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post #31 of 53 Old 02-25-2019, 09:35 AM
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I will weigh in on the audio discussion as a totally non-expert in any field of home entertainment including sound systems. I am a student of human nature and have built several media rooms, one for myself as well as a dedicated theater for myself in a previous home. I haven’t been an active poster in the two forums here until lately but it is nice there is a division somewhat between general home theater/ media and dedicated theater.

First and most importantly is any entertainment area is only good if people use it. I have thought about this aspect more than any other when deciding what I wanted for myself. We used to go out for dinner and then to a movie theater and maybe then go out for a drink and it was all part of the social process of entertainment. When we had the home theater in the old house it was a destination spot similar to going out to the movie theater. It wasn’t a organic part of daily living and as such at first while there was a newness it was used daily and after a while it was more weekly. We would buy a new movie or rent one and then the room was a perfect place to watch it without the distraction of people on cell phones or someone kicking my seat from behind. It was much more spacious and comfortable the audio was perfect and the visual was as good if not better than a commercial theater except maybe IMAX. The greatest feature of all was having a pause button. It was equally as social a setting as going to the movie and equally not a place we would spend a whole evening even when with friends. We would watch a movie and then return to a social area in the house to sit and talk or eat or drink.

What makes a room perfect for movies, Dark, Acoustically perfect, Seating in tiered rows, etc are best but are not best socially many times. I used to often watch movies alone in the theater and as much as I loved the perfection it was a somewhat lonely way to watch IMHO.

I learned enough that I knew the compromises were very much weighted against me staying with FP and attempting to not loose more than I gained if I selected a open plan media room over a dedicated theater. The reason so many large flat panel TVs are being sold I guess. The FP goal is not imposable though. But IMO much has to be rethought differently than what you would do in a dedicated HT as I talked about in my above post.

From an audio perspective is no different also. I think about what were some of the most memorable sound experiences of my life and many happened at live concerts that were in some of the worst acoustical settings you could imagine. Every summer we cant wait to go to our towns open air concerts and the open air jazz festival. Media room audio is a little the same and why I feel 5.1 fills my needs. Sound like video can be amazing and wonderful without being perfect for me.

Because I wanted my room to be truly dual purpose and as close to dedicated HT when I wanted it I designed it as an extension of the living room a separate room but free flowing with the living room thru a large archway that can be closed off by closing black theater curtains. With them closed it is a private space and open an extension of the room. Very similar to what the OP is thinking of doing. With the archway there is wall still to help sound reflection at the screen end of the room. I’m fine with less than perfect audio as a compromise. I even have my AVR set up with zones that engage the “B” speakers outside the room. Something I would suggest for the OP as he plans on watching from other areas besides the theater seating. I sometime use the “B” only and let the AVR be the sound system for the living room without the theater or projector being used at all.

Bud
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post #32 of 53 Old 02-26-2019, 03:47 AM
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One expert's viewpoint.
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post #33 of 53 Old 02-26-2019, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
I gather that staircase is closed in with safety glass? Otherwise, I'd love to know how people get away with that legally?

In my area you can get away with nothing below the steps if thats what you are referring to. I didn't do that but I did do floor to ceiling 1/2 thick glass panels, I believe like you said, they have to be safety glass. That wasn't a big deal, I don't recall it being overly expensive.

It is hard to replicate the looks he is finding online, I tried to do it but didn't have attention to detail these houses have. Most of these pictures are from homes that are north of $2 million dollars and have interior designers that are getting every detail right.

You can do it, just don't count on your home builder to get all of the details right.

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post #34 of 53 Old 02-27-2019, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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We're not arguing but the fact that some of my comments are eating away at you, simply means you are better informed. Which simply might mean a more informed final
open concept decision.


We all tend to think of the typical 55 db noise floor of a home, as quiet. Except that just means to hear the quiet passages of a movie, the volume needs to go up 30+ db.
That's all fine and dandy, until a loud explosion has you jumping for the volume key of the remote. The sub 55 db passages being heard, means loud events now
want to hit 140 db. Kind of a rude awakening and that means you end up surrounding dynamic range. Not only is that punishing on your hearing, that can be brutal
on speakers, where maybe you fry "av stuff". That also won't play well with the Mrs, because her hearing is better then yours, and women don't exactly have the same
response as men where we tend to embrace stupid loud far more easily. It might even get worse, because when you want to listen to, and fully experience the latest bombastic
movie, that the Mrs doesn't care to watch, you run the risk of the dreaded "Can you turn it down?". Someone isn't going to be happy, and there's a decent good chance, two people
aren't going to be happy.

Heh, I love your hopes and dreams (and budget )! I so look forward to hopefully seeing more of this home, as it is truly inspirational. (Less so, home theater audio-wise though...
The visual side of things does work for me, except for light colored seating.)

That marketing isn't exactly selling me. I'd actually prefer the first video three seat wide, because I don't really care about sound, where ears are not. It also looks like
they are averaging the room if that is but two seats, they have dispensed with a center time aligned money seat, isn't always a design goal, since there are two camps of design
thinking here. I also would respectful

That room is also dedicated (except being that large pane of glass), and is pretty luxurious from a "very limited seating count" positioned well, and off wall boundaries.
Now that is a concept I can get my head around, because limited seat rooms, designed from a knowledgeable stand point, can push big expensive rooms from a performance
stand point.

Digital is great when it comes to pushing the signal path further to the speakers, when you actually need DSP. Otherwise, who cares, beyond great sound, when things are done right,
in either realm? Digital sources have a bit of an advantage, because analog sources need to go digital to be eq'ed, so that how well that is done, can be important.

I'm actually making a lot of good points. They just don't mesh all that well, with the open concept room option.

O db is reference levels with a 22 db sound floor. If you turn it up 15 db, peaks are now 122 db, and too much of that over an extended period, can damage hearing.



I didn't even touch on the bar refrigerator. I think of that as one of the "Been there, made that mistake." side of things.
Thanks for your thoughts. You're definitely helping me make better choices.

I'm looking at isolating the ceilings and walls with noise isolating clips (the whole basement). I can section off the stairway area with a retractable wall (automated), which offers sound insulation up to 60db (better than a wall) but also opens fully and rests next to the bar. I'm also looking at ways to incorporate the air con with the projector to allow me to silence the projector behind a hush box & glass (may not be possible), and I'm checking that the vents are large enough so that the aircon wont be audible when on. The windows at the far end are also quite well insulated (to ~50db) not including the blinds.

Regarding the fridge, I'm now looking at absorption fridges which are 100% silent.

I've long been obsessed with sound floor, building many silent PC's and silent fans - so for me 55db is incredibly loud. When I was building these things, I was using components rated 15db or less (still audible) and was a long time user of silentpcreview.com. If anything is so noisy that it generates 55db of noise, then I've failed. I'm aiming for 20dBA or less.

The nice thing about reinforced concrete, especially this thick, with underfloor heating, screed, natural stone on top and the dropped ceiling) is that you don't hear noise from upstairs, other than very very soft thuds (which I'm hoping the isolation will resolve). Right now we have the same structure but with neighbors above - and we never hear anything.

Regarding the Steinway system, you can set different seating positions during the calibration, and optimize the audio for MLP, or for a combined set of seating positions. You can switch between those modes.

Regarding the sofa, we actually already have the one we're going to use (minus a couple of additional modules - it's sectional). It's dark grey, and it'll seat 5 people with their feet up. I'll try to find a picture.

All in all - I think your thoughts are going to dramatically improve the end result, so thank you! I was not focusing on the sound floor at all, but the double benefit of better sound and disturbing the rest of the house less is definitely the way to go.

Edit: added sofa pic (extra modules will make it 'U' shaped rather than 'L' shaped, with a foot rest to match):
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post #35 of 53 Old 02-27-2019, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I will weigh in on the audio discussion as a totally non-expert in any field of home entertainment including sound systems. I am a student of human nature and have built several media rooms, one for myself as well as a dedicated theater for myself in a previous home. I haven’t been an active poster in the two forums here until lately but it is nice there is a division somewhat between general home theater/ media and dedicated theater.

First and most importantly is any entertainment area is only good if people use it. I have thought about this aspect more than any other when deciding what I wanted for myself. We used to go out for dinner and then to a movie theater and maybe then go out for a drink and it was all part of the social process of entertainment. When we had the home theater in the old house it was a destination spot similar to going out to the movie theater. It wasn’t a organic part of daily living and as such at first while there was a newness it was used daily and after a while it was more weekly. We would buy a new movie or rent one and then the room was a perfect place to watch it without the distraction of people on cell phones or someone kicking my seat from behind. It was much more spacious and comfortable the audio was perfect and the visual was as good if not better than a commercial theater except maybe IMAX. The greatest feature of all was having a pause button. It was equally as social a setting as going to the movie and equally not a place we would spend a whole evening even when with friends. We would watch a movie and then return to a social area in the house to sit and talk or eat or drink.

What makes a room perfect for movies, Dark, Acoustically perfect, Seating in tiered rows, etc are best but are not best socially many times. I used to often watch movies alone in the theater and as much as I loved the perfection it was a somewhat lonely way to watch IMHO.

I learned enough that I knew the compromises were very much weighted against me staying with FP and attempting to not loose more than I gained if I selected a open plan media room over a dedicated theater. The reason so many large flat panel TVs are being sold I guess. The FP goal is not imposable though. But IMO much has to be rethought differently than what you would do in a dedicated HT as I talked about in my above post.

From an audio perspective is no different also. I think about what were some of the most memorable sound experiences of my life and many happened at live concerts that were in some of the worst acoustical settings you could imagine. Every summer we cant wait to go to our towns open air concerts and the open air jazz festival. Media room audio is a little the same and why I feel 5.1 fills my needs. Sound like video can be amazing and wonderful without being perfect for me.

Because I wanted my room to be truly dual purpose and as close to dedicated HT when I wanted it I designed it as an extension of the living room a separate room but free flowing with the living room thru a large archway that can be closed off by closing black theater curtains. With them closed it is a private space and open an extension of the room. Very similar to what the OP is thinking of doing. With the archway there is wall still to help sound reflection at the screen end of the room. I’m fine with less than perfect audio as a compromise. I even have my AVR set up with zones that engage the “B” speakers outside the room. Something I would suggest for the OP as he plans on watching from other areas besides the theater seating. I sometime use the “B” only and let the AVR be the sound system for the living room without the theater or projector being used at all.
Great points here. You describe precisely why I didn't set out to build a 'dedicated home cinema'. I want to use this space all of the time. As we discussed in another thread, digital consumption is moving from films, to online streaming (eg Netflix). Look at Game of Thrones, or even Breaking Bad as good examples. Most people have watched series or sports in the last week, certainly more than have watched movies. I have a young family, and this room will essentially be our entertainment area. That means Peppa Pig & Paw Patrol, as well as all the football / F1 / boxing I like to watch - and then later gaming. Films too, of course, but that'll be the exception rather than the norm (maybe once a week). The whole space will also be a social play area, music being very important.

You're completely right that if this became a classic dedicated cinema room, I'd sit there on my own in the dark.

That being said, we do watch films, and when watching things on Netflix / Apple TV I do want the best possible cinematic sound & experience. I've always been massively musical too, so I'm going to love re-listening to all my music on this system. I've picked the speakers I did because I think they manage to be unaffected by a less-than-ideal acoustical space.

The end goal, therefore, is to get as much of the benefits of a dedicated cinema room as possible (the epic audio, the cinematic visuals) without losing the inclusion and usefulness of the space. Ideas like increasing the sound proofing are perfect - they have no negative consequence on the space, but help dramatically with the audio side. I like your idea of the 'zones'. There are in ceiling speakers in the rest of the basement which it'll be possible to join up to this system for more casual listening.

I'm probably more concerned with the video than the audio. I've witnessed the audio working in the setup I plan on using, but I think screen size / material and projector choices are going to be more problematic - to get something which looks decent with some ambient light in particular. Right now I'm thinking of waiting until actually living there to decide on those 3 aspects.
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post #36 of 53 Old 02-27-2019, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Starting to document the build.

This is the adjacent room in which the aircon units & electrical equipment will be.

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post #37 of 53 Old 02-27-2019, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Home cinema area...

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post #38 of 53 Old 03-23-2019, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Update:

- The general contractor has been instructed to use noise isolation clips throughout the basement (which actually is their standard anyway) on top of high quality sound proof plasterboard and isolation in-between.

- I have confirmed that I will have a dedicated air conditioning loop for the projector enclosure, which will allow it to be isolated from the room and hopefully silence it. I'll use Edmund glass for this. I am looking into embedding this projector enclosure into the dropped ceiling for a seamless look. All associated fans will sit outside the basement area.

- I have been working on the design and style of the cinema area - and will be sharing more pictures of that soon (this has been really exciting).

- Still unsure on combination of screen / screen size / projector. Throw distance will be approx 5.5m. I'm pretty set on 162-180" 2.40 CIH setup with automatic masking.

- Awaiting quote for sound proof movable wall to partition off the entire basement area and completely isolate it (noise wise)

- Found suitable absorption fridge for bar area (100% silent)

- I've decided to seat the sofa further back, with single surround speakers in the home cinema area, with potential additional rear surrounds (turned in) further back by the bar, as a future enhancement. This broadens the overall size of the cinema room.

- I'm likely to have a 35cm deep false wall at the front, in which will sit the LCR speakers, stacked subwoofers & screen. This means dropping the LED lights surrounding the screen (but this had happened anyway due to the design process).

- I've moved the door from the cinema area to around the corner, to allow more options for speaker placement, reduce the sound floor (as all the air conditioners and amps / processor / other equipment are in that adjacent room) and to improve aesthetics. Incidentally, as part of this, also knocked down another part of wall to create an in-built set of shelves further back. Will use this area to surface any equipment I actually need to interact with, such as a blu-ray player.

- I've confirmed from people who have installed multiple Steinway cinema's that the lack of a back wall will be an advantage, if anything, from an acoustic perspective (reduced 'slap' from the back wall), and that audio will not be compromised by not having absorption on the side walls.

- I'm still planning on using 3 x IW-66 for the front LCR, with 2-6 LS Boundary Woofers (1-3 each side), and I will be using IW-26V for the surrounds.

- In general, the build is moving quickly so updates should start to come on this thread more frequently

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post #39 of 53 Old 03-23-2019, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Design phase in progress....

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post #40 of 53 Old 03-24-2019, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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More renders during design phase...

Carpet colour may change (near the screen at least)

Not final placement, obviously...

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post #41 of 53 Old 03-30-2019, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I believe I've now settled on a speaker layout, but I would love any feedback you have.

I do think I'll want a 7.X.X setup, as I particularly like 'rear' surround effects (ie the strong sense of things happening behind me). This is a bit of a challenge as I have no back wall (something which is a pre-requisite for what I want to create).

I initially thought about containing all 7 speakers inside the space I have for my cinema room. However, a few points kept pushing the MLP further and further back:

- I need a false wall to contain all the speakers
- I want at least a 162.5" diagonal screen. Maybe larger, in order to a) Allow high quality viewing from the other end of the basement b) To 'fit' visually with the style I was going for c) Because even when I personally sit close to smaller screens, I am still aware that it's smaller.
- The sofa (which I already have) is quite long, and I wanted space between that and the screen.

It was actually quite a relief when I abandoned trying to squeeze both sets of surround speakers into that space, and this is what I came up with (after discussions with lots of different people):



This is a 7.6.4 setup, designed to be able to fill the space in the basement. The big benefits over any other design I've had are that all of these speakers are symmetrically placed, in line with Dolby guidelines (in terms of angles, etc), and more than capable of filling the space. The other benefit is that the 'pool table' area is now included within the 'cinema' zone. Given that I'll do a lot of viewing, or playing music, while playing pool - this is a big plus. I also get to keep that 'sense of distance' from the MLP (the sofa) which I am personally really happy about.

In the absence of a rear wall - I feel like this is the best setup I can achieve. The angle of the rear surrounds can be played around with (to ensure the first reflections are minimised) and S15 have a dipole tweeter which is actually ideal for this kind of 'surround' sound. The atmos speakers are also ideally placed to image sounds behind the viewer. The other side effect of placing the rear surrounds so far back, is that every listener on the sofa should experience roughly the same separation of left/right.

I suspect some feedback may be that the listening space is now too large - but I do believe the speakers are capable of filling this room. No speaker is further than 6m away, and I am going to great lengths to isolate the whole space. The missing 'wall' at the top of this picture will be close-able via a soundproof movable wall.

Would love to hear any suggestions / criticisms if anyone has any :-)
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post #42 of 53 Old 04-13-2019, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardoski View Post
Check out this thread, but be careful you do not want to underestimate the power of the Darkside....




https://www.avsforum.com/forum/24-di...ter-image.html
Happy to report that as my ideas have evolved, the theater space has become darker & darker...

Will have a full set of renders soon :-)
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post #43 of 53 Old 04-16-2019, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: I was fortunate enough to discuss my design with a senior acoustics designer at Steinway.

He generally confirmed my designed layout. However, he had 2 suggestions:

1 - Since the rear surrounds are so far away, he recommended the IW-26V instead of the S-15. They are also more closely matched to the front IW-66's, and somewhat vertically focused (which should prevent floor/ceiling reflections and allow for further propagation of the sound - useful since they are over 4m away from MLP). He believes the placement makes sense, because even though normally they are mounted more inside the side walls (on a rear wall), in my case they are further away so the angles will be the same. He suggested perhaps to raise them slightly to have line of sight over the pool table. I am thinking of using some actuators to move them from flush with the wall, to angled straight at MLP when in 'cinema mode'. The only 'Jamed Bond' moment I'll be allowed in this house :-)

2 - I asked about the side surrounds being relatively close to people sat on the sides of the sofa - my concern being that they would be too loud and speakers would be localized. One suggestion to help this was to increase the number of side speakers, so I've decided to add some wide surrounds, equi-distant between the L/R speakers and the L/R surrounds. These will also be IW-26V's.

3 - He confirmed that IC-16's are absolutely the right choice for the atmos speakers, and placement looks good.

-------

On a different note - I am moving back towards the original title of this thread - 180" screen size. I'm contemplating a 420cm wide, 210cm tall screen size (2:1 ratio) with 4 way masking. My logic is that this will fill up all of the available space in the room, and the 4 way masking will allow any combination of ratios / sizes that I've been debating - including going smaller if projector capabilities require it. It will also give me flexibility to view IMAX presentations as they were intended, or to have even larger 16:9 viewings (for Game of Thrones .... , or for football).

The only issue with all of these changes is that the price of my cinema room keeps rising and rising. I'm probably going to have to complete it in phases as a result.
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That four way masking system might be a one piece item and the timing of delivery might be something that needs to be looked at, to actually be able to
fit it into the building.
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post #45 of 53 Old 04-17-2019, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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That four way masking system might be a one piece item and the timing of delivery might be something that needs to be looked at, to actually be able to
fit it into the building.
Hey, thanks for this thought. I think you're right.

It may have to be the first piece I actually buy, and sooner rather than later (while the basement is still open!). Just waiting for some prices but hopefully will be able to update on this soon...

Cheers
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post #46 of 53 Old 04-19-2019, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Status of the build upstairs, roughly a month ago. Progressing quickly...
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post #47 of 53 Old 04-23-2019, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manni01 View Post
I agree, let's leave out what's irrelevant to this conversation. So three questions:

1) Do you have any interest in watching HDR content?
2) If you do, what is your peak brightness when watching HDR content on your 180" screen?
3) What is your screen gain?

Thanks
Hey, I brought my reply over here as I didn't want to derail the other thread.

1 - Yes, I do have an interest in watching HDR content.
2 - I haven't selected a projector yet, but my aim will be to find one with the highest dynamic range in my setup. Most likely that'll mean the one with the lowest black levels I can find with lumens capable of lighting up my screen.
3 - My intention was to go for an AT screen with a claimed '1.0' gain - so in reality 0.9. However, this is not locked down and subject to viewing samples / seeing the screen in use. I've seen a 4.5m wide screen illuminated by a Z1 with a screen excellence unity gain screen and it looked great (clearly not HDR).

So, I'm fully aware that there are almost no projectors capable of displaying HDR at 180" in the quality that I'm looking for. Here is my thinking:

1 - For SDR content, or content I'm happy to watch in SDR - I can most likely find a projector which will fill the whole screen
2 - For HDR content, the maximum screen size that it works for will be determined by the projector. My idea is that with the 4 way masking screen, I can resize the visible area to whatever area the projector can illuminate in HDR.
3 - As the saying goes, you date your projector, you marry your screen. So another part of my logic is that projectors are getting brighter and brighter, and at some point a projector capable of HDR at 180" will be released. I might only finish my room towards the end of next year (due to cashflow) so there may be other options. Certainly down the line I believe there will be and I can then swap out the projector.
4 - I am also going to invest in an anamorphic lens to maximise the brightness for 4.2m wide scope.
5 - I'll definitely have a MadVR setup to improve the image even further - most likely using a Corsair One i160 (my days of custom building Silent PC's based on Silent PC Reviews are probably over due to time & family)

Edit: just to add, I'm also planning on fully enclosing my projector with dedicated air conditioning / extraction - so that I can run it on high if necessary with no noise issues.
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Last edited by JohnnyWilkinson; 04-24-2019 at 12:09 AM.
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post #48 of 53 Old 04-24-2019, 03:54 AM
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Look at that view!

You might check out Alan Gouger and his dual Simm setup, for HDR. And there's some work for Lumagen being done.
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post #49 of 53 Old 05-02-2019, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

As promised - here are some renders that I've been working on for the past 2 months.

Probably one of the best decisions I've made so far is to enlist the help of @Silva741 , who generated all of these renders. Excellent guy to work with, very reasonable price and I'm already delighted with the end result.

Any feedback is welcome (especially now I can still do something about it)!






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post #50 of 53 Old 05-04-2019, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for relatively low seating (so it doesn't block the screen from the rest of the basement), a bit like the Cineak Strato, but not $5k per seat... :-)

So far the best I've found is this, which I might end up going with:



Height with headrest down is 78cm.

Edit: I'm also toying with the same but in brown:

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Last edited by JohnnyWilkinson; 05-05-2019 at 10:50 AM.
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post #51 of 53 Old 05-08-2019, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Black side panels near the screen will be removable to reveal the subs.

LCR will be illuminated behind the screen.

I may also illuminate the in-ceiling and in-wall speakers, but all will be completely hidden normally.
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post #52 of 53 Old 05-15-2019, 06:56 AM
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That looks great, Johnny. Subbed and following with interest!
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post #53 of 53 Old 05-19-2019, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Staircases arrived on site this week
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