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HT Utopia is up and running

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi, after having postponed this for a long time, I'm really happy to present you my HT, at last.
For many years I've only dreamed about having this dedicated space and this is why my choice to call it Utopia.
Utopia has been designed from scratch and is a full DIY realisation.
Plans has been done with 2D CAD and then the whole structure has been ported to SketchUp in 3D.

- Room is about 11x16x8 foot and is a room in a room contruction (mainly because I've neighbors) on my basement.
- 6 seating over 2 row
- baffle wall for the LCR front loudspeaker system, as well for the subwoofer
- LCR loudspeakers are 2 way systems with Constant Directivity horn, flush mounted on the baffle wall
- AT screen, 100" wide, 1.78:1
- 7.1 layout (Dolby guidelines)

Before starting with some pictures, I wish to thank to the whole community on the AVSforum: althought my partecipation to the forum has been really silent, an invaluable help has come from reading the projects showed here.

Starting from the finish, the following are the pictures of the theater





One of my favorite is the LCR rear screen lighting: a guaranteed "WOW!" from guests!
post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 
Some SketchUp renderings




The detailed 3D project


The basement


Framing - 2"x4" studs has been used






Baffle wall is up - it has been made in 4" aerated concrete


Baffle wall with loudspeakers niches mounted as well the subwoofer window
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Insulation and paneling - Drywall 2x5/8" used for walls and ceiling






Riser building




Entrance steps - 1" MDF


Side wall with the ventilation conduit and fabric frames housings




Back wall with rack ventilation conduit, fabric frames housings and electrical conduits
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Carpeting done


Ceiling acoustic treatments and fabric covering




Back wall acoustic treatments and fabric frames - note: the black niche is for the air conditioning unit


The screen, at last! The frame (with LCR boxes), the painted frame with acoustic treatment, the finished front wall (no screen at all...)






The 18" subwoofer on the baffle wall


Utopia entrance


Welcome to HT Utopia!

Davide
post #5 of 37
Very interesting construction thread. Thank you for sharing, Any more details on those speakers? I am in the process of building some constant directivity horn speakers myself.

That 4 inch aerated concrete baffle wall is the first I've seen mentioned here. What do you see as the advantages of using that material over drywall, plywood or MDF? Very interesting. Not sure if we can even get that here very easily.

Found this video that shows the process of working with that material, I don't understand a word of it but I get the fundamentals:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMuwY...eature=related

Love the speaker lighting effect.
post #6 of 37
Great stuff! That really does look like a bat-cave set up. I mean that in a good way.
It looks like the room is set up for an intensive movie experience with no distractions.
I'm super impressed with your design and your work! Thanks for posting it.
post #7 of 37
Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

One thing that stands out to me is the screen wash lights mounted along the side walls. I've never seen that done before. It certainly opens up a lot of options for lighting, since many people have columns that they could put those lights in, rather than mounting them in the ceiling.

Congratulations on your new space.
post #8 of 37
been doing some reading on the autoclaved aerated concrete materials. Very interesting.

http://www.cement.org/homes/ch_bs_autoclaved.asp

Found this picture.

post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the kind words!

About the aerated concrete, this is called Gasbeton, and I've used this among framing+drywall mainly for curiosity: a friend of mine tell me that is really simple to work with and that has been true (and I've never build a concrete/brick wall before). BTW, this never float

About the front LCR loudspeakers, here is a picture:


This is a DIY project, equipped with 2x6.5" PL18W09 Vifa woofers and 1" horn XT1086 + driver ND1090 both from 18 Sound.
They are bi-amped via a Xilica XP4080 loudspeakers management system.

About the theater lighting, here in Italy there is a movie theater called Arcadia, a truly reference theater, that use a light pipe on the base of each of the screens, the light from the pipe is reflected by the screen and then illuminate the room. I've used the same concept in a different manner.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by ildigital View Post

About the theater lighting, here in Italy there is a movie theater called Arcadia, a truly reference theater, that use a light pipe on the base of each of the screens, the light from the pipe is reflected by the screen and then illuminate the room. I've used the same concept in a different manner.



Wow, I didn't even realize it at first when I looked at your pictures, but you have NO LIGHTS in the room except for the front-facing screen wash lights. And you're right, it illuminates the entire room very well.

I wish I had thought of that when I started my room. It's probably too late for me to add those lights at this point. But I would sure love to do it, it really brightens up the room a lot.
post #11 of 37
What did you use for speaker uplighting?

Looks very nice! I like the speakers as well!
post #12 of 37
Love the BMS horns.......well done! Your dimensions are about the same as mine but due to the doorway position i can't add a second row...now. You've inspired me to figure out a way to make it work. Thanx and again, well done!
post #13 of 37
Love your theater, thanks for sharing it with us. What home theater chairs did you install ? Does your screen have apsect ratio masking?
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
To Greg: the speaker uplighting are LED spots, not hi-bright types and quite cheap that I've bought at a local store. They have the right brightness, a narrow enough beam and they do not became hot as halogen lamp (rear the screen there are fabrics and the screen itself)

To HDGTX: there is a lot of DIY on Utopia, also for the theater chairs. They are Ikea's Poang that I've modified: I've mantained only the seating and I've added 1" MDF side panels, the arms of the chairs are from cutting the original Poang structure. About the screen, the aspect ratio is fixed to 16:9, thanks to the blacks from the JVC DLA-HD350.

Thanks
post #15 of 37
One of the more creative builds I have seen! Very nice indeed.

Love the Ikea Poang chairs. There's so many many unique and impressive DIY'er projects in your theater!
post #16 of 37
Great work! Looks sharp and innovative - and gives many great ideas. I envy your theater and your location! Milan is a blast - perhaps the best gelato I had in Italy I got there. Best to you and thanks for sharing...
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your appreciation for both the theater and Milan
post #18 of 37
Very unique and very cool. Almost feels like you are stepping into one of those flight simulator rides.
post #19 of 37
Great job! Personally I like this look. Looks a little bit like a padded room (not that there's anything wrong with that).

How are you finding the acoustic room response so far?
post #20 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, this kind of finishing of the theater is really modular about the acoustic treatments: you can hide wathever you want under the fabric frames.
Starting from the point to scaling, where possible, the movie theater experience, I planned the acoustic of Utopia so to have a very absorbents ceiling and back wall and a mix between reflection, diffusion and absorption for the side walls.
The reverberation time is between the ITU mask for this room volume, although near the bottom of it, and very regular over the frequency.
Please visit the Utopia website to see the bibliography that has been really helpful on designing the theater.

Sound is great, for my taste.

Thanks
post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
Just a quick update.
Since I've uploaded a SketchUp rendering at the start of this thread, here is a picture of the foyer:

post #22 of 37
You rock!!!!
I really like your design

You get my first post
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the appreciation and for the first post!
post #24 of 37
Great build and execution!

I encountered the same issue about HVAC, even though my room is on a small zone with an office/bedroom, it was impossible to balance the temperature. So thanks to Mitsubishi's Mr. Slim mounted in the attic, it has its own zone and stays well controlled--yet no AC noise at all.

You mentioned about using a 7.1 speaker system, but I could not see where the surrounds are located. Do you have a picture?
post #25 of 37
Very intriguing build! I love all the curves. Awesome job on everything.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Great build and execution!

I encountered the same issue about HVAC, even though my room us on a small zone with an office/bedroom, it was impossible to balance the temperature. So thanks to Mitsubishi's Mr. Slim mounted in the attic, it has its own zone and stays well controlled--yet no AC noise at all.

You mentioned about using a 7.1 speaker system, but I could not see where the surrounds are located. Do you have a picture?


Look at the first and second picture on the black strip up high on the wall and you will see the surround speakers. I missed them at first too.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the appreciation!

Roger - thanks for visiting the website: the AC unit has been installed without problems, now I have to put back on his place the second row of seatings that I've moved forward to have better access to the dedicated AC niche.
I'm sorry that the pictures doesn't show clearly the surround speakers locations. I will take dedicated shots and post them this weekend: no problem.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post

Look at the first and second picture on the black strip up high on the wall and you will see the surround speakers. I missed them at first too.

Ahh, there they are, hidden in plain sight! Thanks.

Davide, no need for more pix, now that I have been shown how to see what's in front of me.
post #29 of 37
Nice job! I like it.

Clean lines, curves etc....yes looks good indeed
post #30 of 37
Beautiful theater, thank you for sharing your build !
Do you have any more info or photos on how you modified the IKEA "Poang" chairs ?

John
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