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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've finally decided to build a fairly dedicated home theater in the basement floor of my apartment. Its an old Heritage Home in the Annex of Toronto that got converted into apartments and I have the first two floors, one of which is a "garden level" finished basement. Long story made short, being that I am single and want to live downtown for the night life and housing prices here are insane, I am renting this place for a very long foreseeable time. Thus my theater can't be a total redesign of the room, it needs to be semi-permanent at most and therefore things I might learn in the process might be useful to others who are renters.

I am a former DIY'er in audio mostly (tube amps, horn speakers), but have turned mostly AIY'er as I lost my shop space when I moved to Toronto (still have plenty of tools). Therefore the construction has to be limited to things somewhat easily done with some basic tools and space.

I will reserve some posts at the beginning for the progress as is typical here, but for now this is the start of a [hopefully short] journey. I've taken some phone photos of the starting space and will upload them shortly, along with better photos taken at various points along the way. I plan to start construction this evening.



Step 1
Install a minimalist wall for AT screen at one end of my basement. Screen is a SeymourAV 109" 16:9 Centerstage XD. I was constrained on width more than height, so 16:9 made more sense than 2.35:1, to maximize screen size overall.

The screen will hide my DSL SM60Fs speakers and possibly also 4 18"s. I'm still undecided on placement and will be chosen based on measurements; afterall, audio theory is my hobby. (the subs pictured are Rythmik Audio HP15s that will move upstairs to the audio and replaced with 4x Dayton UM18s in the 4cuft flatpacks).


I didn't want to paint the back wall, again being a renter, as dark paint can be really hard to cover and I don't know if I have any of the original paint color (awful btw) to restore to original. So I hung a really long curtain rod near the ceiling and used 3 Absolute Zero 84-Inch Velvet Blackout Home Theater Curtain Panels. Its actually reasonably cost effective, as paint isn't free either. I goofed and accidentally ordered chocolate instead of black....oh well, its behind the screen wall anyway. This stuff does an amazing job of blocking the light from the two small garden windows on this wall. In broad daylight, my downstairs is very dark with these in place. There is only one other garden window on the side that I will treat the same.

My listening position will be about 12-14' back with Sony VW40ES, so I think the numbers all work out. This is my first projector, replacing the 58" Plasma shown in the early pics. Just ordered HTDesign Devonshire seating.


Future Steps
2) Hang projector, mount surround speakers and run all wires in conduits (which?) of some sort.
3) Install acoustic treatments and place subs.
4) Install equipment in 19" free standing rack.

Does anyone know where to source GOM in Canada? Which one is the typical black used in theaters [FR-701 2100-408]?




 

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I'm kind of in the exact same situation as you. I'm in a NYC apt. I've been here for over 15 yrs already and will probably be here till I die - LOVE NYC! Anyway, check out my thread, maybe you can get some ideas. Us single guys gotta are the massive minority around here, we gotta stick together LOL
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I moved to Toronto from NYC (well manhattan for 5, hoboken for 7) about 3.5 years ago for work. I am American, but I really love the job I am in, so I plan to stay a while and doing my permanent residency now (like a green card for the US).

Toronto apartments are a lot cheaper than NYC, but house prices (meaning to buy) are crazy expensive, even compared to NYC. For that reason, and as an investor, I simply cannot fathom buying here, so I bought investment property in Portland OR area (where my family lives) instead. Here I will rent and my current apartment is very reasonably priced, so I am sticking with it. Its also 15mins door to door for work and steps to all the local hot spots.
 

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Wow, Toronto, that's a haul. But if you like it, hey that's cool. These days, pretty much everywhere is just like everywhere else anyway, more or less, so, personally, I don't even see any point to traveling anymore. LOL

Unless it's for work or family, or for something specific thing that'll never happen anywhere but there, traveling these days is simply WAYYYY too much effort for what you'll get in return. No where near worth it anymore.


.......NOT WHEN YOU GOT YOUR OWN FLOOR TO CEILING PERSONAL IMAX SCREEN IT'S NOT!!! muhahahahahaha

You watch a few nature documentaries, like planet earth, and Life of mammals, and stuff like that, on your own personal IMAX screen, and you will REALLY, not feel like you actually need to go there anymore :D:D
 

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Black speaker fabric grill works very well, and is a lot less course then GOM.


There's a fabric district in Toronto, and I have heard in the past that one of those stores there sells GOM.


Yep, buying in Toronto is expensive but your "even compared to NYC" statement, is pretty scary. Then again,
buying here can be a great investment, and pretty safe when you consider 2008's meltdown barely touched prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I ended up ordering GOM directly from GOM. I like the course look.

I was a bit under the weather this weekend and didn't get too much done. However, I did manage to build the frame for the false wall.

For those who are interested in my false wall method. I went simple, quasi goal post style, with minimal permanent marks. The rectangular area matching the screen's frame. My floor is ceramic tile, so I used rubber feet on the bottom of the upright 2x4s. And on top to secure it, I used angle brackets that I screwed into the ceiling's studs. The result is a temporary wall which isn't meant to be super sturdy other than to hold a screen up.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I know all about those pesky broker fees. Canada somehow finds a way of making everything cost way more than it should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Still have to tidy up all the wiring, build panels for surrounding the screen (GOM), hang traps and finish subs and surrounds. But I have sound and vision.


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At the moment it is terribly cluttered (moving things around and such) and all the gear is haplessly strewn about, rather than rack mounted as I will do later. I just got HTmarket Devonshire seating last night and really am impressed with the quality, comfort and features.

I need to work hard over the coming weeks on the aesthetic finish, running wires and all the rest, but I thought I'd share some of the pictures thus far. It won't be a high end HT, but it will be decent for being an apartment.

Then I will work on the acoustics and setup, as that is what I really love to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't seen how to do that unless you have a url to where the photos reside. I have them on my computer, so I attached them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah that is 3 DSL SM60Fs run off an ATI AT6003. I leaned towards that particular amp given its SNR, confirmed by third party. It matters with hi-eff and close quarters.

I am going to run 6x Concentric 8s, 4 which will hang from ceiling in 7.4.4 config. My DSL SH-minis will either be used as surround (currently) or rears and the other pair of Con8s the other.
 
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