Moviemike's Home cinema progress thread

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by moviemike, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. moviemike

    moviemike
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    For anyone who's interested I'm posting my home cinema (in the cellar) progress on this thread. The room is 12 feet x 14 feet. So far the walls have been rendered and concrete slab floor has been layed, got another 4 weeks left to go on the build. :clap:

    System so far:
    Projector: Screenplay 4800
    Centre Channel: Boston Acoustic Bravo
    Front speakers: Boston Acoustic DSi60 (in-wall)
    Rear Speakers: Boston Acoustic DSi50 (in-wall)

    Still got screen, sub, amp and dvd player to go, at the moment they're likely to be:
    Screen: Beamax A series
    DVD: Pioneer DV575A
    AMP: Denon AVR2105
    Sub MJ ref 100

    Quick question though:

    Does anyone know how best to buy my speaker cable?

    Should I buy one length and then cut it up myself and fix normal banana plugs to them, or should I (as recommended by a store) try and get exact measurements for the in-wall cabling so that they can fit the more expensive airloc banana plugs professionally. I'm only wondering because that solution is 1) more expensive and 2) I run the risk of having cables that are either too long or too short if they're not done on-site.
     

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  2. funkmonkey

    funkmonkey
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    Use the old piece of string trick.

    Just use the string as if it were speaker cable, threading and passing it where it needs to go and then simply measure the lengths when your done and you'll have the required sizes.
     
  3. owain_thomas

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    Have a think about whether you need to spend money on speaker cable, a quick search on here for "mains cable" and "cat5" might save you a fair whack. I doubt that having the terminations done with airloc plugs would make a noticeable difference to sound qulaity but I've never tried them.

    Owain
     
  4. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Good thinking about the "old piece of string trick." Will give that a go when I go home!

    As for the Mains cable... I'm a little bit dubious! Was gonna try it out on my B&W speakers to see if I could hear a difference, but it was too much of a hassle and I don't have any spare banana plugs at home. I think I'll settle for some QED originals or may even splash out on an extra 75 pence per metre on QED Bronze stuff.
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Hi mike,

    I've got to say I was very dubious too, how could this cheap B&Q stuff live up to cable that was designed specifically for speakers?

    All I can say is give it a go. You don't need much of the stuff to try it, you don't even need to terminate it, just screw the bare wire into the binding posts on the amp and the B&Ws, if you can hear a difference then fair enough, you've wasted about a quid, if not then you could have saved yourself a load.

    Everyone on here who has given this a try (that I've read about) has come to the same conclusion, this cheap solid-core mains cable is the equal of most budget-mid range cables sold for speakers.

    Give it a go, you haven't much to lose!

    Owain
     
  6. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Mike, looks like it is coming on very well. Is that the final wall finish or will it be finished with plasterboard over the cement solution.
     
  7. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Nah still got plasterboard to go over that. Its going a bit slow downstairs at the moment because the builders a busy getting the windows and roof on in the extension before the weather gets any worse. Hopefully they'll start concentrating on the cellar in the next week or two. I'll post more pics as soon as there's any progress :)
     
  8. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Wow you must be having a lot of building work. The cellar does look quite dark (obviousley) which is ideal for your PJ. Has the builder now completed all of the tanking coats and if so is the cellar perfectly dry now i.e did it need drying out due to damp etc.
     
  9. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Yeah, I'm having a fair amount of building work done to my house - figured it'd be cheaper to have an extension and convert the cellar than to buy a bigger place with an extra room for my home cinema!

    I think there's one more coat of tanking liquid to go on the walls on Monday (see pic for current state of play) and that'll then be left to dry - I thnik its pretty dry down there now, especially with the concrete floor, but can't be 100% sure as there's lost of moisture down there (due to all the concrete, rendering and damp-proofing that's been done- all of which are water based!), ask me next week and I'll be able to give you a more informed answer!
     

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  10. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Latest pic - studwork has just gone up with all the necessary supports for the screen and in-wall speakers. Really pleased - although the builders have had to move some beams here and there where they didn't follow my plans (makes me wonder why I bothered with plans in the first place!).

    Electrician will be in tomorrow to sort out the first fix for tje sockets, lighting and speaker cables.
     

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  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    are you putting lighting control in?
     
  12. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Just bog standard dimmers (seperate one for the uplighters and ceiling spotlights).

    The rest of my system has been bought now, and is as follows:

    Projector: Screenplay 4800
    Centre Channel: Boston Acoustic Bravo
    Front speakers: Boston Acoustic DSi60 (in-wall)
    Rear Speakers: Boston Acoustic DSi50 (in-wall)
    Screen: Beamax A series (200cm wide)
    DVD: Pioneer DV575A (currently out of stock!)
    AMP: Denon AVR2105
    Sub MJ reference 100 (currently out of stock!)

    Although I now wish I bought a better projector! :mad:

    Pretty dry, apart from the old window which sits under the pavement - the builders are having to dig up the pavement and replace the concrete slab which is leaking a little. Can't have any damp in that hole as that's where the projector, DVD player and amp are going to live!
     

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  13. moviemike

    moviemike
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    At long last some more pics! :D

    All the wiring for the speakers, sub, mains sockets and lighting are now in. a couple of the walls have been rendered too. Plasterboard should be going up today or Monday, and then plastered the following day (assuming everthing goes to plan... which it never does).

    I'll post more pics when there's more progress.
     

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  14. moviemike

    moviemike
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    The first of my walls have been plastered to a decorating finish today. :clap:

    Anyone got an idea of how long it takes for plaster to dry in a cellar???
     

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  15. H4r7y

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    i dont really know how much it'd affect it down in the cellar, maybe you could use one of those little fan heaters or something down there to make it go off a bit faster.
     
  16. moviemike

    moviemike
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    I was told it'd take ages (maybe a month or so) because there's no ventilation down there. I was also told not to use a de-humidifier (at least not on full blast), as it could make the plaster crack. But d'you reckon I could get away with a heater? I've got a radiator down there too - is that an option? Or more to the point, will it be an option when they install it?
     
  17. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    for plaster i think you need infa red heaters as gas fired stuff produces too much water
     
  18. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Personally i would be temted to let it dry naturally as it might crack.
    It is looking good now though :thumbsup:
     
  19. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Its finally starting to look like a proper room and not a dungeon! :smashin:

    Its very echo-y (is that a word?) down there, anybody got any top tips on improving acoustics? PS I've had all the studded walls insulated to reduce resonance in the cavities for starters.
     

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  20. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    I liked it when it looked like a dungeon :devil: :devil: :devil:
    So dare i ask when your are actually gonna put the kit in?
     
  21. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Horny dragon... into dungeons... I won't ask. ;)

    The plastering won't be finished until Wednesday and the electrician's second fix won't be done until the end of the week, possibly not until the following week. I'll also have to wait until the plasters dry before painting/carpeting etc. so that could be another 4 - 5 weeks away. My seating's gonna take 12 weeks to be delivered, but I don't think I can wait that long!!! It should be cool when its does arrive (see pic).

    I answer to your question I hope it'll be before xmas, but don't know for sure!
     

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  22. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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  23. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Its on the wish list!
     
  24. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Great idea to have insulation between the studs for the reason you state, plus it helps to reduce sound travel and heat loss a tad too. If you want to improve soundproofing a little, just add another layer of plasterboard to the walls. 2 layers on a 4 x 2 insulated studd wall is a great start to reducing sound travel from a room. Sealing all gaps with silicon ensures of no unwanted sound leaks if that's going to be an issue.

    My loft room was the same - using the 'clap test' revealed loads of reflections, but I'd read that for an AV room, the walls below ear height should be absorptive (dead), and the walls above should be reflective (live), as should the ceiling. The screen wall should be absorptive too.

    So, what I did was to carpet the walls up to ear height, and put black carpet on the screen wall. The floor is also carpeted, and now I don't have any noticable unwanted reflections. try putting carpet down first, and do the clap test just to see what it sounds like. You may be OK, as quite often furniture will do a good enough job to reduce unwanted echoes, but I do think a black carpeted screen wall looks nice. Not everyones cup of tea though. :)

    I've heard another point of view which suggests the walls should be totaly absorptive as you won't get reflections in real life, so you could carpet from floor to ceiling if you want.

    In the US, they often use battons on the walls and fill inbetween with an accoustic material, then cover with cloth (Gothic of Maine IIRC) to give a nice finish. It probably has a better effect than carpet (accousticaly) but cost wise, carpet seems a good alternative.

    BTW - if you do decide to carpet the wall, I used a thin rubber backed carpet and used thick wallpaper paste to put it up with. If it needs to come down (for when you move for instance), it should come off quite easy with a steamer. Much better than contact adhesive I would think.

    Gary.
     
  25. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    hanging curtains can also help (i know there arent any windows)......... on rear wall and to either side of screen.
     
  26. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Thanks for the suggestions, they're all great, glad that insulation was the right thing to do. I've also had the ceilings double plasterboarded. Carpeting the wall sounds like a good idea. But as for the aesthetic, I can't decide whether it would look really good or really awful.

    My sister rented a room which had carpeted walls whilst she was at uni - it was a source of great amusement when guests came over - guess that has put me off a little.

    Hornydragon, thanks for your post too, I've thought about curtains too. I guess I can decide on all those things when I'm ready to put all my gear down there. Great food for thought!

    Here are pics of today's progress!
     

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  27. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I guess it depends on what the room is used for.

    If it was going to be a normal room, then I can understand the comments about carpeted walls, but as a dedicated room, I've never had anyone mention the carpet on the walls. They're more interested in the screen and the projector than by the decoration. :)

    Gary.
     
  28. moviemike

    moviemike
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    Very true. The idea (of putting carpet on the walls) had never crossed my mind, I'll need some time to let that idea digest. Its tempting... I think I'll go down to a few carpet stores and see what's around, that might help me make up my mind.
     
  29. Peter Parker

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    Try testing the room with your set-up before doing it though. I only did it to remove the slap echo I had after doing some reading. It's not a necessity, but something that may help if you have any echo problems. If it sounds fine, then leave it at that. :)

    It's not the same as proper acoustic treatments, but for me, it worked quite well. I'm sure a proper accoustic measurment of the room will reveal some interesting anomolies, but to my ears, it sounds just fine. In my case I don't want to look for problems that I don't know I have, if you know what I mean.

    Gary.
     
  30. moviemike

    moviemike
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    :eek: Oh no! :eek: Got home tonight and found that the ceiling has collapsed where I'm planning on housing my PJ, amp and DVD player! :eek: Serious damp issues! Guess I should be glad it happened now rather than when the kit's actually in place! :eek:

    This where the builders are really put to the test - will the do a good job of sorting it out, or will they try to charge me more for the work (they'll need to do some serious structural work to stop the leak completely).

    And I was so hoping to be using the room in the not too distant future, guess any hope of that has evaporated! :rolleyes:
     

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