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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pardon me while I whine a bit...


The "living area" that I am using for home theater is only 11x8 or so. It only has three walls, and the open side connects to the kitchen, with its really loud refrigerator. The HVAC inside unit is in a utility closet that opens off the kitchen and when it runs (most of the time here in the south this time of year) it is very loud and also the coolant lines make all manner of weird swishy noises. We usually have some laundry to run too. Can't shut the door to the utility closet because that is the only place in the entire apartment to put the cats' litterbox. There is a ceiling fan in the living area and even it is loud. And gets in the way of where I would like to mount my projector. The walls and ceiling and carpet are of course all off-white. The sofa backs all the way up to the "rear" wall.


It's sort of a long story how I ended up in such a crappy layout, but here I am.


And never-the-less, I am determined to suck it up and try to get back to the hobby I have had to put on the back burner for too long. So my initial thought it to lump it, build another hushbox for my LT150z , connect the front half of my surround sound system, and see just how bad it can be.


I am sure there are others in this situation who are facing similar issues. Any suggestions?
 

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Could you please post a diagram of what the space looks like. That would really help when making suggestions.


Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mucked this together in MSPAINT but it gives the relevant info:
 

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Front speaker placement shouldn't be a problem. Just spread the left/right speakers apart and put the centre on top of your TV.


The surrounds can be mounted on the back wall, a couple of feet above ear level, facing each other and tilted down towards the sweet spot (middle of the couch).


See attached diagram (speakers in grey).


Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was wondering about the surrounds, contemplating doing without. I suppose I will mount them anyway, just cause.


My plan is to get rid of the TV (the only thing I watch on it is movies) and big stereo speakers and replace that with my proj and small HT speakers. The big stereo speakers are 1980s vintage Mitsubishi junk. Pretty tight bass but little else.


My LT150z is quite loud, even in economode and so I will build a hushbox for it and mount it above the sofa with some shelving bracket. With my panamorph I should get something like a 60 to 70" 16:9 image, if I remember what I figured out the other day.


I figure the next thing to do after that is to paint the wall white and put up some masking.


My old home theater I had the walls dark grey, the ceilings covered with black felt and this really helped kill a lot of ambient light. Since this will be a multi-use room , I can't really do either one of those things this time.


What is really killing me is the various mechanical noises. Normally my solution would be just to crank the movie to reference levels and enjoy, but of course, you can't do that in an apartment without getting evicted.


I am wondering about a heavy double curtain in between the "theater" space and the rest of the apt. so laid out something like the attachment.


My concern is finding a curtain of suitable material of that size and being able to mount it attractively and securely. I think my sofa might actually be wider than what I have drawn as well...


G
 

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I think the heavy curtains will help, though not soundproof the area. Try Google-ing for acoustic curtains or some similar terms and see what what you get.


Good Luck,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been working on the room as I have time.


Here is what I had to start with:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here was the view from the sofa before:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got rid of the TV and put up my projector & panamorph. Got out my old Klipsch Promedias and went at it. Here is the rear of the room with toys in place. Any suggestions for improving the looks? Frankly, right now even I think it looks like crap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had a lot of wallmate that I had scrounged from my old home theater before I moved. I used it and some black felt to build the screen surround. The "screen" itself is simply the drywall painted with latex flat white. I dim the laptop and fold it down out of the way for movies.


More later, perhaps.


Gerald
 

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I would tilt the surrounds down, pointing roughly towards the centre cushion (sweet spot).


Nice job on the screen and surround; looks amazing.


Sanjay
 

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I think it would be a good idea if you made your rear speaker wires meet up with the projector than combine all the wires and run them as a single wire. The four seperate wires clutter the rear wall.


I use a pair of torch lamps (just the one in your pic) to hold my front channel speakers, works better than having to make holes in a wall that you dont own. Click on my link and see my theater section for some pics of my front speaker setup.


I also removed a 60"x60" entertainment center and replaced it with a 20"x26" printer/utility cart that houses my htpc,sub,dvd and satellite receiver. It came with wheels attached so I can move it easily if needed. I am also using this same setup in my bedroom. Highly recomended for space saving.


I removed a pair of full size speakers and replaced them with Logitech Z-680's via HTPC. Sounds great for small room sound and gave me a little more needed space. Sorry I cant be much help on soundproofing. Oh, I am also an apartment dweller. Good Luck
 

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I use these curtains from Ikea. They are dark blue and quite thick and block light very well. I use them to cover a window on one side of the room and an open area on the other side of my theater.

Merete They come with grommets and are attractive. They are very tall and can be 'hemmed' to length (they have the iron on hem that is idiot proof for guys like me)


Just hold them up with some Index Rods and hangars .


It has a screw that holds the rod in place so you could mount them on the ceiling and the rod would be held tightly in there.


It worked really well in my situation.
 

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I live an apartment and have an x1 running of my pc, xbox and hdtv cable box.


I use z5300's for my speakers because frankly I can't have a big ass audio setup or I would get evicted. The z5300's do a good enough job of filling the small space I have with sound so I'm sure your do klipsch much better.


I also painted my wall/screen. It made a big difference and was really cheap to do. Check out the DIY screen section of the forums if you are interested in doing something like that.


your setup looks good. I would search garage sales for some nice used recliners. I have three recliners in my apartment "ht" which work quite well for my seating area. I see you have a nice leather couch so you might not want to go that route.


I also have a huge window that I blocked with..... A DARK BLUE HIGH THREAD COUNT KING SIZED BED SHEET FOLDED IN TWO!!! I hold it up with curtain rods and a hanger so that I can take it down easily when I have people over during the day. Hey, I'm on a real tight budget (read college) so I have to cut corners where I can. I also live alone so I don't have the wife or gf factor to take into account either.


My setup is not the greatest but it still better then the 27 inch tv that the rest of my friends have. LOL


HT is what you make of it. My non ht friends are ALWAYS begging me to come over and watch the game or play xbox so what the hell.


A buddy of mine has a real nice front PJ setup that I envy, and at first I really hated living in my apartment because of the size limitations and the fact that I couldn't have a huge audio setup. But after all the work I've done on mine, and tweaking it to get it just right, I'm going to be sad when I move out of this place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gushy
your setup looks good. I would search garage sales for some nice used recliners. I have three recliners in my apartment "ht" which work quite well for my seating area. I see you have a nice leather couch so you might not want to go that route.
LOL, I do have some nice used recliners... they're at my 'rents place and they enjoy them very much. Honestly, they are quite large and I dont think they would really fit all that well. And my GF's cats are making short work of my leather sofa, so it would be a shame to let them near the recliners unless I was standing nearby with a cattle prod, or something. I keep telling her all we need to do is cut off their feet and the problem will be solved...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gushy
A buddy of mine has a real nice front PJ setup that I envy, and at first I really hated living in my apartment because of the size limitations and the fact that I couldn't have a huge audio setup. But after all the work I've done on mine, and tweaking it to get it just right, I'm going to be sad when I move out of this place.
Yah, I used to be that dude. That is why I am so grumpy. Divorce sucks. I miss my dog. I miss my home theater...


I am feeling better about it lately though. It's starting to come together again.


Gerald
 

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Having been thru the whole Divorce thing I sympathise Mate!


Here is my Town House HT setup atm the moment: (see attached images)


I currenlty have a DIY 90" screen made using a braced pine frame & 3-pass block-out cloth & my HS-50 PJ is currently sitting on the shelf at the rear (thankyou sony for the lens shift) which also hold all my HT gear.


My Centre speaker is sitting on the floor and is obscured buy a couch (i'll prolly get a proper stand for it) and my 12" sub is sitting between both couches. I used to have it up the front but it was too "boomy", now it blends perfectly and can easily be felt thru the couches.


Im just about to purchase an NEC SD 42" plasma for everyday TV & PS2 use etc and it will be mounted on the wall where the DIY screen currently is. Im having a bulkhead built into the ceiling/wall above it which will have a motorised 92" screen installed so that it drops down in front of the Plasma for Movies and big Sporting events.


Im also having an LP Morgan skyhook installed for the HS-50 and in ceiling surround speakers (not ideal but will have to do). My installer is also going to run all my cables through my walls and tidy everything up. I've also bought a proper rack for my AV gear.


Im planning on painting the "display" wall & Bulkhead a dark colour but havent yet decided which colour to use. Black is out as it is too dark and ugly for a multi purpose area.


All my equiment is currently controlled by a URC MX-850 Aeros with an MRF-250 wireless base station - im thinking I might buy an MRF-300 as the 250 is a little inconsistent sometimes.


Some better reclining couches are also on the shopping list once the rest of the system is finished.


when it's all finished in aprox 6 weeks time I'll post some pics.


EDIT: I added a Super-Wide Angle Shot showing all my gear up and running.


 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice.


At my old place I painted the walls a medium bluish grey that matched up with the stripes on an old sofa we had up there... The screen wall effectively disappeared when the movie was going and all other lights were out.


I painted with flat latex and while it is least reflective (as far as "shiny" goes) it showed each and every smudge, fingerprint, etc in startling detail. And the only way to fix it is to paint over it. So... I wont ever use flat for that purpose again.


Good luck,

Gerald
 
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