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Hawaii Home Theater Construction - Page 18

post #511 of 755
Thread Starter 
Time for some updates and pics. The doors are not completely done yet (still putting on multiple coats of poly then I need to smooth them out) so it's on to the next portion...... First, however, I needed to clean this dump of a room up a bit.

Carpets starting to go in. biggrin.gif I'm getting excited.... it should really look good. biggrin.gif Everything on the walls is still covered in dust but that is an easy fix.

Edited by psychdoc - 7/10/13 at 9:43pm
post #512 of 755
The maple syrup idea caused reason for pause... but I'm debating, with myself, Winterfell.

"Change the decor every 2 or 3 years"...seriously? I'll be lucky to get this house done ONCE before I'm dead! biggrin.gif

The "old" designation for the steel wool was "0000", but it may have become "Fine". My painter rubs down the woodwork evenly with the steel wool only (dry) and has a small can of finishing wax (oops!). http://www.minwax.ca/wood-products/specialty-products/minwax-paste-finishing-wax

He also finishes doors flat (horizontal), which may help to fill in the pores a bit easier as the urethane levels. He complained that I got water based to do the addition's trim because the oil based has a harder finish. He sticks 4 #10 x 3" screws in the corners, top and bottom edges and hangs the door by the screws between two saw horses/tables on the screws. He does one side then flips the door... When "dry", they can be stood on the screws on the floors and screws against a block on the wall to let them cure. This way nothing touches the wood.

Hope this isn't too late, we were going through rolling black outs after the storm...POOF!
post #513 of 755
Thread Starter 
More update pics...... biggrin.gif

It was getting late so the process will continue tomorrow.
I'll check out the "finishing wax"... thanks Jim. So you didn't like the maple syrup idea????? wink.gif Hopefully you have a generator. I also hope those rolling blackouts don't occur in winter.... that would not be fun!

More to follow!
post #514 of 755
we all can have fun with different approaches and compare final results.thanks mkbo
post #515 of 755
Looking good, superior taste in carpet! smile.gif
post #516 of 755
Thread Starter 
I thought you might notice that. Brilliant minds think alike. wink.gif

I searched for about two months for the perfect carpet for my room and when I finally found this one I thought I struck gold. I also thought I somehow was the only one who knew about this awesome theater carpet. Then, after purchasing it, I had to of seen it in about three different theaters with your theater being one of them. rolleyes.gif Oh well, so much for being original. Still, it looks amazing and is the perfect carpet for a theater! biggrin.gif
post #517 of 755
Thread Starter 
The process continues........ There are only a few things in this room that I didn't do myself and the carpet is one of them (although I helped carry the heavy sucker in, does that count as partial credit? wink.gif ) My brother-in-law's brother, Clyde is doing a great job but installing the carpet on these steps and getting everything perfectly lined up is taking much longer than the flat open areas, which should be expected. I'm getting excited about what this room will look like when it's done biggrin.gif .

post #518 of 755
I did like the maple syrup idea with the maple lief screen! But I already have an 80' maple in the front yard...so I wouldn't want to overuse the theme. smile.gif I may have a maple syrup dispenser instead of a popcorn machine, however...quieter. biggrin.gif I'll string tubes to all the seats like the collection system in a sugar bush, like IV lines. I just realized my maple tree is like the tree that "sprouts" in Winterfell during the titles. biggrin.gif

The rolling blackouts were because some of the underground transformer vaults were flooded. Everything is fixed now. I managed to buy one of the last available generators, but left it at a job site to pump the 2' of water out of their basement.

We have had a black out in the winter with 10 F temperatures for over 36 hours. The house only lost a few degrees. I have a 5" floor slab in the basement with radiant heat that acts like a huge heat sink. The addition has 1000 sq ft of 6" slabs on two levels, also with radiant heat, so there is a lot of heat storage. The insulation is all foam, so it doesn't lose much heat.

You are getting so close to being done! You must be dying to get the seats back in there!!! Have you booked the calibration guy yet? Very exciting. biggrin.gif Looks great!
post #519 of 755
Thread Starter 
I love the IV lines connecting the chairs. Maybe have buckets on each chair with some maple syrup in each one to give it the authentic smell. Nothing better than maple syrup...... except for maybe bacon, but just barely. biggrin.gif

My theater done?!?!?!?!?!?!??? HA! Not even close. The major things left to do:

- Install the LED light rope
- Open the walls outside of the theater and install my two Middle Atlantic racks
- Install my outside door of the theater
- Prep a ton of wood, cut, prep and make molding for the WHOLE room!
- Install the sound proof seal kits for the doors
- Install connectors to CAT 6a, 6, and 5e running everywhere
- Get my Control4 home automation up and running
- Make and install a full Star Ceiling
- Make hinges and install doors to the areas of soffit
- Finish adjustments to the Acoustic panels so they don't rattle when the subs are booming
- Unpack about 1400 lbs of speakers (no joking, my 11.4 Aerial Acoustics speakers weigh a ton.... well, almost a ton eek.gif )
- Unpack all my equipment that has been sitting in boxes
- Mount and install the projector
- Get the video calibrator in for my Lumagen and then see what is left in the budget and just maybe see what I can do for audio calibration beyond my Audyssey
- Other items that I'm likely not even thinking about currently

I've got another 3-4 months of work to do but we'll be watching movies I'm sure starting this weekend as long as my wife has her way rolleyes.gif

Another pic..... the carpet is done! It looks amazing. I thought the stairs wouldn't be as good as they are so I'm very happy! Great job Clyde!

post #520 of 755
Looks good psychdoc! The star ceiling and the moldings appear to be the only large time commitments in your list, so I think you'll be done sooner than you think!!

I would have one suggestion....if there are budget constraints for a professional calibration, I would definitely hire out the audio calibration because it is far more complex to do, even with Audyssey XT32. A decent video calibration is possible on your own with the right inexpensive tools and software. Maybe not 100% as a pro calibrator, but close enough. Something to think about.

Looking forward to more updates!
post #521 of 755

It has been fun to watch your build thread. I can not believe it has been over a year since you started. eek.gif Seems like yesterday we were just chatting on the phone about your HT. I am looking forward to seeing the room completed, but will miss having your build to always go too...

Keep up the good work!smile.gif

post #522 of 755
Thread Starter 
Hi TMcG,

Even though I've been working on this during all my free time, everything is going much slower than planned since everything I’m doing I’m doing for the first time. If I had to do all over again, I suspect I would be at least 40% faster. Still, I think 3-4 months is still conservative but it will be fun to start using the room as I go. My discipline will be severely tested once the projector gets mounted. That distraction could easily add an extra month to the total time of completion. wink.gif I know my wife will not be pushing me as hard to work on it or as easily willing to cover down on the children going forward. Then again, the master bathroom still needs to get done so she should still have some motivation left.

I agree with the calibration. I’d love to get it so I know I'm getting the most out of my very expensive system. I'm also interested in what the increase in performance truly is when comparing Audyssey vs professional calibration. I suspect everyone that has had it done raves about it but how much of that is due to the bias introduced by paying the high sum of money for it? Who doesn’t automatically love everything they bought, especially the expensive stuff? It takes guts to say… “I spent 20K on X brand of speakers and they are terrible and I’m stuck with them”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. That being said, what percentage increase are we REALLY talking about? Granted, most of us who are actually building dedicated theaters are playing with things that only give incremental gains.

Back to the topic, I recently listened to some very interesting podcasts (Smarter Home Theater and Home Theater Geeks) and some of the experts suggested that until you have a microphone that looks exactly like your head and behaves like your head with the actual microphone positioned in the ears, you’re really not going to get the most accurate representation through calibration. Their explanation and reasoning was very interesting and actually made sense. Another expert guest speaker said he would only calibrate the bass and leave everything else alone. So, it seems there are many shades of grey to this topic. Probably the biggest hurdle, however, is the fact that I’m in Hawaii! eek.gif I contacted Dennis Erskine recently to see if he or his guys ever flew out to Hawaii for vacation or other business but he doesn’t. After purchasing the calibration equipment required in the rack, paying for the expert’s time during the long calibration for a 11.4 system, I suspect paying for airfare to get an expert to fly all the way out here would be cost prohibitive to say the least. As a medical doc in the Army, my budget is not unlimited. rolleyes.gif I don't want to seem as though I'm being overly negative about calibration by only posting the limitations. Quite the opposite, I'm hopeful that I get back some thoughtful responses that make the argument that calibration will be worth it for me, even if it's an incremental gain, but enough of a gain to do it. I’ve been casually looking around locally but I doubt there is any real resource that could do the job well here on island. Oh well….. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hopefully something works out…. wink.gif

******* BREAK *******

Just as I was about to post this, I noticed Trek posted! Welcome back and great to hear from you. For those that don’t know, Trek’s theater over in Texas was the inspiration for mine. On an unrelated note, we also ended up with the same type of speakers (Aerial Acoustics as well as the Sony 4K projector). I’m about to start up the Star Ceiling from the same company…. Get ready for some calls when I get stuck!!!

Yes, it's been a year but I've been working on my house addition too.... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it wink.gif I hope you and your family are doing well.

As always, more to follow....
Edited by psychdoc - 7/17/13 at 8:56pm
post #523 of 755
"Yes, it's been a year but I've been working on my house addition too.... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it I hope you and your family are doing well."


You are more ambitious then I, taking on a remodel of just about your entire house! You will have many great years of enjoyment when it is all completed!smile.gif


Edited by trek737 - 7/12/13 at 1:42pm
post #524 of 755
I suppose if there is a downside to living in paradise in the middle of the ocean it's that you are in the middle of the ocean. biggrin.gif

As it stands now, I plan on professional audio calibration because I will probably be investing in an external QSC or Xilica DSP to have the necessary features and digital resolution to dial in my Procella system perfectly. The DSPs are LOADED with settings for which I either have no clue what they do or don't care what they do, not to mention the $50,000 in pro-grade calibration equipment these guys typically carry. There's just no comparison - but like you said, it does come at a significant cost in your case.

From what I have heard with Audyssey XT32 is that it typically does a very good job with the midrange on up, but struggles in achieving proper signal balance in the bass section, especially the upper bass range. So with Audyssey XT32 it becomes a matter of running the system over a number of listening positions (8 to 12 minimum) and then manually adjusting the bass range to your liking and to the best of your ability.

I know I'm rambling a bit (because it's been an exhausting week!!), but that is some of the feedback I have read on the Forum and discussed with some of the pro calibrators FWIW.

And believe me - I wasn't busting your balls in the slightest about the timeline - you've made incredible progress so far. I was just picking out the two projects that can be really tedious to complete since they take sustained and focused effort.

Have a great weekend! By the way, good 'ol Stonewater Cinema is getting the dust blown off of it this weekend! biggrin.gif:D
post #525 of 755
Thread Starter 

I've been trying to read up on the subject of calibration over the past few days but as far as the QSC products, I feel like a fish out of water. I know you're not an expert calibrator yourself but it seems you're further along than me in this subject so let me ask..... knowing that I have a 11.4 system and plan to run the Marantz 8801 to take advantage of the matrix programs to get 11.4 sound up and running, what sort of QSC devices would I need and how many of them? Are the QSC products even compatible when trying to use DSX or similar programs? I suspect your answer is going to be painful. Any other knowledgeable person out there with an opinion?

No worries about what is left to do in my theater, I didn't even think you were "busting" on me. We both have some work to do this weekend! biggrin.gif

Thanks all.
post #526 of 755
Actually, I just about said everything I knew on the subject as far as major points in audio calibration are concerned. A lot of the pro calibrators comment in the Audyssey thread and most who have let Audyssey "do its thing" and then took measurements to see how close it got to the way they would calibrate the room have all isolated the same issue with the bass / upper bass range. I can't find any links at the moment and I have never personally heard an XT32 calibrated system....but I am only forwarding what some of the pros who do this type of stuff for a living have said. Brad (KNKKNK) in his home theater thread http://www.avsforum.com/t/1127266/yes-dear-im-down-here-working-on-your-craft-room had used Audyssey for some time before purchasing a QSC unit and hiring in a calibrator. Brad is a very competent and knowledgeable member and knows his way around calibration with the tools such as REW. However, I think this post describes the differences he had with his theater the best: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1127266/yes-dear-im-down-here-working-on-your-craft-room/660#post_21383971

My only comment to the above was that if you had a calibrator on-site and you had a choice between spending $$$ on the audio calibration or $$$ on the video calibration, it is far easier for mere mortals like us to do the video rather than the audio. That being said, you have an awesome Sony 4K projector, a Lumagen device and a Firehawk screen....all of which will take a bit of effort to get dialed in correctly. But still, it would be easier to try and tackle the video than the audio IMHO.

To answer your question above, the QSC devices would replace the Audyssey XT32, the internal EQ, etc. Most of the pros use a DSP-322ua or a DSP-922az for the processing. These are 8 in and 8 out devices. So if you have 11 channels plus stereo sub outputs on the Marantz, that is 13 channels. The bass channels can be replicated internally to any output, fyi. So you would need two of these devices and they are pricey.

If I were you, I'd skip the QSC and live with the Marantz 8801's processing capabilities for a good long while before making the investment in the QSC stuff. I am sure you will be stunned by the sound quality and it will be easier for you to play around, make adjustments and generally learn how changes you make in the processor affect the in-room sound.
post #527 of 755
Budgets? I hate budgets! I find they get in the way of efficient spending. biggrin.gif

I think we have gotten to the part where I shut up and try to learn something! eek.gif
post #528 of 755
Thread Starter 
Not a chance Jim.... we have lots of work left for you biggrin.gif .

My first row of Fortress seating in....

The wife has gotten so used to the other row in the living room she already is trying to talk me into keeping them there. Really?!?!?!?!? eek.gif
post #529 of 755
Perhaps you've already covered this, but what was it about the Fortress seating that caused you to spring for the extra money? Certainly, they look great -- was that it?
post #530 of 755
Things are looking awesome Psych. I am looking forward to seeing lots of details on the installation of the star field. I probably will never do a fiber optic ceiling , but love learning , and who knows , might end up with a client who wants one.
Did you get inspection on your riser and step? I see theres no handrail or guard rails so I'm hoping thats the final layout , looks great . For someone with "no skills" in this type of construction , you are putting plenty of "skilled" craftsmen to shame. I might have to take advantage of a travel agency's add out here for $99 flights to Hawaii to sneak in and see your theater in person. wink.gif I have a few friends that work in the movie industry , I will check to see if any of them know a sound engineer who could come with me to calibrate your audio setup.
post #531 of 755
Thread Starter 
Lebon- I don't have a great reason for the Fortress, they are custom made which is good for someone 6' 5" and has never found other furniture comfortable. And, they look great. I thought this theater was a bit of a "once in a lifetime" event so I thought, what the heck. Now that I have them and I've been using them for a while I can give you a review. They were made to my dimensions and I love them. The most comfortable chair ever and the only chair that doesn't cause discomfort with the footrest. Shortcomings... The cup holders! They suck. They are standard sized cup holders so any large cup doesn't fit. Who uses small to medium cups when watching movies? That point is very annoying as I am balancing my cups on the arm rests now and just waiting for one to be knocked over and spill onto the leather. They are VERY expensive but are worth it assuming they last. I'm hoping they don't make regular furniture because if they do and the wife finds out I'll be stuck buying some for the living room. Since using the seats my wife, who is 5' 6", has fallen in love with them as well, an expensive love affair to have. wink.gif

Acras, very kind of you to say that but I'd have to guess that if I'm putting someone "to shame" they've got to be really bad biggrin.gif . I got the green light for the steps from the lead construction guy and family friend who's supposed to be here helping. I'm no longer waiting for any of that in the theater. Before this project started he talked a big game so I went crazy with the planning stage. When I realized I was on my own I thought "oh crap". Only two choices to make; cancel the project and waste a massive amount of money or start reading and learning fast. Thankfully there have been a lot of great people on this forum to fill in gaps of knowledge like yourself, Jim, TMcG, BllDo, trek, and friends and family back in Florida (as well as my construction guy who does give advice when I'm able to actually get a hold of him), to name just a few.

If any of you guys want to demo my theater when you're out here I'd love to host. JLgLaw did the same for me a while back and I was instantly addicted so be careful what you ask for biggrin.gif
post #532 of 755
I'm telling you, my new patented IV line drink system is going to be all the rage! You won't need those cup holders at all. Before the movie, you connect your line to the desired drink dispenser and enjoy as much as you want by simply activating the bite valve at your seat location. biggrin.gif
post #533 of 755
Originally Posted by just jim View Post

I'm telling you, my new patented IV line drink system is going to be all the rage! You won't need those cup holders at all. Before the movie, you connect your line to the desired drink dispenser and enjoy as much as you want by simply activating the bite valve at your seat location. biggrin.gif

Jim, be careful with your marketing of that drink system, it might violate the patent I have in the U.S. When my friends wife bought him a kegorator for their new house back in 2002, a few of us were enjoying draining the first keg, but upset with the inefficiency of having to get up refill and the idea was born. I drew some plans up for an underground refridgerated pipe from the kegorator to the garage, in line pump and manifold to distribute to 6 seating positions in the yard. I couldn't figure out the bite valves to my satisfaction though.
post #534 of 755
D@#$! Every time I come up with a new get rich quick scheme, somebody's beaten me to it. redface.gif

Refrigerated underground line, eh? We don't need that up here with the permafrost. biggrin.gif But I like the way your mind works acras... I'm sure psych's wife will never question the ridge under the carpet if he runs it close to the chairs. biggrin.gif

Hey, this is my 100th post! Where's that beer line?
post #535 of 755
Originally Posted by just jim View Post

D@#$! Every time I come up with a new get rich quick scheme, somebody's beaten me to it. redface.gif

Refrigerated underground line, eh? We don't need that up here with the permafrost. biggrin.gif But I like the way your mind works acras... I'm sure psych's wife will never question the ridge under the carpet if he runs it close to the chairs. biggrin.gif

Hey, this is my 100th post! Where's that beer line?

Jim , you've got the Canadian market locked in .Yea , you don't want to be digging in permafrost , you don't want to uncover a woolly mammoth while you're digging , or a neanderthal , you saw all the trouble Brenden Frasier caused in Encino Man .
I missed the 100th. post beer , wondering what I'll get for my 200th. Of course , if they have to be meaningful and helpful , I'm at about 3 posts.
post #536 of 755
Hi Ho Grizzly Bear/psychdoc
Aaaah.... you make your Momma proud...It is beautiful.... Can’t wait to see it up close..... and enjoy the benefits.... Papa Bear has been boasting to his friends about your ambitious project....
Tell us ...will the Bear Cubs be allowed to have candy and drinks in the cherished theater room???? Just think of that first “Yikes!!!”
Momma Bear
post #537 of 755
Thread Starter 
Howdy Mom,

Glad to hear you checked out my new digs and you and Dad like the way it's turning out. I suspect you were biting your tongue thinking I was crazy when I first told you about my plans biggrin.gif . After all those years as a teenager and college student of me setting up a tv and speakers with wires all over the place, I'm guessing you're liking this version better? biggrin.gif Even better, it's been a good 20 years or so since the last time you've had to yell "turn it down". With this theater's sound proofing, hopefully Christine doesn't need to follow in your footsteps (that was one of my goals since she's all too willing to take over in that regard).

I look forward to having you and Dad out as soon as possible. I'll even give up the sweet spot (front row, middle) for a movie or two. There is still a ton of things to do and having Dad as an experienced consultant there at the ready will make life a lot easier smile.gif . To answer the question if my two cubs are allowed to eat in the theater.... NO WAY!!! There is even less of a chance of letting them drink a drink in there. This past weekend Sarah decided to throw her plate of pasta up in the air and behind her (In retrospect I think she was attempting to cool it off in some bizarre fashion and lost control of it). If it is something small that I can control I might let them eat a cookie or something in the theater but I'd like to keep the room looking nice as long as possible. Christine already wants to start throwing "movie birthday parties" for the kids so those days will be stressful with a bunch of rugrats trying to sneak munchies into the theater. Eventually I will lose on that deal, but not for a long while!
Edited by psychdoc - 7/15/13 at 5:27pm
post #538 of 755
Originally Posted by psychdoc View Post

he stated he strongly dislikes room correction items like Audyssey and further stated that all the supposedly helpful testing items in my new Marantz 8801 were not accurate at all.
If not XT32, to what testing items does he refer?

I think it makes sense to assess the sound quality and to make certain measurements (like with REW) before deciding you need any EQ or whether to alter the acoustic treatment. Then, after getting familiar with the sound, no harm in running the XT32 setup in the Marantz. It's free. It has an on/off switch.

Then see where that may lead.
post #539 of 755
Thread Starter 
Oh yes, despite the hatred for Audyssey XT32 I kinda like it. biggrin.gif Sort of like being at a party where everyone is sipping expensive wine and I’m asking for a Coors light. Still, until I hear a well calibrated room I’ll stick with my clunky bag of tricks. Still, too many people swear by a well performed calibration to simply ignore it, especially since I have waaaaaay too much money sunk into my pile of equipment to just let it perform poorly like a Ferrari with gummed up fuel system. wink.gif
Edited by psychdoc - 7/17/13 at 8:59pm
post #540 of 755
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

If not XT32, to what testing items does he refer?

I think it makes sense to assess the sound quality and to make certain measurements (like with REW) before deciding you need any EQ or whether to alter the acoustic treatment. Then, after getting familiar with the sound, no harm in running the XT32 setup in the Marantz. It's free. It has an on/off switch.

Then see where that may lead.

My take on the comments that psych has relayed is that his (the calibrator) opinion is that the testing items (xt32) might lead you down the wrong, and possibly expensive path . I have read a couple articles from well known calibrators that seem to have the same general opinion of the on board calibration helpers supplied with most AV gear. My take is that they are there for very basic tweaks , but if you are going for the best possible, most accurate sound , and you have spent craploads of cash on your gear , you are better served with a professional and his gear.
My experience is very humble , I have a receiver with baby audyssey , 2EQ . I ran my 5.1 right out of the box for a couple days , watched some recorded content , then ran aud. and certain elements of the sound were improved , others not so much. I then tweaked the settings from there to my liking. Far from professional , and I am running midrange Polk speakers and an Onkyo receiver so waaaay down the quality scale of Psych and a lot of others , but at the end of the day I feel that audyssey is a crutch or hit it and quit it proposition , and suspect most of the other correction protocols are too , just more refined. I think it boils down to what you ultimately want out of your system. I don't mind tweaking with my system to check and see if I get improvements , but it is a small , inexpensive system in a rather small room . I can judge the sound quality by watching source that has things I'm familiar with , I know what cars racing sounds like , speech in different enviroments , etc. In a more complex system I know getting things dialed in is MUCH more complicated and out of the skill range of all but professionals and some dedicated enthusiasts .

My very amateur 2 cents Psych would be plug it in , fire it up and run it for a while , make some changes based on your personal preferences , live with it for a bit , then evaluate whether or not you want to ship a calibrator out to your place. At the end of the day , it's your playground and if you are ecstatic about your toys , then who's to say your setup is wrong. Calibrating to "spec" might be wrong for you , You may have hearing loss in a certain frequency range , vision anomalies that cause you to need to push a color slightly higher than reference , etc. I think a calibrator can be an invaluable part of your system , but I think you need to get to know your system , and the calibrator needs to get to know you as well as your system.
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