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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had originally hoped to have this build going full speed back in August/September, but hit several delays. Back on it now and figure throwing some progress shots up here may help motivate me to hurry up and finish. Clearly a lower budget and smaller space than most seem to post in this forum, but perhaps some will appreciate seeing a simpler, amateur DIY.

Room size is roughly 11.5x18x8 (front [screen end] of the room is 133" and the seating area is just under 12'). Screen size should be about 115". Have gone the Sintra route and hope to have it painted with silver fire by the end of next week.

The intention for the main carpet will be a dark red (two tone on the riser, separated with gold stair edging all around). Color combination was initially based on general vintage theater colors, though it reminds me now of Iron Man, so perhaps I'll throw in an Iron Man poster to make the connection).

Speakers are:

Fronts: Infinity Beta 40
Heights: Infinity Beta 20
Center: Beta 360
Surrounds: Axiom QS8 V4
Subs: HSU VTF-15H and HSU VTF-3/Mk3 (not sure if these will work well together or not).


Projector will be a BenQ W1070.

Unfortunately I neglected to take "before" photos, so this is the earliest one I have. Front of the room had a very large window and the back had a sliding glass door. I walled over them both with 5/8" drywall. I had considered doing some sound proofing for the wood panel side, but didn't want to lose any width (as I'm using nearly every inch I have to work with), and shouldn't have many issues here anyway in that regard. At this point I had already sprayed the ceiling flat black as well.



Ended up using the wood panel to make stripes similar to something I've seen in a real theater. Went with eggshell as a compromise on appearance/reflections. Ultimately will have gold crown moulding.



The stage base is 2 layers of roofing felt, and it's filled with sand. Front wall is covered with black felt.



Covered in black velvet and started prep for custom speaker towers.



Initial gold trim work (I expect to have drapes over the door and am hoping it doesn't give me rattle issues as I like the look/function):




Riser (back wall will be completely covered with black velvet drapes, thus it will likely remain ugly, figuring the wall would be reopened if it ever came down).




Made panels to cover the front ceiling with velvet (3 total):




Modified the center channel grill with matte black spandex (same on the towers). I cut the metal out surrounding the tweeter area and separated the metal from the plastic back and used that to clamp the spandex down and glued it back together with JB Weld (trimmed away after the back photo was taken of course). Trying to keep as much stuff at the very front as black and non reflective as attractively possible. May wrap the cab with velvet.





Rear Speakers. Wiring is going through the crown moulding channel and then through the wall.




Towers coming together with shelves on the bottom and top (the low bottom shelf was merely to allow the speaker to be positioned close against the spandex face):






Left tower currently has velvet wrapped mouldings and the right does not (hard to photograph velvet to see the details). There will be mouldings at the front of the velvet ceiling and on the sides separating the velvet/paint, etc.




And the latest development is making an area in the garage where I can repair and paint the mounted sintra board (damaged during shipping). Will get some plastic sheeting, etc. before spraying primer. Should have about 1.5-2" of gap on either side of the outer frame from the towers once installed (screen as pictured is about 103" x 58", but viewable area will shrink slightly when framed).



Planned seating is 6 Seatcraft Catalina (stock photo).

 

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I really like what you did with the center speakers grill. I never cared the look of the grey Beta grill on the ebony speakers. Love the silver grills on the cherry models though.

BTW, I recently picked up a pair of Beta 20's in ebony off CL in mint condition with original box and packing material. I'll be listing them here on AVS in a few days if you know anyone who wants them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This will be a cool looking room, kind of a throw back or retro feel.
Thanks. I do note in the mess of text somewhere that I based the initial color scheme direction on the vintage theater look (despite being before my time :p). I also happened to be playing a video game at the time that had an old theater with nearly identical stripe colors and some gold accents.

I really like what you did with the center speakers grill. I never cared the look of the grey Beta grill on the ebony speakers. Love the silver grills on the cherry models though.

BTW, I recently picked up a pair of Beta 20's in ebony off CL in mint condition with original box and packing material. I'll be listing them here on AVS in a few days if you know anyone who wants them.
I didn't so much dislike the grills, but I could notice a difference in the highs with them on, so previously I had just kept the grills off. This time of course I wanted to make them look nice and non-distracting. I'm hoping the lack of any metal in front of the tweeter alleviates any issues I had with the grill.

Thanks for letting me know about the sale. With renovations going on in this 50 year old house, I don't really want any more stuff than necessary around until it's all done. At that point, I may very well seek out some spares to at least have extra drivers and such.
 

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I like modest, small room builds. Will tag along to see how it all turns out.
Looking at the low end you have planned hoping that the folding doors want rattle is wishful.
I have two solid sliding doors and those darn things like to make noise when the subs start working.
Hate to get rid of them because they save space and allow the room to have a wide open feeling when not closed up, but the rattling has to stop.
Good luck with yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like modest, small room builds. Will tag along to see how it all turns out.
Looking at the low end you have planned hoping that the folding doors want rattle is wishful.
I have two solid sliding doors and those darn things like to make noise when the subs start working.
Hate to get rid of them because they save space and allow the room to have a wide open feeling when not closed up, but the rattling has to stop.
Good luck with yours.
Thanks. I'll likely have some new photos up Tuesday night.

May very well be right on the doors, but I figure I can address that in the future should it be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Small update. Still unable to take a photo that resembles what all the velvet wrapped moldings look like in person. I definitely like how it's turning out, but the velvet moldings are rather time consuming, at least with staples (100+ in each longer molding). Bit of an optical illusion in person as the velvet moldings and panels shift colors separate of each other when viewed from different angles (at times blending in completely)...between that, office-style fluorescent lightning (will be addressed sometime in the future), and the light absorbing qualities of the velvet, the old iphone struggles to take anything decent. Hopefully I'll get a hold of a better camera when it's finished.



Otherwise, I've done many passes with compound on the damaged sintra board now. For those unaware, Amazon sold the 10'x5' sintra panels for a short while and sent them without ANY packaging...just a shipping label directly on the board. Ultimately I got a full refund (minus the U Haul as UPS will not deliver such large items). Fortunately I have gotten most of the damage smooth to the touch, I just keep finding new areas as I wasn't initially using good enough lighting (too many sources) to see all the fine scratches. Perhaps I'll finally get to start primer tomorrow.

This is a small section, but it gives a good idea of what I'm dealing with:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Getting closer to a finished product. Carpet order was made today and should be installed in a couple weeks or so (a dark red ["Sangria]). I may not have mentioned it previously, but the ceiling panels had holes drilled in them (after studs were located) for eye bolts to hang the screen from (the chains will be masked with a velvet wrapped tube). Back wall drapes have been installed, and crown molding has been started. Will add more photos when the carpet is done. Viewable screen area ended up measuring 114.75". Also, I used my own paint concoction after several different attempts. Initially I sprayed SFv2.5 NC (tried two different levels of white in the mix), but decided it wasn't for me. I also didn't like pure flat white with the W1070 (even in pure darkness). Final result I kept is a very light gray (almost white) using a pure white Valspar paint (mostly flat with some satin), eggshell Gray Screen (Sherwin), and satin Polycrylic. Spray method used was the same as described for SF (water thinned dusters). That resulted in a very flat texture and allowed for more sheen in the paint than rolling (flat white looked a bit washed out and chalky/porous compared to the light gray mix with some satin/eggshell components [when projected on]).



Back of the screen after the frame was installed. Lower wood pieces were added to support braces connected to the wall (to make the screen face level).



Was relieved when all the velvet wrapping went well:



Ended up stapling the frame corners together before nailing the frame to the screen. Perhaps unconventional, but I made a reverse corner (from scraps) as a wedge to help square the connection. Somehow it all came together well.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Projector is up. Sorry for the blurry photo (phone has a hard time with the fluorescent light that's currently in there). Wish the Benq didn't look so much like a kitchen appliance compared to everything else. Can get a glimpse of the back drapes...and apparently even one of the pinball machines in the background :p (for a future game room). Did a quick test with everything set up aside from the VTF-15H. With the smaller VTF3/MK3, I got zero rattle from the accordion doors while using scene 4 from Master and Commander (though I didn't lock them together). The room also offered up the tightest/hardest punch I've gotten from that sub (have used the exact same one in 4 different houses now). Somewhat concerned about what the 15H will do :p. The MK3 alone gave me the sensation that the entire room was ballooning out and snapping back inward. Not sure if the vented, insulated riser has anything to do with that. Also very happy with the picture quality.

 

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Looking good.
Crazy how much effort and money goes into even a modest build isn't it?
Fortunately the payback is substantial. Except for inky blacks and ridiculous volume, a system like this, with some well place diy sound treatments, can perform very close to the elaborate big dollar theaters.
I look forward to the completion pics...then you can enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Crazy how much effort and money goes into even a modest build isn't it?
Certainly a fair bit of effort for a mostly one man job. Having the girlfriend (that wanted to help) assist in hanging the screen was an experience :p Otherwise, I've done a good job ignoring all of the tiny things (multiple expected/unexpected trips to Lowes/HD) that add up quicker than I'd prefer ;) Don't remind me :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Carpet is in and the riser is just about done. Estimated arrival on the seats is set for Wednesday, but haven't seen tracking doing anything. Shall see... Ended up getting a row of 3 right love seat(left side of screen) for the front row and a standard row of 3 for the rear (Black Catalinas). Still a few things to do including building an entertainment center of sorts for the receiver/PS4, etc. that the center channel will sit on.

 

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Oh and I hear you on the 1070 looking like something form the kitchen. A simple box build for around it would solve that problem. If you are not bothered buy the fan (I am a bit since mine is mounted right above my head) you don't have to worry about closing the box up all the way. FYI it also cuts down on some of the light leak from the vents etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Believe I noted it elsewhere, but this is a screenshot I found online that gives an idea of the inspiration for the striped walls (some people seem to like knowing these sorts of details :p). These striped walls are in the cinema in Dead Island Riptide that I was playing when planning the theater (red carpet as well). I'm considering putting gold stanchions and a red rope on the back portion of the lower riser step as a decoration to take up that space.
 

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