When I accepted the job as the new Editor of the AVS Forum one of the articles I was looking forward to the most was the Home Theater of the Month. I loved watching Build threads on here over the years and following the build outs of members. The ultimate build threads were the HT of the Month posts, and I couldn’t wait to find the first HT worthy of bringing back this amazing Feature here at AVS.

The members here at AVS really came through when I asked for submissions. I got plenty. The problem then became “Which worthy HT do I start with?”

The answer ended up being a Home Theater that is unique in the aspect that it was built by a DIY member here at AVS who slowly became a Custom Installer. He did such a fine job on his own theater that friends asked if he could help out on their project. This slowly lead to getting the attention of a local CI firm who hired the AVS member to work for him. After a few jobs he created Insane AV and did a final HT remodel in his house.

The room is a reference level Home Theater with the acoustics designed by HTE’s Peter Aylett. The screen is a 160 inch wide Seymour Screen Excellence Neo (174 inches diagonally). The projector is a Sim2 Nero 4S Gold using a MadVR Envy Extreme. The Ascendo speaker system is powered by Ascendo amps using a Trinnov Altitude 32 as a processor. Wiring is handled by Tibutaries Cable. An Oppo 205 supplies video as well as an Apple TV. The entire system is protected by a SurgeX surge elimination system.

This system was built over a timeframe of 8 years, with the last major remodel coming last August. Kamron, the AVS member behind the HT, chose to redo his room because he was entering the world of the “Custom Installer,” and going full time into Home Theater building for his living.

He already had a few Home Theaters built under his Insane AV banner (in fact one of his clients submitted their HT for HT of the Month and it is very deserving). Kamron had quickly built a reputation for building exceptionally well thought out and constructed rooms. Kamron has many skills including master level carpentry that helps set him apart from others. Kamron doesn't just hang speakers up, he builds ceiling soffits, columns, risers, etc. He is an artist, and it all started here at AVS where as a member he came to learn and fine tune his craft which went from hobbyist to professional. It's a remarkable story and a more remarkable theater!

Kamron chose to call Todd Sutherland at Ascendo Immersive for input on what he chose to call “A true reference level Home Theater,” and they came up with an 11.3.10 Ascendo Immersive speaker solution with 18,000 watts of power at hand for his 18x19x10 room. Todd suggested that due to the second row of seating being on a riser (thus making the ceiling height there a nasty 9 feet for acoustics) the acoustics could be (and were) a nightmare. He suggested Kamron reach out to Peter Aylett at HTE.

Peter helped CEDIA recently create standards for home theaters at different levels with Reference being the best. Peter went to work designing the rooms acoustics while his business partner Maurizio Conti went to work designing the interior space’s looks. With the goal being to create a Reference level Theater that looked cool as ice.

HTE is in the “Acoustic Interior Design” business. They design your interior and then bake in the acoustics. Their system is different than others in that it is not a stretch fabric wall system with one inch or two inches of acoustic treatment hidden behind the fabric. The HTE system is different. The panels are off the wall based on the acoustics (I believe this system is close to 7 inches off the wall). This helps control bass frequencies that other systems can’t handle. Each panel is different under the coverings and is meant for specific locations.

Kamron is a Sci-Fi fan. He is a Marvel fan. When you get to the stairs leading up to his room you’re greeted by a large Batman toy and a plethora of Storm Troopers line the wall as you approach the room. So it wasn’t a surprise when Kamron told me that he sent Maurizio pictures of the BattleStar Galactica interior (from the remake) as inspiration for his room.

The room Maurizio came up with is stunning. Unlike the conventional HT look of columns with stretch fabric between them, this room is far from conventional. Blue LED lighting illuminates the room in what can only be called a modern looking HT masterpiece. Niche coves are in the room holding model figures like Thanos, Thor, and others that are expertly lit. Kamron’s first look at the room was the following renderings sent by Maurizio:

Building Automotive design City Flooring Chair

Entertainment Display device Event Building Chair


Lets talk sound. As you enter the room you immediately notice the acoustics. Everything changes as you enter this room. Everything just clears up. Conversations are easily understood and you quickly relax in the room. You just feel comfortable. The room is inviting. All due to amazing acoustical aspects. So the room was impressive in looks and sound without even turning a movie on!

However, to get here Kamron had to remodel his room which was only going to keep the Seymour Screen Excellence screen. To prepare the room for the acoustics coming from HTE Kamron had to do a little work to the room. First he added 5/8 MDF to the walls using green glue to help with sound isolation.

For those of you wanting to know where to get green glue:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SKWD8...wg=O1ARJ&ref_=sbx_be_s_sparkle_mcd_asin_0_img

MDF at 5/8 is more rare (but weighs significantly less than 3/4 inch MDF. It can be tricky to find but here you go:

5/8 - MDF - Plywood - The Home Depot

He also built a baffle wall for the front. Once he built that, put the MDF around the room, he cut holes for his new subwoofers (two 18 inch, and one 32 inch sub), hung up all the speakers, and then painted the room. There are a few threads on here about building your own baffle wall that are very helpful.

Rectangle Wood Creative arts Beige Flooring
Wood Floor Flooring Ceiling House
Wood Rectangle Window Fixture Tints and shades
Blue Fixture World Composite material Wood
Audio equipment Wood Gadget Loudspeaker Gas


Once he completed installing the mdf his room was already looking different:

Building Automotive design Sky Flooring Personal luxury car


Kamron then painted the walls a dark gray color and started installing the HTE panels:

Mirror Couch Automotive design studio couch Bathroom
Couch Building Interior design Living room studio couch


The room was finally coming together. Kamron took a week or two to finally finish hanging up each panel in its proper place (its like paint by numbers, just put the correct panel in its correct place). Once that was done and all the new speakers were in place he installed a brand new Sim2 Nero 4S Gold, the flagship projector from Sim2.

For movie watching Kamron prefers to watch 4K Blu Rays on his Oppo 205 directly with the Sim2 which provides better HDR algorithms than the Lumagen he previously had and even has a better picture than the MadVR Envy Extreme. Where the Extreme helps is with everything else. Streaming comes to life with the MadVR. Gaming, everything but HDR titles with metadata, looks better with the Extreme Envy in the video loop.

Everything runs through the Trinnov Altitude 32/24 that Kamron owns. The Trinnov is practically overkill in the extremely well designed room. The magic it provides for Kamron includes the Trinnov speaker remapping. This is useful for Auro3D and DTS X soundtracks. The three sound codecs cant agree on speaker placement, and the Trinnov makes that not a problem. It just uses software to "move" speakers to where they should be. The process is stunning and hard to believe.

Once you've sat in the theater you realize all the ways it is pushing the envelope in sound quality and picture quality. I've never in my life seen a better projected image from a home theater product. I was so surprised and stunned that I requested a unit to review asap. Sim2 has been in the HDR business since 2012 and their experience is easily witnessed by viewing this projector.

As much as the video was impressive so to was the Audio. First the room itself sounds great, but when you add a Trinnov processor to the mix it's guaranteed to either show the best or the worst of your speakers so you best bring your A game. Kamron did.

Ascendo Immersive is a newer brand to the scene. They provide two aspects to the sound that really impress me: Co-Axial speakers and Infrasonic. Co-Axial speakers are used for timing. The idea is that the sound from every driver hits your ears at the same time. Infrasonic is sound under 16HZ.

In theory the combination should provide a clear sound that goes LOW. To get that low you need a BIG subwoofer because it takes cone real estate to move that much air. In this case it is a 32 inch subwoofer seen here with Kamron:

Clothing Jeans Smile Flash photography Automotive tire


I have to say the sound is amazing. The sub actually adds subtlety to soundtracks as crazy as that might sound. At first as demoing Fury Road I thought to myself "this is just like adding a butt kicker to a chair, cheesy gimick". The scene in question was the scene where the 18 wheeler is driving in the sand storm. I felt my chair and body shaking and thought that.

Check the movie out here (it's great for demonstrating systems!):


Then I reached down. The chair wasn't shaking. It was my internal guts. I honestly felt like I was bumping along in that 18 wheeler. Without the chair shaking. Infrasonic is a real thing. It adds so much to movies that ever since I left Kamron's theater I've felt lacking in my own (which only gets down to about 20HZ).

I'm jealous.

While watching the movie Wall-E from Pixar I noticed just how subtle and cool infrasonic sound is. You technically dont hear sound that low. You feel it. While Wall-E is outside the spaceship playing with the fire extinguisher he spins around a lot. The entire time you FEEL where the giant spaceship is. Everytime he spins the feeling moves. It was cool.

Check out Wall-E here:


The sound of this Home Theater is impressive. I started wondering about the musical fidelity. We threw on Roger Waters "The Wall" live via streaming off an Apple TV going through the MadVR Envy Extreme to the Trinnov. I was actually at the live show when it was recorded. In my lifetime I've heard two systems faithfully recreate the sound of that night. Once at CEDIA in 2019 at the Seymour Screen Excellence booth and again in this system. This system is incredible.

Check out The Wall here (and if you haven't its one of the best live concert blu rays imho):


It also isn't fatiguing. I kept wanting Kamron to demonstrate more things. I was plotting a way to steal his home. I loved the room.

Still speakers built for the kind of dynamics a movie requires or live concert requires aren't great for normal 2 channel music listening. This was a similar situation. They were very good but not great.

So I mentioned it to Kamron who smiled and said "watch this,"

He then wheeled in two beautiful black speakers into the room. Plugged them in to a speaker connection on the wall and then ran the sound through just those two speakers. I was blown away. We listened to a lot of music but what really got me was Waylon Jennings singing Luchenbach, TX. His voice sounded so natural.

That is when Kamron told me what he was doing for 2 channel. The Trinnov was still processing, but instead of going to the Ascendo amps, it was going to an Anthem STR stereo amp that was feeding a pair of Totem Acoustic Metal V2 speakers. The player was a NAIM NDX 2 Music player.

First lets talk about that amp. It's 400 watts into 8 ohms, 600 into 4 ohms, and wait for it 800 watts into 2 ohms. This amp rocks. It is phenomenal.

Second, lets talk about the speakers. These are Totem's flagships. They made me want a pair to review. Shockingly good sounding speakers. They look cool too.

Last, lets talk about that player. The Naim NDX 2 is a beast in itself. It may not be their flagship (I actually have that in for review and so far it is the best I have ever heard) but its a spectacular example of amazing engineering.

The finished room here is just visually stunning. The room is welcoming and comfortable. The picture quality is the best I have ever seen and the sound quality is easily in the top 5 systems I have ever heard. Kamron with the help of everyone at HTE, Ascendo, Sim2, Seymour Screen Excellence, and Trinnov who really worked together to help design an amazing room that has to be demonstrated.

I asked Kamron what his thoughts were now that he has what is about as perfect as you can get.

He mentioned he thought he had a truly great set up before he combined a lot of popular brands here on the forum and did his own DIY acoustics. He said the room was probably about a $150,000 room BEFORE the remodel. He had very nice expensive equipment. The remodeled theater would cost between $450,000 and $500,000 if you hired Kamron to recreate the room. However, the new system to Kamron is night and day different than before, for the better. His room is now "perfect" and for a guy with "upgraditus" that says a lot.

What is great is you can capture a lot of the performance of this room without spending the same amount. Because Kamron became a dealer he has to demonstrate solutions for everything. Most of his clients have been blown away with similar rooms (one of his clients submitted their own theater and it is very worthy) at a more modest budget.

I've been in rooms that cost much more that didn't perform nearly as well. The magic of this room is truly its acoustics. His wife mentioned she never enjoyed the room before but now she just hangs out in it, naps in it, converses in it. My own wife found the room to be her favorite of any room I've dragged her to (and there have been many). It's just comfortable.

The excitement that the owners show when they discuss every aspect is refreshing. Theyre truly proud owners of this excellent Home Theater. One they have named "The Insane Asylum"

Enjoy!

Rectangle Architecture Shade Triangle Sky


Purple Architecture Entertainment Projection screen Ceiling


The great news is if you're in the Houston, TX area you can demo the room by giving Insane AV a call. Check out their website at www.insaneav.com

So we have also created a video of HT of The Month:


Below is a complete list of his gear:

Trinnov alt32-24
Ascendo 8-6004 amps x3
Oppo 205
Apple TV 4K
Anthem STR amp
Totem Acoustic Metal V2
Naim NDR network media player
Madvr envy extreme
Surgex surge protection
174” diag or 160 wide 2.37 screen excellence neo
Sim2 nero4s uhd gold
Isco dlp 1.25 anamorphic lens
Ccrm12p x 3 lcr
Ccrm6p x 13 remaining bed layer and heights
Ccmi6p x 5 atmos OH
Sms18 x 2 subwoofers dedicated 250v 20amp circuit x2
Smsg32 x1 infrasonic sub dedicated 250v 20amp circuit
Rack has 2 120v 20amp dedicated circuits.
All speakers are Ascendo Immersive