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Portland Place

2956 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cyberfloatie
Well, we've been living in this house for just over two years now. We put a new roof on this summer, got the vehicles all repaired and our third child should arrives in three days. There's no money left over to do anything, but since I've got time on my hands I figured it was time to break out SketchUp and see what I can do with the space we have.

The room is in the (mostly) unfinished basement, under the master bedroom. While my wife and I are the primary movie viewers in the house I don't expect that to be the case forever. I am planning to do as much sound-proofing as I can in the hopes that if the kids are sleeping while we're watching a movie, they'll stay asleep... and in 10 or so years time when the kids are watching a movie us parents could be sleeping. Okay, that's a stretch but, at least we could be somewhere else in the house without being too disturbed by the sound levels.

Dimensions are 20' x 15' x 7'9". There are concrete foundation walls on the North and East walls. The South wall is 2x6 bare studs and the West is a framed doorway and beam. (In the attached sketches* the screen is at the North end.) Seating will be two rows, probably three seats in the front and four in the back on a riser. I'm definitely planning to frame in under the beam so that the room is completely separate.

Actually, though the sketches don't show it, I'm thinking about the room within a room concept. The floor above is on 2x10 joists at 16" centers (yes, its a little springy). I figure I could put 2x8 in between each of them sitting on 2x4 walls inside the existing walls. I'd be giving up a little bit of overall ceiling height (maybe an 1 1/2"?) but would get the benefit of a completely isolated room. Lighting would be in soffits along the sides so I wouldn't be poking cans through and hitting the joists from the floor above. What do you think? Is a "room within a room" worth it?

Currently I have an Epson 8500UB hitting a 137" DIY Blackout Cloth screen. It works great and handles low ambient light okay but I think for a permanent build I'd like to have something a little smaller. I'm actually toying with the idea of a ~116" CinemaScope AT screen. I know the Epson doesn't do anamorphic... I think for 16:9 content I'd just mask the sides with some portable AT panels. Currently the PJ is on a shelf about 19' from the screen. I'm hoping that by going with a little smaller screen I can move it up a bit closer, get a little more brightness out of it and ceiling mount it.

For LCR's I'm thinking Mini Statements behind the screen. I've not built speakers before but those look like a really nice design and have been built by enough other people that hopefully I can get a lot of good advice. For the sub I'm looking at the CSS Trio12 Tapped Horn. I have no idea what that will be like in a room that size, but it looks like it'd be fun to build and I'm only about 3 hrs drive from CSS so it's easy to get the bits from them. I'm not sure what to do for surround channels. Suggestions are definitely welcome.

Of course, all of this is purely theoretical at the moment since I have no budget, but I can dream can't I? In actuality, I hope to get started on the framing and wiring after Christmas with completion by the end of the summer. Then build the speakers and sub during the fall/winter.

Love to hear your thoughts, especially about soundproofing and speakers for that size of room.

(*Let me know if those drawings are confusing... I've been staring at them a long time so they make sense to me.)


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It looks great so far!

But I do have a question... With sketchup, how did you get it to look like that? The pencil type drawing I mean.
But I do have a question... With sketchup, how did you get it to look like that? The pencil type drawing I mean.
Kinda stumbled on it one day by accident: Window -> Styles
Looks good to me. I like the idea of a AR screen with the speakers out of site.
The mini statements are incredible speakers, I have the full size, mini's and center for my surround. They are not difficult to build, there are lots of pictures of the crossovers available and I also have pictures and drawings I can send to you.
More importantly, congrats on the new child.

The mini statements are incredible speakers, I have the full size, mini's and center for my surround. They are not difficult to build, there are lots of pictures of the crossovers available and I also have pictures and drawings I can send to you.
I'd really like to build the full size Statements as my LCRs but that probably wouldn't work well with an AT screen as I understand they need a lot of space behind them. (18" IIRC) I'm hoping the minis are a good compromise, fitting behind the screen without requiring me to give up viewing distance by moving the screen further off the wall.

I've found a couple other guys online that use the minis for their surrounds with great results. I'm just not sure about positioning them within my space.

More importantly, congrats on the new child.
Thanks! It's a boy! 9lb 10oz last Wednesday. Hard to believe he's already a week old but he and mom are doing great!


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Hey Doug, congratulations on your little package of joy! So cute when they are that little.
Looks like a nice pace to work with. Watch the clearance on the headroom with your riser.
Watch the clearance on the headroom with your riser.
It's actually worse than it looks. :doh: Right above the riser there is plumbing that drops below the floor joists from the upstairs en-suite. I'm actually considering reversing the floor plan and making that end my screen wall instead. It would put the top of the screen a little lower than I'd like and require more electrical work, but if I'm going with a cinema-scope screen I don't think it will actually feel too low, even when watching 16:9 material.
I realized after participating in a few other build threads that I'm long overdue for an update on my own thread. Long story short, we've done almost nothing with basement since the birth of our third child. The first two years after he was born were ridiculously hard on us but we're now starting to get the hang of things. Well, except for sleeping...

The walls are bare concrete on 2.5 sides and wide open on one side. The floor is bare concrete and ceiling is unfinished so as you can imagine the acoustics are pretty terrible. Somewhere along the way we added some couches and a couple rugs. The rugs don't really help at all with the sound but they do keep our feet from aching. The front row is now two (donated) love seats and a recliner while the 2nd row is an old couch and an easy chair. Lots and lots of cushions everywhere.

We are still using the Epson 8500UB projector against the blackout cloth screen. Last year I mounted a shelf on the rear wall and put the PJ on that. It got it up about 18" higher than the bookshelf I was using before. It's working great and we'll probably stick with it until I can finish the room and get a proper ceiling mount.

On the audio front a friend of mine upgraded his AVR and gave me his old one. It's a Harman Kardon AVR-1600 and it is a HUGE improvement over my previous JVC HTiaB. A local AV store here closed out and I managed to snag a nice center channel for $100 cash on the last day. The rear channels are old sealed car stereo speakers (Anyone remember Realistic from Radio Shack?) but are good enough considering the other problems in the room.

For Christmas this year we got a 70" LED tv upstairs. It will be primarily used for gaming and TV/Netflix but the real benefit is that I can now take down the screen and PJ without disturbing the family's ability to watch movies and play games. Of course that means I won't be going through withdrawal either which will likely slow progress further.

Anyway, despite the lack of progress we still love to have people over and enjoy movies together. Kids especially don't care and the fact that the room is so "raw" means that we let them get a lot more rowdy than we might otherwise.
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