Home Theater Build/Remodel

I wanted to share the DIY home theater room remodel project that we've undertaken recently. I've shared some progress in other related threads, but figured a dedicated build thread was in order to 'clean' things up!

A little history...

This all started about 10 years ago when we decided to get a projector (Sharp XR-10X) for the Penn State vs. Notre Dame game (we did an away game 'tailgate' at a party we threw at our house). The projector was set up in our garage with a 4:3 screen made with drywall. After the party, we moved the PJ to the house, and the HT was born! I mounted it to the ceiling, hung an unfinished piece of drywall (cut to a 92" 16:9 Size) for a screen, and set up what the receiver/speakers/sub I had. I realized that a better receiver was needed (the old Sony Pro-Logic, circa 1990-ish wasn't up to the task), so I picked up a Denon AVR-988 7.1 AV 7.1 receiver with HDMI! I also slowly picked up 7 Polk speakers (RT800i, CSi40, FXi50, and RT35i) and a Paradigm sub, and now had a pretty nice starter setup!

About 4 years ago, I found a used 92" fixed frame screen and also upgraded the PJ to an Epson Powerlite 8350. About 2 years ago, I replaced the Polks with smaller Boston Acoustics speakers (VR-M60, VR-920, VR-MX, VR-M50, & dual PV-600 subs) and upgraded the Denon to an Anthem MRX-500 AVR. Last year I added a Rotel RMB-1075 and upgraded to an SVS 25-31PCi sub.

This year, I upgraded the Rotel to the B&K 200.7 amp, and most recently, purchased a Marantz AV7702 preamp/processor when my Anthem's HDMI output stopped working... :( (The Minty Anthem (less working HDMI output) has found a new home with Dan (EndersShadow) as a Karma/thanks for all his help he's given me!) And, that's where things stand now.


For this remodel, I've finally gotten around to "building" the front wall and finishing the room. We're about 50% done and just have the finishing touches to complete. The new front wall will feature a built-in audio rack, slightly recessed speakers, and eventually will have dual built-in (DYI) subs. <--That's where Dan has been helping me (or should I say encouraging me to spend more! >:)

Progress posts with pics to follow!
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Comments

  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    So, here's the original front of the HT:

    19x1rmtmmrhm.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    The layout and master "PLAN" for the new front wall(blue area is about 10'x20' and the bar (yellow area) in the rear right side is about 8'x9'):

    1kgnaiatn90h.jpg

    A cross-section of the new front wall (area in green is the built-in AV rack & subs and the area in red will become a reading nook in the guest bedroom):

    zlqjvu6nee0e.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    So, during construction, I temporarily rotated the PJ and seats 180 degrees, and hung the screen in the BACK of the room:

    41tuot0h91mj.jpg

    That freed the front of the room for demo and reconstruction!

    26jqcio6k04m.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    New front wall was built (not your typical wall!):

    ysmc4goad2dd.jpg

    Note cutouts for AV rack (bottom center), dual built-in subs (bottom L/R), and front L/R speaker cutouts (above the sub cutouts).
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    Next came construction of the "behind the scenes" portion (counter/boxing out for the built-ins):

    m7khkdlq13je.jpg
    m1ell31zabvq.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    Built-in AV rack (black box):

    cywub5yz447f.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    edited April 2016
    Custom-built shelves for the AV rack were next. I used stain grade 3/4" birch plywood (double-stacked) faced with 1x2 clear pine, sanded, & 1/4-round routered:

    9ctfswus8v2c.jpg

    Best helper in the WORLD!:

    3om0oi3gy1qm.jpg

    Unfinished dry-fit (legs are stainless steel all-thread, nuts, & washers):

    qc9fiu8x4anv.jpg
    bwn87a2beuqd.jpg
    xuar0of8lzz0.jpg

    Finished:

    rrg7umx71ypo.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    I ran two NEW dedicated 20 amp lines for the equipment:

    yns2hqax14bk.jpg

    Drywall going up:

    e8navnyqh26h.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    edited April 2016
    Yesterday, I got the remaining drywall up and a coat of mud applied:

    796aupv3x345.jpg
    rlgbdak6p0is.jpg

    I also built and finished bases for the recessed speaker cutouts:

    bdr1f0skj4tt.jpg
    wvwzm0wmgbm6.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    And now a little AV - P 0 R N...!

    'New-to-me' Amp (B&K 200.7):

    0i6aod5fnz71.jpg

    New pre-amp/processor (Marantz AV7702):

    g7syxsus098w.jpg
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    The remaining work includes finishing the drywall, paint, new carpet, and replace the baseboard heat and old split AC unit with a new split system heat pump for the room. Then all that's left will be 'behind-the-scenes' work to finish the counter, cabinet, and new lights in the guest bedroom.

    For now, I'm going to continue to use the SVS cylinder sub. Maybe later this year, I'll build the dual subs and open up the cutouts in the front wall. I'm likely going with two ported 18" subs (Dayton or similar drivers and Crown or similar amp).

    I will add to this post as progress is made!

    Comments, support, and donations of manual labor :p gratefully accepted!
  • mrbiron
    mrbiron Posts: 5,672
    I like your rendition of the AV rack is quite nice!
    I love me some DIY.
    Where’s the KABOOM?!?! There’s supposed to be an Earth shattering KABOOM!!!
  • hochpt21
    hochpt21 Posts: 5,354
    Very nice!

    That's gonna be a great space when your done. Great work so far.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • EndersShadow
    EndersShadow Posts: 17,218
    It looks awesome and again that rack is a very nice one with some decent configuration options for you!
    "....not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (1963)
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,948
    Amazing work brother
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • Jimbo18
    Jimbo18 Posts: 2,236
    This has gotten me slapped a few times, but I am going to say it anyway,

    Nice rack.
  • polk500
    polk500 Posts: 1,171
    edited April 2016
    Looks real good, I also like that you have access from behind, well thought out congrats on the evolution of your HT.

    Cheers
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    Thanks for all the compliments guys! It's been a LOT of work, and it's nice to finally be able to show it off a little... when an idea comes to fruition as I imagined it in my mind, it makes the task worth it. The 'rack' was an idea I had for many years, and I finally have it built. I'll tell you what though... I'll never do it again! I've probably got 25 hours labor in just that alone (between sanding, sanding, more sanding, staining, deciding I didn't like the stain on the first shelf and sanding it back to natural, polyurethane, assembly, adjustment...). But it's done now dammit!

    And Jimbo... I've, um, heard that the chances of being slapped for saying nice rack are inversely proportional to the amount of money you're paying for the, uh, rack...
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    polk500 wrote: »
    Looks real good, I also like that you have access from behind, well thought out congrats on the evolution of your HT.

    Cheers

    Thanks Roger! I will indeed have a removable panel behind the equipment accessible from the guest BR. I can install everything and make ALL the connections from the back without having to move anything. And, with a 90 pound amp, I hope to never have to move it!

    I also ordered some Velcro strips, clips, zip ties, etc. and plan to have a nice clean run of cables behind it all.
  • polk500
    polk500 Posts: 1,171
    edited April 2016
    Well I got in trouble yesterday just because a rack walked pass me!!!
  • mrbiron
    mrbiron Posts: 5,672
    If you accessed that rack from behind, you'll really be in deep ****. Pun Intended!
    scubalab wrote: »
    I've probably got 25 hours labor in just that alone (between sanding, sanding, more sanding, staining, deciding I didn't like the stain on the first shelf and sanding it back to natural, polyurethane, assembly, adjustment...). But it's done now dammit!

    Bologna!....you posted a pic of your daughter sanding the AV rack. Your 25 hours of supervisory work doesn't count. Get back to work!
    Where’s the KABOOM?!?! There’s supposed to be an Earth shattering KABOOM!!!
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    Mrbiron... that's some funny sheeeet right there. Pun also intended.

    And, yes, you got me on a technicality running a sweatshop! OR, who's to say scubalab isn't a 10-year-old girl calling the DeWalt sander the best helper in the world... hmmm...
  • lightman1
    lightman1 Posts: 10,662
    scubalab wrote: »
    Mrbiron... that's some funny sheeeet right there. Pun also intended.

    And, yes, you got me on a technicality running a sweatshop! OR, who's to say scubalab isn't a 10-year-old girl calling the DeWalt sander the best helper in the world... hmmm...

    So Al is short for Alice?????
  • hochpt21
    hochpt21 Posts: 5,354
    @scubalab

    This looks awesome, as I posted earlier. A thought did pop into my head, however, and I wanted to throw it out there as I don't know the answer.

    Is there any danger of SQ loss with the speakers open to the back? Seems like there could be loss of dynamics or something without the back wall?

    I thought I read that in-walls are meant for that, but not regular speakers.

    I could be way off, and I'm not trying to wet-blanket anything, just thought if it was an issue we could catch it before it's too late.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    lightman1 wrote: »
    So Al is short for Alice?????

    Alice, Ali, Alesha... You might be on to something Russ...

    But no... the truth is I do try to make my kids to the work. Problem is, they'll offer to help, and then get distracted and leave within 30 seconds. Getting a picture of her actually helping was kind of like a Bigfoot sighting... scramble for the camera and hope you get the shot!
  • lightman1
    lightman1 Posts: 10,662
    Did you say Bigfoot?? :p
    That gear rack turned out great looking. She does fine work for an apprentice. Put on the payroll and don't let her shop steward give any guff about breaks and whatnot.
    You're putting bookies in the front recesses? Right?
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    hochpt21 wrote: »
    @scubalab

    This looks awesome, as I posted earlier. A thought did pop into my head, however, and I wanted to throw it out there as I don't know the answer.

    Is there any danger of SQ loss with the speakers open to the back? Seems like there could be loss of dynamics or something without the back wall?

    I thought I read that in-walls are meant for that, but not regular speakers.

    I could be way off, and I'm not trying to wet-blanket anything, just thought if it was an issue we could catch it before it's too late.

    Paul - Regarding the potential SQ issues... Unfortunately, you are not too far off in your observations. :( Yes, unfortunately, it's not going to be an ideal placement for the Front L/R speakers and the SQ may very well be compromised. I know building bookshelf speakers somewhat into the wall is not a good idea. However, until I can upgrade to different speakers (wall hangers, or in-wall), it was something I needed to do to keep from blocking the door to the room.

    The 'cutouts' are quite a bit bigger than the speakers and they will not be open in the back (I'm actually building boxes behind those openings). I plan to pull them as far out of the wall as I can, but yes, they will be recessed slightly. They are ported in the rear. I figure if the SQ is absolutely horrible with that placement, I'll cover those openings and get wall mount brackets for them.

    At this point, it was a compromise that had to be made to clean up the room a bit and move things out of the way. I'm open to suggestions on minimizing the SQ loss with this setup (dynamat inside the cutouts maybe, or any way to reflect any sound from the rear port...), but for now, that's where the VR-M60s will need to sit...

    Additionally, this is 100% movies and TV (no music). I have a separate 2 channel setup that is for more critical listening (not that my ears are that critical!). With that system, I have much more leeway for speaker placement/toe-in/etc.
  • hochpt21
    hochpt21 Posts: 5,354
    Cool, I'm glad you have it thought out. And I really hope it sounds good, because I think the cutouts are awesome.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - LSiM 703; SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,002
    Bigfoot... you know - hairy creature sneaking through the bushes... not to be confused with a 6'+ bearded guy hanging from a telephone pole... or is it?
    lightman1 wrote: »
    You're putting bookies in the front recesses? Right?

    Yeah, *sigh*, I know I'm not going to win any popularity contests by putting bookies in those recesses... Worst case is if I absolutely can't live with the sound, I'll move the speakers to wall mounts, and then I'll have nice shelves flanking the movie screen. I could do something like this:

    lmzuk2bhwa4d.jpg

    And thanks for the compliments on my helper! She is an awesome kid and loves to help. We're blessed with two great daughters!
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