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Our First Home Theater - Complete (Lots of pictures :) )

8048 Views 37 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  audioguy
First, I like to thank this website and the wonderful people contributing to this web site for all the knowledge they have shared and sharing. This has been my inspiration and provided all the details I needed. Now, getting back to the theater.

We started this project in Sep 2013. The basement is unfinished but not much of a huge space. The theater room is around 14ft wide by 22ft long.

Here are the pictures after drywall:

2nd row riser and the front stage: We wanted to have a minimal stage to maximize the space.

Then the panel saga started:

Finally was able to move along to the painting: The paint used was just black paint from SW. I did not like it.

Then we got the carpet completed:

Then we were nearing the final stages and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and the electric work is done and panels started going up on the walls.

Thats when disaster struck. While mounting the projector shelf mount one of the guys pierced a sprinkler pipe

Removed all the panels. The carpet was soaking wet

Spent a lot of time drying the carpet (did not know at that time we will be replacing the carpet):

Then got a plumber to fix the pipe:

Now I felt like going back in time as the entire ceiling had to be ripped:

Drywall put back:

Then went through the same steps as above but got a better black paint this time. Now fast forwarding a few months:

Got the 160" wide screen up. Was big relief when I could see the screen fit as we have only 1in between the side walls and the screen frame.

Two months after that we got the riser carpet put in and finally done:)

I will provide the other details later. As it was a long journey, now its time for us to relax and enjoy some movies:).

Even with this, it was an amazing ride and enjoyed each and every step of constructing a home theater from scratch.

Again, thanks for the people here for their trial runs (by constructing their own theater and sharing it) and the experienced thoughts provided by many as I went through different challenges.


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Nice theater. Sorry for hitting the water pipe.
Looking forward to seeing some details on this build as my room is the same basic dimensions.
Thank you for your comments.

I apologize for not updating with details sooner. Anyway, here are some more details.

The structural details:
The back raiser is 6ft deep running wall to wall and 14 in high from the floor. It has sand on both right and left side except in the middle where we have insulation put in. The idea is not to dampen the riser too much as I like to feel the vibration produced by the subwoofer and do not want to spend on butt-kickers (you can say a poor man's butt-kickers
), at the same time I wanted to have the ability to place the subs in the back left or right corner. We also have the step lights, one HDMI and one ethernet and the power for the front recliners supported in front of the raiser with a removable door so I can perform any maintenance.

The front stage is 34in deep and running wall to wall. It is completely filled with sand. It supports the 3 front speakers and 2 subwoofers at this time along with the wall to wall screen. The stage is covered in the front using Fidelio velvet so it matches well with the screen frame.

The ceiling is hung using channels and is double drywalled with green glue in the middle. We have the soffit run all the way around the room and internally on the left and right sides it encloses some ducts. I had the screen side soffit brought little front so it will look even once the screen is hung. Above the drywall the entire space is covered with roxul.

For the walls, as sound containment is not of a big concern for me considering this room is in the basement and at the farthest corner of our house and all the bedrooms are on the opposite side, we went with a single layer drywall. Another main reason is I wanted to fit the screen in that room and if I had gone with double drywall then the screen won't fit.

The walls are covered from top to bottom with panels which are 1in thick filled with different type of material. For the reflection points, we have all the panels filled with linacoustics for absorption. Then for the rest of the areas as we needed some diffusion the panels are made of luan with specific holes and the back filled with roxul so it does not form a cavity. I was skeptical about this but after listening to audio after configuration it does sound real good. Having said that I really need to take some measurements to see what exactly is happening. The panels are covered with GOM fabric. The back wall is covered with 2in thick roxul to act as bass absorbers. The wall behind the screen is covered with 2in thick roxul panels with the corners covered from top to bottom with 4in thick roxul panels for bass absorption.

We have a double door for the entry way in to the room. The doors are covered completely with panels 1in thick filled with linacoustics. The doors are really heavy now and initially I was afraid that it would rattle but they are pretty sturdy. As these are glass doors I had them put the panels over a quarter inch thick plywood and mounted the plywood on the inner side of the doors. The plywood is covered in red GOM so from the outside of the room it will look like a accented door. The door meeting point is covered with astragal. The bottom is sealed using automatic door bottom sealer. We have a closet space to the left of the screen and we had that door also covered with panels. The door is hollow core door.

The wiring:
The room is wired for 15.4 set up. With the traditional 11 speakers (front, center, height, wide and surround) and 4 sub for each corners (front 2 , back 2). Apart from that I have additional 4 speakers wired in the ceiling and I am hoping to use it if Dolby Atmos comes to the home theater arena. Mainly I have it defined for the "God" speaker concept that Auro 3d has. Obviously it is just an assumption and need to wait and see how it will turn out in the future.

Now to the equipments:
LCR - JTR Triple 12LF.
The surrounds are Klipsch RS52. (4 of them)
The wide speakers are Ergo 601
No height speakers yet.

Sub: 2 PB13 Ultras. 1 behind screen and another in the rear.

Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8801

Amplifiers: Emotiva XPA 3 - 1, Emotiva XPA 5 - 2

Blu-Ray Player: PS3 and Oppo BDP 93

NAS : Synology 211+

Screen: 160" wide Seymour 2.37:1 aspect acoustically transparent screen.

Projector: JVC 4810

Anamorphic Lens: Panamorph UH480.

Viewing Distance:
Front row - around 13 ft from screen.
Back row - around 16 ft from screen.

I have let the lens in place for all as I like it that way. The projector is bright enough for me and it fills the screen very well. As the room is really dark the brightness is pretty good. Just incase I got additional 2 lamps for the projector so in case after it hits 1000hrs the output is not that good I can change it. We have already used around 400 hrs

I will upload some pictures later. Please let me know if any other detail is required.
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how exactly did you hang the panels?
We wanted the ability to remove panels to repair or change if needed. So all panels on the walls are friction fit with additional support using Velcro. The ones on the equipment closet door are nailed in one or two places so it doesn't sag, as they do not touch the ground. The ones on the entry door are attached using velcro but the bottom ones are nailed to provide additional support.
I'm seriously considering the velcro thing in a similar way, but am nervous it won't stick to the wall well, but i see more and more people successfully pulling it off!
We did face that problem. Initially the contractor used a low grade paint on the drywall. The Velcro did not stick to that. As it happened we had to re-drywall and repaint and I got a better paint that time and that worked better with the Velcro. Having said that the Velcro is just an added support but the ceiling to the floor friction fit is the main thing that keeps the panels in the right position. I am sure if I do not have friction fit the Velcro alone won't work as after a few weeks it will sag. Also if you use a lot of Velcro I am sure it will peel the drywall. This is just my experience.
what was the bad/good paint?
Great theater! Wish I could dedicate as much as you did.

Originally Posted by roccoleach  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24447449

what was the bad/good paint?
The initial one was a builder grade SW 200 series paint. For the 2nd try we went with SW 6258 Tricorn Black Paint.

Originally Posted by caseyparsons  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24447613

Great theater! Wish I could dedicate as much as you did.
Thank you. I think it all comes down to what we want to compromise to have a HT. As long as the eventual one sounds and looks (the image on screen) good then that should be enough. At least that is the route I took and on the way decided to concentrate on certain things to make it better within the limit I had. I think in this hobby like any other hobby there is no limit to what you can do.
Hmm I just bought some of the cheaper HD paint. Just to paint the whole room black as a base coat. I haven't painted yet, but now might just buy a better paint before I attempt it
The one the contractor got felt little powdery when touched. I think that is a good indication to avoid if you are going to use Velcro.
Maybe I'll go with some sherwin williams super paint. They're 30% off starting tomorrow

Originally Posted by roccoleach  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24457366

Maybe I'll go with some sherwin williams super paint. They're 30% off starting tomorrow

Yeah we like Super Paint as well. I think that is the 400 series. Sometimes they have 40% sale but 30% is pretty good.

Originally Posted by NYGIANTSFAN23  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24457714

Really nice space.
Originally Posted by jason4vu  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24458150


Thank you for the comments. Even though we had hiccups on the way now as it is done we are enjoying it

Originally Posted by W00lly  /t/1520044/our-first-home-theater-complete-lots-of-pictures#post_24457937

love the color scheme. great space
I see a upgrade to theater seats in the future.

Thank you. Regarding the seats we bought those just 6 months before even starting this project but had the theater in mind. We wanted the ability to have more people seated at the same time can accommodate 6 adults, so we went with the sofa style but all six seats power reclining. So far it works and it is comfortable but already thinking of adding 2 more, one in each row to increase the number. Lets see where that thought will take us
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We had some kids night during the past weekend and I took some cell phone pictures. I am not sure how good it is to highlight the black paint on the ceiling but in the room it works really well. I hope this helps somehow to show off the capability of the black paint we used.

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