After much deliberation, I’m finally posting a build thread! I’ve been an AVS member for about 14 years now, and have enjoyed reading many build threads and seeing the end product that other members have achieved and are lucky enough to enjoy. We’ve been in our home for 7 years, and with my wife’s plan for us to not move again until it’s in a wooden box (me before her apparently), and my desire to add Atmos, the time has come to finish our room.
For several reasons I’m thinking of this as a remodel rather than a full build, mainly because it already “works” and we don’t want the room to be offline for a long time. My plan is to contract out some work as finances allow, as I’ve just not had a huge amount of time after work or on weekends with an 8 and 4 year old I want to dedicate my time to. Witness the two years I’ve had the GOM to recover my first reflection panels to wall color, or the five years since I built the uncarpeted riser!
Why the Litter Box?
This photo from the stairs down to the theater should explain the name
Here’s the layout and a couple of shots of the room as it exists today. The dimensions are 12x25x9, but really 12x19x9 due to the bathroom. The house is built into the side of a hill, and so the theater is mostly underground with the garage to one side and the back yard out through the egress/window near the screen wall. Above is the open plan kitchen and dining room, with engineered wood I-beam joists 16” OC running across the narrow width of the room.
The layout diagram is pretty accurate as it exists today and my Visio skills allow. The second row is on a 9*5*8” riser, creating an aisle about 29” wide. The equipment is all on a simple Sanus glass/wood table in front of the right chair of the first row, as all the current in-wall wiring goes to that point. I do have HDMI from there to the projector in wall too, but an upgrade to the Lumagen Radiance Pro required me to switch from a 35’ BJC passive cable to a Monoprice Cabernet.
The screen is a 2.37:1 128” diagonal (118” wide) Carada brilliant white, with the screen material being 44” from the floor. The front row eye height is about 38”, but no one has ever complained. Personally I would like to lower the screen or raise the seating though. My LCR are all Meridian DSP5500 which are 42” tall, and with a non-AT screen dictate that screen height.
In the corners of the room, and above the rear closet are GIK soffit traps (with 244 traps behind the LCR and at first reflection). The room paint was up three years before I bought these, but GOM had a near perfect match in Anchorage 2094 Lapis. The egress window (as well as being beneath grade in a large window well) has a blackout blind and blackout curtain across, but still some light seeps in during the day.
JVC RS600 projector
Anthem MRX-1120 receiver (bought this for upgrading to Atmos)
Meridian G68 surround processor. Still need to use this as a “preamp” for the DSP LCR speakers.
Lumagen Radiance Pro
Meridian DSP5500 LCR speakers. These are digital in only.
Meridian M33 active speakers for side/rear surround
Kef Ci200QR for Atmos
Rythmik D15SE and F15 subs. I had bought the D15 in 2009 and wanted another last year, but they stopped making them so the F15 was the best match.
Berkline seats we’ve had for 10 years now. These have ButtKickers, with the one for the seat on the riser now attached to the riser.
Oppo 103, Samsung K8500 UHD, Roku 4, DirecTV DVR
Logitech Harmony Elite (I had used iRule for a long time but got tired of the lack of physical buttons)
Middle Atlantic RCS-4224 rack (bought this to move the equipment to)
Subject to change based on feedback and personal whim of course... Until recently my basic plan was:
• Rebuild the rear closet. Keep the left side as is, tear down right side door and frame around the Middle Atlantic RCS-4224 rack. Move all equipment to this rack and remove the Sanus table/rack.
• Install KEF speakers for Atmos
• Install a hinged/removal plug for the egress window to completely block light.
• New carpet (Shaw One Sweet Day in Smokey Quartz color)
• Split ceiling lights from all four cans on one circuit into front and back circuits.
• Insert joists isolated from the ceiling joists for the projector to hang from. The projector location is right below where the kids jump down from stools in the kitchen above.
• Conduit to the front wall and all other speaker/projector/riser locations, mainly running in a soffit around the entire perimeter. I have 2” to go to the front wall, 1.5” to the projector and 0.75” for each speaker location.
• Paint. Likely black on the ceiling rather than the wall color this time, to break up the room and soffits a little.
• Power. I’m running 2x20A to the new rack at the rear of the room and 2x20A to the screen wall, one each to give clean power to the subs and LCR speakers.
Soundproofing: I didn’t plan on this as we’ve not had a problem in the past seven years. Yes you can hear the theater in the kitchen but not in the bedrooms two floors above, and the theater itself is naturally quiet when a herd of kids are not running around above (rare that there is). I have started to build backer boxes (based on Ted’s soundproofing design for lights) for the ceiling speakers though, just because they may be more of an issue to those in the kitchen with them being just a few inches away.
Plan goes out of the window?
Recently though, I’ve been thinking about a new screen wall with an AT screen… I’m thinking I could push the width up to 130” and drop the height from the floor. My LCR speakers would need to be raised, as the bottom woofer is 9” from the base and the center of the tweeter is at 37”. If placed right at the bottom of the screen, the tweeter would be just 1-2” above center of the screen. I do need to test material directly in front of my speakers through to see (hear) what I think – I have a Seymour XD sample and am hoping to get a Falcon Horizon sample too.
Hopefully the fabric can be placed very close to the speakers as my LCR are 16.25” deep, and although they have settings for boundary placement (and ARC on the Anthem is excellent) they do prefer to be 8” away from the wall. I saw in a post by Big that a typical screen wall takes only 18” of space, so the speakers must be close to the fabric in that design.
Thank you for getting this far, and I welcome all suggestions, comments and questions as I try to move ahead. I’ve certainly been suffering from some paralysis by analysis as I question myself and then complicate matters with the like of the AT screen wall!