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An Audiophile's Dream House

A former IMAX sound engineer builds his home to exacting sonic specifications.

Lynn McCroskey knows how to entertain on a grand scale. He was the chief sound guy for IMAX, the company that makes wraparound theaters for you-are-there experiences. IMAX theaters must be carefully designed to pack some audible punch but also be acoustically isolated so they don't disturb people outside the theater. So when Lynn and his family were building their dream home in a suburb of Birmingham, AL, some detailed planning took place. The 6,000-square-foot cedar and stone home is built in a quiet wooded valley and surrounded by oaks and birches. The idea was to make it seem like the house grew out of the ground, says Lynn.

The interior spaces are framed in African mahogany and lighter Southeast Asian woods, and there are lots of windows. Some clerestory windows in the great room are even aligned so the sun shines through them during the winter to provide more light and warmth.

A Vantage Controls system operates all the lighting and air-conditioning systems. Power can go out for days during a storm, so there's a backup generator. However, the generator can't run all the air-conditioning systems at once. The control system senses when the generator is on, so it only puts on one A/C system at a time, Lynn says.

For more on Lynn's home, including a few photographic peeks, go to