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The "Room of Compromises" ... Basement HT build (1 Viewer)

Dave-R

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Dave Rees
Greetings all,



First post so, may be a bit of a long one. Apologies, in advance.



I’m in the construction phase of my HT and have a few questions and I’m sure I’ll have more, as I progress. The story so far… Room is in the basement and is approx. 12’ x 18’ I’m calling it the “room of compromises” ‘cause there are a few challenges that I simply can’t change. Well, can’t change without spending a fortune or selling the house and moving ;) First challenge is ceiling height which is probably going to build out to be ~7’6” with a partial bulkhead and a full width beam. Height under the bulkhead will be ~7’ and under the beam will be ~6.5’. Also a supporting post under the beam. Not ideal but, we’ll work around it. Second challenge is the electrical panel is pretty much exactly where the side surrounds should be. Also, the stairway to the rest of the house is opposite but, not exactly opposite, the electrical panel. So, my side surrounds will be closer to the screen than ideal but, ah well, we’ll work around that, too.



I’ve been playing with Sketchup so have built up the room virtually which has been great. It’s been fantastic to see how things “line up” virtually before ordering material or even cutting a piece of lumber. I’ll attach some pics including the virtual view.



The back wall of the room is yet to be build and will house a small counter top with storage above and below (think a dry-bar) a small under counter fridge and a cabinet to house the gear.



The goal is to have a modestly appointed HT that will provide as immersive a movie experience as possible while accepting that the room has some acoustical challenges.



I currently have all the components that will be used initially. Of course, any and all of it may be upgraded in the future as things progress. Cambridge Audio CD player, Marantz BluRay, NAD T758v2, Mirage Omnisat v2’s (x5), Mirage Omni 250 (x2), Energy 10” powered sub, and a Sanyo PLV-22 projector with a 100” Elite Screens screen. The projector will likely be the first thing to be replaced.



At this point, I’m pre-wiring prior to closing up the walls and ceiling. Initially, I’m planning on a 7.1 set up but, am going to pre wire for 7.2.2. Anything more than that will be saved for the next house.



Pfew, that’s a long pre-amble………. I did apologize in advance. If you’re still with me, thanks!



So, questions at this point:

I want to pre-wire for possible sub positions… front left, front right. I’m not worried about pre-wiring for the back because I will have access to the back side of that wall for wiring if the need arises. I’ve heard coax is a good way to go for the subs. Anything specific I should look for when shopping for that wire? Coax, BNC, shielded?? Any help there would be appreciated.

Also on the topic of subs, I’m not sure the sub I have (10”) will be enough for a room of this size. I’m on the hunt for a match to what I have, or something similar. My AVR doesn’t support L/R subs. Can I use a simple splitter and use two subs, or is that a mistake?



That’s the purchase I need to make soon. After that, I’ll start closing up the ceiling/walls and then begin construction of the the back wall.



Appreciate any and all advice.

Cheers,
Dave

sorta something like this.
1669479128116.png


1669480104012.png


Looking toward screen wall. Seating is planned for just ahead of the support post
1669480208995.jpeg


Looking towards what will be the back of the room. Still to be built is the dividing wall between theatre and workshop/laundry room. Door to under stair storage to be built and also in view is the stairway to rest of house.
1669480326020.jpeg
 

John Dirk

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Welcome!

You've done a great job of presenting your current status and objectives, which is much appreciated.

  • Your room is of similar size as mine. Personally I'd forego the "dry bar" in favor of more open space if at all possible. Of course, I don't know the entirety of your situation so take this suggestion for what it's worth.
  • I don't know if you'll be able to achieve a satisfactory Atmos experience using up-firing speakers with your ceiling constraints but you'll find out through trial and error, plus you already have the speakers.
So, questions at this point:

I want to pre-wire for possible sub positions… front left, front right. I’m not worried about pre-wiring for the back because I will have access to the back side of that wall for wiring if the need arises. I’ve heard coax is a good way to go for the subs. Anything specific I should look for when shopping for that wire? Coax, BNC, shielded?? Any help there would be appreciated.
Unless you really do already know this will be a temporary setup I'd prewire for dual XLR, even if your current sub lacks these connectors. Other than resilience, I don't see a reason to bother with coax. Standard RCA connectors work just fine.


Also on the topic of subs, I’m not sure the sub I have (10”) will be enough for a room of this size. I’m on the hunt for a match to what I have, or something similar. My AVR doesn’t support L/R subs. Can I use a simple splitter and use two subs, or is that a mistake?
You could use a Y splitter for dual subs but I wouldn't recommend doing so. Unless the receiver can control them independently, dual subs might create more problems than they solve. I'd wait until if/when you are ready to upgrade the receiver to something that truly supports independent dual subs to concern yourself with this but I'd definitely prewire for it now.

Keep us posted and congrats on your upcoming room. As compromises go, I suspect this one will bring you a lot of joy.
 

JohnRice

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Just a few quick comments. Up-firing Atmos speakers almost aren't even worth it. It really is best if you get in or on ceiling ones.

With dual subs, it really is ideal if they aren't both in the front. You can get some significant benefits with opposing corners (ex: front left, back right) by allowing them to counter room interactions, which won't happen as well with them both in the front. You can use a single sub output, but it's best if you have subs with extensive, precise controls, like the current SVS models, OR a MiniDSP, which can take a single output and turn it into genuine independent ones. That takes some real time to set up using a computer and microphone. But, honestly, I'd do that in any situation. And no, a single 10" sub isn't going to get the job done very satisfactorily. You almost can't go overboard with subs, when they are set up correctly.
 

Dave-R

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That’s a lot of tough blockers
I'm not sure what that means.... lol


Personally I'd forego the "dry bar" in favor of more open space if at all possible. Of course, I don't know the entirety of your situation so take this suggestion for what it's worth
Understood. Thanks. As it is, the dividing wall is as far back as I can push it for a couple of reasons. There is more ductwork to consider and pushing it further back would reduce the size of my workshop, again. At one time, the entire, un-finished basement was my workshop which was a bit of overkill but, enjoyable!

I really like the idea of having the equipment housed in this wall with the fronts of the gear being "flush" with the face of the wall. This pushes the wall into the workshop space a bit. In that case I figured I might as well make the wall a bit more useable with the storage space, fridge n countertop. Is your suggestion based on the added acoustical challenges? Or, is there another reason I should be considering? I have yet to start the build of that wall so, now's the time to convince me it isn't worthwhile lol

XLR and/or simple RCA cables............... I dunno why I was considering coax. Will do RCA for now and possibly throw in some XLR for future consideration. Thanks!

re: comments about up-firing Atmos. The current speakers aren't really designed for that. They do kinda look like that but, these pre-date Atmos by about 15 years. Interesting comments though and it'll be interesting to see (hear) how they perform in this room. I've been using the Nanosats in a 5.1 set-up, first in an apartment and for the past 8 years in a spare bedroom as a "temp" HT until I got around to finishing the basement. They've worked well in the confined space of the small room. I just recently acquired the matching floor standing 250's 'cause I know the Nanosats won't be enough for the new HT. All that to say, up-firing Atmos isn't really in the plans.

On that topic, would in ceiling Atmos be worthwhile in a room of this size with low-ish ceilings?

re: dual subs. K, I'm sold on the second sub being required. I won't bother with the simple splitter at this point but, I will pre-wire for front right and left locations so I can try it out in either location to see which sounds best. I had a quick look at the SVS offerings and will consider those, for sure. Will do some more research on the MiniDSP first. From what I've read so far, it would seem that I could incorporate a second sub with the DSP and be able to do whatever fine tuning is required that way. hhhmmmm, more reading required.

That's it for now. Thanks, again, gentlemen! I know I'll have more questions

Cheers,
Dave


ps: this is the reason I need a workshop of a decent size. In addition to woodworking in general, I build n fly these things. That's my wife n I getting ready for another contest flight.
44553712641_094282f9a4_o.jpg
 
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JohnRice

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On that topic, would in ceiling Atmos be worthwhile in a room of this size with low-ish ceilings?

re: dual subs. K, I'm sold on the second sub being required. I won't bother with the simple splitter at this point but, I will pre-wire for front right and left locations so I can try it out in either location to see which sounds best. I had a quick look at the SVS offerings and will consider those, for sure. Will do some more research on the MiniDSP first. From what I've read so far, it would seem that I could incorporate a second sub with the DSP and be able to do whatever fine tuning is required that way. hhhmmmm, more reading required.
View attachment 164091
In-ceiling speakers for Atmos are definitely worth it. There is a common misconception that Atmos speakers are just "height" speakers. As in, just high and to the sides, but they are specifically supposed to be overhead. Not just high and to the sides.

Regarding incorporating dual subs, the configuration capabilities of the current SVS subs makes it quite doable with a single output and a splitter. They allow you to individually adjust the phase, levels and do some EQ. Using Room EQ Wizard and a calibration mic, you can get this done with a computer, with several hours of work. A MiniDSP takes that to another level, and will allow you to integrate multiple subs better than room correction software in almost any receiver.
 

John Dirk

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As it is, the dividing wall is as far back as I can push it for a couple of reasons.
Got ya. I wasn't sure whether or not that was the case.
Is your suggestion based on the added acoustical challenges? Or, is there another reason I should be considering?
The acoustical challenges are what they are. I'm just a fan of dedicated [vs multi-purpose] rooms myself, especially in smaller spaces.
The current speakers aren't really designed for that. They do kinda look like that but, these pre-date Atmos by about 15 years.
I was wondering about that. They did appear that way.
On that topic, would in ceiling Atmos be worthwhile in a room of this size with low-ish ceilings?
If you're building, build for in-ceiling speakers. There's no good reason not to.
re: dual subs. K, I'm sold on the second sub being required. I won't bother with the simple splitter at this point but, I will pre-wire for front right and left locations so I can try it out in either location to see which sounds best. I had a quick look at the SVS offerings and will consider those, for sure. Will do some more research on the MiniDSP first.

Regarding incorporating dual subs, the configuration capabilities of the current SVS subs makes it quite doable with a single output and a splitter.
John brings up a good point. I didn't go into these options because both require significant time and effort on your part and may still not overcome some elements of the rooms characteristics. In the end it's a question of how much of a perfectionist you are and how much time/money you're willing to invest. Both myself and John R have dual SVS subs. I've spent many hours tweaking mine and am still not fully satisfied.
That second hobby of yours looks pretty cool! :cool:
 

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