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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update 01/02/18: NEW HOUSE! NEW CHALLENGES! Back to the old setup for now, but with renovations on the horizon, it can only get better from here...
See this post for what happened!




Update 05/06/17: Not really a budget build anymore... :eek:
Presenting the all newly sound reinforced 'Value for money priority....sort of' home cinema!!!

So to summarize a very long absence of updates, this is where I am at now. My priority is always value for money, however this step took this to a whole other level. I decided that I wasn't going to get the cinema impact from my last setup. A recent visit to a brand spanking new cinema nearby confirmed that for me. So to alleviate my 'pain', I decided that the only way to get cinema power, low distortion & the dynamics I wanted, there was only one option. Use what the cinema's use. So here it stands. Totally overkill, goal achieved, and a permanent smile stuck... :D

New additions:
3x JBL 3677's
4x JBL 8320a's
1x JBL 4645C clone (diy)
1x ported 2x1260w's behind couch for impact.
Bean bags!

This was a long road. Had to get the JBL's shipped from the US to here in Australia. Ends up more than double the price of what you can get them for in the US. Still cheaper than similar offerings here like Krix. So totally worth it!








Update 01/03/16: Finished new theater build in the new house. So much more space! Pics to come...

Update 08/02/2016: We have now moved to a new house and the new dedicated theater is currently under construction!

Initial post: 14/03/2014
Hey all,
Greetings from Down Under!
 
I have always LOVED audio and video which I think I must have inherited from my dad. Spending my teen years building speaker boxes and helping dad with his PA equipment at events. Now married with a 5 month old, I finally have built a basic starter system I am happy with for now.
 
The challenge with this is that I had to build it on a budget...and in a living room. That meant DIY and WAF as much as possible. I would have loved to build my own speakers like back in the day but just knew that trying to find the time to do it would be like trying to hit a flying kangaroo blindfolded.
 
So a 'value for money' system was in the mix. I ended up deciding on:
- Sony STR-DN1040 A/V Receiver
- Q Acoustics 2050i fronts, 2000Ci center (upright behind screen), 2010i rears (wall-mounted)
- SVS-PB2000 subwoofer (this thing is huge!). Plan is to get a second one asap. UPDATED: Two Martycube's with Dayton 460HO drivers running on a Behringer EP4000
- Sony BDPS4100 3D Blu ray player,
- Ben Q W1070 projector. (Gotta do something with that cord! But alas, we rent),
- 110" 16:9 DIY Spandex Acoustically Transparent Screen. (Brought out on the weekends and hung. 2mins to set up. Does not colour sound one little bit. Since these photos, I have made some 2.40:1 masking panels for it. Value for money with this type of screen is amazing. Especially considering most AT screens hit around $1500 as a starter, when for $150, you can have an AT screen that is 80-90% as good as a bought one. Made me think. Is the $1500 screen REALLY worth 10 times as much?)
- Behind the screen on the TV unit is a 42" Panasonic plasma for general TV during the week.
- Reclining leather lounge on back wall. I'd love to get it off the back wall, but alas, it would not work for the WAF. :)
 
Being a living room setup, we never watch movies much during the week. The screen comes out Friday night, stays there over the weekend, goes back Sunday night and you'd never know any better. As we don't watch movies during the day, we don't have a problem with ambient light, as at night we close everything up and switch off all the lights.
 
Anyways, I'm pretty happy with my 'compromise living room' setup. I dream of the day I can have a dedicated room, but this will have to do for now. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Update: 6/11/14
FINALLY!
...got around to finishing the cubes. Pretty happy with the finish. However next time instead of using spray cans, I think I'll have to go with a proper spray setup. Reasonably happy with the finish though.




NEW FURNITURE, LAYOUT THE SAME, EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF CUBES...
There are now TWO Martycube's with Dayton 18" 460HO subs providing some positive low end reinforcement, and the towers are now on the outside edges of the AT screen. When the boxes are painted they will gloss white to match the TV unit. Headroom is such a beautiful thing...


 


 
 




 

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Looks good...really good considering the compromise.


One question - where do you store your screen when not in use? That's a big piece to store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamhead  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority#post_24481304


Looks good...really good considering the compromise.


One question - where do you store your screen when not in use? That's a big piece to store.
 
 

Thanks jamhead. The screen goes in my office flat up against the wall when not in use. I have a little logistics system (yes I have timed it) :) where I set up the screen in 2mins at a relaxed pace including the 2.4:1 masking system. I wanted minimal setup time so as to make it as simple as possible to set up so its not an ordeal just to watch a movie.

 

I would have preferred to have a ceiling mounted drop down screen for the sake of ease of use, but it was important to me to have an AT screen. I couldn't figure out a way to make a DIY one that rolled up and extended cleanly so I went with the fixed frame, and decided to make it as simple as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Originally Posted by mogorf  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority#post_24483264


The size of the screen makes me green of envy. Congrats, you've managed the max. out of a limited budget, and when you turn off the lights, I'm sure the magic begins...


All the best to you and better half. Enjoy!
Thanks mogorf. Yes we are happy with the screen size...for now... It has an inclusive horizontal viewing angle of 38deg. My goal was to be between the THX recommended minimum of 36deg, and it's max of 40deg. I feel like it would be possible to go up to a 120" though in order to get 40deg. But in my research and own experiments, I have found that it is the image height, not so much the width that has the greatest effect on involvement in a film. One day I would like to go CIH, but I wanted to avoid the extra work with an anamorphic lense for now.

 

Thank you for your well wishes too. :)
 

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I love this. Any details on screen construction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by devotech  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority#post_24483941


I love this. Any details on screen construction?
Thank you devotech. Sorry I don't have any WIP pics, but I made it as lightweight as possible so it is easy to move around. 

 

The material is 20% spandex, 80% polyester? (I think). As you can see in the pics, I have white material for the main screen, with a black spandex rear backing to the screen. We have white/cream curtains behind the screen, so I didn't want ANY reflections bouncing off them onto the back of the screen so that is why I used black as opposed to a silver or grey. I knew the black backing would make it slightly darker than the greys available, so I didn't want the black directly on the back of the white. To help with this, there is a gap (thickness of the frame) between the two, which helps it to retain some light, but still absorb any pass-through light.

 

The frame is just some 40x18 pine. The border was another frame of 40x11 pine wrapped in black felt and nailed over the white spandex to the screen frame. It is very lightweight and easy to move around myself. I would have preferred velour but it was just too expensive, but eventually I will put velour on it.

 

To hang it, I installed 2 hooks in the ceiling, two hooks on the top of the screen, and hang it using some lightweight chains. This way, I found I was able to use the chain links to adjust the height until I got it just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Here's some screenshots. You can see the 2.40 masking system on this. 

 

It's so hard to replicate a projector screen image with a photo. Looks great when all the lights are out, but to give you a bit of visual context, this is what it looks like at night with that one light on.

 













 

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Is the masking done witb black spandex as well?
 

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The next time you have it setup can you snap a pic of 16:9 content on display?
 

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Gday Mate, great set up!! i have the same projector

I'm looking into DIY acoustic screens and what you have created for $150 is perfect. Where did you get your material for the screen?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority#post_24496745


Sure thing. 


I'm also looking for some suggestions on how to sound treat my room?

Very nice!!


As far as treatments go, that's a pretty busy room.


This is what I'd start with; If you can bring the mains forward so the drivers just clear the screen then aim them at the listening seats at the back wall, you may be able to improve the imaging. Having the seating right there in front of the L main doesn't make it easy.


Also, if you can pivot the surrounds "just" away from the wall, it looks as if you have some 1st order reflections going on with most of your speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority/0_50#post_24521084


Hey mate, I see you're from Aus too. Cool. 


I got the frame materials from Bunnings, and the spandex from Spotlight. Some more details up in post #8.

Seems i was on the right track , i found the 80%20% spandex at spotlight.


Will look into the velvet also.


Cheers mate
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagsi  /t/1522484/first-living-room-ht-setup-value-for-money-priority#post_24521774



Seems i was on the right track , i found the 80%20% spandex at spotlight.


Will look into the velvet also.


Cheers mate
Yep that's the stuff. See if you can find the matte white. The only stuff I could get has a slight sheen to it. In some very bright scenes, it seems to wash out some of the contrast a little. Almost like it is 'spreading' the light onto the darker areas as well if that makes sense. With the black backing, the whites are like a slight off-white, but the blacks are very deep. I love deep blacks so watching star wars and anything spacey is a pleasure. 

 

Good luck with your screen! DIY gives you a good feeling knowing you've saved a ton of money, and it's 90% of the way to a commercial screen 10 times the price. 
 
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