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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi and thank you for all the great info over the years in helping build the knowledge base required for our theater and it's completion. Hopefully there will be some useful info here to help others through their home theater journeys.

Having previously attended CEDIA in 2017 (impressions here:
CEDIA 2017 reviews...Where are they? ) I had a pretty good idea of what I was after with our project. I didn't want a bat cave theater that only gets used 6 times a year and the idea was to create a more inviting open concept game room/media room space for viewing major sporting events, TV, movies, and occasional music listening,etc.

The plan was to have a fully sound isolated “soundproof” room to both maintain a low noise floor and to keep the peace with the neighbors. We utilized double stud walls, double ⅝” drywall, Green glue for all walls and ceiling, clip and channel for the ceiling and the one load bearing wall. Communicating doorways with automatic door bottoms, Acoustic thresholds, ducted mini split with duct mufflers for low noise HVAC, projector hush box with all equipment located in an adjacent equipment room.

The plan was to set a hard $50k budget for all theater equipment/gear/acoustic treatment and design consulting and I've started a separate gear thread in the deals forum so that pricing can be discussed without censorship.


First, the space we had to work with as an unfinished basement (renders made using free trial of softplan architecture design software)
Slope Rectangle Urban design Font Parallel
Product Rectangle Slope Urban design Font


Here is a mock up of the general layout and plan

Rectangle Font Schematic Parallel Pattern

Got help from Nyal at Acoustic Frontiers for design consulting
Room dimensions:
Rectangle Schematic Slope Font Parallel

The audio plan:
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The video plan
Rectangle Slope Font Schematic Parallel

Front wall Acoustic treatment
Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Pattern

"Never really" Finished room
Automotive design Interior design Black-and-white Flooring Style

Furniture Building Plant Couch Interior design
Property Furniture Couch Interior design Architecture

Wood Studio monitor Audio equipment Public address system Electronic instrument
Property Television Television set Architecture Art
Gear list:

Speakers:

LCR-JBL M2 master reference monitors

Ear level surround speakers: JBL CBT50-la

Atmos in ceiling speakers: Revel 763L

Processor: Monoprice HTP-1

Subwoofers: 3 GSG audio BTS subwoofers each utilizing Eminence NSW-21" drivers (2 front wall subs are standard size, rear sub hidden in the riser is custom depth and port orientation)

Amplifiers:

Crown DCI 4/300 (ear level surrounds)

Crown DCI 4/300 (atmos tops)

Crown DCI 4/1250N (left and right M2)

Crown DCI 2/600N (center M2)

Crest prolite 3.0 (bridged for rear riser subwoofer)

Crest prolite 7.5 (driving 2 front wall subwoofers)

MiniDSP 2x4 balanced (X2 for high pass filter and GSG recommended EQ settings)

Projector: Christie 4k7-HS

Screen : 150" diagonal 16:9 severtson high contrast grey (HCNC) microperf (0.8 gain) material on a silver ticket aluminum frame

Source devices:

Nvidia shield pro (2019)

Blu ray Disc player: Play station 3

Panasonic dp-ub420k player

Control:

Logitech pro 2400 remote and hub

Lutron caseta pro dimmers and smart bridge

Rack- quest manufacturing 42U rack with acrylic front door

Power:

2 dedicated 20 amp circuits on same phase leg of service panel utilizing 10/3 Romex with one leg disconnected (future expansion to 240V)

Furman CN2400s power sequencer (for automation of pro amps)

Furman plprodmc power conditioner (noise filtration/surge protection/under&over voltage protection)

Eaton whole house surge protector at main panel

Environmental potentials 2750 ground filter

TPD cable line surge protection (at service entrance)

Acoustic treatment: per plan from Acoustic Frontiers: combination of autex quietspace, acoustic frontiers wave diffuser, acoustic first model F, and Acoustic first aolean panels, R38 pink fluffy fiberglass insulation behind screen wall

Seating:
Front row: octane seating flex HR
Second row: cheap couch from rooms- to -go
Third bar row: seats and bar from Wayfair


Paint colors:
Ceiling, screen wall soffit- Sherwin Williams 6258: tricorn black in Matte finish

Walls - Sherwin Williams 7073: network gray in Matte finish

Crown moulding and baseboard- Sherwin Williams 7005 pure white In Matte finish

Before images:
Front wall
Wood Architecture Floor Flooring Hardwood

Back wall
Wood Floor Building Flooring Ceiling

Right wall
Fixture Floor Wood Flooring Composite material

Left wall
Hall Wood Floor Flooring Wall
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the compliments! the lamps we're a find on Wayfair as a two pack special.

HVAC:

My plan below

Rectangle Slope Font Schematic Map

Keeping the projector in a hush box and having it separately ventilated was huge to lessen the cooling load for the room, not to mention noise. Also the rack full of pro amps (effective space heaters) necessitated an out of the theater location for the gear.


With my underground basement location and double stud insulated walls, even in the hot humid south, my only real heat loads in the theater are the occupants and the lighting (confirmed by manual J calculations)


A few notes on HVAC.


Most hvac contractors don't give a crap about running manual J calculations or sizing your equipment correctly. So you can either hire an engineer level HVAC contractor and pay accordingly, or do it yourself.


Coolcalc is a great (user friendly) free online tool for running manual J calculations and you can pay $15 and get a fully certified ACCA report certificate if your HVAC contractor requires one.




A few notes to keep in mind:


A single Theater occupant at rest produces ~500 BTU/hr


100 watts of lighting produces 341 BTU/hr (just multiply the wattage of equipment or lighting by 3.41 to get the BTU/hr


In order to keep things quiet, keep air velocity (Feet per minute) below 250.


I used this webpage to help with calculating things at the flex duct and also the vent face:




HVAC quick.com is a great resource for relatively inexpensive custom size grille grates to meet spec. (75% open area grates available)


Make sure your HVAC return grate doesn't short circuit your air flow from your supply grille. In these soundproof/100% air tight, over insulated rooms, return grate location doesn't matter all that much as long as there are no short circuits (we ended up moving the game room supply vent closer to the theater room area vs what is pictured above)
 

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It looks amazing!
Can you share how you got to select the Christie 4k7-HS projector?

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

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Hi Bart,

I’m guessing it’s too late now, but I think you need more power for your amps. :oops: At max program material,1/8 of rated power, your Crown amps are drawing 18-20A and the Peaveys are drawing 26A. Code recommends a max of 80% power for circuit sizing, so that drops you down to 16A for your 20A circuits. The 10g wire is adequate and should have less than a 2% voltage drop at peak current (26A). That Peavey Pro-Lite 7.5 should probably be on it’s own 20A circuit.

Having said that, I know that most music and movies will never see sustained max power and that the NEC code is centered around continuous loads, but you should have MOAR POWER!!

I really like your gear selections and your attention to power conditioning and sequencing. I haven’t considered ground filtering and was wanting your take on the pros and cons of installing the EP 2750.

Great job on doing your own HVAC calculations/Manual J. Its a shame that most contractors don’t think about those things...I read a study about return grille placement relative to short circuiting/stealing airflow from supply sources. Their conclusion was that return grille placement had minimal impact on supply airflow and distribution into a given space, provided the supply diffuser was properly selected and positioned in the room to evenly distribute the supply air. So, to amplify on your comment above, “...return grate location doesn't matter all that much...”, but supply diffuser selection and placement is very important!

Lastly, I was wondering if you did much listening and/or measuring before and after installation of your acoustic treatments. I’m curious to hear your impressions.

Great job on a good looking and well engineered theater space! I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I
It looks amazing!
Can you share how you got to select the Christie 4k7-HS projector?

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
That's a bit of an interesting story. See the deals forum thread for more info, but basically I had originally specced an Epson L1100u for my theater which met my throw and lens shift requirements and was relatively inexpensive but with enough lumens to light up the 150" screen for lights on sports viewing (30+FL). I made sure to overspec the hush box to cool projectors up to 750watts because the itch to upgrade is unavoidable...;)



I actually ordered the newer Epson L1060u on Amazon (found out the L1100u didn't accept 4k input) and then found out after 2 weeks of not receiving it, that it had been "lost" by USPS. The Amazon third party vendor offered to try to find me a suitable replacement at their cost and so I started looking into brands that they carry (for some strange reason, they couldn't just order another Epson… sketchy). Even at their cost, the other alternatives were too expensive and so I started searching other avenues to find a projector to meet the tight list of criteria (physical size, large amount of vertical lens shift, BTU requirements, weight,etc) I eventually got my money back from Amazon and since the price fluctuates so much on the Epson (~$1k daily) I was never able to find it for as good of a deal as before.

I was looking at alternatives when I stumbled upon the optoma zk750 and Christie 4k7-hs which are essentially the same projector. The former being marketed in India for high end home theater.

Christie does have an in house factory refurbished program with all their available models listed on the website. Even the refurbished 4k7-hs was still too much for my budget but I found a desperate pro AV guy from Texas that got burned from a deal that went south after covid-19 on eBay that was willing to let his go for a fraction of MSRP. Maybe someone here can be lucky enough to get a Christie griffyn or eclipse at half price by keeping a watchful eye on Christies refurbished inventory!

I will say, that for my application, I'm thrilled with the image it throws. Nice black levels with the improved black floor from my grey high contrast screen it's paired with, Great motion handling for sports viewing, razor sharp and it basically looks like a giant TV when we want it to, but still with the ability to adjust laser output level for lights out movie mode with great color accuracy. For the price of an JVC NX7, I'm more than pleased with my decision. I don't see rainbows either but am not sensitive. None of the JVC models would really work anyway in my application with the large low gain ALR screen.

Kind of grainy 720p ESPN content, but Roll Tide Roll😎
Sorry Buckeye fans
Television Recreation room Gadget Television set Flat panel display
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Bart,

I’m guessing it’s too late now, but I think you need more power for your amps. :oops: At max program material,1/8 of rated power, your Crown amps are drawing 18-20A and the Peaveys are drawing 26A. Code recommends a max of 80% power for circuit sizing, so that drops you down to 16A for your 20A circuits. The 10g wire is adequate and should have less than a 2% voltage drop at peak current (26A). That Peavey Pro-Lite 7.5 should probably be on it’s own 20A circuit.

Having said that, I know that most music and movies will never see sustained max power and that the NEC code is centered around continuous loads, but you should have MOAR POWER!!

I really like your gear selections and your attention to power conditioning and sequencing. I haven’t considered ground filtering and was wanting your take on the pros and cons of installing the EP 2750.

Great job on doing your own HVAC calculations/Manual J. Its a shame that most contractors don’t think about those things...I read a study about return grille placement relative to short circuiting/stealing airflow from supply sources. Their conclusion was that return grille placement had minimal impact on supply airflow and distribution into a given space, provided the supply diffuser was properly selected and positioned in the room to evenly distribute the supply air. So, to amplify on your comment above, “...return grate location doesn't matter all that much...”, but supply diffuser selection and placement is very important!

Lastly, I was wondering if you did much listening and/or measuring before and after installation of your acoustic treatments. I’m curious to hear your impressions.

Great job on a good looking and well engineered theater space! I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Mike
Thanks for the compliments and for pointing this out. All the audio gear is still yet to be fully calibrated and tested at full tilt, but I can say that I probably will have to upgrade my electrical amperage for the gear soon as the Furman sequencer does trip the 20amp arc fault breaker at the panel when trying to power up all the amps with their respective inrush currents if the delay is not set properly. Fortunately, my rack is 6ft from my main AC panel and in an unfinished part of the basement, so I can easily swap things out as needed. I had originally planned on using the middle atlantic ISOCTR-5R-240-2 isolation transformer and I may still go that route, but it's fairly expensive (even through the discounted channels mentioned in the deals forum) and my consultant didn't think it was necessary.

I don't think the ground filter is 100% necessary, but it was recommended and cheap insurance relative to the overall project and easy to do as prophylaxis against any unwanted noise given the rooms low noise floor.

Regarding Acoustic treatments, yes, it definitely makes a big difference. Just carrying on a conversation is much more pleasant now with all the treatments installed. I ran a quick Dirac calibration before installing the panels and it already sounded great, but if you've ever built a sound isolated room, you know it's a terrible echo chamber for high frequencies and you definitely need something to take down the slap echo at a minimum. I still haven't fully setup everything though and my main LCR speakers are still at floor level instead of on their stands to elevate them as the design calls for (this should improve things acoustically, as the treatments were designed and placed with the dispersion pattern of the speakers in an elevated position 19" off the floor).

My wife and toddler weren't up to the task of lifting 130lb worth of speaker 2ft in the air, so I'm waiting on my brother to come in town this weekend for some free labor in exchange for a demo session.:p
 

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I like what you’ve done with your space. I think you’ll enjoy your surround speaker choice — it’s nice to see the line arrays getting some use.

One question…

Why Monoprice HTP-1 instead of the JBL Synthesis processor. Seeing all the JBL speakers and the name of the theater I was surprised no Synthesis processor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I like what you’ve done with your space. I think you’ll enjoy your surround speaker choice — it’s nice to see the line arrays getting some use.

One question…

Why Monoprice HTP-1 instead of the JBL Synthesis processor. Seeing all the JBL speakers and the name of the theater I was surprised no Synthesis processor.
Thanks,

Yeah, I've been pleased with my surrounds choice, really blends in seamlessly with the other speakers and the lower dB drop over distance really helps to keep from blasting people who aren't sitting in the MLP. You and I are the only people I know of that are using them, but I guess what everyone else doesn't know won't hurt them!

No way I was spending $1-3k PER speaker for the synthesis in wall/in ceiling alternatives. My psychoacoustic perception of sounds coming from behind me isn't that good to notice a difference... if there is one.

The monoprice unit seems to be the less buggy, more stable unit and more fully supported by the manufacturer when compared to the SDP-55, it also measures better (ASR) and is cheaper, so that's the direction I went. just as JBL subs are overpriced for what they are, I think their processors are poor value for money. They make great speakers though!

The JBL rebadged trinnov was out of the question. Falls outside of the “on-the-cheap” requirement!

No regrets so far with my processor choice.

Now if dirac can get their act together and fix the Bass control multi sub feature, I can finally blend my subs together seamlessly for seat to seat consistency!

I'm pretty sure JBL charges a couple thousand $ to run your sub measurements through their sound field management algorithm. In my opinion, a complete slap in the face to those people that just shelled out 5 figures for a processor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Reveal lights alternative


I've always liked the reveal lights highlighting the speakers and subs concealed behind AT screens, but I felt like it is one of those features that wouldn't be used very often after the “new car smell” wore off.


However, I do want to have the ability to show first time guests what is back there without having to manually take the screen down. Below is what I've come up with:


First take a picture with your cell phone of the screen wall once the screen is taken down.

Electronic instrument Wood Studio monitor Musical instrument accessory Audio equipment
Next crop the image so that only the parts concealed by the screen are in the image

Brown Public address system Wood Sound box Audio equipment

Finally, Using the Nvidia shield pro with built in Chromecast (or other Chromecast capable device) I can cast the image to my Shield with surprisingly good results from my cell phone or tablet
Rectangle Wood Material property Flooring Gas
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Doors


We had to have 2 communicating doorways to maintain our sound isolation plan and keep access to our mechanical room on the other side of the game room.


All 4 doors are solid core 1 3/4" thick (commercial thickness ) slab/flush pre hung doors (~$200 delivered each)


Ended up using 5 -28oz tubes of acoustic caulk just for the gaps between the door jamb and the framing even with the backer rod I used to fill in the gaps.
Building Wood Shade Floor Automotive exterior


Because the door to the mechanical room will not need to be used very often, I opted for the cheapest acoustically rated door seal solution I could find. The pemko stc-2D Seal set kit comes with an aluminum threshold, set of seals for the door stop, and then another set for the jamb. It works really well and was installed without issue by my contractor.
Rectangle Font Slope Line Parallel


The studs here are standard 2x4 spaced 1" apart.
Wood Floor Flooring Beam Hall

The door handles are Baldwin reserve Model: PSTUBCSR190 and don't hit or touch even with the doors with hinges on the same side.

Product Rectangle Font Grey Floor
Automotive tire Wood Rim Rectangle Vehicle door
Rectangle Wall Wood Material property Composite material

The other door, as the main entrance to the theater needed to look a bit more polished, so we opted for the automatic door bottom approach from Reese (part 330c) with the adjustable door seals (part 59c). We just removed the prehung door stop that the door came with and used the aluminum adjustable seal piece as the door stop.
Wood Beam House Facade Brickwork

Window Wood Floor Beam Shade
Wood Fixture Building Interior design Door
Fixture Window Wood Building Shade


The threshold proved to be a bit more challenging than we anticipated to get the height just right for the transition from LVP flooring outside the theater to plush carpet inside the theater and the wood threshold proved inadequate. Here's the before:
Wood Fixture Flooring Floor Material property


And the after (finished product):
Wood Building Interior design Flooring Grey

Finally got the seals all aligned and results are great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The cabinets flanking the screen are mostly for visual interest, but I wanted to utilize the space inside of the cabinets for additional bass trapping and also to prevent any unwanted cabinet resonance from diminishing the listening experience.


Both cabinets are filled with thick fiberglass insulation.

Rectangle Wood Automotive design Flooring Floor


And holes drilled on the back of the cabinet to allow air to move in and out of the cabinet freely.

Before:
Rectangle Grey Automotive design Door Tints and shades

After:
Rectangle Grille Mesh Wood Gas
 

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Reveal lights alternative

I've always liked the reveal lights highlighting the speakers and subs concealed behind AT screens, but I felt like it is one of those features that wouldn't be used very often after the “new car smell” wore off.

However, I do want to have the ability to show first time guests what is back there without having to manually take the screen down. Below is what I've come up with:

View attachment 3140696
I love this idea, how has it not been thought of before!? Great job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Everything is looking great, congrats. It seems a great room. And I like the lights behind the screen a lot. But I have to ask, why do you have those 2 lamps on the front wall, on each corner?
Thanks! Mostly because my wife doesn't like to watch movies or shows without ambient lighting and this was a way to provide a more welcoming aesthetic without washing out the onscreen image. (7000 lumens helps too!:cool:). Happy wife, happy life!
 

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I love this idea, how has it not been thought of before!? Great job.
I feel a little stupid for not thinking of it myself after being sort of bummed about the "reveal" in my own theater. It just seems so obvious to utilize a picture. Seems crazy that no one has done this (that I'm aware of) until 2021.
 
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