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Building new HT, help with components needed.


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Smokecloud

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Posted November 02 2009 - 06:58 AM


Updated with PICS

Hi all,

im sure this is a repetitive post when someone asks complete strangers to select stuff for them based on very little information, but any assistance you could provide, I would greatly appreciate.  Here is my basic rundown.  I started building a house that my wife and I designed about 2 1/2 years ago, we included a theater room in the basement, its well insulated and has no windows. We are finally getting around to giving he HT room attention. the room is 21' L x 18' W x 8 1/2'H.  I put in elevated seating, there is one row of chairs ground floor, then two steps and a stage type floor where the 2nd row of 4 seats sits, then the counter top/cabinets are behind them.  The room is already wired for 7.1 or 7.2 (one sub in front and one at back.

Im currently having my cabinet guy start my cabinets in about one week.  All of my components will be in a center tower at the center of the back of the room including the projector.  The projector will have to throw 19' to the front of the room, which seems to be problematic for most projectors, so just as a safeguard, I had an extra plug and power wired in at the standard 12' mark on the ceiling, but I really dont plan on using it at this point.

I want to use inwall speakers, minus the subs of course.  I think I have settled on a projector, I really like what the JVC d-ila 750 has to offer and I keep hoping for another price drop on it, but I will probably end up with it.  I would like THX rated speakers and I believe that I will probably purchase JBL's of some sort, but I really dont know what size or models I need.  I like the Yamaha receivers but dont know what model I need, but would like all of my sound stuff to be at least a low end THX rating.  Is it better to have powered subs or run them off of the receiver?  I dont want separate amps, just one setup.  I have HD Direct TV plumbed into the room already with a box and will add dvd player and possibly Blu Ray.  I already have my screen, I found a smoking deal on a demo from a company that went bankrupt, I have a Stewart Firehawk that is 123" with frame, its a permanent mount setup.

Since all of my electronics will be in a wood cabinet tower, I need some sort of radio controlled remote, im installing lots of ventillation and two fans in the cabinet, so cooling will not be a problem, but IR will not work with the doors closed, so any advise would be appreciated.

I have carpet (low shag) on the floor and half way up the walls for sound control and looks.  I painted the recessed ceiling and upper walls a non-reflective deep red.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.



#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted November 02 2009 - 09:40 AM

Wow, that's a lot.  Let me try and hit some of your questions/comments in order.

There is no such thing as 7.2.  The seven is there because there are 7 discrete channels of information.  The .1 is there because there is only 1 LFE/sub channel.  Doesn't matter how many subs you use, it is still .1.  I know it's picky but that just bugs the crap out of me.

A lot of projectors will handle the 19' throw just fine.  I know the Panasonic line will.  I use the AE-900U.  I think they are on the 4000 model now.

Using in-wall speakers will be a compromise.  They never sound as good as real speakers, especially at the same price point.

Many speakers and other components meet or exceed the THX specs but don't want to pay George Lucas the rights to put the THX logo on their equipment.  Get a quality receiver with an auto calibration system and you will be good to go.  Make sure it has all of the inputs that you need.  I'm a big fan of Pioneer models.

All of us that have graduated from the home theater in a box systems do not power our subs with our receiver.  All of the quality subs available have a plate amp built into them and you connect it to your receiver's LFE output.  It's that easy.  Look into internet direct subs.  They are discussed in depth in our speakers and sub section.  The only better value is building one yourself.

You don't need an RF remote if you don't want to spend the money.  A $50 IR relay system from Parts Express or Smart Home will work.  But if you are going with a univeral remote, let me recommend the Harmony 890.  It's an RF/IR model that will control every piece of equipment that you have.  I have the 880, IR only model, and it is great.  I wish I had spent a little extra for the 890.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted November 02 2009 - 11:41 AM

Welcome to the forum, Chris!  Sounds like a fun project you have going on there.  Do you have a budget in mind for the speakers and receiver?  That would go a long way toward recommendations.


#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Smokecloud

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Posted November 03 2009 - 03:58 AM

Thanks for the reply, 7.2 was what I was told by a guy in a HT/stereo store, but it went out of business, so 7.1 it is, thanks for the little stuff, Im kind of nit picky also.

You gave me lots of good info.  I have a friend that has spent his life in radio and knows stereo stuff fairly well, but not HT, so I turned here.  I am fine with standard box speakers, its my wife that wants them concealed, I will try to find some photos of nice HT setups showing speakers and see if I can get her to bend.

My budget right now is about 10k for projector/speakers/receivers or all things electronic.  Im not completely set on the JVC projector, but it sure had nice reviews, the cheapest I have found it was $5100, I have been waiting for months to see if it will come down another grand.  One thing I didn't like about the JVC was the low lumen listing, im not sure how it could have that good of a picture from 19' at only 1100 lumens, a year ago, I seriously considered a Mitsubishi, one of the projectors with Led technology.  One more thing about my room is that it has a cement floor under the carpet and I had the ceiling insulated with a spray in foam for more sound control (living room is above the HT room), so the downside is that adding wires or changing things around is very difficult.  (keeping remotes in mind).

The company that I had wire it during framing, also recommended double sheetrocking it for sound control, so I did that as well, but I havent read much about he pros or cons of that.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted November 03 2009 - 04:10 AM

Check out the Panasonic models.  I don't know how my picture could get any better and my projector is 4 years old.  I keep ready that each model has improvements but I don't want to see one in person because I might catch upgradeitus.

Most people put the majority of they electronics budget into speakers.  A quality set of speakers will last for decades.  Other electronics change as formats change.

My room is carpet over concrete with staggered stud walls.  Spray foam and insulation will contain the higher frequencies but not the bass.  You need mass to stop the bass.  Dual drywall helps but it won't do much if you like action movies at high volumes.  My subs have usable output to about 14hz and I can shake the entire concrete foundation of my house.  My staggered stud walls with insulation keeps the outside noise out during low passages.  Nothing more.  But I don't have to worry about anyone else but my wife and we usually watch movies together.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Smokecloud

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Posted February 18 2011 - 04:19 AM

 Its almost done.  We have been enjoying it for a while.  ended up with the JVC DLA-750Hd, Im very happy with my choice.  123" Stewart firehawk.  Yamaha rv3900 receiver at 140x7.  JBL inwall speakers, I will have to look up the numbers if anyone is interested.  Also have the 1000 watt 12" powered JVC sub.  Sony Blu-Ray, DirectTV-HD receiver also. The whole package sounds better than our local Cinema's.  I designed the cabinets, including lots of ventilation ideas, powered fans inside their own cabinet in the bottom with a intake under the toekick, vents on the sides at the top, lots of cutouts in the shelves, thermostat heat control for the fans, so they dont power down when I shut of the equipment, they run until everything is down to 85.  Subzero fridge drawers over on the right side.  Still need to cover the door in leather with some design and hang more posters.  Just an update for you guys.  I added two photos in a 2nd reply to this, but got a message that i had not been active and the moderator would have to approve it before posting.http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

 http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/








#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Smokecloud

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Posted February 18 2011 - 04:22 AM

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Smokecloud

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Posted February 20 2011 - 05:11 AM

Boy this forum sure has slowed down.  I have replied to several different threads and no one seems to interact here.  1000 views, 2 comments sort of stuff.  Anyhow, I have updated the projector door on my cabinets if anyone is interested.  I had originally done double doors and once I got the projector just where I wanted it, we were going to cut the hole in the middle.  the hole didnt look right with the double doors, so I scrapped them and did a single door that opens downward and cut the hole in the middle, so no more opening doors to watch movies.  My projector has an auto dust cover anyhow and now it looks more like a theater room.  I also scrapped the shelf that was holding the 50lb projector because it kept sagging lower and lower over time causing me to re-adjust my picture (part of why I had not cut the hole in the double doors), I replaced the shelf with a nice stained little wood box sort of stand or pedestal if you will.


My speakers are JBL P81's for fronts and center, JBL SS8's for the 4 surrounds.  I have a JBL HTPS-400 12" sub that has a built in 1000 watt amp, its awesome.  Wish I could afford two of them, but one is really all that is needed, it shakes all the seats nicely all on its own.