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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Makes perfect sense. I am away today traveling for work, but I will try to send you some options and thoughts tonight when I get home. With DIY, all of those things are possible for a very good price.
Thanks deewan, looking forward to seeing your options and thoughts.
I have a pretty good woodworking setup (dedicated shop), Its still a work in progress but love being out there.
Like @ganroth said "DIY 4 LIFE" :D
 

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Discussion Starter #42
One Thing Leads to Another

I was able to get some work done in the basement this weekend and as the title says one thing lead to another.
The plan was to build and install as much soffit as I could around the HVAC lines through the middle of the space.
Pretty basic construction of a ladder type soffit 32 feet long with 9.5" verticals on 24" centers
The 9.5" is important to me as this brings me down low enough to have a 2x4 on its side stretch from the bottom on the beam to the top of the horizontal bottom 2x4 of the soffit.
This provides the 2" (when dry walled) relief I need for the drop ceiling that will go between the to soffits and allow access to above where my main run of speaker wires will be.

Here is a picture of the board laid out side by side. I like it this way for easy measuring of the two boards at one time
Note the stack of blocking on the TV tray.... I love my chop saw, best tool ever for repeat cuts


Close up two boards side by side


So why wood verses the metal light wait sofit.... couple reasons
1) I had it from tearing down a couple walls the previous owner attempted to build (I like free)
2) When installing the drop ceiling I use a brad nailer..... that doesn't work very good through steel
3) Strong like bull... With 2x4 and 3" screws this think at going any where
What was terrible about it was the warps and twists that I had to deal with, I just kept saying free is free!

So once the first 32ft was built it was time to install. To do that I needed to add some cross bracing between the wall 2x4's for added support and to plumb it up at the ends.

Some areas had drywall just screwed on so down came about 6 sheets
Then on to opening up the exiting vapor barrier, removing the insulation and install...... but wait the builders had installed vapor barrier against the concrete also.
Now I new this from last spring and the reno of the bedroom down stairs, but still a pain.
You see last spring I notice water against the foundation, immediate thought was a crack or hole.... So I started pulling back the vapor barrier, luckily the walls were not finished yet.
As I pull I heard the ripping of insulation.... it was frozen to the vapor barrier!!! The water on the floor was melting ice.
This is a result of hot meeting cold, condensation and no breathing. I researched this extensively and talked to a couple contractors.
Everyone's recommendation was to remove it. This spring no problem in the spots that I had fixed. :D

So while I am in these section of wall already let remove some more vapor barrier.....

At the one end as I am pulling down insulation around the beam I came across another discovery..... A significant pocket where the beam rests and a nice breeze coming in.
I can't leave it like that, so I prep to spray foam with a can of low expansion foam that I have for my windows.......(oh right the windows)
Well since I have the spray foam already out and don't want to wastes a half a can buy doing the windows later
Lets prep the windows by pulling out all the old bat insulation and clean it up.
Ok so now the windows are done and the beam is sealed... back to the soffit...... well not quite yet.

While its open I also extended some electrical..... OK now back to the soffit.

When installing the soffit I realized that the air return ducts (plastic) stuck down to far and would not compress with the torque of the screws, so I had to cut away those parts.... ugh never ends

Unfortunately that mean just getting the one side up. I have about 20 ft of the other side build but not up yet.
It is not fully screwed in place, I will wait till I do the cross bracing and make sure is plumb first

Here's what it looks like to date

 

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Discussion Starter #43
Here is the KC HT crawl thread. You can read through the thread to see people's impressions of the rooms and pictures of the rooms. I took some video from each I need to upload. I'll work on that tonight.
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/61-area-home-theater-meets/1898233-kc-crazy-2015-theater-crawl.html

Craig John's Room Thread
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/29-what-s-your-system-configuration/1349395-craig-john-s-theater.html
Finally got through the two threads. Good read with some great discussions
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Got a little more done on the weekend, nothing picture worthy but I removed some more vapor barrier and did some rough in electrical.
I also worked on the DIY media rack, I will do up a picture post on this in the future.

In PMing with Archaea and deewan (which was very informative) It made me curious

How much subwofferage does a guy really need?

The room entire space is 32ft long x ~25ft wide x 8.5ft Tall = 6800 cubic feet
Trying to pressurize that entire space will require a lot of subs I imagine (don't know for sure)

Is localizing the bass to the theater area feasible / doable?
Might have to seriously look at nearfield
 

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Are you looking for cimema theater volumes for show off sessions?

If so, four sealed 10"s won't do it.
(And even if they make it to reference volumes it'll probably be 35hz and up ---not flat frequency respnse reproduction all the way down to 20hz which is kind of the minimal ideal starting point imo)

Four 12s would be better, but probably won't get you to reference.

Four 15s would probably get you flat 20hz-120hz cinema reference volumes if you seats are close to them.

If you like to run your bass hot and want to play at reference volumes you are probably looking at four 18" sealed subs.

Don't expect any of these systems to pressurize your space with 6800 cubic feet.

General guidelines...
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Are you looking for cimema theater volumes for show off sessions?

If so, four sealed 10"s won't do it.
(And even if they make it to reference volumes it'll probably be 35hz and up ---not flat frequency respnse reproduction all the way down to 20hz which is kind of the minimal ideal starting point imo)

Four 12s would be better, but probably won't get you to reference.

Four 15s would probably get you flat 20hz-120hz cinema reference volumes if you seats are close to them.

If you like to run your bass hot and want to play at reference volumes you are probably looking at four 18" sealed subs.

Don't expect any of these systems to pressurize your space with 6800 cubic feet.

General guidelines...
Showing off would be nice but not a necessity.... well maybe.... I don't know..... YES...... who doesn't like to show off :D
I would like to have a crisp / clear sound that is representative of the media being played.
LOL :eek:, having trouble even grasping the concept of four 18's, I know a lot of people on here have that and more but I have never seen or heard a system personally at that level.
Just can't wrap my head around it..... and then there's the challenge of where to hide them (trying for stealth) 18's in the columns are going to certainly require an increase in there size.
And then there's powering them..... OH the questions LOL

OK so supplemental questions:
What would be the best plan for phasing in subs, as I doubt I could do them all at once?

At this rough in stage of construction what size / type of wire to run for say..... can't believe I am saying this .... 18" subs?

.
 

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12 Gauge Copper wire should be fine for 18" subs. Monoprice is pretty much as good as any for price. Don't buy CCA. (copper coated aluminum)
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

You want to rival a movie theater, you'll need four 15"s or 18"s -------- or more.

I can confidently say my bass with eight sealed 18" subwoofers is far superior to any movie theater I've visited, including the local (AMC headquartered in KC) flagship AMC Primes, and Dolby Cinema Primes of which there are only a handful of these premier theaters in the entire nation. (
 

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Discussion Starter #48
12 Gauge Copper wire should be fine for 18" subs. Monoprice is pretty much as good as any for price. Don't buy CCA. (copper coated aluminum)
http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

You want to rival a movie theater, you'll need four 15"s or 18"s -------- or more.

I can confidently say my bass with eight sealed 18" subwoofers is far superior to any movie theater I've visited, including the local (AMC headquartered in KC) flagship AMC Primes, and Dolby Cinema Primes of which there are only a handful of these premier theaters in the entire nation. (
 

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Depending on the sub size that will impact the amp size (power output) needed. If you are going with something like 750+ watts per channel, I would use 10 gauge wire. It's not a 'must', but if you are trying to go high output and high performance spend the few dollars more and make sure it's done right. When I swapped out amps and went from 400 watts per channel to 1000 watts to my front mains I swapped out my 12 gauge wire for 10 gauge. Does the 10 make a difference over the 12? I don't know. But since you are starting from scratch and have the ability to do it right the first time, I'd suggest doing it.

If you want to phase in subs figure out how you plan to feed the subs and pre-wire. Since you want a stealth look you could build the cabinets into whatever structure (column/wall) you want. If you end up not using them in the future, no problem since they are hidden away.

If you are thinking of having pro amps in your equipment rack to power the sub drivers, make sure you have plenty of electrical circuits in your equipment rack for the amps and then 10-12 gauge wire run to each column or possible location you may ever want a sub. If you are thinking of having a plate amp near each sub run a coax cable to each possible sub location and have an electrical outlet to plug the plate amp into. With that approach, you could start off with one sub and then over time add 2-5 more subs.

I knew I would have sub cabinets with plate amps. I ran coax cable to each corner in the walls and terminated them with a RCA wall-plate. At each location there is an electrical outlet to plugin the sub amp or any other device that needs power (also need to building code). I am currently using two of the four locations. Not sure I'll ever add more subs, but if I want to I have the ability.
 

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Mine are a little smaller than ideal - but they work fine. I have to apply a little more power in the lowest frequencies because of their size.

21" cubed.
To this point, cabinet size may vary by quite a bit depending on driver. Not all subs of the same diameter work well in the same size cabinet. If you desire a smaller cabinet you will have to look for a specialty driver. Archaea knows this and this is why he adds a more power in the lower range. But if a difference driver you may not need to do that in even a smaller cabinet. This refers to the modeling of internal volume I spoke to you about in our PM exchance.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Depending on the sub size that will impact the amp size (power output) needed. If you are going with something like 750+ watts per channel, I would use 10 gauge wire. It's not a 'must', but if you are trying to go high output and high performance spend the few dollars more and make sure it's done right. When I swapped out amps and went from 400 watts per channel to 1000 watts to my front mains I swapped out my 12 gauge wire for 10 gauge. Does the 10 make a difference over the 12? I don't know. But since you are starting from scratch and have the ability to do it right the first time, I'd suggest doing it.

If you want to phase in subs figure out how you plan to feed the subs and pre-wire. Since you want a stealth look you could build the cabinets into whatever structure (column/wall) you want. If you end up not using them in the future, no problem since they are hidden away.

If you are thinking of having pro amps in your equipment rack to power the sub drivers, make sure you have plenty of electrical circuits in your equipment rack for the amps and then 10-12 gauge wire run to each column or possible location you may ever want a sub. If you are thinking of having a plate amp near each sub run a coax cable to each possible sub location and have an electrical outlet to plug the plate amp into. With that approach, you could start off with one sub and then over time add 2-5 more subs.

I knew I would have sub cabinets with plate amps. I ran coax cable to each corner in the walls and terminated them with a RCA wall-plate. At each location there is an electrical outlet to plugin the sub amp or any other device that needs power (also need to building code). I am currently using two of the four locations. Not sure I'll ever add more subs, but if I want to I have the ability.
Thanks deewan,
To be honest until recent conversations on the size and number of subs, amps were not even on my radar. :eek:
So the whole plate vs pro amps is a total unknown to me....... more research.... in the future.
If I go plate power should not be an issue as I have two plugs already planned for behind the screen wall and one in each column. Are a 15 amp ok for these? There could be 3 on one circuit.
The fortunate part is with the drop ceiling and the wire chases that I am going to have, adding in the future will not be a big deal.

Where it is weighing on my mind is the space that I need available for the subs. In the columns is the most concerning. I am totally up for custom built cabinets and would assume the most limiting factor is the actual diameter of the subwoofer its self.
For example if I went to 18" subs, I am guestimating that minimum width would be 18"+(2-3" for mounting/construction) so 21" wide. My current "larger" columns for surrounds are ~22" wide at final trimmed out dimension and only 17" inside dimension and that's with 2x4's on edge not typical flat. Not to mention a post through the one side of it. Now at 15" its tight or less its more doable..... (side note I still chuck when I think about subs this big :D) Not to sure about the thought of building the enclosure completely into the column as it might be very difficult to change in the future.... I could be swayed on this. Ideally a cabinet that could be removed from the column if needed. It all depends what the construction requirements are for a built in cabinet with a post through it


What are these specialty driver you speak of? sounds like magic

I just don't want to limit my options and trying to find a solution that works before I do rough in
 

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What are these specialty driver you speak of? sounds like magic

I just don't want to limit my options and trying to find a solution that works before I do rough in
I said my comment as more of a reference to the fact that not all drivers are equal or work well in large or small cabinets. There are drivers out there that perform better in smaller enclosures, some really shine in large cabinets. You can't just pick a driver and assume it will work for your application and in a cabinet of a certain size.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I said my comment as more of a reference to the fact that not all drivers are equal or work well in large or small cabinets. There are drivers out there that perform better in smaller enclosures, some really shine in large cabinets. You can't just pick a driver and assume it will work for your application and in a cabinet of a certain size.
Ok that makes sense.
OH and damb you deewan, all I am thinking about now is how I can build a cabinet that is the column :eek:
 

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Ha ha. The subwoofer cabinet/column was simply an idea since you wanted everything stealth. Even with months or years of planning, the personal home theater is a balance of trade-offs. Do you want a stone wall or do you want a complete acoustically transparent screen wall to hide speakers and subwoofers? Do you want a big open area or do you want sound isolation and perfect acoustics? Do you want your equipment to be seen and stand out, or do you want everything tuck away someplace. These are all examples of the tradeoffs that must occur when building our rooms. It's half the fun. :)
 

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Besides AVS and the wealth of knowledge here, what other sources did you go to for your research?
A trip to CEDIA is well worth the effort (and it's in Dallas this year, so lots of flight options)... The free manufacturer's training sessions, seeing all the gear (especially seating) in person, and having all those experts around to ask questions - the only place you really get all of it together.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #57
It is all part of the fun and passion. I love to design and problem solve... the challenge at the moment is amassing the huge volume of data need to bring it all together and not mess it up
 

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Discussion Starter #58
A trip to CEDIA is well worth the effort (and it's in Dallas this year, so lots of flight options)... The free manufacturer's training sessions, seeing all the gear (especially seating) in person, and having all those experts around to ask questions - the only place you really get all of it together.

Jeff

Hey Jeff,
A trip to CEDIA would be excellent but I don't think is in the cards for me :(
I know this is a long shot but is it ever in Western Canada?
Besides I think my brain would explode from sensory overload :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #59
What about larger subs behind screen and smaller in the column or would that create an balancing nightmare?
In most builds I see reference to all the subs being the same size
 

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What about larger subs behind screen and smaller in the column or would that create an balancing nightmare?
In most builds I see reference to all the subs being the same size
You can mix and match sub drivers size and even brand. It will cause some issues if you mix brands or types, but size isn't that big of a deal. But for ease (if you aren't entirely sure how to balance output and sound) keeping everything the same is your best bet.
 
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