Can you hear me now? How about now? Good.
Last Friday, one of the engineers from KYDG came by the house to do the preliminary checkout of the room, so that we could find any issues that might need to be addressed before the fabric is installed on the walls.
We got started at about 10am, and finished about 5, with a break for lunch, so it was quite a long day. His car was positively bursting with gear, some of which you can see in these photos.
First up was a check of the room's reverberation characteristics, and the sound isolation performance of the walls and ceiling. This was accomplished with a Brüel & Kjær dodecahedral speaker and measurement equipment.
He also performed a tap test (using a positively crazy mechanized tapping machine) to check out the characteristics of sound transfer from the floor above to the room.
Then, we measured ambient sound levels in the room using an ultra-sensitive low noise floor microphone. These measurements were done with everything off, then with various combinations of equipment operating, including the HVAC, the audio amplifiers, and the projector in both low and high lamp. I was very pleased to see that all the noise mitigation work that we've done on the room has paid off. The only area that I really think could be improved is isolation from outside (environmental) sounds. Perhaps some day, but honestly my neighborhood is pretty quiet, especially in the evening, so it may not be an issue.
We broke for lunch, and afterwards he set up microphones in each of the seating locations, and then played tone sweeps through all fourteen speakers (seven speakers, seven subwoofers) to measure the frequency responses.
When all was said and done, all the speakers are functioning properly, and it seems that the room's frequency response characteristics are as expected. We didn't find any issues that will prevent fabric installation. We did find that the two big Seaton subs up front needed to be moved a bit farther forward because they were too close to the back of the cabinet, and this was constricting the air movement from the rear woofer. And, we found that the Seatons pressurize the room effectively enough to make the picture window in the rear of the room flex visibly, which in turn causes it to make some noise as it moves in its mount. We're working on figuring out how to address this, but the good news is that it's a Marvin window, and they are designed so that the glass can be replaced from outside if need be.
Just as we completed testing of the last pair of Velodyne subs, the power went out. This was actually a great test, because I was able to confirm that the big UPSes in the rack continue to power all of the media equipment except for the amplifiers, and that they also kept the projector running so that I could shut it down cleanly. We had the Lutron blackout shades down, though, so once the projector was off, the room became utterly dark. We ended up packing up his gear by flashlight. I think I will see if we can power the blackout shades from the UPS as well. I probably should also look into some kind of emergency lighting that comes on when power fails.