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LEVEL 4: Center for Entertainment build - Page 2

post #31 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stockmonkey2000 View Post

I debated the painted star ceiling also. I think they look more realistic than the fiber and almost went that route. Painted was also half the cost (to hire it done) than to do the fiber optic ceiling myself (tons of labor). In the end it came down to wanting to be able to control the light, and having animated shooting stars and such. I wanted to be able to dim or turn off the stars through the grafik eye. Painted seems like a great option and I think we are going to start seeing lots more of them here.

Oh man. I flip back and forth way too often! Currently, my plan is to build exactly what pinstripes did in his theater.



I can understand the reasoning behind your choice, and frankly, after visiting your thread I'm super tempted to do what you did! Ha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by madjbamj View Post

Chiming in with my first post. I am also an IT guy, who lives in a 4 level split, and just started my HT journey. I have been thinking of a name, and never even thought about the fact that we call ours the 4th floor all the time ! Too funny. Looking good so far. Mine is only partially finished, so I have quite a bit of framing to do.

No way! First, welcome as a user/former lurker! My basement walls were finished when I moved in, which was lucky, but that also means I'm stuck with the non-HT accoustics. I simply don't have the time/energy/money/heart to rip it all out.

We just bought our house in May, and the previous owners, during the close, referred to the levels as 1-4, and since then it's stuck! Even my 2 year old, gets it. It sounds so... industrial, but it works!

Anyway, welcome, and I'd like to see some pictures of your layout when you get going!
post #32 of 316
Thread Starter 
A brief look at the cabling I pulled into the room:



My av wall plate, which I'm mounting to the column, will have composite inputs, component inputs, 2 usb ports for my HTPC, a headphone jack, svideo, and two network jacks. I have an SNES, a ps2, and a NES that I'm connecting to this so the controllers are close enough to us.

Does anyone know how I can connect my headphone cable to the amp so when I plug my headphones into the wall, the speakers turn off? I don't want to have to plug the amp side in ever time I plug my headphones into the wall jack.

Next up, I'm rerouting one of the air ducts in the room so it's out of the way for my inset ceiling (like the post above this one).

Also, I'll be working on pulling the electrical for the screen wash lights and the media closet.
post #33 of 316
Thread Starter 
I ran two speakers wires from Level 4 to Level 2. Our kitchen, dining room, and living room are all in an open area, so a pair of stereo speakers fill the space well enough for some ambient music. I will run these off of the "B" speakers on my receiver.

Here're the speakers (taken from our living room one level up:
post #34 of 316
Nice to see another local theater being built, your design looks awesome! Keep up the great work Steve!
post #35 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegravley View Post

A brief look at the cabling I pulled into the room:


Oh, that's a good idea. I'm currently stapling up the 12/2 Romex to the inside of my soffits the same way you did. I was planning to free-run the speaker wiring in the soffits but I think I'll dress it up with zip ties like you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegravley View Post

Does anyone know how I can connect my headphone cable to the amp so when I plug my headphones into the wall, the speakers turn off? I don't want to have to plug the amp side in ever time I plug my headphones into the wall jack.

Do I understand correctly that you're using a receiver for your system and you want to be able to plug headphones into an aux plate at the front of the room? Doesn't the receiver mute the speakers when you plug headphones in? If so then you could just extend the mic jack to the aux plate. I must be missing something.
post #36 of 316
Thread Starter 
Zip ties from Monoprice and a box of 1" course thread drywall screws added a no more than a few extra minutes, and worked out nicely to keep them out of the way.

Regarding the headphones:
I will extend the headphone line from the receiver, but when I plug the end in at the receiver, the speakers mute. That's good for headphone time, when I have them plugged in at the walljack 25ft away, but not when I'm using the speakers. What I'm trying to avoid is having to plug both connections in when I'm using the headphones.

To be honest, this probably something I should just play around with before I ask for help from everyone. Frankly, plugging both ends in is not the end of the world for the very few times I would ever do this.
post #37 of 316
Thread Starter 
Last night I tested:
  • All seven speaker lines
  • The sub line
  • Playing MKV files through the HTPC
  • Ensuring DTS-MASTER and DD TrueHD work on the receiver through the HTPC

Everything on the list was successfully tested, thankfully. Tonight I'll finish up and test the rest of the auxiliary AV jacks.

Here are the speakers and the receiver during my test.





What a thrill it was getting a taste of the audio for the HT! I ended up spending the last two hours of my night playing clips of movies and listening to tons of music. Sure, the room is a wasteland, but I just closed my eyes and melted into the sound. When I am able to place the speakers properly, calibrate the room, setup the acoustical treatments, and use decent surrounds, I know the room will shine.

I've been using a pair of my CHT Sho-10's upstairs with the tv, so I have those two broken in. My center channel Sho-10, which is not broken in yet, did sound a little boxy. I'm hoping/expecting that improves. Also, crazy as it may seem to me, when I close my eyes and don't look at the speaker, it helps the perception of the sound.

The HSU 15" sub just astounds me. I love it.

I also would like to point out my handiwork with the duct in the first picture. That duct used to run straight down the joist, but I moved over two joists to make room for the inset coffering. It works great and I learned about moving duct work.
post #38 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegravley View Post

What a thrill it was getting a taste of the audio for the HT! I ended up spending the last two hours of my night playing clips of movies and listening to tons of music. Sure, the room is a wasteland, but I just closed my eyes and melted into the sound. When I am able to place the speakers properly, calibrate the room, setup the acoustical treatments, and use decent surrounds, I know the room will shine.

I don't know, man. Just hang the projector and call it a day! Just kidding... I set up a pair of speakers on my stage after I built it and did the exact same thing. LOL!

Hey, great work on the ducting. I know that was hard.

Were you able to test the headphone thing? I have been thinking about that and had another suggestion: just hook up a dedicated headphone amp to a tape-out on your receiver and turn down the speakers when you're not using them. That would sound better and work more the way you want. I'm not sure how well or if at all the receiver could mux the HDMI audio down to analog though. You'd have to test that out.
post #39 of 316
I must have listened to the first ten minutes of the Dark Knight, audio only, about 50 times, before I had my projector in. Then when I finally watched that same scene at a friend's HT, still before I had the projector, I was like "ohhh, so that's why the dialog sounds kind of muffled" (they're wearing masks).

Its nice to have some music running while you're working on the build going forward too.

At times I feel like my SHO-10 center sounds a little boxy too - but only on certain material, on other movies, it sounds fine. Not sure what to make of it, I guess I should compare the same material on another system (run into the house and try the same scene in the living room). Could just be the mix?
post #40 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

At times I feel like my SHO-10 center sounds a little boxy too - but only on certain material, on other movies, it sounds fine.

Do you guys both have the older waveguide, or the new 90X90 version? I don't know if that's significant in this case, just looking for details before I commit to them for my build.
post #41 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

Do you guys both have the older waveguide, or the new 90X90 version? I don't know if that's significant in this case, just looking for details before I commit to them for my build.

I bought them this spring, so not the newest version. I have three of the 2011 model.

During the movie(s), the left and right speakers play the orchestra and other sounds beautifully; clean and responsive. But the center, during dialog, sometimes can sound boxy. It's not a huge deal, and I know that once it's behind my screen, the suspension of disbelief will mostly alleviate that issue. Like Brad said, this could be a content or room issue, too.
post #42 of 316
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking a lot about how I want to frame the ceiling in the room. I want it to be nice (I guess that's stating the obvious). I only have 7' 6" to work with, so I'm trying to get some interesting architecture, but work within the constraints of the lower than average ceiling.

Here is my soffit design using Sketchup:


Rope lights would sit inside that second soffit shelf. My question: Is 3.5 - 4 inches enough space between the top of the ceiling and the second soffit for the light to make a nice gradiation across part of that ceiling?
post #43 of 316
Good looking progress.

I know you're looking to do an AT screen, but if you are doing this in phases, you may want to look at starting out with a Wilsonart DW laminate screen for starters with 3 and 6 yr old boys. The toughness and stain resistance is second to none as far as screens are concerned and it will only run you about $100 for the screen so it isn't too expensive as a temporary stop along the upgrade path.

Although my 4 and 2 yr olds have been well educated in staying off the stage, I still get piece of mind in having a resilient screen, at least for the next couple years.

-Suntan
post #44 of 316
One other thing. For anyone looking to put a theater into a multi-level house, I've got one word for you:

Balcony!

-Suntan
post #45 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Good looking progress.

I know you're looking to do an AT screen, but if you are doing this in phases, you may want to look at starting out with a Wilsonart DW laminate screen for starters with 3 and 6 yr old boys. The toughness and stain resistance is second to none as far as screens are concerned and it will only run you about $100 for the screen so it isn't too expensive as a temporary stop along the upgrade path.

Although my 4 and 2 yr olds have been well educated in staying off the stage, I still get piece of mind in having a resilient screen, at least for the next couple years.

-Suntan

Shyeah, no kidding! Here's my peace-of-mind rationalization. First, Chris at Seymour told me I can wash the screen safely. Second, since I'm buying the screen and doing the frame myself, the cost of a fabric replacement is only about $240. That's low enough that my children would likely survive any such fiasco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

One other thing. For anyone looking to put a theater into a multi-level house, I've got one word for you:

Balcony!

-Suntan

Last month I was talking to my contractor friend about knocking out the dining room floor and making it a two story theater, jokingly of course. Funny you mention it!
post #46 of 316
I was talking with my wife, a while back, about what I would do if the 'ol Powerball came through for us and I mentioned that the next house would have a theater with a balcony. ...For some reason she looked at me like I was nuts.

-Suntan
post #47 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegravley View Post

My question: Is 3.5 - 4 inches enough space between the top of the ceiling and the second soffit for the light to make a nice gradiation across part of that ceiling?

Four inches is about the bare minimum IMHO, you'll get better light spread with more distance; you can compensate somewhat for lack of distance to the ceiling by mounting the rope light back in the recess of the cove, i.e. toward the wall.

@Fred - I have the original SHO-10 for center, and original PRO-10s for everything else.
post #48 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Four inches is about the bare minimum IMHO, you'll get better light spread with more distance; you can compensate somewhat for lack of distance to the ceiling by mounting the rope light back in the recess of the cove, i.e. toward the wall.

@Fred - I have the original SHO-10 for center, and original PRO-10s for everything else.

Then I will mount the lights on the back vertical surface and try to get it as far back and as high as possible, making sure it's not visible. Thanks!
post #49 of 316
Don't forget that it is against the electrical code to run low voltage (under 30V) with high voltage (standard 110V) lines. The two types of wiring have to be run physically seperate from each other.
post #50 of 316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Don't forget that it is against the electrical code to run low voltage (under 30V) with high voltage (standard 110V) lines. The two types of wiring have to be run physically seperate from each other.

Yes, I have kept them separate so far and will do so. I have crossed them near each other, and over each other, but have been able to keep them from touching so far. Thanks for the tip!
post #51 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Don't forget that it is against the electrical code to run low voltage (under 30V) with high voltage (standard 110V) lines. The two types of wiring have to be run physically seperate from each other.

What do you mean by "with" above? Does that mean that they can't run through the same holes, have to be spaced a certain distance from each other, can't be in the same j-box, etc.?

I totally understand WHY but I'm wondering about the specific rules.
post #52 of 316
Thread Starter 
So I converted my closet into a built in cabinet with furniture a friend gave me.

Here are the steps:
  1. Demo wall to widen the opening
  2. Frame, rock, and tape in new opening
  3. Disassemble, cut to size, and reassemble cabinets
  4. Install

Since I'm new at this building stuff, I ran into a few problem, but on the whole, I think it turned out really well. I'm very happy with how it looks. I will probably end up painting it black, but I'm waiting for the room to be done before I decide on the color/finish.

Pictures!


Next on my list is clean-up, getting the gear into the cabinet, and setting it up enough so I can run Christmas music on our whole home audio for our Christmas party.
post #53 of 316
Excellent work! I bet it feels great to get that cabinet in there.
post #54 of 316
Great build, I love the ceiling! After seeing yours I went down to my space to see if I could incorporate it. Turns out my joists run at a slight angle compared to the side walls. That would turn into smaller boxes and thicker spacing.
post #55 of 316
Thread Starter 
I've done some work on the soffits. I'm not done yet, but I wanted to share what I've got so far!

The right is finished and I'm working on the left side now. I will add trim to the edges to form my light tray.

Both sides


From the left for some better detail of how it's built
post #56 of 316
Thread Starter 
First, I'd like to reiterate from earlier that I am not really concerned about sound transmission into other areas of the house. It'd be nice, but I am not willing to spend much or any money on it since I've already lost the battle coming into a room whose walls were mostly finished.

I would, however, like to take "economical" actions to improve acoustic quality.
  1. Do I need to put some insulation into my soffits to prevent adding boominess to the room? They will be completely enclosed by either MDF or sheetrock (and the light fixtures). If so, which kind of insulation should I use?
  2. When building my stage, do I put down a layer of roofing felt first? This is my plan from bottom to top: Frame attached with adhesive or tapconned into concrete > fill with insulation (which kind?) > OSB on top (do I need felt again?) > Maybe osb again? > Trim and carpet. My stage is being built to that the screenwall sits on it, but stops there. My sub will be on the floor behind the screen. Stage will be short, built on 2by4's most likely.
  3. This is an odd question, but a friend of mine swears that he changed someone's ceiling from black to dark brown, and the surface was less reflective. Anyone have any thoughts on that? I may test it. I have Mouse Ears and he has his brown.
  4. Is it standard to hook up the sub and test for rattles before putting up sheetrock?
  5. I'm considering building a velvet panel for the underside of my soffit that's over the screen. The curved section in the front... Do you think it's worth the extra effort? Alternatively, I could just paint it black or some other dark color.

Thanks in advance!
post #57 of 316
Thread Starter 
Anyone?



(I'll reward you handsomely with progress photos tomorrow for your answers today)
post #58 of 316
I confess that I saw your question about soffits yesterday and thought "I hope someone answers this!" because I was wondering that myself.

FWIW I'm planning to cram my soffits full of R30 pink fluffy, drywall them, and move on with life.
post #59 of 316
>> Do I need to put some insulation into my soffits to prevent adding boominess to the room?

I would - not sure about boominess, but to deal with any potential resonances (hit 50 Hz, and the soffit starts droning - don't want that) - pinky fluffy with no FRK, a little overstuffed).

>>When building my stage, do I put down a layer of roofing felt first?

I've seen many do so, and between plywood/osb layers on top, to avoid squeaks. Mine is PT lumber over concrete, and liquid nails between top layers, no issues.

>>This is an odd question, but a friend of mine swears that he changed someone's ceiling from black to dark brown, and the surface was less reflective.

My ceiling is brown - I like it - not sure if its more or less reflective than black though, I guess if both had a little sheen, not totally flat, the reflected light off black could look like more contrast than off brown? I first did mine with Valspar flat, but it wasn't flat enough - went over it with a couple coats of Behr, and it worked better, more flat.

>>Is it standard to hook up the sub and test for rattles before putting up sheetrock?

Doesn't hurt - I did to make sure there were no buzzes from lighting fixtures, before I closed up the soffit in the front of the room. Much easier to deal with then, before fabric was up.

>>I'm considering building a velvet panel for the underside of my soffit that's over the screen. The curved section in the front... Do you think it's worth the extra effort?

I did fabric there, personally I think its worth the effort - I still see a little reflection off the ceiling, but its much further from the screen, so not at all distracting. More important if your screen is very close to the ceiling.
post #60 of 316
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much, guys!

My screen is quite close to the roof of my basement ceiling, so any added measure to keep reflections minimized are good.

Brad, I'm going to have to run through your build thread... again.
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