MC's Basement HT

Posted by: mikecoscia

MC's Basement HT - 01/10/17 07:44 PM

After asking a few questions about my basement HT, I figured I would make a dedicated thread to document the build. I'm super excited about this project, bought my house in 09 and spent all my time/funds on fixing it up to worry about a HT. Although, I did setup my living room really nice in the meantime, which I documented in another thread a few years ago (sorry, all the image links are broken).

Anyway, I finally got around working on the basement last March. I framed everything out slowly over a few months and only finished at the end of November. I hired sheet rockers a few weeks ago and they literally just finished up yesterday. I'll probably paint within the next week and start looking for someone to install a drop ceiling and then finally the flooring. Then it's low voltage wiring (I ran conduit everywhere) and buying all the equipment! Here are pictures of the progress so far. I welcome all comments, advice, and criticisms...lol.


My original quick layout sketch.

Quick render I did in Google Sketch to get a better idea of the room size when sealed off from the other half of the basement. I may go back to this one and add all the room decor.



Pictures of framing and electrical...



The cabinet on the left will hold a slide out equipment rack for all the HT gear.



The screen will be installed on this wall.



This is the wall opposite of the screen.



Here are a few pictures of the spray foam insulation on all the exterior walls. I did use fiberglass insulation on the interior walls, but I didn't take pictures before the sheetrock went up.





That's it for now, I'll take pictures of the room sheetrocked and post them soon.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/10/17 10:37 PM

Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/10/17 10:40 PM

I would have loved to use the spray foam for thermal insulation in my basement. Not that I notice any drafts or leaks, but it is also a nice moisture barrier. I will would have gone with full soundproofing of my theater in addition to that, but having that extra barrier would have been nice.

Question, If you have a drop ceiling going in, then why so much conduit? My father-in-law is a huge fan of drop ceilings because you don't need things like conduit to run additional wires, etc.

Not criticizing, just wanting to understand where you are going with that.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/11/17 05:15 AM

Looks like the conduit is stubbed into the ceiling space and stops to run free air from there. Is the AV cabinet above the sump pit access? Good idea.

Looking good so far! I can see the dog cave. smile

Edit: Dont forget line of sight light switch locations if you plan on an ir control setup and allowing for an ir sensor on your front wall back to a repeater in your av cabinet. smile
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/11/17 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
I would have loved to use the spray foam for thermal insulation in my basement. Not that I notice any drafts or leaks, but it is also a nice moisture barrier. I will would have gone with full soundproofing of my theater in addition to that, but having that extra barrier would have been nice.

Question, If you have a drop ceiling going in, then why so much conduit? My father-in-law is a huge fan of drop ceilings because you don't need things like conduit to run additional wires, etc.

Not criticizing, just wanting to understand where you are going with that.


I did the spray foam specifically for moisture prevention. It also helps to stiffen up the metal studs. I wasn't sure how thick the spray foam was going to be, so I ran conduit everywhere. Just in case the bays filled up and made chasing wire difficult. I'm a big fan of conduit it too, ran it throughout my entire house. Makes changing a wire a 10 minute job.


Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Looks like the conduit is stubbed into the ceiling space and stops to run free air from there. Is the AV cabinet above the sump pit access? Good idea.

Looking good so far! I can see the dog cave. smile

Edit: Dont forget line of sight light switch locations if you plan on an ir control setup and allowing for an ir sensor on your front wall back to a repeater in your av cabinet. smile


Ha, thanks. The dog cave was my wife's idea. I was originally going to but the AV cabinet under the stairs, but it would have had to face the screen. I didn't want any distracting lights so I moved it to the corner. I had to build something to conceal the sump, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Although I still need to decided what I am doing with the other sump (opposite corner). I have a few ideas brewing.

I plan on using a Harmony RF remote, they are my go to universal remotes. No direct line of sight needed smile.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/11/17 06:32 PM

What are you doing for lighting control? lutron casetta?
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/12/17 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
What are you doing for lighting control? lutron casetta?


I use a bunch of different home automation hardware (nest, echo, leviton, myq, blink, etc). I coordinate it all with a smartthings hub and run a few custom device handlers. This way I am not locked into any one company. Right now I am in the process of switching all my dumb toggle light switches with leviton z-wave switches. They are expensive, so doing a room at a time.

I control them via voice, my harmony remotes, phone app, etc. Going to do the same in the basement. This way I can just hit an activity on the harmony remote and all the lights go off when watching a movie.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/12/17 01:14 PM

A few more pictures...

I found one of the screen wall before sheetrock!



Here is the whole room with sheetrock. Got a few areas I need to touch up. Overall they did a decent job. I'm a little worried about the corners inside the dog house cracking with people going up and down the stairs. I'll see how it holds up. Worst case I install some of that stick on reclaimed wood and really make it look like the interior of a dog house...lol.





I don't know if you can notice, but I ended up notching the 2x8 joists and pushed the electrical conduit and plumbing flush to the ceiling. The ceilings are only 7' and I want to get the drop ceiling as tight as possible.



Still thinking about what I want to do with this sump. Again, I did not want to build a cabinet, as I wasn't sure what type of seating I was going to purchase. A cabinet might get in the way of any reclining function. I have a few ideas.

I would love to get a second row of seats on a riser, which would easily hide the pump. However, the room is not that long and the first row would be like 7' from the screen. It's doable, but I would have to install a smaller screen. I'd rather have less seating and a larger screen. So, I don't think this one is happening.

Another option is to build a small riser just to cover the pump only. Say 4-6" high, then put an old fashion popcorn cart or something on it. You won't see the riser from behind the seating anyway.

The last option (the one I am favoring), is to build an open back/side bookshelf (can't support any real weight with those metal studs). I have a lot of movie memorabilia that I would like to display anyway and should easily hide the sump. I could also build it around a horizontally configured EP600 smile.

Hmmm, actually. I wonder if I can just put a metal plate over the sump and put the EP600 right over it. Although I assume subs in corners are never good.

Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 04:43 AM

If you need a row of flex seating a sofa table works well. We opted for that because of space and cost concerns. Its a good place to eat and move ahead to sofa when snacks are done.

Other thoughts, if you cheat your front row ahead you are looking at increasing the loudness difference between the first and 2nd row. At short distances from speakers there is a greater initial spl fall off vs being deeper into the rooms soundfield. Being 7' off the front wall on stuffed furniture may feel really crammed and never get used. Then you are stuck with a poorly sized screen for favoured 2nd row. I think you are right. One optimized row. smile

The front to back distance is 13'6"?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 05:31 AM

The room really looks great. Nice dog too smile

If you need occasional second row of seating it's hard to beat beanbag chairs. Being low to the ground makes the screen seem further away (so room feels less cramped) as well. When the beanbags are not being used you can dump them in the corner as bass traps.

You won't get ideal sound that low to the ground but generally there is only one person in any HT room that actually cares about getting perfect sound, for everyone else the "good enough" threshold is a bit lower, so the folks in the beanbag chairs will still think the sound is awesome.

Speaking of prime listening positions, every dog I know has an uncanny ability to identify the prime listening position and adopt it for themselves.

EDIT - for anyone wondering about the "bulk but not ongoing contributions" text in the initial post that was from an ongoing argument with Legal about the merits of scanning our open source contributions with a tool that identified open source code. What we call the "lemon chicken" scenario.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 09:12 AM

We did the beanbag thing for a while with my 2 previous theaters. Worked fine. Not great for adults, but it did work.

Another option, not saying that I don't like the options already offered (although 2 rows of seats will really push the front row pretty close. Even if you use a slightly smaller screen, you run the risk of actually picking up some noticeable ability to see any grain/weave/texture (depending on screen type) at 7 feet. Plus, like already mentioned, the sound level difference between row 1 and row 2 are greater at the shorter distance. So what was I saying again? Oh, that's right, another option would be to create a bar type seating area behind the primary seating. It is basically a counter top surface and some comfortable bar stools.
Ok, to me that sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but I've seen several rooms do this when there wasn't space for another set of seats on a riser. The benefits are that you get more seating for those more rare times that you have extra people watching, you don't need a riser since the bar stools will put people above the front row for visibility, the space difference between row 1 and row 2 isn't so bad, you have a place to eat food before sliding down into the front row, etc.

The biggest downfall is that they aren't as comfy as a recliner.

Thinking back to my previous theater spaces, I always jump to equipment upgrades, but never really thought about the seating changes.

Then again, I've also realized just the other day that I have had more theater spaces than 4 (I call my current one V4).

(thinking back..... V4 is current dedicated room, 2 rows of recliners, V3 was a dedicated room, 1 couch and 1 loveseat side-by-side, V2 was a shared space in the basement with a single couch, V1 was a dedicated room with a couch, and 2 more rows of movie theater seats on 2 different height risers, V0 was my bedroom at home through college. The room was actually bigger than my parents' living room, so I had 1/2 of it as a bedroom, and the other half had a 5 speaker/1 subwoofer Dolby Surround (pre-5.1) setup, V-1 would have been my dorm room in college where I had a 5 speaker setup in my dorm, similar to V0, but without the sub... I had main speakers with 15" woofers so...., V-2 would have been my parents' living room. I talked them into a cheap speaker setup mainly for just general music playback in the main part of the house, but the wires were long enough that we would preposition the small bookshelf speakers that sat on the floor to be in more of a 4 speaker surround setup with phantom center. My parents had no clue, so I am taking credit for that one. They also have never done any sort of surround system since then.) Ok, turning off of Memory Lane now. LOL
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Oh, that's right, another option would be to create a bar type seating area behind the primary seating. It is basically a counter top surface and some comfortable bar stools.

Great idea. I think I'll steal that for my HT area. I'll have to raise the projector higher (currently it's on a bookshelf that also stores media) but I've been meaning to do that anyways.

You can get bar stools which are more like conventional chairs with a proper seat and back, just raised higher. Something like that might be enough to work for the entire movie.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 10:08 AM

Just to spam the forums with some photos from Google for inspiration.








Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 11:08 AM

Is that first pic bigs'?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 12:37 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Is that first pic bigs'?

Why yes it is.

I like his theater space, but I like his bar even better.




Here is a rabbit hole to follow... His build thread.
Big Mouth in DC's theater build
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 01:45 PM

Thanks for posting those.

In the third pic, are the benches at the front cushy footrests for the sofa-dwellers or a separate row of seating ?

Or is the answer "yes" ?
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/13/17 07:13 PM

Lol. Mine is so ghetto compared to those.

His bar is really great. Him in general really.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/14/17 01:19 AM

Yeah but yours has been acoustically optimized which I would take over any other space. I'm jealous.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/18/17 12:18 PM

Thanks for all the great ideas! My wife mentioned the beanbags and I will prob get one or two for my nieces and nephew. I do like the bar idea, I'll have to see how much space I have once the floor is finished and I bring my couch down. It's a good way to hide that sump as well. The couch is only temporary, we are replacing it in my living room with a lovesac sectional, so it's getting repurposed while I throw money at HT equipment. I plan on placing it around the 9-10' mark.

On a side note, I started painting yesterday. I managed to put the first coat up on two walls. I plan on doing more today and fixing any imperfections with a little spackle.

I also called a few people for drop ceiling quotes and started thinking about my speaker setup. Atmos or no atmos...

I'll post some pictures of the progress tomorrow....
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 08:44 AM

Finished the first coat, except for an area under the rack (having an issue with the sump access door, drywall keeps cracking) and inside the dog house.






The color is called cement gray. I wanted to go darker, but the wife wanted lighter walls since I was putting in a black drop ceiling and dark floors. I'm painting the screen wall black, so it should be fine. I'm just not a fan of light colors, my whole house is darker earth tones....lol.
Posted by: cb919

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 09:17 AM

Looking good!
BTW, we also use bean bag chairs. The kids have one each (when the dog isn't claiming one). It was a space solution for us as our HT is quite small, so it's an easy way to get 2 rows of seating so we're not all crammed on the couch, they make a great foot rest for those on the couch, and when not in use we can stack them out of the way. And they help with sound absorption as well as was already said in reference to bass traps.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 09:29 AM

Just make the walls darker with acoustical panels. smile
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 10:01 AM

Originally Posted By cb919
Looking good!
BTW, we also use bean bag chairs. The kids have one each (when the dog isn't claiming one). It was a space solution for us as our HT is quite small, so it's an easy way to get 2 rows of seating so we're not all crammed on the couch, they make a great foot rest for those on the couch, and when not in use we can stack them out of the way. And they help with sound absorption as well as was already said in reference to bass traps.


Thanks!

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Just make the walls darker with acoustical panels. smile


Bingo, my thoughts exactly....lol. I also think I am going with the black curtain under the I-beam idea. It's great for sound absorption and will let me close up the theater for a better experience when I want too.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 10:59 AM

Actually, I hate to burst the myth, but a curtain, even a thick one, isn't a great sound absorber. Does it absorb sound? Yes. It absorbs pretty high frequencies only. There just isn't enough dense material to vastly improve the sound in the room. Heck, most commercially available absorption panels are covered with a fabric that is about as thick as curtain fabric. When calculating the absorption efficiency, they don't even really count the fabric covering into their calculations since it is not really good for absorption.

With that said, I am not saying that you shouldn't do it. Half of the basic room acoustical plans say to make the front wall (screen/TV wall) "dead" and the back wall stays "live". Plus, like you said, you can close off the space more for reducing light coming in, etc.

I made my front wall dead with absorption, but still added a thick panel on my back wall and it improved the bass response in my room. It took a decent sized 5.5" thick absorption panel to do it though.

I just wanted to make sure that you didn't focus too much on the curtain being a "great" sound absorber, but I would still do it.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 03:10 PM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Actually, I hate to burst the myth, but a curtain, even a thick one, isn't a great sound absorber. Does it absorb sound? Yes. It absorbs pretty high frequencies only. There just isn't enough dense material to vastly improve the sound in the room. Heck, most commercially available absorption panels are covered with a fabric that is about as thick as curtain fabric. When calculating the absorption efficiency, they don't even really count the fabric covering into their calculations since it is not really good for absorption.

With that said, I am not saying that you shouldn't do it. Half of the basic room acoustical plans say to make the front wall (screen/TV wall) "dead" and the back wall stays "live". Plus, like you said, you can close off the space more for reducing light coming in, etc.

I made my front wall dead with absorption, but still added a thick panel on my back wall and it improved the bass response in my room. It took a decent sized 5.5" thick absorption panel to do it though.

I just wanted to make sure that you didn't focus too much on the curtain being a "great" sound absorber, but I would still do it.


Not a bubble burst at all. It's more for aesthetics, as I have total light control...I bricked up all the windows in that half of the basement. It may not be great for sound absorption, but I would imagine it is better than open air...lol. Maybe I'll even get creative and make some doors on rolling tracks or something...haha. However, that's a thought for another day.

In the meantime, I managed to find a supplier for black ceiling tiles and grid in the area. Going with Certainteed Theater Black F tiles and a black grid from Chicago Metallic. Once the installer comes and gives me numbers, I'll order it and have him install whenever he is available. Other than that, I have a few drywall imperfections I need to touch up and then it's the final coat of paint. I may or may not get that done this weekend. We'll see how motivated I am...ha.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/19/17 03:57 PM

Great job so far. Your in the home stretch now for the chore part. Then its gear time and beer time! grin
Posted by: Stilljoe

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/20/17 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By mikecoscia

In the meantime, I managed to find a supplier for black ceiling tiles and grid in the area. Going with Certainteed Theater Black F tiles and a black grid from Chicago Metallic. Once the installer comes and gives me numbers, I'll order it and have him install whenever he is available. Other than that, I have a few drywall imperfections I need to touch up and then it's the final coat of paint. I may or may not get that done this weekend. We'll see how motivated I am...ha.


Mike, I have the same grid and tiles in my basement. The tiles are great, but be aware that the grid has a semi-gloss finish which is very obvious in a dark room with a projected picture.
I have considered a spray can of flat paint but ... I'd have to take things apart.

Seems my gallery is a bit out of date...


Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/22/17 02:24 PM

Originally Posted By Stilljoe
Originally Posted By mikecoscia

In the meantime, I managed to find a supplier for black ceiling tiles and grid in the area. Going with Certainteed Theater Black F tiles and a black grid from Chicago Metallic. Once the installer comes and gives me numbers, I'll order it and have him install whenever he is available. Other than that, I have a few drywall imperfections I need to touch up and then it's the final coat of paint. I may or may not get that done this weekend. We'll see how motivated I am...ha.


Mike, I have the same grid and tiles in my basement. The tiles are great, but be aware that the grid has a semi-gloss finish which is very obvious in a dark room with a projected picture.
I have considered a spray can of flat paint but ... I'd have to take things apart.

Seems my gallery is a bit out of date...




Thanks for the picture! Yeah, I figured the grid was going to be shiny. I asked the sales representative and said that was all that they carried. He said it was not a gloss black, but definitely was not matte like the tiles. Ah well, I can easily live with what you posted. With my walls being so light, I am sure they will be reflecting as well.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/22/17 02:47 PM

A few updates. I took it easy this weekend, just did some light caulking and spackling touch ups in the basement. I did visit a few flooring stores, I have an installer coming Saturday to take a look and give me my options. The floor is sloped, but it's not terribly wavy. I want to go with vinyl plank. I'll see what he says.

With paint on the walls, I did run a quick screen test with a cheap portable projector I had. Looks like 92" is the biggest I can fit. Any bigger and the front speakers are going to be too close to the corners. I am probably going to go with this screen. Not totally sold yet, but I like the cost/quality ratio. I am also thinking about curved and gray screens. Although, I have total light control, so gray is probably unnecessary. I need to do more research. Here are a few pictures of the screen size...




I know it looks small, but the movie (Mad Max) is 2.35:1, so it's not even close to filling the 16:9 area of the projector. Which is fine, I watch a lot of TV and play a lot of video games too. So I have no desire to go to an anamorphic system, at least not anytime soon.

Also, since my old living room thread is filled with broken links (really wish we can edit old posts), I figured I would post some pictures of my other axiom setups.

Here is my living room. It includes M60 fronts, VP150 center, EP600 and 3 QS8s. I know its probably overkill for the room size, especially the sub, but I like how the sub size roughly matches the media cabinet...lol. The couch is also on a small riser with two buttkicker LFEs




My bedroom also contains my original foray into axiom speakers that were originally setup when I still lived with my parents back in college! It includes M3Ti fronts, VP100 center, SVS sub and 3 QS4s. Needless, to say I have been an axiom fan ever since.


Posted by: Stilljoe

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/22/17 07:20 PM

Now what are those two waiting for? You certainly have their attention!
I really like your decor, choice of colours. Nicely put together.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/23/17 11:17 AM

Ha, those guys have to see everything I am doing all the time. Thanks for the compliment!
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/24/17 02:25 PM

When I saw that nice white wall with the projector image my first thought was "keep the wall, zoom the image a bit larger for 2.35 and zoom back to where you have it for 16:9". Spend the $$ mounting some nice felt-covered shutters to give you a correctly sized screen for both aspect ratios.

I'm still doing that with my system, using a 4x8 sheet of Formica as a screen. In between the "super expensive screen" craze and the "mix your own paint" craze there was a brief "this particular Formica colour and texture is ideal for an HT screen" craze and that's when I got in.

A 4x8 sheet is too narrow for 2.35 and too wide for 16:9, so "I'm too lazy to cut it" becomes "I believe in constant-area projection"... although I really should remove the barcode sticker. It's down in one corner though, and neither image size illuminates it.

EDIT - on second thought never mind, when I think about how it would look in the room that's a pretty decent size already.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/25/17 06:31 PM

I actually started rethinking the black wall. I just painted the inside of the alcove that will hold my equipment rack and the black shows every smudge/fingerprint. It might not be great for a wall, especially if my nieces/nephews are running around. They have a habit of putting their hands on the wall...lol. Looking back at my pictures, the light gray walls did not seem to reflect that much light. It might be better to paint the screen wall a dark gray, at least it will be easier to keep clean. I haven't decided yet, still mulling it over. Then there is the whole screen issue. Do I go gray, white, ARL...hmmm

I at least decided on the projector I am getting, Epson Home Cinema 5040UB. Unless, they come out with something better between now and the time I am ready to purchase it...lol.

Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/25/17 08:36 PM

I would be more worried about little hands on the screen than on the painted black wall.

My previous theater space had a black screen wall. I can't remember what type of black paint, but I am pretty sure that I probably went with a flat black. It is pretty dull and hides things well. Might be an option... or an electrified kid-sized fence.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/25/17 08:41 PM

My front wall (behind the screen) is called Leather Jacket black I believe. I think I also used flat, which is easy to touch up, but does show any smudges and scuff marks easily. The rest of the walls I believe I used a satin which is easy to clean up with a damp cloth. Luckily nobody normally goes near the front wall as you have to climb around my front stage; m80s, 2 ep350s, and vp180.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/26/17 04:16 AM

Its your home. Do what you want and tell your bro/sis to keep their kids off your stuff.... Else yell at their kids or keep em out. If they are on your walls what about the speakers?

Own your realm man! laugh. I like kids, but damn.

Rant over
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/29/17 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Its your home. Do what you want and tell your bro/sis to keep their kids off your stuff.... Else yell at their kids or keep em out. If they are on your walls what about the speakers?

Own your realm man! laugh. I like kids, but damn.

Rant over


Haha, totally agree. Which is why the wall is now black...



I finished the second coat of paint this weekend. I might do one more coat on the screen wall, but otherwise, the painting is complete. The drop ceiling is scheduled to be installed this Saturday too. In the meantime, I have video, audio, and internet wires to run....my favorite part smile.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/30/17 04:26 PM

laugh Looks great. I was hoping you wouldnt take it heavy. Just teasin'. smile
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/31/17 03:29 PM

Ha, not at all. However, it was a PITA to paint, took three coats to get it nice and even. I'm hoping they don't mark it up when hanging the drop ceiling...lol.

I picked up my pots for the lights yesterday too. Going with four 6" pots on each side of the beam. Bought cheap LED fixtures for now, but I will probably end up switching over to Lifx or Hue bulbs so I can create scenes with different colors.

I also need to stop by the floor place and pick something out. Going with a dark-colored luxury vinyl plank.
Posted by: cb919

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/31/17 04:38 PM

The colored light scenes are pretty effective. I added the Hue bulbs on a whim with some gift money a while back and now find them as much practical as whimsical.
I have them set to certain scenes with the Harmony activities, and also have them on Siri voice control for quick adjustments as needed. Green for golf mode on PS4, dim candlelight for movie mode etc... And when powering off activities with the Harmony, they come back to bright white so you can see your way out of the HT - & find the spilled popcorn that the dog missed grin

You mentioned voice control earlier in this thread - what do you control by voice?

Cheers,
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 01/31/17 09:14 PM

Originally Posted By cb919
The colored light scenes are pretty effective. I added the Hue bulbs on a whim with some gift money a while back and now find them as much practical as whimsical.
I have them set to certain scenes with the Harmony activities, and also have them on Siri voice control for quick adjustments as needed. Green for golf mode on PS4, dim candlelight for movie mode etc... And when powering off activities with the Harmony, they come back to bright white so you can see your way out of the HT - & find the spilled popcorn that the dog missed grin

You mentioned voice control earlier in this thread - what do you control by voice?

Cheers,


Right now I am running a combination of devices, all working together via a smarthings hub. I have an echo in most rooms that I use for voice control. I can't recommend the smartthings hub enough. It's totally open source and the community is very active, so you can get all sorts of devices working together that were never intended too. For example, if my backyard gate opens when I am not home, my Sonos can do text to speech via my pool speakers. Right now I have it saying, "Intruder, this property is under surveillance. If you do not have permission to be here, please leave immediately." It scared the crap out of my landscape guy the first few times...lol.

So I finished running speaker wire for my fronts and holy crap does that black wall mark easy. I may have to paint it again by the time everything is done..ha. Besides that, I need to start thinking about my speakers and I can use some advice.

I was originally planning 7.1, but I want to explore the possibility of atmos too. I'm not sure if it is even possible or favorable in my room layout. I have no left wall, so my left surround has to be mounted to the I-Beam, which is only going to put it a few inches away from the ceiling. I know this will work fine if I go 7.1 with QS8s, but I imagine it would not provide enough separation from the height channels. Thoughts? Should I go 7.1, 7.1.4, 7.1.2, 5.1.2, 5.1.4? What do you think would provide the best experience in my room size/layout?
Posted by: cb919

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/01/17 12:08 PM

Sorry I have no opinion on your room setup. I'm very happy with my 7.1 setup and satisfy my upgradeitis itch through various technology upgrades like speakers, components, lights, automation etc... So far that has saved me from renovating my HT for Atmos and the like.

Just to confirm you are using the Samsung smartthings hub (https://www.smartthings.com/)?
I've so far gone down the road of Harmony, Philips Hue bulbs & Nest. Will this hub work with those devices? (I don't see them specifically listed on the web page).

Thanks. And good luck with that black wall and the drop ceiling install!
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/01/17 02:44 PM

5.1.4
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/01/17 02:47 PM

5.6 its all about DA BASS
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/01/17 11:02 PM

It's still .1
Lol

Edit: its the one thing in audio I think people would get behind unanimously.
We all know its 1 channel so let the number represent the individual powered sub count.

Edit 2: then I would vote 5.4.6 for him

Edit 3: and 5.4.6 for me. I think it would be lots and done right I can't see wanting anything more.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/01/17 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By cb919
Sorry I have no opinion on your room setup. I'm very happy with my 7.1 setup and satisfy my upgradeitis itch through various technology upgrades like speakers, components, lights, automation etc... So far that has saved me from renovating my HT for Atmos and the like.

Just to confirm you are using the Samsung smartthings hub (https://www.smartthings.com/)?
I've so far gone down the road of Harmony, Philips Hue bulbs & Nest. Will this hub work with those devices? (I don't see them specifically listed on the web page).

Thanks. And good luck with that black wall and the drop ceiling install!


That's the one and I have all the devices you listed as well. They work great with the hub.

nickboul, if you are reading this I've seen some great speaker placement recommendations from you in the past. Any advice?
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/02/17 12:22 AM

I did a quick 7.1 layout (didn't include the sub in the drawing). Don't really think atmos is going to work, as I don't have a lot of mounting options for the surrounds...



Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/02/17 01:13 AM

What are you using the rest of this room for?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/02/17 09:24 AM

Yeah, with your surrounds up as high as they are, I am not sure that you would get much benefit from going to Atmos. I understand that the left surround is the problem.

The closest that I think that you could come to any sort of Atmos install would be a 7.1.2 implimentation with the X.X.2 being 2 speakers in/on the ceiling about half way between the fronts and side surrounds. Even then, the sound of something flying overhead would elevate nicely as it was coming towards you, but by the time it got to those overheads, it would already be mixing/blending with the QS surrounds and starting to diffuse.

It would be better than no overheads there, but I think that the impact would be minimal. If the front left side wall was a bit deeper, I would say you could look at 9.1 with front wides. You could mount them so that they are between the front L/R and side surrounds, and just split the difference in height (half way between the height of the fronts and the side surround). You would have to set your receiver to "upmix" movies to use those wides, but it would give you a "similarly better" but still "different" impact compared to a 7.1.2 Atmos setup. Tough setup for anything more than 7.1, but 7.1 when done right will still sound great, and a LOT better than most people with their large flat-screens and sound bars.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/02/17 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By brwsaw
What are you using the rest of this room for?


Mostly for watching movies and gaming. But I will use it for entertaining friends and family as well.

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Yeah, with your surrounds up as high as they are, I am not sure that you would get much benefit from going to Atmos. I understand that the left surround is the problem.

The closest that I think that you could come to any sort of Atmos install would be a 7.1.2 implimentation with the X.X.2 being 2 speakers in/on the ceiling about half way between the fronts and side surrounds. Even then, the sound of something flying overhead would elevate nicely as it was coming towards you, but by the time it got to those overheads, it would already be mixing/blending with the QS surrounds and starting to diffuse.

It would be better than no overheads there, but I think that the impact would be minimal. If the front left side wall was a bit deeper, I would say you could look at 9.1 with front wides. You could mount them so that they are between the front L/R and side surrounds, and just split the difference in height (half way between the height of the fronts and the side surround). You would have to set your receiver to "upmix" movies to use those wides, but it would give you a "similarly better" but still "different" impact compared to a 7.1.2 Atmos setup. Tough setup for anything more than 7.1, but 7.1 when done right will still sound great, and a LOT better than most people with their large flat-screens and sound bars.


I was thinking the same thing; but was hoping someone has better ideas than me...lol. I guess I will just start off with a good 7.1 and maybe try adding the two speakers in the ceiling between the fronts and the side surrounds down the road. Should definitely sound good, but it's probably at the point of diminishing returns with my surround locations.

What about front heights, as in directly above the front towers. Wasn't that a thing before atmos came along? I have been out of the home theater world for few years.

On a side note, the drop ceiling materials were delivered today. I also had all the wiring for the cans completed. I had them hung with staples temporarily, the drop ceiling guy can put them in their final position once the grid is installed. He's coming Saturday, so I really need to finish my speaker runs! I'll be up late tomorrow...lol.


Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/02/17 11:25 PM

I only ask because I'd turn everything 90į (if the rest of the room wasnt already earmarked for a pool table, table tennis, etc).
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/03/17 05:06 PM

Originally Posted By brwsaw
I only ask because I'd turn everything 90į (if the rest of the room wasnt already earmarked for a pool table, table tennis, etc).


I originally thought of that, but the room shape and the I-Beam would make speakers and project placement very difficult.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/03/17 05:08 PM

Got some floor samples....

Think I like the middle one best. That or the one farthest to the right.

Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/03/17 06:24 PM

No tamper proof. Bad boy. smile
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/04/17 01:51 AM

I hate our TP outlets, not as much as the arc fault breakers that false trip, but it seems like unless the plug you are putting in is perfectly straight, you can't get anything to go into the plugs. I could see if we had little kids that I would be more concerned, but even that can't protect against everything.

When I was, let's say, old enough to know better, but not old enough to stay home by myself (maybe 8 years old), I was told that "before you (my sister and I) go to bed, please turn off the Christmas lights." Well, one light was plugged in behind a piano and I couldn't reach it (I had no idea that there was a switch on the cord). Anyway, I grabbed a butter knife and started prying the plug out. A few tries and BAM! Big flash of light, and I got knocked backwards and passed out.

My parents still have the knife and the melted notch in it. If they would have had TP outlets back in about 1980, it still wouldn't have protected "creative" kids like me. LOL
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/04/17 05:47 AM

Yeah they are a pain. smile

I'm not on the resi side, but I was told arc faults are now required for all ccts in a dwelling! Crazy. Somebody choosing code rules is getting a payoff somewhere. The corruption of safety.....
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/04/17 01:34 PM

I always thought that touching a hot stove element and having your fingers touching the prongs as you plug something in were part of growing up. Made you understand that there might be something worth considering in all that safety nagging.

I saw the process happen in reverse when my father was working on our old black and white TV (I was maybe 12 at the time). I mentioned that the HV line to the CRT was dangerous**, my father acknowledged it, but at one point while turning to look outside the TV his elbow brushed the junction point where the line went into the CRT and he came flying out into the hallway.

No permanent damage other than pride and me being forbidden to work on the TV myself.

** (the library had great collections of electronics hobbyist magazines and my parents found the $$ to get a Popular Electronics subscription for me)
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/05/17 02:41 PM

Oh man, I hate the tamper proof outlets. I did an addition a few years ago and all the new outlets had to be tamper proofs. One of these days I am going to change them all.

So yesterday was a busy day! I finished running all of the audio, video, and data wires. I only ran enough speaker wire for 7.1. I wanted to try an atmos setup, but it's not conducive to my space. Maybe down the line, I will try adding two heights in between the side surrounds and front speakers as you suggested Nickbuol. But for now, nothing wrong with a good 7.1 setup.



The drop ceiling was installed yesterday too. It came out great.



I also installed my doors. It was the first time I ever installed one too. I think they came out pretty good. They are not perfect, but they meet the tolerances of any other door in my house. So that's good enough for me.



Oh, picked out and paid for the floors too! They will be installed on the 16th. Went with hartford looselay by Karndean. It's held in place with friction, no glue or clicking in required. So it's very forgiving to poor floor surfaces and easy to maintain.

This week I just need to do a few paint touch up on the walls. Hopefully for the last time! I also want to get my rack installed. Otherwise, it's just trim after the floors are down and the room is done. I can then focus on the best part...equipment. laugh
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/05/17 07:42 PM

With that ceiling I would assume adding Atmos speakers later should not be to difficult. Looking nice!
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/06/17 04:12 PM

Nice work! Casings and baseboards are my favourite part....not.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/07/17 10:13 AM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Nice work! Casings and baseboards are my favourite part....not.


Thanks! Yeah, I'm not a fan either...lol. I might even hire someone for the trim work, haven't decided yet. However, I did decide on painting the doors black. I think it will help to tie everything together.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/07/17 11:39 AM

So I spent a little time this morning reading into Atmos again. 7.1.4 or 7.1.2 is out of the question as not having a left wall forces me to mount my sides and rears to the ceiling. HOWEVER, it looks like 5.1.4 is a real possibility, as the surrounds are placed in the rear corners. I can easily place two bookshelves on stands behind my seating area without them getting in the way. I can then install the four height surrounds in the ceiling with the separation I need from the regular surrounds.

What do you think? Do you think 5.1.4 would be a better experience than 7.1? Have any of you experienced both of them to make a call? I only have experience with 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1...lol.

Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/08/17 12:43 AM

I've read that 5.1.4 is "better" than 7.1, but don't have any experience with it.

That being said, I wouldn't go by that image from Dolby. There are a lot of other "real world" tweaking and testing that people have done. Normally in a 5.1 setup, the surrounds are on the sides, but Dolby does have that right by putting them a little further back, although you could argue that their diagram is misleading as the speakers are closer to the 110* mark, if not a hair more but their line makes it look like they are in the middle between 90* and 110*.

So that is good still where they are at. I would nudge, ever so slightly the rear overheads in a touch and forward a smidge. In more than forward. Still keep them behind the listening area, and outside to the right and left, but closer to being more overhead (I said "closer to" not "make them overhead").

Next I would bump the front overheads (Speakers #6) closer to the fronts. This will allow for better DTS:X playback as well as help to "fill the gap" between the main front soundstage and the rest of the speakers.

Minor tweaks, but it is workable more so than a 7.1.2 setup.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/09/17 09:02 PM

Thanks Nick. I'll try calling around the local electronic stores and see if any of them have an atmos demo setup. I called axiom and talked to a women from tech support for awhile and she said she hasn't experienced atmos, but prefers the QS8s over direct firing surrounds. However, I know that is against Dolby's suggestions. Man, this decision is harder than I thought. Too many options...lol.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/09/17 09:11 PM

Well yeah, for "regular" surround, the QS speakers are an amazing design.
Posted by: brendo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/10/17 05:04 PM

There's a couple people here in this forum that have their Qs still as the lower surrounds in their systems with quite good success.
As from what I've read on Atmos. the height is the most important as a monopole. Due to the making of a "bubble" or a more vast prime listening seat. With the over heads directed towards the general area it supposedly can make a whole couch the prime zone.

I myself am still going from monopole to the Qs10 with my 7.1 finally!
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/10/17 06:50 PM

Nicks suggestions are all pretty much on mark from my experience. Actually, take his adjustments, and take a second couch and put it behind that couch in the picture and you have my setup. My ceiling speakers were not put in line with the fronts due to pot lights, and hvac, and other things in the way. They are closer to the couch and it works well.

MY setup is 5.1.4 (technically i have 3 subs) but I am using qs8's. For now. The reality is my amp can't do 7.1.4 and until the new hdmi spec is out, I'm not replacing it. The QS8's work well with a two row setup in 5.1.4 because you can put them between the two rows, and they fire at both. Matter of fact, I'd consider this better then using direct firing in a 5.1.4 setup with two rows because in a direct firing 5.1.4 where are you putting the rears so both rows can hear them? Ideally with two rows you want 7.1.4 all direct firing and that is my goal by end of the year....have some other more important life stuff to take care of first.

My experience with a 5.1.4 setup is do not put the front tops too far away from your seating position. For some reason most movies don't mix to the fronts as much as the rears. I find I had to bump the volume on my fronts way up just to hear them right. Axioms new aimable tweeter design certainly helped too.

Anyone new to Atmos will be quickly shocked at how little most movies even use the tops. Deepwater Horizon just came out, and is a great Atmos movie that uses the tops correctly. San Andreas is a movie that sounds great, but there is almost no top sounds at all. Big discussion on AVS about SA. Many said I was wrong, then I said sit and listen with just the tops on and there is a few sounds in the beginning, then like 30mins passed and nothing, then another little blurp....and more silence. Studios are still figuring out Atmos.

The most important rule of Atmos though is put all your speakers at ear level. It flat out doesn't work if your ceiling and surrounds are close together. Oh and I have no experience with the up-firing modules, did not even want to waste the time and money to try.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/13/17 04:41 AM

Just a "quick" note as it is 3:30am and I really should be in bed.

I've never heard anyone say that the overhead speakers in Atmos are the only ones that really are important for Atmos.

Again, my suggestions are to hit the "best optimal target" from there compromises have to be made for just about every room. Some people ARE using QS speakers for the bed layer (not overhead) speakers and having what I would call an "improved experience" with Atmos vs. without the overheads, but it is still a compromise in what Atmos is capable of.

Think of it this way. You have lasers instead of sound waves coming out of monopole speakers and you can get very accurate placement of sounds within a 3D space with lasers. Now replace 2 (or 4 depending on how many QS speakers) of those single directional lasers with 4 lasers each pointing into 4 different directions each. You can somewhat pinpoint some sounds, but you are also spraying into 2 or 3 other undesirable directions. It just messes with the 3D placement. Not impossible, because you still have other correctly oriented lasers helping to drive the location in the room, but the "noise" from the "QS spray pattern" that is so great with traditional surround sound is messing up the accuracy of what Atmos is trying to do.

Again, it is a compromise, and yes people are doing it and really liking it, but it isn't that they are liking the QS speakers in an Atmos setup, they are liking the addition of 2 or 4 precise overhead speakers being added to fill in more of the soundscape in their room. Little do they know that they are not hitting all of the potential.

Also, the idea of putting a QS speaker between the 1st and 2nd row of seats on the left and right side was something that I toyed with too. It seemed like a great way to have a single speaker play back side surround information to both rows, however you are still spraying sound up and down in that scenario which again isn't ideal. Since Axiom doesn't make bipole speakers (the only type that really would fit that scenario) and the quadpole is spraying everywhere, monopole is still the ideal path.

But again, compromises are made every day and people can still have an enjoyable experience.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/14/17 08:05 PM

Originally Posted By newf
Nicks suggestions are all pretty much on mark from my experience. Actually, take his adjustments, and take a second couch and put it behind that couch in the picture and you have my setup. My ceiling speakers were not put in line with the fronts due to pot lights, and hvac, and other things in the way. They are closer to the couch and it works well.

MY setup is 5.1.4 (technically i have 3 subs) but I am using qs8's. For now. The reality is my amp can't do 7.1.4 and until the new hdmi spec is out, I'm not replacing it. The QS8's work well with a two row setup in 5.1.4 because you can put them between the two rows, and they fire at both. Matter of fact, I'd consider this better then using direct firing in a 5.1.4 setup with two rows because in a direct firing 5.1.4 where are you putting the rears so both rows can hear them? Ideally with two rows you want 7.1.4 all direct firing and that is my goal by end of the year....have some other more important life stuff to take care of first.

My experience with a 5.1.4 setup is do not put the front tops too far away from your seating position. For some reason most movies don't mix to the fronts as much as the rears. I find I had to bump the volume on my fronts way up just to hear them right. Axioms new aimable tweeter design certainly helped too.

Anyone new to Atmos will be quickly shocked at how little most movies even use the tops. Deepwater Horizon just came out, and is a great Atmos movie that uses the tops correctly. San Andreas is a movie that sounds great, but there is almost no top sounds at all. Big discussion on AVS about SA. Many said I was wrong, then I said sit and listen with just the tops on and there is a few sounds in the beginning, then like 30mins passed and nothing, then another little blurp....and more silence. Studios are still figuring out Atmos.

The most important rule of Atmos though is put all your speakers at ear level. It flat out doesn't work if your ceiling and surrounds are close together. Oh and I have no experience with the up-firing modules, did not even want to waste the time and money to try.


Thanks for the info. I am going to have the same issues with my pot lights. I may have to place the speakers in less than ideal locations. However, the bigger issue is how I am going to mount them. My tiles are soft fiberglass. I can maybe screw some strapping to the sides of the speakers and mount them to the joists. Not really sure, it's another issue I have been thinking about.

Your statement about the tops rarely getting used also makes me wonder if it's worth the trouble. It would be a lot easier for me to mount four QS8s on the walls near the ceiling. I can then do 7.1 instead of 5.1.4.

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Just a "quick" note as it is 3:30am and I really should be in bed.

I've never heard anyone say that the overhead speakers in Atmos are the only ones that really are important for Atmos.

Again, my suggestions are to hit the "best optimal target" from there compromises have to be made for just about every room. Some people ARE using QS speakers for the bed layer (not overhead) speakers and having what I would call an "improved experience" with Atmos vs. without the overheads, but it is still a compromise in what Atmos is capable of.

Think of it this way. You have lasers instead of sound waves coming out of monopole speakers and you can get very accurate placement of sounds within a 3D space with lasers. Now replace 2 (or 4 depending on how many QS speakers) of those single directional lasers with 4 lasers each pointing into 4 different directions each. You can somewhat pinpoint some sounds, but you are also spraying into 2 or 3 other undesirable directions. It just messes with the 3D placement. Not impossible, because you still have other correctly oriented lasers helping to drive the location in the room, but the "noise" from the "QS spray pattern" that is so great with traditional surround sound is messing up the accuracy of what Atmos is trying to do.

Again, it is a compromise, and yes people are doing it and really liking it, but it isn't that they are liking the QS speakers in an Atmos setup, they are liking the addition of 2 or 4 precise overhead speakers being added to fill in more of the soundscape in their room. Little do they know that they are not hitting all of the potential.

Also, the idea of putting a QS speaker between the 1st and 2nd row of seats on the left and right side was something that I toyed with too. It seemed like a great way to have a single speaker play back side surround information to both rows, however you are still spraying sound up and down in that scenario which again isn't ideal. Since Axiom doesn't make bipole speakers (the only type that really would fit that scenario) and the quadpole is spraying everywhere, monopole is still the ideal path.

But again, compromises are made every day and people can still have an enjoyable experience.


Thanks Nick! What do you mean by bed layer? Are you referring to the back four channels in a 7.1 setup? Are you saying people are playing Atmos over a typical 5.1/7.1 one setup without any additional top speakers? If that is the case I can test that out in my living room. I recently upgraded to 4k and picked up a Vizio P series and Denon X3300. That receiver supports Atmos. I can stop at BestBuy this weekend and buy a few Atmos enabled movies and give it a try. My living room is 6.1 and I have the QS8s mounted on the ceiling, it's very similar to what I was planning to do in the basement. I imagine I just change the speaker types in the settings? It's worth a try at least.


On a side note, I managed to get a few things done over the weekend. I came up with a solution to my clean out plug. Found a flush sitting compression plug and ground down the concrete a bit. I then cut a small circle out of plexiglass to put over top. The whole thing sits perfectly flush with the floor and the vinyl planks will go right over top. When I need access, I just pick up the plank. I am planning to do the same thing with my back sump pump. However, the sump pump has a plexiglass lid, so I had the welding instructor at my school make me one out of 1/4 stainless steel plate. Should be ready tomorrow. I can then lay the vinyl right over it and remove it when I need access. Sooooo happy I found that non-glue/non-locking looselay vinyl plan. It solved a lot of small issues for me smile.



I painted the doors. I was unsure of the black at first, but I like the way it came out. I think it ties the ceiling with the walls together. Not sure if I will paint the trim white or black though. I'll see once it gets installed.



I installed the rack as well. I was nervous about my clearances as I never really done construction of this level before, but thankfully it fit like a glove. I made a quick gif of its slide out and rotation feature. It's going to make wiring nice and easy! Besides that, floors are getting installed this Thursday. Can't wait to see how they come out!





Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/14/17 09:47 PM

"Bed layer" is basically "everything but overheads" so all of the speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 setup if you ignored the overhead Atmos...

The term Bed Layer is also applicable to DTS:X and Auro 3D speaker layouts, and in those configurations is again anything in a traditional surround setup without any "height layer" or "overhead" speakers.

Nice progress by the way.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/15/17 05:49 PM

Okay cool, I'll give it a whirl with my living room setup and see how it sounds. I have a few 4k blu-rays, but all are Dolby HD or DTS HD, definitely need to stop at BestBuy and see what's avialable with Atmos.

Got a phone call today too, the floor material hasn't arrived. Have to reschedule the install for next week. cry
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/15/17 10:16 PM

Once you go Atmos, you don't go back. Building anything new now without considering Atmos....is a mistake imho. Buy direct firing speakers for your surrounds, take nicks advice. It's a different train of thought with Atmmos. You have to drop what you knew about 5.1 and 7.1. You don't put surrounds up high, you don't buy bipole or quadpole anymore, you don't need great big towers up front. The laser metaphor is a great way to think about it all. Atmos works in a 3d space, each speaker is your laser, it needs to be accurate to get the full effect. In a perfect room every speaker would be identical, but who can do that? More and more movies are moving to Atmos. There's no way I'd go back.....and I have the same Rack..love it.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/16/17 05:45 PM

I upgraded my sump pump cover today. The plastic sump pit will cave in before that lid breaks. Now I can place the vinyl planks right over it without building a cabinet. I wouldn't go jumping on it, but it's in the rear corner, behind the couch. I will mostly likely place a bookshelf over it anyway.



Originally Posted By newf
Once you go Atmos, you don't go back. Building anything new now without considering Atmos....is a mistake imho. Buy direct firing speakers for your surrounds, take nicks advice. It's a different train of thought with Atmmos. You have to drop what you knew about 5.1 and 7.1. You don't put surrounds up high, you don't buy bipole or quadpole anymore, you don't need great big towers up front. The laser metaphor is a great way to think about it all. Atmos works in a 3d space, each speaker is your laser, it needs to be accurate to get the full effect. In a perfect room every speaker would be identical, but who can do that? More and more movies are moving to Atmos. There's no way I'd go back.....and I have the same Rack..love it.


How does 5.1/7.1 sound up-mixed to Dolby Surround and DTS Neural: X sound? Does it use the height channels effectively? I stream most of my content from either online providers or my own server. So outside the occasional blu-ray I buy, most of my content will not be atmos enabled.

I am really having a hard time deciding. Because I am missing that left wall I only have two options, 5.1.4 or 7.1. They require totally different speakers and I hate to pick one and not enjoy it as much as the other....ugh.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/16/17 05:57 PM

What about building a pony wall with your surround left channel on one side and nice shelving for media or whatever on the other. Pin it on top of your finished floor and you can remove it later with little hassle.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/16/17 06:32 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
What about building a pony wall with your surround left channel on one side and nice shelving for media or whatever on the other. Pin it on top of your finished floor and you can remove it later with little hassle.


Hmmm, not a bad idea. I'll see what stuff looks like once the floor is in and I move the couch downstairs. Floors have been rescheduled to next week.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/16/17 06:41 PM

Since your space has fairly modern finishes, you can just buy aa nice shelf, put a false back in it and cut your speaker into the side facing your theater. Then you dont have to pin it down or go through the hassle of hiding seams on your pony wall with trim.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/16/17 08:28 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
What about building a pony wall with your surround left channel on one side and nice shelving for media or whatever on the other. Pin it on top of your finished floor and you can remove it later with little hassle.


Dont you have some speakers your suppose to be building. grin
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/24/17 11:12 AM

Floors and carpet were installed yesterday. Came out great!





Going to move my living room couch downstairs tomorrow. We are replacing it with a Lovesac sactional in my living room. If my wife and I really like it, we will probably buy another set for the basement. But for now, the old couch gets recycled so I can buy speakers...lol.

With that said, I finally decided to go for atmos. I spent the past few days reading about 5.1/7.1 being upmixed to atmos and everything was positive. That sealed the deal for me.

I'll post some pictures of my ceiling grid once the couch is downstairs for some feedback on the height channel placement. Also, what about the fronts? I know ideally an atmos setup should be using the same speakers for all channels, but M3's would look so minuscule in front for my FCL channels. I would prefer to have m60s and a vp160. Would that be determinantal to the setup or would it still sound great?
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/24/17 12:17 PM

You can do that just fine for Atmos. Yes M3's all around would be the best atmos setup but I still believe in a proper center. And bookshelves in the rear is usually not practical.

M3's in ceilings for tops. Aim the tweeters to where you sit smile. M60's/vp160 up front, and go with a direct firing speaker in the rear like on wall or in wall...not qs8's. IMPORTANT - Keep the rear's at ear level. It'll sound great.

...and post pics! Room starting to look really good.

Looking at your pics, I'm thinking you are going to have the same issue I had, my pot lights are where my top speakers should be. I had to being them closer in, and it's not ideal.



Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/24/17 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By Newf
You can do that just fine for Atmos. Yes M3's all around would be the best atmos setup but I still believe in a proper center. And bookshelves in the rear is usually not practical.

M3's in ceilings for tops. Aim the tweeters to where you sit smile. M60's/vp160 up front, and go with a direct firing speaker in the rear like on wall or in wall...not qs8's. IMPORTANT - Keep the rear's at ear level. It'll sound great.

...and post pics! Room starting to look really good.

Looking at your pics, I'm thinking you are going to have the same issue I had, my pot lights are where my top speakers should be. I had to being them closer in, and it's not ideal.



Awesome, thanks for the feedback. You think I should put the m3's directly behind the couch on the rear wall? I was going to get bookshelves on stands and place them in the corners like the 5.1.4 atmos recommended setup. Then aim them at the couch. If I ever decide to go 7.1.4 I can slide them to the sides of the couch and buy another pair for the rear. However, the rear wall is only like 2' from the back of the couch, might not even be worth it.

You are right with the height channels, the rear pots are in the perfect location for the rear heights. However, I could just slide the couch forward. I'll post more pictures tomorrow and see what everyone thinks. Thanks again for all the help!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/24/17 02:25 PM

I have M60 fronts, VP180 center, and M3s for the 4 surrounds and 4 overheads. It works out really well.

For a 5.1.4 setup, I would put the 3 up front like normal, and the 2 surrounds should be to your sides slightly behind the listeners' heads.

The reasons for this are: 1) in a 5.1 setup, the surrounds are side surrounds, not rears, 2) if you place them directly to the sides of the listening areas, someone's head will block that side surround. By putting slightly behind, then there are no heads blocking the sound. Dispersion from the speakers should cover the listening area just fine.

Then just make a "box" around your listening area and put the overheads in those positions. In an Atmos 5.1.4 setup, the rear overheads can be slightly further back from the couch than the fronts are in front of the couch as you have almost no sound energy coming from back there.

If you want an Atmos/DTS:X setup (and why not, right?) Then you want to push the front overheads and rear overheads out a little more than Dolby spec. There IS an overlap between the Atmos and DTS:X spec, and you want to put them into that space. This holds true for 5.1.4 and 7.1.4

For a 7.1.4 setup, then I highly recommend putting the side surrounds slightly in front of the listening area. By slightly, we are talking 6-18 inches. Then the rears should go on the back wall, not in the corners, but more inline with the front L/R speakers. The reason for the side surrounds being slightly in front of the listening area are the same as above with not having one person's head blocking sound, but since you also have dedicated rear speakers, and rear overheads, putting the side surround forward just a touch helps to fill in the "gap" that exists between the front left/right speaker and the side surrounds. In many rooms, this gap is pretty big. That is why a lot of people liked the option of using front wide speakers when that because available years ago. It won't mess anything up, and works out very well even without Atmos/DTS:X content playing. There have been tons of real world tests and experiments on AVS about putting side surrounds forward of the listening space well before immersive audio even existed and the consensus is that it is a better/smoother soundfield.
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/24/17 02:54 PM

Originally Posted By mikecoscia
Originally Posted By Newf
You can do that just fine for Atmos. Yes M3's all around would be the best atmos setup but I still believe in a proper center. And bookshelves in the rear is usually not practical.

M3's in ceilings for tops. Aim the tweeters to where you sit smile. M60's/vp160 up front, and go with a direct firing speaker in the rear like on wall or in wall...not qs8's. IMPORTANT - Keep the rear's at ear level. It'll sound great.

...and post pics! Room starting to look really good.

Looking at your pics, I'm thinking you are going to have the same issue I had, my pot lights are where my top speakers should be. I had to being them closer in, and it's not ideal.



Awesome, thanks for the feedback. You think I should put the m3's directly behind the couch on the rear wall? I was going to get bookshelves on stands and place them in the corners like the 5.1.4 atmos recommended setup. Then aim them at the couch. If I ever decide to go 7.1.4 I can slide them to the sides of the couch and buy another pair for the rear. However, the rear wall is only like 2' from the back of the couch, might not even be worth it.

You are right with the height channels, the rear pots are in the perfect location for the rear heights. However, I could just slide the couch forward. I'll post more pictures tomorrow and see what everyone thinks. Thanks again for all the help!


As usual, me and Nick are in agreement.

AS for the bookshelves on stands...if you got the room...yeah. If I had the room, I'd do it. But my room is too narrow. Your idea will work fine. One thing with stands you can play with placement a lot easier. And bookshelves will sound way better than onwalls every time.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 09:14 PM

Thanks guys! I am definitely going to go with 5.1.4 first. It is definitely easier, as I would have to get very creative with the side sides in a 7.1.4 setup. Not to mention, my couch is not very far from the wall, so rears might not benefit me anyway.

I moved my old couch into the basement today and took a few pictures. I marked speaker locations in red with what I think is the best locations. The room is only 10' wide and the couch around 90", so I can't put the heights too far off to the sides. The rear heights will also only be about a foot or two away from the rear bookshelves. Take a look and tell me what you think....




Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 09:17 PM

Oh and in case you were wondering, here is the lovesac sactional that replaced my couch. I like it a lot. Definitely, think I am going to buy another for the theater eventually.

Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 09:45 PM

Like a little ewok
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 10:35 PM

Cute little bugger. The speaker layout looks good to my eyes and should be more than adequate.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 10:55 PM

Originally Posted By brwsaw
Like a little ewok


Originally Posted By Socketman
Cute little bugger. The speaker layout looks good to my eyes and should be more than adequate.


Thanks. I know the rear heights are close to being overhead, but if I move them back they are directly over the rear speakers. I was unsure if I should move the front heights one panel closer to the screen to fill in the gap to the fronts speakers. But, it seems pretty close to dolby spec the way I drew it. Then again, I will probably be using DTS:X the majority of the time for it's upmixing of 5.1/7.1.

Yeah they are pretty damn cute and get away with murder because of it. That opening under the stairs will eventually turn into the image below for them. We are a bit obsessed, but I guess having dogs and no kids will do that to you...lol.


Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 11:37 PM

Nope its normal for a lot of dog owners, my girl is medium size but she gets to sleep on the bed and is spoiled though she is not allowed on furniture.

I think you need to understand that these are only guidelines set out by dolby and there is some room for change based on personal situations.I suspect part of the setup routine makes corrections for speaker placement during the measurements. I mean the speakers need to be in the same room not out on the porch lol.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/25/17 11:56 PM

Ours sleep with us as well. The brown guy, Chewie, actually needs to be under the covers and nestled next to my wife's stomach every night. He refuses to sleep anywhere else....lol.

I tend to get a little crazy with stuff...I also had waaay to much coffee tonight. Definitely not going to bed anytime soon. Just updated my sketchup drawings. The couch looks super far in the drawings for some reason, but the measurements are correct. I can probably slide it back 5-6 inches.


Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/26/17 12:35 AM

I wish coffee did that for me, just makes pee too much TMI LOL. Stick with the dogs, much smarter than kids and cheaper. Your overhead sketch is good but the other one has no perspective. What are the room dimensions again. I really thing its going to be a great expereince and you should stop fussing grin
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/26/17 10:29 AM

Not much to add other than the space is really looking sharp. I like all your choices so far. Nice work.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/26/17 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By Socketman
I wish coffee did that for me, just makes pee too much TMI LOL. Stick with the dogs, much smarter than kids and cheaper. Your overhead sketch is good but the other one has no perspective. What are the room dimensions again. I really thing its going to be a great expereince and you should stop fussing grin


That's the plan! No kids, more dogs...lol. The half with the theater is 10'x13.5'. Still learning sketchup, I have to figure out how to make the walls transparent when taking screenshots.

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Not much to add other than the space is really looking sharp. I like all your choices so far. Nice work.


Thank you!

I'm going to start trimming next week. Never did it before, so going to take my time. Since it is a basement I am probably going to go with PVC....just in case. Planning on ordering the speakers in about a week or two. Figuring out if I am going to do it in one shot or in phases as things are now going to start getting expensive...lol.

Oh BTW nickboul, any reason you went with a VP180 instead of a VP160? I thought the VP160 was better to pair up with the M60s.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/26/17 07:11 PM

Just a few comments. I like the 5.1.4 layout. It is too bad that the side surrounds couldn't be more, well, on the sides instead of back that far, but I think that Atmos calculations will work to surround you with great immersion since the overheads aren't directly over top of the surrounds. You should really like the effect.

As for the VP160 vs VP180 purchase....

When I pre-ordered the VP180 (for the special pre-order price) the VP160 wasn't even announced yet. So at the time, the only thing better than the VP150 was the VP180. Simple as that.

Funny thing is that when I pre-ordered, my current room wasn't even done. By the time I was ready to install speakers back into the room, the VP160 WAS out, but the return policy was gone, so I would have had to ship the VP180 back at my cost, get a "trade in" price for it, and have to buy the VP160. If I remember correctly, it would have cost me a few dollars to make the switch... Maybe $30-$50 total, plus the effort to do it.

I just kept the VP180 and never looked back. It does amazingly well, and my receivers that have powered it since I got it, both want to set it to a lower crossover than the other speakers (even the M60s) since it is so large. That allowed for great male vocal reproduction with my Onkyo receiver that I used to have, and now with the Anthem receiver it isn't as big of a deal since it does much more bass management, but again, it has not let me down.

If I knew that the VP160 was going to be coming back at the time, I would have probably bought that at the pre-order price and saved a couple hundred bucks and been just as happy.
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/27/17 07:56 AM

I would try to separate your front and rear tops a little more ideally, but it's all a compromise. Having the rears directly overhead is not ideal. You are at a huge advantage over my roof as I had solid ceiling. All else fails you can swap tiles.

As for the dogs - cute, and I totally understand. We have no kids and our dog is spoiled too! He's my buddie for sure.




Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/27/17 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By nickbuol
Just a few comments. I like the 5.1.4 layout. It is too bad that the side surrounds couldn't be more, well, on the sides instead of back that far, but I think that Atmos calculations will work to surround you with great immersion since the overheads aren't directly over top of the surrounds. You should really like the effect.

As for the VP160 vs VP180 purchase....

When I pre-ordered the VP180 (for the special pre-order price) the VP160 wasn't even announced yet. So at the time, the only thing better than the VP150 was the VP180. Simple as that.

Funny thing is that when I pre-ordered, my current room wasn't even done. By the time I was ready to install speakers back into the room, the VP160 WAS out, but the return policy was gone, so I would have had to ship the VP180 back at my cost, get a "trade in" price for it, and have to buy the VP160. If I remember correctly, it would have cost me a few dollars to make the switch... Maybe $30-$50 total, plus the effort to do it.

I just kept the VP180 and never looked back. It does amazingly well, and my receivers that have powered it since I got it, both want to set it to a lower crossover than the other speakers (even the M60s) since it is so large. That allowed for great male vocal reproduction with my Onkyo receiver that I used to have, and now with the Anthem receiver it isn't as big of a deal since it does much more bass management, but again, it has not let me down.

If I knew that the VP160 was going to be coming back at the time, I would have probably bought that at the pre-order price and saved a couple hundred bucks and been just as happy.


I know they should be closer to the sides, but really no way to do it optimally. But I figure this setup, would sound better than a traditional 7.1 with my four QS8s on the ceiling. At least I hope so, that is my only worry.

Originally Posted By Newf
I would try to separate your front and rear tops a little more ideally, but it's all a compromise. Having the rears directly overhead is not ideal. You are at a huge advantage over my roof as I had solid ceiling. All else fails you can swap tiles.

As for the dogs - cute, and I totally understand. We have no kids and our dog is spoiled too! He's my buddie for sure.


Cute little guy! I really can't move the rears heights back any further as they would be directly over the rear surrounds. However, I can easily move the front heights another tile closer to the front. I'll just run enough wire to let me move things around. I ran wire for 7.1 with QS8s near the ceilings in mind, so I have to rerun things anyway. Thank god for the drop ceiling!
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 02/28/17 02:20 PM

People who mount the rear surrounds high on walls are the only ones that need to worry about putting the ceiling top rears directly above them - which is wrong, I tried this as my qs8's were originally in that spot before adding ceiling m3's and it just doesn't work with Atmos. The most important thing is to keep your rear surrounds at ear level. Whether or not the top rears are above them isn't as big a deal. Your ear will be able to tell what is directly behind you, or directly behind and above. You have flexibility there to either move the fronts up, and move couch up a bit, or move rear's back a tile. Good luck
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/06/17 12:26 PM

Started installing the trim this weekend! Went with pvc instead of wood. I don't have water issues, but you never know. I attached it using construction adhesives and screws. Hopefully, I never need to take it off...lol. The screws came with these cool plugs to cover each hole. However, I am not a fan of how they look. Think I am just going to fill them, sand, and paint the trim.

Also, I knew the floor was not level, but you can really tell with the trim installed. There is one spot with almost a 1/2" gap! I was thinking about using quarter round, but it would be a pain to attach. I would have to use adhesives (metal studs). So it looks like I will be using a lot of caulk.

My wife likes the white, but I think it would look better in black. May just do it and hope for forgiveness later...lol. I still have to trim the doors as well. I will probably get that done during the week.

Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/06/17 07:00 PM

Looks good , though i agree grey or black, as for the gaps no will be lookin down there in the dark and black baseboards wont show the gap as bad.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/07/17 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By Socketman
Looks good , though i agree grey or black, as for the gaps no will be lookin down there in the dark and black baseboards wont show the gap as bad.


Good point! Maybe I'll just stuff some backer rod in there, it's black/gray anyway. Plus I can pull it out and remove a floor plank if I need too. Time to order speakers soon! I hope to order them next week. This is my current shopping cart....

M60 x2
VP160 x1
M3 Bookshelf x2
M3 In-Ceiling x4
EP600 x1
FMS160 Stand x1
FMS24 Stand x2

Getting everything from the factory outlet. Although they just upped the price of the factory outlet EP600, it was a few hundred cheaper last week....*sigh*

Posted by: BBIBH

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/07/17 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By mikecoscia
Although they just upped the price of the factory outlet EP600, it was a few hundred cheaper last week....*sigh*



There are 2 EP600's in the Refurb store, they would be a good buy.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/07/17 05:39 PM

A couple of years ago, I snagged a pair of EP-800s from the Refurb Store.

One of the best purchases that I've ever made & saved a bunch of bucks...

TAM
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/07/17 10:20 PM

Just seen an EP800 sell for $800 online. Was sold within a few days of the original post.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/08/17 08:31 AM

There are 2 EP600's in the Refurb store, they would be a good buy.[/quote]

Originally Posted By exlabdriver
A couple of years ago, I snagged a pair of EP-800s from the Refurb Store.

One of the best purchases that I've ever made & saved a bunch of bucks...

TAM


I'm always weary of buying refurbs. Are they in good shape or blemished? I also need my EP600 in the horizontal position. Going to place it behind the couch.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/08/17 12:09 PM

Axiom really goes over the products that get refurbished. It is made to perform as good as new, but since it isn't new they can't mark it as anything else.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/08/17 12:21 PM

My EP-800s were flawless visually (obviously well loved by the previous owner) & came with a 2 year warranty that hasn't been used in any way.

If there are blemishes, Axiom shows them on the listing so that you know what you are getting...

TAM
Posted by: Mojo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/08/17 01:46 PM

"Axiom really goes over the products that get refurbished. It is made to perform as good as new, but since it isn't new they can't mark it as anything else."

What is your definition of "new"? I very much doubt Axiom takes, say, an EP600v2 and makes sure it sounds like an EP600v2. First, what is an EP600v2? That version under-went many changes. Second, I doubt they've maintained the test jigs from the EP600v2.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/08/17 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo

What is your definition of "new"? I very much doubt Axiom takes, say, an EP600v2 and makes sure it sounds like an EP600v2. First, what is an EP600v2? That version under-went many changes. Second, I doubt they've maintained the test jigs from the EP600v2.


Actually, I spoke to Ian about this and he indicated that they measure against the measurements captured during the original development of the products. In that way, he baselined my AX3's against the original baselines.

With the advances in technologies, I am sure they can compare the performance quite easily, and adjust as required.
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/10/17 06:43 PM

Originally Posted By exlabdriver
My EP-800s were flawless visually (obviously well loved by the previous owner) & came with a 2 year warranty that hasn't been used in any way.

If there are blemishes, Axiom shows them on the listing so that you know what you are getting...

TAM


This is actually where I strongly disagree. Axiom does not do a good job at taking pictures of damaged areas. In fact a lot of the time the pics in the refurb area aren't even the speakers you'll be getting but instead a jpeg of the same model take from the product section of the web page. I had m22's that were clearly damaged more than the picture indicated... because there was no picture showing the damage. Same thing with a EP500 which was marked good but should have been scratch and dent, and my EP800 in pine - they had two on sale at the same time, both pine, both Ians old subs, one vertical, one horizontal but yet both ads showed the same vertical speaker and no pics of the damage. My EP800 clearly had damage on one side. I did get a set of Pine M3's and emailed in and got a description that was was accurate from Steve. Also got a M3's in maple that were marked good but honestly they were brand new and not a mark. It's not all doom and gloom but any web site selling ANYTHING with damage should clearly show it, and describe it.

Now functionally, all my refurbs were perfect. Heck my ep800 had new internals. No complaints there.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/10/17 07:46 PM

Shipping damage obviously. Isn't that always the case?
Posted by: Newf

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/10/17 08:35 PM

Originally Posted By Mojo
Shipping damage obviously. Isn't that always the case?

None of my speakers had shipping damage. Boxes all intact.

Goto the refurb area right now and notice how many items do not have REAL pictures yet alone zoomed in pics showing damage. You order anything there its a mystery of what you are getting and the "scratch or Dent" is. Each description is literally a copy pasted paragraph that is the same on every item there.

You buy something on Ebay, Kijiji, and classifieds, there are many REAL pics of what you are going to get. Matter of fact, on Ebay I won't buy anything that doesn't have a real pic.

This is not shipping damage....this is a speaker that had something stacked on it, or was stacked on something over time. I'm just saying, they can do better. Now in each case, Axiom took care of me, that is the important thing. But with better descriptions and pics, I would not have wasted any time ordering something too damaged for my liking.





Posted by: Mojo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/11/17 12:47 AM

You should be paying extra for scratches or dents. They decrease the enclosure's mass and lower the resonant frequency.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 12:56 PM

Quick update! I finally finished the majority of the trim, including filling and sanding in all the holes. All I have left is the dog house, which I should finish this weekend. This was another first for me, never trimmed and entire room. Some of my outside corners had gaps, which I assume is from the uneven floors and the walls not being perfectly square. However, I filled the gaps with plastic epoxy and rebuilt the corners with some clay tools. After a little sanding, they looked perfect.

The wife requested some area rugs to match the stairs, so I had those made up as well. Makes it cozy and helps with the cold floors.

Oh and I finally ordered the speakers yesterday smile. Ordered everything from the factory outlet...M60x2, M3 Bookshelvesx2, VP160, M3 In-Ceilingx4, EP600, FMS24 Standx2, and FMS160 Stand. Debbie said everything should ship out in a week or so.




Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 01:26 PM

The room looks fantastic mike. Kudo's job well done. Did you put drycore under the flooring, i know the laminate looks so nice but damn it can be cold . I think in floor heating is the way to go, my boss has that in his house sooo nice on the tootsies. I often wonder is i am sitting too far back from my tv, i seem to see people sitting really close. Every time i buy a bigger tv i move back ,maybe i am missing out . I sit about 14ft from a 70" ,i did move ahead a bit but maybe i need to get closer.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 01:50 PM

Sitting farther back from a big screen prevents neck fatigue from swiveling, especially if watching tennis, ha!

TAM
Posted by: brendo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 04:40 PM

Looks awesome.
The carpet should also help you quite a bit with taming the reflections from the flooring.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By exlabdriver
Sitting farther back from a big screen prevents neck fatigue from swiveling, especially if watching tennis, ha!

TAM


Retirement must be pretty damn boring if your watching tennis or too much whiskey.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 08:46 PM

For boring, try watching curling, ha!

Actually I watch absolutely no sports anymore & I don't imbibe as much as I used to. Life is hardly worth living!!

TAM
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/15/17 09:09 PM

I watch hockey, it helps me get angry on days when im happy.(#canucks) i havent imbibed since 03 , not sure why havent hurt someone yet LOL>
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/16/17 09:30 AM

Originally Posted By exlabdriver
Sitting farther back from a big screen prevents neck fatigue from swiveling, especially if watching tennis, ha!

TAM


At least you didn't say neck cramps from watching porn.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/16/17 10:07 AM

I think tennis is the code word.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/16/17 11:45 AM

Lol
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/16/17 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By Socketman
The room looks fantastic mike. Kudo's job well done. Did you put drycore under the flooring, i know the laminate looks so nice but damn it can be cold . I think in floor heating is the way to go, my boss has that in his house sooo nice on the tootsies. I often wonder is i am sitting too far back from my tv, i seem to see people sitting really close. Every time i buy a bigger tv i move back ,maybe i am missing out . I sit about 14ft from a 70" ,i did move ahead a bit but maybe i need to get closer.


Thanks! No drycore, just the vinyl planks. I would have had to level out the floor if I wanted to use drycore. The vinyl conforms to the floor perfectly and is super easy to remove. It literally just lifts off with a piece of tape or suction cup. I'll take a picture with one the plants off.

In floor heating is nice, but a $10 pair of slippers is just as easy...lol. I don't mind the room cold, I actually prefer it colder than the rest of the house. I tend to sweat when I game for awhile, must be all aggravation from the younger kids instantly killing me the second I spawn...haha.

I tend to sit close, I like when the screen completely fills my field of vision. More immersive IMO.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/26/17 07:07 PM

After taking a week off from throwing my back out (12" of snow two weeks ago) I finally finished ALL the trim this weekend. Including the dog house! I also started rewiring the 7.1 to atmos. Luckily I left enough slack on most lines and was able to reuse all of them. I plan on doing 5.1.4, but I pulled two extra lines just in case I decide to do 7.1.4.




I started looking at the height placement again. I think I had the rear heights too close to the couch. They were directly over it and I still may push my couch a little further back. However, I can only go one more tile back and it will place the heights almost directly over the side surrounds (M3 bookshelves on stands). I will angle the heights towards the listening position, but do you think it will cause an issue having them over the side surrounds? I marked the new placement in the last picture.


Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/28/17 07:39 PM

I dont see an issue. Do the best you can. In the end it should sound fantastic.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 03/31/17 11:54 AM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
I dont see an issue. Do the best you can. In the end it should sound fantastic.


Thanks! BTW, your custom speakers are looking great too. Looking forward to seeing them completed.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/03/17 03:32 PM

Projector arrived on Saturday!



I also finished up switching the 7.1 wiring over to 7.1.4. I only plan on doing 5.1.4 for now, but I ran them in case I change my mind. There is a whole lot of speaker wire up in the ceiling now...lol.


Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/03/17 07:15 PM

What are the red straps? Havent seen those before.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/04/17 03:28 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
What are the red straps? Havent seen those before.


Oh they are typically used for romex, but I used them for all my wiring when I redid the house. Keeps everything neat and clean!

https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-MC...ds=romex+straps
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/04/17 10:26 PM

Never seen those before.
Great idea though.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/08/17 09:10 PM

It took five separate deliveries, but all of the speakers have finally arrived! Apparently, things got held up in customs and they only released a few at a time. Some of the boxes look like hell, but Axiom does a great job packaging everything up. I opened the worst offenders and they made it through unscathed. The rest will have to wait, taking a trip down to Cape May for a few days with the family.



I also mounted the projector temporarily just to power it up and ensure it worked. The thing is HUGE, but it produced a super bright image, even on my matte black wall. It's going to be blinding on a white screen. Maybe I should do gray? Anyway, took a few quick shots.




I have the week off, so I am hoping to get everything installed by next Sunday. Hope being the key word, I have a bunch of other projects around the house that I need to wrap up. Including enough z-wave switches to finish the rest of my house. The damn thing will be practically self-aware by the time I am done. I have IoT devices everywhere...lol.

Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/08/17 09:43 PM

Looking good mike,try to enjoy your trip and not day dream about finishing up.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/21/17 09:13 PM

Well, I did not accomplish much in the basement the last two weeks. I started installing the ceiling speakers only to find out the brackets I bought from monoprice were a hair too small. I tried grinding them down, but it was taking way to long. Thankfully, I work at a large votech school with a manufacturing program and they shaved off a 1/8" using a HAAS CNC mill. Nothing like fixing a $6 part on a $70k machine. I thought the label the students added was a nice touch...haha.





The speakers now fit like a glove. The bracket was on the end of the grid, so I tied it to the beams with a little 14ga drop ceiling wire for extra support. Speaker felt solid and it didn't even compress the soft tile when I tightened it. Overall I'm super happy with how it turned out. This weekend I will attempt to install the rest of them.

I also need to decide if I am painting them black or not. Has anyone had experience painting the axiom speakers? Especially the grills? I am thinking a small roller should do the trick. I might try it out tomorrow.

Oh and my week off wasn't a complete waste. Had fun with the family in Cape May and managed to upgraded every single light switch in my house to z-wave. Only shocked myself three times too! Haha.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/21/17 09:21 PM

Atta boy, a real man doesnt turn off the breaker. I would definitely paint the speakers, do the grills come off. Look for some vinyl spray paint at your local auto store.Rolling may plug the holes?
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/21/17 09:31 PM

Originally Posted By Socketman
Atta boy, a real man doesnt turn off the breaker. I would definitely paint the speakers, do the grills come off. Look for some vinyl spray paint at your local auto store.Rolling may plug the holes?


Ha, nothing wrong with a quick 120v to the system. The grills do come off. I was thinking of rolling the trim and spraying the grills. Although, Debbie suggested using those foam brushes for the grills. Kind of leery of painting them, unless I am rolling I always get a shitty finish (i.e. brush strokes). I'll finish installing the brackets tomorrow and see what I feel like doing. I can always leave them as is and paint them later if I hate it. The trim on my can lights is still white too.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/22/17 06:48 PM

Are you able to thin the paint and apply 2 very light coats?
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/23/17 07:57 PM

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Are you able to thin the paint and apply 2 very light coats?


Might be worth a try on the grills. I am using the same paint that I used on the screen wall, Benjamin More Aura Eggshell - Black. With that said, I painted the trim this morning. I rolled it on with a little 2" roller. As I expected, it came out textured. Which is fine, as the ceiling tiles are not smooth. I think it looks good.



On that note, I managed to install all the ceiling brackets, cut the speaker holes and mount both front heights this weekend. As I mentioned before, the front speakers were on the edge of the ceiling grid and the rears in the corners. So, I used 14ga wire to support the brackets, which are actually floating over the ceiling tiles by a millimeter or two. This keeps the weight of the speaker off the edges of the grid. Seems very sturdy. I'll install the rear heights tomorrow and terminate all the speaker whips for the rest of the speakers this week. Next weekend I'll work on the projector, then it's tackling the rack!

Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/26/17 11:29 PM

We need a clap emoji.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/27/17 10:16 AM

Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/27/17 10:17 AM

Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/27/17 10:18 AM

Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/27/17 12:02 PM

Lol
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 04/30/17 09:25 PM

Haha, thanks guys. However, hold your applause. All I managed to finish this weekend was the wall plates and ordering my projector screen. Although, I did temporarily connect the in-ceilings to an old receiver and listened to some music. Speakers sounded great! grin This is the screen I picked up...

92" Silver Ticket Thin Bezel White Screen

Oh, my tax returns finally came in too, so I'll be ordering the Denon AVR-X6300H soon!
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 05/01/17 05:30 AM

Nice!!
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 05/10/17 10:54 AM

Installed the screen this Sunday! Only took me 6 hours...lol. I got the entire thing together only to realize I missed installing a small angle bracket in each corner. So, I had to remove the bezel and the entire screen to get to the frame again. Ah well, it's up and no wrinkles!

The hardest part was keeping it level. It mounts on four small brackets, two on top and two on the bottom. If my drop ceiling was perfectly level it would have been fine. Of course, it is off slightly. I ended up sticking my magnetic level on the ceiling grid, shimming the one end and cutting a wood block to butt up against it for each of the top bracket locations. I then hung the screen and traced the bottom for the bottom brackets. Unfortunately, the screen looks slightly crooked because the floor and ceiling are not level. Canít tell when the lights are off though. Iím sure it will look better when I level the center channel with the adjustment feet.




I did a quick alignment with the projector on the screen. I still have to replace the ceiling tiles near it, so didnít go crazy. However, I did notice one issue. It looks like the projected image is not filling the screen entirely. The projector displays a grid when adjusting the lens focus, zoom, and shift functions. If I align the sides of the grid to the edge of the screen, the top 1Ē and bottom 1Ē of the screen are unlit. If I zoom out to make the projected image larger and fill in the vertical space, the sides then spill out onto the wall. Itís almost as if the projector or the screen are not a true 16:9. I did tilt the projector and use an excessive amount of keystoning. I am going to relevel it and trying using the image shift exclusively. Keystoning digital manipulates the image anyway and I should be avoiding it if possible. Taking a trip down to FL tomorrow for a few days, so it will have to wait until I get back next week.

Iíll wrap up the projector next weekend, then itís time to buy the receiver and start wiring everything up. Getting close to a functional room!
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/06/17 09:48 AM

Hey guys, it's been a while since my last update. I have been busy and haven't had a lot of time to work on the theater. However, I did managed to get a few things done....

I finished all the wiring for the projector and put the tiles back in place. I also managed to fix my issue with the image not filling the screen entirely. Turned out keystone was causing some weird geometry issues. So I turned it to zero and just used lens shift to move everything around. Worked perfectly.



However, I decided to move my side surrounds up more and I didn't like the speaker wire along the floor to the back wall behind the couch. So I removed some ceiling tiles again and ran two new wires to a blank plate next to the right arm of the couch. This way I can hide the speaker wires under the couch.




The speakers don't look terrible there and I figure they will be hidden even more if I ever decided to put a curtain up under the beam to divide the room. It also gives me room for rear surrounds. Not sure if they would of benefit though, as the couch is pretty close to the wall. Any suggestions? Do you think it's worth it to get another two M3's for 7.4.1? I don't expect a major improvement, just don't want to lose channel separation with the sides and rears being so close.

I also finally picked up my receiver this weekend. A Denon X6300H. eek



I started to wire things up on Saturday afternoon. I wasn't able to finish as I had a few birthday parties to attend this weekend. But I did mange to temporarily wire what I couldn't terminate to test out the receiver and verify everything works correctly. I used a Roku Ultra to stream some 4k content. The image looked and sounded great! Even my wife commented on the picture quality. Can't wait to play a 4k blu-ray with Atmos.




Oh I just about finished the dog house as well. It just needs a sign now. grin



On a side note, I had some issues with the pull out rack. I had to really play with the positions of the components to keep the frame from rubbing the wall when it was pulled out. Everything was perfectly square until I added the receiver. I basically had to loosen all the attachment screws and slide each component ever so slightly to the left or right and re-tighten them in a specific order. I managed to correct the issue and get a perfect 1/8" all around. Hopefully it stays in position as I add more components.

Wiring is a bit of a challenge as well. Everything has to be in the right position for the rack to slide and rotate. In hindsight, I should have left much longer whips to make things easier.

I also had a slight issue with humidity the one day. It rose up to about 65%, which isn't terrible, but I would like it lower. Upstairs was around 54% at the time. I connected my dehumidifier and it dropped down to 42% within two hours. So adding the one HVAC register and return definitely helped, but it might not be enough on real humid days. Not a big deal, I'll just hook up the dehumidifier to a smart plug and have it turn on and off when ever I am watching something. The only annoying issue is the door hiding my water meter started sticking. So I am going to have to pop it off the hinges and shave it down a bit....joy.

All in all, getting super close to wrapping things up. I just need to finish wiring everything and buy a few more components (PS4, Xbox, Blu-ray Player, etc). Then it's just a matter of decorating!
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/10/17 08:54 AM

I like that you can tailor each sub's trim and delay individually then globally set trim offset as a pair to tune to the rest of the system levels. The 6300 seems like a very capable choice. Your room looks great.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/14/17 09:53 AM

Thanks! I am liking the x6300 so far, sounds great. Although, I have to turn it up to at least 60% for decent listening levels, 75+ if I want it loud.

I finished terminating all speaker wires and routing it them to their permanent locations. Waiting until I pick up an 8 port switch and cablebox before finishing up the ethernet and coax.

I added my Sonos (controls outside speakers) and picked up a procool fan kit to keep the rack cool. I plan on picking up a Panasonic ub900 and another PS4 Pro next. The ub900 is supposed to play nice with the 5040ub.

I really think I am going to pick up the extra pair of M3's and stands for the rears. I have the space, so why not. However, I will definitely need a couch with a lower back.




Posted by: cb919

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/14/17 10:38 AM

Wow, looks really great! My HT is feeling very primitive after seeing all the quality work you & others are progressing on! smile

Looks like you have the Sonos Amp in your rack - I'd expect to see the Connect (not the Amp) feeding your 6300 - is the Sonos Amp feeding a separate zone somewhere?

Cheers,
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/14/17 07:52 PM

You can change the input's source "sensitivity" in the denon audio setup menu. Its in the digital domain, so not really sensitivity I guess. The new Bell Fiber Op boxes are really quiet compared to other sources. Handy feature for biasing quiet sources like this. A workaround I guess. Not ideal.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/15/17 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By cb919
Wow, looks really great! My HT is feeling very primitive after seeing all the quality work you & others are progressing on! smile

Looks like you have the Sonos Amp in your rack - I'd expect to see the Connect (not the Amp) feeding your 6300 - is the Sonos Amp feeding a separate zone somewhere?

Cheers,


Thanks! The Connect AMP is actually feeding the speakers around my pool. It has nothing to do with the theater. The rack was just a convenient place to put it.

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
You can change the input's source "sensitivity" in the denon audio setup menu. Its in the digital domain, so not really sensitivity I guess. The new Bell Fiber Op boxes are really quiet compared to other sources. Handy feature for biasing quiet sources like this. A workaround I guess. Not ideal.


Oh okay, I'll have to take a look. I haven't really done much in the way of calibrations yet. I ran Audyssey real quick and left everything else to default. I planned on playing around with it this weekend.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/19/17 04:33 PM

I'm curious as to why you didn't wall mount the M3s rather than use stands.
Would help to curtail the floor cabling situation and should be easy to do if you have a drop ceiling in the room.
Less chance of knocking them over upon room entry.

Nice room though. I wish our drop ceiling had been put in with perfectly vertical wires. The contractors never used cross braces for the locations in which a joist wasn't available so trying to lift out a ceiling panel is a real bitch.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/20/17 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By chesseroo
I'm curious as to why you didn't wall mount the M3s rather than use stands.
Would help to curtail the floor cabling situation and should be easy to do if you have a drop ceiling in the room.
Less chance of knocking them over upon room entry.

Nice room though. I wish our drop ceiling had been put in with perfectly vertical wires. The contractors never used cross braces for the locations in which a joist wasn't available so trying to lift out a ceiling panel is a real bitch.


I would have, but the right wall is open, so there is no place to mount a side surround in that location. Mounting them to the ceiling was out of the question, as there would be very little separation between them and the height channels. Not to mention Atmos recommends sides and rears at ear level.

I solved the wire situation, as the right surround runs under the couch and to a jack on the left wall along with the left surround. Nothing will be visible once I tidy the room. I was also thinking about hanging a black curtain under the beam to close of the theater when watching movies. I haven't decided yet, but it will help to hide the speaker. At the end of the day, it doesn't really bother me. Just another piece of furniture in the room, no different from my fronts and sub...lol.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/22/17 11:46 AM

So I messed around with calibrating the projector a bit and watched a few youtube videos. The side surrounds for anyone sitting on the edges of the couch seem a little distracting. Going to run Audyssey again, but wondering if I should use QS8s for surrounds to help diffuse things better. Anyone have experience with speakers close to the listening position? The sides are only like a foot away from the couch.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/22/17 07:38 PM

The general rule is to use QS surrounds when they need to be close to the listening position and limit use of direct speakers to when they can be further away.

On the other hand, as I understand it the rule for Atmos is to use direct speakers anyways; not sure how to reconcile those two other than postulating an implicit "and of course your room needs to be really big" rule for Atmos.

On the gripping hand, even QS speakers might not be good that close to the listening position because they don't radiate at all out the front, just angling forward & backward. I have my QS's a bit behind the listening position for space reasons but it probably helps a bit with sound as well.

First thing I would try is moving them back a foot or so (as far as you can go without the couch back getting in the way too much) and angling them forward to get a bit more separation from the side listeners.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/24/17 03:15 AM

At a foot away you should need to turn them nearly off after a calibration.
If 5.1 I'd move them behind your seat by at least 2' if possible.
If 7.1 try them inline with your knees when seated before reclining and turn them down a little after you do a calibration on your AVR .
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/25/17 07:22 AM

by the knees? like door speakers in the soccer van?

I know where you are going. Moving them up and further back is the trick while aiming them at the mlp. You want to reduce hotspotting while maintaining frequency response integrity and discrete localization. Bridgman has it. smile
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/25/17 04:37 PM

Not at knee height inline with your knees as though your knees intersect the imaginary line beyween the L&R surrounds.
Its certainly worth trying, its worked well for me in a few different narrow rooms/layouts.
He'll still want to turn them down a bit because they're so close. They'll almost work like wides rather than side surrounds...it fills the sound hole between the front soundstage and rear surrounds.
I stopped doing this when I got my Hp's. The side surrounds and fronts were competing, the front soundstage filled the room and around my seat on their own.
Now all my surrounds are turned way down (sometimes off all together).
Posted by: AAAA

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/25/17 06:58 PM

Gotcha. At first I was like say wuuuuut?! smile
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 06/28/17 01:05 PM

Yeah, I think I am just going to move them behind the couch and toe them towards the center position of the couch. That will easily give me 3'. It kills the idea of 7.1.r though, as the surrounds would be to close to the rears. Ah well, compromise. Just have to start watching stuff and testing speaker positions.
Posted by: mikecoscia

Re: MC's Basement HT - 08/12/17 01:21 PM

So been super busy lately, but have continued to mess around with the side speakers. I have tried them on the sides and directly against the rear wall and angled towards the MLP. That makes them about 4' from the MLP and 2.5' from the end seating positions. Seems a little better. I also had someone recommend pointing them directly at each other instead of angled toward the MLP. I haven't tried that one yet. Moving them towards the rear also places them directly under the rear heights. Not sure if that is going to cause separation issues.

Starting to think I should have just went 7.1. frown
Posted by: Redemption

Re: MC's Basement HT - 09/26/18 10:38 AM

Hey not sure if you are still online, but where did you get your rack and what is it? I'm looking for something exactly like yours, but I can't find it online. Thanks!