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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Brand new here, and want to apologize if most of this has already been answered in various threads. I did some high level searches to get most of my answers but it's a bit convoluted.

Looking to build our new house in the next year or so. Starting to get a grip on what this is going to cost me, and what I should be planning for. Budget is around $4,000. I'm a handy person and fairly tech-savvy. I plan to do the work myself.

I should state that I by no means expect a audiophile/videophile level of theater experience, but would like something that isn't regrettable after it's complete. Looking to keep the door open for future equipment upgrades, etc.

Here's what I have for equipment to start with. If anyone sees anything that doesn't make sense or could be improved given the budget, please speak up.

Receiver - Marantz NR1403 5.1
Klipsch Icon VF-35 towers
Klipsch Icon VF-25 center
4-Klipsch Quintet surrounds (I know I only have a 5.1 receiver, more to follow)
Velodyne CHT 10" sub

I wanted to know if 7.1 or 7.2 is really worth the investment? Looking at most of my Blu-Ray discs, they all are coded in 5.1, with a few exceptions, so at best it seems like 7.1 would only be simulated? Is that a true statement?

I would consider doing wall mount surround speakers as well, I know you can pick up decent speakers for around $100 if you watch sales, etc. The front speakers I plan to box in the screen wall and use an acoustically transparent screen.

Here was my initial thoughts:
Purchase a decent 1080p projector (Epson or BenQ, likely, open to suggestions). In comparing what you get for $1,000 vs. what you get with $2,000, it seems that you can get a better picture with the more expensive unit after you have it professionally calibrated. Most reviews seem to say that the average Joe can get nearly the same picture out of the box with a few adjustments, in that price range. I don't want to buy a $2,000 projector, have it calibrated and then find that my $600 screen is the limiting factor.
120" or so screen (I see you can get an Elite for around $600, also open to suggestions)
Possibly upgrade receiver to something 7.1 if needed and/or replace surround speakers with in-walls.

I plan to have a media cabinet in the rear corner of the room with a basic Blu-Ray player, cable/satellite box, game console, and Apple TV. I would run a master HDMI from the projector, speaker wiring (obviously), as well as having a CAT6 run to the cabinet. I would build in a conduit chase from the cabinet to the projector for cable servicing and future upgrade potential. Does anyone see anything I may have forgotten? Is there any point to running RGB or RS232 wiring?

I think that handles the tech side, so I will bounce a few construction ideas off of anyone still listening :hissyfit:

I'm thinking the room would likely be around 16' x 20' x 9'H with no duct/mechanicals interfering. I planned to have 2 or 3 tiers (not sure how much spacing is needed between tiers, and would still enjoy headspace at the upper tier). Maybe room for a popcorn machine, pub table at the back. Could bump the media cabinet out (into the room) rather than recess it and create the space for those items. Will a normal room create good audio? Do I need to consider building features in the room to get quality sound? I know that you can take this quite far (iso-mount walls/ceilings, etc.) but that likely isn't in the budget. I saw a basic insulation product called UltraTouch+ by Bonded Logic that has insulation strips that you cover portions of the studs with to isolate the drywall. Looks like it wouldn't cost much more than the basic insulation I would plan to use. Would that suffice, or does anyone have any other cost-effective suggestions? Also, is recessing my speakers behind the screen a bad idea? I saw a basic theater room in a home parade and it had a transparent screen and sounded good. Anything will be better than my cathedral ceiling living room with hard surface flooring. :dumbcrazy:

I know this post has gone long in the tooth so I apologize, I was just looking to get it started and let people chime in with bits and pieces. Any help is greatly appreciated!! --Awsaut
 

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Hi and welcome aboard the HTS!

I don't have time right now to answer all your questions but I will start with theses:

Regarding the sub, there is no substitute for displacement so the bigger the better or get more than one. The CHT 10 is not going to give you much impact for movies in the size room your talking about.

More than half of the movies released today have 7.1 audio particularly action movies. If you have a 7.1 system and the audio is only 5.1 the receiver has the ability to expand it to 7.1 (it's more than just "simulated" as there is some smarts involved in extrapolating the extra two tracks).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Guessing the gang will be in consensus on this one, so we might as well jump ahead.... Would replacing the 5.1 receiver with a discounted model such as the Denon AVR-X2100W ($399 at Crutchfield currently) be a smart choice? This is going to sound dumb but my last Denon blew up after about 3 years and I am skeptical to buy another (even though I replaced it with a Marantz!), but at that price, it seems to have the features needed to build a nice system around.
 

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Will a normal room create good audio? Do I need to consider building features in the room to get quality sound? I know that you can take this quite far (iso-mount walls/ceilings, etc.) but that likely isn't in the budget. I saw a basic insulation product called UltraTouch+ by Bonded Logic that has insulation strips that you cover portions of the studs with to isolate the drywall. Looks like it wouldn't cost much more than the basic insulation I would plan to use. Would that suffice, or does anyone have any other cost-effective suggestions? Also, is recessing my speakers behind the screen a bad idea?
These are big questions. Knowing the room dimensions would help people make recommendations. Having the speakers behind the AT is not a bad idea, that's what AT are for. However, most speakers are designed to be positioned a few feet from the rear/side walls. Recessing flush into the walls will certainly cause some gain (approx. +3 to 4dB) below a few hundred Hz. This can be tamed somewhat using tone control but do not expect perfection. Putting them right against the wall creates strong reflections that will cancel sound at frequencies corresponding to 1/4, 1/8, 1/16... of wavelength.
 

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I'm thinking the room would likely be around 16' x 20' x 9'H with no duct/mechanicals interfering.
Here's what I have for equipment to start with. If anyone sees anything that doesn't make sense or could be improved given the budget, please speak up.
.
.
.
Velodyne CHT 10" sub
For your medium-size room, two subs will help gloss over many bass problems. If you like the way your Velodyne sounds, then try to get another on eBay or Audiogon. Honestly, though, you can do much better. Your Velodyne only goes down to 32Hz (according to this report). Movie content can plumb well below 18Hz. And with only 150 watts, you can't expect true bass. Most decent HT subs extend down to 18Hz-24Hz and have at least 500W-1000W . There are many choices from Hsu, Reaction Audio, Rythmic, etc. that will leave the velodyne in the dust, but my favorites are:
  1. SVS SB1000 for $500ea (45-day return with free shipping both ways)
  2. SVS SB2000 for $700ea (45-day return with free shipping both ways)
  3. PSA XS15se for $800ea (30-day return with free shipping both ways)


I know this post has gone long in the tooth so I apologize, I was just looking to get it started and let people chime in with bits and pieces. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
These are big questions.
Awsaut, I think you agree your OP is too long. The number of topics covered makes it hard for people to respond and to follow. You might want to try posting your specific questions on speakers in the SPEAKER FORUMS, screen questions in the PROJECTOR SCREEN FORUMS, etc.
Thanks and good luck! :wave:
 
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