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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, long time lurker, first time poster.


Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me regarding my first real foray into HT.


We're converting a 1200 sq/ft basement and trying to do it right. It'll be acoustically sound (vertical and horizontal drywall, floors and walls not touching, etc). THe actual HT room will be around 28x14 feet. I'm aiming to set up a 7.1 surround with the following.


THere's a 200 sq/ft software storage room (floor to ceiling DVD shelves, etc), a 500 sq/ft game room (pool table, kitchette), and the rest is a long HT chamber. No windows. Black ceiling and screen wall. Dark green walls. Berber carpet.


Money to spend on equipment (inc. cables) is around $20K (this does NOT include money for the room -- that's a separate budget). Here's what I've come up with (please advise or comment!)


1. Projector/screen: Sony VPL-HS51/Stewart StudioTek 130.

I'm pretty much sold on the Sony. As for the Stewart, do I need the 130, or the firehawk? "Sweet spot" seating is around 14" away, with an upper stepped add. seating around 24-28' behind. Diagonal measurement for screen is 104. THat right, or do I need to go bigger?


2. Speakers. L/R: Magneplanar 3.6. Center: CC3. Surround: MGMC1 x2 x2 (four total)

I pretty much salivated over these speakers. My god, these sound good. However, I have NO idea which receiver/amp to use. Please help!


3. Subwoofer. Probably the Hsu. Perhaps the VTF-3 MK 2 x2


4. Receiver/Amp. I like the idea of the "cards" in the Integra DTR-10.5 or the Onkyo NR1000. THe Maggie dealer dude however, wants me to go with a top-end Marantz or Denon, as that's what he carries. Are ANY of them going to be powerful enough to cope with the Maggie madness? Any Amp/Receiver advice would be gratefully received!


5. Video signal up-converter. Do I need a DVDO for the Sony?


6. DVD/CD: Something pretty outstanding to pair with the Maggies for music and movies. I'm edging towards a modded Denon 3910... from Underwood. However, I MUST have the ability to play region-free (i.e. PAL and NTSC) DVDs. Help!


7. Cables. Read some outstanding reviews of the anti-cables by Paul Speltz. ANyone had good experiences with these?


8. Power conditioner. Hmmm. No idea! Any advice?


9. Remote. Philips Pronto and five weeks of learning time! Anyone had a good experience with the Pronto?


10. Digital Music Management. Two zone Sonos.


I'll be hooking up five video game consoles to the set-up too (component Xbox debug, Gamecube Reader, PS2 Test, and VGA or HDMI Xbox360 Debug and PS3), so I need video!


If you can help, even if it's to tell me I posted this in the wrong place, I would be very grateful.


Thanks!


Sothoth
 

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Wow, talk about a set of loaded questions!


First, welcome to the forums, SothothYog. (Wasn't there a Robert E. Howard Conan story involving a Yog-Sothoth, or was that a HP Lovecraft entity? Something about a green elephant-headed other dimensional creature...)


You'll probably get more product-specific responses in the appropriate subforums here for all of your needs.


The only advice I can give is concerning your PJ/Screen. Get your PJ first and shoot that at a blank white wall or King-sized white bedsheet. Go as big as you want, and see how the SDE is, and what is acceptable to you. This will give you an idea for what size screen you want. I'd say spend half of your budget on a nice PJ, you're going to get a great deal! It's always helpful to post your budget for each item in order to narrow down your choices. If I had a budget like yours, I'd go for an Infocus 7210.


Research at least a couple of days on each item here, on Amazon, Epinions, ZDNet, Tom's Hardware, and other sites - look at both user opinions, and technical reviews...


Have fun, and don't forget to post pics as you go, think of all of us here as your distant relatives that you only communicate with via email and pic attachments...;)
 

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For the a/v source I'd look into separates from Rotel, Parasound, Anthem, Sunfire, etc. With your budget and those speakers I wouldn't use a receiver (not that the top end Denon/Marantz are bad, but for the money I'd buy separates).


Pronto remotes are 'cool' but they are a pain to program. If you want something you can have up and running in a few hours look at the Harmony 880.
 

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Link for the "anti-cables"?


How much are you spending on the room?
 

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I'd go with an Optoma H78DC3 for the projector, screen seems like a good choice. I agree with Brown's advice to project onto the wall and see what size you like. My guess is something like 120" is going to be better for that size room.


Look into 2.35:1 aspect ratio setups, since you'll be building a dedicated HT. There's a separate forum for this, with a sticky FAQ at the top. That's the ideal setup, IMO.


Try modifying your HT room dimensions a bit... an exact 2:1 ratio of L:W is not ideal.


I couldn't agree more with Kevin's suggestions of separate pre-amp & amps. Much better with your budget to go straight to separates. There's no comparison. Same with his advice on the remote. I have a Harmony 880, and it's great. It took about 30 minutes to enter my many devices into the online tool and program it, and it was basically immediately functional. It needs quite a bit of tweaking to have it look and function exactly the way I want it, but that's to be expected.


Don't spend a ton of money on cables. Get some good quality interconnects and speaker wire from various recommended suppliers listed in the many threads about it on this forum. Examples are BlueJeansCable.com, BetterCables, Ram, etc.


There are many threads on the merits (or lack thereof) of power conditioning. It's my opinion to get a voltmeter (integrated into a plug, with readout) to see what kind of voltage you get regularly, to see if your power supply warrants conditioning. For the most part, a good surge protector is all you need.


Subwoofer, can't go wrong with an HSU or SVS -- see subs forum. Related to bass, have you considered shakers? If so, it's recommended to connect them to a riser (instead of directly to the seats) if possible -- definitely enhances the experience, as long as you set it to a reasonable level (but the good thing is you can set it to whatever level you want once it's installed).


Once you've gotten closer to actual source component selections, list all of the outputs you have (and the inputs of the PJ), and find a good switcher for your gear. Ideally you can standardize your equipment around one of the formats, such as HDMI, or DVI (preference in that order).


Good luck, and welcome to the forums! (At least, as a participant...) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your help on this. I'm having trouble posting -- getting a "URL or image calls" error and I can't post!!


I'll BE BACK!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great. I can't cut and paste from Word.


Okay, I'll retype it all then!


Many thanks for the responses. I truly appreicate your help and thoughts.


I've done a bit more digging, and I've decided to set up a listen to the Gallo Reference IIIs (I know, wrong area of the forum!) Don't wknow what to use for the rest of the speakers, though.


Will take your advice and check the Optoma and Infacous out, and ramp up the projector screen after more measuring!


Here's the anticables address: It is the word "anticables" followed by dot and com.


(can't make it live until I do five posts!!)


One reviewer said these were the compliment to BlueHeans for audio.


I'm also looking into the Arcam reciever/ amp stuff. Read a lot of good things about them, so I'll go take a listen once I get some time off.


I'm spending around 20K on equipment, and around 90k on the basement.


I will post piccies soon! Access to the basement is via a secret door after all!


Cheers


Sothoth
 

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No, I don't mean overall. By "room" I mean on the "acoustic and visual space". What are you planning to do on sound control, acoustic treatments, etc. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Right, sorry. I'm a chimp.


Nothing is set in stone yet (literally, the excavation and steel beams aren't in!), but during drywalling, I'm following the plan of sound-proofing the walls and floors (two sheets of drywall at different angles), same plan with the sub floor and insulation, sealing doors, etc.


Er... erm... anything else I should be thinking of? I've made sure the room isn't 2:1! In fact, I'll scan a plan in when I have time. Will be doing fabric panels too.


I checked into the Optoma. Wow!


And the information on the 2.35.1 ratio screen helped me decide to go that way. Still don't know how big to go with screen size, though. Will post room dimensions when I get the floorplan!


I've now demoed the Magnepans, and was a little disappointed. Ack! Any recommendations on what to try with the Gallo Reference 3s when I test them? Right, wrong part of the forum again!


Thanks everyone! I appreciate your HT prowess!


S
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sageice: Actually, I write strategy guides for a living, as well as freelance articles for various publications. Going off to do an Xbox 360 title this Sunday in fact! Should be fun!


One of the reasons for the set-up is to actually check if there's actually extra strategy in the games if you have a surround set-up. At least, that's what I'm telling my wife....


Are you in the industry?
 
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