This is probably where I get the most “geeky” about this hobby, probably due to my car audio days. My home theater equipment has changed over the years, but the rack layout has been consistent. Amplifiers that make heat at the top of the rack, signal processing next, source devices that I need to interact with at an easy to reach level for the entire family, and power conditioning at the bottom since it doesn’t need to be touched much. This layout also makes for cleaner wiring on the backside of the rack. The signal comes from the source components over HDMI or RCA into the preamp. The .1 sub channel at 80 Hz and down then goes to the tactile amplifier and then on to the active subwoofers. The center channel signal at 80 Hz and up goes into an EQ for high frequency restoration for behind the screen speaker placement and then on to one of the monoblock amplifiers. The side and surround channels at 80 Hz and up each go to their own monoblock. The front left and right channel signals at 40 Hz and up go into a stereo crossover and signals from 40 – 100 Hz go to one set of monoblocks and then into the in-wall left and right subs. Left and right signals from 100 Hz and up go to another pair of monoblocks and on to their speakers. This bi-amping of the front stereo channels provides better bass when listening in stereo and greater dynamics. The current configuration starting from the top of the rack is:In the rack –Middle Atlantic PD915R
– This has all of the mono block amplifies plugged into it and allows me to easily run the system with the amps shut off for testing low frequency response. Just one red power switch on the front instead of nine on the back.
Three Soundstream M3
Tri-monoblock THX amplifiers for nine channels – left high and low pass, center, right high and low pass, right and left sides, right and left rear. These provide maximum channel separation and great dynamics for each channel thanks to nine separate power supplies. What can I say? I was a car audio guy.Sonance Sonamp 260
amplifier that drives the Aura Bass Shakers on the back of the riser. Its variable low pass crossover and phase control have come in handy for tweaking the tactile response. This amp originally came with the Sonance Cinema Subs that are in the front wall.Outlaw ICBM
to split left and right signal – I had trouble finding a stereo subwoofer crossover and almost had to go with dual mono units.Integra DTC-9.8
preamp handles all of the switching and EQ duties. I did go the extra step and paid for a professional calibration of the Audyssey system.URC base station
for IR – bounces commands off of the framed poster across the hall from the gear rack. It is matched with the IR/RF sending MX980 remote and RF receiver wired in the theater up by the projector.Panasonic DMP-BDT215
Blu-ray player – nothing fancy but it does the job. I do like the iOS app for it. This was the Costco sold model and came with the 3D “Avatar” disc that when sold almost paid for the player.TiVo Premier
with 2TB hard drive – the best way to record cable and over the air shows and lets me access the other TiVos in the house.Xbox 360
with 4 wireless controllers – my kids love gaming on the 106” screen.Escient DVDM-100
– an oldie but a goodie, still lets me access my entire DVD library, never crashes, never needs to be rebooted, and entirely legal.Sony DVP-CX777ES
400 DVD Changer – I switched to a black one a few years ago for better cosmetics. You know what they say…Monster Power HTPS 70000 MKII Signature Series
– pretty blue lights and easy system power up. Actually living on a heavily taxed suburban power grid during a brown out makes power conditioning a necessity.Monster Power Pro AVS 2000 Signature Series
– I don’t think you can even get these anymore, but the 20 amp capability of the Pro unit made it a no-brainer. The rack handles also make it easier to pull the entire rack out if necessary and it had more matching pretty blue lights. This is the only piece of gear in the rack plugged into an outlet.
Not pictured – HP ProCurve 408
switch – behind the rack, simple and reliable Internet access for all of the on line gear.In the theater –Sony VPL-VW60
projector – 1080p LCOS works for me.Monster Power UPS 500
Battery Back-up – dedicated to just the project and allows time to shut it down with the fan on if we lose power.Chief ceiling mount with shelf
– this is for the projector and UPS.Monster Power SW 200
x 3 – two of these in the front of the theater and one in the back protect the subwoofers.Aura Bass Shakers
x 2 – these are mounted directly to the riser behind the couches and do a nice job of adding tactile response.Sonance Cinema THX Ultra II
in-wall speakers x 5 for L, C, R, LR, RR – features an 8” woofer, dual 3” mids, and 1” silk dome tweeter in D’Appolito array.Sonance Cinema SUB system
for L and R low pass – these are the dual 8” drivers in the in-wall back boxes behind the screen.Sonance Cinema Surrounds
for LS and RS – similar configuration with 8” woofer, dual 3” mids, and dual 1” tweeters. Not THX certified since these are bipole, not dipole speakers.JBL Synthesis HTPS400
12” subwoofers x 4 – each one rated at 1,000 watts and placed near each corner of the theater for smooth strong bass with Monster Subwoofer RCA cables connecting them.Monster HDMI 400
50’ cable to projector – this was pulled through the future pipe and is now the only input the projector uses.Stewart Filmscreen
106” Firehawk THX Microperf screen - 16x9 aspect ratio.
Top of Rack -- "Power, power, woo woo woo"
Middle of Rack -- Preamp, processing, and sources. The TiVo and VCR have both since been replaced.
Bottom of Rack -- Power conditioning is part of a strong foundation. The changer is no longer silver.