I should preface this with some info on my home. It is a 1800 sq foot townhouse.
Three bedrooms upstairs and a small basement.
Sure, it would be easier to create dedicated viewing and listening areas if I owned a Mansion or a Mc-Mansion.
But I have a Mc-townhouse. So, it took a while to figure out how to make the best use of my space.
5.1 Media Room
3.1 Living Room
First, and the most challenging, was the basement - which has become the media room.Using the limited space wisely, while making a statement and a fun room for all
About 2/3 of the room is comprised of the a/v gear and six recliners including a 10” riser.
The other 1/3 contains a poker table with comfy leather chairs, a small bar, stools, darts, mega touch, etc.
Media Room - used for "movie night" primarily
When you walk down the stairs into the basement you immediately make a couple of right hand turns. That is when you see the viewing area and a/v gear.
If you look down and to the left, you can see the very small bar and poker table area:
Here is the view from the opposite side from the stairs:A/V Gear List:
-TV Samsung D8000 64" Plasma
-Denon AVR-3312CI -125w x 7
-Fronts: Paradigm Reference Studio-60 v2
-Center: Paradigm Studio CC-470 v2
-Rears: Paradigm mini monitors
-Sub: Paradigm Reference Servo-15" v2
-VPI Traveler TT -from Quest For Sound (local to me store, Stephen)
-2M blue cart
-Cambridge 651P Pre-amp (for TT)
-A/V Stand: Bello PVS-4260
-21" LG HD LCD left of plasma
The gear is held in a unique a/v rack: Bello PVS-4260
I would say this rack is love it-or-hate it. It's been around 6 years now, I love it!
Since I may buy a bigger house, I never wanted to mount the tv to the wall in this room.
Extra TV. I don't have kids, so for now, I'm a kid. We have Rock Band parties, poker night, etc.
When I'm playing Rock Band, I take the position at the far left of the tv so I can keep an eye on a hockey game (small lcd).
I sent the hdmi from cable box to Denon to plasma
I sent rgb from cable box to LG tv:
I listen to vinyl often, but mainly in the living room. I will be moving this TT up to my office which will become my listening area. I just don't make it into the media room too much, aside from movie night.
While it's still down there, the TT is powered by the AVR which is set to "direct" - a 2 channel audio setting.Other Items in this room:
-Adcom Power Management ACE-515
-Xbox 360 elite/hdmi
-GSP39WB Wall mount guitar hangers, short, from Hercules Stands
-Old school ‘Merit Industries’ - Mega Touch in the back area
-Six recliners, rears on 10" carpeted riser, with lighting
-Remote control dimmer http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=832333
-Harmony Remote, which controls lighting - easter egg!
-Plenty of Belgian beers and red wine Turntable Table:
My turntable is sitting on this awesome little, affordable shelf from Ikea
It was only $50. I also have one in my living room for my Project Debut Carbon, pics below.
Designed to be purchased in a pair, to hold up a desk. But they are sold separately.
You can put vinyl into two different sides which is nice. You also have room on the top deck for a preamp and TT tools/cleaner/stuff.
It comes with some little 3M dampeners, which came in handy on my hardwood floor upstairs in the living room.
Assembly took 30 mins for the first unit and 15 for the second.Denon AVR-3312CI notes:
-I despise the menu system, and I'm a wizard with a/v gear AND I always read the book
-Air play built in
-I will probably replace this unit in 2015, while the features are nice and it gets the job done, something just isn't right about it
Audyssey MultEQ® XT - I feel that my previous AVR, Pioneer Elite, did a better job here.
Pioneer's MCACC (Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration) went the distance to make sure everything was correct for my room.
-Bi-amp vs. Bi-wire
With my former receiver, I never took the time to bi-amp the Paradigms, everyone laughed at me.
Although the old unit only had 5 more watts per channel (peak), I feel it had a lot more powah under the hood.
So I want to bi-amp my fronts. Since I'm not using 7.1, I went ahead and did this.
Denon 3312ci can bi-amp the fronts by using the "surround back" channels.
Denon says: Bi-Amp: You can configure the amplifier for front bi-amp operation to achieve a higher-quality 2-channel sound by connecting the receiver's front and surround back channels to your main front speakers (if compatible). Receiver will be limited to 5.2ch surround.
After switching from Bi-wire (Paradigm Studio 60 mains) to Bi-amp, the speakers have woken up a bit.
I have noticed around 3-5db more headroom now, which I like. I used 12gauge wire.Storage:
For storage of games, movies, and a/v gadgets - I found a shelving system at Ikea that is actually designed for shoes!
This is two of them, side by side. 3 Doors on each. They come in various colors.
The doors pull open. They take up hardly any space. Perfect for this little hallway in the basement.
On the top of the shelves, I put a few remotes and a cordless phone.
These Ikea thingies are are on the left in these two pics:Calibration Microphone:
I use this little, travel tripod to mate up with the mic that comes with my two AVRs.
The mics are usually threaded, so a camera tripod works amazingly well.The Bar and Poker Table Area:
This bar/table area is key! If 6 people are viewing a movie, or 4 people are playing Rock Band, another 4-6 could sit at the poker table.
So even though the room is filled up pretty well with "stuff", it just works, there is ample room for a party.
Back behind the bar, and in the corner, is the wall that leads up the stairs.
I cut a hole out of this wall and stuck a mini fridge under the lower landing of the staircase.
Before putting the fridge in, I was able to tuck all of my empty a/v boxes back there, great hidden storage!3.1 Room
This room is almost the entire first floor. The living room shares space with my kitchen area.
Here is the kitchen for the first few years that I owned this home, I hated it!
Finally it was updated and "opened up" a lot:
My favorite feature in the home is the lady:
Naturally, serious members will not be pleased that I hung the tv over the fireplace. For me, however, it was the only choice.
I burn fires almost all winter during the evening. There is a forest behind my home.
Therefore, day or night, if I'm in this room, I want to keep my eyes on that rear wall. It works for us.
The system in the living room is quite simple:
-42" Plasma from Philips, have had this a LONG time, it works
-Marantz 1601 AVR, full hdmi switching, direct pure setting for when listening to vinyl
-Running 3.1 with an old Boston Acoustic arrangement
-Sony Blu Ray
Here is the Ikea shelf in my living room:2ch Room
-Peachtree Nova 125 from HiFi House in Delaware (local to me store, Anthony)
-KEF LS50 Anniversary Model Monitors
-Cambridge 651P preamp
-VPI Traveler TT
-2M Blue cart
I owe Jackfish on stereophile credit for advising me to check out the Peachtree.
It does everything I want for this room and has plenty of good, clean power,.
Once I learned that the warranty was doubled for the new model Nova (125) and that David from Peachtree is a member here on AVS, posts, and replies to the community, I was sold.
Unboxing of the KEF LS50 speakers:
These KEF's are for a little office where I am at my computer for hours at a time.
Speakers are rear ported
my speakers are on my work desk, kind of scary considering they do not come with grills at all.
very "near-field" listening, and these speakers are great for it.
the amp is the only thing missing, it will go up next to the TT.
not the greatest configuration in this room, for serious listening, I realize.Apple Tv, wifi to two different rooms (iTunes only, not available on devices)
I can run usb to the Peachtree from my laptop.
Or wifi from mobile device or laptop to Apple TV -> fiber to Peachtree.
If I'm running wifi from laptop (ONLY) to Apple TV, I can run audio (wifi) to 2 different rooms (I have 2 Apple TVs).
Unboxing of Peachtree Nova 125 black/white
more on flickr, click the pic^Accessories
I'm going to keep track of where I got the accessories from for the 2 channel system + pricing:
- usb A to B cable by Monster
not really into Monster, but lately their stuff is more in line with the rest of the options
for THIS item, it's a no brainer
good quality usb cable at a VERY nice price
my run was 12' that is 12 feet < $40 is nice cable for an audiophile setup
I actually got mine for $22 used, on B+H's website
youtube playing usb from mbp to peach tree:
- interconnects from www.bettercables.com
silver serpent anniversary audio interconnects
$59.95 per pair of .5 meter - free shipping with amazon prime
these are good quality, not crazy high end obviously
but I don't hear ANY (bad) noise at all from this systemBetter Cables Silver Serpent Anniversary interconnects
- speaker wire from www.knukonceptz.com
karma ss 10 gauge speaker wire
$1.09 per foot
amazing stuff!!! I can't speak highly enough about this, for the price, wow.
it's so thick (the insulation) that it's actually a bit of a chore to work with.
- speaker wire pants from www.knukonceptz.com
$0.99 each, need 4 for a 2 channel setup (if you want them at the amp and speakers)
completely unnecessary except that I needed them b/c of the speaker wire I chose.
these really add to the visual, however they make everything safer b/c of the way you have to peel off the insulationOpen Screw Banana Plugs - my preference
- banana plugs from www.monoprice.com
cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw type
purchased 5 pair for a total of $7.90
advertised for 12-18awg, but there was plenty of room for 10awg
I prefer open screw b/c I trust it more than the (cleaner look) closed screw
I have since learned that most installers do not prefer monoprice's bananas.
I am very happy with them, no issues at all.
But, if I had seen these first, I may have purchased these: http://www.knukonceptz.com/productMaster.cfm?category=Connectorsbanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw typebanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw typebanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw typebanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw typebanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw typebanana plugs from www.monoprice.com cooper speaker banana plugs, open screw type
- absorber pads from Quest For Sound in Bensalem, PA (local store and dealer for lots of high end gear)
he stocks all sorts of hq TT's, speakers, etc, amazing!
they are great for a TT, amp, or any component when you want to:
> raise it up for air or extra depth (to put something under)
> refrain from scratching the surface or component
> provide more vibration control
He provided my VPI Traveler and KEF LS60 which he stocks. (Steven)
I have a lot of different styles of music on vinyl. My wife is really into music.
So I have purchased some of her favs to get her more interested in vinyl.
It's working well.
So I have some some stuff like Adele, and Norah Jones etc.
I have noticed that the female vocalist sound fantastic with this integrated/speakers.
it's all coming together,
female vocalists sound superb
Peachtree Nova 125 & KEF LS50 ANNIVERSARY BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS / MONITORS playing female vocalist and guitar. Recorded with iPhone.
And here is some jazz on the KEF's when they were temporarily setup in my basement media room:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OR14JjSWKY
but I mainly listen to indie rock.
Some "Family of the Year"