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Tommy's HT In-Progress

63331 Views 332 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Tommy
Tommy's HT Room

Woohoo - first member to start a complete project here. To recap my intro:

Ok to start, I've been framing the basement for weeks, an hour or two per night. Finished basement will have a gym and HT room. I should have got some before pics but I'll get some soon now that I'm thinking about it.

First mistake I made was not calculating how many boards and trips to Home Depot the framing would take. I had an rough estimate but decided to go to HD and pick up like 30-40 2x4's at a time in my Explorer.

Let me say after about 8 trips so far and almost 1k down on wood, it would have been easier and cheaper to just buy it all at once from a lumber yard and have them deliver it.
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Ok most of the walls are framed, I left big gaps for the doors though. Still gotta figure out how to frame them. Low ceiling into the HT (beam going across top of wall) room is going to be a problem.

Started the soffits with 2x4's (ladder type). So far I don't like it, it doesnt seem sturdy enough. 2 of the 3 soffits I have running the basement are going to be like 4 foot wide. I just don't picture the soffits having enough support. Not sure what I'm going to do.

Well that where I'm at with the framing work. Gonna pick up some more wood on my way home from work today. Got reserves tomorrow so that pretty much ruins the rest of my weekend.
Ok, I'm just sort of bloggin where I'm at up to this point. I'd luv for people to jump in with comments in advice though.

I've been reading all over the web and order a bunch of books and I'm still lost. I tracked down a offical HT type of store about an hour from us so we took a trip out the other week to get some ideas.

They had some rooms made up with all that pre-made acoustic **** and it was all nice and good till we started asking the pricing. The guy said the room would go for about 80k not including any of the actual equipment. And about another 10-15k with equipment. We didnt stay much longer.

I started ordering some HT stuff trying to get a jump on what I'll need. I wanted to order the audio equipment and get it here so I can find out what and how to wire it before enclosing the walls.
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Yes I want to use in-wall speakers (they look better) even though I've been flamed for mentioning it on some sites (not here). I just want decent sounding surround sound and not to disturb the rest of the house. Shoot, I'm still hard of hearing from Iraq anway. Seriously though, just looking to make it as nice as I can but not go nuts over the sound.

So not know what the **** to get I've basically just been googling and looking at others reviews. I've budgeted about 3 - 4 k for audio and components and know I want in-wall speakers.

I ordered the speakers now mainly just because I want to receive them just to see what type of connections they'll have so I can order whatever speaker wire I need to install in the walls. (Advice appriecated)

Anyway in-wall speakers, in my price range, and with good reviews I found a manufacturer called MTX. For the speakers I ordered:

8” 3-way - 2 Front Speakers HT8253W
6.5” 2-way -1 Front Center Speaker HT2625W
8” Sub Woofer in-wall HTS28W
8” 2-way surround 2 rear speakers HT825W
Bi-Pole speakers 2 Side Speakers HT520BDP

Came out to about 2k
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Also I purchased a slim-rack 5 component shelve. Still waiting for that to come but already regreting it think how I'm still gonna have to frame for the thing anyway. I could have just maded the recessed shelving with no back and saved $500.

Another purchase has been my receiver. Ok before going any further let me say I dont know much about what the receiver is but to my understanding this will be that everything connects into, all the speakers, the dvd player, the cable box, and the TV.

Wanting to put near 1k towards it, I googled again and found the Marantz SR-7500 in that price range, with 7.1 surround sound, THX select and good reviews so I ordered that for about $800

Total so far blown: $4,500
My HTR room will be 20' x 14' with 8' ceiling except for a soffit on the one side of the room which will be 1' lower.

I figured around a 60" HDTV flat screen. Yes another thing I've been getting flamed on. Yes I want a nice projector but the wife seems dead set against a projector and wants a flat screen (guess she thinks shes takin it with her if we divorce (I'd wreck it first)) haha

Maybe I'll run a pipe anyway in the ceiling to wire it in the future for a projector. I'll have access to the back of most of the room so running things later is an option.

Ok back to the plasma, I know I want something around 60" for the 20' long room. I'm confused as **** with the HDTV **** and ya think I havent been reading out the a$$ about it.

Anyway ya got HDTV, HDTV Tuner, HDTV Compatible, HDTV Ready etc... Ok I know enough that if you get the wrong one you still have to buy more stuff to make it work. But hey I thought thats why I just spent $800 on a receiver.

I'll try not to bring posts from other sites over anymore (hopefully this will be the only site I need for now on) and limit it to this quote. While asking for recommendations on a 60" flat screen someone commented:

You can either connect your video sources through your receiver then to your display or directly to your display. Either will work. Your Marantz doesn't appear to have HDMI connections so if you want/need to use HDMI that will have to connect directly to your display.

So now I'm a bit lost if I wasted money or not and what I still need to get and/or send back.
Comments appriecated.
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NorwegianDawg said:
Tommy, I built my own HT from the ground up and I'm also a custom HT designer/installer...so I'll be happy to help you out! :D

You can check out what I did here: http://www.devotionsbyerik.com/E-Cinema.htm

Hey thanks to both of you and thanks for the offer to help, you may just wind up regretting it.

Ok, I'll keep the receiver and consult everyone here more before proceeding.

I will talk further with the wife about a projector system. My only reservations about that is that one it's only a 20' room and if the first row is only 10' (center) how big should the screen go.

Unless I'm calculating it wrong from what I'm reading I should be trying for something 45" to 60"

And second is width, the room with is 14' but I will have a soffit about 4' running off the side wall bringing the ceiling there down to 6'8.

Now I'm thinking in order to put a wider screen such as a projection screen it will now have to go partly under that soffit which may or may not be to low.

And to answer your question I was thinking a flat plasma hung on the wall. I'll try and get some pic's up asap of what I have to work with so far.
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How bout the MX speakers, good / bad choice?

I couldn't find what type of connections they had on the back and I'm not to sure of what to order as far as wire.

I've seen things saying I should find out the connection needed and order each wire to the exact size with the spade or banna connection already on it, is that correct?

Oh well, gonna go try and put up another small section of the soffit, then gotta get ready for reserves tomorrow.
Yea there contact section on there site doesnt seem to like any of my .net or .mil email addresses and wouldnt let me send the question. Oh well the speakers are ordered and will probably be here within the next few days to see anyway.

But my real question is, do I have to order each wire already sized, cut and the connectors professionaly put on or is this the type of thing I can buy a spool and a tool and put the connectors on myself?
Ok here are the pic's of the framing so far. This first pic is the right wall (right of the screen), Theres a beam a couple of poles I decided to hide in the wall so this was my starting point.

For this wall only, because of the poles and beam, I did to the 2x6 bottom & top plates with 2x4 staggared studs. The front of this wall will also hold the door to the room. Cutting it close since I have no play room with the above beam.

Also as soon as you would enter the room, 2 ducts will run parrell with this wall which I will have to soffit.

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Next pic is just the back wall. Theres a little space between the framing and the actual foundation wall so I can fish stuff by later if I need too. Also if you can see towards the left of the foundation wall behind the HT room will be closeted space under the stairway, so I do have about 3' space on the left of the wall to connect into that empty space.

Problems would be that above soffit has a height of about 6'8 and with a riser there would put that one spot at just under 6' clearance.

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Next pic is just the rear left wall. Nothing special about it. Now for the left wall, I did frame the wall about 20" out from the foundation wall. It will be tight but I will have room to completly walk behind this whole wall when the project is complete and it will be accesible for making any future changes to the room.

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By the way, my weight bench is my temp home theater chair for the moment. I do have the floor crosshaired if you can see it. The red lines intersect at the room center
Here's a view of the front wall. I did frame a box roughly the size of a 60" tv and hung it on the wall to get an idea of what it would look like.

You may see (I'll put up some close up pics of the duct work) the screen is centered to the room but it is very close to the right hand side soffit. If I did move to a project screen as suggested instead of a flat screen, it is going to be wider and hence partially wind up under this soffit. I'm not sure if that will be an obstruction as far as viewing it, just the difference in ceiling.

Behind the front wall is going to be the utility room that will remain unfinished. So this will be another wall I can always do stuff behind it but I will be very close to the heaters and also I'd rather not put much on the front wall besides the screen and speakers.

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Heres just a pic while standing in the utility room looking into the HT room

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Alright here's 2 more of the front wall, just slightly different views.

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I dont have my own forum and there doesnt seem to be sub-threads so this thread is gonna get long and disorganized quick (pages 20+ etc) if it lasts through out the whole project. I know I should probably go ask each individual question in each specific forum but I'd also like to keep everything together in one spot for a full review project review if anyone else is interested in the future. Just to show how many different questions etc come up during a project.

Alright to start the day, I posted the pics of the framing I have so far. Still waiting on some comments and advice from this point. As for work I know I still gotta finish the soffit, reserves this weekend killed me from getting any work done, and was thinking on a couple more things.

I pointed out that the one wall was done with the staggered stud method but I dont think I stressed that the others are not, there regular 2x4 framming. Out of those 3 walls, 2 are back to the foundation and one back to the utility room.

Not sure how crazy I need to get with sound proofing and acoustic stuff, my goals are having it sound decent but I'm not fantical as far as it goes as long as it works properly and second is making sure the sound doesnt overwhelm the upstairs. The 1st floor, the room above is hard wood floors.

So suggestions on finishing off the walls are welcome.

I found an article and some pics of someone elses HT room and love how it looks. It won some type of award for a home theater. The walls were completely carpeted which I thought was a big no no as far as sound?

So the wife and I are still discussing how the walls should be finished but I do like how this guys walls are structured. Columns break up the room and wall sconces and speakers are inside the columns. In between each column is room to hang a poster and recessed lights are pointed on each poster.

As I said I really like how this looks, still not sure if I should do the full carpet thing though or not though but besides looking nice I think it would also help sound proof the room. I do like the columns and posters in between each column it breaks up the room great. I'd like to hear others comments on the carpeted walls.

I'd like to take 2 spots that he has for carpets though and use one spot to make a recessed section in the wall for a component rack, and another section to make a recessed shelving section to hold DVD's. I'll start another post about the component rack though because I'm defintely seeking advice about this. Just wanted to give an overall picture I'm what I'm thinking about so far.

In addition to what I just mentioned the other differences would be, mine would be 2 rows instead of three (shorter room then his) Also I'm not sure how I'm going to do the front wall. I cant believe he went thru all the trouble to put inwall speakers for the sides and rear and for the front there sitting right out exposed. I'd like to put everything in the walls speakers and component rack etc... also i dont think I have enough room for a front stage.

Ok heres the pics

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I may just have to break my questions up and go put them seperatly, I think I may just be asking to much here and gonna wind up getting things skipped over.

Alright the component rack is really concerning me. I'm going thru all the trouble to put in-wall speakers so I dont want to have a visibile component rack either. I ordered one of those slim rack 5 things and I'm still waiting for it to come but I'm not sure it is what I want.

What I'd like to do is make some sort of recessed in the wall type shelves on the first 5' section of the right wall. The right wall has about 20" behind it and the foundation wall.

I'd have more accessibility to the front wall but I dont want to look and the component rack while watching a movie.

My problem though, if I'm going thru all the trouble to sound proof the room theres gonna wind up being some type of opening in the wall if the component rack is built into it, right?

I'm gonna have to start on this, this week so suggestions on this would be greatly appriecated.
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If the rack enclosure goes on the front side wall I'll have a max depth of 20", is that enough?

I can put the rack on the back wall extending into the closet but how difficult does that make wiring anything that has to go to the TV 20' away?
Don't leave me already guys... :sarcastic:

Ok I complained to the wife I was getting flamed online about the flat screen, well besides bitching at me for caring about message boards she did cave and I got the "do whatever... go ahead" to go with the projector instead of the flat screen.

So I'm gonna have a bunch of questions about this but starting with how is this gonna look on my front wall with that soffit on the right? Do you think that will block the view at all or should I soffit the whole front of the wall down to that height?

So lets start with that, what to do about that wall and what size screen and how it will go on the wall?

Also I'm still desperate to do something about that component rack. Now I'm not so much worried about how to build it but where to place it. Front wall? Side wall (only has 20" depth but is accessibile) or back wall which will have plenty of room but may be to far to wire things, what do you think?

One more question, does a riser 7' in depth seem to long? I'm trying to figure out my speaker and columns placement and gotta figure out where my back row riser will start. Thinking of running it from the back wall out 7', is that ok or to much?
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