Bear123's HTiLR(home theater in a living room) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 64 Old 05-24-2015, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Bear123's HTiLR(home theater in a living room)

No dedicated theater, but here is what I have been able to do with my main living room. It's really the only place I have to set up for movies and music. The room is by no means ideal but I tried to make compromises of performance and aesthetics. There is a lot that is less than ideal, but it works pretty good regardless. I figured it might be fun to get this started and track changes and updates that I do over time.

More images are attached to see the rest of the room and how it opens to other areas of the house. I also included a closer shot of the equipment....did my best to keep the cabling routed neatly and as hidden as possible. Had to drill a handful of holes through the bookcase in various areas, as well as notch out the rear corners of some shelves to make everything as neat and hidden as possible.


Here is my current equipment list:

AVR: Denon X3300
Blu-Ray: Sony BDP-S5100
Display: Vizio 65" D series 4K
Media player: Apple TV
LCR: DIYSG HTM-8'S, DIYSG Fusion 8 MTM center
Surrounds: N/A
Subs: Dual BMS18N860 4ft^3 sealed
Sub amp: Behringer NX6000d
Remote: Logitech Harmony Companion
Headphones: Sony MDR-7506
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post #2 of 64 Old 05-24-2015, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Just finished up my dual sealed DIY sub build. I am very happy with how they turned out. The performance exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin. I installed quieter fans in the Inuke6000 and happy with that mod so far. I chose not to get the whisper quiet fans, as far too many people doing that end up with thermal shutdown issues. I chose fans with better airflow and quieter than stock. They are not dead silent but quiet enough to not bother me. I will be watching quite a few action flicks the next few days but I don't foresee any issues.

I have also been taking my recent time off to catch up on some odds and ends. Spent an hour or two perfecting my wiring...disconnected and removed all components. Rerouted and tidied up all the cabling, notched the rear corners of three shelves to keep the wires tucked neatly in the corners etc etc. Also left enough slack in the bundle to pull out the gear enough to work on things.

As you can see, my bookshelf speakers, unfortunately, actually sit in my bookshelves. I picked up a roll of that foam type tool box liner and put it under the speakers. I noticed that I was getting some resonance and vibration in the bookcase and the objects on them with the speakers sitting on bare wood. So this was a simple and effective improvement.

At this point the only upgrades in the near future will be the addition of Hsu in wall surrounds. These will be an exact match to my front L&R speakers so I am looking forward to that. Hard to believe I have lived this long with no surround at all.....really looking forward to this as it will obviously be a massive upgrade for my home theater experience.

Down the road someday I would like to upgrade the screen to a 65 or 70". It is just hard for me to justify right now as I have a perfectly good 50" plasma. If I do that, I might consider building a longer, shallower center that is also not as tall and mount it under the mantle. That would allow me to lower the TV much closer to the mantle. I was thinking something like this if it could be made with a shallower depth:
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post #3 of 64 Old 05-24-2015, 03:38 PM
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Bear, that looks awesome !! I would love to make everything almost disappear the way you did and I am sure it sounds great. I really have to make sure that my better half doesnt see these pics
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post #4 of 64 Old 05-24-2015, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Bear, that looks awesome !! I would love to make everything almost disappear the way you did and I am sure it sounds great. I really have to make sure that my better half doesnt see these pics
Thanks very much for the compliment! That is one of the things I think I accomplished well...the system does not overtake the room and almost blends in unnoticed. Until you turn it on! Then peoples heads are on a swivel trying to figure out how the room, floor, couch, their clothing, and the entire house are shaking.

Can't wait to get the surrounds installed, they will be in wall with the covers sprayed to match the wall color.
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post #5 of 64 Old 05-27-2015, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I've been trying to figure out the best way to incorporate keyboard control into my system. The blu ray player that I use for streaming is a pain in the rear when trying to type anything......one letter at a time with a half dozen clicks per letter. I tried a wireless keyboard and it worked on some apps but not at all on others. Sony's smart phone/tablet remote app is terrible.

So I picked up a Roku 3 today....wireless keyboard does not work with it at all but it has a great remote app. Even using my iphone works really well. So I may add a cheap tablet someday if I decide to have a dedicated device. Until then, we have plenty of smart phones and ipads in the house that we can all use the remote app on. So far the remote app works really well....allows use of the devices keyboard for typing..yay.

Biggest thing I would like to figure out how to do now would be user friendly access to something like Spotify, so that I can choose specific songs, or specific albums or artists when listening to music. I would rather pay a small monthly fee and be able to listen to anything I choose versus paying for everything individual thing I might want to try out.
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post #6 of 64 Old 05-27-2015, 12:18 PM
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I just ordered a GlareStopper. I'm hoping it helps my plasma, since I have windows directly opposite it. You may have a similar problem, judging from the pics. Beautiful room, BTW.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/167-pl...300-glare.html

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post #7 of 64 Old 05-27-2015, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I just ordered a GlareStopper. I'm hoping it helps my plasma, since I have windows directly opposite it. You may have a similar problem, judging from the pics. Beautiful room, BTW.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/167-pl...300-glare.html
Thanks. Yes, glare is an issue. The windows to either side of the TV are very distracting when it is bright outside, and I get glare from a wall of windows behind the main seating in the next room. The solution is going to simply be some curtains that can be kept completely open when not watching a movie. It's going to be a bit of a battle with the other half; she likes the windows completely uncovered. I'll include this as an update when I get it resolved, but I am reluctant to put anything over the TV.
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post #8 of 64 Old 05-28-2015, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post
I just ordered a GlareStopper. I'm hoping it helps my plasma, since I have windows directly opposite it. You may have a similar problem, judging from the pics. Beautiful room, BTW.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/167-pl...300-glare.html
Please let me know how you like it. My plasma is set up just like yours and makes it difficult to watch anything but sports during the day (on the rare occasions that I actually get to watch TV during the day...).

My living room budget build: Vizio e65-f1/ Denon S640H / DefTech PC1000 / DefTech D7 / DefTech ProSub 60 / Dayton Sub1200
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post #9 of 64 Old 06-10-2015, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, so I discussed putting up some type of black out curtains on the windows throughout the living room and adjoining room behind the seating area with my better half. Absolute no go. However, she is perfectly open to putting up Roman Shades of some sort. These of course are available in room darkening/blackout configurations. So this upgrade is a go whenever I allocate some funding for it, as I will have to cover at least 8 windows, and possibly 11, with matching shades.

The surround speakers are the next item on the agenda though, so it will have to be after that. As for mounting a center channel under the mantle to allow for a larger TV and lower mounting...also a complete no go. However, we did agree that the Fusion 4-Quad for I linked above would work well to replace the current center channel. This will allow me to lower the screen several inches when I do upgrade it. Looking further down the road, I expect that I may look into some DIY Fusion-8's to replace my mains some day, since they are 94dB efficient! I think this will give me clean reference level playback capability even with my bottom of the barrel AVR. At worst, I should gain 6 dB of headroom(due to speaker efficiency).

Of course, if upgrading my speakers is a possibility in the future, I question whether I should bother getting surround speakers to match my current mains.
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post #10 of 64 Old 06-18-2015, 02:24 PM
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The screen height is a bit of a problem. How badly do you need a usable fireplace?
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post #11 of 64 Old 06-20-2015, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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The screen height is a bit of a problem. How badly do you need a usable fireplace?
It's actually not bad. Believe it or not, I don't usually sit bolt upright and stare straight ahead where most people put their screens low to the floor. So sitting comfortably I find I actually have a very comfortable viewing angle. Whereas at most people's typical screen height I would have to look down.
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post #12 of 64 Old 06-23-2015, 01:38 PM
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Please let me know how you like it. My plasma is set up just like yours and makes it difficult to watch anything but sports during the day (on the rare occasions that I actually get to watch TV during the day...).
Done.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/167-pl...l#post35257074

Tedious, but the results are very impressive.

Michael

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post #13 of 64 Old 06-27-2015, 08:35 AM
 
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Room looks great. Is there any way you could bring that center down and mount it on the bricks so your TV could come down a bit? Not sure if heat would be an issue, but it looks like you have plenty of distance to play with. I really like how you have everything integrated. Very clean....
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post #14 of 64 Old 06-27-2015, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Room looks great. Is there any way you could bring that center down and mount it on the bricks so your TV could come down a bit? Not sure if heat would be an issue, but it looks like you have plenty of distance to play with. I really like how you have everything integrated. Very clean....
Thanks! Moving the center below the mantle is an option I considered but not feasible. The mantle only extends 3-4" beyond the brick, and the center is a good 9" deep. Was also a big no go with the wife. I do have a plan though. After I get my surrounds installed, I am going to work on building the Fusion-4 Quad 4 from diysoundgroup to use as my center channel. It is only 5.75" tall but wider. I probably won't adjust this tv, but when I upgrade to a 70" it will allow me to mount it several inches lower.
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post #15 of 64 Old 07-10-2015, 08:10 PM
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Hey Bear I still have my Panny 50P77U in a bedroom, I can't believe that thing is still looking like the day I bought it. Nice room indeed my friend, I wish I had a WAF to contend with as that would make me do a better job at keeping things so nice and tidy like your place. My misses just shakes her head and laughs, I think she's just having fun with me but actually she's laughing at me.............

Cheers Jeffrey
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post #16 of 64 Old 07-10-2015, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Bear I still have my Panny 50P77U in a bedroom, I can't believe that thing is still looking like the day I bought it. Nice room indeed my friend, I wish I had a WAF to contend with as that would make me do a better job at keeping things so nice and tidy like your place. My misses just shakes her head and laughs, I think she's just having fun with me but actually she's laughing at me.............

Cheers Jeffrey
Thanks for the compliments Jeff! And yeah, my Panny is nothing fancy but dang, it looks good enough that I just can't bring myself to part with $1500-$2k for a decent 70". I've planted the seed about a recessed projection screen but the projector itself is meeting with much resistance so far.
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post #17 of 64 Old 07-10-2015, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the compliments Jeff! And yeah, my Panny is nothing fancy but dang, it looks good enough that I just can't bring myself to part with $1500-$2k for a decent 70". I've planted the seed about a recessed projection screen but the projector itself is meeting with much resistance so far.
Bear I hear you my friend, I dropped $2100 on a Panny 65ST60, the last of the Panny plasmas but it was well spent. I think a PJ will be my next purchase but I have a lot of research to do as I'm lost when it comes to them. Could you give me a hint where your subs are, man you're good....

Cheers Jeffrey
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post #18 of 64 Old 07-11-2015, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Bear I hear you my friend, I dropped $2100 on a Panny 65ST60, the last of the Panny plasmas but it was well spent. I think a PJ will be my next purchase but I have a lot of research to do as I'm lost when it comes to them. Could you give me a hint where your subs are, man you're good....

Cheers Jeffrey
Haha one is in the corner behind the chair with flowers on it. The other is next to the door between the couch and wall.
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post #19 of 64 Old 07-11-2015, 02:08 PM
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Haha one is in the corner behind the chair with flowers on it. The other is next to the door between the couch and wall.
If you didn't tell me I would have never found them.......... I can't find one cable in your entire room, are you using all wireless components... You should change your avatar to Bear Copperfield.......again really nice job my friend..
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post #20 of 64 Old 08-23-2015, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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If you didn't tell me I would have never found them.......... I can't find one cable in your entire room, are you using all wireless components... You should change your avatar to Bear Copperfield.......again really nice job my friend..
Thanks Jeff. Sloppy wires are a pet peave of mine. I never understand why people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on their home theater/AV setups only to have sloppy wires haphazardly strewn about in plain view. Honestly, it was probably at most a few hours work, some holes drilled, various cable ties and nail/screw wire clamps to make everything nice and tidy.

Still waiting on surround speakers.... Wife starting work in about a month so hoping to have them soon.
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post #21 of 64 Old 08-23-2015, 08:47 AM
 
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Thanks Jeff. Sloppy wires are a pet peave of mine. I never understand why people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on their home theater/AV setups only to have sloppy wires haphazardly strewn about in plain view. Honestly, it was probably at most a few hours work, some holes drilled, various cable ties and nail/screw wire clamps to make everything nice and tidy.

Still waiting on surround speakers.... Wife starting work in about a month so hoping to have them soon.
I agree

But I just can't cable manage for te life of me

Yes in my Ht you don't see a single wire. But behind he equipment rack outside the Ht it's a bunch of spaghetti lol

I even re wired my rack a week ago and said ok. I'm going to do it neat. Yep. Didn't happen

Oh well haha
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post #22 of 64 Old 08-23-2015, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree

But I just can't cable manage for te life of me

Yes in my Ht you don't see a single wire. But behind he equipment rack outside the Ht it's a bunch of spaghetti lol

I even re wired my rack a week ago and said ok. I'm going to do it neat. Yep. Didn't happen

Oh well haha
At least you have them hidden. I would probably have to straighten them out though. Would bother me knowing they were messy even though I could not see them.
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post #23 of 64 Old 08-24-2015, 07:41 AM
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post #24 of 64 Old 08-24-2015, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Unless I decide to go the DIY route, it will either be Hsu in wall surrounds or HTD in walls. Leaning towards the HTD's at this point. The industry I am in is extremely slow right now and has had huge layoffs this year, so I am hesitant to spend much. The HTD's seem decent at $129/pair. It's a fair amount of work to install though since they are in wall, so I for sure don't want to be disappointed with them. I may end up paying to have them installed so I don't cut into any wiring or anything, and I plan to have two dedicated 20 amp circuits installed as well for subwoofer amplification. Dimming the lights now at "spirited" levels, which is scary with 90 year old knob-and-tube wiring.
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post #25 of 64 Old 08-27-2015, 02:33 PM
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Unless I decide to go the DIY route, it will either be Hsu in wall surrounds or HTD in walls. Leaning towards the HTD's at this point. The industry I am in is extremely slow right now and has had huge layoffs this year, so I am hesitant to spend much. The HTD's seem decent at $129/pair. It's a fair amount of work to install though since they are in wall, so I for sure don't want to be disappointed with them. I may end up paying to have them installed so I don't cut into any wiring or anything, and I plan to have two dedicated 20 amp circuits installed as well for subwoofer amplification. Dimming the lights now at "spirited" levels, which is scary with 90 year old knob-and-tube wiring.
I hear you with old knob and tube wiring, I had to almost rewire my entire home, replaced so many outlets and amped up my breaker box. I just installed two 20 amp dedicated circuits in my theater room, I didn't know what was tied into what. I also have WH surge protection at the meter and BB and in line SP for telephone and cable. I had a chance to listen to the HTD level three monitors in my home a while back, the fit and finish was excellent and they had very good sound as well. I think for the $ they're hard to beat, I can't comment on the in walls though, and yes if I were you I would have them installed as well.

Jeffrey
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post #26 of 64 Old 03-28-2016, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Just sold my HT-18 driver. Waiting for the UM-18 to be in stock and will be ordering that and getting things dialed back in. Curious to see if it will perform any different or better in my room in comparison. I know the HT-18 could not quite handle all the power my Inuke can supply.
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post #27 of 64 Old 04-21-2016, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Since the UM-18 is out of stock until at least 7/21, I decided, out of curiosity and for the sake of fun and tinkering, to try a Dayton PA-460 pro audio driver in the empty 4 ft^3 sealed cab that is awaiting the UM-18. I have a day off next Tuesday so hopefully I can do some tinkering then.

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post #28 of 64 Old 04-26-2016, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Just dropped the PA460 into the empty sealed cab. Set both subs to around 80 dB and did some sweeps. The PA460 is flat to just below 40 Hz. Just above 40 Hz, the HST gets a good sized null in its response up to 60. So combined the 460 flattens out the response very well. The 460 has a better response above 100 Hz, but this could be in part due to the subs being in different locations. I did not spend a lot of time with integration or eq, but it already sounds very very good on music with a lot of chest slam. Very impressive. Running no kind of high pass filter on the 460 as it held up fine with above reference level since wave sweeps.

If I find the time I'd like to run some more scientific tests, such as close mic'ing each driver to compare base responses, as well as testing them both in the same location or perhaps even swapping locations to see if response can be improved. Honestly I probably won't go through all that but I would like to at least swap locations, then spend some time improving things with distance/delay settings and a bit of eq. I'd like to see some improvement in the response above 80 Hz but I fear this is due to my seating location and the setup of the room, which would be very difficult to change due to openings to other rooms and the main entryway.

Regardless, the 460 integrated much better with the HST than I imagined. Their combined performance on movies and music is very impressive and I feel like the combo would be very tough to beat in my room. Still have a UM-18 on order and hopefully it will sound as good but will reinforce output below 40 Hz.

So, stick with this setup, or keep the UM-18 on order and compare? Decisions, decisions.
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post #29 of 64 Old 05-16-2016, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally pulled the trigger on surround speakers. Ordered a pair of Quarks designed by Jeff Bagby. Hopefully will start on assembly soon. I'll update as I make progress.


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post #30 of 64 Old 05-16-2016, 12:33 PM
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On your bookshelves - have you thought about using a speaker mount to move them outside of the shelf itself?

I don't know if it'd work for your application, but you could mount the speaker mounts on the side of the bookshelf and use a 90 degree arm to have the speakers still face you (such as the OmniMount 10.0 which comes with both straight and 90 degree arms). They'd stick out of the bookshelf quite a bit but it'd be one way to get them away from being on a shelf.

You could also do something similar if the "crossbeams" between the open spaces are thick enough.

Finally, another option would be to take some plywood/mdf and cover where the speakers currently are - then use a mount on the plywood/mdf.

All these require drilling into the bookcase though, and need a fairly high WAF.

I'm looking to do the same but with my surrounds.
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