AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 145 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
GEAR:

PJ:
EPSON 6050UB
Screen: 126" AT DreamScreen with V7 Fabric (16:9 Format)
Fronts: Triad Silver IW
Surrounds: Triad Bronze OW
Rear Surrounds: Triad Bronze OW
LFE Front: HSU ULS-15 MK2 X 2
LFE Rear: HSU ULS-15 MK2
AVR: Marantz SR6013
Cooling: AC Infinity AIRCOM T9
Bluray: Panasonic DP-UB820
Turntable: Pro-ject Debut Carbon
Line Conditioner: Panamax M5300-PM
Equip Rack: Sanus CFR2127
Misc: ATV4K, Sonos, Samsung Smartthings Hub, XBOX 1S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
and so it begins. Ht 2.0.

....

To put it bluntly, i am up against several challenges building this room in the space that i have chosen. The biggest challenge being lower-than-normal ceiling joists (91” off slab) throughout my basement. :( the dimensions of this space will be 12’ 5” w x 21’ 5” l (give or take a few inches) and it will be a more dedicated room (albeit smaller) this time around. When i built my room in my former house 6 years ago, i started the build with mostly finished walls and ceilings and the space was more of an open living area with projector, screen, in-wall speakers, snack ledge, etc. It was also at least 2.5 times the size of this space with 8’ ceilings throughout (see link to that thread in signature below). It required two 15” psa subs for lfe (and i probably could have used two more to be honest).

the biggest priorities that i have for this room are soundproofing and stepping up the quality of the audio a little bit from what i had before. I hope to accomplish both of these things without breaking the bank. video display is still a priority but, to me, a picture is a picture and it is safe to say that i will not be dropping $10k on a pj. :d so, whether or not i go with a pj or a large tv remains to be seen but it will depend on what is available out there in the short-throw market for pjs. This room does not need to be built to the triple layer drywall standard like some here on avs have done (like a bunker) but i would like to try to minimize sound out and sound in as best i can. I’d like to prevent sound from getting up to the 1st floor and i’d like to keep out the sound of a nearby furnace and a washing machine/dryer combo (behind wall f).

The good news is that i have some flexibility in terms of building out my walls, adding additional layers of drywall, ceilings, insulation, etc. Because not one existing wall of the room is built up against an exterior/foundation wall. There are some air ducts/returns in between ceiling joists in the room now so i’ll just have to do my best with adding additional insulation and layers of drywall where warranted. Not the most ideal situation to have ducts in the ceiling i know but relocating the vent ducts/returns is not an option. I have since removed the dated drop ceiling/grid in the room and i intend to go back with new lighting and a finished drywall ceiling. Central air/heat ducts will be added to the room (one return and two vents) and the rough-in work for them will take place shortly at the same time that my contractor frames out the modifications for walls e and f.

Below are two sketches of the room as it is today. The only difference in the two being that the top version does not show the 1st row of theater seats and the 2nd one does. I have lettered each wall (a-f) on the sketch so you can tell which wall i am referring to in my detailed descriptions and questions below and in the four videos below:
Alright. Here come the monolithic replies! LoL. :rolleyes:

Excellent videos. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to post them. Very helpful, as you have a somewhat complex scenario.

I'm going to just run through my thoughts while watching your videos and reviewing your diagrams again, in no particular order:

1) Video No. 1 @ 0:31

  • What is the object notched in the lower right, at the bottom of the wall, where the floor moulding has been removed?
  • I cannot tell if it's a wire, gas line, water pipe, etc. Looks odd. Is this item a non-issue???

2) Planned Equip Rack Location (In-Wall Rack)
  • Your current plan involves the rack at the front of the room? Eek! Bad idea.
  • I don't believe your plan will work; the depth looks too shallow to me (before you hit the hot water heater)
  • There's also a risk to placing electronic equipment so close to the H2O heater (I mean, hey... it's got water in it)
  • Doing so would hamper 360 degree access to the H2O heater

Let's talk a bit about the rack logistics. Your plan should include:
  1. Some kind of backer box type of enclosure for the entire rack
  2. Cooling plan (exhausting hot air; bringing in cool air)
  3. Front access (obviously)
  4. Rear access

I'm going to throw out some alternative suggestions on rack location for you.

Rack Plan B) Wall E
* Equip rack on rear wall
  • I think this is a better choice for equipment rack
  • My room has the equip rack on the rear wall as well; keeps blingy in the room; some noise
  • Thing is, if you have rack in the room you will have some noise unless you choose equipment that is quiet (usually more $)
  • Still allows venting hot air into unfinished space

Rack Plan C) Wall D
* Build an equipment rack closet
  • You could create an equipment closet here, and it would give you a variety of options to handle the equipment rack
  • For example, you could have the front of equipment exposed if you like (in the room); blingy option
  • Or you could have a door that accesses the room and the equipment rack inside; non-blingy option
  • You could add a door on the backside of an equipment closet here to allow rear access to your rack (always helpful) from the adjacent room
  • Still allows rear or side equip access and venting hot air into unfinished space

Rack Plan D) Wall D (modified Plan C)
* Under the stairs
  • Another idea is you could build a cubby and mount the equipment rack under the stairs in the existing hollow
  • If you chose this route, I would suggest considering adding a door in the adjacent room, to access the under-stairs hollow from the side (to allow access to the rear of equipment rack)
  • This option is more complicated with regards to cooling the equipment rack; probably some sort of air exchange system; probably on non-HT room side
  • A negative is venting hot air into a finished room

3) Walls

Tear out all your existing drywall.

Your room is perfect for clips and channel. I would do it on all walls and the ceiling (more on latter below). Why? If you don't, you will get flanking noise travelling up into the 1st floor above.

Double-Drywall + Green Glue sandwich mounted to the channel.


ceilings

the plan is to finish the remaining open ceilings in the room with drywall (areas that had drop ceiling). The old drop ceiling tiles have been removed. The bays in the open areas are insulated with 3” r11 and, for the time being, i re-secured all insulation up with new supports. The grid will be removed when i get around to temporarily securing the two 2x4 fluorescent lights that are in there now.

should i consider using gg and dd for the finished ceilings? And what is the recommendation for the already-finished ceiling/bulkhead that is 80” off the slab in the back section of the room? Would it be effective if i added another layer of dw with gg over top of the existing?

As shown on the sketch, a boxed-out i-beam (finished with ½” dw) crosses through the middle of the room approx. 80” above grade. Is it worth adding another layer of dw to it as well or just leave as is?

also, there is an area of open ceiling (approx. 4 feet - front to back) between the front edge of the existing bulkhead/ceiling in the back of the room and the beam that crosses the middle of the room. I was thinking that i should have my contractor frame out and marry the bulkhead ceiling with the finished beam in the middle of the room and call it a day since they are both currently 80” off slab. This would mean that i would be running an 80” ceiling from the back wall of the room all the way up to the beam that crosses the middle of the room. The higher ceiling would then only be in the front of the room – between the beam and wall a.
Remove all existing drywall, and obviously existing drop ceiling components.

Use clips and channel, DD/GG sandwich.

I see two possible strategies here:

A) Use extended ceiling clips (and channel) where the bulkhead and I-beam are. Do as you suggested and lower the area between bulkhead and I-beam so it is uniform height in that portion of the room.

or

B) Use clips to lower the ENTIRE ceiling to a uniform height.

Either way, you already have a drop. Here, clips and channel are not reducing your headroom. It's going to stay the same (lucky for you). :)


4) HVAC

You are going to have to perform some sort of HVAC modifications no matter what. Since you have access to the unit, I recommend tapping off (or as close as you can) to the main unit, and using an electronic damper to control air flow into the supply side of the HT room. This would allow you to have remote control of heating and cooling the room, independently of the remainder of the home. If you put a dedicated thermostat in the room and get a zone controller, it's a huge bonus. You're looking at around $500-600 for parts (zone controller, Z-Wave or Zigbee thermostat, electronic damper, flex duct, 24vac transformer). You probably don't need an in-line duct blower given proximity to the HVAC equipment. Also don't forget you will likely want/need duct mufflers. You can DIY them if you are so inclined, which will keep their cost down to about $25-50 in materials presuming 2 vents. Finally, you will need vents and you'll need to include a return. I would also use flex duct for the return tie-in. Expect 2 supply vents + 1 return vent to run you about $200-300. Another $100 for return flex duct. Total outlay around $1,000 for HVAC (parts only). Even if you don't take on my suggestions, you better budget $300-500 just for proper vents and duct work.



there are conflicting opinions on whether or not i need to feed the triad bronze in-wall/on-wall speakers with additional amplification beyond what the avr can provide.
5) AVR

It won't hurt them as long as your AVR is powerful enough. However, nearly all systems benefit from dedicated amps. Plus, it expands the headroom of your system. They could be added later to reduce up-front costs. Just make sure you plan accordingly re: rack space and rack cooling strategy.


6) On/In Wall Speakers

I still don't see why not use in-wall speakers for front and rear. Side walls it could be done, but staircase wall is a challenge (but could be done with care).

This gear list is subject to change but below is my proposed a/v gear as of today:

plan a: Pj - researching feasibility of short-throw pjs to accommodate an 8-9’ throw)
plan b (if plan a is not possible): Sony 85” xbr-85x900f tv
avr: Denon avr-x4500h
br: Panasonic dp-ub820
power cond: Panamax m-5300
amps: Tbd (if necessary)
fronts: Triad on-wall bronze 4 lcr x 3
surrounds: Triad on-wall bronze 4 surround x 2
rear surrounds: Triad on-wall bronze 4 lcr x 2
apple tv 4k
sonos connect
xbox one
One of the big ?'s on your build is where would a PJ be mounted? There are obvious pros and cons to any solution. The most common locations are of course, ceiling in middle of room (middle = left to right, not front to back), and rear wall mount. Either way, we are talking about behind the seats, above them, or in front of them. My suggestion for you is reinforce more than one location for PJ mounting, regardless of whether you install a PJ or not and which position you mount it in. This will help future-proof your room so you don't have any concerns about changing the mounting location in the future, if desired. Small cost now. Saves big headaches later on. Do this even if you go with a TV right now.


i know in-wall equipment racks are not always recommended for soundproofing reasons, but i do not have another wall or closet-like area that will accommodate this.
I disagree. See above. You might prove me wrong, but for now I believe you have better options.


I need to be able to access the back of the rack outside of the room and that location puts the rack in a closet that we are building anyway to enclose a hw heater and sump pump.
Besides being in the front of your room :eek:, that much equip near H2O heater makes me nervous. Plus other concerns noted above.


I really like the convenience of having the front of my rack in the room so i can tinker and manually adjust things. Below is the plan for my last in-wall rack and i will probably build something similar this time around:

and i intend to do something very similar for this one – but not nearly as tall. It is one of the easier things that i can do myself for this build.
Sure thing. It's totally your preference. Your room. ;)

A significant advantage is it allows manual control of functions that are rarely used. Plus some people like to be able to tinker with physical volume knobs. Especially, small children. LoL. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Random notes I forgot to include in my last post....

Connecting and boxing in the bulkhead and beam, along ceiling
- Why is the bulkhead there in the first place?
- Before making that decision, I would rip out all the existing ceiling and see what you've got to work with

Entry door, thickness
- Suggest either a Double door / double thick door here or a communicating door style (i.e. entry door as planned, and another door, perhaps at bottom of stairs
- Additional doors might not be feasible, and may not meet WAF requirements
- Potential big problem with double door if you are doing clips & channel on that wall (tough to make it look/work well); another option is do a double stud wall on that wall, but I am concerned about the loss of room width in your case
- Tough call no matter what. Bare minimum is a solid core wood door. As heavy as you can find.

Entry door, size
- Why 30"?
- Can you do 32"?
- The size doesn't matter from a sound proofing perspective. It's a question of what works to move things in/out of the room and what size the other doors in your home are. Recommend same size as your other interior doors unless room constraints dictate otherwise. I can't tell for sure from tape marks in the video if 30" suggestion is due to constrains or if it's arbitrary.

Rear Bulkhead
- Is there a beam at the front of that? Is the majority of it hollow?
- If hollow, are you planning something for the space, or is it just dead space?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Random notes I forgot to include in my last post....

Connecting and boxing in the bulkhead and beam, along ceiling
- Why is the bulkhead there in the first place?
- Before making that decision, I would rip out all the existing ceiling and see what you've got to work with

Entry door, thickness
- Suggest either a Double door / double thick door here or a communicating door style (i.e. entry door as planned, and another door, perhaps at bottom of stairs
- Additional doors might not be feasible, and may not meet WAF requirements
- Potential big problem with double door if you are doing clips & channel on that wall (tough to make it look/work well); another option is do a double stud wall on that wall, but I am concerned about the loss of room width in your case
- Tough call no matter what. Bare minimum is a solid core wood door. As heavy as you can find.

Entry door, size
- Why 30"?
- Can you do 32"?
- The size doesn't matter from a sound proofing perspective. It's a question of what works to move things in/out of the room and what size the other doors in your home are. Recommend same size as your other interior doors unless room constraints dictate otherwise. I can't tell for sure from tape marks in the video if 30" suggestion is due to constrains or if it's arbitrary.

Rear Bulkhead
- Is there a beam at the front of that? Is the majority of it hollow?
- If hollow, are you planning something for the space, or is it just dead space?
@HT Geek,

1) You are very observant. The object that you saw @ 0:30 is just a few wires that I capped off when I removed the baseboard heaters from the room. I have the same thing on Wall F where I removed a heater there as well. My electrician will clean all of that up when he is doing his thing. Non-issue.

2) Equip rack location - Your Wall D scenario is something that I thought about a few weeks back so it is interesting that you came up with it as well. If I were to go with that scenario, I would likely demo out the wall (back of the staircase - where the little grey access door is now) so it would totally open things up more in there - especially for storage purposes. There was enough room (depth-wise) where I had proposed BUT I'm really liking the Wall D scenario now that you've brought it back to my attention. :) And now that I think about it, having that rack so close to the screen wall doesn't make much sense at all. Great advice there.

3) Walls - I really need to educate myself further on clips and channels. If you have any websites or videos that I can watch to better understand, that would be extremely helpful. I also need to get my contractor up to speed on this because he will be installing new walls and ceilings. I will likely take on the demolition of drywall myself if I decide to go that route. Easy for me to do. I really like your A strategy for ceilings and it is really important to me to have my ceiling as high as possible on the front half of the room even if it is a different height than what I am dealing with in the back of the room.

4) HVAC - Awesome suggestion for cooling/heating in the room. I am going to talk with my HVAC guy and get him to quote me on making all of that happen. Elec. damper to control air flow, dedicated thermostat, zone controller, duct mufflers, 2 vents/1 return, flex duct return tie-in, the whole 9 yards.

5) AVR/Amps - My last room I had Polk 265RTs for 5 of my 7 speakers and I was feeding the L-C-R on the front wall with an Emotiva XPA-3 amp (200wpc). I ran the speakers for about 3-4 months without amps during my build so I had heard them for some time. Then I added the amp and they were totally different speakers - a massive difference!!! So, if anyone knows what amps can do to a speaker, it's me. ;) If I go with the Triad Bronze 4 LCRs for the front L-C-R and the rear surrounds, I'll have 5 speakers that are rated to 200w. The Bronze 4 Surrounds are rated to 140w so I'd likely need a separate amp to feed those as well. Feel free to chime in if you have any amp recommendations particularly since you currently own Triads.

6) Speakers - At this juncture I am leaning towards in-walls for the fronts and center on Wall A and for the rear surrounds on Wall E. If it turns out that I need to go on-wall for my side surrounds, no skin off my back. The speakers are only 4" deep or so - not a deal breaker. I can have them painted to match the wall color as well so they will blend nicely either way.

7) Projector/TV - If I am able to find a PJ that can throw in the 6-8 foot range, :eek: my preference would be to mount it just in front of the beam. The projector would be a little forward of my head (MLP), pretty much right over footrests extended in the 1st row of seating. Might also be kind of loud, depending on fan noise on the ST projector. :confused: Mounting a PJ below the beam (approx. 9' from front wall) would just be too low and mounted anywhere behind the beam we start to get into it being over the snack ledge seating. Mounted on a glass shelf of the back wall (under the bulkhead) I'm almost certain the PJ would be too low and the image would be blocked by anyone sitting at the ledge on stools. I am just starting to research PJs so we'll see what I can dig up in that department. I really like your suggestion to prep/reinforce the ceiling for a PJ mount if I should decide to go the TV route at this stage.

8) Doors - originally I had 32" doors in my plan but I knocked them back down to 30". My thought was that I should minimize the size of the door for soundproofing reasons. If it doesn't matter, I might as well go with 32" doors. Solid core wood doors without a doubt. Makes total sense. Can't hurt to have a couple more inches. :D

9) Great idea to open up the bulkhead in the back of the room. If I am demolishing out walls, I might as well knock that out too. I can sort of see what is running up there (besides air ducts) from the other side of Wall F so I'll have to get up on a ladder with a good light this weekend and see what I can see up there. You asked if there was a beam towards the front of the bulkhead and the answer is NO. There is a beam towards the very back of that bulkhead (running above/with Wall E). In fact, if you go to the 0:00 - 0:10 segment in my Part IV video, you can see the side of that beam exposed - running just above the two horizontal 2x4's that are randomly nailed to the studs on the back of Wall E. As far as I know, that beam that you see runs from the lally column (that I will expose when I demo the two walls that they cut the corner with) all the way over to the foundation wall on the other side of the basement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Hey there. Your comments above all sound like you are on the right track.

Regarding the entry door, the width really doesn't matter. Imagine a hole in your room that water can leak through, and the remainder of the room is water-tight. It won't matter if the hole is 30" or 36". That's about the best way I can think of to describe that. Now, what does matter is whether or not you use sound-proofing techniques around the door perimeter, such as an automatic door bottom and rubber stops to seal the edges of the door. You will be amazed at the difference if you conduct a before-and-after test with sound blaring on the inside of the room, and listening from outside the door without and then with those sound-proofing products. All the parts will run you roughly $200-300, depending on brand and design.

Amps.... I don't like to make a big deal out of it, because some people are adamant in their views one way or another. However, since you mentioned your experience, yes, I agree. Those Triads are designed to be used with an amp, which really allow speakers like that to create the depth they were intended for. It's like going from mono to stereo.

PJ... this is the big conundrum for me in your theater. What screen size would you be interested in, and at what aspect ratios?

I recommend playing around with the Projector Buying Guide at ProjectorCentral.com. It will give you a good idea of PJs that will or won't work for you. I poked around with it a bit. At 7-1/2 feet from the lens, ~85" wide screen is about the max you can do (according to their calculator) without spending $12k or more. That is presuming Full HD resolution (1920x1080), 16:9 aspect ratio, 85" WIDE (not diagonal) screen. Diagonally, that's just under 98" @ 16:9 ratio.

PJ Screen Size Calculator

Another important factor we haven't discussed yet is how far back from the screen eye-level will be for your 1st row. With a 98" diagonal 16:9 screen, THX rec is 10'. Just giving you a starting benchmark.

Before we get in the weeds on this, we should clarify your goals with regards to PJ capabilities, screen size, seating/viewing distance, PJ location options. What's on the table, and what is off the table? There's no point coming up with a solution where you love the picture but feel your experience is diminished by the PJ location. For example, is 4K a requirement?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey there. Your comments above all sound like you are on the right track.

Regarding the entry door, the width really doesn't matter. Imagine a hole in your room that water can leak through, and the remainder of the room is water-tight. It won't matter if the hole is 30" or 36". That's about the best way I can think of to describe that. Now, what does matter is whether or not you use sound-proofing techniques around the door perimeter, such as an automatic door bottom and rubber stops to seal the edges of the door. You will be amazed at the difference if you conduct a before-and-after test with sound blaring on the inside of the room, and listening from outside the door without and then with those sound-proofing products. All the parts will run you roughly $200-300, depending on brand and design.

Amps.... I don't like to make a big deal out of it, because some people are adamant in their views one way or another. However, since you mentioned your experience, yes, I agree. Those Triads are designed to be used with an amp, which really allow speakers like that to create the depth they were intended for. It's like going from mono to stereo.

PJ... this is the big conundrum for me in your theater. What screen size would you be interested in, and at what aspect ratios?

I recommend playing around with the Projector Buying Guide at ProjectorCentral.com. It will give you a good idea of PJs that will or won't work for you. I poked around with it a bit. At 7-1/2 feet from the lens, ~85" wide screen is about the max you can do (according to their calculator) without spending $12k or more. That is presuming Full HD resolution (1920x1080), 16:9 aspect ratio, 85" WIDE (not diagonal) screen. Diagonally, that's just under 98" @ 16:9 ratio.

PJ Screen Size Calculator

Another important factor we haven't discussed yet is how far back from the screen eye-level will be for your 1st row. With a 98" diagonal 16:9 screen, THX rec is 10'. Just giving you a starting benchmark.

Before we get in the weeds on this, we should clarify your goals with regards to PJ capabilities, screen size, seating/viewing distance, PJ location options. What's on the table, and what is off the table? There's no point coming up with a solution where you love the picture but feel your experience is diminished by the PJ location. For example, is 4K a requirement?
Ever since I've kicked off the planning for this project, I've been thinking my screen size (if PJ) would likely be either a 96", 100" or 106"...something in that range. I'd be a fool to think I could go any bigger than that when you consider the height of the wall that I am dealing with. :rolleyes:

I am definitely content with a 16:9 format / 1920x1080 so 4K is not a requirement for the projector route. I am not ready or interested to pay for a true 4K projector at this stage of the game.

My last screen was a very basic 100" 16:9 Elite Sable and my eyeballs were 10' 6" from the screen. I never once felt too close. Hell, I believe I would have been fine at the 9' - 9'6" range if I had too. Where I have the first row of chairs penciled in now, it would put my eyeballs 10'-11' from the screen. I would love to find an AT screen (Silver Ticket, Elite, etc.) that I could just mount on the wall after sinking the L-C-R speakers in-wall behind it.

My budget for a PJ will top out at around $4K. Now that I've got the July vacation behind me, I really need to focus and spend some time looking online at various PJs. I need to make a decision once and for all if I am going with a PJ. That is definitely my preference at this time. Hell, I've already got 2 4K TVs in my home - I sure don't need another. ;):eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
Could the access door to the storage could be moved? And at what room depth does the support post end up at?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Couple notes on the rack, stuff one will not necessarily know unless you've had the bad fortune to build a rack filled with equipment before:
  1. Don't make the shelves fixed height relative to each other, you'll have to do it all again at some point if you do.
  2. A rack can be placed quite far from the actual theater if you use either balanced signal wires or take great care in wiring signal wires far from power wires and speaker wires (I have no idea if your planned equipment has balanced signal wires or not). Electricity is light speed, you can literally put the rack at the top of an Eiffel tower copy you build to 1:1 scale above your house.
  3. Never try to make it "just the right amount of room" behind the rack because it will be too little.
  4. If you want 4k you will want room for a computer in your rack (if you don't have 150mbit+ download speed at your place then forget about 4k, unless you want to store a whopping 25 movies or so per 4Tb harddrive).
  5. A rack is never tall enough, there is always a day when "huh, I would love to fit this in here but there isn't room". Make it go all the way to the ceiling. You can always install blank sections.
  6. A rack should be 20" net width (very important that your shelving design doesn't involve cutting the net width under 20"). This is so that you can install mounting hardware for a 19" rack standard.
  7. A rack should be 30" net depth because 10" at the back is for running cables up and down. Maybe more if you don't have balanced signal wires.
  8. There should be nothing in the way for 30" in front of the rack (more if you yourself is more than 10" fat). I've seen someone install a rack and then realize they can't actually install units into it (in that case the door didn't open 100% all the way so then the units didn't fit at an angle when he tried to slide them in).
  9. Have spare shelves besides the amount you thought you needed.
  10. Have more power connectors than you initially expected to need.
  11. Have a darn good power surge protector with a really good insurance plan (its basically just a fuse with an insurance contract up to a certain capped value of equipment you put on it). My surge protector cost a little over 250 bucks and its at the low end of what I would put equipment on (a rack ends up being many eggs in one basket). Its payout is capped at 50 000 euros (56 000 USD) and I'll have to buy a new one in two or three years (ten year insurance on my particular one, sometimes its five or seven etc. If you could keep it forever without buying a new surge insurance then eventually they'd lose money on every single one).
  12. Never re-use anything that will carry high voltage from previous installations. Speakon wires can be quickly inspected and reused because they have double insulation so generally if the outside insulation is good then its entirely good inside. But old home-grade speaker wires that don't have double insulation, I would not trust unless I can take my time inspecting them. Any that aren't as-new should be thrown out. Meaning wires that have had hard twists or knots or have rubbed against something or been crushed under something. If the insulation is noticeably hardened I would also throw it out (compare to a foot of new wire of same type). The usual series of events tends to be: You install shoddy reused wire with the thought "I'm only going to give it X watts". Then years later you get a new amp and speakers and you see the wire that is already there is of high enough cross-section for the new higher wattage, but you forgot that the insulation is bad. Then one day you fiddle behind the rack "just to do this quick thing", then you snag a speaker wire, the insulation fails and you get a partial short somewhere in the speaker wire. Then you power it up and crank it up and then the voltage finds the partial short and you suddenly cost yourself hundreds of hours of work because you didn't bother to spend an hour checking the wires before installing them.
  13. Above point goes double for using ancient 25 year old extension cords in your new rack. Extension cords are actually illegal in Norway. But this is not enforced by others than insurance companies. So keep that in mind when you wire up wall sockets for your rack. And keep in mind standard wall sockets tend to only be rated for 16Amps for 220v (I know this for sure) and I think 32A for 110V (makes sense given the wattage of the 220v wall socket but it could be more or less), any more than that and you can't take any random wall socket from the hardware store. Also note that the quad wall sockets have the same total rating as duals and singles (there are a few exceptions but in Norway its usually a 16 amp total rating for all wall sockets, if they're singles or octouple doesn't matter, the total ampere rating is still the same).
  14. Cleanliness and soberness is key when installing the rack. Drywall is a PITA to get into connectors and cable ends.

Note: Check your local area (ebay and the like) for used professional racks, if you're lucky by the time its time to install the rack then you might have found a cheap huge proper professional rack with shelves and everything. This is a lot better than a wooden rack. If one of the amps goes up in smoke you don't want firewood around them. If you can't find a cheap professional rack you can use some cheap ceramic tiles to reduce fire risk, especially glued onto the underside of each shelf (think about it, heat goes up so that's where the entire rack will catch fire first if equipment catches on fire). That'll buy you time for the fire-alarm (ceiling next to rack) to go off and for you to hurry over and put the fire out with the fire extinguisher you have on the wall next to the rack (not in the rack, a couple yards away). A fire-extinguisher you actually had the foresight to have serviced and refilled. I would have one CO2 and one powder, the CO2 is the first thing you use then if the fire is not out by the time its empty then you can drown it all and kill the equipment that is still functioning with the powder (better than that lose the house). And even if you would be able to get there in time without the tiles, the tiles will save you from having to clean every single piece of fabric in the room to get rid of the bonfire smell that comes from the fire briefly making smoke from cooking the underside of the shelves.
Remember that the fire in your equipment could result from a lightning strike or fault on the electric grid locally (downed line or tree over the lines etc). Electronics is basically a plastic tinderbox.

I would also definitely have a door on the rack that can be locked. You don't want a child or animal to touch the equipment and potentially destroying it (The equipment is somewhat warm, so a visiting child can then conclude the equipment should be coca-cola-cooled). For that matter adult males have a tendency to want to check out the electronics and then they put down their beer on one of the shelves...

PS: All the labeling stickers in the world is needed to label every cable four times (where it comes out the wall at each end and each end, that makes for four points). The label at the end is liable to get destroyed. Use transparent sticky tape to cover the sticker tag. Here's a top tip, use these:

just google "printable adhesive roll ebay" to find some in the size you want. Then you can laminate them with transparent tape.
PPS: You will need some shrink-wrap for wires, so get some when there's a good sale. You don't know for what yet, it can be a sharp edge so you need to reinforce the protection on a few wires, it can be a weak connector, it can be a speaker wire you separated a little too far along the seam between the wires. When in a rack the force on connectors especially can be quite high on occasion. Hence why professional wiring has so strong connectors you can pretty much drag a 20 lbs weight along the ground just from the connector. To see just sit down with a microphone in your hand and have someone pull you along by the mic cable. EDIT: That is how strong your custom-installed connectors should be, if any. At least so strong that you can drag a person along a slippery floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Addition: If you're not using professional equipment (which I gather is indeed the case) then use some cheap galvanized screw hooks into the sides of the rear of the rack. Like 30+ on each side.
You wind each wire around a hook a couple times before plugging it into the equipment.
That way when you snag a wire (it is inevitable that you tug a wire by accident), you will then not pull it out.
Which worst case scenario ends up being you wondering "FROM WHERE?!" (well, worst case scenario you pull the wire out of the connector itself and wonder from where).
A ghetto solution but it works. Audiophiles probably have a 500 dollar solution if you prefer that. I just prefer to not wind the speaker cable around the same hook as the signal cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
+1 to a rack bargain, but I'd try to find one with shelves. You also can buy lacing bars and attach to the rear rails. I mix a good deal of shelf mount and rack mount.

You also can build in a rack, and make stick framed and drywall walls, and host a door in the back. Those racks are so flexible, but they are hard to resale, so they don't seem to command
much around here.

I wouldn't sweat the 80" rear soffit as you might view it as a screen soffit. I do have a 59" deep at space, and five soffits at 80", and a 16x9 54x96" AT screen does indeed fit. With an embedded
masking system too.

The real question is if you drop the screen lower, is the bar row sightlines. A side sightline diagram to scale, would answer how low the screen can be go.

The last picture is my old rack, with a bunch of shelves from a new (to me) rack I bought. That rack which I felt was impossibly cheap, but it had sat around for 2 weeks. The rack it replaced lingered
for a week plus, at $200 and I dropped the price to $150 and got $130 fast. Wanted it gone... (you might note those shelves in it, have some opening for lacing potential. The new rack came with a
bunch of 1/3 U plates that I threw in (at the bottom), as the new owner could lace to them.) His plans were to raise the rack on a wood base, make a door, and mount it in the wall of his theater. Both
of us came away with substantial racks at a bargain price point.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Could the access door to the storage could be moved? And at what room depth does the support post end up at?
Unfortunately, I have very little wiggle room on the location of the door on Wall F. I cannot move it further forward in the room because it wouldn't line up symmetrically with the door on Wall B (right now it is directly across from the other door). I cannot move it further back on that wall because 1) we are getting close to the L surround and 2) we are planning to build a small bathroom next to the laundry room on other side of Wall F. And I can't move the door to the very back of the room (on that same wall) because of the location of the furnace on the other side.

I even thought about moving the door to the center of the back wall (Wall E) but then it becomes a pain-in-the-neck walk around when we need to access the laundry room. We would have to walk through the unfinished area (and eventually a bathroom) to get to the laundry room. My wife would not be amused. ;) WAF = O. LOL. She wants to come down the stairs, cut through the room and be right into the laundry area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
I like my symmetry too, but you might consider a wall treatment that visually hides the laundry room door.


You do have some flex to the side surround positions too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
+1 to a rack bargain, but I'd try to find one with shelves. You also can buy lacing bars and attach to the rear rails. I mix a good deal of shelf mount and rack mount.

You also can build in a rack, and make stick framed and drywall walls, and host a door in the back. Those racks are so flexible, but they are hard to resale, so they don't seem to command
much around here.

I wouldn't sweat the 80" rear soffit as you might view it as a screen soffit. I do have a 59" deep at space, and five soffits at 80", and a 16x9 54x96" AT screen does indeed fit. With an embedded
masking system too.

The real question is if you drop the screen lower, is the bar row sightlines. A side sightline diagram to scale, would answer how low the screen can be go.

The last picture is my old rack, with a bunch of shelves from a new (to me) rack I bought. That rack which I felt was impossibly cheap, but it had sat around for 2 weeks. The rack it replaced lingered
for a week plus, at $200 and I dropped the price to $150 and got $130 fast. Wanted it gone... (you might note those shelves in it, have some opening for lacing potential. The new rack came with a
bunch of 1/3 U plates that I threw in (at the bottom), as the new owner could lace to them.) His plans were to raise the rack on a wood base, make a door, and mount it in the wall of his theater. Both
of us came away with substantial racks at a bargain price point.

@Tedd,

Thanks so much for the input. You didn't mention anything about it in your post, but I just clicked on the thumbnail sketch you provided that suggests flipping the room 180 deg. :eek: Interesting concept there that I will have to revisit again. Due to the higher ceiling height in the back of the room (what I had planned as the front), it would allow me to build a riser back there so that the back row of seating is higher. In my last room, the row of theater chairs and the snack ledge were on the same floor level and, when sitting at the ledge on a stool, I could still easily see over top of the heads of those sitting in the first row. So I don't know that I need a riser back there if I were to do 1 row of seating + a snack ledge behind. That said, flipping the room like this might enable me to add a 2nd row of theater chairs and do away with the snack ledge altogether.

My plan very early on had the front where the back wall is now. However, I initially abandoned it because the snack ledge (or a 2nd row of chairs) would then be blocking my path from the entry door to the proposed laundry room door location. If I did flip the theater, I may have to relocate the door (see above post) otherwise we would not have a straight path across the room. And relocating that door is proving to be very difficult to do at this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
Sometimes it is about feeling out what a person wants, or might be able to do, or might even be open to considering. No real point going into great detail, if it's not a direction one wants to take.
(Although I sometimes think maybe a suggestion might be worthwhile to some other person reading a thread, even if an idea doesn't work for the thread's OP.)


The one nice plus about the bar row is the tight foot print, and how you don't need a tall riser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
The Savoy rocks out a stealth entry and has a rather impressive entry system that doesn't disturb people watching the movie, when entering or leaving the theater.
It is an insanely brilliant idea, but one I didn't even clue in on, as to how brilliant, until I had some seat time in The Savoy. It totally eliminates the splash of bright light
that disturbs a movie experience.

Now this is a pretty extreme example of a home theater, but would a sliding fabric panel in front of the door, meet WAF? Or what if the door was pushed back, a la The Savoy,
and then one could use the bathroom, without disturbing the movie experience?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
Some other approaches that come to mind.:

The first two are fully hidden. GPower's av rack is interesting. Minimal access and full access

hnkudr's room has two almost hidden doors.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
From Day 1 I've said I would keep an open mind about the layout of this room, that I'd listen to others' ideas and that I will not rush any decisions. So the other night after @Tedd 's suggestion, I spent a couple of hours down there taping out different "what if" scenarios on the floor and walls for door locations, speaker locations, etc. if I were to flip the room entirely 180 deg (front wall is now back wall and back wall is now front wall). Surprisingly, I actually like the new layout better. :eek: One of the most critical things that I do not have a lot of flex with is the location of the door to the laundry room. In this scenario I did move the laundry room door more towards the middle of the room (Wall F) about 18" (and I am still holding strong on a 32" wide). I also moved the entry door at the bottom of the stairs a bit to line up better with the edge of the snack ledge upon entering the room.



Below I have listed out some pros and cons that immediately came to mind:

PROS:

-The new front wall (E) has plenty of access behind it (unfinished storage area) and it will be much easier to 1) build another wall and install backer boxes for in-wall L-C-R speakers
-The distance to first row of seating increases a foot or so
-The throw for a PJ is lengthened by a couple of feet (depending on where I mount) which will put me back into the regular PJs and potentially increase my options
-This arrangement allows for mounting of a PJ behind the boxed-out beam that crosses through the middle of the room between the front row of seating and the snack ledge - at a distance of 13-15' feet (higher ceiling in this area so I mount just low enough to get image underneath the beam)
-The snack ledge would be the same height as my last one (top of granite @ 42"H) so it will be helpful to have it underneath the higher ceiling in what would now be the back of the room

-There is a large aisle (36-38") in between the first row and the snack ledge and you would be able to walk uninterrupted through to the laundry room
-Distance to screen for those sitting at snack ledge would be around 17'. Not too far back.
-Still a few feet behind the stools at snack ledge so not too cramped back there

CONS:

-Front wall underneath 80" bulkhead will restrict size of screen that can be mounted (there is no flex there even when I remove DW because a beam runs just above it). I'd likely have to go with a 92" or 100" screen at this juncture
-1 of 2 side-by-side lally columns become exposed on the new front wall when I demo out the two walls to square out the room. Old plan I was just going to bump the wall out around the column on what was the new back wall...however I cannot do that in this scenario because I need a flat front wall. I will have to consider building another wall in front of the exposed lally which will shorten the length of the room approx. 6-8 in. (sketch below does not yet show a new wall in front of it).
-The snack ledge is right on you when you walk in - not much I can do about that due to width of room though
-Entry door at bottom of stairs would need to open out not in

Still undecided as to what to do about the rack/equipment room. My gut is telling me to build a small room behind Wall D which would work great as it ties into the existing area behind/underneath the staircase. Just undecided on whether or not to keep the rack in-wall accessible for convenience (and have to leave theater to enter room on other side of basement) or to hide it completely and make a hidden door for entry there. If I did go with an in-wall accessible rack there (30" width), the edge of rack closest to the front of the room would be about 42" from the front wall.

I did not bother to put the PJ screen or front speaker locations on this sketch as L-C-R speakers would obviously go behind an AT screen.

Lots to think about and consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,510 Posts
Why not move the water heater over, and move both doors to the back of the room, and the circulation space to work, as separation from rear surround speakers?

If you do a riser at one step height, then you could basically extend the bottom step to the back wall, and you enter the room at riser height, which also will hide
the hot water overflow discharge line. Now the hot water tank will need to be moved over slightly, to create a bit more space, but you now have a simple hinged
fabric panel hiding the door. The rack could be right outside this door, with a nice short conduit run to the projector, which needn't be short throw. Those bar seats
could now be roller chairs, to easy seating access.

You did mention moving the water line, and an electric hot water tank move shouldn't really wouldn't be that much extra work. (It does sound like you have some construction skills.)

I also think you might be shortchanging yourself on screen size. I also wouldn't drop that front section of room, to 80". You could also play up that entry area as a feature wall, and
have a movie poster lightbox, or a digital one.

The front post could simply be boxed in. You won't be seeing it and I'd doubt it would have any really impact on audio. You do want to absorb the small amount of energy coming off
an AT screen's backside.

Anyways, just tossing ideas at you... :)
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 145 Posts
Top