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What size do most use?.....

by dakremer
posted 07-10-2017 11:49 PM


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53 replies

53 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#1 posted 07-10-2017 11:56 PM

There’s no standard for built-ins. Lower kitchen cabinets are 24” deep and uppers are 11 3/4” IIRC. Most bookshelves are ~12-16” deep.

Kitchen countertops should overhang cabinets by 1.5” or so. But again, that’s for kitchens.

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waho6o9

8800 posts in 3137 days


#2 posted 07-11-2017 12:04 AM

What jonah said ^^

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 12:07 AM

I was thinking 20” deep for the cabinets and 12-15” deep for the shelves….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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Loren

10477 posts in 4208 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 12:13 AM

The bottom sections of built-ins like this
are usually shallower than kitchen cabinets.

20” deep is sensible.

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htl

4859 posts in 1719 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 12:13 AM

Years ago my shelves would end up being 12”.
11” shelving, 1/4” luan back and 3/4 for face frame.
Years ago the base cabinet needed to be wide for those big deep tv’s but that’s not a problem, now a days.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

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JackDuren

544 posts in 1520 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 12:44 AM

Upper and base can be any size. There is no set standard for this. usually there is a plug along the side wall that sets the depth on many bases.

As far as counter tops….There usually 25” residential and 25” commercial. Blanks are sold 25”x144” just for this purpose…

Paint or stain?

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tyvekboy

1941 posts in 3573 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 12:56 AM

First I would consider what are going on those shelves. Usually books are the the usual items. Look at the size of the biggest books that you intend to put on them and size the depth of the shelves accordingly.

I assume you are going to make them adjustable shelves. When I built my bookshelves/shoe storage project I used saw-tooth shelf adjusters.

As for the bottom cabinets, again I would determine the depth by what I wanted to store in them. In the bookshelves/shoe cabinet I built, it was determined by the tilt-out shoe storage containers.

Your 20” deep cabinets and 12 inch shelves sounds good to me.

You might want to consider including full extension low side shelves … depending on what you intend to put in the cabinets. It will make getting to the items in the back of the deep cabinets easier.

You should also consider a toe kick at the bottom 3-4” deep.

If you live near a furniture store or an IKEA store, take a tape measure and see what dimensions you find as a guide.

Hope that helps.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

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jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#8 posted 07-11-2017 12:59 AM

If the built in is meant as an entertainment center, be sure the TV area is big enough for future expansion in the size of the TV. Nothing like sizing the cabinet for your current TV and then not being able to go bigger ever because the built in can’t fit anything bigger. Calculate the physical size of the largest TV you could see yourself owning and go with that. Also, be sure cabinets meant for components/game systems have a way to get air in and out. Those things generate a lot of heat. I’d put ventilation holes or even a big cut away along the red line to let air out of the lower cabinets.

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EricTwice

248 posts in 1093 days


#9 posted 07-11-2017 01:09 AM

If you are putting books on them a 10 inch wide shelf is plenty, unless you are dealing with oversized books.

Remember this is custom and you are building it for your things. Forget about standard, and what everyone else is doing.
How big are the things that you want to put on it?
Is it paperback romance novels or oversized art?

That is where you need to go to find your answer of how deep the shelves should be.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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cracknpop

368 posts in 2909 days


#10 posted 07-11-2017 01:43 AM

Alot of good advice above, including Jonah’s comments about ventilation for electronic components you plan to store inside cabinets.
Measure your components depth and make you sure you allow room for any connecting cables that will stick out the back of your components (receiver/DVD/etc). I built one with inside depth of 15” which was just barely enough. Your 20” cabinets and 12-15” shelves should work well.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5433 posts in 2869 days


#11 posted 07-11-2017 01:48 AM

The is pretty much and open book on something like that . Design it around what you want to put on it/in it, your budget and material use. Shelf spans are important. Are your shelves going to me adjustable or fixed? shelves spans can be short or long depending on how you build them. There just so many possibilities on something like this.

For instance on material usage. If I want the best use of plywood the shelves will finish out at 12’’ inch with after edge banding with solid wood, that way you get 4 rips out of a sheet. 3 rips per sheet you can have 16’’ shelves etc.

Which brings up the question, what you going to make it out of.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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MT_Stringer

3183 posts in 3791 days


#12 posted 07-11-2017 02:10 AM

Twenty inches deep on the bottoms and 12 on the top would look pretty good. Consider what material you will be using and see how you can maximize usage with as little waste as possible.

+1 What Alaskaguy said.
For cabinet uppers, 11 1/4 is good. Add a face frame that is 3/4 inch thick and you have a 12 inch cabinet. That makes it easy to rip sheet goods and have very little waste.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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000

2859 posts in 1459 days


#13 posted 07-11-2017 02:29 AM



Twenty inches deep on the bottoms and 12 on the top would look pretty good. Consider what material you will be using and see how you can maximize usage with as little waste as possible.

+1 What Alaskaguy said. For cabinet uppers, 11 1/4 is good. Add a face frame that is 3/4 inch thick and you have a 12 inch cabinet. That makes it easy to rip sheet goods and have very little waste.

- MT_Stringer

Might as well cut rips 11 7/8” and get the most out of it.

I try to keep openings under 32 so you get 3 pieces out of the sheet,
plus the span is about as long as you would want anyway.

Making the TV sized for the biggest you may get is good.
Most of my clients mount the TV’s on an articulating arm and bring them out flush with the face.
I make frames to fit the TV and when they upgrade to a larger TV all you have to do is re-cut the frame to fit.

I would prefer 22” for the base if you have the room.

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Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3666 days


#14 posted 07-11-2017 11:25 AM

Doug, I think you are right on with your sizes!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#15 posted 07-11-2017 02:12 PM

Thanks for the replies guys! I think i’m going to go with 11 7/8” cut shelves (with 3/4 face frame) and then 20-22” deep base cabinets

A few questions I forgot to ask….what is the typically height of the base cabinets? Same as kitchen cabinets? We decided we do not want a toe kick. Also, what is probably the widest doors I’d want to make on it? My wall spans 16’ across. Planning on adding drawers and doors so want things to look proportional..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#16 posted 07-11-2017 02:13 PM


If the built in is meant as an entertainment center, be sure the TV area is big enough for future expansion in the size of the TV. Nothing like sizing the cabinet for your current TV and then not being able to go bigger ever because the built in can t fit anything bigger. Calculate the physical size of the largest TV you could see yourself owning and go with that. Also, be sure cabinets meant for components/game systems have a way to get air in and out. Those things generate a lot of heat. I d put ventilation holes or even a big cut away along the red line to let air out of the lower cabinets.

- jonah

Thats a good tip! I never considered vent holes for the electronics. We actually don’t have any electronics (no cable tv, no dvd player) We have a modem and router (which will be set up on the shelf) and everything else is digital (Netflix, Plex, Hulu, etc). I should probably plan it out though so future home owners have a place to put their electronics…..

My TV is 75” which is about the biggest you’d want in this room. So I think that size hole will satisfy all future TVs

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#17 posted 07-11-2017 02:15 PM

I would not make them 34” tall (that’s standard for kitchen cabinets). They’ll look strangely big. The ones in the picture are probably ~25” tall. Maybe 28”.

I’d go 20” deep x 26-28” tall. Mock it up in sketchup and see what it looks like. That’s a good idea regardless of what you decide.

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#18 posted 07-11-2017 02:18 PM

Ignore the mess…. Here is the wall and TV. I want the built-ins to span the entire length and height of the wall…The wall is 16’ wide and 8’ ceilings

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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489tad

3680 posts in 3572 days


#19 posted 07-11-2017 02:27 PM

13.5” inside the face frame on the uppers and 20.5” inside the face frame and 35” floor to top on the lowers. Hope this helps.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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PPK

1576 posts in 1370 days


#20 posted 07-11-2017 02:28 PM

I’ve had good luck and think everything looks proportional with 12” uppers and 16-18” deep bases. Board games, larger books, etc still fit fine in a 16” deep cabinet. I think if you go too deep on the bases, you end up with something that looks like a kitchen in your living room.
I stay at 30-32” tall max for the bases. Don’t make your doors wider than 19 or 20”. Especially with raised panel doors. Flat panel are lighter, but they still look funny at wider than 19”. (IMO). Puts a lot of stress on the hinges and door joints too.

Don’t cover up your outlets – cut them in :-)

-- Pete

View DS's profile

DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#21 posted 07-11-2017 03:36 PM

Wow, lots of numbers flying around here. You can get the sense that there is a wide range of standards and options.

From the furniture side, standards vary a bit. Typically 20”deep and 30” high for base cabinets in this situation.
You want to be able to mount your TV at a good height in the room and still have a nice field around it to your cabinets. 30”h typically works fairly well for this.

Kitchen counter height is good for working on a surface, but is a little too high for an entertainment center situation.

20” deep is about the minimum depth to fit an old style cable box with rear connectors in it. (about 19” clear inside)
A modern box could be smaller and not need so much depth.

Be sure to plan for your wire access throughout the unit. It’s much harder to create access after installation, than plan access holes in advance.

Plan where all your equipment and speakers will go and ensure you have proper room for each item. After that is done, the rest of the design is pure aesthetics.

Have fun!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#22 posted 07-11-2017 03:43 PM

Is that 30” high just for the cabinet (not including the countertop)? or including the countertop? how thick should the counter top be? what space should I allow at the bottom of the doors for trim?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#23 posted 07-11-2017 03:47 PM

Finished counter height of 30”.

This is not a hard and fast rule, however, just a typical height in my neck of the woods. If your larger TV needs a couple extra inches, you could lower it even further.

“Form follows function” applies first, then aesthetics second.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5433 posts in 2869 days


#24 posted 07-11-2017 03:55 PM

Not knowing what you’ll be putting in the base cabinets, I throw this out there too. In the last kitchen I build for my self all the base cabinets were drawer units. Both I and the wife love how easy and accessible ever thing is. Just a thought.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#25 posted 07-11-2017 03:56 PM

I blogged the process of my wall unit here, if that helps you. I didn’t spend much time discussing dimensions or planning, but you can see the before and after was a fairly dramatic change.

My planning process went like this;
  • What is the optimal viewing height for my TV in this room?
  • Given that TV placement, what is an appropriate field around the TV for the design Aesthetics?
  • What are my specific component size requirements?
  • What about lighting, switches, or other specific electrical needs (Relocating an alarm motion sensor in my case)
  • How can I best connect all the required wiring throughout the unit?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#26 posted 07-11-2017 04:02 PM

I will add that most TVs that are mounted on the wall are mounted way, way too high. You want eye level (while seated) to the middle or at highest the bottom third of the screen. Hanging it above a fireplace ~6ft off the ground is insanity. It’s like sitting in the front row of a movie theater every time you watch TV.

For your reference, the bottom of my 55” TV ended up right at 28” off the ground (it’s mounted to the wall with a very small console below it), and it’s the perfect height IMO.

Also, a normal sized receiver with things plugged in behind it takes up ~18” of depth. I think you want at least 20” of depth in the cabinets/shelves in the lower section.

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#27 posted 07-11-2017 05:27 PM

+1 what jonah said.

I would add only that sometimes, if this is in a room with a pool table and pub height tables, you would WANT the tv higher on the wall. (That is the rare exception, but it happens)

Just saying, determine what the best viewing height should be first, then plan all else around that.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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cabmaker

1745 posts in 3369 days


#28 posted 07-11-2017 11:50 PM

I can tell you how i do it,,,,,,,BTW I do this for a living.

sit in your favorite viewing seat….

get a dimension from finish floor to your line of sight,,,,,

That will be the center of the screen…

work backwards from there to determine the cabinet height.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5433 posts in 2869 days


#29 posted 07-12-2017 01:28 AM

Just a little side note. My TV is 42 ’’ off the floor and I can watch it just fine.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#30 posted 07-12-2017 02:07 AM

By craning your head up, sure.

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Rich

5001 posts in 1149 days


#31 posted 07-12-2017 02:11 AM



Just a little side note. My TV is 42 off the floor and I can watch it just fine.

- AlaskaGuy


By craning your head up, sure.

- jonah

The angle you crane your neck at is a factor of the distance you sit from the screen. My TV is about that height too, and it’s very comfortable. I just don’t sit six feet from it.

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AlaskaGuy

5433 posts in 2869 days


#32 posted 07-12-2017 03:24 AM


Just a little side note. My TV is 42 off the floor and I can watch it just fine.

- AlaskaGuy

By craning your head up, sure.

- jonah

The angle you crane your neck at is a factor of the distance you sit from the screen. My TV is about that height too, and it s very comfortable. I just don t sit six feet from it.

- RichTaylor

Your assume thing you should be assuming. First I don sit on the floor right in front of it. I’m 13-14 ft away and I can watch it just fine with my head in the normal position. The only time I watch TV is when I’m on the computer (like now). How you can assume my head is cranked up is beyond me.

Besides that I’m not designing my home to fit around a TV.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Roger

21021 posts in 3364 days


#33 posted 07-12-2017 12:18 PM

Look forward to seeing the finished projects.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#34 posted 07-12-2017 03:04 PM

I have a 75” TV and sit about 16-18’ back from it (on my couch). I’d right now, my eyes are level with the bottom of the screen – which is about perfect (being that far back). I think I’ve settled on 30” high”, 18-20” deep, with 12-13” shelves on top.

I can’t stand TV’s that are up to high. TV’s on top of fireplaces are horrible! It all depends on how far back you are sitting though.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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Kelly

2529 posts in 3504 days


#35 posted 07-12-2017 03:57 PM

Your cabinet, your rules. Everything else is just a jumping off place.

We have a few non-standard books, so it’s nice having some shelves that will accommodate them. Similarly, my wife had a few plates and platters that would not have fit in standard upper kitchen cabinets. Adding just a half inch can be huge.

Some might worry about the material use of veering from the norm, but you aren’t building these every day, and you’ll have them for decades. As such, I’d put my focus on end product, rather than cost. After all, you’re going to end up with cabinets that would have cost you several thousand for only a fraction of the price.


Another vote for “don’t build it so you have to crane your neck (and when enough people say the same thing, it may not be right, but it is at least worth considering.

You can always add cabinets, if, for some strange reason, you decide to go back to a 19” television. You, of course, cannot, easily, enlarge the area.

Since the system will be, I presume, done in sections, you can drop the center, television area below the remainder of the counter area and it would only add to the custom appearance, as elsewhere noted.

There is nothing that prohibits you from altering the upper and lower flow of the cabinets. for example, rather than just build all the boxes for my kitchen cabinets the same height and depth (of course, the width changes in most kitchens), some push down lower, some push out farther. I think it really adds to their custom look, and breaks up lines that would make them more ho-hum’ish.


When I built a bookshelf-counter top for our dine room, I tried to look to the future and add outlets for as of yet unanticipated uses. They’ll be hidden by things anyway, so it’s nice to have them, if needed. In the case of the bookshelves, I topped ours with granite tile and we use the area for lamps, crock pots or what have you (20 amp circuit), if throwing a shindig requiring it.

Of course, you could make hollow half pillars to hide cables, if needed.


One end of the dine room bookshelf has a pillar bookshelf. I’m thinking of, one day, adding a door with beaded or other glass, depending on what will be stored or displayed in it.

__
Another vote for lower drawers. My wife had never used a kitchen with them before. Now, she takes them for granted and couldn’t be coaxed back to pulling everything out to get to that one thing in the back.

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#36 posted 07-12-2017 08:48 PM

Here is what I’ve come up with so far. I might do another design with the middle cabinet (TV part) lower than the two side cabinets – just to break up the top countertop. Otherwise, thoughts on how everything is scaled/looks?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#37 posted 07-12-2017 08:49 PM

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#38 posted 07-12-2017 08:50 PM

I’m assuming my stiles on the outsides of the cabinets and shelves will have to be wider to accommodate for the wall not being straight/plumb?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#39 posted 07-12-2017 08:53 PM

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#40 posted 07-12-2017 08:58 PM

Have you considered your sound system in this design?
Bookshelf speakers are okay, but my preference is to conceal the speakers.
I am also thinking you might want more shelves in the sections left/right of the TV (2 high vs 1)

It is looking nice. This is the time to experiment with different arrangements until you find the one you can’t live without. Good job so far!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#41 posted 07-12-2017 09:04 PM

hmm…good point on the speakers. The room is set up for surround sound. We won’t be using it though. We’ll probably just use a sound bar below the TV (which means I need more vertical room for the TV….

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#42 posted 07-12-2017 09:07 PM

I’m not sure I’m liking the whole thing being straight across without any breaks. The next design I might lower the middle section and maybe add some pillars…just to be beef it up a little.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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jonah

2092 posts in 3859 days


#43 posted 07-12-2017 09:08 PM



I m assuming my stiles on the outsides of the cabinets and shelves will have to be wider to accommodate for the wall not being straight/plumb?

- dakremer


You’ll want to scribe those stiles to the wall, so leave an extra 1/2-3/4” on both sides for that.

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000

2859 posts in 1459 days


#44 posted 07-12-2017 09:33 PM

I like it with the flat top all the way across.
I would shorten up the drawers a little and make the center doors a little wider
since the center is the focal point. The drawers look to wide to me, but that’s just my opinion.
(about an 1 1/2 shorter on the drawers)
If you wanted to add a little more interest you could pop out the center like so:
EDIT: Put speaker grills on the 2 ends??

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#45 posted 07-12-2017 09:34 PM

I like that Jbay, however my wife doesnt like the look of “odd number of doors”. She doesn’t like it when one door handle is by itself. I like that design though

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#46 posted 07-12-2017 09:35 PM

Here is another version with the middle lowered…..

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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000

2859 posts in 1459 days


#47 posted 07-12-2017 09:35 PM

What do they call that? A symmetrical?

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#48 posted 07-12-2017 09:36 PM

The audiophile in me, (what little there is), says that a soundbar (FL, C and FR channels), works okay for small to medium rooms.
For a larger room, the full 5.1 or 7.1 channel treatment is way better.

Sure, it is typically a lot more money, but I managed to buy decent raw speakers (surplus) and built my own surround speakers for about the cost of a speaker bar.

My rear channels are exposed, hanging from the pre-wired ceiling mounts but all the front channels are behind speaker fabric in my wall unit.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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dakremer

2746 posts in 3652 days


#49 posted 07-12-2017 09:39 PM

DS – my room is about 15×18. The built-ins are going on the 15’ wall (184” to be exact). so its a decent sized room. My wife doesnt think we should put in surround sound, since this isnt our forever home, and she doesnt want to spend the money – lol. I’d be all for it though…

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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DS

3344 posts in 2980 days


#50 posted 07-12-2017 10:37 PM

Nice part about that is you can take the receiver and speaker with you later.

BTW, I am running on a $10 yard-sale, old school w/o HDMI, Yamaha 5.1ch receiver.
The speakers are high-end, but discontinued Vifa woofers and tweeters with a custom crossover board in a custom made (by me) ebony enclosure – totally tuned for my room.

Using a Logitech Harmony programmable remote that I’ve had for a while resolves all the components to a single remote control. Result is awesome surround sound on the cheap.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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