Brandon's budget Basement Home Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 38 Old 10-30-2015, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Talking Brandon's budget Basement Home Theater

Two months ago I set out to finish in about half of my 1000 square foot basement and turn it into a home theater and exercise area. My goal was to do as much work as I could myself to save money and purchase equipment that would give me my best bang for my buck whenever I could. Right now I'm 95% done with only painting my doors and installing and painting my baseboard and having the carpet put in left. I have to say it's turned out much better than even I hoped it would. It's been a ton of work but so worth it in the end. The only thing I didn't do myself was the drywall because I wanted that part to look better than I know I could have done it.

Here is a link to my facebook album of the build up to current - the link should work for anyone.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=2c2e2b515f

My equipment consists of:

Slightly used Onkyo TX-NR636 I got from ebay for about half the price of a new one. It even still had the stickers on it!
Refurbished Benq HT1075 projector
120" Silverticket screen from Amazon Warehouse deals. The description said it was a customer return but looked like it had never been opened. I could tell during the assembly it had never been opened just as they said. Perfect condition!
Fluance AVHTB speakers. I also purchased a set of Fluance AVBP2 bipole speakers to use for the surround sound speakers and put the included surround sound speakers in the exercise area. I spent about 300 dollars total for all 7 of these speakers.
Infinity CS60R ceiling speakers that was a Fry's weekly promo deal for my Atmos Top middle speakers. These were only about 30 bucks apiece.
12" Sony SA-WM500 I already had on hand. This has always been a solid performer for me, but I do think I see a 15" Dayton Sub-1500 in my future just to get a little more output on the lower frequencies.

Even without the carpet installed and the bare concrete floor it's sounding awesome. I can't quite imagine that a set of 300 dollar speakers would sound as good as they do, I'm really impressed with the bang for the buck those Fluance speakers are. Sure you can purchase better sounding speakers, but probably not for less money.

The Benq projector also looks really good, the fan could be a little quieter but running it on Eco mode seems to help with that and its still plenty bright.

I can't wait to get these last few items finished up and really start enjoying the new room!
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Last edited by BrandonH; 11-20-2015 at 11:12 AM.
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post #2 of 38 Old 10-30-2015, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few of the photos for those that don't want to go to Facebook to see pictures.
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post #3 of 38 Old 10-30-2015, 11:51 AM
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Looks great! Especially in two months of DIY. I'm right with you on outsourcing drywall, BTW.
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post #4 of 38 Old 11-06-2015, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Joe.

I'm getting ever so closer to completing this thing. I was able to finish getting the trim installed this weekend and painted this week. The doors and trim are all black. I have to say the wife doubted that decision at first but agrees it looks great. I do wish the paint hadn't been quite as glossy as it turned out but oh well. White was never really an option, lol. Only two items left, I need to install a smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector and wire it to the rest of the ones in the house which should be pretty easy and then have the carpet installed. We've already got the carpet picked out and paid for, just waiting for the installers to set a date. By the time its put in it will probably be about 2.5 months from start to finish, I think that's pretty damn good! Can't wait to really start enjoying it.
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post #5 of 38 Old 11-06-2015, 06:59 AM
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this looks awesome...very clean...nice to see a regular home theater that doesnt have equipment that cost more then my car...LOL

I just got my Benq 1075 last night and it looks amazing so far..i went with Bic America F series speakers all the way around and found a great deal on them on Amazon...they sound great and very clear.....great work man..

Last edited by chadsmith013; 11-06-2015 at 07:04 AM.
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post #6 of 38 Old 11-06-2015, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsmith013 View Post
this looks awesome...very clean...nice to see a regular home theater that doesnt have equipment that cost more then my car...LOL

I just got my Benq 1075 last night and it looks amazing so far..i went with Bic America F series speakers all the way around and found a great deal on them on Amazon...they sound great and very clear.....great work man..
I tried to make it look clean yes, lol. Its looking a little bit sparse at the moment, that should change after the carpet gets put down and I move my desk back into the back area near my workout area and put my workout mats back down and other little finishing touches. Maybe some sort of decorations on the walls would be in order but I'm not sure what I'd put up yet. The building inspector remarked on both occasions that he has been to my house that I must be a perfectionist. I tried very much to stick to a small budget for the HT components, because darn near everything else ended up costing more money than I initially anticipated. I know what you mean about the cost of some of the equipment folks on this forum have, my whole system cost probably less than some people spend on cables, lol. If I get 80% of the performance for a fraction of the cost I'll be happy though. Never heard of Bic America speakers before but they look like they should be pretty nice, hope you enjoy them as well as your new Benq projector, I know I'm digging mine.
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post #7 of 38 Old 11-06-2015, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonH View Post
I tried to make it look clean yes, lol. Its looking a little bit sparse at the moment, that should change after the carpet gets put down and I move my desk back into the back area near my workout area and put my workout mats back down and other little finishing touches. Maybe some sort of decorations on the walls would be in order but I'm not sure what I'd put up yet. The building inspector remarked on both occasions that he has been to my house that I must be a perfectionist. I tried very much to stick to a small budget for the HT components, because darn near everything else ended up costing more money than I initially anticipated. I know what you mean about the cost of some of the equipment folks on this forum have, my whole system cost probably less than some people spend on cables, lol. If I get 80% of the performance for a fraction of the cost I'll be happy though. Never heard of Bic America speakers before but they look like they should be pretty nice, hope you enjoy them as well as your new Benq projector, I know I'm digging mine.
cables that cost more then our entire theater...lol thats hilarious..but yet its true...and Im the same with you...been looking for deals wherever i can find them..I got an equipment rack and small TV stand on craigslist for 50 bucks...Im always on there looking for deals.

but yeah im a huge fan of clean and simple...mine is coming around..i just got it all painted and i have to mount the projector..and run all of the wiring..mine is in my loft...my daughter stopped using it it as a play room so I claimed it.

I got this set for a total of about 550....so far very crisp and clean sounding...
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post #8 of 38 Old 11-06-2015, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Cool, I'm sure it will come out great. Its funny this whole project started because I work out every morning in my basement and during the winter it gets really cold down there so I was dreading the fact that it would be starting to get cold soon, so I thought I'd get myself a small propane fireplace - the one you see in some of the pictures. Once I got it though, I thought it would be nice to actually be able to use all this space for something other than working out and it went from there pretty darn quickly. Now that I've finished it all in though and used foamboard and fiberglass insulation throughout all of it and added another vent, I'm not even sure I'll need to use the fireplace that much. It stays much warmer down there than it did before.
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post #9 of 38 Old 11-17-2015, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's pretty much all done and I think it turned out great. The carpet looks a little lighter in these pics than it does in person for some reason. I think the old end tables I threw in there don't match the decor too well, so those will probably be replaced soon with something else and I'd like to maybe get a custom sign or something to put on the wall as you come into the room and will probably do some other minor tweaks. The room is just not quite wide enough to have the loveseat and sofa in the same row so I'll have to leave it turned like that. I'm not interested in doing a raised second row as it would cut into my workout space. I'm thinking an eventual upgrade from 5.1.2 to 7.2.2 will be in order, but I'll have to wait until the price of receivers that can power 9 channels come down.
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post #10 of 38 Old 11-20-2015, 09:21 AM
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Last edited by mike3fan; 11-20-2015 at 10:07 AM. Reason: double post
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post #11 of 38 Old 11-20-2015, 09:22 AM
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Looks very nice. I am in the middle of my basement project and was wondering if you could give a ballpark figure on what drywall cost were to have it done? I think I could do the hanging, but don't think I want to tackle the tape and mudding.
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post #12 of 38 Old 11-20-2015, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks very nice. I am in the middle of my basement project and was wondering if you could give a ballpark figure on what drywall cost were to have it done? I think I could do the hanging, but don't think I want to tackle the tape and mudding.
Thanks, we have a family friend that does drywall for a living and I wanted to help him out and give him the work. He said he would be cheaper than anyone else and I took his word and didn't get any other quotes. Maybe a mistake, maybe not, lol. The labor alone was 1200. That included hanging and finishing the drywall and was well worth it in my opinion. It would have taken me forever to do it and it wouldn't have turned out looking nearly as nice. I think it was a lot more work than he originally anticipated as well, because of all of the extra corner work from all the beams, ducts, and pipes I had to box around and the stairway had to have drywall cut to fit around each stair which took almost a day in itself to complete. He was there working on it almost double the amount of time he originally thought. In all I think they used something like 32 12 foot sheets of drywall, 1 16 foot, and like 3 or 4 eight foot pieces. What you also don't see in my pictures is the other side of the wall at the back of the room and the small closet I also built on that side that they hung the drywall for. I think the materials was probably about another 700 dollars or so but we already had several sheets of drywall not included in that price that had been sitting in my basement for years and we used those as well. On a side note, the building inspector was just out here doing the final inspection which passed with no problems! He was here all of about two minutes and checked two outlets. Easiest inspection ever! Good luck with your project!
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post #13 of 38 Old 11-28-2015, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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First upgrade of the new theater is complete! The Sony sub was completely adequate, but I was hoping to get something with a little more low end. Last night UPS delivered my brand new Dayton Sub 1500 and I watched San Andreas, holy moly did it sound good. With that one purchase I was able to upgrade 3 locations too. I moved the Sony sub back up to my living room system upstairs, and the small 8" Yamaha sub I had in the living room I was able to move to my workout area where there was no sub before. Still loving how everything has turned out.
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post #14 of 38 Old 12-02-2015, 01:03 PM
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Great setup! I like the layout of everything. I wish I could do drywall.
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post #15 of 38 Old 12-21-2015, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Some finishing touches. I spray painted the end tables I had that didn't match black and just put up some vinyl decals I think look pretty neat.
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post #16 of 38 Old 12-23-2015, 08:09 AM
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For cables look at Monoprice, Blue Jeans Cables and consider using XLR connections. All will save you tons.
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post #17 of 38 Old 12-30-2015, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes I used Monoprice, Amazon, and Ebay for all my cables. I'm sure I spent a lot less than I could have on cables.

I also just completed adding a couple of extra rows of seating the easy and cheap way as well.
For the first row for the kids, Santa brought them all bean bag chairs. They love them.

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For the third row, I just added a cheap table and bar stools, but I think it looks pretty nice.

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post #18 of 38 Old 01-01-2016, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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LED's make everything look cooler
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post #19 of 38 Old 02-02-2016, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to have a bunch of people over for the Super Bowl this Sunday so this will be the first time I get to show off all the work I've done to a lot of people. Hopefully some will arrive early so I can give them a real demo with a movie instead of only showing football. Anyone else getting their rooms ready for a Super Bowl party?
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post #20 of 38 Old 02-02-2016, 12:41 PM
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looks awesome! Good work
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post #21 of 38 Old 03-01-2016, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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What's better than one 15" Dayton sub? Two 15" Dayton subs!
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post #22 of 38 Old 03-11-2016, 08:13 AM
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well done!!!

I concur the more subs the better.

Where did you get the big joe bean bag chairs at? I mean where did santa get them?

I sure wish Homes in Texas had basements. Id have happier neighbors.

Media Room= GoldenEar Supersat 60s/GE 60c/BP7004s/SuperCubeII/A-60s/Pio-SC-95
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post #23 of 38 Old 03-11-2016, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, the beanbag chairs came from Amazon. In the next few days I hope to have some updated pictures after updating my system from 5.2.2 to 7.2.4. I wish I had been able to do that from the beginning, it would have saved me some trouble now. Oh well, my budget theater is starting to not be such a small budget anymore, lol. Oh and I agree, basements are awesome for doing this kind of stuff.
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post #24 of 38 Old 03-19-2016, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm all finished updating my system from 5.2.2 to 7.2.4. I'd say overall I'm pleased but it's not as big of a change as I thought it would be. The receiver I ended up going with is the Pioneer SC-95, and I've got another old pioneer receiver powering the rear surrounds but I intend to swap that out with a two channel Audiosource amp. I wish I would have known I'd be adding more ceiling speakers so soon, I would have placed the original ones in the top front position, saving me the trouble of moving them and patching the drywall, they were already a little forward so I only needed to move them a couple feet or so. The wiring for these extra speakers would have been a lot easier as well if done before the drywall was put up. Oh well. Time to sit back and enjoy the finished system for a while! Here's some pics:


Patching the old ceiling speaker locations in progress.
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Patching and painting all done, the speakers are now a couple feet in front of where they used to be, they were behind the lights originally.
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Rear ceiling speakers.
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New rear surrounds.
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The SC-95 is a beast, it barely fits in the rack!
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post #25 of 38 Old 03-19-2016, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonH View Post
I'm all finished updating my system from 5.2.2 to 7.2.4. I'd say overall I'm pleased but it's not as big of a change as I thought it would be. The receiver I ended up going with is the Pioneer SC-95, and I've got another old pioneer receiver powering the rear surrounds but I intend to swap that out with a two channel Audiosource amp. I wish I would have known I'd be adding more ceiling speakers so soon, I would have placed the original ones in the top front position, saving me the trouble of moving them and patching the drywall, they were already a little forward so I only needed to move them a couple feet or so. The wiring for these extra speakers would have been a lot easier as well if done before the drywall was put up. Oh well. Time to sit back and enjoy the finished system for a while! Here's some pics:


Patching the old ceiling speaker locations in progress.
Attachment 1324321
Attachment 1324329

Patching and painting all done, the speakers are now a couple feet in front of where they used to be, they were behind the lights originally.
Attachment 1324337

Rear ceiling speakers.
Attachment 1324345
Attachment 1324353

New rear surrounds.
Attachment 1324361

The SC-95 is a beast, it barely fits in the rack!
Attachment 1324369
Nice looking room. Great job.
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post #26 of 38 Old 01-28-2017, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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The kids love popcorn and the old small machine broke. This new one work much better and fits the decor better too!

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post #27 of 38 Old 02-06-2017, 04:05 AM
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Nice pictures!

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post #28 of 38 Old 03-25-2017, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice pictures!

Thanks!

This past week I really had the itch to buy some real home theater seats that are black and match the rest of the decor. The brown sofas that's are there now I stole from our upstairs living room. After thinking it over though I decided not to spend the money this year and just rearrange what I have so that all the seats are facing by the screen and no one has to sit at a 90 degree angle anymore. To my surprise it actually fit that way and left me with just enough room to walk in between. Next year the black HT seats will be mine for sure though.



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post #29 of 38 Old 03-30-2017, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Brandon's budget Basement Home Theater

Well I couldn't resist upgrading something and I figured if anything was the weak link in my system it was probably my center speaker. I stuck with the same budget Fluance brand but I went from their cheapest center channel offering to their best. You can see the size difference in the pictures. So far I'm really impressed, much clearer and much better lower range. Now I want to replace all the other speakers with their Signature series line but that will probably have to wait a while. Here's some comparison pics, the new speaker is much bigger and heavier.



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post #30 of 38 Old 05-03-2017, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't resist and went ahead and replaced my main front speakers and side surrounds with the signature speakers as well. No they are all upgraded except my rear surrounds which I will get to eventually as well. Man do these things look imposing. I think they sound pretty darn good too.
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