Front Room Project

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by kudos2, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Hi Guys,

    I've recently bought a 60's bungalow down here in Guernsey and I'm really looking forward to setting up a home cinema in the front/living room. (Pictures to follow once I figure out how to add them)

    I've gone through two previous incarnations in my last two places of residences, starting out with a 32"CRT and a 5.1 setup then a 50"Plasma and a 6.1 setup.

    I'm about to start setting up my front room and the builders are in from next week so I've really got to pull my finger out and make some decisions quick!

    The two most pressing issues I need to decide on is speaker placement and speaker wire quality.

    I really want a 7.1 setup and I know that ideally the rear sides and the rear backs should be level with your ear. I can acomplish this, but it will mean that the speakers will be fairly close to the sofa I'll be lounging on.

    The alternative is to place them higher up near the ceiling line, but I'm not sure what effect this will have on the soundstage ? Has anyone tried both who can comment ?

    The second issue is that I'll need to run speaker cable behind plasterboard which then can't be moved. I'll need four runs for the rears, starting at about 13m for the longest down to about 6m for the shortest - and 1 cable for the centre.

    I currently have a pair of QED Silver Anniversary XT cables which I use for the front L&R, which I bought in a moment of madness a few years ago.

    Now, at 5 quid a metre plus 20 to get them terminated with banana plugs, that adds up to approx 250 notes :eek:

    I'm realy torn because I don't have a blank cheque book and my scientific side says save your money and buy a non-branded spindle of decent quality wire for 50 quid because I won't hear any difference.

    I'd love to know what you guys think..........

    Right that's it for now, more to come.

    Cheers,
    Kudos
     
  2. peteblakemore

    peteblakemore
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    85
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Redditch
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Kudos,

    A house on Guernsey? Very jealous!

    In terms of speaker placement, why don't you just try temporarily placing the speakers in the two positions (i.e. up high and down low)? By that I mean is there some way that you could put the speakers in their relevant positions and see how it works sound-wise? Obviously it'd mean trailing the wires across the living room floor, but it's just to test the setup, not a permanent thing.

    You mentioned about the best place to have them would be at head-height. Technically true I guess, and although the majority of the time you're going to be sat down watching TV or a movie, I would have thought if it's good enough for Cinemas to have their speakers up high it'd be good enough for the home! The other plus with having them up high is if you're doing housework or just moving around the room and have music on it won't sound weird with the speakers being below head height (when stood up of course).

    I've got my speakers set up so I have my two main satellite speakers up high and have two big beefy bassy speakers down low on the ground acting like a couple of sub woofers. That seems to work out great for me - with the main speakers acting as mids and tweeters up high I can get a real sense of direction and clarity in music and films, but the bass is still being kicked out down below giving a generally fuller sound.

    Hope that's helped!
     
  3. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Hi peteblakemore,

    Yes I think testing is a great idea. Previously I always had the rears up high, I've been using the Kef egg kht1005's which are the basic entry level ones from years ago. A bit underwhelming now if I'm honest.

    I'd like to upgrade to the Kef kht3005SE though but I don't currently own them so can't test as yet.

    Now you mention it, most decent cinemas I've been to have the sides up high, hmmm. Food for thought.

    If I have the rears up high I can run the cables through the roof.

    Would be great to get a few more opinions on this to gauge balance of opinion.

    Thanks pete,

    Kudos
     
  4. Steve Laccer

    Steve Laccer
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Kudos,

    You have the pleasure of being my first post :thumbsup:
    It's funny you should mention this problem, especially with the wires behind plaster board, I'm not too clued up on wire quality etc (that's why i've joined this forum) but i kept moving my speakers around for the best quality. I was always paranoind i wasn't making the best of my surround sound (I think the best is high and leaning forward)!! Anyway, my wires looked a bit scruffy dangling from the walls and the floor (Girlfriends voice there!) but I didn't want to get them permanently behind plaster board. I got this plastic wiring cover thing from Screwfix, it sounds naff but I managed to hide all my wires and it looked quite good, neat and tidy you can take it off all the time as well. I know it was called something Line but can't really remember. It'll probs come to me soon I'll let you know if it does. Just thinking it might be a cheaper alternative for you.

    Good Luck,

    Steve
     
  5. Magslad

    Magslad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    994
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    South Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +143
    You haven't mentioned where the sofa will be in relation to the rear wall - will it be against the wall or will there be a decent space between the back of the sofa and the wall? If you are up against the wall you're unlikely to see any benefit from going 7.1 rather than 5.1.

    In terms of speaker placement, I haven't demo'd both but my rears are going at 'ear height' rather than up high. I think the key thing wherever you are placing the speakers is to make sure you balance them using Audyssey or some other method.



    My vote - listen to your scientific side and save your money:smashin: I use some standard Ixos cable (decent gauge but nothing special) with my KEF 5005's and it sounds absolutely fine.
     
  6. Magslad

    Magslad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    994
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    South Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +143
    Presume you mean D-Line trunking Steve? Certainly a cheaper option than channelling walls, partly depends on how relaxed SWMBO is about these things ;)

    Welcome to the forums by the way :thumbsup:
     
  7. Steve Laccer

    Steve Laccer
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
     
  8. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Thanks for popping your AVForums cherry for me :rolleyes:

    Anyhoo...as it happens I have to put some boarding up anyway, the front and side of the house has some damp issues which are being sorted - so it does mean I can take advantage now and run cables while I have the chance.

    I checked out the D-Line stuff from their site, very neat looking for a retro-fit option for sure.

    So we have one vote for speakers up high and one for down at ear height so far.......

    Cheers,
    Kudos
     
  9. cdm22

    cdm22
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    4,770
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Ratings:
    +240
  10. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
  11. Phill1978

    Phill1978
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,045
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +84
    kudos2

    http://www.audiovisualonline.co.uk/category/4/speaker-cable

    check here for cheap speaker wire.. the Vandamme Tour Grade Black Speaker Cable, 4 x 2.5mm is £70 for 30meters of uncut wire, good service and delivery times. the quality is high and its a good enough gauge to drive speakers. the example linked is bi-wire.

    there are QED options too :thumbsup:
     
  12. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Small Update.

    After auditioning the Kef KHT3005 (non SE) driven by a NAD amp and finding they can be mounted on the ceiling I was sold and I've ordered the SE version in black.

    Kudos
     
  13. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    The front of the house, of which the lounge is part has suffered from a lack of upkeep over the years, so damp has affected the single course wall. I've ripped the wallpaper off and most of the plaster came away with it because it was sodden !!

    Here you can see the corner of the bay window room.(The curtains are going :eek: as are the rads)

    [​IMG]

    The paper has proved particularly hard to remove. It's involved many hours with a steamer and scraper...

    [​IMG]

    The walls need to breathe and dry out so the plan is Dot & Dab the external walls with plasterboard on the inside. This should allow ventilation. Then the outside of the house needs to be sand-blasted and re-treated and painted. The windows need to be re-sealed too.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    The builders are in!

    Guess where the 50" plasma is going ?

    [​IMG]

    I've measured it and the chimney breast is exactly the right size by a great stroke of luck. I'm currently thinking I'll box in the fireplace to make it neat.

    The bay window looks much better already with the plasterboard up...

    [​IMG]

    I'm ceiling mounting my Kef 3005SE's so I'm running the cables through the roof, then down the wall into the left hand corner of the room where the AV rack will be. The satellite cables come through here from the outside too.
    I'll be running the phone extension line behind the skirting board.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Here you can see where the speaker cables come through from the roof.

    I'm going to cut a channel in the wall-board and plaster over the top of that.

    [​IMG]

    You can just see two of the speaker cables poking through from the roof here.

    [​IMG]

    Me and SWMBO spent all afternoon scraping the old wallpaper today :boring:
    Nearly done - time for a well earned beer...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    I put a 10m cat5e cable in and at the last minute I decided that I really should put a 10m HDMI cable aswell.
    That way it's there, in case I want to have a projector at some point in the future (as soon as I can afford one :D)

    [​IMG]

    The problem was I needed a 10m HDMI cable asap and the plasterer was due to start in 2 days, the local suppliers
    didn't have one so I hopped over to ukhdmi.com and ordered up a 10m flat cable 1080p certified for a hair over 30
    squids, added the next day delivery postage and waited - and waited.

    I came home today to find the cable waiting in the hall and the plasterer just taping up the cable channel ready for
    covering. Made it by seconds :clap:

    [​IMG]

    I've taped up the end of the HDMI cable to stop dust getting in.

    [​IMG]

    The walls are now starting to be plastered.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  17. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Cables now plastered over. You can just make out the line down the wall that was taped over.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a view from further back, looking at the front left of the room.

    [​IMG]

    And this is the back of the room.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    All the walls are now skimmed....

    [​IMG]

    The interior walls had to be painted with this strange gritty green paint, so the plaster had something to stick to. Looks good though.

    [​IMG]

    Really will have to replace these doors at some point too....

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    The skirting board is on now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The plaster is starting to dry out on the internal walls.

    [​IMG]

    The pipes are in for the new larger single rad.

    [​IMG]

    The cables will run out over the top of the skirting.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008
  20. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    SWMBO started half & halfing the walls yesterday...

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Pisto_Grih

    Pisto_Grih
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,166
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Woking
    Ratings:
    +2,220
    Experts, forgive the newbie question, but I have always assumed that speaker cables should all be the same length. I once had a hi-fi system that I mistakenly wired two speakers with a 5m and a 10m length of cable, and there was a noticeable delay between the two.

    Is this no longer the case with modern hardware/cable technology, or is there something I'm missing here? I thought that every length of cable should be cut the same length as the longest run.
     
  22. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    With electric signals travelling at speeds which have to be referenced by the speed of light, I don't think different cables lengths are going to matter!

    Sound on the other hand travels a lot slower, you can have millisecond delays in largish rooms which are perceivable, specially if the sound is reflected off walls.

    None of this realy matters though because modern AV amps have room calibration MCACC / Audessy which takes care of the delays for you.

    Cheers,
    Kudos
     
  23. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Progress!

    Skirts and ceiling painted, carpet in.

    [​IMG]

    One big rad now on, instead of two smaller ones, tested and heats the room well.

    [​IMG]

    A carpet makes such a huge difference, it's not a room without one.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. evapor8

    evapor8
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    64
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Guernsey, C.I.
    Ratings:
    +6
    Ooh ....a Guernsey project .... good work mate!

    Chris
     
  25. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    First two speakers are up.

    Left Surround

    [​IMG]

    Closer Look

    [​IMG]

    Right Surround

    [​IMG]
     
  26. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    All four surrounds are now mounted.

    [​IMG]

    I took the first two back off and re-mounted them with some picture wire round the speaker stem which was then attached in the roof, so if the speakers fall off their mounts through vibration, they can't go anywhere.

    I feel much safer now seeing as these speakers weren't designed to be ceiling mounted, weigh a ton and now won't fall on my head :eek:

    The surround back left and right are down-firing so I have mounted them in a different way to the left & right surrounds.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Tom_Associated

    Tom_Associated
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +1
    wow, this looks like it could turn out to look really good! keep up the good work

    Tom
     
  28. blasted

    blasted
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,189
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +132
    Excellent work, please keep the pictures coming.
     
  29. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    Thanks for your comments guys, really appreciated. This is actually the last room in the house to be decorated, been going at it non-stop for about 4 months now.

    Still a lot to do and with a bill just in from the builders which is nearly triple the estimate :mad: I might not be able to get all the kit I was hoping to before xmas......
     
  30. kudos2

    kudos2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    918
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Guernsey
    Ratings:
    +79
    The curtain rail is up ! Took longer than I expected what with all the bends in a bay window.

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice