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My many questions, concerns, and confusing aspects. Info appreciated.

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Brian.Huep



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Posted July 28 2003 - 02:05 AM


Long time reader, first time poster. I really love this forum, and have appeaciated all the great info. It has got me, the bug. I am now constructing a home theater in my basement. I have already started purchasing items. I have many questions, but I think some of these will help others as well.

This is a budget theater, however I already had some good audio gear.

I would like to break this into catagories, and hopefully get help and opinions. I tried to bold some of the important questions, but after typing this long thing, they all are important to me.

Thanks in advance!!


Normal cement basement 11' wide 15' long 7' high. I got a great deal on some heavy black and some red curtains with theater looking patterns. Cost me about 120 to fully cover all the walls with black and red velvet with the sale at Meijers.
How well will thick velvet help with sound acoustic issues? Will it help the echo much? I am hanging these from 1/2" pvc piping. .77 cents for 10 foot. Interconnects and elbows all fit inside the curtains.

Mynards also is running a sale on dark charcoal carpet with built on padding. Olefin moisture resistant carpet for .37 cents a square foot. This will come out to about 60-70 bucks. Cheap!! 12x15 roll.


I currently have a Harmon Kardon av-55 I believe it is. With 2 Klipsch Qartets. (the huge ones, not small ones) Passive raidiator thing in the back makes these hard to place. Speakers really need to be in corners. Which I can, but all the pics I see people have all 3 fronts in a row angled the same.

I have a JBL 12" sub that is fine. But my 3 peice surround is a 6-7 year old pioneer set that only ran about 150 at sears that long ago. What is recommended here? My mains are kinda old, still sweet though, but how do I match a center to them? Secondly, should I also replace the rears? They will be to the sides of the back listeners, no room on the back. SO should I go with multi-directional rears, or normal bookshelf ones?

I am taking this set from upstairs on our 36" direct view TV. I was thinking of replacing it with the $199 Fluance set. The set looks sharp, and I am assuming still sounds a hell of a lot better then TV speakers. But not good enough to replace my downstairs set right? I know matching is important, but could a matched $199 set beat a peiced $4000 set? Not thinking so, but that's why I asked. Posted Image


Projector was going to be a panny 200u LCD since I don't want anyone getting headaches from DLP. However I am looking at the 300U for a few reasons, but want to make sure what I am thinking is correct.
Can the panny 300U do both 4:3 and 16:9 correctly? Is there a switch or something? I am making a 52x96 I think it was, 16:9 using blackout cloth and 1x2's from home depot. Would this projector also allow me to use a pull down screen in front of my fixed 16:9 to display 4:3 larger without moving the projector?

Also, will the 300U play dvds cleaner then the 200U? I heard the 300U is slightly higher res and would have to downsample a dvd res. /shrug I will be watching almost 100% dvd movies, but was thinking since I have to buy a new dvd player for progressive scan, should I get one with DVI and use the 300U's DVI input? Is DVI-DVI going to be so much more noticable then componant-componant that I should spend $2100 instead of $1200? Almost double.

I will not be watching hdtv, but I would like to game occasionally on it. However it seems the xbox can do widescreen, so I might be set, unless DVI is that good. The other issue is that I am a computer freak, so I do have dvi out on my main computer. Would be nice to have the 4:3 dvi-dvi on the 300U.


Basically all I need is a projector and progressive dvd player. I would like to keep everything under $2,000 which if I went with the 200U, sony 715p dvd, and a decent center/2 rears I would get out for around 1500. Going to the 300U and a dvi dvd player would run over 2k alone. Not counting any speakers. Opinions please? Very close to ordering.

I will check this often, please help me with any info you can. I know I asked 100 questions, but after months of reading, I still had some questions.

What a book!!

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Terry Montlick

Terry Montlick

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Posted July 28 2003 - 04:54 AM

Hi Brian,

I can address the acoustical issues you raised.

[quote] I got a great deal on some heavy black and some red curtains with theater looking patterns. Cost me about 120 to fully cover all the walls with black and red velvet with the sale at Meijers. [quote]

If you gather this up at the top a couple inches from the wall, so that it doesn't hang flat against the surface, it can be a very effective absorber. Sound gets attenuated in the loose folds of the fabric. Use about twice as much linear feet as your wall length. Even if you have to cover less wall surface, the net effect on reverberation will be greater than if you hang the fabric directly against the wall, with no air space or loose folds.

Terry Montlick Laboratories
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The Standard for Home Theater Acoustics

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

Ted Lee

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Posted July 28 2003 - 08:02 AM

regarding sound. this is a tough call. it sounds like you have some decent mains, but need the rest. i will say this... for ht, your center speaker is very important. i'd say it's the most important speaker. besides dialog, a lot of other stuff comes from that speaker. it must be up to the task. do you really want to keep your mains or are you up to a whole new set? if so, what is your budget? i guess if i were in your shoes, i'd concentrate on getting a decent center channel for now, then try to see how well it blends with your mains. you can always return it if it doesn't sound good to go. as far as the rears go, it's up to you if you prefer direct radiators or dipole design. most people say the dipoles present a more diffused sound, but i think it's personal preference. also, remember that dipoles typically go on the side wall - just behind the listening position. direct's typically go on the back wall. so consider speaker placement too. optimally, you'd get a whole new 5.1 setup, but we all know money doesn't grow on trees!

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Brian.Huep



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Posted July 28 2003 - 08:21 AM

Thanks a lot for the info, I definatly think the curtains were a good buy now. how are axiomaudio speakers? Look nice. Thinking mid range center and dipole rears? Also noticed my receiver (HK avr55 which I paid 1k for a long time ago) is dolby digital. That's not DTS is it? Sheesh this is going to get costly fast lol. Thinking I only have 1k left if I go with the Panny 200u. for center and rears at least. Might need to chip in extra for a reciever? DTS noticable over dolby digital? Thanks again for all your help guys. Brian

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   scott>sau


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Posted July 28 2003 - 09:59 AM

Hi Brian,
It is best sonically to keep the same type of satellite speakers all the way around,(same brand and similar, or same model number). Identical speakers creates timbre matching and better panning of the sound effects as it moves around the room.
Most PJ's (LCD's, CRT's DLP's)have adjustable aspect ratio in either a hard-wired remote, or a IR remote, or both, (OSD). You may get more info presenting your display info to the display thread in this forum. They have helped me out many times.
Best of luck in your theater.Posted Image

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