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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013 has been a year of upgrading.

Old setup:

Projector: Sharp Notevision Projector (XR41X)

Screen: The wall - Recently a piece of matte white backdrop paper

So I had a "projector" room, but it was time to upgrade. I had the bug for a new projector for quite some time, and after selling one of my toys, I figured it'd be a reasonable trade.

Ok I guess not a good trade!

Anyway, I had decided up on a JVC DLA projector. My room was dark enough and the black levels were a number one priority. Decided upon the RS46.

New vs. Old:

Determined the old mount was not sufficient, so I ordered a Peerless. I couldn't spend the money for their "extension tube" so I picked up a piece of 1.5" NPT pipe from Home Depot.

Now I had the projector up on the wall, but needed a screen. I browsed the forums and web and found a great DIY tutorial. I copied their design and it worked out great.

1x3" Poplar for the frame:

Biscuit Time


Routing a channel in the back side allowed the use of aluminum spline channels used for window screen materials. Again I found this online and had to copy it. The channels were available at Home Depot and I used a hack saw to cut them to size. They allowed the screen to be tensioned with the ability to later easily remove it.

I don't have any pictures, but I chose to use a 3M Spray adhesive to cover the frame boards with the black velvet material. I used brackets in addition to the biscuits to hold the frame together, and would later use Hang Man brackets to mount it to the wall.

The material is a simple piece of blackout cloth.

Here's the first series of tensioning the screen:

Here it is up on the wall!

Ok so the video was up to par now.

Tony approved:

Of course this wasn't enough. My old speakers didn't match the video quality.

Receiver: Harman Kardon AVR247

Speakers: Athena Technologies WS100 LR and Surround, WS60 Center

Subwoofer: Pioneer 8" in a ported box - approximately 15 years old

Found a Pioneer SC-65 for $750 at the local Best Buy. I know, the Costco 1522 was 599.99, well I'm stubborn and wanted the Elite. I'm an engineer at a large company and we often market two nearly identical items, that to anyone outside would look identical, except one can have better components or a more rigorous level of testing. Not knowing the particulars myself, the extra $150 was worth it.

Picked up rack to put everything on as well. (You can tell some of the story is out of order, the projector isn't yet ceiling mounted here)

Well the sound was greatly improved with just the receiver, but being good friends with Gorilla83 meant I didn't have enough bass.

Enter the Ultimax 15s:

Damn, now it meant building boxes. Gorilla helped me through this, setting up the sizes necessary and ripping the plywood. I brought the "flat packs" back to my house and got to assembling.

But my garage was meant for cars (see above) and not woodworking. Luckily my dad's a cabinet maker and I had a few tools laying around.

Time for a work bench!

Gramps came over to inspect, and a good buddy helped me get everything level. He's the same guy who helped Gorilla83 and I mount his AT screen.

Now I could begin assembly:

Dry Fit


Size Shot - See the Vitamin Water Bottle

Now came the time to decide on a finish. I wanted to try staining the boxes dark black. My dad stopped by and ran the router for the first box and prepped them. We tried a Sherwin Williams stain, but the birch just couldn't get dark enough for my liking:

Much darker than this pic makes it look due to the flash:

So I went to Woodcraft and got some dye stain. Threw this on top and then some spray clear lacquer satin finish.

I did two coats of dye stain on one, and a single coat on the other. My impatience meant doing things a bit out of order, but they came out looking tremendous.

A new receiver, a new big projector and now two big subs. I needed an amp to drive them, and I decided upon an iNuke NU6000DSP. Now I needed not only the amp, but some more power. I ran two dedicated 20 amp lines to the room.

Not my most favorite part!

Still not done. I had a great picture and killer bass, but needed better speakers. DIYSoundGroup and Erich had what I needed. I liked Gorilla's setup, and bugged a few people on the board for their opinions. Thanks Sibuna!

Three Fusion-10 Pures and two Fusion 8s. A lot more work than I anticipated.

Crossover layout trials:

I used this piece of plywood as a template and drilled through some 1/4" MDF for the actual boards. I did this all at the same time, keeping the template for any future builds and making an extra... just in case.

Making the first:

Wiring side:


In various stages of completion:

Mounted in the box:

Wires run:

Fusion 8s as well:

Had to try them before finishing them:

Wow, impressed! Sound was incredible.

Time to clean it up and finish them.

Much better!

Now I needed to turn the amp on remotely since I put the outlet for it down in the basement:

Solid State relay and a signal wire ran.

Oh and I had to manage all of the connections so I made a new four gang outlet layout.

In the end I eliminated the extra 15 amp circuit from the far right. I kept the wiring inside the box as it was existing and labeled it as containing two power sources.

Still messy, but you get the idea. The aftermarket outlets didn't fit the standard single rectangular openings for the cover plate, so I took it to work and one of the guys opened up the plate to match their factory covers. It turned out great.

So there it is. My room transformation. There are a ton of skips I've stepped and details I've left out. I also took few pictures of the process and skipped some stages all together. It's a tough room to photograph completely, and I've been too lazy to break out the dSLR setup. Gorilla came by the other night and took some measurements with his Omnimic. I'll post them up later and make sure he comments on it.

All in all, it was a great experience. A lot of work and now all I can think about is if I should move everything downstairs and refinish an area of the basement to suit it. The space I'm in is only 12' x 14' with an opening to the outside hallway. Down in the basement I have a solid 13' x 18' area, with the ability to go wider if I box out the beam a little better.

Thanks for reading and if you have questions let me know!

DIY Granddad (w/help)
24,837 Posts

One of the most thorough yet concise presentations I've seen in a while.

Really, there are people in the DIY Speaker Forum, Dedicated Theater Builder, General Home Theater & media Rooms, actually several locations that can all benefit from your experience.

Inundate them.....you'll get no adverse retorts I'm sure!

59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. There are a lot of details I have excluded. Hardware that was used, steps to assembly and tips, etc. Most of this can be found elsewhere, but I will add that later. I learned a lot along the way, and just like my old car builds, there's a lot of money in the little details and accessories. The XLR-RCA adapters, SpeakON connector, Sewell Deadbolts, 12 gauge wire, the 20 amp outlet and 12/2 wire... I'll add some of these as well later.
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