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Recent DIY Audio Articles

Star Wars Home Theater

Star Wars Home Theater

In “Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith,” Chancellor Palpatine invites Jedi warrior Anakin Skywalker into his impressive office overlooking the capital Galactic City. Home theater owner Steve Simon had a pivotal moment as well, though his likely didn’t involve Jedi forces and dark sides. Simon wanted to convert part of his garage into a home theater, and he thought he’d decorate it with the Star Wars memorabilia he had collected over the years.

In “Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith,” Chancellor Palpatine invites Jedi warrior Anakin Skywalker into his impressive office overlooking the capital Galactic City. Home theater owner Steve Simon

Steven Castle — October 06, 2008 12:45 in DIY Audio and Wiring

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 4 - A Basement? In Florida?

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 4 - A Basement? In Florida?

This installation is truly unique. I found a basement in Florida. I know, I know, typically they are referred to as "swimming pools" but this one was actually a basement. And it was under a concrete slab of sorts. Don't ask, but it was cool to run into a totally new situation and stretch my troubleshooting skills to their limits. This job entailed integrating a new 5.1 audio system from Aperion Audio (using their new 4B speakers and Bravus 8D subwoofer) into a one-of-a-kind Florida room. The bar was set high, so I grabbed "Tim" the homeowner and inquired about the best way to place the speakers and design the system.

This installation is truly unique. I found a basement in Florida. I know, I know, typically they are referred to as "swimming pools" but this one was actually a basement. And it was under a concrete

— September 29, 2008 07:18 in DIY Audio and Wiring

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 3 - Best. Attic. Ever.

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 3 - Best. Attic. Ever.

What happens when a musician who is very much into music and live performance decides to finally step up his home to the world of 5.1 surround sound? "Adam" lives in a beautiful historic home and has to decide what kind of system to install - and more importantly - where to put it. His priorities are movies and the ability for him and his wife to be able to crank up the movies and enjoy feature films when the kids go to bed.

What happens when a musician who is very much into music and live performance decides to finally step up his home to the world of 5.1 surround sound? "Adam" lives in a beautiful historic home and has

— September 23, 2008 06:45 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Building a Budget Home Theater for Under $5k

Building a Budget Home Theater for Under $5k

It’s one thing to hire an installer to create the ultimate home theater dream room. It’s an entirely different story (and a fun one) to create that room all by yourself—for less than five grand. While many home theater creations flaunt wealth in our faces, Stephen Hopkins was all about making us jealous for what he didn’t spend. "Budget was a definite concern," Stephen says. "Since we were building the house (our first) there was very little budget available for the theater itself."

It’s one thing to hire an installer to create the ultimate home theater dream room. It’s an entirely different story (and a fun one) to create that room all by yourself—for less than five grand.

Rachel Cericola — September 15, 2008 15:38 in DIY Audio and Wiring

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 2 - Surfer Dude Gets Surround

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 2 - Surfer Dude Gets Surround

"Joe" is a single guy who has youth group meetings at his home and watches movies with friends. He used to have a roommate who had a decent TV and speakers but now it's time to replace the system that "moved out". Joe is a bit of an enigma. He's actually quite "metro" and concerned with aesthetics - much like... well, your typical girl, particularly the kind that always seem to be married to the average audioholic. OK, that's enough Joe-bashing. The good news is that Joe already owns a Sony home theater-in-a-box, complete with subwoofer (bass module). The only thing left to do was make it actually be usable by buying ceiling mounts and wiring up the living area for a full 5.1 system.

"Joe" is a single guy who has youth group meetings at his home and watches movies with friends. He used to have a roommate who had a decent TV and speakers but now it's time to replace the system

— September 15, 2008 07:18 in DIY Audio and Wiring

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 1 - Frank's Pad

A Tale of 5 Installs Part 1 - Frank's Pad

"Frank" is a married guy who would love to have surround sound in his home. He makes a modest living so his budget is wisely limited to around $500 - which lands him squarely in the home theater-in-a-box crowd. The good news is that Frank is very handy and is completely into assisting in getting his surround sound system up and running in the best way possible. His wife is also very cool and isn't holding back his choice of products - the room and budget are going to dictate the limitations. Let's install!

"Frank" is a married guy who would love to have surround sound in his home. He makes a modest living so his budget is wisely limited to around $500 - which lands him squarely in the home

— September 11, 2008 07:55 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Advances in Custom Install Technology

Advances in Custom Install Technology

In case you were wondering, CEDIA stands for Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. With that in mind, we hit the show floor this year looking to see what was new for custom installers. From in-wall speakers and subwoofers, to media servers, flashy universal remotes, video scalers & esoteric gear, the Colorado Convention Center in Denver was filled with high margin items for integrators to supply clients with.

In case you were wondering, CEDIA stands for Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. With that in mind, we hit the show floor this year looking to see what was new for custom

— September 08, 2008 18:22 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Two Approaches to Whole-House Audio

Two Approaches to Whole-House Audio

Like most home amenities, electronic systems can be as stripped down or beefed up as you want. As the owner of two adjoining brownstones in Dallas, TX, Tony Chiarello had the unique opportunity to explore both methods. That’s quite an accomplishment in a home that towers four stories tall. Add whole-house music, sophisticated lighting, a home theater and a robust home-management system, and it’s clear that Tony’s decision to go beyond the basics was a good one.

Like most home amenities, electronic systems can be as stripped down or beefed up as you want. As the owner of two adjoining brownstones in Dallas, TX, Tony Chiarello had the unique opportunity to

Lisa Montgomery — August 26, 2008 12:17 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Installing Surround Sound - A Primer

Installing Surround Sound - A Primer

I love surround sound. I love it so much I want everyone else to share my love for it. But how do you do that? Well, for starters you can help others get surround sound in their home. You know the people I'm talking about. They've got a little of everything - from TV speakers, to a stereo mini system, to a home theater-in-a-box (HTiB) whose surround speakers have never seen the light of day. It's your friend… your pastor… your buddy who works in construction… This guide should give you some of the basic tools, tips & tricks to be well on your way.

This is a home theater surround sound installation primer.

— August 19, 2008 05:55 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Overview of Digital Still Camera Technology

Overview of Digital Still Camera Technology

There is nothing like the daunting task of buying a new camera. From the number of choices to the fanboy salesman at your local big box retailer it's hard to not only commit to buying that first camera, but also to figure out the type of camera you need. The photo enthusiast may remember with fondness shooting on film and waiting patiently for those photos to be developed. Today, the work of an entire darkroom or processing machine can be recreated, albeit not of the same quality, on your desktop. Today's photographer shooting in digital can nearly replicate the quality of film productions at a fraction of the cost.

There is nothing like the daunting task of buying a new camera. From the number of choices to the fanboy salesman at your local big box retailer it's hard to not only commit to buying that first

Eric Shelton — June 09, 2008 10:56 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Audiologic Schumakubins Loudspeaker Review

Audiologic Schumakubins Loudspeaker Review

As a Do-it-yourself speaker builder I have found myself wondering many times as I perused the internet’s vast sea of home speaker builder’s selections as to what some of the DIY speaker kits would sound like. Hence I decided to check out the Schumakubins which were born on the Parts Express forum utilizing their very own Dayton drivers. The Schumakubins shined with their smooth midrange and tight bass. If you are interested in building speakers but a little reluctant the Schumakubins are a great opportunity. I recommend buying the kit with the precut front baffle. You will be on your way to getting the best sound for the least amount of money and work. Kit speakers are a great and fun way to get some really good sound enjoyment and the Schumakubins are a great way to start.

As a Do-it-yourself speaker builder I have found myself wondering many times as I perused the internet’s vast sea of home speaker builder’s selections as to what some of the DIY speaker kits would

— May 07, 2008 17:39 in DIY Audio and Wiring

In-Wall Speaker Selection & Installation Basics

In-Wall Speaker Selection & Installation Basics

In-wall speakers are becoming more popular these days with aesthetics playing a major role in dictating the theater system components. This article explores some basic fundamentals for choosing in-wall type speaker products along with divulging some useful installation tips in efforts to realize their maximum performance and yield the best possible experience to the end users. If you’re goal is to achieve the level of fidelity previously only reserved for the finest box type speaker systems in an unobtrusive in-wall solution this article is a must read. The goal for any good home theater system is to be so connected with the experience that the equipment literally disappears. There is no reason why this goal cannot be achieved with a properly executed in-wall system.

In-wall speakers are becoming more popular these days with aesthetics playing a major role in dictating the theater system components. This article explores some basic fundamentals for choosing

— December 06, 2007 22:25 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Custom Install Tech System (C.I.T.S) First Look

Custom Install Tech System (C.I.T.S) First Look

Ever wonder how, as a custom installer, you could make your business more profitable? More organized? The Custom Install Tech System (C.I.T.S, pronounced "kits") was designed specifically for Custom Install companies that install residential and commercial A/V, automation, security, lighting control and structured wiring systems. To date, the C.I.T.S. distribution site has been positioned exclusively to CEDIA members, however Custom Install Supply has since expanded their reach to similar companies all across the country. These days many companies’ ideas and worries about the housing slumps have got them thinking more about inventory control and reordering procedures. While some companies have tried to develop something in-house, many are unable to due to lack of time, money or both.

Ever wonder how, as a custom installer, you could make your business more profitable? More organized? The Custom Install Tech System (C.I.T.S, pronounced "kits") was designed specifically for Custom

— October 16, 2007 11:13 in DIY Audio and Wiring

Video: Installing Surround Sound Speakers

Video: Installing Surround Sound Speakers

We know you're out there. Yes, you. The guy who bought that 5.1 surround sound system in Christmas of 2006 but still hasn't hooked up the rear speakers. It's too hard, you say! There, there, we feel your pain. But it's not really all that bad. In fact, we decided to put our money - uh, make that our bodies - where our mouths are. Audioholics takes itself up into the attic... in the middle of summer... in Florida... to help YOU learn how to install your surround sound speakers. Yeah, we love ya.

We know you're out there. Yes, you. The guy who bought that 5.1 surround sound system in Christmas of 2006 but still hasn't hooked up the rear speakers. It's too hard, you say! There, there, we feel

— September 27, 2007 10:43 in DIY Audio and Wiring