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Discussion Starter #1
Argh. This is so frustrating... I've auditioned Flexsteel and Berkline chairs, and I'm about to go see Lane's Majestic collection, and so far I have been singularly unimpressed with the build quality of the seats I've seen.


It's not that I want to spend $1,500 per chair for my seating, but I'm seriously considering installing regular furniture such as Mitchell Gold's low-profile leather recliners for my HT seating. It's probably irrational, but I look at furniture differently from my A/V equipment. I change projectors and A/V equipment every four or five years, but I still have furniture I bought ten years ago and the pieces are still as good as new. If you buy good furniture that's tasteful and well-made, it doesn't become obsolete or wear out every four years.


Can anyone suggest some well-constructed home theater seating that's built to last?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was shocked when I turned over one of the 090's and saw how it was built. On the other hand, I suppose that's how they manage to sell them for $475 a seat.
 

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Scott,


I understand what you are going through. To give you a few more names (although quality would be medium in my eyes), how about Thomasville and the John Elway Bassett collection?
 

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If you are willing to forego:


1. cup holders built into the arms

2. Individual seats designed to fit next to one another and share an armrest.

3. The option to pre-install Buttkickers


your options open up considerably. In other words, lower-backed quality leather furniture not specifically designed for HT use.


For example, I was at a friends house for New Years Eve and they had recently purchased some La-Z-Boy leather furniture (a sofa where both the outside seats reclined independently) and 2 matching low-back recliners. All were black leather, looked fantastic, and were definitely both more comfortable and of higher quality than my Berk 090s. Additionally, the recliners reclined out with almost no movement backwards, just like an HT recliner. They said that the sofa was only about $1200 and the individual recliners ~$700/ea or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These are all excellent suggestions... thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamW
To give you a few more names (although quality would be medium in my eyes), how about Thomasville and the John Elway Bassett collection?
Heh... I'm actually going to the Thomasville store tomorrow, and Bassett is another good suggestion. "Medium" is also in the eye of the beholder--I have both Thomasville and Basset pieces throughout my house and love 'em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinS
If you are willing to forego:


1. cup holders built into the arms

2. Individual seats designed to fit next to one another and share an armrest.

3. The option to pre-install Buttkickers


your options open up considerably.
I'm actually pretty handy with a saw--if I went the individual traditional seating route I could build my own little wedge tables between chairs, so I'm not too concerned about the lack of cupholders. Individual seats that share armrests are great for saving space, but since I have 216" on the front row and 180" on the back row to work with, I'm not really worried about wasting a little extra width. And call me crazy, but for the cost of 8 to 10 Buttkickers I could buy a second SVS PB12-Ultra/2 subwoofer.


What I'm really more bugged about as far as the traditional seating route goes is that almost all the recliners I've seen so far (e.g., the Mitchell Gold leather recliner) go too far back. I don't want to be staring at the ceiling when I recline, darn it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinS
For example, I was at a friends house for New Years Eve and they had recently purchased some La-Z-Boy leather furniture...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC
You might want to check out the Lazyboy HT seating.
Hmm, I keep hearing that LaZBoys are roughly the same build quality as Berklines (i.e., not that great)... is that a mistaken impression?


By the way, does anyone know anything about the build quality of Lane furniture? I went to Havertys this afternoon and looked at their "Centurion" seating collection which is actually made by Lane and is nearly identical to Lane's Majestic collection .
 

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Hi,



I have Jaymar 56000's and I can tell you the wood in the framework is quality hard wood - I had a devil of a time screwing in the bass shakers into them - next set of them (I have the 2nd row that needs the bass shakers will need to be predrilled). I snapped 3 or 4 screws in the process. I tried using a Makita cordless drill and it didn't have the torque to do it - I had to do it by hand (blisters ensuing).





Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #9
NOW we're talking. I did a quick Google and see what Jaymars roughly retail for, so they're definitely in the ballpark of what I'd be willing to pay.


By any chance have you sat in Berkline 090's? They're the seats I was going to buy until I saw how they were constructed, and they were very comfy. If you think the Jaymars are comparable in comfort I'd definitely be interested.
 

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Well, the berks are cheaply made, but they'll get different use than a living room couch or chair - with regular HT use, they should last for years.


I do have to warn the kids to stay off the arms, though!


Randy
 

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Scott,


I too went through this, but did spend a few extra dollars to get a good chair. For my own HT room, I went with the Jaymar 58000 line. I chose the electrical reclining option, with antiqued brass cup holders, and removable headrests. I am pleased with the purchase and look forward to years of use!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=612409


Here are a few links to look through for differnt options:

http://www.americanleather.com/
http://www.barcalounger.com/
http://www.beachmfg.com/
http://www.cinematechseating.com/
http://continentalseating.com/
http://www.douglasfurniture.com/
http://www.elitehts.com/
http://www.fortresseating.com/
http://www.irwinseating.com/
http://www.jaymar.ca/
http://www.lanefurniture.com/
http://us.natuzzi.com/
http://www.palliser.com/
http://www.premierehts.com/
http://www.salamanderdesigns.com/


Shake1
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow... great list of links! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I went and looked at the "John Elway" seats at Bassett, and guess what? More plywood!! The salesman tried to assure me that it was a "high quality wood frame formed from multiple layers of laminate wood formed into the shapes required for each chair". In other words, plywood! :mad: So much for Bassett.


I'm about halfway through Shake1's list of upscale theater seating. I shudder to think what some of those seats probably cost, but I'm intrigued by the Elite home theater seating . The cost is definitely in-line with what I would pay for individual "Crate & Barrel"-style recliners, but better yet, they're specifically designed for home theater use. Only problem is, they seem to be a strictly factory-direct sales operation, so there would be no opportunity to "test-sit" without flying to Washington state.


Does anyone know about these seats?

EDIT: Never mind... I dug up this thread . Sounds like Elite has shipping and customer service issues... pass.
 

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Is Berkline that bad? I thought they were the reference.


Great list of manufacturers. Has anyone tried out Salamder's new seats?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I hope to test-sit them today... the local ******** and ****-**** stores are supposed to have them.

(Edited to remove names of stores--shame on me, a former mod should know better! tsk tsk tsk)
 

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The berklines are very comfortable AND inexpensive. They are cheaply made and for every day use in a non-theater setting, they'd fall apart in no time.


In a theater setting, they are holding up well - mine are almost 3 years old now and I've had no problems.


Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK folks, I test-sat a couple of seats today.


First up was the Salamander Matteo . The seats that I sat in were non-powered black seats with silver wooden feet. The half-recline position was just right for theater viewing, and the seats are fairly well-made (steel frame construction). I didn't really like the style though; they looked too contemporary for my home theater. The adjustable headrests are a bit too tall for my home theater (45"), and frankly I thought they made the seats look like automobile seating. Also, I was a little turned off by the lack of knowledge of the sales staff; the guy who was helping me didn't even know that there was a power recline option, and they didn't have any of the leather or fabric samples on the showroom floor.


The next seating I looked at was American Leather's Keaton . This is by far the best seating I've looked at so far... hardwood construction, slient-glide recline mechanism standard equipment, zero-wall design, top-notch, beautifully-stitched leathers. (I actually was more interested in the "Holden" model, but they didn't have that on the showroom floor. The owners of the store where I viewed the Keatons assured me, though, that the Keatons feel just like the Holdens.) The seats were extremely comfortable, and were just the right style for my home theater. What wasn't right was the price--ten Keaton seats in two rows of five would cost as much as my Honda Accord. :eek:


If I could find well-made hardwood-framed seats that were closer in cost to the Matteos but with the traditional look of the Keaton/Holden, I'd buy 'em in a heartbeat. So, the search continues...
 

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Do have 10 kids or something that requires your chairs to be made of hardwood? I understand having good quality furniture. I haven't heard many complaints about chairs breaking except for that one thread where that guy's arm collapsed.


Just wondering.
 

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I completely understand where Scott is coming from. Its not about having 10 kids. Its about having furniture that is designed to last more than 2 years. My mom bought a $1600 couch last year and I was SHOCKED when the bottom fell out. Looked at the bottom and could not believe that it was made of ply. Luckily, it was still under warranty and we made sure the replacement was made of hard wood. Ply just isn't strong enough to last. I tend to go cheap but there is something to be said for durability. I don't think a lot of people that are getting the Berkline's realize how poorly the frame is built. Its a lot of money for something that might need to be replaced so soon.
 

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Understood. I have learned my lesson with Ikea and well let's say my family has not spent one penny at Walmart in the 2 years. The $1600 - $2000 per chair rhelm is just very frightening.
 
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