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Ideas for my new home theater build (1 Viewer)

rgrhorton

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Roger Horton
I am looking at building my first home theater and joined the forum yesterday to read and learn from others successes and mistakes. I introduced myself and a couple of people already seem eager to help so I figured I better get a build thread going. Right now I am just in the planning stage and plan to start framing by the end of January. Right now I figure it's close enough to at least get ideas going and see if my current idea is good or maybe I need to change something in case I need to adjust on the framing part of things. Half of my basement is already finished.

Anyways below is my idea for the theater setup. The green (grass) is to show those are outside walls. The bathroom and short hallway are set. The utility room is generally there but that side is not framed in yet, that is the planned corner and side wall for the utility room though. The bottom (planned) wall backs up to what will be the home gym. The gray boxes are the two doors and darker boxes are proposed speakers. Tan boxes are proposed seating area, two rows of two. The brown shows walls that are not framed in yet so these are proposed walls.

Note this is what's rolling around in my head. I used Excel to make a grid and the grid boxes are 6"x6", the layout is pretty much to scale. Wall measurements may be a couple inches off one way or the other but it's close. I haven't bought anything aside from lumber and right now thinking about building and components for everything. Speakers will be a 7.2.4 set up. Thinking side and surrounds should probably be in wall mainly due to the door on the seating wall. I don't think I want a bookshelf speaker hanging off the wall into the walkway.

My budget is fairly flexible but generally thinking around 2k for speakers, 2k for projector, and whatever receiver or receiver/amp setup to get me to 7.2.4, 2-3.3k is what it's looking like from research so far. From what I can see, around $500-1,000 for an acoustically transparent screen on Amazon? I guess I can spend a bit more on a screen but with everything else, not trying to for now. Cables and homemade acoustic treatments are what they are I figure.

What are your thoughts? Anything sticking out or does this proposed set up seem like a pretty good idea to start with for framing the rest of this room in? Note the back seats are for guests, mainly this will be used by my wife and I 90% of the time. Figuring we'll be in the front row so probably around 12-13' viewing distance by the time I (maybe) build a false wall for front speakers and screen.

Theater Room.jpg
 
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rgrhorton

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Forgot to note, ceilings will be right about 8'7" high with the exception of a bulkhead 7'5" over the rear seats.
 

DaveF

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I’m on my second projector in a dedicated room, having just upgraded to 4K. I love the experience of a 120” screen.

That’s prologue to say: Do give some thought on the trade offs between projectors and direct view displays before getting to far into the design. :)
 

rgrhorton

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I’m on my second projector in a dedicated room, having just upgraded to 4K. I love the experience of a 120” screen.

That’s prologue to say: Do give some thought on the trade offs between projectors and direct view displays before getting to far into the design. :)

So this was already planned to be a media room. It was after me and my wife watched a movie at a neighbors' basement theater that we decided we want one too! lol

The whole movie experience with awesome sound and a projector that is...
 

ManW_TheUncool

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$2K is probably kinda too low for all speakers in a 7.x.4 setup, if including subwoofer(s). For what you're doing, you could easily spend $1K-plus just for 1 good subwoofer alone -- maybe start w/ just 1 and then add a 2nd later if you find the need.

IF you can expand your budget some (as you said you're "fairly flexible"), you could consider ELAC's Debut 2.0 speakers for the 7 listener level speakers -- they're currently on pretty good sale again:


I'd probably go w/ the 6.2 models, including floorstanders for the front L/R, if you can swing them -- bookshelves would be cheaper, but you'd still need to add proper/good stands for them. For the surrounds, you might consider their low profile, on-wall speakers instead of in-wall ones from some other brand.

For in-ceiling Atmos speakers, maybe something like RSL's C34Es to keep the budget lower.

_Man_
 

rgrhorton

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$2K is probably kinda too low for all speakers in a 7.x.4 setup, if including subwoofer(s). For what you're doing, you could easily spend $1K-plus just for 1 good subwoofer alone -- maybe start w/ just 1 and then add a 2nd later if you find the need.

IF you can expand your budget some (as you said you're "fairly flexible"), you could consider ELAC's Debut 2.0 speakers for the 7 listener level speakers -- they're currently on pretty good sale again:


I'd probably go w/ the 6.2 models, including floorstanders for the front L/R, if you can swing them -- bookshelves would be cheaper, but you'd still need to add proper/good stands for them. For the surrounds, you might consider their low profile, on-wall speakers instead of in-wall ones from some other brand.

For in-ceiling Atmos speakers, maybe something like RSL's C34Es to keep the budget lower.

_Man_
I was looking at Klipsch but no experience with them. Looked up the Elac's and I like the low profile wall speakers. I think I'd prefer that over the in walls. Looks like I could get those for around 2k before the ceiling speakers. For the speakers behind the screen, would two bookshelf speakers and a center be good or should those really be towers?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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IF you're considering Klipsch, definitely give them a thorough listen first to see if you'd actually like the sound of their horn drivers design.

I prefer towers for the front L/R myself, but bookshelves could do as well (and should save a little $) -- just make sure you use good stands for them.

_Man_
 

rgrhorton

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I was already thinking towers but wasn't sure. I've never had a good speaker system like this so I will lean in the direction of what others think that know better. I have read good things about the Elac's and think I've read that while a lot of people like Klipsch, some think they tend to sound a little thin...
 

rgrhorton

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So after a bit of research, I think I've figured out my speaker set up, for the most part...

Looking at doing Elac Debut 6.2 Towers up front and the low-profile on wall speakers for side and rear surrounds. That said I do have a couple of questions about the set up.

Should I do a true center speaker or go with a third tower for the center? Note I will be going with an AT screen so not worried about the size. I understand some are not fans of "center" speakers. I don't have any experience with a real home theater set up so I don't know.

The ceiling speakers.... I know a lot of people seem to like the RSL C34E's. Would that be a good choice, or would it be better to go with Elac ceiling speakers to keep the same sound?

For subs....seems a lot of people like SVS. Would I be better off getting some SVS subs instead or sticking with Elac? I'm under the impression that subs don't matter much going with different brands from the rest of the set up.

Note I know this will probably take me over my budget a bit, but I am alright with that. With Elac's sale prices, I think I could get everything but the subs for around 2k. Figuring maybe another thousand or so for a couple subs or maybe get one to start with the thought of getting a second later if needed.
 

Colin

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Loving this discussion. I can't wait to hear how this comes along so I can glean from your experience.

What sub are you looking at? Probably best to get one that you'll love, and you can pair it with a second later, than 2 cheaper ones.
 

JohnRice

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So after a bit of research, I think I've figured out my speaker set up, for the most part...

Looking at doing Elac Debut 6.2 Towers up front and the low-profile on wall speakers for side and rear surrounds. That said I do have a couple of questions about the set up.

Should I do a true center speaker or go with a third tower for the center? Note I will be going with an AT screen so not worried about the size. I understand some are not fans of "center" speakers. I don't have any experience with a real home theater set up so I don't know.

The ceiling speakers.... I know a lot of people seem to like the RSL C34E's. Would that be a good choice, or would it be better to go with Elac ceiling speakers to keep the same sound?

For subs....seems a lot of people like SVS. Would I be better off getting some SVS subs instead or sticking with Elac? I'm under the impression that subs don't matter much going with different brands from the rest of the set up.

Note I know this will probably take me over my budget a bit, but I am alright with that. With Elac's sale prices, I think I could get everything but the subs for around 2k. Figuring maybe another thousand or so for a couple subs or maybe get one to start with the thought of getting a second later if needed.
You simply can't go wrong with the ELAC Debut v.2 speakers. With an AT screen, there is every reason to go with a matching tower in the center instead of a "center" speaker. The horizontal center speakers are designed that way purely due to how they are placed with a TV. An AT screen changes that, so there is zero reason not to go with an identical tower instead.

The RSL C34Es are nice for the price, but I would go ahead and get matching Debut ones instead. Unless the price difference is a problem.

There is no reason to get an ELAC sub, and you will get more for your $ with direct brands. HSU probably provides the most bang for the $. SVS has a nice blend of value and advanced tech, plus a staggering number of options. There's also PowerSound Audio, which start at a higher cost of about $1K. I'm a big advocate for sealed subs. The tunable HSU models can be run in "sealed" mode, and SVS offers a sealed version of almost every one of their models, frequently at nearly the same price as the ported version of the next model down. The sealed one is how I would go in every case. What I mean is, you can get the SB-3000 for almost the same price as the PB-2000. The SB-3000 is going to be better, in my book.

As Colin said, you're better off buying a better single sub than two cheaper ones, most of the time. With it in mind of possibly adding a second one later.
 
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rgrhorton

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You simply can't go wrong with the ELAC Debut v.2 speakers. With an AT screen, there is every reason to go with a matching tower in the center instead of a "center" speaker. The horizontal center speakers are designed that way purely due to how they are placed with a TV. An AT screen changes that, so there is zero reason not to go with an identical tower instead.

The RSL C34Es are nice for the price, but I would go ahead and get matching Debut ones instead. Unless the price difference is a problem.

There is no reason to get an ELAC sub, and you will get more for your $ with direct brands. HSU probably provides the most bang for the $. SVS has a nice blend of value and advanced tech, plus a staggering number of options. There's also PowerSound Audio, which start at a higher cost of about $1K. I'm a big advocate for sealed subs. The tunable HSU models can be run in "sealed" mode, and SVS offers a sealed version of almost every one of their models, frequently at nearly the same price as the ported version of the next model up. The sealed one is how I would go in every case. What I mean is, you can get the SB-3000 for almost the same price as the PB-2000. The SB-3000 is going to be better, in my book.

As Colin said, you're better off buying a better single sub than two cheaper ones, most of the time. With it in mind of possibly adding a second one later.
Thanks for the thoughts. Sounds like I'm on the right track. Now I just need to get to building so I can get this going!
 

rgrhorton

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Yeah I haven't read up on sealed vs ported yet. That's on my to do list before I jump on anything.
 

JohnRice

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Yeah I haven't read up on sealed vs ported yet. That's on my to do list before I jump on anything.
You'll find a lot of the old, outdated trope of "ported is best for movies, sealed is only for music. Like I said, it's old and outdated. From a time when there was nothing like the variety and quality of subs that are available today. Unfortunately, people ignore this and are still cutting the ends off the roast. (Look that one up if you don't know it)
 

rgrhorton

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While I don't need it yet as I'm at least 2 month or more before having my theater room drywalled, I went ahead and bought an AVR. With the Denon X4700H on closeout with it's replacement coming, I felt like I should get it while I can. It's marked down to $1,499 and Denon gave me another $50 off for signing up on their email list. Put me at $1,535 with tax and shipped to my door. I'm pretty happy with that. =)

I'll bust out my old Infinity speakers and hook it up just to verify things seem to work as they should this weekend. Then back in the box to wait for my home theater to get finished.

Just cleaned out that side of the basement Saturday after my drywall guy came over to see what we're doing and get me a quote. Framing starts this weekend.
 

sinisanav

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Reminds me of the days when I worked on our first HT, good stuff! From my experience, with your long and narrow room I would suggest pushing seats closer to the screen. So you can place surrounds ( side and back ) at proper spots. I did buy all my speakers through eBay, never had issues, able to shave a lot of money and they are lasting now for 15 years. My present room is 13 wide and 15 long, dedicated basement. make your space future proof, place all the wires you might think you need behind drywall ( I would advise you to prepare for 6 height/ceiling speakers given the length of room, also run 2 HDMIs to projector, one failed on me but I had second to work, place Cat 6 in those runs so if need to upgrade HDMi
Later you can get extenders and use Cat6 wires), easier do it ahead of time then later ,as in my case of trying to add ATMOS now...
 
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rgrhorton

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So I came here quite some time ago looking for ideas for my home theater and found out pretty quickly that this forum isn't really for that so I did most of my research and fact finding on the forum that specializes in that stuff.

Anyways I get emails now and again from HTF and figured I should pop in and update you all on where I ended up. Some things were as I had imagined from the beginning, other things like equipment, speakers, budget, all changed a bit from where I started. One thing is for sure that as expected, I easily doubled my original budget. =)

Below are some pictures with the progression of my new home theater. I did manage to finish pretty close to the date I was shooting for. I was shooting for July 4th. I watched my first movie at about the end of July so not far off.
 

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