YLZ Theater - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 125
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YLZ Theater

I thought I would share some photos and experiences of my recently "completed" theater. It's been a fairly long road, over three years in the making, but I must say it was worth it. I'd like to thank all the forum members here, at AVS, and at the cult for offering their feedback and helping me with design choices. I certainly couldn't have accomplished this without the people on these forums.

My wife and I walked through over 100 homes and surely drove our realtor nuts with all the stuff on our checklist, but we eventually found a home that had, among most of the other things on our checklist, an open floor plan and a reasonably good space for a HT. While the home we decided on did not have a perfect room layout for HT, we loved so much else about the house that I caved in and decided it was good enough. When we first moved in, there was some entertainment cabinetry at the long end of the room. I know that would be the typical room orientation for a home theater, but there were other variables as well so I opted to go with a more unusual layout and place the screen and main speakers on the long wall.

I started out with a setup of Klipsch reference speakers and a pair of DIY 18" subs. I used one of the subs as a stand for the TV. Good for me but probably not so good for the TV.

I knew all along that this system would have to make way for a better setup, so over the course of the next year I accumulated a three-pack of Danley SM60F and a pair SH-Micro, a Denon AVR-4311ci, and a JVC DLA-X30BU.

The first order of business was to install the projector on a projector lift just outside the theater area, firing through the wall opening and onto the screen. If I hadn't stumbled onto the projector lift during an auction by a local theater company closing shop, I would have just mounted the projector on a pole mount, but the chance was just too good to pass up. The projector lift is activated by the 12v trigger output on the projector, so that when you turn the projector on, the lift comes down, and when you turn the projector off, the lift goes back up into the ceiling. I had to install an IR extender so that you could turn on the projector while it was tucked away in the ceiling. The Microsmith Hot Link XL IR extender system has worked flawlessly for over two years now and was a sinch to setup. The IR extender also controls the equipment rack and HTPC in an adjacent room.

The screens were tricky to install, as my wife insisted we keep the window. In the end I'm glad she did, but man did it make a lot of extra work into the design.

So the main screen that the theater is designed around is a seymourAV centerstage xD 130" diagonal 2.40:1 acoustic transparent screen. We wanted to store the screen housing tight up against the ceiling when not in use so as not to obstruct the view of the window or the drapes, so I ordered up an actuator and set it up on relays to raise and lower the screen and screen housing with the flick of a light switch.

But I wasn't about to let go of an old 2.8 gain Da-Lite HP 120" 16:9 screen that I've used for years, so I simply attached that screen behind the xD and it's mostly hidden from sight but can activated with a separate light switch when called upon.

The only problem with this setup is that I have to physically remove the center channel stand and place the speaker on the floor whenever the HP screen is to be used. The HP screen came in particularly handy when my bulb got low I was able to get another 500 hours out of it with the HP screen. It's also great for sporting events. My next project is to either replace the tripod stand with a nicer custom stand, or engineer and install a pole mount actuator stand that would raise and lower the center channel on a switch.

After getting the projector and screens installed I decided it was time to do the IB. I've been planning on building an infinite baffle subwoofer system for years now. I originally got in on the introductory group buy for (8) Mach5Audio IXL 18.4 drivers back when they first came out in 2007 or 2008. My plan was to build them into an IB in the house I was in at the time, but I ended up relocating before I got a chance to install them. I built them into two large ported enclosures, one 8.5cf tuned to 20hz and the other 12.5cf tuned to 15hz. In various ridiculously stupid events I managed to bottom out or misalign the voice coils on three of these 8 brand new drivers. The most absurd of these tragedies occured when right after I built my first enclosure, I proceeded to roll the enclosure end-over-end to the listening position when I heard a loud clank that could have been only one thing -- the hammer I forgot and left inside the enclosure smacking hard into the magnet. DOH! The impact misaligned the voice coil so within minutes of building my first sub I had already toasted a driver! The other two events were a simple matter of playing with fire (no SSF) and overexcursion below the tuning frequency -- once on WOTW in the 20hz enclosure and the second time on Live Free or Die Hard in the 15hz enclosure. So by the time I'm getting around to building my IB I'm down to 5 working drivers. I decided to build two four driver manifolds and cover the remaining four openings. In case the four drivers were not enough, I could have the other three drivers reconed, pick up a couple more amplifiers, and proceed with the 8 driver installation as I planned out many years ago. Before I even started this time I went out and bought a MIC2200 with a dial-in SSF that goes down to 12hz.

So after several days of moving the two ported subs around, the couch around, and playing with REW and a mic I settled on IB locations in the floor, just inside and just in front of the mains, with the center of the manifold opening approximately 8' from the listening position. I guess you'd call this nearfield. The theater is located directly over the garage, so I used the garage as the space to contain the rearwave of the IB.

I cut the holes right in front of a massive glulam beam so that I could tie into that for supporting the manifolds.

I whipped up the manifolds, pushed them up into the theater from the garage, and secured them firmly to the glulam and the floor joists. The EZ-One is a fantastic tool for this kind of work and most any carpentry project.

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: YLZ Theater

I mounted the four drivers and the manhole covers, then built an amp rack out of 1x2, 2x2, 2x4, and 2x6's--mixing it up for aesthetics and ventilation, and attached it to the bottom of the glu-lam between the manifolds.

Next I covered the manifold openings with acoustic fabric and steel grating and trimmed them out with picture frame style carpentry.

At this point the subs sounded great, but I could tell pretty quickly that eventually I was going to want more.

So a few months later I had the rest of the subs reconed, picked up a couple more amps, rebuilt the amp rack, and installed all 8 of the 18's into the IB.

Much better. Overwhelming bass: check.

Next I whipped up some acoustic panels for the first reflection points. This took much much longer than I thought it would and I'm not sure that I would take that project on again. But I'm glad it's done and I'm happy with the way they turned out. I highly recommend using a pneumatic "arrow" type stapler for fastening the fabric to the back of the panel. Much easier than the best manual stapler for this duty and easily worth the $40 just for this project. I used an EZ-One for this project and most of the woodworking tasks in the theater and while it takes some getting used to it is a great tool that is much safer than a table saw and can do anything a table saw can do and more. There's a learning curve with the EZ-one but once I got setup for the bevels all the cuts for the frames went fairly quickly. The panels I made are 4" thick rockwool, covered with two layers of Joann upholstery fabric and spaced 2" off the wall.



I spent a lot of time and listening hours trying to finalize speaker locations for the Danleys, trying to find a compromise between music and HT and ended up choosing a spot with an HT bias just outside the limits of the wide screen, and about 3' in from the sidewalls, toed in close to 45 degrees and aimed right at the listening position. I decided to build false wall columns in the front corners to give the speakers a built-in look and to help absorb the rearwave from the speakers. Behind the false walls I stacked rockwool from floor to ceiling to provide bass trapping. So the main bass traps are nearly 2' deep and 3' wide, but the entire area behind the false walls has the rockwool packed into every square inch behind the panels and around the mains.

It was really starting to sound good now, so I had Jeff Meier from Accucal came by to put on the finishing touches. He was a great help measuring the room, calibrating the audio and the video, and providing recommendations for additional room treatments and surround locations. He was very patient with me scrambling around mounting the surrounds with quickly fabricated 2x4 mounts in different positions for testing. His adjustments really made the room come together and I highly recommend him as a calibrator. When he was finished we played several scenes to confirm it sounded good, and I will never forget hearing the drum scene from House of Flying Daggers where the bass frequencies pan across the front stage and around the room. I'd never heard anything like it. For me, it was, and still is, a truly incredible thing to see and hear.

Here's a few more shots of the theater in its current state:

Thanks again shacksters!
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: YLZ Theater

Added the actuator for rising center channel stand:

Firgelli auto 40" 200# actuator as seen from the garage below the theater:

Theater off or 16:9 mode:

Theater on in 2.40 mode:

And there's always more work to do. At least I've got some trim pieces cut already to cover up the work under the center channel. The trim plates are about 3" bigger than the speaker on all sides and will fill up most of the dead space below the speaker. I'm just waiting 'til this Friday when I've got a carpet cleaner coming over -- they also advertise carpet repair. I'm hoping I can tip him and have him stretch and secure the carpet to some tackboard below the speaker, then I'll add the trim plates on top.

No wobbles going up or down. Speaker seems stable enough on the pole mount at reference levels, so no further measures needed for stability. That was a relief. I was not looking forward to trying to rig up a stabilizing measure.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 01:39 PM
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Re: YLZ Theater

Great looking theater and excellent build thread. Looks like a lot of work but a 100% unique and custom-built theater must be very satisfying.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 07:50 PM
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Re: YLZ Theater

Very nicely done. Really like the retractable projector and floor subs.

Home Theater System Denon AVR4520CI, Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2, Polk CSi A6 Center, Polk RTi A9 Front, Polk RTi A7 Front Wide, Polk RTi A1 Front Height, Polk FXi A6 Side, Polk RTi A3 Rear, SVS PB12-NSD x2 Front, SVS PC12-NSD x2 Rear, Panasonic PT-AE7000U, Visual Apex CineWhite 100" Screen, PS4, Dish Hopper, Darbee Darblet DVP 5000.My Home Theater Build http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...ter-build.html
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 08:31 PM
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Re: YLZ Theater

Very nice setup..Quite unique with the Synergy horns!..

Home Theatre...the never ending story!

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-17-14, 09:30 PM
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Re: YLZ Theater

Another NorCaler! I like the way your system is looking very ingenious with the center channel lifting and the projector drops.

Question: What are the specs on your floor grills? Where did you get the material? I would like to make something similar to cover the openings for my Danley DTS-10s.


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post #8 of 9 Old 09-18-14, 11:51 AM
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Re: YLZ Theater

Zac, love the drop down projector, especially in the position you have it, outside the room. Great work on a really unique room, it looks great, and it sounds like it performs incredibly too.

- OJ -
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-18-14, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: YLZ Theater

Thanks for the compliments everyone. Yes it was definitely a lot of work, but there was satisfaction in finishing each component and now that it's mostly done it's a huge relief to just sit back and enjoy it. That drop down projector lift was a bear, and with the studs being where they were I ended up having to use a lot of horizontal shift, but I'm very happy with the way it worked out.

My personal favorite of all the automated stuff is the speaker stand. I just got that one in and absolutely love not having to muscle that speaker on and off the tripod and onto the floor and back again each time I want the speaker down or up. RF remote is a much better solution.

The expanded metal is from S&K Steel in Sacramento. I made a few calls and determined their prices to be the best I could find locally for a small project. I'm not sure what gauge it is. They have several nice styles and thicknesses to choose from. I seem to remember it being about $100 for the two pieces, cut to my specifications (which included some waste). The one I got is sturdy enough to walk on without any flex, and the weave is angled towards the screen so that there is no visible reflection off the grating at the seating area.

I'm basically done for now and have a presentable theater, but I won't truly be "finished" until I have:

(1) built some more acoustic treatments onto the back wall and in the hallway behind the theater.
(2) set up my HTPC media drives into some kind of a raid server format with parity for stability and data loss prevention.
(3) upgraded to a pre/pro setup to replace the AVR4311ci. I'd keep it, but the L/R pre-outs are blown from hot swapping live rca cables.
(4) a dark or black runner rug to cover the light carpet below/in front of the screen, and a similar throw rug for the area between the manifolds.

Last edited by zacjones; 09-18-14 at 03:49 PM.
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