Listening to music and watching movies are some of my favorite hobbies. I also enjoy using computers. I was turned on to HTPC and CRT projectors from a co-worker/friend years ago. I was totally amazed at the sound and picture enabled by two very different technologies! A few years later, I decided to try it out in my first home.

After assembling my first PC and setting up my first CRT PJ, I moved on to audio. A dedicated prepro was soon joined by HTPC multichannel hardware. Then I became more serious about audio...

It started with the Vandersteens. I upgraded from an integrated amp to pro audio amps - more headroom. I chose the Museatex IDAT-44 DAC and had it upgraded by John Wright. As-is, it sounded fantastic. Surround sound gradually built up with a pair of VSM-1s, and the VCC-1. The bottom-end really improved by adding the 2W subwoofer to my front mains. Most recently, I have changed the DAC power supply to 12V SLA battery, and added acoustic treatments (GIK 244 panels). The room really sounds better than what I started with...

It has turned out to be a very rewarding and educational experience. I've learned and shared much information about hifi, PC software/hardware, room acoustics, and video with others online.

My goal is to continue enjoying music and movies and sharing the fun with my family and friends.

Feel free to contact me!

- Steve O.

Components Toggle details

    • Marantz CD-67 se
    Initially from my college 2-channel setup
    • Custom HTPC HTPC
    CPU:Northwood 3.0c GPU:XFX Nvidia 6800 Audio:RME Digi96/8PAD+AEB8-O Video Input: Holo3DGraphII w/ DVI daughtercard + MP-1
    • Crown XLS 402-B
    Stereo pro audio amp Used for both 2-channel and multichannel home theater Modded fans for silent operation
    • EMMlabs Switchman MKII
    Pro audio/studio version (blue faceplate) of the Switchman. Handles both 2-channel output from Museatex IDAT44 & multi-channel output from the HTPC
    • Vandersteen 3a Sig
    Mains for both 2-channel and home theater.
    • Vandersteen VCC
    Used with Meridian Ambisonic/Trifield mode, or HTPC surround sound.
    • Vandersteen VSM-1
    Used with Meridian Ambisonic or HTPC surround sound.
    • Vandersteen 2w
    Used for both 2-channel (augmenting 3A Signatures) and during HTPC surround sound.
    • Bettercables DVI
    DVI cable used between HTPC and LCD monitor
    • Bettercables VGA to BNC breakout cable
    HD15 adapter from HTPC to Canare BNC for projector
    • Canare L-5CFB
    BNC video interconnect between HTPC and Marquee 8500 CRT projector
    • DIY Flexi Rack
    Main rack for A/V gear
    • Meridian 565 7.1
    Prepro used for Playstation2 audio and occasional Trifield/Ambisonic processing of CD audio.
    • Meridian 562v2
    Used for switching multiple S/PDIF audio sources (PlayStation2, HTPC, CDP)
    • GIK 244
    Acoustic treatments (4 panels) for room.
    • Home Depot 14 Gauge Speaker Wire
    Basic speaker wire
    • Hosa Snake cables
    1/4 TS to XLR snake bundles between HTPC audio card and EMMlabs Switchman preamp.
    • Electrohome Marquee 8500
    (Non-LC) 8" CRT FP system Anamorphic mod by draganm on avsforum Flat black matte case panels by ridebeck on avsforum General maintenance and picture quality tips from CRT sub-forum on avsforum and Tim Martin (ehometech) An oldie but goodie...

Comments 4

Late 2006 Update: Digital front end - McCormack UDP-1 player - a great sonic improvement for my disc collection.

Early 2007: Balanced A/C power, Transcendant unit. I experimented early with multiple units on balanced A/C; right now just having the UDP-1 on balanced A/C sounds better.

Work in progress: Lower power and lower heat HTPC for the upcoming Arizona summer heat wave.

- Steve O.

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Hi Mike,

I have to admit - this system is a little patchwork/calico. Crown XLS402B amps are the "two-buck chuck" of many avsforum-inspired home theaters :)

I run my video 16:9, 1280x720 currently. I need to mask off the bottom portion of screen. The center channel doesn't block any projected video; neither do any of the plants!

Ah! You must have the Zalman TNN - I almost got that case. I am trying to find out where Niveus Media sources their heatsink cases - they are beautiful, too. Know anyone with a dead Pass Labs amp lying around?

If you're ever in the Phoenix area, you're free to stop by for some music/movies.

- Steve O.

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Looking good, Steve.

I like that cushy loveseat, that and the the analog video projector, the preamp :-), the speakers...

I've never heard the Crown amps paired with a system like this, what is it like?

It looks from the photos like that VCC-1 blocks the screen... or do you project the widescreen movies above it?

Funny, no one posts pictures of their HTPC... My non-HTPC is in a 70 lb Zalman solid steel chassis on castors - maybe I'll post pictures of it sometime. At CES last year I saw a few transparent PC chassis... awesome looking.



System edited: Added initial pictures of my room

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