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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're in the process of finalizing the purchase of our house (finally!). While I don't post in this forum as much, I read it avidly and at this point some advice is more than welcome. Here's the skinny.


The house has a 4000 sqft basement of which about 1800 sqft will turn into a dedicated theater. We have a "theater" (sort of) in our current house, but it is by no means..well...optimized. And that's because we rent this house (I sold my house in 2005....whew!). Here's some of the equipment in the house currently, of which some will probably get used in the new theater.
  • Projector - Mitsubishi HC3800 - 1080p, about a year old (but I have an extra bulb sitting for it as well)
  • Screen - Custom 120" 2.35:1- This may get changed as the new basement has 9ft ceilings and I potentially could go bigger)
  • Speakers - Axiom M80, VP150, QS8s - While not the best of the bunch, they have served me well. It is about time for these to go.
  • Sub(s) - Dual HSU VTF 10" - Again, these have served me well, but it is probably time for them to go as well
  • Pre - Fosgate FAP T1+ 7.1 (This is the old horse. It has 7.1 analog ins, but no HDMI. Not a deal breaker..I love this preamp)
  • Amps - Sunfire Cinema Grand 200x7 (with repairs needed...one channel blew), three Behringer A500s (currently used).
  • Source - A custom HTPC exclusively. This has a heavily modded X-Meridian 2G sound card for audio and HDMI for video. In addition it has a whole lot of custom software that I have written to do a few things.
  • Storage - 48TB array - Yes, you read that correct.
    (and it can scale upto 96TB) All of our DVDs, BDs, music, videos, photos, TV recordings, documents, scans and what not reside on it. Central to the house.
  • All controlled with a Harmony 1100.


Now....the $64,000 question.
Time to plan a new setup.


- The theater will not have rows of seating but a custom C shaped sectional couch with a custom ottoman in the middle. Both of these will be on a riser.

- The theater can be painted in any color I like.

- The equipment will be housed in a dedicated area and rack mounted. I'm planning on getting five 20 amp circuits run to this area.

- I can work out the whole projector, screen, wiring, rack etc etc.


Where I need help is the audio part. Specifically speakers and subs. There is no budget for them yet, but I'm not shy about spending money on things I like.
(For reference, my car is in shambles right now, getting the same thing done... http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...udio-love.html
)


So...do I go the DIY route and build some speakers and subs...or buy commercial offerings? I have never dabbled in horns or things that resemble them, but I'm a decent DIYer with a garage full of equipment..



I'm not a pure "audiophile" per se, but I do like good to excellent sound. The usage will probably be 50/50 between music and HT.


Words of wisdom??
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry, forgot to mention...in case you were wondering...
The theater will have a dance floor in the middle as well....hence the custom furniture..and no rows of seating. It is open on one side only to the rest of the basement, but that can be modified.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone
Sorry, forgot to mention...in case you were wondering...
The theater will have a dance floor in the middle as well....hence the custom furniture..and no rows of seating. It is open on one side only to the rest of the basement, but that can be modified.
Disco Ball???


JSS
 

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wahoo! that sounds awesome kapone.


a first giant step up would be to move to high sensitivity mains...something from jbl, jtr, danley, tannoy, etc. you don't need big amps on the top end when your mains are 95-100db 1w1m. controlled directivity or wall treatments are a must for good dialog intelligibility!


then move to the big arse sub solution. something like 4 x jbl 2242h subs in 8 cubes tuned to 25hz is one way of making some high spl, or a few horns (check out lilmike's f20), or you can go straight for the 3hz region where only massive woofage in sealed enclosures with lots of power will get you there (think 6 x 15" sealed with at least 2000 watts, but maybe more).


don't forget to spend a little coin on measuring gear in order to make sure that you have no nasty peaks or nulls as the room can often mess up an otherwise great system. there are so many options any more, you can surely find something that will make you happy and not cost a fortune.


a raised platform may be better than concrete for mounting the seats as the raised platform will vibrate much more than concrete which is more fun. might even look to attach some bass shakers or something to it.


not sure if i'd run the disk array anywhere close to the ht room, as one doesn't like vibration while the other does.


you must be super excited. congrats on your new place and your new project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983
Just your basement alone is 4000 square feet???
Yes.
Always wanted a big house, we finally can afford one now. Overall the house is just shy of 10,000 sqft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
a first giant step up would be to move to high sensitivity mains...something from jbl, jtr, danley, tannoy, etc. you don't need big amps on the top end when your mains are 95-100db 1w1m. controlled directivity or wall treatments are a must for good dialog intelligibility!
You're echoing my thoughts, especially given the size of the space, however, the question still remains. I can of course buy one of the commercial products, but good ones don't come cheap, and if I'm spending that kind of money, why not consider DIY, IF...and that's a big if, we can do better, either with less money, or better performance for the same money that I'd spend on pre-built.

Quote:
then move to the big arse sub solution.
That's the plan...


Quote:
something like 4 x jbl 2242h subs in 8 cubes tuned to 25hz is one way of making some high spl, or a few horns (check out lilmike's f20), or you can go straight for the 3hz region where only massive woofage in sealed enclosures with lots of power will get you there (think 6 x 15" sealed with at least 2000 watts, but maybe more).
That's kind of what I was thinking. Two dual opposed 15 or 18s to start with and go from there. I "think" that should be enough, but won't know until I can test it in place. We should be able to close by the end of the year, so there's some time to plan and procure..


Quote:
don't forget to spend a little coin on measuring gear in order to make sure that you have no nasty peaks or nulls as the room can often mess up an otherwise great system. there are so many options any more, you can surely find something that will make you happy and not cost a fortune.
That's on the checklist, in addition to room treatments.

Quote:
a raised platform may be better than concrete for mounting the seats as the raised platform will vibrate much more than concrete which is more fun. might even look to attach some bass shakers or something to it.
I meant a wood riser, not concrete, so we're thinking the same thing. The whole theater will be carpeted, except for the dance floor, which will be wood, with rugs on it (which will be rolled back if we..well..are throwing a dance party...
)

Quote:
not sure if i'd run the disk array anywhere close to the ht room, as one doesn't like vibration while the other does.
The storage array and the computer equipment will be in a different rack in a different part of the basement. I'll be running CAT6 throughout the house, so networking isn't an issue. The idea is to have another 42U rack for the AV equipment (already have one for the computer equipment).


Here's an old pic of the storage array..



Quote:
you must be super excited. congrats on your new place and your new project.
Gracias.
Yes. Extremely. This is a big milestone in our lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 /forum/post/20830869


I have two dual opposed 15's in a 3000cf not sq ft and I wish I had more. I think you should build taller boxes and face them towards you instead. I think you will get more impact that way.

Crap...well, there goes that idea...
I have never planned for this kind of space, so I'm stumbling along as we speak. Our current basement/theater is just 600 sqft, so the two HSU 10" were kinda enough.


I guess I'm gonna need four dual opposed subs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
btw, in case you guys visited my car audio build linked above..I'm putting a JBL Wgti 15" IB in the car...and when I did some testing....it sounds absolutely ...amazing IB..in a car. I doubt I could have done better. But that's a $400 sub. One in a car is one thing...8 of those for the HT...is another...
 

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"the question still remains. I can of course buy one of the commercial products, but good ones don't come cheap, and if I'm spending that kind of money, why not consider DIY"


if you can diy these for less money, go for it:


jbl 4722n

jtr 12ht

qsc k12 (hehe, they are fully powered too)

tannoy vx12


i don't mean to suggest that those four speaks are the end all be all of speakers, just all are good options for what you are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 /forum/post/20830898


Do infinite baffle if you can...cheapest and the best why not??

Given the layout of the basement/house...probably not possible. Unless I block a 3rd of that space, if not more.
 

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With subs and speakers you're going to want very high sensitivity and it will cost some $$$ to get it right. My room with one dts-10 is 4000 cubic feet. If you have a 10 foot ceiling in there you have a 40,000 cubic foot room. That is a big space to fill.


The f20 option for subs is a good idea. You'll want quite a few of them. I would start with an absolute bare minimum 4 of them. 8 would be better and 16 would probably work best. Not joking about the numbers. If you want to hit reference peaks in that room you have to move a lot of air. I'd stay away from sealed unless you want the power company to come and install a transformer just for your house. It would take too much power and unless using pro audio drivers you would be swimming in drivers. Pro audio sealed won't get you very low in the frequency. Cost option and 20 hz performance the f20 will be best. To go deeper and a little louder per cabinet look at the dts-10 kits. They're available till the end of next month then gone forever. Another danley option is the th-221. One of those would probably fill that space. One of those is enough to fill an imax theater.


For speakers you need horns as well. Have a look in the speaker section for mktheater's speaker shootout. He's found that the Bill Fitzmaurice's dr-200 is the most efficient speaker he's owned. Seems like from his comments he has to apply eq to get them to sound on par but I believe he likes them. The dr-250 or 280 or 300 are all even more efficient. They can be built for as little as $300 I believe. Past that have a look at pi speakers. They sell kits very cheaply too and get great reviews.


Other options would be go fully built with danley and some of their speakers or you could look for something used or just some pro audio speakers. If you can find some used klipsch heritage speakers they may work well for you, but don't have the power handling that the pro stuff will have.


Lots of options but just keep in mind you're essentially trying to power a small warehouse sized space and that's going to take not only a good bit of spl but also a lot of finesse to get the sound right.
 

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Since it seems that you plan on staying here for a while then why not put up a wall to block off some. That way you can have a component room and keep all your amps in there and not have to hear them. Also the best reason is infinite baffle and cutting down on the 40.000cf your dealing with. Cut that down to 20.000 and your still filling a huge space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
4000 sq ft is the "whole" basement. The theater's only ~1800sqft with a 9ft ceiling. But I see where you're going.


It's not that I'm shy about spending money (as I said), but I wanna spend it right, if that makes sense.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/0


4000 sq ft is the "whole" basement. The theater's only ~1800sqft with a 9ft ceiling. But I see where you're going.


It's not that I'm shy about spending money (as I said), but I wanna spend it right, if that makes sense.

I just see all that eqiupment being loud and producing a lot of heat. Why not use stow it away. My whole condo is less than the size of your theater room...where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpray1983 /forum/post/20831092


I just see all that eqiupment being loud and producing a lot of heat. Why not use stow it away. My whole condo is less than the size of your theater room...where are you located?

DC suburbs.
 

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Regarding the custom C-shaped seating...don't make the same mistake I did. DO NOT have it upholstered in leather. I special ordered a large custom leather C-shaped sectional only to find the leather reflected/focused sound so badly I had to cover it with blankets and pillows every time I wanted to do serious listening.


My expensive mistake now resides in a conversation room that has no sound system at all...not even a TV.
 
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