Slices BIG Home Theater project

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Many of you have shown interest in my project witch I have been talking about for some time. The project of course is a commercial grade home theater. I have been scrounging up information from here for some time and I have learned quite abit. I hope you will take and interest in my design as I have. The theater will cost no more then $76,000.00!
This includes everything from speakers to lightfixtures. This seems like a lot but I have been looking around and in high-end home theaters it is not uncommon for prices to go well over $100,000. My father who I am designing this for is a vice president of a large general contractor and has worked on many acoustically sensitive projects for the government. I have much to learn still but what I have put together so far seems to be more then enough. The theater will be fully featured with the best in audio and video components. I have designed this layout for ease of upgrade as technology betters. I excited to see what you guys think and why. Here are some excel spreadsheets of components and MSRP prices. Pretty much they are self-explanatory. If anyone has problems reading my sheets just ask.



  • excel spreadsheet
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I don't mean to be over critical but it seems in your plans you havn't included construction materials. I don't know what is going on with the room that will be the theater, so maybe these things are already taken care of. But it seems at the very least you will need, drywall, trim of some kind, electrical wiring(possibly a seperate subpanel for the theater.), maybe some overhead lighting to complement the sconces (you may be choosing to omit this because lights will mostly be needed to enter and exit the room, and nothing else.), possibly some heating and cooling equipment for the room.

I didn't see on you list any kind of sophisticated room control unit. Something that controls all the equipment,lights and climate from a touch screen. Just mentioining this because that would be something I would want if getting into such an extensive home theater project.

Last thing, what are you doing about sound proofing. You have damping material on your list. My understanding though is that damping material is usually intended to stop reflection of sound within the room. However other methods are usually used to keep sound from being heard in other parts of the house or vise versa. An example would be varied stud walls that isolate each side of the wall from the opposite side.

So there is my thoughts. Hope it helps.

::thanks for the feedback::

I do have overhead lights…namely the recessed ceiling lights…they are my favorite.
Anyway the room itself is part of a different budget and has been taken care of. As for the room control unit kit... Where can I find one? I am not sure what to look for… Thanks for the feedback. What did you think about the rest? I am defiantly interested.
Could you post some links to some high-grade room control unit kits?
how much would it cost? 2-3k?

Well first there are two magazines which you may or may not have seen yet that you should check out...

Home Theater Interiors
Audio Video Interiors (

Both these magazines have some example theaters with lists of equipment. Interesting to look over and includes things like automation controls. As I said before these controls can do everything. Dimming the lights when the movie starts, closing blinds on windows, lowering the movie screen, controlling all the equipment, controlling the climate, etc.

Since you probobly don't have either of these magazines in front of you now, here are some links to get you started...

As for the rest of the equipment it looks good. Any reason why you are going with JVC for the source equipment. I don't necassarily have a problem with JVC but in my opinion they have never impressed me that much either. It seems like you are going with higher end equipment for amplification, speakers and video, so why skimp on the source equipment.

Last thing, have you ever considered some sort of computer audio player. Such as an mp3 jukebox or other compressed but lossless audio format. In my home we store all of our CDs on a computer and then they are right there with the click of a mouse(or possibly a control device in your case) to listen to. In my opinion it is much easier than haveing collections of CDs around. Also it can be used simultaniously in many parts of the house.

I’ll check those links out… As for a computer audio player…I will definitely have one…
I have been into computer construction for about 10 years now and I am definitely going to have a computer as part of the system. I have built every type of computer you can imagine… servers, personal computers, storage arrays, and even car mp3 player. Sorry I didn’t mention anything about it. As for why I chose JVC. I have one of their ht receivers now and I love it. It is easy to use and very dependable. As for sound quality…my ears love their receivers…
:::::I hope more people get involved with this discussion:::::
I see why you would be worried but I disagree with you. It seems kind of arrogant but I have setup several home theaters and I feel it is time to do a full on job. I have done a few DIY speaker projects and I plan to do at least 2 more before I start this BIG project. I know some people in the biasness of custom speaker and home theater design and implementation and they said if I run into a wall they could help any time. I thank you for you feedback and I am looking forward to hearing more form you as well as other people.

As with markkanof; I'm curious about your use of JVC equipment. I'm used it with good result but for the quality of the theatre your building it would probably be one of the weal points in the chain. Something like a new preamp/processor would be better. I know the new bryston processor does 7.1, as with Anthem, Sunfire, Rotel, and a bunch of toher companies.

Another thing is your dvd player, upgrading that would also be a good thing. Since you are going to have a projector you would want a progressive scan dvd player. Something like the Sony DVP-n9000ES would definitley work well with the system.

I didn't notice a price for cables either. You can build your own cables if you want to, or buy them. I'm not saying spend insane amounts, just don't skimp on cheap ones.

One more thing is the tweeter you plan to use. The others can correct me but its Fs is very high, it would be easier to cross over one with a lower Fs.

Now that i've written a book I'll stop now.....Don't worry, I'll be back!

Slice -

I too would buy the Bryston preamp for this project...

For your subs you might consider going with the Bag End ELF series... Buy a pair of ELF 18's and an ELF 1 processor. The system is good down to 8 hz... It does require LOTS of power though... figure on 500 watts per sub so I would buy 2 amps and bridge them... This is what I use...

For sound dampening you might check out the various links on this page... It'll get you started...

You will need acoustic panels behind the curtains so plan on it... Sheetrock walls by themselves just don't cut it...

Lastly, I would consider bumping up your speaker budget amount a bit... I don't think $5k is enough... It would be a shame to build such a nice theater with such good equipment and then skimp on the speakers... I would be plan on 4 identical matched speakers for your mains and rears, same brand for your center and then two smaller satellites for your sides....

Finally, you might consider something like this to tune the room... It'll let you correct for all sorts of stuff... The 482 is all you will need - you use a computer so set it up and basically forget that it's there...

Should be pretty cool!

Have fun!!!


I am a fan of JVC but I am not set in stone. I have experienced nothing but quality with them. I am open to using BRYSTON but what about cost? How much does the sucker cost? And I am going to design and build the speakers for this system and that’s that. I understand the concerns about the tweeter though and what wondering if the Vifa D25AG-35-06 would be a better choice? It is a 6-ohm driver so it would make the crossover slightly more complex. Another concern is would the BRYSTON processor be compatible with a theater automation system? No offence but I like astatically pleasing things in my house and the BRYSTON remote control is dam ugly. I could live with it though. Baby_huey0 you are mistaken because it is a progressive scam DVD player. And I would never get a Sony. I have had some bad experiences with Sony. Just remember I come here to hear your ideas and this is great I am getting this type of response. As for sound dampening I have that in the excel spreadsheets Apogee. If you mean soundproofing the room that is in another budget and that is my father’s responsibility, and he knows what he is doing. The subs I think are a bit overboard as well as tuning the room. They are good ideas but they are just not for me.

I took your advice and I have been looking around for some other DVD and a/v receivers…I found some that look like they would go well with my system. How is Marantz? I have been looking at their SR9200 home cinema A/V receiver and their VC5200 5 disk DVD changer. Are these any good?

Marantz is good

Marantz is very good indeed, but even better is an HTPC (Home Theater PC). They are extremely inexpensive and output SUPERB Image Quality. The output can be compared to a $10,000 faroudja and high end DVD player, with the results in favor of the HTPC. A recommended setup is:
Asus A7M266 Motherboard
AMD Athalon 1600+ CPU
ATI Radeon 7500 video card (not AIW)
Any Brookstone 848 or 878 based capture card
Audiophile 24/96 Sound Card
DVD Drive
60 gig 7200 rpm hard drive
512mb DDR Ram
ThermalTake Volcano CPU fan
300+watts case
Dscaler (for inputs, i.e. tv,svhs,laserdisc)
WinDVD (for dvd's)
SPDIF output enalbed (allows Dolby Digital and DTS output on the sound card)
Windows 2000

Thats all I can think of.
Any questions and ask me and I'll see if I can help.

Greg Lightfoot

By the way what kind of projector will you be using? I recommend a High end CRT projector running in a native widescreen mode (the king with three lenses, red,green,and blue). The cheapest way would be to get a used CRT with less than 2000 hours(one can be had for less than $4000). That will have the BEST image quality. Period. As good as film.
I will definitely have a pc as part of the system but not for DVD video playback.
I have lots of experience with building PCs and I can handle it. Thanks for the input though. If you download my excel spreadsheets that are available in my first post you will be able to see all the hardware I intend to use. I have chosen a really nice LCD projector from BOXLIGHT. It is the BOXLIGHT Cinema 13HD and is resident at
WXGA (Wide XGA "AKA WIDE SCREEN") resolution with compatibility for many others. Check it out.

You should use a pc for DVD playback, just trust me on that one, the quality is SOOOOO much better than anything you will put into it espically if you are not using an external scaler which costs $$$; internal scalers almost always SUCK badly. But if you want to go the digital route, I would suggest one of the new HDTV 720p native resolution DLP's, as the image quality is much better (unless you see rainbows) but with LCD you do have a good amount of screendoor (black lines and colums inbetween pixels) and if you put it big it will definitely show. As for HDTV the WXGA resolution the Boxlight has would require scaling for any resolution and with such a small step up and odd resolution, it would not look as good as 720p (but that can be done with Powerstrip :) ). Don't get me wrong, the Boxlight is an exelent projector ( i have seen one), but you could do better, maybe the sharp z9000. It can be had for about the same price and the image quality is the closest to CRT I have seen, except for pricey Lcos units. I would definitely give the z9000 a look.

Just my 2 cents
Greg Lightfoot
As I have said before. I am not going to use a PC for DVD playback. I appreciate your opinion but it is not for me. I will check into the projectors you suggested but if it isn’t WXGA I am not interested. I have heard things about the screen door affect but I am not displaying that big so it will not be a problem. I encourage you to go to the link and read the specs on the projector; it has all the features that you mentioned. I am sorry if I am being a little harsh but I like the BOXLIGHT projector and have heard great things about it. I will however check out the projectors you suggested but if they have a price tag over $5,000 I will just toss them out.


I checked out the sharp projector you suggested...sorry but it is not bright enough for my tastes or needs. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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kingfootga said:
HDTV 720p native resolution DLP's, as the image quality is much better

720p is the highest fidelity HD format that can currently be displayed -- 1080p will be better but technical issues still need sorting. People are doing 1080i only because it is easier from a technical point of view -- and although not as good as 720p has the appeal to the masses of the bigger number.

The boxlight should display 720p native, pixel for pixel with no need for scaling, it is important the projector has no issues with progressive scan input.

I have found that DLPs generally outperform LCDs, but right now i'd have to put the Hughes/JVC D-ILA projectors are currently the cream (i don't know if these have migrated down into the low budget Slice has given for a projector)

And amps -- i'd trim them back to Bryston 4Bs, the 3dB potential gain in loudness with a 7B is better gained by using more efficient speakers. And some budget to consider better projector & DVD player (the heart of any HT system)

The BOXLIGHT projector looks as if it is a great projector and the reviews are great. I have already reworked the budget to change out the JVC A/V receiver and DVD player, although I am a big fan of JVC. I have changed them to some high-end Marantz components. The receiver will be the SR9200 and the DVD player will be the VC5200; both of witch are highly recommended by reviews and so people I know and trust. I am still wondering what you guys think of the Vifa tweeter I mentioned rather the Peerless? I wanted a mono amp for each channel but I will think about changing to the 4Bs and 3Bs. Now I am telling you all you guys this; the BOXLIGHT projector does everything I want. It is very flexible and has many great features. For the price it just can’t be beat. I don’t know how many of you have actually looked at the excel spreadsheets but I will upload so revised ones later, maybe tomorrow.

Thank for the feedback & I would love more,
I'm curious to why you want to use a reciever as a preamp. With 10 other channels of sound I don't think you'll need it. You don't have to go bryston though, I know Lexicon is very similar. They also work with integrating systems, just look through this months AudioVideo Interiors. I know its a bit more expensive but if you drop at least the rear amps to 4Bs then you'll probably have enough more to afford it.

I didn't know that was a progressive scan dvd player, thats good. I think I would still recommend get something higher end. I think the Marantz is a good one, I've never seen it though. I live in a small town so theres a limit to whats here. You could also try the Arcam DV-88P, I've heard a lot of good things about it. Also there is the new Pinoeer Elite series DVD player. It also plays DVD-A, and SACDs, so you can listen in 5.1. Anyone who has used these or knows better please recommend, as I said I haven't had a chance to hear/see these yet, just heard a few good things.

I understand the "anger" ;) to Sony. The only things I likee buy them are their DVD players. The 9000es is a very nice dvd/sacd player, I've seen and heard them.

I'll be back!

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