Anson 2.0 build - Hilltop "Attic" Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 145 Old 12-10-2014, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Anson 2.0 build - Hilltop "Attic" Theater

Hello world.

I built my first dedicated theater 7 years ago with the help of this forum and really got a lot of enjoyment out of it. We recently moved and are converting a gameroom / attic space into a mostly dedicated theater. So, essentially a blank canvas!

This time, I thought I'd try to document the process with a build thread. My original goal was to be operational by January 1, 2015 (approx. 4 months from the start of the project). I suppose that I could have reached that goal. Predictably, I didn't have the willpower to ignore a functional projector and screen.

Other than the carpet, this is going to be entirely DIY.

Challenges
(1) Large (30' x 30'), nearly square room (see the layout below)
(2) Attic ceiling with knee walls and dormer windows (see the profile picture below)

Priorities
(1) Aesthetics and comfort over acoustics / sound proofing. However, I am putting some effort into getting the acoustics to be decent.
(2) "Get 'r done." I can push out the acoustic treatments but need to finish up the rest of it as soon as possible.

Equipment:
Projector - Sony HW55ES
Screen - 134" 16:9 Carada BW criterion
Seating - 6 "Fusion Streamline" seats from Roman.
Rack - used Middle Atlantic 27U
Receiver - Denon X6200W
Amps - Emotiva Mini-x a-100 amplifiers x 2 (to power the 4 height speakers)
Speakers (all Klipsch)-
Fronts: RF-7 ii
Center: RC-4 ii
Surrounds side and rear: RS-62 ii x 4
Height (for Atmos): CDT-5800C ii x4
Subwoofers: SW-115 x 2 (probably not my first choice but they came along as part of a package deal)
Video sources - DirecTV Genie HR44 STB, Apple TV 4, Sony BDP-S6500 Blu-ray Player
Remote - Simple Control app. on a dedicated iPad Mini 2
Lighting / automation - Universal Devices isy994i controller for Insteon dimmers and switches
Powered curtain rod - CL-920
Thermostat - Nest

Phase 1 - planning - complete
Overall layout - complete
Color scheme - fabric ordered and received (will create a separate post). Paint colors selected.

Phase 2 - stage / proscenium / carpet - complete.
Stage - complete
Carpet - complete
Proscenium construction and screen wall - complete.

Phase 3 - paint / trim / aesthetics
Tray ceiling / soffit - done except for trim.
Numerous drywall repairs - done.
Painting - done
Trim - need to still add crown to the tray soffit.

Phase 4 - install equipment - complete

Phase 5 - acoustic treatments
Screen wall and super chunk absorbers for front corners are completed.
Ceiling, side and rear walls - TBD - discussing with GIK Acoustics.

Last edited by ChadA; 01-05-2016 at 11:03 AM. Reason: updating status
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post #2 of 145 Old 12-10-2014, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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1.0 Theater

Attached are pics from our old theater.


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post #3 of 145 Old 12-10-2014, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Layout

I've included my current layout. I was considering whether to include an angle (drawn in green) but decided against it. As you can see it is a big square room (in 2d, at least).

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post #4 of 145 Old 12-10-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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With this side profile of the layout, you can see that we have a nice knee wall / attic profile.
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post #5 of 145 Old 12-10-2014, 01:39 PM
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Don't worry Chad, I'll harass you endlessly about getting to Phase 5
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post #6 of 145 Old 12-11-2014, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Rounded stage

One of my design directives was to maximize the size of the stage so that the kids could use it for "performances." I decided to go with a rounded front.

To make the curve, I attached a 2x6 cut to the full depth of the curve to the center of the stage and two scrap 2x6's on either side. I then used a 14' piece of flexible MDF baseboard trim to make the curve, which I traced onto the floor. I transferred the length and angles from the floor to the 2x6s. I took all the measurements from one side and just duplicated for the other side so that the curve would be perfectly symmetrical.

All that remains is to finish out the front with two layers of 1/4" plywood.


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post #7 of 145 Old 12-12-2014, 02:33 AM
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A very peculiar room, I'm curious to see the final result.

Regarding the stage, if the goal is also to have a stage for the kids, are you sure it's big enough? Children are typically careless, it may be a bit tight. I'd worry with their safety, and also with your screen.
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post #8 of 145 Old 12-12-2014, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silva741 View Post
A very peculiar room, I'm curious to see the final result.

Regarding the stage, if the goal is also to have a stage for the kids, are you sure it's big enough? Children are typically careless, it may be a bit tight. I'd worry with their safety, and also with your screen.
I'm curious as to the final result, too. :-)

I ended up making the stage a little bit bigger. The center channel will be located in above the screen and the screen will be very securely attached. The narrow side portions will be behind a proscenium and not accessible.
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post #9 of 145 Old 12-14-2014, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Today, I finished framing my stage and pulling wire. Next up - filling with insulation (we're on the second floor, so no sand). Then, I'll be covering with two layers of 3/4" ply with green glue in between. Carpet installer is coming on Friday.

By the way, the reason you see carpet padding pulled back is because the installer said our existing pad is in really good shape. So, we're going to try reusing it to save $1000.
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post #10 of 145 Old 12-16-2014, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Cool

Guess what arrived? Our Fusion Streamline theater seats from Roman! I'm trying not to get distracted, but had to unpack one to check it out. So far, so good -- I like the power lumbar adjustment and the fact that there is no cupholder cooling device.

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post #11 of 145 Old 12-23-2014, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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After going through three tubes of green glue, several sheets of plywood and a whole lot of screws, I finished the stage.

FYI, I used a roundover bit to route a bullnose onto the plywood directly. I went with a 1 3/4" overhang.

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post #12 of 145 Old 12-23-2014, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Carpet installed!

We went with a durable but relatively basic carpet in a dark gray color. The installers did a pretty good job with the stage. The carpet hides any little imperfections with the curve, so don't stress too much about the occasional jigsaw snafu.

I know that it would probably have been more efficient to finish up the painting and acoustic treatments beforehand, but this part of the schedule was a bit inflexible.

Next up - screen wall.

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post #13 of 145 Old 12-23-2014, 03:38 PM
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hope you went with the larger screen size ^_^ and I will be keeping an eye on this thread, looking forward to its outcome.

Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, Roku 4, HTPC, 2017 nVidia Shield, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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post #14 of 145 Old 12-23-2014, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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hope you went with the larger screen size ^_^ and I will be keeping an eye on this thread, looking forward to its outcome.
Indeed I did! I decided that I'd rather be kicking myself because the picture was too awesome rather than because it was too small.

How do you like your Darbee?
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post #15 of 145 Old 12-24-2014, 11:40 PM
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Indeed I did! I decided that I'd rather be kicking myself because the picture was too awesome rather than because it was too small.

How do you like your Darbee?
love love love it... made a huge difference in picture quality for me but Im running a Benq W1070, I have it on HiDef at 60%

Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, Roku 4, HTPC, 2017 nVidia Shield, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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post #16 of 145 Old 01-01-2015, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Covering the screen wall windows

Before covering my screen wall with 2" OC703, I want to cover my windows so that they looked good from the outside.

I used a product called "BlackoutEZ." Basically, you attach velcro to your window frame and cut the vinyl blackout cover to size. The trick is that they include a very fine grid on the inside to make it simple to cut to your windows' exact dimensions. It took about 30 minutes to do both windows. It was much easier than cutting a piece of plywood and painting it.

I filled the window cavity with insulation before covering with the OC703.

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post #17 of 145 Old 01-01-2015, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Screen wall - finished!

I can't believe I forgot to take a pic of the screen wall fully covered with 2" OC703. That was a tedious but relatively simple project. I used Fastcap Powerhead Cabinet Installation Screws Black (3") to screw the OC703 to the drywall. I did not use any other adhesive.

For fabric, I went with Black Celtic Cloth from Dazian because it came in a 10 foot width. It also has a good bit of stretch to it that makes it easy to get a nice, tight finish. Tip: call up Dazian and ask them to fold the fabric rather than ship it on a 10' roll. It will dramatically reduce your shipping costs.

Thank goodness for my pneumatic wide crown stapler. I must have gone through 1000s of staples.

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post #18 of 145 Old 01-12-2015, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Proscenium - framed in!

So, I've been busy working on the proscenium. Between the angled ceiling and matching the curve from the stage, it took much longer than anticipated. But, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.


The width of the open portion of the proscenium were dictated by viewing angles to the screen. Say 'hello' to the 134" Carada BW screen w/ Criterion frame.


You can barely make out the equipment rack on the left side. The speakers and the sub will be located to the right of the rack.


I'll be building "super chunk" bass absorbers for both front corners.


The "bridge" portion of the proscenium is only about 6 inches higher than the top of the screen frame. I did that so that I can have a decent height for the curved bridge. I'll be covering the underside of the bridge in black velvet.

The bridge was by far the trickiest thing to design and install. I had to leave enough room to install my hefty center channel speaker and provide access one of the two return air vents in the room. I'll be covering the hole with a drop-in panel (also covered in black velvet).
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post #19 of 145 Old 01-13-2015, 10:58 AM
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wow now this is something I have not seen yet on this forum, not saying no one has done this, just my first time coming across a thread with such a build, cant wait to see more.

Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, Roku 4, HTPC, 2017 nVidia Shield, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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post #20 of 145 Old 01-13-2015, 07:56 PM
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This one will be fun to follow. Great stuff!!!!
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post #21 of 145 Old 01-14-2015, 07:51 AM
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Alright, you're making me look bad Chad. You started after I did, and you're already way ahead of me. I can barely find time to do anything once I account for work and family. Do you have a hidden crew locked up in that attic?
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post #22 of 145 Old 01-14-2015, 10:17 PM
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Alright, you're making me look bad Chad. You started after I did, and you're already way ahead of me. I can barely find time to do anything once I account for work and family. Do you have a hidden crew locked up in that attic?
he just takes those Pills from the show American Dad that allows you the ability to not have to sleep so he works all night long lol...

Projector: BenQ w1500 + ES Sable 135" 16:9 Screen AVR: Marantz SR6011 ATMOS/DTSX + Unity 2ch Amp + Darbee 5000s Speakers: Polk Audio TSX550t (FL/FR), CS2 Series II (C), FXiA6 (SL/SR), Monitor40 Series II (RL/RR), TSx110B (Ceiling FL/FR RL/RR) LFE: (2) JL Audio 12" Subs + (2) Dayton 15" Subs + (2) ButtKicker LFE Arrangement: 7.1.4 Source: OPPO UDP-203 4k Bluray Player, Roku 4, HTPC, 2017 nVidia Shield, Hauppauge OTA DVR
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post #23 of 145 Old 01-15-2015, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, you're making me look bad Chad. You started after I did, and you're already way ahead of me. I can barely find time to do anything once I account for work and family. Do you have a hidden crew locked up in that attic?
I didn't see a minimum age on my staple gun, so I figured what could go wrong with putting the kids to work?
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post #24 of 145 Old 01-21-2015, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I've been working on some boring things related to the stage, namely the ceiling of black, adding trim and baseboards. *yawn* But, I figured that if I didn't finish it out now, I'd never get to it (and I never did in my old theater).

With that out of the way, I started on construction of the frames that will hold the GOM fabric for the proscenium. The angled ceiling definitely put my geometry skills to the test.



1 down, 3 frames and 2 doors to go. I'm using Soss hidden hinges to attach the fabric doors to the frames. One door will cover my equipment rack. The other will allow access to a little bit of storage (for bean bags, etc.).
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post #25 of 145 Old 01-21-2015, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Superchunk absorber

In each of the front corners, I'm building "superchunk" bass absorbers. I made triangles out of 24" wide fluffy insulation. I'll create fabric-covered frame to cover the fronts.

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post #26 of 145 Old 01-24-2015, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Finished the superchunks!

Of course, there were more angles to figure out. But I was able to create the frames and cover in the same GOM Baltic fabric that I'll be using for the proscenium. I attached the frames to the angled trim on the wall with low profile industrial velcro.

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post #27 of 145 Old 01-24-2015, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Basedboard under the screen

I decided to wrap the baseboard under the screen in velvet. More specifically, in Black Plush Triple Velvet from SyFabrics. I'll be using the same velvet for the underside of the proscenium bridge.

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post #28 of 145 Old 01-25-2015, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Tedium aka Drywall Repair

So, I finally got around to tackling the dreaded drywall repair. Thank godness that the shoddy drywall work was limited to this room. There were 25-30 or so cracks / waves / bad patch jobs / popped nail heads/etc. that needed attention.

I still need another coat or two and then texture. Then, we can start painting the walls and ceiling.
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post #29 of 145 Old 01-31-2015, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So, drywall repair and perfectionism don't really lead to quick results. I ended up reinforcing with several more screws, retaping a few joints that had cracked, and blending in some prior poor patch jobs.

Today was texturing day. I used a Wagner Power Tex texture sprayer - at less than $100, it was a great little tool. The hardest part was getting the consistency of the texture mixture just right -- I found that when my mixture got to the consistency of thick latex paint, it was about right. I think it turned out pretty well, but I'll know for sure after I paint.

After cleaning up a bit (removing the numerous drop cloffs and plastic sheeting)-
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post #30 of 145 Old 02-01-2015, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Today, I covered the underside of the proscenium in velvet from syfabrics.com. I had to increase the fill light in Picasa a great deal to show the details. In real life, it is really absorbs light well. I also added some small can lights from Lowes.

You can see the cutout for the access panel. One of the two air return vents is located above the cutout and I need to be able to change the filter on occasion. I plan to cover the insert in the same black velvet.

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