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My Dedicated Audiophile Home Theater - Steve Bruzonsky

post #1 of 143
Thread Starter 

SJBsHTFeb2014.doc 41k .doc file

 

 

The above document is current information on my theater and components!


Edited by Steve Bruzonsky - 2/15/14 at 7:18am
post #2 of 143
Thread Starter 
Construction Photos of my new home theater on the east side of my home.

[IMG]http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...8&d=1246336199[/IMG]






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post #3 of 143
Thread Starter 
More construction photos circa late 1996 - March 1997.








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post #4 of 143
Thread Starter 
Home Theater room dimensions are 18 feet 3 inches wide, 25 feet long and 11 feet 11 inches high. This is #3 on the Louden scale of best acoustical audio dimensions, to lessen the room node interaction at low bass frequencies as much as possible.

The room was added East of the Master Bedroom. A hallway and bathroom are between the Master Bedroom and the Home Theater room. The theater's cement foundation has seams between the theater and the hallway/bathroom, and also between the hallway/bathroom and the Master Bedroom, for vibration control.

Double masonite doors with wood and rubber seals around them lead from the Master Bedroom to the hallway, and from the hallway to the theater. Double 2 inch X 4 inch stud walls, with 1 inch air space inbetween, are between the Master Bedroom and the hallway/bathroom.

At the rear of the home theater, flat black cabinets with a wetbar in the middle are 20 inches deep with the 2 inch X 6 inch stud wall in back of the cabinets.

There is blown in cellulose insulation for all of the walls, which seeps into and perfectly seals all nooks and crannies, except the ceiling insulation is BAT (much of the ceiling is taken up by large oversized air conditioning ducts and there was insuficient room up there to squeeze in a blow in cellulose). USG Acoustical Sealant was used on all stud surfaces to minimize vibrations. Sound board, followed by gyp board, was installed on all of the walls and ceiling of the entire addition.

The local code requires at minimum the Home Theater room's windows, two windows four feet wide X 5 feet high. Each window is on the north and south side walls, with each window ending 7 feet from the front video screen wall, just behind the very front of the front left and right Aerial Acoustics 10T speakers. The windows consist of one double pane outside and a single pane inside. Each pane is on a separate wood insulated frame to minimize vibrations and maximize soundproofing. Manual Draper Lightblock shades ensure that the room remains totally dark for video.


More construction photos circa late 1996 - March 1997.








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post #5 of 143
Thread Starter 
Exterior view of my completed home theater room addtion showing how wonderfully the addition integrates with our existing home so you can't even tell that its an add on later addition (home built 1987, we purchased 1991, home theater addition build late 1996 completed March 1997).








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post #6 of 143
Thread Starter 
I added this large outdoor OTA, rotorized, in 2000, at the advent of HDTV. I was probably one of the first five in the Phoenix area to get HDTV, then via both OTA antenna for local channels and also DirecTV HBO and Showtime. I also had DISH for Discovery Channel HD for a short time back in the wee early days of HDTV. I want to thank my friends Gerry Behm and Kobie Ward, Technology@Home, who did that specalized antenna work. Such a great antenna aint' necessary today, with stronger digital signals and better indoor antennas, but it sure was in the early days of HDTV.

The air conditioning return is at the rear of the theater underneath the cabinets and is roughly about more than 10 feet long and 4 inches in height. The air conditioning is whisper quiet thanks to the oversized gentle turns insulated air ducts. The air return is located in the attic above the bathroom (where I store all of the original component and speaker boxes, except the Stewart screen packing which is way too large and was thrown away), with a separate air conditioning unit outside the room, and with the air conditioning unit on a concrete slab separated from the addition's concrete slab, so that the air conditioning is self-contained and totally separate from the rest of our home. I did a lotta research on quiet AC and then John Nielsen of Ririe Construction helped me implement this fantastically and "quietly".





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post #7 of 143
Thread Starter 
Our home has a 400 amp electrical service. That service was originally split into two 200 amp panel boxes, one for the East and one for the West side of our home. With the new addition at the East of our home, its 200 amp service panel box has a new 100 amp circuit breaker, which is isolated from the 200 amp panel from which its fed, which feeds a third panel box which contains 19 dedicated 20 amp, 10 guage wire circuits for the Home Theater room only. However, I intentionally wired the Home Theater room and addition lighting, a ceiling dedicated 20 amp circuit (which can but is not presently used for the projector), and the addition air conditioning dedicated 30 amp circuit into the pre-existing East panel box, to help keep noise from those circuits out of the panel box and dedicated circuits for audio and video components. The 19 dedicated 20 amp circuits in the Home Theater room panel box are wall wired same electrical phase, skipping every even circuit in the panel box (otherwise, as in typical panel boxes which don't skip every even circuit, this results in doubling the AC power noise). 4 guage copper wire runs from the Home Theater panel box to a nearby 8 foot copper ground rod well buried in the ground. The house ground is a 4 guage copper wire from the East panel box. And a 4 guage copper wire connects the copper ground rod to the house ground. The Home Theater room electrical outlets are PS Audio Power Ports 20 amp (which replaced Hubbell one grade below hospital grade in August 2002). In 2007 added whole house surge suppression, Innovative Technology (Eaton) PTE160 for 400 amp panel and PTE0481S101 for home theater panel.

Currently and for some time, I do not use all these 19 dedicated 20 amp circuits in my home theater room. I actually use one 20 amp circuit for my PS Audio Power Plant Premier AND my APC S15 battery UPS power conditioner. PS Audio is used for all non-amplifier components except the two DirecTV HD DVRs, which go into the APC (Abing found a better picture that way, to my surprise). Sim2 C3X 1080 projector and Lujmagen Radiance XE plugged into the APC unit. All amplifiers and subwoofers plugged direct into each separate 20 amp circuit.

The PS Audio Premier in 2007 replaced two PS Audio P600s, and the APC was added 2008 for the updated video side of my theater.

Our home was close to 5000 sq ft before the home theater addition adding 780 more sq ft. Our home was 3.5 years old when we bought it. The 400 amp service which split into east and west 200 amp panel boxes pre-existed our buying the home.









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post #8 of 143
Thread Starter 
My home theater was featured in the April 1999 Stereophile Guide to Home Theater in an article entitled "Tweaked to Perfection".

Next my theater was featured at Home Theater Sound, on the web, by Jeff Fritz in July 2001, "Theater Profile -- Steve Bruzonsky: A
Certified Home-Theater Fanatic!"

http://www.hometheatersound.com/feat...c_20010715.htm

When the Home Theater Sound article was published, I was at the height of my "tweakaholics" sickness. Since then, I have taken some tweaks out of my system, and retained some, and continued my Granite Audio analog interconnect and speaker cabling satisfaction. The tweaks I retain are intended to maintain neutrality and noise/vibration control where I still find this useful.

What the Home Theater Sound article was written, I had recently added three Aerial Acoustics SW12 subwoofers to my five Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers. Not long after the Vandy subs were sold, too many low bass sources from too many places actually muddled rather than improved the bass. The Aerial subs were all I needed.








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post #9 of 143
Thread Starter 
When I first equipped my home theater in March 1997, I brought in brand new Aerial Acoustics 10Ts (4) floorstanding speakers and an Aerial CC3 center speaker, and I quickly had five Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers. I also got five Bryston 7B amplifiers, Michael Green clampracks for component racks. I brought up from my old basement system a Citation 7.0 surround processor, Theta Generation VA DAC, and Pioneer CLD-D704 Laserdisc player. And I brought up from my basement my Dwin HD-500 CRT, that I had recently bought. And I added a Stewart
Filmscreen 4:3 80" X 60" 1.3 gain fixed screen. Thanks to my local dealer friend Loren Roetman who was then my Aerial and Bryston dealer and got my great deals on those as well as my six leather recliners, and even the deco side lights for my theater.

Initially I went with Michael Green acoustical treatments including various Pressure Zone Controllers and acoustical crown molding.
This hasn't changed one bit over the years.

In 1998 in came the Theta Casablanca surround processor and Theta Voyager LD/DVD/CD player (I briefly had the first Sony DVD player).
Out went the prior LD player, the Sony DVD player, and the Citation 7.0 surround processor and Theta Generation VA DAC.

In 2000, I replaced my Dwin HD-500, to which I had added a Dwin Transcanner 1, with a newer Dwin HD-700 and Dwin Transcanner 2, which a few years later I replaced with different Lumagen video scaler/processor models. I had John Gannon install color filtered lens on the HD-700. And I replaced the screen with a Stewart Filmscreen 16:9 1.3 gain 4 way electrimask screen.

In 2000, I added the three Aerial SW12 subwoofers (with the five Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers going bye bye in 2001), and the new Aerial CC5 center speaker (bye bye to Aerial CC3 center speaker).


Three more pages of the SGHT 4-09 article follow.








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post #10 of 143
Thread Starter 
Over the following years, some components came and went. Lotsa excess tweaks went by the wayside, some remaining. I am no longer "Tweaked to Perfection." Or may I still am, but my current motto of "Keep It Simple Stupid" (KISS) works much better.
I still use some tweaks but its a lot simpler than it was.

But the big changes and theater renovation came in 2007-2008.

In 2007, I sold the four Aerial Acoustics 10Ts and replaced them with Aerial 9s. And I sold my five Bryston 7B amplifiers and replaced them with Theta Enterprise monoblocks, all with dual Reich binding posts per amplifier. Thanks to Craig Shumer, Theatermax, my Theta dealer, for terrific deal on the Enterprises.

In 2008, I updated my video setup with a Sim2 C3X 1080 3 chip 1080p DLP projector, ISCO IIIL, Cineslide, Lumagen Radiance XD (in 2009 upgraded to XE model), and Stewart Filmscreen Cine-V 128" wide X 54" high (screen portion) 1.3 gain Studiotech G with drop down side masking to 96" wide for 16:9. Thanks to my dealer Mark Haflich, and Scott Horton (GetGray on forum) as ISCO distributor and Cineslide manufacturer (who demod my projector with the ISCO IIIL and advised me regarding best throw distance, brightness, contrast, resulting in my mounting projector at 2.03 throw range, a bit ahead of center of throw range, instead of at the rear of the 2.40 throw range, and who also custom made the best possible 100% unmoveable and sturdy 4' long mounts for my video gear).

The last three pages of the SGHT article 4-99.








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post #11 of 143
Thread Starter 
The four Aerial Acoustics 9 speakers are setup at about 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock on circle, tilted at the center front row "sweet spot" (two rows of leather recliners each row) listening/viewing position at about 45 degrees, with front left 9 facing surround right 9, and front right 9 facing surround left 9. The Aerial Acoustics CC5 center speaker is positioned with its back about two feet from the wall and its front about two feet back from the front of the front left and right Aerial 9s relative to the "sweet spot". Each 9 is 11 feet (132 inches) from each other from side to side and front to back. The front 9s center at front woofer is 85 inches from the front screen wall, whereas the rear surround 9s center at front woofer is 82 inches from rear wall.

The outer edge of the front left and right, and surround left and right, Aerial Acoustics 9s are each about two feet from the closest side wall. Normally, this is too close for excellent imaging and sonics; however, thanks to the Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers and acoustical treatments, this is preferred positioning for best home theater sonics. The Pressure Zone Controllers at the front of the room are adjusted for a solid phantom center image with only stereo playing for the front left and right 9s; and towards and at the back, the controllers are adjusted for more ambience.

The three Aerial SW12 subwoofers are placed around the center front of the room (measured as a null area for accurate bass). Subwoofers are set to equal the volume of the main speakers, for both music and movies. The Velodyne SMS-1 subwoofer equalizer is simply used to add a bit of boost at the very low frequencies.

(My audiophile friends al initially thought that my speakers should be placed closer in for best two channel or music. but after doing extended listening with me they all agreed I should keep the speaker placement just as is, that apparently the Michael Green acoustic treatments work wonders with this wider speaker placement.)

The ceiling is at 11'11". The Aerial CC5 Sound Anchors stand has a custom center or middle piece which is about ten inches higher than normal, allowing me to raise the center speaker as I have room under my screen so the center speaker, tilted just a bit, has its mid-drivers equal the center of my ear lobes as I sit in my trust front center chair. The top of the center speaker is 37" off the carpeted floor, with its mid-drivers about 33" off the floor. My mid-ear lobe level is about 39 - 40" off the floor as I recline a bit in my leather recliner.

Home Theater room colors are optimized for front projection, black carpet over a cement foundation, black ceiling, and black side walls from the front screen wall out seven feet to the edge of the windows, the remainder of the room is dark gray (the dark gray looks like a medium to lighter gray when placed next to black).

Three black art deco style theater lights on each side wall.

Lutron Grafik Eye 3000 remote controlled lighting.

A black, remote controlled whisper quiet ceiling fan centered about two-thirds into the room from the front screen wall.

Boltz Multimedia racks for audio and video media.

Two rows of three chairs each, black leather, Classic Lifestyles leather recliners (6) with upgraded seat cushions. Firm, flexible and most comfortable for many hours of viewing pleasure at a time. With lumbar support built-in. You can nearly fully recline, or you can sit up with your shoulders pretty much at the top of the chair, so that the chair back doesn't interfere with the sonics from the surround floorstanding speakers.

Four Billy Bags amp stands are used as mobile end tables.


Birds eye view of my current home theater and components.





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post #12 of 143
Thread Starter 
ROOM ACOUSTICAL TREATMENTS:

Michael Green Acoustical Crown Molding 5" (black) placed on bevel at wall/ceiling seams

Michael Green Pressure Zone Controllers (black): Four Mini Corner Controllers, placed at ceiling corners over ACM joints; Eight Wall Mount Controllers 36", one at each of four wall corners, two on each side wall; and Six Mini Echo Controllers, one centered above the screen at the wall/ceiling seam, one centered above the back cabinets' wetbar at ball wall/ceiling seam, and one placed on the ceiling above each Aerial Acoustics 10T speaker.






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post #13 of 143
Thread Starter 
Close up of my home theater front end and, Michael Green component racks to the left, and Boltz DVD CD racks to right. Thats a BlueAir air cleaner between the Boltz racks on the right all added 2008.

Five Theta Enterprise monoblock amplifiers (Nominal power rating: 300 Watts into 8 ohms, 500 Watts into 4 ohms (what it really does: 350 into 8, 525 into 4). Two Reich binding posts connectors per amp for bi-wiring.

Four Aerial Acoustics 9 speakers with Aerial’s custom spikes (front and surround). Surround 9s are elevated an additional 6 inches high by having OsirisGiza Mk II stands .

One Aerial Acoustics CC5 center speaker. Sound Anchor custom stand including an extension piece to raise the mid-drivers to about listener ear level.

Three Aerial Acoustics SW12 powered subwoofers (400 watts each). Front left subwoofer chained to front right subwoofer, which in turn is chained to surround subwoofer. Each modified with internal speaker cables (from internal amplifier to internal binding posts for woofers) with custom Granite Audio 8 guage 1 foot speaker cables with proprietary banana plugs each end to ensure tight fit and solid connection. Each on custom Sound Anchors custom stand.

Theta Casablanca 3 surround processor (with 2 Xtreme DAC cards with 2 Xtreme DAC cards (accommodates 8
8 Xtreme balanced channels). Only six channels connected, five main channels plus one subwoofer, as the three subwoofers are chained for front left, front right and surround subwoofers. All speakers set to full range, with low pass Butterworth 40 Hz 6 dB crossover to subwoofers.

(Sharp 15" LCD Color TV (on screen display monitor for Theta Casablanca 3 surround processor)

Theta Six Shooter multi-channel analog multi-channel preamp.

Integra DTC-9.8 surround preamp/processor. Used exclusively for HDMI audio from Blu Ray and HD DVD, outputting multi-channel 5.1 analog audio to Theta Six Shooter (pending upcoming Theta CB3 HDMI 1.3 audio upgrade hopefully later in 2009).

Velodyne SMS-1 digital subwoofer equalizer.

Two DirecTV PLUS HD DVRs (HR20-700) satellite and OTA receivers.

Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu Ray Player (BD Live 2.0) and Oppo DV-980H DVD Player are shown in below photos, but
in May 2009 they were replaced by Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray player for both Blu Ray and DVD playback (Oppo BDP-83 not shown)

Integra DHS-8.8 HD DVD Player

JVC HMD-H5U D-VHS VCR

Theta Compli DVD/CD/SACD/DVD-A Player (with SDI and silver alloy cover).

Universal MSC-400, and Universal MX-3000 touchscreen


Michael Green Deep Clampracks, one 54" high and two 48" high

Michael Green Deluxe Justarack Tuning Boards (five, one for eachTheta Enterprise amplifier)








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post #14 of 143
Thread Starter 
I thought I was perfectly happy with my Aerial 10Ts circa 1997 (Aerial CC5 circa 2000) and Bryston 7B monoblocks circa 1997.
Both had Bybee mods which at the time improved the sonics. But I got a really good deal when I bought that stuff, and good sales price when I sold that stuff, and great price on buying the new Aerial 9 and Enterprise monoblocks. I anticipated at least a bit of sonic improvement - but the significant additional transparency all around was frankly unexpected and wonderful.

Here's some front views of Aerial 9 and Theta Enterprise monoblock. Each Enterprise is on top of a set of three Symposium Rollerblock 2s.









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post #15 of 143
Thread Starter 
Special thanks to Neil Sinclair, then owner of Theta Digital (sold to ATI in 2008), who with my Theta dealer, Craig Shumer, Theatermax, gave me a great deal on the five Theta Enterprises with dual Reich binding posts. The Reich posts are vice-like, high pressure, holding the Cardas Paddle Spade, instead of traditional spades. That extra surface area and solid connection at the amplifier side does improve sonics reasonably. When I first installed the Enterprises, with the Aerial 9s already installed a few months prior, the paddle spades were not available yet. So Don Hoglund of Granite Audio made 1M speaker cables, spades each end, 8 guage. I used two speaker cables per each Enterprise monoblock. About 4-5 months later, when the paddle spades became available (Theta obtained them for me from Cardas, as they are special order and not in stock), Don Hoglund of Granite Audio custom reterminated the amplifier end with the paddle spades. And yes we could hear the imrpovement over what already sounded really nice!!! Thanks to Neil and Craig for insisting I get the Reich binding posts instead of the more traditional Cardas spade posts. And to Don for promptly taking care of my needs.

And thanks to Michael Kelly of Aerial, who provided me with the information to advise of the sonic improvement I would obtain with the newer Aerial 9s vs my prior Aerial 10Ts, and who through my dealer gave me excellent pricing so I could afford the update to my system.

This was all done during 2007.


CURRENT AUDIO AND VIDEO CABLES:

DVI Gear Super High Resolution HDMI Cables

Granite Audio Model 573 Speaker Cables (ten 1M cables, 8 guage, provides true bi-wiring of two cables per each amplifier, with spades on speaker end and, Cardas paddle lugs on amplifier end of cables).

Granite Audio Model 470 Silver Analog Interconnects (single-ended, also balanced to each Theta Enterprise monoblock amplifier and Aerial subwoofer).

Granite Audio Model 420 Coaxial digital audio cables.

Cardas Audio AES/EBU 2M digital audio cable.

Wireworld Supernova 3+ Glass Toslink audio cables.



CURRENT POWER ACCESSORIES:

PS Audio Premier Power Plant

PS Audio Quintet

PS Audio Soloist in wall power conditioner

PS Audio Power Ports AC outlets

APC S15 Power Conditioner 1.5kVA S type with battery backup 120V

Granite Audio Model 560 and 555 power cords

Audioprism Noise Sniffer and Audioprism Quietline AC Filters


CURRENT OTHER ACCESSORIES/TWEAKS:

Symposium Platforms, Ultra and Svelte.

Symposium Rollerblocks Series 2.

Cardas Caps (for components' unused RCA inputs/outputs)

Michael Green Cable Grounds.

Channel Master Rotor for outdoor Radio Shack Analog/Digital OTA Antenna









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post #16 of 143
Thread Starter 
My video gear, upgraded 2008, thanks to my dealer Mark Haflich, and also Scott Horton (GetGray on forum) as noted above:

Sim2 C3X 1080 3 chip DLP Projector.:

Sharp LC-32GP1U 32” 1080p LCD (placed under Aerial Acoustics CC5 center speaker, across the CC5 stand, as the CC5 is placed just under the screen)

Lumagen Radiance XE video processor/scaler.

ISCO IIIL Anamorphic Lens and Cineslide Multistand II, with PPL-XL custom extra long length Cineslide mount kit

Stewart Cine-V Curved Screen, 2:35 128” W X 54” H,
with drop down side masking to 96” W for 16:9, 1.3 gain.








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post #17 of 143
Thread Starter 
Its a long 4' drop from my 11' 11" ceiling to the projector. Thanks to Scott Horton for specially fabricating a solid, perfectly tight, projector and Cineslide/ISCO IIIL mount. Scott is a total perfectionist.


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post #18 of 143
Thread Starter 
Here are some photos from Scott Horton's Cineslide website showing the ISCO IIIL lens in all its glory. The IIIL is on the right, with the new less expensive IIIs on the left.








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post #19 of 143
Thread Starter 
Here's a few nice shots of the Cineslide from Scott Horton's website.





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post #20 of 143
Thread Starter 
Here's a closeup of the theater deco side light.


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post #21 of 143
Thread Starter 
Here's a nice closeup of the Draper blackout blind up at one of the two windows of the theater.


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post #22 of 143
Thread Starter 
This is looking out from the home theater room, through a two masonite wood doorway, into the hallway.


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post #23 of 143
Thread Starter 
This is looking from hallway into theater.


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post #24 of 143
Thread Starter 
This is just outside of the home theater room, in the hallway, facing the master bedroom entrance (again, dual masonite doors).
On the left is the entrace to the theater's private bathroom including shower. On the right is a door to the outside (just outside the door are the home's and theater's power panels).


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post #25 of 143
Thread Starter 
And my theater has its own dedicated really nice bathroom. The attic above is very, very large where I store all of my original boxes/containers for all of my AV gear. This comes in handy when I sell something as I have the original box/container (except for the screen container - way too large, threw that away).


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post #26 of 143
Thread Starter 
This Year's Planned Upgrades:

Just got Oppo BDP-83 Blu Ray player, for Blu Ray and DVD, in May. Replaced Panasonic BD-35K Blu Ray and Oppo DV980H DVD players.

I am hoping to have the HDMI 1.3 audio upgrade to Theta Casablanca 3 surround processor by end of 2009!!!@@@
post #27 of 143
Thread Starter 
Here's the weblink to an article on my theater at Electronic House online that just appeared April 2009:

http://www.electronichouse.com/artic...ate_theater/D2
post #28 of 143
sounds really awesome man... if you could maybe throw some IMG tags around the photos so people dont have to open 40 extra links of pictures.

but congrats on the article
post #29 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paranormalg35 View Post

sounds really awesome man... if you could maybe throw some IMG tags around the photos so people dont have to open 40 extra links of pictures.

but congrats on the article

I never could figure out how to post the photo instead of the click on for the photo. Please educate me by AVS PM, and i will be glad to do this. Thanks.
post #30 of 143
PM sent. hope I explained it well enough

edit:

here ill help you out. this def deserves to be seen. amazing setup










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