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New Home Theater project--advice and comments needed! (1 Viewer)

Charles Bell

May 18, 2004
Hello All--

I am new to HT set up but am building a house and want to set this thing up right the first time. My budget is around $12K for all the components/wiring. If I can spend less then great but quality matters a lot. I've taken a couple of bids from some high end AV companies but have convinced myself that I can do this with the help of a couple of friends. The room for the home theater is 12 feet deep but 24' wide. A staircase separates the room into to halfs. The home theater system will be on the slightly wider side to get as much sitting space as possible. The couch will be pushed back as far as possible against the wall. So one of my main concerns is the positioning of the surrounds as they will be much closer to the listening area than all the other speakers. My plan is to mount some Axioum QS8's at around 54 inches. I am hoping that I will be able to calibrate the speakers so that there isn't a balance issue with the surrounds being too loud compared to the other speakers.

My other concerns and needs are:

1) Music is paramount. I have a huge collections of CD's and MP3's. I want the system to be very musical.. My interests include mostly hard rock/heavy metal/blues and some jazz. Pretty much anything that has great guitar work.

2) I want the system to be fully integrated with my computer system. I plan to have a dedicated server built to store all my MP3's, AVI's and can also be used for gaming. So any suggestions on video cards/sound cards that will work well with the following components will be greatly appreciated.

3) The system for the HT will be 5.1 due to the size of the room but I plan to buy a 7.1 system and use the extra 2 channels for my remote speakers around the house. There will be 10 sets of remote speakers. Mostly in ceiling.

4) I will be using a SlimDevices SqueezeBox to control my MP3's playing on the dedicated media server from around the house. If anyone has any experience with this unti, that would be great.

So as of today, I have narrowed the field to the following. Any comments or suggestions are really greatly appreciated.

Samsung HLN507W
Outlaw 950 Pre/Pro
Outlaw 770 Amp
Axiom M60 Front Speakers
Axiom VP150 Center
Axiom QS8 Surrounds
Axiom EP350 Sub(or possibly the Outlaw LFM-1 sub)

Denon DVD2900(not totally set on this) Any other suggestions welcome. It seems very expensive.

For cables and wiring I was going to go with the outlaw cables as they seem to be high caliber and a good value.

Another question is which of these has the best universal remote or do I need to buy a Harmony or Pronto type deal.

Thanks in advance for any responses.



Supporting Actor
Jan 28, 2001
Denver, CO
Real Name
G. Alan Brown
I would suggest that you pay a professional a consulting fee, have them come see the room, interview with them about all of your performance criteria, and make notes from what they advise. A room and system of the complexity you suggest has many potential pitfalls for a non-professional.

Most of the folks on these forums have only built one or two systems from scratch. They may know their room very intimately but not yours, especially without seeing the room first-hand. You would be wise to consult with someone who has designed and installed a wide array of systems in many different rooms. An investment of a couple of hundred dollars or so could save you many headaches, time and regrets.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"

Parker Clack

Schizophrenic Man
Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1997
Kansas City, MO
Real Name
Our own Robert Fowkes has the SlimDevices Squeeze Box that you talk about and loves it. I am sure he would be more than willing to answer some questions for you on this.

Another DVD I would recommend that you take a look at is the VInc Bravo D2 player that they have come out with. With DVI for $249 it is going to be hard to beat.

Here are some of its features:

Media Support:
DVD-Video, Superbit DVD, SVCD, VCD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and JPEG

Video Decoding:
MPEG-1, MPEG-2 [email protected], MPEG-4 Simple, MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (Copy protected DVD playback limited to 480i, 576i, 480p on YPbPr)

Audio Decoding:
Dolby Digital, MPEG-1, 2, and 3 (MP3), and PCM

Video Outputs:
NTSC/PAL Composite and S-Video, Analog YPbPr Video and digital DVI, Macrovision copy protection on 480i, 576i, and 480p outputs

Audio Outputs:
Dual Stereo analog audio, Optical and coaxial S/PDIF digital audio (supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS pass through)

Other Features:
Preset DVI outputs for 480p, 720p, 1080i and for EDTV Plasma 852x480, DVI custom setting for non-HDTV displays, DVI Color Contrast Control, New Remote Control, DVD ROM and Screensaver

Instead of an RPTV has you looked into getting into front projection in your HT. It sounds to me like you are going to be watching more movies in the HT and nothing brings home the theater experience more than an FPTV. Take a look through this forum area for examples of those members that have built HTs using an FPTV. Besides you may end up saving some money in the long run.


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