally moved the door to the room away from the front wall (sacrificing equipment closet space -- so now I don't have a space for my media - thus the converted dresser in the theater itself). But in essence -- I have a bout 3' to play with if I ever wanted to do a false wall/AT screen. I know they look great -- but I am just not sure I am there yet. I still like looking at my beautiful B&W front stage.

Please I need to put some distance between current setup and any future upgrades to keep the wife happy.

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-04-2014, 04:59 PM
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looks top notch to me

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Oppo 103d
Paradigm studio 20's, cc 490, atom monitors, PSA XV15se
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-10-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Sent back the X4000 and updated with the AVR-4520 from Best Buy (on their recent special deal).

_____________________________________________

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-05-2014, 10:41 AM
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Man, another dedicated room in NoVA, this dedicated theater thing is spreading like the clap in a New Jersey high school...

The colors look similar to what I was thinking about for my non-dedicated theater room, so it's nice to see how it turned out in a real room. Let us know how things progress with room treatments.
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-07-2014, 03:52 PM
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Nice job. I love the fact that your are buying a lot of "second hand" equipment. There is an art to understanding value and measuring accurately the benefit to your one's HT. I find it more fun to find deals than just going to my AV guy and getting the "latest" at a premium.

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