I didn't realize it had been that long since I've updated this thread. Not nearly as much as I’d like to report about the HT because we have been busy finishing up the new laundry room. It took 3 weeks longer than I would have liked but an experienced and meticulous drywall contractor is always worth waiting for (if he’s busy on other jobs and hard to get, you know he’s good). Especially if he is potentially going to be the one to do your HT which is a helluva lot more complex.
So, the first tubes of Green Glue of this build were officially cracked when he hung the inside wall of the laundry room (shared wall with the HT). I went with 5/8” DD+GG. The other side of that wall - inside the HT - will be DD+GG on clips and channel. I had my contractor hang a cheap temporary door in between the HT and the LR until we get drywall up in the HT and we can get more precise measurements for custom doors/jambs for the two doorways. So the laundry room is done and the washer and dryer are in place and operational. THEY ARE OUT OF THE KITCHEN! #happywifehappylife
This whole process has seemed never-ending because almost every move I make in the surrounding basement rooms seems to affect what we are planning to do in the HT.Or vice versa. We are getting there slowly but surely.
So while the laundry room was underway with contractors, I focused on removing more drywall, trim, drop ceilings/grid and bulkhead/framing from the other side of the basement so that I can have all of the necessary HVAC and electric modifications done at once. I am happy to report that all necessary demo throughout the entire basement is 100% complete. Besides cutting out all of the old alarm system wiring and accidentally severing our main phone line in the process (which resulted in a $130 visit from Verizon), it went well. What can I say, I love demoing and disassembling things.
I also tackled the rats nest of coaxial cables and misc. phone/alarm wires that were running every which way throughout the basement in the ceiling between the floor joists. I ran all new coax cable and eliminated unnecessary splitters (more than I care to admit) and cut out some old abandoned HVAC lines. Most importantly, I was able to run a new home run from our FiOS ONT box to the location of my HT rack for my set top box later down the road.
So the plan for the HT room is to use 5/8”DD+GG on clips and channel for all walls and ceilings. Estimates from the drywall guy are due in any day now. A false wall will be built after the perimeter walls are built and that will contain my AT screen with my 3 front speakers and 2 subs just behind.
HVAC contractor comes in tomorrow to add supply and return vents to various parts of the basement, including in the HT. Decided against going with a dedicated thermostat (separate zone) in the HT room as 2 of the 3 contractors that walked it felt they had a better chance of evenly balancing things out in our basement as a whole by adding supply / returns to all four areas/rooms in the basement. Electrical contractor will be up next to run dedicated circuits, sort out receptacle locations and figure out lighting locations with me. Once I have the HVAC and electrical complete, then I can start planning out my ceiling approach and how I will decouple around the beam, etc. Maximizing the height below the support beam is super critical as the bottom of the beam sits at 81” to begin with. It is critical that I maintain as much headroom as possible underneath the beam since the PJ will throw right underneath it (it will be located just behind the beam). As I’ve said before, I have more ductwork than I care to admit up in the ceiling in the front of the room so I plan to address as much as possible with adhesive sound deadening mat (not cheap!) prior to filling all of the ceiling joists with Rockwool safe-n-sound above the DD ceiling.
While things were moving slooooooow with the laundry room, I was busy watching for and taking advantage of sales and discounts on gear that I have selected for the room. I got a great deal on the AVR I wanted and saved serious $$$ there. The highlight so far was that I lucked out and located a gentlemen down in TX that had 3 Triad Silver LCRs that were brand-new-in-the-box. I was able to negotiate a great deal with him and, in the end, I ended up paying only what I would pay if I ordered 2 of them new. I unpacked the speakers upon arrival and I can say with certainty that they have never been used (as the owner stated). It was as if they were still packed from the factory in the plastic and original boxes. I was blown away by how large, well-built and HEAVY the Triad speakers are. I knew the dimensions of these speakers ahead of time but they just seem much larger to me still (maybe it is the weight?). Either way, the quality and the workmanship of these things is just a thing of beauty. I am dying to listen to them so I will have to see what I can figure out in the coming weeks to do just that. I plan to take advantage of upcoming sales in the near future to pick up the rest of my surround and rear surround Triads. I also plan to pull the trigger on a PJ soon so I can start to narrow things down on screen size, throw distance, mounting height, mounting reinforcement, above-ceiling conduit locations, etc. I am hopeful that I can get away with a screen in the 120 – 135” range (16:9) and my gut is that 135” is pushing it. Unfortunately I have a very low ceiling height – especially in the front of the room – so this really restricts the height of my screen (vertically).
For some reason I am really anxious to run speaker wire and Cat6 but I know that I need to relax on that until I get the HVAC and electrical behind me. I am also going to wire the room for 4 subs despite my plan to start off with just two up front. I want the flexibility of adding/switching at least 1 sub in a back corner if I am not happy with the LFE balance when the room is finished.
In recent weeks I’ve also ripped my entire bluray collection to .mkv so eventually I will be headed down the rabbit hole of storage on a NAS, using PLEX, etc. Never too early to start working on content, right?
Lots to do but I am taking things slow and having fun with it. Please hit me with any and all suggestions and comments if you've got any!