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Equipment for a basement theater (1 Viewer)

cokewithvanilla

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John
Naturally when starting a project like this, someone would have a whole bunch of questions. I have been extremely frustrated by the many issues that I am encountering. Most revolve around price. It certainly seems like you pay for what you get. It is not that I am trying to be cheap, it is that I am trying to be reasonable. I want something that will sound very nice, without breaking the bank.

I believe I have already decided on the projector. Sony VPL-VW50. It is probably the only 1080p projector in its price range. I can easily get one for around $3,700. I would only like to spend $5,000 on the rest of the theater.

I found some products, but the problem is finding a very good set of speakers in the $2,000 price range. Currently I am looking at something that costs a little over $3,000, and I am not sure I want to spend that much. The system is the Axiom Audio Epic Grand Master 500 7.1. I have looked at the Epic 80 350, which is roughly the same price, but for the room size I was told it was unnecessary, and it would require a more expensive receiver.

So here is what I am looking at:

16 x 19 x 8 room, that is not built yet. I am going to build it with flex pipe in the walls, and some sound proofing. I plan on spending $5000 or less on everything (it will be a 7.1 system), excluding the projector.

I have looked into Pioneer Elite, Integra, Onkyo, and Denon for recievers. Denon is way too expensive, Pioneer Elite only gives me one choice, Integra gives me about 2 choices, and Onkyo seems to offer the best system for the dollar. Of course, I cannot just look at specifications, I need to look at quality, what would you all recommend? It has to have 1080p, 7.1, all the DTS things (theres like 6 of em) and should at least have a THX logo on it. I know the THX logo is of little importance, but it makes me feel better just having it there.

As for speakers, I have chosen Axiom, but I don't think I can get them for a penny under $3,000. Does anyone have an idea for a good 7.1 speaker system that will never have to be replaced, and cost $2,000? or at least under $3,000? And are Axiom all that great?

The projector: I don't think I have a choice. The HC5000 has a cheaper MSRP than the VPL-VW50, but I cannot find one anywhere, except the manufacturer.

I want an electronic screen to mount into the ceiling. I don't know how expensive there are, but I want it to be as large as possible for the room size, without it been too large. any recommendations?

Axiom offers speaker cable for $.90 a foot, and blue jeans offers it for $.40. Pretty much the least of my worries, but any recommendation will help.

Speaker mounts. If I am not to get Axiom, which offers 39 dollar wall mounts, the speakers need to be mountable for cheap. I am sick of seeing $200 speaker mounts! I am not going to pay $800 to mount my rear speakers!!

Surge protectors. I understand I need good ones. The projector will be mounted on the ceiling, through drywall, so its likely I will need a separate surge protector that will last forever. Ideas?

Dvd Upconverter. I am afraid I am going to have to cut corners here, and I am not goig to get an HD dvd player. hd dvd players run $350-$400, and upconverters run $150. So any idea on an upconverter?

I plan to have all my equipment under the stairs, and I will leave an empty section in the drywall for the equipment to stick out. Any suggestions on shelving that will help keep the equipment spaced out, and cool?

Have I missed anything? I would hate to get into the project and not have everything required.

I have read a tutorial on how to put the room together, suggesting two layers of drywall, sound proofing insulation, flex pipe throughout, and to have an essentially air tight room. It has a bunch of other suggestions that I cannot remember at this moment. I am not going to spend a crap load extra on building the room, but any suggestions on where to get this stuff, and what to get? Also, are two layers of drywall really necessary?
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
Excellent choice on projector, though if you don't have any 1080p sources I would question why you would need a 1080p projector? In any case, here you go, a dream 7.1 system on a $5,000 budget, including a 1080p source.

Front Speakers: Paradigm Monitor 7 ($650)
Center: Paradigm CC-370 ($300)
Surrounds: Paradigm ADP-370 ($650)
Rear Surrounds: Paradigm Mini Monitor ($400)
Subwoofer: SVS PB12–Plus ($900)
Speaker Stands: For the surrounds ($300)

Total: $3,200

Receiver: Denon AVR-3806 ($875)
HD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 ($375)
Surge Protector: APC C5 ($100)
Surge Protector #2: APC C5 ($100)
Universal Remote: Logitech Harmony 880 ($150)
Audio/Video Cabling: HDMI, Component, Digital Coax, Optical Audio, etc ($100)
Speaker Cabling: 12 AWG Speaker Cabling, Subwoofer Cable ($100)

Total: $1,800

Grand Total: $5,000

And don't worry about THX, this is simply a paid certification and DSP's, though fun at first, end up being options you don't use.

If you would like to cut down the above price a bit, consider building 5.1 instead of 7.1 (you can build up over time), and also consider a smaller subwoofer, and less expensive receiver from Denon or Yamaha.

For screens I would recommend Da-Lite. Is there any reason you need an electric screen?
 

cokewithvanilla

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Nov 10, 2006
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John
1080p because it is the "wave of the future" as it were. 720p is becoming obsolete. Also, my computers video card produces a 1080p signal, which I plan to use.

Electric screen. I dont ever want to pull down a screen, and I dont want a screen blocking the door to a room that will be behind the screen. And I can't paint on a screen for the same reason. About how much would a screen such as this cost? and what format should I get? 16:9? 2.35:1? 4:3? In a 16 X 19 x 8 room, how big would I want the screen (in inches) to be?

I noticed that you have 3,200 for speakers, What do you think of the Axioms for 3,000? I have become very fond of the look that axiom offers. are paradigm that much better? Are there any good $2,000 speakers, or should I just fork over the extra grand to be happy?

How big of a difference is 1080p compared to 720p at 100 inches? Is it worth the extra 1,500-1,700 to have 1080p?
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
I haven't auditionned the Axiom's, as they are available via internet resale only. Personally, I would recommend auditionning as many speakers as you can from brands such as Paradigm, B&W, Monitor Audio, PSB, etc. I wouldn't purchase speakers based solely on aesthetics. Don't take my word for what speakers are best. Just remember, your ears won't lie to you.

For subwoofer, I would recommend an SVS or HSU subwoofer instead of the Axiom. For instance, the SVS PB12-Plus/2 will blow away the Axiom EP500, for the same price.
 

cokewithvanilla

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John
Is there any reason the Axiom center channel has more speakers than the Paradigm one?

Is the Panasonic PT-AX100U ($1,648) considered one of the best 720 projectors? you are probably right, I will not invest in HD dvds for some time. By that time projectors will have gone down enough for me to buy a 1080p without loosing much money... If i bought that $1,600 projector now, and a 2,000 later... that would add up to the current price of the Sony...

Hw big of a screen would you suggest in this size room?
 

Alon Goldberg

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Alon Goldberg
Paradigm CC-370

Frequency Response: ±2dB from 100 Hz - 20 kHz
Tweeter: Single 1"
Woofer: Dual 6.5"
Dimensions: 7.5" x 22.75" x 10.25"
Weight: 25lbs
Price: $300

Axiom VP150

Frequency Response: ±3dB from 85 Hz - 22 kHz
Tweeter: Dual 1"
Woofer: Triple 5.25"
Dimensions: 7.5" x 27.5" x 7.5"
Weight: 22 lbs
Price: $400

The Paradigm has larger drivers, weighs more, and costs less. On the other hand, the Axiom has a larger frequency response. Keep in mind that the center channel is used primarily for vocal/dialog. But again, I haven't auditionned the Axiom center channel. I certainly wouldn't purchase a speaker based solely on aesthetics or the number of drivers, I would audition as many speakers as possible and make an informed choice.
 

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