Jump to content

Advice for First Home Theatre Room


Recommended Posts

  • Moderators

My wife and I are building our first home after 10 years of marriage and 4 kids later. I have been a long time fan of Klipsch but have never owned them personally.

My current system is:

Onkyo TX-DS555 (5.1 Dolby Digital Receiver)
Polk RT-800 Front Floorstanding
Polk CS-300 Center
Polk F/X 500 Rears
Velodyne CT-100 Sub

My system is about 7 years old and has served me well but I have never been really satisfied with the dialogue from the center channel. I am wanting to take it up a notch and have looked into purchasing a Klipsch setup.

We found a floorplan that we like and I have made modifications to it. I am interested in adding a Theatre Room to the back side of the house. You can see the layout below. The dotted line shows that I want to add about 1-2 feet to the length of the left rooms (shown by dotted lines). With the original size of the back bedroom being 11' and the pool bath being 12' plus the 3' between the two, that would make the length around 25 - 26'.

I'm interested in purchasing the following setup for the Theater Room used primarily for movies but I love music too:

  • RF-82 Front

  • RC-62 Center

  • RS-52 Surrounds

  • RW-12d Subwoofer (I probably will use my Velodyne Sub for now to help stay within budget.)

Budget for speakers & receiver: Around $3000.00

Here's where I need your suggestions.

1. Based on the layout and dimensions of the house, what dimensions would you recommend for the theater room? Ceiling does not have to be 10'. I'm thinking of having two rows of 3 leather theater chairs with back row elevated.

2. I looked into replacing my Onkyo Receiver with a Yamaha RX-V1700 but it is $1200.00. Many forum members have suggested getting a $500.00 receiver. Should I upgrade my receiver or is it even necessary until I go to a 7.1 setup. Still works great but is an older receiver.

3. Would the Klipsch system that I mentioned above be adequate for that room size? Before I thought about adding a dedicated theater room, I was going to use the RB-61's for front speakers in a custom entertainment system. With the theater room, I think I would rather have the RF-62's.

4. Any Do's or Don'ts that I should know when designing a custom theater room?

5. Working with a $3000.00 budget, I know that I might have to use some of my existing system and slowly purchase the speakers as others have mentioned in the forums. What would you keep from my current system and what would your replace?

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, lots to work with here... good space, but having two dimentions close together ( mulitples of each other ) will bring "room modes" that are peaks that make the room sound boomy.

Random thoughts....

If you can frame the walls so that they are splayed, this helps to reduce standing waves, walls that splay roughly an inch per foot is a good area to start. In 24 feet of length, this means the side walls would be 2 feet wider at the rear compared to the front of the room. Aesthetically it can add a sense of space to the area.

The 10 foot ceiling is good, again if the ceiling can be splayed upward ( consider 8 feet high or so in the front, splaying upwards to full height at least 1/3 distance into the room ) this will help out. Aesthetically this can be good as well. ( think different colors, with flat / satin black near front of room )

Wire for at least 7 channels of audio ( if wiring is installed in wall and a binding plate installed, this reduces labour costs in the future to upgrade ) cheaper to do it now than break out special tools to drill and pull wire ( could cost hundreds later to re-do )

Thinking about front projection? Install wiring for same now. You may want to consider a hush box as well for the projector.

Plan for wiring to wall sconces, and possibly a lighting system that you can control with scenes or different modes ( automated dimmers, integrated lights on if doorbell rings, phone etc ) Rope lights behind a crown molding can look very nice and is also inexpensive. Columns can add a touch of class as well.

Doubled 5/8" drywall is heavier and more costly to install but yields a better stc. Staggered studs on the front and rear of the room ( 2x4" studs on a 2x6" plate ) will help out as well.

Cruise the Let's see your home theater thread for ideas....

Wet bar in rear? Microwave for popcorn?

Media storage ( DVD and CD ) storage in room?

Home theater PC set up as server and playback device? You may want to pull cat-5 or cable into the room as well.

Approximate budget? Are you capable of doing some of the work yourself? Framing or being able to drywall can save you a chunk of change as you will not have to farm that work out. For that matter, drilling holes and pulling wires can be very easy when the room is bare. You may consider installing conduit with extra space to pull more wire in the future as well.

Type and number of sources? Cable, satellite, both ? Plan for more than you actually have and think of buying in the next few years as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can frame the walls so that they are

splayed, this helps to reduce standing waves, walls that splay roughly

an inch per foot is a good area to start. In 24 feet of length, this

means the side walls would be 2 feet wider at the rear compared to the

front of the room. Aesthetically it can add a sense of space to the


It would actually be 4 feet wider at the rear than the front (since

both side walls need to be splayed). If you can't splay down the whole

length, then at the very least splay the first half of the room. You

will not believe the world of difference that this will make. If you

wanted to be a little bit more hardcore, you might also look into

building a false front wall. This would allow you to flush mount

speakers and give you a lot of flexibility with subwoofage and

acoustical treatment. It also opens up options for "framing" in the

projection screen / TV. Splaying the rear wall helps too.

Absolutely make sure you have easy rear access to your equipment rack,

and then if possible try to position it in a location that does not

distract from the movie (usually in a side closet or behind the

listening position).

Otherwise I think Hurd nailed everything.

What all does your $3000 budget need to cover? Just speakers and a

receiver? I know you want to do surround, but you might consider

putting all that money into a killer 2-channel system. For now you can

use your Polk's as rear surrounds until you've got the funds to expand

out your system. Heck, do you think you could afford a pair of Cornwall 3's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Youthman: Welcome to the forum! I see that my two pals Michael and Doc have already given you some excellent advice. My own theater is only 10-1/2' x 19' x 7'. Perhaps, in looking at my site, it will help give you some ideas regarding what can be done with a small space and with a space as large as yours. My theater has both a seating area and a wet bar with stools, all of which, overlook the screen. My room is multi-purpose, but it's still a very serious theater. If you are interested, just click on the banner below to access my site. Nice house and floorplan by the way! Best of luck! - Glenn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent resonant mode dispersion can be had from 21' X 14' with a 10' ceiling. If it were me building this house I would find a plan with bigger bedrooms to start with and no living room.[!3' or 14' by 11' is still small for bedrooms] HARD to RESELL.I've had 3 houses with living/family rooms. Never spent more than a few hours in the living room.. Paid property taxes on that room for 20 years and furnished it twice only to practically have to give the furniture away. Living room costs $60,000 for the 3 houses. If you must stay with this plan, add more to the bedrooms and less ie 21' for the HT room X 14'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Thanks for the awesome advice everyone! I am keeping notes of the details that you have suggested in a file so that I can easily reference them when we begin to build in January. 21' x 14 x 10' would work great because I could build a false wall up front that would be 4 feet thick. I know nothing about proper proportions in order to have "excellent resonant mode dispersion". Heck....I'm not sure I even know what that means. [:)] The house is going to be custom built. The floorplan is one that we found that we liked and modified it a bit in Photoshop. The floorplan also had a modified plan to make the Living Room part of the Master Bedroom but we figured it would be just wasted space to have a huge bedroom. We have 4 children (1, 4, 6 and 8 years old). My wife likes the idea of having a small area to allow some separation from the kids when we have company, or just want to hang out together. I agree that the 11 x 11 rooms for the kids are small, that's why I want to add some length to them. I'm a youth pastor and my wife is a school teacher. Income is good, but with 4 kids, we have to stay within a budget for the house. Hoping to meet with the architect next week to show him our design and talk about options. Any other advice is surely welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every area is different on property taxes. In my area the first floor is taxed at a high rate by square footage. The second floor is 1/2 that rate and the basement is not taxed at all. So you get killed on a ranch like yours. In addition a two story is much cheaper to build for x amount of square footage. Less cost and maybe less taxes. Keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...