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WhiteHot Theater Build

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I've been trolling the site for what seems like forever, looking through posts, gathering ideas....you know the drill. With a recent tear of my MCL I find myself getting less of the grunt work done as I'd like so I figured I'd take time to put together a thread. I'm hoping to firm up a few questions that I have in the process. Through out the process keep in mind I'm running on a somewhat modest budget. I may not be doing everything upfront (like bass traps and fabric covered acoustic panels...etc) but I also don't want to cut any 'important' corners. I am a DIY'er at heart, l like working on this stuff, and I like keeping the money in my pocket as a result. I plan to do all the work with the exception subcontracting of the mudding and sanding. UGH! Who likes to do that anyhow???

My room is roughly 13 x 30. As you'll see in the floor plans its nearly a perfect rectangle with a bump out that I'd like to put a bar area in. Right now I need a little help with my lighting configuration and I'd like to know if I have enough space for 2 rows of seating + rear bar top built into riser and a full wetbar. Here are both floor plans.

With Room Dimensions + Full Bar

With Proposed Lighting configuration + Half WetBar

My equipment is by no means the best and is all entry level to provide a decent sound and picture for the time being.

Pani AX-200u Projector (future upgrade will likely be Epson 8350)
110" Sintra screen with SilverFire mix - With any luck I'm replicating what MississippiMan did with the 2x4 mounted + rear rope lighting in the DIY screen section
Polk Monitor 60 Towers
Polk CC2 center
Polk surrounds from the RM6750 5.1 package (selected due to head room)
Polk 10" sub, Denon 8" sub
Onkyo HT-RC260
xbox 360, ps3
popcorn hour media player
All inwall wiring, av cabling, wall plates, cat6e and banana plugs are from monoprice. I went with 12-4 wiring for optional biwiring/biamping down the road.

As you can see in plan with full bar I have a soffit running down the left side of the room. It used to run straight down the left 1/3 of the room but I just finished moving it over tight against the wall as possible. Its a pain but I couldn't exactly remove it so I have to live with it. So that will effect the way the can lights illuminate the left side of the room. My idea for lighting was to run 4 dimmers. 1 dimmer controlling the halogen spot lights shinning on the stage and screen, just simply there for giving a nice look to the front of the room in off mode. Dimmer 2 controlling 4 wall sconces. Dimmer 3 controlling what I'll call 'zone 1' which would be the 4 can lights above the theater seats. Finally Dimmer 4 controlling 'zone 2' which are the 4 can lights in the back of the room above the bar top.
My lighting questions are 1-is eight 6" can lights going to be too much, should I go with 4" cans? 2- How far back from the screen is recommended for that first set of lights? 3- How far back would be recommended for those sconces, and what kind of spacing between? 4-would the room benefit from 2 additional sconces on the back wall?

My next question is around my theater seating. I'd love to replicate what BIGmouthinDC did with his theater seating and put 2 rows of 3 recliners + a bar top behind the rear riser. Now with a 110" screen I wan planning on putting the eyes of the front row at 10-11 feet (unless that is a bad idea, please chime in). With the eyes at 11 ft that would put the back of the 6 ft deep rear riser at 17ft. As you can see in plan 1 my bump out starts at 19 ft. So If I added a 2-3 ft counter top I'm at the start of that bump out. What I would prefer to do is plan 1, which would be to have a bar top at the bump out with at least 2 additional stools, so 5 total. Here is a what i'm picturing -

Plan 2 would be if you dont think I have enough room to do a simple wetbar, like this one.

At this point I have my framing done. I'm running high voltage wiring this weekend, relocating a few PVC lines running through the space, and getting all of the low voltage boxes installed. Then i'll be tossing up a soffit around the duct work, throwing up some drywall and then making some calls to the drywall finisher.

Here are some build pics so far.

Before shot 1 -Theater seats, plywood to help me visualize the rear bar space

Before shot 2 - 2x4's laid down for walls, totes for a wet bar

Before shot 3 - french door opening space, understairs rack location

Before shot 4 - another rack space shot

Before shot 5 - rear wall where door to bathroom and utility room are

Before shot 6 - another shot of bathroom/utility room area

Current Room progress

Current shot1 - framing in place, projector mounted so I have some football to watch during my work time This is from the back wall forward.

Current shot2 - left front corner looking back - shows duct work progress

Current shot3 - french doors to my girls' toy room installed, looking at rack area

Current shot 4 - bar area and bathroom door installed

Bar area before framing finished

Toy room had to be finished first to keep my ladies happy - its 99% done short an hour of paint work and running the base molding. Shot 1 shows the ikea storage bins and hanging chair, shot 2 shows the chalk board and under stairs cubby.

And here's the first diagram where it all began about a year ago. With 3 kids, a full time job, a part time job, and kids active in competitive sports you can see why it has taken me a year to get this far

And thank you in advance for your help sorting out my questions. This forum really is a blessing.

post #2 of 19
I wish I have that length room
Good Start...
post #3 of 19
what about flipping the half wet bar and extending the bar top into the top behind the seats? You'd lose the walkway along the left side, but I don't think that would be a big problem. I think it would help define the bar space as separate from the theater.

You could extend the furred down area from the duct furr-down to the dropped ceiling over the bar recess. It would make a good place for the projector and recessed bar top lighting.

Have you thought about using an AT screen? I think you could sacrifice a couple of feet of depth for it. Since the room is narrow it would prevent you having to cram speakers into the corners.
post #4 of 19
Lookin great!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well I've been spending a lot of time on here looking at screen walls and I think I'm going to go with a screen wall and ditch the full bar idea. Going with a screen wall + stage will obviously push everything back so going with the half bar will be sufficient for what I plan to do with the room.

I'm thinking of something like this design.

I plan on doing the sintra screen for the time being because of budget. So with the design above I would be putting the left and right beside the screen and the center and subs under the screen. In the future an AT 2:35:1 screen would be great.

Some other things I've grabbed on here that I think I want to do is to build the sides and rears into columns. Since i'm pushing the whole seating area back the rears won't be too far back from the rear bar seats. I'm just worried about the sound field being obstructed from the middle and front seats if I put the rears that far back. My original plan was to hang the two rears from the ceiling just a few feet behind the rear bar top seats. The soffit on the left side of the room creates such a pain. In ceiling speakers have been really coming into consideration. I'm really open to suggestions.
post #6 of 19
quick advise...if you are planning to do lighting control with grafik eye..plan your lighting scenes first..then do the wiring accordingly...finalize the scenes..
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I need an answer pretty quick, drywall goes up Saturday. Will this rack be big enough to function in my build??? According to the internets my onkyo receiver is 17 x 7 x 13 and it's the biggest component I currently have.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Link fixed above.
post #9 of 19
When you go to an AT screen, you'll be needing to change those speakers. You don't want anything bright/shiny behind the screen.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

When you go to an AT screen, you'll be needing to change those speakers. You don't want anything bright/shiny behind the screen.

My speakers are all black with black covers. I only posted that pic for reference sake.

For the time being I'm going with a sintra screen based on my budget and other projects my wife has me doing. Eventually I would love to go with an AT screen and I will make sure that everything is blacked out.

Here are the specs on that Rack I posted above, I'm wondering if its not really deep enough for a HT application. However as you can see in my floor plan above i will have rear access (gotta love rear access...lol) to the rack so having a rack only 20" deep may not really be an issue at all.

Technical Specifications for Wallmount Cabinet, 48"H (26U) x 20"D, Black:
Exterior Height— 48.13" (122.25 cm)
Exterior Width— 21.25" (53.98 cm)
Exterior Depth— 20.15" (51.18 cm)
Interior Width— 21.0" (53.34 cm)
Interior Depth— 14.15" (35.94 cm)
Weight— 100 lb. (45.4 kg)
Weight Capacity— 300 lb. (136 kg)
post #11 of 19
The black covers have to go when behind an AT screen ... just a heads up.
post #12 of 19
WhiteHot - I see that you are using metal studs. What size studs are you using? I am debating if I should do metal or wood. Thanks! Looking great BTW!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Standard 2x4x8 that is sold at Lowes. I loved working with them, it allowed me to work at night while the family slept since you dont need to run a saw.

I have drywall being done next week so I need some quick responses please. With the soffit on the left and limited head space throughout I need to use in walls for surrounds and possibly the rears. For the rears id prefer to use shelves and go with bookshelf speakers. I dont have the luxury for the surrounds. Can anyone comment on a monoprice inwall that will timbre match with monitor 60 towers and a cc2 center?? Or am i stuck using a polk inwall setup for $$$$?? I plan to read the 140+ page monoprice inwall thread but if someone has first hand knowledge id appreciate it. Is there a reason to go with 8s or will the 6 1/2s do?? Thanks!!!
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone able to assist?
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok I'll try another question. I was thinking of going with installs for my surrounds and either in-walls or in-ceiling for my rears. I'm going to place the surrounds in between the two rows of theater seats and was thinking in walls for my rears based on the fact I have a soffit on the left side of the room. My assumption is that the sound field would be off if I placed one in-ceiling in the soffit and the other in ceiling in the full height ceiling. The difference would likely be around 12 inches. Rather than that I figure two in walls placed in the correct location and properly timed would sound better. Can anyone comment on my assumptions here??
post #16 of 19
Why not do an on wall bipolar side surround speaker. Surrounds should be mounted 6 feet high (or even a little more). They won't stick out far from the wall and you won't bump them.

You could mirror the soffit on the other side to get symmetry. I don't see how your soffit is framed; will you even have enough room to put a speaker in without the ducts getting in the way? I take it you're not worried about soundproofing. I suspect you would be fine with the speakers at slightly different heights above your head.

Timber matching is less important in the sound field compared to the sound stage and there are always compromises. I have no idea though what monoprice speaker would keep up with your polks.

These look kind of neat and could tuck up out of the way

post #17 of 19
I have installed the monoprice inwalls on several jobs and have been impressed with the sound- so for the price, I'd say go for it. As far as placement of the surrounds, I wouldn't worry too much. Those speakers handle so little of the sounds overall and after the receiver adjusts with the mic setup... if it was the fronts, then I might be concerned more about placement.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have many pics to upload as I've made a ton of progress since my last post. I'm finally ready for carpet this Friday and have a couple of last minute questions. I hope the board can assist.

1 - my stage and riser were built using two sheets of 3/4 inch plywood so I'm looking at a inch and a half lip. Do most folks take a router to the lip to make a smooth curve for the carpet installer or is the ninety degree edge okay?

2 - am I making a big mistake by not filling the stage with sand? My riser is full of roulette that I got on clearance at Lowes. I opted to take the cheap route and go with R30 pink in the stage. Is there a big difference or is sand overkill??

Thanks as always.
post #19 of 19
Congratulations on getting this far (that sounds sarcastic, but I'm sincere.) - looking forward to the pictures. smile.gif

1. I think most folks do router the edges before carpet, but I'm not convinced it makes a functional difference. If I had a router, I would do it. I wouldn't buy a router just to do it. - edit: this was timely - click here.

2. If your speakers are floor standing it might be a mistake, but I couldn't say how big (probably not huge) If your speakers are on stands or the wall, I wouldn't think about it again, in your position.


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