Hopefully this helps others out on places to buy things
See the “Synthesis-On-The-Cheap” theater build thread for more information about other room related items
Northern sound and light has fantastic pricing on anything made by lots of pro audio brands. They typically run a black Friday special for an additional $50 off a minimum order of ~$400 with no limit on the number of orders you can place. The following is a list of some of the brands they carry:
Middle atlantic (racks and rack mount power strips)
Furman sound (power conditioners/sequencers for auto on functionality of pro amps)
JBL professional (JBL M2 speakers, 7 series, scs8 and cbt series surrounds+many others)
Crown audio (DCI/N series amps+many others)
Crest audio (prolight amps for passive subs)
Neutrik (XLR and speakon connectors)
I purchased JBL m2’s LCR, CBT50 surrounds, crest pro amps for subwoofer duty, Furman power conditioner/surge protector, middle Atlantic rack mount power strip, neutrik XLR connectors from NSL
Amplification: check out affinitech store for refurbished crown pro amplifiers and DO NOT just click the buy button on their website. Request a quote for what you want to purchase for significant discounts (~30%) from what's posted on their website. Comes with 3 year factory warranty on the amps for piece of mind (which was necessary as one of my amp channels had a faulty output with hiss/crackle that needed servicing under warranty)
Processor: monoprice black Friday refurbished htp-1 with 5 year warranty ~$600 off list price. Rakuten also offers 1% cash back for monoprice purchases.
Screen: I needed a perf screen to put speakers behind but I needed something ALR as well for lights-on sports viewing. Purchased a silver ticket screen on their website (using coupon code for email sign up) with the cheapest screen material option (white vinyl) . Then ordered HCNC microperf material from severtson screens that uses the same frame attachment mechanism. High end material with a cheap aluminum frame. Typically ALR + AT screen options run $5-6k for the 150” size range (Stewart HALR, screen innovations slate, etc). My version was ~$1500 and results are fantastic. I took screen samples to a local Best Buy who had a Sony 295 projector throwing into a SI slate 1.2 gain screen and the severtson hcnc microperf compared very favorably prior to my deciding to make the purchase (less artifacts and sparkling with comparable ALR properties). Shout out to user N8DOGG for the tip on the screen. Best kept secret in home theater!
Projector: I needed something with high lumens to light up the large screen, Epson clearance center is a great place to look for significant discounts on projectors covered under a factory warranty. I was able to find a listing on Amazon for an Epson L1060U with large ~$1k price fluctuations day to day and I followed it for weeks and pulled the trigger at the bottom of the price roller coaster. After being “lost” by USPS, I was able to get a full refund through Amazon and started searching for suitable alternatives that met my strict list of criteria (throw distance, vertical lens shift, BTU and noise spec requirements for hush box, weight, exterior dimensions, etc). I ended up being able to find an open box Christie 4k7-hs projector for $7k and an open box lens to meet my throw requirements on eBay for $1k.( The optoma zk750 is another version of this projector marketed in India toward high end home theater)
For anyone interested in this projector, send me a PM and I can get you the contact info for the additional unit available from the person I purchased mine from.
AV rack: not sure if this deal will ever be duplicated, but here are the details: Ridiculous deal on AV racks
42u rack preassembled with acrylic glass front and top fans plus free freight shipping= $233
Lighting: check out prolighting.com for any lutron switch/ dimmer discounts and other lighting with good pricing. Make sure to request a quote for best pricing.
Flexfire LED strip lighting: nice strip lights with great customer support to make sure you have everything you need that will be compatible (switch, dimmer driver, length of lighting strip with proper wattage) . Sign up for emails for additional discounts
GSG audio: fantastic customer support and killer performance if you have the time to assemble the cabinets yourself. Make sure to call for great pricing on drivers and discounts on package deals (beyond what's on the website).
Acoustic treatment: was able to get B stock diffusers from Acoustic Frontiers with very minor cosmetic imperfections at ½ of original price and use a single tube ($5) tube of epoxy to fix and reinforce the areas on the panels that were imperfect/weakened.
Let me know if there are any questions and I can supply more detail if needed.