About to start interviewing custom cabinet makers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Harrison, Jun 8, 2001.

  1. Eric Harrison

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    I am going to have my audio/video cabinets custom made for a RPTV purchase that will happen in late August/early September. For those of you who have done this, what types of questions should I be asking? What should my expectations be throughout this experience?
    Thanks for any help.
    Eric
     
  2. Thomas B

    Thomas B Agent

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    I had my entertainment center custom-made back in 1993, when I purchased a (then) top-of-the-line Mitsubishi 35-inch direct view TV. We used the grand room for the location of the home theater and my wife was reluctant to allow a big screen TV, speakers, and electronic equipment to "clutter" the room decor. For this reason, we had the front and surround speakers custom-installed into the walls and drew up some specs for the construction of the entertainment center. In addition, since this room is the center-piece of our home, we wanted the entertainment center to have the appearance of adding class to the room decor rather than just being a rack of audio-video components. For this reason, we went to a local cabinet maker who constructed our center with dark-stained cherry.
    I knew the dimensions of the TV, as well as the receiver, VCR, CD player, and tape deck, so I drew up a plan for a three-sectioned entertainment center, with the TV in the middle, and a side-and-top-supported double-decked section positioned ABOVE the television, with spaces measured to contain the additional components (with additional space allowed for the components to ventilate.) Although built separately, the two other main sections of the entertainment center were connected to the middle section on each side, giving the appearance of one large piece of furniture. These side sections contain NO electronic components except for the subwoofer, located in the bottom of the left section (accessed by a cabinet door, with the sub firing down, and a masked area under the cabinet door allowing an outlet for the sound from the sub.) The space for the sub was also measured, and these dimensions were given to the cabinet maker.
    The two side sections of this set-up have curio-type cabinets and glass containing doors from about waist-level up, and below that, we have non-glass containing cabinet doors to access large drawers that contain our videos, CDs and DVDs. While the middle section contains the TV and electronic components, we have a set of double doors that can pull out from the sides of the TV on rollers and then close the front of the entertainment center, which then makes the whole thing show NO electronic components, and instead, gives the appearance of a fine piece of furniture in the grand room.
    The details considered in the construction of this entertainment center included knowing the dimensions of the components, the weight of the components (especially the TV, which weighs over 200 lbs.), and drawing up the cut-out holes in the back walls to allow a wall connection to a surge suppressor. This whole set-up was constructed for about $2500, and I really only have two complaints. One is that this makes for a real hassle to access the backs of the components mainly due to the bulk of the TV, which must be moved out to access the back of the receiver (but I can at least pull the VCR and DVD players out enough to access the rear of those components.) The other problem is a future concern when I upgrade to HDTV (or a larger TV than my 35-inch Mit.) Since I measured the space for this 35-inch set, I will probably be compelled to have ANOTHER middle section custom-made for a bigger set to allow this to fit. (One suggestion that I would consider for a big RPTV in my set-up . . . since many of these are on rollers, I would plan on making my rebuilt middle section with the components remaining on top, but with an empty space for the RPTV to roll into and no cabinets or drawers below, and the large double-doors to close in front of the TV. This would also allow me better access to the back of the components when I roll the TV out.)
    All things considered though, this has been a nice set-up for us, allowing us the luxury of a good home theater with the appearance of a comfortable grand room. Of course, if you are looking to build a home theater without the constraints of keeping an appearance of a formal grand room, this info may not be of much help to you, but you may find some of my experience useful!
     
  3. Eric Harrison

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    Thanks Thomas...
    Anyone else???
     
  4. Nick O

    Nick O Auditioning

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    Eric I have to ask if you have considering turning the room itself into the cabinet? A false wall always looks better, and the benifits of flush mounted speakers and TVs are aperent to all that hear the eveness of your speakers without all the crazy reflections. Most cabinets I have seen were not designed with acoustics in mind. If you would like to see what Im talking about I have a Theatre in progress in kent ohio. I would be happy to give you some Ideas of what would be the best for your specific application. 330 677 1930.
    Nick O
     
  5. Eric Harrison

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    Nick-
    thanks for the response, unfortunately, this is in the family room, and I am somewhat restricted. I would love to be able to have everything built in, but it wouldnt be practical in my setup for the family room. But when I convert the basement into a dedicated HT room, that would be a very likely scenario. I am looking to have cabinets built to sit on both sides of the RPTV to house my equipment.
    thanks,
    Eric
     

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