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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I've been researching and asking questions long enough. I've purchased my receiver and speakers, I'm THIS close to a PJ, and the basement is about to get drywall. I figured it was time to start a build thread.


We are not just doing a media room, we are finishing our basement as well, which globally slows down the process. I meant to get some more pics of my conduit runs, etc but the insulation guys showed up early this morning.


I've posted more detailed thoughts at my Picasa web albums, which is where the pics are hosted.


The main idea is a 20 x 15.5 ft basement room, no windows, fully controlled light, but we wanted a family/media room, not just a theater. I also do woodworking as a hobby (see my picasa albums) so I wanted to incorporate that into an entertainment center and matching columns around the room.


My equip will be an Onkyo 3007 9.2 receiver, Axiom Speakers (The "in-cabinet version" M60's, EP500 sub, Qs8 surrounds, and VP150 center). I'm strongly leaning towards a Panny AE4000 PJ, and once I get that I will figure out what size motorized screen to get. We will move our 50" Plasma into the center of the cabinet for everyday viewing, and then the screen will drop down in front for movies/games/etc. The wife has given me freedom on the budget and what I get, in exchange for a clean, built in system. A fair compromise. (Side note, this whole thing took off, when I was trying to figure out if my old Panny HTIB setup would be enough of a sound system for that room. My wife replied "Oh, I just assumed we would need a new system down stairs." I love her...)


Enough talk here are the pics.




Here's the blank slate. The trunk of cables coming down is my current setup. The plasma is on the next floor up, over a fireplace. the cables run down to my makeshift AV rack (read: old sewing table). I control everything with an IR blaster and RF remote for Dish Network. The only thing you see upstairs is the screen.




This is the back wall of the room. The table with the drop cloth was orinally going to be a craft room for the wife. But at her suggestion, we decided to make it a kitchenette, and add a window through the wall. It opens up the media room, and allows for more seating in the room proper instead of an island/bar eating up precious room. Notice all the HVAC and ductwork we need to work around.




The front wall with framing and rockwool insulation. Behind the rockwool is 1/2 Dupont foam board which creates a vapor barrier. I also filled up the soffit with insulation. in the middle, I ran a 1 3/4 conduit over to the right, so I can run the HDMI cables in the wall. there is a power box above it. I'm using a Power Link product to run power from my surge protector in the AV rack to the Plasma and the Projector.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This will be behind the AV rack. The blue box has 3/4 smurf tube running from it to the rear speakers. A wall plate with binding posts will go there. To the right is the orange conduit that will carry HDMI to the TV and Projector. Then cable/cat 5, a 4 plug 20A receptacle, and the powerlink end of run on the right.




Here's what the back wall looks like now. If you look closely, you'll see the orange boxes, these are connected with 3/4 smurf tube and will be the side and back surround speakers. I also double stuffed the ceilng with R19. There will be a bar underneath the window in the back wall, with a dedicated can light over it.




Here's the other back corner. Along the walls will be columns I will build to match the entertainment center. On each column will be a dimming sconce. The middle columns will also have my side surrounds mounted to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, add this to the "What I would do next time" file. The 3/4 smurf tube has ended up being much more difficult to pull through than I anticipated. Even with generous lube. Part of the problem is the cable I bought, 12G wire with the clear (and grippy) insulation. I should have gone with a round wire with more of a romex type coating on it. I tried to pull all four surround speaker wires through the smurf tube. No go, with lube I can get 2 with much grunting and sweating.


Meanwhile, the 1 1/4 orange tube I bought from a local installation guy works beautifully for my 22AWG HDMI cable. I should have bought more for the speaker runs to make things simple. They terminate in the same orange low voltage boxes I got from the retail box store. Would have been much easier.



Also, when I installed the boxes for the HDMI and power for the PJ I worked around a light that I have since removed, so the boxes have a bit of a space between them. No big deal, but not as pretty. I may move them closer to each other.



Now I'm sitting on my hands waiting for the inspection before I can hang drywall.
 

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Dude - if the drywall still isn't up, why not take the time NOW to put in conduit runs that won't be a pain to pull wire through? I mean, if you're already struggling and the drywall isn't up yet it seems like cheap insurance ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear you. The speaker wire is run already. I had to add a second run of smurf tube after failing the first time. One does the right side, and one the left. I can get the wires in and out now, so I think I'm good. The problem was trying to run all four through one conduit, so I ran another one. I'm just glad I tried it all now and not later.


If I were starting over, I would do one run of the orange conduit. but the two smurf runs work, it just meant drilling another set of holes through the joists.
 

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Looks impressive. Can you show us a floorplan and/or Sketch Up or what you're aiming for?
 

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RP,


This will be a NICE space. A few comments:


1) I second Hanes; on upsizing the LV conduit runs.


2) For speaker wire; you should consider replacing that clear stuff with some proper in-wall CL2 or CL3 rated wire. An additional benefit > it should also pull easier
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the clear stuff does say CL2 listed on it.


At this point, as the speaker wires are run, I don't want to pull them out and re-run them just because. If I have problems I can pull them out and re-run down the road. I can get the 2 wires in and out okay when it's just two.


I will post a google sketchup model when I get a chance.
 

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I'll have to bookmark this thread. Looks similar in layout and scope to what I'm doing in my basement.


I like what you've done so far. I was suprised to read the clear jacketed wire is CL rated.


Why did you choose to run conduit? In my instalaltion I ran all the wire for speakers, etc and stapled it to the framing as I went, mostly up in the soffits and dropped into the walls into low voltage boxes.


Some questions if you don't mind sharing:


Whats the height of the soffits?


Have you made any decisions on the HVAC for the room?


What is the height from the floor to joists?


and, I was wondering what the square framing is in the first pic, center of the future celing?


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rprice54 /forum/post/17502355


the clear stuff does say CL2 listed on it.


At this point, as the speaker wires are run, I don't want to pull them out and re-run them just because. If I have problems I can pull them out and re-run down the road. I can get the 2 wires in and out okay when it's just two.


I will post a google sketchup model when I get a chance.

My bad > I had no idea the clear stuff was rated for in-wall use.

With that said: I understand why you are staying put with what you have.


I see you have used a lot of mineral wool for wall insulation - this should perform well! One of my ideas for bass trapping is to (someday) open up my rear wall (an interior wall) and then fill the spaces with the MW. Then covering that cavity with a GOM covered frame with several inches of semi-rigid fiberglass...
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit /forum/post/17502911


Why did you choose to run conduit? In my instalaltion I ran all the wire for speakers, etc and stapled it to the framing as I went, mostly up in the soffits and dropped into the walls into low voltage boxes.


Some questions if you don't mind sharing:


Whats the height of the soffits?


Have you made any decisions on the HVAC for the room?


What is the height from the floor to joists?


and, I was wondering what the square framing is in the first pic, center of the future celing?


Thanks

1.) Conduit was for any future runs or changes that need to be made. Chances are, I'll never use them again, but for some reason I felt like I needed to. Maybe speakers of the future will use different cables? I was suprised to find CL2 on the jacket, monoprice doesn't mention it, they specifically sell romex type stuff for more listed as CL2 rated. It certainly would be easier to pull.


2) Soffits are 12" tall. The front wall where the screen will be the soffit is 15" deep. You'll never see it though, it will be covered by the built in entertainment center. The back wall soffit had to be 24" deep, which moves my surround backs forward a bit, but it was unavoidable. I'll be starting with a 5.1 setup anyways, so it may not matter.


3) This is really part of an entire basement job. We put a dedicated HVAC unit downstairs (we live in Georgia, it gets hot in the summer, even in the basement). The thermostat is in the media room, so I can keep it as cool as I need to. The rockwool actually heats it up in there- we used to enjoy cool air coming off the concrete walls. The only exposed wall we have faces east- so it gets full sun for the first half of the day and heats the place up. The register in the media room is on the ceiling opposite from the thermostat, and part of it blows directly on the right front wall, where the AV rack will be. I thought (am thinking) about tapping into the upstairs HVAC system that runs along the front wall and letting some of that blow down- except in the winter, when the heat runs all the time, which is why I don't think I will do that. I can keep the basement cool pretty well.


4) Floor to joists is 8'. What I would pay to have had 9' ceilings in the basement... We didn't build it though.


5) I'm not sure which first pic you're talking about? If you're talking about the last pic, I put up some 2x6's in the center of the room to mount the PJ to. Gives me a big solid target.


I'm counting on the rockwool to help. I couldn't drop the ceiling down with isolation brackets, I didn't want to re-frame the room, it was the next best thing I could build in. I'm hoping to keep as much sound out of the soffits as well- the ductwork carries sound upstairs very efficiently.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's a rough schematic. We haven't picked the furniture yet, but here's a basic idea.


The entertaiment center up front. A sectional sofa on the right (of this picture) and another sofa on the left wall. A skinny table behind the sectional with some stools for second row seating/eating area. The back wall has a window to the kitchen area with a bar under it and some more stools.


We're not going with theater seating so the room can be used for other social events.

 

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Looking at the drawing of the space you added, my first thought is if the screen is going to be centered in the room, your center/prime viewing position is an aisle, and all viewing positions are either a bit off center or a lot off center. This may not bother you, depending on your screen and how much you use the area for viewing, but it's worth considering.


P.S. When I suggested a floorplan for more feedback, I meant a floorplan of the entire basement, not just the room, but if you really aren't looking for any more feedback it's fine as is.

EDIT: My point being - if I actually have one - is that sometimes the room or place we start out thinking is best for the HT area turns out to be different from the final product. That has been my case, and others as well. Showing the entire basement might produce a suggestion you hadn't considered that just may change your mind - especially if you get BIG to weigh in with ideas.
 

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Thank you for answering all my questions. It looks like your a bit ahead of me with your build so it will provide me with added motivation. I'm looking forward to seeing your updates.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moneypit /forum/post/17507246


It looks like your a bit ahead of me with your build so it will provide me with added motivation.





Excuse me while I recover from the shock of hearing those words uttered to me, of all people!



Hope you don't mind if I quote you far and wide, as that should give lots of folks a good laugh today!


Imagine it ... me ... ahead of someone in their build!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This was the biggest room in the basement. To the right is a 12x12 room that will serve as a study with a connected bathroom. To the left is another 12x12 room with a window and a door to the outside, so this was the largest room by far, with no ambient light. Plus the plumbing/etc is done. No changes.


The sectional will actually go out past midline, I just quickly drew up a sectional for schematic purposes. What we are shooting for is a sectional with a chaise lounge on the end. Like This. I will have seat front and center, no worries, even if it means a sofa with smaller chairs on the sides.


Inspection passed today, sheet rock starts tomorrow. Woohoo!!!


Now I can order my PJ. I wanted to be sure the sheetrock would be up, then I can project the image on the wall and see what size screen I want. Once I know that, I can start building the entertainment center. If only Epson would release the 8500. I'm torn between that and the Panny 4000... My family will be in town for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to give them a preview with the speakers and PJ set up... but I don't want to rush into the Panny until I know how much the Epson will be.


Speakers supposed to arrive today (fingers crossed)...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, drywall is up, waiting for mud... then the fun begins- building the entertainment center. Hopefully my PJ will come in this week or next, I need to figure out how big of a screen I can get, and then finish the design of the entertainment center. I'm going to put solid panel doors on either side of the room to help contain the sound. I'm itching to get down there with the speakers and give the room a run...



Front wall



Rear Wall



And for fun, my 5 year old wrote this on the wall that backs up to my woodshop. I've had this drywall up for a while, trying to keep the dust in. I told him he could write in chalk whatever he wanted. It's hard to read, but it says, "Do not go in. Dad's Shop."
 

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Hey - it's shaping up quite nice, gotta love having that drywall phase behind you!


Sorry if I missed it earlier in your thread > but a question:

What will be in the room behind your rear wall to the right of the stairwell (in the above photo)?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
there was a wall there originally, it was going to be a seperate room for the Mrs. We were going to have a little wet/bar/minifridge area in the back of the media room, but that quickly eats into sitting room. We decided to put a window in, open the room up, and put a kitchenette back there. We'll have a bar directly under the window on this side, and behind it will be a sink. We'll have room for a full sized fridge and some cabinets back there. To the right is the mechanical room, I think I will put a microwave flush in the wall sticking out into the mechanical room. I can post pics of that area if people want.


Mud this week...
 
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