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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hello all!

 

Lurked for a while and now I'm really looking to build a home theater in my existing basement space. Hopefully some of the experts can lend some advice / recommendations! I know that this isn't the ideal room as it isn't fully enclosed, but truthfully we are looking to have a general purpose theater for watching movies, playing occasional games, netflix, etc.. Here is a couple shots of the current proposed space.

 



 

This image shows where I believe the ideal spot for the theater screen will go. As I mentioned above the spot isn't enclosed so the left is actually an open area that leads to our bar area. (I just moved that desk off the wall for the shot.) Against the wall I actually have 2 floor standing Athena AS-F1 speakers that I was hoping to re-use as part of an initial speaker setup.

 

This next image of me is standing against the top wall and facing backwards.

 



 

At the end there is another open entrance. The space is 10' 7" wide and 31' long. We plan to have the seating for the theater in front of the door you see on the right and then since we have easy access to the backside of that wall (furnace room) we wanted to build an in the wall A/V rack for the equipment. Hoping to do a 3.1 or 5.1 system to start since I think that is all we will really need. I also plan to ceiling mount the projector with a low profile mount to allow for the drop necessary for the image. The ceiling is just shy of 8 feet.

 

Proposed Equipment as of now

120" Fixed Elite Screens (Cinewhite, 1.1 gain)

Optoma 25-LV

Sony DN1040 Receiver

Use the existing 2 Athena Floor speakers (AS-F1)

 

What I still need to find yet.

Subwoofer

Center Channel that will match with the Athenas well

Possibly 2 rear speakers that will mount on the ceiling behind the seating area.

 

For seating we plan to actually make it more of a laid back lounge something like floor pillow type seating vs dedicated home theater recliners. There are a few images of it floating around the forums.

 

So with all that said, I'm looking to see what you guys think of this plan, the current equipment and then also any recommendations on the space / equipment I still need outlined above. Also maybe there is some other creative ideas you guys have that I could better utilize the space.

 

Thanks again, truly appreciate the help!
 

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Do you have a diagram of the whole basement layout?  Something showing where the bar is and other areas that are open to this space?

 

What's your plan for that window?  I have an open basement entertaining space too, but opted for a LCD tv vs projector because I planned to use it for gaming and entertaining guests with lights on.  You'll need it as dark as possible to enjoy the advantages to the size of the projected image.

 

Also - what's your plans for behind the row of seats by that door?  It looks like there will be alot of space behind that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

I don't have a diagram of the entire basement, but if you can follow me the space basically goes around the stairs in a circle. You come down the stairs and turn right your in the bar, as you continue to turn right your in this long area of the basement that is against the back wall of the house. The bar is actually on the same wall that the screen will be on, but obviously sectioned off. The window you see is the only one in the entire basement aside from behind the door you see in the back.

 

I knew with the window it would be challenging at times, but with what I have heard about the increased Lumens of the Optoma 25-LV it would be something acceptable if the area isn't completely blacked out. With that said, I still plan to get some sort of black out shade instead of the one that is currently on there. Behind the seats, which we plan to have more like removable lounge seating vs fixed home theater recliners will probably have something else entertaining back there. Maybe a ping pong table or something like that. With the space being 31' long it should accommodate, Maybe even an arcade machine, but I'm not entirely sure at this point.

 

Do you think I should be worried entertaining / gaming on the optoma 25-LV? I also obviously will disable the row of lights that are right near the projector. The bar lights dim so it stays at a good mood light and obviously if it's movie time or whatever these will be turned off anyhow. 
 

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I don't use my projector for gaming but have watched some football games with the lights up and it is not an issue. I ordered a custom pleated shade for my basement window which works great. I hope you don't plan on your right speaker where it is. It has to be moved away from the side wall. This is just my opinion but throw pillows for seats? Doesn't sound comfortable. Of course I'm 54 so maybe that is part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

HAH! Thanks for the reply. I definitely know that it sounds crude, but it is a little more complex. I do plan to have recliners also for someone who would like to just kick back. How far from the right wall would the speaker need to be moved? Where did you get the shade from? A link would be really helpful. 

 

Any suggestions on the other equipment I'm looking to order? I was hoping to order these things this week.

 

Thanks!
 

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at this point some dimensions for the screen wall would be helpful. The trick is going to be juggling those tower speakers, your desired screen size, and the height restrictions of that asymmetrical soffit. Time to layout screens with some painters tape and being certain of how you are squeezing this all together, if you haven't already, before firing up your credit card. As far as how to position your speakers, if you have to push the limits width wise, at the very least, pivot your speakers in, so they are aimed at your primary viewing position.

As far as what else you may want to add to the system: universal remote, IR controllable dimmers for your lighting, interconnects and a plan for their installation?

Half Price Drapes made a very nice curtain for my troublesome patio door. Midnight blue velvet, blackout. (not posting a link because they buy enough online advertising on their own, they don't need any help from me) Material is impervious to light, pretty heavy, nicely lined. French pleat finish, hung on a decorator traverse rod. I get a little bit of light leakage around the edges, but it is pretty trivial. Your best deal is to be patient and wait for them to run a 25% off (or better) promotion.

Regarding additional speakers that might compliment your Athenas: Since Athena was the big box offering from API, the parents of Energy and Mirage, I would be looking for an Energy center channel with similar specs in terms of efficiency, wattage handling, and driver compliment. Same for the rear channels, assuming you have a path to wire speakers on the side walls. If you have to go to the ceiling for your rear channel, Energy makes those too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the post weaselfest. I can lay out the screen in painters tape but I ran the dimensions previously for the 120 and it was above the bottom outlet and way clear of the soffit, but I get what you are saying if I need to shift it farther left to accomodate the right speaker.


For equipment I was trying to get someones opinion on the current lineup and then I still need a sub, a center that will match with the Athenas (maybe any will do?), and possibly 2 rears that will ceiling mount.
 

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checked amended post. You will be happier with the sound if you can find a center channel that most closely matches the characteristics of your Athenas. It is at least as important as your left and right, which is why you see most high end systems using three identical speakers across the front.

Your subwoofer selection shouldn't be influenced by the brand of your other speakers. There are many speaker manufacturers that specialize in subs, like SVS, HSU,or kit form models from Dayton audio that offer a lot of bang for the buck. Check out the speaker forums for lots of ideas for all budgets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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I honestly don't recall who I ordered the blind from. I'm sure if you do a Google search you will find something. That speaker should be 12-18" off that side wall.




This is my screen wall, those are sound absorption panels on the right wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

I see that Best Buy also has it for 249. I decided to go with a Bic F12 sub which made me think, what about grabbing a Bic center as well? 40 - 23 hz and 175w.

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-FH6-LCR-6-5-Inch-Frequency/dp/B0015A8Y3E/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1394628783&sr=1-4&keywords=bic+america+center+channel

 

What do you think? Otherwise, I was thinking of rolling with a 2.1 at first and grabbing the center and rears together down the road in a couple months.

 

BTW, Nice setup bartman!
 

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The Center channel should match the the fronts. Subs are a completely separate beast and there is no need to match them outside of crossovers, especially to the center.


Sound adds a LOT to a presentation, especially for immersion. If budget is the issue (sadly it is for most of us), you can roll with 2.1. However, you should be able to do pretty well on some reasonable surrounds and you might get more out of them than anywhere else for the price of a remote.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Alright, so I found the specs of my Athenas during a site search and here they are. 

 

Type: 2 way, 2 driver loudspeaker system

Frequency Response: 40Hz to 20kHz

Power Handling: 200W

Impedance: 8Ω

Sensitivity: 92dB

Midbass: 1 x 203mm injection moulded polypropylene cone

Tweeter: 1 x 25mm Teteron Dome

Finish: black ash

Dimensions: 35.5 x 10 x 9.5 inches

Weight: 29lbs

 

The bic Center channel is 40hz - 23hz and power up to 175W

The Energy CC-10 is 60hz - 20hz and handling to 200W.

 

I'll be honest, I don't know much about crossover and frequencies, etc., but I do want the speakers to sound nice to the average listener if that makes sense.

I do have an older Onkyo HTIB that we use in our living room. It was a 7.1 setup so I could use 2 of the speakers that are laying in the basement as rears, but I just thought that it really wouldn't be worth it, but maybe it is after hearing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

To add to the above, it's not like I couldn't go out and spend 5k on some amazing speakers and go dual subs, etc., but I'm just trying to be smart about it. I want to make sure it is something that we enjoy since this is our first projector setup and then upgrade as we go. I felt that starting with the decent receiver, optoma 25-lv and the speakers we have in addition to the sub / center it would be a good starting point for us. Something that we could build upon vs going all in on day 1.

 

Hope that makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

I'm really hesitant to order a used speaker off of ebay that is all chipped. Let's say I plan to upgrade the floor towers down the road, what center should I choose then? Just one out of a lineup I feel will still be around in a few months? Let's say I went with the Bic due to the cost, am I really going to know the difference between if I have those 3 up front vs the Athena off ebay?
 

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That one was a little beat up, I agree.  There's also a few others on there for $50-$100.  That may be a cheap solution that will keep the sound consistent across the front.

 

If you're gung ho on replacing all 3 front speakers eventually, spend your money on something else that will be permanent.  Get a better sub or AVR, etc.  That's just my personal opinion.  I'm not an extreme audiophile.  But I wouldn't invest in a pricey center channel than be stuck getting the same fronts down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Yea, I think your right. I'm not going to order a center and once I get everything setup, I'll find the best looking Athena off of ebay and roll with that for the time being. (few months) Then the next HT upgrade will be getting speakers and going for something nice across the board. I'll post some pics of the progress, pulling the trigger on the equipment now.

 

Wish me luck!
 
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