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post #1 of 22 Old 12-04-2018, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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custom build cabinet for home theater

Hi All,
I am setting up a nice upgrade for us with an Onkyo TX-NR777 receiver, with Polk Audio speakers from the TSi series. We also want to include a phonograph and older VHS player - plus the satellite box. In the illustration (see attachment), everything is shown at proper relational size. I will be custom building the cabinet for this, plus the two speaker stands, or speaker shelves. The stands make more sense because the back ported TSi200 speakers should be 5-10" from the wall. One stand will be placed directly on top of the subwoofer, as shown.

Our living room really has a single wall to work with, and a space up to 63-64 wide. In this pic, the subwoofer pushes that a couple more inches to 66, which is the max. I found that moving the sub outside the cabinet made for a more centered appearance and easier construction.

Do you have any suggestions on a better layout, or see any potential problems with this layout? I would appreciate any input you can offer.

Polk Tsi 200 front speakers / CS10 center speaker / PSW10 10" subwoofer + Onkyo Atmos speakers

Thanks, C
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 12:36 AM
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One thing I see, is that there does not appear to be enough room to raise a turntable "lid". That is a problem, obviously. I have a similarly low height setup, and I have to use some type of prop to hold the lid up while I install/remove the vinyl.



I would suggest making the cabinet taller above the top tier of audio gear, to bring the center channel up and allow more breathing room for the receiver; then you should have better clearance for the turntable, as well.

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post #3 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 04:10 AM
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Ever consider taking the cabinet out to the walls? And simply have an open space for the sub, sitting on the floor.


Might be better to flip the turntable to the other side and away from the sub??
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 05:59 AM
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I would move the sub behind or next to the seating.

Consider casters for the cabinet, easier to get behind.

No other place for the cabinet? Distracts from the TV. If you can find another spot, might be easier to use the turntable sitting on top of the cabinet, than on a shelf.

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post #5 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Ever consider taking the cabinet out to the walls? And simply have an open space for the sub, sitting on the floor.


Might be better to flip the turntable to the other side and away from the sub??
That is a good thought, but not really workable. To the left of my cabinet is a french door to our office room, and to the right of the cabinet, about 20" over, is a much taller curio cabinet which sits in the corner with glass doors. I am trying not too get too close to that curio cabinet, particularly since the new TSi speakers are quite a bit larger than the old home theater speakers. Our TV is only 50", and could be upgraded in the future, so I was also trying to detach the dimensions of the cabinet away from that of the TV. Thanks for the input.
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane661 View Post
One thing I see, is that there does not appear to be enough room to raise a turntable "lid". That is a problem, obviously. I have a similarly low height setup, and I have to use some type of prop to hold the lid up while I install/remove the vinyl.

I would suggest making the cabinet taller above the top tier of audio gear, to bring the center channel up and allow more breathing room for the receiver; then you should have better clearance for the turntable, as well.



I think there is a lot of merit in your suggestion of making the cabinet taller and raising the center speaker. I will look at that. One thing I did not make clear is that the record player shelf will be a pull out, so when we want to play records, we will just pull it forward and fully open the lid. I built another stereo cabinet many years ago with the same feature, and it worked very well. We don't play a lot of vinyl, but at least we will have the option.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
I would move the sub behind or next to the seating.

Consider casters for the cabinet, easier to get behind.

No other place for the cabinet? Distracts from the TV. If you can find another spot, might be easier to use the turntable sitting on top of the cabinet, than on a shelf.
Thanks for your thoughts. As I mentioned to Shane, the turn table will be on a pull out shelf, so when it is pulled out the lid will fully open. I really like the idea for the casters, and will definitely add that to the plan - it would really improve upon our older set up (which is the goal). To the immediate left of this cabinet are French doors, but then there is an area in the corner of the room. After your comments, I am thinking of moving the sub over to that corner. The sub would then be about 9' from the center of the TV, to the left. Between doorways and dog beds, there is really no place behind the sofa. Our surround speakers will be hung high on the wall, in the corners of the room. Wiring the sub this way will most likely be exposed wiring over the top of the doorway. As mentioned in another reply, to the immediate right of this cabinet is a curio cabinet of my wife's, and then a doorway opening. So this wall space is a fixed constraint. Many thanks. C
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry not to get back with you folks right away, I had a login issue with AVS Forum which needed fixed first.
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-06-2018, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Ever consider taking the cabinet out to the walls? And simply have an open space for the sub, sitting on the floor.


Might be better to flip the turntable to the other side and away from the sub??
Thanks Tedd, if I stay with this configuration I will take your advice, and move it away. As mentioned in another reply, I am thinking of putting the subwoofer on the left side of a set of French doors, about 9' from the center of the TV. That would also go a long ways towards the problem you are concerned with. Great input, thanks.
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 06:24 AM
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Does everything have to be centered? If you went wider, you could move the turntable to the other side and perhaps
have a section of the top flip up. That all might be a more modern look then you are after.

You also could build some custom stands for the speakers, to match. I like the idea of a dark top also. Nothing gloss.
reduces the chance of a halo of reflected light off the top.
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 06:28 AM
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Easy to run the sub cable in the wall, if you have unfinished basement/crawl below, or attic above.

----------------------------------------------
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Does everything have to be centered? If you went wider, you could move the turntable to the other side and perhaps
have a section of the top flip up. That all might be a more modern look then you are after.

You also could build some custom stands for the speakers, to match. I like the idea of a dark top also. Nothing gloss.
reduces the chance of a halo of reflected light off the top.
Cool idea of having a section of the top lift up to access the turntable, I will give that some thought. The main thing I was trying to center is the center speaker. After that, there is a lot to be said for symmetry in any design. I do plan on building columnar boxes for speaker stands, to raise them up as shown. They are fairly heavy, so I think it would be safer and more stable to have them on a column. The stand with speakers will be top heavy. Luckily, no small children in the house, but plenty of dogs and cats.
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
Easy to run the sub cable in the wall, if you have unfinished basement/crawl below, or attic above.
I ran the original surround wires about six years ago, and had access to the basement ceiling. Two years ago I finished the basement, and this area is no longer easily accessible (or accessible at all). Most of my basement has an acoustic tile drop ceiling precisely so we can access plumbing and wiring. The area below the TV is HVAC duct, and enclosed in a soffit. So it is a tough go. We plan on re-carpeting next year, so I can put a wiring strip in the sub floor in the future. So, sub woofer wires in the sub floor - makes sense. Thanks for the thoughts.
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 11:27 AM
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One of the reasons I suggested going wider, is you could employ symmetrical short speaker stands, or even build sand filled
wood cubes. The speakers wouldn't be ever going anywhere if you secured the cabinet to the wall studs, by a few screws. The
entire top could also be made to be removable, secured by a few screws underneath, and be built so there's a cable chase hidden
up top.

You could also potentially center the sub on the room's width.


I've given a bit of thought to this, as I have an empty bedroom that is 12-13' wide and I like the idea of simply floating a
low slung media cabinet between the two walls. That wall is an outside wall so I am also thinking of floating a new wall about an
an inch off the existing drywall. That false wall would be taken right down to the low slung cabinetry, that would hide all vertical
cables running up to the tv.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
One of the reasons I suggested going wider, is you could employ symmetrical short speaker stands, or even build sand filled
wood cubes. The speakers wouldn't be ever going anywhere if you secured the cabinet to the wall studs, by a few screws. The
entire top could also be made to be removable, secured by a few screws underneath, and be built so there's a cable chase hidden
up top.

You could also potentially center the sub on the room's width.


I've given a bit of thought to this, as I have an empty bedroom that is 12-13' wide and I like the idea of simply floating a
low slung media cabinet between the two walls. That wall is an outside wall so I am also thinking of floating a new wall about an
an inch off the existing drywall. That false wall would be taken right down to the low slung cabinetry, that would hide all vertical
cables running up to the tv.
Hey Tedd, thanks again for the input. Regarding your bedroom wall, I have very successfully chased wires through exterior walls, particularly box to box. It helps to have access to the ceiling above, but not necessary. If you can make that work it has got to be easier than floating a new wall (which also means you have to extend any electrical boxes and switches). Get an electrical wire puller, they are stiff and maneuverable between studs.



From your comment it seems like I should be thinking more about the wiring within my new cabinet. I had not much considered that. The removable top is a possibility, with screws below as you suggest. If I went to that extent, I might just put a couple hinges on the back side of the top, so I could remove the center speaker and just tip it up. Another person suggested casters so I could move the unit easily away from the wall. I get a feeling you folks are messing around behind your equipment more than the average person. Once I am dialed in, I don't think I will be back there very often.


Our current system, which is home theater in a box, does sit on a wider stand. It just barely allows for the two skinny front speakers to sit on the stand, and be vertical on each side of the TV. That stand would not work with my new Polk speakers, which are twice as wide+. This is a good chance to not tie my stand to my TV - which would be bad should we ever get a larger TV. So it makes sense to just build the stand to fit the components necessary, and then have separate speaker stands. I like the idea of weighting the speaker stand with sand, which I can easily get.



Lastly, in my original graphic I show the sub woofer, which in that layout would really be about the center of the ROOM along that wall width. I will most likely move it left, to the other side of the French doors, into the corner of the room. I decided to make a photo, I think that helps. I wish we had a better space, our living room has a whole wall of windows behind the sofa, and a fireplace to the left. There is a hallway to the front door to the right of the curio cabinet. Honestly, the best placement for the TV (and speakers) would be directly in front of the fireplace, which my wife would not go for.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 01:41 PM
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I understand that running a new RG6 cable under the floor would be a challenge, from your description.

But, that drop ceiling in the basement below would still go a long way to making it a relatively easy job.

From a small cutout (the size of a single gang plate) in the drywall, behind the TV, at outlet height, you can reach the bottom plate of the wall with an 18" rigid bit - you don't need a Flexi-bit like this:



Getting around the HVAC duct should be easy, fishing a cable down from above. You would cut into the soffit above the drop ceiling, and grab the cable. If you can't find the cable below, you could use a steel or plastic fish tape (steer-able, unlike the floppy cable) to get above the duct.

I know it's more work, but moving the subwoofer away from the TV may help with any aesthetic issues.

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post #17 of 22 Old 12-07-2018, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
I understand that running a new RG6 cable under the floor would be a challenge, from your description.

But, that drop ceiling in the basement below would still go a long way to making it a relatively easy job.

From a small cutout (the size of a single gang plate) in the drywall, behind the TV, at outlet height, you can reach the bottom plate of the wall with an 18" rigid bit - you don't need a Flexi-bit like this:



Getting around the HVAC duct should be easy, fishing a cable down from above. You would cut into the soffit above the drop ceiling, and grab the cable. If you can't find the cable below, you could use a steel or plastic fish tape (steer-able, unlike the floppy cable) to get above the duct.

I know it's more work, but moving the subwoofer away from the TV may help with any aesthetic issues.
Thanks Neurorad for that great idea. I had not considered that I can access the few inches above the drop ceiling. Because I can see where my surround cables go, I can narrow it down pretty good. If I could go in through the workshop side of that soffet (as opposed to the carpeted basement), then the mess would be maneageable. It is no small bit of work, but a good thing to consider. Since I did all the basement remodeling myself, I know about where everything is at. If this is possible, I could also run a wired ethernet connection to the TV / AV receiver. Cool.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-08-2018, 03:43 AM
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I could fish wires in the wall, but my main concern is about not punching a hole in the vapor barrier. I doubt that system will see
much gear rollover, as it's already discards from the theater, and will stay at 2.1 The theater is constantly changing gear but I think
it's in a state that won't be seeing much rollover at this point.

I do want a feature wall so something will be going up on the drywall anyways, and a wire chase inside the space is cheap to accomplish.
I do own a few wire pulling tools, but have never heard of an electric wire puller. Shall check that out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
I could fish wires in the wall, but my main concern is about not punching a hole in the vapor barrier. I doubt that system will see
much gear rollover, as it's already discards from the theater, and will stay at 2.1 The theater is constantly changing gear but I think
it's in a state that won't be seeing much rollover at this point.

I do want a feature wall so something will be going up on the drywall anyways, and a wire chase inside the space is cheap to accomplish.
I do own a few wire pulling tools, but have never heard of an electric wire puller. Shall check that out.
That pic above shows a Flexbit, a long slightly flexible drill bit.



As I said, you don't need a long bit. An 18" rigid, standard bit will get down to the wall bottom plate from an outlet-height single-gangle hole. Flexbit is for longer indications, e.g. from switch height to the bottom plate.

----------------------------------------------
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-09-2018, 08:10 AM
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I understood that is a flex bit. Never used one, as I have had great success fishing wires of all kinds.

Not really a solid option for here, when it's an outside wall and it occasionally hits -40F. I wouldn't want to mess with
any potential movement of the fiberglass insulation, and end up with a cold spot on the wall. I also wouldn't use that
sort of bit for any electrical wiring, as that diagram shows exactly why, with that hole location now being a code issue.
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post #21 of 22 Old 12-10-2018, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
That pic above shows a Flexbit, a long slightly flexible drill bit.



As I said, you don't need a long bit. An 18" rigid, standard bit will get down to the wall bottom plate from an outlet-height single-gangle hole. Flexbit is for longer indications, e.g. from switch height to the bottom plate.
That flex bit is a cool tool, and I can see could come in handy for the right situation.


Earlier I had referred to electric wire puller, and one of you used the correct term: fish tape. Thanks. They do come in handy.


Thanks,
Craig
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post #22 of 22 Old 12-28-2018, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
I thought I would follow up with a picture of the finished project. Everything went well, and I was able to incorporate several great ideas from the forum suggestions. Since this photo I have gone back in and cleaned up the cabling. Today I had a chance to dial-in the speaker settings and EQ, and it really sounds great now (at least for music listening). I am really liking the Polk TSI speakers. I listened to a wide variety of genres today, and everything from voices to any instrument sound excellent. Sometime when I get a chance I will replace the small black footer on the speaker stands with something beefier which fits the overall look better, but for now they look fine, and are not tippy. Thanks again for the tips.
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