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Jul 11, 2021
United States
I always told myself that once I had a room that I could design from the ground up, I would put together one of these threads. Since my wife and I are finishing up the house now, I figured it was time.

The first post will be a look back at how I got to where I am today, including pictures of older setups.
Then I will show you what the future room is going to be, along with the progress of where we are…..

I have been a huge fan of home theater since my mid-teens.
Back in 1994 I was able to get a job at Circuit City when was I was 16 years old.
It was the first time I had experienced “surround sound” outside of a commercial theater.

I remember the main Sound Room.

It had some huge Infinity speakers for the left and right.
Dedicated center channel and some satellites for the rear speakers.
The subs we some old Velodyne 12” and 15” models.
The display was a Hitachi 60” rear projection “BEAST” of a TV.

I was hooked from that point on.
As I went through college and could afford things, I slowly pieced together a small bedroom system.
Grabbed my first DVD player in late 1997, the Sony DVPS-7000.
Upgraded it a year later when the 7700 was released, since it decoded DTS.

It wasn’t until early 1999 that I invested in my first real system.
At that time, I was still working for Circuit City and we recently introduced Polk Audio.
We had a training and one of the perks of attending that training was having the ability to purchase their flagship system, House building materials the RT5000p, at a fraction of the retail price. I grabbed the system, as is, and also grabbed a second set of the FX1000 surround speakers. My receiver at the time was a Harmon Kardon AVR85 and my sub the Velodyne 15” (not 100% sure of the model number). Finally, in late 2000 I took advantage of our relationship with Onkyo and picked up the Onkyo TXDS989 receiver. This was one of the first 7.1 receivers on the market. It was right about that time that DTS-ES and Dolby EX started becoming available with DVD releases. Those tracks added a 6th, backchannel, to the experience. Gladiator and Phantom Menace were the first ES/EX discs I owned. The Onkyo took that 6th channel and split it among the two back speakers to make a faux 7.1. Man, the pod race in Phantom Menace was AMAZING the first time I heard it!

That system stayed intact until 2003 when I bought my first home.
It had a basement and was excited to setup my first dedicated “home theater” space.
Since the area was smaller than what I previously had, I decided to sell off my Polk speakers, Velodyne sub and even my Onkyo receiver.
They were replaced with a full Axiom Setup
-M60 for fronts
-VP120(I think) for the center
-QS8 for surrounds.
I grabbed an HSU VTF-12 sub and ran everything off a Denon receiver.
Then for my display was a Hitachi 57” HD rear projection TV.
This system was the first system I had professionally calibrated.
ChadB made his first trip in late 2003 to come calibrate my audio/video.

I jumped into the world for front projection the Summer of 2004.
That lead me to sell my Hitachi and pick up an Infocus 480P projector.
It was paired with a 92” pulldown Da-Lite screen.

In Summer of 2006 I picked up my first 720P projector, The Panasonic AE700.
Also added some Outlaw Monoblock amps to my system.
Sometime between this time and early 2007, I grabbed my first HD-DVD player and added it to the mix.

Fall of 2007 brought some major life changes for me.
I left the only city I ever knew and moved to Nashville for a job promotion.
It caused me to sell my house, along with my projector and screen.
Since I wasn’t sure how long I would be there, I opted to rent an apartment.
Bought a Sony 1080P rear projection TV and ran a 3.0 system.

In the Spring of 2009, I bought a 60” Pioneer Elite Kuro to replace the Sony TV.
Sold my Denon and replaced it with a newer model that had HDMI passthrough.
Speakers stayed the same.

After getting engaged in February of 2010, I moved to Knoxville and back into a house.
This allowed me to jump into a 5.1 system again.

In the Spring of 2011, I made my first major upgrades in several years.
-Sold the Denon I had and bought the Denon 4810 receiver.
-Sold my LCR Axiom Speakers and added Klipsch RF-82/RC-62 for LCR.
-Added an Emotiva XPA-3
-Added a second sub, 10” Axiom Sub.
-Added a JVC HD250 projector, paired with a 92” Dalite pulldown screen.

Fall of 2011 I sold the Klipsch RF-82/RC-62, bought some Goldenear speakers, returned the Goldenear speakers and bought some Klipsch RF-7II and a RC-64II.
Also switched out my Axiom in-wall surround speakers for some RS-62 speakers.

That system stayed intact and went with us when we moved in October of 2012.
I did change out my subs and added dual VTF-15H from HSU.
My screen went to a Carada 115” wide, 2:35 screen.
This house allowed me my first dedicated space since I lived in Cincinnati.
Good thing is that this space was HUGE compared to what I had in my first basement.
Unfortunately, this room is where the addiction really started taking over.
I learned quite a bit over the 8.5 years I spent in this room, some good and some not so good.

Lots of things I did during this time were huge wastes of money. I was always chasing the next thing and was stupid in thinking “bigger” was always better.

The next several posts will have pictures showing all the changes the room went through.
I don’t want to bore or lose the few folks that are still reading this long post, so I will just list any changes to the room, based on the pictures.
Last edited:

Rene T

Site Team
May 20, 2011
Farmington NH
I stopped reading after the second paragraph when I scrolled down to see how long this post was. Electronics is not my thing. Sorry.


Well-known member
May 15, 2020
Everyone has their passions. Hard to relate for a lot of folks who live in RVs - LOL...

I remember the 70s and a bunch of guys being audiophiles with big reel to reel decks, tub amps and turntables etc. I even bought a couple of Polk speakers for a guy in Singapore and checked them as luggage to carry them back to Manila. I even heard an old Steve Martin bit recently about "diamond needles" and multiple speaker systems.

This stuff was hard to do a long time ago. There was no Amazon ready and willing to bring anything anywhere for a small (or no) fee.

I suppose OP won't be impressed that I was watching TV on my tablet in bed last night - LOL...

I am sure those who "know" home theater stuff can relate.


Well-known member
Mar 27, 2017
On the road from mid NH
Awesome! I can relate as a recent former home owner.
I had Snell AIIIs for mains With a Sony receiver.

As a pro sound guy, I miss the gut thumping theater experience since moving in to the trailer. We are buying a sound bar for each other for Xmas (after sales).

I would love to use up the whole living room with my Danley TH118s but I would get ejected from the campground. 😁


Well-known member
Nov 17, 2018
Albuquerque, NM
I can certainly appreciate the work, planning and expense that goes into a well integrated home theater but I'd first have to have a reason to want one to go through all that. Compared to equipment 20 or 30 years ago, basic A/V stuff today performs well enough for my taste anymore, so finding it hard to warm up to the idea of buying leading edge anything. I consider myself still a member of the "if it's too loud you're too old" club but anymore the alphabet soup of media codecs, standards and protocols, and just getting the stupid boxes to talk to each other has exceeded my attention span. I could afford any TV and audio gear I want at this stage in life but I haven't found much in the way of content that's worth watching. Throw in the frighteningly short life cycle of this stuff before the next greatest thing comes along and I don't want to bother just to keep up with obsolescence. No doubt though there is an ever expanding market for this stuff with the current screen generation. So I guess that also puts me in the curmudgeon club, I'm happy enough if I can just get the damn thing to play or stream whatever it is I want to watch. Just a few weeks ago I took a big moving box full, a good hundred pounds of perfectly functional but obsolete and unusable electronics to the city recycling place. All I can think anymore is what a horrid waste of time, money and toxic waste this stuff causes for what amounts to be temporary entertainment or utility. Man, am I old. Now, get off my lawn.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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