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Listener Advice: Alan on Home Theater Construction

Alan recently finished his own basement home theater, and he wanted to pass along some tips he learned along the way:

1) He suggests reading books and making use of your local library. Some specific titles he recommends:

  • Taunton’s Remodeling a Basement
  • Taunton’s Wiring Complete
  • Black & Decker Complete Guide to Home Wiring (really good wiring diagrams)
  • Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Finishing Basements

2) For managing cables and power inlets in your walls, Allen found the least expensive recessed wall plates on Amazon. Rather than sitting flush on the wall like regular wall plates, these recessed wall plates let you plug things into the wall, or extend a power connection (extremely handy for ceiling-mounted projectors or wall-mounted flat panels) without the power cords protruding out of the wall:

3) For people looking specifically for Owens Corning 703 insulation to build absorption panels, he sent us a link to the best price he could find. And he suggested Parts-Express for fabric to cover DIY panels.

4) He also suggested Parts-Express’ Dayton Audio in-wall and in-ceiling speakers as another good, inexpensive option at around $70 a piece. He says their frequency response actually measured well after they were installed, so he’s impressed.

5) For an acoustically transparent screen, he can’t speak highly enough about Seymour AV’s DIY fabric and online guide for building your own screen. For under $400, he made a 120″ acoustically transparent screen, and he says it was pretty easy!

6) Lastly, for now, when doing measurements in Room EQ Wizard, he highly recommends breaking up the measurements at around 150 or 200Hz. That way, you can look at a completely unsmoothed graph for the bass separate from a smoothed graph for the midrange and treble.

Thanks Alan!

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