WorkofHart's 3.2ch Listening Room/Theater Setup - AVS Forum
What's Your System Configuration > WorkofHart's 3.2ch Listening Room/Theater Setup
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 03:58 PM 10-25-2011
Hello all! This is my first true attempt at a home theater other than HTIB. Honestly, it's geared more towards a 2.1 style 'music theater' than a movie theater, though I do like my eye-candy.

So here's the equipment list:
  • Sharp Aquos 60" LED TV
  • Pioneer VSX-1021-K Receiver
  • Boston Acoustics A360 Towers for Front
  • Boston Acoustics A225C Center
  • Boston Acoustics A26 Bookshelf for Surround (Not installed yet)
  • (2) Velodyne MiniVee 10 Subs
  • Aperion Zona Wireless Bookshelf for Zone 2 (Currently in my bedroom
  • Apple TV 2
  • Cisco e4200 router
  • Linksys WET160N wireless bridge
  • Linksys SE2500 ethernet switch
  • iPhone 4 32Gb(iOS 5)
  • iPad 2 64Gb(iOS 5)
  • 27" iMac (2011 model)

I was shopping for a stand for a long time to find something I really liked. I ended up finding the JSP Vivaldi TV Stand to be the one I wanted, but for a ridiculous $1700+.

JSP Vivaldi TV Stand


Plus, it's on backorder from practically everywhere that carried it, so I set out to build it myself! A trip to Lowes and $220 later, I came home with
some Aspen boards and Birch Plywood to start my stand. I haven't yet decided on a stain color, but I when I do, I'll have to take it all down and
finish it. Here's the results!

View from the front entrance









AVControl2 App for the AirPlay Receiver



Where the real work gets done



A360 Tower



MiniVee 10



My newest addition, Belkin PF30 Power Conditioner. This made my wiring situation much better. I can now place the TV Stand almost flush against
the wall. I HATE messes of wires just sitting around!



Stand almost flush against the wall, wires tucked beneath the baseboard








Accidentally ordered a second alarm clock, so I figured out a nice convenient place to use it. Certainly helps the time from slipping away while
I'm relaxing on the couch enjoying my music. The other device is just for giggles. It lets me keep track of my power consumption from devices.
I'm pretty sure I've analyzed every device in my house at this point. lol





HATE loose wires...





Audio enjoyment on the go!


To keep things in check...


Questions, comment, and constructive criticism is welcomed! Thanks for looking.

Frohlich's Avatar Frohlich 05:55 PM 10-25-2011
Great set-up and great pictures. I almost bought that cabinet a few years ago before we remodeled our room. Everything looks clean and uncluttered. Well done.
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 07:29 PM 10-25-2011
Thanks! My setup is not nearly as custom and clean as yours though. I'm just doing what I can to keep my cables in check. That's one reason I haven't setup my surrounds yet. I can't wait to be able to remodel a room like you did and completely integrate the theater components.
Rodrigues_Brazil's Avatar Rodrigues_Brazil 05:41 AM 10-26-2011
Beautiful room, house!
Nice setup!
A M A Z I N G pictures!
Congrats!
jnnt29's Avatar jnnt29 01:43 PM 10-26-2011
Great set up. Very clean.
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 02:00 PM 10-26-2011
Thanks for the kind comments!

The photos were a bit tricky because of low light and mixed lighting. The lamps would make one half of the photo warm while the windows made the other half cool. Plus the wall color almost always comes out looking like a mustard yellow. That's why the photos are partially if not completely desaturated.

jnnt29, I'm really liking your cabinet, looks quite simple yet extremely functional and clean.

Does anyone have any suggestions to offer regarding speaker or acoustic panel placement? Should I move the center channel up to be flush with the front of the stand? Are the two front acoustic panels serving a functional purpose being behind the towers, or am I just thinking wishfully? I figure they might provide some absorption from 2nd order reflections and maybe act as a baffle for the ports on the rear of the towers, allowing me to move the towers closer to the wall?
Room209's Avatar Room209 04:37 PM 10-26-2011
Nice pics. Looks neat for sure. but why not just mount the tv on the wall, and just build the bottom portion of the cabinet?
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 05:10 PM 10-26-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Room209 View Post

Nice pics. Looks neat for sure. but why not just mount the tv on the wall, and just build the bottom portion of the cabinet?

Besides asthetics and convenience of being able to move the entire setup, the primary reason is because I'm military and single. Since I move every 18-24 months, I choose to rent, so any major modifications to the houses that I rent make for a PITA to repair when I have to move out (usually with short notice).

On that topic, I think I'm going to try adding another brace to the back since it doesn't stand perfect straight with the two small braces Im using now.
CKWells's Avatar CKWells 02:27 AM 10-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

Does anyone have any suggestions to offer regarding speaker or acoustic panel placement? Should I move the center channel up to be flush with the front of the stand? Are the two front acoustic panels serving a functional purpose being behind the towers, or am I just thinking wishfully? I figure they might provide some absorption from 2nd order reflections and maybe act as a baffle for the ports on the rear of the towers, allowing me to move the towers closer to the wall?

I would definitely try moving the centre up, and i'd be surprised if you didn't get some improvement. I'd try moving the L/R forward too. Perhaps some their front baffles are just forward of the line traced by the front edge of the stand. It's free to do and may give some improvement!!

And perhaps some sort of absorption on the left wall. Might break up the big empty space (Unless you like the empty space of course ).
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 02:40 AM 10-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKWells View Post

I would definitely try moving the centre up, and i'd be surprised if you didn't get some improvement. I'd try moving the L/R forward too. Perhaps some their front baffles are just forward of the line traced by the front edge of the stand. It's free to do and may give some improvement!!

And perhaps some sort of absorption on the left wall. Might break up the big empty space (Unless you like the empty space of course ).

Thanks! I will move the center forward and audition it there for a while. You're saying to move the fronts forward to where they are flush with the front of the stand? I was hoping the panels behind them would compensate for them being closer to the wall (kind of like poly-fill in a box is used to emulate more space), but I might try that for a while and see if I like it.

I definitely intend to put a covering on the left wall. My girlfriend is an art major and I've tasked her to create a nice large canvas (which I intend to back fill with rock wool) to fill that void.

I also have 15" x 8' frames built to fit in the two corners of that wall to act as bass traps, I just haven't found the time to cover them and install the rock wool. I'm hoping it will tame a little boomy-ness in the room and tighten up the bass a bit more. Thoughts?
ddgtr's Avatar ddgtr 04:28 AM 10-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

.......I also have 15" x 8' frames built to fit in the two corners of that wall to act as bass traps, I just haven't found the time to cover them and install the rock wool. I'm hoping it will tame a little boomy-ness in the room and tighten up the bass a bit more. Thoughts?

For the bass traps to work properly you would need to treat almost every corner in the room, including the horizontal ones. Also, the material used must be of a certain density, not to mention that they would be effective down to about 60 Hz or so and cost a lot. A better, cheaper and more accurate alternative would be subwoofer placement. You seem to be computer savvy - REW software is free and you could easily run measurements to see how the low end behaves and if possible position the sub accordingly.

I agree with everyone else, nice place and awesome pics!
FOH's Avatar FOH 11:29 AM 10-27-2011
Nice,...regarding the center channel discussion; In my opinion, I'd bring it forward to the edge, actually to the point that it hangs over very slightly (eliminating all potential diffractive issues). Also, and more importantly, I'd angle it up slightly with some foam (or other de-coupling material), so that it fires directly on axis with your primary seated listening position ears. This should provide a small but nice level of increased detail. The higher frequencies of each driver, above 10k for the tweet, and above 1k or so for the mid/woof, tend to "beam" or become more directional at the upper end of the ranges. Left pointed straight ahead, they'll be somewhat dull sounding,..tilting upward they will brighten up a bit, and image a little better.


Good luck
bencorn's Avatar bencorn 07:28 PM 10-27-2011
Very cool setup. I definitely agree with at least moving the center channel to flush with the front of the shelf. Also, be sure to post when you do the canvas with fill behind it. My wife is a bit of an artist too and I would rather do that than buy plain acoustic panels if it works well.
nr5667's Avatar nr5667 03:10 PM 10-28-2011
That stand turned out quite well. Good job!
jnnt29's Avatar jnnt29 12:43 AM 10-29-2011
Thanks for the comments on the cabnet. It was fun to make. I really like the way your pictures turned out. It help to show off your set up!
CKWells's Avatar CKWells 12:59 AM 10-29-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

Thanks! I will move the center forward and audition it there for a while. You're saying to move the fronts forward to where they are flush with the front of the stand? I was hoping the panels behind them would compensate for them being closer to the wall (kind of like poly-fill in a box is used to emulate more space), but I might try that for a while and see if I like it.

I definitely intend to put a covering on the left wall. My girlfriend is an art major and I've tasked her to create a nice large canvas (which I intend to back fill with rock wool) to fill that void.

For kinda the same reason as moving the centre forward so it doesn't reflect off the shelf it's sitting on, is the reason for moving the mains forward slightly past the front edge of the rack. And because it's a free mod, you can easily undo it if there are no audible benefits to you. Win, win!!

The large canvas is a great idea.
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 02:40 PM 10-31-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

For the bass traps to work properly you would need to treat almost every corner in the room, including the horizontal ones. Also, the material used must be of a certain density, not to mention that they would be effective down to about 60 Hz or so and cost a lot. A better, cheaper and more accurate alternative would be subwoofer placement. You seem to be computer savvy - REW software is free and you could easily run measurements to see how the low end behaves and if possible position the sub accordingly.

I agree with everyone else, nice place and awesome pics!

That's not good news to my ears (or eyes in this case). I have four full 2'x4'x2" Roxul Rockboard 80 mineral wool panels left (density of 8 pounds per cubic foot) that I had intended to use in the two left corners of the room. The third corner is at the front door where's there's no room, and the fourth corner isn't really a corner because the room opens up to the breakfast area and the hallway there. I'm not sure what effects the cathedral ceiling has on the room's sound, but I imagine it's not as dramatic as if the ceiling were squared off and 8' high. This is a rental property, so I don't want to hang too many panels round the room and risk damaging/scraping the walls. I was just hoping that putting an eight-foot tall corner trap in the front corner and a four-foot tall trap in the other corner above my desk's seating position, with both traps back filled with the extra mineral wool.

I tried moving the subwoofer(s) around when I first setup the room. I started with just one sub in the front left corner, and it was terribly boomy and overpowering. It cooled off a good bit when I moved it closer to the TV (where it is now), but it's still very peaky. I setup the second sub in the back corner under the desk, and it was just as boomy as the first sub position in the corner. I tried moving it to underneath the table where the couch and chair intersects, and it had no impact at all, as if it was in a free-air baffle. Even in its current spot (to the right of the TV), it doesn't have as much presence as the sub to the left. I've looked into the REW software, but I'm pretty confident in what my ears tell me (sound is a subjective matter anyway), and I think trial and error/crawling for bass is going to be the only way to find better locations to place them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Nice,...regarding the center channel discussion; In my opinion, I'd bring it forward to the edge, actually to the point that it hangs over very slightly (eliminating all potential diffractive issues). Also, and more importantly, I'd angle it up slightly with some foam (or other de-coupling material), so that it fires directly on axis with your primary seated listening position ears. This should provide a small but nice level of increased detail. The higher frequencies of each driver, above 10k for the tweet, and above 1k or so for the mid/woof, tend to "beam" or become more directional at the upper end of the ranges. Left pointed straight ahead, they'll be somewhat dull sounding,..tilting upward they will brighten up a bit, and image a little better.
Good luck

Thanks. I did like you said and added some felt pads to the bottom of the center channel to position it slightly upwards. I think' I can hear an improvement since doing so. It might be a placebo, but it certainly didn't hurt, so I'm going to leave it like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bencorn View Post

Very cool setup. I definitely agree with at least moving the center channel to flush with the front of the shelf. Also, be sure to post when you do the canvas with fill behind it. My wife is a bit of an artist too and I would rather do that than buy plain acoustic panels if it works well.

I made the two front panels myself out of 1x2 boards, mineral wool, poly batting, and the cover material. My girlfriend is a bit skeptical about me ruining her artwork by filling the back of it with the mineral wool, but I'm confident some 1 panels would fit behind the canvas given the right frame is used when the canvas was stretched. She's busy painting gifts for the holidays right now, so it might be spring time before she gets around to mine. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nr5667 View Post

That stand turned out quite well. Good job!

Thanks! I think it turned out pretty nice as well, but I'm considering a few modifications now. I don't have a good head-on photo of the stand, but the center seems to sag a little because the feet I made don't hold it very high off the carpet, so I might add a center foot for extra support. I also need to add another bracket to the rear to help hold the backboard more rigidly. Still haven't decided on a stain for it, and right now my garage is occupied by my project car that doesn't currently have an engine. (Single car garage for the lose)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CKWells View Post

For kinda the same reason as moving the centre forward so it doesn't reflect off the shelf it's sitting on, is the reason for moving the mains forward slightly past the front edge of the rack. And because it's a free mod, you can easily undo it if there are no audible benefits to you. Win, win!!

The large canvas is a great idea.

I'm going to try moving the fronts forward tonight and audition it for a few days. I think the biggest thing I could use help with right now is how much to cant the towers in towards the listening position. I can tell that the towers are very in your face' sounding when you're listening to them on axis. Will pointing them more forward and less inward provide a wider stage? Any advice?
FOH's Avatar FOH 04:59 PM 10-31-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

Thanks. I did like you said and added some felt pads to the bottom of the center channel to position it slightly upwards. I think' I can hear an improvement since doing so. It might be a placebo, but it certainly didn't hurt, so I'm going to leave it like that.

Great good luck
CKWells's Avatar CKWells 02:11 AM 11-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

I'm going to try moving the fronts forward tonight and audition it for a few days. I think the biggest thing I could use help with right now is how much to cant the towers in towards the listening position. I can tell that the towers are very in your face' sounding when you're listening to them on axis. Will pointing them more forward and less inward provide a wider stage? Any advice?

It could help. As frequencies get higher they get more directional, so if the highs are "in your face", or it sounds very bright of fatiguing to listen too then getting the tweeters off axis could help with that. I'd probably toe them out more and move the high's to your guests seats!! :P

As with all speaker positioning mods it's free to try!! Let us know how you get on.
FOH's Avatar FOH 11:02 AM 11-01-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkofHart View Post

Will pointing them more forward and less inward provide a wider stage? Any advice?

A wider stage, or ASW, apparent source width, is largely a function of the interaction of the lateral acoustic characteristics of the listening space, between you and the loudspeakers.

I say largely, however, typically, mains produce optimum imaging and source sound-staging when on axis. A nice generally diffuse sidewall region, that's essentially symmetrical left and right, should help elicit the effect you're after.

Get Toole's sound and Reproduction book, it's superb and details this very topic in an encyclopedic manner.



Good luck
pcweber111's Avatar pcweber111 12:05 PM 11-01-2011
I always advocate them pointing in the general middle listening position but with todays receivers that's not that big a deal anymore. Still, I think they look fine. They're the right distance apart and aren't pointed in too much, so play around with them and see if you notice any difference (that you prefer).

Also, nice setup. I love the look of the room. Very clean.
FOH's Avatar FOH 07:19 AM 11-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

......... but with todays receivers that's not that big a deal anymore.

"With today's receivers" Can you elaborate?

Thanks
CKWells's Avatar CKWells 02:22 PM 11-02-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

"With today's receivers" Can you elaborate?

Thanks

Audyssey perhaps??
WorkofHart's Avatar WorkofHart 07:02 PM 11-18-2011
Well, I've had several PM's asking about materials and design to build the Vivaldi Stand, so I'm going to make a quick list of materials and techniques used when I built this.


Materials:

-3 sheets of birch plywood (1 for backboard, 2 for the base) ~48/sheet

-3 Aspen boards 1"x4" (these will be ripped in half for use) ~$12/board

-1 6' or 8' 1"x3" Aspen board (only need for the two front vertical facings)~$9/board

- iron-on birch veneer for the edges of the plywood


I used a Pocket Hole jig and 1 1/4" pocket screws to assemble my stand so that there would be no holes to fill and all the screws would be hidden.

The 1"x4" boards are actually 3.5" wide. When ripped in half lengthwise, they are approx 1.75" wide. This way when you mount them along the bottoms of the 3/4" plywood shelves, they combine to be 2.5" wide, just like the 1"x3" boards that I used for the vertical pieces. I built my stand to accent my TV with 6" borders and roughly fit my component dimensions. The feet were made from leftover 1"x4" boards, cut into 3.5" squares and screwed together to provide the amount of clearance I wanted off the ground.

Here are the dimensions I used:

66" wide overall
22" wide per cabinet space (makes 3 cabinets)
20" height of base's back panel
16" height of top shelf
44" back panel height
66" backpanel width

I hope this gives you guys a rough idea of where to start! Good luck!
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