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The Esquire Theater!! Construction Begins... - Page 5

post #121 of 1756
I've just discovered your thread, and I'm also building a HT in the basement of my house, although in a lot less space than you have available. I know you have picked out the speakers you want to use, but I'm really impressed with the Axiom Audio M80 in cabinet speakers that I'm going to be mounting behind my AT screen. I'm currently running the M22 in the living room. I'm mentioning them here just to get other people's take on them.

Also, I've only read a couple of threads on building HT's. I'm finding yours to be quite interesting and will be excitedly following it.

Link: http://www.axiomaudio.com/m80-in-cabinet.html
post #122 of 1756
After studying your pictures of the gas and water lines, here's an idea. Cut notches into the joists, using a circular saw (like for cutting out holes for door knobs, only smaller), then push and fasten the pipes up into these notches. Check code first to see if you can do this.

I've installed and removed my own natural gas lines, and I had no prior experience, so it's not all that hard. Just use thread sealing tape and get them real tight.
post #123 of 1756
I'm 169% sure that is not code, even though it would be "safe" since the notches would be near the end.
post #124 of 1756
Thread Starter 
CatBrat - Thanks for the link. I don't really know much about Axiom's products, but a paintable speaker for $700 is definitely something I haven't seen before. Interesting.

Regarding notching out the joists, that's a pretty serious no-no both from a code and safety perspective, so I can't go for that one. And I have to admit, you have a lot more chutzpah than me if you're moving your own gas lines. I have no plumbing experience and generally prefer to avoid large explosions within my home, so that one's not in the cards for me.

I actually haven't pulled the trigger on side surround speakers yet (the PSB Image 10S surrounds are great, but need to be moved to rear surround duty because they stick out so far from the wall - about 10" if I remember correctly). I'm 95% sure I'm going to go with the Triad OnWall Bronze though. They stick out less than 4"! I'm admittedly not particularly up to date on surrounds, but that size is amazing to me.

However, the Triad OnWall Bronze surrounds say maximum power handling of 100 watts. I'm a little nervous about overpowering them with the amp I'm using (Emotiva XPA-5, which is 350wpc @ 4 ohms...and the Triads run anywhere from 4 to 3.6 ohms). Anyone have thoughts on this?

Unfortunately, I'm still at work, so not much work is getting done on the theater tonight...long day.
post #125 of 1756
For surrounds I'd look at the Axioms also. The QS8's are rated as one of the best rear and side surround speakers around. There is a woofer on the top and another on the bottom, with 2 tweeters coming out of the front at an angle. I haven't heard these, but I've read enough feed back from those that have bought them that I've got to try them out. I just won't have a place to put them until I have my HT up and running.

Link: www.axiomaudio.com/qs8.html

I checked the PSB Image 10S surrounds, and they only stick out 7 3/8 inches from the wall. They are rated at up to 200 watts.
The Triad OnWall Bronze is 4 inches deep and rated at 100 watts. It might have a hard time keeping up with the other speakers volume wise.
The Axion QS8 is 6 inches deep and rated at up to 400 watts.

By paintable, (concerning the in-cabinet M80's), I'm assuming they mean the outer ridge, but I don't know, exactly. Since I'll be mounting them behind the screen it doesn't matter much, as long as you can't see them through the screen.

Now for screens, I've been looking at the Screen Excellence company. I think they are a little pricey, but I haven't found one that doesn't affect the sound quality as little as these do. They say there is a 2.5 db cut across all frequencies, so just turning up the volume a little compensates 100 percent at all frequency levels.

Link: http://www.screenexcellence.com/
post #126 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link CatBrat...you seem to be a big fan...do you by chance work for Axiom?

I took a quick look at the Axiom website - what is up with their sky-high sensitivity? Whoa - can those measurements be for real? AVS and the interwebs seem to report generally favorable reviews and the price is certainly right, but D.E. is still the big boss on such decisions. I haven't had a serious conversation with him about surrounds...I will most likely annoy him with that somewhere down the line. But he made the orignial suggestion of Triad and they sport sparkling reviews, so as long as the amp power isn't an issue, I'll likely be headed in that direction.

Still at work...ugh...
post #127 of 1756
LOL. I know I come across as a fanboy, but I've had these speakers for several months and I love them more every day. Here's a link of my living room setup the way I currently have it. I know it looks a little messy the way I have it, but it sounds wonderful. With the lights out, you can't really see the speakers much.


BTW, the wall really isn't pink. This blackberry changes the colors on me. The color is called Clay Pot and in dim light looks reddish orange.
post #128 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Okay so last night I got home from work at a more reasonable hour and decided I would put the first coat of Drylok on the last 8' of wall space before beginning framing this this weekend/next week. So I pulled down the insulation and lo and behold, there's a crack in the form that I'm not too excited about.


I don't think it's anything disastrous, but still, no cracks would be better than cracks. There is discoloration around the crack because I already scraped it with a wire brush. Then I covered the crack and all rebar holes with Drylok FastPlug. Here's the result:


You can also see that I quickly laid out the floor plan with the obligatory blue tape. My lines aren't that straight because I was just goofing around, but it was good to get a little perspective and see what the shape will look like in the end. Dennis came up with an interesting way to hide that annoying cement column, as you can see in this pic (which was taken from the second row while standing on a bucket of joint compound ):


The far line of tape is the front theater wall and the closer line of tape is the screen wall - then there's the slight angle inward for the front speakers, and then the long slightly-angled piece to get us past the column. Since there isn't a lot of space behind the screen wall and my front L/R speakers are very deep (20" ), I think the plan is to use the areas on the extreme left/right for bass absorbers. Then the room will widen out for the remainder of its length. Equipment room is behind this position - sorry...didn't take a pic of that last night.
post #129 of 1756
Thread Starter 
I don't know much at all about lumber, so would greatly appreciate some input here...

There are a lot of different species out there, mostly for the same price at my local big box stores, and I'm wondering which is best. (I'm also considering a few specialty places, but figure this is a good general education to get before I go buy a bunch of the wrong stuff). I know I need to use pressure treated lumber for the sole plates, but what should I be choosing for studs and top plates?

A search of my local stores yielded these options (all for the same price):
Premium Whitewood
Kiln Dried Whitewood S4S
Hemlock Fir
KD Premium
Western White Fir
KD HF Premium (for about $0.20 less per stud)

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
- Thanks!!
post #130 of 1756
I just try to get straight ones. Twisted ones are the worst. I got mine at Lowes.
post #131 of 1756
Thread Starter 
LOL yes that's definitely part of the plan!

In other news, how about the weather?!?! It is POURING here! Should be a good test of our basements. As I was working last night, I heard the sump pump turn on and off a bunch of times - it never comes on for more than 5 seconds at a time, but last night was the first time I have ever heard it come one more than once in an evening. Although it's super quiet and I'm sure I miss it a lot - you really have to be listening for it to hear it. It has been really wet here lately.
post #132 of 1756
I also don't worry about a bend along the skinny side of the 2x4. The wall will still be straight and the sole and top plates will be bent straight after it is part of the structure and Tapconned to the floor. If you try to find truly straight lumber you'll be there all day. It is not a big deal.

Yes, a lot of rain indeed. I hear my French drains draining..... I can't wait to Dryloc the floor.
post #133 of 1756
Here's a little info on Spruce, Pine, Fir, Cedar, and Redwood 2x4's.

Here's the link:


And here's a copy of what this says:

For the most part 2 by 4's all look the same but they are not. Common 2 by 4's like the kind that can be bought at home improvement and construction supply stores are usually stamped S-P-F on the end. This means the 2 by 4 is either spruce, pine, or fir; these are used mostly for framing. Other 2 by 4's like cedar and redwood are used mostly for decking and railings.

1. Spruce 2 by 4's are one of the most common and are characterized by the straight grain attributed to its slow growth pattern and tight-knit fibers. This translates into straight 2 by 4's. Spruce is the lightest in weight of the 2 by 4's and is considered to have the highest strength-to-weight ratio. Spruce can be recognized by its whitish-amber color. It's strong and resilient, and can stand up to the elements better than pine or fir, for this reason spruce 2 by 4's work well for outdoor applications as a cheaper alternative to cedar or redwood.

Southern Pine
2. Pine, or more particularly "Southern pine," has the distinction of being referred to as the stronger of the 2 by 4's. Southern pine is recognized by its warm, golden color and is often pressure treated for outdoor use. The density factor of Southern pine is something that has been noted, the more density, the better fasteners, nails, and screws hold when driven into Southern pine. Southern pine is used mostly for interior framing but is also a popular choice for decking, arbors, and even playground sets for children.

Douglas fir
3. Douglas fir has been called the "standard" for many builders. It has an elasticity that has made it a favorite for builders, and has documented proof that Douglas fir has superior performance against strong forces and natural phenomenon such as winds, storms and earthquakes. Doug fir has tight knots and close grain, with a semi-dark warm red tint. Douglas fir is utilized in framing when maximum strength is required.

4. Cedar is one of the more exclusive 2 by 4's. It has a beautiful, almost translucent gold color. It has natural aromatic, insulating, and decay-preventing properties, which make it the premier outdoor building 2 by 4. The stability of cedar also make it a good choice for exterior framing in exposed areas like open beam construction found in mountain lodges and rustic buildings. Cedar also takes stain and preservatives readily and is very easy to cut and work with.

5. Redwood 2 by 4's are relatively expensive 2 by 4's. They are used for furniture and decking, as well as in in log homes and around hot tubs and saunas. Environmental laws prevent the mass production of redwood 2 by 4's, so they are a sought-after commodity for those who can afford to use them. Builders love working with redwood because of its inherent dark red beauty and its smooth and pliable characteristics.
post #134 of 1756
Originally Posted by AirBenji View Post

Okay so last night I got home from work at a more reasonable hour and decided I would put the first coat of Drylok on the last 8' of wall space before beginning framing this this weekend/next week. So I pulled down the insulation and lo and behold, there's a crack in the form that I'm not too excited about.


I don't think it's anything disastrous, but still, no cracks would be better than cracks. There is discoloration around the crack because I already scraped it with a wire brush. Then I covered the crack and all rebar holes with Drylok FastPlug. Here's the result:


Just a word of warning, I am not sure if Drylok Fast Plug is a good solution for foundation cracks. When foundation crack develops, it is not just surface cracks usually , the crack goes all the way to the outside of the foundation. I had similar cracks and I fixed with low pressure injection of epoxy gel. It would cost you thousands if you have the professionals do it, but essentially, they use same method to inject gels or foam into the cracks to bind and seal the cracks from inside to outside of the foundation wall. Hydraulic cement just won't go deep into the crack I think.
post #135 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Hi Walkinator - Thank you for the advice - I saw how you resolved those issues in your thread. And yeah, you're right: if I get up on a ladder and look at the top of the foundation wall, I can see that the crack continues through the wall (at least until it is covered by the sill plate and I can't see past there - But I'd bet it goes all the way through). I think you're also probably right about Drylok being inadequate if there is any further cracking/widening of that gap. I guess I'm just planning to take a chance on that one though and hope it doesn't get worse. Argh...now that you have me thinking about it, the idea of not fixing it entirely isn't sitting that well with me...
post #136 of 1756
Thread Starter 
CatBrat - for some reason, I missed your reply yesterday regarding wood species - I'm probably crazy but I swear it wasn't displayed the last time I was here, and I just got email notification a few mins ago! Anyway, thanks a lot for that info - very helpful!
post #137 of 1756
When I posted that yesterday, a message flashed up really fast not giving me enough time to read it. All I got was it needed to go to be reviewed by the forum moderator first. There was a lot more info, perhaps explaining why this happened, but I couldn't read it. It might be that I'm new here and only allowed so many posts, or something. Anyway, I've started my own thread here, called CatBrat's HT Build, so I won't be bothering anyone about my own opinions on equipment, etc..

Keep up the good work, HT is my favorite hobby.
post #138 of 1756
Thread Starter 
CatBrat: I don't think you're bothering anyone at all - I think you'll find the AVS community to be an excellent place both for discussion of your passionate interests and for resolving questions related to this hobby. I know that I have found the people here to be unendingly helpful and generous, not to mention incredibly knowledgeable.

Anyway, I'm done tooting everyone else's horn now. Best of luck with your HT endeavors! And don't worry - nearly all of us are freaks about this hobby!
post #139 of 1756
I was wondering what to do with the tie-rod holes as well. I had a local concrete services company in yesterday to fix three 5+ foot foundation cracks and they drilled insertion holes and filled with the epoxy. Here in Canada, they charge $450 for the first five feet of crack and then $50 for every additional foot of crack. For the tie-rod holes, they wanted $75 each so now I'm leaning towards a career change away from information technology and into home repair

The cracks were seeping, but no water coming in through the holes so hopefully I'm good. Luckily my contractor picked up the bill for the work.
post #140 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Whoa that's a big bill - glad to hear you contractor was willing to eat that one for you! I'm assuming your house was built very recently? I don't have any experience with the tie rod holes, but read some stuff and watched a few videos (very authoritative haha) that noted that the tie-rods are where water seepage often comes from. I figured stuffing some FastPlug in there and then putting two coats of Drylok over that would at least help a little if there are any compromised spots in the future...
post #141 of 1756
Originally Posted by AndreasMergner View Post

I can't wait to Dryloc the floor.

My last bucket of Dryloc said "not for floors" but that was over a decade ago.
post #142 of 1756
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

My last bucket of Dryloc said "not for floors" but that was over a decade ago.

Mine did as well. This is for warranty purposes, not necessarily performance. Drylock seals up a floor as well as a wall, but they don't want a traffic pattern to wear a hole in the drylock layer. I figured that the fact that I have a riser, as well as carpet and pad made the traffic wear a non-issue.
post #143 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Ugh now you guys have me thinking that I need to do something with the floor! I was inspecting it last night and there are quite a few little hairline cracks throughout (in addition to the larger ones previously discussed which I'll be filling with Drylok Masonry Crack Filler). I'm not planning to use Dricore or another product of that nature, so maybe 2 coats of Drylok on the floor would be money well spent...argh...I was so excited to start framing!

Speaking of $$, I have been keeping pretty close track of my expenses in a spreadsheet. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can either post here or PM to you...

Happy Friday!
post #144 of 1756
Big: Drylok has a couple formulations for floors. They are designed to be more durable and to go over painted surfaces if need be. Since my concrete will be covered and not directly walked on, I went with the wall version since it penetrates for better waterproofing.

Ben: I say skip that crazy epoxy crack sealing stuff. Your wall is behind foam anyway. Any water getting through will drip down into the French drain.

As far as the floor goes, what are you putting on top?
post #145 of 1756
Thread Starter 
Hi Andreas - haven't talked to you in a bit...looks like your build is still comning along quickly though!

Re the floor...I have been thinking and thinking and reading and reading...I was doing some random searching on the internet and found the following question and answer:

"Should I paint/waterproof my basement floor?"
"Do not put Drylok on the floor! It will crack under the water pressure. You can use Drylok's clear masonry sealer, but it is not a waterproofer, just a moisture barrier. (I used to be a customer service person for this company). For more info on what products of Drylok's to use, call their 800 number and ask to speak to a lab technician. They get a million calls about the same thing all day so they are very helpful. Their number is 1-800-UGL-LABS. They have techs available from 8:30-4:00 eastern time."

That was posted back in 2006, so I don't know if there have been changes to the product since then...the fact that the person claims to be a prior service rep for Drylok made me listen a little more than I otherwise would have.

Another product suggested there was Superseal All-in-One Subfloor. I don't know anything about this, except that it's substantially less expensive than Dricore (ballpark $150 for 330 sq. ft.) and very low profile at 1/8". I guess that's also an option...maybe a decent one for me...

These are just thoughts though - I haven't made a decision...I think for now I'm leaning towards doing nothing. However, when I first looked at my house, I noticed that the prior owners had two dehumidifiers in that area of the basement (they left one for me, and of course it doesn't work, so I guess that means they only had one). I don't know if that's indicative of anything, but it at least makes me raise an eyebrow.

I hesitate to jinx this, but I lived here through this past rainy summer and the past week has been very rainy too, and while my sump pump has been running a lot this week, the floor seems fine. I guess I can also just postpone this decision until it's closer to carpet time...
post #146 of 1756
I don't see why a floor would crack and a wall wouldn't, unless it is just because a wall is typically thicker. If you have hydrostatic pressure, Drylok on the wall or floor is not so great until you get that fixed.
post #147 of 1756
Thread Starter 
So I placed my order with Ted White at The Soundproofing Company today. I got enough Green Glue to fill my jacuzzi, some SilenSeal, putty packs, clips, clips, some more clips, and the Speedload dispenser thingie. Very exciting!

I just want to go on the record that Ted has been outstanding to work with. He's extremely knowledgeable and has been very attentive to any and all of my questions and needs. Excellent knowledge, service, and pricing - we are all very lucky to have his input here on the forum.

I have done a ton of reading on soundproofing over the last 2 years or so on the forum, but I'm really looking forward to digging into Ted's installation manuals this evening/weekend! Hopefully having a bunch of framing lumber delivered tomorrow...
post #148 of 1756
Thread Starter 
I think it was earlier this week that we were discussing entrances. Here are two pics that I blatantly stole from one of BIG's posts in the "Show me your doorway" thread (I hope neither BIG nor the owners of these amazing entrances mind).

Anyway, this is sort of along the lines of what I'm thinking. I will not have double doors though - and it won't be anything elaborate like this either. And let's call a spade a spade here - I can only dream of having an entrance as beautiful as any of these! But what I do want is some sort of columns on either side of the door like this - mine will likely be more substantial because I plan to hide a dead vent in one of them.

If possible, I'd like to use rope lighting above the door, sort of like CurtisG's Cinema Paradiso (also stolen from BIG's post). All three of these entrances are amazing, and mine won't be elaborate like these, but you get the idea: columns on either side of the door and some rope lighting on the bottom a curved soffit above the door.



post #149 of 1756
Those are awesome inspirations.
post #150 of 1756
I'm using the JnB entry as my inspiration as well. That photo get's alot of mileage on the forum! Who's theater is it? Was there a construction thread? Photos of the interior of the theater?
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