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post #1 of 41 Old 10-11-2013, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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So, our company decided it needed a new showroom. I'm no longer with said company but I thought the build log might be of interest to the forum. I will avoid mentioning their name as I'm no longer employed there but if you're clever you might spot the logo in some of the pics (not gonna edit them out. I took all these pics).

Our premise was a full on, money no object, theater room. As most high end companies love demo rooms we got alot of support from the vendors. Our main focus was on featuring California Audio Technology speakers and amps in a room deserving of their reputation.

The building we bought was completely inappropriate to any kind of dedicated theater. The room we wanted to use was an obscene 15.5' x 29' with an 8 foot ceiling. I speq'd up a few designs in that terrible room and they ended up looking, err, terrible. One early idea I had was to make the entire screen wall a screen. My pet peeve is seeing a well designed, well appointed theater room showing on a tiny HDTV or 82" screen. Sure, curtains are nice but I want to see the picture!

Even with the stinker of a room I continued gathering our vendors and parts.


Original Room: 15.5'x29'x8'

 

And what's with all those doors!!!

 

Here's the plan on the equipment to use:

 

VIDEO:
Display Development HD4 Projector and Scaler
Schneider Anamorphic lens
Stewart Filmscreen 184" 2.35 Curved Screen with StudioTek 100

AUDIO:
Theta Casablanca Preamp/Processor
Theta Compli Blu Bluray player
CAT Amps and Speakers yet to be determined

MEDIA SERVER:

Kaleidescape
PrimaCinema

THEATER "DESIGN" (ie, the pretty stuff) and SEATING:
CinemaTech

CONTROL SYSTEM:
Crestron

 

Putting a rough estimate on retail budget of the project to be around $500,000

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post #2 of 41 Old 10-11-2013, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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First draft of a design with the stinker of a room:

 

 

It's really not too bad considering.  Had to do something with all the extra space so I put a bar back there with tall chairs.  With the 8' ceiling it would be a challenge to keep the bar area from throwing shadows on the screen...  Neither me nor the boss really liked this.

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post #3 of 41 Old 10-11-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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First draft figured on the California Audio Technology S600S2 front mains.  Theses have a 1" dome tweeter, 2 6" mids, 2 9" mid bass and 1 12" sub.  LFE subs on the front wall to be 2 CAT S4 18" subs.  In addition there would be 4 CAT S2 12" subs around the room to balance out room nodes and such.  Surround speakers would be 4 CAT 400's (with 1" dome tweeter and 2 7" drivers) on the side walls and 2 CAT 400's on the back wall for surround back.

 

Toyed around with bumping up the screen to 194" diagonal but quickly abandoned that idea...

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post #4 of 41 Old 10-11-2013, 10:21 PM
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wow Im already looking forward to this and thank you for the very nice details so far, its really appreciated. smile.gif

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post #5 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 06:02 AM
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What a great project! Cost no object and 'very high end'?

Here's my critique...smile.gif

Nice but your design represents, to me, represents an ideal room of 5 years ago.

First, why the Theta CB? That's an old, dated design even in its new CB-IV iteration with a version of DIRAC. No ability to do more than 7.1 channels. No advanced codecs. The Datasat at a similar price offers far more flexibility and excellent DACs. Really the state of the art piece.
Cost no object? Datasat RS-20 or ADA reference SSPs or at least Trinnov MC and a competent SSP.

Also, 7.1 is yesterday. Many advanced consumer devices and commercial cinemas are moving to more channels and heights, etc, Datasat will have Auro 3D audio decoding 1st quarter. Datasat is the current king of SSPs... others like Storm Audio are adding advanced features and codecs as well.

Also, add a baffle wall if not already planned... and what are your plans for sound acoustical treatment

I assume you're running a scope set up and masking... consider the Isco III lens.

A 13.1 set up would be ideal in a room that size.

My room is of similar size (a bit wider - 17') but I'm using the Stewart Vista scope with automatic masking (1.3 gain Studio-Tek). The frame came to exactly 17' wide for a 168" wide 2.40 scope screen. FWIW, I'm adding Trinnov processing to my room and expanding to 11.1 or 13.1 over the next couple months.

It's certainly going to be a fabulous room but when I saw 'cost no object' and 'very high end', I wanted to insert my 2 cents.

Good luck!!smile.gif


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post #6 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

What a great project! Cost no object and 'very high end'?

Here's my critique...smile.gif

Nice but your design represents, to me, represents an ideal room of 5 years ago.

First, why the Theta CB? That's an old, dated design even in its new CB-IV iteration with a version of DIRAC. No ability to do more than 7.1 channels. No advanced codecs. The Datasat at a similar price offers far more flexibility and excellent DACs. Really the state of the art piece.
Cost no object? Datasat RS-20 or ADA reference SSPs or at least Trinnov MC and a competent SSP.

Also, 7.1 is yesterday. Many advanced consumer devices and commercial cinemas are moving to more channels and heights, etc, Datasat will have Auro 3D audio decoding 1st quarter. Datasat is the current king of SSPs... others like Storm Audio are adding advanced features and codecs as well.

Also, add a baffle wall if not already planned... and what are your plans for sound acoustical treatment

I assume you're running a scope set up and masking... consider the Isco III lens.

A 13.1 set up would be ideal in a room that size.

My room is of similar size (a bit wider - 17') but I'm using the Stewart Vista scope with automatic masking (1.3 gain Studio-Tek). The frame came to exactly 17' wide for a 168" wide 2.40 scope screen. FWIW, I'm adding Trinnov processing to my room and expanding to 11.1 or 13.1 over the next couple months.

It's certainly going to be a fabulous room but when I saw 'cost no object' and 'very high end', I wanted to insert my 2 cents.

Good luck!!smile.gif



Hi thebland ,
I like the way you think,where can I see pictures of your theater? When you mention 13.1 what's the setup broken down...? Such as layout for the speakers,can i assume that it's a7.1 with another six speakers used for say height and width! But then where else are the two other speakers going? I have two rows of side surrounds , a pair of back rears. I've been thinking of setting up another pair of back/rears on the ceiling forward of the back wall pair about 7-8 Feet , and use a minidsp for time alignment/delay/level and some eq...g.I read a write up on the trinnov mc and found it fascinating . I'm a home theater addict can't get enough.
Thanks







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post #7 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for the support and feedback!  I really appreciate it!

Well, the obvious answer of why a Casablanca is because I'm a (was) a Theta dealer so I was showcasing my lines. The latest version of the Casablanca has all new electronics (though older models can be upgraded also) and the upgraded DACs I speq'd are nothing short of incredible.  Theta and CAT go well together so that really was a no brainer.  The CAT portion of the build relies on a small stack of outboard DSP's so the Theta is a pre/pro and decoder.  All the heavy hitting goes on in the DSPs.

So... at this point the 8 foot ceiling was a show-stopper.  CAT's engineers didn't like what it was doing to the room so we decided to 'raise the roof'.  Due to the slope of the roof we had to rotate the theater 90 degrees to get the room we needed.  In addition CAT offered to pony up two more LFE subs and upgrade the drivers on all the speakers (like I said, vendors really love showrooms).  Additionally, Display Development upgraded our HD4 to an HD3.  (This was the point where we downgraded our screen from a StudioTek 1.3 to a 1.0.  We simply had too much light!)  Even with the 184" screen we were looking at over 100 ft/lamberts.  Ouch.  With 1.0 gain and the anamorphic lens we dropped that to about 80 ft/lamberts.  Still incredibly bright but we could always lower that if needed in the projector.  Here's the new design that I felt pretty good about:

 

Not shown is the new 9' ceiling with a 10' cove in the center.  CAT engineers were happy and adjusted the location of the surrounds a bit and signed off.  The design then went to CinemaTech for their guys to go to work on it.  They had some tweaks that required running by CAT and this process continued 2 or 3 times until we had a final design.  In my design we hid the projector in the soffit but due to the anamorphic lens we had to drop it's location 2 feet so we ended up with an enclosure cased around it.  CinemaTech sent us a rendering of the theater based on our color scheme and style

 

 

Everyone's happy now.. time to start tearing stuff up...

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post #8 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 12:05 PM
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Interesting choice of locations for the side surround speakers. I'm not sure which of the blue boxes represents the speakers, but interesting in either case. Can you shed some light on why they chose to put them so far forward compared to the more conventional locations for a side array? The first render above shows what I would have expected.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!


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post #9 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Let's just say that that was an early revision...  I didn't update my copy after the acoustic nerds took over as by then we had blueprints courtesy of CinemaTech.  Here's approximately what we ended up with:

 

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post #10 of 41 Old 10-12-2013, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Demo begins...  that wall behind the green ladder is concrete filled cinder blocks... :-(  what the...

 

 

Concrete wall gone.. rest of walls gone.  One ginormous room now.

 

 

Now the ceiling comes down.  Note the evil demon cellulous insulation..  It was all bagged up for later..

 

Starting to frame the room up.  Still an 8 foot ceiling.  Note bags of evil cellulous insulation.  Glad that wasn't my job to bag that up...

 

(some magic happens)  And now, 9 foot ceiling with a 10 foot cove.  Also the speaker wall was built out.  To the credit of the construction guys my stud layout was followed to the 1/8th of an inch.  This would be important next...

 

Ceiling details.

 

Also the riser was built around this time.  The built-in step was not in the plans.  I showed the construction guys a rendering of the finished design and they "winged it" on the step.  I had no idea they would follow the rendering and not the blueprint...  Lesson learned :-)

 

Speaker boxes for the front mains and subs being wired and installed.  Everything fit like a glove.  I love it when a plan comes together.

 

One of the surrounds and a balancing sub plus the front mains.  The gap up front is due to one of the sub boxes not surviving the trip.  Had a new one remade...

 

Other wall with surround and balancing subs..

 

View of the side wall with surrounds, balancing sub and surround back speaker on the back wall.  Step back to an "outie" instead of an "innie"

 

Also the frame for the racks was built in an adjacent room.

 

All in all things are running smoothly.  The 19 foot long box containing the Stewart screen arrived around this time and the day before drywall started going up we got it in the room.  Had we not done that there's no way we could have gotten the screen in the room due to the sharp turns to get in.

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post #11 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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And progress continues...

 

Two layers of drywall going up.  Pink layer was supposed to be Homasote but I think a similar product was used due to availability..

 

I was off on another job for a few weeks so the drywallers really knocked this out.  I almost didn't make it back in time to get these pictures.

 

Both layers up.

 

Had a small ordering snafu and only ordered 4 surrounds instead of 6.  That's why the surround backs are missing right now..  Also only ordered 2 18" subs instead of 4.  Also pictured is our 184" screen in the huge crate..

 

 

All taped and floated.  What did they do to our floor!

 

Speakers arrived.  Put them up so fast I didn't even get any pictures of the process..  Note the 2 missing 18's  :-(

 

Woodworking went up so fast I missed most of the progress.  The empty columns were filled tightly with roll insulation.

 

Speakers up and the drywall was primed and painted.  Woodwork got stained also..  Wouldn't be a theater room without sconces..

 

 

CinemaTech guy showed up and started tacking up fabric clips.

 

More fabric strips and blank surround backs..

 

Time to put the screen up.  What's that you say?  No treatment on the screen wall?  Not yet.  eventually I covered the wall with black felt.  Just a little treatment but mostly for light so the AT screen wouldn't ghost.  With the carpet and full treatment on the other walls we left the ceiling and screenwall untreated so as not to totally deaden the room.  As it is you feel very slight pressure on your ears when you walk in the door.  Any more treatment and you would have felt like having a head cold.

 

Big screen.  Getting close..

 

CinemaTech installing the treatments..  Absorbers and some diffusers.

 

 

Fabric on the screen wall.

 

Fabric on the side and back walls.  Not stretched yet..  Big box on the riser is the projector.  Display Development HD3 and the Anamorphic lens in the smaller box.

 

Hooked up the screen with the six million hooks and rings.  Really a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Oh, and the rug came in!

 

Fabric done.  Just needs some fine trimming..

 

Out of order but this is one of my favorite pictures.  Now that's a screen!

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post #12 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 12:00 PM
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What I love about this is well at least the design is very similar to what I have been working on even the room dimensions are similar so its nice to see how the flow would go and how the outcome would be, I do wish I had the audio video budget though lol... Great work, love it so far smile.gif

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post #13 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 12:18 PM
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Beautiful work Robert!

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:

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post #14 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 12:19 PM
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Really cool,keep the pictures coming this is a fine build I love it!







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post #15 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention about all those bags of insulation from the old ceiling...  They ended up getting stuffed into the riser!  Deadened it up something fierce.  It feels like a solid concrete floor.. not due to stiffness but due to there being no sound at all when you walk on it.

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post #16 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 05:10 PM
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Interesting choice of LCR for such a large room, it'll be interesting to see the HF roll off over the two rows - same with the response of the rears, I'd think seat to seat variations will be high. Wait and see I guess

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post #17 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not entirely sure what you mean by my choice of LCRs.  Each speaker is in a huge backbox (reference install pictures above).  All the drivers are made by CAT and are spectacular.  The 1" dome tweeter is rated far able the 300 watts I'm pushing to it.  In each speaker the tweeter and two 6" drivers are in a sub-enclosure and are powered by a 300 watt amp.  The two 9" drivers are in their own enclosure and also get a 300 watt amp.  The 12" driver is in a large box and receives a 500 watt amp.  This is for each speaker.. left, center and right.  There are no crossovers as the amps are fed by a DSP (well, 3 of them).  Each of the 4 LFE 18" subs (which fit in an 8 cubic foot box) gets a 700 watt amp (which puts out 1400 watts into the 4 ohms the driver runs at).  The other 4 12" subs get 500 watts each.  The surrounds each have a 250 watt amp channel.

(getting ahead of myself)  After calibration I can prove on paper that at each and every seat I can exceed 120dB from 16htz to over 20,000 with a flat frequency response..  Is that what you were asking?

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertintemple View Post

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by my choice of LCRs.  Each speaker is in a huge backbox (reference install pictures above).  All the drivers are made by CAT and are spectacular.  The 1" dome tweeter is rated far able the 300 watts I'm pushing to it.  In each speaker the tweeter and two 6" drivers are in a sub-enclosure and are powered by a 300 watt amp.  The two 9" drivers are in their own enclosure and also get a 300 watt amp.  The 12" driver is in a large box and receives a 500 watt amp.  This is for each speaker.. left, center and right.  There are no crossovers as the amps are fed by a DSP (well, 3 of them).  Each of the 4 LFE 18" subs (which fit in an 8 cubic foot box) gets a 700 watt amp (which puts out 1400 watts into the 4 ohms the driver runs at).  The other 4 12" subs get 500 watts each.  The surrounds each have a 250 watt amp channel.
(getting ahead of myself)  After calibration I can prove on paper that at each and every seat I can exceed 120dB from 16htz to over 20,000 with a flat frequency response..  Is that what you were asking?




I like that! The system setup/components and lay-out are outstanding. That's some woofage/ampage. I've been thinking of doing some 12" subs at the sides inside my pillars,how'd you guys go about incorporating them into the setup?



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post #19 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertintemple View Post

After calibration I can prove on paper that at each and every seat I can exceed 120dB from 16htz to over 20,000 with a flat frequency response..  Is that what you were asking?

Interesting, I've not encountered a 1" dome that do 120db flat at 20k at say 3-4 meters. Look forward to seeing the individual measurements on completion. I meant to say before, nice fitout.

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post #20 of 41 Old 10-14-2013, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I like that! The system setup/components and lay-out are outstanding. That's some woofage/ampage. I've been thinking of doing some 12" subs at the sides inside my pillars,how'd you guys go about incorporating them into the setup?



PeterV

I was going to get to that eventually.. but since you asked..  From the source the audio goes into our pre/pro (Theta Casablanca).  All the Theta does is decode.. no audio processing.  That's handled by the two Symetrix 8x8 DSP's and a Breakout 12 to handle the crossovers to the various amps and room eq/correction/delay and such.  Particular attention was paid to the subs.. The 4 18's up front are eq'd and balanced and act as just a left and right sub.  The other 4 12's are individually eq'd to balance out the room nodes and at some frequencies even run out of phase to cancel out peaks in bass.  That's where the science and art come together... the CAT engineer spent 2 days calibrating the room.

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post #21 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 04:54 AM
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Wow.. Looking great and that is some prodigious output!

Great set up!


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post #22 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 06:03 AM
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Very nice setup..


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post #23 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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So... Last of the parts came in.. really like the look of this 18" sub in my van....

 

Started putting the amps in the rack.  Starting with two CAT 250x7 amps.

 

Next the 700x2 amps.  Five in all (three were for a pair of speakers in another room)  Notice the 1U gap between the 250s and 700s..  this would haunt me later as the 700x2 amps are about 160lbs each...

 

Got to the top and realized that my Visio 42u rack was only 40u.... Didn't have enough room to mount the last 300x2 amp.  Had to move everything down one amp at a time...by myself.  On the right at the bottom are the DSP's..

 

It's my birthday, I wants it.

 

Business end of the amp stack.  Each amp had its own dedicated 240v circuit.  I think we single-handedly put our electricians son thru college...

 

More pretty equipment getting racked.  This one cost more than my car... and not by a little either.

 

Speakers wired.  Subs were all wired with 8 gauge OFC wire. The LCRs were wired with IXOS Gama wire (braid of 11 and 13 gauge).  Surrounds were wired with 12 gauge OFC wire.

 

Speaking of expensive equipment...  But mainly showing off the DSP's.  That's a lot of processing power.

 

Chairs arrived and start to go in. Fully motorized, even the couch, with adjustable headrests.  With the final speakers installed the CinemaTech guy came back and trimmed and snugged the walls.

 

Had to try it out of course.  The DSP's hadn't been programmed yet so I was running out of the Theta straight into the amps.

 

Wanted to show off the speakers of course so I bought some 12v landscape lights and took the stake off and installed them inside the screen frame.

 

Done finally.  the CAT engineer arrived and spent two days calibrating the room.

 

Wide angle view of the room.  The décor may seem a little plain but we designed the room to match the style of design of the houses in the area.

 

Took this picture with a GoPro Black camera.  I set it up on a tripod and wifi'd into it to take the picture.  I'm laying behind the front row of chairs.

 

And of course the photo shopped composite.  Actual room pic combined with an actual screen shot.

 

Uhm, yeah...

 

I ISF calibrated the projector and achieved the most accurate calibration I've ever done.  Display Developments scaler is based on a DVDO and it is well behaved.

I mentioned that I can hit in excess of 120db easily.. Not so we could have the loudest Nissan Sentra ever, but so that the capability is there for peaks and dynamic content.  Large scale movie effects (I'm looking at you, Michael Bay) are stunning.  Live music recordings sound live (ever been kicked by a kick drum?).  My favorite demo in fact was a recording of Willie Nelson playing Blue eyes crying in the rain.  I've had people tell me they thought Willie and his band were standing behind the screen.

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post #24 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 12:06 PM
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fantastic and a perfect model for me to aim for ^_^

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post #25 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 05:34 PM
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Wow! This is an amazing Theater. The equipment racks looks awesome! Especially the amps! You have a serious theater! How much of the build did you have to pay for and how much was donated?


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post #26 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 06:10 PM
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Very, very nice indeed, but I'm curious as to why the white ceiling, walls, and soffits.
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post #27 of 41 Old 10-15-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post

Wow! This is an amazing Theater. The equipment racks looks awesome! Especially the amps! You have a serious theater! How much of the build did you have to pay for and how much was donated?

Oh, we had to pay for all of it!  CAT ponied up some subs ($5k retail) and upgraded all the drivers AND kicked us a percentage off dealer cost but it was still some serious money.  Most other vendors gave us 15% - 25% off dealer and of course Display Development upgraded us to a better projector at the same cost as the smaller one we paid for.  I did an informal spreadsheet of the full retail cost of this theater and including labor it was somewhat north of $700,000.  Alas, our primary goal was all out audio/video/acoustics paragon and in that I feel confident we succeeded.  Design of the room (ie, pretty stuff) could have been better but like I mentioned we were aiming for a room that looked similar to the houses we normally do.  Frankly I'm in awe of a lot of the theaters I see in these forums and am somewhat embarrassed..  :-)  You guys rock and your kind words means a lot.

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post #28 of 41 Old 10-16-2013, 05:39 AM
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I don't think you have anything to be embarrassed about! Thanks for posting your build. You were right in the other thread saying it was going to be a lot of work postiong. biggrin.gif


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post #29 of 41 Old 10-16-2013, 09:56 AM
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Super high end hardware, fantastic job.

Do you mind my asking why you no longer work for them? Over budget on the theater? wink.gif

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post #30 of 41 Old 10-16-2013, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's the finished racks, front and back.  It includes the equipment for the theater, a livingroom (running off the Integra receiver) and a two channel system (running off the Theta Gen VIII and three of the 700x2 amps).  Sources are the 2 Theta CompliBlu Blu-ray players, Integra Blu-ray player, Kaleidescape server with 2 players and a Blu-ray vault, 2 Western Digital Media Players, an Apple TV, 6 DirectTV receivers and the PrimaCinema.  These feed the Crestron 16x16 HDMI matrix switch in another room so you can play anything anywhere.  The WD Media players mostly serve up demos from it's internal hard drive (Blu-ray clips that I edited together).

 

 

 

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