What's new
  • Announcing New Ownership at Home Theater Forum. Learn More

First dedicated Home Theater build w/ $10,000-$15,000 budget. Help me get there. (1 Viewer)

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
Okay, you wonderfully helpful experts, I am thinking of changing screens and need your knowledge and advice!

Before we got into the project, I bought a 120" 16:9 screen from Elite Screens. But for reasons I won't bore you with we're now building a false wall, and are going to put speakers behind it. In order to do that, I now need to return the screen I bought and perhaps buy an acoustically transparent screen so I can put the center channel behind it.

I know NOTHING bout acoustically transparent screens, and shopping online isn't being very successful or informative. My budget for the screen is $800. Yeah, yeah, I know. Humor me, though.

What can you tell me about these screens? How much do they interfere with the sound? How much do they reduce the quality of the picture?

Thank you in advance. You guys have been tremendously helpful. This is going to be your theater, in part. That's how much I have taken your advice to heart.
 
Last edited:

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
Finally added Atmos speakers. Today I ordered four RSL C34E MKII in-ceiling speakers.

And with that, my purchases are done.

For now. LOL! I can see it's an addiction. :D
 

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
Damn. I never expected this.

If we build this with the screen on the shorter wall, down at the far end of this picture next to the doorway, which seems like the obvious place...

1669473396181.png


...then we get chaotic and problematic sound reflections that look like this:


1669473468386.png


We also have problems placing speakers without interfering with the screen or a door.

1669473720278.png


1669473754707.png



But my friend, who is a professional at building these things, says that if we swing it 90 degrees to the left, and put the screen on the long wall...

1669473817619.png


...we get a much better sound profile, with far fewer problems to solve.

1669473624087.png


And we solve the equipment problems.

That's counter-intuitive, and I never see people build their theaters this way. They always put the screen on the long axis, not the short axis. But that appears to be what I have to do, and it solves a myriad of problems.

Swinging it 90 degrees to the left, onto the short axis, has its own problems. Obviously there is less distance to the Queen's Chair, especially when you consider putting in a false wall to hide speakers. But the false wall is something else we can't do on the long axis because it blocks the door, but which we can do in this configuration.

And we can do this without a hard remodel of the room, which I can't afford. It is done with a false wall and framed fabric. Affordable. Easy. For instance, we don't have to remove the fireplace and build out the wall. We just cover it with a fabric wall behind which we'll have one or more acoustic panels.

So, here's the tentative design. At first I hated it, but it's growing on me. Since I only have one row of seats, it can be done.

1669474085830.png


Doesn't that just strike you as wrong? It does, me. As I'm living with it, though, I'm buying into it. So it looks like we're doing something like this. Here are a few quick cad drawings my friend did to show me.

1669474394378.png
1669474408010.png

1669474424692.png
1669474436403.png
1669474457455.png
1669474474056.png
1669474487894.png


He says we build columns on either side of the seating, as pictured above, which will contain surround speakers and bass traps. Something like this...

1669474583028.png


...with little arches across the room to contain motorized and retractable custom 4 Layers Anti Dust, Soundproof And Thermal Insulated 100% Blackout Curtains as both a design aspect and sound taming. As you can see in the photos, the arches are not at 90 degree angles to the walls, but flare out in amphitheater style.

I really hated this, at first. But now I kinda like it, as I'm getting used to it and trying to shed my bias and assumptions about which wall the screen should go on.

Before I pull the trigger and start tearing up the room, has anyone ever seen someone do something like this? My friend is a professional. He knows what he is doing. I trust him. But I'm still apprehensive. This seems so odd. I'm hoping y'all can reassure me. :)

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Dave-R

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 30, 2022
Messages
3
Real Name
Dave Rees
Sadly, nothing of value to add. That said, I'm learning as I follow along, so THANKS!

Cheers,
Dave
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
9,995
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
Where do those doors on either end (of the long axis) lead? I don't suppose you can just block one of them off not to be (normally) used anymore, right? :P

I don't know. How exactly were those sound profiles generated? What simulation software does he use (and how good is it actually)? I'm skeptical about how good it might be myself w/out knowing more, especially since I'm guessing there's not a whole lot of time/effort and exact setup/scenarios (and other details) tried and optimized -- there's only one set of charts you showed (for one exact scenario/setup) for each orientation afterall. For instance, did that chart w/ bad results even assume toe-in for the speakers (plus maybe very basic room treatments)? That's not clear at all -- it reads like quite probably not.

But yeah, sticking a front speaker (and only that one) all the way into a corner like that is certainly not remotely ideal... especially for something like those fairly high-end B&Ws. For that matter, they really shouldn't be up against the wall behind them either. This is partly why I gave up moving my Thiel CS5i's into my current (much smaller than originally planned) space -- they really need the space to breathe to be worthwhile using -- and ended up "merely" going w/ some ELAC UniFi 2.0 floorstanders + center instead.

But sitting so close to the rear wall behind you isn't ideal either -- in my current limited space, I do at least have a good deal of space (~6ft) behind my small row of 2.5 seats -- although I suppose using cushy, high-back HT seats should help a good deal w/ potential sound reflection issues from the rear...

The other thing is you *might* be planning the PJ throw distance a tad too tightly (or maybe even tad too short) for comfort w/ the new plan. IF I'm reading it correctly, that plan expects there to be 13.5ft between the screen and the rear wall. That seems to cut the PJ throw distance extremely tight for a 120" 16x9 screen, if that's what you're still doing (as seems to be the case). It's certainly not gonna leaving much, if any, space at all between the Epson 5050UB and the rear wall -- we're talking possibly no more than an inch or two at most. And that assumes the ~1ft3in or so is all that's needed *behind* the screen to that wall, which doesn't seem correct to me -- those B&W 802 S2s have gotta be deeper than that... and the earlier plan details seem to indicate they're nearly 2ft deep, especially w/ an additional inch or so space from the wall, which is more likely the case...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
9,995
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
PJ is (commonly used) short for projector, hehheh...


Ok, in looking a bit closer at those charts, I see some small discrepancies (in the specs/criteria) between them (that may or may not matter, if the data is actually based on running sweeps of actual test tones instead of purely software simulation alone), but most importantly, those charts (as shown) only show bass/subwoofer performance (plus the crossover region).

Also, I don't see any details about the specific speaker models in the specs/criteria for those charts, so presumably, the accuracy of the modeling can only be so good -- I'm assuming no testing was done w/ your actual speakers (moved around the space for different scenarios)...

Anyway, you don't really need such software to tell you that sticking one (high-end) front speaker into the corner like that won't be ideal, so...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
9,995
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
Oh, what is that big boxy-looking thing in the diagram on the far end not shown in your (1st) photo? Is that some movable cabinet furniture or some kinda room treatment added specifically for that plan?


Anyway, have you considered moving the screen and front speakers deeper into the space away from the wall so as not to block the door way too much? Maybe even build some kind of mini, 2.5-3ft wide corridor (w/ acoustically translucent? false? wall... or just some kinda room dividing screen panel) to lead from that door pass the screen and front speakers and sub (and whatever other A/V stuff) into the HT space? And make that semi(?)-enclosed space deep enough to get into to do any foreseeable, needed setup or maintenance work (behind all the A/V gear, etc) -- maybe 4-5ft deep for that space would do... yielding a 4-5ft long, mini corridor.

That should yield ~11.5-12ft wide space to work with (for front speakers placement) and allow you to move that front speaker away from the side wall some... and *all* speakers, except maybe the subwoofer(s) away from that front wall -- unlike the other speakers, subwoofers probably work better up against at least one wall (if not actually in a corner) since imaging isn't generally an issue for them while the walls can actually help boost their sub bass levels where needed most.

And IF you switch to an acoustically transparent screen, that should probably allow that front speaker to be at least 2ft away from the side wall, especially if toed in some. I would think ~9ft distance between the center of both front speakers should likely be enough.

_Man_
 
Last edited:

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
The project has begun. I'm both nervous and excited. A friend who knows how to do this stuff is building it for me. :)

IMG_1557.JPG


1671313513611.png


1671313534665.png


1671313562171.png
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
18,099
Dana, I meant to post over the weekend, how exciting! Glad to see you are starting the construction and making fast progress! Can’t wait to see it progress.

I’ll be curious what the inaugural film will be! 😀
 

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
Dana, I meant to post over the weekend, how exciting! Glad to see you are starting the construction and making fast progress! Can’t wait to see it progress.

I’ll be curious what the inaugural film will be! 😀

I'm curious what the inaugural film will be, too! :D

Got any suggestions? We're scratching our heads. One suggestion was Die Hard, since our first movie will probably be Christmas Eve. I also suggested Avatar, in preparation for seeing the sequel. But it's hard to find 4K UHD Bluray discs that are in stores or can get here before Xmas.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
18,099
Is your theater really going to be ready by Christmas Eve? That’s fast!

Die Hard and Avatar are good choices! :) Other options if you are into action adventure:
Top Gun 1 or 2 could be fun.
Maybe Titanic.
Star Wars

Other titles I’d consider, but these are my favorites:
2001: A Space Odyysey. I just re-watched the 4K disc. Really amazing imagery
Star Trek The Motion Picture The Directors Edition remastered 2022, this is an amazing remaster if you like Star Trek.
Lawrence of Arabia 4K disc.

It probably depends on what you’re into. There’s some classic Hitchcock titles I’d want to see like North by Northwest. There’s so many titles to chose from!
 

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
Is your theater really going to be ready by Christmas Eve? That’s fast!

Die Hard and Avatar are good choices! :) Other options if you are into action adventure:
Top Gun 1 or 2 could be fun.
Maybe Titanic.
Star Wars

Other titles I’d consider, but these are my favorites:
2001: A Space Odyysey. I just re-watched the 4K disc. Really amazing imagery
Star Trek The Motion Picture The Directors Edition remastered 2022, this is an amazing remaster if you like Star Trek.
Lawrence of Arabia 4K disc.

It probably depends on what you’re into. There’s some classic Hitchcock titles I’d want to see like North by Northwest. There’s so many titles to chose from!

Xmas Eve is the plan! We'll see, though. LOL. By today, all the equipment should be in and wired, so we can test it. That's just the beginning, though, and temporary.

I've started a new thread to document my build adventure, which can be found HERE. First thing you might notice is that the $10,000-$15,000 price tag has expanded to $20,000. That's 'cuz I hired my friend, Kristian to build The Beast. He says Xmas Eve is doable if all the materials get here in time.

I think I'll look for that Star Trek version. That sounds perfect, to me. I also like the idea of North By Northwest, but want to go with 4K, color, and Dolby Atmos sound for that big test picture.
 

DanaRuns

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
69
Real Name
Dana
I want to thank everyone in this thread who gave me so much of an education, with great suggestions and perspective. You've helped to make this theater come to life! I'm very thankful for this forum.

While the build-out isn't quite finished, we have the complete system installed and we were able to meet our goal of watching our first movie on Christmas Eve. And this theater has far exceeded my expectations. I can't express how good it sounds. I wish you all could experience it.

322104820_723385395854900_782091716298564153_n.jpeg
IMG_1621.JPG
IMG_1623.JPG
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
353,108
Messages
5,008,158
Members
143,400
Latest member
rferoni
Recent bookmarks
0
Top