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“And, here. We. Go.”

Now that I’ve used that quote I think that’ll be the first movie I watch in my new theater. Which brings me to why I’m obviously here. I’m going to build a theater! I’ve been mostly lurking for a month or so now, but I think it’s time for me to start my dedicated build thread. Honestly, more than anything, I think this will be an exercise in getting my thoughts sorted out with all of the details I’m trying to manage in my head. So. Many. Details. Plus, the DIYSG speakers I ordered will be on the way soon and I plan to document everything here in general and with more specific build threads in the respective sub-forums. Figured I better get started now so you all can tell me what I’m doing wrong. Which, I assume will be a LOT. So, feel free to bring anything up. To suggest, recommend, critique, and criticize as necessary. I want to do this right!

To start off here’s the basics of my room. It’s in the basement and the main space is approximately 13’x36’x8.75’. The 13’ side is actually 157.5” wide and will be my screen wall. If you look at the drawing you can see that the room widens to the left about 4ft where there’s a wet bar(shown) and doors(not shown), a bathroom, a closet and a spare bedroom. I can always take a picture and/or update the drawing if more details are necessary. As of now the back of the room will remain open to the full 36’ and will be a kids play area and general use space. The walls, ceiling, and carpet are all lighter tan/beige colors right now. To be darkened later. There is no sound isolation at all and the stairs are open to the main floor. There is an egress window to the right near the screen. I plan to have the ability to black it out completely when necessary.

Before the basement was finished 7 years ago I tried to plan ahead and installed two runs of 1.5” flexible conduit for TV or projector hook-ups. They start at the closet under the stairs on the left and go to the center of the room. They then turn 90deg in opposite directions and run the length of the room and down the wall at each end. That’s apparently what I did right when I planned ahead. From what I’ve read lately I didn’t think near big enough. It looks like I should have run small conduit for speakers as well, but all I installed at the time was one run of in-wall 14/2 speaker wire to each location. I ran 3 wires for LCR at both ends(in case I wanted to use the either end for the front) and 4 runs for the surrounds. The surround wires are located at the horizontal dashed guide lines in the drawing. All of these are run to that closet as well.

The Projector: My first purchase was the projector. I got about as much projector as I could for the money I was willing to spend and went with the Epson 5050ub. I got it for the upconverted 4k, lens memory, and brightness. I plan to mount it to the ceiling inverted. Although, I’m open to a hush box as all I’ve read about this particular projector is “Fan noise, fan noise, fan noise!” Feel free to read that in Jan’s voice. Ha. I’ve tried the projector out a little bit already and love the picture projected on my tan textured walls so I can’t wait to get it on a screen. So, that brings me to...

The Screen: This is where I have most of my questions right now. First off, I have tons and tons of room depth compared to width so I’m planning to do an acoustically transparent(AT) screen setup. I’m 90% sure I’ll do this DIY using spandex or the Seymour materials that I’ve read about on here. Also, I want to max out my width and the current plan is to do a base Cinemascope 2.40:1 AR and CIH for 16:9 etc… Anyway, using a width of 150” with 2.40 gets me a height of 62.5”. This comes out to 162.5” diagonal. Can I do a DIY AT this big and still have enough light with the 5050ub? Will I have to be at max lumens at all times? I do not have the budget to get a commercial AT screen this big. One other thing about the screen I’m still figuring out is the placement height. Some of that has to do with the black bars for the 2.40 AR and some is speaker placement. Right now, in the model, it’s spaced from the ceiling just enough to make room for the top black bar to be completely on the wall and masked. I don’t know if this allows for the speakers to be low enough and miss the screen frame.. I’m using 3x 1099’s btw w/ one being horizontal(I know 3 verts would be fine with AT but already ordered the horiz).

Speaking of speakers…. I think I’ll get more into that in the next post. Hopefully, I’m not cramming too much into this post already. I try to get to it tonight after the girls go to bed. As a preview think 3x 1099, 4x HT-10, and subs. Probably 2x DEV + 2x V.B.S.S + BOSS? Other sub possibilities? Who knows?! I guess we(including me, ha) will find out :cool:
 

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I would strongly consider keeping your center in the vertical orientation for a better front soundstage.
 

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I would strongly consider keeping your center in the vertical orientation for a better front soundstage.
So, about that. I literally just got the notification that my speaker kits are shipping. Ha! Talk about timing. I'll more then likely build them as-is for now. I'm sure I could look into getting just the baffle or making one down the road. I'll definitely keep it in mind as you're the second or third person to recommend this since I decided to try an AT setup.
 

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I've got a couple updates. First, I think my 3 1099s are showing up tomorrow! Really excited just to see the parts and flat packs that I've been reading so much about. This will be my first speaker build or really just my first personal "woodworking" experience in general. Like, I've done some basic things with dimensional lumber but I've never really done much with cabinets or paneling. Hopefully I'm up to the task. I actually made it to a Harbor Freight today and upgraded my clamp arsenal and bought a few other tools as well. I went to Menards yesterday to pick up glue(Loctite III), black silicone, and a saw(for future sub builds) that was on sale.

Also, a small side story about tools for speaker building:
I mentioned to my dad that I was thinking of getting a paint spray gun and he pulled out an older looking box with a nice looking sprayer in it. No idea on what type or brand, but it's got the "can" below the gun. The box is generic and just says "professional paint spray gun" with a model number of SG-103-7. Couldn't find anything on google. The price tag says $199 so maybe it's an ok gun? He said he picked it up at an auction for next to nothing a while back and said I could take it. He doesn't have a need for it. I may take a picture and post it in the DIY Speaker forum to see if people think it might work for Duratex. Maybe I'll get lucky and have one less tool to buy!

The second update is my all of my AT screen and speaker placement plans are in flux. I'm finding that 162" is just way too big without a serious positive gain screen, among other changes, if I'm wanting decent brightness and picture quality. So, if I go smaller I may not go AT as I'll then have more room on the sides. It's all up in the air at the moment. I'm planning to keep... planning(heyo) while I start on the first speakers. The sound is going to be excellent even if I'm still trying to figure out how to get the picture setup to match it.
 
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I'll also add my voice to the vertical center channel crowd - but you'll be fine with it horizontal. I would stick with your AT screen plan - the sound is just better when it comes from the same spot where the action is taking place. Yes, your mind can fool you into the sound appearing to come from the screen when the speakers aren't behind it, but I can still tell a difference and to me a lot of the joy of a theater is that suspension of reality and being sucked into a different world. All the little things in building a theater such as putting your speakers behind the screen contribute to that.
 

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The 1099's showed up but I haven't been able to do much with them yet. I was able to find time to peek into one of the kit boxes and check out some of the parts. I know they're not huge speakers by any means but seeing the woofer size made me realize how BIG they'll be. I'm really excited to get going on them. I had always planned on HT-8's but since they were out I was going to get the HT-10s. Turns out Erich got the HT-8 parts in and I was able to update my order and get those instead. They should be showing up on my doorstep any minute actually. I'll probably start with those since the scale of the build will be smaller and hopefully make it easier for me to get started. I'll take some pics during the unboxings.

To follow up on the paint gun I believe its a conventional type with a 1.8mm tip. That my be a bit small for Duratex but I think I'm going to give it a try before I buy another gun. If nothing else, if it doesn't work, I can always just pick up the Harbor Freight HVLP that a lot of people use and get going with that instead.

As for the screen plan I'm now looking at doing around a 140" screen. Either AT or non-AT. I should have enough light in my 5050ub for either option. Now, I just have to decide if the little bit better gain of the non-AT is worth not actually doing the AT configuration. I'm looking at using SeymourAV's DIY materials. XD for AT and Glacier white for non-AT. I actually just realized they're local to me so that works out well in my favor.

So, not a lot of actual progress yet but I'm hoping to get going on the actual build soon. Also, first I'm planning to build a 6'x30" mobile workbench for my garage. That'll give a good sized versatile surface to start working on. Here's the link to approximately what I'm planning to build: Budget Workbench Hopefully that will work out like I'm hoping. I've wanted to make one like this with hardwood but I'm not ready to try that yet. This will be a good starting point. I'm also going to put it on casters that can be engaged/disengaged with the floor.

That's it for now.
 

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The 1099's showed up but I haven't been able to do much with them yet. I was able to find time to peek into one of the kit boxes and check out some of the parts. I know they're not huge speakers by any means but seeing the woofer size made me realize how BIG they'll be. I'm really excited to get going on them. I had always planned on HT-8's but since they were out I was going to get the HT-10s. Turns out Erich got the HT-8 parts in and I was able to update my order and get those instead. They should be showing up on my doorstep any minute actually. I'll probably start with those since the scale of the build will be smaller and hopefully make it easier for me to get started. I'll take some pics during the unboxings.

To follow up on the paint gun I believe its a conventional type with a 1.8mm tip. That my be a bit small for Duratex but I think I'm going to give it a try before I buy another gun. If nothing else, if it doesn't work, I can always just pick up the Harbor Freight HVLP that a lot of people use and get going with that instead.

As for the screen plan I'm now looking at doing around a 140" screen. Either AT or non-AT. I should have enough light in my 5050ub for either option. Now, I just have to decide if the little bit better gain of the non-AT is worth not actually doing the AT configuration. I'm looking at using SeymourAV's DIY materials. XD for AT and Glacier white for non-AT. I actually just realized they're local to me so that works out well in my favor.

So, not a lot of actual progress yet but I'm hoping to get going on the actual build soon. Also, first I'm planning to build a 6'x30" mobile workbench for my garage. That'll give a good sized versatile surface to start working on. Here's the link to approximately what I'm planning to build: Budget Workbench Hopefully that will work out like I'm hoping. I've wanted to make one like this with hardwood but I'm not ready to try that yet. This will be a good starting point. I'm also going to put it on casters that can be engaged/disengaged with the floor.

That's it for now.
I hope you document your speaker setup well cause Im looking at doing the similar speakers with an AT screen :)
 

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I hope you document your speaker setup well cause Im looking at doing the similar speakers with an AT screen :)
That's the plan! Now I just need to follow through and keep taking pictures. It's amazing how everything else melts away form my brain when I work on a project. :D I always forget to take pictures.
 
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