Final room specs 35’x18’x10’ before baffle wall setup as a 11.x.6.
HT2.0 Equipment List
LCR- 3 Custom Quested LT20s with Star Quad Cables
Widths- 2 Quested LT10s
Surrounds- 6(when finished)Passive Quested Z8s
Tops- Undecided as of 9/2019
Subs- Always changing and growing but 10 sealed 21”ers as of 9/2019
LCR Amps- 2 Quested AP950s 240V, 1 Quested AP2800 240V, and 3 NCore Hypex 500 monoblocks in a custom rack mount chassis 110V
Surround Amps- QSC PLD 4.3 110V and 2 QSC PLX 3602s 110V (I may change these but the PLD series sounds rather nice for the price)
Tops Amps- Undecided
Sub Amps- 2 FP10K Qs 240V, one channel of the AP2800 240V, and a QSC 2402 110V
Projector- Sony VW1100es 4K
Screen- Stewart 13’ Wide Scope 1.5gain MicroPerf
PreAmp- Trinnov Altitude32 16/24 (will upgrade)
Lighting- Lutron Grafik Eye (still adding LEDs)
Rack- Mid Atlantic Slim Series
XLR- Star Quad Custom
BluRay Player- OPPO
BACK STORY AND PREQUEL TO THEATER BUILD
My last build started off so good and I was ready to share every step of the way throughout the process. It was a ground up build with free reign on size, shape, color, etc... After talking with the Erksine Group I decided on a rough size which they provided a simple layout and treatment plan which incorporated a baffle wall. The finished room with 5/8" drywall ended up at 35'x18'x10'. I wired for a 9.1 system, bought a 13' wide 2.35 Stewart 1.5 microperfed screen, and a Sony VW1100es.
I was tempted to use sound proofing measures but I knew containing all the bass was going to be an endless battle. So, the next logical thing to do was construct the room so that it would be rattle free. I used over 10x the amount of screws and plenty of glue everywhere possible. This ended up working great! Everyone knows what it's like jumping up into the seat of a high spl vehicle ready to hear some ear splitting bass but as soon as the volume knob is raised all sorts of cabin artifacts totally ruin the experience. The louder the volume knob is raised the more [email protected]
is falling apart.
I was very surprised and happy with the rattle proof room but after a while I started wishing there was that lower noise floor accosiated with a sound proofed room. It's something that I would do over if I could physically do it myself but with plans of 4 IB manifolds in the ceiling I can't bring myself to even realistically think about it. Now if I could place another layer of wood/drywall on top of what is already in place with the goal of "only" lowering the noise floor then I would at minimum consider how much trouble it would be to carry out.
The front wall consists of the JTR888 LCRs, Slanted 8 heights, and 10 21" subs. The subs are very loud and I don't need any more output per se but I would like an extremely better frequency response throughout the entire theater. I've also had issues with 3 of the Mach5 FTW 21 subs and the way they are mounted requires taking apart the false screen wall, getting 3-4 guys to pull out the huge 4 driver cabinet to take them out. So needless to say I will never be using a Mach5 sub in any similar location.
Speaking of issues. My last build was running smoothly up until the time to start planning the fabric panels when out of nowhere one thing after another just kept going wrong. Everything from something small to a lightning strike that followed all my Cat cable destroying everything within its path. At that point I literally shut the theater down and didn't even walk into it for over a year at one point. I decided that if I was going to start putting it back together I was atleast going to implement 3D sound at the same time. So I kept my eye on the manufacturers just waiting for ATMOS restrictions to be lifted to no avail. So I was like in a waiting game and wasn't giving in until I could have 3D sound.
After a couple years had passed my daughter (9yrs old) begged me to watch a movie in the theater and I told her that if I could figure out a way to get it going that she could. My Denon 4311 was about 3/4 fried, didn't have any front panel LED display, and only who knows how many inputs/outputs worked. My windows CPU I had for my Minidsp was toast since it was hooked up to the Ethernet when the strike hit so I had to unhook that as well. I still haven't even checked to see if the 10x10hd is fried or not since just recently bought a new Windows laptop. Well. I managed to get the theater going in a not so great sounding way since had to use sub amps to run surrounds lol but it was working and it made her day. Not only did it make her day but our 4 yr old son (who had no recollection of the theater) and our 2 yr old daughter loved it too.
All that made me feel like I'd been keeping them from fun memories they could be sharing together and also sparked that tiny wick I had always held onto throughout all the bad experiences my previous build ended with. My wife knew I wanted the Altitude32 but just didn't want to spend the money since it could go towards vacations, college savings, or any other avenue oriented with the family in mind. But when she saw me light back up after over 2 years of saying screw that theater she said why don't you just get it since you will be waiting forever on the restrictions to be lifted. I was back in the game and as excited as I had been in a long time.
That weekend we went to bestbuy and bought a cheap 4K AVR, Samsung UHD player, and a handful of UHD movies. Once I got everything hooked up I felt like a fool for waiting so long since even my wife could tell a huge difference in the picture quality. Sure it's not OLED but it's dang good. She wants a 65" OLED to replace our 80" flat panel in one of our living rooms lol.
With the OK to use some of my extra money from a property sale to purchase the Altitude32 I had started getting back on AVS constantly. (I had moved to watch forums, tractor forums, and fishing forums). I bought an Anthem AVM 60 to hold me over until the Altitude32 gets its boards upgraded. My whole HT view started to gradually change from wanting the loudest Mains, surrounds, and subs to wanting the clearest fatigue free speakers while seeking that compromise of also needing headroom above reference in my large room.
This change in thinking totally threw out compression drivers unless I demoed them in multiple locations (like JBL M2s). I also wanted to stay away from any sonic signatures like horns. Many know once you throw out compression drivers and horns the selection for high spl gets very very limited. I had heard so many good things about the JBLs that I knew I couldn't rule them out. The Alcons ProRibbons are one of the loudest ribbon speakers if not the loudest ribbon speaker so they got my attention. And, Quested AMT based mains with ribbon based surrounds had me wanting to learn more about them as well.
With JBL, Alcons, and Quested being my main three contenders I felt confident I was heading in the correct direction for clear, no distortion, fatigue free, totally transparent sound but also loud enough to scratch that itch of my need for extreme SPLs. There were a few other companies that made the short list but between lack of support here and price they slowly dropped of the list.
I talked my wife into going to CEDIA to hear the Altitude, Alcons, and the JBL booth. I had already bought a pair of Quested LT10s to demo at home before going to CEDIA way we could really focus on which direction we could both afford and prefer. I like everything I heard and mostly everything I saw at CEDIA so that was great for both of us getting to have that experience. One thing we both 100% agreed about was the JVC PJ. It was beautiful! I'm not a brand loyalist by any means and have an older JVC 1080P PJ so was quite surprised she noticed how well it looked when seeing so many great PJs throughout the day.
I really liked the Alcons and JBLs but felt the JBLs had a signature to them in a way. They didn't sound like horns by any means but there was something that I could just pick up on. I talked to the Regional Sales Manager for Alcons about their proprietary amps that are required for each of their speakers and if he thought they could ever move away from that even if it was just for the surrounds since I completely understood the advantage they provide to the screen speakers. He didn't act like it would ever happen so that pretty much narrowed down our decision to JBLs and Questeds.
Since the M2s are also intertangled with JBLs processing systems that made them a little higher than the Questeds but not by enough to throw them out like the much higher Alcons. We aren't wealthy by any means and both work hard for our money so that we can have some left over after paying all the bills but my wife makes a lot more than me so it's kinda hard at times to spend a huge amount of our money since I know she works very hard for it 24/7 as a physician. So my next step was to talk to Walter (Cineramax's audio calibrator) when CEDIA was winding down. He's owned gobs of speakers and even calibrated more not to mention he has owned both the Questeds and JBLs for long enough periods of time to give his very opinionated view between them. Most of Questeds cinema speakers are 2way designs but he thinks the triple active LT20s are the best he's had in his room with a feeling that they will even match the larger Alcons when calibrated correctly.
So after all that I pretty much left the decision up to my wife since either way we went would have been great. Pretty much would have been splitting hairs since the Altitude could get rid of that signature I explained to Walter. These screen speakers are my 6yr anniversary gift, bday, and xmax gift this year. She chose 3 triple active star quad cabled LT20s LCRs with 2 Quested AP950-2 and 1 Quested AP2800-4 240v amps and 2 passive LT10s as screen heights. We still need to get an amp for the AMTs on the LT20s and most likely a Quested amp for the LT10s. I will have to see if I can tell a difference between my QSC PLX3602 and the AP950-2 before making that decision.
Ok. I don't want to lose what I've typed on this phone so will stop here for now but hope to have some help creating this HT2.0.
Here are some pictures before demolition starts
One of the major renovations will be the use of diffusion panels instead of DIY QUEST panel knockoffs which will require quite a bit of wall space. The two design scenarios I'm currently considering are either staggered absorption and diffusion or slotted diffusion over top of absorption. Some tube traps of 1/2, corner, and full round will most likely be used in specific places and am even thinking about using some membrane traps with carbon for desired frequency control. Between those two forms of bass treatments and my engineered riser trap I think 100-150hz on down should be covered with those products. I plan on making a table of contents for these specific things way it's much easier to navigate. I really enjoy threads that incorporate those.
The greatly increased amount of diffusion and other treatments will require me to narrow my seating rows from 4 seats to 3 seats which gives a proper MLP anyway lol. I honestly don't want to take the carpet up and change any of the riser/step patterns even though they can be very beautiful and creative. I'm more focused on pure sound from the movie with the lights off. If some of the diffusers are too deep for a proper air gap between their face and the fabric then they may end up being part of the room's character. That's why I always tell people in the design stage to make the walls as wide as possible and ceiling as high as possible. Diffusion doesn't work optimally with acoustic fabric shoved up against it and some bass traps can be rather large.
My other goal is to have some sort of automation that is EASY for the average Joe to incorporate. I have two Grafikeye 6 zone panels and a Front Point security system that can use some third party hardware for thermostat, door locks, and maybe even shades/blinds but I'd like to use something that I can either hook up really easily or pay someone to come hookup without breaking the bank. I don't know how to write code or anything remotely close. I ran all the wires from my TVs, Grafikeyes, and media closet to use iRule but never bought the gateways and tried to hook it all up. It just seemed a little intemidating to me. My media closet/rack is outside the theater so this is very important. Any and all ideas, thoughts, suggestions welcome as I also posted in that sub forum.