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Hoping All Can Help :-)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Kip P., May 23, 2019.

  1. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Hi all,

    Kip P. here.

    Well, I have finally had it with commercial movies theaters -- noisy people, bad food smells, spilling drinks, cell phone talking, crowded lines, and more.

    I'm ready to go the home-theater route, and I need your help.

    I'll post in the newbie section, but basically, I want to recreate, as much as possible, a "real" theater experience, from the wall curtains to full-room sound. (Is Atmos necessary? 7.1?)

    Now, here's the challenge:

    1)A budget limit of probably $10k or a little less, I want to "do it all," including paint, wires, AVR, speakers, and six theater seats (Seatcraft?).

    2) I'm not trying to impress the world. On the other hand, some of the people who visit us have multimillion dollar homes with "nice" home theaters. I don't want mine to be an embarrassment, yet I can't put the kind of bucks into what they probably have in their set-ups. I want to satisfy everyone ... even on my budget. (No comments like "nice try ... for a wannabe.")
    The picture has to be great, and the sound also has to get "a nod of approval."
    Still, first and foremost, it has to provide our family with a theater (movies and concert DVDs.)

    3) I'm open to all suggestions ... speakers, AVR, books that would help, other brands of seats that you prefer, etc.
    (I'm a sponge, ready to soak up all good advice.)

    As I said, I'll post this and more in the newbie section, but I welcome your opinions ... and thanks in advance,

    Kip P.
     
  2. Message #2 of 41 May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    Welcome to HTF Kip - We have a bunch of guys with real experience and I know will help. You can help by describing your room. How big? Windows - light control.The better the data - the better the advice.:welcome:
    Added: 1080p or 4K? Ceiling height.
     
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  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Don't cross-post. As in, don't ask the same question in multiple sections. You already have this one posted, so you probably should just go with this one.
     
  4. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I ended up changing most of it ... more complete in the other section. I also presented it as a chance for someone to answer completely or pieces that interest them by number.

    Sorry about any etiquette faux pas.

    Kip P.
     
  5. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    only thing I can contribute is a big YES to atmos. That is, if you have a nice stack of those in your collection. if not, get em and YES comes up again! and mine just has those slanted atmos speakers on top of the front ones. If the actual speakers were overhead instead I know there are some movies that will just have you gasping

    $10K! man I wish I had to for home theater.
     
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  6. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Okay, here's the expanded description that I "was" going to post in another section ... by mistake. Fortunately, I forgot to hit the post button. This letter will give you more details. And as usual ... thanks in advance for any help ...

    Yes, I'm a noobie, and I need your help.

    Imagine that you had to create a system for my home, and I came at you with a BUNCH of questions that show more what I don't know than what I do.

    So ... dream big for me, on a budget of maybe $10,000 for "most" everything. Help me by walking me through all of this. What's your ideal system on this type of budget?

    (Or will I get a lot more value, without the law of diminishing returns on quality, by saving more and doubling my budget? Tripling it? I just want your opinion.)

    1) Basically, I have a 21ft. x 15ft. room, and I need to leave an aisle to walk to the front, on one side. There is a sliding glass door, that we are going to black out with drapes of some type. Suggestions on the blackout?

    2) I want a BIG screen. I have recently read about figuring distance from screen to chair with screen size. I simply don't like small screen rooms. Suggestions on type and size of screen?

    3) I know acquaintances with separate components. Can I accomplish my wonderful sound, etc. with a Receiver instead of separate amp, tuner, etc.? BTW What receiver brand would you recommend? And how much of my budget should I spend? Or do I need a bigger budget (as mentioned earlier)?

    4) I assume that I won't be buying a "home theater SYSTEM." I'll buy the speakers separately from the receiver. Should I go 7.1 (7.2) or 5.1 (5.2)? How much should I spend on speakers to get impressive sound? (Is this the time to talk Atmos?)

    5) Seatcraft seems to be the seat of choice online? Any other brands that you prefer? I'm thinking of three seats per row and two rows with a round soft chair(s) in front. I weigh 270 lbs. and have noticed that most home recliners from furniture stores get a "Butt impression" were the back of my legs get 'cut off' uncomfortably by the front bar of the seat. So, I was thinking of the 'Big and Tall' seats for added seat support. Ideas or opinions?

    Two last details/thoughts:

    7) Carpeting and lighting don't have to be included in the original budget ... but I'd like your opinion on both. As well as room color. (Are black walls really the best? What about all of the beige home theaters out there? Or the original burgundy theaters of old that are so elegant?)

    8) Finally ... while my family's comfort and pleasure is of paramount importance, I will have people with multimillion dollar homes and "nice" theaters visiting as well, from time to time.

    How do I "fool" them, so to speak? If they don't "look under the hood" (pull back the curtains), I want them to be impressed with the sound and the picture. (Think of how many wine connoisseurs can be impressed by a less expensive wine, when they have a blindfold test. I want to have people judge on sight and sound ... not on how big my stack of components is or the size of my speakers.)

    Whew.

    Help, please. :)
     
  7. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    -=-=-
    Thanks ... apparently, I need to research Atmos more. And yes ... "gasping" is good.

    And as for the budget ... I have been diligently saving for this, and waiting for the right time. I could scrape more, if needed, but I'd prefer to do it with what I originally set aside for my dream theater.
     
  8. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    I forgot ... no windows other than the sliding glass door mentioned. And the ceiling is "sub-standard," a tad on the short side. 7' 4".

    And the width is a couple of inches under 15 ft. (Length 21 ft.)
     
  9. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    In the Heart of the Sea has a scene with a whale that has a great atmos moment. add 3d to it and it's crazy immersive. Now, Tree of Life felt like atmos, I thought it was when I watched it. wonderful soundscape. But a virtual atmos would prob work good with it. My onkyo 5.1.2 does that.
     
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  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Just a quick response, and sorry if it’s a little discouraging. 10K is a nice budget, but it’s not going to get you a dream theater, with an enormous image, theater seating, and awe inspiring sound. You’ll need to consider your priorities. My priorities are audio, so that’s where the majority of my $ went. I think most people spend far too much on the visual and far too little on the audio.
     
  11. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Thank you for responding,

    Yes, that's a bit discouraging. I have to admit.

    I wonder at what price you get the most bang for your buck ... and can have a great system??? If not $10k, then $20k? $30k? Just curious. And yes, I am limited.

    Audio is important to me ... in the late 80s, I sold stereos ... Sony, Harmon Kardon, Marantz, McIntosh, and JBL. My ears aren't what they used to be ... but it's still an important factor.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    The peripheral stuff can get extremely expensive, like fancy seating, window and wall treatments, etc. If you want it to look really cool. I've been in many, many multi-million $ houses with home theaters, and I've found virtually all of them were all-show-and-no-go. As in, all the money went into decoration, but most of them had mid line receivers, mundane, mass produced speakers and data grade projectors. One owner spent $100,000 on their HT, 15 years ago, and that is exactly what the audio and video equipment was. But the wall coverings were imported silk. You can easily drop $10K just on audio, without going remotely overboard. Say, $1K on each of the front 3 speakers. $250 each on the others, which can be as many as 8 ($2K total). Easily $2K on a receiver, but as much as $4K, or as much, even more, for separates. $1.5-2K for a really good subwoofer. Presto. That's not extreme at all.
     
  13. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Thank you for the breakdown.

    Let's take the decoration and the seating out fo the equation.

    Now, assume $10,000 for the audio-video portion of the theater.

    Also ... aren't there factory speakers (Klipsch or JBL) that sound great? I'm not sure my ears could tell custom from the factory. (After all, I used to sell some great audio speakers.) Suggestions for either would be great.

    Anyway ...

    Now that you have suggested a possible portioning of the money, and knowing that $2,000 for speakers is doable ... can you give me ideas on Brands that you like ... things I should avoid ... point me in the right direction, so to speak.

    Even a preferred book that will help me make good decisions might be helpful.

    I appreciate the time you are taking to answer me,

    Kip P.
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I highly recommend the ELAC Debut speaker line for a real performance bargain. It’s a pretty broad line, with floor, center, bookshelf, on-wall and in-ceiling (if you want to do Atmos) offered. For a subwoofer, SVS, PowerSound or HSU, which are all online manufacturers are the first places to look.
     
  15. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Thank you. This is a place to start researching. :)
     
  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Hey Kip,

    Welcome to our forum!

    Truth be told, there’s a lot of bang you can get for your buck if you shop smart, and trust what your eyes and ears tell you over a spec sheet.

    It’s also possible to start with the main ingredients and build out over time. For instance, just as a broad example, you could put your speaker budget towards an outstanding 5.1 setup now, and add additional speakers to bring you up to 7.1 and then Atmos as time goes by. There’s no hard and fast rule that you have to do it all at once.

    Similarly, you can put the money into the projector, screen and sound system, and add better chairs as you go.

    I wish you luck as you start this process. You’re gonna love it when it’s done and there are few things more satisfying than watching your favorite movies on your schedule and with that big screen factor while in the comfort of your own home.
     
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  17. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Good advice. Thank you.

    It might be hard to test some of the equipment in person. For example, we went to BestBuy ... and in that big warehouse, everything sounded like “poop.”
    The sound was lost.

    We might have to travel to Portland to listen to choices.

    And I have no clue where to compare projectors.

    But you’re right. This is exciting.

    Kip
     
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  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    That's the truth. Most of the major electronics manufacturers bring out new models every year, often with only minimal change. If you're patient and have your research done ahead of time, you can often get the previous model brand new at a real bargain when the new ones come out. Last year I got a new preamp (I use separates) at more than 50% off. Marantz had replaced their AV7703 with the AV7704, which was virtually just a rebadge, as in, it had only a couple very minor updates. Regular price for those is $2,200, and I got a brand new AV7703 for $1,050.

    A few weeks ago there were Marantz SR7012 receivers available from authorized sellers for $1,000, regularly $2,200. You just have to decide and jump when those deals appear (usually in the Spring) since they go fast.
     
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  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Where are you located? Some members here have been very generous about opening up their homes to demo gear for their fellow members. Unfortunately for a variety of very boring reasons I can’t host at the moment, but maybe someone else can.

    @JohnRice is great with the speaker stuff. He was very helpful in translating marketing speak and tech terms into actual English for me years ago when I was buying mine.

    I have a little bit more knowledge (but far from being the most expert voice here) on projectors. I have an Epson 5030 from a few years ago, which is a 3D-capable HD machine that works just as well now as it did when I got it five years ago. Their newest version of that model, the 5050, was just released to great reviews. The 5050 is a 4K projector that can also do 3D (which can actually be way more impressive with home projection than in theaters), and is about $3000, maybe a little less. I’m really a fan of the Epson 5000 line and think they’re worth looking at, especially if you’re on a budget. In my opinion, with an Epson, you typically get better bulb life than on some other brands, and their replacements tend to cost a little less. They’re bright, which makes them great for all sorts of rooms and screen sizes. They can easily throw a huge image. They also have a generous lens shift, more than any other brand, which gives you tremendous flexibility in where you can place it in the room. A lot of other projectors have much stricter placement requirements, which can suddenly eat into your budget in unanticipated ways if you’re stuck with a machine that needs to be hung in an inconvenient spot.

    There are other great projectors out there too, so don’t necessarily limit your search to just that one, but definitely take a peek.

    Figure that out of everything you buy, the speakers have the potential to last the longest - possibly decades. For a projector, it seems home video standards change every ten years or so these days (and that pace may be accelerating) but barring the invention of cheap home holograms, your projector will probably last you more than five and hopefully closer to ten years. The receiver and individual media players (disc player, streaming devices, etc) will be the things that get replaced more frequently, so my other advice would be to not sink the bulk of your budget into those items. That’s not to say you should get the cheapest thing possible but if you’re trying to stretch your dollars, it doesn’t make sense in my view to buy (for example) a cheaper projector so that you can spend more on a nicer UHD disc player. It’s probably the same with speakers and receivers. The speakers will last longer than your receiver so budget for that accordingly.
     
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  20. Kip P.

    Kip P. Agent

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    Now you're talking my language. And I used to love Marantz in the stereo world. If separates are truly better, then I'll opt for those.

    Remember, I'm new to this.
     

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