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  1. #1

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    Default My completed Home Theater

    Greetings everyone,

    Figured this fits well into the DIY area.

    A dedicated HT is something I've wanted to do for nearly 20 years. After seeing my first one so many years ago I fell in love with the idea. Amazing to think I've reached a point in my life where it became a reality. This turned out to be the biggest and most complicated thing I've ever done. I would have found it easier to tear down the engine in my motorcycle and completely rebuild it.

    Let's start at the beginning...

    I bought a house over a year ago. It is actually my grandmother’s house and has been virtually untouched in terms of updating, etc since it was built in 1946. I have many memories of being in this house as a kid and there is even part of the driveway that is dated 1974 with the grandkids names written into the once wet concrete along with an impression of my foot from when I was a baby.

    So.. you have a couple of rooms in the basement that need some serious updating. My grandfather was a cheap bastard and wouldn’t spend a dime on anything. Some of the jerry-rigged crap I’ve run into shows this mentality.. A $2 part to fix a broken drain was too much.. so he used a piece of radiator hose, some clamps and a ton of silicone to fix it… only one small example of what I’ve run into..

    Let’s start with this room… No idea how many games of pool I played on that table.. That’s 99% of my grandmothers stuff in there..




    Clear it out and get rid of the paneling..





    Replace paneling with sheet rock.. and redo the texture.. plus fix the missing plaster from under the windows from leaks..




  2. #2

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    Next you build a screen wall, cover front wall with acoustical insulation, prime, paint, install lighting, install base, equipment shelving unit, build your riser, start installing carpet, etc, etc, etc, etc….







    After nearly 10 months of work, with the last 4 months of that working nearly every day after work until 11pm and every weekend you wind up with your very own dedicated home theater. I did as much of this on my own and built it completely out of a picture I had in my head. I only scribbled a few drawings down for my wood working guy to custom build the equipment and media shelving, cap for rope lights on the base and a few other things.






    But wait.. you need a lobby with a popcorn machine, candy, movie posters and such..





    The family kept this quiet from my Grandmother the entire time.. The unveiling was last Saturday.. My folks, aunt & uncle and of course my grandmother came over for dinner and a movie. Grandma is use to watching movies on my TV and was a bit confused when I took her downstairs to watch a movie. She got to the bottom of the stairs and was shocked by the changes.. I let her take it in for a minute and then said she needed to go into the “Pool room”. I received a “what for?” look and she then walked over and opened the door.

    She walked in and just stood there for a minute.. Not sure how to react… Finally she said “OH MY GOD!”..about 10 times.. Got her seated in the middle of the front row, everyone got their popcorn and beverages.. turn the lights down and start the show.. after the first trailer my father leaned over to his mother and said “Mom.. remember.. you are sitting in the “Pool Room”.. “.. “OH MY GOD..WOW”.. is about all she could say..

    After the movie was over she was so stunned she couldn’t get out of her seat. I chatted with her for a few minutes and asked if she approved of the changes to her house.. She of course gave her overwhelming support and when asked what she wanted to watch next time “ANYTHING!” was her response.

    To satisfy curiosity over my equipment, here’s the list:

    JVC RS-40 Projector
    110” Carada 1.78:1/16:9 Brilliant White Screen (1.4 gain in Criterion frame)
    Oppo BDP-93
    Darbee “Darblet” video processor
    Onkyo TX-NR1010 AVR
    5ch Sony TA-N9000ES Amp (bridged 200x200 watts + 120w..running Left, Right, Center speakers)
    Polk Audio RTi-A7 towers for Left & Right Upgraded crossovers with Clarity Caps and Mills Resistors
    Polk Audio CSi-A6 Center Channel Speaker upgraded crossover with Clarity Caps and Mills Resistors
    Polk Audio FXi-A4 Di-Pole Surrounds
    Polk Audio RTi-4 for back surrounds
    Dual SVS PC-12NSD Subs each sitting on an Auralex SubDude
    Logitech Harmony 1100 remote
    Blue Jeans Cables and Ethereal HDMI cabling
    3 channel Lutron Grafix Eye dimmer panel
    Belkin PF-60 Power Conditioner

    7.2 channel surround sound system. Room is wired for 9.4 channel and butt kickers if I ever so desire.

    Fully 3D capable theater, but not necessary since there is enough depth to the 2D image it feels like you could reach out and stick your hand into the picture. Plus it is a chunk of additional cash to buy the Ir emitter and 8 pairs of glasses.

  3. #3

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    Default

    Thanks for taking a look at my insane project. It's not 100% completed since there are a few finish items left, but none of those are a show stopper.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Great job. Looks terrific, what movie did you & Grandma watch ?

  5. #5

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    Very nice work. I know you're glad its finished.

  6. #6

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    Great work. That's awesome that Grandma approves!
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Oppo BDP-105; Amps: Anthem Integrated 225; PS Audio GCPH Speakers: Polk - LSi15's (sub mod)


    HT
    Amps: Sony - STR-DG1000; Outlaw 200 Mono; B&K Reference 200.2; Speakers: Polk - CS2, Monitor 70's, RC80i's; Video: Optoma HD20; FAVI HD-100


    Man Cave
    Sources: Sony PS-LX410, Denon 3910; Amps: Dared sl2000a, HK 3490, Simaudio Moon LP3; Speakers: Polk - SDA 2A's

  7. #7

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    Default

    Excellent job..
    I love the dual room look poppy corn in one and into the theatre just like the movies, Bravo..

  8. #8

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    Default

    One of the nicest I have seen, love the theater like seating
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  9. #9

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    great looking set up, how comfortable are your theater seats? where did you get them from. Have you considered corner traps?
    Ron

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the kind words. It was a ton of work and turned out better than I had ever imagined.

    I found the seats on Craigslist. They are out of an old theater here in Portland and the previous owner had them completely rebuilt and recovered. They were upgrading to theater recliners. They are actually quite comfortable. I'm thinking about making some ottomans so people can put their feet up.

    The riser is setup to be a bass trap. How well it is working I couldn't tell you. Very tempted to get a mic and use REW to see what's going on. The front row is a bit of a null bass wise in the lower frequencies. I e-mailed SVS to get a few pointers and they said to call them, which I haven't had time to do so yet. As far as corner traps I've toyed with the idea but 4" thick panels on my walls would look very, very funky...

    Keeping an eye out for one of those smaller coolers you see at convenience stores with the glass door. Just enough to hold some beer and soda.

    If there is anyone in the Portland metro area (Oregon) who has REW and a mic? I'd supply food and beer for some of your time to take a reading of my room.

    I opened it with How to Train your Dragon. Would have done something like The Avengers or what not, but since my grandma was in attendance I needed something that would appeal to her (she's 89). Everyone enjoyed the movie and were left in awe at the end. They all had high expectations, which were completely blown out of the water.

  11. #11

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    Default

    Excellent work man. I've thought about getting theater seats a few times for my room, but I still want the ability to "lounge" in there. I think it looks absurdly good. The amount (and quality) of work you put into it really shines through.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Essence Audio HDACC, Douglas IC's, Douglas Alpha bi-wire SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  12. #12
    Audiophile
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    Default

    Looks great; congrats on the hard work!

  13. #13

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    Excellent results. You seem to have put a lot of effort into it, and it shows.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

  14. #14

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    Default

    My dad created a den in the basement of our old home in Plainfield NJ. Thanks for the post. It brings back old memories. Enjoy.
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    Panasonic 65" Plasma - Panasonic Blu-ray. Onkyo TX-NR809 RTi A7s fronts - MK CS150s surronds.

  15. #15

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    Good job that looks fantastic!

  16. #16

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    Looks great! Nice work!
    Panny 55-st30 plasma
    Pioneer vsx-1121
    Parasound 2100 pre
    b&k tx4430 amp
    Oppo bdp-83
    Monster HTS 3500
    polk TSi500s Vr3 Fortress modded
    polk CS20 center channel Vr3 Castle modded
    polk Owm 3 surrounds
    polk PSW505

  17. #17

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    very nice indeed, sweet!

    Polk Audio SDA CRS+ (4.1TL by Trey, Larry's Rings)-
    SDA SRS2-Parasound HCA1500ax2/1000
    Yamaha xa1000-Celestion SL6S presence,- sl9 surround back
    NHTsuper1's surround
    Nad2700-sub, AdcomGFA-555 -Magnepan SMG
    Parasound 1500pre- Sofia "Baby" tube amp - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
    Marantz 2230/B&Kst140- outdoor B&W/Bose/Parasound/KefC75/c40/Polksub
    Technics 1200mk2
    Gamertag: IslandBerserker
    I am but a infinitesimally small point meeting the line of infinity in the SDA universe

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    My dad created a den in the basement of our old home in Plainfield NJ. Thanks for the post. It brings back old memories. Enjoy.
    Attachment 83847

    Now thats a house, has character not like what they build in a mass production line these days

  19. #19

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    Looks fantastic. Doing the work yourself is very rewarding congrats enjoy your new HT.

  20. #20

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    Outstanding work, congrats and enjoy!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  21. #21

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    You did great work in that theater. I'm sure you and the family will enjoy it!

  22. #22

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    Great work and craftsmanship pd, AND it's Grandma approved! Life is good, eh?

  23. #23

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    Wow, great work. Amazing what a skilled person can do on their own!

  24. #24

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    Wow...so nice. I wish I have your skills. Like that rope light and the lobby and everything else - like a real theater. Maybe you need to hang an exit sign too :)
    • Online - Focal Solo6 BE, Polk PSW10, Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP, Lenovo x220t
    • Music/HT - Lsi25, Lsi9 (Vr3), Lsi7, LsiC, Pioneer SC-68 & BDP-62FD, PS3

  25. #25

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    Love the houses with the porch like in David's picture. Thankfully I live in an older neighborhood and the houses all have character to them. A few blocks away someone really turned a nice house into a fugly mess. They put on a huge addition that is very "modern" looking and it just looks horrible.

    I had considered theater recliners. About a month or so into the project I had to tighten up the cash flow a bit so the recliners were axed. I was lucky to come across those seats on Craigslist and all eight seats cost less than one recliner. About six or so months later the cash flow opened up again and I considered just three recliners for the front row and keeping the theater seats for the back row. I decided to spend the cash on a new AVR and Subs. Figured I could change out the front row down the road a bit if I feel it's necessary.

    I can't take credit for all the work. A neighbor (and friend) is an excellent wood worker and he did the cap for the rope lights, shelves, mantle, frames with acoustical panels in them and frames for around the screen. I was ready to hire someone to install carpet but my father pitched a fit because it "costs too much" and he did it. He installed floor covering for over 20 years and his knees are totally shot. Every time he used the kicker it hurt me to see him doing it. His knees swelled up but he refused to let me help or hire anyone.

    The wall in the "lobby" with the movie posters on it was just the foundation wall. So I framed and finished it. The bump out is for the kitchen drain and access to the clean out. Never had used a texture gun before so that was an interesting experience. All the walls in the house are 1/2" 2'x6' sheets of plaster board (not gypsum), with a 1/2" to 3/4" thick "skim" coat of plaster on top. Makes working on things a bit challenging at times.

    Funny thing is I am single and live alone in a three story, 2400 sq/ft house. People talk about a "man cave". Umm.. my whole house is one huge man cave.

  26. #26

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    Damn nice transformation!

  27. #27

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    Very impressive!
    Samsung UN55C6500 55" LED
    Onkyo TX-NR3007
    Polk Audio RT5000
    -RT3000 front
    -CS1000 center
    -FX1000 dipole
    Polk Audio PSW1000 5.1 sub
    Polk Audio microPRO 4000 x2 5.2 subs

  28. #28

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    If you ever part with the Spaceballs poster I got dibs! LOL Nice work man looks awesome!

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDA1C View Post
    If you ever part with the Spaceballs poster I got dibs! LOL Nice work man looks awesome!
    Where did you get your posters from? Ebay?

  30. #30

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    The posters came from:

    http://www.movieposter.com/

    Spaceballs and Lawrence of Arabia are reprints and were very affordable. Brave and Star Trek are originals. The ST poster is an Imax poster from my local science museum. They never actually showed it there and were sent the posters by mistake. A friend of mine still works there and kept one for me. I worked there for 12 years and we never showed feature films. Although that's changed a bit since my departure.

    Thanks again for the kind words. :) It's been a fairly steady stream of friends over to watch movies. Everyone has been completely blown away by the whole experience.

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