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HTS Reviewer
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November 2016 - DONE!
It's been functional for about a year and we have thoroughly enjoyed it. Finally knocked out the finishing touches this week, mostly cosmetic.





April 2015 - Atmos ready, new subs and surrounds, better acoustics

Current Equipment List
Receiver: Anthem MRX-710
Mains: Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v2
Center: Paradigm Reference Studio CC v2
Surrounds: Chase Home Theater M1 Monitor (x6)
Atmos/Height: Home Theater Direct MP-R80 (x6)
Subwoofer: Power Sound Audio XS30se (x2)
Display: LG PV250 60" Plasma TV
Blu-ray Player: OPPO BDP-103
Media/Web Streaming: Apple TV
Media/Web Streaming: Fire TV Stick
Local Media Server: Mac Mini (Yosemite)
HDMI Cables: Monoprice/Rosewill with Redmere
Speaker Cables: Monoprice 12ga CL2 in-wall
Sub/Interconnect: Monoprice CL2 RG6 Coax

June 2014 - Looking a little more polished and ready for 11.1
Details and photos

Additions
Onkyo TX-NR737 (review coming Fall 2014)

Upcoming projects
-riser for 2nd row seating
-re-build side wall acoustic panels (from 2" to 4" thick)
-re-locate side wall panels to cover first reflections
-add bass traps in rear corners
-add ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos (maybe)
-new subs (maybe)
-additional LED accent lighting (maybe)

March 2014 (Rev 01) - Wiring, layout, and aesthetics
Photos of progress during this stage can be found here:
post 12 (wiring)
post 19 (more wiring)
Post 20 (revised layout)
post 31 (still more wiring)

Updated equipment list:
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR626
Mains: Paradigm Studio 100 v.2
Center: Paradigm Studio CC v.2
Surrounds: Definitive Technology Studiomonitor 350
Subwoofer: Paradigm PW-2200 v.1
Display: LG PV250 60" Plasma TV
Blu-ray Player: OPPO BDP-103
Turntable: Rega Planar 3 with Elys MM Cartridge
Media Streaming: Apple TV
Media Server: Mac Mini Server
HDMI Cabling: Monoprice/Rosewill with Redmere
Speaker Cabling: Monoprice 12ga CL2 in-wall
Sub/Interconnect Cabling: Monoprice CL2 RG6 Coax

December 2012 - It's done (but not really)
After we moved into our house last October, I claimed a room upstairs and have since turned it into a comfy little home theater. It was just a plain white room, so the paint, lighting, wall treatments, and some wiring have all been added. We already had the furniture so I decided to go with mostly natural tones for the room itself. I had the speakers already as well (except the subs), and have been trying out some different combinations of electronics. I did the work to the room myself with a little help here and there from my wife. No extensive construction here since the house was already finished. My goal was to have a comfortable and attractive room, clean wiring and nice lighting, with minimal sheetrock disturbance (which means I spent more than an ideal amount of time swimming around in the insulation in the attic space above :mooooh:). I have plenty of ideas for improvements to both the performance and aesthetics, but I'm pretty content with it for the moment, so I figured I'd share a few photos.






Full frontal nudity :gulp:

Original equipment list:
Processor: Emotiva UMC-1
Amplifier: Parasound HCA-1205A
Mains: Paradigm Studio 100 v.2
Center: Paradigm Studio CC v.2
Surrounds: Paradigm Cinema Phantom (although two of the Danas I had just finished reviewing are pictured)
Subwoofers: Paradigm PW-2200 v.1 (x2)
Display: LG PV250 60" Plasma TV
Blu-ray Player: OPPO BDP-103
 

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Looks great and I know you will enjoy it very much. I wish my HT room was bigger; at 12x20 with all the equipment and speakers in it there is only room for one row of recliners.
 

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Nicely done. I wish I had a dedicated enclosed room. I know you enjoy yours. Any plans moving forward?
 

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HTS Reviewer
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments. The room is about 15' wide by about 16' deep and is dedicated to music and movies. I am more of a music guy, but I have been using it for lots of movie viewing lately as well. We do have a living room downstairs with a TV which is actually where we spend most of our time (thanks to a super comfortable couch and close proximity to the kitchen).

For the HT room, I would eventually like to add some recliner type seating, maybe in two rows rather than the 'U' shape I have now. Possibly a projector down the road and some additional acoustic treatments. Those are just ideas for now, I'm not actively planning on any of them at the moment. I tend to obsess over finding better gear and and fine tuning what I have (crazy, I know!) so right now I'm just trying to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor thus far. I've been spending a few bucks here and there expanding my music and movie libraries instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey gang, I've been in the process of making some incremental changes to my setup, moving things around, etc. so I thought I'd share some progress and a few photos along the way. While reviewing the Pioneer SC-71, I played with the idea of adding rear surrounds to my setup, which got me wanting to try either front height or front wide as well. I decided to go all out and make the move from 5.1 to 9.1. The thing is, my Emotiva couldn't do 9.1, and neither can the SC-71. I sold the Emotiva and I'm currently in the hunt for a 9.1 AVR. Looking at Denon AVR-X4000, Onkyo NR1010 if I can find a good deal, or NR3010 if I can find a really good deal. In the meantime I have decided to completely relocate my electronics to the closet (door to the right of the TV in my original photos).

Instead of trying to run all the wiring through the attic again, I got some inspiration from HTip's cable management project here. Although I could have concealed everything in the attic, there are a couple reasons I opted to go with this strategy. First, fishing wires through the attic is simply a pain in the rear end (especially during the summer in Houston). Second, I think this method will allow me much more flexibility in terms of my room setup. Also, as a reviewer, it should make it easier to shuffle review speakers and subs in and out but still keep things nice and clean during the evaluation period. I want to be able to easily add/remove/relocate wires from the closet to any part of the room but not have to see them. Anyway, here are a few shots of my initial progress.

Wall-mounted surrounds


Wire entrance to wall below speakers


Speaker and sub cables from left, rear, and right walls entering closet


Speaker, sub, HDMI, and cat5 cables from front wall entering closet


I ran two spare sub cables into the room that will allow rear corner or side wall positioning, and two sub cables to the front wall. The HDMI to feed the TV runs to the front wall, as well as a spare HDMI and cat5 just in case. I also have an IR extender receiver mounted below the TV. The cable from that runs into the closet too. One of my overall goals with this room is to turn it into a convincing theater, both acoustically and aesthetically, but without modifying it to the point that it could not be easily reversed and used for another purpose. If someone were to turn it into a bedroom, there would be little more than some hole patching and painting needed. Therefore I'm leaving the existing baseboard trim completely intact.

Next step is to plan how to mount my faux baseboard and start cutting some lumber. After that, I'll tidy up the wiring in the closet. Next (as in next year probably) phase will be new seating. I am currently trying a two row configuration with the furniture I already have. If I can get good uniform sound results, I'll build a riser for the back row and get myself some nice recliners :)

I hope to show some more progress on the wiring in the next few weeks. Having 5-month old twins means I'm limited to only a few hours a week of hobby time.
 

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As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Great thinking outside the box and making it work. I guess your kids will be in grade school before we hang out at your place.
 

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I also agree with everybody who posted so far, very nice. Very clean job as well. Excellent work!.

Question.

For the person who sits on the single chair (close to the door) and the other side, on the sofa (close to the other door), how is the viewing from that angle? just curious. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Great thinking outside the box and making it work. I guess your kids will be in grade school before we hang out at your place.
Let's hope not, but I know that'll happen sooner than I'm ready. They grow fast!

I also agree with everybody who posted so far, very nice. Very clean job as well. Excellent work!.

Question.

For the person who sits on the single chair (close to the door) and the other side, on the sofa (close to the other door), how is the viewing from that angle? just curious. :)
Thanks for the feedback. To answer your question about the chair by the door, it was mostly there because we didn't have a spot for it anywhere else :) and was never really intended to be a great spot to view the TV from. When we moved into the house we got new living room furniture, so my HT got the hand-me-downs. Right now I've got the seating arranged in two rows to see how I like it, before investing in some nice recliners. The three-seater is up front about 40% of the distance from the back wall. The two-seater is directly behind, about 1-2 feet from the back wall, and the two armchairs are on either side of the two-seater. I'll post some more photos once I get the room cleaned up.
 

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The room is looking great! Did your speakers come with the hangers? When I put up my klipsch rs-62's I was worried they would fall someday, but they been up for years now.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The room is looking great! Did your speakers come with the hangers? When I put up my klipsch rs-62's I was worried they would fall someday, but they been up for years now.
Thanks! And yes, the Def Techs came with the brackets and screws, and pre-drilled holes behind the cloth. I am using sheetrock anchors rated for ~60lbs and the speakers are ~25lbs. Looks and feels plenty sturdy to me. Although I've almost knocked them down a few times while working on the wiring (standing up while forgetting I was crouched below one :duh:). Only my own clumsiness to worry about :dizzy:

I plan to eventually replace them with some bipole/dipole speakers, something hopefully lower profile, but these were cheap and I'll have uses for them elsewhere in the house when I'm ready to swap them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Little more progress this weekend, trying to make sense of the wiring coming into the closet. I will [hopefully] have the AV rack installed and wired by the weekend. Since I've got cables coming in both sides of the closet I ran some wire duct around the floor to keep things neat. The scraps I had laying around weren't quite enough so I've got a gap to fill later. Also hoping to order a receiver in the next couple weeks.

few more pics...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Nothing major, but I thought I'd post a few pics of the latest progress. My gear has been relocated to the closet, and speakers are mounted and wired for 9.1. The seating has been rearranged too. Next on my to-do list is a riser for the 2nd row. I Think I'll end up needing to raise the height of the rear surrounds from their current position. Once that is all finalized I'll finish patching and touch up the paint.

Rack in the closet - I'll clean up the wiring once I've got a new AVR in there and hooked up


New room layout in progress
 
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