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post #1 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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HT of the Month: DIY to the Nth Degree



Norwegian Bjorn Erik Forberg built an amazing home theater with his own two hands, including the speakers and acoustic treatments.

Many AVS members find great pleasure in designing and building their own home theaters, while others delight in building their own speakers. But Bjorn Erik Forberg (BEF-NO) went a step or two farther in the basement of his home just outside Oslo, Norway, not only building the theater and all the speakers himself, but also the acoustic diffusers.

As a THX Level 2-certified installer, Bjorn Erik had a clear idea of what he wanted in a home theater. "It had to be a room that measured at least 6 x 3.5 meters [roughly 20 x 11.5 feet] with space for six people. Also, it had to be sonically isolated from the rest of the house. Sonic isolation was especially important because I am very fond of loudspeaker systems that produce lots of energy."

When Bjorn Erik and his wife were looking for a house, a good home-theater space was a must. The house they selected had a long, narrow basement, which he divided into two rooms—one would be the theater, and the other would be a workshop for all the building he was about to do.


This long basement would eventually have a wall in the middle, dividing the theater at the far end from the workshop, where all the theater components—framing, walls, risers, speakers, and diffusers—would be built from scratch.

It took Bjorn Erik about six months to develop the plan for the room and about nine months to finalize the speaker design. It took another six months to actually build the room in his spare time—which is quite limited because of his day job as a project manager for Stanley Security.


Bjorn Erik built a room within a room for maximum sound isolation, and the walls are double-layer plasterboard with Green Glue between the layers.

Using a program called AcousticCalculator, Bjorn Erik determined that the most problematic frequencies in terms of reflection from the ceiling extended from about 750 to 3500 Hz, and the areas that would create the most problems were down the middle and near the walls. Using 2x2" lumber cut to different lengths, he built three long diffuser panels for the ceiling.


Back in the workshop, Bjorn Erik constructed his own diffusers from different lengths of 2x2" lumber.

The main speakers are based on a design by Stig Erik Tangen, which Bjorn Erik modified. "The LCRs include three Beyma 15" woofers to reproduce the range of 25-200 Hz, a TAD 12" midrange to cover 175-2000 Hz, and a Beyma horn tweeter that goes from 2200 to 21,000 Hz. All the surround channels are based on the same principle, with a Beyma 15" woofer covering 25-900 Hz and a Beyma horn tweeter from 900 to 21,000 Hz; they have the same sonic signature as the front speakers. I use an active crossover and DSP in a stack of Crown I-Tech amplifiers to power the entire system, which gives the room a very uniform sound with a lot of dynamics and power in every channel."


Bjorn Erik built his speakers based on a design by Stig Erik Tangen.


Crown I-Tech amplifiers provide all power, active crossover, and DSP for all speakers and subwoofers. The electronics are located outside the theater and controlled by IR repeaters.

The subwoofers were designed to blend well with the main speakers, with Beyma 18" drivers that extend from 13 to 120 Hz. "When I was testing the system, they were only level adjustment that was needed. You cannot hear the sound cross between the mains and subs. Also, the subs are used only for the LFE; all the main channels are set for large speakers, which play from 28 to 20,000 Hz."

The sensitivity of the speakers is remarkable—103 dB/W/m for the front LCR, 101 dB for the surrounds, and 100 dB for the subs. "I've measured the main speakers at 134 dB SPL!"


In an intermediate stage of development, Bjorn Erik sits atop the center-channel speaker to give a sense of scale to the whole front-speaker setup.

On the back wall, he wanted to extend the frequency of diffusion down to 200 Hz, so he modified his diffuser design and covered the back wall with panels. After all the treatments were installed on the ceiling and back wall, Bjorn Erik says the sound is very natural and open. The frequency response of the room is flat from 13 to 21,000 Hz, but he adjusted it to add a bit more weight in the LFE "for a greater effect on movies."


The rear wall is covered with diffusers around the back-surround speakers; two DIY 18" subwoofers occupy the lower corners. The diffusers and speakers were subsequently covered with acoustically transparent fabric.


The final front-speaker configuration is mighty impressive, including six 18" subs and three custom-modified LCR speakers.

Bjorn Erik says his biggest challenge was finding a good acoustically transparent projection screen. "I have tried about 10 different screens, and I finally found one that does not destroy the sound and gives a good picture at the same time." He built the frame with a hinge at the top so it can be lifted out of the way to access the speakers behind it.


The final theater sports a 138-inch, 2.35:1, acoustically transparent woven screen from Norwegian company DreamScreen.


The seats are also from DreamScreen.


In this diagram of the final room, the center block is the floor (with three green bands representing the diffusers on the ceiling), and the surrounding blocks are the walls. Imagine that the wall diagrams are hinged at their bottoms, and when you lift them up, they form a 3D model of the room.

Bjorn Erik says his greatest moment was when he first played music in the room—Hitman by David Foster. He also played recordings from young Filipina singer Charice, which "got tears rolling down my cheeks." Of course, movies are also amazing in this stunning room.

By building everything himself, the total cost for the room was no more than $8000, but the gear was another story—Bjorn Erik estimates the total equipment cost was around $140,000. "The VAT [value-added tax] is 25% in Norway, so everything costs more here." But I have no doubt that it is worth every krone.

For much more detail about how Bjorn Erik Forberg's home theater came together, check out the build thread here.

If you'd like your home theater considered for Home Theater of the Month, PM me with the details and a link to your build thread if available.

EQUIPMENT LIST

Sources

Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player
Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray Player

AV Electronics

Sherbourn PT-7030 preamp/processor
Crown I-Tech 4000 (9)
Crown I-Tech 8000 (2)

Video Processor


Darbee Darblet

Projector

Sony VPL-VW55ES

Screen

DreamScreen ultraHD Acoustic V5 (2.35:1, 138", 1.0 gain, acoustically transparent woven)

Speakers

Front LCR: DIY (based on Tangen AV Design inConcert Miles with 3 Beyma 15P80Nd 15" woofers, TAD midrange, Beyma TPL150H horn-loaded ribbon tweeter)
Side and rear surrounds: DIY (Beyma 15P80Nd 15" woofer, TPL150H ribbon tweeter; 2 side, 2 rear)
Subwoofers: DIY (Beyma 18W1600Nd 18" woofers; 6 in front, 2 in rear)

Cables

Monster throughout

Control

IR-Link to equipment rack outside the room

Power Conditioning

Monster HTS5100

Seating

DreamScreen Cineseat Promotor (3 front row)
DreamScreen Cineseat Theatre (5 second row)

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Last edited by Scott Wilkinson; 10-16-2014 at 01:26 PM.
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post #2 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 01:28 PM
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That's one killer system.
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post #3 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 01:46 PM
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I feel so inadequate.
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post #4 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 01:48 PM
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Simply outstanding!
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post #5 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 01:48 PM
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Amazing. Then Atmos gets released and...time to start all over again. Doh!

Video: Optoma HD3300, Panamorph UH480, Darbee Darblet, Samsung BD D6700 Blu Ray player, DIY Seymour Centerstage XD 138" Curved Screen
LCR - Tannoy DC12i, Sides - Tannoy IW63, Rears - Tannoy IW62tdc, Ceilings - Tannoy CMS 603DC (TF), Tannoy CMS 601DC (TR), Micro Marty/Full Marty DIY subs
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post #6 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:01 PM
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Holy macaroni.
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post #7 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:04 PM
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I am floored by the beauty of this design. Outstanding!
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post #8 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:09 PM
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WOW!! I bet it sounds awesome!! Well done!!!
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post #9 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:19 PM
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Amazing, he had a great vision and executed it extremely well!

I like the various shades of gray and black a lot, and the design on the acoustic treatments on the sidewalls and black wood diffusers on the back wall and ceiling gives it just enough contrast and pop to make the room feel elegant instead of boring.

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post #10 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:29 PM
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Incredible!
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post #11 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:39 PM
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Not too bad. Now that I got the approval from the wifey, I'm going to plan to convert the back garage into a dedicated theater.
I have a limited budget of $200K so I need to get the most for my buck. What I like about this particular set up is the screen size and the system. I see alot of people get too tangled up in columns and pop corn machines and then they have a 100" screen. That never made sense to me. They try to make a beautiful theater with the lights on but don't pay too much attention to what it looks and sounds like with the lights off. Not here!! Bravo.
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post #12 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:43 PM
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A room only equaled to Bjorn's hospitality :-P

I was able to attend a demo of this room a while back and there is only one thing to say, that room, would if it wasn't sealed litterally blow you away, but it was so different in both equipment, power and i couldn't take much from it unless a lasting feeling of "oh holy ****!" and I need to get me some room treatments.

Only thing louder are the trolls hiding under some of our bridges :-P
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post #13 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:44 PM
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Those subs are an interesting choice. $700, fs 32 hz, 10 mm xmax.

However, they can apparently handle 3,200 watts with 97 db sensitivity (). Might not be the deepest subs out there for $700, but higher up... they could maybe kill you? LOL
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post #14 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 02:50 PM
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BTW... an absolute gorgeous theater. Putting the lights in the diffuser panels is a nice touch
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post #15 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 03:13 PM
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Very impressive.

However, he could have saved $100,000 if he did not do this:

"Cables

Monster throughout"
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post #16 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 03:15 PM
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That's one of the most amazing thing I have every seen. Could not imagine how it would sound and feel.
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post #17 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 03:20 PM
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I already drooled in his thread, drooling again here Thanks Scott for featuring this and Congrats Bjorn!!
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post #18 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 04:04 PM
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Amazing. He is half way to an atmos setup with his floor to ceiling front speakers. I would love to watch a movie there.
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post #19 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 04:17 PM
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I can imagine it being like those memorex ads with the guy being blown out of his chair. I love the style of the room. You can't go wrong with gray and it doesn't affect the colors being projected on screen. Well done, bravo.
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post #20 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 04:22 PM
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This gorgeous theater is proof once again that Europeans have more sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities than do Americans.

This is the single best all-black theater I have ever seen - it plays expertly with the color black using different shades, materials, textures and patterns. Thus it remains completely functional while also achieving a high level of visual style.

Honestly - bravo sir. Amazing job.
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post #21 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 04:31 PM
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Wow! That theater compared to mine would be like mine compared to watching on my iPhone.

Incredible.
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post #22 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 05:00 PM
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My speakers are puny compared to this amazing build.
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Mitsubishi 3800 projector onto 103 inch DIY AT screen. Marantz 8802A Sound ably handled with DIY LCR speakers. Surrounds are Paradigm in wall speakers. Overhead speakers for Atmos and DTS:X are minimus 7. DIY IB sub system. Two pairs of Dayton 15 inch in separate manifolds. Power amps are Harman Kardon Signature 2.1 doing basic 5 bed channels. Kenwood KM-X1 6 channel for L/R wide and four overhead speakers. Kenwood Basic M1D doing Subwoofer work.
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post #23 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post


Norwegian Bjorn Erik Forberg built an amazing home theater with his own two hands, including the speakers and acoustic treatments.......


How much did the whole project cost?
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post #24 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chere View Post
How much did the whole project cost?



By building everything himself, the total cost for the room was no more than $8000, but the gear was another story—Bjorn Erik estimates the total equipment cost was around $140,000. "The VAT [value-added tax] is 25% in Norway, so everything costs more here." But I have no doubt that it is worth every krone.
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post #25 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 07:10 PM
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Bjorn - simply Kudos to your HT and the passion I see in all the detail and execution of bringing your concept to reality.

A Benchmark HT and worthy of HT of the month for sure.
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post #26 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 07:18 PM
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Building everything by himself takes the term HT hobby to a whole news level!!!
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post #27 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 07:36 PM
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Spoiler!




Totally my style. I love this guy.



Proper. Proper. Proper.
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post #28 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 07:38 PM
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Another home theater of the month setting the bar to Extreme.
A potent system with aesthetics to match.
Beautiful!

Only critique is that you replaced your screen shot of the latex-clad Tron babe with Rio the parrot. Really?

(Scott, why did you re-post Scott's entire first post?)
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post #29 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 07:51 PM
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WoW!
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post #30 of 133 Old 10-16-2014, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
Another home theater of the month setting the bar to Extreme.
A potent system with aesthetics to match.
Beautiful!

Only critique is that you replaced your screen shot of the latex-clad Tron babe with Rio the parrot. Really?

(Scott, why did you re-post Scott's entire first post?)
Because it was worthy of repeating.

I'll fix it.
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