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Yet another dedicated home theater build :)

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john_k_antony

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Dear Friends,

After waiting for almost 1 year, I started on my dedicated home theater room build in my new home. The project got delayed due to various reasons and it had been a LONG wait. The acoustics and lighting work will start from tomorrow and is expected to finish within a week. This is a complete DIY project with various inputs taken from HFV and other online forums. Now to the details.

Room

Dimensions : 24'x15.5'x10'
Location : First floor.
Flooring : Laminated wood.

This is a dedicated room with just two doors. One door to get into the room and another door to a small loo attached to this room.

This room will be used as a HT room as well as stereo listening room.

Electronics

Projector - Epson TW8000.
BDP - Oppo 105.
AVR - Denon 2310.
Stereo Amp - <YET TO BE BOUGHT>
TT - Vintage Dual 1019 with AT 120E cart restored by Vinyl guru - Kuruvila Jacob :clapping:. I am yet to get this to Bangalore as its still with Mr Kuruvila Jacob at Kottayam.
UPS - APC Backup Pro 1000VA for Projector connected to 600VA V-Guard stabilizer.
Stabilizer - 3KVA audio grade Vertex stabilizer for AVR+Stereo Amp + BDP + TT + Sub.
AC - Daikin 1.8T Cassette ceiling mount.
DTH - Airtel HD

Screen

DIY 16:9, 140" made using Carl's FlexiWhite material.

Speakers

HT

LCR - 3 x KEF Q300.
Surround - 4 x KEF Q100.
Sub - Velodyne EQ Max 12.

Stereo

<YET TO BE BOUGHT>

Cables

HT Speaker

12 AWG from Monoprice.

HDMI

50' RedMere Active HDMI cable from Monoprice.

Stereo speaker and IC

Custom made speaker and IC cables from Mr Murthy in Bangalore.

Seating

5 recliners from Online Shopping India - Furniture, Home Decor, Furnishings, Kitchenware @ FabFurnish.com and bean bags

Lighting

LED strip lights on the ceiling
LED spot lights
LED focus lights from floor to the wall
2 x Motion sensing, timer based CFL fancy lights. One for sensing the main door open/close and another one to sense the people movement as I will have old people using the room and I want them to get lights if they want to getup suddenly and use the loo:).

Acoustics

This is where I spend lots of time reading and researching. I know I have coverd only 10-15% of the actual science behind proper acoustics. But with my limited knowledge, I am doing the following treatment. I know that I am making my room more towards "acoustically dead". However all the work I am doing are changeable. I am not permanently fixing any panels onto the walls. All the panels can be rearranged as I am just hanging them on the wall. I am doing the following treatments

1. Absorbers at the first reflection point for all the 5 speakers in the front. 3 LCR for HT and 2 FS for Stereo.
2. Sound absorbing acoustic false ceiling.
3. Diffusers behind all the 5 front speakers.
4. Diffusers on the doors.
5. Not treating the rear wall now as I have sound absorbing recliners and also a wall to wall CD/LP rack behind that I expect to function as a diffuser. I might need to treat the rear wall if the room doesn't "sound good"
6. Floor to Ceiling bass traps in all the 4 corners of the room.
7. Thick carpet on the first reflection point on the floor as I have laminated wooden flooring.

Now the specifications for the acoustics.

1. False Ceiling - Anutone Subtex Ebony 15mm with Anutone channels and accessories in black color
2. Wall Absorbers - DIY using Anutone Strand SS plus 2 layers of 50mm Anutone Synth PF packed inside a 2'x4'x4" plywood frame. This entire panel will be covered using sound absorbing fabric and will be hung on the wall leaving 1" gap between the panel and the wall.
3. Bass Trap - 3 layers of 2" Anutone Synth PF packed inside a 2' wide x 6" deep plywood panels and covered with semi absorbing fabric. Each panel will be 2'-3.5' tall.
4. Diffusers - Pyramid shaped 2" diffusers from Aurica.
5. Reflective wall panels - Sound reflecting polyester cloth covered, 6mm plywood panels hung at 1" from the wall.

The work will start tomorrow with electrician doing the wiring job and carpenter working on the screen.

Here are some pictures

Anutone Acoustic Materials Delivered
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Anutone Strand SS
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Room as it stands today :)

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Acoustics and Screen design. I did this all myself using Google Sketchup.

Rear Wall
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Left and Right Walls
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Screen Wall
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Panel Design
Uploaded with ImageShack.com

Screen Design
Uploaded with ImageShack.com


Thanks,
John.
 

john_k_antony

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Good going. Expecting another long, detailed and interesting thread.

Thanks Koushik. The work is starting on Sunday, 25th. Starting with the screen. Fingers crossed. For me, the screen is the high risk item now and wanted the carpenter to start on that first :).

Will try to post daily updates with progress pics.

-John.
 

rdksrk2013

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Thanks Koushik. The work is starting on Sunday, 25th. Starting with the screen. Fingers crossed. For me, the screen is the high risk item now and wanted the carpenter to start on that first :).

Will try to post daily updates with progress pics.

-John.

Congrats! Summarising your eqpt and plans is fantastic.:clapping:

Please post pics of the screen fabrication - I am also interested to know. i had ordered a 120" carl's cloth and looking forward for some help.
 

Santy

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Wow John this is brilliant planning. I am glad that you have taken acoustics seriously. I am sure your efforts will pay off nicely. Though I feel the bookshelves may not have enough juice to fill your entire room. Will keep a check on the progress of this build and wait for your final reviews.
 

john_k_antony

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Wow John this is brilliant planning. I am glad that you have taken acoustics seriously. I am sure your efforts will pay off nicely. Though I feel the bookshelves may not have enough juice to fill your entire room. Will keep a check on the progress of this build and wait for your final reviews.

Clearly understand your point Santy. However, since this is a full HT setup, I never wanted to go for the FS for L&R. And I was very particular about the timbre matching of all the 7 speakers as I had pretty bad experience with my living room setup that consist of KEF iQ7 FS and KEF iQ60C dedicated center channel. I was not 100% satisfied with the price to performance factor offered by the dedicated center channel speaker with MTM configuration. Then I did some research and found that most MTM speakers will not perform well when placed horizontal and lots of people suggested going in for single driver configuration for all channels.

The Q300 and Q100 are filling the room pretty good now. However it will definitely change once they break in and I do the acoustics. I know that the acoustics will reduce the SPL and the break-in will open up the speakers, not the loudness though. Now with 70% of volume in AVR, I get a satisfactory SPL in the room. May be after acoustics, I may have to crank the volume to 85% or more.

KEF Q300 can sound pretty loud and clear without distortion. I wished they were little more sensitive. However, my next upgrade will be a more powerful amp, may be in the range of 120 W/ch that is the max recommended for Q300. My current Denon is rated at 105 W/ch.

-John.
 

john_k_antony

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All right, carpenters are here and started on the screen frame :yahoo: Hope to finish the screen by today :)
 

kuruvilajacob

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John,
I am not much of a HT fan and I know setting up your room for HT is much complication than for a Stereo set-up. God has given us two good ears and Stereo system to get a perfect sound stage. So that's simple enough for me and i really don't know if God wanted sound from so many directions to attack the two ears He gave us!
 
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venk61176

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John,

Since your Denon as Preout go for emotiva/adcom power amp.It may suffice in terms of driving your speakers to required levels.

Later on you can add expensive pre amp which might satisfy
You in terms of stereo/home theatre performance

Cheers
Venkat
 

john_k_antony

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John,
I am not much of a HT fan and I know setting up your room for HT is much complication than for a Stereo set-up. God has given us two good ears and Stereo system to get a perfect sound stage. So that's simple enough for me and i really don't know if God wanted sound from so many directions to attack the two ears He gave us!

Dear Kuruvila sir,

I clearly understand what youre talking about :). Yes its indeed very complex to get a 7 channel surround system to work in a home where we have to control sound coming from 7 different speaker system and a sub woofer. But I have passion for movies as well and wanted a get a good movie watching "experience" at home. I am also a sports fan and I really got amazed when I saw soccer, cricket and tennis on big screen. I wanted a similar sports watching experience at the comfort of my own home :). So just trying this out. Lets see how it goes.

-John.
 

john_k_antony

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Bangalore
John,

Since your Denon as Preout go for emotiva/adcom power amp.It may suffice in terms of driving your speakers to required levels.

Later on you can add expensive pre amp which might satisfy
You in terms of stereo/home theatre performance

Cheers
Venkat

Hi Venkat,

I will have a totally diffefent setup for stereo. Its going to be a high end pre-power 2 channel amp with a powerful floor stander. I am yet to finalize on them, however I have shortlisted a few and I have to let go the international brands for now as the prices are almost 15-20% more now. I might settle in for a made in India option - Lyrita / Acoustic Portrait :).

As I mentioned earlier, the sound levels are very good and I cannot crank the volume above 70% mark now. After acoustics, this will obviously come down and I might need to crank up the volume to 80-85% level. Q300 is pretty loud and the other reason I chose Q300 is that its very musical too and will perform well when I watch Indian movies with songs :).

Have one question here. I have put the crossover freq at 80Hz. Since Q300 is rated at 42Hz at the lower end, should a 60Hz crossover brings the best out of the Q300? I have marked the speakers as "small" in AVR.

-John.
 

manoj.p

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John,
I am not much of a HT fan and I know setting up your room for HT is much complication than for a Stereo set-up. God has given us two good ears and Stereo system to get a perfect sound stage. So that's simple enough for me and i really don't know if God wanted sound from so many directions to attack the two ears He gave us!

Kuruvilla Sir,

If god indeed wanted us to hear only from one direction, he would have made big flaps on our ears and turned those into only that direction. ;) :)
 

john_k_antony

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Update : EOD 25-08-2013

Nothing much happened today as there was no power at home due to some BESCOM work :sad:. Hope they are done with the maintenance work today. Carpenters came and waited for 3 hours and left. They will resume the work tomorrow morning. Electrician came and put the surround speaker wires and HDMI cable on the ceiling. He will come again later to fix the lighting and wiring for the same.

I got the fabric for covering the wall panels and bass traps and a thick rug to cover the first reflection point on the floor. I got a good deal on fabric at around Rs. 10/sqft from a local hand-loom shop and the rug was Rs. 150/sft. I got pure cotton fabric and the color theme is black and red.

-John.
 

Swamy_HT

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When i scroll one by one image down, my jaw dropped whe i see the KEF Q series boxes.
Great buy.!
 

john_k_antony

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Update on 26-08-2013

Carpenters could make good progress today. They finished the following

1. Screen frame. Haven't put the screen cloth yet. Will be done towards the end.
2. 12 x 2'x4'x4" sound absorber frames.

I was pretty busy today with some other personal work and couldn't take pictures. Will take some pictures tomorrow and post.

Work planned for tomorrow is to fix the false ceiling channels. I think they will need the whole day to put the false ceiling panels. I got 2'x4' tiles. So the work should get over faster compared to putting 2'x2' tiles.

-John.
 

john_k_antony

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Update on 28-Aug-2013

Made some great progress. Following work is completed

1. Finished all the absorber panels
2. Work in progress for bass trap panels
3. Work in progress for wall panels
4. Wiring for lightings completed. Lights will be installed on Friday / Saturday
5. Screen panel mounted on the wall. Screen cloth will be fixed on Friday
6. False ceiling framing done. Now just need to put the tiles on the frame. Expected to complete by Friday.

Here are some pictures










Building Absorber panel using 2'x4'x4" plywood frame and filling it with 4" of Synth PF and 20mm Strand SS. Finally cover the frame using acoustically transparent cotton fabric.
















Finished 4" wall absorbers



Finished 6" bass traps. More to build.



Entire Album

http://imageshack.us/g/1/10295624/

Thanks,
John.
 
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john_k_antony

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Location
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Just did a quick test of the performance of the abosorbers and bass traps. Each panel is attenuating the SPL by 5db.

Now with the wall absorbers, I will get close to 10db attenuation as the reflected sound will have to pass through the panel twice before it reaches your ear. This is because the panel will be placed 1-2" away from the wall and sound passes through the 4" panel twice before it reaches your ears.

I am not sure if the experiment I did was right or not. But here is what I did.

I played pink noise from the speaker. Placed the panel right in front of the speaker. Measured the SPL from a distance of 5 ft.

Without panel SPL - 71db
With panel SPL - 65db.

I assume the 10db reduction is significant to reduce the first reflection issues :).

Thanks,
John.
 
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