Cranky's Cavern - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 273 Old 03-09-2016, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Cranky's Cavern

Update 7-20-17: Still a work in progress, but current status Pics:



Original Post: I debated on the best place to pose several question I had and just decided to start a new thread here as I will eventually get one going on this thread anyway, and it may be best to have all the info in one thread as things progress.

I purchased a home (about 2 years ago), that already had a dedicated Theater (more of a media room probably). It's on a second floor over the garage. It has NO treatments whatsoever. I was able to convince the previous homeowners to leave some of the equipment. They left the seats (7), the projector (Mitsubishi HC3800) and the screen (16:9 105", not sure of the brand). The room is 19.5' long and about 13.5 wide. It has a elevated second row in the back (Pictures attached). I started getting information together in 2014, then realized there were other substantial projects that probably needed to happen first. Well more recently, my hand was forced a little (I ordered 3 1099s on the most recent pre-order), and then I was offered a deal on two new SI-18s from a member on these forums that I couldn't pass up. This has got me thinking about the room again. We have been using it as is and while functional, it's not to my satisfaction. Here is my criteria and a couple disclaimers:

Disclaimer: I don't have a huge budget like a lot of the amazing theaters on these forums. I intend to do the work myself. Having said that, I'm quite the handy DIY guy with a decent sized home shop with a LOT of tools.

Disclaimer 2: With the room being pre-existing, upstairs, I'm not against gutting the room (as a matter of fact I intend to do that to an extent), but I would like to keep the existing seating (at least initially), and there is only currently about 16" between the sides of the seats and the wall....so with that restriction I need to make a determination as to what treatment solutions are justified and which ones will make the most impact etc. I think back when I was considering this a couple years ago, I had some correspondence with Ted White and he said with my existing limitations, that he suggested just another layer of drywall and greenglue and roll on. I would like to hear input from all you guys much more experienced than myself with all of this.

I'm just starting to layout the room in CAD (solidworks), but the treatment disclaimer above started to raise a lot of questions which is what prompted this post.

The first row is currently about 12 feet from the wall. I would like to maybe increase the screen size slightly and isntall a AT screen to place those 1099s behind. I intend to build a soffit around the room and get rid of the Polk inwalls. I'll probably get rid of the windows and maybe add some shallow columns for appearance if space allows. I'll have to add an additoinal zone to the HVAC system and plumb in a return. I know I have some constraints that won't allow this to be the perfect theater. I'm hoping to achieve a "nice" theater within my given restrictions. You guys will have to bear with me as I tend to have a million questions when taking on any new project....and I research until I"m blue in the face (my background is in Mechanical Engineering so I tend to over analyze). Any input is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by crankycowboy; 07-20-2017 at 06:30 AM.
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post #2 of 273 Old 03-09-2016, 10:15 AM
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what is behind the screen wall? is it unfinished crawl space under the pitched roof? if yes you could build some bump outs to contain your front wall speakers and put an AT screen on that wall without sacrificing room length.
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post #3 of 273 Old 03-09-2016, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
what is behind the screen wall? is it unfinished crawl space under the pitched roof? if yes you could build some bump outs to contain your front wall speakers and put an AT screen on that wall without sacrificing room length.
Unfortunately, both the "front" and "back" and what I would call "left" side of the room (if you were seated) are all exterior walls. The only wall touching the house is the "right" side where the door is. I have access to the full room above. I probably should have mentioned also, that the ceiling height is 10' at the highest points at 8' at the vaults.
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post #4 of 273 Old 03-09-2016, 11:57 AM
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how much of the room will it take to put the elusive 1099s behind a screen wall? You really don't have a lot to spare if you want to keep those two rows of overstuffed chairs. I don't think there is a seat made that takes up more room with those Texas style arm rests then what you inherited with the house. Can you sell them and downsize?
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post #5 of 273 Old 03-09-2016, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
how much of the room will it take to put the elusive 1099s behind a screen wall? You really don't have a lot to spare if you want to keep those two rows of overstuffed chairs. I don't think there is a seat made that takes up more room with those Texas style arm rests then what you inherited with the house. Can you sell them and downsize?
Well I do live in Texas, so the "oversized arm rests are par for the course. I'm not in love with the seats. I was only wanting to "keep" them to be able to save the money and use it elsewhere in the build. I guess I didn't really realize that the seats were that much wider than "standard". Now that you mention it, you are right. They are like most of these things and modular. I wonder if I could use the existing cupholders and just fabricate my own arm rests to gain some width on that first row?

Regarding the amount of room needed to put the 1099s behind a wall, that's a good question. There seems to be a lot of varying opinions on how close you can place the speaker to the back of the AT material (ranging to 1" behind up to 12", so I'm not certain. The 1099s are approx a foot deep. I need to do some more reading up on recommened seating distance vs screen size and throw distance of my projector so I can finalize a screen size which will impact my false wall design. It might turn out that the L&R 1099s are behind GOM fabric or something similar and only the center is behind the screen (if I can't go big enough based on my room restrictions). Suggestions? Thanks!
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post #6 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I'm extremely overdue for an update on this thread. Shortly after my initial post, I finalized my intentions for the room and started "de"-construction.

Attached is a rough layout of my plans for the room. As BIG previously pointed out....due to the large chairs that I'm currently stuck with and the already narrow room, I didn't have too many options regarding treating the room and making it substantially narrower. So after some conversations with Ted White, I decided on some compromises...
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post #7 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been inspired by many great theaters on these forums, but for those of you who are familiar....many of the design elements were heavily inspired (stolen, borrowed), by Mario's Cinemar theater. In my defense, I contacted Mario to ask for his blessing. In any case, if you see some similarities (on a much lesser scale), it is intentional.

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post #8 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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I started by removing all the seats, equipment etc....And then I removed the carpet, and "French Doors", and then started pulling the sheetrock on the walls that adjoined with the house.
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post #9 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Next, I needed to get more power into the room. The 20 amp breaker that was feeding the room wasn't going to be sufficient. Unfortuately, I don't have a space for a dedicated rack; nor a closet where I could put the sub-panel, so I had to bring it into the room. I then distributed from there. While I was running electrical, I also decided to run conduit in the wall to allow for future "adjustments" (or things I forgot through this planning stage). I have to admit, racking my brain about what speakers, what electrical, what control (cat6, HDMI, etc.) needed to go where was a little stressful.
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post #10 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Next up, was adding insulation to the walls, and framing the large door opening up.
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post #11 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I really had to put on my salesman's hat when I started trying to explain to the wife that I intended to plug the windows...
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post #12 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Around this time, I had some problems with my phone and didn't get too many pictures of the drywall going up. I did two layers of 5/8" drywall with greenglue in between. I opted not to add the 2nd layer on the exterior walls. This was one of those "space" compromises I opted to make, and since these walls already had insulation, I just moved on. I then started framing the soffit. This was a little challeging because of the vaulted ceilings in some places.
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After the soffit was completed, I relocated the HVAC supply ducts, and added a return air duct in the back of the room. I'm writing this as I'm a little further along, and in retrospect....wished I hadn't put the return air duct in the center of the room. I'll explain more of that later in this thread.
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post #14 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Next came lugging up 5/8" plywood to attach to the bottom of the soffit. Whew, I thought carrying all those sheets of sheetrock up were a pain by myself....just getting this plywood upstairs was a pain...but then I planned on hanging it on the ceiling, without a hoist....by myself. It wasn't easy, but I got it done.
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post #15 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Next up....more sheetrock, tape, and mud....have I mentioned, I hate sheetrock?
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post #16 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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The light tray/soffit design was another item heavily "borrowed" from Mario's theater. I did a mock up just to tweak a couple of things. I won't be adding the lights or trim for a bit, but wanted to make sure I was happy with the design before proceeding. (Cans will be painted black)
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post #17 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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It's really funny how much just adding some primer can make you feel like you accomplished something. I guess it's because the room looks much more uniform this way...
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post #18 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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When I started contemplating how to go about building the risers, I initially thought I would build the back riser first. But then I realized that the height of the back riser was going to be taller than I 2x12 and didn't want to stack them, and preferred not to build like you would a deck and decided that building the lower/front riser first and occupying the full lenght, and then building upon that might be the best way.
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post #19 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I used CAD to figure out the arc. It actually made it really easy. I first spaced the beams so that they would hit the OSB correctly at the seams, and then I just drew the angle at the end of each beam where it intersected with the radius. I used those lengths and angles to cut my beams, and then just attached two layers of laminated 3/8 plywood.
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post #20 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Obligatory pink fluffy pictures.....
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post #21 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Then two layers of OSB...
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post #22 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Upper riser, same concept with framing, pink fluffy, OSB etc.
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post #23 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 10:24 AM
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Looks good! I need you to calculate my riser arch now haha
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My build thread: The Unprofessional Build
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post #24 of 273 Old 07-06-2016, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks good! I need you to calculate my riser arch now haha
I have had so many people offer their input that has helped keep things rolling for me, if you needed some help, I wouldn't mind at all. Let me know!
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post #25 of 273 Old 07-11-2016, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Got a little work in over the weekend on the stage...I couldn't add sand because I was afraid the weight would be too much since this room is on the second floor. I've already added a ton (probably literally) of weight already. Hoping the "pink fluffy" will be adequate.
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post #26 of 273 Old 07-11-2016, 09:07 AM
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Looks good. Really coming along. Don't worry about pink fluffy vs. sand. If you still have the decking opened, you could do sand in the one or two spots where you think you might put a sub, but that will only dampen the sound going into the garage below, which I don't think you care about anyway. Otherwise, just leave it alone as it will be good enough.

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post #27 of 273 Old 07-11-2016, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks good. Really coming along. Don't worry about pink fluffy vs. sand. If you still have the decking opened, you could do sand in the one or two spots where you think you might put a sub, but that will only dampen the sound going into the garage below, which I don't think you care about anyway. Otherwise, just leave it alone as it will be good enough.
Thanks for the reassurance. This project has been full of compromises...partially because of budget but mostly because of physical limitations, and I spend a lot of time second guessing some of those decisions. Great to have some feedback....thank you!
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post #28 of 273 Old 07-12-2016, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I hit my first snag....more of a design oversight really. My risers will have a wood trim lip at the edge that will overhang by about an inch. I plan to put RGB strip lights under that lip on both risers as well as the small steps that I will had for the rear (taller riser). When I prewired, I ran a romex from the switch into the riser location. Once I started building the risers, I thought I didn't want to put the power supplies in the riser in case something happened, and felt that putting the power supplies in a rear column and distributing from there would be my best bet, so I could have access to them if I needed to. In my haste, I just quickly ran a 2 conductor wire to the location of where each riser light would be located. Although I knew this, I didn't think about the fact that the RGB strip lights require 4 wires to them. Typically, I could tape a replacement 4 conductor wire onto the existing and pull the new wire through; however, the wires go through a couple of beams, and then make a 90 degree turn to come up through the OSB where the column will be. I have no doubt that it will not pull. Pulling up decking and undoing all the work or even part of the risers doesn't seem justifiable. I might be able to cut an access hole where my step will be and "help" assist with the pull. Any other suggestions from you smart folks?

Last edited by crankycowboy; 08-02-2016 at 12:08 PM.
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post #29 of 273 Old 07-13-2016, 08:58 AM
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Could you run the 4 wire from the RGB controller inside the column down the inside of the column, then between the riser and the wall to the front lip, and if necessary a short distance under the front lip(s) to the end of the RGB strip?

My in progress build thread: The Salt Mine
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post #30 of 273 Old 07-14-2016, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStripe88 View Post
Could you run the 4 wire from the RGB controller inside the column down the inside of the column, then between the riser and the wall to the front lip, and if necessary a short distance under the front lip(s) to the end of the RGB strip?
Well, I broke a "rule of thumb" and didn't leave spacing between my OSB and the wall. I didn't attach the framing to the wall, but I didn't leave a gap...so don't think I can do that unfortunately. I went into the theater last night and just stared at it all blankly...thinking. Since the back riser is so tall, I had planned to put in a small "intermediate" step. I think I might be able to drill a hole under where that step will be through the 2 layers of osb, and then also into the vertical plywood and access the wires that way. If I could force my hand into the holes, I can probably help feed the wire. It will pull easily along the horizontal plane...it's just where it makes the 90 degree turn to go up through the OSB to where the column will sit where it won't pull. Hopefully that will be enough to resolve this hiccup. I'm sure it's not the last one I'll have to deal with. Thanks for the input RedStripe (drank lots of that in Jamaica!)
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