Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

The Frey Theater - DIY, but better every month


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 09 2009 - 03:10 PM

"The Frey Theater" website:  www.freytheater.com

I have been slowly working on my home theater project over the last 3 years. The small ranch house I currently live in has a large, L-shaped, finished room in the basement, and although it isn't professionally finished and has a low, 6 1/2 foot high drop ceiling, it does have a nice 14 x 25 foot space I have convert into a fairly nice theater room area.  I have constructed the entire theater myself, a good DIY project which I'm sure will keep me busy for many more years to come. Gotta love those eternal upgrades...!

To help make all the time and effort I put into the therater more worthwhile,  I host regular Monthly Movie Nights for friends and relatives, and usually have a good size crowd of 7 or 8 guests at my showings. Everyone brings a snack or a beverage, while I provide free beer on tap, microwave popcorn, and the movie.  I update my Frey Theater website on a monthly basis with the upcoming movies for my Monthly Movie Nights, so everyone knows what movie is showing and which nights it is playing. There are about 10 pages of photos and information about the theater room and lobby area, the A/V equipment, and construction projects on the website, which I continually need to update with the latest new photos I'm always taking!

I have added quite a few major upgrades to my theater over the past year - I purchased a new Optoma HD20 1080p projector and an Oppo BDP-83 BD player, which finally gives me full 1080p HD projection capabilities with Blu Ray disks.   I also installed 3 new Clark transducers under the seats of the recliner sofa in my front row seating - some very powerful "butt shakers" that enable the viewer to really FEEL the movies they are watching.  Everyone is totally loving the awesome sensory experience they provide!  In addition to the transducers, I also added a Dual-18" Peavey pro audio subwoofer and a QSC Powerlight2 amplifier to drive it to my audio mix, so I have some really kicking bass response now!  I constructed a 3-seat bar/counter for the second row seating to hold snack plates and drinks for my guests, and added an attractive kitchen cart to my snack bar area. Electrical wiring and lighting upgrades are planned for 2010; I have six art deco style wall sconces to install on the side walls, and I will most likely add a popcorn cart and hot dog roller to the snack bar area, which currently has no electric supply on that wall.   

With that, here are some photos of my theater as it is setup currently:


http://static.hometh...eytheater.jpg">
The front stage and 120" screen in the Frey Theater, along with my Vintage
Cerwin Vega 380 SE front mains and a Premier Acoustic PA-8 center channel.



The 120" screen is motorized and controlled by an RF remote; when it is retracted, three framed movie posters are visible on the flat black wall:  Star Wars 3, Spiderman 3, and Pirates 3...



An additional movie poster frame is mounted on the side wall...



My front seating includes a recliner sofa with a foot stool and some tray tables.I bought the sofa used for only $75, and the wooden stool and tray tables I found at a yard sale for free!



The Sofa is shown here with the end seats reclined. The center seat is fixed and does not recline, thus the need for a foot stool...



These Clark transducers, a.k.a. "Butt Shakers" are mounted under all three of the sofa seats. 



A close-up view of one of the Clark transducers, each of which can produce up to 218 pounds of force.





The rear of the theater room, with a back-lighted movie poster box with marquee race lights, my rear speakers and subwoofer, one of my DVD racks, and my Audio/Video Cabinet.


A close-up of my marquee poster lightbox...



My new Optoma HD20 1080p DLP projector, mounted through the drop ceiling.



My A/V rack cabinet which I constructed myself, with wider and deeper shelves than most retail cabinets to accomodate the larger rack mount pieces I have, and to allow for better cooling.



From top: Pioneer Elite DV-46AV all-region DVD player with hardware PAL converter, Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray player, Rane SM-26 mixer configured as a 6-channel line attenuator, and Parasound 7100 surround processor.



A Carver AV705 5 channel amp powers the Center channel speaker, the two Rear speakers, and the 3 Clark transducers in the sofa; the two Carver M-500t Amps are both wired in bridged-mono mode, one amp driving each of the two Front Main speakers. I have since lost one of the Carver M-500t's to a flame out, and so have now added a couple of QSC pro audio amps into the mix.




Rear speakers feature a pair of Infinity SM-152 speakers with 15" drivers, and
a custom-built Nuonic ATAK Class 15" 1000 watt powered subwoofer.



This Nuonic Subwoofer is a prototype the company custom- built specifically for my theater - a one-of-a-kind subwoofer they never put into production because it would have been too costly for them to construct by hand.  Gotta love that serial plate on this sub!




I thought this was a humorous but appropriate theater addition to hang on my wall, to perhaps warn movie-goers of their impending confrontation with a nearly 4000 watt sound system and the suprise "seat shakers" hidden in the sofa...! 

Below, this was originally a photo of the State Theater marquee in Ann Arbor Michigan, but I photoshopped it quite a bit, changing the letters STATE to FREY to reflect my own movie theater - note that this is NOT a photo of the front of my house, LOL!

Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted September 10 2009 - 09:03 AM

Great looking theater.  That's also a very nice sub.  The Parts Express amp and 15" Reference driver is a proven combination.  Looking at the size of the enclosure they probably use the high output sub since it works better in small enclosures.  Have you worked with the parametric EQ that is built into the amp?

-Robert



#3 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 10 2009 - 03:54 PM

Ah, very good eye with the sub driver and amp - yes, it IS the Dayton 800/1400w 4 ohm reference driver and the  Dayton 1000w amp... they are an awesome pair together.  The amp has a huge toroidal transformer in it, and the cabinet is tremendously constructed as well - 2" thick walls,  two completely isolated chambers for the driver and the amp, veneer hand-picked by the product designer for an optimum grain pattern, and piano-finished top and bottom panels with 32 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer... this sub weighs a whopping 130 pounds.  The production models they finally released are still very excellent subs, but use only a 12" driver and have a lighter, thinner-walled cabinet with no lacquer top or bottom panels, and weigh only 75 pounds - they said they would have needed to sell the sub as they built it for me for about $2500, just to break even... 
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#4 of 54 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted September 11 2009 - 01:27 AM

As a DIY sub builder, I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into a properly constructed cabinet.  If you want to see another excellent custom sub, check out this one - http://www.hometheat...the-lms-project

-Robert

#5 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 11 2009 - 04:33 AM

Wow, I really NEED one of those... but make it under $2000, please...!    
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#6 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 16 2009 - 04:58 AM

A friend just gave me a Crown Powerbase 1 Pro-Audio amp to use to drive the 3 Clark transducers mounted in my theater sofa...  If I hook the three 4-ohm transducers up in series, and set the amp to bridged-mono mode, it will output about 425 watts into a 12 ohm load, and I can use just one run of speaker wire to the sofa, instead of 3... each transducer is rated at 100w rms 350w max, so I'll have to be a little careful with the output power level on the amp, maybe put a fuse in the line to protect them, but they should really make the sofa rock now -  650 total pounds of force shaking the sofa should be somewhat noticable...  /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif">

I'm hosting my first regularly scheduled Monthly Movie Night of the 2009-2010 theater season tomorrow night, so I've got to get the amp installed and tested out tonight yet... this will put my total power output for the sound system at about 3800 watts - so much for our hearing!  
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted September 16 2009 - 07:15 AM

I'd just adjust the attenuator of the amp so that you don't go over 350w.  You can find that with digital multi-meter and a 60hz test tone.

One thing.  Bragging about the wattage is like bragging on how much gas your car burns during a race when the goal is to be the fastest.  More useful stats would be the frequency response from 20hz to 20,000hz and how much deviation you have.  Or maybe your max SPL at 20hz.  We aren't really about how loud a room is but how realistic it sounds.

-Robert

#8 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 17 2009 - 02:24 AM

Yes, the Crown Amp does have attenuators on the rear panel for each channel, adjusting them was the plan, along with perhaps an in-line fuse to protect against any unexpected major spikes of power...

I know wattage is an indiscriminate value, and doesn't mean much for any accurate measurements, I just use it relatively in my posts.  I did brag about wattage in the caption of the Vibration Warning sign, but that was on purpose because its a humorous sign and bragging about it is the whole point of having the sign in the theater... /img/vbsmilies/htf/drool.gif

Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted September 17 2009 - 04:39 AM

I can see that on the sign for the humor value.  But we have a LOT of people who are new to home theater who come here to find real information.  Some have come over from car audio where wattage is king (even though it isn't) and that's what they focus on.  We try to give them real advice and dispel and audio myths that won't die.

#10 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 17 2009 - 07:22 AM

OK, well in this case then, I guess the real information about my audio system is that I have big speakers, and they are real loud!  /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif

But then, they also would probably sound like crap to a stuffy audiophile perfectionist...  

Anyway, the main reason I'm using such large speakers and amplifiers is that my movie theater often doubles as a mini concert hall - some of my friends and I watch quite a lot of concert DVDs in the theater, and when we do, it is usually at near-concert audio levels (or as close as the sound system can come to it!)... lol, we really put a strain on the audio system then!

Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#11 of 54 OFFLINE   Robert_J

Robert_J

    Lead Actor



  • 8,160 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 22 2000
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMississippi

Posted September 17 2009 - 09:45 AM

Even if I had the money to be a stuffy audiophile, I'd still build my own speakers because that's what I like to do.

Actually, efficient speakers play with less distortion so there is an advantage to using large, 'loud' speakers.

#12 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted September 18 2009 - 03:42 AM

Yes, I would like to do some speaker building or modification myself - I was even thinking about playing around with modding those CVs on my front mains... they are old speakers, but they are efficient.. I was thinking about possibly bi-amping the speakers (remotely from amps in the AV cabinet), separating the main 15" drivers from the mids and tweeter on the crossover,  maybe even changing out the driver to something that would work even better in the lower frequencies as additional subs, and reworking the crossovers to compensate in the midrange... if it sounds good, ok, and if it doesn't, I can always put everything back the way it was. These are ported cabinets, so cabinet volume is not quite as critical matching up a sub driver as it would be if it was a sealed cabinet...  I'd just like some additional sub frequencies coming from the front of the theater.  I can definitely use more low end in the room than I'm getting from just the one sub in the rear - since the room is L-shaped and a large volume, it does take away some of the existing sub's "oomph"...

I have thought about walling off the theater area for a smaller room volume, but then it would really isolate the lobby snack area and restroom, and I 'd have to rearrange all my computer network racks and tables... 
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#13 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted February 05 2010 - 01:42 PM

UPDATE: February, 2010 - Here are a few new photos I took of some recent upgrades to The Frey Theater:

I finally completed building a bar/counter for the second row of seating in my theater. The bar is home made, and was made using a scrap piece of white formica kitchen countertop, some 2x4's, oak plywood, and oak trim.  I cut about 6" off the front edge of the countertop, beveled the corners, and sprayed the counter surface with some textured paint used for outdoor furniture. It turned out fairly nice for only using handheld power tools to make it... I'm currently using some extra kitchen chairs as the seating at the counter, but I will try to find some padded swivel barstools to use, if I can find ones comfortable enough to sit on through a long movie...
Posted Image

I still have some trim pieces to add to finish off the back part of the riser on the countertop, but that will have to wait until warmer weather for me to finish it, as I don't have an indoor workshop to use during the winter.

Posted Image

I also picked up a nice kitchen cart to replace the ugly card table I was using previously at the snackbar area. This cart is quite a visual improvement, and is constructed of solid wood with a stainless steel countertop.  All the open bags of snacks, plates, bag clips, and other supplies can now be stored out of sight in the cabinets and drawers, rather than out in plain view, piled up on the card table. 
Posted Image
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#14 of 54 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Schizophrenic Man



  • 12,120 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted February 06 2010 - 09:52 AM

Troy:

Great looking place. There is nothing like having your own HT where you can invite people over to watch a movie.



"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#15 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted February 21 2010 - 08:11 AM

So, now I'm temporarily testing out adding an extra sub to my sound system... I picked up a QSC Powerlite 2 Amp to add to my audio mix, and am currently using it in bridged mode to drive an 18" JBL pro audio sub a friend of mine loaned me, just to test out what the added mid-bass frequencies with some power behind them will sound like.  My 15" HT sub is great for low bass frequencies down to about 12Hz, but it is not quite strong enough to fill the entire basement area with bass that can really be felt, which is what I'm trying to strive for.  Yes, this totally looks ridiculous the way I have the subs stacked right now, but as I said, it is just a test... 

After just a few very brief setup tests, the extra sub does appear it will add some much needed feel to the bass, but I have yet to really exercise it during a full movie yet, probably not until later this week when the house is empty, so I don't bother any family members upstairs, lol!   If this performs well, I'll be looking to purchase a permanent, but hopefully more attractive sub to include in the theater room somewhere... 




Below is my current stack of pro Amps, excluding my Carver 705a multichannel THX amp, which is sitting just above the top picture edge... For anyone interested, I will be selling off the Carver M500t amp with the large analog VU meters, as I am not using it any more...



Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#16 of 54 OFFLINE   Dennis Palla

Dennis Palla

    Extra



  • 19 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 18 2003

Posted February 22 2010 - 07:09 PM

So you have five cabinets all with 15in drivers and another with an 18, and you feel there's not enough bass output? Man....I know it's a fairly large room but it must really suck up the bottom end....I haven' heard Cerwin Vegas for quite some time but I recall they were never shy of bass. I wonder if that false ceiling is causing an issue? Very cool looking place, btw.

#17 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted February 23 2010 - 07:16 AM

Haha, well yes, there is already some good low-end sound in my system, but I'm just trying to get a little more "feel" out of the bass as well... I don't want that super-thumping-bass you get from a car audio system, but I'd like enough that you can actually feel it in your chest when a good explosion hits the screen... with the room area being L-shaped and about 700 square feet,  a single 15" sub isn't quite enough.  I AM a little suprised I'm not getting more bass from the CV Mains and Infinity Rears - I even have my surround processor set-up so all the bass frequencies go to them as well as the LFE channel. "Enhanced Bass" I believe Parasound calls that setting...

I  think the issue with the CV's bass is related to the room volume being large but the seating area for the theater is still very compact - my front row seating is only 8 feet from the 120" screen, so sitting that close to the front speakers, I can't crank up the system loud enough for the bass to pressurize the entire room without causing my viewers to implode... I certainly don't skimp on my sound levels in my theater, the audio is still very loud for the viewers, it's just not enough oomph to fill the entire room volume.  When you go around the corner and back towards the other end of the L-shaped room, the sound level drops off very rapidly, even though everything hanging on the walls in the bathroom (the farthest point from the theater area) is still vibrating wildly from the sub frequencies!

I'm sure I would get better vibes if I walled the theater area off from the rest of the room, but I prefer the openness and accessibility to the snack area, bathroom, and the keg fridge...  So, we'll just add more subs, lol!
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#18 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted March 30 2010 - 12:27 PM

Well, the 18" JBL sub loaned to me by my friend had some issues; I believe the driver in it was partially blown... but it gave me a good idea of what I needed to fill the room with low end sound.  So, I found a good deal posted locally on Craigslist for a "small" Peavey pro audio sub instead.  Now THIS sub sounds awesome, dual 18" Black Widow drivers driven by the QSC Powerlight amp - just the sound and feel I was looking for!  Moving the 15" Nuonic Sub off the floor and on top of the Peavey near the corner of the room really improved it's overall sound as well... The Nuonic sub carries the really low frequencies down to 12 Hz or so, but the Peavey adds a lot of volume and "feel" to the audio in the higher 40 - 120 Hz range. The two subs seem to work very well together... I'm finally satisfied with the bass response I'm getting in my theater now!

http://static.hometh...atar-60-7.jpg">

I also constructed a new, solid wood DVD shelf unit to store my overflow of DVDs and Blurays... the location where this shelf is mounted is only temporary, until I can relocate some of my existing computer furniture in the back part of the room.  I plan to construct a second, identical shelf unit, put a finish on both shelves, and then mount the two side-by-side on the back wall, just to the right of the AV cabinet. The grey wire shelf unit on the right side of the poster lightbox will then go away...



Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#19 of 54 OFFLINE   FreyTheater

FreyTheater

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 110 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2009
  • Real Name:Troy Frey
  • LocationAmish Country - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Posted April 06 2010 - 02:24 AM

I just added a very important component to my home theater last night - I wired a doorbell from the basement-level overhead garage door to my theater room, lol!  Yeah, not much of an addition, but it is a big deal for my setup - I host a lot of movie nights for crowds of people to attend, but once the movie starts, the sound system drowns out anyone arriving late who rings the front doorbell upstairs, or pounds on the front door or the garage door to get in... they are just left out in the cold!  My previous solution was to give my "regular customers" the code to my garage door keypad, and they just let themselves in, but I don't want to give that out to just everyone... so I finally installed the door bell.  I mounted the dinger on the wall right next to the seating area, so no matter how loud the audio is, I can still hear the doorbell... uh, faintly!
Come FEEL a great movie in the FREYMAX 3D Theater!
 

 


#20 of 54 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

Parker Clack

    Schizophrenic Man



  • 12,120 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1997
  • Real Name:Parker
  • LocationKansas City, MO

Posted April 08 2010 - 07:17 PM

Troy:

Great idea. Another thing you could try is have the door bell set up to a light. So that way a light flashes when they ring the door bell instead of a bell sounding.

"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users