The 'El Unico' Theatre Build - Page 11 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #301 of 422 Old 12-28-2018, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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With the exception of a couple small areas and some minor touch up, the painting is complete! Whew.







Next on the list is the fabric on the soffit bottom. I have a few ideas on how to mount it but none of them seem easy. The trick will be hiding the staples. I’ve mounted strips of 5/8” MDF at the end of the soffit to match the thickness of the drywall. Attaching the fabric to the outer edge is straight forward with crown mounted afterwards to conceal the staples. The edge against the drywall will be the trick. My current working idea is to mount strips of MDF to the fabric before mounting to the soffit - similar to how the corners on the wall were tackled. I’ll need a number of hands and lots of patience. Hope to get to this today.
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post #302 of 422 Old 12-28-2018, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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A very productive day although I’ve yet to figure out how to properly estimate the time a specific task is going to take. Optimistic me figures I could have the fabric in the soffits in one day. I did manage to finish 90% of the first run - I’m relieved and very happy with how they turned out.

I abandoned the approach of attaching the MDF strips to the fabric first in about 2 minutes. There’s just no way to keep the fabric stretched at the same rate and balance the 6 strips it took to run the length. The next approach, and the one I stuck with, was to attach the fabric to the soffit along the drywall first, then attach the MDF strips pinned up tight against the drywall. I though this through literally years ago and I think this must have been the approach I settled on then. Reason being, the drywall naturally sits 1/16” higher than the 5/8” MDF. This is due to the mud used to keep the drywall against the MDF. That 1/16” is used up by the two layers of fabric - one under the MDF strips by attaching the fabric first and the other layer of fabric that’s wrapped around the MDF strip. Hoping pictures are clearer.

Fabric attached to the soffit first







Took forever to find a material that would work to fill the 5/8” void. I stumbled in these cheapo drop ceiling tiles - worked like a hot damn.







Then stretch and staple, lots of staples! I covered the lights then staples around the fixture before cutting the fabric out. End result turned out pretty good.













That’s it for now.
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post #303 of 422 Old 12-30-2018, 07:56 AM
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It's really coming along, the fabric on the soffits looks amazing.

Not sure if you saw my PM, let me know if we can make it work or not.


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post #304 of 422 Old 12-30-2018, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Got it, sent a PM
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post #305 of 422 Old 01-09-2019, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Progress has been slow as I’m racking my brain on a problem. I thought I had everything figured out with respect to the fabric on the soffits - turns out I didn’t. The first length went on perfectly because I had access to both ends. Now as I make my way around the room, one side of each remaining length will butt up against the previous, this makes attaching the furring strip and tightening the fabric a challenge. My plan has been to attach the furring strip to the fabric first then mount it. That’s all good except there is no way to mount the strip as access to the strip is now blocked by the fabric. Here are a couple of pictures for reference.





I’ve thought of two approaches. First is stick with the original plan and mount the fabric to the strip first then mount the strip from the top side of the soffit instead of the bottom. This would solve the access problem but I think it might be tough to stretch the fabric evenly with the 45 degree angle of the mounting strip.

The second approach is to cut a 1/16” slot in the soffit and pull the fabric through to the top side of the soffit. I can add the furring strip afterward attaching it from the top side then tack the fabric on the top side as well.

Quite nervous about both approaches, more than open to feedback or suggestions.
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post #306 of 422 Old 02-27-2019, 04:18 PM
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I saw a few posts ago that you were asking about the frames for the screen and whether to do spline or staples. Highly recommend the spline! I just finished mine a few months ago. I ended up adjusting the spandex several times and it was really nice to be able to adjust it as needed! The spline is available at home depot, but costs about $8.00 for an 8 foot piece (as usual, twice the price in the US.) They also have the spline and tool as well which helps a lot. They are located in the screen door replacement area. I ordered the spandex from spandex world after looking around a lot to try to find a reasonable place in Canada (no luck...). As for the black velvet, I used Sy fabrics from the US, as even with the US conversion and customs, it was still cheaper (Its about $7.00 a yard. Cheapest I could find here was 35 a meter and it wasn't as nice). Details are in my build thread (Darren's No Money No Time; I'll try to get a link!) Let me know if you have any questions!


Theater looks great by the way!

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post #307 of 422 Old 03-22-2019, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Darren, yikes, my bad for the delay. Thank you, that helps a ton. I haven’t been able to get to the screen yet with huge issues related to the fabric on the soffits (the complete story to come soon) but I’m glad you shared your experience. I was headed down the staple route but thing I’ll go spline. I already have the Seymor screen but trust it should be the same experience as spandex.

Can I ask, did you have a quideline that you followed on the install or did you wing it?
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post #308 of 422 Old 03-30-2019, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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For those still hanging in there, I'm back!

Well, I've been back for a few weeks now but with very little progress to report on until today. Much of my time over the last 2 or 3 weeks has been focused on this damn soffit fabric. I finally found a solution to my problem. It wasn't easy and will be even more difficult to describe. Essentially I placed a small 1/4" block under the furring strip to raise the strip slightly above the strip it butts up against. I then poked the excess fabric into the gap between the two strips to crease it. This gave me the guide I needed to trim the fabric to length. Raising the strip slightly above the adjacent also gave me just enough space to drive the staples. Once the staples were in I removed the 1/4" block, dropped the strip into place and screwed from above. Here are the results.











I've also finally gotten to mounting the door seals. I debated going with the adjustable seals at $250/door but decided the commercial seals are good enough. I'll paint them at some point but am happy with them for now. The difference in the amount of noise no longer escaping is quite noticeable.





And a couple of shots showing where we're at.





Next step is to stain the wood on the stage and riser and I'm off today to find and book the carpet install. It's a bit pre-mature but it's the kick in the butt I need to finish the stain and trim work around the soffit. The remainder of the work can be done with carpet in.

Now a couple of questions. I'm going with a dark patterned grey carpet, would you suggest black on the stage or the same carpet as throughout? Second, do I remove the screen posts before the carpet goes in?
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post #309 of 422 Old 03-30-2019, 08:52 AM
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Very clever way to deal with the fabric on the soffit, and it looks fantastic.
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post #310 of 422 Old 03-30-2019, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
Now a couple of questions. I'm going with a dark patterned grey carpet, would you suggest black on the stage or the same carpet as throughout? Second, do I remove the screen posts before the carpet goes in?

I believe Jeff has recommended removing the screen goal posts before carpeting so the posts can “dig in” to the carpet and will be even more secure. But you might have to trim a smidge off the bottom of the posts after adding carpet and pad beneath them?

On carpet color, I think it depends on how much it bothers you if you see the carpet illuminated by the light reflected off the screen. Personally I’m going for a “black hole” at the screen wall, so that might make me lean towards black if I had a stage (which I do not).
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post #311 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 06:38 AM
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Could you do velvet on the stage to help with reflection. I was in new friends local theater this last week where he added black velvet to the stage. It works well. I would think to test carpet samples would be put them in front near the screen while you are watching a movie to see what works best.

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post #312 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texpilot View Post
I believe Jeff has recommended removing the screen goal posts before carpeting so the posts can “dig in” to the carpet and will be even more secure. But you might have to trim a smidge off the bottom of the posts after adding carpet and pad beneath them?

On carpet color, I think it depends on how much it bothers you if you see the carpet illuminated by the light reflected off the screen. Personally I’m going for a “black hole” at the screen wall, so that might make me lean towards black if I had a stage (which I do not).


Appreciate the input, I’ll remove the posts before the carpet goes in.
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post #313 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Could you do velvet on the stage to help with reflection. I was in new friends local theater this last week where he added black velvet to the stage. It works well. I would think to test carpet samples would be put them in front near the screen while you are watching a movie to see what works best.


That would work but I’d still need something more permanent on the raw subfloor.
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post #314 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Carpet had been ordered. Found a great pattern that compliments the colours in the room almost perfectly. It’s a pretty small footprint, about 300 square feet. I was lured to the wool products - ridiculously priced but why not with such a small amount needed. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) they didn’t have anything in the palette I need.

I also decided to go with black on the stage. It took him 20 minutes to find black - not that popular anymore. To me in the terrible lighting in the showroom it had a blue tinge to it. Worst case if it’s not as black as I want it I’ll throw velvet over top of it. Theres only about 8” from the screen to the step so not a lot to cover.

Next decision is the treatment for the oak. I’m going black but would like to stain vs. paint to retain the grain. I’m sampling on some scrap and can’t seem to get it dark enough. 5 coats now and the brown of the wood is still coming through. I’ll try sanding a little rougher to see if it takes a little better - certainly hoping I don’t have paint.

Objective today is to cut and hopefully mount the atoms speakers.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
Carpet had been ordered. Found a great pattern that compliments the colours in the room almost perfectly. It’s a pretty small footprint, about 300 square feet. I was lured to the wool products - ridiculously priced but why not with such a small amount needed. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) they didn’t have anything in the palette I need.

I also decided to go with black on the stage. It took him 20 minutes to find black - not that popular anymore. To me in the terrible lighting in the showroom it had a blue tinge to it. Worst case if it’s not as black as I want it I’ll throw velvet over top of it. Theres only about 8” from the screen to the step so not a lot to cover.

Next decision is the treatment for the oak. I’m going black but would like to stain vs. paint to retain the grain. I’m sampling on some scrap and can’t seem to get it dark enough. 5 coats now and the brown of the wood is still coming through. I’ll try sanding a little rougher to see if it takes a little better - certainly hoping I don’t have paint.

Objective today is to cut and hopefully mount the atoms speakers.
Glad you found something that works. On the velvet I was talking about would be added to the top of the carpet. Like this in a local home theater I was at this week. It's a black hole.

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post #316 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
Next decision is the treatment for the oak. I’m going black but would like to stain vs. paint to retain the grain. I’m sampling on some scrap and can’t seem to get it dark enough. 5 coats now and the brown of the wood is still coming through. I’ll try sanding a little rougher to see if it takes a little better - certainly hoping I don’t have paint.
I used black wood dye, to dye my oak black. It worked quite well.


https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here is the thread where I saw it used
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...l#post28584993
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post #317 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Ladeback;57832224]Glad you found something that works. On the velvet I was talking about would be added to the top of the carpet. Like this in a local home theater I was at this week. It's a black hole.



That makes a lot of sense, thanks!
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post #318 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I used black wood dye, to dye my oak black. It worked quite well.





Here is the thread where I saw it used

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...l#post28584993

Dye, interesting. The thread was a good read all around. I think part of my issue was taking the surface all the way to 320. I thought the smoother the better. I’ll rough it with 120 and use the water trick to raise the grain. I’m already into the stain for $60 so will give it every shot I can before switching strategy.
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post #319 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:20 AM
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Dye, interesting. The thread was a good read all around. I think part of my issue was taking the surface all the way to 320. I thought the smoother the better. I’ll rough it with 120 and use the water trick to raise the grain. I’m already into the stain for $60 so will give it every shot I can before switching strategy.

Which black stain are you currently using?
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post #320 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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The 'El Unico' Theatre Build

Here’s the stain. It’s a gel, perhaps that’s the issue?



And the result after 4 coats

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post #321 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:32 AM
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The 'El Unico' Theatre Build

That General Finishes gel stain is mineral spirits based, not water-based, correct? If so, no need to raise the grain with water, that should be done when using water-based stains/finishes.

I’ve used that gel stain before (Java color, a dark brown) and left it on at least 15 minutes before “wiping off.” How long are you leaving it on before wiping off?

How are you applying it? Perhaps your coats are too thin. I laid down a thick coat, wiping on with a rag, and three coats did the trick. But that was on hard pine, which will accept pigment stain easier than a harder wood like oak.

If I were staining black, I’d definitely use a dye stain but given you’re already into this GF stain (which is great stain), I’m sure you can make it work.
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post #322 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The 'El Unico' Theatre Build

Holes for the ATMOS speakers are cut. This was a very nervous job. They’re precisely positioned based on the front stage with the backer boxes installed a year ago. I knew things would be very close because I forgot to account for the double drywall finishing off the soffit wall. Here’s how close I came to disaster.



The metal you see is the channel, protruding into the hole by 3/4”. Luckily the 1 1/4” of drywall and 3/4” of faceplate allows for enough separation that the angle of the driver doesn’t hit. Whew.

I’m now mounting the machines MDF faceplate that came with the volts to the drywall. This will give me a nice surface to attach the speaker. I’m using PL400 and a couple of screws drilled in from above, should be enough to keep the speaker from killing any guests.



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post #323 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texpilot View Post
That General Finishes gel stain is mineral spirits based, not water-based, correct? If so, no need to raise the grain with water, that should be done when using water-based stains/finishes.

I’ve used that gel stain before (Java color, a dark brown) and left it on at least 15 minutes before “wiping off.” How long are you leaving it on before wiping off?

How are you applying it? Perhaps your coats are too thin. I laid down a thick coat, wiping on with a rag, and three coats did the trick. But that was on hard pine, which will accept pigment stain easier than a harder wood like oak.

If I were staining black, I’d definitely use a dye stain but given you’re already into this GF stain (which is great stain), I’m sure you can make it work.

Really appreciate the guidance. I’m only leaving it in for a few seconds - sounds like problem number one. If you haven’t figured it out, I haven’t done a lot of staining.
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post #324 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
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Really appreciate the guidance. I’m only leaving it in for a few seconds - sounds like problem number one. If you haven’t figured it out, I haven’t done a lot of staining.

Wood staining is part science and part art. Bob Flexner is my master on wood finishing.

From the GF page on using their oil-based gel stains:

“Apply a slip coat of mineral spirits over the raw wood immediately before application to facilitate the flow of stain on the surface and reduce lap marks. (This is not a conditioner)

Working quickly, apply a LIBERAL coat using a natural bristle brush, foam brush, staining pad, pad applicator or foam roller. Gel Stain dries quickly for all the reasons customers love it: it is loaded with colorants and solids. If not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance. On large surfaces, leave a wet edge between passes to prevent lap marks. We recommend getting a buddy to help apply the stain.

Stain your project section by section and wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using absorbent shop towels or open-weave cloths, such as cotton terry towels for larger projects. Check for missed spots and lap marks before moving to the next section. Do NOT use cotton t-shirts to wipe away stain because they will "push" the stain around and not absorb it.

Immediately correct lap marks by rewetting the entire working area with stain and wiping off the excess.

Pull excess stain out of corners and details with a natural bristle brush.”

Based on this: “If not enough stain is used, the surface may dry too quickly, causing an uneven appearance.” My bet is you’re doing too thin of a coat. And it looks like my 10-15 minute wait violated the usage instructions! I was doing it when it was cold in the garage, so that must have been why I got lucky.

Don’t leave it on 15 minutes as I said!!! Follow their instructions, you must be applying too-thin of a coat.
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post #325 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I don’t think I’m going to achieve the look I’m after with the stain. I’m going to order some of the dye. I’m after the powered right? A single 25 gram package?

https://www.kedadyeinc.com/ordering-information/
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post #326 of 422 Old 03-31-2019, 03:28 PM
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I don’t think I’m going to achieve the look I’m after with the stain. I’m going to order some of the dye. I’m after the powered right? A single 25 gram package?

https://www.kedadyeinc.com/ordering-information/
Yes, that is what I ordered. When, I mixed it, I used two packages per quart(it comes with 5 packages)
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post #327 of 422 Old 04-01-2019, 07:13 AM
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Here’s the stain. It’s a gel, perhaps that’s the issue?
Yeah your'e facing a couple problems with the gel stain. First, General Finishes is a very high quality product - they make some of the best finishes out there. But the combination of sanding to 320 and gel stain (which is designed to soak in in a very slow controlled manner) will make it tough to get what you're looking for. I agree with the path suggested by 99rook99 to go with dye. I prefer the premixed concentrate from TransTint. But the powders work fine - MAKE SURE not to breathe any of that powder in it is very toxic. But the advantage is you can really make a potent mix that will ensure you get full black on the wood.

Roll Tide.
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post #328 of 422 Old 04-01-2019, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Really appreciate the guidance. I’ve ordered and just received notice that it shipped. It figures, I ordered the carpet and scheduled install to motivate me. Now if the dye doesn’t get here in time I’ll have to push the install - likely well into May. Come on customs, do me a favour!

On the topic of safety, thanks for that reminder. There was a time when safety was an after thought, I’ve only recently been conscious about wearing sun glasses. When I had the opportunity to finish the garage over the winter I took safety seriously - full dust control, air cleaner, ear protection scattered throughout the shop to avoid the “its too far” excuse and I purchased respirators to replace the cheap paper masks. Even then I find myself forgetting to grab the respirator when I’m spraying weeds or in this case, mixing dye.
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post #329 of 422 Old 04-02-2019, 07:08 AM
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On the topic of safety, thanks for that reminder. There was a time when safety was an after thought, I’ve only recently been conscious about wearing sun glasses. When I had the opportunity to finish the garage over the winter I took safety seriously - full dust control, air cleaner, ear protection scattered throughout the shop to avoid the “its too far” excuse and I purchased respirators to replace the cheap paper masks. Even then I find myself forgetting to grab the respirator when I’m spraying weeds or in this case, mixing dye.
No sweat. I'm the same way. When I was younger I just didn't pay much attention - dust from drywall, spray paint, whatever - I didn't care to wear a mask. But these days I'm as conscious of those kind of things as I can be. I guess getting older makes you more likely to care about such things...

Roll Tide.
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post #330 of 422 Old 04-04-2019, 11:04 AM
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Looking really good in here! I LOVE the texture of your fabric panels, it really adds some depth to the whole appearance. Also nice work with the Atmos speakers, they're going to look so nice when you're all finished.
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