The Stone and Soft theater – A DIY attempt at a Kick A$$ Theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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The Stone and Soft theater – A DIY attempt at a Kick A$$ Theater

Details
Room 16wx22lx9h
Sound Isolation: DD Green Glue between ceiling joists, Clips/ChannelOsb+dd with green glue for walls
Equipment List:
Mitsubishi HC7900DW Projector
Prismasonic AnamorphicLens/Sled
Darbee Darblet DVP 5000
12ft Wide DIY Curved Screen, Seymour Center stage XD Fabric
Marantz SR7009 Receiver powering 9.2.4 Speakers
Emotiva Amps
LCR Polk RTi A9
Side/Rear Surrounds Polk Monitor 75s
Ceiling/Wide Polk inwalls
2 SVS PC13 Ultras Subs
Aura Bass Shakers
HTPC running XBMC, PS4, PS3
Grafik eye lighting controller
iRule Control for lighting and components

Intro
My theater dream began nearly 20 years ago. My parents had our basement finished with the highlight of the project being a major entertainment upgrade which included a 50inch Rear Projection TV with major convergence issues and a state of the art brand new 5.1 surround sound system! The upgrade over the small 20inch tube TV I had grown accustomed to was simply heaven thus the idea of home theater was born.

My mind altering experience came 2 years later when visiting a friend in Denver. I had stumbled across the Electronics Section while everyone else was looking at hand towels in the Great Indoors(RIP) store and there it was….An exclusive room, stadium seating, plush fabric wall coverings, and best of all…a projector projecting an image on a screen that had to be over 100 inches. My mind was absolutely blown! Here I was sitting in a room completely dedicated to being a Home Theater. Even though they had Fleetwood Mac Live in Concert on, the sounds of a goat baaa-laring out Gypsy called out to me like a siren song and had me grinning ear to ear. I knew from that moment, that once I was my making my millions in the NBA, I would be having one of these bad Jacksons in my MegaMansion!

Unfortunately for my NBA dream, my growth plates closed up, and I was never able to take off from half court and dunk like MJ, but I did have the internet. I can’t remember which search engine I was using hotbot or excite, but my search ended up here at AVSforum. Here on the interwebs, people were posting about how they were able to build their own KickA$$ rooms with massive screens, and they didn’t have to cost half a million Bucks! (well most of them anyway) I knew that if someone was able to do it and post their journey then someday I would be able to as well and my dream lived on. It would just have to wait for a while before I finally had a space to create in.

A special thanks to everyone who has made a post over these past 15 years, especially all of you who have created a build thread for others to follow. After spending so many hours working on this project, I have no idea how some of you are able to spend the time that you do posting your progress on these pages. Without the community of experts and experimenters on this website, this dream would not have been a possibility for me…..so thank you.
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post #2 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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The Room

The house my wife and I built was done by Standard Pacific and thus not custom. We had a roughly 2000sq foot walkout basement to work with, but the options for the space of the theater room were somewhat limited. The area that was suited best after taking the support beams/poles as well as windows into consideration, was approximately 16’x22’x9’. The room had 3 obstacles to work around, a window, a support pole and a sump pump pit. This room also happened to be directly below our master bedroom so soundproofing had to be a large priority. Because this room was not “square” and had obstacles, google sketchup was my friend. This was the design I decided on.
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post #3 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Soundproofing

After reading so much on the subject on the forums all these years, I decided that the only thing I would regret and not be able to change was my efforts on the soundproofing. I thought that if soundproofing was overrated, then at least the lost nights of sleep down the road with my future kids movie watching would hurt less knowing that I did everything I could. So I decided I would go all out with the soundproofing. As many of you know, Colorado Building codes require floating the walls a minimum of 1.5 inches on a concreate slab. With this being the case, I figured a clip and channel approach would be the best. To overcompensate, I decided to use 3 layers, OSB+2 layers of 5/8 drywall with green glue in between. Since the bedroom was directly over the theater, I also elected to do 2 layers of drywall and green glue between the ceiling joists. (My traps are hurting just thinking of lugging all that drywall around)
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post #4 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Stage and Riser

I came across the stage that stage design a while back and loved it. As with a lot of things on this build, I have borrowed heavily from some great ideas. The stage was filled with 82 bags of sand from the local Lowes. I got to know many of the staff over the 2 years working on this project. I mean how many other fools are filling up a trailer with 80 50lb bags of sand! (once again my traps are hurting)

I had to make some compromises on the riser size due to my ceiling high and the height of the screen size that I wanted to have. I think 6 inches higher would have been more ideal then what I ended up with. I also wanted to have the riser curve match the curve of the front row of seats. Since I was going with a big screen and a close viewing distance, I wanted each seat to face the screen and to match the curvature of the screen.
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post #5 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Screen

My first attempt at a “theater” was when I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment many years back. I bought an Infocus X1 projector at a best buy, painted the room charcoal black and setup a “theater” in the bedroom. All was great until I moved out less than a year later and scrambled to paint the room back to beige at the very last minute! With that projector, I got a taste for a BIG screen and knew that I wouldn’t be happy with my build unless I went IMAX HUGE! The screen is a 12ft wide 2.35 ratio made of Seymour Center Stage XD fabric. I created the frame out of 1x8 pine which was painted black. I used the “screen curve calculator” here on AVS to calculate the curvature of the screen based on the distance from the projector to screen size. Once again google Sketchup was my friend. It’s defiantly one of the highlights of the theater when someone notices that it is curved and I get a chance to “nerd out” and explain why it needs to be.
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post #6 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ceiling

The Ceiling was hotly contended by my wife who felt that the stonework and everything else was to much as it was and that the ceiling was going to be over the top bad. Fortunately for me, it paid off as it is now her favorite part of the whole room. The coffered design has been well documented in the forums before so I won’t go into too much detail on the design, but the ceiling itself came about from my experience painting houses to put myself through college back in the day. Since I have fabric, wood and stone in the theater, I wanted to have something that resembled metal in the theater. Since we are using these same themes throughout the house, I wanted to have the ceiling resemble copper. To do that I used a flat darker copper paint as a base with a faux finish copper penny metallic paint on top. The ceiling also has a “skip troweled” texture which enhances the look. The colors really pop when the lights are on.
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post #7 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Stonework

I wanted to do something special with the room that hadn’t been done before. We have stonework throughout the house and I’m doing this for the wine room as part of the basement project, so I wanted to carry that theme to the theater as well. When I made the order for stonework, I calculated how many sq ft I would need which came out to 500sq ft or so. The sales guy I was talking to thought I was mistaken as that would have been a ton of stone and mentioned to me that it took him over 3 years to install 300sq ft for his project. I said ya, you’re probably right and went back home to recount. The next day I came back let him know that I was wrong. I actually needed closer to 600sq ft. When the fork lift guys dropped off the load a few weeks later, I had a “what the f am I thinking” moment. I had originally budgeted 2 weeks for stone installation, but when it took me 2 full days just to unload the stone from the driveway to the garage, I knew I had underestimated a hair. (My traps are hurting thinking about stonework)

Piece by piece it all started coming together.
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post #8 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Odds and Ends

Image and Sound
My philosophy on the equipment in the room was to do the room right first, and then get the better equipment later. The projector that I’m currently using is the Mitsubishi HC7900dw paired up with a darbee. I know this projector isn’t the best, but I felt like it was a good cheap solution until 4k projectors come down a bit and more content/technology is out there. The 3d effects on it are great and since my “eyes” are used to the image of the old Infocus, the 1080p image is amazing! I had some friends come by that wanted to see it and they couldn’t believe it was just an HD projector.

The speakers are mostly all done by Polk with the exception of the front ceiling speakers for atmos. I had the Polk RtiA9s and was happy with the sound so I decided to pair them with similar sounding speakers all around that didn’t break the bank. One of the upgrades that I would like to do at some point is to attempt a DIY sound group speaker build, but at this point my wife is more than happy with how our current “investment” is sounding (;
I have 2 SVS PC13ultras that are up front behind the screen wall. After all the positive feedback on the customer service from SVS, I had to give those a try. Firing up those puppies in that room made me crap my paints so they have a permanent place in my room. It was the first time I actually “felt” bass which was so awesome. I also hooked up the front row of seats with Aura Bass shakers which round out the Low Frequency sounds.
I originally had everything setup for an 11.2 system with the Denon 4520 receiver and the DTS Neo:X surround sound format. Everything was hooked up and wired until Dolby Atmos came on the scene. So that was a last minute change to the project. It was a hard decision to make for the front ceiling speaker locations as the only way I could make it work would be to find a ceiling speaker that was no more than 5in in diameter. Luckily I found a speaker made by speaker craft which did the trick. You wouldn’t think that something so small would make that big of a difference, but WOW. What a difference it makes.

Lighting and Ventilation
The theater has 6 zones of lighting: Recessed Ceiling Rope, Ceiling Cans, Stage Cans, Arch Cans, LV Recessed Floor Lights, and Entryway Recessed Ceiling Rope. Each zone is controlled with the Graffik eye which is controlled with IR run through Cat6 Cable.
There are 2 supply vents that run along the left soffit. There are 2 returns in the riser that route through the hush box and out through the dead vent in the equipment closet which keeps the projector noise and heat out of the room. The warm air is vented out into the main basement area.
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post #9 of 35 Old 10-05-2015, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Of course what build thread is complete without the ole dust mask shot!
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post #10 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 05:37 AM
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post #11 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 06:00 AM
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The room has a great feel, I salute anyone who can build a DIY curved AT screen
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post #12 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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FANTASTIC DIY Build!
Thanks Joe!


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post #13 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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The room has a great feel, I salute anyone who can build a DIY curved AT screen
Thanks. Yeah wrapping the fabric around the curve was defiantly a pita, but worth it in the end.
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post #14 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 12:28 PM
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Amazingly well done!!!
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post #15 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cRock HT View Post
Details

iRule Control for lighting and components

Your room looks fanastic!

Quick question - what made you choose iRule over other alternatives like Roomie? I'm getting to the point in my build where I need to make that exact choice.
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post #16 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Amazingly well done!!!
Thanks Dave!
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post #17 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Your room looks fanastic!

Quick question - what made you choose iRule over other alternatives like Roomie? I'm getting to the point in my build where I need to make that exact choice.
To be honest I never really looked at to many other options. I liked the idea of being able to control everything from one ipad and iRule was relatively inexpensive since I already had an ipad to use. I think i just got locked on to irule when it first came out and never thought about the other ipad alternatives. I purchased the irule license a while back so I just stuck with it. I can't speak to roomie as I've done little research on it, but there was a little learning curve to irule and once I figured it out it was a lot easier to program. I am able to control everything in the room with it which has been a huge upgrade over all the remotes I had before. I just need to go back and make all the buttons "pretty"

Not sure if that helps any
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post #18 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 02:44 PM
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The meathead in me can completely sympathize with how your traps must have felt. I learned quickly that if I am to do any overhead work, it is probably not a good idea to bench press the day or two before.

The stone work and ceiling are jaw-dropping! See also @rms8 's build here as it sort of has a similar flavor. How did you dream the design up, then put it to paper, and ultimately into reality? Simply amazing, and so classy!
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post #19 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 02:57 PM
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Really really great build! If you can do all that the DIY subs and speakers should be no problem in the future!

Front L&R: Polk RTi A3 (cherry finish)
Center: Polk CSi A6 (cherry finish)
Surrounds: Polk FXi A6 (black finish)
Subwoofer: Dual Sealed SI-HT 18" with iNuke 3000dsp
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V673
TV: 55" LCD
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post #20 of 35 Old 10-06-2015, 09:44 PM
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Phenomenal workmanship. Congrats.

___________________________________________

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see" –Tony Soprano
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post #21 of 35 Old 10-07-2015, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post
The meathead in me can completely sympathize with how your traps must have felt. I learned quickly that if I am to do any overhead work, it is probably not a good idea to bench press the day or two before.

The stone work and ceiling are jaw-dropping! See also @rms8's build here as it sort of has a similar flavor. How did you dream the design up, then put it to paper, and ultimately into reality? Simply amazing, and so classy!


Thanks for the kind words. I did check out RMS8's build and loved it. Its funny how after all these years of browsing these forums it was very hard to find anyone use stone in a room. Then once you get started you see it more often, just like when you buy a car. Great minds must think alike!


The design process for me started over 10 years when I first started coming to AVS and looking at different build projects and just looking at thousands of pictures of theaters. Houzz.com was also a great resource. Just found themes I liked and the theater in my "mind" kept getting more ambitious as the years passed without having a basement to put my room in. I wanted to use stone in the theater as we had decided to use stone throughout the house. My wife and I walked through a "show home" a few years back with stonework on the interior and we loved the design. The house also had a wine room with an arch and I thought that would be a great project for the basement project. I will be using stone arches in that room as well so I thought I'd carry that theme to the theater. Using skechup was great because it helped me visualize how the stone would look and feel before starting the build.
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post #22 of 35 Old 10-07-2015, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zpatter1 View Post
Really really great build! If you can do all that the DIY subs and speakers should be no problem in the future!
Thanks! I see that we have a similar surround sound setup based on your description. Have you looked in going the DIY route for an upgrade?
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post #23 of 35 Old 10-07-2015, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by los3088 View Post
Phenomenal workmanship. Congrats.


Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad I was able to accomplish my plans and it didn't end up being a complete train wreck
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post #24 of 35 Old 10-07-2015, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRock HT View Post
Thanks! I see that we have a similar surround sound setup based on your description. Have you looked in going the DIY route for an upgrade?
I'm fully satisfied with my Polk speakers. I'm in an apartment so speakers larger than the A3s would kind of be a waste. The A9s are absolute beasts, and running three across the front must be phenomenal.

I currently don't have a sub, but I think that is my next upgrade. I'm planning 1-2 DIY subs, likely a 15" or 18" ultimax driver.

If I were you, I wouldn't upgrade the speakers you have. You'll have to drop mega bucks to best those A9s. I'd add DIY subwoofers. The subs you have are beasts, so there is really no real reason to change them. You could keep them and add two more sealed subs. EQing all 4 subs would be a pain, but the output and added feel would be absurd.

Front L&R: Polk RTi A3 (cherry finish)
Center: Polk CSi A6 (cherry finish)
Surrounds: Polk FXi A6 (black finish)
Subwoofer: Dual Sealed SI-HT 18" with iNuke 3000dsp
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V673
TV: 55" LCD
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post #25 of 35 Old 10-07-2015, 09:26 AM
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I also would consider upgrading the Polk monitor surrounds. I've heard the monitor/tsi line and it doesn't hold a candle to how great the RTi line is. However, they are just surrounds.

It's a bit difficult to tell you areas to upgrade except for your projector, and it makes sense to wait until 4k projectors drop in price next year before upgrading that.

Front L&R: Polk RTi A3 (cherry finish)
Center: Polk CSi A6 (cherry finish)
Surrounds: Polk FXi A6 (black finish)
Subwoofer: Dual Sealed SI-HT 18" with iNuke 3000dsp
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V673
TV: 55" LCD
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post #26 of 35 Old 11-22-2016, 04:05 PM
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WOW...what a beautiful theater room.

I also see you are getting a new JVC RS400 on Monday...my JVC arrives tomorrow! I have a business trip scheduled to Castle Rock in late May 2017 and I always make a point to search out other AVS members. Any chance I could get a demo?

Thanks!
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post #27 of 35 Old 11-22-2016, 07:35 PM
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Great build!! It is always nice to see a DIY theater build that that doesnt require a 2nd mortgage on the house.

I'm planning the same sound isolation treatments as you used and I'm curious how effective they were vs. your needs/expectations?
Can you listen at reference levels without disturbing your wife in the bedroom above?
Would you do anything different with regards to the sound isolation if you were to build this theater again?

Thanks,
Mike
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post #28 of 35 Old 11-22-2016, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cRock HT View Post
My first attempt at a “theater” was when I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment many years back. I bought an Infocus X1 projector at a best buy, painted the room charcoal black and setup a “theater” in the bedroom. All was great until I moved out less than a year later and scrambled to paint the room back to beige at the very last minute! With that projector, I got a taste for a BIG screen and knew that I wouldn’t be happy with my build unless I went IMAX HUGE! The screen is a 12ft wide 2.35 ratio made of Seymour Center Stage XD fabric. I created the frame out of 1x8 pine which was painted black. I used the “screen curve calculator” here on AVS to calculate the curvature of the screen based on the distance from the projector to screen size. Once again google Sketchup was my friend. It’s defiantly one of the highlights of the theater when someone notices that it is curved and I get a chance to “nerd out” and explain why it needs to be.
Hey, it looks like you have Paradigm Cinema 400 speakers mounted above the screen. Is that what's up there? What are those being utilized for, Atmos? And do you like them?
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post #29 of 35 Old 11-22-2016, 11:58 PM
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Awesome room! Really like the paint in the coffers..well done!
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post #30 of 35 Old 11-23-2016, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CpHaAiOnS View Post
Hey, it looks like you have Paradigm Cinema 400 speakers mounted above the screen. Is that what's up there? What are those being utilized for, Atmos? And do you like them?
Yeah good catch! Those are a side effect of taking a long time to finish the theater and the changes in Technology. When I was building, DTS Neo:X was the cutting edge right before Atmos came out. So I had those "Front Highs" setup for that along with the wides in the stone column. After everything was finalized, I added the "Atmos" ceiling speakers in the coffered ceiling. Now I'm trying to figure out a way to incorporate the "front highs" with the front ceiling. Maybe it will have to be a better sound processor to utilize all those speakers as the front wides are not being used currently with atmos.
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