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My Living room evolution

494930

Distinguished Member
I had intended to put this up when i was finished, but have since realised that will never happen. There's always something else that can be changed/modified/upgraded so here goes.

Apologies for the photographs, i'm not very good with a camera and most photos were taken for other purposes.

This is where it all started. I had money and was content with my lot, then i found AVF. Bought a 5.0 set of Eltax Atlantis speakers and Onkyo SR607 reciever. Cheap Bush TV wall mounted with wires chased.
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Painted the front of the speakers gloss black and added a set of Kef 1005 height speakers for Dolby PLllz. Sofa pulled into middle of room.
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Then came an upgrade in the shape of a Monitor Audio Radius 5.1 set and 3.6m of Besta unit.
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You'll have to guess what the next change was ;)
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100" grey electric screen from eBay for the princely sum of £80. Mated to forum favorite projector BenQ W1070.
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Next up came a colour change to improve contrast with the projector.
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And a sneak preview of the next upgrade.
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494930

Distinguished Member
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Realism test passed!
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Decided to go the DIY route with my sub.
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Made from a JBL GT5-12 driver in a MDF box fitted into the Besta unit as i wanted a clean look.
I gave no thoughts to this driver other than price and intend to rebuild with a better driver using WinISD this time. Then i'm going to build another one for the other side :thumbsup:

Next up was a cover to hide all the equipment and wires. Made from stretched spandex (that was an awkward moment with the pretty lady in the fabric shop:blush:) around a thin wooden frame. This allows sound and ir signals through.
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Much tidier!

Things were quiet for the next few months while the bank balance recovered.
 
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494930

Distinguished Member
Realising the TV hadn't been switched on for weeks i did the only sensible thing and removed it.
I built a 2:1 215cm wide fixed frame screen and fitted it with some Elite Screens Cinegrey material with a Devore border.
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As i'm now using the projector for all viewing, i decided to add some back-lighting for a more relaxed feel. I know this is frowned upon as any light hurts a projected image but for tv series etc it makes for more comfortable viewing and the lights are switched off for movies.
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A new Screen surely needs a new projector right?
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Epson TW-7300, would have gone for the 9300 if it was available in white :(

Need to try this UHD malarkey. Cheapest player available.
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Xbox One S in Storm Grey

The more observant of you will have noticed some new speakers in the ceiling, this was the result of a discussion on here of Monitor Audio Pro-IC65 going cheap. So of course i had to buy 4, necessitating a new AVR.
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Marantz SR7010

The surrounds were lowered to ear height and in ceiling speakers fitted in position to be configured as front/rear height for Auro3D if it takes off.
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Next item on the agenda: room acoustics.
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DIY acoustic absorbers - i plan to add more treatments in the future, including bass traps and ceiling cloud.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
This pic shows the proper colour of the red walls as they look pink in most of the other pics.
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And we are up to date. Almost all of my equipment has been purchased used/refurbished/clearance to keep costs down. Anything purchased new was at a good discount, as its the only way i could have achieved this.
I will update this thread as any further changes are made.
Current Kitlist:
Remote: Logitech Harmony Elite
Display: Epson EH-TW7300 with CIA fixed screen.
Sources: Xbox One S, NowTV Smart box, BT Youview
AVR: Marantz SR7010
Speakers: Monitor Audio Radius 225 LCR, Radius 90 surround, Pro-IC65 Atmos, DIY 12" sub
 

steve a

Active Member
Looks absolutely stunning mate,your very talented. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with a film and some alcohol.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Looks absolutely stunning mate,your very talented. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with a film and some alcohol.
Thanks for the kind words. Might just do that right now.
 

raoulx

Active Member
looking good! A few curious questions..

What's been your favourite upgrade/upgrades overall?
And how long was the transformation?
What is next? If there is anything next
 

494930

Distinguished Member
looking good! A few curious questions..
What's been your favourite upgrade/upgrades overall?
And how long was the transformation?
What is next? If there is anything next
Overall it has taken me 18 months to go from a cheap soundbar to the current setup. But I'm now at a point where I'm very happy and don't intend to make any serious changes for a few years at least.

There will be some minor additions and tweaks to come in the near future including room acoustics and learning how to calibrate the display, but all the current electronics will remain.
As to my favourite upgrade? Not sure it's possible to answer that as it's like a big jigsaw puzzle where every upgrade has relied on other items to create the effect.

If i was pushed, I'd have to say the Marantz SR7010 as i wasn't expecting much in terms of a difference. I was happy with the sound from the Onkyo beforehand and only changed due to features, i wanted Atmos and 4K support with hopefully a bit of future proofing (yea right! :facepalm:) The Marantz was the cheapest 9 channel AVR available at the time. The difference in sound was a complete shock to me, soo much better in every aspect and still makes me grin like a schoolgirl at times.

While I'm here, I'd just like to thank all the contributors on AVForums from whom I've stolen all my ideas. Every idea i had started from reading someone's thread on here and the members have been invaluable with their technical knowledge. So a big thank you to you all.:beer:
 
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apostolost

Active Member
Hi, really nice, thanks for sharing.
how much was the improvement due to sound absorbers in sound quality?
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Hi, really nice, thanks for sharing.
how much was the improvement due to sound absorbers in sound quality?
Again, pretty hard to say. It sounds much better imo with improved detail and stereo separation with music, bass seems to have improved a lot also. I don't have a measurement mic for REW as yet, so only going by my ears. To complicate matters, I moved the sofa position at the same time as fitting the absorbers and Audyssey calibration.

I will at some point get around to room acoustics measurements to see how much difference is actually there vs placebo effect.
 

tlogic

Active Member
loving the transformation mate. Well done. One question how is the projector connected up to your amp, Hdmi cable, or hdmi over cat 6? I'm looking to get another projector but woundering weather to run it of HDMI cable or cat 6. distance of cable I will need approc 10m.

Enjoy the set up/
 

Stoke192

Distinguished Member
If i was pushed, I'd have to say the Marantz SR7010 as i wasn't expecting much in terms of a difference. I was happy with the sound from the Onkyo beforehand and only changed due to features, i wanted Atmos and 4K support with hopefully a bit of future proofing (yea right! :facepalm:) The Marantz was the cheapest 9 channel AVR available at the time. The difference in sound was a complete shock to me, soo much better in every aspect and still makes me grin like a schoolgirl at times.
Agreed!, We've just recently upgraded our setup from a Denon 3311, MA Radius setup to a Marantz 7011 and MA Apex/Silver FX set up and we're very pleased with the way it all sounds.

I had the Marantz set up with my existing Radius 225/250 LCR testing out the Silver FX's and the difference in the sound was a big step up from the Denon......as you say "Grinning like a schoolgirl" :laugh"......I could've saved myself some money too, on the Apex A40's ;)

Really nice looking setup you've got there now!, I like the idea of a PJ, the next step for us, but I don't think we've got the room :(
 
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494930

Distinguished Member
loving the transformation mate. Well done. One question how is the projector connected up to your amp, Hdmi cable, or hdmi over cat 6? I'm looking to get another projector but woundering weather to run it of HDMI cable or cat 6. distance of cable I will need approc 10m.

Enjoy the set up/
I somehow missed all updates to this thread but to belatedly answer your question, I'm using a 20m active HDMI cable (the type with a USB power supply) as it was the only thing I could get from richer sounds locally. Ideally I would have ordered a significantly shorter cable from Amazon but just wanted to get the projector up and running asap.

It works flawlessly in my setup but I'm aware HDMI can be a fickle thing. For a 10m run I would just order one of the many high speed cables available online, but if it's going to be difficult to replace the cable later, then also run a cat6. That way you can add the HDBaseT modules later down the line, if required.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Agreed!, We've just recently upgraded our setup from a Denon 3311, MA Radius setup to a Marantz 7011 and MA Apex/Silver FX set up and we're very pleased with the way it all sounds.

I had the Marantz set up with my existing Radius 225/250 LCR testing out the Silver FX's and the difference in the sound was a big step up from the Denon......as you say "Grinning like a schoolgirl" :laugh"......I could've saved myself some money too, on the Apex A40's ;)

Really nice looking setup you've got there now!, I like the idea of a PJ, the next step for us, but I don't think we've got the room :(
I've just had a look at your updated room, very nice [emoji106] but it's crying out for that projector you know you want. Room looks plenty big enough imo. You would need an AT screen though with the speakers positioned so close, which can be pricey, but worth every penny.

Now, I'm off to look at the Apex range again and retell myself I don't need them [emoji7]
 

494930

Distinguished Member
It's been quite a while since i last updated this thread, a few things have changed over the last year but nothing major. Yet.

I've added a second DIY sub and an iNuke 3000DSP to power/EQ them. The Xbox was replaced with the excellent Panasonic UB700 and the NowTV box with a Roku Streaming Stick+. I also added an AC Infinity S2 USB cooling fan to the Marantz as you could fry an egg on it after watching a movie.
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At the other end of the room, I've removed the centre section from the sofa. It's now a two seater and fits the room much better.
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So here's a few updated photos of how the finalised room ended up before i started getting itchy.
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494930

Distinguished Member
What the future holds.

It's always bugged me that i couldn't have a 'scope screen due to my throw ratio. The CIA screen was a compromise that I've lived with long enough imo. So the plan at the moment (it changes daily :rolleyes:) is to rip out the fireplace and build myself a 300mm deep baffle wall with 2.4m wide acoustically transparent screen.

The other major annoyance is the heat from all the gear in the room (and to a lesser extent noise), so everything except the projector is being moved to the next room

The Monitor Audio speakers are going, in favour of some Adam Audio A5X active studio monitors at the front and the smaller A3X models on surround duties. This should be a significant step up in terms of audio quality.

The subs will also have to be rebuilt as they're currently too deep. I'm still undecided which direction to take whether to build a dual driver sub in the centre or two smaller single driver subs at 1/4 wall points.

Base (Proposed 2) 180626163906.jpg

I've still not completely ruled out 7.1.4 but the location of the door is exactly where the rear surround speaker would want to go, ditto the window and the right side surround. I also like the fact that this layout keeps the surrounds quite far away, hopefully widening the sweet spot somewhat.


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As well as the baffle wall there will be DIY vertical bass traps at the rear corners of the room with the surround speakers hidden inside and a large sound diffuser on the rear wall. The ceiling will also be treated with a cloud of some sort, need to do more research as to whether diffusion or absorption is the most beneficial here. Finally (eventually) a fake pelmet around the perimeter of the room that's also bass trapping will be constructed, I'm still not sure how I'm going to actually achieve this aesthetically speaking. As per before, this will be a slow process, I'm hoping to start by the end of September when my work slows down and to have everything bar the pelmet completed by Christmas :rotfl:

Some 3D renders created on my phone to try and visualise what I'm aiming for.
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SillySausage

Active Member
Great looking system and nice to see the evolution.

May I ask what screen wall is finished with - Is it paper, fancy paint or paneling?

We're looking to do something very similar at the moment and I like the look of yours.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
Great looking system and nice to see the evolution.

May I ask what screen wall is finished with - Is it paper, fancy paint or paneling?

We're looking to do something very similar at the moment and I like the look of yours.
Thanks.

The wall is just a textured wallpaper (from Homebase iirc) painted over with a dark grey paint (Dulux Night Jewels 1). The texture really helps break up the dark wall so it doesn't look too imposing and the bias lighting shows it off quite nicely when switched on.
 

494930

Distinguished Member
So I started work on this a bit earlier than anticipated.
Built a simple stud frame 300mm off the wall for the screen and fitted a 12x2" shelf for the LCR speakers.
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Then I made some framing for the black fabric and screen.
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Covered the frames with MVEL22 and made a temporary screen.
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Added a panel with HDMI, USB and 3.5mm ports feeding back to the AVR in the nest room.
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Made a start on the surround speakers next.
I couldn't find corner shelves large enough, so I made some out of MDF I had laying around.
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Filled the back corners with Rockwool RW3 and made frames to cover. Unfortunately I didn't have enough fabric to cover the frames completely, and I still haven't decided on a colour scheme to order more.
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Cherrywood

Active Member
That screen wall looks impressive and will be a huge improvement - are you not tempted to go full baffle wall?

I would defo look to extend the black fabric at least 1m into the room to give the full black hole effect
 

mcbainne

Distinguished Member
I like what you've done with the surrounds, hide the speakers and at the same time a bit of acoustic treatment
 

494930

Distinguished Member
That screen wall looks impressive and will be a huge improvement - are you not tempted to go full baffle wall?

I would defo look to extend the black fabric at least 1m into the room to give the full black hole effect
I've got the rockwool in the garage to finish the baffle wall :smashin:

I'm fitting a 3ft wide black rug Infront of the screen (should be arriving soon) and Devore covered panels at the first reflection points. Should hopefully be enough without covering the entire front of the room in Devore.
 

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