Theater Build Thread - The Tomb - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Theater Build Thread - The Tomb

This is my home theater. There are many like it, but this one is mine.



I call it the Tomb. Black, silent and simple. I am very impressed with all the woodwork on some of these builds here, mind blowingly awesome really. But I figured I'd make mine be function over form, in the old architectural meaning of those words.





What started as a boyhood dream, has finally turned into a reality. We moved back from California and bought a house that has an ACTUAL basement. Unlike lazy California home builders, they actually DIG holes here in the midwest and pour concrete foundations. I work in constuction and I can tell you all the excuses these home builders out here use(i.e., ground too hard, seismic, etc.) is all BS. Its just cost savings.




I really have to give Peter the Greeks thread here all the credit as it finally motivated me to get my rear end in gear. I had never attempted anything of this scale in home improvement and his build really was one of the best how-to's out there in my opinion.

I really appreciated all the links to the background information on proper theater design and his step by step methodology. I regretted not saving the pictures to my computer before the photobuckapolocalypse happened, but thats what you get when you procrastinate.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...atre-mkii.html

That said here goes.
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post #2 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget and Design Concept

Here is the budget updated at end of project. Some of this is rounded too approximately. This does not include my time of course. My only real comment here is to ALWAYS order the largest size of fasteners available for the project. I can't tell you how much progress was thwarted because I ran out of a certain type of screw, nail, hanger etc.



Need drywall screws? Buy a bucket. Need Construction screws? Buy a bucket. Need some THNN wire? Get the biggest spool? When you try to get cute and order small amounts its almost always going to require a second trip. /end rant.

Here are the plans. To be honest, it looks like a rats nest, I do not have a great presentation set of plans as I designed everything in AUTOCAD. Plan and section is just fine for me so I don't have anything pretty like the other threads to show here. Also, my workstation was always a few feet away so if I needed a dimension check, I just pulled it right from the CAD. As long as you stay on top of your layer control, its really the best way to tackle a complex project like this yourself.

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post #3 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is the as-is picture. My spidey sense was tingling when we checked this during the home purchase phase. It was clear the previous home owner needed to paper over some hidden damages with the very shoddy drywalling / mudding, but we had baked this into our assumptions. Here is my retired baby crib decorating the otherwise boring white walls.

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post #4 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Demo & Pipe Moving

First step was the demo of the drywall which wasn't so bad in of itself but a heck of a lot of trips up and down the stairs.




Even if no theater was to be built I am glad I ripped out the return sheet metal. It was leaky as hell, and check out the dirt caked on it from the picture. Pure yuck.






Chicago has pretty strict codes on using metal duct for all runs, but it amazes me that the return can be some half-assed joist cavity like shown. /end rant.



I ended up using some cement board on top of primed MDF to give me a little room.

During this I noticed that the original electricians were lazy and notched the center of the beam right at the bottom which is the WORST possible location to do this. More on this later.







Told all my coworkers I was going to work black pipe all weekend and they laughed. Wife and kids went to a friends house so I could degas the house smell. It wasn't so hard although I recommend you use AUTOCAD so you can have the pipes cut and threaded at the big box store. 2" black pipe is absolutely not flexible. In case it wasn't obvious, I was moving the main into the house so it did not have that elbow in the way. This would have made drywall suspension from HAT channel near impossible and my roof clearance was already hobbit-tier right now.



I did not have a after picture, but can be seen from the ceiling hanging pictures later.

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post #5 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall Carry Down.

Home depot delivery time!




$79 bucks delivery inside my garage for 90 sheets of 5/8 drywall, 120 2x4's and some XPS panels. Money well spent. The old Subaru was not going to work for this type of freight.

Got all 90 of the drywall sheets down into the basement by myself using the gorilla gripper. Had a few casualties along the way, but no harm no foul. I cheated with the lumber, as it was the only way I was going to get 16' lengths into the basement.











My kids and cat seemed to like the new pedestal but I was too exhausted to fully appreciate the cuteness of the situation.

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post #6 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Joist Drywall

Got my cheap drywall hoist from ebay, so I decided I would get started. Never drywalled or green glued anything but the mountain didn't come to Mohammad and all that.



Used the proven method from the good people at the soundproofing company. See concept below.





What a pain in the rear and without question the worst part of the whole build. Why? Because the house was so old the joists had moved quite a bit so every joist cavity had a different measurement and tapered all over the place. So I couldn't cut the drywall too tight otherwise I had to force it in, which you learn REAL quick from drywall ends in disaster.

Got it all done but was probably the most demotivating part of the whole process because it took forever. My cat mocked my feeble efforts the whole time. Screw you and your judgmental eyes.




I also decided to fix the lazy electrician joist notches with two pieces of russian birch plywood. Sistered on each side of the joist with a bunch of glue and nails. Used a car jack to slightly lift the joist (barely, just enough to take some load), fastened the scabs with a million nails, and then released the load. I was satisfied the additional drywall loads would not compromise the joists further as these were 4' long and 10" wide struc 1 panels.


I kind of half assed the drywall around the joist bracing. With all the movement in the joists, I did not want to remove them to lay the drywall properly and decided it was worth it to live with the shame of drywalling around it and leaving it as is. You can have that noise leakage, 50 year old house. You've earned it.



Good riddance joist cavity double drywalling. I won't miss you.

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post #7 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Framing

Can't really say too much about this as its been discussed to death here already and I am probably the worst carpenter on planet earth.



Only that I have the uncanny ability to pick wood that looks perfectly flat at the store but immediately turns into a compound bow frame the second I get it into the basement.



I was stressed about it at first, but I went and bought a $25 planer from Amazon that solved the problem good and fast once it was all done. Sure you have to vacuum up the mess, but my walls were laser straight in the end.





I also decided to put in fireblocking just to help keep the walls from bowing too much. Sure I used around 12 extra studs to do it, but I felt it worthwhile in the end.

I also used a 1.5" XPS insulation on the walls to keep moisture abated and keep the Illinois winter at bay.

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post #8 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Door
Before the drywall went in, I read here on the lesson learned sticky thread (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...next-time.html) that I should frame the door in NOW so that my drywall gaps around the jamb are minimized later.

Never hung a door, let alone built one from scratch, but Pete the Greek's thread gave me courage. I love you man.

I used a 32" solid core door from HD, with a 1/2" mdf layer green glued on the inside. Also used (4) 4.5" ball bearing hinges on the door and primed it to keep it somewhat protected whil e the rest of the construction went on. I cannibalized some leftover fridge handles that crapped out from my basement to give it the Apple store look. I have two future teenage daughters and no way in heck am I putting a lock on a soundproof basement room.



Like the almighty Pete the Greek, I used a 2x4 as the jamb so that the hinges were solidly attached to something.




All in all it went really well and I took the time to caulk the leftover gap between the frame and the jamb. It was close, but rock solid and I was content to move on.







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post #9 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ceiling Frame

Due to my low ceiling heights and the old joists frightening unevenness, I had no choice other that to do the following recommended by Ted.



Sure the blocking created a lot more work, but was worth it in the end. AUTOCAD came in real handy here as I had to design this around my intake duct and 4 in-joist atmos speaker boxes.



In terms of install, the laser made this a cinch. I walked around and measured where the low points were and adjusted the reference new ceiling level to obtain the minimum clearance needed per the good people at the soundproofing company's diagram.





The structural beam was a great magnetic laser holder for the whole job!



I went out and bought a bunch of 2x4 framing clips to install so the blocking wouldn't shift from a wayward nail. I don't know how you pros keep blocking from moving when toe nailing, but the $ 0.30 framing clips were worth every penny for this piece of mind.

I kept all the leftover stud cuts from the framing process and was glad I did as I used them all pretty much for the blocking.



After they were installed, I slid the blocking in and triple nailed it on each side so it was rock solid. REPEAT: the framing clips are NOT holding the dead load, just keeping the blocking from moving before the nails were shot in.

Used a laser to make sure the HAT channel was perfectly straight and it was.



Farewell ceiling joists! Nobody will ever know how much work is buried behind the drywall of this ceiling project, but I sure do. My neck will never forgive me (not sure how Big and you guys who do this work regularly don't have near paralysis from working overhead for so long.

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post #10 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Atmos Speaker Boxes

I shamelessly copied the backer box design below. Used the leftover birch wood from the lazy electrician fix as the outside box and green glue layered with drywall to mitigate sound leakage / give it mass.



I oversized them for a little better bass response as the manufacturer designed the speakers to be IB. I know atmos don't transmit bass at all, but I figured to at least make them as close as possible to IB as space would permit. (2.8 cu.ft)



The speaker boxes were approximately 11" x 48" and nested inside the joists with IB clips at kiddie corners. THe speakers probably weighed at least 100 lbs when down but the IB clips held them no problem although they swayed a lot if you touched them.




I left them 1/8" shy of the eventual drywall layer so I could smother them with accoustical caulk when the drywall came in.



Drywall Joist was the best $120 I ever spent folks. No way I could have gotten this process done without this.

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post #11 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Drywall

Insulated the whole room and got to work.



Wasn't so bad. I read somewhere here to drill a little marker hole in front of each stud on the floor so you know where they and was glad I did. Came in handy later when moulding as I had a stud marker for every stud in the room.





I was impressed at the green glue takeoff from the Soundproofing company, as I literally scraped the barrel for the VERY last piece of drywall.







Laser was super helpful in conjunction with the stud marker holes on the floor when doing this by myself.

Employed some child labor at the end to clean up.



Lets be honest, drywall finishers are artists and NOT tradesman. I was kind of arrogant about trying to do everything myself, but a local drywaller who was super friendly offered to tape / mud / sand the whole room for $400.



Shut up and take my money.





Did a great job considering my drywalling itself was amateurish.

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post #12 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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HVAC

To be honest, the part of this project I was the most nervous about was the HVAC requirements.

Being charitable, I will have it said that the local HVAC community (based on 5 different pros I contacted) here wouldn't touch this project with a 10 foot pole.

Almost all of them said "lets just install a whole new HVAC multi-zone furnace and AC!!!!". Because why spend just $2k for a silent, efficient, dedicated room fresh air supplying, dehumidifying, heating and cooling minisplit, WHEN you can spend $15k for an expensive, whole house HVAC system that does none of that better with major sound flanking problems to boot? Amirite guys?? Buy now, think later!!!

The North American HVAC communities see these things as a threat, and treat their customers with the same contempt. I'm happy all of you found great HVAC support, because where I live, they do not exist. / end rant



I was going to go with a wall mounted mini split (standard) but thanks to Peter the Greeks thread, I learned about ducted models that could input fresh air which solved the secondary problems of stale air. After much research from this point on, the only real option was the Fujitsu. This had an additional benefit of allowing me to mount it vertically. It also has an industry leading ridiculous static pressure rating of 0.36 inWG that dwarved the competition.

Running 8-10" ducts from the corner of my basement to the Home Theater was going to be a huge problem in terms headroom in the adjacent space. This guys youtube convinced me to do it VERTICALLY and adjacent to the theater. Although I lack his awesome plenum sheet metal manufacturing skills (i.e., two way curved and flared!) as you will see. Not sure if this makes sense, but this ducted mini split is now installed in a "closet" in the next room with my amp rack. Perfect solution.


Got a crazy good deal in the winter for a brand new one, delivered no problems and the first step was a solid mount on the wall. Used some 3/4" russian birch with some 2x4's / rubber feat to mount it vertically. The rubber mounts are threaded right through in case you think it will fail over time. Fujitsu gives you a nice template for this.





This nifty spreadsheet tool helped me anticipate the static pressure issues. THe numbers are changed from original calcs but it worked out to 0.28in when fan is on full power (never gonna happen in real life). I recommend this if you going the same route as static pressure builds up REAL fast in long runs or narrow ducts.



Again, the local HVAC community wouldn't offer a charging service for any price (!) so I had to final mile this myself.

Learned everything from this guy here who has the best how-to on the subject I've ever read:

Ordered all the tools online and they arrived within 2 days.



Pulling the wires through the whip at the condenser was a little tough but got it done. I oversized the wires just in case and ran a dedicated ground back to the junction box even though EMT conduit is technically a ground itself.



Ran conduit from the junction box to the condenser to the air handler was a little tough with EMT (required in Illinois: you CANNOT use the 4 wire cables). I prevailed in the end. I also found and installed a handy triple switch disconnect at the air handler. This is supposed to be done by code, but no regular HVAC guys do it, but I was still bitter so did it anyway.





Flared and set the couplings to the necessary torque. You need to use the clutch tool to flare the new refrigerant lines or else they will leak. Also DO NOT OVERTORQUE the 1/4" line as its not the same as the 3/8" which I almost did myself.





I then got my gauges hooked up and vacuumed down the line. I later learned you won't get a good vacuum reading with the gauges as the hoses off gas under high vacuum and will make it seem like a leak is present., so I made my own vacuum hose out of copper. This vacuum pump from AMazon got it down to under 200 in like 10 minutes so I knew I had a good connection.





I then nitrogen pressure tested it to 225 overnight with no losses.







Now was the moment of truth. I vaccumed it down again to like 36 microns over 20 minutes (!!!) disconnected the gauges and released the refrigerant and fired it up. Ran perfect the first time with wonderful cool air being now flown into the room no problem!!



I was pretty proud of myself. I later plumbed in a drain line and a fresh air intake using 4" ducts with a damper to keep the air fresh. I found this transparent dryer lint filter that I attached some red string to visually gauge how much fresh air was being sucked into the room.







I show some pictures from inside the theater side showing the supply line using russian birch + linaccoustic as the duct. I doubled up the layers with green glue to make it work. Did some final touchups by insulating the lines and moved on to other tasks.









Finished Outside Product with the fresh air vent and lineset insulation installed

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post #13 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Electrical

Not too much to say here, but I had never worked with EMT (conduit) before this project started. Now that I am done, I am a total believer in EMT. If you ever need to add a light or outlet, its a cinch and you don't need to run a new line back to the junction box so long as your wire gauge is consistent.

Here is the only penetration in the shell that I had to make in the back corner (behind the stage). Ran 12 awg for the whole run even though it was only a 15 amp circuit. Pretty much the projector is the only thing pulling any real juice in here as my amp rack is on a seperate 20 amp circuit in the other room.







I wasn't putting any powered seating, but I decided to install a ground outlet under the couch just in case I need to upgrade or put in bass boosters or something equivalent. Used a router and a guide and was a piece of cake. I decided to not encase it in concrete due to the mess it would make, and thats probably against code, but I did not care at this point.



I filled the voids with some spray foam so it was water proof god forbid I had a minor flood.



I installed a whole house surge protector last which wasn't too bad. Stole some youtube idea to install it inside the junction box and drilled two holes to allow visual checks to make sure it worked fine.
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post #14 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Paint

I decided to prime the entire room just because its easier. Primer is cheap and this dark grey Zinnsler primer is probably the best primer I have ever used. It covered MDF, Drywall, in one coat perfectly and looked great with minimal drips. Highly recommend it.



After making the mistake of going over to blackest paint thread and having my head explode, I decided to just get the expensive Century paint Obsidian and be done with it.



Thanks to the guys over here for teaching me about it:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...xperience.html

I am glad I did as it is a wonderful paint that drinks up light.

It really is a beautiful paint and the pictures I took do not do it justice. Doesn't smudge at all when you need to clean it.



In hindsight I recommend you just buy a cheap flat black (i.e., mouse ears from Behr) for the first 2 coats and use the Century as the finish layer due its expensive price. I went full rockstar mode using this paint for 3 coats. Don't be me folks, but oh well, the two cans of paint was money well spent and I have received a lot of compliments on it.



I learned quickly in a black room, to not use bright white accent lights as it looks like crap. I went with red and was glad I made the change.






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post #15 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Stage

Followed the Big / Erskine method of roofing felt, 2x12's., plastic and 2,000 lbs of sand. A lot of sweat, but not even close to as unpleasant as the great drywall carry down.




No turning back now honey! Nobody can stop me now unless they want to carry it out themselves!



Used the leftover 2 isolation clips in two kiddy corners of the stage and green glued two OSB boards as the tops.



Behold the architectural masterpiece of the big coffin stage design! The bards will sign my praises through the ages.





The stage had one purpose and one purpose only. Hold my speakers at the right ear level and minimize the bass transmission into the floor as much as possible. It will make sense later.

Here's me using child labor to play in the sand, altough a few tools went missing in the sand.



Get out of here cat!!! Big warned me about you! No territory was marked I guarantee it.



I put a 1" 1/4 round on the lip and did the tried and true double linaccoustic / plastic decoupler found on numerous threads here.



Looked good at the end and other thing off my list.

COvered the stage with some leftover aircraft carpet and rough cut in the screenwall frame.



Cut the Screenwall posts now with the ol laser.


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post #16 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Mouldings / Columns

Probably put the most thought into this after the HVAC.

The challenge was that I had hobbit-tier ceiling heights, but I still wanted to install soffits to hide the electrical conduit / light boxes to give the room a theater feel. I also wanted to minimize penetrations into the room from the electrical conduit, switches.








I bought a whole bunch 1x2 pine board lengths from the local hardware store and combination glue /screwed it to wherever it contacted the ceiling. Layout was a breeze with the laser.





I built a projector box frame with it. I was careful to make all the moulding faces (soffits & columns) the same width 16" so I could get the MDF sheets all ripped at Home Depot sans dust / effort.









All the sofft voids I filled with linaccoustic, and the columns I filled with combinations of polyfill and insulation. I regret not taking many pictures at this time.

The combination return duct / projector hush box was made from double mdf with green glue to mitigate bass flanking out back and then lined with linaccoustic.










Cutting the hole into the double drywall made me cringe big time as I worked so hard to keep the room sealed and there I hacked a 10" hole in the back. The size / location of the 10" hole required me to build a weird soffit shape in the corner as you can see. This also allowed me to get easy access from outside the room in case I ever need to upgrade cables / pull a new one. I felt it was a good compromise.









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post #17 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Carpet / Flooring

Went with a real high quality patterned carpet over a dricore underlayment. I forgot the name, but it had a nice pad weight, was patterned to hide wear and tear better and give the room some width with the fingerprint style pattern.

Its actually darker than it seems, but the black paint really highlights the contrast.

It was dixie group manufacture and I subbed it out entirely to the pros. And pros they were.



I learned during the carpet process to not shop based on sq.ft. price because the measurers rip you off from the big box store. Lowe's had a similar carpet but when they measured the room they measured +100 SF extra than the other guy who was slightly more expensive per sq.ft. The lowes guy got all shifty eyed after I pointed it out to him so I KNOW this is intentional. Be wary folks. Be wary.
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post #18 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Screen Fabrication

Used Aberks awesome thread over here to make the screen. His write up is better than anything I could ever do, but here is a bunch of pictures. I copied it almost exactly except that my diagonal was 152" at a 16:9 ratio.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/110-d...een-build.html












I deliberately left the spandex off the screen until the rest of the room was completed. I learned from reading here that firing up the projector early was an easy way to add 2-3 months to a project.
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post #19 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY Sound Panels.

The sound panels. THanks to GPowers over here for all the credit. I shamelessly copied his designs by using 1/2" mdf and 1/2" cheap plywood lapped and brad/glued together.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...ic-frames.html

The only difference is that I went with the rectangular shaped panels AND I bribed the Home Depot employee $20 to make all my rips cuts for me. Saved me a TON of dust I am sure and probably the best $20 I ever spent in my life.



Set up my fold up table and went to work. I basically measured from top of base moulding to bottom of crown, subtracted 1/4" and divided by three.



I used an AUTOCAD printout like below for each one to make sure I did not mix anything up.



Here is me reliving the Fargo woodchipper scene with MDF bevel cuts. God it was an awful amount of dust and my forearms were throbbing at the end of it but got it all done.





The big decision was what type of fabric to use. I ended up going with a stretch black velvet because while it looked very directional under direct light of the ceiling lights, it was near total black during movie watching. The stretch also made it very easy to staple evenly with no ripples or bunches.



I used linaccoustic for all the panels because I had such low overhead clearance I figured I didn't lack for reflectivity. In my unqualified opinion, if your theater sounds too dead, its because you're not playing it loud enough!!





Behind the main seating positions and the corners, I ended up filling with insulation to create bass traps. I used some 2x4's nailed to the columns as the velcro points and put some left over mouldings as supports for the insulation so it didn't compress when fully stacked. Worked pretty well. At the bottom I velveted some wood at a 45 and hard kicked it to the back so an over-zealous vacuumer wouldn't knock it out of place. I was pretty proud of it.

























I saved the best for last as I needed an irregular shape. Smarter carpenters than me can probably come up with a simpler way to do this type of shape, but I figured it out. Went in like a glove, but needed some planer love in one corner so if you look real close you can see it, but I was sick of doing these things.



I hung it to the wall with a combination of velcro stapled to the frames with a roofing nail on the wall to take the weight. The nail prevented the panel from creeping down the velcro bond, and the velcro kept the panels level, aligned and vibration free. Working great so far.





Here are some pictures of the bass trap I created at the top half of the front stage. Used some leftover mouldings and painted black just to be safe. Not sure how much effect it would have on bass, but I figured it was a lot of empty space up there, was a large corner for bass accumulation, I had a lot of leftover fluffy pink insulation, and there was no such thing as too much bass absorption from the reading I did (head exploding thread that master treatment one is). I loosely stuffed the pink fluffy up and there and used leftover linaccoustic to "wrap" to both prevent screen light bleed and mitigate fiberglass particles escaping.





kvNEoBPgYnxPTwL8o9ITtrFZS7araitApU7HogSfZqj8XC_IxE 0UNjxq9jS7hbLQbtBQ1Pdt2NalADljdekCeC7o5_AORCeQjPcG jJ37a83-H8dYxDdBhbgz-wWZrjIoVEehexnj5EYInaGLi_OTC3Z50j8C1VvxIsg4Kvzcd_v 6BOdH0RCn6pGGV2uy7EfcE-0dBAkxWIhQD0NoJyspUmt-GXTnEY0GP8ZcFEEd2Auug59VcQl9KnXiRmR1_3wZMefre1Io8D WSZmA85dQ1MmLLrNHNylyZ0lJKeUvPpGEIUYkjq8EPJq0JkdVD bALKpL-OqyCnHaHfRZZYLoeMTymdLTXx46uGtbIoGxMVSK8lYYenxDj1f fxnheuGW4FmUfJRpyBAWkAJIM=w832-h624-no[/IMG]




Because the stretch velvet was so directional, I was concerned about it so I made a reflection experiment to see which way to best orient it and kept that consistent for all the panels.







Here are the finished results










Last edited by Mark the Red; 05-23-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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Speakers

Despite being a slight bit ornery when answering my noob questions, the review here sold me using these as my front sound stage. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...er-review.html

Got them on a 30% off monoprice coupon and delivered to my door in like 4 days. Modernity is awesome.



I used Micca 8" for the Atmos and the surrounds.



That left me with my subwoofers. I decided to pair my old DIY 12" subwoofer (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...-bass-box.html) with an obscenely aggressive 18" full sized Marty cube.



Each sub will be fed from my CTS-3000 amps which is capable of 1500w on each channel.

I was satisfied this was going to give me decent low end.

I used a Parts Express Ultramax 18" wired at 4 ohms and shamelesssly copied this design:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-d...02-design.html

LTD02 is doing gods work over on this thread here and was most helpful.

I can honestly tell you this was the fastest subwoofer ever built and the carpentry showed it. But because nobody will ever see it behind the screen wall, and I was getting sick of the whole theater project at this time, I wanted it done. And it was solid as hell and probably weighed over 200lbs easy.









Primed it, and slapped on two coats of cheap flat black paint and near broke my back trying to manhandle it on the stage.

I want to give a shout out to 12v power pole connectors for speaker disconnects. Learned from my car audio days that you don't need an ugly speaker jack plate on the back and these things are extremely easy to crimp, connect and discconnect as needed with extremely high current capacity



Here's the finished wall speaker and custom ring I had to use for the in ceiling with double drywall.

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Screen Testing

Now that the carpet was in, it was finally time to get the screen up.

Getting seriously excited.

Used an overstretched black milliskin underlayer and some white spandex on top. I forgot to order the spandex on a roll, so I needed to steam the white layer before application upon MississippiMans recommendation because it had sat on my shelf for a few months.








I threw down some drop cloth, and snapped it together with the screen spline tool.

Got it hung with some French Cleats and boom I now had a screen

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Projector

Now the moment of truth.....getting the projector installed.



Slid it in, connected it up and BOOM I now had a picture. I had little experience with modern projectors so I left everything on factory for testing. I still needed to install the black velvet around the screen but the linaccoustic was black enough right now for testing.






I now did a quick Audissey Callibration and integrated it all into my rack

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Reserved for Video Callibration
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Rack

Because the adjacent room was unfinished, I needed a mobile rack so I built one myself from leftover wood and some cheap rack rails from online. I need to clean up the wires in the back still, but this thing holds my entire system and can be wheeled around easily:

(1) Ridiculously Beefy Water Cooled HTPC
(2) Freenas Media Server Running Plex
(3) Crown CTS 3000 (subs)
(4) Crown CTS 600 (FL & FR)
(5) Denon AVR-4300H (stupidly bought this early when I should have waited but is a solid amp)
(6) All Networking Equipment for whole house
(7) All Cable / Antenna Wires
(8) Heat loving cat killing my AVR's lifespan (not by design)



I'll update this part later once I get some free time to clean it up but here is a picture.



It contains a frightening amount of technology and I like the fact that in a flooding emergency I could cut the wires and wheel it up the stairs on relatively short notice.

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Ground Loop

I had terrible ground loop noise when my graphics card was running high (MadVR will do this) and no matter how I wired everything it still persisted. The cause was two-fold, one was my local usb DAC / Amp which I physically grounded to the rack, and the other was my PC's beefy 1080 gtx graphics card. Wrote about it here.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-ho...l#post57702152

I went out and made my own Hum-X power cable for my PC which solved the problem immediately. You can buy this online for $80 but if you have an extra power cable, you can make one easily for like 10 bucks following this link. I also wrote about it over on this thread here.














I filled the PVC tube with epoxy so that in case there was a short (knock wood) it was deprived of oxygen to start a fire.

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Couch

Now that I had the room done, I checked on the status of my couch I ordered from HTMarket.com

Went with a Palliser Flex sectional with Obsidian leather that is just buttery awesomeness to sit in.

Took a few weeks, but it showed up and was awesome.



I deliberately went with a sectional because my kids like to cuddle on the couch and my wife absolutely hates theater style seats. I went with a 4 wide which put it pretty close to the wall, but I figured it was a fair trade. 2 couples can sit on the couch comfortably without cramping each others style. My rationalization for having it snug to the wall is to give it the theater feel of shuffling to your seat in a crowded theater.
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Finished Product.

Here are the finished pictures.



I was extremely proud of the whole thing and the first movie I watched was Star Wars with my son who was seven.

I'm not a luddite, but I tried to delay innocence in my children as long as possible and my son REALLY wanted to watch this earlier but I held back.

It was long a goal of mine to watch Star Wars the first time with my son in this theater. And it was totally worth the wait. My son never noticed, but I cried while watching this. So so so glad to have this project complete and now I can watch movies in peace.









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I never claimed to be a handyman starting this project, but learned a lot doing this project pretty much myself. The only two things I subbed out was the taping and mudding (best money I ever spent - these guys are artist) and the carpet (again - these guys are artists)

That said, I have to create my own little award show for special tools I bought.

These tools consistently performed above and beyond the call of duty. Sure every tool has job and a purpose, but these three were singlehandedly the best tool money I spent on the whole project and used throughout the whole project.

3 Star tools

Lets start with the easy one:
Impact Driver. Small, compact, powerful. Whether forcing in construction screws through old wood, straightening out curved wood (my curse of picking out the best wood) or just getting a drill into hard to reach places, this thing is amazing. I've always had a power drill, but this thing just plain rocks. I had a pneumatic nailer for framing, but any tilt up wall framing in future is going to be 100% construction screws and impact. It keeps studs together WAY more reliably than nails each and every time.



Second, is somewhat surprising to me and probably you think is a joke. An all metal yardstick. Yep, you read that right. I am not crazy. I used this thing at virtually every step along the way. Whether marking and cutting straight lines in insulation, linaccoustic, wood, leveling two screws, retrieving a lost screw from under a pile of drywall, or just plain whacking a particularly large spider (of which there are many in 50+ year old Chicago basements) this thing did it all. Sure tape measures have their purpose, but for precise measurements that require a one handed application in tight spaces, there is no substitute for this.



The last one is the most obvious to anyone who owns one. The laser. My god, this is the best money I ever spent. I can't go back to a snapline / framing level ever again. Framing by yourself is cake with this thing. Mark down your floor plate, and mark the joists with this. When you tilt up your wall you just align the two and fasten, bam, done. No framing levels needed. Setting up drywall is cake, just mark a hole on the floor at the stud location, set up laser and screw away and hit studs each and every time. And don't get me started on layout. Marking up symmetrical soffits, vents, columns, perfect right angles, screen centers is all easy peasy with this. Using a tape measure and 3-4-5 triangles is for the birds now. I'm ruined on old school. The future is awesome.

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Appreciation

This dream project of mine could only be made possible by the awesome people on this forum who volunteer their expertise to share the knowledge.

I especially want to thank the following contributors for their particular support on this build.

BigMouthinDC (you are amazing and this forum is forever in your debt)
Mississippi Man (Spandex will blanket the world one day thanks to this man)
SOWK (for starting the black velvet cartel over on the blacker theater the better thread - so glad I went all black)
LTD02 (awesome custom cut sheets for the Martycube / cyclops build and quick responses to questions)

And a particularly sincere thank you for Peter the Greek's thread here:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...atre-mkii.html

This particular thread is probably one of the best builds I read and single handedly convinced me to tackle this huge project. My theater doesn't hold a candle to his, but the time and level of detail he put in his thread was just an Oracle level of knowledge for someone who was starting from scratch.

I owe you so much Peter the Greek. Thank you for taking the time to share the wealth of knowledge.
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Last edited by Mark the Red; 05-22-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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post #30 of 51 Old 05-21-2019, 11:13 PM
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Awesome job - congratulations !!

Cheers,
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