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Home Theater room in a "rented" basement


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted August 30 2005 - 04:39 AM

Hey gang, I have been out of the H.T world for a few years now and I have the itch to get back in. I am pretty much starting from scratch now so its clearly going to be a time consuming process. I also have a slim budget to work with. Funny thing is, there is no firm number to work with, just take what I can...when I can.

Now on to business. My last system consisted of Klipsch speakers, Onkyo 575 receiver, Pioneer dvd, SVs sub and a few other doo dads and the screen was a meager 36" Zenith.

I just begun a lease in a beautiful home in a beautiful area, I pretty much have free run of the place, the landlord says I can do whatever I want. I have been trying to decide how to intergrate a home theater into the house, but the fact that the house was built in 1920 and has been very well maintained throws a monkey wrench into those gears. I was doing laundry the other night and it hit me, I have about 1/2 of the basement that is not used for anything.

Here are the issues, the ceiling is only 7', the walls are concrete block, the floor is also concrete and all of the duct work, wires for the house etc. run along the ceiling. I don't really want to do anything to fix all of that ( ceiling stuff), A. its not my house and B. I don't want to spend the money. I thought I could run several sheets of felt to cover them or something, however, I like the industrial look so I may just leave them.

For the floor, I thought about building it up, like a 2x4 platform, but then I would loose even more head room and I am 6'3 as it is. I guess carpet and a thick pad will have to do. now the big issue, the walls, A. I will need to put one up, no big deal there, but what about the other 3? What can I apply to them to keep the ringing and what not down? I though about just building a bunch of panels, a few feet wide and just long enough to run floor to ceiling, stuffing with insulation and covering with fabric, and covering the walls that way, would this be enough?

My "screen" wall is just at 12' and my estimated viewing distance is between 12 -15' so A big screen is in order, I will probably diy a black out screen to start, I have always wanted 96x54" I am unsure about the projector at this point. For sound, I have been "window shopping" I listened to Klipsch again the other day, my how they have changed, I was thinking about the SB3 ( I think thats the newer model at Best Buy) and I liked them better than my old SF2 I have also listened to JBL, Polk, Paradigm and a few others. And I have been looking at Axiom and Swan online. Not sure what I want to power them with just yet either, I looked at Frys the other day and saw a sweet Onkyo 7.1 on the cheap but I have had good luck with Yamaha as well.

Last but no where near least, if I lay the room out right I can put in an I.B. My bedroom is right above the basment and I can put a manifold right under my bed.

So yeah, I clearly need some help, got any to offer?

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted August 30 2005 - 06:38 AM

Cool!

I think you may have something with the industrial look. Your wall panels could be rectangles of differing dimensions to mimic a city skyline. Or you could build panels shaped like machinery, plumbing, and whatnot. Sort of a "Metropolis" flavor. The panels can be in differing thicknesses, and that would help with the look and break up the paralellism of the walls, too. Put a few up on the ceiling if you like.

When you put in your speakers and cabling, don't hide it. Use bright colored cables and run them in straight lines with tight corners right across the walls and ceiling. Take the grills off the cabinets. Build your subwoofer IB box descending slightly from the ceiling, and let that driver leer down at you.

Put in a stark dark thickly padded carpet on the floor with chunky squarish furniture. Use old office furniture if you can get it. I'm thinking "private eye" desk lamps and some short filing cabinets for end tables. Watch some Bogart films for ideas.


I want to see pictures!
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted August 30 2005 - 03:41 PM

I like the way you think! I am trying to decide how to close off the room, how I can build a back wall. I was looking at the ceiling beams tonight and there is just so much stuff running though there, it would be hard without moving stuff. I am thinking about a hanging wall. With the I.B firing into the bedroom, complete seams wont be cruical, except for sound loss.

My only gripe, if you can call it that, is..THe folks that lived there before us were college kids, they did some awesome spray painting on one of the walls, poetry and what not, I hate to cover that up, but, it is a concrete wall!

Its going to be a slow process, but I will post pictures as progress is made. BTW, how do I post pictures in here, I can put in a "before" picture tonight when I get home from work. I hate the 2p-11p shift!!!

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Glenise

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Posted August 30 2005 - 10:00 PM

Can't wait to see the pics!

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted August 31 2005 - 04:35 AM

I'm trying to figure out how to get a picture from my camera to here.

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Tony Loewen

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Posted August 31 2005 - 09:45 AM

if you want to keep the industrial look, one thing that was suggested to me was to rent a paint sprayer and paint everything on the ceiling flat black, joists, wiring, ducts, etc. First off, the open joist ceiling will help to diffuse the sound, my basement is currently like this and I like the way it sounds. The black paint will cut down on reflected light off of the lighter colored wood, white romex, ductwork, etc, yet keep the industrial feel when the lights are on.

Concrete blocks are a b*tch, the acoustic panels would work, but I would use rigid fiberglass, OC 703 or 705, or at a bare minimum, compress the crap out of the regular fiberglass with, like constuction matting, chicken fence, stucco wiring, etc. The bass will ring like nobody's business in a concrete room, and the rigid or compressed fiberglass will help tame it down. Check out this link for more info on acoustic treatments, sounds like you'll need it. You'll want as much bass trapping as you can fit/afford. I am building my bass traps and panels with some salvaged 1x6s and rigid fiberglass from the dump, and about $80 worth of fabric to cover about 10 2'x8' panels. Makes a huge difference, in any room.

http://www.ethanwine.../acoustics.html



Food for thought.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted August 31 2005 - 02:36 PM

I never thought about painting the ceiling etc. black, thats a good idea! As I have stated several times, its going to be a slow process. My next wallet full of free cash is going to go for tools, then stuff to build sound panels. I thought I might do a 2x4 frame, sound board or even just drywall on the back, stuff it with fiberglass then metal mesh or burlap on the front then wrap it with black felt or something like that, maybe even auto carpet, its pretty cheap.Because the ceiling is so low, I am struggling to figure out how to make everything fit on the screen wall, if the screen is 54" thats not going to leave much top or bottom space after you figure in a border around the screen so my delima is how to get the center channel in there, I hate to put it on the floor, its dry as a bone after a hard storm but I don't want to risk anything, I also don't want to rest the screen on the floor, or that low, I think it would strain the eyes / neck too much, maybe a smaller screen Posted Image(

I have pretty much decided on that Onkyo receiver at Fryys, its 7.1 for a sweet price. For right now, i think I may just run the 12" Dayton sub, Tiny Mighty 2, I guess it is. I have no clue what speakers to run. Best Buy ( last time I checked) had the old Klipsch SF1 for $150, so I may just get 3 pairs of those and find an old sc1 somewhere. I don't think they would all fit though...

LOTS TO DO LOTS TO DO

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Tony Loewen

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Posted September 01 2005 - 04:40 AM

http://www.musicplay....=0;DaysPrune=0 Here's a good forum for acoustic treatment construction/ideas to help with your panel building.

Not sure if anyone has successfully done an acoustically transparent DIY screen on the cheap, but you could check here: http://www.avsforum....splay.php?f=110

That way, you could have the center channel behind the screen, which is actually more ideal, but likely a little harder or more expensive to do. Might be worth checking into though.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted September 01 2005 - 03:27 PM

Thanks Tony, I will check that out when I get home. Today I found out the walls will be green :| I was prepared for all black, but, she has other thoughts. The way I was able to get this room to happen was by telling her it was OUR retreat room, No kids allowed and she was just fine with that. I said, the front wall WILL BE BLACK and she seemed ok with that. O well, atleast its on its way!

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Tony Loewen

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Posted September 02 2005 - 02:09 AM

Green will be ok as long as it's a flat green, anything flatter than semigloss will do, the flatter the better. We went with a deep burgendy, eggshell finish. That way it doesn't reflect the light and the walls tend to disappear when the lights are out, but still look good when the lights are on. I would go with a darker green as well.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted September 02 2005 - 03:14 PM

Tony, it will actually be fabric on the walls, green fabric so I am hoping to get to one of the hippie quilt shops around here and find something nice before she hits up the $1 per yard rack at Wal Mart. They have some nice things there, but I have been wanting this for longer than I have been wanting her and if I am going to something I perfer to do it the way I want it the first time to avoid lots of disappointment later.

I know speakers are a very personal thing BUT considering my room is going to be "special" in that, its not the standard average room, what kind / brand of speaks work best in extreme situations?

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Chad Isaacs

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Posted September 11 2005 - 12:59 PM

Woo Hoo, I got the go ahead to start getting H.T gear. I can only buy 1 major piece or 2 smaller pieces a month, but thats ok. I am going to go with the Onkyo 7.1 receiver I saw at Fryys and Jbl speakers from JR Music, unless I can find the cheaper elsewhere. My sub (for now) is going to have to be the 12" Dayton. I am going to set up in the living room for now, once I get into the basement I will go better, Svs, Hsu or I.B. I am still undecided on dvd players, I would like one that does multi channel music, or is that even still a trend? I have liked what I have heard so...

Projector probably wont come until tax time.